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(Salon)   Atheist scientist: "you should be as suspicious of Darwinism as of creationism"   (salon.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Charles Darwin, Rutgers University, gene expression, University of Arizona, Kirk Cameron, conservative Christians, toenails, environmental factors  
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5039 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Feb 2010 at 9:00 AM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2010-02-23 7:45:27 AM  
I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!
 
2010-02-23 7:46:35 AM  

alexjoss: I read a book in college


You should try it again.
 
2010-02-23 8:00:13 AM  
which version of creationism ?
 
2010-02-23 8:01:54 AM  
"darwinism" is one of those buzzwords that causes me to immediately ignore your argument when I see it. Also, cognitive science and philosophy? This guy is not a hard scientist.
 
2010-02-23 8:03:29 AM  
oh wait, it's all about Atheism vs Christianity... other faiths are just silly.
 
2010-02-23 8:10:50 AM  
after all, Christians are just as suspicious about zombies as they are about stacked turtles.
 
2010-02-23 8:11:29 AM  
he's not saying that species don't evolve, creationistmitter.
 
2010-02-23 8:17:05 AM  
Better than that Mendel guy who said we all came from PEAS.

/Thanks, public education!
 
2010-02-23 8:17:57 AM  

alexjoss: I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them.


Scientists have been questioning his theories since Darwin intelligently designed them. But more important than simply questioning them is to apply the scientific method to them. It really works.
 
2010-02-23 8:18:37 AM  
Does this mean we are preparing to chuck Darwin?
 
2010-02-23 8:19:25 AM  
So he's arguing the fine points of Darwin's theory were wrong and replacing his ideas with other scientific ideas. Darwin's been largely irrelevant for about 50 years now. Any graduate student in Biology has a much better understanding of evolution than Darwin did.

Call me when they replace evolution with something non-scientific. Otherwise, STFU.
 
2010-02-23 8:21:36 AM  

alexjoss: I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them.


No theory has been questioned more. The more it is questioned, the more science extends and refines it.

If Evolution as a general concept is ever "proven to be wrong", it will be replaced by a SCIENTIFIC idea, not a religious one.
 
2010-02-23 8:22:37 AM  

alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!


Nobody in evolutionary science blindly excepts Darwins theories. In fact some of darwins theories have been found wrong, evolutionary theory has however built upon them and moved on.
 
2010-02-23 8:26:22 AM  

manimal2878: alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!

Nobody in evolutionary science blindly excepts Darwins theories. In fact some of darwins theories have been found wrong, evolutionary theory has however built upon them and moved on.


or accepts... sigh, i'm dumb.
 
2010-02-23 8:35:26 AM  
Evolution is just a label we have given to a process we have observed that credibly explains how a complex organism could derive from a simpler organism given millions of years of mutations building on each other.

It does not explain the origin of life. It does, however, demolish the argument that some sort of supreme being MUST exist in order for an organism as complex as man to have come into existence.

Lots of evidence supports evolution for showing we evolved from less complex lifeforms. No evidence exists to support creationism. None. Ever. It is some wild-ass idea dreamed up by a man millenia ago, quite possibly while high on cannabis or 'shrooms.

We are not, as some would have it, the epitome of evolution. Evolution has no thought process behind it, at least as we understand thought processes. We are not the big deal we think ourselves to be. We are just a form of life on this planet, amongst many life forms.

If what I wrote is evidence of blind following then so be it.

/but that is just like, my opinion, man.
 
2010-02-23 8:37:59 AM  

manimal2878: alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!

Nobody in evolutionary science blindly excepts Darwins theories. In fact some of darwins theories have been found wrong, evolutionary theory has however built upon them and moved on.


uh oh, new enemies to fight instead of a classic one ? I guess Satan takes many forms.
 
2010-02-23 8:42:32 AM  

PC LOAD LETTER: So he's arguing the fine points of Darwin's theory were wrong and replacing his ideas with other scientific ideas. Darwin's been largely irrelevant for about 50 years now. Any graduate student in Biology has a much better understanding of evolution than Darwin did.

Call me when they replace evolution with something non-scientific. Otherwise, STFU.


Agreed... I find it shocking that a field biologist in the 1850s didn't fully understand the complexities of how different genes and traits are tied together... (What's that? We still don't?)

If this is true, then we need to rethink the implications of Darwinism. Maybe the right question to ask is not what environmental variables are doing selection, but what kinds of complexes are they selecting on. One sees, even without God, how this Darwinian story could turn out to be radically wrong. You could see a massive failure of the evolutionary project, because wrong assumptions were made.

