Author Topic: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger  (Read 3019 times)

Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 09:30:36 PM »
But basically, they are working with a notion of species such that if parents always give rise to offspring of the same species, it follows that no new species can ever arise.

By 'notion' I presume you mean that which we currently observe in nature?

Yes. Works for me as a definition
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Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2018, 12:44:35 AM »
But basically, they are working with a notion of species such that if parents always give rise to offspring of the same species, it follows that no new species can ever arise.

By 'notion' I presume you mean that which we currently observe in nature?

Yes. Works for me as a definition

Well I wasn't here giving a definition but the relevant entailment of the understanding of "species" that is common among critics of evolution and I think is implicit in Father Ripperger's presentation.

The problem is that many people use that entailment as a premise in an argument against evolution:
1) If parents always give rise to offspring of the same species, it follows that no new species can ever arise from preexisting life

2) Evolutionary theory states that new species do arise from preexisting life.

3) Therefore, evolutionary theory entails parents do not always give rise to offspring of the same species

4) But a cause cannot give what it does not have to give, therefore it is impossible that parents give rise to offspring of a different species.

5) Consequently evolution is false

This argument however is problematic since (1) is working with an understanding of species that is different from what modern biologists are working with.
 

Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2018, 10:07:37 AM »

This argument however is problematic since (1) is working with an understanding of species that is different from what modern biologists are working with.

The argument is only 'problematic' if one has already philosophically embedded oneself with one theory over another, and are closed to alternatives. And the operative word here is 'theory'

Also, the definition of species has changed over time and will likely continue to do so. It is a conveniently flexible idea that is often directionally bent to support a particular ideology.

In reality, observed nature proves Fr R's contention.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 10:09:42 AM by Habitual_Ritual »
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

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Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2018, 10:38:18 AM »
And many evolutionists promote a rather erroneous definition of species based on geography, not biology. An example I have often seen is a type of bird (for example) that becomes separated into two or more groups by mountains or island hopping. The fact they no longer interbreed, as result of geography, gets the new groups a separate species designation. This is an obviously desperate and absurd attempt to prove speciation under observation.
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

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Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2018, 10:41:41 AM »
Quote

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition [That proves speciation anyhow] Scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species

So F R's definition is a working one, based on natural observation and philosophical considerations. Nothing more. Perfectly legitimate
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 10:45:05 AM by Habitual_Ritual »
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

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Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2018, 10:57:26 AM »
Quote

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition [That proves speciation anyhow] Scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species

So F R's definition is a working one, based on natural observation and philosophical considerations. Nothing more. Perfectly legitimate

There is no problem using a working definition of species if the conclusion is conditional. For instance, if Father Ripperger concluded "If species is defined as X, then evolution cannot occur." But in order for Fr. R to show that evolution is false, he needs to prove the antecedent, it cannot merely be stipulated. But in order to prove the antecedent, he would have to show that the definition of species he is using actually describes some sort of reality, i.e. it describes the diversity of biological life.
 

Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2018, 11:12:44 AM »

This argument however is problematic since (1) is working with an understanding of species that is different from what modern biologists are working with.

The argument is only 'problematic' if one has already philosophically embedded oneself with one theory over another, and are closed to alternatives. And the operative word here is 'theory'

Also, the definition of species has changed over time and will likely continue to do so. It is a conveniently flexible idea that is often directionally bent to support a particular ideology.

In reality, observed nature proves Fr R's contention.

Father and many argues are using this kind of argument against evolution:

1) If parents always give rise to offspring of the same species, it follows that no new species can ever arise from preexisting life
2) Evolutionary theory states that new species do arise from preexisting life.
3) Therefore, evolutionary theory entails parents do not always give rise to offspring of the same species
4) But a cause cannot give what it does not have to give, therefore it is impossible that parents give rise to offspring of a different species.
5) Consequently evolution is false

I think it is helpful if we disambiguate between two uses of the term "species" since there is equivocation going on. For this argument to work, the use of "species" in (1), (2), and (4) has to be the same. So regardless of which definition you think is "right," or even which is accepted in science, the important point is that the understanding must be consistent throughout the argument otherwise its an equivocation.

Here is the problem: suppose Father is working with an outmoded (according to modern biology) definition of species but that he thinks it has philosophical support. Fine. Call it "species*." Now, on this definition species are like equivalence classes so (1) is true. And let's concede Father Ripperger is correct about (4) as well on philosophical grounds. The problem is that the following is (2) is not true using species*. Evolutionary theory does not claim that "new species* do arise from preexisting life." Rather, proponents of evolutionary theory are working with a different understanding of species, call it species**. And while "new species** do arise from preexisting life" is true, it is an equivocation to say that species* = species**.

But now, suppose critics of evolution decide to use species** as their working definition. But if that is the case, then (1) is false. Since species** does not treat species like equivalence classes, it is entirely possible that the antecedent of (1) is true but its consequent is false.

Do you see the problem here?
 

Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2018, 11:27:29 AM »
Fr R wisely does not use any of the shifting scientific definitions (they all become outmoded in time) when he uses the word species. In his book, The Metaphysics of Evolution, he defines his use of species thusly:

The subdivision of a genus constituted by the specific difference; common nature or essence; counter-distinguished from genus

This fixed quality to Father's definition is the opposite of that used today, and certainly more satisfying and reliable in terms of what is observed.

