I am a conceptual nominalist, which I explain to some extent here. One of my favourite images to explain this…
I don’t really bother with Creationists any more as they aren’t worth my effort. I’ll leave it to scientists… This is from the Wall Street Journal:
Scientists have documented three species of wasps turning into three new species, an unusual close-up view of rapid evolution in action.
This article is from the National Geographic and should put paid to some Creationists claims that we cannot see evolution in action:
Evolution has been caught in the act, according to scientists who are decoding how a species of Australian lizard is abandoning egg-laying in favor of live birth.
I was recently having a private conversation about humanity and whether we are uniquely different from all other creatures in such a way that naturalistic evolution could not explain the step change from primates to us. As a naturalist who has read a fair bit on evolution and evolutionary psychology, I obviously disagree with such a claim.
John D. Bargh is a psychologist with an interest in matters concerning free will. He edited a superb book on psychology and free will which I would advise anyone to get called Are We Free? From it, this excerpt was interesting, especially given recent conversations defending naturalism with a fellow Tippling Philosopher by email who thinks that human minds are too far removed from the rest of the animal kingdom to be explicable by naturalistic evolution (pp. 145-146):
This will definitely be TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read), but…
In discussing some thing on a private thread with a fellow Tippling Philosopher, I have written quite a bit on free will, evolution and evolutionary psychology which I would hat to go to waste and would love to keep for reference and posterity. None is ground-breaking or anything you wouldn’t know, but there are some good links to refer to in future conversations.
Brilliant, form the present thread here: Being a biologist, I usually give people like you the benefit of the doubt…
In light of the recent evolutionary discussions – a Creationist/evolutionist ding dong – over on this post, I thought I would choose one of dozens of evolutionary discoveries in the last few weeks alone to share with you. My question would be: how do deniers explain each and every one of these findings? Here it is:
In a new study, published in Nature this week, a research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden presents the discovery of a new microbe that represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life. The study provides a new understanding of how, billions of years ago, the complex cell types that comprise plants, fungi, but also animals and humans, evolved from simple microbes.
Mwah ha ha!
There is a group called Christians Against Dinosaurs. They are clearly nuts. This article is taken from Addicting Info. It makes for disturbing reading:
Most Christians are warm, loving people. Some use their chosen holy book to spew hatred and bigotry. Others…are just insane.
Over on another post and thread, D Rizdek is doing a fantastically erudite job of mounting a solid case for naturalism. Here are two of his quotes from that thread which are well worth replicating – indented quotes belong to whom he is debating:
Unfortunately the debate is asking “Does science embrace all in the universe?” In other words what is the status of scientism?
I certainly don’t consider all of what I am to be “in science”
These tell me two things.
And now for something completely different. This has come through my friend Julian Haydon, and it a great piece of creative atheology, dripping with deterministic wordsmithying I love it. Let me know what you think.
Fans de Waal is a crucial figure in the research into morality, fairness, reciprocal altruism and suchlike within the realm…
From Addicting Info: In between clips of touchdowns and postgame interviews with sweaty athletes, ESPN typically doesn’t find itself having…
I was listening to a Reasonable Doubts podcast from a few years ago, and it was, as ever, cracking. This one was about consciousness, its hard problem, dualism, and how it, and neuroscience, are being co-opted as a philosophical area to argue for the “God of the Gaps” style argument in the same vein as evolution in the creationist and intelligent design movements.
So human evolution in its African context has been hotly researched, but the research is necessarily slow. Fossil digs take a ling time and are few and far between. New finds from 2000 onwards in Georgia are throwing a lot of theories up in the air. What were once thought to be different species of early human ancestors might have been variations in the same species. As the Guardian reports:
The Heartland Institute, a prominent, Chicago-based organization opposing climate science, has teamed up with the creationist Discovery Institute to launch a smear campaign against a group promoting the nationwide adoption of updated science education guidelines.
Over at another post of mine, we have been discussing whether religion can and should be destroyed. During that conversation, the idea came up that Christians, in all probability, hold more ridiculous beliefs which are unscientific in nature; and also arose the connected idea that Christians, in a generalistic sense, are not as good at doing science, because they have a higher propensity to give up searching for answers.
OK so my twins are almost 4, but that doesn’t stop me being proud when they make what appears to be good causal connections about the world around them. In this case, looking closely at a dinosaur boo, this is what happened. I was busy getting dressed and ready for work; I was impatiently in a hurry.