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  #21  
Old 3rd December 2016, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

After hearing Dilahunty's concluding statement, I have no doubt he sincerely applies himself to the question of how do we promote individual and collective human flourishing? This is informed by science: neurology, neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, genetics, evolutionary biology, pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics.

There are the social sciences to inform human flourishing: again psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, ethics. Everything must be subject to ethical deliberation.

I don't believe Slick's putative concern for human well being, human flourishing. His concern is for conformism. He is authoritarian. So it comes down to Slick's moral sensibilities, his honesty, his mentality, his actual psychopathology. This is why I commented that he needs to put in 20 years on the rock pile. Imagine him with presidential power. No thank you. We are already dealing with fanatical authoritarianism. We must together endeavour to combat it, preserve and advance informed democracy.

I aver Dilahunty's integrity concerning his advocacy for human flourishing on the strength of his concluding statement which I'll transcribe below as it is worthy.

After time was up, Dilahunty turned to Slick and asked what he had wanted to ask but had been prevented from getting down to, 'what is Christianity's position on human cloning?'

He concludes the video which still should be watched, along with the other two,

'This question exposes the problem of antiquated ideas that can't predict these sort of questions in the future. It doesn't even have a mechanism that might begin to address the issue. The closest that Christianity could come, barring a revelation from God, is to engage in the same post hoc interpretations that religions have engaged in for as long as the world around them have been rendering their ideas obsolete.

How would secular humanism go about addressing it? By evaluating the consequences of the action with respect to human flourishing in a framework that values equality and fairness, by using principles like the 'veil of ignorance' and considering things like - 'what would the world be like if everybody took this action,' the sort of, 'think globally, act locally' mentality.

But most importantly, if secular humanism found it had no mechanism to embrace and evaluate a new scenario like this, then secular humanism would be revised, after reasoned discussion, after surrounding the values and after careful consideration of the evidence and circumstances in which we find ourselves, because secular humanism's strength is that the goal is to get better at getting better.'

He's on fire.
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  #22  
Old 5th December 2016, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Good stuff, and it's motivated me to my next blog post, not least because a few people on Twitter have recently asked me how they can deal with presuppositionalist arguments.

Keep any eye out for The Executioner's Argument, coming soon.
Hot off the press.

http://reciprocity-giving-something-...-argument.html
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  #23  
Old 5th December 2016, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

@ Hack:-
From Hack's Blog:
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This overlooks the fact that evolutionary theory doesn't have to account for this, because the origin of life is the remit of a completely different field of science.


Although true, it does not follow from this. New disciplines get created all the time. I know I harp on about the essentials of science being testing falsifiable predictions which emerge from descriptive models, and does NOT HAVE TO BE a mechanism. But if we have mechanisms, we use them. The concept of natural selection works in both biological and chemical evolution-it is the same concept, the same mechanism, and the only differences are:-

1. Biological evolution selects genes based on their expression in the phenotype.
2. In chemical evolution, natural selection still works on phenotype, but directly, because ribozymes have both catalytic and information functions. "The Naked Gene" , if I can coin a phrase.

The process is the same, in essence. A ramp up in complexity, nothing more. The half-life of DNA is far longer than RNA, so we would expect selection for s sytem with better archival properties just as we expect that the diversity of naked genes would depend on how they perform in particular environments: faster, more stable, OK in acidic conditions, OK in basic conditions, heat or cold, salinity, presence of other ions [particularly metals, especially transition elements], and so on.

So although creationists are wrong to say evolution sucks because chemical evolution is not as well established, defenders of evolution are wrong to say chemical evolution and biological evolution are completely different animals. They are not. And it may be disingenuous to suggest so.

Science borrows concepts from other branches all the time. Indeed, most of science today is multi or interdisciplinary.

So why not go for the hat-trick [while moving from the scientific to the philosophical] and suggest physics too, is natural selection. It is obviously speculation, because we have no evidence of multiple universes, never mind, a process of natural selection from a diversity of universes so that some universes last longer than others, have different physical laws and constants etc. maths suggests this, because although we see a lot of math that is implemented in nature, we see a lot of maths that is not implemented in nature, or at least, we cannot observe it if it does exist. [ A hundred or thousand dimensional universe for example.]

Although supposition, we do have evidence that natural selection works in chemical and biological species, so why not with physical species also? Occum's razor almost demands it, despite the lack of evidence. For what can be more brainless and natural than a simple filter?

