Evolution - A Conversation with Alex Williams

by cofty 62 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • peacefulpete

    SCM is brilliant but applying his critical thinking in select parts of his life. What he is calling "consciousness" may be little more than an illusion created as a by product of language. An inner narrative we subconsciously string together upon processing sensory input and memory.

    Even animals such as crows display theory of mind. They project motives and intention upon others and act accordingly. The deceive and manipulate. The differences between us and them is matter of degree not fundamental. If they had a more complex language center, they might be pondering these same topics.

    SCM has gone so far as to endorse the religion of his community, Christianity, and its sacred stories as history. He is doing so uncritically. He wants to believe and has managed to rationalize his decision using scientific sounding language. But he has not arrived at his conclusion by using science. His work on the Burgess shale is good work, good science, his religious convictions are not. Its much like my being a watchmaker, it requires patience and care to do my job. But I don't apply that same care and patience consistently in my life. The condition of my yard is proof of that.


    Here’s what I learned, but maybe I’m confused? Evolution didn’t design any features that allow for survival. It’s hard to shake the design thinking. I mean, how could Crocodiles have sensors all over their bodies if it wasn’t purposely designed by a designer???

    It’s simple. A random organism had some sensing organs that allowed them to live and reproduce. Now we have organisms with those traits because those traits were advantageous to survival and were passed on. If they didn’t work, they wouldn’t be here.

    Also, why did Jeehoober give us plant DNA and why would all life die without Fungi? Made in His image???


  • Alex Williams
    Alex Williams

    if you are serious about knowing truth

    I know the truth,all I really need to know is Jehovah himself drew me out from the world,I didnt just wake up one morning and decided to start attending the KH I knew nothing of witnesses.He lovingly guided me like a father would and was patient and merciful,all I can say is what he has done for me

  • peacefulpete

    Alex, we have all been where you are. Someday you may realize that you are the master of your life and whatever positive changes you made in your life were done by you with support from other people. JWs are people like most others, generally trying to be decent and not cause others suffering. We know that. Sometimes posters here vent a lot of bitterness because of how they were treated or because they see the danger of group thinking and blind allegiance and get a little too passionate. Its easy to forget that the JWs are just normal people with a belief system.


    Every Pentecostal says the same thing....


  • cofty
    Alex - Are we still having a conversation about evolution?
  • Xanthippe
    He lovingly guided me like a father would and was patient and merciful,all I can say is what he has done for me

    Alex Williams, do you need someone to guide you? Why? Does your actual father tell you what to do? Would you let him? Are you still a child?

  • LoveUniHateExams

    @TD - those skulls you posted, I'm guessing the four on the right belong to the genus Homo.

    Is that correct?

    PS - the four on the left don't. They belong to other genera, Paranthropus and Australopithecus perhaps.

  • TD

    From left to right:

    1. A. afarensis

    2. A. africanus

    3. H. habilis

    4. H. erectus

    5. H. heidelbergensis

    6. H. neanderthalensis

    7. H. sapiens sapiens

    8. H. sapiens

    The point (As you can probably guess) was not to claim a dirct evolutionary relationship from one to the next, but to illustrate the fact that when we talk about human evolution, we're not talking about apes.

  • slimboyfat

    peacefulpeat good to see you. I can understand the point of view that says Simon Conway Morris is rigorous in his science but wishy washy in his beliefs. This is a typical materialist interpretation of how an otherwise intelligent and reflective individual can nevertheless question the materialist orthodoxy.

    The other option, of course, is to consider that the materialist orthodoxy is not as secure as often assumed. Materialist accounts of reality involve a whole number of assumptions that cannot be proved. Take for example your statement that “consciousness may be little more than an illusion”. This is the sort of statement that materialists must make in order to uphold the materialist worldview, but which unfortunately makes no sense whatsoever. If consciousness is an “illusion”, then who exactly is subject to this illusion? I need to have consciousness in order to be subject to an illusion in the first place. If I have consciousness then I can have illusions about lots of things, but having an illusion about having a consciousness in the first place isn’t one of them. If anything, as empicricists we should be more certain about the existence of consciousness than about the material world, because we experience consciousness directly, and the material world only indirectly. If you need to insist consciousness is an illusion you might as well say “fairies only exist if you don’t capture or photograph them”. Again, why does materialism need to resort to such strange assertions? Because it is an ideological position, and not a very rational or empirically secure one at that.

    How does materialism end up making such daft claims as “consciousness is an illusion”? It’s because materialists are very committed to the idea that nothing except matter and material causes exist, therefore everything else must be explained away, including the human mind itself. What an extraordinary position to get yourself into, where you can insists that you yourself do not really exist, but are a figment of your own(?) imagination. If anyone doubts that materialism is subject to its own set of irrationalities then they need to contemplate this odd predicament of materialism further.

    So I am not convinced by your attempt to compartmentalise Simon Conway Morris as good at science and fuzzy on beliefs. In fact he is incredibly reflective on all these issues, and brings rigour in questioning materialism just as he does to his science, while leaving open the possibility of being wrong. Here are some responses where he tackles issues such as human intelligence, convergence, neo-Darwinism, Christianity, miracles, creationism, and the problem of evil.


    “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

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