39 thoughts on “Evolution

  1. Between trump supporters and religious fanaticism, which are often the same, I am bone weary of them. Their brains have an impenetrable wall around them than cannot be broken.
    Only, if like some of you, it comes from within and reason and intelligence begins to outpace dogma, mythology, fantasy and plain blind stubbornness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wot?
      If I (ever) voted, I’d vote for Trump—he has an “I know my own mind and you can go suck eggs” individualistic hairstyle. (Hell, we have a person down here who votes for the mayor because “on school gala days he dances with the children!”)

      If that ain’t applied intelligence and reasoning … nothing ain’t. But we am still evolving …

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  2. But he never comes back to his main thesis, namely, his question about why was the theory acceptable to the religious in the later 1800s but faces so much hostility from the religious in the early 2000s?

    I wanted to hear him say, “Because of the rise of belief in religious historical creationism, which is incompatible with the established science called evolution.” And this is the belief that stands diametrically opposed to I think the strongest scientific theory we have in our human understanding of the world in which we live – the hypothesis that has undergone the most rigorous testing ever and has aligned perfectly with the results from genetics. No other theory is as well supported and no other theory – whether its germs or atomic or gravity, whatever – has triumphed to the same explanatory extent. No other theory enjoys the level of confidence evolution deserves no matter what our belief preferences might be.

    Stating the logical conclusion to the question he raised is important to say, important to recognize, because it directly challenges the idiotic notion that science and religion are somehow and magically compatible when they are not. Obviously not in this matter where evidence-adduced facts and religious beliefs cannot coexist. Evolution and creationism is an ‘either/or’ case. There is zero room for some invertebrate fence-sitting position commonly called ‘agnosticism’ – a position that serves only to provide space for Oogity Boogity Poof!ism to seem a reasonable alternative to overwhelming contrary evidence. It’s important to say because it demonstrates that any attempt to try to create an area of space, an area of compatibility, between this either/or position is clearly an attempt to deceive by either misunderstanding and misrepresenting creationism/evolution or playing a silly and deceitful word game to misrepresent reality. And that is what religious belief in creationism achieves: ignorance and a refusal to deal with reality as it is by substituting superstitious nonsense as a reasonable alternative.

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    1. The answer lies within your own first para—the religious back then (effectively) had a monopoly.
      But now they are threatened.
      As sciences/knowledge advance, God has no option but to retreat.

      His purveyors are afraid, they retrench, they counterattack—with outright brute force (stake and chips, anyone? Scimitar and whips?) whenever they can get away with it. Their income is their livelihood and their flocks are their income. Hee hoo has a good racket going ain’t gonna give it up without a fight …

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  3. Incredibly, these are the very same people who give up Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny because those are childish. My sense is they are afraid of the outside real world, and hide behind a Bible and religion– and trust in a “real” god to make it all better. That one makes me shrivel a bit.

    Reality is a dangerous place to be, sometimes, and a lot of people are hiding from it. They literally wall themselves away from the realities of magic, and games that threaten the very fabric of society, and from people who consort with devils. yep. It’s a lot easier to believe in an invisible deity and magic spells than it is to face what’s really out there, and easier to blame the nearest atheist for all the troubles in the world.

    My mother epitomized that mindset, saying more than once, “well, it won’t matter once I’m gone, someone else will have to take care of it…” I believe that is also known as passing the buck.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello Ark. I love Aron Ra’s video series for schools on evolution. He takes it from the beginning and has worked up to like 30 plus some short videos. It maybe even more I have lost count. He also does a really good video showing that the world wide Noah’s flood couldn’t have happened and clearly shows that it never did happen. Although he likes to use large words his videos are clear and easy to follow. Hugs

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      1. I sat through that one and then found the one about Jesus. I can’t believe I watched both of them–(I don’t handle verbal stuff all that well, im a reader/writer not a listener, so…)

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    1. SCOTTIE:

      Total submergence of the world in a world-wide flood I can’t accept. But a sudden flood of massive proportions, raising the sea levels by some 400 feet quite quickly … I do accept. The religious thank God for massive drownings, some of us blame an asteroid some thousands of years ago—a chance hit that ended the ice age (one of ’em).

