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  1. #41
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Lets do a comparison....

    Axiom: Gravity exists

    If you challenge me on this I will drop and object to demonstrate gravities existence. The fact of its existence becomes self evident.
    One, if you have to provide evidence for it, then it isn't self-evidenced.

    Two, you're presupposing another axiom: What we experience is real.

    Axiom: God exists

    If I challenge you on this how will you show me it is self evident?
    I don't need to. It is self-evident. (Or so the argument would go.)

    Analysis: We are talking about quantitative faith here I think. While it takes some small measure of "faith" to "believe" in gravity it doesn't take much since we experience it quite constantly, consistently and directly. Heaven on the other hand is something no one has ever experienced directly and reported on, there is no way to text or interact with it, and no means by which to judge it. It requires almost pure faith to believe in.

    The quantity of faith needed is inversely proportional to the amount and verifiability of evidence available for the claim. We have some means to verify historical claims in the bible, but we have no real means of verifying any of its spiritual claims. Therefore a great deal of faith is required. Very little is required of more mundane and contemporary claims.
    How do you quantify faith?

    I think you can talk about risk, but I have no idea what a quantum of faith is.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  2. #42
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    One, if you have to provide evidence for it, then it isn't self-evidenced.
    Well, that is true to the definition of self-evident. I should use another word such as plainly evidenced or clearly demonstrated. I do not need to argue or explain the axiom, I simply make a very basic demonstration of it in action.

    Two, you're presupposing another axiom: What we experience is real.
    Irrelevant. If what we experience is not real then we can make no claims at all and neither of us ascribe to that as we make claims every day in these forums. It is a disingenuous claim for a human to make and serves no useful purpose.

    I don't need to. It is self-evident. (Or so the argument would go.)
    Well I am utterly unconvinced then. I don't find it at all self evident.

    How do you quantify faith?
    You assign it some level of confidence. If I believe with no evidence then that is pure faith. Based on circumstantial evidence it is stronger faith. Based on repeatable testable verified first hand evidence, very little faith.

    So, in a sense I disagree with the OP. Evolution requires at least a small measure of "faith" to believe in. But his definition of faith is that so long as you meet a given threshold of evidence, it isn't faith. None the less I'd reject that definition except as perhaps the common usage of the term.

    I think you can talk about risk, but I have no idea what a quantum of faith is.
    Ever heard of a test of faith? Say some men believe in god by faith. Some will gladly wager their lives based on this faith. They have a great deal of faith. Others will not risk death but will perhaps risk time and money, they have less but still a good deal of faith. Others will merely play lip service but if this belief has any personal risk they will betray a lack of belief. They have very little faith.

    Its hard to test someones faith in evolution since its not something you can experience directly or which we directly interact with. About all you can point to is the commitment to which people have shown.

    Now with gravity.. faith really isn't needed as the evidence is so strong few have any doubts. You pretty much always behave as if gravity were real and anyone who doesn't tends to experience failure.

  3. #43
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Irrelevant. If what we experience is not real then we can make no claims at all and neither of us ascribe to that as we make claims every day in these forums. It is a disingenuous claim for a human to make and serves no useful purpose.
    Right. We all hold that the axiom "What we experience is real" is true. But we can't prove it. So we rely on faith.

    Well I am utterly unconvinced then. I don't find it at all self evident.
    Could not the same claim be made of all "self-evident" claims? How do you prove that they are in fact self-evident?

    You assign it some level of confidence. If I believe with no evidence then that is pure faith. Based on circumstantial evidence it is stronger faith. Based on repeatable testable verified first hand evidence, very little faith.

    So, in a sense I disagree with the OP. Evolution requires at least a small measure of "faith" to believe in. But his definition of faith is that so long as you meet a given threshold of evidence, it isn't faith. None the less I'd reject that definition except as perhaps the common usage of the term.
    Your definitions are really ambiguous.

