Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:20 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 168 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next
Carrier: the religious meme 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4375
Location: NC
Thanks: 1857
Thanked: 1925 times in 1442 posts
Gender: Male

Post Carrier: the religious meme
One of the themes of Carrier's book is formulating a worldview that is informed by evidence. Not everything is evidence-based obviously. For example, I don't need evidence to know that I love my family. On the other hand, we see how a religious worldview can lead to preposterous and wrong beliefs. For example, the world is ten thousand years old. Or evolution isn't true (despite the mountains of evidence across many scientific disciplines that show that it is). The idea that the mind is separate from our body. How does religion turn someone away from what's true (evidence-based) to what is clearly false (ideology-based). Carrier points to religion's virus-like qualities. He even goes so far to say "As a virus impairs or kills its host, a viral meme impairs or kills your mind, your power of reason." Does he have a point here?

Carrier wrote:
2.2.1 Religion Didn’t Win by Playing Fair

No religion, in the history of its development and success, shows any sort of divine backing. Rather, every single one shows a fallible, human, and often brutal history. As a virus impairs or kills its host, a viral meme impairs or kills your mind, your power of reason. Even those whose minds survive it act as carriers. So, drawing on what I discussed earlier (III.8.4, “Memetic Evolution”), it is easy to see how the ultimate memetic equivalent of a virus would have nothing to do with things as harsh and difficult as the truth, but everything to do with silencing competing memes, preying upon our fallible intuitions, our ignorance, and our intellectual laziness, and stirring purely emotional attachment to the viral memes, which, sometimes, play to one’s selfish ego—like memes that tell a man he has the authority of Truth behind his every desire, and is the center of the universe, the purpose for which the whole cosmos was made, and that he will get everything he wants later if he plays the sheep now—or, other times, play upon one’s fears—like memes that tell a man he will never really die, or that there really is no senseless chaos, but every boon and every misfortune is the intended outcome of Other Beings who can be blamed, thanked, or bribed.

This is often what people get out of the popular religions, painting a far less humble picture of man than Metaphysical Naturalism does. It is ironic that, as if engaging in a classic Freudian “projection defense,” theists attack atheists for escaping fears and arrogantly trying to make themselves the center of the universe, when in fact atheists, at least Naturalists, do the exact opposite. In our worldview, we are just another tiny byproduct of nature, special in no sense to anyone but among ourselves, subject to a plethora of random accidents and forces, and there is no perfect or supreme being at all, least of all us. In contrast, it is theism that often encourages arrogance, making man the center of the universe, exaggerating his importance in the grand scheme of things, asserting his immortality and divine backing, making him more (and more important) than he really is, granting him the dangerous feeling that he has the Authority of the Almighty behind him, and that everything that happens is somehow deserved. In many ways like this, religion dazzles you with sweet talk, making it easy to forget (or you unwilling to admit) that it isn’t true.

If major religions have the attributes not of a memetically-propagated truth but of a memetic virus, this is itself a good reason to dismiss them. And once we’ve done that, we are back to zero, with no reason to believe in any alternatives but what the evidence alone presents. And as I have shown in the rest of the book so far, that is Metaphysical Naturalism. Now, the first and strongest clue that religions are viruses rather than healthy truths is in their selfishness, a selfishness that makes no reference to humble or objective standards or the pursuit of truth, but solely to their own preservation as beliefs, and the destruction or abandonment of all contrary beliefs.

