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Medievalguy
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Suggest a book?

Hey guys, so I heard a philosophy professor telling a student "evolution involves random chance....." and I about died. Naturally, I wish to correct this professor so he would stop spreading this myth to other students. I thought the best way I could do this without getting into a confrontation would be to buy him a book on evolution, and tab the section that explains that random chance has NOTHING to do with natural selection. Do any of you have any suggestions as to what book does this the best? Thanks

--Medie


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PM DG. Anyhoot, is there any

PM DG. Anyhoot, is there any such thing as 'random chance' regarding anything? Nay.

 "and theory of evolution is NOT about atheism, or disproving God, or any aspect of religion at all. The ToE is a well supported scientific theory that explains the observed empirical data of the real world, period." ~ Occam's Aftershave

Good luck beating that guy ....

 

 


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Medievalguy wrote:Hey guys,

Medievalguy wrote:

Hey guys, so I heard a philosophy professor telling a student "evolution involves random chance....." and I about died. Naturally, I wish to correct this professor so he would stop spreading this myth to other students. I thought the best way I could do this without getting into a confrontation would be to buy him a book on evolution, and tab the section that explains that random chance has NOTHING to do with natural selection. Do any of you have any suggestions as to what book does this the best? Thanks

--Medie

 'random chance' is a redundant phrase. So, to get his attention I would mention that.

Since we're talking about a philosophy professor then we're going to need something a little 'woo-woo' to get his attention. No genetics or molecular evolution lesson here will be within his preferred dialogue.

Perhaps, 'Ancestor's Tale' by Dawkins would be the one I would direct someone of this ilk towards.

Shit. Even 'The origin of species' for starters so long as he reads the whole of the chapters instead of just the first two paragraphs of every other chapter like most theists I've encountered claiming to have read it do.

 

 

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Quote:"evolution involves

Quote:

"evolution involves random chance....."

This is sort of vague. Strictly speaking, evolution does involve random chance, because it is a stochastic process. But it is not a random process.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote: Quote:

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

"evolution involves random chance....."

This is sort of vague. Strictly speaking, evolution does involve random chance, because it is a stochastic process. But it is not a random process.

Exactly. The only thing that needs to be made clear to the professor/students is that while chance may be involved, chance is not the only thing involved. Chance is just one part of it, i.e. mutation. The other parts are replication, selection, and iteration over many generations. Together, they comprise a very algorithmic process of which the 'random' part is just one input. Mutations are the fuel, replication/selection/iteration are the engine that turns the fuel into motion. If you just light a pool of gasoline on fire, not much happens except a big waste of energy. But if you provide the same fuel to the engine, wow, watch it go! Check out some of the videos on YouTube by cdk007 and Thunderf00t for some great talking points about evolution vs. creationism and misunderstandings of evolution.

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Medievalguy
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Ok, so i might have been a bit hasty when i said the prof. said "evolution involves random chance". I can't remember his exact words (it was last year) but it was basically the boeing 747 argument. He mentioned something about natural selection and random chance, which the two are exact opposites. I know dawkins talks about this in the god delusion, but I don’t want to get him an atheist attack book, just a science book.


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Medievalguy wrote:

Medievalguy wrote:

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Ok, so i might have been a bit hasty when i said the prof. said "evolution involves random chance". I can't remember his exact words (it was last year) but it was basically the boeing 747 argument. He mentioned something about natural selection and random chance, which the two are exact opposites. I know dawkins talks about this in the god delusion, but I don’t want to get him an atheist attack book, just a science book.

 

jesus fucking christ, man, this is the second thread you started where you discuss shady philosophy classes in your school.  just what kinda school do you go to?  i went to a fairly liberal college with a very liberal religion department.  none of my religion profs (i was a religion major) would dare try glibly discussing science with students, and i'm pretty sure the philosophy profs were the same.  any of my religion profs would have been perfectly open and ok to reading atheist apologists, probably had read a few, and a couple may have been atheists themselves (they never discussed their personal beliefs).  i know we had atheist philosophy profs.  is the philosophy department all christian at your school or what?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Medievalguy
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The school is technically a

The school is technically a christian school, Lynchburg College. They fly the christian flag right next to the American one. But in practice they're pretty relaxed about it. Really relaxed considering that right next door is "Liberty" "university" the largest evangellical "school" in the nation.....grrrr.... But yeah, I think at least two of the philosophy profs might be atheists...but this guy, he's been saying this stuff that's making me cringe... Now I don't want to confront him, or offend him, he's an elderly immigrant, probably a polish jew that escaped the nazis, or at least that's the impression that I get, and he has a PhD in his field, whereas I'm scum, just an undergrad. But he's really misinformed about the facts of science. A philosophic issue i wouldn't argue with him on, but the facts of science are just that, facts. So I need a book with a section on how natural selection does not involve random chance, something I can but a bright tab on, and quietly put in his mailbox....