Evolution Is A Force For Good

Not really, of course, that’s just click-bait – it is merely science. But at least one person has been turned from a dodgy path by, in part, considering the dissonance between his faith and scientific evidence. Non-UK residents won’t be able to hear this, but the essence is contained here.

It’s an issue that cross-references many familiar themes – religion, morality, homosexuality, science – so I thought I’d toss it into the arena.

12 Replies to “Evolution Is A Force For Good”

  1. GlenDavidson
    Ignored
    says:

    Evolution fulfilled my atheistic soul.

    I owe my very smugness to evolution.

    Glen Davidson

  2. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Evolution is good. Without evolution organisms could not adapt.

    Without evolution we’d still be left with just the original animals that were on the ark.

    Boring.

    And yes, God loves beetles. Obviously.

  3. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m tempted to say there are elements in the story that could lend support for Dawkins’ remarks on child abuse.

    Certainly argues for proper secularism, fairly applied.

  4. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Without evolution we’d still be left with just the original animals that were on the ark.

    A children’s story for a child. How apt.

  5. Kantian Naturalist Kantian Naturalist
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: And yes, God loves beetles. Obviously.

    Actually, what Haldane really said is that God has an inordinate fondness for the Beatles. As well He should.

  6. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    Because Allan is such civil participant here, I’ll try to mute my usual snark. 🙂

    If by evolution we mean the study of how things ordinarily change over time, then the study of evolution is a force for good.

    I have argued the course of evolution should be consistent with the law of large numbers and theoretical expectation from first principles. Those are believable statements as to what we should consider as ordinary, natural, and therefore scientific.

    What is represented as “evolutionary theory” is a claim that “evolutionary theory” is a correct model of how evolution (change over time) actually works. To the extent the “evolutionary theory” model agrees or disagrees with how real evolution in the real world works, the model should be tweaked.

    By all means we should study and consider carefully how all things change naturally over time. Such a course of study is a force for good because truth is a force for good.

  7. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova: I have argued the course of evolution should be consistent with the law of large numbers and theoretical expectation from first principles.

    That makes no sense. Biological organisms are not coin tossing machines. They don’t behave randomly. Their behavior is directed toward survival.

  8. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova,

    Because Allan is such civil participant here, I’ll try to mute my usual snark.

    Go for it! I have thick skin.

    If by evolution we mean the study of how things ordinarily change over time, then the study of evolution is a force for good.

    The point, though, is that an investigation of evolutionary theory helped lead this individual to the realisation that he could not sustain the cognitive dissonance with his religion any longer. Indirectly, his whole approach changed.

  9. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova,

    I have argued the course of evolution should be consistent with the law of large numbers and theoretical expectation from first principles. Those are believable statements as to what we should consider as ordinary, natural, and therefore scientific.

    Neil Rickert,

    That makes no sense. Biological organisms are not coin tossing machines. They don’t behave randomly. Their behavior is directed toward survival.

    Nonetheless, evolution is random – even with selection, the process is probabilistic. The LLN does come into it – that is why (for example) larger populations are expected to have a narrower ‘effectively neutral’ zone around neutrality. But I don’t see that Sal is saying that evolution is not consistent with LLN. If it needs to be, that’s fine ‘cos it is.

  10. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    Go for it! I have thick skin.

    Even if you have a thick skin, responding in to you in respectful way is something I work toward in light of the fact you have treated me in like manner even though you vigorously disagree. It’s simply the right thing to do. 🙂

    Ok, as far as Muslims and secularization in general, I’d much rather society that is secular than Muslim and Hindu or even to some extent Fundamentalist Christian or Fundamentalist Catholic whereby the belief may not be sincerely held (like say Ted Haggard) but just as a means of cultural and political and economic control. I felt many times more comfortable in a physics class than I did in some Sunday schools as far as what I heard (although the pressure of homework and exams I always resented). So, I can sympathize with the OP to an extent.

    Unfortunately, secularization doesn’t clean out the problem of human nature.

    If Darwinian theory ends the reign of ISIS, it is a force of good. If skepticism and questioning and materialism ends the reign of ISIS, that’s great!

    But a qualifier, I believe in “change over time”, I don’t think evolutionary theory as stated in the mainstream is an accurate depiction of how things really change over time. In that sense I have mixed feelings of one wrong theory displacing an even more wrong theory (the Muslim terrorist world view). On balance, I’d rather live a society of Darwinists than Taliban/ISIS creationists. Evolution in that context is a force for good.

    FWIW: because of this, I find it mesmerizing the campaign at UD against materialism — the problem of evil in the world is more nuanced than materialist vs. non-materialists or materialist vs. theist.

  11. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova,

    Fair response. I am not in favour of ‘secularisation’ per se. I think people fundamentally gravitate toward the spiritual anyway, though in more of a vague sense than necessarily adherence to a particular set of texts. The latter can be dangerous because of a basic, somewhat lamentable ‘us and them’ human tendency – religion is just a badge, like more visible signs of ethnicity.

    But I do find this case an interesting counter to the Darwin-Hitler continuum that is (with substantial historical inaccuracy) pursued elsewhere. Thinking critically about what one has been told is, I think, a ‘good’ intellectual attribute. That does include scientific paradigms, though I personally don’t see much amiss with this one! My defence/promotion of the evolutionary paradigm is because I see it as essentially correct, and a crowning intellectual achievement of recent ages, rather than that it helps me pursue any other agenda.

  12. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    But I do find this case an interesting counter to the Darwin-Hitler continuum that is (with substantial historical inaccuracy) pursued elsewhere.

    I’ve cautioned the creationist crowd not to play that card for reasons stated here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/darwinism/creationist-support-of-eugenics-and-genocide-in-the-past/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.