After spending an entire interview basically saying "well, we're just not sure if every trait was specifically selected, or just a consequence of something else", I don't think that's exactly a massive failure of the evolutionary "project"...

(Hint for the 'civilized discussion') that will come later: He's basically saying that not every trait is necessarily selected for best performance, he's NOT arguing against evolution.
 
CDP [TotalFark]
2010-02-23 8:54:22 AM  
Evolution in one sense, means growth or development--literally, unrolling or unfolding. It is difficult to give a clear definition that will apply to each of the various theories that are held. Theories differ vastly in the extent of their application, as held by their various advocates, resulting in great confusion of terms:

1. The atheists believe that there is no God. Hence, matter was not created, but was eternal, or came by chance. Only a mere handful of the whole human race have ever yet believed such an untenable doctrine. The existence of a Creator, is doubted or denied by extreme atheistic evolutionists, who would dethrone God, "exalt the monkey, and degrade man."

2. The first of modern scientific men to adopt the theory that all plants and animals, including man, are developed from certain original simple germs, was Lamarck a French naturalist, in 1809. He conceded that God created matter--nothing more. He believed in spontaneous generation, which scientific investigation has utterly disproved.

3. Darwin goes a step further and concedes there may have been a Creator of matter, and of one, or at most, a few germs, from which all vegetation and all animals came by evolution--all orders, classes, families, genera, species, and varieties. He differs from Lamarck, by allowing the creation of one germ, possibly a few more. He says in his "Origin of Species," "I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors; and plants from an equal or lesser number . Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from one prototype...All the organic beings, which have ever lived on the earth, may be descended from some one primordial form." Darwin, because of his great scholarship, fairness, and candor, won for his theory more favor than it inherently deserves. Darwin taught that, "The lower impulses of vegetable life pass, by insensible gradations, into the instinct of animals and the higher intelligence of man," without purpose or design. None of these three hypotheses can admit the creation of man.

4. Other evolutionists, believing in the evolution of both plants and animals, nevertheless refuse to believe in the evolution of man--the most baneful application of the whole theory. Even if there were convincing proof of the evolution of plants and animals from one germ, there is no real proof of the evolution of man. To prove this is the chief purpose of this book.

5. A fifth theory of evolution is held by many. It is called polyphyletic evolution, which means that God created numerous stocks, or beginnings of both plant and animal life, which were subject to change and growth, deterioration and development, according to his plan and purpose. So much of evolution in this sense as can be proved, is in harmony with the Bible account of the creation of plants, animals and man. The false theory of evolution is called the monophyletic, which teaches that all species of plants and animals including man, developed from one cell or germ which came by creation or spontaneous generation. Evolution is used throughout this book in this latter sense, unless otherwise indicated by the context. God does not create by evolution, for it can only develop what already exists.

Link (new window)

i132.photobucket.comView Full Size
 
2010-02-23 8:57:16 AM  

CDP: A fifth theory of evolution is held by many. It is called polyphyletic evolution, which means that God created numerous stocks, or beginnings of both plant and animal life, which were subject to change and growth, deterioration and development, according to his plan and purpose.


which god ?
 
2010-02-23 8:57:31 AM  
Well, duh. That's how science works. Newton didn't have it all exactly correct either. However, it is definitely provable that using a misleading title regarding a "controversial" topic will sell more books.
 
2010-02-23 9:00:22 AM  

darkyn: Well, duh. That's how science works. Newton didn't have it all exactly correct either. However, it is definitely provable that using a misleading title regarding a "controversial" topic will sell more books.


Which explains the sales of Oolon Coloophid's latest blockbuster Gravity: A Useless Load of Fetid Dingo's Kidneys.
 
2010-02-23 9:01:39 AM  
It's a theory that's played all sort of roles in the foundations of biology. There's a lot of people who think wrongly that if you didn't have Darwinism the whole foundations of modern biology would collapse. I doubt that's true. I'm sure it's not. But if you tell people, "There's this fundamental theoretical commitment you've made and there's holes in it," they'll want very much to defend that theory... You could see a massive failure of the evolutionary project, because wrong assumptions were made.

Evolutionism is the tinfoil hat atheists wear to keep God out of their brainwaves.
 
2010-02-23 9:04:15 AM  

manimal2878: alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!

Nobody in evolutionary science blindly excepts Darwins theories. In fact some of darwins theories have been found wrong, evolutionary theory has however built upon them and moved on.


