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 Nov 18, 2019 10:49 pm



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 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 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero 
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: 4385
Location: NC
Thanks: 1861
Thanked: 1932 times in 1447 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Taylor wrote:
. . . Evolutionary biologist such as Nick Lane are now demonstrating how Behe is wrong by showing how complex cells can evolve from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. I see now what is meant by an argument from ignorance, If something is unknown, undocumented, undiscovered, untested or a host of other un's... then there must have been a designer.

Yes, I think the ID web site relies almost entirely on arguments from ignorance, which I suppose is really what irreducible complexity is all about. We simply can't see each and every step from feathers to flight. We have only uncovered a tiny fraction of bird ancestors that lived and died. And to understand each and every complex step that led to flight would require more fossil evidence. IDers love to find these pockets of uncertainty, but the case for birds having evolved from theropods is already very strong, And the evidence grows stronger with every new discovery, as is the recent case with the feathered tail in amber.

IDers will never be satisfied with evolution because they have already decided that an Intelligent Designer had to be involved. Thanks to Flann, we have seen an astonishing amount of denial with regard to whale evolution. The whale's vestigial hind legs alone only make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. They seem to have moved on from eye complexity to focus on whales and birds, but they've already lost these arguments as well.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:36 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 8 times in 7 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
And don't forget confirmation bias. https://www.verywell.com/what-is-a-conf ... as-2795024



Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:33 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 membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5823
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2283
Thanked: 2211 times in 1671 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
geo wrote:
Taylor wrote:
. . . Evolutionary biologist such as Nick Lane are now demonstrating how Behe is wrong by showing how complex cells can evolve from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. I see now what is meant by an argument from ignorance, If something is unknown, undocumented, undiscovered, untested or a host of other un's... then there must have been a designer.

Yes, I think the ID web site relies almost entirely on arguments from ignorance

Just to offer a small point here on this side point about ID, “relies” in this usage points to a deeper problem with the politics of Intelligent Design. The entire purpose of Intelligent Design is to give creationist Bible Believers an excuse to avoid encountering scientific evidence. Preachers want to be able to refer to such websites as evidence for faith, even though that claim is vacuous. The religious background here is that the claim of redemption through the Blood of Jesus only makes sense if the Fall from Grace of Adam was a real historical event. The two myths are closely intertwined in Paul’s Epistles as the foundation of such central concepts as heaven, salvation, damnation, grace and faith. YEC is necessary for the miraculous work of the cross in sending believers to heaven.

The arguments from irreducible complexity are farcical in scientific terms, but they entirely serve their religious purpose of protecting the flock from having their mythological faith challenged by facts.

ID web sites do not actually rely on their arguments from ignorance in regard to their real audience, the ignorant believers. These areguments are merely handwaving distractors. The real reliance of ID is on the mendacious unstated assumption that their arguments engage in intellectual debate, when they actually prevent such debate, and are just a smokescreen for mythological thinking.

I hope that makes some sense!


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
geo
Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:35 pm
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 8 times in 7 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
It seems we're at the end here. In summary, I think this book is one of the better ones I've read on the subject. It's well written and easy to understand. I liked the way the author set it up. He'd start out with a critical fossil, tell the story behind finding it, and then look at ones before and after it. I got a sense of what a long, complicated process evolution is.

This was my first book discussion in this forum and it was a pleasure. Thanks to geo our moderator, Taylor, DWill and Robert Tulip. How nice it was to have a discussion with intelligent people! I look forward to more on booktalk.org.



The following user would like to thank djkirk for this post:
geo, Robert Tulip
Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:32 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: 4385
Location: NC
Thanks: 1861
Thanked: 1932 times in 1447 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Thanks, djkirk, and thanks for your participation. I enjoyed this book too. I thought the early chapters were a little slow, but overall it was a memorable book. I also liked the way Prothero highlights the discovery of specific fossils and the discoverers. It really shows the human aspect of paleonotology.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:54 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: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Robert Tulip wrote:
Just to offer a small point here on this side point about ID, “relies” in this usage points to a deeper problem with the politics of Intelligent Design. The entire purpose of Intelligent Design is to give creationist Bible Believers an excuse to avoid encountering scientific evidence. Preachers want to be able to refer to such websites as evidence for faith, even though that claim is vacuous. The religious background here is that the claim of redemption through the Blood of Jesus only makes sense if the Fall from Grace of Adam was a real historical event. The two myths are closely intertwined in Paul’s Epistles as the foundation of such central concepts as heaven, salvation, damnation, grace and faith. YEC is necessary for the miraculous work of the cross in sending believers to heaven.

