Blog Archive

Friday, September 19, 2008

Evolution vs. Naturalism

Evolution vs. Naturalism

This is a well written article explaining some of the reasons that naturalism has a problem.

Vera

46 comments:

Maragon said...

I'm reading your article and compiling a list of errors, fabrications and out right lies that I'll submit in a few hours.

I do want to point this out separately though, first.

Not one member of the "RTB Team" has even a 4 year degree in biology. The closest thing is a chemist who took a 2 year in biochemistry.

This may not concern you, Vera, but it goes a long way in showing me that these men are NOT experts in the field of evolutionary biology. Why would I trust someone's opinion on biology who has less formal training in the subject than I do? Do you think these men would be interested in my opinions on astrophysics because I took a few courses in it?

get_education said...

Vera please, tell me that you see the problems with that charlatanry. It would take me all day just to count and explain the errors of this thing. But more and more I think I should. Would you read it? Otherwise why bother.

G.E.

verandoug said...

Not one member of the "RTB Team" has even a 4 year degree in biology. The closest thing is a chemist who took a 2 year in biochemistry.

http://www.reasons.org/about/biographies.shtml#david_rogstad

Wrong again, Maragon. :-)

Vera

verandoug said...

Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying that because there is no one with your exact doctorate that you think they should have, therefore, this is all non expert and therefore opinion. A doctorate in biochemistry is a combo of biology and chemistry, which is much more complicated and reaches a far greater understanding than just plain ole biology. You can't understand biochemistry without having a complete knowledge of biology. They cover a host of topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, and there are other people on this team. These are the four main men.

Vera

verandoug said...

Vera please, tell me that you see the problems with that charlatanry. It would take me all day just to count and explain the errors of this thing. But more and more I think I should. Would you read it? Otherwise why bother.

I read it. What are you referring to. Just name one.

Vera

Maragon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maragon said...

Hi Vera,

Read your article.

Issues with it:

"Naturalism is the idea that there is no such person as God or anything like God; we might think of it as high-octane atheism or perhaps atheism-plus."

Not exactly true. The definition of Naturalism is: 'Philosophy: The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.'

Naturalism does not EXCLUDE god, it finds no empirical evidence of one.

"Naturalists like to wrap themselves in the mantle of science, as if science in some way supports, endorses, underwrites, implies, or anyway is unusually friendly to naturalism."

Naturalism is a result of the scientific method - not the basis for it. It comes about by examining the world around us and finding no evidence of divine intervention.

"It leads to the conclusion that our cognitive or belief-producing faculties—memory, perception, logical insight, etc.—are unreliable and cannot be trusted to produce a preponderance of true beliefs over false."

This is exaggerated and improperly stated. Naturalism leads to the conclusion that all beliefs or logical insights need to be based on empirical, unbiased evidence. One person's mind can trick them - that's why something is not scientifically accepted until it has been proven to be true by many people.

"Clearly this doubt arises for naturalists or atheists, but not for those who believe in God. That is because if God has created us in his image, then even if he fashioned us by some evolutionary means, he would presumably want us to resemble him in being able to know; but then most of what we believe might be true even if our minds have developed from those of the lower animals."

This is a demonstrable falsehood. We know that our minds can be fooled or tricked. Have you never forgotten anything? Misheard something? Thought you'd seen something that wasn't really there?

What he's suggesting is that Christians are not subject to the same errors in cognitive processing that everyone else is. Not only is this extremely arrogant, it's absolutely not true.

"natural selection doesn't care about the truth or falsehood of your beliefs; it cares only about adaptive behavior. Your beliefs may all be false, ridiculously false; if your behavior is adaptive, you will survive and reproduce."

This is partly true, but inaccurate. If your monstrously false beliefs somehow interfered with your ability to survive(ie, a monkey somehow believes that it can fly off of a cliff) then said belief would most certainly be effected by natural selection.

Our thought are not as independent from our survival as he is trying to suggest. Our behaviour is largely dictated by your beliefs.

Your author suggests that the fact that something has survived and reproduced doesn't tell us anything about its beliefs. This is demonstrably false. Obviously it doesn't believe that reproduction is bad. Obviously it believes that eating poison berries are good.
There have been many suicide cults that would speak to the notion that belief and survival are very much intertwined.

He's confusing cause and effect. He's assuming that naturalism and atheism are a product of a naturalist philosophy. But in reality, the opposite is true. Naturalism comes about as a result of examining the world around us and not seeing any evidence of divine intervention.

The other thing he's going on about is how belief is unreliable and irrelevant to the survival of the species and untrustworthy but he's refusing to hold his own belief up to the same scrutiny or examine his own belief in a similar manner.

In the same vein, he's accomplishing the exact opposite of what he's hoping to prove. Everything that he's said in regards to the fallibility of the human brain is absolutely true. However, what he's really demonstrating here is the importance of a naturalistic and scientific outlook. Things like falsifiability, reproducibility and independent verification all help us to deal with and overcome the limitations of our minds.


Consider this entire paragraph:
"So consider any particular belief on the part of one of those creatures: what is the probability that it is true?" As I explained, his ideas about the effects of belief on survival are incorrect.
"Well, what we know is that the belief in question was produced by adaptive neurophysiology, neurophysiology that produces adaptive behavior. But as we've seen, that gives us no reason to think the belief true (and none to think it false)."
Once again, as demonstrated, false beliefs(poisonous berries are fun to eat, I can fly off of cliffs, etc) can and will affect your ability to reproduce.
"We must suppose, therefore, that the belief in question is about as likely to be false as to be true; the probability of any particular belief's being true is in the neighborhood of 1/2."
The assumption that a belief is equally likely to be true or false is not a valid one.
"But then it is massively unlikely that the cognitive faculties of these creatures produce the preponderance of true beliefs over false required by reliability. If I have 1,000 independent beliefs, for example, and the probability of any particular belief's being true is 1/2, then the probability that 3/4 or more of these beliefs are true (certainly a modest enough requirement for reliability) will be less than 10-58. And even if I am running a modest epistemic establishment of only 100 beliefs, the probability that 3/4 of them are true, given that the probability of any one's being true is 1/2, is very low, something like .000001.7 So the chances that these creatures' true beliefs substantially outnumber their false beliefs (even in a particular area) are small. The conclusion to be drawn is that it is exceedingly unlikely that their cognitive faculties are reliable."
This is true IF a belief is equally likely to be true or false. However, we have ways of determining how likely something is true. And he's not accounting for this. This 'way' that I'm talking about, is, of course, the scientific method.

"But of course this same argument will also hold for us. If evolutionary naturalism is true, then the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable is also very low."
How? This doesn't follow.
"And that means that one who accepts evolutionary naturalism has a defeater for the belief that her cognitive faculties are reliable: a reason for giving up that belief, for rejecting it, for no longer holding it."
WORD SALAD. He's not actually SAYING anything. They have random generators for crap like this.
"If there isn't a defeater for that defeater—a defeater-defeater, we could say—she can't rationally believe that her cognitive faculties are reliable."
Once again, no idea what he's talking about.
"No doubt she can't help believing that they are; no doubt she will in fact continue to believe it; but that belief will be irrational."
So now he's drawing conclusions based on demonstrably erroneous assumptions and some wordsalad.
"And if she has a defeater for the reliability of her cognitive faculties, she also has a defeater for any belief she takes to be produced by those faculties—which, of course, is all of her beliefs.
If she can't trust her cognitive faculties, she has a reason, with respect to each of her beliefs, to give it up. She is therefore enmeshed in a deep and bottomless skepticism. One of her beliefs, however, is her belief in evolutionary naturalism itself; so then she also has a defeater for that belief. Evolutionary naturalism, therefore—the belief in the combination of naturalism and evolution—is self-refuting, self-destructive, shoots itself in the foot."

What this is essentially saying is that you can't trust and thus continually doubt your beliefs. And he tries to spin this as bad - which is ridiculous.
This is the essence of science.
Self evaluation and self-doubt are and integral part of weeding out false beliefs. It's how we distinguish reality from fantasy.


"Therefore you can't rationally accept it. For all this argument shows, it may be true; but it is irrational to hold it. So the argument isn't an argument for the falsehood of evolutionary naturalism; it is instead for the conclusion that one cannot rationally believe that proposition. Evolution, therefore, far from supporting naturalism, is incompatible with it, in the sense that you can't rationally believe them both."

This is just a gigantic non sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow or support the premise. And like I said previously, naturalism is a result of the scientific method - not the basis for it. This is his biggest misunderstanding(and that's saying something).


"This is indeed a natural objection, in particular given the way we think about our own mental life. Of course you are more likely to achieve your goals, and of course you are more likely to survive and reproduce if your beliefs are mostly true. You are a prehistoric hominid living on the plains of Serengeti; clearly you won't last long if you believe lions are lovable overgrown pussycats who like nothing better than to be petted. So, if we assume that these hypothetical creatures are in the same kind of cognitive situation we ordinarily think we are, then certainly they would have been much more likely to survive if their cognitive faculties were reliable than if they were not.

But of course we can't just assume that they are in the same cognitive situation we think we are in. For example, we assume that our cognitive faculties are reliable."


No, we don't! That's the whole point of the scientific method. We do not merely assume that our cognitive faculties are reliable. He's basically undermining everything that he's already said. All he's done is underscore the need to use the scientific method to distinguish true beliefs from false one and to eliminate the possibility of error due to our own fallible cognitive processes.

