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Posted by Mario Dovalina on November 13, 2003 19:36:34 UTC

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~~"I like to use words such as "Language Removed" sometimes, because I'm often moved to reevaluate my beliefs when I'm confronted with outrageous claims."~~

Language Removed is indeed a delightful word, and it, as well as other various words that unfortunately would be edited out by the language filter should I share them with you, have brought me much joy throughout the years. Regardless, call someone's arguments Language Removed without giving a reason, or worse yet calling them Language Removed and then adding "I'd explain but it's not worth it" is an easy way to get someone really irritated really fast.

~~"Many people tend to think randomness, or blind chance, can be a good explanation for certain phenomena, but it's clear in my mind that invoking the concept of chance is nothing more than a confession of ignorance. It's akin to saying "I don't know". And that's, essentially, what evolution theory says about the origins of life: it says "we don't know"."~~

We may call it random from a macroscopic perspective in the same way that flipping a coin is "random" macroscopically, or the arrangement of molecules in a gas, but that's just a method of simplifying the issue. To call evolutionary theory "random" is really to mischaracterize it. The official definition of "survival of the fittest leading to adaptation" is random to the extent that the situations an organism will find itself in are unpredictable. But that in and of itself is no reason to label the entire theory "random" and assume it's on the same footing as any other arbitrary explanation of how things came to be this way. I might also add that the status of your objection as "purely philosophical" rather than scientific is a little bit suspicious sounding, much like Aaron or Sam objecting to the Big Bang theory on religious grounds. Again, let's make something totally clear: evolutionary theory makes no philosophical claims. Any theological or philosophical ramifications of the theory that you don't like are not direct implications of the theory itself but rather inferences drawn by the people that believe it to be true.

~~"there are hundreds of different ways of saying "I don't know", a very popular one being "God did it". And I happen to prefer "God did it" over "random mutations over an enormous period of time", for the simple reason that the deception behind the former is far easier to figure out."~~

So, there is no total, objective claim to absolute knowledge. So? Saying "I don't know, but here's a dozen reasons and various evidence that make think I'm right" is far more credible a statement than "I don't know, but I feel good about this idea."

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