    Circumstantial evidence is still evidence. What do you mean? Like if someone said "Suzy was wearing a red hat yesterday", you would require some lower quantity of faith if you actually knew that Suzy owned a red hat or something?

    Ever heard of a test of faith? Say some men believe in god by faith. Some will gladly wager their lives based on this faith. They have a great deal of faith. Others will not risk death but will perhaps risk time and money, they have less but still a good deal of faith. Others will merely play lip service but if this belief has any personal risk they will betray a lack of belief. They have very little faith.

    Its hard to test someones faith in evolution since its not something you can experience directly or which we directly interact with. About all you can point to is the commitment to which people have shown.

    Now with gravity.. faith really isn't needed as the evidence is so strong few have any doubts. You pretty much always behave as if gravity were real and anyone who doesn't tends to experience failure.
    I really don't follow you on this "amount of faith" thing. Can you be more clear?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  4. #44
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Right. We all hold that the axiom "What we experience is real" is true. But we can't prove it. So we rely on faith.
    A very tiny measure of it yes. So small in fact that most people equate it to none and think any question or the reality of our perception is insanity.

    Could not the same claim be made of all "self-evident" claims? How do you prove that they are in fact self-evident?
    A hole object is larger than its separate parts. This is a self evident claim.
    I think therefore I am. This is also a self evident claim.

    They are self evident because they require no demonstration, they are circular proofs of a sort and therefore self evident.

    Your definitions are really ambiguous.
    Welcome to emotion and probability reasoning where subjectivituy and ambiguity are the name of the game. I can't measure faith much more than love or passion or fun. Its subjective. The only measure you can take is either self reported or the practical consequence of said feeling aka how do people behave when claiming these qualities.

    Circumstantial evidence is still evidence. What do you mean? Like if someone said "Suzy was wearing a red hat yesterday", you would require some lower quantity of faith if you actually knew that Suzy owned a red hat or something?
    Exactly. Also the probability that any average person might own or wear a red hat factors in heavily. It is quite possible that she owns a red hat as a fair number of people do, and that she might wear it.

    Now if you told me Suzy grew to twice her size overnight I would be very suspect. Its not something anyone has ever done to my knowledge nor do I know a phenomenon that might account for it. Possible it might be swelling, but still to double in size would be very remarkable. I'd want more verification or details of the event to make it seem plausible. I may trust the witness which helps but still their claim flies in the face of my own experience and knowledge that such a think is nearly impossible.

    If I simply accepted that what I was told was true, then that would require great faith in the witness not to misunderstand themselves or lie to me.



    I really don't follow you on this "amount of faith" thing. Can you be more clear?[/QUOTE]

  5. #45
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    A very tiny measure of it yes. So small in fact that most people equate it to none and think any question or the reality of our perception is insanity.
    No, it's not a "small" measure of it. It's exactly as much faith as you need to believe in any other unprovable claim.

    A hole object is larger than its separate parts. This is a self evident claim.
    I think therefore I am. This is also a self evident claim.

    They are self evident because they require no demonstration, they are circular proofs of a sort and therefore self evident.
    Circular doesn't mean "self-evident".

    Those claims are only self-evident if you accept the underlying axioms.

    Welcome to emotion and probability reasoning where subjectivituy and ambiguity are the name of the game. I can't measure faith much more than love or passion or fun. Its subjective. The only measure you can take is either self reported or the practical consequence of said feeling aka how do people behave when claiming these qualities.
    I understand that it's subjective. I understand that it's ambiguous.

    What I don't understand is why you're offering an ambiguous, subjective quantitative analysis with the expectation that I'll find it persuasive.

    Exactly. Also the probability that any average person might own or wear a red hat factors in heavily. It is quite possible that she owns a red hat as a fair number of people do, and that she might wear it.

    Now if you told me Suzy grew to twice her size overnight I would be very suspect. Its not something anyone has ever done to my knowledge nor do I know a phenomenon that might account for it. Possible it might be swelling, but still to double in size would be very remarkable. I'd want more verification or details of the event to make it seem plausible. I may trust the witness which helps but still their claim flies in the face of my own experience and knowledge that such a think is nearly impossible.

