Darwin and Immunology in Science (and, Behe)

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One of the better ideas I’ve ever been associated with was the immune system cross that Eric Rothschild put Behe through in the Kitzmiller trial in 2005. It was one of those show-your-cards moments where, finally, at long last, the ID movement’s endless wild claims about the emptiness of evolutionary biology were put into direct conflict with the weight of the evidence. Everything was crystallized into a short episode – an amazing field of research (the 100+ years of discovery about the function and origins of the immune system), an amazing practical application of evolutionary biology (both common ancestry and variation/selection played absolutely critical roles in developing science’s understanding of the immune system), and a really obvious put-up-or-shut-up moment for the ID movement’s “irreducible complexity” argument, where it completely failed to put up (here’s a review of the ping-pong game the ID movement played with “IC systems”, and how the immune system cross called their bluff).

Anyway, the cross has gotten plenty of attention and all of the details are online, but it is gratifying that Science magazine has devoted one of its “Origins” essays to the history of immunology, the role played by Darwinian ideas (both common ancestry and variation/selection), and highlights the Perry Mason immunology moment from the Kitzmiller case. It also provides an update on the science, and comprehensive links.

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Following up on the Science story on the origin of adaptive immunity and the role it played in the Kitzmiller case, the Science Origins blog has a short interview they did with me while writing the article. It didn’t make the final cut for the print ve... Read More

80 Comments

It costs $15 or a trip to a library to see that Science article. I probably will do one or the other eventually.

Funny - when I was studying immunology was always fascinated by how the system might have evolved. The creationist brain is an odd thing.

“The creationist brain is an odd thing.”

It is certainly a well-preserved thing.

You can tell how much they prize their intellect by the way it is so carefully rationed.

Yes, intellect is prized by creationists, because in their view it is what separates people from most other creatures.

Moses Maimonodes has written that this is what is meant by man being created in God’s image.

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

I like to study philosopical things, I am not an overly religious person and I find people who try to push their own beliefs (whether they are religious beliefs, or non-religious beliefs) onto other people a bit despicable.

harold said:

It costs $15 or a trip to a library to see that Science article. I probably will do one or the other eventually.

Funny - when I was studying immunology was always fascinated by how the system might have evolved. The creationist brain is an odd thing.

i am fascinated by how all kinds of things might have evolved.

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology but I found this article. http://www.rae.org/Immune.html

So, we see that even though the immune system does undergo natural selection and survival of the fittest, just like in the animal and plant kingdoms, this is not an example of evolutionary theory in action. Natural selection and survival of the fittest actually work against differentiation through mutation… as a rule. The great varieties within “kinds” in the animal and plant kingdoms can easily be explained by “preprogrammed” or inherent genetic abilities for variety… as studied by Gregor Mendel. Similarly, the immune system has inherent abilities for genetic or preprogrammed variety… not related to the modern theory of evolution or dependent on mutation. The varieties in both worlds are dependent upon preprogrammed genetic codes, which are incredibly complicated and specific. The genetic shuffling of codes themselves follows very strict rules that are extremely complicated, but are in no way evolving beyond what are already preprogrammed and predictable changes.

I don’t know how reliable the source is, but it makes sense to me, because not everybody’s immune system is the same. For example some people are prone to allergies etc. I have never had influenza in my life and very few colds even, while others are sick from viruses a lot.

lissa said:

Yes, intellect is prized by creationists, because in their view it is what separates people from most other creatures.

I’ve never seen any creationist that prizes intellect. All of the ones I’ve encountered wallow in their ignorance, and openly sneer, insult and or damn anyone who does not care to share in their ignorance.

Stanton said:

lissa said:

Yes, intellect is prized by creationists, because in their view it is what separates people from most other creatures.

I’ve never seen any creationist that prizes intellect. All of the ones I’ve encountered wallow in their ignorance, and openly sneer, insult and or damn anyone who does not care to share in their ignorance.