Compare:

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods.” ... Show them no pity. Do not spare them or protect them. You must surely put them to death. ... Stone him to death who tries to turn you away from the Lord your God.
- Jehova (Deuteronomy 13:8-10)

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’. These people are corrupt, they have done vile deeds. None of them do good.
- King David (Psalms 14:1)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. ... Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. ... He who has believed and has been baptized will be saved, but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned ... [And] this is how it will be in the end: the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- Jesus Christ the Lord (Luke 14:26, John 3:18, Mark 16:16, Matthew 13:49-50)

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction.
- Saint Paul (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

Those who misbelieve and die while still in misbelief, on them is the curse of God, and of the angels, and of mankind altogether, and they shall dwell in Hell forever. Indeed, the torment shall not be lightened for them, nor shall they find mercy. ... for them are cut out garments of fire, boiling water shall be poured over their heads, which shall melt what is in their bellies and their skins as well, and for them are whips of iron, and whenever they want to leave, from grief, they shall be turned back, and taste the chastisement of burning.
- The Holy Koran (2.85, 22.19-22)

O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
- The Book of Mormon (2nd Nephi 28:15)

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787)

What do we see right away? There is a radical difference between Jefferson’s religion and all these others. His was an Enlightenment Deism that rejected the divinity of Jesus, the existence of miracles, and the authority of the Bible, and accepted in their place secular ideals of science and humanism. His religion is best defended and explained by another Founding Father of the United States, Thomas Paine, in his three-volume work The Age of Reason.

We see no selfish meme in Jefferson’s religion, but the exact opposite: a meme encouraging doubt and inquiry, defending it as morally good, even approved by God. His religion is nonviral. So are many other minority religious views today, like contemporary Deism, or Philosophical Taoism, or the kinder, gentler Christian Methodism of my childhood (cf. I.2, “How I Got Here”), or Christian Universalism, which is undogmatic, humble in its assertions, tolerant of alternative views, and always encouraging doubt, independent thought, and investigation into other religions.

In contrast, all the other religions whose holy books are cited above outright condemn and slander not only atheists and doubters, but anyone of a different religious creed. That is a sign of a virus, not anything true or good. For threats are the hallmark of a wicked creed. These religions must be wicked indeed, for they all make terrifying threats against doubters and unbelievers. The reasons why many of the major religions persist today reinforce this conclusion.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:32 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
[quote="geo"]He even goes so far to say "As a virus impairs or kills its host, a viral meme impairs or kills your mind, your power of reason." Does he have a point here?[/quote.
Hi Geo,
It seems my questioning neo-Darwinism is symptomatic of infection with a deadly viral "meme." But is this "meme" theory itself scientific or proper understanding of cultural influence? I think not. www.csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/meme.htm
Bad link. Google: Meme glossary Uchicago, to access article

The "meme" argument is a lazy one. Antony Flew who for decades campaigned against religion was persuaded of the existence of God by the evidence of genetic information pointing to an intelligence behind life. It was a conclusion from evidence for him.It would have been difficult for him to do such an about turn from his life long campaigning for atheism.
He didn't just get "infected" by a religious "meme"

Carrier's arguments here are fairly typical. Richard may not be a "carrier" of a meme but is of a biased attitude.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.



The following user would like to thank Flann 5 for this post:
geo
Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:10 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4375
Location: NC
Thanks: 1857
Thanked: 1925 times in 1442 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
I've always seen memes as something analogous to genes, clearly not the same kind of thing. And, yet, there's a viral quality to ideas. We see this on places like Facebook all the time. Things getting passed around because they appeal to people in different ways. Certainly many political ideas gain traction, not on the basis of truth but for their appeal to those who want to believe them to be true. And religion seems much the same to me. Your own resistance to evolution is quite telling. The arguments you bring up against evolution are not at all convincing and yet they are constantly propagated by fundamentalist believers. Creationists have taken to creating their own literature (The Discovery Institute) to support their beliefs because they are motivated to keep the fantasy alive. I've said it before, that if God really existed, how disappointed he would be to see people using belief in Him to to turn away from how the world really is.

The term "neo Darwinist" is itself a bit of propaganda, attempting to cast those who accept evolution as a different kind of True Believer. But the big difference is that evolution is based on evidence, not ideology. There can be ideological slants in science, but the premise of evolution is supported by evidence no matter how much you wish it weren't true. Every one of the arguments against evolution that you have brought up have been knocked down. You would know this if you were willing to look at it. Personally I'm not going to try to convince someone that evolution is true any more than I would try to convince someone that the Holocaust really happened.

