3 of 4
3
An ello from the buckle of the bible belt.
Posted: 13 August 2012 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

You mean Dawkins popularized the theory, not Darwin. Darwin came up with it.  wink

I read all the books you’ve mentioned here, Jack, (actually those are the only books I’ve read by Darwin), and I still disagree that people need to read any of them. The “Voyage” would be probably the only one most people may find easier to understand, but I am not sure they would get much out of it. Unless one is a biology student, a historian or a history teacher like yourself, or an evolutionary aficionado like myself, people are better off reading, say, Dawkins’s “The Blind Watchmaker.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
Write4U - 13 August 2012 04:35 PM
George - 13 August 2012 03:56 PM

Have you, guys, actually read Darwin’s “Origins?” To the general public this is a completely useless book: most people would never understand it and find unbearably boring. Any one of Dawkins’s book on evolution would be a much better choice; but even there I doubt most people would get passed the first page. Religion and pseudoscience are popular because most people can understand them. Science, OTOH, is hard.

Can’t the same be said of the bible?
I had a friend who decided to read the bible from beginning to end. Afterward he told me that he was not sure if this book was written by god and his disciples or by the devil and his minions.
The main difference is that the bible has a superhero who promises to make it all right after you are dead.  Could well be the promise of the devil, no?

I would certainly never recommend the Bible to anyone. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a thousand times more fun than the OT, and I’ll take Seneca or Marcus Aurelius over the NT even if you paid me to do otherwise. Unless, once again, one is a history student.

The Bible is, IMO, simply a boring mess.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

You mean Dawkins popularized the theory, not Darwin. Darwin came up with it.  

I read all the books you’ve mentioned here, Jack, (actually those are the only books I’ve read by Darwin), and I still disagree that people need to read any of them. The “Voyage” would be probably the only one most people may find easier to understand, but I am not sure they would get much out of it. Unless one is a biology student, a historian or a history teacher like yourself, or an evolutionary aficionado like myself, people are better off reading, say, Dawkins’s “The Blind Watchmaker.”

No, I meant Darwin originally popularized it George, not currently. Remember that there were others like Huxley and even darwin’s own grandfather postulated the theory among the scientific community, then,Darwin finally published and released it to the public in 1859. He alone received the criticism for the theory and later with Origins where they lampooned him as an ape. Yeah, I like the “Blind Watchmaker”’ but I believe a better intro would be his “Greatest Show on Earth”. It’s got pictures too! Actually I was being facetious in equating Darwin as the “bible” of atheism, but we could replace the Gideon’s with Dawkins if you like. grin


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

Well, Darwin’s grandfather certainly never spoke of anything that could be considered a theory. There were others who were very close to finding the answer, but ultimately the credit is solely Darwin’s (and perhaps Wallace’s, although that’s disputable).

My point here is that if it weren’t for Dawkins, the percentage of today’s population who has a decent understanding of evolution, wouldn’t probably be much larger than what it was prior to the publication of his “Selfish Gene” and the rest of his books.

I should perhaps add that only after I actually understood evolution, did I realize that most people who will tell you that they believe in evolution have no idea how it actuallly works. Try to see for yourself one day.

[ Edited: 13 August 2012 05:32 PM by George ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

I should perhaps add that only after I actually understood evolution, did I realize that most people who will tell you that they believe in evolution have no idea how it actuallly works. Try to see for yourself one day.

You have a point George, but I understood the basics of evolution from my high school basic science class. In fact I my parents found my old biology book dated 1964, we had to buy them then, and in it is a complete description of the evolutionary process. I’m not saying that I had Complete understanding then but believe it or not I learned a great deal from National Geographic mag. That our family has subscribed to for years. They always carried articles about the Leaky’s etc. I even remember when Mary found the hominid footprints. So I pretty much had the concept down before I went to college. Now, Dawkins really spelled it out for me. Believe it or not I first heard about him by reading Susan Jacoby who mentions him in one if her books. So far the only people who will delve into an intense discussion of evo. Is our biology teacher and she’s as much a paleo anthropology nut as I am so she knows her stuff. The other one is a fundie and denier so we didn’t talk much. Unfortunately, most of the adults I talk to don’t “believe” in evolution anyway, which is one of the reasons I’m on this site and everyone here seems to know evo in spades.

