Accidents that Breed.

This is all Darwinian evolution really says in the end.

In the topic of morality, Allan, Neil, Lizzie and others use the same old con of claiming that morality is not accidents, its….and then they just trail off into a non-answer.  I find this a very frustrating and telling habit of the materialist.

There is no “other” thing there.  Unless you want to include an intelligence, or a destiny into the theory (which destroys the theory of materialism) you aren’t left with another aspect to why things are.  You have accidents, that somehow formed a durable combination.  Its such a dishonest aspect of materialism that when its not convenient they don’t want to admit this part.  But in not admitting it, they struggle with saying anything to counter it.  They can use words like emergence, or nature did it, but that’s meaningless.  The materialist theory is that it is simply accidents that breed well.

Every time a materialist tries to claim there is more to it than that, when they need to have a stronger arguing basis, don’t be fooled by the dodge.  That is all they have.  Accidents.  Sorry, to force them to accept their own reality.

150 Replies to “Accidents that Breed.”

  1. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Are you proposing more rule changes?

    For a good chunk of the world, yes.

  2. Kantian Naturalist Kantian Naturalist
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray: Are we debating empirical science or scientific metaphysics?

    As far as I can tell, the question “are the laws of physics contingent, necessary, or intended?” is not a question of either empirical science or scientific metaphysics. It is a question of speculative metaphysics, and as such it is unanswerable.

  3. llanitedave llanitedave
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    Elizabeth,

    So let’s put morals into the “chance” category, shouldn’t we, if there is no law which we can say creates them?

    Like I said, accidents.

    I think, rather than an “unintended event”, a better definition of accident is an event that occurs contrary to intent. If there is no intentionality, there can’t really be an accident. What do we say when we’re pretending that something we did was not accidental?
    … “I meant to do that.”

  4. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    llanitedave: I think, rather than an “unintended event”, a better definition of accident is an event that occurs contrary to intent.If there is no intentionality, there can’t really be an accident.What do we say when we’re pretending that something we did was not accidental?
    … “I meant to do that.”

    Personally, I find “unpredictable” a far more accurate term for most of the events that Phoodoo and Mung (and other IDers/Christian apologists for that matter) describe as “accidents”. Most of the apologist crowd – from Ham to Craig and even Luskin – know how the word “accident” effects some people emotionally and they like to play on that. In addition, “accident”, as you note above, implies intention gone awry.

    So given that, I do not (as an example) see the decay rate of…say uranium 236…to be a series of accidents. Rather, decay rates are unpredictable. Similarly, the biological basis for morals (whatever that even means) is also unpredictable (though I suspect likely capable of being modeled fairly well).

  5. William J. Murray
    Ignored
    says:

    From Merriam Webster:

    ACCIDENT
    1 a : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance
    b : lack of intention or necessity : chance

    If a definitionally accurate characterization of your worldview makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ask yourself why.

  6. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray:
    From Merriam Webster:

    Is snow melting an accident then?

  7. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray,

    If a definitionally accurate characterization of your worldview makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ask yourself why.

    Not so much definitional accuracy, more emptiness of content. Everything except that planned or intended is an ‘accident’ according to the definition you quoted. Planetary formation, rivers, crystals, chemical reactions, galaxy rotation … It doesn’t make me feel ‘uncomfortable’, so much as wonder why anyone would be dumb enough to pursue that definition, and attempt to foist it upon opponents or skewer them with ‘worldview’ sneers if they reject it.

    Of course, there are those in your camp who seem to think that nothing occurs without intent. Which is handy, because Merriam Webster agrees with them. Take that, materialists!

  8. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    I guess, taking M-W as supplying all definitions for the moral debate, that a moral agent going ‘the wrong way’ might be deemed an accident. Oops, says God. Or: yeah, meant that to happen. But only in some theologies.

  9. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain,

    Does snow melting happen by chance? What are you talking about??

