Tag Archive: human



Image

There seems to be a confusion among evolution skeptics that is overlooked by most people who accept evolution. Skeptics of evolution tend to think that evolution is a world-view that believers in evolution hold on to with all our might, unwilling to see the world otherwise. In other words, they view evolution as a religion.

This makes sense to evolution skeptics because they know that they cannot change certain beliefs that they have of their religion. They cannot stop believing in the basic tenets of their religion, or their life would be in shambles (or at least, that’s what they believe).

However, I hope I can speak for most people who believe in evolution when I say, if scientists suddenly found a serious problem that ran counter to evolutionary theory, and after a peer review, they declared that evolution was actually not the answer for how we arrived here, believers in evolution would be excited!  This concept is mind-blowing for evolution skeptics because it would seem to them like evolution believers’ lives would have been ruined because our concept of how the world works would have been ruined. Not at all. In fact, in order for evolutionary theory to be overturned, there would have to be an even more amazing, all-encompassing theory to replace it. So, would this be disappointing? No! This would be absolutely fascinating! There would be so many new interesting questions raised by this drastic discovery. There is nothing about evolutionary theory itself that we evolution believers cling to: we just accept the facts. We are not promised life after this life or punishment of our enemies. We simply accept what the scientific method demonstrates.

Of course, it is extremely improbable that the entire theory of evolution will be overturned considering the vast amounts of evidence in its favor and the absence of scientific evidence running counter to it at this moment. However, the vast amount of evidence for evolution does not make me happier. The fact is, people who believe in evolution tend to believe it because they care about science, not evolution specifically. They may have an interest in studying the mechanics or evidence of evolution, but caring for something is a little different.

We do care about the scientific method because humans have tried many methods for understanding the world in the past. Animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, palmistry, rain dances and so on, have all failed to produce repeatable results as the scientific method has. As a result of the repeatability of the scientific method, it has produced virtually all the inventions we see around us in modern society. I care to protect that concept because I care about preserving and advancing the benefits of modern society.

The theory of evolution has been arrived at via the scientific method. Therefore, I care about evolution only because I care about science. Whether or not evolution is true is not something I am emotional about; however, denying the accuracy of scientific analysis is an affront to our modern society and, as a defender of modern society, I feel a duty to defend the truthfulness of scientific analysis.

Advertisements

Image

I will state it upfront: I am not a pacifist; nor do I beat the drums of war.

Killing in our personal lives is almost never necessary; however, things are different on the global scale. The difference lies in the fact that most of us (that is, people likely to spend their time reading a blog, and not just trying to survive) live in democratic societies, or at least societies with the rule of law.

This is not the case for many of the 7 billion of us. What is the result when you have groups of humans, often guided by ancient texts which they cannot read, living in isolated societies lacking the rule of law? In a word: racism. Often, extreme racism. It is a sad fact that there is a vestigial quality of our human mind that wants to create an us-them dichotomy, with “us” being good and “them” being evil. I say vestigial because, of course, at one time this would have been extremely useful. Encountering a random group of humans in prehistoric times was a dangerous endeavor.

However, nowadays, the desire to segregate your in-group from others is very harmful for two reasons. First, it prevents trade and therefore stymies development of the isolated group. Second, and more importantly for this discussion, it creates racist beliefs that are continuously reinforced by the other members within the in-group. Not interacting in any way (aside from war) with an out-group will never allow the in-group members to question their beliefs, and in fact, the interaction through war will only confirm many of their beliefs.

Another vestigial aspect of the human mind is the susceptibility of children to incorrect or even immoral beliefs. It seems that there is something in our minds as children that says, “Believe older people, and keep those beliefs for the rest of your life. Further, hate people who question those beliefs.”

We are products of evolution and evolution is an imperfect process. We can always be better. Unfortunately, it seems, we are stuck with the mildly barbaric minds that we are born with. Of course, reason allows us to overcome these shortfalls. People living in the mountains of Afghanistan, unfortunately for us and them, will never have access to such an advanced education that will allow them to question their in-group beliefs. Many of them will be lucky if they learn to read.

So, considering this, we come to a sad result. Some peoples’ minds are so polluted with dangerous ideas that they need to be killed. It’s a shocking statement, but it’s true. You will never convince a Taliban foot-soldier that his beliefs are misguided and that you have a better way to live. If you think you can do this, you are deluding yourself. This is especially sad because these people did not choose to be born in the mountains of Afghanistan, but their beliefs, alas, are still dangerous to the rest of us.

Imprisoning these people is a possibility, too. I’ll admit this. However, in many areas where these people live, civilization has not effectively created safe-havens from which to launch police raids. Because of this, it would be impractical and extremely costly to catch each of these people one by one.

Therefore, the only option available is what President Obama has been using on an unprecedented scale: drone strikes.

To drone or not to drone? Definitely, drone.

standup2p

Observations - From the sharp end

Questionable Motives

What is the right question?

The Havers of a Questioning Mind

All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God. -Voltaire

nerd on the bridge

A Literary Paradox

Lights on the Moon

what's real & what's not

DOUG PHILIPS

Meat sack with thoughts.

The Southern Rationalist

Voices of Rationality and Skepticism from the Southern US

Endless Erring

Stumbling along a Druid path

God Shmod

The one true God of Atheism.

Pretentious Ape

a humanist blog

Confessions of a Disquisitive Writer

Blogging my thoughts to the world

The More I Learn the More I Wonder

Rambles and brambles in the garden of my mind

Little Duckies

Parenting, polyticks, and the everyday busyness of an American-born mom in Israel.

Illusions and Delusions

Education is the key

BEN STUPPLES

JOURNALISM | UK POLITICS | BUSINESS

Web-ling's World

The World as I See It

Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.