Carrier has his own prejudices, but he makes a case here for a viral quality to religious ideas that seems pretty evident. It constantly amazes me that people are so worshipful of the Bible, especially when you see how much nonsense there is (see the above passages). A lot of people have moved on from the idea of a vengeful and jealous God and, yet, they still see the Bible as infallible. It truly boggles the mind.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


The following user would like to thank geo for this post:
Flann 5
Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:40 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Sorry for boggling your mind Geo,
I don't think these arguments critiqueing neo-Darwinism have been knocked down at all.
Why have bacteria not evolved into something other than bacteria despite the rapidity of reproduction? And all human selective breeding for thousands of years shows limits to variations and cats, dogs or sheep don't change into other creatures.

Stephen Meyer's arguments of the genetic information problem particularly with reference to the Cambrian explosion have not been refuted.I'll try provide a link to this but I haven't been able to so far today.
Most of the notions of fossil links asserting ancestry lines are speculative and the idea that this can even be done is questionable at best.

People like Dawkins and Carrier caricature biblical Christianity and though Christians have responded showing this, as every politician knows mud once thrown tends to stick.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/10/to ... 77541.html

Dawkins meme theory is not scientific, but he is strongly influenced by Darwinism so to that extent it does show how ideas we like influence how we think. For your amusement Geo,here's a brief very funny satire ; Richard Dawkins Trippy explanation of Memes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB091UtEP5Q



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.



The following user would like to thank Flann 5 for this post:
ant
Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:09 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
And of course the idea (meme) that religion is a meme is a meme itself.

:roll:

(Sigh)



The following user would like to thank ant for this post:
Flann 5
Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:40 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Flann wrote:

"Dawkins meme theory is not scientific"

Bingo. This is really all that needs to be said to utterly destroy any notion that Dawkin's meme hypothesis is supported by the prestige and authority of science.

A scientific hypothesis must make some definite predictions that are testable against experience.

If we all want to start throwing scientific methodology out of the window so we can have fun with meme theory lets be honest about it.

Lets not be hypocrites later on when some of us start claiming some particular idea is useless because its not "science"



Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:09 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4375
Location: NC
Thanks: 1857
Thanked: 1925 times in 1442 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
"Why have bacteria not evolved into something other than bacteria despite the rapidity of reproduction? "

I could do some research on the bacteria question, but you would only start looking for other perceived "weaknesses" in the theory. You've already brought up epigenetics a few weeks back, saying it "challenges aspects of the the reigning paradigm of neo Darwinism, and strongly suggests a Lamarckian apect to change." This was sheer nonsense as I pointed out at the time. The problem is that you are strongly motivated to disbelieve evolution, which is why you’re so ready to believe that epigenetics challenges the “reigning paradigm” without spending any time trying to understand it. Your reliance on Creationist propaganda to find loopholes shows that you are only interested in maintaining your beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence. Sorry, you don’t strike me as someone who is genuinely curious about the way evolution works.

I'm sure Johnson or Interbane could answer your bacteria question better than me if you were really interested. For that matter why have sharks remained relatively unchanged for 450 million years? Offhand I’d say that a species that is already successful in a stable niche doesn’t need to evolve. Significant mutations would still arise randomly in individuals, but if those changes make that individual less fit, the change doesn't get amplified in the population over time.

Also some species of bacteria obviously do evolve which is why there’s a concern over new antibiotic resistant strains. So we can see bacteria “trying” to find a new niche.

With regard to the Cambrian explosion question, I would have to do research for that. But clearly we don't have all the answers yet. Maybe this is an area that is not completely understood yet. I don't think that brings down the house with respect to evolution theory. And even if we didn’t know why some species of bacteria aren’t constantly evolving (which I’m sure is not the case), it doesn’t pose a threat to the “reigning paradigm” as you put it. Because there is so much converging and corroborating evidence that shows that evolution is real and is happening.

