Dorothy Sayers on the Disconnect between Natural Selection and Atheism

Whatsisface

Well-known member
And still you don't understand. Perhaps if you read it more slowly?
It was as vague as vague could be, as if written by a three year old. And what good will in the conversation you have, falling over yourself to enlighten us with your meaning.
 

Furion

Well-known member
It was as vague as vague could be, as if written by a three year old. And what good will in the conversation you have, falling over yourself to enlighten us with your meaning.
You being vague is not abbienormal, no.

If you feel like you can enlighten the world, please do so.
... wrote the person who refuses to understand the theory of evolution.
The only thing to refuse is a response to random skeptics and their silly statements.

I'm waiting for the nice atheist to come around. Maybe they will enlighten everyone on your evolution. I'm sure it's a great story, bro.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
You being vague is not abbienormal, no.

If you feel like you can enlighten the world, please do so.

The only thing to refuse is a response to random skeptics and their silly statements.

I'm waiting for the nice atheist to come around. Maybe they will enlighten everyone on your evolution. I'm sure it's a great story, bro.
Your usual contentless ignorance. Surprise us all and say something interesting for a change.
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
You are not the nice atheist, therefore everything you say is prideful meanness. Where are the nice atheists?
Keep trying, the more goes you have the more chance you have of saying something meaningful. Bit like the monkeys with the typewriters.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
I was reading Dorothy Sayers' book, "The Lost Tools of Learning" this evening and came across this:

Well, we may all talk nonsense in a moment of inattention. It is more alarming when we find a well-known biologist writing in a weekly paper to the effect that: “It is an argument against the existence of a Creator that the same kind of variations which are produced by natural selection can be produced at will by stock-breeders.” One might feel tempted to say that it is rather an argument for the existence of a Creator. Actually, of course, it is neither: all it proves is that the same material causes (re-combination of the chromosomes by cross-breeding and so forth) are sufficient to account for all observed variations—just as the various combinations of the same 13 semitones are materially sufficient to account for Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and the noise the cat makes by walking on the keys. But the cat’s performance neither proves nor disproves the existence of Beethoven; and all that is proved by the biologist’s argument is that he was unable to distinguish between a material and a final cause.
I don't really know what the well-known biologist's reasoning was, but I'm guessing it was something like "Nature is supposed to be God's domain, and God is supposed to be all-powerful, so we should expect Nature to be full of stupendous stuff. But really, Nature is kind of disappointing; you don't see anything there that us puny humans can't do as well ourselves." Which I don't think is much of an argument, because there's definitely some stupendous stuff in Nature which we humans can't do as well ourselves. I don't know any atheist who would deny that.

If that is the biologist's argument, though, I think Sayers' refutation is off-base. The analogy would be, if lots of people were praising the genius of Beethoven, and the biologist said "there's really no difference between the music produced by Beethoven and that produced by a cat walking across the keyboard." Or, to be fairer to the biologist, if people were praising the genius of Jackson Pollack and the biologist said there was no difference between a Pollack "masterpiece" and one produced by a child playing with paint.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
I don't really know what the well-known biologist's reasoning was, but I'm guessing it was something like "Nature is supposed to be God's domain, and God is supposed to be all-powerful, so we should expect Nature to be full of stupendous stuff. But really, Nature is kind of disappointing; you don't see anything there that us puny humans can't do as well ourselves." Which I don't think is much of an argument, because there's definitely some stupendous stuff in Nature which we humans can't do as well ourselves. I don't know any atheist who would deny that.

If that is the biologist's argument, though, I think Sayers' refutation is off-base. The analogy would be, if lots of people were praising the genius of Beethoven, and the biologist said "there's really no difference between the music produced by Beethoven and that produced by a cat walking across the keyboard." Or, to be fairer to the biologist, if people were praising the genius of Jackson Pollack and the biologist said there was no difference between a Pollack "masterpiece" and one produced by a child playing with paint.
Should have been "Jackson Pollock."
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I was reading Dorothy Sayers' book, "The Lost Tools of Learning" this evening and came across this:

Well, we may all talk nonsense in a moment of inattention. It is more alarming when we find a well-known biologist writing in a weekly paper to the effect that: “It is an argument against the existence of a Creator that the same kind of variations which are produced by natural selection can be produced at will by stock-breeders.” One might feel tempted to say that it is rather an argument for the existence of a Creator. Actually, of course, it is neither: all it proves is that the same material causes (re-combination of the chromosomes by cross-breeding and so forth) are sufficient to account for all observed variations—just as the various combinations of the same 13 semitones are materially sufficient to account for Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and the noise the cat makes by walking on the keys. But the cat’s performance neither proves nor disproves the existence of Beethoven; and all that is proved by the biologist’s argument is that he was unable to distinguish between a material and a final cause.
Nothing in this post even touches on the imagined "disconnect between Natural Selection and atheism".
 
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