  10. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller:
    I guess, taking M-W as supplying all definitions for the moral debate, that a moral agent going ‘the wrong way’ might be deemed an accident. Oops, says God. Or: yeah, meant that to happen. But only in some theologies.

    Can you clarify your point here, its a bit obtuse I think?

    What does people ignoring their morality have to do with accidents?

  11. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller,

    Allan, this is really getting weird. Indeed, ALL a materialist can logically believe is that planets form, rivers flow, galaxies rotate, by accident. What else is there?

    This is precisely why many theists (myself included) laugh at the concept of atheism, because it necessitates that one believes that everything you see around you happen by an accident of chaos, totally unintended!

    You really don’t believe the things you believe, do you?

  12. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    God ‘intends’ that people follow morality (at least in some theologies). If they don’t, it’s an unintended thing from God’s pov – ie an accident, whatever it is from the subject’s pov.

    If I create a rat maze, but one of them crawls right out and scuttles round the lab, that’s an accident – unintended – from my pov, even if the rat fully intended its own action. It was ‘supposed’ to follow the maze.

  13. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Allan, this is really getting weird. Indeed, ALL a materialist can logically believe is that planets form, rivers flow, galaxies rotate, by accident. What else is there?

    So you think that rivers flow intentionally? Yes, it’s getting weird. You may believe that God created gravity and mass. That does not make everything that happens under gravity intentional.

    This is precisely why many theists (myself included) laugh at the concept of atheism, because it necessitates that one believes that everything you see around you happen by an accident of chaos, totally unintended!

    You laugh at atheism because matter can’t move without intent? That there is, in fact, no such thing as an accident? Laugh away!

    You really don’t believe the things you believe, do you?

    No, of course I don’t. I believe other things.

  14. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller,

    This is wrong on two accounts. First, who said that God’s intends for you to follow his morality. I haven’t seen anyone say that. You are given a choice, follow it or don’t. That’s free will.

    Secondly, yes, its an accident that the rat got out of the maze you thought would keep him in. What’s hard to get about that?

    You have never heard anyone say, I accidentally let the dog out, and he ran away?

  15. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: This is precisely why many theists (myself included) laugh at the concept of atheism, because it necessitates that one believes that everything you see around you happen by an accident of chaos, totally unintended!

    And yet, if we look at the totally intended horrible horrible things in the world “god has a special plan”. So you want it both ways. You want what we see to be “proof” of god, yet when we look at what we see it’s now proof of something different.

    See that horrible eye eating worm that makes you go blind? That’s intentional.

  16. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: First, who said that God’s intends for you to follow his morality. I haven’t seen anyone say that. You are given a choice, follow it or don’t

    How can we follow what does not appear to have any mechanism to tell us how to follow it?

    You, fmm and William all think there is an objective morality, yet cannot agree on a single component. Yet you are now saying that it’s a choice.

    I want to follow it, what do I do phoodoo? Pray? To who?

  17. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: OMagain,
    Does snow melting happen by chance?What are you talking about??

    Yes it does. Are you familiar with statistical physics?.

    Physics have moved on since Isaac Newton. There were these dudes like Boltzmann and Einstein, you might have heard of them.

  18. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Allan Miller,
    Allan, this is really getting weird.Indeed, ALL a materialist can logically believe is that planets form, rivers flow, galaxies rotate, by accident. What else is there?

    Are you familiar with Agrippa’s Trilemma?.

  19. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    This is wrong on two accounts. First, who said that God’s intends for you to follow his morality.

    It seems a reasonable inference from all the Hellfire, Consequences brigade. Or: “Here’s a bunch of restraints. Follow them or not, as you see fit. I don’t care. But if you don’t, I (or a proxy) will torture you for eternity. Do ya feel lucky, punk?”

    This view is not held by every theology. Hence my qualification.

    Secondly, yes, its an accident that the rat got out of the maze you thought would keep him in. What’s hard to get about that?

    Nothing. What you seem to be struggling with is the equivalence. If God intended a particular path to be followed (even adding baffles, in the form of moral restraints and Awful Punishments, to ‘guide’ the subject), it is an unintended consequence (in some theologies) if the subject does not play along and follow the ‘subtle’ cues.

