Theistic Evolution Questions
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24-01-2017, 07:06 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(24-01-2017 06:22 PM)skyking Wrote:  
(24-01-2017 08:24 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Saying Girly has a personal relationship with god is saying he has a personal relationship with himself. Girly is god. Tongue

He's god's right hand man.
Unless he's left handed, of course Smile

All is SLACK. :bowhead:

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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25-01-2017, 09:48 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(24-01-2017 03:38 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The scientific revolution made a value of literalism, particularly in the western world.
Can you please define what you mean by "literalism" in this context? Are you following the dictionary definition of "the interpretation of words in their usual or most basic sense"? And most importantly can you assure me that you are not conflating it with the entirely different theological meaning of "taking most of the miraculous / fantastical Bible stories as literally having happened, as described, in history"?

I am not convinced that one has anything at all to do with the other.

There have always been people who took the Bible literally, even before Darby. One can trace both allegorical and literal interpretation systems for the OT and NT to well before the scientific age.

I would be unsurprised to find that in practice, prior to the scientific age, people tended overall to assume that scriptural accounts of events, including miraculous events, were synonymous with actual history. Lacking a need for an apologetic to attempt a reconciliation of scientific fact with Biblical dogma, educated people could and often did hold a layered view of interpretation, that is, literal, prophetic / anagogic, typological / prophetic, and moral. Actually all of these layers assume to some extent that the scriptures are a source of truth and in that sense to be taken literally. You can't believe in prophecy unless you literally think the Bible foretells future events; you can't believe in typological foreshadowing of Christ in the OT unless you believe it foretold the future in the past; you can't accept its morality as divine unless you believe that god is a divine interventionist lawgiver.

One can also argue, I think, that science has actually produced folks like yourself, as an abreaction to itself. It has also, of course, produced people like Young Earth Creationists. But this is not just some reaction to science bleeding the prosaic out of human discourse, it is a defense against a better understanding of how reality works -- one which is at odds with not just a literal interpretation of the miraculous in scripture, but with ascribing any divine authority to it at all.
(24-01-2017 03:38 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  In the pre-modern world the value was on the meaning of things, not the literal history of things, a point that should be obvious in the selected mode of generation communication, via stories.
I would say that in the pre-scientific world the assumption was that there was no difference between history and a straightforward acceptance of scriptural accounts. It was only when the difference became apparent that it had to be dealt with.

I doubt you can substantiate that life was "more about meaning" in the good old days before science. Or even that those were good old days.

People have always, and still do, find meaning through the value they personally assign to concepts, practices and values. Science has not only NOT removed an avenue for doing that, it has provided NEW avenues for doing so.

To the extent modern living is alienating and sterile to many people, I do not lay that at the feet of science. I would lay it at the feet of unbridled capitalism and the ways it hijacks technology, combined with a trend to highly specialized and isolating urban culture which we are ill-suited to and to which natural selection has not caught up.
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26-01-2017, 10:53 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(25-01-2017 09:48 AM)mordant Wrote:  Can you please define what you mean by "literalism" in this context?

The tendency to conflate the bible, and religious texts to read as modern science and history books. Rather than in the style in which they’re composed, as narrative. The tendency to place the value on the literal history, literal chronology, literal descriptions, etc.. rather than meaning.


Quote:One can also argue, I think, that science has actually produced folks like yourself, as an abreaction to itself. It has also, of course, produced people like Young Earth Creationists. But this is not just some reaction to science bleeding the prosaic out of human discourse, it is a defense against a better understanding of how reality works -- one which is at odds with not just a literal interpretation of the miraculous in scripture, but with ascribing any divine authority to it at all.

It’s can’t be the other way around. Because the latter desire here is manufactured, arose out of a particular cultural and historical phenomena, rather than a biological or intrinsic desire. Science produced the means to pursue questions of origin, how we were formed and came about, it’s with the means to explore such questions that the desire to pursue them arose.