This. Anyone still arguing with Darwin or discussing "Darwinism" is sadly out of date and irrelevant to a modern discussion of evolutionary theory.
 
2010-02-23 9:04:35 AM  
Exactly! Maybe people will eventually get the point of this 'science' thing after all.
 
2010-02-23 9:05:39 AM  

KyngNothing: Agreed... I find it shocking that a field biologist in the 1850s didn't fully understand the complexities of how different genes and traits are tied together... (What's that? We still don't?)


Yes, but you do agree that we are not even in the same realm now, and that the knowledge of genetics is stupifyingly more advanced than in Darwin's time, right? I mean come on, we still don't understand the complexities of, say, light, but we know waaaaaay far more than Newton did, that's for sure. The "there's still so much to learn" argument is one of the worst arguments to make.
 
2010-02-23 9:06:08 AM  
 
2010-02-23 9:06:25 AM  

Bevets: Evolutionism is the tinfoil hat atheists wear to keep God out of their brainwaves.


You sound fat.

/about as good an argument as you made
 
2010-02-23 9:07:29 AM  

Bevets: [some made up word] is the tinfoil hat atheists wear to keep God out of their brainwaves.



Why would a person who doesn't believe in god need a device to keep it out?
 
2010-02-23 9:07:41 AM  

PC LOAD LETTER: /about as good an argument as you made


You do realize who you are arguing with, no?
 
2010-02-23 9:07:58 AM  
Steve B is prove that evolution does not exist
 
2010-02-23 9:08:34 AM  
prove proof
 
2010-02-23 9:09:37 AM  

darkyn: Well, duh. That's how science works.


Came here to say the exact same thing the exact same way.
 
2010-02-23 9:10:06 AM  

alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V.


And I'm willing to bet a Brazillian Simolians that you never read Darwin's book on the subject.

Now don't you think that's pretty silly?
 
2010-02-23 9:10:11 AM  
So, basically, a non-biologist is writing about differences between Darwin's original theories and modern biology, using troll-y language to boost publicity. Nothing to see here.

Also: The relativity of wrong (new window)
 
2010-02-23 9:10:48 AM  
"Atheist scientist: "you should be as suspicious of Darwinism as of creationism" "

Uh, isn't that what scientist do every day? You know, with that whole scientific method thing?

/Not a scientist
//Don't even play one on TV
 
2010-02-23 9:11:25 AM  
Petit_Merdeux:

some made up word

It remains that I should put before you what I understand to be the third phase of geological speculation -- namely EVOLUTIONISM. ~ Thomas Huxley

Enough by way of trailer for evolutionism today. My intent is not to provide a comprehensive survey of every last finding or hypothesis in the field. I certainly want to look at some of the major advances and ideas. But as importantly, I want a sense of the activities, the methods, the relationships of today's evolutionism. ~ Michael Ruse
 
2010-02-23 9:12:40 AM  
FTA I'm not sure that all people who have been blogging about it are very sophisticated.

Talking about FARK again, are we going to take it?

Anyway if you haven't seen it, NOVA's "What Darwin never knew" was excellent.
 
2010-02-23 9:13:54 AM  

alexjoss: I read a book in college (1986) titled "Algeny" by Jeremy Rifkin, which raised some really key questions about evolution from a scientific P.O.V. I agreed with most of the book's conclusions. I am not a creationist or Kirk Cameron disciple. I just think people blindly accept Darwin's theories without questioning them. Rifkin's book was trashed by the critics so I will be interested to check this new book out. Thanks for the link!


I am not a Creationist, but I am a Kurt Cameron Disciple.

/Not really. I just like that term.
 
2010-02-23 9:14:13 AM  
Darwinism isn't a branch of biology, however evolution is.
 
2010-02-23 9:14:18 AM  
'Atheist scientist: "you should be as suspicious of Darwinism as of creationism"'

Well, yes. Of course.

The difference is that evolution checks out fine against the ever-accumulating data.
 
2010-02-23 9:16:19 AM  
FTA: How do you decide which trait is selected for by environmental factors and which one is just attached to it? There isn't anything in the Darwinist picture that allows you to answer that question.

Yes, there is; essentially, it's another application of minimum description length induction competitive testing. (Do you get a better description via result of environmental factors, via result of a spandrel to a result of environmental factors, or simply calling it a result of genetic drift?) Of course, this does not give an absolute certain answer, merely a probabilistic one subject to revision on new evidence... but that's the case for any answer in science.

