Jump to content


Photo

Canadians divided over creation and evolution


857 replies to this topic

#16 tango

tango

    Full Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,675 posts

Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:09 PM

Then I assume you have a similar "problem" with all "proselytizing", not just creationism. Lots of bullshit gets taught in "secular schools".


Here we are talking about creationism.
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it, eh! Peace.

#17 bush_cheney2004

bush_cheney2004

    Senior Mocker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 34,577 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA! USA! USA!

Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:11 PM

Here we are talking about creationism.


Of course....it's not fair to challenge the fact hucksters on other matters.

Economics trumps Virtue.
 
....Canadians rank last among top Western nations in getting to first base in the health-care system --

Even medically uninsured Americans fare better.


#18 WIP

WIP

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,906 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:01 AM

Creationism is part of religious instruction, wherever that is appropriate.

Where is it appropriate?

I think what the survey shows is that most Canadians don't think creationism and evolution are incompatible.

Well, that only proves that a lot of Canadians are stupid! Creationism, in any form, cannot be harmonized with evolutionary theory. Some of the fruits and vegetables commenting at the end of that Montreal Gazette article trotted out the old "missing links" objection to evolution by natural selection....something they learned at bible study I suppose. Creationists argue about fossils, but have nothing to say about why genomic analysis of humans and other animals, confirms the phylogenetic tree based on fossil evidence.

Judging by some of the comments at the end of the piece, it's more evidence that the majority of people in today's age of high tech, are ignorant about most of the basic findings in science. This Gallup Poll ten years ago revealed that 1 out of 5 Americans didn't know or were unsure of the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun!

I'm quitting for good this time.  I can't stand most of the people who post here.  Most of what passes for debate is pointless bullshit and retreaded propaganda. And I'm fed up with wasting time trying regain use of the quote feature. Time to move on to somewhere that will match my interests and concerns.


#19 myata

myata

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,694 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 April 2009 - 11:35 AM

There is a scientific theory that states everything materialized out of nothing. There are also experiments that are proposed that are intended to lend weight to the theory.


If you mean the concepts of "many worlds in one" and "universe from nothing", I'm not sure they merit the status of hypothesis, or theory at this time. And I'm not aware of any experiments being planned now or in the near future to support them (I would be glad to discuss this in more detail).

But in any case, these concepts do not require any intelligent, sentient, active, any other sort of intervention at all, so I don't see how it could have any relevance to this discussion.
If it's you or them, I choose Pepsi!

#20 eyeball

eyeball

    Skookum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Earth

Posted 12 April 2009 - 11:53 AM

If you mean the concepts of "many worlds in one" and "universe from nothing", I'm not sure they merit the status of hypothesis, or theory at this time. And I'm not aware of any experiments being planned now or in the near future to support them (I would be glad to discuss this in more detail).

But in any case, these concepts do not require any intelligent, sentient, active, any other sort of intervention at all, so I don't see how it could have any relevance to this discussion.

So the discussion is only relevent if it focuses on there being intelligent, sentient, and active intervention in the process of evolution?

Okay, I'll stop wasting bandwidth on it immediately if that's the case.

Choo.

#21 WIP

WIP

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,906 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:19 PM

There is a scientific theory that states everything materialized out of nothing. There are also experiments that are proposed that are intended to lend weight to the theory.

In brief, creation ex nihilo is not widely supported by many cosmologists in recent years since the discovery about 15 years ago that the universe's rate of expansion is accelerating, rather than slowing down. The significance of this shocking discovery was that the energy of empty space does not equal zero. The vacuum energy of space-time that has been overpowering gravitational attraction since about 10 billion years ago, indicates that the universe will end when this "dark energy" collapses and a new universe or a number of universes are seeded, and begin their expansions. What this means is that the Big Bang that started our universe was not a creation event that created space and time. The Bang started with a singularity of incredibly high energy, but it did not create everything, and was seeded from a break in pre-existing space-time. No cosmologists working on models that attempt to look back at the conditions before the Big Bang have a theory for how the original creation would have started, but we have to keep in mind that the notion that "something can't come from nothing" is taken from our intuitive sense of the world we live in, since our rules of cause and effect don't apply at the subatomic level.

I've taken most of this understanding of what are now referred to as Cyclic Universe models from reading statements and brief summaries from people like Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt; if you would like further information, I'll have to add a few links later.