That is the real reason, IMHO, why the god hypothesis is so lame, so surplus to requirements. Replication, Diversity and a Filter is all we need.
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  #24  
Old 5th December 2016, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post

So why not go for the hat-trick [while moving from the scientific to the philosophical] and suggest physics too, is natural selection. It is obviously speculation, because we have no evidence of multiple universes, never mind, a process of natural selection from a diversity of universes so that some universes last longer than others, have different physical laws and constants etc.
Because to do so makes it meaningless with respect to what we term natural selection. There's no selection pressure, there's no inheritance, there's no differential survival because it doesn't matter if one survives and another doesn't - there's no comparative competition.

I think it's quite adequate to talk about the factors of possible other universes without something that seems only to obfuscate, it doesn't present a useful analogy.
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  #25  
Old 5th December 2016, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Because to do so makes it meaningless with respect to what we term natural selection. There's no selection pressure, there's no inheritance, there's no differential survival because it doesn't matter if one survives and another doesn't - there's no comparative competition.

I think it's quite adequate to talk about the factors of possible other universes without something that seems only to obfuscate, it doesn't present a useful analogy.
Yes there is. It is chemical selection. Ribozyme A can replicate faster than ribozyme B, except Ribozyme A need a high pH and Ribozyme a low pH, [or salinity or anything else] There is no such thing as the perfect Ribozyme, any more than there is such a thing as a perfectly adapted animal or plant. It is all contingent on environment. if a Ribozyme or a plant had the perfect adaption for ALL situations, there would be only one Ribozyme [or one plant, or bacterium or animal].

I did emphasize biological selection, chemical selection and physical' selection.

All you need is a replicator [something that copies universes or ribozymes or organisms] and a selector, which is the variable environment.
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  #26  
Old 5th December 2016, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
So why not go for the hat-trick [while moving from the scientific to the philosophical] and suggest physics too, is natural selection. It is obviously speculation, because we have no evidence of multiple universes, never mind, a process of natural selection from a diversity of universes so that some universes last longer than others, have different physical laws and constants etc. maths suggests this, because although we see a lot of math that is implemented in nature, we see a lot of maths that is not implemented in nature, or at least, we cannot observe it if it does exist. [ A hundred or thousand dimensional universe for example.]
In a sense, I've already done this. In a very special sense, there is at bottom a single process that does all the selecting, namely efficiency in increasing entropy.

http://reciprocity-giving-something-...revisited.html

As for other universes, we actually do have evidence, in the form of our universe. Other universes seem, at first blush, to be violations of Occam's Razor, but they aren't. The opposite is actually true. In the same way that our existence constitutes good evidence that life exists elsewhere in our universe, because a barrier to life arising elsewhere would constitute an additional entity. The same is true of other cosmic expanses.

Whether they'd have different laws is the bit I have trouble with, because the laws arise from the properties of the constituents.
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Old 6th December 2016, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Yes there is. It is chemical selection. Ribozyme A can replicate faster than ribozyme B, except Ribozyme A need a high pH and Ribozyme a low pH, [or salinity or anything else] There is no such thing as the perfect Ribozyme, any more than there is such a thing as a perfectly adapted animal or plant. It is all contingent on environment. if a Ribozyme or a plant had the perfect adaption for ALL situations, there would be only one Ribozyme [or one plant, or bacterium or animal].
You put the emoticon and then follow with absolutely fuck all that suggests it was suitable.

Chemical selection is natural selection of universes, is it? Are you tugging my tadger?

Ribozymes? RYBOZYMES? Show me that there are ribozymes in every possible universe - fuck it, show me there is a ribozyme in ANY other universe.

Note, you can't, so basically you haven't responded to any of the content of my above post.



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I did emphasize biological selection, chemical selection and physical' selection.

All you need is a replicator [something that copies universes or ribozymes or organisms] and a selector, which is the variable environment.

There's nothing inherent to universes there. There's no universe replicator. Selection doesn't work on universes because they're not contingent on each other, nor do they share the same properties. Your argument here is no different from claiming that rocks undergo natural selection.

Last edited by Spearthrower; 6th December 2016 at 01:17 AM.
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  #28  
Old 6th December 2016, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

Spearthwoer wrote:-

Quote:
You put the emoticon and then follow with absolutely fuck all that suggests it was suitable.

Chemical selection is natural selection of universes, is it? Are you tugging my tadger?

Ribozymes? RYBOZYMES? Show me that there are ribozymes in every possible universe - fuck it, show me there is a ribozyme in ANY other universe.

Note, you can't, so basically you haven't responded to any of the content of my above post.
You have completely misread my post. I DID NOT claim ribozymes existed in OTHER universes. They might, or might not, but either way I did not claim that.