    If I simply accepted that what I was told was true, then that would require great faith in the witness not to misunderstand themselves or lie to me.
    Faith is trust.

    And you're still missing the point: Even if you want to measure the likelihood of some occurrence, you still need to rely on axioms for gathering that data. And axioms require faith.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  6. #46
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    No, it's not a "small" measure of it. It's exactly as much faith as you need to believe in any other unprovable claim.
    You say that but you offer no reason to say it. Why can you not have a small or large measure of faith? How would you term the difference between someone willing to walk across hot coals to prove their devotion and someone not willing to? You don't think their measure of belief in the outcome is a factor?

    Circular doesn't mean "self-evident".

    Those claims are only self-evident if you accept the underlying axioms.
    You can read for yourself....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-evidence

    In epistemology (theory of knowledge), a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof.

    and BTW

    In informal speech, self-evident often merely means obvious, but the epistemological definition is more strict.
    I am using it in the informal sense in most of these discussions. I am not much interested in epistemology.

    What I don't understand is why you're offering an ambiguous, subjective quantitative analysis with the expectation that I'll find it persuasive.
    Because while we don't have a standard of measure we can compare differenceses and say which is larger. Say we had no measure for length, yet we could get two objects and say which is larger. So while we can't measure faith, we can test it to find how strong it is by comparison.

    And you're still missing the point: Even if you want to measure the likelihood of some occurrence, you still need to rely on axioms for gathering that data. And axioms require faith.
    We disagree on what an axiom and faith are to some extent. An Axiom does not require faith at all, indeed if it did it would not be an axiom. An axiom simply cannot be proven and so no faith or evidence is required. It's just a kind of arbitrary baseline proposition.

  7. #47
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    I looked back at Bradfeaker's OP and think that that the following is at the epicenter:

    [Faith is] belief despite the lack of material evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence.
    There is a difference between holding a proposition as a premise in logic and holding a belief in reality. While premises must precede logical reasoning, beliefs do not have to precede thought. Beliefs can (and often are!) predicated on other things taken as given, such as different kinds of evidence. Per Bradfeaker's meaning of "faith", such beliefs are not (entirely) matters of faith.

    Evolution appears to be such a belief. It is a conclusion reached by looking at evidence.
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I have never personally witnessed a new genotype emerge.
    So you didn't see the first squirrel of a new species being born. And certainly you didn't witness the first human being born or created.

    No - there IS evidence that they exist. I have seen images of supernovae (here).
    So you have seen a supernova, or at least a picture of one. Then why did you say you haven't?

    The evidence for black holes is a little different, but here is a sample:



    No faith here...
    Bottom line, you haven't witnessed a black hole. You have faith that they exist.

  9. #49
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    You say that but you offer no reason to say it. Why can you not have a small or large measure of faith? How would you term the difference between someone willing to walk across hot coals to prove their devotion and someone not willing to? You don't think their measure of belief in the outcome is a factor?
    I don't know how productive this discussion is--although I would be interested in hashing out more specifics about what words we use to describe faith.

    You can read for yourself....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-evidence

    In epistemology (theory of knowledge), a self-evident proposition is one that is known to be true by understanding its meaning without proof.

    and BTW



    I am using it in the informal sense in most of these discussions. I am not much interested in epistemology.
    That is a very weak standard for "self-evident". A proposition might be self-evident, but a particular observer might not recognize it as such; also, if someone told me something that I believed to be true without evidence because it seemed intuitively true, but it turned out not to be (such as lighter objects falling at the same speed as heavier objects).

    Because while we don't have a standard of measure we can compare differenceses and say which is larger. Say we had no measure for length, yet we could get two objects and say which is larger. So while we can't measure faith, we can test it to find how strong it is by comparison.
    We would have a measure of length. Each object would be the measure of length for the other.