      Hey, don’t smile … I remember when the extinction of the dinos was laughed out of court — then some anti-social git came up with that crater in Mexico — and the big giggle is now a functioning part of the lexicon of science.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Argus. Regional floods we know have happened both in history and recently. Remember the tsunami in Japan.

        Less than an hour after the earthquake, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan’s coastline. The tsunami waves reached run-up heights (how far the wave surges inland above sea level) of up to 128 feet (39 meters) at Miyako city and traveled inland as far as 6 miles (10 km) in Sendai.

        Complete devastation. But you mention something I have been wondering about. Why do Christians celebrate and adore horrible actions that include mass death and torture? Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is much like the glorification of violence one sees in the movie Clock Work Orange.
          Such glorification as seen in Christianity allowed Luther to get away with inciting violence against Jews and we all know where that led, don’t we?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hello Ark. No you’re right. But is it wrong to want people to be better and to hold people to a higher standard when they are claiming to be more moral than the rest of us? I admit I am getting rather tired of the “I am better than you are” religious people. Especially when they are using that holier than thou attitude to call for my death and denial of rights. If you have not heard yet look up the “make America straight again” convention in Orlando celebrating the deaths of gay people at the Pulse nightclub. Hugs

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          2. Hello Ark. Sadly they are gaining ground here in the US. Their churches are gaining members even though most of them are storefronts in strip malls. They are part of the angry violent bigotry taking over the US. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Hello Ark. Not better judgment, in fact because I am directly affect I may not have as clear a picture as you do. But it does upset me especially as these are people forcefully claiming to represent the will of the Christian god. So when people like the Wee Flea and those other jerks you argue with go off on tangents, I scream inside to ask them to deal with the evil being done to people like me in the name of their god. Can they defend their god calls for my death? Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

  5. A little more recent and coming from a different angle which doesn’t dispute evolution per se, but puts it into its proper context. An even better way to spend an hour, in my opinion:

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    1. Meyer is a proponent of Intelligent Design. His understanding of paleontology is outdated – they do not refer to a Cambrian Explosion these days – and his outlandish hypothesis are driven by his hard core Christian belief.

      So why waste an hour on creationist nonsense wrapped up in pseudo science?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Watch or listen at your leisure and see if his arguments stack up. That’s what an honest sceptic needs to do and shouldn’t be indoctrinated with the ‘proven’ theory of evolution to the extent that his thinking is blurred by it. Meyer even acknowledges that ID doesn’t prove the existence of God, but he explains how evolution fails to explain the absolute origin of life. This is a worthwhile video for people on either side of the fence as well as those sitting on it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have listened to Meyer before, and
          as I have also told you on several occasions , I have read and /or watched every argument of this fallacious garbage.
          Why will you not understand?, All this stuff is simply an excuse to try to insert your god into the equation.
          Read the Wedge Document.
          It is all rubbish with no evidence to support it.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. An honest skeptic? That’s beyond laughable.

          Meyer is a paid Discovery Institute shill (Templeton money hard at work) trying desperately to keep this money flowing in to pay him and his Fellow hacks pushing Intelligent Design (Blessed Be His Name) in spite of ZERO evidence from reality in its favor and 100% evidence from reality contrary to it. That’s what ‘the other side’ is in fact when it comes to evolution vs creationism: science deniers. Such denialism is empowered only by the dishonest Peddlers of Doubt where no doubt exists honestly.

          Sure, you can be skeptical and hide being this label to deny all kinds of well understood processes and mechanisms as if it were reasonable to do so (who would need tin foil hats otherwise?), but not for one minute can you do so honestly because the level of denialism necessary to pretend there is room for honest doubt is greater than for any other scientific understanding humanity has ever developed. Such a skeptic – to remain consistent, which is what honesty requires for this label – would have to then pretend every other scientific theory you gladly accept and utilize without second thought every day of your life is even less likely to be true and worthy of even MORE skepticism than evolution, and none of these Discovery Institute theologians holds what you call this ‘honest skepticism’ towards the rest of our scientific understanding in any other field. They demonstrate that they are dishonest hypocrites at the very least.