Of course this baffle-gab surrounding the meaning of words is how modernists and evolutionary proponents keep the sands ever shifting to avoid the hard observable realities.
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

(Pope Benedict XVI speaking in October 2002.)
 
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Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2018, 11:31:22 AM »
Fr R wisely does not use any of the shifting scientific definitions (they all become outmoded in time) when he uses the word species. In his book, The Metaphysics of Evolution, he defines his use of species thusly:

The subdivision of a genus constituted by the specific difference; common nature or essence; counter-distinguished from genus

This fixed quality to Father's definition is the opposite of that used today, and certainly more satisfying and reliable in terms of what is observed.

Of course this baffle-gab surrounding the meaning of words is how modernists and evolutionary proponents keep the sands ever shifting to avoid the hard observable realities.

Okay but even if you think his definition is the 100% most useful and perfectly correct, etc. it does not follow that his critique of evolution is valid. See my previous post. He still, in using this definition of species, is not speaking in the same language as modern science and therefore he commits the fallacy of equivocation in his argument against evolution.
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2018, 02:23:59 PM »
What a load of old baffle-gab.

How about you provide us with some observed real-world examples of A and C not being able to reproduce.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species

Remember, though, that you are on the side of truth and intellectual honesty is optional.  Never, ever admit your opponents have answered any of your objections but move the goalposts, as far the opposite end zone and into the locker room if necessary.

 
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Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2018, 02:53:05 PM »

What is the support for this though:

Quote from: TomD
4) But a cause cannot give what it does not have to give, therefore it is impossible that parents give rise to offspring of a different species.

Granted, Fr. R might be equivocating on the meaning of "species" but there is still an argument to be made if there is some definition of "species" for which the following applies: there is more than one species alive today, all life descended from a single common ancestor (obviously only one species) as evolutionary theory has it, and parents cannot produce an offspring of a different species.

But clearly in the inanimate world chemical elements combine to produce different "species" - e.g. hydrogen has the potential to transform into water, mother isotopes have the potential to transform into daughters, etc.  What is the argument that this is not the case in the animal world?

 

Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2018, 03:02:28 PM »

What is the support for this though:

Quote from: TomD
4) But a cause cannot give what it does not have to give, therefore it is impossible that parents give rise to offspring of a different species.

Granted, Fr. R might be equivocating on the meaning of "species" but there is still an argument to be made if there is some definition of "species" for which the following applies: there is more than one species alive today, all life descended from a single common ancestor (obviously only one species) as evolutionary theory has it, and parents cannot produce an offspring of a different species.

But clearly in the inanimate world chemical elements combine to produce different "species" - e.g. hydrogen has the potential to transform into water, mother isotopes have the potential to transform into daughters, etc.  What is the argument that this is not the case in the animal world?

I am not Father Ripperger so I am not sure what line of reasoning he would take to support premise (4). Perhaps it too is false and his critique of evolution is problematic from that philosophical angle as well. I just wanted to bring up that Fr. is working with an outmoded understanding of species, one different from what modern biology uses.

And if he or his defenders insisted that his definition of species was workable in spite of it being largely outmoded, his critique of evolution still fails because it would still rest on an equivocation.

I also don't agree that he has an argument if there is some definition of species that "there is more than one species alive today, all life descended from a single common ancestor (obviously only one species) as evolutionary theory has it, and parents cannot produce an offspring of a different species." Even if there is some such definition of species, it would have to be one that renders (1) and (4) true. Now, he and his defenders might argue that (4) is true based on some specific Aristotilean understanding of "species." But this does not mean it is true on any understanding in which "there is more than one species alive today...etc."
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 03:05:38 PM by TomD »
 

Offline Habitual_Ritual

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2018, 08:16:40 AM »
What a load of old baffle-gab.

How about you provide us with some observed real-world examples of A and C not being able to reproduce.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species

Remember, though, that you are on the side of truth and intellectual honesty is optional.  Never, ever admit your opponents have answered any of your objections but move the goalposts, as far the opposite end zone and into the locker room if necessary.

Ring species as a notion, is pure supposition. What we are in fact dealing with are different kinds/species of similar animal. Nothing more. The fact that genetic material is shared is to be expected, but irrelevant. We,after all, share DNA with pumpkins and snails.  As this wiki link itself states:
Quote
Many examples have been documented in nature. Debate exists concerning much of the research, with some authors citing evidence against their existence entirely

Ring Species are not a thing
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 08:18:59 AM by Habitual_Ritual »
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

(Pope Benedict XVI speaking in October 2002.)
 

Offline Habitual_Ritual

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" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

(Pope Benedict XVI speaking in October 2002.)
 
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Offline TomD

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Re: Errors of Theistic Evolution ~ Fr Ripperger
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2018, 08:40:27 AM »
There are no ring species


https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/there-are-no-ring-species/

I realize you are not replying to my comment with this post, but I still want to point out that regardless of any of this, Father Ripperger's critique of evolution cannot even get off the ground because it rests on an equivocation.