I'm quitting for good this time.  I can't stand most of the people who post here.  Most of what passes for debate is pointless bullshit and retreaded propaganda. And I'm fed up with wasting time trying regain use of the quote feature. Time to move on to somewhere that will match my interests and concerns.


#22 tango

tango

    Full Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,675 posts

Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:21 PM

Where is it appropriate?


Religious instruction. Not in secular public schools.

Well, that only proves that a lot of Canadians are stupid! Creationism, in any form, cannot be harmonized with evolutionary theory.


Hey look, if religious people want to make up and believe an allegorical tale of Adam and Eve to explain the emergence of human consciousness during evolution, let them! Most know it isn't literal truth. Those who demand that it be treated as literal truth ... well ...some people prefer to keep their knowledge simplistic.
Such a tale is not necessarily incompatible with evolution.

But it isn't education either. It's dogma.
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it, eh! Peace.

#23 benny

benny

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,604 posts

Posted 12 April 2009 - 12:26 PM

Science cannot operate the transition from the elementary particle-level to the level of living organisms without the concept of intentional design.

#24 tango

tango

    Full Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,675 posts

Posted 12 April 2009 - 04:59 PM

Science cannot operate the transition from the elementary particle-level to the level of living organisms without the concept of intentional design.

Or natural selection.

Link please?
My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it, eh! Peace.

#25 benny

benny

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,604 posts

Posted 12 April 2009 - 07:20 PM

Or natural selection.

Link please?


S. Zizek, The Parallax View, MIT, 2006, p.239.

http://books.google....4#PRA2-PA239,M1

#26 tango

tango

    Full Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,675 posts

Posted 12 April 2009 - 09:30 PM

S. Zizek, The Parallax View, MIT, 2006, p.239.

http://books.google....4#PRA2-PA239,M1

What the neuroscientist misses in her account of my experience of eating is precisely the experience itself: the first-person phenomenal sensation of actually eating the cake. When it comes down to offering the "best" description of how the mind works I can either buy the objective map the neuroscientist presents me with or the subjective qualitative account that I immediately experience, but it seems impossible to assert the primacy of one without dismissing the other. That is, for Zizek there is no way for the two perspectives to meet in any fashion that still preserves what remains essential to both. In short, the parallax gap.

Now my question is ... why would one want to "assert the primacy of one"? That's just a silly waste of information that could help to learn the truth! In fact, the neuroscientist would be quite interested in the subjective experience, to identify the particular sensations and emotions being displayed as electrical charges.

This is a very juvenile, inaccurate and dismissive view of science.
Every person is capable of both scientific thought and spiritual experience. One need not "assert the primacy" of one or the other, as that would be to deny part of oneself.

Again, it's just those pesky dichotomizers trying to reduce everything to black and white lines when they should be seeing in shades of colour.

Funny, usually it's scientists accused of seeing things in dichotomies, but here it is a philosopher.

Nothing has been proven here.

Edited by tango, 12 April 2009 - 09:36 PM.

My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples. Love it or leave it, eh! Peace.

#27 WIP

WIP

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,906 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:43 AM

Hey look, if religious people want to make up and believe an allegorical tale of Adam and Eve to explain the emergence of human consciousness during evolution, let them! Most know it isn't literal truth. Those who demand that it be treated as literal truth ... well ...some people prefer to keep their knowledge simplistic.

If people want to be ignorant, there's nothing to stop them. A lot of people have no curiosity about science. All they want to know is how to operate the latest electronic gadgets that have been made possible because basic science provided engineers with new ideas. But the creationists who don't want to have to update their mythological creation models are actually hostile to new scientific knowledge. It's a prescription for returning to the dark ages, and if it can't be stopped, it certainly shouldn't be condoned or encouraged.

I'm quitting for good this time.  I can't stand most of the people who post here.  Most of what passes for debate is pointless bullshit and retreaded propaganda. And I'm fed up with wasting time trying regain use of the quote feature. Time to move on to somewhere that will match my interests and concerns.


#28 WIP

WIP

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,906 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:19 AM

Now my question is ... why would one want to "assert the primacy of one"? That's just a silly waste of information that could help to learn the truth! In fact, the neuroscientist would be quite interested in the subjective experience, to identify the particular sensations and emotions being displayed as electrical charges.

This is a very juvenile, inaccurate and dismissive view of science.
Every person is capable of both scientific thought and spiritual experience. One need not "assert the primacy" of one or the other, as that would be to deny part of oneself.

Zizek is not really offering anything new here with his objections to neuroscientists seeking physcial explanations for how the brain creates a sense of mind. Australian philosopher David Chalmers has written a number of philosophy papers about his objections to explaining mind as an emergent phenomena of physical processes. He claims that "qualia" or mental sensations cannot be adequately explained through emergence.

This Zizek guy kind of reminds me of when I took my kids to see Wallace and Gromit a few years ago, except that instead of creating ridiculously complex machines to perform simple tasks, Zizek complicates the study of the mind with his over-psychoanalyzing of human behaviour. It can sound impressive, but it's likely unfalsifiable also.

Zizek's example is making a mistake that idealists typically make, in that they assume that they can interpret their own mental states perfectly. Zizek would have to admit that a schizophrenic, or someone suffering from another disorder was not able to give any kind of "first person account" that was accurate; but the truth is that our brains construct the feelings of having one mind and free will. It is a useful system to help us function in the world, but it does not give an accurate picture of how the brain generates consciousness.

I'm quitting for good this time.  I can't stand most of the people who post here.  Most of what passes for debate is pointless bullshit and retreaded propaganda. And I'm fed up with wasting time trying regain use of the quote feature. Time to move on to somewhere that will match my interests and concerns.


#29 benny

benny

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,604 posts

Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:58 AM

Review - The Parallax View
by Slavoj Zizek
MIT Press, 2006
Review by Adam Hutchinson
Jun 25th 2007

Philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Zizek has been called the Elvis of contemporary intellectuals more than once. After all, not only can he boast a publication and speaking record that should make him the envy of every academic in the Western world, but he has recently been the star of an eponymous titled documentary (2005's Zizek!) and laid down several commentary tracks on the DVD release of Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men (2006). Indeed, while Zizek's name certainly holds a prominent place in the philosophy section at your local bookstore, it is not limited to it.

With regard to Zizek's newest and perhaps most ambitious work The Parallax View though, we might be best served to drop the rock star metaphor and talk about jazz instead. The Parallax View is series of brief riffs on a staggering range of topics without the benefit of an obvious structure (much like good jazz). From the fascist potential of modern art to the Hegelian turn in the brain sciences The Parallax View proceeds with only a common thematic to guide it: that is, Zizek wishes to demonstrate how there is a fundamental short circuit or point of disjunction in the make-up of reality -- the parallax gap.

A parallax gap for Zizek is a "confrontation of two closely linked perspectives between which no neutral common ground is possible." (4), or what we might call the minimal difference between two incommensurable points-of-view. For instance, one of the problems that has sustained constant interest in philosophy of mind as well as the various scientific approaches to understanding the mind is the notion of the explanatory gap. A neuroscientist may be able to offer an exhaustive account of what happens in my mind (what areas of the brain light up with activity etc) when I eat a piece of delicious cake. I cannot help but think though, that she is missing the point. What the neuroscientist misses in her account of my experience of eating is precisely the experience itself: the first-person phenomenal sensation of actually eating the cake. When it comes down to offering the "best" description of how the mind works I can either buy the objective map the neuroscientist presents me with or the subjective qualitative account that I immediately experience, but it seems impossible to assert the primacy of one without dismissing the other. That is, for Zizek there is no way for the two perspectives to meet in any fashion that still preserves what remains essential to both. In short, the parallax gap.

The Parallax View then is an attempt to show that such an "explanatory gap" is not exclusive to problems of mind, but is simply a constitutive element of reality itself -- that our experiences are filled with "blindspots" between some elements. However, Zizek's goal is not to show how such gaps can be resolved -- of how we can bring a neurological map together with a qualitative experience without conflict -- but to explain how such gaps must themselves become a part of any attempt to theorize experience. This includes, of course, our experience as persons in love, as readers of books, and even as political subjects. The parallax gap, Zizek insists, touches on every level of our being. If the idea of such a gap sounds somewhat obscure but nevertheless vaguely intriguing then I have done my job of explaining it in a way that befits Zizek.