"The obvious conclusion, so it seems to me, is that evolutionary naturalism can't sensibly be accepted. The high priests of evolutionary naturalism loudly proclaim that Christian and even theistic belief is bankrupt and foolish. The fact, however, is that the shoe is on the other foot. It is evolutionary naturalism, not Christian belief, that can't rationally be accepted."

The most important thing is that the author refuses to accept the possibility that his own belief is as fallible as all the other beliefs he's lambasting against. He is refusing to hold himself to the same level of scrutiny. This is cognitive dissonance.


So, I'm sorry Vera, I read your article. The only thing that it proves is that the author didn't clearly think through his conclusions.

I recommend that you and the author of this article read "The Demon Haunted World" by Dr. Sagan. A very lucid and eloquent analysis of why what your author rallies against is so very important to our species.

Maragon said...

" verandoug said...

Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying that because there is no one with your exact doctorate that you think they should have, therefore, this is all non expert and therefore opinion. A doctorate in biochemistry is a combo of biology and chemistry, which is much more complicated and reaches a far greater understanding than just plain ole biology. You can't understand biochemistry without having a complete knowledge of biology. They cover a host of topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, and there are other people on this team. These are the four main men."

Unfortunately, all of this is untrue.

A PhD in Biology is far more indepth and specialized than a masters degree in biochemistry.

They do not have a 'complete understanding' of biology - then they'd be PhD's. They understand ENOUGH biology at the cellular level to do one very specialized line of work.

Please check your facts before you state them, Vera.

get_education said...

Hi Vera,

Well, seems like Maragon named more than one problem with that "article." I want to add about those degrees, that I LOVE biochemistry, and I know for sure that biochemistry does not require you, unfortunately, to know a lot about evolution. Not even about biology in general. Many, if not most, programs in biochemistry are hosted in chemistry departments.

Also, a masters in science degree is often a very poor extra degree often quite useless if you want to do serious scientific work. Most master's rather go into specialized technician jobs. Of course, this might not mean anything. I have known very smart people capable of excellent research just after finishing their high-school. But today's society requires you to demonstrate and improve those innate skills by obtaining a PhD.

Anyway, I will point to a few other problems of the article your link lead to when I have a bit more time.

G.E.

verandoug said...

A PhD in Biology is far more indepth and specialized than a masters degree in biochemistry.

They do not have a 'complete understanding' of biology - then they'd be PhD's. They understand ENOUGH biology at the cellular level to do one very specialized line of work.

Please check your facts before you state them, Vera.


Me thinks it is you that needs to "check out the facts." Have you once picked up any of these books or listened to the podcasts I suggested. For Dr. Rana, I would look at his podcasts called The Cell's Design and read his book. He shows an understanding of biology, chemistry and genetics. And I must disagree with you once again, Maragon. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Vera

verandoug said...

Not even about biology in general. Many, if not most, programs in biochemistry are hosted in chemistry departments.

I would further disagree with that idea that you need a degree to make a decision on natural evolution vs. God ordained creation.

I honestly do not think it takes a rocket scientist to see that life and nature contain order, design, creativity, and purpose.

One of the main reasons that science is so adamant about putting down any religious type influence in science is because they do not want Christianity or religion to dictate their research into the world of nature. It's a fear factor due to past mistakes from the church. However, the church is not unwarranted in its own thoughts because science used one of the most anti-Christ legal firms, the ACLU, to get hold of its reins again.

Now we have many folks as we see on Ray's board that would suggest that what we are testing and researching is not true because it doesn't "match the Bible." What it doesn't match is their understanding of the Bible.

So I say, let science do its research. And let us check out the results. I have done enough research into this to note that the naturalistic theory that would suggest that this all happened by accident without a purposeful God behind it is about the most moronic idea on the planet. I have listened to both sides of the argument and when I listen to these things, I know that they come up against a brick wall constantly called "Why?" Why is this so indicative of design? Why did the dinosaurs disappear? But it certainly fits the biblical account of the 5th day moving into the 6th. What are the odds that Moses would get that right? Like zero.

Anyway,

get_education said...

I would further disagree with that idea that you need a degree to make a decision on natural evolution vs. God ordained creation.

I agree. My point was that your claim that the degrees of these people writing the RTB made them trustful was wrong.

Seems like Maragon already sowed you how this "article" fails. Do you see it? Or would you like any of us to answer to any particular part?

G.E.

get_education said...

Hum,

I re-read Maragon's answers. I agree wit her. But maybe I should add this.

1. Why should the frogs behavior at catching prey be due to a "belief."

2. Why should "beliefs" be "independent units" for evolution to work with?

3. Why would each "belief" have the very same probability of being wrong?

4. Why should that probability be 0.5? (If it is adaptive it could have a better chance of being correct than incorrect, right? Organisms with more correct "beliefs" should have a higher probability of surviving than those with poor beliefs, even if properly "behaved" ...)

The more complex the system of "beliefs" (falling into the fallacious arguments), the more the "beliefs" should be properly integrated, and the more they should be reliable. Mind you, being the product of evolution, we cannot expect our "belief system" to be perfect, of 100% reliable. This is why we have to be cautious, and why science uses experiments and evidences, and so many constructs to ensure that we are not fooled by faulty reasoning. But I do not see any contradiction, nor any problem with the compatibility of naturalism and evolution. This guy has tried hard to make a construct that gives him a "reason to believe." But it is obviously flawed.

Vera, please be more skeptical.

Now, whether you like it or not. In the end, the only thing that can sustain your religion is faith and faith alone. I do not say this as a bad thing. After all, your religion talks about faith as a very good thing to have. Things like those I find in this RTB web site are so dishonestly done, so biased, that I feel actually offended for the Christians who look after them.

They might be honest and not notice the problem. For instance, I can see people self-deceiving, thinking they did find some actual problem in naturalism and evolution together. However, they fail to carefully examine it and see if they failed. If so, they are not dishonest, but rather biased and naive in their rationalism. It is sad because they are so easy to show wrong by people who are used to detect biases and wrong constructs.

G.E.

verandoug said...

Not exactly true. The definition of Naturalism is: 'Philosophy: The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.'

There are many things in this world, Maragon, that cannot be explained through nature mostly within the human heart and mind. Now, please do not think that I am suggesting then that the study of the natural world isn't important. On the contrary, I know what you are saying here and as many things as can be discovered through this means, should be discovered. They are there with measurable parameters to be discovered. In essence, if this universe were here by accident, the universe would lack measurability and order. It is only that order that causes you to be able to test nature. There are obvious parameters in nature that show logic such as DNA. But to discover what DNA does and how it works, one cannot say, "We would never know." Because the obvious truth is that we, unlike any other being on this planet, can know. We are created in God's image so of course, we can begin to understand some of what He did and how He did it. That is no surprise. The remarkable thing that would blow a hole in this is if the gorilla was also doing the math.

Naturalism does not EXCLUDE god, it finds no empirical evidence of one.

I would say it is more the fear of actually pointing to Him. But often, these folks will say that .... uh humm...cough..cough. , "We don't know why this happened but it sure was advantageous." or they are forced to use the word "design." "The t-rex was "designed" with a perfect set of teeth."

Naturalism is a result of the scientific method - not the basis for it. It comes about by examining the world around us and finding no evidence of divine intervention.

Actually, this may shock you but the scientific method originated from Christians who read 1 Thess 5:21 Test or prove all things. This works with the Bible as well. We can come up with an idea about God, but it must fit the entire picture. So we set forth a hypothesis and then look to see if it is correct.

For example, Mofi, on Ray's board suggested that hell's fire is for a moment and then lights out. So we went back and forth for a long time on this issue. I checked out what he shared. I don't think he ever checked out anything I shared. But nevertheless, his "theory" was proven to be bogus. Like both religious folk and scientists, he refuses to give up his theory. Oh well.....

Science and Christianity/Judaism are from the same source. The world of nature was created by God to show forth who He is. So it must be testable so that we don't have to say, "We will never know." But the Bible was never meant to dictate the testing. It was meant to be there when the discoveries came in so that we could understand what God was communicating to us. Interestingly, there are implications to the ideas of employing the supernatural in terms of explaining nature that make for a very ugly type of Christianity.

Science is a jurisdiction that came about in this organized way in a gradual manner. But Christians need to recognize that science has stepped up to the plate and started to hold themselves accountable to the truth. Those changes in this jurisdiction have helped me to respect them more.

"It leads to the conclusion that our cognitive or belief-producing faculties—memory, perception, logical insight, etc.—are unreliable and cannot be trusted to produce a preponderance of true beliefs over false."

This is exaggerated and improperly stated. Naturalism leads to the conclusion that all beliefs or logical insights need to be based on empirical, unbiased evidence. One person's mind can trick them - that's why something is not scientifically accepted until it has been proven to be true by many people.


Yet many beliefs cannot be proven through nature and you would suggest that all of these beliefs are false based on the fact that you can't prove it through science. Naturalism would suggest that any belief that cannot be proven by nature lacks empirical evidence. Even evolution is not 100% foolproof. It is a belief.

Is my experience, memory, cognitive abilities with God valid?

This is a demonstrable falsehood. We know that our minds can be fooled or tricked. Have you never forgotten anything? Misheard something? Thought you'd seen something that wasn't really there?

What he's suggesting is that Christians are not subject to the same errors in cognitive processing that everyone else is. Not only is this extremely arrogant, it's absolutely not true.


I don't think so. I think what he's suggesting is that the attributes of one created in the image of God are undeniable. How we got to where we are doesn't change that fact.