          Look, CumbriaDaydreamer, you can sometimes have a religion without creationism but you will never find creationism without religion. That’s a clue, by the way, about its scientific merit. It’s not there. There is no evidence from reality for it and nothing but evidence contrary to it. It is religious belief alone – pure and simple belief contrary to reality – that creates the ‘other side’ and it is due entirely to the manufacturing of faith-based belief necessarily divorced from reality. But if you respect reality and what it tells us is most likely true about the world and then have an explanatory model adduced from it that has produced and continues to produce astounding advancements in all kinds of applications, therapies, and technologies – advancements that work for everyone everywhere all the time – then skepticism is not reasonable. To maintain skepticism, one must reject reality’s role to arbitrate such beliefs about it. Belief in creationism (even if called ID) is manufactured in denial of this evidence and is therefore dishonest. That’s what creationism is in all its forms: dishonest denialism of reality. That’s what Meyer is selling. And you’re buying… not for good reasons but for your theological ones. And theology has a very long track record of spectacularly failing to produce any knowledge about reality ever. That’s the ‘side’ you’re choosing. It is intellectually bankrupt and holds not one shred of ‘honesty’ if one has any respect for allowing reality to arbitrate our beliefs about it. That what your theology has done for you: it makes you a reality denier, a science skeptic, and a shill for dishonest hucksters.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. … erm, what is the ‘100% evidence from reality contrary’ to ID, please?

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          2. Name where you want look and there you find evidence for change to life over time by various natural processes and mechanisms. That’s how we utilize the theory (which is WHY it is a theory) in everything from dendrology to zoology, from resource extraction and farming to medicine.

            Here’s the thing, CumbriaDaydreamer: it didn’t have to be this way. There should be all kinds of evidence of POOF!ism if it were true. Most significantly, genetics should not show what it does show, descent from common ancestry right across the board, not just from algae to the flower Paris japonica, which has an astonishing 149 billion base pairs, making it 50 times the size of a human genome, but supported completely from biogeography to geology. We could have found unique genomes indicating a creation event, but it’s simply absent… in all cases. Even a rudimentary study of evolution will offer the honest skeptic nothing but mounting evidence that the model is true.

            In fact, the explanatory model is so robust that you can bet your life on it… and you do. Knowledge advances in all kinds of areas continue on a daily basis indicating a completely lopsided support by reality for this explanatory model and the use of the model that produces reliable and consistent results – results business invest billions assuming it’s true and reap billions in profit from trusting it – indicate the highest confidence possible.

            In any fair comparison, creationism gives back nothing… no new knowledge, no consistent explanation that can be applied profitably and consistently, no trustworthy insight into how life changes over time and why it is the way we find it to be, and stands incompatible with the theory of evolution. That’s why you have to be batshit crazy to throw away all this consistent evidence, all these trustworthy applications and technologies, all the confidence we have for understanding why medicine works, to go with a supernatural Just So story that does absolutely nothing for us but presents us as ignoramuses and fools against actual knowledge adduced from reality. Oh, but it allows us to feel pious. That’s a terrible trade-off.

            Liked by 5 people

  6. Meyer is a philosopher of science, not a biologist, nor distinguished in any other field — such as paleontology or phylogenetics — relevant to evolution in general. As such, he is not qualified to reinterpret the Cambrian biota according to his own theistic agendas.

    In short, Meyer is incompetent.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. CD, I will trust a man who says “I really don’t know” over someone who makes educated (or ill educated) guesses and passes them off as truth or fact.. We may never know what started the whole business, or we may know next week, or in ten years. But it’s the honest answer that draws me in, not the “100% evidence” that then escalates into “but you say it’s evidence, where’s the proof? where’s the documentation?” and we off to the races again.

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    1. Maybe I’ve misunderstood you comment here, Judy54, and if so I apologize. But when it comes to evolution, we know. Full stop. We know nothing with a higher degree of likelihood. Nothing. This is what a fact looks like. If this theory isn’t knowledge, then nothing can be because the bar is held too high. Everything – and I mean any knowledge claim whatsoever – is less certain than evolution. So to equivocate on this to make room for, “I don’t know” I think is the kind of cop out that makes just enough wiggle room and doubt for all kinds of anti-scientific denialism and religious idiocy. We really do know with a likelihood greater than any other knowledge claim. It always works… for everyone…. everywhere… all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you read me backwards, or I wasnt clear enogh, tildeb. I meant that the young earth folks refuse to say “I don’t know” because they think it puts them in a position of weakness, so they say “God did it”. end of discussion.
    However, if a scientist is studying something like the big bang or something which right now needs to be extrapolated from evidence and there is no surety, only educated hunches and clues, they will say, quite honestly, “we are studying it, but we really can’t be sure. Yet.” I have no problem with evolution, or fossils, or stars and round earths. Trust me on that one, lol.