    But I apprehend your point. I think it's more about confidence than amount of faith, but that might simply be a syntactic difference.

    We disagree on what an axiom and faith are to some extent. An Axiom does not require faith at all, indeed if it did it would not be an axiom. An axiom simply cannot be proven and so no faith or evidence is required. It's just a kind of arbitrary baseline proposition.
    An axiom cannot be proven. It cannot be shown to be true. We assume that it is true--and because we do so in the absence of proof, it meets the definition of faith.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  10. #50
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I simply refuse to give any credence to the distinctions micro and macro evolution. Those terms are semantic straw men developed by the ID and creationist movement to confuse the issue. So called 'Macro' evolution has been repeatedly demonstrated in the fossil record and via genetic research. The Darwinian theory of evolution is only a couple of hundred years old - not enough to witness speciation to a complete end. But we have seen speciation occur in bacteria - in the lab and in the 'field'. Having been the personal recipient of MRSA (methycillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) 6 times I can attest personally to the fact of evolution.

    The fossils Tiktaalik and Archaeopteryx both demonstrate the fact of evolution from one species to another as well as other fossils. Evolution requires timescales incomprehensible to most people.
    I'm sorry, but the fact that you don't wish to give credence to the distinction between evolutionary principles on a micro scale (which we have distinct proof of) and evolutionary principles on a macro scale (which, independently of the time scales involved, we have no proof of), is completely immaterial. The facts are:

    - Micro evolution (intra species evolution) is a proven phenomenon that humanity has, in fact, utilized to its advantage in breeding selection and animal husbandry.
    - Macro evolution (inter species evolution) is not proven, but is considered by many to be the most logical of explanations for the diverse species we have on the planet.

    Your example of bacteria is an interesting one in that it doesn't really apply well to our general concept of long-term evolution. Bacteria mutate and become different strains typically by inhereting genetic code from the host they have infected. As far as I know, there's no claim that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor through a similar process. Furthermore, a mutated bacteria, a different strain, is still a bacteria. Have mutated bacteria changed from bacteria into even the most simple of multi-celled organisms in this process?

    I require no faith to evaluate the evidence and come to my own conclusions.

    Cheers...
    I find this statement perplexing, to be honest. By this same standard anyone could say, "I require no faith to evaluate the evidence and come to the conclusion that God exists," and would be similarly supported. This is hogwash. Your conclusions have nothing to do with the support for the claims you believe. Claims that are not proven require some measure of faith to believe in, whether or not you wish to admit it.

    Anyway, your acceptance of the distinction between macro/micro evolution is completely irrelevent. While I believe macro evolutionary principles provide a probable explanation for the development of species over the long term, we have no proof that's the case and faith is required in some part.
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  11. #51
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    - Micro evolution (intra species evolution) is a proven phenomenon that humanity has, in fact, utilized to its advantage in breeding selection and animal husbandry.
    wiki:
    Microevolution is the occurrence of small-scale changes in allele frequencies in a population, over a few generations, also known as "change below the species level"[1].

    These changes may be due to several processes: mutation, natural selection, artificial selection, gene flow and genetic drift.


    As you can see, it is not limited to artificial selection. The key criterion is the low time scale.

    However, if you accept changes on a small time scale, you MUST NECESSARILY accept much larger changes on much larger time scales. Or is it suggested that a crocodile will micro evolve over a few hundred years and then simply stop evolving? Or that it can have a progressively shorter tail over hundreds of years but never actually lose that tail over a million years?


    - Macro evolution (inter species evolution) is not proven, but is considered by many to be the most logical of explanations for the diverse species we have on the planet.
    We have a fossil record where progressively different species with changing characteristics coincide with progressive geological times (based on strata location of fossils). This is largely corroborated by genetic differences between various existing species based on their common ancestries AND by comparing their phenotypes.