Such a desire serves no biological purpose to suggest it’s universally existed prior to the means being available. It’s more or less a hobbyist pursuit. To imagine that pre-modern religious communities valued such questions to the extent, that they had a need to address them, is just reading your own modern desires unto a past absent of them. Unto a past you imagine wasn’t self-aware of their own limitations.

My dog, dolphins, chimapanzee, etc… have no particular desire to figure out the mechanics of how they arose, to trace their evolutionary history, no biological, survival need is served by such pondering, for human creatures it’s a manufactured desire, like the desire for a sports car, or a mansion, or a new handbag.

Meaning on the other hand is universal, human being seek purpose and meaning for their lives, they desire something to live for, a dependency that’s needed to navigate the space of their lives. They need hopes, and purpose, and order, to get through the day. Or else we’d all be depressed, and looking for the nearest bridge. A point even more integral to when it comes to forming communities, common narratives, and placements for it’s members, values, moral inclinations, etc… are integral to cohesion, and survival even more in a pre-modern world, where such cohesion was the difference between life and death.

We can see how much disregard they had for our modern proclivities, such as chronological, literal histories, literalism, by looking at the first two chapters of Genesis, with two competing versions, side by side. Or the Jewish interpretive traditions that offer multiple different versions of the same stories, or the four Gospels, and their four different portrayals of Jesus, chronology, and events. Something that would be beyond acceptable for modern literalistic tendencies. Or the tendecy of pre-modern historians and biographers to invent speeches for their subjects. They weren’t hoping to convey the historical facts, as much as they were hoping to convey the essence and meaning of a person, and his message.

Quote:I doubt you can substantiate that life was "more about meaning" in the good old days before science. Or even that those were good old days.

It much easier to substantiate that, than the alternative suggestion, as indicated above.

Quote:One can also argue, I think, that science has actually produced folks like yourself, as an abreaction to itself.

That would be kind of odd, since my interest in science was rather late in life, primarily as result of atheist vs theist debates. Prior to that I knew very little if any thing about popular science subjects, like evolution, etc…and I’ve read the biblical stories just like I do other stories, since I was a child.

It wasn’t science that produced me. When I was child I loved reading novels, and stories, greek mythology, etc.. And that’s exactly how biblical stories read like, so I read them and interpreted them similarly. The difference between me and some of my American religious counterparts is, my parents didn’t grow up in a culture that put emphasis on religious literalism. In order for me to have read the text in such, I would have needed religious figures, communities, and others who from an early age indoctrinated me into right and wrong ways to read the bible, individuals who would have told me in one way or the other to read the bible as literal historical accounts etc,, and not like the genre in which they readily resembled.

There’s no natural inclination to read religious text as literal historical ones, it’s a manufactured one. If there’s any particular intuitive inclination it’s to read them as we do other works of literature.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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26-01-2017, 06:03 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:[Taking scripture literally] is not just some reaction to science bleeding the prosaic out of human discourse, it is a defense against a better understanding of how reality works -- one which is at odds with not just a literal interpretation of the miraculous in scripture, but with ascribing any divine authority to it at all.
It’s can’t be the other way around.
The other way around from what?
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Because the latter desire here is manufactured, arose out of a particular cultural and historical phenomena, rather than a biological or intrinsic desire. Science produced the means to pursue questions of origin, how we were formed and came about, it’s with the means to explore such questions that the desire to pursue them arose.

Such a desire serves no biological purpose to suggest it’s universally existed prior to the means being available. It’s more or less a hobbyist pursuit.
From what I can parse from what you wrote, you're saying that science is an artificial construct that exists in a vacuum and serves no purpose, that it had no reason to have arisen, no connection to human endeavor.

