Thursday, August 02, 2007

Everyone is a Philosopher

Many people think that when someone gets a degree in philosophy that they are (have) wasting (wasted) their time. It is thought to be a waste of time because all of us are philosophers, or at least most of us think we are. Otherwise, why would we give our opinions as if they are the Gospel? Why go waste time studying something that comes naturally to us all? That is like saying, "I am getting a degree in how to walk upright."

Well, today it is my turn to be philosopher. I do not normally engage much in the Creation vs Evolution debate. I usually just let it be that God created creation however he wanted. If he chose to use evolution, fine, if he didn't fine. The Bible is not a science book and the science books are not concerning themselves with spiritual matters. So, this post is not about trying to figure who wins the day in this argument. It's just about a natural born philosopher who knows absolutely nothing about what he's talking about, but who will talk about it as if he were a complete expert. Enjoy!

"Evolution can only exist in a modern worldview in which one searches for universal explanation of how things are." (pecheur's quote)

In a premodern world, the cosmos is explained according to various myths, some having only local influence, others enjoying more influence, but none being universal. Remember I also think evolution is a modern myth (myth being an explanation of how things are and how the gods (God) or lack thereof have or are interacting with the world.)

In a modern world, the cosmos is explained according to universal principles (whether in science or religion). In a post-modern world, the cosmos could be explained however one wants. I admit this is super over simplified.

Evolution suggest that forms come about because of adaptations and mutations. The survival of the fitest. In other words, the most fit form survives over the weakest form. So, if a certain bird species, for example, undergoes an evolutionary change, the change must take place within the entire bird population. If it occurs within the "entire" population, that suggest a search for an "universal" priniciple that governs a need for the form change. One bird can not evolve. Evolution is concerned with most of the members of the whole community changing.

So, because of the need to find an universal principle of why things are the way they are, evolution can fit well within it, but in a pre- and post-modern worldview, it has more difficulties.


drlobojo said...

Evolution is done one individual at a time. If that individual has a trait that fits the nich better than its peers it survives longer and/or breeds more thus passing along its traits to the population.
The key to evolution is change (a.k.a. mutation)and the two mechanisms that allows the key to open the door are sex and death.
Without sex, mutations would not occur. Without death the world would be full of the old stuff.
How we see "evolution" today will be considerd simplistic a hundred years from now. Thus your "myth".
Not everything evolves. That's the test of universality of evolution. The first ameoba is still alive in all ameobas living today. So where did that little sucker come from. Why doesn't he do the sex and death thing?
It is a mystery that we always seem to have mysteries.

pecheur said...

As you see I have already gotten over my head