    You have never heard anyone say, I accidentally let the dog out, and he ran away?

    Indeed. Therefore much (and possibly all) of the historic unrolling of God’s Universe is ‘accidental’, per the Merriam-Webster definition. You reckon to know which bits are and which bits aren’t. I reckon you’re bluffing.

  20. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller,

    The universe was intended, and accidents inside the universe that was intentionally created CAN indeed happen.

    I don’t see how the problem.

    DNA that never was intended to be created, and only continues because it is bad at copying, of course is an accident in a Darwinian model!

    If it wasn’t, surely by now you would have said what else it was.

  21. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket,

    Are you familiar with wombats?

    I only ask because they have as much relation to this discussion as your links do.

  22. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    DNA that never was intended to be created, and only continues because it is bad at copying, of course is an accident in a Darwinian model!

    If it wasn’t, surely by now you would have said what else it was.

    I have said all along that I do not consider the combination of mutation and selection to give ‘accidental’ results. I have also said, if that’s how you wish to portray it, it’s up to you. I am not obliged to accept your semantics – which are, it has to be said, pushed largely for antagonistic reasons, like all the ‘mud to Mozart’ crap seen elsewhere. Evidence: you keep baiting me with it.

    Still, the problem is right there in your first sentence. You just DO NOT, and WILL NOT, understand selection. Nothing persists in a population because it is ‘bad at copying’. What a ridiculous, topsy-turvy summary of the evolutionary process.

  23. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller,

    Selections means to die. Some accidents die. Some accidents die but also make more accidents before they die. There is no sieve. No selecting. Some die, and some breed and die. Until you can come up with a replacement for how these accidents came to be, accidents is the most honest word for them.

  24. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    Are you familiar with wombats?
    I only ask because they have as much relation to this discussion as your links do.

    Somehow I’m not surprised you weren’t able to see the relation.

  25. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    Selections means to die.Some accidents die.Some accidents die but also make more accidents before they die.There is no sieve.No selecting.Some die, and some breed and die.Until you can come up with a replacement for how these accidents came to be, accidents is the most honest word for them.

    I hereby grant you permission to use the word accident since it apparently means so much to you. I hope it brings you some peace of mind.

  26. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Selections means to die.

    Bong! You’re hopeless! Selection means that there is a differential reproductive rate between one type and another. Sometimes it involves differential death rates, sometimes birth, sometimes a bit o’both.

    Some accidents die.

    Everything dies, phoodoo.

    Some accidents die but also make more accidents before they die.

    Making a copy of a particular change is not ‘making more accidents’. It is replicating the genome. Further changes may or may not ensue, but the fate of a particular change does not depend on more change occurring. It depends on its effect on its own persistence in the population.

    There is no sieve. No selecting.

    There is no active selection, but there is selection, as defined by CR Darwin many years ago.

    Some die, and some breed and die. Until you can come up with a replacement for how these accidents came to be, accidents is the most honest word for them.

    I will allow that the mutational and recombinational change sifted by selective processes are ‘non-intentional’, and there is a stochastic element to allele frequency change. However, if the result is a non-intentional increase in the type with the greater reproductive rate (through to extinction of the other), I see that as ‘non-accidental’ as I understand the term, even if your understanding would see even the operation of a sieve as ‘accidental’.

    You can bang on for OP after OP if you like, like Mung and codes, but I am not obliged to accept your semantics (nor, I agree, you mine). But for fuck’s sake try and understand the subject you critique.

  27. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan Miller,

    Haha…

    “I will allow that the mutational and recombinational change sifted by selective processes are ‘non-intentional’, and there is a stochastic element to allele frequency change. However, if the result is a non-intentional increase in the type with the greater reproductive rate (through to extinction of the other), I see that as ‘non-accidental’ as I understand the term, even if your understanding would see even the operation of a sieve as ‘accidental’. ”

    I.E. Accidents.

