Re: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Dec 30 2006 - 20:35:39 EST

But that was not really Denyse's argument which was about family
values. Trans-kin and trans-species may appear to be more of a
challenge until one starts to understand how groups which extend
beyond the direct family can also be relevant to the survival of the
family genes and reciprocal altruism becomes an important factor.
Trans species may involve the mutual beneficial situation of one
providing for food, the other providing for security. Several birds
feed on the parasites found on larger animals who benefit from being
warned of approaching dangers by the birds.

On 12/30/06, George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:
> True. However, Darwinian explanations of trans-kin (let alone
> trans-species) altruism are far more questionable, E.O. Wilson et al
> notwithstanding.
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
> To: <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 8:07 PM
> Subject: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism
>
>
> > While Denyse has more than once pointed out that she is not a
> > scientist, I find it occasionally necessary to point out the more
> > obvious errors in her 'arguments'. Especially when the arguments fall
> > in the category against which Augustine has warned us Christians.
> >
> > For instance on UcD she states that
> >
> > <quote>Darwinism predicts absolutely nothing of substance for family
> > values, which normally derive from philosophical or spiritual beliefs
> > about correct relationships. This is true whether given beliefs are
> > widely held or wisely held or linked in any obvious way to health,
> > wealth, or fertility.</quote>
> >
> > In fact, this is quite wrong. Darwinism predicts and explains the
> > concept of kin selection, altruism as well as reciprocal altruism. In
> > fact, it seems that the most relevant biblical teachings can be
> > explained by Darwinian evolution.
> >
> > Teach the controversy at least presumes that one is familiar with the
> > basic foundations of that with which one is in disagreement, lest one
> > runs the risk of both creating strawmen and falling victim of
> > Augustine's warnings.
> >
> > From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy we learn
> > (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/)
> >
> > <quote>
> > The idea that group selection might explain the evolution of altruism
> > was first broached by Darwin himself. In The Descent of Man (1871),
> > Darwin discussed the origin of altruistic and self-sacrificial
> > behaviour among humans. Such behaviour is obviously disadvantageous at
> > the individual level, as Darwin realized: "he who was ready to
> > sacrifice his life, as many a savage has been, rather than betray his
> > comrades, would often leave no offspring to inherit his noble nature"
> > (p.163). Darwin then argued that self-sarcrificial behaviour, though
> > disadvantageous for the individual 'savage', might be beneficial at
> > the group level: "a tribe including many members who...were always
> > ready to give aid to each other and sacrifice themselves for the
> > common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this
> > would be natural selection" (p.166). Darwin's suggestion is that the
> > altruistic behaviour in question may have evolved by a process of
> > between-group selection.
> > </quote>
> >
> > what a little research can actually do for the quality of one's
> > arguments...
> >
> > Happy New Year
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
>
>

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Received on Sat Dec 30 20:36:00 2006

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