Darwin’s God-The Omnipotent Natural Selection?

Darwinists are not much different than their God-fearing counterparts when it comes to their belief system. Theists believe in the omnipotent God, or Creator and yet Darwinists believe in the omnipotent, creative powers of natural selection.. In short, the belief systems are fundamentally the same, except that Darwinists supplanted the omnipotent God for another god-the omnipotent natural selection
Therefore, due to this widespread belief in the omnipotence of natural selection among great number of evolutionary biologists everything and anything in evolution can be explained by inserting the omnipotence of natural selection when scientific evidence is lacking… 

I call it the 1+1=3 (or any number you wish it to equal ) the first commandment of evolutionary theory, which includes that irreducible complexity coined by Behe, the chicken and egg paradoxes in the origins of life and life systems-the indispensable components need to be present for the life system to function, the miraculous appearance of genes in the supposedly evolved organisms and many, many more…
The most interesting, and hilarious at the same time, is that this believe is not consistent among all the Darwinists as it should, because there are so called errors (Lents) or imperfections, that at least seem to contradict the omnipotence of natural selection…However, what is consistent about it is that the omnipotence of natural selection is often applied when it is called upon… or what I call the natural selection of the gaps… 
One of the rebels, or misinformed Darwinists about the omnipotence of natural selection, is professor Losos… He seems to strongly believe that natural selection, while powerful in its creative works, is not really omnipotent, but works with the materials it has available…which implies what?

Here is his assay:

2017 : WHAT SCIENTIFIC TERM OR CONCEPT OUGHT TO BE MORE WIDELY KNOWN?

Jonathan B. Losos

Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University; Curator in Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Author, Improbable Destinies

Natural Selection

It’s easy to think of natural selection as omnipotent. As Darwin said, “natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing…every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good.” And the end result? Through time, a population becomes better and better adapted. Given enough time, wouldn’t we expect natural selection to construct the ideal organism, optimally designed to meet the demands of its environment?

If natural selection worked like an engineer—starting with a blank slate and an unlimited range of materials, designing a blueprint in advance to produce the best possible structure—then the result might indeed be perfection. But that’s not a good analogy for how natural selection works. As Nobel laureate Francois Jacob suggested in 1977, the better metaphor is a tinkerer who “gives his materials unexpected functions to produce a new object. From an old bicycle wheel, he makes a roulette; from a broken chair the cabinet of a radio.” In just this way “evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works on what already exists, either transforming a system to give it new functions or combining several systems to produce a more elaborate one.”

Sometimes, the tinkerer’s options are limited and the outcome far from perfect. Take, for example, the panda’s “thumb,” made famous by Stephen Jay Gould. As opposable digits go, the modified wrist bone is subpar, limited in flexibility and grasping capabilities. But it gets the job done, helping the panda grasp the bamboo stalks on which it feeds.

In just this way “evolution does not produce novelties from scratch. It works on what already exists, either transforming a system to give it new functions or combining several systems to produce a more elaborate one…”

This is beautiful professor Losos… Unfortunately this does not explain at all how what already exists for the natural selection to work with arrived? If natural selection doesn’t produce novelties from scratch, how did the novelty to work with got there in the first place?

It looks like the omnipotence of natural selection + is required again to explain this problem, but not by professor Losos…

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49 thoughts on “Darwin’s God-The Omnipotent Natural Selection?

  1. … natural selection doesn’t produce novelties from scratch …

    Probably because natural selection, you know, selects.

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  2. You missed a bit:

    Copyright © 2019 By Edge Foundation, Inc All Rights Reserved.

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  3. OMagain:
    You missed a bit:

    Thanks…
    I’m still getting used to copy and paste with an Android device using a mouse without the right click button… 😊

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  4. Alan Fox:
    OMagain,

    J-Mac has edited his OP and is now claiming “fair comment”.

