“No Steve, your bias dismisses all science that goes against your theology. Your argument isn't really a scientific argument at all, but a theological argument dressed up in pumps and a wig.”
And your argument isn’t really a scientific argument at all, but an atheological argument dressed up in pumps and a wing.
“All bias are not ‘equal’. Yours commits you to a one way street that must reject all evidence to the contrary or forces you to re-evaluate your 'worldview'.”
I agree that not every bias is on an epistemic par. For example, the bias of naturalistic evolution commits one to evolutionary psychology, which undercuts rationality.
So, yes, I reject global scepticism. So, yes, I reject any self-refuting worldview. So, yes, I reject a worldview which torpedoes the necessary truth-conditions without which nothing can be known.
As such, naturalistic evolution isn’t even a live option, although we can still debate the point. Do you have an argument to show that evolutionary psychology does not commit intellectual suicide?
“It does not, unless you play mental gymnastics and dismiss outright mounds and mounds of dovetailing information from multiple disciplines of science.”
To *say* that I play mental gymnastics and to *show* that I do so are two different things. You have a very revealing habit of intoning rationalistic rhetoric as a substitute for rational argumentation.
“Again, you are playing intellectually dishonest games.”
Another assertion in lieu of an argument.
You see, unbelievers like you aren’t really concerned with reason and evidence—otherwise you’d be using reason and evidence.
Instead, you’re only concerned with projecting a rationalistic image. For you, it’s all about keeping up appearances. A poor man’s Russell.
“Why don't you just rest your argument on faith? That is a much more honest and respectfull approach.”
What makes you think that *you* get to define faith? The Bible does not oppose faith to reason. Rather, the Bible only opposes faith to sight.
It is dishonest and disrespectful of you to think that you get to redefine Biblical faith by superimposing your extrabiblical values on Scripture.
“But I think you are missing the point of the "brain" thing. Some wit and ingenuity make up for a whole lot of fangs and brute force. If we look at very primitive tribes in areas where lions hunt, do we see the humans snuffed out, sent off to local extinction because of their sorry capabilities? I don't think that's what you'd find, even in tribes with the most primitive, stone age tools/weapons. The point being that the larger brain works to prevent being "in the cage" -- at a tactical disadvantage -- in the first place. Hunting/traveling/dwelling in groups is an extraordinarily powerful defense mechanism, especially if you have the other advantages that (proto-)humans did.”
No, you’re missing the point of your own argument. This is how you originally framed your argument:
“Third, and which should be so obvious that the original poster appears not to have thought things through before posting this, even without the defensive capabilities of living/traveling/hunting in coordinated teams or using weapons, the enlarged brain itself is the ultimate survival weapon.”
So your original appeal to the “brain thing” as a “meta-weapon” or “ultimate survival weapon” explicitly left out the social dynamic of teamwork.
I was commenting on your own version of your own argument. Is there some reason why you can’t keep track of your own argument?
“New finds may be only 350,000 years old. You'll have to clue me in how 350,000 is different from 400,000 years ago in a meaningful way to the discussion.”
Okay, let’s spell it out:
1.You referred me to an article. So I’m commenting on the material you referred me to. Answering you on your own level.
2.The antiquity of the spears is crucial to your argument. You’re the one who’s accentuating the date, not me.
3.However, one of the issues that immediate crops up in the course of this article (or articles, since there are several online versions) is the dating methodology.
4.The question at issue is not limited to the results. Rather, the issue is with the dating methodology which is yielding the results.
5.I’m not the one who brought up the dating methodology. The article itself brought up the issue of the dating methodology—you know, the article you yourself referred me to?
6.The article admits that absolute dating techniques were not applied to the artifacts.
7.So, in the absence of absolute dating techniques, how were the artifacts dated? Why date them to 400,000 years rather than 40,000 years or 4,000 years or 400 years?
8.What the article goes on to suggest is that some sort of relative dating technique was employed in lieu of absolute dating:
“Of the animal bones at the site, most of them from horses, many have incisions and fractures typically produced during butchery, the German archaeologist says. The material probably dates to 400,000 years ago, based on its position in a soil layer sandwiched between deposits of previously identified ice ages, he adds.”
9.Does this allude to ice core dating? If so, which ice core dating technique was used?
To my knowledge, ice core dating involves several different techniques, not all of which are used in every case. What is more, there are many variables which affect the reliability of ice core dating in any given case.
For example, I once asked a scientist with a doctorate from MIT what he thought of ice core dating. I think I said that according to conventional reasoning, ice core dating was analogous to dendrochronology, viz. the seasonal layers were analogous to annular tree rings.
