Evolution is Unscientific

muhammad_isa

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Still not clear. Disregarding cosmic time, just for now: does it imply that fossil and geological deposits could have happened at any time in the past..

What's cosmic time?
Do you consider time [ and space ] as an absolute phenomenon?
If so, why?

What I mean is, can we really define them in an absolute sense? How do you know what happened in the past, for example, other than making assumptions about the nature of time?

This universe can disappear in the blink of an eye. What does it mean when we say that light cannot travel greater
than a certain speed? There is more than one way of interpreting that.
We can take "time" as an absolute, or we can take "space/distance" as an absolute .. but not both, according to the theory of relativity.
We can also envisage a scenario in which our measured speed of light is not really "fixed" at all.
It is all relative ;)
Relative to what we assume and define in the first place.
 

RJM

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What's cosmic time?
Do you consider time [ and space ] as an absolute phenomenon?
If so, why?

What I mean is, can we really define them in an absolute sense? How do you know what happened in the past, for example, other than making assumptions about the nature of time?

This universe can disappear in the blink of an eye. What does it mean when we say that light cannot travel greater
than a certain speed? There is more than one way of interpreting that.
We can take "time" as an absolute, or we can take "space/distance" as an absolute .. but not both, according to the theory of relativity.
We can also envisage a scenario in which our measured speed of light is not really "fixed" at all.
It is all relative ;)
Relative to what we assume and define in the first place.
Which is why I suggested to stay away from cosmic time with all the relativity and speed-of-light etc, just for now, and focus on earthbound geological time?

So, to repeat the query:
Still not clear. Disregarding cosmic time, just for now: does it imply that fossil and geological deposits could have happened at any time in the past -- not necessarily at the time they appear to have occurred? They could be younger, because time itself may move in mysteriously unpredictable ways?
 

muhammad_isa

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Which is why I suggested to stay away from cosmic time with all the relativity and speed-of-light etc, just for now, and focus on earthbound geological time

I don't see the difference between what happens on earth and the rest of the universe..
For me, it is a question of what "billions of years" means.
Does it really matter what time we measure for events that happened in the past?

How should it affect my faith? Do scientific findings contradict what scripture teaches us?
Not for me. It doesn't matter what scientists tell me happened. Most of what they say is more than likely to be
correct. So what?

Nothing they say can contradict the existence of the prophets of old, and that Almighty God created the universe.
It is only when people claim scientific facts in scripture are incorrect that there is a problem.
Who started the problem? I am aware of who that would be.

Your question: at what "earth times" did mankind evolve?
I don't know and don't care. I'll leave that to the paleontologists, who find it meaningful to learn how the Bible is apparently wrong ;)

They want us to believe that mankind is an accident. Oh, that's alright then. We can make up our own morality as
we can throw our Bibles away. :rolleyes:
 

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But beyond this creation, visible and invisible, there is an Invisible, higher, Eternal; and when all things pass away, this remains forever and ever.
Bhagavad Gita 8:20
 

juantoo3

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Too long for me, and Adaam and Eve, a non-starter for me. For sure, it did not happen that way.
Interesting. To take this comment at face value, having not read Morton's work, you are saying you do not believe in evolution.

:D

The particular essay I pointed to, that you object to, deals specifically with the evolution in humans of sweat glands (which other simians do not have) and the unique birth requirements humans evolved due to the enlarged skull, reducing the gestation period (which among comparable animals for size / weight / etc should be somewhere around 14 months, according to Morton), and the birth position of an infant that seems to have necessitated the ancient practice of midwifery.

But then I've been quick to dismiss things I couldn't be bothered with as well...
 

juantoo3

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He is arguing for an Adam that did exist, but as a population, not an individual and of far too early origin to match a literal Genesis ... I think?
Something I have yet to see him distinguish (which seems odd to me given he does delve into the language on particular issues), is the difference between 6th day creation of "Adam," vs the 8th day creation of "ha-Adam." The article makes a world of difference, and as I've noted before "day" in the creation story in Genesis is properly translated "time." How long that time was is left open, there could possibly have been thousands, even millions of years between each "day."

As I understand Morton, I can't help but feel he is describing the 6th day creation. That is where I differ with him. I stand by my position that the Eden story specifically is a mythic representation of the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution, and the "opening of the mind" brought on by widespread consumption of grain.

I do find his thought that the Eden story took place within the Mediterranean Basin, which he presents acknowledged geology that at one time the Med was a desert basin below sea level (similar to the Dead Sea, the Turfan Basin or Death Valley / Salton Sea, except on a much larger scale), and that the flood of Noah was when the pillars of Hercules (Gilbralter on one side) gave way and allowed the Atlantic Ocean to flood into the Med Basin. Geologically it makes sense.
 
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juantoo3

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This being the secular thread, I am allowing myself a bit of freedom.

As per @RJM above, it was suggested by a lecturer on my (very traditional Catholic) theology degree that 'Adam and Eve' might refer to a collective rather than an individual.