    Absolutely!
    I’m sorry about this…

    BTW: I don’t really like working with blocks when coping and pasting…

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  5. You’ve convinced me. Evolution is the origin of nothing.

    So, whence comes novelty?

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  6. Yet another remarkable example of utter confusion as to why no one else follows you in making yet another colossal blunder from the very beginning.

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  7. OMagain:
    You’ve convinced me. Evolution is the origin of nothing.

    So, whence comes novelty?

    This must be a misunderstanding…
    I don’t provide the explanation for something that is virtually impossible…

    Due to the law of conservation of quantum information the only novelty allowed on subatomic level is by the loss of classical information…just like Behe has proven it…
    The law of conservation of quantum information prohibits any gain of quantum information in a closed system. Therefore the evolution of any novelty according to this law is impossible.
    “In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information should mean that information cannot be created nor destroyed.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-hiding_theorem

    This actually proves what Losos has written about natural selection being able to work with what already exists, although I doubt he was familiar with the law of conservation of quantum information…

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  8. J-Mac: Therefore the evolution of any novelty according to this law is impossible.

    Yes, as I already said in my first sentence, you’ve convinced me of that.

    So where does it come from? The fossil record is a record of the appearance of species. How? Why?

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  9. Darwinists are not much different than their God-fearing counterparts when it comes to their belief system.

    I doubt it. Darwin existed, while gods, as far as I have learned, are imaginary. That alone puts Darwinists way ahead of the god-believing “counterparts.”

    Theists believe in the omnipotent God, or Creator

    Yeah. Silly, isn’t it? Believing in such absurdity, despite there’s nothing around us resembling being produced by an omnipotent magical being.

    and yet Darwinists believe in the omnipotent, creative powers of natural selection

    Your most spectacular failure here is making this claim only to present evidence to the contrary in that essay you plagiarized from somewhere else. You’re desperate to ridicule those who don’t share your beliefs in fantasy magical beings, yet you keep shooting yourself in the foot time and again. If only you could read.

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  10. OMagain: Yes, as I already said in my first sentence, you’ve convinced me of that.

    So where does it come from? The fossil record is a record of the appearance of species. How? Why?

    Oh that! The law only allows what I call a quantum poof, or the appearance of quantum systems by quantum teleportation like mechanism…😉

    https://youtu.be/jDFI87zn9t0

    ETA:

    Chinese Scientists Successfully Teleported a Particle to Space

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/news/a27271/chinese-scientists-successfully-teleported-a-particle-to-space/

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  11. J-Mac: The law only allows what I call a quantum poof, or the appearance of quantum systems by quantum teleportation like mechanism…

    Who or what is doing the poofing, and how do you know that?

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  12. The first, the very first line … Darwinists are not much different than their God-fearing counterparts when it comes to their belief system.

    JM: Does it ever occur to you that you are the heathens best friend ? Their most enthusiastic advocate ?

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  13. Good points in the thread . It is all selection on mutatiuon.
    Modern evolutionists are modern alchemists. they imagine that anything could be created from mutations however humble its beginnings.

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  14. Robert Byers:
    Good points in the thread . It is all selection on mutatiuon.
    Modern evolutionists are modern alchemists. they imagine that anything could be created from mutations however humble its beginnings.

    No Robert, “evolutionists” don’t imagine that anything could be created from mutations. Stop projecting from your religious beliefs. Evolutionary phenomena are natural phenomena, not magical beings in the sky. Scientists don’t think of evolution as magical beings in the sky, and you should stop pretending that they do. It makes your religious beliefs look like only bearable by idiots and liars. Of course, if that’s what you want carry on.

