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A question for Darwinians(49 posts)

A question for DarwiniansMcAndrus
Jan 30, 2002 1:54 PM
This is an extension from another thread. I'd like to get a Darwinists response to the following question.

Assume there is no creator god and nature is all that there is and Darwin's evolution has it right: what the explanation for human intelligence?

Humans are so superior to all the other species on the planet, why would evolution create a species that can so completely dominate the other species?
why not?Del O Groman
Jan 30, 2002 2:19 PM
I suppose that man evolved because he was fitter and now can dominate the environment. Many species have died out over the course of history because some other animal was better adapted.
Not to mentionSpinchick
Jan 30, 2002 2:22 PM
it was human beings who invented aluminum foil.
To prevent space alien transmissions from getting through. nmBrooks
Jan 30, 2002 2:27 PM
Don't forget duct tape and Post-it notes! (nm)DJB
Jan 30, 2002 8:22 PM
An answer...Brooks
Jan 30, 2002 2:26 PM
Current Homo sapiens are just the latest (fittest?) of the hominids that have been on this planet through history. One of the problems in modern thinking is the huge timelines in Earth's history. For instance, has the world changed much in my lifetime? My parents/grandparents? We don't see those changes because the lapse in time isn't that much, geologically speaking. Modern man has been around for 10-15,000 years or so. Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago according to the fossil record. That is a tremendous amount of time for the mammals to flourish and give rise to modern man. Ice Ages have come and gone multiple times, different hominids have evolved and died off (some from competition from other hominids).

Your question is a little misleading, in that evolution didn't "create" a species that can dominate all other species. In fact, the exact question could be more appropriately asked of Biblical creationists. Why would God create a dominant species? By his physical attributes, Man is no great species. We have no claws, armor, sharp teeth, speed, great strength, the ability to fly or any other defensive or offensive attributes. What we do have is a brain and the ability to reason and figure things out. We formed tools, created shelter and defensive barriers, harnessed fire, worked with metals, etc. We certainly didn't learn all of this at once, otherwise we would have had airplanes and computers for thousands of years. The things we learned, we could pass on to later generations, first through verbal communication and then through written words and images. I would contend that the human brain has evolved in the past several thousand years, although it may be hard to quantify.

My $.02 worth.
An answer...merckx56
Jan 30, 2002 2:39 PM
another addition to this idea...
who said that man is the most intelligent? we are slowly strangling the planet. it just depends on how you look at the evolutionary process of each form of life. yes, we are the fittest, but we are by far the most destructive in the history of the planet. it seems to me the fittest creatures have survived the longest. i want to come back as a big f'ing crocodile. of course, then steve irwin would be taunting me and trying to stick his finger up my butt while i was sedated.
An answer...Jon Billheimer
Jan 30, 2002 3:14 PM
Interesting point from the Merckx-man. Sometimes the very mechanism of a species' success can be its own undoing, leading it into an unexpected "blind alley". Another point about the evolutionary process, both at the molecular and at the macro- levels is that it doesn't seem to proceed in a linear manner, but discontinuously in quanta.

Considering one's possible fate due to Irwin's fickle finger, reincarnating as a cockroach is a more viable alternative.
An answer...merckx56
Jan 30, 2002 4:41 PM
yea jb, but how many crocodiles have you seen squished w/a shoe?
For the recordMcAndrus
Jan 30, 2002 3:47 PM
Anyone who has followed the God conversation knows I'm a Christian but I must state that I am not a creationist. I am also not a fundamentalist. Many non-Christians seem unable to make these distinctions so I just need to get that out.

What I'm looking for is a Darwinian answer. The postulate that we are an evolutionary dead-end is interesting. I think mercks makes that one below. Unfortunately, we may have to wait 50,000 years or so to see if that bears out.