I’ve pointed out before that such tactics to show “weaknesses” in evolution are very much the same as those used by Holocaust deniers. As Michael Shermer has written, history relies on the same kinds of scientific methods as paleontology and archaeology. Some people deny that the Holocaust really happened, but there’s far too much converging and corroborating evidence that it did. Deniers will focus on trivial inconsistencies, and use those to deny the Holocaust, but they are missing the big picture on purpose, denying the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that does support the Holocaust.

"This is a fundamental flaw in their reasoning," Shermer says. "The Holocaust was not a single event. The Holocaust was thousands of events in tens of thousands of places and is proved by millions of bits of data that converge on one conclusion."

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.t ... ocaust.pdf


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


The following user would like to thank geo for this post:
Flann 5
Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:13 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
geo wrote:
Now, the first and strongest clue that religions are viruses rather than healthy truths is in their selfishness, a selfishness that makes no reference to humble or objective standards or the pursuit of truth, but solely to their own preservation as beliefs, and the destruction or abandonment of all contrary beliefs.


One might ask first of all, on what rational methodological basis does Carrier conclude that Dawkins meme theory is true at all? By what objective standards does he measure this theory and what has led him to this "truth"?
Suppose we accept that meme theory is correct,how would we understand Carrier's acceptance of Earl Doherty's manufactured,roaming sub Lunar Jesus and mass hallucinations thesis?
Is it the result of careful and impartial study of the writings of Paul in the pursuit of truth? And isn't his entire book a polemic intended to destroy all contrary beliefs and preserve his own?
Is his acceptance of the multiverse "meme" based on objective standards of empirical evidence or just a useful way to dispose of the singularity problem and any notion of God as he would imagine it does?
Here's a link critiqueing meme theory as my previous one was bad.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/re ... /memes.pdf

Geo rightly suggests that my scepticism about neo-Darwinism is due to my beliefs about God and revelation.At the same time it is noticeable that Dawkins and others use this theory as a "proof" of the redundancy of God as creator of life.Though Christians like Francis Collins wouldn't accept this conclusion.
Suppose it actually is false, as some maintain,where would that leave Dawkins?
So I think the debate here has emotional investment on both sides.The everyone knows it's true line is itself not true and it is questioned within biological science.Assertions that all such objections have been knocked down are simply not true.

One might well question the objectivity and rationality of Carrier in these areas; Meme theory,Mythicism,and Multiverse.
One "explains" religious belief,the next the origin and rise of Christianity and the third the origin of the universe.
What a coincidence! And all in the name of rational methodology.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:10 am, edited 3 times in total.



The following user would like to thank Flann 5 for this post:
geo
Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:25 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7054
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1074
Thanked: 2068 times in 1660 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Are ideas regarding memes also theories? I've always found them useful analogies. It is true beyond the shadow of a doubt that ideas propogate, they change as they propogate, and those ideas that people find more "gossipworthy" or interesting or believable, or elicit the most emotion are the ones that propogate most. This is a fact of cultural evolution, and all Dawkins has done is throw a new name at it.

The idea is that the information we propogate does not propogate necessarily because it's true. There are other characteristics that make an idea sticky. This is true at the same time that all other qualifications to knowledge still exist. To say we know something, the knowledge must still be justified. We know evolution is true. We know the Earth is old. The convergence of evidence still applies.

Quote:
At the same time it is noticeable that Dawkins and others use this theory as a "proof" of the redundancy of God as creator of life.Though Christians like Francis Collins wouldn't accept this conclusion.
Suppose it actually was false,where would that leave Dawkins?


Suppose the world ended tomorrow, where would that leave Dawkins? We can suppose many things that almost certainly won't happen. The only debate over evolution is a fabricated debate. There are billions of pieces of evidence, yet each year two are three are pulled out by creationists and touted as "incongruous" with the theory. Yet they're shown to be wrong just as quickly. Not that they need to be shown wrong.