  28. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Allan, forget it mate. He needs them to be accidents, no reason to spoil his fun. It’s accidents. Can we move on now?

  29. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    William J. Murray:
    From Merriam Webster:

    If a definitionally accurate characterization of your worldview makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ask yourself why.

    Except that it isn’t “definitionally accurate” at all; it’s actually quite meaningless as it is too vague and does not address the differences between…say…the flow of a liquid or the movement of a hurricane vs…say…pulling a debt card out of one’s wallet as opposed to a credit card. Are you really suggesting that you hold that if there is no god or invisible pink unicorn running things that pot holes filling up with water when it rains equates to “accidents”? More to the point, do you really believe that water flows down a hill in specific patterns because some god wills it to? If so, then I think the issue with theists – or really with you as a theist – is they just aren’t interested in understanding anything at all based on their disinterest in using words to distinguish subtleties in characteristics.

    Just curious, but why exactly should I want a dismissal of subtle distinctions in the way things work in the world taught in public schools or as a basis for laws in this country (or any country for that matter)? I mean, that’s the broader issue for me in these types of discussions – trying to determine whether there’s any redeemable quality to theistic – and in particular IDist – views. So far I’m not seeing any.

  30. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    Allan, this is really getting weird.Indeed, ALL a materialist can logically believe is that planets form, rivers flow, galaxies rotate, by accident. What else is there?

    This is precisely why many theists (myself included)laugh at the concept of atheism, because it necessitates that one believes that everything you see around you happen by an accident of chaos, totally unintended!

    You really don’t believe the things you believe, do you?

    Well for me, while I certainly accept that the formation of planets, the flow of rivers, and the rotation of galaxies is based on chaotic forces, they are still based on those forces and thus I find the word “accidents” erroneous. A river that bends when it hits a harder material and thus cuts a path through material of least resistance is not “accidentally” changing course; it is behaving quite specifically to quite specific physical conditions. That those conditions weren’t “intended” by some intelligent agent is irrelevant; the action is still specific.

  31. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Robin,

    From a true materialistic standpoint, everything you see that looks like order and purpose is an illusion.

    Ask yourself something, when you see water flowing down a hill in a predictable way, why don’t you think to yourself, maybe it will suddenly stop flowing downhill. maybe it will suddenly stop being water at all and turn into gold bars, or disappear suddenly? How is it that you can make predictions at all about what will happen, as if there are “rules” in place in this universe we live in?

    Now, are there really rules, and if there are, why are there? How did the rules get there? How did water get here. How did the big bang happen? Was it an accident, or was it intended?

    There are only three answers to this as far as I am concerned. You either believe it was created by a higher power, it was all just a grand accident, or you just don’t allow yourself to think about it. I don’t see how there is anything else.

    So which is it to you?

  32. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Now, are there really rules, and if there are, why are there?

    Nature doesn’t follow rules.

    Rules and laws of nature are metaphors.

  33. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    Robin,

    From a true materialistic standpoint, everything you see that looks like order and purpose is an illusion.

    Ask yourself something, when you see water flowing down a hill in a predictable way, why don’t you think to yourself, maybe it will suddenly stop flowing downhill.maybe it will suddenly stop being water at all and turn into gold bars, or disappear suddenly?How is it that you can make predictions at all about what will happen, as if there are “rules” in place in this universe we live in?

    Because that’s a property of matter in this universe. I see no need for a some god or invisible pink unicorn or any other “creator” to “ground” the properties of any given universe.

    Of course, I could ask the same questions back to you. If your god can do anything and supposedly regularly interferes with the workings of the world performing “miracles” and other such parlour tricks, WHY DON’T YOU ever think to yourself, “maybe it will rain maple syrup today…or maybe wine? Maybe the oceans will be made of cotton candy today or maybe all disease will be gone!” Oddly no theist is ever surprised by the world just working in its constant, consistent, and repeatable manner…

    Now, are there really rules, and if there are, why are there?How did the rules get there?How did water get here.How did the big bang happen?Was it an accident, or was it intended?