RTB would be the first to tell you that many Christians have beliefs that are in error. I would take that even further in terms of the fact that they think they can sin every day and at the end of the day be forgiven.


This is partly true, but inaccurate. If your monstrously false beliefs somehow interfered with your ability to survive(ie, a monkey somehow believes that it can fly off of a cliff) then said belief would most certainly be effected by natural selection.


True. But man wanted to fly. Man said, "I can defy gravity to create lift." So he kept trying. LOL Here's the difference between man and the chimp. The chimp learns to stop trying because he "believes" it is a hopeless cause.. Man says, "There has got to be a way. He believes that if the bird can do it, he can do it."

Our thought are not as independent from our survival as he is trying to suggest. Our behaviour is largely dictated by your beliefs.

I believe this. I think that is why Jesus referred to belief so often.

Your author suggests that the fact that something has survived and reproduced doesn't tell us anything about its beliefs. This is demonstrably false. Obviously it doesn't believe that reproduction is bad. Obviously it believes that eating poison berries are good.
There have been many suicide cults that would speak to the notion that belief and survival are very much intertwined.


Yet none of this "bettered our species." If the ant survived many millions of years, what does that say about what the ant believes? Or how about the microbe that survived for billions of years?

He's confusing cause and effect. He's assuming that naturalism and atheism are a product of a naturalist philosophy. But in reality, the opposite is true. Naturalism comes about as a result of examining the world around us and not seeing any evidence of divine intervention.

I think it is more that you don't want to see the divine and that belief stems mostly out of fear of the religious placing stipulations on science.

This whole thing unfolded in a confusing way. Science seemed to be haphazard until they were called to task in certain areas. I can see that they have gone to great lengths to be careful to present the truth, which to me says a great deal for their desire for truth. The funny thing is that they are discovering who God is. The Christians reject them from past poorly done science. But the two together are dynamic. Neither should impose its jurisdiction on the other except that science must be held to a moral standard. IOW, science is not allowed to suck the brains out of an innocent baby to save the life of some Parkinson patient.

The other thing he's going on about is how belief is unreliable and irrelevant to the survival of the species and untrustworthy but he's refusing to hold his own belief up to the same scrutiny or examine his own belief in a similar manner.

Not necessarily. Technically speaking, Christians are not loved in terms of being esteemed. Real Christians will tell you that you have to stop sinning, God gives you power to do it and the alternative is your choice that is paid for eternity. People don't like that message. They like the one that says you can do what you want because we are here by chance. :-) This hatred of Christians can lead to physical persecution. We don't see a lot of that in this country but they do see it in countries like the Sudan, Iran, China, Indonesia etc.

In the same vein, he's accomplishing the exact opposite of what he's hoping to prove. Everything that he's said in regards to the fallibility of the human brain is absolutely true. However, what he's really demonstrating here is the importance of a naturalistic and scientific outlook. Things like falsifiability, reproducibility and independent verification all help us to deal with and overcome the limitations of our minds.

I agree as I'm sure RTB agrees that the natural world just as it is is extremely important for making good decisions based on our beliefs. Absolutely.

"So consider any particular belief on the part of one of those creatures: what is the probability that it is true?" As I explained, his ideas about the effects of belief on survival are incorrect.

The bison used to be hunted and killed by the Indians getting one female excited and fearful. She would, in turn, lead the entire pack over a cliff. I know I saw a movie that contained a clip of that.

"Well, what we know is that the belief in question was produced by adaptive neurophysiology, neurophysiology that produces adaptive behavior. But as we've seen, that gives us no reason to think the belief true (and none to think it false)."
Once again, as demonstrated, false beliefs(poisonous berries are fun to eat, I can fly off of cliffs, etc) can and will affect your ability to reproduce.


I think we are talking more of the bison's fear leading it in a stampede than an animal eating a bad berry. Most animals seem to have a sense about those things. Monkeys do not try to fly off cliffs. That is the stuff for which Curious George is made of. :-)

The assumption that a belief is equally likely to be true or false is not a valid one.

Why's that?

"But then it is massively unlikely that the cognitive faculties of these creatures produce the preponderance of true beliefs over false required by reliability. If I have 1,000 independent beliefs, for example, and the probability of any particular belief's being true is 1/2, then the probability that 3/4 or more of these beliefs are true (certainly a modest enough requirement for reliability) will be less than 10-58. And even if I am running a modest epistemic establishment of only 100 beliefs, the probability that 3/4 of them are true, given that the probability of any one's being true is 1/2, is very low, something like .000001.7 So the chances that these creatures' true beliefs substantially outnumber their false beliefs (even in a particular area) are small. The conclusion to be drawn is that it is exceedingly unlikely that their cognitive faculties are reliable."
This is true IF a belief is equally likely to be true or false. However, we have ways of determining how likely something is true. And he's not accounting for this. This 'way' that I'm talking about, is, of course, the scientific method.


How does the scientific method prove that you believe your fiance to be a good man? How does the scientific method prove that you actually love him? There are things that the scientific method simply cannot work on in the natural. There are other pieces to the scientific method using the Bible that would be able to give a basis or measuring of either of those truths. Do you care for his needs? Does he have a job? Would he take care of you even if you were disfigured? etc. Would he care for your children? What kind of a father would he be? Would you care for him if he were sick? These are questions that do not arise from the world of nature.

"But of course this same argument will also hold for us. If evolutionary naturalism is true, then the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable is also very low."
How? This doesn't follow.


Because you would say that 1000 people that believed in Jesus and claim to be set free is absolutely positively false because it cannot be proven through nature. All 1000 people's cognitive faculties tell them that they were heading one way one day and now they're heading another and they no longer have a desire to sin. But naturalism would suggest that they are lying and that their cognizance is false because all of this *could* have happened with our without a God. Now there are great deal many more than 1000 people that have shared in this experience.

"And that means that one who accepts evolutionary naturalism has a defeater for the belief that her cognitive faculties are reliable: a reason for giving up that belief, for rejecting it, for no longer holding it."
WORD SALAD. He's not actually SAYING anything. They have random generators for crap like this.


What he's saying is that your belief is invalid under the same belief. Naturalism cannot prove through the scientific method that your belief is correct either.

"If there isn't a defeater for that defeater—a defeater-defeater, we could say—she can't rationally believe that her cognitive faculties are reliable."
Once again, no idea what he's talking about.


How is your cognitive ability any greater than mine? Because you are in college does this somehow give you greater knowledge. You have often said that it does. But does it? Does having more money than the rest of us make you better? Have people in the past had a great deal of money only to lose it all in a day? Did they, therefore, lose their "greatness?"

"And if she has a defeater for the reliability of her cognitive faculties, she also has a defeater for any belief she takes to be produced by those faculties—which, of course, is all of her beliefs.
If she can't trust her cognitive faculties, she has a reason, with respect to each of her beliefs, to give it up. She is therefore enmeshed in a deep and bottomless skepticism. One of her beliefs, however, is her belief in evolutionary naturalism itself; so then she also has a defeater for that belief. Evolutionary naturalism, therefore—the belief in the combination of naturalism and evolution—is self-refuting, self-destructive, shoots itself in the foot."
What this is essentially saying is that you can't trust and thus continually doubt your beliefs. And he tries to spin this as bad - which is ridiculous.
This is the essence of science.
Self evaluation and self-doubt are and integral part of weeding out false beliefs. It's how we distinguish reality from fantasy.


This may be true in the world of nature but not in terms of the things nature cannot measure. Studying nature and believing in a Holy God are two completely different constructs and they are not exclusive. They overlap.

This is just a gigantic non sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow or support the premise. And like I said previously, naturalism is a result of the scientific method - not the basis for it. This is his biggest misunderstanding(and that's saying something).

Naturalism imposes its worldview on the data and is a belief. It sees that DNA was modified and changed and then proceeds to explain the mechanism through nature. Although what you observe is natural and is studied in the natural realm with natural objects such as microscopes, adding new pieces of chromosome and organized DNA is no easy feat. Man has attempted to do that and it has not been as easy as it looks. 1 in 10,000 mutations is not advantageous yet this too is imposed on the data as a theory to propose how DNA was modified. Without the actual mechanism that God used in the hands of man to prove that He was behind it, I understand that man finds it impossible to prove. The proof is in the outcome.

No, we don't! That's the whole point of the scientific method. We do not merely assume that our cognitive faculties are reliable. He's basically undermining everything that he's already said. All he's done is underscore the need to use the scientific method to distinguish true beliefs from false one and to eliminate the possibility of error due to our own fallible cognitive processes.

The point he made was that cognizance is reliable. Therefore, if I tell you that when I repented, I was reconciled to God, and I began to know Him and my life changed from one of total utter sin that I couldn't get out of to cleanness and righteousness, my cognizance is real.

"The obvious conclusion, so it seems to me, is that evolutionary naturalism can't sensibly be accepted. The high priests of evolutionary naturalism loudly proclaim that Christian and even theistic belief is bankrupt and foolish. The fact, however, is that the shoe is on the other foot. It is evolutionary naturalism, not Christian belief, that can't rationally be accepted."

The most important thing is that the author refuses to accept the possibility that his own belief is as fallible as all the other beliefs he's lambasting against. He is refusing to hold himself to the same level of scrutiny. This is cognitive dissonance.


The reason is that our own cognizance tells us that we believe the truth because the Truth set us free. And we know Him.

Vera

verandoug said...