Can anyone find a species that has so dominated the planet? I do not think dinosaur is a valid answer (too broad) to the question but Stegosaur would be. Has there ever been another species that could, lay waste to the planet?
For the recordmerckx56
Jan 30, 2002 4:57 PM
for now, we are the only one's who have the grasp of, or lack thereof, technology. it will either be our end, or our savior. i'm not an atheist nor do i thump my bible, but i do believe that the man upstairs will only let us run with so much line. now there may be some cataclismic event that shapes the future, but we cannot control that possibility.
if you broaden the scope to include life from other worlds, you may come up with an answer. our little friends from above may be friendly and save us from ourselves or it may be an "Independence Day" scenario, where they show up and wack everyone, thus becoming the dominant life form.
now i know this will start another thread, but if you can honestly say/believe that we are they only intelligent life form in this whole big universe, then, in my opinion, you are kind of short-sighted.
I already told you guys!....Jon Billheimer
Jan 30, 2002 5:58 PM
the COCKROACHES, and all other forms with exoskeletons and no CNS's. They've been around longer, survived more, and are virtually impervious to any and all cataclysms. So while you reptilian brain stems are being sodomized by perverted Aussies, us cockroaches will be dining on your detritus!
So long, and thanks for all the fish!Tig
Jan 31, 2002 12:26 PM
You forgot about the dolphins! They once climbed up upon the shore, took a long look and said, "NO WAY!" They are much smarter than us silly inDUHviduals chasing little green pieces of paper with cell phones stuck to our heads up here on dry land. Right before the world goes BOOM, they will all fly away with a farewell message of, "So long, and thanks for all the fish". (Thanks to Douglas Adams for his wonderfully humorous books)
You think like a creationist.Sintesi at home
Jan 30, 2002 8:09 PM
Actually there is a bit of a debate about the rise of man's intelligence. The accepted line is that it is an accident in the sense that it was an adaption that came from the evolutionary process and happened to really rock in this milieu. There is no reason to believe that it will be this way 100 million years from now. You think from a teleogical perspective that evolution is trying to create something bigger, smarter, better all the time. That evolution is trying to arrive at some place, some lofty god-like summit and then stop. But this is not the case. Evolution goes with what survives because it is best adapted in its environment. My redneck survivalist friend Tom used to proudly joke that in the future "there would only be three things: Cockroaches, rats and Taylors." He was a Taylor you see.

We don't know what the future holds. Evolution continues and perhaps a disease will arrive that will make moot all of man's advantages. You don't know. 65 million years ago T-Rex, currently Homo-Sapiens, 200 million years from now cockroaches?

I have read a new argument that really hasn't been scrutinized that intelligence may be a necessary by product of evolutionary competition and man is right now the wonderful recipient of that process. Again, no guarantee for the future.

Hope that helps some.
A creationist is .....McAndrus
Jan 31, 2002 6:41 AM
Sintesi, I like your post. Very thoughtful. I'd like to try to define the attributes of a creationist, though.

A Christian creationist uses the Bible and science as his tools. He takes an event described in the Bible and tries to use the tools of science to demonstrate the possibility of the biblical description.

For instance, take an event like Moses parting the Red Sea. The creationist will say it did happen and here are physics and meteorology that could have made it happen as described. A creationist looks for archaeological evidence of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey.

To the non-creationist the explanations look a little out there. The creationist doesn't look like a scientist, he looks like a loon.

I am formally educated in engineering, mathematics, and finance. I believe in God because of evidence but I also believe in science because of the evidence.

I do not, however, intentionally take the evidence and try to push a square peg into a round hole as a creationist might. I try to follow the evidence .... which is why I posted the evolution question in the first place.

Actually, this forum is about the only place I can get an intelligent discussion of questions like this. I love it.
Sorry McAndrus, didn't mean to pin a label on you. : )Sintesi
Jan 31, 2002 7:33 AM
I was trying to get at the teleological aspect of your question (i.e. "evolutionary dead end") by trying to establish that popular evolutionary thoery has no set direction or goal like a creationist might surmise. I made a false assumption about your perspective.

I like these discussions as well. Most people would rather listen to Pat Buchanan in an acid bath than enter into a religious/scientific discussion. ; )
Oh man. Why did you give me that image?McAndrus
Jan 31, 2002 7:47 AM
Now I'll be thinking of Pat B all day. You've cursed me. :-)
Why not?DJB
Jan 30, 2002 8:40 PM
As a Christian, why do you accept the message of salvation through Jesus Christ that the Bible proclaims, but discard other parts of the book? I'm not trying to hit you over the head or anything, I'm just curious.

I believe that the Bible is fundamentally true (there's that word!), but not necessarily literally true. There's a lot of metaphor there. And I'm not a rigid legalist either. But I think you either have to take the Bible as a whole or not at all.

I can recommend a few books that point out the many scientific problems with Darwinism if you're interested.
Man is that a hot topicMcAndrus
Jan 31, 2002 5:29 AM
Amongst the non-JCMs (Jews, Christians, Moslems) I doubt there's much interest in this discussion. Among JCMs what you've said is a hot, hot, hot topic. You touch it and you'll burn your fingers.

Is the Bible literally true (the creationist and the fundamentalist - and the two are different things) or is it not?

