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Category: Darwin

The Inhumanity of Being Animals

The intended audience of this post is Christians, and anyone else interested in aligning their viewpoints to reality.   I know it is long, but if you’re going to comment, I insist you read it all before you do.

From the transcript of the Scopes Monkey Trial, pg 208:

[Clarence Darrow quizzing one of the students in Scopes’ classroom]

Q — Now, Howard, what do you mean by classify?
A— Well, it means classify these animals we mentioned, that men were just the same as them, in other words—
Q— He didn’t say a cat was the same as a … continue reading...

Logical Fallacy: The Scaffolding Fallacy

In the course of almost 20 years of experience debating and discoursing with people of various viewpoints, I have encountered arguments that are fallacious which nonetheless do not, as far as I know, have ‘official’ names to them.  This might be because the ‘fallacy’ is in fact part of someone’s entire outlook, and does not present as a distinct formal argument.

I’ve always meant to deliberately lay some of these out, but like so much of what I want to say and do, time, energy, and circumstance seem to war against it.  I have a mental list of these.  Occasionally … continue reading...

The Coming Sexual Gulag Archipelago? On the Truth about Sex

Maybe its because I’m currently reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn‘s The Gulag Archipelago, but this growing spate of accusations on sexual misconduct is making me queasy.  If you know anything about the various purges of the Soviet regime, you know that people were shuffled off to oblivion over nothing more than accusations, if not executed outright.  On top of that, people were making false confessions left and right.  They perceived that they had little chance of being found innocent anyway, so they sought to limit their punishment, or the punishment of those they loved.

Reading Solzhenitsyn‘s book, I was … continue reading...

Tips for Knowing that What you Know is True and Real

In a preamble to this topic, I set forth some important caveats.  I may have some more when I am done.  In this post, I aim to set forth my basic principles and practices for drawing as close as I can to ‘knowledge.’

1.  Have as few preconceived notions as possible, and be aware of the ones that you have.  The universe is a big place, and the earth fairly large, too, relative to your own experiences.  Be as skeptical of your own apprehension of reality as you are of others.  Many people trust that they OF COURSE are able … continue reading...

Tips for Knowing that What you Know is True and Real: Preamble

Many disagreements on issues come down to a fundamental difference on how people arrive at what they consider to be ‘true’ and the different weighting they give to different kinds of knowledge claims.  It is even worse when people are unaware of how they are arriving at their conclusions and have given no thought whatsoever to whether or not these methods are sound, or appropriate to the categories they are applying those methods to.  I have given thought to this, indeed, you could even say I wrote the book on epistemology.  😉 There have been many occasions where I thought … continue reading...

Unraveling the Universe of Ideas (Part 1 of N)

When I wrote my (yet unpublished) dissertation examining the influence of Darwinism on the founders of eugenics, I found myself faced with trying to tease out just what is meant by ‘influenced.’  Ie, does Darwinism logically entail eugenics? I felt I needed a model for comprehending those connections.  Think, for example, of W. V. Quine’s ‘web of belief,’ which has value, but does not address the phenomena of people having seemingly the same ideas, but for some reason or another, they are not able to continue together upon an ideological train of thought.

This dovetails into my dissatisfaction with the … continue reading...