Well, seems like Maragon named more than one problem with that "article." I want to add about those degrees, that I LOVE biochemistry, and I know for sure that biochemistry does not require you, unfortunately, to know a lot about evolution. Not even about biology in general. Many, if not most, programs in biochemistry are hosted in chemistry departments.

Also, a masters in science degree is often a very poor extra degree often quite useless if you want to do serious scientific work. Most master's rather go into specialized technician jobs. Of course, this might not mean anything. I have known very smart people capable of excellent research just after finishing their high-school. But today's society requires you to demonstrate and improve those innate skills by obtaining a PhD.


GE,

I disagree with Maragon's assertion that one must study evolution from a college prof to understand it and one must obtain a degree in evolution to understand it. Dr. Rana shows a great deal of knowledge in evolutionary science, biology, chemistry and the other life sciences. Having a doctorate, one must study this field extensively and take higher level biology courses. I suppose we could ask. I just think that once someone understands the basic scientific language, it is not all that difficult to read the science text for which the courses are based on. Why is a prof and a grade necessary? I have learned so much through self study - enough to know that reading a manual or book teaches you the same thing you would learn in a classroom setting.

Vera

get_education said...

Hi Vera,

Yes, I answered your degree point here.

And added to Maragnon's answers after that one (I think just before your very long answer). Now you gave me much more to answer. But in short, naturalists and scientists are not "afraid" of talking about God. No such thing. The point is that naturalism studies what can be studied. The forced interpretations by Rana are just that. Please read my posts, and hopefully we can talk about one thing at a time.

G.E.

Maragon said...

"Have you once picked up any of these books or listened to the podcasts I suggested."

No, I haven't. I pick up my own Masters level biology textbooks because I'm well into a term of University. I don't have the time, energy or inclination to review every single thing you toss at me. Especially when the things I DO bother to look at are so easily refutable.

MrFreeThinker said...

Maragon you completely miss the point of the argument.
Anyway this is a philosophical argument not a biological one , since the writer , Alvin platinga has more credentials in philosophy than you , I should disregard your opinions on it according to your appeal to authority.
The point was that is naturalism is true you don't have any way to know if your cognitive faculties are true(after all they were developed for survival value and not for truth value). If your cognitive faculties are not likely to be functioning properly, your belief in evolution is just as likely to be untrue.

verandoug said...

GE

Why should the frogs behavior at catching prey be due to a "belief."

I would say that the frog acts on instinct as opposed to a belief per se but it must belief that its tongue is capable of catching the bug to initiate the process. Animals have beliefs.

2. Why should "beliefs" be "independent units" for evolution to work with?

I don't understand the question

3. Why would each "belief" have the very same probability of being wrong?

I think the point was just that not all belief is in error and to function normally, you would have to assume that at least half of what we believe is true.

They might be honest and not notice the problem. For instance, I can see people self-deceiving, thinking they did find some actual problem in naturalism and evolution together. However, they fail to carefully examine it and see if they failed. If so, they are not dishonest, but rather biased and naive in their rationalism. It is sad because they are so easy to show wrong by people who are used to detect biases and wrong constructs.

I think I know what you are getting at and I understand what you are saying. I could have argued YEC at one time based on my knowing God. I would have argued in faith that the Bible is true without any scientific evidence because I do believe by faith. But what I discovered is that reality and science are actually simpler to understand than the contortions of having to prove YEC through solely supernatural means. There is some supernatural to creation. I cannot deny that I would argue that God did the DNA modifications as opposed to random chance and nature and He has made Himself invisible on purpose because it is the test of faith in Him that is so important to Him. This universe is organized and shows creativity and I think man has proven that it is not that easy to tweak DNA.

Vera

verandoug said...

No, I haven't. I pick up my own Masters level biology textbooks because I'm well into a term of University. I don't have the time, energy or inclination to review every single thing you toss at me. Especially when the things I DO bother to look at are so easily refutable.

I appreciate that you want purity in your understanding. Been there; done that. I have not wanted to taint my understanding until I was ready. I don't think you would find Who was Adam? that difficult to read especially since you already know so much. If you want, I will mail it to you at my own expense. Do you have a PO Box?

Vera

get_education said...

Hi Vera,

Maybe we are getting lost, also with Maragon. We are mostly trying to show you where the "article" fails, then it seems like you miss the point (that the article lied, or misrepresented something), and rather you try to answer like we are asking you. I say this because you answer your opinion, rather than see that such is not what the article said. Now:

I would say that the frog acts on instinct as opposed to a belief per se but it must belief that its tongue is capable of catching the bug to initiate the process. Animals have beliefs.

Not necessarily. But the point is that this person automatically assumed it is a belief. This is important to his math later on.

2. Why should "beliefs" be "independent units" for evolution to work with?

I don't understand the question


This person assumes that each one of the beliefs is independent of each other. Otherwise his math would not work into those very small probabilities. He rather forgets the complexities and interactions of "beliefs" so that his construct "works." He assumes that simple forms have a small number of beliefs, while complex forms have a high number of "beliefs" just like each belief appeared in and by itself, instead of being part of the complexity of the works of a nervous system all around. (I hope it is clear. Otherwise I might give it a different try. Let me know.)

I think the point was just that not all belief is in error and to function normally, you would have to assume that at least half of what we believe is true.

Nope, otherwise his math does not work. If half the beliefs were true, then the whole math he did would be meaningless. The total probability would be 0.5, not that infinitesimally small number he gives.

Thus, this whole construct fails from the very beginning. What Maragon said shows the dishonesty in how the person presents what each thing is, assumes too much, and erroneously assumes that evolution would mean all those "beliefs" being a 50/50 toss of true and wrong. All wrong. And what I am trying to do is to open your eyes to why it is false, rather than discuss your beliefs for now.

Was this clear?

Finally

This universe is organized and shows creativity and I think man has proven that it is not that easy to tweak DNA.

It is quite easy to tweak DNA. But maybe I do not understand what you are saying. The universe has properties and such, and I see them as just the way it is. If you rather think it is because of a God, again, that is up to you, and I do not mind. Again, impossible to prove Vera. In this very case it is mostly a matter of interpretation. You want to see the properties as prove. We find it simpler to think that is the way things work. But I can live happily with that. Again, what I find offensive is these people trying to give you false constructs.

G.E.

Maragon said...

" MrFreeThinker said...

Maragon you completely miss the point of the argument.
Anyway this is a philosophical argument not a biological one , since the writer , Alvin platinga has more credentials in philosophy than you , I should disregard your opinions on it according to your appeal to authority.
The point was that is naturalism is true you don't have any way to know if your cognitive faculties are true(after all they were developed for survival value and not for truth value). If your cognitive faculties are not likely to be functioning properly, your belief in evolution is just as likely to be untrue."

And that was exactly what I addressed. Read it again.

You want to play the pre-supposistionalism game, go make a post on my Raytractors blog and I'll be happy to slap that down for you, dear.

Maragon said...

Vera,

"I appreciate that you want purity in your understanding. Been there; done that. I have not wanted to taint my understanding until I was ready. I don't think you would find Who was Adam? that difficult to read especially since you already know so much. If you want, I will mail it to you at my own expense. Do you have a PO Box?"

It's not about 'tainting my understanding' it's about having alot of my own things to do. I can't even read things that I would like to read anymore because I have so many things to do for University. I have 30 hours of class per week plus at least 6 hours a day of homework outside of class. Perhaps over the Christmas break I can find more time to discuss things with you that require a lengthy time investment.

Maragon said...

MrFreeThinker,

And if the shoes on the other foot, and our senses ARE reliable, what does it mean when we observe that all evidence points towards evolution?

His argument is self-refuting in that sense, too.

MrFreeThinker said...

@ Maragon
I do accept evolution. The argument does make way for theistic evolution in that way.
But I don't see how your critique had any substance.
To address it-
Plantiga's definition isn't meant to be an extensive definition.It's just a working one for the sake of the argument. And how you arrived at your naturalistic conclusion doesn't matter.
The scientific method would have been made up by people with the same false cognitive faculties (if naturalism is true) so appealing to it from your worldview is useless.
And the argument doesn't mean that our cognitive faculties are reliable "all the time" merely most of the time.So us being fooled on occasion is not incompatible with the Christian worldview. But that isn't what were arguing.
And did you hear Platinga's analogy of Paul the prehistoric hominid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMqCSzwzE50
Basically as you acknowlege beliefs can impact survival value. But these need not necessarily be true to increase survival value.
If Paul needs to get tiger avoiding behaviour- it does not matter if his faculties are accurate.
To quote Platinga
He could believe the tiger is a large, friendly, cuddly pussycat and wants to pet it; but he also believes that the best way to pet it is to run away from it. Or perhaps the confuses running towards it with running away from it, believing of the action that is really running away from it, that it is running towards it; or perhaps he thinks the tiger is a regularly reoccurring illusion, and hoping to keep his weight down, has formed the resolution to run a mile at top speed whenever presented with such an illusion; or perhaps he thinks he is about to take part in a 1600 meter race, wants to win, and believes the appearance of the tiger is the starting signal;
Each of these beliefs would result in tiger-avoidance behaviour and increase his survival value- which is all evolution cares about.This is the cornerstone of the argument.
Each of these beliefs would allow Paul to survive.So what is the chance that Paul's beliefs about tigers is true?Very low. That is the whole point of the argument.
You getting it now?

MrFreeThinker said...

