Posted: Jan 10, 2019 11:28 am
by zoon
Jayjay4547 wrote:..
my whole aim is to reveal the role of ideology In origin narratives, especially of human beings.

In discussing this Smithsonian Mag article on the human skin https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science- ... 1xo4mme.99 I criticized some of those involved: science writer Jason Daley for building his story on basic science research that had nothing to do with the speculations about the human skin he went on to detail. Mark Pagel for proposing that our hairless skin is to combat lice, and Mark Changizi who proposed that primate colour vision is to help in signalling emotional and health status. Also reader Ben Hotchkiss proposed it was to avoid getting singed by fire….

I take it your “ideology”, as you stated in the OP to this thread, is that humans were designed by God:
Jayjay4547 wrote:This claim is that the human origin story has been presented as one of self-creation, in reactive opposition to the Genesis story in which human beings were made by something greater than themselves- and which is a basic truth about human origins and the human status.


I’m happy to agree with you, in the context of this discussion, that my atheism, and that of most people here, includes an alternative narrative, or “ideology” if you want to use that term for both narratives. My alternative claim is that the hypothesis of evolution by natural selection is a better fit with the evidence than the hypothesis that God made us.

I agree with Dawkins (writing in “The Blind Watchmaker) that before the theory of evolution by natural selection was put forward, there was in fact strong evidence for some sort of goal-directed creation of living things, because there is such a strong appearance of teleology in their design: we grow eyes which are useful for seeing, ears which are useful for hearing, etc. The strength of the theory of evolution is that it explains how this apparent teleology comes about, without in fact requiring pre-thought-out goals.

You appear, somewhat bizarrely, to be putting forward an argument for God which is the reverse of the argument from design. OK, some scientists have put forward hypotheses to explain the hairless skin of humans, and all the 3 hypotheses which you cite have the surface appearance of being teleological in nature: the hairless skin may have been useful for discouraging lice, or for signalling emotions, or for not getting singed by fire. Of course, the scientists are using this teleological language as a shorthand for saying that natural selection over thousands of years resulted in the trait of hairless skin, but the weird thing about your argument is that, as far as I can tell, it’s the teleology you are objecting to. Since you are arguing that God created us, why are you so keen to argue that hairless skin is useless? If hairless skin doesn’t help us to avoid lice, or miscommunication, or getting burnt, then God just did it for the fun of it? Are you claiming, as a positive argument in favour of creationism, that God designed our bodies without any predesigned usefulness? The uselessness of the appendix, for example, is in your view an argument for God as designer, since in your view evolution would have made a better job of it?