Even amongst JCM scholars who are all believers you'll find significant difference of opinion on that question. On one end of the spectrum you have the literalists, whose opinions can be swayed by declaring their version of the Bible a bad translation. On the other end of the spectrum you have what I'll call the fuzzies. They believe in God but think the Bible is a collection of stories and good advice.

The literalist says the Ten Commandments are to be followed exactly as written. The fuzzy says they are really the Ten Suggestions.

I have opinions on the accuracy and inerrancy of the Bible but they may be just flame bait. If you're looking for a discussion of this let me know, it's probably a different thread.
For the recordbianchi boy
Jan 30, 2002 9:34 PM
Man's domination, if you can call it that, is just a blink the eye compared to age of the planet -- or the extent of life, for that matter. In the fossil record, there are plenty of examples of species that dominated (or were at least extremely populous) for millions upon millions of years. Man has been around for 10,000 to 100,000 years, depending on who you talk to. Intelligence is just one survival mechanism, but other species have thrived without it. Another thing the fossil record (and ecology) shows is that species that become too dominant or populous tend to "soil their own nest" and eventually bring about their own ruin. Whether that happens to mankind is a measure of just how adaptable we really are.

I think the reason why so many Christians (particularly fundamentalists) attack evolution is because they are threatened by it. Evolution provides a relatively simple, common-sense and elegant explanation for much of what we see in the world -- unlike much of religious dogma, which seems to be deliberately baffling and enigmatic at times. I have no problem with people who believe in the Biblical version of creation, if that's what they choose for themselves. However, it seems like many creationists are not satisfied with simply believing, but they want to foist their beliefs on everyone else. Despite their claims, evolution is probably the most well-documented theory in biological science ... and it just makes sense.
I think it's safe to say evolution is a fact not a theory. (nm)Sintesi at home
Jan 31, 2002 3:49 AM
Yes, and evolution applies to humans as well as other life. -NMTig
Jan 31, 2002 12:31 PM
For the recordDJB
Jan 31, 2002 5:22 AM
You say that evolution is well documented. If you are talking about 'micro-evolution' which would be cases of being able to breed many types of dogs/flowers/pigeons, or the fact that Finch beaks vary from year to year to suit their environment (The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner, on Darwins theory), then I agree that there is plenty of proof of that.

But I believe you are talking about macro-evolution. From nothing to amino acids to single cell to marine life to vertibrates, etc. Can you give any examples of fossil evidence for that? Darwin theorized that we would be able, through breeding, to come up with new species. How about an example of one of those (that aren't genetically sterile)?

Have you ever looked into how complex a single cell is? How exactly did that come about? It's like saying that the first bike was a wheel. And then it evolved a frame, and so on.

"I think the reason why so many Evolutionists attact Christianity is because they are threatened by it. Christianity provides a relatively simple, common-sense and elegant explanation for much of what we see in the world - unlike much of evolutionist dogma, which seems to be deliberately baffling and enigmatic at times." See how easy that is?

If you want to talk about foisting beliefs on others, consider what happens if a teacher in a public school tries to get their students to critically examine both the pros and cons of evolution. Any mention of the fallibilities of evolution will have the ACLU or some such group on your doorstep faster than Lance can drop Jan.

Look, I'm simply interested in the truth. If evolution (macro) is true, fine. But then there should be abundant fossil records of how it happened. But there isn't. What we do have is the Cambrian 'explosion'.

Let's stick to the scientific evidence. It's all too typical to make the issue 'science vs. the Bible'. If there is a God, then science is merely the 'window' to view His creation. If there isn't a God, then science can prove how we came to be.
A common misconception of the religiousMcAndrus
Jan 31, 2002 6:09 AM
In another post I mentioned the spectrum of Bible believers, from the literalist to the fuzzy.

There is also a spectrum of non-believers from the passive agnostic to the hostile atheist. As you get closer to the hostile atheist end of the spectrum you'll see an increasingly vituprative response to anything religious.

Among the more offended non-believers there seems to be a misconception that any religious belief is a mindless thing: that belief is only a soothing balm for a frightened and confused person.

For those who think religion is for the mindless, frightened, and confused let me tell you something from personal experience. The religious scholars I have read are among the most literate and intelligent writers I have ever run across. Also, every Sunday in church I sit next to doctors, business people, lawyers, engineers, and other highly educated people.