I'd like to stress this isn't an argument against evolution but against naturalism.It doesn't mean that naturalism or evolution was untrue. It says if naturalism and evolution were simultaneously true we would have no way to know if they were true.

Maragon said...

"It says if naturalism and evolution were simultaneously true we would have no way to know if they were true."

And that's exactly what I addressed.
I have no issue with understanding what the author postulated - I just found it to be grievously erroneous - which is why I refuted the hell out of it.

This is pre-supposistionalism spun a different direction. As with pre-supposistionalism, I see no evidence for the notion that we require a deity to be certain of anything we think we know.

"The scientific method would have been made up by people with the same false cognitive faculties (if naturalism is true) so appealing to it from your worldview is useless."

Doesn't refute the scientific method because of the self-correcting nature of the scientific method.

"Basically as you acknowledge beliefs can impact survival value. But these need not necessarily be true to increase survival value."

How would something 'impact' survival and yet not 'increase survival value'? That makes no sense. it's double talk.

"Each of these beliefs would result in tiger-avoidance behaviour and increase his survival value- which is all evolution cares about.This is the cornerstone of the argument."

You and he have no way or reason to prove that anyone would or does come to such erroneous false beliefs. Likely his avoidance of the tiger has to do with practical knowledge - like watching someone being eaten by a tiger. There is a basis for our beliefs - we do not come by them randomly and without reason; that's another reason why his 'proof' fails.

And quit linking me ridiculous videos - I am a masters student in biology at a top Canadian university. I don't have the time or inclination to watch every thing random theists thinks proves their worldview. I've heard it all before, it's not convincing, save yourself the trouble.

verandoug said...

Maragon

This is pre-supposistionalism spun a different direction. As with pre-supposistionalism, I see no evidence for the notion that we require a deity to be certain of anything we think we know.

You claim that we don't know anything for sure. Isn't that right? So how can you know anything, test anything or be a scientist since all that you know is not really known?

What do you mean by "pre-suppositionalism." Suppositionalism is not a word. Did you make this up or did I miss something?

And if the shoes on the other foot, and our senses ARE reliable, what does it mean when we observe that all evidence points towards evolution?

I disagree. I believe the evidence points toward a Creator for the mere fact that it is ordered, testable and beautiful. If random chance occurred, it would not create these things that definitely point to Someone orchestrating the entire scenario.

The vogue of naturalism posits that this could have occurred alone with microbes adding to their DNA over time to create more and more complex features including eyes, nose, ears, taste buds, and touch receptors plus hemoglobin, skeletons, spleens, livers, muscles, reproduction in this very complicated way, and so many other parameters that I do not have time to explain.

You would look at the DNA molecule and see the progression and insert your belief on the evidence that this happened per chance by natural selection. However, this mechanism is not adequate to fill in the blanks. Further punctuated equilibrium is probably better at describing the actual events within the fossil record. There is stasis and then a burst of creation. Even Dr. Zach has to make that point in his podcast on punctuated equilibrium. Those are the facts. And please do NOT give me the worn out argument that the fossil record is incomplete when on another day you will point to it as your primary evidence for evolution. Either it is accurate or not. You will excuse me as I get a little tired of the duplicity.

I believe that life evolved over billions of years with a Master engineer, Artist, Creator at the wheel. The dinosaur error, just for example, had O2 levels of 35%. Did you know that we would be brain damaged with that amount of O2 saturation. Seriously. When I took care of infants, they were monitored closely for high O2 levels because of the damage that amount of O2 does to their lungs and eyes and the way it can change the delicate pH balance. It can also stimulate a cranial bleed.

At the just right timing, the earth accidentally gets struck by a huge comet/rock/asteroid that changes the climate and vegetation and within a short period of time, the dinosaurs are gone and mammals appear. Within 10 million years of this episode, the world is teaming over with life again. Then God creates man in His own image and the creating stops. Extinction by the masses begins and no new creating since then.

I was perusing RTB just now to go back to the article we are discussing and I found this new one called Photosynthesis is Not Enough, which points to this phenomenon in O2 levels.

http://www.reasons.org/tnrtb/2008/09/22/photosynthesis-is-not-enough-2/

Vera

Maragon said...

"You claim that we don't know anything for sure. Isn't that right? So how can you know anything, test anything or be a scientist since all that you know is not really known?"

Because of the scientific method and deductive reasoning I am capable of being certain enough of something to understand it, accept it and use it to make testable predictions.

Nothing in science, or indeed in life is ever 100% certain. Science is based upon the principle of falsifiability. Essentially, something cannot be said to be true unless there is a way in which it could be proven false. Evolution is falsifiable. Gravity is falsifiable. Aerodynamics is falsifiable.
Something that is unable to falsifiable is a 'null hypothesis' and is of no use to science because it is not testable and has no predictive powers.

"What do you mean by "pre-suppositionalism." Suppositionalism is not a word. Did you make this up or did I miss something?"

No, it's a very vacuous, ridiculous argument that some theists use to try to prove that a god exists. They state that they can be 100% sure about things(even the things I mentioned above which would, in effect, invalidate the scientific process) because they believe in god.

"I disagree. I believe the evidence points toward a Creator for the mere fact that it is ordered, testable and beautiful. If random chance occurred, it would not create these things that definitely point to Someone orchestrating the entire scenario."

I can easily prove to you that 'random chance occurs'. A random number generator uses absolute random chance.

Evolution is not random. To claim that it is is to misunderstand the theory.

Just because something is beautiful doesn't mean that it was created. This is an appeal to emotion, not logic.

"The vogue of naturalism posits that this could have occurred alone with microbes adding to their DNA over time to create more and more complex features including eyes, nose, ears, taste buds, and touch receptors plus hemoglobin, skeletons, spleens, livers, muscles, reproduction in this very complicated way, and so many other parameters that I do not have time to explain."

You're confusing cause and effect.

I see science. I understand science. I spend 6 years of my life studying evolutionary biology. I see no indication in my studies and in the evidence presented to me of any divine intervention. I see everything arising via natural causes.
I then come to the CONCLUSION of naturalism. I didn't start at naturalism and then attempt to squeeze everything into it, as you'd like to insist.

"However, this mechanism is not adequate to fill in the blanks."

That may be your opinion, but it's certainly not what the top researchers in the field(I'm currently studying under one) think.

"And please do NOT give me the worn out argument that the fossil record is incomplete when on another day you will point to it as your primary evidence for evolution. Either it is accurate or not. You will excuse me as I get a little tired of the duplicity."

I won't excuse you from self-imposed ignorance, Vera.

The fossil record IS incomplete. As we would expect it to be. This doesn't make it not relevant evidence. Nor have I ever claimed it to be my 'primary' or 'best' evidence. It is accurate and it is incomplete and it is evidence of evolution.

I have no idea what the rest of what you're talking about has to do with our previous discussion and I don't have any time to read any articles this week with 4 projects and 2 quizzes due by Monday.

Have a nice week.

verandoug said...

One of the premises of this article is that it begins by exposing the fact that naturalism is religious in nature. It is. People follow Richard Dawkins like he is the high priest of naturalism. Naturalism is based on a skewed belief that as he says, "science in some way supports, endorses, underwrites, implies, or anyway is unusually friendly to naturalism." He says "evolution" is a pillar in the temple of naturalism, which to me was well said. And there is an obvious zeal to stamp out opposing views, wouldn't you agree? I have yet to be on a Christian message board that does not include an antagonist from this group. Ray invites it because we hope to help you see a different perspective and be saved. But that is not necessarily true on other sites.

Shoot, Maragon, you will spend time here reading but you won't take a minute to read an opposing view even when I offer to send you the book free of charge. You claim it is a time factor? Are you sure? How does this explain why Dimensio digs in his heels anytime I ask him to check something out? I have to literally write it out or copy and paste it before he will read it whether its a reference to a book or link nevermind listening to a podcast. What would take him five seconds to do, takes me time and effort especially where it involves a book excerpt. And he's not unusual either. I have been talking to atheist/naturalist/evolutions for quite some time.

I have been on the RDNet web site. Are you related in some way to RD? I think you were there. It is a censored web site. I know this group hasn't "heard it all" as they propose. So why close the door to an opposing view? We aren't afraid of your "opposing view." Why's that?

The whole point of this article was to point out that evolution does not support the *belief* in naturalism because naturalism proposes that beliefs are not real but stimulated nerve impulses.

The problem, as several thinkers (C. S. Lewis, for example) have seen, is that naturalism, or evolutionary naturalism, seems to lead to a deep and pervasive skepticism.

If this isn't a beautiful description of the modern day naturalists, I don't know what is. Everything about them screams skepticism.

It leads to the conclusion that our cognitive or belief-producing faculties—memory, perception, logical insight, etc.—are unreliable and cannot be trusted to produce a preponderance of true beliefs over false.

I am a Christian. I say that I was set free from sin by the power of God and that He has become more real to me than anything earth has to offer. I have seen Him move in miraculous ways to help my family in sickness, necessities, and in many other ways. My faith has grown exponentially over the years with time and understanding of His Word and then seeing Him in His creation. At each new event in my life, whether good or bad, I have learned more about Him and grown even closer to Him. He speaks to me in my heart and His voice is not the voice of a stranger. I know that still small voice.

Ray Comfort has said this as have many other people. We believed and then we knew.