LOL Stanton, you should talk about insulting other people. You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

BTW, just to bug you and go OT for a second. remember the last conversation we had where you were whining aobut my complaining about me being overmedicated, when I was simply describing symptoms. Well, it just so happens that I was UNDERMEDICATED when I was having those symptoms, because I cut my pill in half due to the fact that I was having major anxiety attacks and even had to call an ambulance once, it was so bad. They put me on something else when I went to the hospital but left me on the lower dose I was taking (because the new drug doesn’t do anything for sleep) they took me off that drug entirely now and low and behold no more antsy feeling (anxiety still I guess)

So, you may have a problem with me talking about being overmedicated, but fact is they were either overmedicating me or had me on an inappropriate drug. So even if you have a problem with it, it’s not as bad as the problems I face with having to have my medications adjusted when they don’t work, work improperly, or do the opposite of what they should do. The meds I’m on now are working out fine so far.

“So, we see that even though the immune system does undergo natural selection and survival of the fittest, just like in the animal and plant kingdoms, this is not an example of evolutionary theory in action. Natural selection and survival of the fittest actually work against differentiation through mutation… as a rule. The great varieties within “kinds” in the animal and plant kingdoms can easily be explained by “preprogrammed” or inherent genetic abilities for variety… as studied by Gregor Mendel. Similarly, the immune system has inherent abilities for genetic or preprogrammed variety… not related to the modern theory of evolution or dependent on mutation. The varieties in both worlds are dependent upon preprogrammed genetic codes, which are incredibly complicated and specific. The genetic shuffling of codes themselves follows very strict rules that are extremely complicated, but are in no way evolving beyond what are already preprogrammed and predictable changes.”

Pure and utter hogwash.

Sure there are some differences between the frequencies of certain types of mutations that the specific immune response relies on and those observed in general. However, the immune response is a perfect example of a system with evolveability that undergoes random mutation and natural selection in order to produce an adaptive response, even to a novel stimulus. It is fundamentally the same as any other evolving system both in origin and in function.

Now you can ignore all of the research on the evolution and function of the immune system if you so choose, but don’t expect any impartial judge to accept your ignorance as evidence of anything but your ingorance.

DS said:

“So, we see that even though the immune system does undergo natural selection and survival of the fittest, just like in the animal and plant kingdoms, this is not an example of evolutionary theory in action. Natural selection and survival of the fittest actually work against differentiation through mutation… as a rule. The great varieties within “kinds” in the animal and plant kingdoms can easily be explained by “preprogrammed” or inherent genetic abilities for variety… as studied by Gregor Mendel. Similarly, the immune system has inherent abilities for genetic or preprogrammed variety… not related to the modern theory of evolution or dependent on mutation. The varieties in both worlds are dependent upon preprogrammed genetic codes, which are incredibly complicated and specific. The genetic shuffling of codes themselves follows very strict rules that are extremely complicated, but are in no way evolving beyond what are already preprogrammed and predictable changes.”

Pure and utter hogwash.

Sure there are some differences between the frequencies of certain types of mutations that the specific immune response relies on and those observed in general. However, the immune response is a perfect example of a system with evolveability that undergoes random mutation and natural selection in order to produce an adaptive response, even to a novel stimulus. It is fundamentally the same as any other evolving system both in origin and in function.

Now you can ignore all of the research on the evolution and function of the immune system if you so choose, but don’t expect any impartial judge to accept your ignorance as evidence of anything but your ingorance.

1. I’m not ignorant 2. I already stated I wasn’t that knowledgable about the immune system, and that I don’t know how reliable the source is and I’m not feeling like researching it at the moment, I have to take my cat to the vet soon anyway. 3. If I was a liar like people like to call me I’d have said I know all about it. kind of like you are implying that you know all about it.

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

I also think that the immune system is probably preprogrammed with responses, in some cases it works improperly and it’s related to genetics and DNA.

P.P.S. We share molecules in commmon with a lot of creatures that DON’T have an immune system at all also.

So what the hell DS? Let’s wonder how they evolved as well. I used to be a grasshopper in a past life and my cells can prove it (lol just kidding)

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

At 8:31 AM, lissa said:

You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

lissa, I think I know why some people call you a liar.

