Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

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Burning ghost
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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 1:16 am

H&N -

Theory of mind is an evolutionary advantage. Don’t quite see how you view ethics as not being part of this?
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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Hereandnow » September 14th, 2018, 8:06 am

Haven''t you heard, BG? Evolution is the new religion, that is, it is science's answer to the explanatory vacuum left by religion's absence in the minds of responsibly thinking persons who have come to understand that science is THE way to understand what it is to be human. Philosophy is being showed the door, has been for a long time. Religion lingers, desperately, still strong but yielding.

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 8:49 am

I’m fond of riddles or analogies unless they’re bolster with more substance.

Could you perhaps explain what I meant above? I wasn’t saying anything overly complex yet it may have been to vague - merely a pointing to something that corresponds well enough to “morals” being due to items such as mirror neurons, empathy, and a rational understanding of other people’s wants, likes and dislikes.

The view it quite simple. To be a good hunter it is bloody good for you if you can start to understand the habits and wants of your prey. Fast forward through evolution a few million years with social adaptation and I don’t find it a particularly surprising to make a connection to make.

Of course the transition carries a lot of old neurological baggage and we’re still theorizing about different processes from the micro to macro (from cellular, to organ, to organism right up to the complexities of species and symbiotic relations of various different species.)

There are some extremist views on either side of the whole “religion” aspect of this. I don’t find it worth interscting with people at the extreme ends. I just observe them and ocassionally throw out a rope and see if they grab it - more often than not they don’t.
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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Steve3007 » September 14th, 2018, 9:28 am

Hereandnow wrote:None of these responses see the true problem with the theory of evolution, a theory I believe in very much, but all theories have there limitations. Consider: there she is, a mother of three in plague stricken Europe, As she watches her children wretched with disease, their noses and fingers black with gangrene, vomiting endlessly, she sees she too will succumb soon. All around the horror looms over all things, and so on, her bootless cries to heaven, the screaming agony overwhelms.....in steps the evolutionist and states plainly in armchair English, madam, fret not, for I have precisely the understanding your heart yearns for: you and your misery have been selected, so to speak, for the very frailties that give you your wretchedness, for suffering is conducive to the survival and reproduction of your species. Sorry for the inconvenience.
You seem to me to be making the same mistake that lots of people make when discussing the Theory of Evolution: forgetting that it is a scientific theory and that it is therefore an attempted description of how things appear to be. It's not meant to be a prescription of how we ought to behave. And it's not meant to be a source of comfort, as you seem to be suggesting. So if you're complaining that it is cold comfort to someone watching their kids die, the answer is that it's not supposed to be any kind of comfort. That would be like observing somebody injured by a rock falling on their head and comforting them with the thought that the law of gravity made it happen.
Simplified, but to the point. The trouble with evolution is that it is entirely incommensurate with actuality, not the geological and genetic actualities but the ethical actuality, and ethics is by far the most underscored dimension of your being here, our being human. It is not to say evolution is wrong at all. Just to say, its theoretical reach does not encompass ethics, that is, value. Something more is needed for this, and this would be religion. Alas, religion is full of sh**. How about existential religion?
If you think it's not "commensurate with actuality" I assume you mean that it doesn't accurately describe the phenomena that it sets out to describe. If that is true then suggest updating it.

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Steve3007 » September 14th, 2018, 9:34 am

It is not to say evolution is wrong at all. Just to say, its theoretical reach does not encompass ethics, that is, value. Something more is needed for this, and this would be religion. Alas, religion is full of sh**. How about existential religion?
The fact that you say something akin to religion is needed instead of evolution in order to encompass ethics again suggests to me a confusion as to what those two things are for. The purpose of religion, or anything with which we might want to replace it, is not to simply describe how things are. But that is the sole purpose of the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Hereandnow » September 14th, 2018, 11:59 am

To address all of the above:
BG
There are some extremist views on either side of the whole “religion” aspect of this. I don’t find it worth interscting with people at the extreme ends. I just observe them and ocassionally throw out a rope and see if they grab it - more often than not they don’t.
Other things you said not so clear on. The religion aspect of this, take a look below at my thoughts and see if your comments are covered. It is not throwing a rope, but explaining why we need such ropes at all.
You seem to me to be making the same mistake that lots of people make when discussing the Theory of Evolution: forgetting that it is a scientific theory and that it is therefore an attempted description of how things appear to be. It's not meant to be a prescription of how we ought to behave. And it's not meant to be a source of comfort, as you seem to be suggesting. So if you're complaining that it is cold comfort to someone watching their kids die, the answer is that it's not supposed to be any kind of comfort. That would be like observing somebody injured by a rock falling on their head and comforting them with the thought that the law of gravity made it happen.
Don't know how well this will go over.