I find that religious people show the same spectrum of intelligence as the non-religious: dummies on one end and geniuses on the other. You, know, now that I think of it that's an interesting question in itself. Is there some way to correlate individual intelligence with religious belief, or not? Hmmm.... another thread ....

Anyhow, I like your point about macro-evolution. Maybe that ties in with my point about human capabilities: humans being a macro step beyond anything else. Then again, I like the evolutionary dead-end approach too. Like the dinosaur we a doomed to extinction. No, wait, the dinosaurs were not an evolutionary dead-end - they were killed by a meteorite. Oh, well, another good postulate gone.

In my readings I've seen quite a bit of dissension in the scholarly ranks about the macro-evolution question. The example of the jump from amino-acids to single cell organisms is a good point. The unexplained example I like is the eyeball, which, if you break it down to its components, is an incredibly complex mechanism. I've read about vigorous debates about how the eyeball could evolve.

Here's a question. If someone came up with a good theory of mankind's creation that was neither evolution nor God, how would the ACLU react?
The ACLU will accept anything that excludes GodDJB
Feb 1, 2002 4:01 AM
I'm not saying that the ACLU is ONLY concerned with anti-Christianity, but I think that's why evolution was embraced the way it was. It provided scientific cover for Modernism.

If you watch 'Inherit the Wind' again, it's funny how almost totally reversed the sides are. The evolutionist side now has the megaphone as far as having the perception of speaking the truth, and are the ones who don't want to examine the latest science and what it means to their philosophy. The thing is, what is giving evolution the most trouble is hard science, like micro-biology and the study of DNA, but even most micro-biologists stick to a materialist view-point. As if to say, 'we can't accept any results that don't support our viewpoint'.

The 'Inherit the Wind' world-view also gave credence to the stereotype you refer to. That all Christians are un-thinking buffoons running away from scientific evidence at every turn. As if they are conviced science will prove them wrong. And you're right about the hostility. If you even challenge today's Modernist dogma, you are quickly accuseed of trying to 'impose your beliefs on us'!

This is not to say that there aren't those who primarily speak from the position that 'the Bible says it, so it must be so'.

I say this knowing you're not a creationist. That's OK. At least you are considering both sides and keeping an open mind. As I do (or try to).
For the recordSintesi
Jan 31, 2002 6:54 AM
"But I believe you are talking about macro-evolution. From nothing to amino acids to single cell to marine life to vertibrates, etc. Can you give any examples of fossil evidence for that? Darwin theorized that we would be able, through breeding, to come up with new species. How about an example of one of those (that aren't genetically sterile)?"

How about Archeopteryx? (I'll cop on the spelling if it's wrong) That is a transitional form (i.e. dinosaur-->bird) How about the vestigal leg-bone structures on whales. Why did they need legs? Is that Micro-Evolution? I don't think whales can breed with other four legged mammals can they? Hey, the reason you don't have contemporary examples of macro-evolution is because it takes so damn long. Like tens of millions of years.

The Cambrian explosion is a stumper I'll grant you that. Most of the basic morphologies were established in about 40 million years. That's pretty quick. Let's say BANG! God started something there. Now does that refute evolution since that time? I don't think so. Evolution isn't a house of cards. Just because there is debate in one area doesn't mean the entire theory doesn't work. Science is a contentious vigorous, rarely resting, process based on facts and tested hypothesis. Evolutionary scientists may disagree on how evolution works but the do not dispute that evolution in fact exists.

By the way there are new and exciting theories on the Cambrian explosion basically dealing with the idea that molecular change occurs long before morphological change and thus wouldn't show necesssarily in the fossil record. I'll clue you in if you like.

cheers, buddy.
For the recordDJB
Feb 2, 2002 8:30 PM
I know the Archaeopteryx is often cited as an example, but I don't believe that it's a transitional form. Here's a link of why I think so:

The whale example, if I'm correct, is claimed to be a case of a land creature returning to the sea and 'de-evolving' it's legs. Do you believe that?

Even if both of those were true, can you really say that the fossil record shows what Darwin claimed it would?

On a different note, I have to ask you a question regarding your post in the 'Acquinas' thread. You said that you thought the 'Monkeys typing Shakespeare' analogy was not only possible, but likely. Is your line of thinking something like this? The monkeys type until the first correct letter is typed. This letter is saved. The monkeys continue to type until the second correct letter is typed. This letter is added to the first and the process continues until all correct letters have been typed. I ask that because of the way you said natural selection keeps what works and discards everything else. If so, I have to ask, who/what is doing the saving? It implies that someone/something is familiar with the entire text. Natural selection only works (in theory) when there is an error in the copying of DNA, and that error turns out to be beneficial to the organism. So, natural selection can't even begin until that first cell is created and figures out how to divide. The cell can't be created until inanimate chemicals manage to clump together in just the right order , and viola! Life. But that would require the monkeys to keep typing until they completed the entire sequence without any mistakes.

