Thursday, February 19, 2009

Musings about Imagination

I have been contemplating the purpose of the imagination. Humans have the capability to imagine something that is not observable by the senses. We can see in our mind something we do not have before us. Children imagine and create all kinds of fantastical adventures. Even adults enjoy a good fanciful movie or literature like Lord of the Rings. The poets, artists, inventors, play wrights, writers, and musicians pull from their imagination and create their great masterpieces.


Where does this desire come from to imagine and be imaginative? What use is there in imagining things beyond nature if there is nothing beyond nature? Is it mere evolutionary escapism?


Can it be that this is a desire of the supernatural coming awake in us to depict things that are not natural but fanciful? Maybe the fanciful is a shadow of the real instead of a grave distortion of the natural. Maybe leprechauns, fairies, elves, dwarves, unicorns, and other mystical creatures of our imagination are thus imagined because we see that something supernatural is at work behind the scenes and artist are trying to capture it and compel the imagination forward to grasp this glimmers of something else. We know these things to be created by human artistic expression, but how can it be that humans can create something so otherworldly if there is no reality beyond the physically natural? Why is the literature of every culture so full of grandiose myths of the gods and modern culture so full of superhero and supernatural power stories?


Why this urge to create something non-existent. We consider people who imagine things that aren’t there lunatics and we lock them up. But we don’t consider artist lunatics that imagine such fantasy. G.K. Chesterton suggest that “we must invoke the most wild and soaring sort of imagination –the imagination that can see what is really there.” He is asserting that imagination is something that aids us in seeing beyond what we experience with our senses to see more of reality and not less.


Maybe some of you have studied the imagination more than I and have some natural theories to suggest as to the necessity and usefulness of imagination and the reason for the creation of mythologies, fantasies, poetry, and other artistic expression stemming from the imagination.

52 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Of course you know, you've opened a whole can of worms, right? ;-)

Jumping in with a "People imagined God!" exclamation would be a cheap shot, so I won't be the first.

I know extremely little about evolution or any kind of social studies, so I'm not sure why imagination would have evolved. Couldn't it be that all those fantastical creatures actually exist in some other world that is a parallel of ours?

Anonymous said...

You do realize that you are engaging in special pleading (leprechauns, etc. are not real, but my imagined god is) along with the irony that Mike already pointed out, right?

As for your question, certainly the arts are a by-product of a culture that was able to find food production methods that allowed for leisure time. Without the ability to grow crops and have a steady supply of food, art does not happen.

It's likely that our first ideas of fantasy and art were very related to religion as well, as we first tried to understand our world, we created stories and gods to describe things we didn't understand. It was a way of alleviating fears of the unknown. It also helped bring groups together around a common idea, which helped to form tribes with closer-knit identities, which eventually spawned into larger and larger groups, in turn spawning cities, etc. Once the precedent was set to create these mythologies to explain the world, it was a short jump to using them solely for entertainment value.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Every time I see this post title, forgive me, but I think of the Southpark Imagination Land episode, which would be highly offensive to believers of almost any faith.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: What use is there in imagining things beyond nature if there is nothing beyond nature? Is it mere evolutionary escapism?

The imagination is actually a *very* useful planning tool. With it you can imagine tomorrow's hunt and plan where to locate people and figure out contingency plans if things go wrong. It would've had huge advantages to those who could imagine situtations over people who couldn't think that way.

karla said: We know these things to be created by human artistic expression, but how can it be that humans can create something so otherworldly if there is no reality beyond the physically natural?

You naturally forgot to mention the Gods as imaginary creatures too - though you'd be on very dangerous grounds if you did. Creating imaginary things is *easy* for us. If you read any fiction you'll see that story telling is part of what makes us human. Truely imaginative fiction - like fantasy or science-fiction - can literally come up with anything from Orks to Killer Robots from the future. We can imagine anything and everything without any existing template to work from.

karla said: Why is the literature of every culture so full of grandiose myths of the gods and modern culture so full of superhero and supernatural power stories?