IrateShadow: Also, cognitive science and philosophy? This guy is not a hard scientist.


This.

imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size


jwa007: No evidence exists to support creationism. None. Ever.


Not quite true. The Bible's accounts in Genesis 1-2 are evidence. However, it's a piece of evidence that has an alternate description under the evolutionary explanation, with the evolutionary explanation also providing a much better description for vast additional collections of evidence, resulting in a better description overall... which is the concept most people mean when they say "no evidence exists" for something.
 
2010-02-23 9:16:49 AM  
Let's see...one of them is based on scientific method, testing theories, weighing evidence, and utilizing reason & logic.

The other one is based on taking the words of thousands-of-years-ago dead monks, mixed with revision after revision by priest/politician/tyrants, all supported by nothing but emotion and blind faith.


Gee... which would any rational person select?

/I'm not saying that all irrational people are religious, but I am asserting that all religious people are irrational.
 
2010-02-23 9:19:00 AM  
Well, duh. You should be suspicious of any -ism.

Now, science, on the other hand...
 
2010-02-23 9:20:54 AM  

schattenteufel: /I'm not saying that all irrational people are religious, but I am asserting that all religious people are irrational.


Most religious people would agree.

/for believers of other religions
 
2010-02-23 9:22:35 AM  

abb3w: jwa007: No evidence exists to support creationism. None. Ever.

Not quite true. The Bible's accounts in Genesis 1-2 are evidence.


Oh, come on, that's like saying "The Twilight series is evidence vampires exist." I'm not even an atheist, but holding up a book, written by humans, as evidence of anything, is a poor argument.
 
2010-02-23 9:23:02 AM  

abb3w: Not quite true. The Bible's accounts in Genesis 1-2 are evidence.


The bible is no more evidence of anything than the wizard of oz is evidence of the existence of witches.
 
2010-02-23 9:23:37 AM  
Bevets

Just curious... How do you feel about the Catholic Church's official stance on evolution?
 
2010-02-23 9:24:37 AM  

Bevets: Evolutionism is the tinfoil hat atheists wear to keep God out of their brainwaves.

abb3w: Blind faith is the tinfoil hat theists wear to keep unpleasant reality out of their brainwaves.

madmann: Ragu-ism is the sauce Pastafarians use to keep Ninjas out of their wavy noodles.
spqr_ca Penicillin is the tin foil hat that people wear to keep bacteria out of their bloos [SIC] stream
ninjakirby: Botanism is the Tinfoil Hat Greenthumbs use to keep Spontaneous Generation out of their Brainwaves.
hej: Fossils are the tin foil hats that paleontologists use to keep Bevets out of their brainwaves.
Biological Ali: Education is the tinfoil hat that Canadians wear to keep money out of Ben Stein's pocket.
icanhazstapler Religion is the WHARRGARBLE creationists use to keep logic out of their brainwaves.

Deathfrogg: Religion is the tinfoil hat the ignorant and sociopathic personality wears to keep the cruel realities of the world out of their brainwaves.

I drunk what: Diaphramism is the tinfoil hat women wear to keep babby seeds out of their womb

mofroe: Breathmints are the sugary tin-foil that non-brushers use to keep Colgate out of their mouths

mamoru: Tin-foil is the tin-foil wrapping that cooks use keep heat and moisture in baked potatoes.
DrowningLessons: Fark is the tinfoil hat that Fa[r]kers use to keep productivity out of their brainwaves.

Take your pick, kiddies.

Petit_Merdeux: [some made up word]


img511.imageshack.usView Full Size


Bevets:
[...] ~ Thomas Huxley
[...]~ Michael Ruse

Pseudoscientists often reveal themselves by their handling of the scientific literature. Their idea of doing scientific research is simply to read scientific periodicals and monographs. They focus on words, not on the underlying facts and reasoning. They take science to be all statements by scientists. Science degenerates into a secular substitute for sacred literature. Any statement by any scientist can be cited against any other statement. Every statement counts and every statement is open to interpretation. - Science and Unreason, Radner and Radner

Un bon mot ne prouve rien. - François-Marie Arouet d'Voltaire
 
2010-02-23 9:25:35 AM  
Trollerific.

Amazingly, biology has evolved in the past century and a half. Attacking Darwinism is roughly akin to attacking Michelson and Morely for testing the aether theory.
 
2010-02-23 9:26:30 AM  

HeartBurnKid: Well, duh. You should be suspicious of any -ism.


empiricism?
 
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