The arguments from irreducible complexity are farcical in scientific terms, but they entirely serve their religious purpose of protecting the flock from having their mythological faith challenged by facts.


Hi Robert,how are you? The truth is that neo-Darwinism is the shaky bulwark for materialist philosophy. Personally I choose the authority of Jesus and God's word over alleged scientific refutation supposedly supplied by neo-Darwinism. But my belief is grounded in the many very remarkable fulfilments of prophecy pointing to it's divine source and personal experience of God hearing and answering prayer among other reasons.
So mine is a faith position but not without reasons supporting it.
On the other hand the materialists hope to silence those disquieting voices saying Darwinism is the naked emperor of philosophical naturalism by name calling against their I.D. opponents.
www.uncommondescent.com/darwinism/a-vet ... ing-apart/



Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:08 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 membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5823
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2283
Thanked: 2211 times in 1671 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Flann 5 wrote:
Hi Robert, how are you?
Hi Flann, kind of you to ask. I am very well. I retired from the Australian Public Service on 3 January, and plan to devote my time to writing, reading, music, gardening, pursuing my intellectual interests and keeping myself healthy. I have just finished listening to Sam Harris’s podcast conversation #63 Why Meditate? and found it very illuminating.
Flann 5 wrote:
The truth is that neo-Darwinism is the shaky bulwark for materialist philosophy.
Yes, that is an important observation, which raises big problems about the relation between science, atheism and materialism.

My view is that nothing exists outside our universe, and that claiming otherwise is impious before the grandeur of nature. That means that ideas about God are generated by processes and patterns within our universe, including complex inter-temporal relationships and energies that our science does not begin to understand.

While such incomprehensible realities are inaccessible to our reason and observation, they still could have major influence upon us, and can still be posited as somehow generated from matter.

An example within the realm that we can understand is that the annual pattern of the seasons has deep influence on our DNA and our instincts, since seasonality is hardwired into our genes due to its constancy over the four billion years of evolution of life. But it is impossible for science to fully describe such subtle patterns.

One of the problems of materialist philosophy is the tendency to argue that only what we can perceive can be described as real. But there are undoubtedly things that influence us that we cannot perceive, and which can give rise to the intuition of divinity.
Flann 5 wrote:
Personally I choose the authority of Jesus and God's word over alleged scientific refutation supposedly supplied by neo-Darwinism.
It is simplistic and harmful to posit the authority of God as standing in opposition to science. Clearly science does provide simple refutations of literal biblical claims. But what that means is that we should look at those claims more deeply, to find their rich meaning for faith, rather than argue that a literal surface meaning exhausts their content.

On Christmas Day the new minister at my church preached on how Luke’s nativity story is a foundation myth, full of rich meaning. She argued that both literalism and scepticism fail to engage with the meaning of faith. I completely agree with that line of reading.
Flann 5 wrote:
But my belief is grounded in the many very remarkable fulfilments of prophecy pointing to it's divine source and personal experience of God hearing and answering prayer among other reasons.
Prayer is a way to refine our intentions and construct our hopes. The complexity of the human mind and spirit is so deep that it would be foolhardy for science to say that the answering of prayer is a meaningless claim, despite the very tenuous status of prayer against evidence. The healing power of faith is very strong.

My Bible Study group is currently reading Isaiah, and it is a truly wonderful book. This week we read Chapter 55, which includes the great line ‘my ways are not your ways’. Seeing the numerous prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ fully confirms my view that the process at work was that the hope gave rise to the belief, as key support for the scientific hypothesis that Jesus Christ was fictional.

The traditional line that you mention about fulfilled prophecy is far better explained in Darwinian causal evolutionary terms, that the Jewish people’s familiarity with the prophetic predictions primed the culture for the emergence of Christianity, using Isaiah and other prophets as a blueprint for the imaginative descriptions of the incarnation, which over time evolved into literal beliefs.
Flann 5 wrote:
So mine is a faith position but not without reasons supporting it. On the other hand the materialists hope to silence those disquieting voices saying Darwinism is the naked emperor of philosophical naturalism by name calling against their I.D. opponents.
Yes, there is a lot of rudeness from scientists towards people of faith. But that clearly cuts both ways.

