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I have decided to go back to college to get my degree as an Anthropologist. As such, I have been reading a lot on evolution and biology. In my opinion it seems as if evolution would only occur if there were some sort of "intelligence" that "knew" it needed updating in order to survive. I'm agnostic at this point in my life but I'm leaning towards believing in some sort of Universal Intelligence.

 

However, what I want to know is this: why on earth must every scientist who believes in God push the Christian version of him?

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I have decided to go back to college to get my degree as an Anthropologist. As such, I have been reading a lot on evolution and biology. In my opinion it seems as if evolution would only occur if there were some sort of "intelligence" that "knew" it needed updating in order to survive. I'm agnostic at this point in my life but I'm leaning towards believing in some sort of Universal Intelligence.

 

However, what I want to know is this: why on earth must every scientist who believes in God push the Christian version of him?

 

Because only Christians have a truly vested interest in continuing the Jesus myth in its present form.

 

The "God" that may exist in science would have no bearing on the text of the Bible. Essentially, this is the same problem with Pascal's wager. The scientists who believe in God want to show that God exists scientifically. But which God? The God of the Talmud, the God of the New Testament, the Qur'an, the Vedas?

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However, what I want to know is this: why on earth must every scientist who believes in God push the Christian version of him?

Probably because most scientists are grown in the Western world, where Christianity has been dominant for the past 1,000 years. It's the framework they know and can relate to.

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In my opinion it seems as if evolution would only occur if there were some sort of "intelligence" that "knew" it needed updating in order to survive.

 

Evolution is successful adaptations reproducing while less successful models die out. There need be no plan or imperative, it just happens naturally.

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I understand that, but what is it that needs to adapt in order to survive? It's like something innate knows it needs to adapt or it will die. Just my humble opinion.

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In my opinion it seems as if evolution would only occur if there were some sort of "intelligence" that "knew" it needed updating in order to survive.
A lot of stuff just keeps surviving without going through cycles at all. A brick somewhere flying around, cooled off, will fly around forever, until it atoms fall apart, if they ever do. Evolution is an incremental/dynamic way of surviving. It is not essential at all for survival. It is just a happenstance that might occur at the border of order and chaos.

 

I am building robots within an evolutionary paradigm and each time I figure out a way in which I can ground evolutionary methods themselves and go to higher levels of evolvability I do so. Why inventing myself mutation operators like point mutations and cross-over mutations if they come for free in the real world? The god in the gaps becomes me, the meta-designer, in the gaps, and I try to remove myself out of all gaps and replace myself by self-organizing principles. Sorry, for your "knowing" "intelligence", I see no need for such hypothesis.

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I am building robots within an evolutionary paradigm and each time I figure out a way in which I can ground evolutionary methods themselves and go to higher levels of evolvability I do so. Why inventing myself mutation operators like point mutations and cross-over mutations if they come for free in the real world? The god in the gaps becomes me, the meta-designer, in the gaps, and I try to remove myself out of all gaps and replace myself by self-organizing principles.

 

HUH?

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I'm confused. With the number of base pairs in any organisms DNA, it is quite astonishing that mutations are as uncommon as they are (especially considering that H-bonds are fairly weak). Mutations arise. Beneficial ones make the organism more likely to die later; harmful ones make it more likely to die early. I can't figure out where intelligence comes in.

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I think you are thinking about it in the wrong way.

 

Lets say there are a bunch of bunnies hopping around in a nice temperate forest. In the forest there are many trees and a lot of grass. There is also a lot of dirt.

 

In order for the bunnies to protect themselves from being hunted, they need to "blend in" with their surroundings. If they blend in, it is harder for the wolves to see them.

 

Since the forest is brown and green in color, most of the bunnies have earthen coloured fur. Now, even though most of the bunnies are earthen colour, not all bunnies are necessarily born with earthen coloured fur. Just like people have different coloured eyes, skin, and hair, bunnies can be coloured white, black, gray, or earthen. We say that there is natural variation in the colour of the bunny hair.

 

However, even though some baby bunnies have black, or gray, or white hair, it is not likely that many of these bunnies will grow up to have their own babies. Why? Because wolves can easily spot the white bunnies in the brown and green forest. The white bunnies get eaten.

 

Now suppose the climate starts to get really cold. It starts to snow a lot. Suddenly the earthen coloured bunnies aren't doing so well. Their brown fur is easily seen against the white drifts of snow. Now the white bunnies are the bunnies that start surviving. As more and more white bunnies survive, the make love and have more and more white bunny babies. Soon, the predominent colour of the bunnies is white.

 

 

-------

 

When we look back at evolution, we may be tempted to think that somehow a higher power knew that in order to survive the species would need to change to survive, so nature or that higher power caused the species to evolve. After all, that is kind of what it looks like, right?

 

But that is not really what is happening at all.

 

Some mutations increase an organism's fitness - that is, they make that organism better suited to its environment and makes it more likely to survive to pass on that mutation.

Some mutations have no effect on an organism's fitness at all.

Some mutations have a negative effect on a organism's fitness- that is, they disadvantage that organism in its environment and make it less likely to survive.

 

So, as the environment changes, it will be those individuals with mutations that give an advantage in the changing environment that go on to survive and make babies. Eventually, that mutation becomes the "status quo" for lack of a better word. Looking backwards, it looks intelligent. But really, nature just randomly brainstormed or "threw" a whole bunch of potential solutions (mutations) at a situation and sometimes nature looks intelligent because one (or more) solutions worked. Always keep in mind that this brainstorming is happening continually (mutations happen all the time)...not just when there is a need to change.

 

Also, consider this. If there is a higher power that recognizes the need for species to evolve and then "makes" them evolve, how come that higher power does not do it for all species? Many many lineages have died out because they were unable to cope with or evolve means to deal with environmental changes.

 

 

I don't think that explanation is 100% technically accurate, but I hope it gets the point across. :)

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