Imagine there were no Evolution...
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07-12-2011, 10:05 PM
Imagine there were no Evolution...
I like a good "what if?" question from time to time.

I'm wondering what sort of circumstances would we be existing in today if Charles Darwin had been trampled by a wild unicorn at a very young age?

And for the purposes of this thread, you're not allowed to say that unicorns don't exist or that evolution was already being discussed at the time or that it would obviously be self evident by now. Ok, I'll bend on the unicorn deal, but not the other two.

The question I pose is, what would our world be like today if the prevailing scientific thought today supported Creation Science?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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07-12-2011, 11:18 PM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
Man, Preach... do you know how old the concept of evolution is? Some of the earliest philosophers tumbled onto it. You're saying, to me, anyway, OK, class. Today we're using a base 60 number system. Get your pencils out... Big Grin

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07-12-2011, 11:24 PM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
(07-12-2011 11:18 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Man, Preach... do you know how old the concept of evolution is? Some of the earliest philosophers tumbled onto it. You're saying, to me, anyway, OK, class. Today we're using a base 60 number system. Get your pencils out... Big Grin

In spite of your programming, you were able to participate in a commendable way. Big Grin

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08-12-2011, 12:34 AM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
Were would we be without the concept of evolution? We would be without modern sciences including modern medicine, genetics, biology, paleontology to name a few. We would also not have dog-breeding, cross-breeding of plants, genetic engineering. Other things we wouldn't have are the automobile, airplane, bicycle, computer, television and all other modern day tools. Why? Because finding the evidence for evolution is a part of the same scientific process that enabled us to mine and process metals, build internal combustion engines, harness electricity etc. etc. etc.

If the prevailing scientific views thought favored creationism, it not be the science that brought us computers and aircraft, it would be the church dictating what we were to believe. The same church that called the automobile an instrument of the devil.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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08-12-2011, 12:49 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2011 12:59 AM by Erxomai.)
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
(08-12-2011 12:34 AM)No J. Wrote:  Were would we be without the concept of evolution? We would be without modern sciences including modern medicine, genetics, biology, paleontology to name a few. We would also not have dog-breeding, cross-breeding of plants, genetic engineering. Other things we wouldn't have are the automobile, airplane, bicycle, computer, television and all other modern day tools. Why? Because finding the evidence for evolution is a part of the same scientific process that enabled us to mine and process metals, build internal combustion engines, harness electricity etc. etc. etc.

If the prevailing scientific views thought favored creationism, it not be the science that brought us computers and aircraft, it would be the church dictating what we were to believe. The same church that called the automobile an instrument of the devil.

I'm not sure if it would be as limited as you suggest. Limits, yes, but seriously, how much? Why wouldn't we have all the things that da Vinci dreamed of at the peak of the Church protecting political authority
Where is it demanded that where religion is, creativity is not?

I wish to clarify the OP's question. I did not mean to say evolution isn't our reason for being here. It's just never been thought of or discovered.

Some sort of science would still exist. Newtonian physics would still exist
I didn't say The Enlightenment never happened.

So then there would still be stars to discover. Does astronomy directly have to be linked to evolution? Same thing with geology? Do old fossils have to mean those were our anscestors?

In the end, and I may be playing my hand too early in the thread, but what I'm looking to discuss is would we inevitably and always have to come to evolution as the only possible explanation for the origin of species?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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08-12-2011, 05:52 AM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
20th century astronomers discovered galaxies are receding;
20th century biologists discovered antibiotics;
20th century paleontologists uncovered many, many more fossils;
20th century geologists discovered plate tectonics;
20th century biochemists discovered the structure of DNA;
20th century researchers sequenced DNA of different species.

Evolutionary theory would have emerged by the end of the 20th century, at the latest.

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08-12-2011, 06:22 AM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
(08-12-2011 05:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  20th century astronomers discovered galaxies are receding;
20th century biologists discovered antibiotics;
20th century paleontologists uncovered many, many more fossils;
20th century geologists discovered plate tectonics;
20th century biochemists discovered the structure of DNA;
20th century researchers sequenced DNA of different species.

Evolutionary theory would have emerged by the end of the 20th century, at the latest.

Yeah, a lot of people were thinking about origins of life at the time, Darwin was not alone in coming up with the theory. It might have taken longer (Darwin was a bright boy after all), but 20 years down the line someone else would have figured it out.

But the principles were known before the theory and its implications were worked out - people had been breeding animals for centuries, even doing so deliberately - it's not so hard after all to notice that when a baby is produced it looks both like the mother and the father, so not a big leap from there to father/mother with desirable qualities = baby with desirable qualities. So even without knowledge of the theory, some of its fruits were already accessible.
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08-12-2011, 06:24 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2011 06:27 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
Well if Darwin is taken out of the picture we cant say anything is certain of the rest. First question are we accepting that survival of the fittest which was a philosophical term has still become a standard term? When Darwin was alive the term was already in place. Dog breeding through some sort of magical happenstance came about before any actual understanding of how to do it. That's why Darwin wrote so extensively on it.