He told me that tabulating the layers was unreliable beyond about 2000 layers (as I recall) because the cumulative weight compresses the lower layers.
That’s not the only technique, but that’s one technique. Assuming that ice core dating was use in dating the spears, which technique was used?
“And please, don't make me go over the whole discipline of dating.”
I’m not planning to, and I don’t need to.
For purposes of this thread, I can stipulate to geological time scales. The problem this poses for you is that the amount of time separating one fossil find from another makes it difficult, to say the least, to establish lineal descent or compensatory adaptations at the time they’re needed.
So I don’t need to challenge geological time scales in the course of this thread. I’m arguing internally on the basis of your own operating assumptions.
“I'm happy to discuss details about this case or that.”
Fine. Proceed accordingly.
“I suggest none of the questions about overlap or timing in terms of ‘descending from trees’ matters, in light of the spears. If we find (proto-)humans crafting spears as part of their routine 400,000 (or 350,000) years ago, what else do we need to know. Early man was *not* at the disadvantage you offered. You have him naked, caged with a lion. The reality was that he had a huge mental advantage, a huge technology advantage, and a significant strategic advantage in his social and group-coordinated modes of operating.”
Half a roof doesn’t keep the rain out. You keep equivocating over the identity of “early” man. But, according to evolution, the identity of “early” man is fluid.
The fact that cavemen might have the weaponry and teamwork to repel natural predators is beside the point. That’s is just one segment of the evolutionary trajectory. For the (proto-) human species to survive, you need a continuous series of viable intermediates.
Invoking hundreds of thousands of years (or more) makes the case harder, not easier. How much time between the loss of natural defense mechanisms and encephalization? How much time between encephalization and the invention of weapons or rudimentary speech to facilitate teamwork?
If you have a big gap anywhere along the timeline, between the loss of his natural defense mechanisms and the development of compensatory adaptations, then “early” man, during that interval, is left defenseless.
You’re the one who’s committed to gradualism, not me. You’re the one who has to stretch out the process, not me.
Unless there is an overlap between the loss of natural defense mechanisms and the acquisition of compensatory adaptations, then early man, at that segment of the evolutionary continuum is at the mercy of natural predators.
Pointing to a later phase in the continuum is irrelevant. Every stage needs to be covered by one or the other for “early” man to survive in the face of predation.
My argument is building on your own assumptions. You own timeline. Your own admission of the need for some sort of defense mechanism.
For some reason you seem to think you can gloss over these elementary, common sense questions with half-baked answers.
“What I am saying is that these advantages on the whole represent an overwhelming position for man, and man has pulled away in terms of the ‘dominance’ gap comcomitant with his growing brain, technology and organizational skills.”
*Once* early man has acquired these survival advantages, yes. How did he survive before he acquired these survival advantages?
Why do you find it so difficult to ask yourself such as simple question? Is it because your bias in favor of the theistic evolutionary compromise inhibits you from questioning of your own position?
“I'm still not clear on how amenable you are to evidence from "secular" science sources, so I won't go on at length here (happy to elsewhere if it matters)”
I’m still not clear on how amenable you are to the need for specific evidence to substantiate specific claims.
“Here’s a quote from a New Scientist article a couple years ago:
‘Early humans evolved the anatomy needed to hear each other talk at least 350,000 years ago. This suggests rudimentary form of speech developed early on in our evolution.’
Here's the link:
How do you justify the leap from “hearing” to “speech?”
Many animals have acute hearing, but only human beings speak to each other.
Once again, the evidence you cite is not specific to the claim you make. For some reason you continually fail to see the need for a specific match between the level of the evidence and the level of the claim.
In order for your claim to be evidentially warranted, there must be a point of correspondence between the specificity of the evidence and the specificity of the claim. Why is it so hard for you to grasp that rule of evidence?
As Jacob Neusner likes to say, you don’t know what you can’t show. And that is certainly true when it comes to reconstructing the distant past.
“I'm too lazy to go dredge it up for this comment (especially not knowing what credit conventional sources receive from you), but I remember reading a paper that documented the skull of homo habilis showing am enlargement/bulge in the area of the brain that houses speech functions in humans (Brocah area?).”
As I’ve already said more than once by now, to establish encephalization you first have to establish lineal descent. You do have a noncircular argument for lineal descent?
The Darwinians keep telling me about the overwhelming evidence for evolution, but as soon as I ask for specific evidence to corroborate specific claims, it’s like pulling teeth to extract the information.
And what they do cough up falls far short of the mark. Can you do better?
“Wilma. Ok you lost me there.”
Try Fred Flintstone’s significant other.