Now, if after all of that, I'm wrong about your line of thinking, I'd be interested in hearing what you think!
Brief CommentJon Billheimer
Feb 1, 2002 10:03 AM
Much of the creationist/evolution debate is centred on a "red herring." Evolution speaks to process, not ultimate origins, mind-cause or other teleological considerations. Fundamentalists who get their "snot-in-a-knot" in my opinion are usually underinformed, both scientifically and theologically.
Isn't that a cop-out?DJB
Feb 2, 2002 7:22 PM
If the theory of evolution needs a God for origin (since it can't rationally explain how the universe began or how life arose from inert matter), why wouldn't God finish the job?

And besides, (turning around your point), admitting Evolutionism is fatally flawed doesn't prove there is a God. (right MJ?)

One other thing. Ad hominem attacks don't do anything to support your argument.
Isn't that a cop-out?Sintesi at home
Feb 3, 2002 10:58 AM
I don't want to speak for Jon but I think the "red herring" he is referring to is that ultimate origins (or endings for that matter) are inherently unprovable. You can't say one way or another with any authority, "This is what happened."
As w/ any negative hypothesis it neither proves of disproves anything; it is not a starting ground for rational argument. Simply because one cannot explain this ultimate origin does not necessarily imply there was a "Prime Mover" of intelligence nor does it refute the process of evolution which has apparently existed since that time. There are a multitude of examples that dovetails nicely w/ other fields of scientific enquirey (genetics or geology for example)that lead one to believe this. Again, I assert that evolution is not a house of cards that crumbles to the ground so easily.

Having said that, there is no reason for one to discontinue believing in God and or divinity when one accepts evolution as the most rational and elegant of explanations of the development of our natural biological world.

I appreciate reading your thoughtful challenges DJB and I did see your rebuttal to my response above. I'm going to pull out some texbooks and do a little research to get my facts as straight as possible but there are rational answers to your queries. Whether or not you find them satisfactory I guess we'll see.
Thanks Sintesi...Jon Billheimer
Feb 4, 2002 9:56 AM
for buttressing my point. "How God finishes the job" IS the central debate between evolutionist of various stripes and creationists of various stripes, not whether there is a God, First Cause or whatever. BTW, I am a fervent "God-believer." Believers and non-believers have equal access to the process arguments: this is a matter of scientific enquiry, not dogmatic theology. There are implicit in various peoples' comments in this discussion notions of the nature of God. But that's a subject for another thread...which I hope we don't get into:-). That's what philosophy grad school and seminaries are all about.
What about all those talking apes?mr_spin
Jan 30, 2002 3:54 PM
Oh wait, that was just a movie. Except for Koko the talking gorilla. I still say it's a guy in a gorilla suit. Remember the movie Trading Places?
So what's with the "Fish Eating Darwin" designs on cars?PdxMark
Jan 30, 2002 4:59 PM
You know, where Darwin is a fish with feet.... I assume it means, at least, that Christ is Greater than Darwin - but does it mean more? Like "Darwin is a heretic burning in Hell for the plasphemy of suggesting an alternative to Creationist dogma - and so are all the rest of you who think Darwin's science is right?"
uh, nomr_spin
Jan 30, 2002 5:26 PM
All it means is that creationism is bogus. Replace your "Jesus fish" with a "Darwin fish" if you agree.

Please, I'm just the messenger here!
LOL - not just the Darwin fish, but ...PdxMark
Jan 30, 2002 6:17 PM
the Darwin fish being eaten by a Jesus fish... what IS that???
We shoot messengers, you know.McAndrus
Jan 31, 2002 6:11 AM
Many times I have been shot for being the messenger. Wait, stand still, I can't get a good aim when you move around so much. :-)
A good referencebikedodger
Jan 31, 2002 9:32 AM
While it doesn't specifically answer your question, a good expalnation of evolution can be found at:

When dolphins get opposable thumbs, look out!Me Dot Org
Jan 31, 2002 11:50 AM

Can't we all just get along? Did Darwin step into the domain of the spiritual world? Is it possible that there is a spiritual evolution, as well as a physical one?
"Evolution" is about to make a major leap.Dog
Feb 1, 2002 7:30 AM
My biology teacher said over and over, "nature doesn't make leaps." However, people are not nature. We consciously make things happen, and are not constrained by micro-evolution due to random and arbitrary changes in DNA.