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  15. The most interesting, and hilarious at the same time, is that this believe is not consistent among all the Darwinists as it should,

    You’re astoundingly obtuse J-Mac. Why should your projected beliefs in omnipotence be widespread among “Darwinists”? Darwin himself presented examples of imperfections among life forms. You’re wrong starting with the very foundations of “Darwinism.” I have told you a million times that you’re just projecting, yet you fail to even realize how wrong you are, and how effectively you shoot yourself in the foot.

    because there are so called errors (Lents) or imperfections, that at least seem to contradict the omnipotence of natural selection…

    No you poor J-Mac, they contradict the omnipotence of your imaginary friend. Your illiteracy is duly noted.

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  16. Entropy: You’re astoundingly obtuse J-Mac. Why should your projected beliefs in omnipotence be widespread among “Darwinists”?

    I presume J-Mac believes in one (but only one!) supernatural actor with a human personality who, while remaining stubbornly indetectable, nonetheless can and does diddle with reality. And does this with a clear preference for M-Mac and against you.

    Now, YOU probably believe that there exists an actual physical objective universe out there. You probably believe that the enterprise of science is to examine and explain and perhaps even predict events in this universe. But the evidence on the ground, so to speak, may be no more solid for you belief than for J-Mac’s. As physicists’ techniques improve, they are approaching the possibility of demonstrating whether gravity is (or is not) a quantum phenomenon — that is, whether gravity units at the Planck distance are discrete.

    And if they are (they probably are), then the concept of an objective real observable universe must be revised fairly drastically. This fundamental bedrock of science could well be wrong. Nowhere near as wrong as J-Mac’s notion of an invisible angry but calm sky daddy (who always wants tolerance, while commanding us to smite those who disagree), but still wrong. We may have to confront the notion that, like J-Mac, we believe in what we prefer rather than what IS, because IS doesn’t mean what it used to.

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  17. Asking out of curiosity:

    Would an objective view of the universe be outside of time? I mean, would an objective observer see time as a static dimension?

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  18. Flint:
    But the evidence on the ground, so to speak, may be no more solid for you belief than for J-Mac’s.

    I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do about what surrounds us. Whether we come to understand it or not. Magical beings in the sky, on the other hand, belong exclusively in the imagination. The day gods are as obstinate on being present around us, whether we believe them to be objective or not, like our everyday experiences, I’ll agree that J-Mac’s grounds are as solid as mine. In the meantime it doesn’t look that way, and trying to equate our grounds looks too much like mere sophistry, to put it too kindly.

    This is one reason why I despise philosophy. Its practitioners are perverse.

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  19. Flint:
    And if they are (they probably are), then the concept of an objective real observable universe must be revised fairly drastically.

    I doubt it. You seem to be mistaking our understanding of the universe with whether the universe is objective. If we figure out that something is the case, whether we want it or not, then that’s objective. Can I do anything against gravity being a quantum phenomenon? Can we just imagine that it’s not and be done? If so, then that’s subjective, if If not, then it’s objective.

    Flint:
    This fundamental bedrock of science could well be wrong.

    Again, if it’s wrong, and we cannot just wish it to be right, then that’s objective by definition.

    Flint:
    Nowhere near as wrong as J-Mac’s notion of an invisible angry but calm sky daddy (who always wants tolerance, while commanding us to smite those who disagree), but still wrong.

    Well, at least we agree on this one, so stop equating the two!

    We may have to confront the notion that, like J-Mac, we believe in what we prefer rather than what IS, because IS doesn’t mean what it used to.

    I don’t see why. For one you have a contradictory notion of what objective means. it doesn’t mean that we understand it completely, or even coherently. It just means that it’s not bound to our subjective opinions. No matter what, or if, we figure out some “ultimate” reality, we still have to live within our realm / size / magnitude / whatever. That scientist are trapped by the math of quantum mechanics, unable to make sense of it, doesn’t change the facts that we have to confront every day. It doesn’t change the fact that we cannot wish any of it to be otherwise.

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  20. Entropy: I doubt it. You seem to be mistaking our understanding of the universe with whether the universe is objective. If we figure out that something is the case, whether we want it or not, then that’s objective.

