2,657 thoughts on “Elon Musk Thinks Evolution is Bullshit.

  1. KN, at the end of a long response to phoodoo:

    (My apologies if any of this requires reading at a college level.)

    Alan, earnestly:

    Requires some effort but the effort is repaid. All good points! I sense a book in the offing

    Alan,

    I’m pretty sure KN is taking a dig at phoodoo, who is definitely not a college-level reader.

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  2. fifthmonarchyman: I really have no interest in an OP like you describe

    How about a counter proposal?

    Don’t post arguments based on and unwarranted assumptions and don’t mock God and you won’t have to hear me “correct” you.

    That’s not so hard is it?

    Actually, yes, it is, because you have demonstrated that you are incapable of distinguishing between not explicitly assuming that your god exists, with no supporting evidence, and asserting that it doesn’t exist. Basically you are confirming that you intend to disrupt every thread in this forum with your proselytizing, regardless of the topic.

    You are a very rude guest.

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  3. KN,

    Here’s another example: consider a moth that is helplessly circling a light-bulb. In their natural environment, millions of years before the invention of electric lighting, moths evolved a navigational system that uses starlight. Starlight is at optical parallax — the photons strike the retina at effectively parallel lines, so there is a 90 degree angle between the trajectory of the light and the retinal surface.

    According to that hypothesis, the angle is relative to the moth, not to the retina. Remember, the moth has compound eyes, so the angle won’t be the same for each individual ommatidium.

    Also, the hypothesis isn’t that they maintain a 90 degree angle, just that they maintain a constant angle. A moth that maintained a 90 degree angle (where 0 degrees is straight ahead) would circle the light clockwise at whatever distance it first “noticed” the light, with no tendency to get closer or further away. Ditto, but counterclockwise, for a 270 degree angle.

    Angles toward the front of the moth (i.e. between 0 and 90 degrees or between 270 and 0 degrees) would cause it to spiral in. Angles toward the back would cause it to spiral out.

    In any case, the hypothesis isn’t generally accepted by entomologists.

    I do agree with the larger point you’re making to phoodoo, however. Senses haven’t evolved to be perfectly accurate, and perceptual mechanisms that functioned well in an ancestral environment may mislead in newer environments.

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  4. walto, in a single comment:

    That’s your whack view, I’m just stating it…

    OMG, what a load of bullshit…

    You think you need an infinite regress to be in a Cartesian theater? That’s funny…

    You should have your friends start calling you Rene! And when you start to buy his ontological argument for God too, you might think about growing a mustache and wearing a gown as well…

    Having a bad thread, walto?

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  5. walto:

    Patrick reads Rand to support his views and doesn’t like to read stuff he disagrees with.

    keiths:

    Is that something you actually know to be true, or is it just a reflection of your dislike of Patrick?

    walto:

    It’s a surmise based on his limited understanding of political philosophy and his attitude toward posts he disagrees with here.

    keiths;

    In other words, you don’t know that Patrick reads Rand to support his views, and you don’t know that he dislikes reading stuff he disagrees with, but you wrote it anyway:

    Patrick reads Rand to support his views and doesn’t like to read stuff he disagrees with.

    Jesus, walto.

    walto:

    Anyhow, I had no idea that YOU took the position that people should only post things they KNOW here.

    Besides being bad logic and a blatant rationalization for false accusations, that could backfire rather badly on you.

    Shall I start posting things like “walto is a convicted child pornographer”? Or will truth suddenly start to matter to you when the accusation is directed at you?

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  6. fifthmonarchyman: At the same time there are things that the Son (taken in isolation) knows that the Father does not know for example what it feels like to be beaten.

    There are lots of things people feel that Jesus did not feel, do humans therefore have knowledge that God does not? Isn’t that an issue about the omniscience of your version of God?

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  7. keiths: ’m pretty sure KN is taking a dig at phoodoo, who is definitely not a college-level reader.

    “And our next contestant is: Keith’s,

    Specialist subject: thé bleeding obvious.”

