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Yes. Evolution. 
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
johnson1010 wrote:
Quote:
Ant:
do homo sapiens have purposeful intent?


Yes.

Humans have invented purpose and intent, or attributed the same for a wide variety of things.



Fair enough.

And what particular evidence has convinced you purposeful intent did not exist until humans "invented" it?



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Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
I don't want to imply that only humans have invented purpose and intent. Lets say instead that intelligence has invented purpose and intent. You were asking about humans, so that's what i talked about, but you are right.

Many organisms which are able to plan would perform some task with a purpose in mind. This is not at all limited to humans, nor would we have been the first to invent any purpose.

as to what convinces me that intelligence is required to enact a purpose, well it's definitional, really. Which is to say, my understanding of the word. You need an intelligence to assign a purpose to something.

As i've said before, you and I might say the "purpose" of a table leg is to hold up the table top and that might have some validity, because it is an object which was fashioned into a specific shape by an intelligence exactly for that purpose.

But what would it mean to say that the purpose of a rock was to hold down a peice of paper? If you've got a rock sitting on your desk as a paper weight, then you have assigned a purpose to it. But the fact that it's heavy is not due to your intention to use it as a paper weight. The mass of the rock is just a property it has.

So like that, having iron in our blood is not because it serves a purpose, but because it has benefitial properties which have been exploited. Iron doesn't exist for that purpose.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:26 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Quote:
I don't want to imply that only humans have invented purpose and intent. Lets say instead that intelligence has invented purpose and intent. You were asking about humans, so that's what i talked about, but you are right.

Many organisms which are able to plan would perform some task with a purpose in mind. This is not at all limited to humans, nor would we have been the first to invent any purpose.


So I've underlined some key words I'd like you to expand on a bit.

Define intelligence.

If many organisms as you say are/were able to perform tasks with a "purpose" in mind before the rise of Hominidae intelligence, then purpose existed long before ours arose, correct?

Fungus is an organism. Do fungi have "purpose"? Are they "intelligent" in a sense because they perform certain, however limited, tasks, or would you characterized their tasks as blind "intelligence"?

Here's kind of a fun question:
If evolution by natural selection is the rule of thumb throughout the cosmos, might a species billions of years more evolved than us consider our purpose directionless?
If is highly probable that life evolved elsewhere and that it is perhaps billions of years or senior, right?



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Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:18 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Quote:
You need an intelligence to assign a purpose to something.


Doesn't it follow that Your purpose needed an Intelligence to assign it to you?

We have a closet theist here, people!!


:mbounce:



Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:22 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Quote:
Doesn't it follow that Your purpose needed an Intelligence to assign it to you?


His purpose was assigned by himself. In light of goals, we have purpose. If we have a goal that requires using a tool, we declare that tool to have a purpose.

Other animals have purpose as well, because they have goals(even if they can't articulate them). The origin of these goals can be traced to game theory. The if/then algorithmic behaviors that have evolved over eons. Most organisms have an overriding "purpose" to procreate and flourish, as dictated by natural selection. Any organism lacking that goal would have a lesser chance of surviving. There are a host of lesser goals as well, which may sometimes be of higher importance than procreation(it's algorithmic). Eating, running in fear, drinking, flying north for the winter, nesting, etc.


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Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
I would think intelligence is the property of an organism to find solutions to obstacles.

Contrast a fly, which you can see zooming around the room like a roomba robot, in a search pattern dictated by genetics to find higher concentrations of molecules which might indicate food, with a squirel which has observed a bird feeder full of nuts and finds a path to the bird feeder through a circuitous route.

I've seen videos where people have slowly placed obstacle after obstacle in front of some squirel until they get them to run a very long and convoluted obstacle course to reach the nuts.

The squirel tries to shimmy straight up the pole, but can't get around the squirel blocking plate. No hand holds, can't stretch to reach edge. So the squirel then seeks out an alternate path to reach that goal. It climbs a nearby tree, jumps from branch to branch until it's above the feeder, and drops onto it.

This is the kind of problem solving that i would characterize as, well, lets say a symptom of intelligence.

Whereas a fly is just kind of banging into the window repeatedly moving toward the light.

I think everything that lives has some inteligence, but there is a sliding scale involved. Flies have a problem, which is that they will die without food, so they seek out more resources. That is a problem solving move, but they are limited. The squirel is doing the same task, but has more intellectual tools to employ.

I have no doubt there are species of organisms on different planets which have more powerful intelects than ours. If they grew up in just the right goldilocks zone, or managed inter-planetary, or inter-stellar space flight, they might reach billions of years. But then, it's difficult to imagine that you could call the current species "the same" species as that which first achieved... personhood, for lack of a better term. Instead it would be a lineage, since we are talking about billions of years, and who knows how many generations.

