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In his cups, too, he had fitful but almost demoniac inspirations for hidden truth
May 10, 2006 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Another black eye for ID (youtube link): Zoologist Dan-Eric Nilsson of the University of Lund in Sweden explains how the complex human eye could have evolved gradually from a primitive light-sensitive eye-spot. Via Swift.
posted by flabdablet (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Er?
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:21 PM on May 10, 2006


Don't forget: Writing has been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean we've mastered it yet. Want to make fiction? Perhaps it makes itself, perhaps it makes you... Self reference breeding infinite hyperrealities. Which world will you choose?
posted by spock at 7:31 PM on May 10, 2006


Thank you for this. While not very in depth, it will be useful to pull out when I need to quickly explain this concept to someone.
posted by phrontist at 7:33 PM on May 10, 2006


Zoologist Dan-Eric Nilsson of the University of Lund in Sweden explains how the complex human eye could have evolved gradually from a primitive light-sensitive eye-spot.

Yeah, but he's a two-finger typist.

Burned!
posted by rafter at 7:37 PM on May 10, 2006


SciAm's 15 answers to ID nonsense
and
Apologetics Press's (extremely long) reply

Just so you have it. The SciAm thing is good to read just to make sure you know the stuff. The ID reply is ... well, long. I've gotten through the first three replies, and it seems like there is a whoooooole lot of semantics going on there, which is to be expected.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:56 PM on May 10, 2006


And we get Qui-Gonn as the narrator. How cool is that?
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:31 PM on May 10, 2006


BlackLeotardFront : from your second link;

...is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from that self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe...

It's great. I wish evolution had that direct factual support enjoyed by, say, God.
posted by ny_scotsman at 9:06 PM on May 10, 2006


Oh yeah? Well explain this, Mister SCIENTIST!!
posted by LordSludge at 9:32 PM on May 10, 2006


See also
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:51 PM on May 10, 2006


God made Evolution, so when Mrs. God complained about how vain and stupid humans tend to be, God blames Evolution for the whole mess.

Anytime anyone tells you that they understand the entire nature of the universe, you already know they're full of shit. What we don't know would fill a universe or two. Or three.
posted by dbiedny at 11:39 PM on May 10, 2006



Oh yeah? Well explain this, Mister SCIENTIST!!

Haha, I've seen that whole video.

Absolutely God made bananas for the easy eating of humans - easy to fit in the hand and just rip it open. Just like Deer and Chickens - Easy to fit in the hand and just bite the head off... mmmm refreshing.

Their argument later degenerates into "I don't need to use my 'brain' to think about these things, when in my heart I KNOW that I'm right!"
posted by Meccabilly at 11:53 PM on May 10, 2006


Just don't argue with retards. It's that simple. Don't have discussions about the validity of evolution. If someone is that profoundly stupid, you're not going to change their mind with an article from Scientific American.

Seriously, don't validate the Stupids' arguments by responding to them like they're even worth considering. Because they're not.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:02 AM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Lewis Black: "We have the fossils. We win."

Once I heard that I gave up on learning new anti-ID arguments..
posted by cavalier at 4:19 AM on May 11, 2006


Isn't there some sort of "no shit" file we can place this in? The evolution of a lensed eye from a light-sensitive spot always seemed fairly self-evident. Bringing up the human eye as evidence of God's handiwork is usually when I walk away from the conversation.

As Mayor Curley says, just don't argue with retards.
posted by quite unimportant at 4:30 AM on May 11, 2006


...just don't argue with retards.
Unfortunately, you need to, at least, practice arguing with them. Because, eventually, they will show up at your school board or legislature, working hard to insert their delusions into the law of the land.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:45 AM on May 11, 2006


I've barely awoke and shaken the cobwebs of sleep from my head, but this thread got the best of me, so I'm gonna bite: who says God didn't use the mechanism of evolution? Dinosaurs and Christianity don't have to be mutually exclusive. Who knows, maybe the T-rex and his brethren were used in a beta testing phase of the earth?

I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God. The evidence is everywhere: it's in good people helping others, it's in autumn when the trees explode with bright red, orange and red leaves, and the evidence is forgiveness and peace and love and in the majestic night time sky if urban light polution hasn't marred it's view for you yet.