    No, that’s exactly what I mean. There simply may not be an objective universe. at least at the quantum level. Our human limitations are entirely irrelevant here.

    Again, if it’s wrong, and we cannot just wish it to be right, then that’s objective by definition.

    Maybe we’re using this world “objective” in different ways. What I mean is, there’s a chance science is and always has been (to some degree) investigating an illusion. I’ll gladly take an illusion that’s persistent and consistent, even if at the Planck level it’s shown to be only an implication of our models, not inherent in what we mistakenly call the “real” world.

    For one you have a contradictory notion of what objective means. it doesn’t mean that we understand it completely, or even coherently. It just means that it’s not bound to our subjective opinions.

    Ah, it’s as I feared. I agree it doesn’t mean understood, and I agree it’s not a figment of our imaginations. In this case, it means there is a limit to which “reality” can be investigated. Kind of like investigating “wind” at the molecular level, and realizing that no particular particle has “wind”.

    No matter what, or if, we figure out some “ultimate” reality, we still have to live within our realm / size / magnitude / whatever. That scientist are trapped by the math of quantum mechanics, unable to make sense of it, doesn’t change the facts that we have to confront every day. It doesn’t change the fact that we cannot wish any of it to be otherwise.

    Yes, no question here. For us normal people, there’s no need to be aware of whether reality ITSELF actually exists (and the term is meaningful). Our perhaps imaginary notion of reality has always been entirely sufficient even for science (although perhaps insufficient for J-Mac and those like him, who seem to need to complicate our reality model beyond all recognition, for what I see as marginal gain at the expense of basic sanity).

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  21. Entropy: This is one reason why I despise philosophy. Its practitioners are perverse.

    It was not a philosopher who posited the scenario Flint pitched–it’s been physicists. Maybe those are the perverse guys you should be despising?

    Or maybe it’s religious people, physicists AND philosophers that all have it coming. So much perversion, and so little time for the non-perverse, regular, decent people to despise them all!

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  22. Flint: Maybe we’re using this world “objective” in different ways.

    Uh-oh. That sounds like philosophy! Pervert!

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  23. walto:
    It was not a philosopher who posited the scenario Flint pitched–it’s been physicists. Maybe those are the perverse guys you should be despising?

    It’s not the scenario walto, it’s the “same footing with imaginary friends as without / everything is imaginary” thing, and it comes from philosophers. It’s in philosophy where students are “taught” that nothing is real, that they might not exist.

    Or maybe it’s religious people, physicists AND philosophers that all have it coming. So much perversion, and so little time for the non-perverse, regular, decent people to despise them all!

    I’m truly sorry that you found it offensive, but I cannot help but realize that apologists find their main niche among philosophers, that it’s philosophers who find imbeciles like Plantinga or Craig, and their most ridiculous “arguments” respectable or even intriguing, as if they had some substance. So, sorry, but you should at least realize that there’s something wrong there.

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  24. Entropy: It’s not the scenario walto, it’s the “same footing with imaginary friends as without / everything is imaginary” thing, and it comes from philosophers. It’s in philosophy where students are “taught” that nothing is real, that they might not exist.

    Hahaha. No they’re not.

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  25. Entropy: I’m truly sorry that you found it offensive, but I cannot help but realize that apologists find their main niche among philosophers, that it’s philosophers who find imbeciles like Plantinga or Craig, and their most ridiculous “arguments” respectable or even intriguing, as if they had some substance. So, sorry, but you should at least realize that there’s something wrong there.

    What you don’t get is that to claim that some argument that Plantinga or Craig (whoever s/he is) is bad or imbecilic or whatever, is to engage in philosophy: it requires, for example, using logic to show either why some premise is false or the conclusion doesn’t follow.

    What you like is YOUR philosophy. Well, good for you. You can join petrushka and Neil in their “ALL PHILOSOPHERS ARE STUPID BECAUSE MINE IS THE ONLY WORLDVIEW THAT’S RIGHT” club. New member are always welcome, I understand.