I don't know where you get such a notion. Humans have always desired to explain / understand their existence, origin, and context. Religion is a way to do that. Science is a way to do it. They are just based on different epistemologies -- religious faith vs the scientific method. One does a much better job of explaining experienced reality and predicting outcomes.
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  My dog, dolphins, chimapanzee, etc… have no particular desire to figure out the mechanics of how they arose, to trace their evolutionary history, no biological, survival need is served by such pondering, for human creatures it’s a manufactured desire, like the desire for a sports car, or a mansion, or a new handbag.
They have no particular desire because they have not risen to our level of self-awareness and aren't capable of seeing the story arc of their existence and realizing that it has an end. When another of their species die, they grieve much like us but don't recognize it as something that will also happen to THEM PERSONALLY. It is just a function of their level of cognition.
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Meaning on the other hand is universal, human being seek purpose and meaning for their lives, they desire something to live for, a dependency that’s needed to navigate the space of their lives. They need hopes, and purpose, and order, to get through the day. Or else we’d all be depressed, and looking for the nearest bridge. A point even more integral to when it comes to forming communities, common narratives, and placements for it’s members, values, moral inclinations, etc… are integral to cohesion, and survival even more in a pre-modern world, where such cohesion was the difference between life and death.
Funny how I for instance am not "looking for the nearest bridge" then, despite being without belief in any deities. How is it that I find compelling purpose and meaning and am not depressed? Maybe because I have access to the same meaning-making mechanisms that theists do, full stop.
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  There’s no natural inclination to read religious text as literal historical ones, it’s a manufactured one. If there’s any particular intuitive inclination it’s to read them as we do other works of literature.
I agree with this statement, but probably not for the same reasons. What is manufactured, and who or what it is manufactured by, and when, is the question.
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12-02-2017, 03:44 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
Not sure if evolution is completely reconcilable with Biblical doctrine, but TE has become popular among general theists/ deists. The idea is that a naturalistic explanation of abiogenesis is too unlikely so it's more probably that there was some intelligent design involved. Obviously, the calculations for the probability of naturalistic abiogenesis are based on several ad hoc assumptions. I haven't seen many Christians try to reconcile their belief in evolution with the Biblical account of creation so I'm not sure how that would go.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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12-02-2017, 04:12 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2017 04:29 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
Quote:The idea is that a naturalistic explanation of abiogenesis is too unlikely so it's more probably that there was some intelligent design involved.

That would go very badly.
That idea is totally false, as demonstrated by Dr. Kenneth Miller, Christian Professor at Brown, in his book "Finding Darwin's God"
There's also this series :



Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-02-2017, 04:20 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(26-01-2017 10:53 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The tendency to conflate the bible, and religious texts to read as modern science and history books. Rather than in the style in which they’re composed, as narrative. The tendency to place the value on the literal history, literal chronology, literal descriptions, etc.. rather than meaning.

They were MEANT literally. The priests who edited/assembled/redacted the texts MEANT them to be taken as they wrote them.
You need to learn what the word "conflate" means.

Quote:And that’s exactly how biblical stories read like, so I read them and interpreted them similarly.

We know a lot about ancient Near Eastern literature. How you interpret them, as a non-expert, is irrelevant.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-02-2017, 05:34 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2017 09:08 PM by Naielis.)
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(12-02-2017 04:12 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
Quote:The idea is that a naturalistic explanation of abiogenesis is too unlikely so it's more probably that there was some intelligent design involved.

That would go very badly.
That idea is totally false, as demonstrated by Dr. Kenneth Miller, Christian Professor at Brown, in his book "Finding Darwin's God"

Yes it's very similar to the faulty assumptions made for the Drake Equation. Calculating the probability of abiogenesis occurring naturally is impossible without knowing certain factors. But many creationists, wanting to push intelligent design, just make assumptions about these factors.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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12-02-2017, 07:30 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
The Drake equation is not about abiogenesis, (necessarily).
It's a very conservative estimate of the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the universe. It arose here. We are not special.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-02-2017, 09:10 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(12-02-2017 07:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The Drake equation is not about abiogenesis, (necessarily).
It's a very conservative estimate of the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the universe. It arose here. We are not special.

It's not about abiogenesis. But as I said, it is similar. It makes assumptions about the conditions for life arising to then calculate a probability of this event. The assumptions are faulty.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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