It’s because you are a liar.

Dan said:

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

At 8:31 AM, lissa said:

You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

lissa, I think I know why some people call you a liar.

It’s because you are a liar.

I know basically how the immune system functions, however, I’m not an “expert” in immunology, hence the seeming contradiction, DAN. There is a big difference between knowing how something works in general and having studied it extensively.

So which one was the lie? Do you want “proof”? people like to have “proof” that what I say is true also. Like I’m required to prove anything to them.

lol

The immune sysstem contains cells that fights threats against other cells or the entire body and also what it “perceives” as a threat to the body.

Lymph nodes contain blood cells that do this, I forgot their name, and I’m not searching the internet to write this lol. .

In the case of say a cancer happening, the genes change (they are called oncogenes specifically) and what happens is that in one stage the gene that prevents cancer stops working and a gene that causes cancer turns on. Although a healthy body should be immune to cancer.

So anyway that’s about the extent of my knowledge. lol

She reminds me a lot of the typical crowd of delusional creationists I’ve encountered for years over at Amazon.com. Not a single one - with maybe one sole exception - has demonstrated any kind of intelligence, relying instead upon stating lies and more blatant lies:

Dan said:

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

At 8:31 AM, lissa said:

You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

lissa, I think I know why some people call you a liar.

It’s because you are a liar.

I haven’t stated a single lie, you can’t prove what I said isn’t true, can you? No, you can’t.

I’m not even a Creationist. I just said I despise people who push their beliefs on other people (regardless of what their belief is)

The only reason paranormal issues aren’t studied appropriately is because of people who do that, Scientists CAN’T study them without jeopardizing their careers pretty much and even if they do the skeptics will always be there, but basically things that have been accepted as genuine telekinetic happenings examined under a microscope are not BENT, they aren’t BROKEN, they are MELTED. I don’t even have a “religious” belief system, If I adopted one it wouldn’t be fundamentalist Christianity though, it would probably be more akin to Hindu, Buddhist, or Oriental beliefs.

If you have the time and the inclination, watch this video. It’s intriguing.

I have avoided posting it due to it’s being an hour and 20 minutes long but it’s worth watching.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d[…]021550318008

John Kwok said:

She reminds me a lot of the typical crowd of delusional creationists I’ve encountered for years over at Amazon.com. Not a single one - with maybe one sole exception - has demonstrated any kind of intelligence, relying instead upon stating lies and more blatant lies:

Dan said:

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

At 8:31 AM, lissa said:

You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

lissa, I think I know why some people call you a liar.

It’s because you are a liar.

lissa said:

Stanton said:

lissa said:

Yes, intellect is prized by creationists, because in their view it is what separates people from most other creatures.

I’ve never seen any creationist that prizes intellect. All of the ones I’ve encountered wallow in their ignorance, and openly sneer, insult and or damn anyone who does not care to share in their ignorance.

LOL Stanton, you should talk about insulting other people. You haven’t been as bad as the ones who were calling me a liar though.

I was stating a fact, lissa. And as usual, it contradicts your fairytale-like proclamations. Or, can you explain why none of the creationists who troll here adhere very closely to my statement, and not yours?

BTW, just to bug you and go OT for a second. remember the last conversation we had where you were whining aobut my complaining about me being overmedicated, when I was simply describing symptoms. Well, it just so happens that I was UNDERMEDICATED when I was having those symptoms, because I cut my pill in half due to the fact that I was having major anxiety attacks and even had to call an ambulance once, it was so bad.

*useless ranting snipped*

So tell me why it is my fault that you don’t know how to take your medicine? I think you are a very disturbed individual if you prefer to rail and wail and rant against the medical system on someone else’s forum than take the time to read the directions on the bottle, or even take the time to ask a health care provider.

lissa said:

I haven’t stated a single lie, you can’t prove what I said isn’t true, can you? No, you can’t.