Even if they were right, and a handful of pieces of evidence were incongruous, we still know for a fact evolution happened. Because a handful does not undo billions, and trumpeting a few pieces as evidence of an alternative theory is an argument from ignorance. There doesn't need to be an emotional investment in evolution, as hard as that is to understand from the other side. It is true because of the mountain of evidence. But then, it's not just the mountain of evidence. It's how the mountain is arranged. That the theory of evolution is true is a conclusion that is reached by dozens of lines of inquiry converging on the same answer. It is simply improbable that various fields would all point to the same conclusion if the conclusion were anything but true. You have to concoct massive world-spanning conspiracy theories to rationalize this point away. Or claim that there are flaws in the scientific enterprise so great, that the results are indistinguishable from a globe-sprawling conspiracy.


Regarding Meyer, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Here is Donald Prothero setting him straight: http://www.skepticblog.org/2013/08/28/s ... n-follies/

When the subject is so massive that a single book is a grain of sand, it takes a lot of reading to sort the wheat from the chaff for the layman.


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:21 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Flann wrote:

Quote:
One might well question the objectivity and rationality of Carrier in these areas; Meme theory,Mythicism,and Multiverse.
One "explains" religious belief,the next the origin and rise of Christianity and the third the origin of the universe.
What a coincidence! And all in the name of rational methodology.




It is fallacious to condemn an idea (in this case, Christianity) based on its past (history):

Wiki (emphasis mine)

Quote:
The genetic fallacy, also known as fallacy of origins, fallacy of virtue,[1] is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone's origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context.


Carrier is being a typical religious bigot here;committing fallacies of irrelevance at will without expecting to be called out for doing so.

A fallacy of origins is something no historian would commit unless he was strongly biased against something.



Last edited by ant on Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:12 am, edited 2 times in total.



The following user would like to thank ant for this post:
Flann 5
Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:09 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Interbane wrote:
Regarding Meyer, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Here is Donald Prothero setting him straight:

Hi Interbane,
I'm a layman here myself but I can see if something is logically consistent or not. Prothero a paleontologist takes Meyer to task largely on the question of the duration of the cambrian era. Prothero says 80 million years.Yet I note that at the end of the review a reader responds to the review questioning this timeframe ,and Prothero seems to backtrack to 20 to 25million years.

In the wikipedia article the author mentions that researchers radiometric dating fossils from the Cambrian, differ by 20 million years in their results.

Meyer's arguments largely relate to the production of new genetic information and whether this could be generated in the time available and focuses on a particular part of the Cambrian explosion where a lot of complex creatures appear suddenly in evolutionary terms.
Donald Prothero and Michael Shermer debated Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg where Sternberg and Meyer argue for the same informational deficit and inadequacy of the mutation/natural selection mechanisms for whale evolution in the available time.
Reviews are one thing, but I think the debate provides a way to evaluate what both sides are actually saying.

Here's the Prothero/Shermer vs Meyer/Sternberg debate from a few years ago on the question; Can Darwinian evolution adequately explain the origin of life? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yqqlZ29gcU



Last edited by Flann 5 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:48 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7054
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1074
Thanked: 2068 times in 1660 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Quote:
A fallacy of origins is something no historian would commit unless he was strongly biased against something.


Falsely blaming an historian for committing a fallacy is nothing anyone would commit unless he was strongly biased against something.

Carrier commits no fallacy here. The genetic fallacy is a fallacy where evidence is judged because of where it comes from, rather than what it entails. In other words, it is when an idea is accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than because of its merits.

I know what wikipedia says. Look up the genetic fallacy from a university website.

Quote:
Meyer's arguments largely relate to the production of new genetic information and whether this could be generated in the time available and focuses on a particular part of the Cambrian explosion where a lot of complex creatures appear suddenly in evolutionary terms.
Donald Prothero and Michael Shermer debated Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg where Sternberg and Meyer argue for the same informational deficit for whale evolution in the available time.


We have documented cases of speciation within a decade. To reject the idea that millions of years is enough time is plain silliness.

