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

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Sat Dec 30 2006 - 23:45:42 EST

One must distinguish Darwinism, which is a worldview that encompasses more the science, from Darwinian evolution, which presumably is a scientific theory. It is then nonsensical to say that, "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."

 
Moorad

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of PvM
Sent: Sat 12/30/2006 8:07 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
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

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Received on Sat, 30 Dec 2006 23:45:42 -0500

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