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  26. walto: Hahaha. No they’re not.

    Just to give support to this. I think there are two current or former philosophy professors on this board and an additional couple of avid readers here (I’m thinking of Bruce and Keith). If they are or were mostly taught in their classes or in the books they read (or do or did mostly teach) that nothing is real and that they don’t exist, I’d like them to raise their hands.

    FWIW, my own hand is down.

    ETA: Sorry this is so ugly. I’m too lazy to fix it, though.

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  27. walto:
    What you don’t get is that to claim that some argument that Plantingaor Craig (whoever s/he is) is bad or imbecilic or whatever, is to engage in philosophy: it requires, for example, using logic to show either why some premise is false or the conclusion doesn’t follow.

    I do get that walto. I think that philosophy is very, but actually very, important. Fundamental even. That doesn’t take away the facts about the state in which it is left today by its “professional” practitioners.

    walto:
    What you like is YOUR philosophy.

    Of course. I’ve worked very hard on it. I think it’s still under construction though.

    walto:
    Hahaha. No they’re not.

    Hahahaha, yes, they are. I’ve studied and worked at several universities, and all the “basic” philosophy “courses” in them have included an “exercise” questioning their own existence. They mistake knowing what they are with knowing that they exist though, which would be kind of a philosophical blunder, but there you have it, a huge gap between philosophy and its “professional” practitioners.

    ETA: Sorry, I think I keep offending you, so I’m done.

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  28. walto: s. I think there are two current or former philosophy professors on this board and an additional couple of avid readers here (I’m thinking of Bruce and Keith).

    ETA: Deleted a bunch of stuff which came from misreading a comment.

    For some readable summaries of the “reality” behind the distortions in the headline about some recent QM experiment showing there is no objective reality, (when all it does is verify another unintuitive QM prediction), see here
    http://dailynous.com/2019/03/21/philosophers-physics-experiment-suggests-theres-no-thing-objective-reality/#crowther

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  29. Entropy:
    BruceS,

    Thanks Bruce. That link was an interesting read.

    As a non-philosopher spending a lot of my retirement time on philosophy, let me offer this justification for my effort.

    Your earlier post about doubting the world being part of philosophy 101 is a reference to Descartes evil demon, I think. He was not saying there is no reality; he was instead trying to find some reason to justify believing the world is as it appears to be.

    Now some may say philosophy is pointless when it tries to answer questions about the world that cannot be answered by (current?) science. But many people besides philosophers would not be satisfied by that approach to justifying belief in the world as it appears — think of the popularity of movies like the Matrix or Inception. And there are many other similar questions
    – if two people look at something red, are they having the same experience?
    – could we be living in a simulation created by advanced beings (maybe a future humanity?)
    – why is there something rather than nothing?
    – is time travel possible?
    – can AI be conscious?
    – and, of course, what does QM tell us about the nature of the world?

    I think it is possible to have useful and interesting discussions of such questions. The discussion must be consistent with current science. But by definition it has to go beyond current science.

    Now there is much more to philosophy than questions about how the world is — there are issues about values and shoulds, about right and wrong, about political systems, the meaning of life, the existence of God, and so on which are also of deep interest to most people. Philosophy offers the only secular method for addressing them through an objective process.

    ETA: William Lane Craig is not a skilled philosopher. Plantinga definitely is; for example, he has a deep understanding of mathematical logic. I think some of Plantinga’s ideas are wrong. But there is no way I could even come close to out-arguing him on them in the judgement of any knowledgeable referee.

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  30. BruceS: I think some of Plantinga’s ideas are wrong. But there is no way I could even come close to out-arguing him on them in the judgement of any knowledgeable referee.

    Sometimes, as with Darwin, being right is more important than being qualified. He was right before he was qualified to argue his case.

    Just a shower thought.