Interbane is right in my assesment of where my purpose comes from. I have decided what my purpose will be, by deciding what my goals are. So then the things i do serve a purpose, which is to achieve some goal.

The same way that squirel which is doing all kinds of crazy obstacles is doing those random obstacles with a purpose in mind, to reach the feeder.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:13 am
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Quote:
Ant:
might a species billions of years more evolved than us consider our purpose directionless?


Well consider an analog. What do you feel about the activities of your pets? They go about their lives, performing various activities, and tasks you might give them, like sitting, or rolling over. And then they spend a lot of time on their own filling their day with their own goals. Burying bones, marking their territory, exploring the neighborhood.

What do you think of their goals? Purposeless? Well, not necessarily. They have purposes, but it isn't really anything that you would do. Because you don't need to. Or because you have "better" things to do with your time.

But the better things you have to do with your time wouldn't be of much use to your pets either. How could your dog benefit from attending the budget meeting at work?

So maybe super-advanced aliens would look at us and think it's cute that Stephen Hawking can do black hole calculations in his head. But i think they might say "well, that's the best they can do, and they are working really hard, and good for them!" The way you might feel about your dog if he successfully hides his bone from a neighbor dog.

But does it matter if an advanced alien doesn't appreciate what we do with out time? What makes our activities valuable is whether or not WE value them. They don't have to have cosmic significance. They just need to have personal significance to matter.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:52 am
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
There is some good evolution education going on over here a couple pages in as well:

turek-vs-hitchens-debate-does-god-exist-t16055.html


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:29 am
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
The creative power of randomness.

Even after explaining this, I realize it's a bit too difficult to grasp. In another thread, someone said: "That random mutations(chance) could drive this is unlikely.There is neither foresight or memory."

The genetic code serves as the memory, of course. But foresight isn't required. And randomness does drive the process. But randomness is not alone.

The evolutionary algorithm in the theory of evolution is an algorithm that's found elsewhere. Scientists use it to design new circuits and new products, for example. It's also at play in information theory, heavily used in computer programming. This book would be interesting: http://www.amazon.com/Evolutionary-Algo ... B005LQBV4C

To understand how randomness drives the process, I'll lay out a game I once thought up if I were to become a science teacher(I would still like to be). The game would mimic evolution by starting with a species pool of 20 lizards. The lizards would be handmade wooden replicas. It would last most of the school year, as a pet project. The lizards would all start with a single solid color, each one different, and would be in a copse of trees within sight of the student body. The challenge is to pick the first lizard you see, acting as a predator. Pick the easiest one you're able to identify. If there are 20 or more students, then the last lizard to be picked is the parent for the next generation. If there are 20 or less, then the unpicked lizards are the parent population.

I'd guess the students would quickly pick the red/orange/purple/blue lizards, but miss the green and brown lizards - or at least pick them last.

The 'picking of lizards' is the non-random selection process that mimics the environment. Predators are a part of the environment, after all. Once the parent lizards are brought back to class, we produce offspring with similar colors. Perhaps add some detail, but not too much since it must be similar(nearly solid color). If old enough, the students could do this by painting themselves. Or there are computer programs that generate small random changes - you could print the generated paper and glue it onto the wooden lizards.

I'd expect the first generation offspring to be mainly greens and browns with a bit of texture. After the second generation, the ones with more camoflauged patterns(therefore better hidden) would be selected. The mutation parameter would be that you could only use colors 'nearby' on the color wheel. Perhaps some would have a little blue, and some would have a little yellow. That parameter aside, it should be randomized as much as possible. By the fourth and fifth generations, mixtures of browns and greens in different hues would dominate.

After 10 or so attempts, we compare the original population set with the 10th generation set.

Even though this would teach how randomly generated offspring drive the creative process of an evolutionary algorithm, I think creationists would get the wrong idea. "But it's kids doing the picking... therefore the lizards are designed." I think the small, random computer-generated changes might be better in that aspect, so it's not confusing. The randomness is simply that - randomness, whether by random human choice or random algorithmic generation.

What appears to lead to creativity is the selection process. If giraffe's appear to be so well suited to reaching high places that it must be purposeful, think again. The environment as a selection parameter is all that's needed. Shortnecks die or are unhealthy(they can't reach the plentiful food source up high), and longnecks are left. Rinse and repeat until necks are very long.



If you follow the link above to the book on evolutionary algorithms, you'll see the power of algorithms in creating new things. A blind mathematical set of steps is all that's needed to create anything and everything under the sun. No intelligence needed. Once the mechanism of this algorithm clicks in your head, and you understand it, the elegance speaks to it's truth. It makes sense on such a basic level. I hope teachers around the globe are able to lead students to that 'aha' moment regarding evolutionary algorithms.

