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Why Evolution Is True … I never realised that there was still so much opposition to science.

PontifexMarximus 8 July 28
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I'm reading "The Worm at the Core," about "Terror Management Theory," and the concept is that humans do just about all they can to avoid recognizing that we are as mortal as any other being. Maybe, I'm thinking, that is a big part of science denial, because science tells us that we are just another species of mortal mammal.

BirdMan1 Level 8 Oct 15, 2020

I think as many get older they lose some of their reasoning power. They want to assuage the fear they have of dying and open themselves up to all kinds of theories mostly promoted by some religion. The conservative (and liberal) conspiratorial kinds see an audience and exploit it. Money is the common cause. It escapes me how something that is visible in everything around us can be denied. The direction our species is headed is perhaps natures way of getting rid of the invasive and toxic species we have become.

JackPedigo Level 9 Oct 30, 2019

Part of the problem, as I see it, is the proliferation of blind, abject stupidity preached by Rush Limbaugh. My father used to be open to all kinds of possible answers to some of life's mysteries, but since becoming a rabid Rusher, he now maligns any number of things scientific and otherwise. I have a copy of "Origin of the Species" in my library, and I put it away before he visits just to save myself the fervored lecture and keep his BP down.


Starting with Ronald Reagan's comment, "Facts are just annoyances," and seeing the ridiculous encouragement of stubborn intentional idiocy by Trump, we have been shown yet another (besides vulgar racism) side of the underbelly of the American culture!

BirdMan1 Level 8 July 31, 2019

The current Trump sickness may make some fools believe they are living in a fact free world where they can choose their favorite flavor of "alternative facts".Social media allows for stovepiping of information. But those people are in for a grim surprise. I remember what Comrade Khrushev said, "Reality will tell us, Comrades". Truth lies like a poisonous snake in the grass ready to bite the unaware on the ass.

@Remiforce Very well put!


Many kids grow up nowadays thinking they have to choose between God and science (especially evolution). Now if you really think that, that means that science (especially evolution) is of the devil. If you were religious what would you choose?

Heraclitus Level 8 July 30, 2019

What has evolution proved? All I am aware of is that it posits that life changes/evolves. It hasn’t shown how life began that I am aware of. Then there is the materialistic problem of explaining the hard problem in consciousness as well. I don’t think evolution should be undersold but neither do I think that it should be.oversold either as to what it has or hasn’t proven as a theory of life.

Kodiamus Level 7 July 29, 2019

I certainly agree that evolution shouldn't be oversold, but don't really understand your question, "what has evolution proven?" It's a scientific theory. Proofs are for mathematics. What has the theory of electromagnetism proven? What has the theory of gravity proven? What has quantum theory proven?
How life began is abiogenesis and not part of the theory of evolution. Scientists have given some very plausible scenarios for how life could have begun on earth. But, how the heck would you "prove" it? As for the theory of mind or consciousness, philosophers have been arguing over that for thousands of years and can't even agree on a definition of mind. If you are referring to the hard problem of consciousness as presented by the philosopher David Chalmers, this centers on the phenomena of qualia, which no one can adequately define either. How do you scientifically measure and test, let alone prove, what cannot be clearly defined? This is a philosophical issue, not a scientific one.

@Heraclitus Excellent points Heraclitus. Yes I was sloppy in my reply. Thank you for elucidating what I was to lazy to fully explicate. 😌✊😌

@Heraclitus very well written.

The current perspective is that al biology makes no sense without the perspective of evolution.

If you read Antonio Damasio's "The Feeling of What Happens," which was a bit ahead of its time, you will find some serious investigation into the question of consciousness. An old definition, that i read some years ago, is that consciousness is the interplay between the thalamus and the pre-frontal cortex, as i recall it. Much work is still being done to study the idea. Something I read, fairly recently, referred to Damasio's work as foundational in the study of consciouness.

@BirdMan1 Yes, scientists know that consciousness involves a neural connection between different parts of the brain which you loose when you sleep and regain when you awaken. Thanks so much for the book suggestion. May I in return suggest From Bacteria to Bach and Back (2017) by philosopher Daniel Dennett. He has some very interesting ideas based on scientific findings, though still speculation.

@Heraclitus Thanks for the suggestion, I have put it at the top of my book list.

@Heraclitus good job!

I am puzzled that you say consciousness is a "materialistic problem". Are you subscribing to the reductionist logical positivist argument that consciousness is simply the by product of the firing of synapses & the action of neuro-transmitters in the brain. We have a great deal of debate about the connection of consciousness, which appears to be preceptual & non material, to the material world

@Kodiamus I agree. Proof is for math, where you are dealing purely with logical concepts. Empirical science must be content with theory, based on uncertain facts & suggestive hypothesis, that can never really be proven, although some theories are more probable than others.

Mind, & thus consciousness, can't be clearly defined. We makes stabs at it, such as "That which perceives & understands". That defines what it does but not what it is, so we are left with a mystery. So we have here a philosophical problem, not a scientific one


Disturbing isn’t it.

Geoffrey51 Level 8 July 29, 2019

Indeed … I grew up in a very catholic area (Rhineland) in the 1950s, but I was never aware that anyone contested evolution. We knew about the bible story of creation … but it was just that: a story.

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