But then again, if you're too blind and distracted to notice God's many blessings and love for you, how could I expect you to notice distant stars and planets?
posted by rinkjustice at 4:48 AM on May 11, 2006


The evidence is everywhere: it's in good people helping others

so it's also in bad people hurting others? Or is that evidence of Satan?

You are a lunatic if you believe in a wonderous creator. It's time people stopped just ignoring these mentally impaired people as "having faith" and started treating them the same as people who believe they are God.
posted by twistedonion at 5:20 AM on May 11, 2006


I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God. The evidence is everywhere: it's in good people helping others,

Well, OK. As long as the good people get no credit. Damn do-gooders.
posted by Happy Monkey at 5:38 AM on May 11, 2006


rinkjustice wrote "I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God. The evidence is everywhere: it's in good people helping others, it's in autumn when the trees explode with bright red, orange and red leaves, and the evidence is forgiveness and peace and love and in the majestic night time sky if urban light polution hasn't marred it's view for you yet."

Um... I'll bite. Good people helping others = altruism. Of course if you read R. Trivers, or better yet pick up a copy of E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology you might find out that in most cases altruism is a selfish behavior on the level of the gene - I act nice to you in front of your sister, she's more likely to sleep with me - that sort of thing. No need to invoke God to explain the behavior or the development of this behavior. The theory also does a great job of explaining why and when this behavior is favored, and why spiteful or selfish behavior is also favored under different conditions.

Autumn leaves? Yes, they are pretty, but they are the result of carotenes and xanthophylls revealed as secondary, less-important photoreceptors in the leaves as the light wavelength changes in late summer and early fall. Chlorphyll doesn't work as well under those conditions, and is lost. The color you see is the color that the pigment does not absorb. Again, you can bring God into it, but you don't need to. You could bring little invisible pixies into it and imagine that they paint every leaf, and you'd have just as much evidence for that as for God purposefully giving you colors to look at.

Peace and love and forgiveness in the nighttime sky? You're staring into the void at big balls of flaming gas trillions of miles away. It might be comforting to you to think that God is out there on a cloud staring back - but that's pretty much because the human mind has a hard time comprehending the possibility of infinite emptiness.

You can have logical explanations, and you can have God. You can't use God as an explanation for the world and the universe and remain logical. You might see this as a cold, unfeeling way to view the universe, but personally I think it's enlightening. Calling in God as the end explanation for everything is a cop-out for those too intellectually lazy or afraid to admit that we do not know (and may never know) why the world is as it is.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:03 AM on May 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


twistedonion: Notice how there are opposites of everything: good and evil, night and day, order and chaos, ignorance and enlightenment? There is a God, and there is also Satan.

And addressing the comments from caution live frogs: the glory of God is intelligence, and science is the study of how God did it. I find my belief in God makes me want to create and learn and more fully appreciate brilliant works of art and engineering from both God and man.

A film reviewer (writing about Revenge of the Sith) wrote that George Lucas should be proud of the expansive Star Wars universe he had created, and it made me realise that George Lucas (like mankind in general), loves to create - just like our Father in Heaven! We're all God's children, and just as children will inherit certain traits, likes and dislikes of their biological parents, so do we inherit the same desire for intelligence and invention.
posted by rinkjustice at 6:53 AM on May 11, 2006


who says God didn't use the mechanism of evolution?

You might as well claim that the invisible dragon in my garage uses the mechanism of evolution. Without a shred of support in reality, your god-concept is as equally imaginary, and useless, as my invisible dragon.

I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God. The evidence is everywhere

This 'evidence' is so amorphous that I could claim that it proves the existence of my invisible garage dragon too.
posted by jsonic at 6:56 AM on May 11, 2006


so do we inherit the same desire for intelligence and invention.

I might have, but you certainly haven't... stuck as you are in a 2,000 year old fairy tale.

