Why equation evolution and religion is wrong
Be it evolution in general, micro-evolution or macro-evolution.
Let's start with Gervase's three points:
It's a basic position that you hold about the nature of reality that's not provable - it's a faith position.
It's something that you put your trust in, and live your life on the basis of.
It's something you urge others to believe as the truth.
Perhaps the third applies to evolution, The other two are garbage.
Let's start with the first one. There's this nifty concept called falsifiability (sorry about the spelling). Something is falsifiable if it can be proven false.
Things that are unfalsifiable are not apt for rational discussion, since the truth value behind the proposition is unknowable.
Here's an example of something that's unfalsifiable: there is a supreme being that commands the whole universe, yet is not part of it, and can not be contacted.
Here's something that's not: random mutations get selected by the environment to prosper.
That is, because it can be proven false. If there were no mutations, it would be false. If exposing diferent breeds to environments causes no differential in survival rate, it is proven false.
Yes, this is the micro-evolution Gervase accepts. Macro-evolution simply extrapolates from this generally accepted theory into a larger one. Is it the right one? Not sure.
There is no imaginable experiment that can prove the inexistence of god. That's why god's existence is a religious matter, and not a scientific one. The existence of microevolution can be seen, and even experimented (ask any guy that happens to have a few hundred fruit flies in a bottle).
As for macroevolution, well, as mpyne says, there is a thnkable experiment. And even if it isn't technically feasible, there can be a rational discussion, regarding the recombination sppeds, and radiation levels producing mutations, and volumes, and timescales.
So, discussing it is a rational process.
As for the second point: I doubt anyone lives his life based on evolution, although it can provide some reasonable tips about how to expect things to happen, but that's mostly reasoning by analogy.
Now religion.. one of its purposes is usually to describe how you should live.
So, what Gervase is describing is religion. And by his definition, evolution ain't.
Evolution theory may be wrong. That's ok. It happens to almost all theories in one way or another, usually they end replaced by a slightly evolved new version.
But religion? Well, dude, that's just another name for who the hell knows. If you accept religion as a premise, you are into voodoo land.
Maybe the universe only exists since 1987, and everything earlier is a thought in god's mind. Who knows? Presummably only him.
Maybe he's cranky and we all die and go to hell tomorrow. He's many things but not reasonable, as evidenced by his alleged handywork.
So, what's the point in arguing a subject where no rational discourse is appropiate, a subject which is the very basis of irrational discourse?
I have no idea. That's why I'm an agnostic.
I think you make a mistake. You say science is fundamentally different from believing something.
but, don't you have to believe in science, too? There is nothing you can prove about science for sure. there are ways in which we try to separate science from belief. but these still depend on the idea there are things to know... maybe there is nothing, you can't dis-prove we live in the matrix..
well, I prefer to believe in science above God, and I agree science shouldn't try to say anything about God, but I disagree with you on the point there is a real difference between science and believe.
you talk about falsification. well, falsification indeed says certain things can't be talked about in a scientifically way. indeed. We can't prove we exist, but we believe we do - don't we? believe is at the very basis of what we are, science really isn't that great :D
Any scientist worth his salt will tell you that there are things that the scientific method cannot reveal. These are unknowable questions : What is the cause of the universe? Why would the universe need a cause? If something is unobserved, does it exist? You can believe in an answer to these questions, or you can choose that it is enough to know that they can't be answered.
Also, you really need to go and read Descartes again. I know you have heard the phrase "I think, therefore I am". I'm not sure you've understood it. This is not science, but try to refute it, I dare you ;-)
Perhaps you can check out the following websites (the first is italian language, the second is english. I prefer the first, though, more thorough. Also it has been translated to many languages). There you can find that it is no way this whole world exists without creator (by coincidence only). You can wander around the first website, created by Harun Yahya (Aaron John) to read other articles.
With all best hope,
> everything earlier is a thought in god's mind.
The idea of a god's thought, by the way, is what makes religions irrelevant for a human beeing's inner life.
Either a god is believed to be a perfection (as in most modern religions) and then: it doesn't flow in time, therefore it can't think, therefore it is useless from a human point of view.
Or it is naively believed to be some kind of limited super beeing. In which case it is just as miserable as yourself.
germain: nice example of silly apriori reasoning. Why should perfection not flow in time? What is perfect for one moment may not be perfect for the next.
Reza: those sites are bollocks. It is in every manÂ´s nature to eat a hot dog if itÂ´s available. Go worship a frankfurter.
Superstoned: On what I canÂ´t think about rationally, I choose one of three things:
* I believe it (or not) without much thought because it seems of no consequence
* I refuse to make a decision because of unknowability
* I donÂ´t give a damn
The choice between those is completely arbitrary.
For example, I chose to believe I exist.
Existence is neither a religious matter, nor one for science. It lies in the domain of philosophy (perhaps metaphysics).
But both religion (need/reason for existence) and science (means/method of existence) try to answer some of its questions ... but neither have gotten anywhere near ... atleast not recently.
Another thing .... about falsifiability ... you are taking it too far. If something is deemed non-falsifiable, it is not immediately chucked away as being unreasonable (scientifically): it is merely non-false as of now. I believe, Popper in his writings has also said that the more fantastic the theory, the more it should be researched. Hence, i suppose, Depts of Theology at major universities ;)
Now, philosophical ideas about existence are also many and varied. According to some, god has to exist (since god is an idea - like a circle or any mathematical formula). According to others, god doesnt exist, etc etc etc.
So sure, God exists (just like a circle or triangle exists). Now, does he *really* exist ? LOL ...
Given all these things, falsifiability is a good thing in the short-term and uncertain times: and it should be realised, that falsifiability is a time-bound process. So statements like "Here's an example of something that's unfalsifiable", are really broad and also falsifiable ;)
Dont get me wrong ... falsification is *really* good thing in the long-term as well ... but I was writing in response to the specific statement made by you :)