Darwins Dumbfounded Eye
Posted: 31 July 2006 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was confronted at work by a guy that goes to seminars(bible college?) the other day. He over heard my argument that if the abrahamic god exists, then hes an a-hole. I’m a fulltime painter during the summers, and in apartments, which is odd that he heard me at all. Well he came with a bible and started spitting his game, I knew all of it except for the darwins eye arguement.

The gentlemen explained to me that Darwin scratched all his work once he examined the eye because he said that it could not have evolved. Now read Micheal Behe’s book Darwins Block Box about ireducible complexity and how that some organisms can’t evolve because they are just so simple that if they lost one part they would be worthless and wouldn’t of had a benefit to begin with to evolve to where they got.

Is this what this guy was claiming? It sounds like it, although I looked it up further about Darwin and his eye dibacle and apparently he was a little frazzled but still spent the next page and a half trying to explain different ways an eye could evolve.

Well I was going to ask how the eye might have evolved but, being that I have most of the knowledge mankind created right here at my fingertips I’d do it myself! smile

[img:13163c5fb1]http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Catalano/ridley_eyes.gif[/img:13163c5fb1]

Still what advantages did each step give to help the organism in some way I wonder? :?

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Posted: 31 July 2006 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi WITHTEETH,

This is a hoary subject for evolution-mavens. As I recall, Dawkins gives quite a good, lengthy explanation in his Blind Watchmaker book. The short version is that for stage (a), it is better to be able to distinguish light from dark than not. Why? Because if you are a fish you can head up towards the light for more oxygen, or down for less oxygen, etc. Light is a good orientation key for “up” vs. “down” during daytime and at night. Put simply, it is useful to be able to distinguish light from dark.

The subsequent evolutionary stages (b)-(f) all involve increases in sensitivity—from being able to see only light and dark, to being able to distinguish shapes (predators, prey, mates), to being able to better distinguish shapes and movement, all the way to “modern” vision. As Dawkins so rightly notes, it is better to have blurry vision than to be totally blind. And these primitive eyes (b)-(e) would have provided basically blurry vision.

Frogs, to take just one example, have very poor eyesight. They basically can only distinguish motion. But that’s good enough for them—it keeps them alive!

BTW, you can get an idea of what it’s like to be a frog by paying attention to your peripheral vision. Human peripheral vision is actually very poor, mostly sensitive to motion. Have a friend hold up several fingers at the corner of your eye and see if you can count them. Have a friend hold up different colors and see if you can distinguish them. Bet you can’t! But you WILL be able to notice movement.

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Posted: 31 July 2006 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That sounds right. Thanks Dough! smile I guess i should have looked at it from a perspective of it being an input, and inputs can have various degrees of sensitivity.

What really got me about this guy is how he claimed we all had apriori knowledge yet used science a form of empirical epistomology(Am i using that word right? LOL )  to show me evolution is wrong, thus creationism is right? So creationism is true becuause evolution is not? He had no arguement to support his own specific Christian perspective besides his bible which is its own proof that it is real because the babel says so itself, just ask the author.

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Posted: 01 August 2006 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[quote author=“WITHTEETH”]What really got me about this guy is how he claimed we all had apriori knowledge yet used science a form of empirical epistomology(Am i using that word right? LOL )  to show me evolution is wrong, thus creationism is right? So creationism is true becuause evolution is not? He had no arguement to support his own specific Christian perspective besides his bible which is its own proof that it is real because the babel says so itself, just ask the author.

Right, WITHTEETH, there’s another fallacy there: if it happened that evolution were the wrong story, nothing whatever would follow about creationism being true. This is the sly move that people make in arguing for creationism in schools: since there are “problems” with evolution, the biblical account of creation must be true.

But this would only be a good argument if biblical creationism were the only other possible alternative! Why not creation by space aliens, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Of course, creationists wouldn’t accept that sort of creation, because at base, creationism is just a disguised form of fundamentalist Christianity. As you note, this guy’s only real form of “evidence” is the word of the Bible.

So: why think the Bible is any more accurate than the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Mahabharata, the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Mayan Popol Vuh, among dozens of others?

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Posted: 01 August 2006 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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[quote author=“dougsmith”]
So: why think the Bible is any more accurate than the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Mahabharata, the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Mayan Popol Vuh, among dozens of others?

Because that person has heard it over and over again, so it must be true, and jumping on the bandwagon is always the cool think to do.

I think hume said something about this. Hearing/perceiving something repeatedly is not a form of thinking because even an imbecile can do that.

And proving a postive with a negative doesn’t vut it either. Creationism needs a new slogan “Creationism: The theory of disproving evolution.”

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