Interactiuni

Creationism versus Evolutionism (II)

with 10 comments

UPDATE (03.03.2008). It seems that the problem of teaching religion in school was settled reasonably well, at least in my opinion. Romanian readers might want to take a look here. Does anybody know something about evolutionism?

Yes, George, there are two theories:

(a) The Dawn of Man („2001: A Space Odyssey”, Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

2001-the-dawn-of-man.jpg

(b) The Creation of Adam (Leonardo Da Vinci, „The Creation of Adam” Sistine Chapel, c. 1511)

leonardo-the-creation-of-adam.jpg

You are free to choose whatever theory you like – and I think that, choosing one (or choosing none) does not by itself give anyone the moral right to ridicule the other one (or both).

I think Kubrick himself is an exponent of epistemological neutrality – or, if you want, of agnosticism. Remember that, in his movie, man evolves from the monkey – but this evolution itself is made possible by a superior intelligence (remember the monolith!)

vlcsnap-315212.jpg vlcsnap-315720.jpg

In rest – I know: my way – the third (fourth??) way – is (politically and psychologically) the worst…

10 Răspunsuri

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] creationism-evolutionism, reflectata si continuata in schimbul dintre Andrei si George de aici, solicita si din parte-mi citeva gindeme. […]

  2. Intimpinarea mea (mai degraba o clarificare) vine aci:

    http://cogitat.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/religie-si-stiinta/

    Iuli

    Iulian

    Februarie 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm

  3. Let us not forget what a Theory is:

    One of the basic misunderstandings I see all the time, especially since I have become interested in the so-called „debate” between evolution and creation, is what a Theory is in science and how that relates to facts. In science theories are used to explain facts. For example, it is a fact if we let go of a ball that is suspended above the ground we will observe it being drawn towards the center to the Earth by a force we have named gravity. To explain how this force works we use a construct called the theory of gravity. Hence the fact of gravity is explained by the Theory of Gravity. The facts that Evolutionary theory explains are similarities in DNA, Fossils (including the hundreds of known transitional fossils), Geographic distribution (matching Plate Tectonic predictions), Embryological evidence, Morphological similarities, and others.

    A theory, in science, is an explanation or model which is used to explain facts by making testable predictions, which have the possibility of being falsified, about the future. If we are to be accurate in our terminology than all forms of creationism are only untested and untestable hypothesis. All forms of creationism are not testable using science because they make no predictions about the future nor can they. Creationists’ arguments are either purely attacks on various scientific theories (rarely do creationists address concepts limited to the field of Evolutionary Biology, but instead attack theories in Physics, Geology, and Chemistry) and as such they are not putting forward their own explanations or models to be tested OR they are claims of Supernaturally based miracles, which again cannot be tested nor make predictions about the future.

    Joey Ramone

    Februarie 27, 2008 at 11:35 pm

  4. I asolutely agree with you about what a scientific theory is. But we don’t have theories only in science. We have theories in literature and poetry, we have theories in ethics and political philosophy, and so on. Some of these theories are descriptive, some of them are normative, some of them are both. This shows that we need a more general account of the word „theory”, in order to account for all these.
    If this is true, then it is a bit unfair to take the definition of a theory in science as a pattern for all the other types of theories. We will surely not dismiss a poetical theory just because it doesn’t predict facts. We will surely not dismiss an ethical theory just because it is normative, not descriptive.
    Moreover: we have theories in humanities, although they cannot be seen as matching your definition.
    If you allow me, I think your misunderstanding is this. You define what a scientific theory is, then you say that creationism is not a scientific theory. First, I wouldn’t say so. Creationism predicts some facts in the future (the afterlife, the Last Judgment), and it CAN be falsifiable – after we will die, we will see whether it is true or not 🙂 But this is beside the point. This is so because, second, creationism does not consider itself a scientifical theory about life – but a religious one (there can also be other types of theories about this, if you want). The point is that you cannot dismiss a religious theory just because it doesn’t satisfy scientific requirements.
    [just an aside: as far as I know, in the Bible more than 90 % of the claims are normative (moral) claims. The rest of the claims(descriptive, or „ontological” claims) are considered as necessary for the support of moral claims. Anyhow, altough I am not sure yet, it could be possible to build creationism as not only a descriptive, but also as a normative theory – in the sense that this should be the way we see x, y, z…]
    Let me tell you why this is important. In Romania, there is a debate today about the school curriculum. Evolutionism is out from the biology manual, while religious classes are still mandatory. Now this is an abnormal situation and I agree with this. I said elsewhere that evolutionism and the history of religions should be mandatory (in order to give the children access to diversified information about different theories), while classes where children are taught the principles of a particular religion should be optional.
    My point was that, in what concerns the scool curricula, we should let children acquire as much information as it is possible about diverse theories, whatever the nature of that theory.
    Thank you for your comment!

    andruska

    Februarie 28, 2008 at 6:05 am

  5. Andrei, one doesn’t need to take „theory” in a very scientifically thick sense and apply it to poetry or whatever; what Joey emphasised was the explanatory purpose of theories, in natural science as well as mathematics, literature or religion. In this most general sense, theories are highly articulated answers to sets of why-questions. That being said, two theories clash when they offer incompatible explanantia to the same explanandum. Evolutionism and Creationism attempt to answer the question, Why is life on Earth as we see it? Now the incompatibility is not logical or conceptual (it would have been easy to decide between the two), but involves highly complex relations to evidence, that Joey summarized better that I can. In the US, Creationism (aka „Intelligent Design”) literally claims to be a scientific alternative to Evolutionism, and some officially deny any affiliation with any particular religion.