The debate is over our highest values, with materialists believing that evidence and logic are the framework of ethics, against people of faith who see traditional authority as the highest value.

I think there is merit in both sides of this debate, and that what we will see is a cultural evolution of faith through a new reformation making Christianity compatible with scientific knowledge in a new integrated synthesis of faith and reason.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Flann 5
Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:05 pm
Profile Email WWW
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: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Robert Tulip wrote:
Hi Flann, kind of you to ask. I am very well. I retired from the Australian Public Service on 3 January, and plan to devote my time to writing, reading, music, gardening, pursuing my intellectual interests and keeping myself healthy. I have just finished listening to Sam Harris’s podcast conversation #63 Why Meditate? and found it very illuminating.

Hi Robert. Enjoy your retirement. I'm sure you won't be bored going by your many interests
.
Robert Tulip wrote:
My view is that nothing exists outside our universe, and that claiming otherwise is impious before the grandeur of nature. That means that ideas about God are generated by processes and patterns within our universe, including complex inter-temporal relationships and energies that our science does not begin to understand.

That would be true if your view was demonstrably correct but it's really a faith position that nothing including a creator exists outside our universe. The I.D. argument is the evident design and complex interdepence which is purposive in nature is itself evidence of a transcendent designer. Human bodies have eyes ears,noses,legs,arms hands, hearts,lungs and many interdepent systems working together towards very clear ends and goals.
He that has ears to hear, let him hear!


Robert Tulip wrote:
It is simplistic and harmful to posit the authority of God as standing in opposition to science. Clearly science does provide simple refutations of literal biblical claims. But what that means is that we should look at those claims more deeply, to find their rich meaning for faith, rather than argue that a literal surface meaning exhausts their content.

On Christmas Day the new minister at my church preached on how Luke’s nativity story is a foundation myth, full of rich meaning. She argued that both literalism and scepticism fail to engage with the meaning of faith. I completely agree with that line of reading.

I don't think biblical teaching is opposed to science but certain theories said to be opposed which have gained popular currency as scientific fact are very questionable on scientific grounds. The charge of literalism is itself simplistic though doubtless many important teachings have a literal meaning.
I know you reject the teaching of an historical Jesus for example and have a theory of solar symbolism etc.
You want to retain some values from the bible but not acknowledge historicity which I don't think is really possible or realistic though you obviously do think so.
Jesus told Nicodemus the Rabbi and teacher of Israel that unless one was born again he could neither see or enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, as Jesus said. So a spiritual birth from above is required as a necessity.
In the final analysis those who have experienced a spiritual birth know the reality of these things. As Paul says " But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to him and are spiritually discerned.
So in the end the blind wish to tell those who see that they are blind and that they are the ones who really see. How ironic!
So clearly we disagree on many important points. Enjoy your retirement Robert.



The following user would like to thank Flann 5 for this post:
Robert Tulip
Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:12 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 membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5823
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2283
Thanked: 2211 times in 1671 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
Flann 5 wrote:
it's really a faith position that nothing including a creator exists outside our universe.
I agree it is a faith position. Whether anything exists outside our universe is a question for which we have no evidence and cannot answer. Various claims include God and the multiverse, but all are pure speculation. I simply take the personal view, based on the stupendous size and age and complexity of the known universe, that a superior ethical position arises from rejecting all speculation that goes beyond our universe. I see this universal view as an ethical principle because traditional religious views that posit an external God operate more as a mechanism of social control than an effort to understand reality, are based on magical mythology, and do not satisfy the basic scientific method of preferring the simplest and most elegant explanation for all the available data. Positing an external creator ignores the elegant beauty of evolutionary causal logic.
Flann 5 wrote:
The I.D. argument is the evident design and complex interdependence which is purposive in nature is itself evidence of a transcendent designer.
And the Darwinian argument is that all examples of purpose in nature can be explained by cumulative adaptation and natural selection, in a way that makes complete causal sense, whereas ID does not make sense because it is just a way of surreptitiously defending the traditional magical theory of divine redemption through Jesus Christ, based on traditional authority rather than logical analysis of evidence.
Flann 5 wrote:
Human bodies have eyes ears, noses, legs, arms hands, hearts, lungs and many interdependent systems working together towards very clear ends and goals.[i]
Yes, and science provides a compelling rational account for how human bodies and our genetic ancestors evolved over the billions of years of life on earth. Whenever a mutation increases reproductive fitness, it expands through the population. This is a simple causal principle which over the immense time scale of life on earth has provided the entire basis for the emergence of the complex adaptive systems of human existence.
Flann 5 wrote:
I don't think biblical teaching is opposed to science but certain theories said to be opposed which have gained popular currency as scientific fact are very questionable on scientific grounds.
Darwinian science is at the core of biology, so any rejection of evolutionary theory is opposed to science. That means that any real meaning in Biblical texts can only be the meaning that coheres with scientific knowledge, since opposition to knowledge is just fantasy.

