To: Ron Stringfellow Nov0493 21:43:48 Subject: Perceptions, Vol. 3 RF Now, here's a little

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From: Rob Fargher To: Ron Stringfellow Nov-04-93 21:43:48 Subject: Perceptions, Vol. 3 RF> Now, here's a little secret, Ron. Evolution does not deny God! RS> No it blasphemes God. That is an utter irrelevancy to the validity of evolution as an exegesis of the development of life. Your perception is flawed. There is absolutely no requirement that a good scientific theory be pretty, non-offensive, or lay honour to the supernatural. The only thing that determines the validity and worth of a scientific mechanism is how well it describes nature, that it make testable predictions and that such predictions are empirically verified. The concept of blasphemy is alien to science as one characteristic of science is a rejection of authority (by this, I mean, that nothing is true simply because someone says so, Nobel prizewinner or not. Authority is very much worth listening to, though!) You see, science deals only with the natural. It cannot describe, predict, test, or verify the supernatural; by the very definition, the supernatural are beyond the bounds of science. Since investigation of the supernatural is not a part of science, science doesn't "do" gods. Individual scientists have their own personal opinion about spiritual issues - most of the ones that I've come across share my own feeling that a supernatural being is an irrelevant postulate to the understanding of the universe. I personally neither know _nor care_ if a god exists; it's just not a useful working hypothesis. RS> there is everything that denies God and in fact is the purpose of RS> the evolutionary theory...to deny creation that God may be denied, Sorry, you are simply wrong here. It may be your perception that evolution denies your god. Evolution is value-free and has no such malicious intent. Your perception is flawed. I strongly suggest that you really learn what evolution is; I've read numerous posts of yours and I've seen no indication that you have the faintest idea what evolution really is. All I've seen from you are ludicrous misunderstandings, feeble attempts at refutation of something you don't understand and deliberate strawmen. As I see it, you are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that your belief in a personal god is accurate and that you wish to honour your god. From this, you see anything that doesn't actively support your knowledge as being antithetical and actively opposed. Your perception is flawed. RS> that morals and ethics as supposed in the Bible may be denied that the RS> Bible may be denied. Your perception is flawed. Morality, ethics and religious epistles are not a part of evolution; it neither affirms nor denies them. They are irrelevant to a scientific understanding of the developmentof life on Earth. RS> I doubt that, knowing two Catholic priest as I do and this echo is RS> well familiar with one Pedro Vega. I thought you said your degree RS> certified you knew what you were talking about? They do, in fields that I am competent to express a professional opinion in. Like anybody else, outside of those fields, I am just as liable to be wrong. I claim no knowledge (but a slight interest) in theology. My original statement on the subject admitted the possibility of error. I make no claims of infallibility or omniscience. I still think that I was right, though. Would you care to ask your buddies about it? In any case, the opinion of _any_ theological organization is irrelevant to a scientific understanding of how life developed on Earth. RF> church! Not only that but many of the researchers who work in the field RF> of evolutionary theory attend church! Although many do not hold such a RF> position, it is not a logical inconsistency to hold a belief in RS> I wonder why ? Did you ever ask them ? No; I don't know any personally. I do know several biologists and physiologists who have religious beliefs. But I didn't ask them either as, actually, I couldn't be bothered; I just chalked it up to a harmless aberrancy. Most of them have the common decency to keep their beliefs private. However there is one fellow that I had extensive discussions with. A very highly intelligent man, currently doing a Ph.D. degree at UBC. He came to his religious beliefs secondarily and we both enjoyed a civil discussion about religion, life and the role of the church in society. I gathered that he adopted Islam for both spiritual and political reasons. In one conversation with Khaled, we were discussing religious fanatics, anti-intellectualism and the danger that they posed to society. It may flatter you to know, but I used you (anonymously) as a concrete embodiment of the abstractions. We both agreed that well-meaning, but ignorant, fanatics with religious agendas are one of the greatest dangers facing free, liberal societies at this time. RS> Science will never discover how life began. Reason # 1 ? They took RS> the wrong path 120 years ago. Vessel ? Evolution. Your perception is flawed. If it had been a fruitless and unproductive effort, don't you think that these highly skilled and very intelligent people would have quickly determined that they were wasting their time? Ron, your statement above says little more than "IS NOT." I really wish that you would move away from knee-jerk contradiction as a debating tactic - Monty Python brilliantly demonstrated the futility of that years ago. RF> evolution DOES NOT DEAL WITH ULTIMATE ORIGINS. RS> Oh? Why did Darwin call it ORIGIN of Species ? By the very act of asking that question, you demonstrate that you have neither an understanding of evolutionary theory and Darwin's mechanism nor have you read the book (it's elegantly written, BTW). The actual brief title is "On the Origin of Species". The full title is "On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." The cognoscenti refer to it as "Origin." The reason why Darwin called it "On the Origin of Species" is that it provided a mechanism for speciation. The idea of biological evolution was not a new one; much of the evidence that points to an evolutionary development of life on Earth was known before Darwin's time. It was accepted that evolution had occurred but there was no mechanism known to science that could result in evolution. Specifically, the major problem perceived at that time was how speciation occurred i.e. how could one species evolve into one or more different species. Natural selection, as described by Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin simultaneously, provided such a mechanism. Neither Darwin nor Wallace tried to describe the origin of life. RF> about evolution. We collectively have far more confidence in evolution RF> as the explanation for the development and diversification of life once RF> it arose than we have in theories about abiogenic origins of life. RS> speak for yourself. I am. I am also speaking for the majority of people capable of having more than two neurons firing concurrently. RS> they cannot say how life began nor will they ever be able to but still RS> they claim they know it couldn't be the God prescribed creation. Once again, evolution doesn't deal in origins of life. There are other theories on possible abiogenic origins of life but evolution in no way depends, not even remotely, upon them being valid. Evolution works just as well as if your personal god, the Inuit Raven, or the Cosmic Star Goat had originally created life on Earth. Yes, Ron, God certainly could have created life on Earth. There is absolutely nothing in any part of science, within evolution or without, that in anyways denies that God created life. Hell, not even the postulated abiogenic mechanism deny God. They may not fit in with your perceptions of how God may have operated but we've already shown that your perceptions are flawed. RS> You can play that tune to some but it just won't play here lad. You can drop that arrogant superciliousness anytime. RS> Why does evolution stop then? Because when the sun expands past the orbit of Jupiter, Earth will be within the circumference of the sun - somewhat inimicable to the continuance of life. RS> Won't we still have the need to survive, isn't that what evolution RS> is all about- the survival of the fittest- adaptation and all that RS> business ?? Oh, sure, mutations on demand. Get your red-hot latest model allele off the shelf at "Charley Darwin's Evolution Boutique", right next door to "Morgan's, The Mutator", down Mendel Street in Dobzhansky Square. Be the first one on your block to modify your genome to survive inside the sun - forget about last winters coat enhancements and heat conservation mechanisms; you won't be needing those adaptations ever again! They're now positively vestigial. The new spring model alleles actually defy the laws of physics because, as we all know, you have to be fit to survive! RS> IHS! Your perception is flawed. Cheers, Rob ... Equal time for scientific Santa Clausism! --- Blue Wave/Max v2.12 * Origin: The BandMaster, Vancouver, BC (604-266-7754) (1:153/7715) From: Rob Fargher To: Ron Stringfellow Nov-04-93 21:49:12 Subject: Reality Reality is independent of perception. ... Your perception of reality is flawed. --- Blue Wave/Max v2.12 * Origin: The BandMaster, Vancouver, BC (604-266-7754) (1:153/7715)

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