Because we both like to tell and to hear good stories. Like the peacock we sometimes go beyond more reasonable heroes and invent super-heroes who inevitably need super-baddies to fight. Of course some of the biggest super-heroes are gods who had to have super-baddie adversaries (to make the tall tales interesting).

karla said: We consider people who imagine things that aren’t there lunatics and we lock them up.

We only tend to do that if their imaginings are a danger to themselves or others.

mike said: Couldn't it be that all those fantastical creatures actually exist in some other world that is a parallel of ours?

Oh, I *seriously* doubt that! [laughs]

mike said: Every time I see this post title, forgive me, but I think of the Southpark Imagination Land episode, which would be highly offensive to believers of almost any faith.

I really liked that episode [chuckle]

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Come on CK, you know there's a clean shaven version of me in an alternate universe that was an atheist for 20 years and then became a Christian. ;-)

CyberKitten said...

...and in a *really* screwed up alternate world... I'm a Catholic [rotflmao]

Karla said...

One thing I have always noticed on any science fiction show or fantasy that the "creatures" always look like something in our natural world. Everything imagined has something like it somewhere. A unicorn looks like a horse with a stick on it's nose. Leprechauns and hobbits look like little people (little people do exist -- it would seem maybe people based those myths of leprechauns and hobbits off of such people. The Wizard of Oz showed us case in point. In fact, it was interesting how the movie depicted each thing in the fantasy world as a picture of something existing in the real world.

Now with gods of mythology we also have super beings that are depicted very much like humans with powers. These gods were finite and not all powerful. Though sometimes the mythologies would refer to a greater God, a Creator of the other gods.

But with the Judaic-Christian God you have a very unique God that is unlike any other.

I guess what I am getting at is there are many imagined things in stories and fantasies and mythology but they all resemble something unimagined--something real.

How could anyone imagine so great a God when no such thing exists which resemble the Christian God. All the religions of the world have all kinds of things man has to do to earn the favor of whatever deity they believe in. Only in Christianity do you find a God that doesn't require us to earn His favor. We have it already. We only need to accept His love. I commonly get the objection that if you have to accept it you are thus doing something and it isn't really free. If you were standing before me and I reached out my hand freely giving you $500 bucks what would you need to do to get that gift? You would have to reach out your hand and grasp hold of what is freely being given to you. But if you don't do that, the gift doesn't cease being free. It's still freely given you just don't accept it which you are entitled to not accept it. You can respond to me that you don't deserve $500 freely that you should work for it. Or you could respond you simply don't take charity. Or you could refuse to accept that there is $500 in my hand. Or you could not trust me and think there was a catch and refuse to take the money. No matter what your response is, the gift wouldn't cease being a free gift, now would it?

Only in Christianity does God freely give love and acceptance and the right to be His son or His daughter free of any payment, simply because of His love, the Father's love.

Why does the rest of the world work so hard to earn something imaginary? Why the striving? Because the truth has been corrupted and distorted and reproduced in it's corrupted form in many ways. But in order to have a counterfeit there must be a real somewhere and I propose to you that Christ is real and He loves the world.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Karla, the god portrayed in the Bible has just as many human attributes as those other gods, you just don't believe in them.

There may be a god behind it all, but the Bible is just another attempting at describing him/her/it, similarly to the other theistic religions.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: But with the Judaic-Christian God you have a very unique God that is unlike any other.

Only in the 'my god's better than your god' sense. Clearly Monotheism is simply an outgrowth of Polytheism...

karla said: I guess what I am getting at is there are many imagined things in stories and fantasies and mythology but they all resemble something unimagined--something real.

You obviously haven't read that much SF then........ [grin] Of course one of the issues in storytelling is that the imagined creatures have to be able to be visualised by the intended audience. It's no good coming up with a mythical creature that no one can imagine in their own heads.

karla said: How could anyone imagine so great a God when no such thing exists which resemble the Christian God.

Easily..... It doesn't take much imagination to come up with Christianity.

karla said: But in order to have a counterfeit there must be a real somewhere and I propose to you that Christ is real and He loves the world.

Nope. You can have 'corrupted' fantasy based on original fantasy.... There is no need to have any *real* foundation to any of it.