    See above. The behavior of matter is a property of a given universe. Universes are, as far as the math goes, a constant and infinite. No magic or “mind powers” necessary. I don’t see where assuming some “god” or other entity adds anything to the understanding of the properties of the universe. It behaves the way it does regardless of whether gods exist or not.

    There are only three answers to this as far as I am concerned.You either believe it was created by a higher power, it was all just a grand accident, or you just don’t allow yourself to think about it.I don’t see how there is anything else.

    So which is it to you?

    None of those three. See above.

  34. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    Robin,

    Good to see you back, Robin.

  35. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh man. I almost had an accident. Can you imagine if it got loose and started to breed?

  36. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Fifth/Robin: I don’t see how there is anything else.

    The library of Babel is filled with stuff you can’t see.

  37. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka: Rules and laws of nature are metaphors.

    Is the rule of law a metaphor of a metaphor?

  38. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox:
    Robin,

    Good to see you back, Robin.

    Thank you Alan. Nice that someone noticed I was gone.

    But all is (more or less) right with the world again. Got a new kidney (my fifth, which is something of a dubious honor), so I can actually participate in the world again. 🙂

  39. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka: The library of Babel is filled with stuff you can’t see.

    Odd to see this post directed at “Fifth/Robin”. I think this should have been addressed to Phoodoo.

  40. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    I can’t see any difference between FMM and phoodoo, except that one of them is literate.

    The attribution to you was generated by the “quote in reply” button.

    Other than that, it was a stupid mistake on my part.

  41. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Robin: Got a new kidney (my fifth, which is something of a dubious honor),

    As long as it didn’t come for our fifth.

    Keep hanging in there.

  42. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Is the rule of law a metaphor of a metaphor?

    Not sure what you are driving at, and don’t care.

    Law is a dubious word in science. It implies that phenomena obey a rule, in a sense analogous to a person obeying a rule.

    Laws in science are just formalized summaries of observations, and predictions of regularity. They are neither true nor explanatory. They do not imply anything other than this is the way to bet.

  43. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka:
    I can’t see any difference between FMM and phoodoo, except that one of them is literate.

    The attribution to you was generated by the “quote in reply” button.

    Other than that, it was a stupid mistake on my part.

    Oh…see I thought the system had generated that. I thought it kind of ironic. But no matter. All good.

  44. Robin Robin
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka: As long as it didn’t come for our fifth.

    Keep hanging in there.

    Thanks Petrushka. I’m certainly trying (in both senses of the word…heh!)

  45. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Robin,

    “You either believe it was created by a higher power, it was all just a grand accident, or you just don’t allow yourself to think about it.”

    I contend that saying, “well, the laws organization, and consistency we see, are just properties of the universe” falls into the category of number 3. You just aren’t allowing yourself to think about it.

    You don’t believe in ANY supreme intelligence, and yet you believe a universe just so happens to have all kinds of properties of intelligence. “Well, just is, who knows why…”

    3

  46. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: You don’t believe in ANY supreme intelligence, and yet you believe a universe just so happens to have all kinds of properties of intelligence. “Well, just is, who knows why…”

    Not knowing is a pretty good default position.

    Knowing about the beginning of existence sounds delusional to me.

  47. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka,

    AS I said, three possibilities. You and Robin have chosen number 3, you don’t know and don’t really care.

  48. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    petrushka,

    AS I said, three possibilities. You and Robin have chosen number 3, you don’t know and don’t really care.

    Goddidit magically no idea why no idea how has so much more explanatory power though.

    LOL

  49. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    petrushka,

    AS I said, three possibilities. You and Robin have chosen number 3, you don’t know and don’t really care.

    Where would you put god in Agrippa’s trilemma?

  50. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    the DNA record definitely does not support the slow accumulation of random gradual changes transmitted by restricted patterns of vertical descent

    – James Shapiro

    Say it ain’t so.

    Genome change is not the result of accidents.

    – James Shapiro

    Crap! Say it isn’t so!

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