    The magic comes because a scientist will generally be willing to give up his pet project if someone can show him the numbers that suggest a slightly (or even majorly) different hypothesis.

    So saying, honestly, “I don’t know” leaves the door open for all kinds of reasoning and discovery. Saying “God did it” in the same context slams it shut. And frankly if I don’t know why we have tornadoes or the power went out, I do NOT say, god did it, I will say,” I have no idea. Let’s find out.”

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    1. I get it and I agree.

      I just said to a young musician certain of his playing prowess but clueless and therefore entirely ignorant about ensemble playing when I asked him what his role was playing this Book or that, “When you can admit you don’t know something and mean it, only then is when you can start learning.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. exactly. And whew.
        My dad was a flawed man, given to arrogance and a temper, but if you could prove he was wrong about something, he’d capitulate without a struggle. But you had to prove it, all the way down to the ground.

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    2. Belief in creationism (or Intelligent Design) is identical with ignorance and casting doubt on evolution is identical with hubris. And you see this demonstrated by YECs who are absolutely clueless about why this science is the pinnacle of human knowledge and completely unaware of the vastness of their ignorance.

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      1. But look at it this way: if they allow themselves to listen and believe in geology, dinosaurs, tecttonic plates and fire, then they will find themselves without a faith or a God to cling to, and they would suddenly have to face their own personal responsiblity for themselves, with no god to hold their hand. Not everyone is suited for life in the real world.
        (I’m not being snide, here, I really think there are a lot of dependent people out there who would have trouble functioning in a world without their god to guide them.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know why this argument doesn’t carry more weight and used more often by those wishing to criticize how religion poisons everything; the idea that it requires religious belief to be a moral agent is exactly backwards.

          As you point out, holding to religious belief for ethical and moral guidance demonstrates that the believer is at best an ammoral agent… as in, not responsible for their own morality. It is borrowed. This means the religious person who follows this guidance is in fact morally and ethically irresponsible as an agent. This misguided belief in some other agency to justify moral and ethical considerations is what allows religious believers to support the despotic ideology of Divine Command Theory, which is identical in principle to the failed Nuremberg defense by Nazi’s… that they were, “Just following orders” and so should be considered innocent moral and ethical bystanders to the action they personally undertook. The court rejected that argument then and held these people accountable and yet (failing to learn from history) far too many people continue to capitulate to the religious and go along with the charade that religious belief qua religious belief bestows some kind of moral benefit when, in fact, it provides exactly the opposite: a moral deficit for the individual believer. A religious believer who uses their religious belief to justify support for a moral position has already capitulated their moral responsibility to their preferred scripture, which assumes ‘superior’ moral and ethical authority, which makes them by their own admission less of a moral agent than the non believer who accepts personal responsibility for their moral and ethical effects.

          I think this is a powerful anti-theist argument when it comes to discussing moral and ethical issues and should yield stronger sentiments against providing a place at the grown-up’s table for the religiously irresponsible. What the most highly respected religious leader has to say about this or that moral or ethical issue is therefore of less moral agency than what any non believer, non subscriber, to religious ideology may think. And we should treat religious people in the same way we treat children when it comes to responsible decision making: excuse them and let them go play their childish games with other children.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The word ‘children” resonates. My husband’s cousin was a 7th Day Adventist, and she leaned heavily on her church in everything she did. Her belief system was based on that very premise, that there was a God/Devil struggle going on endlessly, for everything in her life. If she did something right, “God showed me the way.” and if something bad happened, “the Devil won, that time” like a game of religious football.

            Passing the buck is so easy. Blaming the invisible demon for your mistakes and praising the invisible sky god for your successes means you never get to take responsiblity at all. She had the moral mentality of a 10 year old.
            With apologies to any ten year olds out there who might be watching.

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