    [/Mastermind

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  8. Alan,

    It apparently wasn’t obvious enough for you.

    KN:

    (My apologies if any of this requires reading at a college level.)

    Alan, earnestly:

    Requires some effort but the effort is repaid. All good points! I sense a book in the offing

    Oops.

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  9. keiths:
    Alan,

    It apparently wasn’t obvious enough for you.

    Your inability to spot irony continues to surprise me. You can’t then be in my simulation.

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  10. Alan,

    Is that going to be your standard defense when you write something that you regret later? “Oh, I didn’t actually mean that. I was being ironic…”

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  11. It”s not hard. AF says to self “I bet Keiths will bring up that previous exchange on missing thé irony”. And you did. 😉

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  12. Alan:

    It”s not hard. AF says to self “I bet Keiths will bring up that previous exchange on missing thé irony”. And you did.

    Actually, I didn’t. I just asked:

    Is that going to be your standard defense when you write something that you regret later? “Oh, I didn’t actually mean that. I was being ironic…”

    But I was thinking of that exchange, and you obviously were too, so let’s give you partial credit.

    So you used the irony defense and silently predicted that I would think of the previous time you did that?

    Wow, you really went out on a limb with that one.

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  13. Oh and the best is the irony that you thought I’d missed thé snark at phoodoo in KN’s comment. You need to upgrade your irony meter.

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  14. Just a tip. If I post a comment to or about you, there’s irony in there somewhere. Hope that helps*.

    *Irony

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  15. @ KN

    BTW, notwithstanding, I meant what I said, which I’m sure you realise.

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  16. Alan,

    Oh and the best is the irony that you thought I’d missed thé snark at phoodoo in KN’s comment.

    You did:

    KN:

    (My apologies if any of this requires reading at a college level.)

    Alan:

    Requires some effort but the effort is repaid. All good points! I sense a book in the offing

    That’s a classic, sincere, puppy-dog Alanism.

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  17. Alan Fox:
    @ KN

    BTW, notwithstanding, I meant what I said, which I’m sure you realise.

    Of course. And thank you. And your irony was perfectly clear to me, too.

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  18. Alan, to KN:

    BTW, notwithstanding, I meant what I said, which I’m sure you realise.

    You just told us it was irony!

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  19. Let me make this clear. I noticed, as I imagine anyone would reading thé comment, KN’s dig at phoodoo. I did not feel the need to state thé bleeding obvious. A mistake, obviously! 🙁

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  20. keiths: I do agree with the larger point you’re making to phoodoo, however. Senses haven’t evolved to be perfectly accurate, and perceptual mechanisms that functioned well in an ancestral environment may mislead in newer environments.

    So you acknowledge that senses have not evolved to be accurate, they have evolved to allow an animal to reproduce better. Those are different objectives right? And you acknowledge that even if some senses were accurate at one point in history, that does not mean they are now.

    So, how the fuck is that agreeing with KN, and not with me? That there is no reason to believe our senses are accurate, but rather that they help us reproduce (two different things).

    Of course I am sympathetic to anyone who reads KN’s posts and doesn’t get what the point he is trying to make is, because apparently he doesn’t either.

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  21. Alan,

    I pointed to your sincere statement.

    To get yourself off the hook, you claimed that your statement was ironic, not sincere, and you accused me of missing the irony.

    Now you’re telling KN that there was no irony — you were being completely sincere!

    That is a textbook foot-shot.

    You lied about the statement being ironic, and as liars often do, you got your story mixed up. You contradicted yourself, thus revealing the lie.

    You are really something.

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  22. keiths:

    Senses haven’t evolved to be perfectly accurate…

    phoodoo:

    So you acknowledge that senses have not evolved to be accurate…

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  23. I don’t doubt that you’d call for this whole exchange to be erased, if you could.

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  24. Alan,

    You may recall this comment of yours:

    @ walto

    Please don’t get involved on my behalf. It’s my problem. Keiths brings out the worst in me. The lying; it’s an emotional response that I’m learning to curb.

