Most likely a silly question.

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:35 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;136984 wrote:
I fully accept that humans evolved from lower species, mind you. I am just not at all convinced that evolutionary theory understands, or has described, all of the principles at work in this.


What are your objections to natural selection?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:51 pm
@Ross phil,
I think the principle that evolution occurs as a result of a number of incremental changes which come about solely by random mutations and which are preserved because they provide an evolutionary advantage can be questioned. But I don't know if here is the place to do it.

I will say, in response to the OP, that if you carefully think about 'language' and 'reason', it is very difficult to account for these abilities in terms of evolutionary theory alone. This is, I suppose, what evolutionary psychologists do, and I suppose that proponents of evolutionary psychology will be able to produce many references which claim to do that. But if you study linguistics or (as we do) philosophy, then there is a great deal that still remains to be understood about how language and reason work even now. The pat answer 'well it evolved gradually' does not really add up to much.

But there are several book-length arguments in all of this, so I will not pursue it here, other than to flag the fact that I am increasingly skeptical of the idea that something evolved, providing much of an explanation as to what it actually means.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:09 pm
@Ross phil,
Ross;135417 wrote:
Yeah sure.
The seperate ideas i meant are evolution and the idea that the main difference between humans and animals is our ability of reason. ( im not sure if the latter has an official name, maybe rationalism).
Im trying to question that due to the common ancestor humans and apes have , basically if it is known , at which point did us humans gain "reason" and animals did not. Sorry if its still confused.

The most common notion of of mind is that it "emerged" from a fundamentally innert and insensate material reality. Fundamentally I think this is wrong but then I am a panpsychist (panexperientialism, pansensationism, lots of terms) which means I think mind, reason and ultimately intelligence are fundamental inherent (ontologic) properties of nature.

Even under the materialist emergent theory of mind, however, reason and intelligence can not suddenly "pop" into existence. Evolution would require that such abilities develop slowly over eons in time in stages and degrees and that human reason and human intelligence must have their antecedents in similar (even if more primitive) abilities in other species.

Which brings us to the question, what is mind, and what animals, plants, species or other systems in nature possess it? Not as easy a question as you might hope or think. In any event the notion that only man has reason or intelligence is really not compatible with either a materialist emergent evolutionary theory of mind or with a panpsychist (mind and reason are inherent in nature) position. It is also not compatible with empirical science and observation. It is anthropomorphic (only humans have souls, only humans are "made in the image", only humans are intelligent, only humans have reason) a curious vestige of primitive religion and of dualism.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 07:34 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;137001 wrote:

But there are several book-length arguments in all of this, so I will not pursue it here, other than to flag the fact that I am increasingly skeptical of the idea that something evolved, providing much of an explanation as to what it actually means.


I believe it means that the something developed as a result of natural selection (or some other like process) and not as a sudden emergence uncaused by antecendent conditions. At least that is how I understand it.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:19 pm
@Ross phil,
I think there is scope for many kinds of explanation that are neither, on the one side. 'an act of special creation by Deity' and, on the other, a fortuitous outcome of chance and necessity. Theistic evolution is one such perspective. I personally do not subscribe to this view, but I think it is perfectly logical.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 08:42 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;137058 wrote:
I think there is scope for many kinds of explanation that are neither, on the one side. 'an act of special creation by Deity' and, on the other, a fortuitous outcome of chance and necessity. Theistic evolution is one such perspective. I personally do not subscribe to this view, but I think it is perfectly logical.


But, of course, however "logical" other explanations are (or aren't) natural selection is the best explanation, for it has much more evidence than any of the other explanations. Just as although the theory of witches is a "logical" explanation for disease and its spread, germ theory is, byi far the best explanation for disease and its spread. That a theory is "logical" (whatever that comes to) is not good enough. What is needed is evidence for the theory. (We have had many discussion about what it means to say that something is "logical", and I believe we have had a thread on it, but I am still baffled by what it is that is meant by it).
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 09:23 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;136990 wrote:
What are your objections to natural selection?

Is can selection be natural?
Does nature choose?
Is choice natural?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 09:41 pm
@Ross phil,
There are scientific theories, and then there are interpretations of the meaning and implications of scientific theories. Two people can see the same results from an experimental scenario, yet disagree completely on what the results mean.
 
richard mcnair
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 10:01 pm
@Ross phil,
Ross;135404 wrote:
You may have read in the introduction section that i am a beginner in the world of philosophy so forgive me if this is a stupid question .
I am currently reading Sophies World which im sure most of you would have heard of , what i keep stumbling across is the distinction between human and animal and thus this being Reason. I grasp this fairly easily however its been bugging me . In the theory of evolution we descended from apes which are of course animals. In the process of becoming "human" was there then a stage at which we gained this thing called reason or as they are different ideas do they not need to cross in this way.
Enlighten me please Smile

Hi Ross,

Reason I think can be described as the faculty of abstracting from perceptions, and comparing, contrasting, analysing, and synthesizing these abstractions... and it is indeed right that this is what separates humans from animals.

Someone said something about it evolving from apes by gradations, by this doesn't work, because it is not just an accentuation of something that the animals already have, but it is indeed a whole different faculty that NONE of the animals have, but ALL humans do...

... so it does seem to put a spanner in the works of modern evolutionary theory doesn't it. :bigsmile:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 10:19 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;137081 wrote:
There are scientific theories, and then there are interpretations of the meaning and implications of scientific theories. Two people can see the same results from an experimental scenario, yet disagree completely on what the results mean.


I suppose so, sometimes. And?.......
 
Lily
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 05:18 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;137076 wrote:
Is can selection be natural?
Does nature choose?
Is choice natural?

Yes, no, and don't know. As far as I'm concerned, selection is very natural. No, nature does not choose. Evolution is about individuals, not entire species, or the entire nature(or, well, of course it is, but it's wrong to treat the entire nature as an organism, I think). The last question I can't answer, since I don't know what you mean. Sorry if I got a bit of topic:shifty::offtopic:
 
 

 
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/22/2024 at 12:00:00