Flann 5 wrote:
The charge of literalism is itself simplistic though doubtless many important teachings have a literal meaning.
The charge of literalism is actually very complex, and requires an explanation of how false beliefs came to be widespread. Depth psychology, such as in Jungian analysis, helps to explore the syndromes of projecting one’s own subconscious beliefs onto an external reality, sublimating instinctive desires into spiritual form, and the resistance of faith to evidence. These are complex psychological processes which are intrinsic to literal faith, and you calling critiques of literalism simplistic is itself an example of psychological deflection. There is no doubt that the literal story of Jesus Christ is highly comforting and reassuring and beautiful for believers, speaking to deep universal desires for salvation and love, but such psychological resonance is not evidence for its truth.
Flann 5 wrote:
I know you reject the teaching of an historical Jesus for example and have a theory of solar symbolism etc. You want to retain some values from the bible but not acknowledge historicity which I don't think is really possible or realistic though you obviously do think so.
Yes, that is correct. There is a basic contradiction between the statement of Jesus Christ that he came to bear witness to the truth and the extensive fraud and destruction perpetrated by the early church to justify its dogma.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:31 am
Profile Email WWW
Years 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

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6347
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1843
Thanked: 2029 times in 1536 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
I'm not wading in here much, just wanted to congratulate Robert on his retirement. I gather he is still a relatively young guy, so he should have a lot of productive and enjoyable years ahead of him.

Why is it, I wonder, that from the very start, Christianity has been so heavily politicized? Does it trace back to its adoption by the remnants of the Roman Empire, or was that a relatively late manifestation of Christian politics? I dunno.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
Robert Tulip
Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:55 am
Profile
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 membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5823
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2283
Thanked: 2211 times in 1671 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R. Prothero
DWill wrote:
I'm not wading in here much, just wanted to congratulate Robert on his retirement. I gather he is still a relatively young guy, so he should have a lot of productive and enjoyable years ahead of him.
Thanks very much DWill. Yes, I am just 53, and have worked for almost 30 years full time in the Australian Public Service, with a good superannuation scheme, so am able to access a good early retirement option, which will let me focus on the things I find interesting, such as discussing evolution and philosophy.

Trying to link to this thread, one of my emerging interests is how our society has a range of strong influences, such as the sugar industry, which key into evolutionary drivers for human instincts in ways that are highly maladaptive. The obesity epidemic is well explained by this problem. I have lost 20 kg (45 lb) over the last five years and am very focused on making my remaining time on this planet as productive and long and engaged as possible.
DWill wrote:
Why is it, I wonder, that from the very start, Christianity has been so heavily politicized? Does it trace back to its adoption by the remnants of the Roman Empire, or was that a relatively late manifestation of Christian politics? I dunno.

The link to this thread is that political Christianity rejects the evidence of evolution, providing a very contrasting story of life from the one provided by science. The reason for this rejection of evolution is intrinsically political, that the church early on entered an alliance between throne and altar, delivering social stability through military security and mythological fantasy, which still informs evangelical faith today as more important than any evidence or logic.

In this pact, Jesus Christ is neutered by being kicked upstairs, turned into a magical being who saves souls through mere belief and ritual, sitting in imagination at the right hand of the Emperor and of God, delivering the blessing of the state from the church, promising eternal life in heaven to loyal subjects. The magic of supernatural Jesus is anti-evolutionary because it involves a fantasy worldview of creation, fall and redemption, with a historical framework of time that is almost purely mythical.

Further, this political Jesus is carefully designed to ignore the key teachings of the Bible, such as that the last are first in the kingdom of God. The original messianic Jesus promoted a transformative politics, and has therefore been mostly ignored by the church ever since, through the simple expedient of deferring most of the cultural evolution proposed in the Bible to the Second Coming when Jesus will reign in love as king of the world.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:47 pm
Profile Email WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 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 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


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:



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