If you didn’t state a single lie, then how come you made several contradictory statements about what you know of the immune system? Or, what about your long and tiresome tirade on how you claimed that “Intelligent Design” was a “method of healing” utilizing the “energy of the Universe,” a claim that existed solely in your head, and was not supported by any of the sites you produced that you claimed as support?

lissa said:

I haven’t stated a single lie, you can’t prove what I said isn’t true, can you?

Yes I can.

You were either lying at 7:59 am:

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

or else you were lying at 8:49 am:

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

I neither know nor care which time you were lying, but you can’t “know quite a bit about” something concerning which you aren’t “that knowledgeable”.

I’m not disturbed Stanton, I’m very easy-going actually. I can take my medication appropriately, I just didn’t go to my doctor to discuss it because he would have sent me to a psychiatrist, and I’ve avoided mental health clinics until they gave me no other alternative.

I didn’t say it was your fault. And no I don’t prefer to rant about it on someone else’s forum, than to discuss it with my health care professionals, I just think they are a presumptuous lot of people, not that they aren’t caring, but they presume too much. Like for instance, I was having a little motivation problem as well, well they “assumed” I was depressed, I wasn’t it was that STUPID MEDICINE THEY WERE GIVING ME.

So sorry for the contradictory statements. I just meant my knowledge doesn’t extend beyond basic knowledge the first time.

Dan said:

lissa said:

I haven’t stated a single lie, you can’t prove what I said isn’t true, can you?

Yes I can.

You were either lying at 7:59 am:

At 7:59 AM, lissa said:

I’m not that knowledgable about immunology

or else you were lying at 8:49 am:

At 8:49 AM, lissa said:

Actually I DO know quite a bit about the immune system.

I neither know nor care which time you were lying, but you can’t “know quite a bit about” something concerning which you aren’t “that knowledgeable”.

O.K. I goofed then. Lying is a little harsh. I know something about the immune system. I might even know more about it than what I posted, but I’m not racking my brain for something I MIGHT know becasue I MIGHT have learned it at some time or other, but as they say, “if you don’t use it you lose it”

lissa,

Actually I didn’t call you a liar. But, since you have claimed that you are not posting as ps, I strongly suspect that you are indeed a liar.

1) Consider the perfect correlation between the threads that lissa posts on and the threads that ps posts on.

2) Consider the fact that ps respoinds to questions posed to lissa (and the reverse)

3) Consider that schizophrenia often manifested as a multiple personality disorder and lissa is admittedly under medicated

4) Consider the policy against posters using multiple names here and how rigidly it isn’t enforced

I am PS DS. Is POST SCRIPT a NAME? No it’s not. or would you rather have more

lissa lissa lissa would that be better?

lissa said:

Lying is a little harsh.

“Harsh” means extreme. “A little” means not so much. One can no more be “a little harsh” than one can be “mildly vigorous”.

Oh my God. Dan.

Dan said:

lissa said:

Lying is a little harsh.

“Harsh” means extreme. “A little” means not so much. One can no more be “a little harsh” than one can be “mildly vigorous”.

O.K. Dan, I goofed, that’s about it. I didn’t intentionally try to lie about anything.

lissa said:

I am PS DS. Is POST SCRIPT a NAME? No it’s not. or would you rather have more

lissa lissa lissa would that be better?

Posting simultaneous under two monikers gives the impression that you’re sock-puppeteering. And even if it’s not done on purpose, it still makes people who are reading these threads confused.

Stanton said:

lissa said:

I am PS DS. Is POST SCRIPT a NAME? No it’s not. or would you rather have more

lissa lissa lissa would that be better?

Posting simultaneous under two monikers gives the impression that you’re sock-puppeteering. And even if it’s not done on purpose, it still makes people who are reading these threads confused.

O.K. I won’t do it again then. Thanks.

lissa,

Thanks for admitting it. I must retract my statement about you being a liar.

Ditto from me too, though I am rather skeptical about your apparent support for paranormal “research”:

DS said:

lissa,

Thanks for admitting it. I must retract my statement about you being a liar.

DS said:

lissa,

Thanks for admitting it. I must retract my statement about you being a liar.

thanks, I wouldn’t say I’ve had a LOT of experiences as strange as that whole thing was, especially the part I didn’t even mention that may have been precognition, I don’t know the voices said they were taking Daniel. And they took Daniel alright. His mom left him alone in a motel so she could go party or something.

But I did experience telepathy once before I even got ill. And I thought I was just hallucinating until my friend said she was having the same experience at the same time (I wasn’t going to mention it)

harold Wrote:

The creationist brain is an odd thing.

Actually several “species” of “odd things.” And the study of that “evolution” from a “common ancestor” can be as fascinating - and counterintuitive to many - as the study of biological evolution. Looking at it in terms of their radically different conclusions of “what happened when” in life’s history, it’s hard to believe that Kent Hovind and Michael Behe could be “related.” Yet looking at it in terms of “misrepresenting evolution and the nature of science to further an extreme political agenda” they are of the same “kind.”

And now for the question that every creationist and other pseudoscience peddler flees in abject terror from:

Do you have the slightest speck of evidence to support any of these claims?

lissa said:

DS said:

lissa,

Thanks for admitting it. I must retract my statement about you being a liar.

thanks, I wouldn’t say I’ve had a LOT of experiences as strange as that whole thing was, especially the part I didn’t even mention that may have been precognition, I don’t know the voices said they were taking Daniel. And they took Daniel alright. His mom left him alone in a motel so she could go party or something.

But I did experience telepathy once before I even got ill. And I thought I was just hallucinating until my friend said she was having the same experience at the same time (I wasn’t going to mention it)

Dean Wentworth said:

Getting back to Nick Matzke’s post, it is satisfying to see that Behe’s humiliation on the witness stand has gotten as much publicity as it has. (Is he still insanely insisting it went well for him?)

Lately, it seems to me that, publicly at least, creationists are increasingly reluctant to attack common descent directly, focusing instead on challenging things like the big bang and abiogenesis. I see that as a retreat on their part.

Yeah, well I

Dean Wentworth said:

Getting back to Nick Matzke’s post, it is satisfying to see that Behe’s humiliation on the witness stand has gotten as much publicity as it has. (Is he still insanely insisting it went well for him?)

Lately, it seems to me that, publicly at least, creationists are increasingly reluctant to attack common descent directly, focusing instead on challenging things like the big bang and abiogenesis. I see that as a retreat on their part.

Yes, I think it’s actually a presumption that all Creationists have always attacked common descent to begin with. Because I don’t think they have. Darwin was actually a Christian himself, until he couldn’t reconcile the belief with the idea that he would “go to hell” if he doesn’t believe.

He still believes that he did quite well at the 2002 AMNH ID debate (which featured him, Pennock and Ken Miller, with Genie Scott moderating), despite the audience’s hysterical reaction to some of his - and Dembski’s - most inane comments (I was an eyewitness, and it’s rather odd that we have rather different recollections, don’t you think?):

Dean Wentworth said:

Getting back to Nick Matzke’s post, it is satisfying to see that Behe’s humiliation on the witness stand has gotten as much publicity as it has. (Is he still insanely insisting it went well for him?)

Lately, it seems to me that, publicly at least, creationists are increasingly reluctant to attack common descent directly, focusing instead on challenging things like the big bang and abiogenesis. I see that as a retreat on their part.

PS He and Dembski argued the PRO side; Pennock and Miller the CON.

John Kwok said:

He still believes that he did quite well at the 2002 AMNH ID debate (which featured him, Pennock and Ken Miller, with Genie Scott moderating), despite the audience’s hysterical reaction to some of his - and Dembski’s - most inane comments (I was an eyewitness, and it’s rather odd that we have rather different recollections, don’t you think?):

Dean Wentworth said:

Getting back to Nick Matzke’s post, it is satisfying to see that Behe’s humiliation on the witness stand has gotten as much publicity as it has. (Is he still insanely insisting it went well for him?)

