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Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

#35: Jan. - Mar. 2007 (Non-Fiction)
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George Ricker

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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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Mr. P: But how DO we figure out what we are all talking about, when you have the study of natural systems using natural and accessible means on one hand, and dogma, superstition and myth on the otThere's the rub isn't it? I think the first requirement has to be an agreement to be guided by reason. I know I just said that most people think they are being rational most of the time. However, we know that's often not the case, in spite of our personal opinions to the contrary. The effort to demonstrate what is true (note the small "t" please, all my truths are conditional and contingent) requires that all sides be willing to try to apply reason to the questions at issue. It is often argued there are questions beyond reason's ability to answer. But when that's the case (and it may be these are simply questions for which there is no answer), then I submit there's no point in taking up our time with them. Assertions about the nature of reality must be testable, else they serve no useful purpose. Of course, our understanding of reality, as individuals, is never quite the same. But one of the neat things about the rational approach is that we can compare notes. We can duplicate experiments. We have a methodology that allows us to seek a common ground of understanding. We call that methodology "science," but I'm inclined to think, in its broader application, it's just good thinking.WHERE can a possible middle ground be? I understand about walking in the other persons shoes, but come on now...there are obviously positions that deserve the scrutiny of our more rational minds.I'm not sure there is a middle ground between the rational and the irrational, unless maybe it's insanity. I don't think rational perception is equivalent to things like superstition, myth and dogma. I think those represent earlier attempts to rationalize the universe that were themselves inherently irrational because they were based on very little solid information. Only a fool would claim we know it all, but it's no less foolish to claim we have learned nothing since the modern scientific revolution began about 500 years ago.It is a belabored argument about gods and teacups...but those arguments are valid...yet they are usually swept under the rug by those who would believe in gods.That's certainly true. Of course, the first question one has to ask in any discussion of gods is "what god?" Folks bandy that word around as if everyone knows what it means, but until you have spent time getting a believer to tell you exactly what he or she means by the term, any attempt at understanding is defeated at the outset. It has always puzzled me that so many people who claim to place such great importance on the god idea have given so little thought to it. I guess what a person does in his or her own mind can wander off into all sorts of dimensions that may or may not have anything to do with what exists outside that terrain. But when one wants to bring the concept out for examination by others, there needs to be more there than just wishful thinking. Nothing becomes true (again, note the small "t") just because someone really, really, really wants it to be so.George "Godlessness is not about denying the existence of nonsensical beings. It is the starting point for living life without them."Godless in America by George A. Ricker
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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Frank 013 wrote:The whole position of evolution negates the necessity of a creator being and is rather contradictory, it does not prove that there wasn't one but it does show one was not needed.

How has this hypothesis been proven?
I'm familiar with the theoretical aspect of a "god" not being needed to create something from nothing. But what evidence are you basing this on?
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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You're pulling these posts up from the archives ant. Induction is what it is based on. We know inductively that every time someone has claimed the area beyond the frontiers of science as the domain of god, they have been wrong. Inductively, we can conclude that this extends into the next frontier, and the frontier after that, because it always has, dozens of times. To say that only god can be at the origins of the universe is to proclaim a barrier that science can't overcome. The same thing has been proclaimed many times with previous barriers, and has been false every single time.

Induction is enough. The onus is on the theist.
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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Interbane wrote:You're pulling these posts up from the archives ant. Induction is what it is based on. We know inductively that every time someone has claimed the area beyond the frontiers of science as the domain of god, they have been wrong. Inductively, we can conclude that this extends into the next frontier, and the frontier after that, because it always has, dozens of times. To say that only god can be at the origins of the universe is to proclaim a barrier that science can't overcome. The same thing has been proclaimed many times with previous barriers, and has been false every single time.

Induction is enough. The onus is on the theist.

Hi! Thanks for your response.
I honestly do not know what you mean by "pulling these posts up from the archives." I am a new member and these were honest questions from my mind - the little I have, anyway :blush:

I understand what you mean by induction.

The sun has risen every day since man has been aware of the sun, but it does not mean that it will rise tomorrow. Ultimately, inductive reasoning is based strictly on generalizations. Is that not true?

I think Dawkins essentially admited in The God Delusion, that from a pure biological perspective, evolution can explain the progression of life as we know it, but it is not a satisfactory explanation for matters of cosmology. The two ultimately go hand-in-hand.
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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Ant
How has this hypothesis been proven?
I'm familiar with the theoretical aspect of a "god" not being needed to create something from nothing. But what evidence are you basing this on?
First of all let me clarify, I never said that anything was “proven”.

What I mean is that our current grasp of natural laws and the workings of our universe show that no god is necessary for anything that we have already learned. Theories like evolution and the age and creation of this planet, our sun and moon can be explained naturally… without the use of a god theory… our place in the universe has been mapped… although only partly… but it took us looking away from gods and myth to do it.

Even questions like… Where did we come from? Who are we? And Where are we going? Can all be answered without resorting to mythical entities.

Human behavior, our needs, wants, desires, lusts... these things are explained through science and the study of other social animals, even evolution is useful here... we no longer look to the idea of original sin to explain our behavior. Even mental illness is better understood through science... it is no longer demons in your head.

Science does not have all the answers, however we need not look to the god of the gaps to fill these voids anymore… the reason I say that we do not need to, is because we currently are not… and knowledge is forthcoming better now than when we did.

As interbane said induction shows us an unmistakable pattern here... no god needed so far...

Later
That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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The sun has risen every day since man has been aware of the sun, but it does not mean that it will rise tomorrow. Ultimately, inductive reasoning is based strictly on generalizations. Is that not true?
It depends on what you mean. Induction goes from specific instances to generalizations about the category of instances. Unfortunately, there are problems with induction. But in comparison with all other methods at acquiring knowledge, induction is the best we can do. It is a limitation that we must deal with. The answers gained by using induction have spawned computers, cars, cell phones, satellites, and many other technologies. In many cases, it is used in conjunction with deduction.
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Re: Is it rational to believe in both God & evolution?

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Interbane wrote:
The sun has risen every day since man has been aware of the sun, but it does not mean that it will rise tomorrow. Ultimately, inductive reasoning is based strictly on generalizations. Is that not true?
It depends on what you mean. Induction goes from specific instances to generalizations about the category of instances. Unfortunately, there are problems with induction. But in comparison with all other methods at acquiring knowledge, induction is the best we can do. It is a limitation that we must deal with. The answers gained by using induction have spawned computers, cars, cell phones, satellites, and many other technologies. In many cases, it is used in conjunction with deduction.
I agree. It's the best we can do for now.

Thanks for your response!

ant
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