In the next few hundred years, everything will change. I believe that we will develop computer/transmitter/receivers so small that they will implanted in our bodies, connected directly to our brains, and then we will communicate with external computers and networks - and with other people. Education will consist of learning how to use the system. All knowledge that can be stored will be instantly accessible to everyone. This will permit even a 5 year old to do complex engineering equations, to recite Shakespear, to speak any language, and know everyone provision of law on the planet.

With this power, we will in short time become vastly more intelligent. In effect, we will have created but another tool to use, to leverage our brains to a higher level. In a way, we are in the primative stages of the is process right now. With a computer connected to the internet, we can access vast amounts of the world's knowledge in short time. Imagine being trained from birth to do so, but with a direct connection to our brains.

We will learn how to harness solar energy much more efficiently. We will travel to the stars. We will solve hunger, disease, and aging problems.

Sure, it will not happen in our lifetimes, but I'm confident it will happen.

I saw the Matrix too - nm :-)MJ
Feb 1, 2002 7:33 AM
but differentDog
Feb 1, 2002 8:22 AM
The Matrix, as I understood it, was an entire virtual universe created on and by computers and then piped into humans' brains, only to keep them occupied while their bodies supplied energy for the computers. Lots of goofy premises for an otherwise interesting movie.

Don't forget genetic engineering.........Len J
Feb 1, 2002 8:01 AM
In reading scholars, they believe that this will be the largest single change in the next 300 years. They split on wether this will be a good thing or a bad thing, but, given the ability to modify basic human capabilities changes the evolutionary game dramatically for both man and the creatures around him.

Is God the ultimate genetic engineer?Dog
Feb 1, 2002 8:25 AM
Can't the idea of evolution be attributed to God as a genetic engineer?

That's how a large number.....Len J
Feb 1, 2002 8:42 AM
of prominent scientists seem to reconcile God with Evolution. It is always amazing to me how many pure rational Scientists end up with a strong Spiritual base. It seems like the more they learn about the complexity of the Universe, the more they understand, the more in awe they are! In my reading there are very few scientists who don't believe in God deeply.

It depends on what you mean by GodDJB
Feb 2, 2002 7:05 PM
If you mean a god who created the universe and the fundamentals of life and then left us alone, I suppose you could say that.

But if you mean the God of the Bible/Torah, I would say no. For example, in 1995, the Position Statement of the American National Association of Biology Teachers included this on evolution:

The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of
evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable
and natural process of temporal descent with genetic
modification that is affected by natural selection,
chance, historical contingencies and changing

Not much room for God in that, is there?

BTW, I know MJ referred to the Matrix because of your 'impending technology' post and wasn't really dealing with evolutionism, but your second response was kind of ironic. Because that's exactly the essence of evolutionism. You can just replace the word computer with DNA.

I do like the idea of God as a genetic engineer though.
All bets are off.Sintesi
Feb 1, 2002 8:18 AM
Intelligence is a phenomena that may not require biological components. As these lines blur, as you describe, then I wonder what becomes of the evolutionary model because the very concept of "life" will come into question. Does an intelligence have to be alive? If religions think they're having trouble now w/ science just stick around.

Very optimistic future you describe, I think science will have their unified field theory before the century is out. Pretty much the rule book by which the universe plays and then things will really open up. The pace of discovery and devopment is really picking up steam. I think we'll see some pretty amazing things before we die. Hopefully that practical "gasless" car will come out and everyone can start lightening up about those SUVs. : )
wisdom rather than intelligenceStarliner
Feb 1, 2002 9:41 AM
Being able to physically fly to the moon and to figure out how to split the atom and to fiddle around with genetics are certainly signs of superior intelligence, but not necessarily signs of superior wisdom. For it is wisdom that gives humans the capability to live in harmony and within the limits of the environment that surrounds them - i.e., native americans prior to the arrival of the Bible-toting europeans to our (their) shores.

An irony of western religion is that despite the lessons of goodness found within, the sheer power of its message often results in close-minded, dogmatic thought. And what ultimately comes out of that is not preservation, but destruction.

Intelligence may get us to the stars, but its application by itself cannot ever protect us from ourselves.
the lesson of "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley -NMTig
Feb 1, 2002 6:15 PM
re: A question for DarwiniansAllen az
Feb 1, 2002 9:02 PM