**This is NOT a "religious" post. Just to set your
mind at ease...
--- Damien Broderick
> At 11:19 PM 12/01/01 -0800, john marlow wrote:
> >**If you can observe the universe, the order, the
> >mathematical precision--and conclude that this is
> >one big happy coincidence,
> Sorry, pal, this is the standard ignorati travesty
> of darwinist
> evolutionary theory. I'm shocked to see it mentioned
> here in this gun
> forum, but as I said earlier I'm not surprised,
> given a number of your
> earlier remarks.
> Evolution is precisely *not* a theory of
> coincidence. It's a model of how
> heritable random genotypic and thence phenotypic
> variations subjected to
> contest in the real unforgiving world are thereby
> sieved, and improvements
> preferentially conserved. Natural *selection*,
**I am aware of this. Try this: Where I use the word
"coincidence," substitute "random chance."
> >well, I just don't know
> >what to say.
> >**I see intelligent direction; you see
> We both see a high degree of order. You, I gather,
> see a Mind from outside
> the system intervening top-down to produce an echo
> of Its own order. I,
> like most of the scientists in the world, see the
> painfully cruel accretion
> organization over billions of years from a state of
> utter noise, driven
> ultimately by gravitational and other energetic
> gradients in an expanding
**Entropy is said to be the natural condition. I
suggest that Extropy requires intelligence. How we
define that may differ. I said nothing about a
top-down intervention by an intelligence residing
outside the system. The intelligence may BE the
Whether or not there are ancillary aspects
> of the universal
> substrate conducting to spontaneous order (as, say,
> Stuart Kauffman
> argues), the fact remains that darwinian selection
> is the best available
> explanation for the diversity of phenomena we
**Yup--which I said, more or less; defines observable
reality. This does not mean it is complete. I doubt
you really mean to suggest it is.
- including, as Lee
> Smolin and others argue, the very features of the
> local universe that
> conduce to organic life evolving in the first place.
**Next time you see that Darwin guy, you ask him from
me: How does your theory account for the creation of
the whole shebang? The starting kickoff?
**Even assuming the theory accounts for the appearance
of life and all evolution since--the problem still
remains: order and increasing levels of apparently
self-organizing order was/were set into motion, flying
in the face of entropy--or of nothingness.
> This last is not an Intelligent Mind reaching out of
> Platoland to stir the
> muck with a Finger; it's a cosmic crap shoot where
> even the very unlikely
> happens eventually. At this enormous level, yes,
> it's happenstance. Beyond
> that, once the substrate emerges, everything is
> randomness *plus* that
> ceaseless selective sieve, and the great energy
> gradient powering it all.
> What's difficult to grasp in this wonderful
**I grasp it just fine, thank you. which is not to say
I buy it. It's a dodge; it's hocus-pocus,
prestidigitation. A Feynman card- (or diagram-)trick,
if you will. It skirts the issue to say: 'All
possibilities are realized somewhere, somewhen. We
live in but one of an infinite number of universes,
all of which exist.' It proves nothing; it is
supposition; it absolves us of the responsibility of
devoting further thought to the matter. It is useless
and does not promote further inquiry--in fact,
> To address a general point: the Singularity talk I
> gave at a university the
> other day was quickly interrupted by a young man who
> made somewhat similar
> points to yours, although he was quite proud to call
> himself a creationist;
> under pressure he admitted that he was a Christian
> creationist (why the
> reluctance? because it showed him as a partisan).
**I quickly point out that I am not--that in fact, the
Bible is a botched and condensed translation at least
three times removed from the original Sumerian texts.
> Reflecting later, I
> concluded that I ought to have answered him thus:
> Q. Don't forget that the *theory* of evolution is
> only a *theory*, not a
> *fact*. Indeed, most leading scientists from the
> Billy-Bob College of
> Ineffable Knowledge have conclusively demonstrated
> A: Hang on a moment. You're right - biological
> evolution is indeed `just a
> theory' - that is, an always provisional broad
> framework for organizing our
> many observations of the living world and allowing
> competent scientists
> trained in the discipline to make powerful,
**Einstein was not trained as a physicist. You exclude
those not "trained" in the discipline. As you likely
know, many major, paradigm-shattering breakthroughs
have come from those OUTSIDE the field addressed by
the breakthrough--precisely BECAUSE those making the
suggestions (and almost invariably being ridiculed for
them--plate tectonics, anyone?) have NOT been trained
(read: indoctrinated) in the discipline affected.
They, unlike most or all of the leading thinkers IN
the discipline, have no reputation to lose
embarrassingly to the new view.
> unexpected and falsifiable
> predictions. In the same way, the *theories* of
> relativity (the universe at
> the very large, very fast scale) and quantum theory
> (the universe at the
> very smallest scale) are also *theories*. They are
> very good theories, too,
> since their logic has held up extraordinarily well
> under powerful attempts
> to break it down, and their predictions are
> repeatedly corroborated in ways
> highly counterintuitive to common sense, with a
> startling degree of
> accuracy to many decimal points.
> Creationism, on the other hand, is *not* a *theory*.
> It is a *dogma*. In
> the final analysis it derives its claim to
> legitimacy not from concerted,
> falsifiable attempts to understand the natural world
> by observation,
> theory-building and test, but directly from a
> purported revelation from the
> Supreme Being or Creator. Despite some admitted
> translation hazards, its
> claims--drawn from a revelation given directly by
> the divine to human
> creatures-- ought not be put to the test, for this
> would be impiety.
> Creation *science*, therefore, is an oxymoron, since
> by its own premises it
> must speak the timeless and unchallengeable truth:
> its proper name,
> therefore, is Creation *Doctrine*.
**I've never said anything about creationism being
remotely accurate or supportable.
> Since we are discussing science rather than dogma
> here today, I'm afraid we
> must put your interesting religious observations to
> one side and proceed
> with the scheduled program.
**I've also not mentioned religion, except in this
post, in response to your own references.
**Einstein, however, made frequent reference to a
"I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are details."
**And, of course, in referene to our little
**"God does not play dice with the universe."
Take it up with him.
> Damien Broderick
Do You Yahoo!?
Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:19 MDT