Flann, if the debate wasn't so cut and dry, I would be far more skeptical of evolution. I'm skeptical even of skepticism. I distrust my own conclusions and don't join teams. Your mistrust will never end, but it is not because evolution merits mistrust. It is because you wish for creationism or ID to be true. We know for a fact that evolution is the explanation for life. Critics like Meyer are great for displaying potential issues with the theory - the grains of discolored sand on a mountain. But don't for a moment think that the mountain will change shape because a few grains are out of place.


_________________
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams


Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:12 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books


Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1581
Location: Dublin
Thanks: 832
Thanked: 704 times in 604 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Ireland (ie)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Interbane wrote:
We have documented cases of speciation within a decade. To reject the idea that millions of years is enough time is plain silliness.

What documented cases? Wells talks about primary and secondary speciation. I had to edit my post after your response to mention that Sternberg is also arguing against the adequacy of the mutation/natural selection mechanisms in supposed whale evolution in the available time. Sternberg is well qualified and I don't think they are debating what is "plain silliness."
I notice that in the Prothero vs Meyer debate from 2009 that Prothero is arguing the lousy design and non functional"junk" D.N.A. line.

Donald Prothero didn't come out too well is this debate I think, but that's my opinion and people can judge for themselves.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:32 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
Quote:
Carrier commits no fallacy here. The genetic fallacy is a fallacy where evidence is judged because of where it comes from, rather than what it entails. In other words, it is when an idea is accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than because of its merits.

I know what wikipedia says. Look up the genetic fallacy from a university website.


Let's see your "university" definition.




http://books.google.com/books?id=PA1pPQ ... cy&f=false


also

Quote:
The Genetic Fallacy is the most general fallacy of irrelevancy involving the origins or history of an idea. It is fallacious to either endorse or condemn an idea based on its pastrather than on its present—merits or demerits, unless its past in some way affects its present value


http://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html

Once again, just another atheist defending one of his apostles - this one being the apostle Carrier.


Carrier, like common new atheists like Dawkins, attempts to implicitly devalue the truths religion(s) espouse (mainly belief in God) by claiming its origin is memetic and proliferated itself in the same manner as evolution by natural selection.
This is more propaganda than anything else.

And, there is no evidence to establish the truth of meme theory (or whatever you'd like to call it)

.

Also, this is a great book that discusses the historian's genetic fallacy in greater detail:

http://www.amazon.com/Historians-Fallac ... DZY2W6FJ46



There is no denying the positive cultural and personal impact religion has had on civilization. Christianity's past has no impact on its present value to millions of people that have been given meaning and purpose to their lives.
Whereas the idea of "atheism" has little to no viability. History has demonstrated this to us.

If secularism is a manifestation of "disbelief" it has not proven to be a superior idea to theism.
Secular regimes that have marginalized and brutalized millions of people (mostly those that are "infected" with the meme Christianity) have been the greatest evil mankind has seen to date.

Once again we have Interbane attempting to spread a bold-faced lie in order to advance what otherwise is a historically weak worldview.

Interbane has secularism and its apostles to give meaning to his life.
And that's okay.
Just as long as he doesn't turn into a Mao or Pol Pot.



Last edited by ant on Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:00 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Carrier: the religious meme
In an interview in TPM Magazine (with Jeremy Stangroom) Richard Dawkins says this about memes:

Quote:
Stangroom: But memes are physiological entities that have phenotypic effects?

Dawkins: Yes, I think that's right. I wasn't sufficiently clear and explicit about that originally. My colleague Juan Deilus who is a physiologist in an article in the Timbergen Legacy Memorial volume was much clearer and actually stuck his neck out and said that a meme is a physiological entity.



Really?

What evidence is there for this claim?


Carrier is appealing to the authority of scientists. Scientists that have yet to produce evidence that a meme is a "physiological entity" of any kind.
Sticking out your neck is exactly what both Dawkins and Carrier are doing simply for the sake of attempting to falsify belief.

"I feign no hypothesis" is wisdom that certain scientists should consider.



The following user would like to thank ant for this post:
Flann 5
Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:20 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 168 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 12  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

Announcements 

• Promote Your Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:33 pm

• Promote Your Non-Fiction Book on BookTalk.org
Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:18 pm



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank