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August 19, 2011

Comments

Daron,

>> "You said that your species-beget-other-species works for ring species as well"

quote me.

okay lets try again:

The premises in this (very bizarre) ancillary evolution issue were:

A: evolution is true
B: species exists.

Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?

Daron,

>> I don't think ToNy is arguing anything in particular.

I'm merely asking you how you know that the fertilization event marks the imaginary starting with delineates which constructs in the universe are human.

My goal is to get people to understand that this is not a matter of biology in the slightest.

But rather, it merely comes down to a conviction you have that, you have an innate ability to examine a construct of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, and determine if said construct is of the set of humans.

Moreover, you believe that anyone who examines the same material construct, and comes to a different conclusion, is simply delusional or evil.

This is the proper answer a prolifer ought to give to a woman who asks them where the starting line of "humans" lies.

She need only ask Daron.

>>do you think the species problem and the philosophy of biology is "absurd"


why is there a species problem?

Deedub,

>> "why is there a species problem?"

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_biology

It happens rarely enough to not be a point of issue in this context and will likely take thousands of years to become apparent and likely not be pinned down to a particular generation.

it is a red herring.

Let's just move on.

Trent,

>> "It happens rarely enough to not be a point of issue"

no, daron's saying it never happens at all

i'm looking forward to that one :)

It is still not relevant to the discussion whether it happens or not.

Human evolution does not happen so fast that a suddenly pregnant woman will never have to seriously wonder what species her child will be if brought to term, unless they are in a comic book.

ToNy,

I am aware of the so-called species problem and the Philosophy of Biology, but since these are constructs of something (not sure I can call them a human construct, now can I) I fail to see the significance of your posting the links in your previous post to me. After all, the issues you reference are merely a matter of opinion with no possible objectivity behind them, so what useful purpose do the links serve? Did you post the links as your justification for there being a issue? If not, then why post them?

Trent,

The original reason it was brought up was because you invoked a ruleset. That being.

If a parent is human, the offspring is human.

One instance this is not the case is when we consider evolution.

To negate your rule, I need only mention one circumstance in which it does not hold.

But aside from that, I ask you, where did this rule come from?

Is it the kind of knowledge that can be be unearthed via the scientific method. e.g. like the distance light travels in a second?

Or, is it a different kind of knowledge?

Perhaps one that is merely a matter of opinion?

Deebub

You said "why is there a species problem?"

so i posted a link to the species problem.

The issue in question is how would we determine which constructs in the universe are of the set of humans.

Do you agree with Louis? That this is not the sort of knowledge that can be revealed via the scientific method?

ToNy,

No, the issue in question is why did you post those links in response to my question. What value do those links hold in this discussion?

Deedub,

In the philosophy of biology, we ask questions like:

what is life
what is a species
when does life begin
when does life end

The Christian pro-lifer claims to know the answer to these 4 questions.

And knowing the answer to these 4 questions is pivotal to their stance on abortion.

I'm merely asking them to provide justification for their stance on these issues.

ToNy, are you sure that if I go back and read this thread, you will not have brought up the philosophy of biology before I ever got involved?

I dismiss it as being relevant, and say we move past this sophist game playing.

"Philosophy is dead.". "Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science." Stephen Hawking

Now let's move on.

Trent,

I've been bringing up the philosophy of biology for years.

For I think it is the answer to the abortion issue.

Try to answer my question above if you get a chance.

RonH, your questions are obviously leading to something where you think you'll make a point, so make it. I'm not inclined to put any limitations on "what" a particular truth claim is, the subject can be anything, and the predicate must be held to be and not be at the same time and in the same sense to be a contradiction. The law of non contradiction affirms that to hold that A and -A both be true is incoherent.

Like I said before, I think your choice is to agree or devolve into complete skepticism-which is at least a rational option if you deny that self attesting propositions exist. This wouldn't make you world view completely coherent, but it would be like the house on a foundation of shifting sand where valid argumentation sits atop assumed propositions. Even then the supposed valid argumentation is meaningless IF you really believed what you would hope to convince others of[if you deny as you suggested you do in preference to your owne self experience].

ToNy,

>>In the philosophy of biology, we ask questions like:

what is life
what is a species
when does life begin
when does life end

I am familiar with the many of the questions asked in the Philosophy of Biology. No need to list them here.


>>The Christian pro-lifer claims to know the answer to these 4 questions.

What are you trying to imply here? That no one other than the Christian pro-lifer claims to know the answer to these questions? You know that is not true! That all non-Christian pro-choicers have different beliefs than Christian pro-lifers in regard to the 4 questions you listed above? You know that is also not true! Help me out here. What is the point of posting a statement that reflects reality?


>>And knowing the answer to these 4 questions is pivotal to their stance on abortion. I'm merely asking them to provide justification for their stance on these issues.