EDIT - my experiment was a bit confusing. I clarified a few things.


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Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:36 am
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
we have to be careful, as pattern seekers and be wary of our own desire to believe.

Not everything we recognize as a pattern was put there by some intelligence to pass us a message.

http://io9.com/the-entire-alphabet-phot ... 1465806707


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:16 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
I’ve transferred some posts that originally were posted on the link below to this thread so as not to bog down the other.

post126885.html#p126885

Hey Gesler, thanks for posting!

Quote:
Gesler:
For what it's worth, he also doesn't seem to understand natural selection in the sense that natural selection doesn't account for origins at all. Natural selection deals with the process by which some life forms survive and others die out. Natural selection doesn't actually create the lifeforms in question, however, because they have to pre-exist before natural selection can weed out one or the other. I have no problem with the idea of natural selection, in this context.


In some sense natural selection says that this thing exists because it has been successful. Or, all the steps that led to it were successful. What is successful? You can read that as “wasn’t destroyed”.

What is the reason for giraffes? The reason for giraffes is that they didn’t die.

So you can apply natural selection to pretty much anything that develops naturally, I should think. Ice crystals exist in cold weather because they are not destroyed. In slightly warmer climates they may form in the clouds but thaw before they hit the ground to become water. That is a natural selection for the form water takes in different areas.

In this way whatever the first proto-life forms were. Whatever chemical combination came together to give them some semblance of life-like qualities, those proto-life objects were naturally selected to exist. They were able to reproduce in their environment because they were good at it. Because the environment they were in allowed for such things to happen.

Quote:
Gesler:
But I feel the need to distinguish between macroevolution and microevolution. I believe micro- happens. People get taller over time, or a strain of bacteria develops immunities to certain antibacterial substances. That's microevolution. But macroevolution? Species actually evolving into other species, naturally, over time? I've never seen a convincing reason to buy it. All of the 'evidence' for macroevolution work just as well in other worldviews that do not include macroevolution.


Macroevolution is merely the accumulation of microevolutionary changes. They are exactly the same thing. The difference between a second and a century. How it works is that a microevolutionary change occurs from one generation to the next. This new offspring then is different from the parent in exactly the same way you are different from your parents. When this new generation stays in the broader gene pool not much impact is had on the lineage. The traits are diffused and combined with other changes in different lineages so that the child of two families might have both the classic “Johnson” eye brows, and the classic “Gesler” ears.

Then the population as a whole drifts in accordance to environmental selection and that is a mighty ship to try to change course requiring something drastic, like the black plague, to set some particular surviving characteristic that will limit the populace.

If a breeding population is instead sequestered from the parent gene pool these idiosyncrasies can build up relatively quickly and many generations of microevolutionary changes become macroevolutionary changes. These changes have been observed and recorded in laboratory settings with microscopic life, documented in ring-species, and backed by the fossil record, radiometric dating, embryology and phylogeny.

Good ring-species video.



Quote:
Gesler:
I think the scientific community was way too quick to buy into macroevolution, the same way they once bought into the Steady State Theory. Why? Because it supported their naturalist presuppositions about life. And it seemed to do so in intelligent terms, therefore it was accepted with a level of enthusiasm and lack of scrutiny that other scientific theories must contend with long before they are widely accepted.


It was long suspected that organisms evolved from one another even before Darwin. It is a bit of a mislead to say that evolution is Darwin’s theory. What he did that was so successful is propose natural selection as the MEANS of evolution.

Quote:
Gesler:
There are also so many logistical questions:
- Macroevolution still requires pre-existing life in order for there to be something that can evolve at all. Spontaneous generation of life from nonlife has never been observed, nor is there any empirical evidence to suggest that it is possible.


There is actually some promising empirical evidence to support just that!

http://www.wimp.com/linelife/

Quote:
Gesler:
- Irreducible complexity is a term that I don't think gets enough respect. But it should be addressed.


Irreducible complexity was actually addressed. In a court of law, in fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller ... l_District

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

Where irreducible complexity was refuted by a mountain of peer reviewed research that cast no shadow of doubt on the issue.