The "skeptic" says, "Prove it. Prove with science that this is true. Produce God for us by naturalism or we won't believe." I say, "My perception was that I prayed and agreed with God on my sin asking Him to forgive me and I am no longer the person I was. At that moment, I was so overcome by His love. When I smoked cigarettes, God set me free of the desire for them in a day. I have never gone back to that addiction since that day because I have no desire to." The skeptic says, "Your 'memory' of the situation is unreliable. Demonstrate how a God can set you free from sin." I say, "Well the proof is in my life and not just in that area but in the area of anger and bitterness, sex, and many other areas of personal character issues." The skeptic says, "This *could* have happened without a God." I say, "You have no idea how addicted I was to cigarettes or how much God convicted me, tried me and tested me." The skeptic says, "What about all the other people that quit." I say, "Was the desire completely taken away in a microsecond never to return again?" Is my memory and perception of this event "reliable?" Have others claimed to be set free just like me? Yes. Are we all gone mad? I wasn't ill when I quit smoking 30 years ago. I liked smoking, which is why I didn't want to give it up.

"With me," says Darwin, "the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"

Since my "convictions" arose from a monkey brain, they may not be trustworthy. Therefore, what I was actually experiencing was not a Holy God but some brain waves. This then would like to cause me to question this supernaturally natural event in my life.

Clearly this doubt arises for naturalists or atheists, but not for those who believe in God.

I have no doubt of God in my life even in the trials and sufferings I have been through. At every turn, He has revealed more and more of Himself to me. Actually, the more I suffer, the more power is poured into my life through His grace.

That is because if God has created us in his image, then even if he fashioned us by some evolutionary means, he would presumably want us to resemble him in being able to know; but then most of what we believe might be true even if our minds have developed from those of the lower animals.

Evolution is not a problem. If God created me in a poof or over time, it means very little to me. It is not really important. What is important is the relationships between me and Him and between me and others. What is important is knowing my importance as one created in His image. How we got to this point is irrelevant. I trust that He did it somehow.

I don't think it's possible at all to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist; but in any event you can't rationally accept both evolution and naturalism.

Why not? How does the argument go?4 The first thing to see is that naturalists are also always or almost always materialists: they think human beings are material objects, with no immaterial or spiritual soul, or self. We just are our bodies, or perhaps some part of our bodies, such as our nervous systems, or brains, or perhaps part of our brains (the right or left hemisphere, for example), or perhaps some still smaller part. So let's think of naturalism as including materialism.5 And now let's think about beliefs from a materialist perspective. According to materialists, beliefs, along with the rest of mental life, are caused or determined by neurophysiology, by what goes on in the brain and nervous system. Neurophysiology, furthermore, also causes behavior. According to the usual story, electrical signals proceed via afferent nerves from the sense organs to the brain; there some processing goes on; then electrical impulses go via efferent nerves from the brain to other organs including muscles; in response to these signals, certain muscles contract, thus causing movement and behavior.


This is an excellent point. What makes your "belief" fashioned out of neuro-impulses any more intelligent than my neuro-impulses? I have provable facts in my life that stem from my belief. I could technically bring ten people forward to testify that I am not the same person.

Now this same neurophysiology, according to the materialist, also causes belief. But while evolution, natural selection, rewards adaptive behavior (rewards it with survival and reproduction) and penalizes maladaptive behavior, it doesn't, as such, care a fig about true belief.

One item that comes to mind immediately is the slavery debate. No matter how many times I point to the fact that 99.9% of those opposing it and abolishing it were Christians, the naturalist claims that the "beliefs" were irrelevant because the proverbial fly was caught. So they say that in the natural, this *would* have happened regardless of Christians. Problem is that it didn't.

As Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the genetic code, writes in The Astonishing Hypothesis, "Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truth, but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive and leave descendents." Taking up this theme, naturalist philosopher Patricia Churchland declares that the most important thing about the human brain is that it has evolved; hence, she says, its principal function is to enable the organism to move appropriately:

Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F's: feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproducing. The principal chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive … . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism's way of life and enhances the organism's chances of survival [Churchland's emphasis]. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.6


Which goes right back to the animalistic ideas of evolution that are constantly proclaiming us animals only here for gratification and reproduction and no other purpose because such a purpose would require and demand a belief.

What she means is that natural selection doesn't care about the truth or falsehood of your beliefs; it cares only about adaptive behavior. Your beliefs may all be false, ridiculously false; if your behavior is adaptive, you will survive and reproduce. Consider a frog sitting on a lily pad. A fly passes by; the frog flicks out its tongue to capture it. Perhaps the neurophysiology that causes it to do so, also causes beliefs. As far as survival and reproduction is concerned, it won't matter at all what these beliefs are: if that adaptive neurophysiology causes true belief (e.g., those little black things are good to eat), fine. But if it causes false belief (e.g., if I catch the right one, I'll turn into a prince), that's fine too. Indeed, the neurophysiology in question might cause beliefs that have nothing to do with the creature's current circumstances (as in the case of our dreams); that's also fine, as long as the neurophysiology causes adaptive behavior. All that really matters, as far as survival and reproduction is concerned, is that the neurophysiology cause the right kind of behavior; whether it also causes true belief (rather than false belief) is irrelevant.

In this worldview, you would assume that my belief of God matters little where your belief in naturalism is superior in every respect and yet, it is still a belief and who's to say that your belief outweighs mine as they are both contrived by neuro-energy.

Next, to avoid interspecies chauvinism, let's not think about ourselves, but instead about a hypothetical population of creatures a lot like us, perhaps living on a distant planet. Like us, these creatures enjoy perception, memory, and reason; they form beliefs on many topics, they reason and change belief, and so on. Let's suppose, furthermore, that naturalistic evolution holds for them; that is, suppose they live in a naturalistic universe and have come to be by way of the processes postulated by contemporary evolutionary theory. What we know about these creatures, then, is that they have survived; their neurophysiology has produced adaptive behavior. But what about the truth of their beliefs? What about the reliability of their belief-producing or cognitive faculties?

What we learn from Crick and Churchland (and what is in any event obvious) is this: the fact that our hypothetical creatures have survived doesn't tell us anything at all about the truth of their beliefs or the reliability of their cognitive faculties. What it tells us is that the neurophysiology that produces those beliefs is adaptive, as is the behavior caused by that neurophysiology. But it simply doesn't matter whether the beliefs also caused by that neurophysiology are true. If they are true, excellent; but if they are false, that's fine too, provided the neurophysiology produces adaptive behavior.


The belief behind the behavior is not as important as the fact that the action produced viability. I do not smoke, therefore, I survived where someone who refused is now dead and did not reproduce.

So consider any particular belief on the part of one of those creatures: what is the probability that it is true? Well, what we know is that the belief in question was produced by adaptive neurophysiology, neurophysiology that produces adaptive behavior. But as we've seen, that gives us no reason to think the belief true (and none to think it false). We must suppose, therefore, that the belief in question is about as likely to be false as to be true; the probability of any particular belief's being true is in the neighborhood of 1/2.

We have two individuals at odds. You say my belief is made up. I say it is real. That is the 50/50 chance.

But then it is massively unlikely that the cognitive faculties of these creatures produce the preponderance of true beliefs over false required by reliability. If I have 1,000 independent beliefs, for example, and the probability of any particular belief's being true is 1/2, then the probability that 3/4 or more of these beliefs are true (certainly a modest enough requirement for reliability) will be less than 10-58. And even if I am running a modest epistemic establishment of only 100 beliefs, the probability that 3/4 of them are true, given that the probability of any one's being true is 1/2, is very low, something like .000001.7 So the chances that these creatures' true beliefs substantially outnumber their false beliefs (even in a particular area) are small. The conclusion to be drawn is that it is exceedingly unlikely that their cognitive faculties are reliable.

Now we are strictly speaking of beliefs, not the natural world. This was derived at statistically.

But of course this same argument will also hold for us. If evolutionary naturalism is true, then the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable is also very low

THIS IS THE POINT RIGHT HERE! (caps for emphasis).

And that means that one who accepts evolutionary naturalism has a defeater for the belief that her cognitive faculties are reliable: a reason for giving up that belief, for rejecting it, for no longer holding it. If there isn't a defeater for that defeater—a defeater-defeater, we could say—she can't rationally believe that her cognitive faculties are reliable. No doubt she can't help believing that they are; no doubt she will in fact continue to believe it; but that belief will be irrational. And if she has a defeater for the reliability of her cognitive faculties, she also has a defeater for any belief she takes to be produced by those faculties—which, of course, is all of her beliefs. If she can't trust her cognitive faculties, she has a reason, with respect to each of her beliefs, to give it up. She is therefore enmeshed in a deep and bottomless skepticism

Natural evolution is not a proven fact. It is a theory as has been said many times and not a proven one at that. Evolution may be true. But the mechanism being nature is a "BELIEF." You are imposing that mechanism on the data and at every turn have to admit the problems with the belief.

One of her beliefs, however, is her belief in evolutionary naturalism itself; so then she also has a defeater for that belief. Evolutionary naturalism, therefore—the belief in the combination of naturalism and evolution—is self-refuting, self-destructive, shoots itself in the foot. Therefore you can't rationally accept it. For all this argument shows, it may be true; but it is irrational to hold it. So the argument isn't an argument for the falsehood of evolutionary naturalism; it is instead for the conclusion that one cannot rationally believe that proposition. Evolution, therefore, far from supporting naturalism, is incompatible with it, in the sense that you can't rationally believe them both.

Why? Because naturalism is a belief that evolution declares is unsupported.