What is your justification for the implication that Christian pro-lifers are not correct in their stance on abortion? That is the issue at hand here. If I am allowed to follow the same path that you did: You deem that Amy's question cannot be answered until the Christian pro-lifers answer the question on which constructs in the universe are of the set of humans. This apparently is based upon a belief that there is a species problem, so please justify the belief that there is a species problem using an objective proof.

Deedub,

The pro-life Christians are claiming that they know which material constructs in the universe are of the set of humans.

I am merely asking how they know what they claim to know.

So the burden to reveal this knowledge is theres.

Not mine.

ToNy,

>>The pro-life Christians are claiming that they know which material constructs in the universe are of the set of humans. I am merely asking how they know what they claim to know.


Then that is a disingenuous question since you know their answer to that question already. You just reject their answer, which is within your purview to do.

It still doesn't change the fact that you continue to avoid the questions asked of you, and that you continue to conveniently avoid any affirmation or justification of what you believe in - which as far as I can tell is nothing since you continue to deny taking a position on anything here.

Deedub,

>> "Then that is a disingenuous question since you know their answer to that question already"

well i do know Louis's answer.

Do you agree with him -- that the question:

"which material constructs in the cosmos are human?"

cannot be answered with science?

Which material constructs in the cosmos are human?

All material construncts that are not non-human. When you can answer that, you will have answered your question. There are too many items on that list to put in a blog post.This should be able to be done scientifically with almost 100% certainty, and with the uncertain constructs I will err on being human.

Now can we move on?

Brad,

Let's not rush. Remember, I started with an incorrect guess about what you meant.

We were talking about "A" and "non A".

You told me

"A" = a proposition, a truth statement.

By "non A", do you mean any proposition that is...

false whenever and in any sense that A is true and
true whenever and in any sense that A is false?

Is that what you mean by "non A"?

RonH

So I'm back.

Daron, >> I don't think ToNy is arguing anything in particular.<< ToNy: I'm merely asking you how you know that the fertilization event marks the imaginary starting with delineates which constructs in the universe are human.
I never said I knew that. All I know is the human parents have human offspring. On the other hand, I know of no other event that marks the creation of this additional member of the species. And I do have the testimony of biologists who, contra abortionists, tell us that from fertilization on the being in question is biologically human and nothing else. So I guess that will do.


My goal is to get people to understand that this is not a matter of biology in the slightest.
Your stated goal, which I doubt has anything to do with your goal, demands a false premise.

"But rather, it merely comes down to a conviction you have that, you have an innate ability to examine a construct of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, and determine if said construct is of the set of humans.

Not so. We all (not just I) have the ability to identify the human being and it just might be learned for all I know. I never said it was innate.
Moreover, you believe that anyone who examines the same material construct, and comes to a different conclusion, is simply delusional or evil.

You said this before and were corrected. Now you are lying.
On top of all your other dishonesties I guess it doesn't matter, though.
----

You seem pretty exited to be agreeing with Trent here:

It happens rarely enough to not be a point of issue in this context and will likely take thousands of years to become apparent and likely not be pinned down to a particular generation.

Are you still agreeing?
I'll skip a few rounds of your obfuscation and say that you are.
If so, your case is destroyed again because if the so-called speciation event cannot be pinned down to a particular generation then it cannot be known that it happened at any one generation, and therefore, your claim that parents can give birth to offspring of a different species is false.

cue attempt at plausible deniability ....


So I see you have decided not to bring forward your own quote.
Here it is .... as well you know:


Daron:
Even if "evolution is true" this only holds [giving birth to another species] if something like Goldschmidt's rejected theory is correct. Otherwise, refer to ring species.
Posted by: Daron | August 21, 2011 at 08:32 PM

ToNy:
Daron,
nope
true eitherway
Posted by: ToNy | August 21, 2011 at 09:04 PM


Daron:
Tony,
Nope.
Posted by: Daron | August 21, 2011 at 09:23 PM


It holds in either case, you say, that of the Hopeful Monster or in the case of the ring species. Of course having spent the afternoon preparing to defend you error you will say you were not commenting on ring species per se, but on evolutionary theory vs Goldschmidt. But other than hopeful monsters your choice is gradualism, which is exemplified by ring species as the best example, so you were commenting that it is still true that a species gives birth to another species. And this is not so.

One instance this is not the case is when we consider evolution. To negate your rule, I need only mention one circumstance in which it does not hold.
First you have to solve the species problem behind which you hide. Then you have to show that humans give birth to non-human species, as that is the question you were asked.

I know you are eager, so please don't delay.

So let's test this "every species gives birth to other species" rule.
What non-circket species did the cricket birth in the last 100 million years while it was (not)evolving?
Or what non-jellyfish species was birthed in the past 100 million years of jellyfish(non)evolution?
Or the 200 million years for the eel, which is still an eel?
360 million years for lamprey still reproducing as lamprey.
500 million years of stasis for the hemichordate.
400 for the scorpion.
450 of nautilus reproducing nautilus.
Pelicans are 30 million years old and still hatch pelicans.
Wasps for the past 34 million years.
300 million years for the hagfish
445 million years for the horseshoe crab.

etc. etc. etc.
The list is incredible, with this little iceberg tip just being the start.

