- So, you think evolution is a religion...?
finlarg | added 16.XI.2015
- Two comments,
- a longer and a final one:
- Beginning the overview where finlarg is presenting a graph, and says his generalisations in the following will be about what unites 2/3 of the graph, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
"2/3 of the religions" does not mean all religions (including, of course, those in that stat labelled as non-religions)
"they believe gods are real"
Buddhism doesn't necessarily
"they believe the supernatural is real"
1) to believe "the supernatural is real" you have to have a definition of "the supernatural"
2) these 2/3 do not have any common definition of the supernatural - not all would recognise the distinction
3) while analysing these as believing "the supernatural is real" you are applying not their own definitions but that of Western Atheism - the religion Kent Hovind just called Evolution
"and that it manifests in reality"
do Buddhists really? don't you, really (even if you think the manifestation is due to hallucination, misunderstanding, lies etc)?
"they have temples"
Would you consider Smithsonian Musaeum as a totally profane building? You know Musaeum means "temple of the Muses", right? And you also know, Smithsonian is run by Evolutionists, just as much as Creation Musaeum is run by Creationists.
"their followers are encouraged to pray or meditate or worship"
by now some Hindoo and Buddhist versions are being promoted among evolutionists, for "wellbeing" - a concept not foreign to the way it is used by Hindoos and Buddhists (sure, wellbeing after death as in getting better or no reincarnations is envisaged too - but for Hindoos who actively do believe gods of some sort actual prayer is another thing) also Dawkins, Krauss and a few more are encouraging Evolutionists to worship nature
"they believe that there is an afterlife"
In a sense, Buddhists really don't. Thinking "you" is even while "you" live only an illusory entity or unity, they attribute no afterlife to "you" - they do however attribute an afterlife to each part - physical or mental - of "you".
"these things are what separate religion from atheism"
No, these things - except temples and meditation - separate some religions from atheism and buddhism.
"millions if not billions of these three major religions accept that the theory of evolution is true, which deflects ..."
As if a Hindoo Evolutionist could not be religious in both senses ... the solution is no more problematic than many Japanese being both Buddhist and Shinto. Of course, for a Christian Evolutionist, he needs to kid himself Evolution is not a religion, since Christianity forbids being part time or part aspect other religion than Christianity. Therefore you have lots of Christian Evolutionists supporting you and kidding themselves into not considering themselves as syncretists.
"Biological evolution is descent with modification"
While this definition would hold true to both small-scale and large-scale evolution, it is insufficient by itself to account for acceptance of Deep Time and large scale evolution.
This appeal to a "dictionary definition" is a bait and switch, since baraminologists clearly also believe in descent with modification, just not in this going on either complex or long enough to account for new organs or linking of obviously very different life.
So, while the description applies "both to small-scale and to large-scale evolution", it also applies to "small-scale evolution without large-scale evolution" which is what many creationists believe.
Therefore, your definition as given here is incomplete. It was probably chosen as a tactic of bait and switch and is probably a very recent move.
Here a German wiki gives a more complete definition in "Geschichte der Evoluzionstheorie":
Evolutionstheorie: Organismen unterliegen im Laufe vieler Generationen einem beständigen Wandel. Dies bedeutet eine Abkehr von der Schöpfungslehre. Darwin verwendete in seinen Werken nicht den Begriff „Evolution“.
Dieser Wandel erfolgt allmählich, in kleinen Schritten. Diese Sichtweise wird als Gradualismus bezeichnet und steht im Widerspruch zum Transmutationismus oder Saltationismus von Thomas Huxley.
Abstammungstheorie (Deszendenztheorie): Die Herkunft aller Arten kann auf eine Stammart zurückgeführt werden.
Speziation: Im Laufe der Zeit gehen aus einer Art neue Arten hervor. Mit Deszendenz und Speziation steht Darwin im Gegensatz zum Transformationismus von Lamarck, der zwar den Wandel der Arten anerkennt, dieser Wandel führt aber nicht zur Vervielfachung der Arten, sondern nur zu ihrer Vervollkommnung.