I only claimed that in THIS universe, there is biological selection and chemical section. Then I posited that our universe may be one of many, with some sort of physical selection going on. For example, a universe where the gravitational constant is far higher than ours may cause a universe to collapse more quickly and therefore there would be no opportunity for life to evolve via chemical and biological evolution.

Quote:
There's nothing inherent to universes there. There's no universe replicator. Selection doesn't work on universes because they're not contingent on each other, nor do they share the same properties. Your argument here is no different from claiming that rocks undergo natural selection.
Again, if you read my post you appear to have done so with no effort of comprehension. IF there is a bubble universe outside our own, then physical selection will occur. Suppose the charge of a proton is half that of an electron in a different universe? That would lead to a different chemistry, and hence a different biology. I have already mentioned gravity, but just about any law or constant is up for grabs.

But many universes would be still-born because laws and constants might be incompatible. Yet other may exist for a time, but quickly end up in a big crunch, that is the selection I am talking about. Illogical universes collapse under their own illogic. Therefore I posit [albeit with an example of only one known universe {our own} that persistent universes are by definition, logical.

And just because a universe is logical, it does not have to be identical to ours in physics, different laws and constants may work well together, as our happen to do.

In other words, a universe must have no contradictions. Unless you want to invoke a designer, then something must take the place of the order we observe in this universe [or any other universe, should we ever be able to observe other universes, IF they exist]. And of course, if any of these universes do exist, they may well have consistent laws and constants that might preclude life from forming. Who knows, but it is unlikely that they would have ribozymes exactly like ours. They may have some sort of replicator that can both self-catalyse and carry information.

In biology [for this universe], we invoke natural selection which biases for adaptive change in biological replicators. In the chemical biology of natural abiogenesis, we invoke a form of chemical selection, where various ribosymes, formed abiotically, interact and mutate causing diversity, and that different ribozymes are subject to selection in the physical/chemical environment, and "'competition" and "cooperation" occurs between these diverse chemical species.

As for your fatuous remark concerning rocks, it scarcely deserves a reply. Rocks however, act as selectors. The chemical composition of rocks vary, according to whether they are sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Further there many important differences within those categories with regard to the mix of mineral content, crystal size and so on. Never mind, it is self evident. All rocks weather, so the soil from each type of rock will have a different mineral content. In some areas, rocks may have a selenium deficiency. Australian native plants have adapted to soils high in phosphorous and iron. Only plants adapted to high saline conditions can thrive in saline soils.

Rocks, or rather their weathered by-products [the abiotic components of soils] are selective forces. No more or less selective that biotic forces with predators, prey, competitors and symbiotics.

In other words, biotic an abiotic environmental components provide the selective pressure of natural selection. And at the bottom of it all, the constants and laws of our universe determine base behavior.

I don't know how much simpler I can get than that without insulting your intelligence.
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Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 6th December 2016 at 01:12 PM. Reason: typos
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  #29  
Old 6th December 2016, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Spearthwoer wrote:-

You have completely misread my post. I DID NOT claim ribozymes existed in OTHER universes. They might, or might not, but either way I did not claim that.
Actually, and this is a thing I am beginning to really get cheesed off by - not specifically from you, but it's becoming far too common here - I didn't actually say, suggest, intimate, hint, or even think for a moment that you suggested that ribozymes exist in another universe. All I did was follow what you wrote.

The fact is that your previous post had precisely bugger all meaning if you weren't talking about ribozymes existing in another universe, an entirely redundant point.

Recall your first post?

I do.

Quote:
So why not go for the hat-trick [while moving from the scientific to the philosophical] and suggest physics too, is natural selection. It is obviously speculation, because we have no evidence of multiple universes, never mind, a process of natural selection from a diversity of universes so that some universes last longer than others, have different physical laws and constants etc.
So we were factually talking about other universes. Thus my initial comment when I said that there's no utility to invoking natural selection to explain universes, and then your reply pointing to ribozymes.

So either I am completely fucking mental, or that was expressly the topic at hand.

If not, why are you talking about ribozymes? What on earth do they have to do with my post? Either your post is a non-sequitur, or you were invoking ribozymes in the thread of discussion regarding natural selection and universes.




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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
I only claimed that in THIS universe, there is biological selection and chemical section. Then I posited that our universe may be one of many, with some sort of physical selection going on. For example, a universe where the gravitational constant is far higher than ours may cause a universe to collapse more quickly and therefore there would be no opportunity for life to evolve via chemical and biological evolution.
Ergo, you were talking about other universes, and my point still stands regardless of ribozymes.