Karla said...

Mike said "Karla, the god portrayed in the Bible has just as many human attributes as those other gods, you just don't believe in them.

There may be a god behind it all, but the Bible is just another attempting at describing him/her/it, similarly to the other theistic religions."

There are imagery personifications in order to describe someone so indescribable, but there is not what you see in mythology of a super powered finite god with the sins and faults of man.

Karla said...

Cyber said "Only in the 'my god's better than your god' sense. Clearly Monotheism is simply an outgrowth of Polytheism..."

Not at all. Even in polytheism you had a hint of monotheism, this idea that something greater created the many. Monotheism preceded polytheism.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Monotheism preceded polytheism.

So why did we go full circle then? If we started with a form of Monotheism why did we go to Polytheism and then back again?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Monotheism preceded polytheism."

If you are referring to the Judeo/Christian God preceding polytheistic religions, as I understand it, Hinduism has you beat.

Karla said...

Adam and Eve were not Hindu or polytheistic. Hence Monotheism has always been around. Polytheism sprang up sometime after that, but monotheism never cycled out, it has always been. It wasn't one and then the other and back again or anything like that.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Adam and Eve were not Hindu or polytheistic. Hence Monotheism has always been around.

So... are we talking history or religion here? Are you honestly saying that Adam & Eve were the first humans on Earth in the Garden of Eden and they were (by definition) Monotheists.. therefore Monotheism came first....?

Are you talking Western religion or World religions? Because I'm pretty sure that Polytheism came first - by quite a long way.... (as I don't believe in the whole Adam and Eve thing anyway - naturally).

Oh, and I've just posted another book review you might find interesting..

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Adam and Eve were not Hindu or polytheistic. Hence Monotheism has always been around. Polytheism sprang up sometime after that, but monotheism never cycled out, it has always been. It wasn't one and then the other and back again or anything like that."

I'm sorry, but I actually LOLed at that one.

Quixote said...

"Maybe the fanciful is a shadow of the real instead of a grave distortion of the natural."

Karla, I'm envious of this sentence. Wish I would have thought of it. Haunting metaphors, nicely done, or is it cited from a source?

And it really devolves to the de facto consdieration yet again. If the supernatural is indeed real, and somehow calling us through various devices, then almost certainly what you have described is one of those devices.

If not, then the imagination appears as meaningless as everything else must ultimately be: "a grave distortion of the natural."

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."

Karla said...

Mike I figured you would laugh at that response, but I had to be real about what I believe to be true. Yes, Cyber Kitten I actually believe Adam and Eve are historically the first man and woman and that the Garden of Eden is a real place.

Karla said...

Quixote, thank you. I didn't quote that line from anyone. The idea behind it comes from Lewis and Chesterton and others. But the wording is mine.

Nice Shakespeare quote. It all comes down to all being meaningless or all being purposefully designed. People want to find meaning in meaninglessness, but deny there desire is possible invalidating even their own desire.

Karla said...

Cyber and Quixote I'll get to your blogs soon to check out the latest. I am trying to get caught up, I've been occupied at a conference Wed -- Saturday.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I know you were being honest, which is good. That's the first time I've laughed at something you wrote, but this whole post, as I hinted at in the beginning, is just dripping with irony, but only from the perspective of those who do not believe.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Yes, Cyber Kitten I actually believe Adam and Eve are historically the first man and woman and that the Garden of Eden is a real place.

I wasn't sure how to respond to that... so I'll go along with Mike on this [laughs]

Thanks for the reminder of your worldview. It's helpful to keep things like that in mind. Thanks also for the reminder (as if I needed one) that I could never become a Christian if I have to believe nonesense like that!

The Garden of Eden is a Creation *Myth* like thousands of others around the world. I hardly think it was meant to be taken seriously even at the time is was thought up probably....

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CyberKitten, one of the main reasons that evangelical Christians believe in Adam and Eve is that Adam is mentioned in the New Testament, not by Jesus, nut he is referenced, seemingly, as a real person. In Luke he is mentioned in one of the genealogies of Jesus.