    At least no one else affects me in this way.

    The learning is proceeding rather slowly, I take it.

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  25. Alan,

    Why did you tell us that your statement was ironic, when it was actually sincere, as you later emphasized?

    I’d like to hear your explanation.

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  26. phoodoo: So you acknowledge that senses have not evolved to be accurate, they have evolved to allow an animal to reproduce better. Those are different objectives right?

    I have not followed your discussion but this question stood out to me.

    I would not agree those are different objectives, because only when the senses are somewhat accurate do they actually help an animal to reproduce better. It is a mistake to think you can separate the senses being accurate and them aiding in reproduction. They only aid in reproduction when they are, in fact, sufficiently accurate to give correct information about the organisms’s environment.

    phoodoo: And you acknowledge that even if some senses were accurate at one point in history, that does not mean they are now.

    That would only be true if the environments were radically different. As it happens, variations in humidity, temperature, pressure and gas concentrations in the atmosphere, for example, have not historically changed so much that it has radically affected the accuracy of sight or hearing.

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  27. keiths: You lied about the statement being ironic, and as liars often do, you got your story mixed up.

    This is against the rules.

    Okay, I won’t guano in this case, because what happened is too transparent.

    You completely misunderstood what Alan was saying. So Alan tried to explain it to you.

    And then, true to form, you accused Alan of being a liar (or being mistaken and refusing to admit a mistake — as Alan predicted would happen).

    This is the same pattern that we often see. You misunderstand the discussion, and then make false accusations against the other participant, presumably because you are unable to see that you had misunderstood.

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  28. newton: There are lots of things people feel that Jesus did not feel, do humans therefore have knowledge that God does not?

    no

    1) Ever hear of the believer’s union with Christ?

    2) quote:

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    (Heb 4:15)

    and

    Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect,
    (Heb 2:17a)

    and

    Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things,
    (Heb 2:14a)

    etc etc etc

    peace

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  29. Patrick: Basically you are confirming that you intend to disrupt every thread in this forum with your proselytizing, regardless of the topic.

    You are a very rude guest.

    I’m sorry you find me rude. I assure you that it is not my intention to be discourteous or impolite

    OTOH

    1) This forum is made up largely of folks who were banned from UD for doing what you accuse me of doing. So my alleged rudeness could be construed as poetic justice.

    2) Since I have repeatedly said that I’m not proselytizing doesn’t your accusation violate the rules?

    3) It would truly be a sad thing if you were unable to have a simple discussion without making unwarranted assumptions and without mocking God.

    4) There are lots of interesting discussions here that I don’t even comment on

    5) You will find that when I do comment often I am immediately ambushed with mockery and ridicule about me and the God I love. It’s seems ironic that you would call me rude.

    6) It seems to me that often you are the one who is intruding. This thread is about epistemology amid things like simulations and BBs and you barge in demanding I discuss the evidence for God.

    7) Often I’m baited with mockery to participate in threads where I have not even posted.

    I would suggest you relax and come to terms with the fact that when It comes to God there will always be those who disagree with your assumptions.

    Life will be easier if you can just agree to disagree and move on to talk about something else were agreement is possible.

    peace

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  30. Fmm, I don’t think you realize just how derisive many of your own posts are. Almost every post of yours contains an implicit accusation that everyone who disagrees with you about anything has no idea what the hell they are talking about–only YOU do. It’s highly obnoxious behavior, actually. So your pleas for a little gentility are pretty hollow. I’m not sure anyone here is more consistently insulting than you are.

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  31. Markcc calls the simulation hypothesis “rubbish” on grounds of the limitations of physical computation..*

    This is an example of the type of non-empirical argument I think one can use to discount possibilities in the disjunction one-by-one.

    Now perhaps someone would claim that there are an unlimited number of qualitatively different terms in the disjunction, each requiring its own argument, so that such a one-by-one approach is futile.

