John K Clark (
Thu, 25 Jun 1998 20:06:44 -0700 (PDT)


"Verdop" <> On Wed, 24 Jun 1998 Wrote:

>A perfectly suited world can`t exist. It couldn`t work.

God is good and He can do anything.

>I don`t think god is omnipotent in every religion.

I think this is an example of people willing to abandon the idea of God but
not willing to abandon the word "God".

>So, why do you think, evolution is a horribly cruel process?

Evolution is random mutation and natural selection. Imagine a surgeon making
a random change in your body and if that change made it difficult for you to
feed yourself he just lets you starve to death. For every tiny advancement
evolution makes, millions of animals suffer and die horrible deaths.

Darwin was a very moral man and was perfectly aware of the ghastly side of
his theory. He wrote that he lost his faith because he thought a God that
sanctioned a hideously cruel process like Evolution did not deserve worship.
He said he was very disturbed at the reproductive behavior of a species of
wasp that he discovered as a young man. The wasp stings a spider enough to
paralyze it but not enough to kill it, then it laid its eggs on the poor
beast. When the eggs hatch several days later the maggots slowly consume the
still living creature, carefully avoiding vital organs and saving the brain
for last.

Darwin's best friend and vigorous defender Thomas Huxley in his essay
"Evolution and Ethics" wrote that morality was objective, but could be found
by looking in the exact opposite direction from the dog eat dog would of
nature. I wouldn't go as far as Huxley, but I don't think random mutation and
natural selection has a morality, at least not a morality I want to follow,
and if I ever meet you in a dark alley I hope you don't either.

>Evolution is part of nature


>and we couldn`t exist without it.

If an omnipotent and good God does not exist then yes, it's the only way.

>When I used this expression first, [freedom of spirit] I just
>thought of the ability of taking own decisions. Maybe this was
>a language problem, as I told earlier, my English isn`t very good,
>so it`s quite hard for me finding the right words and constructions.

I think your English is fine and I think it's impossible to understand
ourselves very well so we're never sure exactly what we're going to do until
we actually do it, we're always able to surprise ourselves. I think we
sometimes have the ability to do what we want and never have the ability to
do what we don't want. As for what we want, that's due either to cause and
effect or it's not. If it is then it's deterministic if it's not then it's
random, and if that's what you mean by "freedom of spirit" then I believe
in it.

>Smullyan wrote many interesting and fascinating books and texts, so
>try reading!

I've read all of Smullyan's books except for his books on chess.

>BTW, how many of you know D.R. Hofstadter?

I read a lot but Godel Escher Bach is the best book I ever read, his other
books are wonderful too.

John K Clark

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