Universes, unlike life, do not get brownie points for surviving. There is no reward to differential survival for a universe, unlike for life. A universe that's a complete flop - utterly useless and hostile to all life - is just as good at being a universe as one which is literally chock to the brim full of meat bags. Thus, the notion of any natural selection with respect to universes is a non-starter. Universes aren't ranked by their hospitality towards life.




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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Again, if you read my post you appear to have done so with no effort of comprehension. IF there is a bubble universe outside our own, then physical selection will occur. Suppose the charge of a proton is half that of an electron in a different universe? That would lead to a different chemistry, and hence a different biology. I have already mentioned gravity, but just about any law or constant is up for grabs.
That's ironic. You replied to my post about how useless the notion of natural selection is with respect to universes by talking about ribozymes which has precisely bugger all to do with the conversation.

Anyway, yes, all the constants can potentially be different. So? This still doesn't get us anywhere near to a universe level of natural selection. A totally failed universe, one that is isotropic is just as good a universe as one replete with life. The stability of a universe is also a redundant notion because there's no inheritance in which universes can slowly improve iteratively, where being a good stable universe benefits future offspring universes.

I don't think it's me who's not grasping the idea here. I think I know exactly what you're talking about, and I think I am making a point which you could perhaps try and listen to.



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But many universes would be still-born because laws and constants might be incompatible. Yet other may exist for a time, but quickly end up in a big crunch, that is the selection I am talking about. Illogical universes collapse under their own illogic. Therefore I posit [albeit with an example of only one known universe {our own} that persistent universes are by definition, logical.
But this has nothing to do with the notion of natural selection being at play. Yes, universes have potentially different periods of stability. Yes, universes potentially have different constants. Yes, universes may collapse. Yes, to any and all of the sundry comments which really don't actually address the point - I've been following people like Stenger for years, not least because I expect it to be the new front in the creationist culture wars - but this remains beside the point.


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And just because a universe is logical, it does not have to be identical to ours in physics, different laws and constants may work well together, as our happen to do.

In other words, a universe must have no contradictions. Unless you want to invoke a designer, then something must take the place of the order we observe in this universe [or any other universe, should we ever be able to observe other universes, IF they exist]. And of course, if any of these universes do exist, they may well have consistent laws and constants that might preclude life from forming. Who knows, but it is unlikely that they would have ribozymes exactly like ours. They may have some sort of replicator that can both self-catalyse and carry information.
I think it's entirely possible that a universe could well have contradictions - ours certainly does.



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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
In biology [for this universe], we invoke natural selection which biases for adaptive change in biological replicators. In the chemical biology of natural abigenesis, we invoke a form of chemical selection, where various ribosymes, formed abiotically, interact and mutate causing diversity, and that different ribozymes are subject to selection in the phsyical/chemical environment, and "'competition" and "cooperation" occurs between these diverse chemical species.
While you're busy lecturing at me, you're still not noting the entire point of my argument. None of this has anything to do with what I've said.



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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
As for your fatuous remark concerning rocks, it scarcely deserves a reply.
Oh, it does.


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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Rocks however, act as selectors. The chemical composition of rocks vary, according to whether they are sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Further there many important differences within those categories with regard to the mix of mineral content, crystal size and so on. Never mend, it is self evident. All rocks weather, so the soil from each type of rock will have a different mineral content. In some areas, rocks may have a selenium deficiency. Australian native plants have adapted to soils high in phosphorous and iron. Only plants adapted to high saline conditions can thrive in saline soils.

Rocks, or rather their weathered by-products [the abiotic components of soils] are selective forces. No more or less selective that biotic forces with predators, prey, competitors and symbiotics.

In other words, biotic an abiotic environmental components provide the selective pressure of natural selection. And at the bottom of it all, the constants and laws of our universe determine base behavior.

I don't know how much simpler I can get than that without insulting your intelligence.
You could try not insulting my intelligence and instead of lecturing me about things you know full well that I am more than well aware of, you could try actually addressing what I wrote. Funny how you managed it with rocks, but you still haven't processed why natural selection of universes is a dud notion.

Last edited by Spearthrower; 6th December 2016 at 01:31 PM.
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  #30  
Old 6th December 2016, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Is Secular Humanism superior to Christianity? - Matt Dilahunty vs Matt Slick

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Because to do so makes it meaningless with respect to what we term natural selection. There's no selection pressure, there's no inheritance, there's no differential survival because it doesn't matter if one survives and another doesn't - there's no comparative competition.

I think it's quite adequate to talk about the factors of possible other universes without something that seems only to obfuscate, it doesn't present a useful analogy.
Not one element of this point has been contended.

Next up, a lecture on the consistency of shoe-soles.
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