What sort of reception has this argument had? As you might expect, naturalists tend to be less than wholly enthusiastic about it, and many objections have been brought against it. In my opinion (which of course some people might claim is biased), none of these objections is successful.8 Perhaps the most natural and intuitive objection goes as follows. Return to that hypothetical population of a few paragraphs back. Granted, it could be that their behavior is adaptive even though their beliefs are false; but wouldn't it be much more likely that their behavior is adaptive if their beliefs are true? And doesn't that mean that, since their behavior is in fact adaptive, their beliefs are probably true and their cognitive faculties probably reliable?

This is the article sited here in the bibliography:

8. See, e.g., Naturalism Defeated?, ed. James Beilby (Cornell Univ. Press, 2002), which contains some ten essays by critics of the argument, together with my replies to their objections.

This is indeed a natural objection, in particular given the way we think about our own mental life. Of course you are more likely to achieve your goals, and of course you are more likely to survive and reproduce if your beliefs are mostly true. You are a prehistoric hominid living on the plains of Serengeti; clearly you won't last long if you believe lions are lovable overgrown pussycats who like nothing better than to be petted. So, if we assume that these hypothetical creatures are in the same kind of cognitive situation we ordinarily think we are, then certainly they would have been much more likely to survive if their cognitive faculties were reliable than if they were not.

Excellent point because I do believe that one can cause an animal to believe. The mouse in the maze for example.

But of course we can't just assume that they are in the same cognitive situation we think we are in. For example, we assume that our cognitive faculties are reliable. We can't sensibly assume that about this population; after all, the whole point of the argument is to show that if evolutionary naturalism is true, then very likely we and our cognitive faculties are not reliable. So reflect once more on what we know about these creatures. They live in a world in which evolutionary naturalism is true. Therefore, since they have survived and reproduced, their behavior has been adaptive. This means that the neurophysiology that caused or produced that behavior has also been adaptive: it has enabled them to survive and reproduce. But what about their beliefs? These beliefs have been produced or caused by that adaptive neurophysiology; fair enough. But that gives us no reason for supposing those beliefs true. So far as adaptiveness of their behavior goes, it doesn't matter whether those beliefs are true or false.

This is the kicker. Your beliefs then become irrelevant to your survival because it may or may not be true since beliefs cannot be proven scientifically. Evolution is not naturalism. Evolution merely shows that animals went from simple to complex. The Bible said it first without science. So what?

Suppose the adaptive neurophysiology produces true beliefs: fine; it also produces adaptive behavior, and that's what counts for survival and reproduction. Suppose on the other hand that neurophysiology produces false beliefs: again fine: it produces false beliefs but adaptive behavior. It really doesn't matter what kind of beliefs the neurophysiology produces; what matters is that it cause adaptive behavior; and this it clearly does, no matter what sort of beliefs it also produces. Therefore there is no reason to think that if their behavior is adaptive, then it is likely that their cognitive faculties are reliable.

Right because we could all be living in the Matrix. And this won't change the fact that I will eat, sleep, and go to the doc when I'm sick.

The obvious conclusion, so it seems to me, is that evolutionary naturalism can't sensibly be accepted. The high priests of evolutionary naturalism loudly proclaim that Christian and even theistic belief is bankrupt and foolish. The fact, however, is that the shoe is on the other foot. It is evolutionary naturalism, not Christian belief, that can't rationally be accepted.

It can't be sensibly accepted because it is a belief not proven. It is your cognitive belief vs. my cognitive belief. But it is bankrupt because it denies itself for having such a belief.

Vera

verandoug said...

I've heard it all before, it's not convincing, save yourself the trouble.

And we rest our case. What in the world are you talking about? You've heard everything Christianity proposes? I doubt it very seriously. This is yet another example of a belief that I know for a fact is not true.

The scientific method originated in the Bible. Prove all things. There are ways to test the spiritual world as well as the natural world.

Vera

get_education said...

Aaaaaahhh!!! Vera and Freethink-whatever.

Please read what Maragon and me said. We DO understand the construct of this guy. We easily find that it fails completely. We are trying to show you, and you just keep saying that we do not get it, and deviating from the issue.

The reason to start with showing that the definition of naturalism is wrong is because the guy OBVIOUSLY used one that would appeal to your emotions and nullify your intellect!

Please read again. Naturalism and evolution are perfectly compatible. There is no contradiction. The argument is not just "philosophical," it tries to be "scientific," but is mostly a fallacious construct. Now, it shows too that vera herself did not understand it, since she did not know where the math came from. What does that tell you? No! You are not fools, you are not paying attention to anything else but that the guy "demonstrates" (but how?), that naturalism and evolution are contradictory, based on a very silly, over-assuming, construct.

Will you please read Maragon's long first post slowly?

G.E.

MrFreeThinker said...

You guys really don't get the argument.I'm busy now (got soem exms this week) but by the end of the week I will probaly make a post on my blog about the Evolutionary argument against naturalism.
Maragon completelly misses it.

At first she tries to concede that our cognitive faculties are inaccurate-and then she says we need the scientific method to find out if things are true .The scientific method would have een devised by the same people with the faulty cognitive senses so she basically defeats herself.
Then she never addresses the point that wrong beliefs can lead to behaviors that increase survival value.
You and he have no way or reason to prove that anyone would or does come to such erroneous false beliefs. Likely his avoidance of the tiger has to do with practical knowledge - like watching someone being eaten by a tiger. There is a basis for our beliefs - we do not come by them randomly and without reason; that's another reason why his 'proof' fails.

Again I can posit plausible ways in which he could come by those beliefs. Perhaps he saw another group of hominids running and thought it was a race? or perhaps he just decided to keep his weight down by running.True beliefs are less likely to come than a false one.There is only 1 true belief- there are at least a dozen false ones.

get_education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maragon said...

Mrstaklker,

"You guys really don't get the argument."

Insisting this over and over again doesn't make it anymore true.

Once again. Evolution isn't based on naturalism. Naturalism is a completely separate viewpoint that arises from examining all the evidence available and seeing no proof of anything supernatural.

Please quit confusing cause and effect - it's tedious.

"At first she tries to concede that our cognitive faculties are inaccurate-and then she says we need the scientific method to find out if things are true .The scientific method would have een devised by the same people with the faulty cognitive senses so she basically defeats herself."

And you don't understand the scientific method and how it seeks to deal with any inaccuracies in our cognitive faculties.

I also stated that our cognitive faculties wouldn't be as weak as the article writer proposed them to be. I disagree with the notion that 'half' of our beliefs would be incorrect. I explained this in my original post that you clearly didn't bother to read.

"Then she never addresses the point that wrong beliefs can lead to behaviors that increase survival value."

I addressed it multiple times. You just keep making up increasingly ridiculous scenarios in a vain attempt to prove your misguided point.

"Perhaps he saw another group of hominids running and thought it was a race? or perhaps he just decided to keep his weight down by running."

Prove to me that it's more likely that he would run from a tiger every time a tiger showed up because he had once see others run away from it and not because he understands that the tiger is dangerous. Then prove to me that seeing others run from the tiger in fear wouldn't allow him to form a belief that the tiger was dangerous.

Prove to me that a belief that running will keep his weight down would encourage him to run from every tiger every single time one showed up. Maybe he's too tired to run, or just sat down to dinner. If he didn't understand the severity of the tiger's presence eventually his false belief would kill him.


This is just such a stupid line of rhetoric. Try harder.

get_education said...

I think that your problem, "MrFreeThinker" is your absolutism. You take "non reliable" as an absolute.

Your other problem, of course, is that you seem unwilling to read and understand what we say.

G.E.

Maragon said...

Also:

By that article's argument, if you're a naturalist, your cognitive faculties are fallible, and therefore you have no assurance that anything you believe is true.

But believing in Jesus means that your cognitive faculties are not fallible, so if you believe something, it must necessarily be true.

So therefore, the existence of theistic evolutionists proves that evolution is therefore true.

So you have Christians who believe in an old earth and those that believe in a young one. since neither of them can be wrong about their beliefs (since they both believe in Jesus) they must both be true!
The earth is old and young at the same time!
It's all so simple!


(Oh I GET IT NOW Mr'freethinker' - If I'm a Christian, anything I claim is true IS! By the impossibility of the contrary. How silly of me to not understand what you were saying the first time. I guess I just assumed your arguments had more to them than; "because I'm Christian and I said so.")

get_education said...

This is just such a stupid line of rhetoric. Try harder.

I could not have said it better.

G.E.

get_education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
get_education said...

MrFreeThinker said...

You guys really don't get the argument.

Oh we do, the argument is that naturalism and evolution are contradictory because these guy thinks that each adaptive "belief" has an independent probability of 0.5 of being correct. Thus, if "evolution" were true, then our "beliefs" would not be reliable.

I contended that:

1. There is no reason to think that each "belief" has 0.5 (or 1/2 as this guy said) probability of being correct.

2. There is no reason to think that each "belief" is independent from another.

3. There is no reason to think that complex "belief systems" have to be completely and absolutely unreliable. Competition would favor species that make less mistakes, thus favoring those whose "belief system" is more reliable. But, granted, being the product of evolution we can conclude that there is no reason for the "belief system" to be 100% reliable. Still, that does not mean in any way that we cannot trust the scientific method (not "self defeating," just "self-critical"). Nor does it mean that the "belief system" has such low probability of being correct.

Fallacious construct.

Clear now?

G.E.

MrFreeThinker said...

"Mrstaklker".
I'm stalking you after 2 comment replies now?