The matter is not about how we ought to behave or comfort others, but about what the world IS. What is this place called the world? Evolution tells part of this, but the idea that it is taken by many to be the new religion is founded on the understanding that by evolutionist standards, pain, suffering, pleasure, bliss and all these represent, ouches and oooo's, interests and fatigues, that is, value is reducible to the history of natural "selection" that either favors or disfavors certain traits. One doesn't go to the bible to understand our plight in terms of original (Kierkegaard calls it hereditary; very interesting) sin if one is a responsible thinking person anymore. The matter of why we suffer in the world has nothing to do with Adam's unfortunate transgression against god. It is evolution that inevitably carries the day. we suffer because suffering allows us to determine what is dangerous in the world and it keeps our species from perishing by telling us to stay away.

Evolution is no comfort, you can say that again. But it is not about seeking comfort. The point is that the world has this ethical dimension to it. When I say ethics I mean to designate the core of ethics, what it is about, and that is value. Ethics is, if you will, a distribution of value in the relationships people have with one another. Don't know if you've read Wittgenstein's Lecture on Ethics, it is short and available online, and it is his distinct understanding I want to pursue. Value in the ethical sense is, and I know how this sounds, it is the badness or goodness of what we experience that is absolute and not contingent, merely. Put a spear into my kidney, now what is this Pain? Why is it here, in the fabric of things, be "selected" (you know, manifested in the physical that is brought about after genetic mutation)at all? That it IS here, sure, like gravity, no doubt. Is it, and Wittgenstein alludes to this question, inherently bad, bad as in making the world itself bad because it is the world "doing" this, not just in the factual way, in the way of facts as we know them and construct them in language, but in the descriptive features of the world apart from what we can observe. After all: this kind of badness cannot be seen! that spear and the pain, this pain is clear, but the badness of it is not at all visible. This is why science, evolution, cannot address the matter of the medieval woman with the plague. What science cannot observe, it cannot speak of, theorize about. This is why we have religion, which in its popular forms is unsuitable for modern thinkers.

So, I say evolution does a bad job in providing a basis for the presence of value in the world, and value, i have often written, is THE most prominent part of our being here. Religion as it has been understood is out. But the questions religion answers are never out. Reading the "religious" existentialists actually brings greater understanding on this.
If you think it's not "commensurate with actuality" I assume you mean that it doesn't accurately describe the phenomena that it sets out to describe. If that is true then suggest updating it.
I think they should start teaching philosophy at the high school level, and turn churches into discussion halls for such topics as are found in Levinas, Buber, Kierkegaard, Otto, and many others.

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 1:01 pm

H&N -

It’s a complicated subject. I don’t understand what you’re saying probably because if you were more precise it would take a long, long time to read it.

Ny the “rope throwing” I was referring to myself and how I act toward people who seem to be clutching at poles. No scientist would refer to “evolution” as a religion, yet it is clear enough to me some extreme types seem to be playing that story out.

Anyway, you’ve not managed to address my orginal statement so I’ll assume you agree and depart? (Referring to theory of mind being a pretty reasonable way to explain a lot about social behaviour - note: not ALL, but a lot.)
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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Hereandnow » September 14th, 2018, 1:21 pm

The philosophy of mind? Anything in particular?

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Theory of Mind
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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Hereandnow » September 14th, 2018, 1:35 pm

Ok. Anything in particular?

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Re: Reasons Behind the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 2:13 pm

H&N -
It is not to say evolution is wrong at all. Just to say, its theoretical reach does not encompass ethics, that is, value.
It does. Theory of Mind. That was my point. If you wish to look it up go ahead.

Of course at some level our understanding becomes more and more nebulous. Still, the foundation is there. It may not fully encompass all that is, evolutionary theory doen’t make that claim, but theory of mind is a very clear representation of how moral attitudes could evolve from understanding pain in others, and a whole array of other experiences that other minds experience - especially of the same species, although with humans we have a seemingly stronger inclination to project this even further (likely a repercussion of “psychological fixatedness”; the habit of apply what works well in one area beyond it’s original means.)
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