[LMB] OT: verging on forbidden territory: GOP attitudes about science

phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Fri Sep 9 22:20:03 BST 2011


On Fri, Sep 09, 2011 at 11:07:18AM -0700, Agnes Charrel-Berthillier wrote:

> >Random chance is what provides mutations.  Natural selection is the
> >iterated selection of such mutations over generations, due to
> >differential reproduction.
> 
> Random chance, or God's will, or careful staging by aliens disguised
> as lab mice... the options are endless. The theory of evolution
> provides no information of primary causes, only a framework to
> explain *how* things works.

Random mutations suffice to drive evolution by means of natural
selection, are observed in the wild, and can be caused in the
laboratory. "staging by aliens" is falsified, if you're talking about
ancient pre-programs in the genes like in bad SF. Active intervention by
god or literally godlike aliens can't be ruled out, but that level of
intervention has other problems, straight into classic probem of evil
stuff (God personally gave you cancer?) as well as the fact that a lot
of biological design is not, in fact, all that intelligent. Any
intelligence behind evolution is both callous if not cruel, and kind of
dumb.

-xx- Damien X-) 



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