 

Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

Oops, had to make two posts out of this to answer your contention that Erasmus didn’t formulate a theory. He did and even wrote a popular poem about it. Darwin Mentions that his grandfather’s theory was an inspiration to him. I believe that it’s also mentioned in Janet Browne’s definitive biography of Darwin.


http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/Edarwin.html


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 August 2012 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

Neah, Jack, that was not a “theory.” The fact that Erasmus observed (or maybe I should say “correctly guessed”) that all animals are related, cannot be considered as anything of much scientific significance. He might have inspired Darwin in some way, but there were many others who surely played a more important role in helping Darwin shape his mind on this topic: Malthus, Lamarck, Cuvier, Lyell and, again, perhaps even Wallace.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

Neah, Jack, that was not a “theory.” The fact that Erasmus observed (or maybe I should say “correctly guessed”) that all animals are related, cannot be considered as anything of much scientific significance. He might have inspired Darwin in some way, but there were many others who surely played a more important role in helping Darwin shape his mind on this topic: Malthus, Lamarck, Cuvier, Lyell and, again, perhaps even Wallace.

Once again George, apples and oranges. My contention is that his (Darwin’s grandfather) did publish a theory on natural selection based on the information on hand at the time. Yes, it was very incomplete and could hardly be current as some of the naturalists you mention hadn’t even been born yet and he wouldn’t have had access to their work. Erasmus’s theory as such was on the right track but can’t be fairly compared even to his grandson’s. After all, Charles had access to studies from contemporaries and did five years of field work before even publishing as did Wallace, who continued in the field after Darwin began writing. so, because Erasmus’s writings were incomplete doesn’t negate the fact that “Zoonomia” was a theory or that it had no standing in the scientific community at the time he wrote it, even though it was based on the false assumption of sexual reproduction being the engine for evolutionary development. My contention then, is tha it WAS significant in the 1790’s. Of course subsequent theories, like Charles and Wallace proved him wrong but Erasmus’ grandson always kept a copy on hand for inspiration.


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

Careful here, Jack. Erasmus certainly never wrote anything about natural selection nor did he ever try to come up with some other process by which animals evolve.

If you want to call the two paragraphs in Zoonomia where Erasmus speculates about the “improvement” and relatedness of animals a scientific theory, that’s your choice. I certainly don’t see it as one at all.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6116
Joined  2009-02-26

Perhaps it might be called a “proposition”?  Then later others fashioned the “paradigm”? And finally Darwin’s “theory” (providing evidence)?

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

FWIW, I would call it a lucky guess (the relatedness of animals, not their improvement; he was obviously much less lucky assuming that animals improve.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

Careful here, Jack. Erasmus certainly never wrote anything about natural selection nor did he ever try to come up with some other process by which animals evolve.

If you want to call the two paragraphs in Zoonomia where Erasmus speculates about the “improvement” and relatedness of animals a scientific theory, that’s your choice. I certainly don’t see it as one at all.


I’ll call it a proto-scientific theory then. He was on the right track but didn’t know it. Even Charles mentioned that his grandfather’s work was speculation when it came to natural selection. Have you read both volumes? This BTW isn’t a challenge I’m just curious to get your opinion. My source on Zoonomia comes mainly from the bio and auto bio accounts where he mentions the work and the two poems, which I have read.


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

God no, I have never read Zoonomia. I read about it and Darwin’s grandfather in different places. From what I have seen, though, I really don’t think it was such a big deal.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3206
Joined  2011-08-15

God no, I have never read Zoonomia. I read about it and Darwin’s grandfather in different places. From what I have seen, though, I really don’t think it was such a big deal.

Can we at least agree then that his writing (I promise not to call it a theory) had some influence on Darwin who in turn influenced Dawkins who in his turn influenced us? grin

 

Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 August 2012 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6116
Joined  2009-02-26

We stand on the shoulders of those who came before…. cheese

 Signature 

Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 4
3
 
‹‹ Lemarc      Reactionary with open mind ››