    Now, the predictions you mention are not derived from the Creationist explanations alone, but from the whole theological corpus. The actual Creationists predicted, for instance, that the bacterial flagellum cannot be explained by Evolution alone; and this claim has been falsified (this is just one example; some of them make more ridiculous claims, such as the Earth being ca 6k years old…). You are confusing the Christian account of creation with what’s at stake here. By eliminating the Theory of Evolution from the curriculum, they are (i) eliminating one of our best theories so far, in the absence of which the study of Biology makes a lot less sense; (ii) opening the door to the Creation pseudo-science. I’m sorry to sound a tragic note, but this is comparable to eliminating the Theory of Relativity from the manuals, and opening the door to astrologers & psychics…

    This really is not an issue of democracy about information, but about the quality of information. There really is (or is going to be) a conflict, and there is no place for „epistemic neutrality” here.

    Stefan

    Februarie 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

  6. @ stefan
    1) What I first understand from your comment is that there are many Creationist doctrines, and not only one (that is, the Christian doctrine). I surely agree with this claim;
    2) You read me as saying that the predictions I talked about are derived from the creationist doctrine alone. I did not make such a claim (remember, I talked about the whole theological corpus, with those percentages…)
    3) You say that „The actual Creationists predicted, for instance, that the bacterial flagellum cannot be explained by Evolution alone; and this claim has been falsified”. I do not think you are necessarily right. You yourself said that there are many creationist doctrines. Well, the bacterial flagellum stuff DID NOT fasified any prediction of that kind of Creationism that holds that God created the laws of Universe and then He let the Universe to develop according to these laws;
    4) You say that „You are confusing the Christian account of creation with what’s at stake here”. I do not think I do and I do not understand why you claim this.
    5) In what concerns the elimination of the Theory of Evolution from the curriculum, I totally agree with you. I do not understand what you are trying to convince me of;
    6) I still think that this is an issue of democracy about information and I still think that the epistemic neutrality is the best position. You still didn’t show me why this position is dangerous. You still didn’t show me why, acting according to this principle, a governmental policy would have bad consequences. On the contrary, I think that acting according to it lets the door open to all those persons, like you or the Pope, who love so much your own truths and theories… Nobody hurts, acording to my theory of „soft epistemic abstinence”.

    andruska

    Februarie 28, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  7. https://andruska.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/creationism-versus-evolutionism-ii/

    andruska wrote:
    [quote]
    3) You say that “The actual Creationists predicted, for instance, that the bacterial flagellum cannot be explained by Evolution alone; and this claim has been falsified”. I do not think you are necessarily right. You yourself said that there are many creationist doctrines. Well, the bacterial flagellum stuff DID NOT fasified any prediction of that kind of Creationism that holds that God created the laws of Universe and then He let the Universe to develop according to these laws;
    [/quote]

    If the creationist position bore even a remote resemblance to your above description there wouldn’t be a problem. The problem arises because the creationist position is NOT how you have described it. I don’t think you are familiar with what creationism, and its bastard child intelligent design, really are and why the science community has a problem with them.

    themadhair

    Februarie 28, 2008 at 9:41 pm

  8. @ themadhair
    If you read my response to Stefan (above), at point (1) I expressly state that there are many Creationist doctrines. Indeed, the Creationist doctrine of the hindu religion is quite different from that of the Christian Religion. So why don’t you accept that there is another type of the Creationist doctrine, according to which „God created the laws of Universe and then He let the Universe to develop according to these laws”?
    You could say that this type of Creationism makes God redundant. That might be true – but it is also true that, in this view, science and religion are not incompatible. Both are true – and the existence of God remains, of course, a question of faith. I think that this version of Creationism, which is not inintelligible, explains why so many smart people (including scientists) still believe in God

    andruska

    Februarie 29, 2008 at 7:19 am

  9. I got an email today to tell me you had relied to my comment.

    I think you miss why the scientific community regard creationism with such disdain though (and that includes theists like Miller and Ayala). Belief in god isn’t the issue – but claims that are in direct violation of what science has uncovered most certainly is.

    Scientists and science enthusiasts don’t care if religious ideas are compatible with it or not – we just want people to stop trying to insert religion, or any absolutist assertion for that matter, into an area where it is neither welcome or useful.

    You could alter your doctrine to be compatible with known science or you could do a Dalai Lama (who stated that if science and Buddhism ever conflict then science wins), but those ideas still have no place in science or in any scientific context.

    themadhair

    Februarie 14, 2009 at 12:44 am

  10. Well, I fully agree with you here.

    andruska

    Februarie 14, 2009 at 12:50 am


Lasă un răspuns

Completează mai jos detaliile despre tine sau dă clic pe un icon pentru autentificare:

Logo WordPress.com

Comentezi folosind contul tău WordPress.com. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Poză Twitter

Comentezi folosind contul tău Twitter. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Fotografie Facebook

Comentezi folosind contul tău Facebook. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Fotografie Google+

Comentezi folosind contul tău Google+. Dezautentificare / Schimbă )

Conectare la %s

%d blogeri au apreciat asta: