What is so amazing about complexity? The universe has had 13.7 billion years to generate complexity somewhere in its unimaginable vastness. I would be surprised if complexity didn't arise somewhere given all that time.

But you posit an infinitely complex incomprehensible god. There is nothing simple about a personality with infinite power and knowledge. How on earth is god less mind boggling than the gradual build up of physicochemical complexity over billions of years? Random mutation plus natural selection among competing replicators given the incredible amount of time that has passed is not only plausible it is supported by overwhelming evidence.

It is far too easy to simply believe what one is indoctrinated into by the community of one's birth. Statistically, most people identify with the religions of their local region. Very few people manage to break away from the indoctrination. Our modern understanding of psychology has been of great help in assessing the cognitive biases that people suffer from. People find false patterns and see agency in everything. This is why we have ghost stories and why people once believed disease was caused by witchcraft. The fear of death has also been a powerful motivator toward belief in the supernatural. The list goes on.

if we wish to discard evolutionary theory, there are a number of things we would look for. We would look to see

1) if evolutionary theory does not account for what we observe. It would then be useless as a theory.

2) if evolutionary theory cannot be falsified. In other words, there is nothing that could demonstrate its falsehood if it were false.

3) if evolutionary theory makes no predictions. In which case, we could not expect to find anything on the basis of the theory.

4) if the theory leads to an absurd reduction. In other words, if the theory is not logically consistent and leads to a contradiction.


Do you know of some evidence that disconfirms evolutionary theory? Or some way in which if evolution were true it would lead to a logical contradiction? In other words, can you show that evolutionary theory is founded upon false data or that the theory is logically invalid?

You are aware that many Christians accept evolution?

As for myself, I do not wish to believe anything on insufficient evidence. I care only about the truth. I accept that some kind of evolution occurs because the evidence is there. I assume that natural selection is the main agent, but that is immaterial.

But if you were to falsify evolution, I would revise my opinion. I want the truth.

It would seem you don't understand how evolution works and you certainly don't understand all the different kinds of evidence there are now. We are long past the days of relying on fossils. Scientific advances have only corroborated evolutionary theory.

Pick up "Why Evolution is True" by biologist Jerry Coyne.

Or "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins.

Or "Evolution" by Donald Prothero.

Or any of a mountain of books on the subject. The first book on the list will do however.

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Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 25, 2015 at 4:23pm

I agree Tom, there is a lot of work to be done.

The humanist lobby here has been doing very well, finally getting religious instruction out of public school hours and replaced with a class teaching secular ethics, which will include a critical view of beliefs and bullying in schools, the aim is to curb bigotry and bullying in public schools, something religious education has failed to achieve, even though it claims to improve the morality of children.  The future of this new, critical thinking, ethics class will be  interesting to watch.

This is something that we in the Humanist Society of Victoria have been lobbying to get for the past decade, so, now that it is happening, we will have to make sure it works.

If it reduces the bullying and bigotry of school students, and it shows in statistics, who knows, it may become national and if extremely successful, the U.S.A. and Britain may want to jump on board.

Somebody has to make the first snowball to roll down the slope.

Aye M8! 

:-D~

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 25, 2015 at 12:10pm

This is why governments should push a national education strategy, aimed at critical thinking skills, ....

 

DD, a man who'd studied either politics or sociology (it was decades ago and I don't recall which), told me "a government's first purpose is to make large numbers of people governable." Further, at least here in the US of A, school board members decide what schools teach and many people who would be politicians start their public lives on school boards.

For those reasons, America’s government will push a national education strategy aimed at critical thinking skills only if doing so will help the government--i.e., the elites who govern.

For instance, in 1957 government support for education in the US of A was pitiful; many states still outlawed teaching evolution in public schools. The Soviet Union put a man into earth orbit and America's leaders realized that the same vehicle could put weapons into space.

Fear of communism (fear for capitalism's frailty) resulted in immediate funding for what we now know as STEM education: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Injured pride resulted in President Kennedy's saying America would send men to the moon.

I had graduated the University of Florida (near Cape Canaveral, now Kennedy Space Center) and was in graduate school at Florida State Univ. in a program for future math and science teachers and saw the results. For instance, the children of the scientists the government was hiring knew more math and science than the teachers in nearby schools.

Also, the people who best understood space were the Big Bang folk. For twenty years the BB’s similarity to Genesis had protected it from challenge by astronomers who'd doubted Lemaitre’s “everything from nothing” theory. The BB folk received much of the funding for the Moon program and immediately started protecting their future funding. The Princeton pair whose radio signals from space became echoes of the BB gave the BB its first such protection. BBers are still inventing protections and not finding evidence. The BB is their religion and taxpayers fund it.

This brings us back to our problem with religion’s hostility to science and critical thinking. Don’t look to a governing elite or to religious folk. Neither the GOP nor American xianity want children who can think too critically.

We progressives have work to do.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 25, 2015 at 7:34am

We may be pretty much on the same page, but, we collectively cannot do much apart from trying to make believers think, so lose their cognitive laziness that indoctrination condones.

Psychological studies have confirmed that superstitious belief and thus religion is innate to humans, we all have a strong, natural propensity for religious belief, so all cognitively lazy folk will simply believe, as that is the default position.

It is the education system and media that needs to try and remove this cognitive laziness and make people cognitively active, because disbelief is harder and requires more work than belief.

With an education system that encourages actual active thinking and questioning, but, not parrot fashion acceptance of facts and methods ( also cognitively lazy), our numbers would likely increase exponentially.

Schools with such a focus are still rare.

This is why governments should push a national education strategy, aimed at critical thinking skills, so students are discouraged from cognitive laziness.

Comment by Wyatt on October 25, 2015 at 6:21am
I think we're all on the same page here, literally and figuratively. How do we go about solving the problem? There is a seemingly never-ending unbroken daisy chain from generation to generation of parents passing on the brainwashing to their offspring. Each new generation is infected with the religion virus, which resists subsequent attempts at eradication. We can not inoculate children against bad memes because their parents and communities get to them first. Thoughts?
Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 24, 2015 at 11:05pm

One thing no creationist has been able to explain successfully is how come Adam was created without a partner beside him, like all the other sexually paired creatures?

Did their god forget about him needing a partner and doesn't that show that Adam wasn't as important as all those other creatures?

They usually shut up or say, god wanted to give him someone special so took its time considering what he wanted for a partner.

This doesn't gel, because firstly he created a partner who became a demon, then in the second try, created a woman who led him astray, so evidently their gawd is not very intelligent or continually makes blunders.

Comment by tom sarbeck on October 23, 2015 at 7:13am

As Loren said, creationists are Luddites.

How many creationists does it take to support an opportunist who wants to be their leader?

Are there any religious leaders who don't "shear their sheep"?

Comment by Michael Penn on October 22, 2015 at 9:42am

If a god existed in the way that Christian creationists claim, that god would not give a tinkers dam about us or anything going on, period. For it to be otherwise such a being would constantly be involed in changing what it knows and in changing the future -- for what? This sounds like a HUMAN. Not like a god that knows all, creates all, and sees all. If such a god was real it would not care to be "worshipped."

Christians are constantly trying to convince you that evolution is false. The basic reasoning here is that they believe disproving evolution will automatically prove that "god did it" and therefore creation is real. I'm sorry. How we got here is not "either/or." nor is it a choice between 2 possible ways of beginnings. I'm afraid everything is much more complicated than that. We may find some things to work out of evolution as we go along, but mythology is not one of them.

Comment by Gerald Payne on October 20, 2015 at 2:23pm

The biggest problem for creationists DD is reality.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on October 19, 2015 at 4:39pm

The biggest problem for Creationists will soon be Neuroscience and not Evolution.

I've been arguing with creationists for a bit over 30 years now, since they hassled me while I was working at a university as a lab technician, like trying to insert some of their crap into the science lab projects.  I started just laughing at them, but realized they were deadly serious, and I've been attacking them ever since.

Though, thanks to neuroscience, we have some ammunition that they will be getting even more upset over than evolution, this has been predicted by Dr Andy Thomson, in his talk "Why We Believe in God(s). 

The talk was so popular that he produced a booklet on demand.

This could be the new religion/science controversy and proves beyond any doubt that science and religion are irreconcilable.

I liked his talk so much that I purchased his booklet and am currently using weapons from it against some creationists, much to their dismay.

:-D~

Comment by Gerald Payne on October 18, 2015 at 7:07pm

I think these attempts to legislate for creationism in schools is backfiring by bringing biblical truth into open conflict with the science community. While it was just background noise creationism seemed to be the religious interpretation of the world for better or worse. Now, with these court cases, it's been made to look like a Harry Potter idea in comparison to scientific theory. Peoples ''intuitive physics'' weren't brought into play until these judicial proceedings took the measure of genesis as a viable alternative to evolution. Charles Darwin would thank them for the opportunity to state his case.

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