    In terms of proof, I assert this is as good as finding a burglary suspect's fingerprints and his DNA in a burgled house as well as his car's tiretracks leading up the driveway. Sure, nobody actually witnessed him entering the house.
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Evolution does require some degree of faith as there are gaps and holes in it at certain points. Faith and logical assumption though are very closely related, and there is no definitive point at which one becomes the other. What is faith to one is logic assumption to another.

    However faith is not unusual in non-spiritual matters.

    Every major monetary system in the world requires faith. That is what backs the US dollar. "The good faith and credit of the United States government."

    Interestingly, those that see evolution as the definitive reason why God does not exist -- might have to stop and take pause at the emerging acceptance of the Rare Earth Hypothesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

    Just as the Big Bang Theory seemed to show there might be some credence to theists belief in the Old Testament "Let There be light". As centuries go by, and man deepens his knowledge of the universe, the Rare Earth Hypothesis might show that theists, if there are any left by that time, might have been right all along.
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  13. #53
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I disagree - you cannot have 'faith' in a beings honesty, etc... unless you atually believe that this being actually exists. Belief in a beings attributes on follows from a belief that said being is real.
    You are correct. I am just saying that the initial jump to God exists does not have to be one of a leap of pure faith. Unlike trust in what you believe God is telling you to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I disagree - the quality of evidence DOES matter and IS relevant. If it is not, then I should give credence to alien abduction, Holocaust denial and all sorts of other superstitions and marginal ideas. Quality of evidence might the MOST important tool for making reliable, critical judgments about the world.
    I am not saying you should give credence to these things I'm saying you should make the personal decision as to whether or not the evidence is convincing. The people who support these positions are convinced of the logic behind them, thus they do not have "faith" in the sense you seem to be saying people accept God under. The quality of the evidence is a subjective decision. You make the personal decision whether or not you regard the evidence reliable and convincing, just as you do with evolution. Thus while you believe one faith may be more founded on better evidence, they are not two distinct types of faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    As to the evidence for the historical Jesus - there is very little ourside of Christian literature. Of the three main sources cited for the historical Jesus (Flavius Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Tacitus) all are disputed to some degree by scholars. As to the resurrection - there is NO concrete evidence for this outside of Christian sources. I contend that the Christian accounts are unreliable because they were written with the agenda of promoting their religion.
    I would suggest reading the debate in my signature to give you a small taster of the level of evidence that can be put forward for Jesus' existance as a historical figure. I'll be getting back to that debate this week and giving you another exciting installment to read. But regardless, that is not the focus of this debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post
    I won't go into a mad posting binge comparing the evidence for Jesus and evolution. I, however, do contend that the evidence for evolution is several orders of magnitude greater than the evidence for a supernatural Jesus. I also contend that the evidence for evolution is several orders of magnitude more reliable than ANY evidence for Jesus - historical or supernatural.
    It doesn't matter, if you want to argue that faith is belief without evidence in God you must make the case that those who forward a belief in God believe they have NO evidence for the belief but hold it anyway. Otherwise it is a comparable faith as is in evolution, the connection of what is percieved to be good evidence (regardless of whether or not it is in practice) and what is regarded a reasonable conclusion from that evidence.
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Did everyone miss my last post in this thread?
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    wiki:
    Microevolution is the occurrence of small-scale changes in allele frequencies in a population, over a few generations, also known as "change below the species level"[1].

    These changes may be due to several processes: mutation, natural selection, artificial selection, gene flow and genetic drift.


    As you can see, it is not limited to artificial selection. The key criterion is the low time scale.
    My problem with his example of bacteria mutation is that a mutated bacteria still remains a bacteria. I may be wrong, but I've never read anything indicating bacterial mutation has lead to the creation of something other than a new strain of bacteria.

    However, if you accept changes on a small time scale, you MUST NECESSARILY accept much larger changes on much larger time scales. Or is it suggested that a crocodile will micro evolve over a few hundred years and then simply stop evolving? Or that it can have a progressively shorter tail over hundreds of years but never actually lose that tail over a million years?
    I don't have to accept anything for which you have no proof. While I would agree entirely that micro evolution would seem to lead towards macro evolution over time, the fact that I'm being told I have to accept the premise doesn't mean that it's necessarily true.