As I mentioned above, the parallax gap functions as more of a thematic glue than as a central organizing principle. While Zizek takes pains to at least briefly highlight the parallax gap in each of the various discussions, the book itself does not systematically build from gap to gap, but instead zigs and zags from parallax to parallax. While such an approach gives each section of the book a certain freshness (where is the gap going to pop up?) it also represents its greatest weakness. While each section is very interesting on its own, there is little connection between the different discussions. The whole book then comes off as a series of notes, as if Zizek was just jotting down different parallax gaps as he thought of them and never went back to provide any kind of flow among the different chapters. Moreover, while some sections emphasize and put their particular parallax gap at the center of discussion, others simply mention their gap and move on to other tangential topics that, while almost always fascinating, really detract from the unity of the book. In fact, the only reason I fail to offer a section-by-section account (besides the obvious fact it would make this review far too long) is that it would simply read more like a random bar conversation than a progressive argument. For instance, Zizek moves quickly through comments on the Freudian Death Drive to the parallax of Jesus as God and man, to an analysis of the late Johnny Cash song "When the Man Comes Around" (with all of the lyrics helpfully included) all in the space of three pages.

Zizek has described The Parallax View as his magnum opus and to be fair the book is not lacking in intellectual scope (he theorizes everything from the notion of morality in Henry James to the place of the Jew in contemporary Europe). The problem is that in the end Zizek fails to tie all of his insights together, to build off of his various discussions to anything that resembles an ending. It feels as if the final chapter of the book is more or less arbitrary -- he could have closed it with any of the sections and it would have given us just as much satisfaction. This is the problem in attempting to describe the structure of The Parallax View, other than a few references to previous discussions it seems as if each section is self-contained and overall arrangement is rather arbitrary. While this allows the reader to jump around at their leisure, it also prevents Zizek from building any momentum from section to section, chapter to chapter The Parallax View then reads more like a series of very interesting notes than a complete work of philosophy. While this may make for good jazz, it sometimes makes for very frustrating reading.

Despite the obvious structural flaws of The Parallax View it is still a worthwhile and oftentimes fascinating peek into contemporary cultural theory (perhaps its jumbled structure is a mirroring of present day Anglo-American culture). Zizek combines the insights of 19th century German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel with 20th century French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan in many brilliant and oftentimes unexpected ways. While neither Hegel nor Lacan is exactly an easy read, Zizek manages to make their ideas quite accessible through a near endless series of pop culture examples. This is an accomplishment in itself and anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with either thinker can find a wealth of helpful philosophical hints in The Parallax View.

Even though there are many obvious shortcomings to Zizek's approach in The Parallax View it is still a thoroughly worthwhile read. While we may not get the kind of satisfying closure that we might have hoped, Zizek still makes a valuable contribution to contemporary philosophy -- even if his most fascinating insights remain only slightly connected to one another. I recommend this book not only for those that might be interested in Zizek as a philosopher and exponent of psychoanalytic theory, but also for those who are simply interested in Zizek as a kind of pop culture phenomenon. A reader can simply dive into The Parallax View at any point and find something interesting or at least outrageous. If you find yourself unable to understand a Hegelian or Lacanian theory just keep reading, Zizek will either provide you with a wealth of examples or simply change the subject. Zizek is among our most valuable contemporary theorists and The Parallax View, despite its shortcomings, is a much-welcomed intervention into the philosophical scene.


http://metapsycholog...v...ook&id=3699

#30 WIP

WIP

    Full Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,906 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:29 PM

When it comes down to offering the "best" description of how the mind works I can either buy the objective map the neuroscientist presents me with or the subjective qualitative account that I immediately experience, but it seems impossible to assert the primacy of one without dismissing the other. That is, for Zizek there is no way for the two perspectives to meet in any fashion that still preserves what remains essential to both. In short, the parallax gap.


This is still a complete misreading of what the neuroscientists and philosophers who work with them, are attempting to do. The neuroscientist is lookiing for neuro-correlates between the activity of neurons and the mental experiences described by the patient; or in other situations, the neuroscientist is trying to find out what the significance is of differences in brain activation areas of normal subjects and psychopaths who demonstrate that they have an inability to make the emotional connections to witnessing or performing acts that normal people would have. The neurologist does not claim to fully understand what is happening at the neuronal level, but the fact that brain activity can be matched with mental states is proof of the connection between the two. Zizek's claim that there is no common ground between the two is nonsense. He is lie the creationist who doesn't want a new missing link fossil to be discovered because his view of the mind depends on a lack of understanding of the brain, not an increased understanding of how the brain generates the mind.

I'm quitting for good this time.  I can't stand most of the people who post here.  Most of what passes for debate is pointless bullshit and retreaded propaganda. And I'm fed up with wasting time trying regain use of the quote feature. Time to move on to somewhere that will match my interests and concerns.




Reply to this topic