Evolution isn't based on naturalism.
Who claimed it was ? I never did and Platinga never did in article.I reject naturalism but accept evolution.
Naturalism is a completely separate viewpoint that arises from examining all the evidence available and seeing no proof of anything supernatural.
How you came to naturalism is irrelevamt.
I explained this in my original post that you clearly didn't bother to read.
I did read it several times and addressed your claims . I clearly showed that it wasn't necessary for a belief to be true to convey any kind of evolutionary advantage.
Prove to me that it's more likely that he would run from a tiger every time a tiger showed up because he had once see others run away from it and not because he understands that the tiger is dangerous. Then prove to me that seeing others run from the tiger in fear wouldn't allow him to form a belief that the tiger was dangerous.

"Prove to me that a belief that running will keep his weight down would encourage him to run from every tiger every single time one showed up."
(You should know from evolution that Paul doesn't need to get away all the time just long enough to reproduce.)
It not my duty to prove it. Its yor duty to prove that somehow Paul will come to the right conclusion about the tiger more than 50% of the time.In each case Paul would get away from the tiger.You're just trying to shift the burden onto me.
But believing in Jesus means that your cognitive faculties are not fallible, so if you believe something, it must necessarily be true.
Where does the article claim this?
All the article claims is that there is a no reason for evolution to develop a being with cognitive abilities that are reliable (produce beliefs that are true most
of the time) an that is a probelm naturalists have to deal with.
Nobody claimed this was an argument for Jesus or for theism.This is an argument against naturalism.
All this said was that theists have a reason to believe that their cognitive abilities are reliable.


@get_education
I do get what you are trying to say.
All you do is keep insisting that evolution would produce reliable conitive faculites without showing how. i did show how a hominid could survive and reproduce with false beliefs(as per my buddy Paul) which defeats premise 3 .Paul can mistakes as long as the end result (Run away fast!!) is correct.
And I'm not claiming the scientific method is incorrect.I said if a method was the result of beings with unreliable cognitive abilities.
Imagine if a group of drunk monkeys produced a new method called the Goopenslaughter method and claimed it was self-correcting and made up for their deficiencies would you trust it?
And this does hold interesting implications. Was everyone wading in uncertainity before the scientific method was developed ? Were most beliefs untrue before then? What about all the beliefs humans hold that cannot be verified by the scienitific method?

MrFreeThinker said...

@ Maragon
I was re-reading your posts an I was just thinking about someth are saying. You say our cognitive senses are unreliable so we need the scientific method. But what about your beliefs (like naturalism) that cannot be verified by the scientific method? Do you concede those beliefs hold a low probability of being reliable

verandoug said...

I did read it several times and addressed your claims . I clearly showed that it wasn't necessary for a belief to be true to convey any kind of evolutionary advantage.
Prove to me that it's more likely that he would run from a tiger every time a tiger showed up because he had once see others run away from it and not because he understands that the tiger is dangerous. Then prove to me that seeing others run from the tiger in fear wouldn't allow him to form a belief that the tiger was dangerous.

"Prove to me that a belief that running will keep his weight down would encourage him to run from every tiger every single time one showed up."
(You should know from evolution that Paul doesn't need to get away all the time just long enough to reproduce.)
It not my duty to prove it. Its yor duty to prove that somehow Paul will come to the right conclusion about the tiger more than 50% of the time.In each case Paul would get away from the tiger.You're just trying to shift the burden onto me.
But believing in Jesus means that your cognitive faculties are not fallible, so if you believe something, it must necessarily be true.
Where does the article claim this?
All the article claims is that there is a no reason for evolution to develop a being with cognitive abilities that are reliable (produce beliefs that are true most
of the time) an that is a probelm naturalists have to deal with.
Nobody claimed this was an argument for Jesus or for theism.This is an argument against naturalism.
All this said was that theists have a reason to believe that their cognitive abilities are reliable.


@get_education
I do get what you are trying to say.
All you do is keep insisting that evolution would produce reliable conitive faculites without showing how. i did show how a hominid could survive and reproduce with false beliefs(as per my buddy Paul) which defeats premise 3 .Paul can mistakes as long as the end result (Run away fast!!) is correct.
And I'm not claiming the scientific method is incorrect.I said if a method was the result of beings with unreliable cognitive abilities.
Imagine if a group of drunk monkeys produced a new method called the Goopenslaughter method and claimed it was self-correcting and made up for their deficiencies would you trust it?
And this does hold interesting implications. Was everyone wading in uncertainity before the scientific method was developed ? Were most beliefs untrue before then? What about all the beliefs humans hold that cannot be verified by the scienitific method?


Thank you for explaining this more clearly. I realized that he was separating naturalism from evolution, which was something I personally needed to recognize. But I clearly wasn't getting the bottom line that cognitive beliefs were a problem for naturalism because beliefs could have evolved in hundreds of ways meaning that we shouldn't trust in them. We could have believed all sorts of things and survived as a result. Now I see it. But we who are in God's image have no problem accepting our cognitive beliefs. It is hard sometimes to see the point from the other side. =8-/ No wonder Maragon jumped on this. It is a huge blow to naturalism.

Vera

Maragon said...

Vera,

"But I clearly wasn't getting the bottom line that cognitive beliefs were a problem for naturalism because beliefs could have evolved in hundreds of ways meaning that we shouldn't trust in them. We could have believed all sorts of things and survived as a result."

That's his assertion, but he failed to prove it.

Prove to me that a belief that running will keep his weight down would encourage him to run from every tiger every single time one showed up. Maybe he's too tired to run, or just sat down to dinner. If he didn't understand the severity of the tiger's presence eventually his false belief would kill him.

As I explained, his false beliefs about tigers would have eventually got him killed. It's only through understanding that tigers are a THREAT that we can be sure that he would run away each and every time.

There's no reason to assume that someone would have such primitive false beliefs.

When naturalism discusses the fallibility of the human mind, this isn't what we're talking about. Rather, we're talking about far more complex beliefs that aren't readily observable by the senses of humans.
Naturalism isn't something that would lead us to accept the dangers of tigers; we can observe those dangers when a tiger kills our friend. Rather it's discussing the acceptance of such things that we CAN'T see - like the germ theory of disease.
I hope you can see the difference.

verandoug said...

Maragon

Very busy day. Trying to get a 9 yo to write good essay for the first time et al.

As I explained, his false beliefs about tigers would have eventually got him killed. It's only through understanding that tigers are a THREAT that we can be sure that he would run away each and every time.

Isn't that the point is that his beliefs are irrelevant as long as he runs? And the naturalist would suggest that beliefs are unprovable except where it involves science?

There's no reason to assume that someone would have such primitive false beliefs.

Here in the 21st century, there are several beliefs I can think of off the top of my head that are unprovable and yet people fallaciously believe and act on.

One is that a person in the womb is not a person. So then when is a person a person?

When naturalism discusses the fallibility of the human mind, this isn't what we're talking about. Rather, we're talking about far more complex beliefs that aren't readily observable by the senses of humans.

Are the senses of the human heart reliable?

How can you then trust your own fallibility? How is your mind and beliefs superior?

Anticipating your response, If God is real, I wouldn't expect Him to use anything but this natural world. The belief that there should be something other than the natural world to prove that what people believe and experience in Christ is true, seems a bit extreme and unreasonable. The evidences are apparent in the lives of the people that have experienced a difference. The natural world's order, complexity, measurability, creativity and beauty are all obvious signs of God within His creation. If something did arise, it would have to fit the natural world to exist and the naturalist would only include it in other things listed as purely "natural." In this way, the delusion is perpetuated. God is not going to bring in some off-beat element to prove to the scientist that He's real because the scientist would simply proclaim, "Look, we found a new element!" The observable universe has a beginning.

Naturalism isn't something that would lead us to accept the dangers of tigers; we can observe those dangers when a tiger kills our friend. Rather it's discussing the acceptance of such things that we CAN'T see - like the germ theory of disease.
I hope you can see the difference.


Of course, animals have beliefs, which is what you are basically saying and experience often helps them have those beliefs. However, if we kept a rabbit in captivity and then let it go in the wild, it would naturally run from the fox but if it runs from the fox because it believes that the fox is like the dog it's been playing with for months and happens to outrun it, it doesn't change the fact that its belief saved him. I think this is the premise of the article. Is it not?

Vera

get_education said...

MrFreeThinker,

All you do is keep insisting that evolution would produce reliable conitive faculites without showing how.

Do you mean to say that when I said "Competition would favor species that make less mistakes, thus favoring those whose "belief system" is more reliable." I did not "show you how"? I thought this was clear enough. After all you are supposed to KNOW evolution if you want to ARGUE about it.

i did show how a hominid could survive and reproduce with false beliefs(as per my buddy Paul) which defeats premise 3 .Paul can mistakes as long as the end result (Run away fast!!) is correct.

But that was a ridiculous, single-problem-to-solve, example that does not defeat "premise 3" whatsoever. Besides, in "paul's" example the belief is not the result of evolution, but of a faulty system that does not even allows him to think what the problem is, and ask to the rest of the group. If so, paul will die sooner than the ones who run for the right reason. As I said, it is not just "isolated beliefs" (sure you understood what I said?), it is neurological systems that result in "belief" systems if you will, but I am guessing I am wasting my time.

Anyway, this is it for me here. Keep enjoying those lies at RTB. I tried to show you why the "article" is an obvious fallacious construct. But you cannot listen.

G.E.

Followers