Samuel SkinnerWell if it isn't punctualated equilibrium... my old nemesis! I doubt that the man is correct or in agreement with others in the physical anthropology field- there simply is too much evidence to suggest that humans and chimps decended from a common ancestor. It would be nice if you didn't comment about something until you understand it more. Humans aren't directly descended from apes- in fact the creature we directly descended from (and others that descended from it less than 2 million years ago) is extinct.Punctuated equilibrium was a theory of the process of evolution put foward by Stephan Jay Gould. It holds that change isn't a constant process in species- it involves sudden acceleration and periods of stasis. The mechanism for this would probably be the founder effect and mutations in developmental genes (such as the ones that determine body layout). The more steady and constant adherents doubt this view, because evolution occurs amoung population, not individuals and genes aren't capable of choosing mutations. Gould was annoyed that creationists would repeatedly take quotes from him out of context. The moral of the story- the are arguing about the mechanism, not the process. It is the difference between gravity waves and bending space and time. Different processes, but same phenomena- Gravity.
Hello Sam.In a previous comment you wrote that the following questions were unanswerable: "Is the universe real? Do our senses adequately receive what is out there? How do we know it isn't all in our minds?"Your position with respect to the questions you believe to be unanswerable doesn't square with your comments about evolution. If you accept it's possible that the universe is not real, then it's also possible that a claim about its origin/formation isn't real. And yet you hold to evolution. That doesn't jive. Perhaps your senses aren't adequately receiving the alleged evidence for evolution, and yet you believe the evidence even though you accept the possibility that your senses aren't adequately receiving what's out there. Perhaps evolution is just all in your mind, since you ask, "How do we know it isn't all in our minds?"Perhaps you believe in evolution because you find it useful. Well, then, let me quote something for you that you wrote previously: "... just because something is useful doesn't mean it is true."You also wrote in a previous comment: "I work on a set of baseline assumptions that are unprovable, but are falsifiable. And that is the basis of theories." In that case, evolution is unprovable. And yet you hold to it; you believe something that you admit can't be proven.Your position is irrational. Your actions don't comport with your beliefs. You say that you believe one thing, and yet you also say you believe something that contradicts it. This is just one of many reasons why atheism is to be rejected. The atheist worldview doesn't provide a basis for knowledge, and yet atheists engage in the hypocrisy of saying they "know" God doesn't exist.Science is precisely one of the many reasons why people ought to be Christian. The Christian worldview can make sense out of induction and deduction. The Christian worldview can account for the basis of the uniformity of nature. God requires that we do not lie, and therefore we shouldn't fudge the evidence we present when investigating the natural world. Christianity provides the purpose or meaning of life to that compels us to even want to learn things in the first place.I don't doubt that you are an intelligent person, Sam. I just believe that you ought to put your intelligence into the service of God, who offers forgiveness and salvation made possible by Jesus Christ. When you pursue science through the eyes of faith, then you realize that you are beholding a universe that displays the beauty and magnificence of God's creative work.Cheers.
Samuel SkinnerAll theories in science are unprovable and falsible. Something else could be causing the effects, it could be random, etc. In this case for theories to be useful they have to be able to make correct predicitons about reality and provide the ability to model reality. In this case useful doesn't mean it feels good- it means it explains reality.I can't know for certain reality exists. And you know what? It is irrelevant. If reality doesn't exist and I am trapped in a simulation, the trick isn't to escape the simulation (because the premise is there is nothing outside the simulation- if there is than that is reality and we get the problem all over), the trick is to understand the simulation. Why? Because it makes your life more pleasent. Although it would be helpful to know it was all a simulation (because truth is valuable and so you could alter it) there is absolutely no way of knowing.My statements aren't contradictory. They are a pyramid of conceptions of reality that lead to each other. In case you are wondering the first step I take is my emotions- I want to know and unerstand, to be comfortable and happy and to find new things. From there I build up. How do I know my sense are accurate? Well they seem to agree with everyone elses. How do I know other people are real and reality isn't fake? I don't, but working of the theory of external reality I can understand my world around.You can only get 100% percent certainty when you set limits to what you consider. It allows you to use logic to ruthlessly weed out conflicting possibilities. Reality can always be random or unreal, but for the most part we ingnore it because the theory of external reality is so solid. Think about it- gravity has been repeatedly tested until it is counted as a law- reality has been tested much longer- shouldn't it be accorded the same status? I am just admitting that theories all have the possibility of being wrong.Finally I would like to apologize for waxing poeticaly agaist you, not because you deserve it, but because I found someone more deserving of commendation. If you would go to http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/06/26/communism-atheism-relative-morality/#comment-22892and explain god defines morality vs revealing morality (so the guy realizes baby killing is wrong) I would appreciate it. I will make him more annoying, but if you convince him, then he won't kill anyone.
Hi Peter,Please continue to post on presuppositional apologetics. I have enjoyed your blog ...I have included your blog in my blogroll.In Christ,Vincent from Singapore
Greetings,I am a christian and I have a question that concerns the presuppositional argument. If the Laws of nature and inductive reason presupposes a christian worldview would that mean that miracles make laws of nature conventions rather than absolutes? Or does the TAG argument hold that only laws of morality and laws of logic are transcendent and presuppose a my Christian world view?Sincerely,Tim
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