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
In the final ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Judge Jones specifically singled out Behe and irreducible complexity:[95]

• "Professor Behe admitted in "Reply to My Critics" that there was a defect in his view of irreducible complexity because, while it purports to be a challenge to natural selection, it does not actually address "the task facing natural selection." and that "Professor Behe wrote that he hoped to "repair this defect in future work..." (Page 73)

• "As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by "irreducible complexity" renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. (3:40 (Miller)). In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means." (Page 74)

• "By defining irreducible complexity in the way that he has, Professor Behe attempts to exclude the phenomenon of exaptation by definitional fiat, ignoring as he does so abundant evidence which refutes his argument. Notably, the NAS has rejected Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity..." (Page 75)

"As irreducible complexity is only a negative argument against evolution, it is refutable and accordingly testable, unlike ID [Intelligent Design], by showing that there are intermediate structures with selectable functions that could have evolved into the allegedly irreducibly complex systems. (2:15-16 (Miller)). Importantly, however, the fact that the negative argument of irreducible complexity is testable does not make testable the argument for ID. (2:15 (Miller); 5:39 (Pennock)). Professor Behe has applied the concept of irreducible complexity to only a few select systems: (1) the bacterial flagellum; (2) the blood-clotting cascade; and (3) the immune system. Contrary to Professor Behe’s assertions with respect to these few biochemical systems among the myriad existing in nature, however, Dr. Miller presented evidence, based upon peer-reviewed studies, that they are not in fact irreducibly complex." (Page 76)



Quote:
Gesler:
- Natural selection is an effect, not a cause.


I’m not sure what you mean by this. Natural selection is the cause of why some organism variations statistically succeed and others do not.

Which is to say, a bird which gets a tiny adjustment to how the blood cells carry oxygen to the cells is a random mutation that could be good bad or neutral, but those words only make sense in the context of whether they successfully allow the bird to survive in its environment. Those mutations which perform poorly are statistically likely to interfere with the breeding of the population, whereas those mutations which provide better delivery of oxygen to cells are naturally selected by the environment to be more likely to procreate.

Quote:
Gesler:
I think what Fair was trying to say, just without the proper terminology, is he's not happy with kids being taught, basically, that they lived in an atheistic universe. … There's a huge difference between religious neutrality and government-enforced atheism.


They aren’t being taught they live in an atheistic universe. They are being taught how THIS universe evidently works. Evolution IS evidently how new species originate. And when the question comes “Where did the first species come from?” the responsible answer is that “We don’t know yet for sure” as opposed to evolution which is a question which has been settled more successfully than “how do we stay on the surface of the earth?”.

There’s a big difference also in just explaining the way that the world evidently works and not mentioning any religious belief systems the kids may have, whether Christian, Taoist, or ancestor worship, and explaining the way the world evidently works and ending with “and that’s how we know there is no god.”

Actually, I think it would be pretty detrimental to religion if we made room for god at the end of every lecture.

“Gravity is an attractive force which acts inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the objects, which means when you are twice as far away the pull is four times as weak. It is responsible not only for why we stay on the planet, but how planets form, the creation of stars, the circling of moons, the creation of solar systems, galaxies, and black holes.

It is generated by the curvature of space time in four dimensions due to the presence of energy which warps the trajectory of objects so that their fourth dimensional strait lines appear cast a 3 dimensional shadow of elliptical orbits. The same elliptical paths that we can demonstrate thrown rocks, arrows, and bullets all follow.

Here are the equations that we use to calculate the trajectories of the planets, predict the passing of comets asteroids and lunar and solar eclipses, to the second, for hundreds of years into the future. Here is the equation that allows geosynchronous satellites to be put into orbit, and the time correction which must be put into them to allow for accurate GPS tracking due to the warping of space time that demonstrate the accuracy of that assessment. Here is the record for our successfully putting dozens of spacecraft in orbit around other bodies in space, and the amazing sling-shot trajectory of Voyagers one and two which have visited all the outer planets on a 37 year trip plotted out using these same equations.

Also there is the possibility that god did it.”


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Check out these two blogs!

This is the blog of Emily Willoughby, a paleo artist of excellent skill.
Beautiful illustrations of paleo fauna!

http://ewilloughby.tumblr.com/

Image

Image

Then there’s Aron Ra’s blog, the Ace of Clades. (love the name)

http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra/


_________________
In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:44 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Check out this evolution primer site!~


Pretty cool!

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evohome.html


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Wed May 07, 2014 4:31 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
johnson1010 wrote:
Check out this evolution primer site!~


Pretty cool!

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evohome.html



setting aside YEC vs evolution debate, what do yo think the importance of evolution is in our everyday lives and how might you reflect on your life when youre 90 and say "Boy, the theory of evolution really brought meaning to my life"

:?:



Wed May 07, 2014 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Yes. Evolution.
Quote:
setting aside YEC vs evolution debate, what do yo think the importance of evolution is in our everyday lives and how might you reflect on your life when youre 90 and say "Boy, the theory of evolution really brought meaning to my life"


The meaning it brings is likely similar to pythagorean's theorem. Meaning isn't the end product. Understanding is the end product. With a more truthful understanding of our origins, we can better plan our future.

Your question is like asking what learning history does to satiate your hunger. :coco:


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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


Wed May 07, 2014 5:20 pm
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