Try reading something other than the Bible, you'll be surprised at how edifying the whole experience becomes once you remove your blinkers (but then, that's just me tempting you right?)

i've always found it interesting that the whole reason Adam and Eve got thrown out of the Garden was because they ate the fruit of knowlege. Knowlege is bad people!
posted by twistedonion at 7:14 AM on May 11, 2006


someone's been reading The Demon-Haunted World...
posted by longbaugh at 7:23 AM on May 11, 2006


someone's been reading The Demon-Haunted World...

me? no, never heard of it. is it good?
posted by twistedonion at 7:29 AM on May 11, 2006


sorry twistedonion - That'd be jsonic's Invisible Garage Based Fire Breathing Dragon - Chapter 10 iirc. One day I'll actually hit preview first.
posted by longbaugh at 7:43 AM on May 11, 2006


Oh fiddlesticks - whilst I am on a Sagan trip I'll remember to note that he states the word "demon" is Greek for knowledge (hence the word "demonstrate") and that prior to rebranding, demons were considered neither good nor bad but were the middle layer between the peons on earth and the big bearded guys in the sky.
posted by longbaugh at 7:47 AM on May 11, 2006


The glory of God is intelligence, and science is the study of how God did it.

rinkjustice, if your faith is compatible with the scientific pursuit of knowledge, then you have just as much reason to stop the ID movement as the others in this thread.

The general motivation behind ID amounts to, 'stop investigating, stop asking questions, stop trying to understand how life and the universe work, because we already know that $DEITY made that, it says so in $BOOK and that's as much as we will ever know.'

How is that compatible with the God you describe?
posted by arialblack at 8:11 AM on May 11, 2006


arialblack: if you read my comments (and I gather you have) you'd know I am "pro" learning, investigation and understanding, but under the context that God is the author. Just as students study Shakespear's work and influence, so should we do the same for our Creator.

However, I don't subscribe to ID because a) it beats around the bush. It doesn't explicitly state that Jesus Christ is the Creator. b) Obtaining a sure and priceless testimony of God comes from wanting to know God and having the Holy Ghost witness to you, not having it forced down your throat through the school system. c) Trying to prove God exists through science is like... idunno... experiencing the movie Blade Runner only through a child's retelling. You're not getting the full experience!

But I'll tell you why I responded to this thread instead of ignoring it (which is what I normally do). I don't appreciate when people call Christians and those of faith retards and lunatics because their beliefs, and I have a problem w/ people who believe either you can believe in God OR you can believe in science - but you can't believe in both.These people have never given God a chance, and because they haven't had a personal spiritual experience that has confirmed the existance of God, then God must not exist at all, for anyone.
posted by rinkjustice at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2006


...Jesus Christ is the Creator.

Sucks to be Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, Jainist, Pagan, or Atheist. We must all just be the Sith foils to rinkjustice's Luke Skywalker. But then, don't the NPCs always outnumber the player?
posted by todbot at 10:35 AM on May 11, 2006


Obtaining a sure and priceless testimony of God comes from wanting to know God...These people have never given God a chance

So your god-concept will let us all know that it exists, but first we have to believe in it? Can you get a more obvious con?

You'll find that many non-believers come from religious backgrounds. The idea that they never gave their god-concept a chance is your own invention.
posted by jsonic at 10:48 AM on May 11, 2006


I want to believe!
posted by homunculus at 10:58 AM on May 11, 2006


I was once touched by a noodly appendage... in a rectory.
posted by todbot at 11:09 AM on May 11, 2006


George Lucas (like mankind in general), loves to create - just like our Father in Heaven!

Uhm, No, Uncle George likes to make money on his investments. if you think he's some great creative genius, you obviously haven't seen anything he did after THX1138. If you're trying to equate Lucas with God, you're obviously under the influence of...

Satan.

And as far as Jesus, if he indeed lived, he was an enlightened, radical Jew with a cult following and great PR, a human like us all, perhaps more gifted than most, but a human. To call him "Creator" is just rubbish. It's really no better than Scientology and it's nonsensical horse shit.

I do agree with you, though, that the concepts of God and evolution can co-exist, as long as you don't confuse belief with knowledge.
posted by dbiedny at 11:27 AM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've read your posts, rinkjustice, and my point was to show that you make a very different argument than the ID'ers, and the creationists before them ( in terms of public school politics, at least ). Leaving the issue of our particular faiths aside, I think we agree more than we disagree.

If God is intelligence, then He should be pleased with our use of it to discover that, to the best of our understanding, the earth is round, revolves around a sun, and is billions of years old, or that we share a common ancestry with the other living things on this planet.

However, these ideas are in factual conflict with various religious accounts of creation, and there are people (unlike yourself, I assume) who take that as a challenge to their faith, and then seek to discourage, silence, or even kill those who would discover more of them. It's the religious argument that prefers ignorance to discovery that is so frustrating, and that's where the name-calling comes from.
posted by arialblack at 12:16 PM on May 11, 2006


jsonic: with merely a hint of faith and the desire to know for yourself that God exists (and the real intent to change if you get an affirmative answer), you can find out with assurity that God exists. It's that simple.
posted by rinkjustice at 12:39 PM on May 11, 2006


What happens if you approach it without faith and with no preconcieved notion of the outcome?
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:09 PM on May 11, 2006


With the knowledge of his noodly appendage and the faith to know you've been touched, how can you not believe in...

If I wanted to know how a car works, I probably could explain the whole thing without ever mentioning where the steel came from. We've figured out a good portion of the workings of evolutionary theory, schools can and should teach that. If you want to make conjecture about the components or what happened in the grey area before, go for it. Just don't act like we all have to believe it.
posted by mikeh at 1:16 PM on May 11, 2006


There is a God, and there is also Satan.

Which one of them is responsible for this? If it's God, I reject God. If it's satan, HOLY SHIT, SATAN CAN CREATE ENTIRE SPECIES?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:23 PM on May 11, 2006


What happens if you approach it without faith and with no preconcieved notion of the outcome?

Try it and see.
posted by rinkjustice at 1:31 PM on May 11, 2006


you can find out with assurity that God exists. It's that simple.

That's the same thing the Zeus/Ra/Thor/Kali/Quetzalcoatl/FSM/... worshipers tell me. What makes your god-concept less imaginary than theirs?
posted by jsonic at 1:32 PM on May 11, 2006




PinkStainlessTail: I reject you for linking to that. I need to go pour bleach in my eyes now.
posted by Zozo at 1:35 PM on May 11, 2006


rinkjustice: I understand your perspective, we know How things work, but no one really knows Why. And its in this Why that you believe God exists.

The spiritual experience which makes it feel like you know God exists is indeed a real feeling. But the idea that it creates a 'knowing' that God is real was already in place before the experience. And just because this experience feels so mystical and generates a mental state that is described by religious scriptures, does not mean that these religious scriptures are true.

Sure there exists this feeling that we call spiritual and I feel that it does have many of benefits for the mind, but to have such specific conclusions as to the realities of 'Why' things exists is just too far detached.
posted by Trakker at 1:37 PM on May 11, 2006


I need to go pour bleach in my eyes now.

Behold the glorious power of wild nature in all her horribleness! I've heard that Darwin's decision to finally publish Origin of Species after sitting on the manuscript for years because of religious doubts about the validity of his theory was in part based on finding out about those wasps. Though that was in a Mark Steel lecture so it may be apocryphal. The wasps are very real though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:43 PM on May 11, 2006


Try it and see.

I did, many years ago. Came to the conclusion that using one big unexplainable thing (god) to explain another big unexplainable thing (existence) doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:49 PM on May 11, 2006


As long as rinkjustice understand that scientists are a billion times better than theologians I really don't give a shit about his aggressive GOD EXISTS AND LEAVES CHANGING COLOR ARE PROOF thing; it's all good.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:57 PM on May 11, 2006


Sucks to be Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, Jainist, Pagan, or Atheist. We must all just be the Sith foils to rinkjustice's Luke Skywalker.

"I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior."
posted by darukaru at 3:48 PM on May 11, 2006


I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God. The evidence is everywhere

Heretic. That stuff was obviously done by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Anyone with half a brain can see that. Duh! Oh wait... you don't have that much brain, do you? My apologies. Carry on being awed into stupefaction by natural phenomena, asscranium. Just try to remember to mop up the drool occasionally, would you? There's a good chimp.
posted by Decani at 4:14 PM on May 11, 2006


What happens if you approach it without faith and with no preconcieved notion of the outcome?

I come to the conclusion that the answer is unknowable in our present plane of existence, a limitation of our experience of time, space, and consciousness: quite simply, if there is a god, it is beyond our dimensions.

But so long as you keep your religion out of my government and the publicly-supported social structures thereof, I'm cool with you believing anything you wish so long as it makes you a better person.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:44 PM on May 11, 2006


I say you'd have to be stupid NOT to believe in God.

Dead, but pretty, leaves; Helping old ladies across the street. = God exists.

Classic.
posted by evil holiday magic at 12:36 AM on May 13, 2006


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