    We have a fossil record where progressively different species with changing characteristics coincide with progressive geological times (based on strata location of fossils). This is largely corroborated by genetic differences between various existing species based on their common ancestries AND by comparing their phenotypes.
    And again, I'd say that's pretty solid evidence, but it's not the same as what we see in a micro sense, and again, I'd doubt that even given your earlier example of the loss of a tail over a large time span that's not as difficult to accept for most people as is the idea that humans have, over huge time spans, effectively descended from single cell organisms. I'm sure the distinction there should be reasonably obvious.
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    My problem with his example of bacteria mutation is that a mutated bacteria still remains a bacteria. I may be wrong, but I've never read anything indicating bacterial mutation has lead to the creation of something other than a new strain of bacteria.
    From a phylogenetic point of view, we're still bacteria (or something similar).

    As far as eukaryotic organisms are concerned (as opposed to prokaryotes, such as bacteria), the going theory is that at least some of the organelles (such as chloroplasts and mitochondria) arose through endosymbiosis -- bacteria living inside other bacteria.

    Evolution seems to be like weather -- small changes can have profound effects over time.

    And again, I'd say that's pretty solid evidence, but it's not the same as what we see in a micro sense, and again, I'd doubt that even given your earlier example of the loss of a tail over a large time span that's not as difficult to accept for most people as is the idea that humans have, over huge time spans, effectively descended from single cell organisms. I'm sure the distinction there should be reasonably obvious.
    What do you find so unacceptable about the idea that humans have, over huge time spans, effectively descended from single-celled organisms?
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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autolykos View Post
    I looked back at Bradfeaker's OP and think that that the following is at the epicenter:



    There is a difference between holding a proposition as a premise in logic and holding a belief in reality. While premises must precede logical reasoning, beliefs do not have to precede thought. Beliefs can (and often are!) predicated on other things taken as given, such as different kinds of evidence. Per Bradfeaker's meaning of "faith", such beliefs are not (entirely) matters of faith.

    Evolution appears to be such a belief. It is a conclusion reached by looking at evidence.
    Thank you - I think you captured the essence of my premise exactly.

    Some of the above philosophical posturing in the previous posts are mere evasions. I do believe in the RWOT (real world out there) and that we can assume that evidence is real and that the scientific method works simply because I have never seen it demonstrated otherwise.

    ---------- Post added at 09:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:15 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    So you didn't see the first squirrel of a new species being born. And certainly you didn't witness the first human being born or created.



    So you have seen a supernova, or at least a picture of one. Then why did you say you haven't?



    Bottom line, you haven't witnessed a black hole. You have faith that they exist.
    Kevin,

    First - please read the definition of faith as mentions in the edited OP.

    While I did not see this personally - others did and documented what they found.

    I have never personally witnessed supernovae via telescope or naked eye. Just images...

    As to black holes - before I post a lengthy post in rebuttal - how sound are you in the mathematics of orbital mechanics? Never mind - Here is a link to Andrea Ghez's 10 year study of the orbital velocities of the stars closest to the center of the Milky Way.

    Science and evidence - still no faith.

    ---------- Post added at 10:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:26 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    In terms of proof, I assert this is as good as finding a burglary suspect's fingerprints and his DNA in a burgled house as well as his car's tiretracks leading up the driveway. Sure, nobody actually witnessed him entering the house.
    Great analogy!

    ---------- Post added at 10:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:24 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    Evolution does require some degree of faith as there are gaps and holes in it at certain points. Faith and logical assumption though are very closely related, and there is no definitive point at which one becomes the other. What is faith to one is logic assumption to another.
    The difference I think is that in science it is perfectly acceptable to answer a question or address a gap in knowledge by simply stating 'I don't know'. This does not seem to be the case in theology. And saying 'I don't know' doesn't imply that we won't know in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    However faith is not unusual in non-spiritual matters.