I feel a lot like juantoo3 with regard to The Migrant Mind blog he links to. I, too, do not necessarily agree with the conclusion, and I certainly don't agree with the last paragraph:

Nothing said or proclaimed there (Genesis 2-3) is true. This should not be the view of people who think that the Scripture contains the way of Salvation.
Too black and white – there's no room for discernment in a book which contains a number of distinctly different narrative forms.

How can such a false book (in their view) really be trusted to tell us the metaphysical truths that we are unable to verify.
Well as the empirical sciences cannot verify or validate metaphysical truth as such is, by its definition, outside its remit.

On the other hand, other sciences, and not limited to theology, do allow that Genesis does convey truths 'of the human condition', offers a profound and meaningful discourse on what it is to be human, and indeed lays the foundation of a metaphysical paradigm.

(As an aside, with regard to 'the empirical science method' being the benchmark of truth, I regard this as a narrow and rather myopic view of science and, in my opinion, one we still need to shake off, or evolve out of, or at the very least review, as mosts scientists seem to accept that such is no longer the case in fields where empirical data eludes us.)

This is why a historical reading of Genesis is necessary--it is necessary for the trustworthiness of scripture.
These statements are in themselves 'unscientific', indeed as 'unscientific' as the common view of evolution.

I mean no criticism of the departed author, but were I in the position to talk to him I would ask if he has ever discussed this with those who believe in evolution and the Bible? I feel sure he must have, did he think us lightweight?

Context is so crucial.

Morton said:
Conclusion
The late placement of Adam in history, the view preferred by many modern commentators makes an utter mockery of everything said in Genesis 2-3. Nothing said or proclaimed there is true.This should not be the view of people who think that the Scripture contains the way of Salvation. How can such a false book (in their view) really be trusted to tell us the metaphysical truths that we are unable to verify. If so much stuff that we can verify is false, what guarantee do we have that the theology and metaphysics of Scripture is real? This why a historical reading of Genesis is necessary--it is necessary for the trustworthiness of scripture.

He actually opens this specific essay with the point that without reading the previous (4?) essays to lay the foundation, it is far too easy to misinterpret. Such is the case here I see.

In Morton's defense, he is on about Young Earth Creationists (YECs), which many years ago he counted himself among their number. He went to work in the field of geology, exploring for oil, and found discrepancies that didn't line up with what he understood the Bible to say. It nearly cost him his faith, he nearly became an academic atheist. Something drew him back in, and he spent the rest of his (much too short) life reconciling the Bible with scientific fact to what extent he could. Much in science is conjecture, so it is fair to say some of his conclusions are conjecture as well, but he has done far more to reconcile the Bible across multiple scientific disciplines than any other researcher I am aware of. Naturally, as a geologist, the bulk of his "evidence" is based in hard, known, documented, peer reviewed, accepted geology, the kind of stuff the YECs tend to cherry pick or ignore. He also spent a great deal of time and energy on anthropology...I quoted "the Curse of the Big Head" here at this site many years ago, and I had gone looking for the info again because I can't find the old thread. I am pleased to see it included in this string of essays.

I think of all folks here, you most of all Thomas, would appreciate this man's scholarship. You may not agree with everything, but I guarantee he will make you think.
 

juantoo3

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I never quite understand where you are going with this. Subjective time can seem to pass slowly or quickly, but objective time is measured in hours and years, by radioactive decay etc. A million years is a million years, and a billion years is a thousand million years. It's not a malleable quality?
Relatively speaking, you are correct.

But the earth's rotation is slowing.

If a second is 1/60th of a minute, a minute is 1/60th of an hour, and an hour is 1/24th of a day, and that day used to be considerably shorter...

However, I've not heard if a year is any longer or shorter than it was a thousand, a million, ten million years ago. A trip around the sun is a year, and that trip is independent of how many hours/minutes/seconds as we currently measure time.
 
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Aupmanyav

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However, I've not heard if a year is any longer or shorter than it was a thousand, a million, ten million years ago. A trip around the sun is a year, and that trip is independent of how many hours/minutes/seconds as we currently measure time.
Science adds seconds as and when required.

December 31, 2016
The last leap second was December 31, 2016. Since leap seconds are always added on the last day of June or December, the next possible date for a leap second is June 30, 2021. Leap seconds have been added 27 times since 1972.
Google Search

I do not know if the underlined was done, probably missed out due to Covid-19.
In the same way Vedic people changed the beginning of their year three times in the course of 6,000 years by a month (in total three months), which was the slippage of seasons due to precession of equinox. That is why Christmas or 'natalis dies solis invicti' is in December and not in April along with vernal equinox and the Indo-European New Year (Navroz).
 
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Aupmanyav

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Interesting. To take this comment at face value, having not read Morton's work, you are saying you do not believe in evolution.
But then I've been quick to dismiss things I couldn't be bothered with as well...
I go with science and I believe in abiogenesis and evolution. What I meant was that the article was too long for me to spend time on it, it was poorly presented on internet, in a very monotonous format with no paragraph headings. And the font size was small. He had all the space on the page but restricted the article to one column. IMV, design fault. I already know these things and do not believe that the author would have something new to offer to me. That is why I did not read it.
 