That said, there are lots of Christians who do not believe in a literal Adam and Eve. You don't have to believe all the "nonsense". ;-)

Anonymous said...

"All the religions of the world have all kinds of things man has to do to earn the favor of whatever deity they believe in. Only in Christianity do you find a God that doesn't require us to earn His favor."

That depends on your flavor of Xianity now, doesn't it? Also, it's not quite correct. The ancient war gods (including Yahweh) always looked favorably upon the people when they won and were angry at the people when they lost.

"I commonly get the objection that if you have to accept it you are thus doing something and it isn't really free. If you were standing before me and I reached out my hand freely giving you $500 bucks what would you need to do to get that gift? You would have to reach out your hand and grasp hold of what is freely being given to you. But if you don't do that, the gift doesn't cease being free."

If it is a condition upon my receiving it that I be able and willing to reach out and accept the $500 bill from you, then yes, it is not entirely free. It is demanded of me that I perform some action in order to accept the gift. In our laziness, we often overlook the actions of accepting in response to a free gift. If, however, I were a quadraplegic, it would be exceedingly difficult for me to reach out and take the money, and you could turn around and claim that since I didn't take it from you, I don't want your gift and simply not give it. It's not really free then, is it? It would be free if you credited it to my bank account without any actions necessary on my part.

So, if god is requiring us to reach out, then the gift is not free. This is especially true if we are unable to reach out to god, as you seem to claim, unless he first changes our hearts. This would be like the quadraplegic that is physically unable to reach out and take the money.

"Why does the rest of the world work so hard to earn something imaginary?"

Why indeed. I wonder all the time why so many people expend so much energy on made-up gods and religions.

Karla said...

Even if I deposited it into your bank account you would have to accept that it was yours to have. If you didn't you wouldn't withdraw it or use it. At Christmas do you not open your free gifts thereby accepting them? I can buy you lunch, but I can't make you eat it. You have to accept it. Everything works that way. That doesn't make something not free.

Karla said...

Mike, Cyber, and Anon, I suppose you guys think we evolved from monkeys, right? To me that's far more preposterous than God creating the first man and woman and telling us about them.

CyberKitten said...

Karla said: Mike, Cyber, and Anon, I suppose you guys think we evolved from monkeys, right? To me that's far more preposterous than God creating the first man and woman and telling us about them.

No. We didn't evolve from monkeys. We *are* monkeys! [laughs]

All primates (including us) have a common ancestor. This has been proven beyond reasonable doubt many times.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Mike, Cyber, and Anon, I suppose you guys think we evolved from monkeys, right? To me that's far more preposterous than God creating the first man and woman and telling us about them."

Might want to add Evolution For Dummies to your reading list, despite the title, I do not mean that as an insult at all. I love the dummies books.

Karla said...

"All primates (including us) have a common ancestor. This has been proven beyond reasonable doubt many times."

Or a singular designer which would account for the similarities.

Evolution of one species to another has never been proven. No one has observed this. No half ape, half human skeletons have been recovered. No transitional creatures fossils have been found.

BTW, I think we are getting way off topic of the original post.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Evolution of one species to another has never been proven.

Yes, it has.

karla said: No one has observed this.

Yes, they have.

karla said: No transitional creatures fossils have been found.

Actually numerous transitional fossils have been found. Have you not heard of Archeopteryx? It is *the* classical transitional fossil.

karla said: BTW, I think we are getting way off topic of the original post.

Indeed we are. Funny how things tend to end up with debating Evolution though....

Anonymous said...

"Even if I deposited it into your bank account you would have to accept that it was yours to have."

Perhaps. Let's just say this:

Anything that is conditional and/or requires action on my part is not truly free. We use shorthand to denote what is "free" as in a lunch that you pay for, but it's not truly free if I need to perform some action in order to obtain this reward. You can not get around this. If god is offering salvation and is making it conditional upon us believing in god or something else, then it is not free.

"Mike, Cyber, and Anon, I suppose you guys think we evolved from monkeys, right?"