Lately, it seems to me that, publicly at least, creationists are increasingly reluctant to attack common descent directly, focusing instead on challenging things like the big bang and abiogenesis. I see that as a retreat on their part.

lissa said:

Yes, I think it’s actually a presumption that all Creationists have always attacked common descent to begin with. Because I don’t think they have. Darwin was actually a Christian himself, until he couldn’t reconcile the belief with the idea that he would “go to hell” if he doesn’t believe.

Granted, creationists are not a monolithic group and accept varying degrees of common descent.

Take YECs for example. Once it became obvious that Noah’s ark would have been far too small to hold two of each extant species of animal, to say nothing of all the extinct species, they were forced to postulate a staggering rate of divergence from a handful of originally created “kinds.” Not only that, the necessary magnitude of divergence could only be described as “macroevolution.” The irony of this seems to escape them, however.

Even Behe, from what I’ve read here at PT, accepts the common descent of chimps and humans.

I honestly don’t understand your sentence about Darwin, so I won’t comment on that.

I, too, have no idea what lissa means about Darwin’s beliefs. She seems to be implying that Darwin didn’t believe in hell, and that was why he became an agnostic and formally renounced the Christian church. That’s wrong.

He didn’t believe in hell. Neither did many within the Church of England of his day - Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), for instance. Neither do many today. But that was not what separated him from his Church and his faith. That was caused by the death of his daughter, and by his reflection that death - often painful, often lingering, often a terrifying ordeal - is designed intimately into nature itself; that it could not be the result of any human action, and had been present from the very beginning of all life. He could not reconcile the idea of an involved God, or of a loving God, with that event and those facts.

The human mind is an odd thing. I know perfectly well that death was not ‘designed’, but I used that word in describing its effects. It’s a projection of the very type we have to combat. Please ignore it, and substitute the expression “intrinsic to nature itself” instead. Sorry.

I’m just curious. Someone being a sarcastic individual disputed that I could fly because the “sensation” of flying is not the same as flying.

What’s the difference? I am me, all of me, and nothing but me.

That’s the whole PRINCIPLE of HOLISTIC medicine.

lissa said:

I’m just curious. Someone being a sarcastic individual disputed that I could fly because the “sensation” of flying is not the same as flying.

To fly means that your body literally lifts off of the ground and rides around on air currents. You can not fly if you do not lift off the ground, and ride around on air currents. Stating a fact of reality is not sarcasm. Pointing out that sensation of an action does not equal doing that same action if you are not actually bodily doing that action is not sarcasm, either.

What’s the difference? I am me, all of me, and nothing but me.

The fact that you are you, all of you, nothing but you does not change the fact that sensation of what is assumed to be flight does not equal actual flight.

Dave Luckett said:

The human mind is an odd thing. I know perfectly well that death was not ‘designed’, but I used that word in describing its effects. It’s a projection of the very type we have to combat. Please ignore it, and substitute the expression “intrinsic to nature itself” instead. Sorry.

Cut yourself some slack. If I held something buoyant under water I would probably describe it as “wanting” to float to the surface. Sure, it’s wrong, but it gets the point across and is a hell of lot simpler than going into a big discussion about gravity, density, displacement, and pressure gradients.

Link to the cross-examination doesn’t work. Timeout error.

Stanton said:

lissa said:

I’m just curious. Someone being a sarcastic individual disputed that I could fly because the “sensation” of flying is not the same as flying.

To fly means that your body literally lifts off of the ground and rides around on air currents. You can not fly if you do not lift off the ground, and ride around on air currents. Stating a fact of reality is not sarcasm. Pointing out that sensation of an action does not equal doing that same action if you are not actually bodily doing that action is not sarcasm, either.

What’s the difference? I am me, all of me, and nothing but me.

The fact that you are you, all of you, nothing but you does not change the fact that sensation of what is assumed to be flight does not equal actual flight.

Thank you. I understand that. but my belief is that the whole of a person must be considered in analyzing their body and their responses to the environment.

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in my own studies of civilizations and environmental issues(both animal and human) is that peaceful civilizations do and can exist, but it doesn’t exist in every society if their are other people or animals around that are a threat to them.

lissa said:

Thank you. I understand that. but my belief is that the whole of a person must be considered in analyzing their body and their responses to the environment.