    I say there are not.

    I think it then comes down to arguing about who owns the burden of proof.

    ——————————-
    *I recognize that Mark is assuming the simulators live in universe with laws enough like ours so that his argument works; one would need a different argument if one imagined simulators living in a universe with utterly different laws.

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  32. Bruce,

    *I recognize that Mark is assuming the simulators live in universe with laws enough like ours so that his argument works; one would need a different argument if one imagined simulators living in a universe with utterly different laws.

    That’s exactly right. All you can say about the laws of physics in the host universe is that they must be capable of supporting the simulation of our universe.

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  33. fifthmonarchyman: Robin: This is bass-ackwards FMM. If they weren’t reliable, optical illusions would not work consistently.

    So the claim is that perceptions are reliable because they can be wrong consistently?

    I would not use the word “wrong”. The senses are working just fine and pretty much always detect whatever stimuli is out there 100% accurately if the stimuli is within sense range. This applies to detecting illusions as well. The vast majority of “errors” occur with the perception of competing stimuli. So when David Copperfield makes a 747 “disappear” in front of thousands of people, it isn’t that their senses didn’t detect the event; all their senses were likely working just fine. It’s that David Copperfield is well aware of how the brain works in terms of perceiving, analyzing, and categorizing competing information and he’s really good at exploiting the fact that our brains “drop” some redundant information while creating composites of what we sense. So not only do our senses work reliably, but so do our mental filtering systems.

    Does that mean that if our perceptions were always correct they would be unreliable?

    peace

    That’s my take.

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  34. fifthmonarchyman: “one has no choice but to blindly trust that our unreliable perceptions are reliable because the alternative is to assume the Christian God and doing that is simply out of the question.”

    This is a false dichotomy. Whether our senses are reliable are not, the Christian God (or any god(s) for that matter) is not the only other solution. Invisible pink unicorns that sing and go to 11 work fine too. So do simulation explanations. So do infinite universes. In fact, the odds of and particular god story being true is ridiculously low on that observation alone.

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  35. BruceS: Markcc calls the simulation hypothesis “rubbish” on grounds of the limitations of physical computation..*

    This is an example of the type of non-empirical argument I think one can use to discount possibilities in the disjunction one-by-one.

    Why do you make that argument non-empirical?

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  36. fifthmonarchyman: This is something that is important to understand.
    The only person with the authority to define is God.

    I disagree. But you go right ahead and let me know when your idiosyncratically-defined god is going to stop me…

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  37. fifthmonarchyman: Since you deny that God exists you are forced to assume that definitions are subjective fluid squishy things.

    This made me chuckle. It’s an odd route to take to a realization, but whatever.

    The thing is, definitions are subjective and fluid. One merely need look at a work from 100 years ago to get that. Go back further and terms become really wacky by our modern standards. Have you ever read any Shakespeare? How ’bout The Lord of the Rings? It’s actually kind of the whole point of the story! How ’bout the bible? Oh…riiiight…
    I think your statement here couldn’t be more ironic if you tried.

    If this position was taken to it’s logical conclusion all communication would be impossible and we would just be making noises that would be meaningless to everyone else.

    This doesn’t follow. Words and turns of phrase can be fluid and change (and do) constantly, but such does not prevent communication because people rather rapidly and happily adopt conventions. It’s one of things our brains do really well.

    Word.

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  38. fifthmonarchyman: You deny that God has the authority to define. Ok

    That is the textbook definition of rebellion. You deny the sovereigns rightful authority and instead set yourself up as the authority instead.

    That is certainly not just some passive lack of belief. It’s a blatant act of defiance.

    peace

    PS your refusing to submit to God’s authority does not in anyway remove your obligations to that authority.

    One of things that amazes me about conservative religious adherents is that they don’t seem to have any problem with their religious entities running archaic social systems. Seriously, after living in any form of modern government, who in his or her right mind would ever willingly embrace totalitarianistic monarchy?

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