We did not evolve "from" monkeys, and it is statements like this that make me say that you obviously don't know what you are talking about when it comes to evolution. We do know, however, how the chromosomal fusion event happened, where in the genome it happened, the results of it happening, and the time-frame when it happened. I recommend reading Ken Miller's testimony in the Dover Trial transcript.

"To me that's far more preposterous than God creating the first man and woman and telling us about them."

Positing some entity for which you have no evidence that created some beings that were the first man and woman, and then allowed for some hyper-active evolution to make up the diversity we see today is beyond the bounds of Occam's Razor, and certainly not more likely. And, in an ironic twist, if you believe in the flood and that only 8 people survived, it would require evolution much faster than what you deny is possible in order to see the genetic diversity among humans that we see today.

"Or a singular designer which would account for the similarities."

There's no evidence for a designer, and there's no reason why a divine designer would have to re-use similar features.

"Evolution of one species to another has never been proven."

It has been well demonstrated. I suggest you look up Avida, nylonase, and this link:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

"No half ape, half human skeletons have been recovered."

Of course not, because we didn't evolve from apes, as we've told you. We do have many skeletal remains of hominids that show the changes that have taken place over the last couple hundreds of thousands of years.

"No transitional creatures fossils have been found."

This is just ignorant. Look up Tiktalik (sp?), or the line of horse evolution, or whale evolution, etc. There are tons of transitionals, beyond Archeopteryx.

Ali P said...

Karla said...
Adam and Eve were not Hindu or polytheistic. Hence Monotheism has always been around. Polytheism sprang up sometime after that, but monotheism never cycled out, it has always been. It wasn't one and then the other and back again or anything like that.


Karla, you're hilarious.

cl said...

Karla,

This was a great post. I hadn't come around for a few days, because I'd been wondering if you deleted or "moderated" one of my comments. But this post was good enough I had to comment. I've been thinking some things along these similar lines. For now, I just want to address a few things in the thread.

Anonymous,

You said, "Anything that is conditional and/or requires action on my part is not truly free. We use shorthand to denote what is "free" as in a lunch that you pay for, but it's not truly free if I need to perform some action in order to obtain this reward. You can not get around this. If god is offering salvation and is making it conditional upon us believing in god or something else, then it is not free."

Although I understand your point, can you realize that by your definition no truly free thing exists? The very act of acceptance is an action the accepter must perform. Karla can buy you lunch, but you need to perform the act of eating in order to benefit from the offer. Equally, Karla argues that God can offer you life, but you need to act in order to benefit from the offer. Do you not think that's reasonable?

And BTW, when you posit Avida in response to Karla's questions about evolution, you're way off. And let me add emphatically that by no means am I an evolution denier, so get that out of your head if it arises. Using Avida to support biological evolution is about as scrupulous as using Haeckel's embryos or those damned horse diagrams. These computer simulations that supposedly demonstrate evolution via natural selection and mutation flagrantly omit the geno/pheno type distinction, and show no reasonable means by which successive forms can result from successive lines of embryological development.

Karla said...

cl, welcome back. To date, I have never deleted or modified or blocked any comments. I have only deleted my own a couple times when I inadvertently posted duplicate comments.

As long as everyone continues to self-govern themselves to be civil in their comments I will not need to turn on comment modification.

Thank you for your input.

Anonymous said...

Sigh...I once again have to correct...

Haeckel...

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB701.html

Horses...

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC216_2.html

Finally, Avida is a good simulation of evolution that performs what it set out to do. There's nothing wrong with citing it, and, in fact, it's very strong evidence in favor of evolution. Karla, you should look at it and understand it instead of listening to me or cl (who obviously has been taken in by the lies of anti-evolution charlatans).

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I promise to self govern. I'll watch my #^&%#%%#%$ %^#%&%%^#% language. ;-)

Karla said...

lol, Mike, you've never presented any problems.

Anon, I will research all that soon. I've been busy lately and haven't finished looking into somethings Cyberkitten and I were discussing and I haven't forgot that either.

cl said...

Karla,

About the moderation, fair enough, and I still do intend to make a comment that is relevant to the OP. Among other things, it will touch upon your idea about the need for an original to precede a counterfeit.

