Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Break, Anthropology and Miracles.

One of my kids returned home for spring break and we had a chance to discuss a bit of his anthropology class.  I asked him if they had mentioned eugenics - the belief that there were significant differences in race extending to mind and character in addition to skin color and perhaps susceptibility to certain diseases.  The answer was that they had not mentioned eugenics.  They were heavily promoting the notion that men descended from apes as a fundamental and necessary concept for human understanding, but they were also explicit in stating that all humans are more or less equivalent as far as mental, moral and temperament are concerned.  Thus, anthropology has two principles:  1) human behavior must be understood by looking at apes first and 2) the human species evolved in a uniform manner from the apes.

I just wanted to highlight the post-modern conflict here.  Effectively they are trying to argue that evolution proves that all men evolved equally, which contrasts with our American ideal that "all men are created equal".  Of course anyone who observes dogs knows that although there are common characteristics that make up dogs, at the same time there is a diversity of instinct, temperament and mental capacity of the different dog breeds.  Yes, this has been engineered to some degree, yet the choices of the breeders were driven by environment.  Similarly, environments have been wildly different for humans growing up in various parts of our planet.  Thus, the only way that atheist anthropologists can arrive at the notion that "all men evolved equal" is to invoke a miracle.  Now they will certainly argue that evolution did it, therefore they are not invoking a miracle.  This "logic" is purely post-modern.  Most religions assert miracles done by sentient beings.  Stone age mystics invoke miracles done by nature itself.  Darwinists are not one whit less dependent on miracles, they simply define the miracle to be not-a-miracle and then blurt that science explained things - without any supporting derivation.  Brushing aside the sophistry, I am not sure how to distinguish the Darwinist view from the stone age mystic view.

As a creationist, I can take the view that all humans are descended in less than 300 generations from a common ancestor, whereas the Darwinists need to go back at least 100,000 generations.  In the end, the result that anthropology teaches is a purely creationist doctrine that begs for a Tower of Babel story to be true, yet they falsely claim that they deduced this from evolution.


Vid said...

We didn't evolve uniformly, but the different human races have been evolving separately for so little an amount of relative time that there's no discernible or significant difference.

Of course, from person to person there'll always be drastic personality differences, but the ideal mind and personality is the same no matter what environment you're in. So, there's no reason for the human mind to have evolved differently in different regions (and thus for different races).

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

This is what anthropology is being reduced to? This is so contrary to the TV show Bones (have you ever watched?).

"Of course anyone who observes dogs knows that although there are common characteristics that make up dogs, at the same time there is a diversity of instinct, temperament and mental capacity of the different dog breeds."

Absolutely (and I speak by personal experience: I have had several dog breeds and they were all different although similar...just like humans are different although equal).

I totally understand your fatigue toward atheists. I am a creationist who believes evolution occurs everyday as we evolve spiritually and even physically (our cells and their constant adjustment & readjustment can be viewed as an evolving process).

Scientists can drive us mad with their scientific absolutism, but they can be rather helpful.


Dee Ice Hole said...

In the end I assure you there will be no contradiction of religion by science...small example to ponder...was Christ cloned from his Father?

Looney said...

@Vid, so you don't think the difference in environments between jungle, desert, small islands, northern tundra, etc., would make a difference in the required abilities?

Looney said...

@Max, I must say it really isn't the overt atheists that bother me so much as the theistic atheists. My nephew is attending a Catholic college where he got this!

I probably said this before, but I don't believe in the existence of the "Scientist". I say this while working at a R&D lab with a thousand Ph.d's working within a half mile of my office. I have met researches and specialists, many of whom are quite outstanding. But I have never met this mythological being called the "Scientist"!

Looney said...

@Dee Ice Hole, I am wondering if you will get a chance to visit California for the upcoming fire season. We are at 30% of normal snowpack after a record rainfall last year. Big growth one year ... big dry the next!

Your puzzle is one where the Mormon view and the orthodox Christian view diverge a bit. If God is spirit, then the cloning would only be possible from Christ's mother. DNA seems to transfer character, which we consider to bear significantly on the sense of the father-son relationship. It is good to ponder in what sense Christ is the son of God.

Delirious said...

I think Dee Ice's statement comes partially from scripture that talks about Christ being in the express image of the Father. This was also said of Adam and Seth though.

LDS view of the Godhead is different in many ways from most Christian religions. Not only do we believe that God the Father, and Jesus Christ have glorified physical bodies, but we believe they are separate beings. We believe he is the actual physical offspring of God the Father; His "only begotten" in the flesh. The rest of us are spirit children.

But no...I don't believe he was cloned. lol

Vid said...

@ Looney
Different *physical* abilities would be needed, which result in the readily appranet physical differences in the races. However, the "mind and character" required by different environments is all the same.

Looney said...

@Vid, it seems to me that different mental abilities would be needed in addition to different physical abilities: Some parts of the world have food easily gotten year round. Not so much intelligence is needed to get it. Other places are seasonal and require long term planning for survival. Then there are places that require skills or simple tools. Each environment places a different stress on the mental faculties.

Today I produced about 1,000 lines of code for my 3-dimensional physics modeling. It was a lot of math and geometry with some complex multi-dimensional sorting and searching, but in the end I had some pretty pictures on the screen. Not quite sure what environment would have caused those kinds of mental skills to evolve!

Dee Ice Hole said...

Looney, rest assured that was not a Mormon Doctrine. However, we do believe that God created the earth following natural laws. My main point in posting that was 30 years ago who would have believed that cloning was possible. I truly believe that when all is said and done there will be absolutely no conflict between science and religion because we will know and understand how all things were brought to pass.

I think there is a really good chance I will visit your great state during FIRE SEASON.