And you can not analyze the whole of the person if you ignore the body in favor of the mind, i.e., by assuming the sensation of flight as being flight.

Stanton said:

lissa said:

Thank you. I understand that. but my belief is that the whole of a person must be considered in analyzing their body and their responses to the environment.

And you can not analyze the whole of the person if you ignore the body in favor of the mind, i.e., by assuming the sensation of flight as being flight.

True. That’s one of problems I have with people presuming everything. They “assume” that if I am experiencing these things I can’t tell it’s not real. They are wrong. i might get a little confused, but I know I’m feeling pain/or grief and I don’t think it’s unhealthy for me to do so, but if it’s causing more stress than relieving stress there is a problem.

… and me without my jello nails…

fnxtr said:

… and me without my jello nails…

Yeah, well I still believe the fact that you can’t see them isn’t proof that they aren’t entities in and of themselves any more than me seeing them is proof that they are.

Dave Luckett said:

I, too, have no idea what lissa means about Darwin’s beliefs. She seems to be implying that Darwin didn’t believe in hell, and that was why he became an agnostic and formally renounced the Christian church. That’s wrong.

He didn’t believe in hell. Neither did many within the Church of England of his day - Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), for instance. Neither do many today. But that was not what separated him from his Church and his faith. That was caused by the death of his daughter, and by his reflection that death - often painful, often lingering, often a terrifying ordeal - is designed intimately into nature itself; that it could not be the result of any human action, and had been present from the very beginning of all life. He could not reconcile the idea of an involved God, or of a loving God, with that event and those facts.

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/[…]RELIGION.pdf

I don’t think any of them don’t believe in a hell of some kind actually. The doctrine of “eternal damnatation” is false just because of translation problems. but that’s not to say “hell” of some kind isn’t believed to exist.

That’s a useful link, lissa. It rightly emphasises that Darwin’s beliefs, like most people’s, were not fixed in concrete, nor changed only in one way. He did renounce communicant status in the Church of England, but his agnosticism fluctuated, certainly.

I think my comment is vindicated, though. He didn’t believe in hell, but it was not that which separated him from his faith. That separation was caused by the death of his daughter and by the reflection that terror, suffering and pain is a necessary component of life, an ab initio precondition. He couldn’t reconcile this fact with the idea of a beneficent and loving God.

Dave Luckett said:

That’s a useful link, lissa. It rightly emphasises that Darwin’s beliefs, like most people’s, were not fixed in concrete, nor changed only in one way. He did renounce communicant status in the Church of England, but his agnosticism fluctuated, certainly.

I think my comment is vindicated, though. He didn’t believe in hell, but it was not that which separated him from his faith. That separation was caused by the death of his daughter and by the reflection that terror, suffering and pain is a necessary component of life, an ab initio precondition. He couldn’t reconcile this fact with the idea of a beneficent and loving God.

I think pain and suffering is a necessary component of life, I think all emotions are a necessary component in life, The problem is with being able to cope with it appropriately, a lot of people just can’t do it. But you know I think social services are helpful to some and they aren’t to others and it’s so ridiculous people are killing themselves just because they butt in too damned much.

Dave Luckett said:

That’s a useful link, lissa. It rightly emphasises that Darwin’s beliefs, like most people’s, were not fixed in concrete, nor changed only in one way. He did renounce communicant status in the Church of England, but his agnosticism fluctuated, certainly.

I think my comment is vindicated, though. He didn’t believe in hell, but it was not that which separated him from his faith. That separation was caused by the death of his daughter and by the reflection that terror, suffering and pain is a necessary component of life, an ab initio precondition. He couldn’t reconcile this fact with the idea of a beneficent and loving God.

In the gnostic view passion is directly related to creation and the desire to know about something you can not know much about. If the tower of babel incident was interpreted allegorical it arose in utter confusion and nobody being able to understan one another.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on May 1, 2009 1:16 PM.

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