Are we keeping a desire for science? Many scientists have very much been against the creation idea. Does the creation thought demand it's importance of the people? The Catholic church forced periods of time where the only higher learning was church duties. What types of powers are we lending here?

If not for Darwin it's perfectly likely that the thought never enters someone's head. The basic philosophy of evolution existed before him, he just made it a science. Even the people observing the Galapagos just kinda treated it as a "well duh, that's nature" thing.

Before I answer though I do want to know how heretical you think people would be willing to go. The church constantly gains power throughout the years, and now you're saying that a large proponent to an enlightened counterargument is gone.

Actually as a first random thought in here. I would think that if we removed evolution the most likely non-biblical thought of how life works would actually be an entropic approach. Entropy was another one of those "well duh" things that people became hugely fascinated with after someone explained it. Even now there are people who base everything off of entropy.

There is absolutely no way that vaccines would be where they are without the understanding of evolution. In finding a cure the doctors would be baffled when the cure stopped working. This actually would remain one of the pinnacles of proofs of god. Even if we try to combat his plan it still continues unfettered.
I also am aware of his contemporaries, but all that has to happen is someone decides the wrong thing on the thought and they all believe the person is right for long enough until it's proven wrong that the thought exercise kinda falters. The church was very against Darwin and even forced him to concede on many points through revisions. If the initial idea had been incorrect it';s possible that the church might have uprooted the discovery by making a martyr of someone with a false theory.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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08-12-2011, 06:28 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2011 06:52 AM by morondog.)
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
(08-12-2011 12:49 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  In the end, and I may be playing my hand too early in the thread, but what I'm looking to discuss is would we inevitably and always have to come to evolution as the only possible explanation for the origin of species?

My answer is yes. There was a lot which contributed to the discovery. Genetics - Mendel had figured some stuff out way back. Also, as soon as you start looking, start examining fossils, living animals, noticing their similarities, the basic principles of the theory become apparent - it was religion and lack of knowledge of other areas of thought which held back the development for so long in the first place.
(08-12-2011 06:24 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Well if Darwin is taken out of the picture we cant say anything is certain of the rest.

How far would we have to go to retard the development of the theory significantly? By say 100 years? Victorian geologists had worked out that fossils got more complex the younger the rock, in geology, botany and zoology there had already been a lot of enlightened thinking going on. Those were intelligent men. Darwin was exceptional, but not a genius of such magnitude as to be unreachable - there might have been more blundering along the way, but unless the kind of tight control by authority over science which you describe was put in place (which would require major changes to the society of the time) then Darwin's death or removal from the picture would not affect things significantly, I think, because there were a number of similarly educated men available to do the good work.
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08-12-2011, 10:31 AM
RE: Imagine there were no Evolution...
(08-12-2011 06:24 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  Well if Darwin is taken out of the picture we cant say anything is certain of the rest. First question are we accepting that survival of the fittest which was a philosophical term has still become a standard term? When Darwin was alive the term was already in place. Dog breeding through some sort of magical happenstance came about before any actual understanding of how to do it. That's why Darwin wrote so extensively on it.

Are we keeping a desire for science? Many scientists have very much been against the creation idea. Does the creation thought demand it's importance of the people? The Catholic church forced periods of time where the only higher learning was church duties. What types of powers are we lending here?

If not for Darwin it's perfectly likely that the thought never enters someone's head. The basic philosophy of evolution existed before him, he just made it a science. Even the people observing the Galapagos just kinda treated it as a "well duh, that's nature" thing.

Before I answer though I do want to know how heretical you think people would be willing to go. The church constantly gains power throughout the years, and now you're saying that a large proponent to an enlightened counterargument is gone.

Actually as a first random thought in here. I would think that if we removed evolution the most likely non-biblical thought of how life works would actually be an entropic approach. Entropy was another one of those "well duh" things that people became hugely fascinated with after someone explained it. Even now there are people who base everything off of entropy.

There is absolutely no way that vaccines would be where they are without the understanding of evolution. In finding a cure the doctors would be baffled when the cure stopped working. This actually would remain one of the pinnacles of proofs of god. Even if we try to combat his plan it still continues unfettered.
I also am aware of his contemporaries, but all that has to happen is someone decides the wrong thing on the thought and they all believe the person is right for long enough until it's proven wrong that the thought exercise kinda falters. The church was very against Darwin and even forced him to concede on many points through revisions. If the initial idea had been incorrect it';s possible that the church might have uprooted the discovery by making a martyr of someone with a false theory.

Lilith, in my imaginary scenario, I'd say we are on the same sort of course started with The Enlightenment. There is still science, just like there was Copernicus and Galileo and Newton and Kepler. It's just that we are living in the 21st century and trying to figure out how we got here. What would the world be like if the majority of the western world believed a literal Genesis account? (I know it seems like a majority already does, but not as many believe in a 6000 year old earth as we feel do).

So be heretical. My intention is to think about is Evolution the ONLY theory that would be around in 2011 for the origin of thesis, or would a Darwinless Science come up with another idea?

My imaginary world is not intended to be made up of solely Christians. Just wondering what track the world would have taken if Darwin was removed from the picture and no one else stepped up to show his work.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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