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  31. BruceS: ETA: William Lane Craig is not a skilled philosopher. Plantinga definitely is; for example, he has a deep understanding of mathematical logic. I think some of Plantinga’s ideas are wrong. But there is no way I could even come close to out-arguing him on them in the judgement of any knowledgeable referee.

    I don’t know Craig. But I agree about Plantinga. Very smart–and I while I think he’s wrong about nearly everything, I wouldn’t want to tangle with him at a symposium.

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  32. Entropy: ETA: Sorry, I think I keep offending you, so I’m done.

    I’m not offended. And I’m sorry if I came off harsh. For my part, I don’t think philosophy is perverse, but I don’t know if it’s a useful way to spend time. I doubt the “heavyweight” problems will ever get consensus answers.

    I’ve just always found it really interesting.

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  33. petrushka: Sometimes, as with Darwin, being right is more important than being qualified. He was right before he was qualified to argue his case.

    Just a shower thought.

    I agree it is more important to be right.
    But once you go beyond consensus science, it’s often difficult to decide who is right. Or even if there is such a thing as right and wrong in the type of question being asked.
    I should have said that many if not most informed philosophers think Plantinga is wrong in his philosophical arguments for his religious beliefs. But the arguments can get pretty sophisticated, eg in discussing Plantinga’s modal arguments for the existence of God.

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  34. walto: but I don’t know if it’s a useful way to spend time

    But how can one understand what is a useful way to spend time except through philosophy (or one’s religion, I suppose)?

    I am not aware of any philosophers writing whole books to apologize for doing something that others might not consider useful, as the pure mathematician Hardy did (who did in fact turn out to be very wrong indeed about his work, as indicated by the “s” in “https”).

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  35. BruceS: But how can one understand what is a useful way to spend time except through philosophy (or one’s religion, I suppose)?

    Carpe diem. I recall encountering KN on Ed Feser’s (shudder) site and mentioning I’d spent all my life prior to picking up on some of his insights completely ignorant of philosophy. The shock and horror from other commenters was quite impressive. (Erik was amongst them).

    (Apologies, I’m suffering from Brexit syndrome and unable to take anything else seriously.)

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  36. BruceS: But once you go beyond consensus science, it’s often difficult to decide who is right.

    If there are no entailments that suggest a test, then it doesn’t matter, does it?

    I’ll qualify that by saying, there are beliefs that suggest actions, and that might make one belief preferable to another. But only if you have a strong belief that some actions are preferable, in and of themselves.

    It matters not to me whether string theory is right or wrong, or whether things are really really real, or just illusions. I’m not going to change the way I behave.

    It’s pretty obvious from following this forum, that some people desire logical reasons for doing the right thing.

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  37. Alan Fox: Hmm? Who decides what’s right?

    You do. I do. Etc. Politics.

    It has taken tens of thousands of years to achieve political systems that minimize bloodshed. The alternative seems to be strong men talking to god and telling everyone else what to do.

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  38. Alan Fox: Hmm? Who decides what’s right?

    Science. Or, whatever scientists think is right, even if it is wrong, because it is “science” and therefore supposed to be true…Who decides when science is bad is a problem… If people who are supposed to question science are bias toward science, who is the arbiter then?

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  39. OMagain: Who or what is doing the poofing, and how do you know that?

    Same who/what poofed natural selection into existence and gave it creative intelligence beyond comprehension…

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  40. J-Mac:
    My kids have a question: How did natural selection evolve?

    “Natural selection” has only evolved as a concept. It’s not a person, it’s not a life form, it’s not a subject. It’s a metaphor. The metaphor stands for the simple fact that organisms better suited for an environment have a higher probability of surviving such environment, and that such higher probability can result in changes of allele frequency in a population.

    J-Mac:
    What should I tell them?

    What I wrote above, and that their question is ill-informed and absurd. That their question betrays a sad lack of understanding, but that I blame you, J-Mac, for that misinformation.

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