Evolution as we consider it a religion is more related to "Abstammungstheorie" - which really does contradict creationism.
It is defined as "the ancestry of all species can be brought back to one stem species". This is clearly of itself a different claim to "descent with modification" and it is clearly of itself what distinguishes an Evolutionist from a Baraminologist.
Btw, you are even highlighting and quoting selectively.
"The central idea of evolution is that all life on earth share a common ancestor, just as you and your cousin share a common grandmother".
"does evolution do this?" (i e prescribe a behaviour?)
Yes, it very clearly promotes a morality of scientific enlightenment and opposing the "obscurantism" of religion, or, in the case of religious evolutionists, of "fundamentalism".
You can have Hemant Mehta telling Atheists in Muslim countries they have a right to Taqqiya, and you have both Atheist and "Christian" Evolutionists telling Creationism to go away.
The theory of evolution as a purely credal theory would not do this, but the credal theory is in fact usually linked to the morality of the Enlightenment. Therefore Evolution as actually accepted does prescribe things.
On the other hand, general formulations of guidelines are very vague, much less specific than the ten commandments - but that is also the case for "the noble eight-fold path".
"they are plainly making a mistake to derive an ought from an is"
While one could say an ought cannot be derived from pure "is", once we have a general "ought" of "do good, avoid evil", we have most other oughts derived from that via, specifically, the "is-s" we believe.
"just because there is cruelty in nature does not mean we ought to be cruel ourselves"
A very good point of Christian morality, since in the Christian "is" we are higher than the creatures you refer to as "nature" and we are also partly responsible for it, through Adam's sin. In the Evolutionist "is", neither our superiority to beasts, nor our guilt in originating cruelties by Original Sin is left as a guideline checking this descent. What is stopping you is most probably:
1) a hatred of Third Reich (understandably), inherited from a time when some of those beating it were not so Evolution espousing as now
2) even more perhaps a family tradition, inherited from if not parents, then grandparents, if not grandparents, then greatgrandparents who were some kind of Christians (your "you cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is'" is an heirloom from Immanuel Kant and denotes either Protestant or - statistically somewhat less likely - Jewish family background)
These cannot last forever, and that is one reason why Eugenicism is coming back as Transhumanism.
That is, they cannot last forever cut off from their mainly Christian roots.
"millions of your fellow believers"
I am a Roman Catholic, and because his position is that of a supposed bishop, bishops are supposed to know the whole dogma, and evolution belief (among other tenets of Bergoglio) is against Catholic dogma, I do most certainly NOT consider Bergoglio ("Pope Francis") as a fellow believer of mine.
I will not consider every layman who agrees he "is Pope" or who accepts Evolution (perhaps less fully than you think, since not understanding it enough, definitely that would be the case of "humanisation" where Catholics do not give Evolution the credit, typically, of more than being occasion to an act of God), I will not consider every layman who says these things as automatically an apostate, but if someone a bishop is considering he does right in not just tolerating, but encouraging this, he is an apostate - and automatically loses the episcopal office he holds or is ineligible to one he never held.
we do not need to stretch "religion" so it includes everything
You showed a page where "2" is "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practises generally agreed on by a number of persons or sects" and it is examplified as "the Christian religion", "the Buddhist religion" and you can here include the Evolutionist one. I am ending this comment - a prolonged one - on 04:00.
- If you strawman a dictionary entry yourself, who are you to complain of Kent Hovind strawmanning anyone?
In fact, that evolution does not claim the collaterals of very ancient ancestry are "chimpanzees" is technically arguable, but unimportant in view of the fact that evolutionists do claim our ancestry was - at least to a lay human observer, considering things like brain volume in cubic centimetres of an adult brain or considering bipedalism as an innovation - much closer to chimps than to us.
As to our ancestry being a rock, again you are technically right. This goes beyond "evolution", past abiogenesis and into "history of earth during Hadean". Nevertheless, it is accurate, unless you consider abiogenesis and Earth history during Hadean as not belonging to typical beliefs of those who accept Evolution, i e common ancestry of all living species.