Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
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21-05-2015, 01:19 PM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
(21-05-2015 01:08 PM)Learner Wrote:  Thank you for the comments and the link. I definitely see what you mean, so maybe "intelligence" wasn't the right word I intended to use. (I certainly didn't mean the universe is an entity that has some sort of intelligent mind or whatever.)

Good, that seemed very out of place given the first 4 points...

Quote:I need to firm up my definitions. I think I mostly meant there is an order and complexity to the universe, and something about it is fascinating and unknown such that intelligent consciousness could arise in a situation as ours.

One man's order is another's chaos. I think our perception of the universe can be biased towards one end of the spectrum or the other so it is important to try to look at it as objectively as possible.

Quote:That's a good point that complexity can arise from simplicity. This is something I need to think and learn more about.

Me too.

ETA: Your reply had an extra [quote tag near the beginning which is why it isn't showing up. If you can still edit the post you can fix it by balancing the [quote and [/quote tags.

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21-05-2015, 01:20 PM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
(21-05-2015 12:05 PM)Learner Wrote:  I just want to know how you personally understand the arising of complex life and features via evolution, and how you might explain it to the average open-minded theist of modest intellect.

That is a very good question. We need a KISS answer - a "keep it simple, stupid" answer. Most people I talk to have no idea what evolution is. Telling them to go read a book doesn't help any, it would be much better to have a simple synopsis at hand.

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21-05-2015, 01:29 PM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
(21-05-2015 01:19 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 01:08 PM)Learner Wrote:  Thank you for the comments and the link. I definitely see what you mean, so maybe "intelligence" wasn't the right word I intended to use. (I certainly didn't mean the universe is an entity that has some sort of intelligent mind or whatever.)

Good, that seemed very out of place given the first 4 points...

Quote:I need to firm up my definitions. I think I mostly meant there is an order and complexity to the universe, and something about it is fascinating and unknown such that intelligent consciousness could arise in a situation as ours.

One man's order is another's chaos. I think our perception of the universe can be biased towards one end of the spectrum or the other so it is important to try to look at it as objectively as possible.

Yes, thank you for pointing that out (I removed the sentence so that way no one new to the thread comments on that same issue). I feel very strongly about the importance of using proper definitions, though I slip up a bit when talking about lofty things that are hard to describe. One of my pet peeves is fundamentalists who wax eloquent in church about the meaning of such and such greek word and the tense and all...to only turn around and give zero thought to their definitions when talking with atheists like, "Atheism is just another religion." Facepalm
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21-05-2015, 01:38 PM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
http://youtu.be/GhHOjC4oxh8


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21-05-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
(21-05-2015 01:20 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(21-05-2015 12:05 PM)Learner Wrote:  I just want to know how you personally understand the arising of complex life and features via evolution, and how you might explain it to the average open-minded theist of modest intellect.

That is a very good question. We need a KISS answer - a "keep it simple, stupid" answer. Most people I talk to have no idea what evolution is. Telling them to go read a book doesn't help any, it would be much better to have a simple synopsis at hand.

Evolution is the inevitable result of the differential reproductive success of imperfect replicators.

That's it. Smile

What it means is that given something that replicates (like organisms) but is prone to mistakes in the process (mutations to genes), offspring may differ slightly from the parent(s).

Some of these may be better at surviving and replicating than others, so they will have more offspring. Their genes will tend to become more numerous in the gene pool. The changes can add up over generations and there is no limit to the amount of change. For example, starting from a small, shrew-like animal there might eventually become a whale.

Each generation might differ in only a tiny degree from the previous one (same species), but given enough generations and changes in the selection pressure (the environment, including other organisms), the nᵗʰ generation may no longer the same species.

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22-05-2015, 08:08 AM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
Adding to the excellent replies already posted, I would also add that there has to be a mechanism by which traits (obviously coded in the DNA of the organism) are passed down. For example, why do organisms have sexual urges? Well, in a population of organisms, the organisms with stronger sexual urges will out populate the ones with less sexual urges. Why is there jealousy? In a population of organisms, if you don't care who mates with your mate, then your genes are less efficiently passed down than the ones from someone who watches over it's mate. It is not always about survival of the fittest. With male chimps, for example, the aggressive behavior of the alpha male allows him to breed with the females. Eventually, he will be challenged and killed by younger upstarts so he doesn't even survive, but the aggressive behavior allowed the passing of those genes.
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23-05-2015, 06:06 AM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
(22-05-2015 08:08 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  ... It is not always about survival of the fittest. With male chimps, for example, the aggressive behavior of the alpha male allows him to breed with the females. Eventually, he will be challenged and killed by younger upstarts so he doesn't even survive, but the aggressive behavior allowed the passing of those genes.

Yup - he was successful at passing along the genes for aggression that made it possible to pass along genes.

That is the central truth in evolution. Genes that are more successful at being replicated, for whatever reason, are passed along in greater proportion.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
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23-05-2015, 07:28 AM
RE: Complexity of life - how you understand and how you'd explain it to an average theist
It's not survival of the fittest. It's survival of the best fit. Fit to environment drives evolution.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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