    Every major monetary system in the world requires faith. That is what backs the US dollar. "The good faith and credit of the United States government."

    Interestingly, those that see evolution as the definitive reason why God does not exist -- might have to stop and take pause at the emerging acceptance of the Rare Earth Hypothesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis


    Just as the Big Bang Theory seemed to show there might be some credence to theists belief in the Old Testament "Let There be light". As centuries go by, and man deepens his knowledge of the universe, the Rare Earth Hypothesis might show that theists, if there are any left by that time, might have been right all along.
    I agree with your statement that faith is evident in some non-spiritual matters. The NYSE couldn't exist without it...

    As to the Rare Earth hypotheses - that along with other speculation about life elsewhere in the universe (such as the Drake equation) have very little data to support them - one way or another. I simply contend that it is nice speculation - but we may NEVER know. The search for exo-planets is severely restricted by the resolution of our instruments and the expansion of the Universe.
    Last edited by bradfeaker; September 17th, 2009 at 07:22 AM. Reason: to actually add the link referenced - sorry...
    *zip*

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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    And again, I'd say that's pretty solid evidence, but it's not the same as what we see in a micro sense, and again, I'd doubt that even given your earlier example of the loss of a tail over a large time span that's not as difficult to accept for most people as is the idea that humans have, over huge time spans, effectively descended from single cell organisms. I'm sure the distinction there should be reasonably obvious.
    But if you accept (as you say you do) a positive change (however small) over time T then you would also accept a very large number of such changes over time T * 1 million. Wouldn't you? And after a sufficient number of such changes, the product will look and act nothing like the original. Correct?
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    You are correct. I am just saying that the initial jump to God exists does not have to be one of a leap of pure faith. Unlike trust in what you believe God is telling you to do.

    I am not saying you should give credence to these things I'm saying you should make the personal decision as to whether or not the evidence is convincing. The people who support these positions are convinced of the logic behind them, thus they do not have "faith" in the sense you seem to be saying people accept God under. The quality of the evidence is a subjective decision. You make the personal decision whether or not you regard the evidence reliable and convincing, just as you do with evolution. Thus while you believe one faith may be more founded on better evidence, they are not two distinct types of faith.
    I agree - I think our difference here has to do with standards of evidence. Evidential standards in science are strict. The evidence must be empirical i.e. provable by observation or experiment. Here is the point that faith enters the picture for endeavors other that science - but not for science itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    I would suggest reading the debate in my signature to give you a small taster of the level of evidence that can be put forward for Jesus' existance as a historical figure. I'll be getting back to that debate this week and giving you another exciting installment to read. But regardless, that is not the focus of this debate.
    I will read that debate this evening after football practice - sounds interesting. And I actual think that the weight of textual evidence is in favor of a historical Jesus - I merely stated that many of the sources are disputed among scholars. I didn't mean to imply that there was no evidence...apologies if I was (and I probably was) unclear.

    Quote Originally Posted by eliotitus View Post
    It doesn't matter, if you want to argue that faith is belief without evidence in God you must make the case that those who forward a belief in God believe they have NO evidence for the belief but hold it anyway. Otherwise it is a comparable faith as is in evolution, the connection of what is percieved to be good evidence (regardless of whether or not it is in practice) and what is regarded a reasonable conclusion from that evidence.
    I agree - my issue is standards of evidence.
    *zip*

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    Re: Do you need 'faith' to believe in evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradfeaker View Post


    I agree - my issue is standards of evidence.
    How do "standards of evidence" in terms of evolution or creation differ?

    The same evidence that is offered and available to the evolutionist is equally offered and available to the creationist.

    Isn't it the case that it is the interpretation of available evidence (which is the same for evolutionist and creationist alike, that is, whatever may be gleaned from the observable creation) is what differs, not the "standard" of evidence, whatever that may mean.
    Love is: the highest good of an other at my expense.

 

 
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