Anonymous,

You seem to have misunderstood the relevance of Haeckel's embryos, as whether or not they were faked doesn't affect my point at all. Further, Claim CC216.2 directly supports my point, so I'm left to wonder why you'd reference that, and to wonder if maybe you're making knee-jerk responses here. These are even further supported by the fact that even after I explicitly told you I am not an evolution denier, you merely handwaved my claims and proceeded to gas on about how I've accepted the lies of the anti-evolution movement. I believe in LUCA for cryin' out loud, don't you read?!?!? And why on Earth would you assume I've never spent any time scouring the TalkOrigins archive and attempt to handwave me to an authority I'm quite familiar with? Your strategy here lends well to the idea that you can't formulate your own intelligent responses to my points, and that you'd wave me to a reference that supports one of them lends well to the idea that you haven't even understood them.

"Avida is a good simulation of evolution that performs what it set out to do. There's nothing wrong with citing it, and, in fact, it's very strong evidence in favor of evolution."

You do realize that there's not one lick of evidence or argument in your response here, right? You expect us to simply take your word for it. "Hell, Anonymous on the internet says Avida is good, strong evidence for evolution that there's nothing wrong with citing," well okay then, but you have totally failed to provide evidence and the burden of proof lies on you to show with reason why Avida is an accurate analogy for biological evolution. As with the others, your comments on Avida also lend themselves to the idea that you can't formulate your own response to Avida's failure to account for the geno / pheno type distinctions, or present your own reasonable hypothesis regarding the means by which successive forms can result from successive lines of embryological development. But you could clear all that up quite easily with a pertinent response, you know.

And lastly, of course you'll have to take my word for it, but if I've had conversations with employed, secular microbiologists at State Universities not tied to the Discovery Institute who find Avida less than persuasive, are they also believing the lies from the anti-evolution crowd? If so, I'm curious to find out what you know that they do not?

Anonymous said...

Karla,
See cl's response above for why I say he's dishonest. It's a typical display from him. He says that using Avida is as dishonest as using Haeckel or horse evolution, and then turns around and denies it, while simultaneously making grand claims about my misunderstandings of evolution? Give me a break. This is what I was warning you about.

Again, I suggest you look up Avida and not take the word of cl or me. If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them, but I would be reticent to take the word of cl or his most-likely, made-up friends.

cl said...

Anonymous,

First of all - again - I am not an evolution denier, nor do I endorse anti-evolution arguments. Although I've certainly got my questions, I believe in LUCA.

"I suggest you look up Avida and not take the word of cl or me."

Hey! A point on which we can agree! Karla should do her own research regarding these things, and that's precisely why I left my original comment, because I saw you trying to distort Avida in order to persuade Karla that one species can evolve into another - which BTW is a fact I do not deny. And if you're so knowledgeable about evolution, why didn't you just mention Tictalic as evidence of transition even beyond species? Such is surely more analogous to biological evolution than the computer simulation created by Ofria, Adami and Brown.

"He says that using Avida is as dishonest as using Haeckel or horse evolution..."

In the context of proof for "evolution of one species into another," which is the context you were speaking in, that is correct. Again - I would like to hear your own argument in your own words that justifies positing a computer simulation and digital organisms as having any pertinence or explanatory power to the geno / phenotype distinction. Again - present your own reasonable hypothesis regarding the means by which successive forms can result from successive lines of embryological development.

"...and then turns around and denies it,"

Oh really? When did I "turn around and deny" that "...using Avida is as dishonest as using Haeckel or horse evolution...?" Where is the evidence for your claim? I did state that whether or not Haeckel's embryos were faked bears zero significance on my argument. Such is correct, and does not entail that I've denied my previous statement that "...using Avida is as dishonest as using Haeckel or horse evolution..." Another claim with no evidence from Anonymous.