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Do scientific findings contradict what scripture teaches us?
Only if we hold a perhaps too simple or too literal view of what scripture teaches us.

It is only when people claim scientific facts in scripture are incorrect that there is a problem.
Who started the problem? I am aware of who that would be.
I'd say religionists are as much at fault as science, here..

When Galileo proposed his theories, his major opponents were other scientists wedded to an Aristotelian idea of the universe. They then dragged religion into the debate, and the whole issue was made worse when a Catholic monk chose to read scripture in an overly-literal way (Joshua 10:12).

A quick dive into a search engine throws up a paper in which rather than 'standing still', the Hebrew used can also be read 'be still', 'be silent' and further etymology shows it can mean 'to stop shining'. Add to that language studies that show the same root is used in Babylonian texts to indicate an eclipse, and we have a more informed, more nuanced reading of a text that we understand literally, in another language, that interposes all manner of scope for error.

By the same token, a similar search will throw up the Qur'an apparently 'proving' the speed of light ...

who find it meaningful to learn how the Bible is apparently wrong ;)
Or is it our cherished – but fallible – understanding? ;)

They want us to believe that mankind is an accident. Oh, that's alright then. We can make up our own morality as we can throw our Bibles away. :rolleyes:
Might I point out that apart from the homage due to God, the morality contained in Scripture was already there in societies as a means of cohabiting. They didn't need God to tell them.
 

muhammad_isa

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Relatively speaking, you are correct.

But the earth's rotation is slowing.

If a second is 1/60th of a minute, a minute is 1/60th of an hour, and an hour is 1/24th of a day, and that day used to be considerably shorter...

However, I've not heard if a year is any longer or shorter than it was a thousand, a million, ten million years ago. A trip around the sun is a year, and that trip is independent of how many hours/minutes/seconds as we currently measure time.

I often hear the phrase "since records began" ..
It usually refers to ~ 50 -100 years ago, when it comes to the weather and other scientific phenomenon.
It certainly doesn't include billions of years ago :)

I've already said that the universe can disappear in the blink of eye. That's how real it is :D
..and yet many people would have us believe that "time" is definitive .. unchanging.
The universe is expanding. As we have no record of "the beginning", it is only an assumption that
the scientific model that we envisage is 100% accurate from big-bang until the present day.

When we say "billions of years", we have no idea how fast or slow time passes.
We don't even know how fast time passes when we die, and we all wait for "judgement day" :)

Time is a perception, while measured time is something imaginative.
..and G-d knows best.
 

muhammad_isa

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Might I point out that apart from the homage due to God, the morality contained in Scripture was already there in societies as a means of cohabiting. They didn't need God to tell them.

I'm not sure what you are referring to here..
Are you saying that mankind is capable of creating a successful society without God's spiritual guidance?
..because I would not agree with that. We are too easily ruled by our desire for wealth and worldly pleasure.
..too easily driven to violence in order to be the uppermost.

Any morality that was "already there" in a society has roots.
1000's of prophets were sent to the world at various times and places.
Man-made philosophy can not match Divine guidance.

That is why prophets were continually sent to Bani Israel, for example, when they were going off-track.
To remind .. to renew .. to correct.

These days, many people think that we can change morality in society as we see fit.
eg. investment banking/insurance, the importance of marriage, the death penalty, no caning of youth etc.

We wander from true guidance at our peril. :(
 

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I'm not sure what you are referring to here...
Well as a Christian, I'd say that morality was written in the heart ... as per Romans 2:15 ... but this is the secular board, and one has to acknowledge that non-theist traditions are equally capable of admirable moral values.

The Golden Rule is found in almost every if not every culture, but is in itself not God-dependent, nor is a belief necessary for its endorsement? People don't need God to appreciate the value of it.

Are you saying that mankind is capable of creating a successful society without God's spiritual guidance?
LOL, I'm not even sure man is capable with God's guidance, but yes, man is capable of it ... whether he choses to do so, with or without divine guidance, is another matter.

..because I would not agree with that...
OK. To me, empathy is not uncommon, nor is it learned, nor is it dependent on scripture.

In fact, too easily and too often, we use scripture to validate a lack of empathy, to validate war, cruelty, etc.

Any morality that was "already there" in a society has roots.
1000's of prophets were sent to the world at various times and places.
Man-made philosophy can not match Divine guidance.
Personally, I disagree. Man-made philosophy cannot match divine guidance on divine matters – the human intellect cannot match revelation – but empathy, compassion, the Golden Rule, etc., are practical, common sense rules, really, even if purely utilitarian.
 

RJM

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Morês existed within the tribe for the benefit and success of the tribe. A person from outside the tribe was not entitled to the same treatment.

Christ made 'love your neighbour' universal in the parable of the good Samaritan and other teachings.

The world is always ready to retreat back into tribalism, imo
 
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