As it is, we have no cogent rebuttal, more accusation, and more speculation. You eschewed the first of a two-tier argument - the bit about whether something is free if we must perform an action to obtain it. Then, you handwaved me to two articles that you thought refuted the second tier argument - yet as I explained, one of those articles actually directly supported my point (the eohippus article) and the other was out-of-context (Haeckel's embryos). Lastly, in the complete absence of counter-arguments, you then accuse me of being "dishonest" and presume I cite "made-up" friends! Yet notice how both of your responses conveniently manage to not address a single point I've made? No cogent rebuttal, more accusation and more speculation.

Now go ahead - explain how Avida can account for geno / phenotype distinction and please present your own reasonable hypothesis regarding the means by which successive forms can result from successive lines of embryological development. Otherwise quit chiding me and spinning webs unless you have something to say.

Karla said...

Honestly, this is Greek to me. However, anon you have called me dishonest when I wasn't being dishonest, so I don't see how you expect me to accept your assessment of another when it wasn't accurate about me.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
The evidence is right in front of you. cl claims I didn't mention Tiktaalik, even though I did. And, now he's claiming all kinds of contrary things about what he has claimed. He's also continually making references to what I can and can't possibly know about things that are way outside the scope of the OP. I made my comments and pointed out the things that you were ignorant about in regards to evolution. cl is making erroneous statements simply to try and argue with me. I am not going to entertain him, as that's all he's here to try and do - argue with me. He gets a perverse pleasure out of the attention he receives from people like me, because it indulges his misplaced sense that he is an intellectual and is able to converse on the same level as those of us who actually know something about that which we speak, especially rationalism and logic.

cl said...

Anonymous,

Everything you said about me in your last comment is false and/or incorrect save for one thing - you did mention Tictalic and I glanced over it. So you're correct about that and you have my apologies.

However, it's no surprise to me that the rest of my points are completely eschewed. Whenever you feel like tackling the questions, I'm interested in your answers.

You claim I've made erroneous statements, but you don't back your claim up. Where are they? Don't simply denounce or handwave - explain with reason - if you can.

Anonymous said...

And again, Karla, see how he's only interested in arguing with me when I've made it plainly obvious that I want nothing to do with cl. If you look up the research from credible sources, you'll find that cl is in error, and no, I'm not going to cast my pearls before swine in dealing with him. I know that he sees it as a badge of honor in that he thinks I can not answer his ignorance or that his arguments are so good that they are irrefutable, but that's a delusion that he'll have regardless of whether I knock down his arguments or not.

Karla said...

Anon you are free not to respond to cl and cl you are free not to respond to Anon. Maybe if you guys stay on topic and avoid statements to each other outside of that things will go more smoothly. Still neither of you have to respond to comments by the other while both of you are free to post comments that correspond to the post or an off shoot thread in the comments.

Karla said...

Sorry I've not posted anything new in a while. To me it's been a long time. I have an increased amount of responsibility right now in the non-cyber world that has limited my writing time.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Wait. There's a non-cyber world? Why didn't someone tell me! I can take off my VR goggles now!

Karla said...

lol

cl said...

Anonymous said,

" I know that he sees it as a badge of honor in that he thinks I can not answer his ignorance or that his arguments are so good that they are irrefutable, but that's a delusion that he'll have regardless of whether I knock down his arguments or not."

Hey that's convenient! I don't even need to know how to answer that question!

Anonymous said...

Karla,
Ebonmuse has a post up about genetic algorithms that you might find interesting.

http://www.daylightatheism.org/2009/03/evolutionary-algorithms.html

This way you can learn more about them without having cl's falsehoods and misinformation mucking up the works.

cl said...

Asking how evolutionary algorithms account for the genotype/phenotype distinction is not "falsehood" or "misinformation," but I'd think most rational people can see that for themselves. Citing Avida as "evidence" in response to a question about "one species evolving into another" is misleading. Notice that despite the accusatory tone, OMGF has still been able to answer the question I asked him.

And Karla, YES, you should check out the post OMGF suggested, especially this comment from jack.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
Claiming that EAs aren't evidence for evolution or are dishonest is dishonest and misleading. Don't let cl con you by shifting his argument to try and re-write history. That's part of his MO.

Also, note that Jack's comment that he links to has nothing to do with what he's saying, yet he's somehow claiming it vindicates him, which is another part of his MO.