So every rule only needs one example to break it, right? As far as we can tell, then, it is not true that, given the truth of evolution, every species necessarily gives birth to a different species.

It was entertaining to flip through the last few pages. I especially liked the part where ToNy asked Trent how he could tell whether Trent's mother was a human or not.

What kind of thinking leads one to wonder whether the mother of a human being is a human being?

I sure hope that kind of thinking is not what skeptics refer to as the precious 'Reason' in which they trust.

Hi Jesse, even non skeptics can ask that question, sensation being unreliable in yeilding truth, and wanting justification in the epistemological sense. In other words, it's not unreasonable to wonder or ask if what seems obvious is actually the truth.

ToNy may be a mischief making pot stirrer, and I think he's admittedly skeptical, but he's not lacking in intelligence.

I think I agree with him in that we[mankind] would not know of our significance without God's revelation. Natural revelation cannot be trusted as it can be and usually is suppressed by men although it resonates in most humans that other humans are of value above the rest of creation.

As far as whether science can tell us precisely what is, and when does, a human come into existence, then also what separates human from similar "constructs", the limitations of sensation aren't so unreliable as to deny us the reasonable proof needed to answer the question satisfactorily and consistently enough to be reasonably expected to be true always. This I think ToNy knows, he just wants Christians to stop asking science to do what only supernatural revelation can do.

Hi RonH, I hope to be more clear. By non A, it is to describe any differential of A's truth claim. It can be a diametrically opposite claim, or a more subtle variance.

Brad,

>> "[ToNy] just wants Christians to stop asking science to do what only supernatural revelation can do."

WOW!!!!

That last sentence sums it up in a nutshell.

I think you're only the second person in 6 years to understand the ramifications of the philosophy of biology on this issue.

Jesse,

>> "What kind of thinking leads one to wonder whether the mother of a human being is a human being?"

if evolution is true, this is not always the case.

Trent,

>> "This should be able to be done scientifically with almost 100% certainty"

Then it should be easy for you to devise a method by which you can accomplish this.

Please print it here.

I think Louis is thinking the same thing, he just didn't come out and say it as plainly, but seriously alluded to it with the talk of materialism's inability to provide a material evidence for proof of information.

Daron,

Wait, so the reason why you feel justified in claiming that:

"one species never gives birth to another species"

is because:

"if the so-called speciation event cannot be pinned down to a particular generation then it cannot be known that it happened at any one generation, and therefore, your claim that parents can give birth to offspring of a different species is false."

That's your argument ? ? ? ?

:)

So, complete this sentence:

The mother of the world's first pelican, was of the species ____.

ToNy, read what I wrote. Simply typing words and trying to annoy people into giving up talking to you does not make a refutation.

I still haven't heard how your answer on how your past posts in this thread are not inherently racist.

It is still not relevant to the actual original posting, despite your claim that it is key unless you are making the claim that identical twins can be of different species from each other, which you have done nothing to show.

Trent,

Read what I wrote.

You said:

>> "This should be able to be done scientifically with almost 100% certainty"

So i'd like you to engage in the exercise of determining by what process this could be accomplished. Try to think of the motions one engages in when they practice taxonomy.

If you have a machine that can reveal ("with science" as you say) when a construct of matter is of the set of humans, then paste the blueprints here.

For, at that point, all we need do is place a zygote in your machine, and see what the reading is. And, Trent will have solved the abortion issue.

>> "I still haven't heard how your answer on how your past posts in this thread are not inherently racist."

A racist is someone who believes that one race is superior to another. I have made no claim as to the superiority (or inferiority) of any given organism whatsoever.

What is the correct name for the position that certain groups can be denied human rights because they can't adequately prove they are human, and that they must prove that they are material constructs that deserve to be treated with any value, on the basis that they may vary too much from an arbitrary standard?

Since your arguments really, as I have repeatedly stated, have no relevance to the question at hand, the only purpose that I can see is to advance a framework which would allow for discrimination, slavery, and genocide. Why? Because you are being quite clear that we cannot define what is human and what is not. It is being made quite clear that unless it is defined quite well, there is no justification to giving certain material constructs and more respect than other material constructs. Ie This minority has no more right to respect than the dirt I just swept off the floor. They are only material that cannot be adequately proven to be on the subset that can be considered human.

Trent,

"What is the correct name for the position that certain groups can be denied human rights because they can't adequately prove they are human..."

There are many constructs which Trent denies 'human rights.'

Ovums, for example.

If you were to publish your favored criteria by which I may distinguish which material constructs in the cosmos are human, then you can save me from committing the above-noted atrocities.

Please publish it here:

Hi Daron

Since you had a question about this statement, let me try to be a bit more clear.

"I think that there is biological evidence that points to affirmation of humanity, but it is likely that it is Greg's position that has often been stated that points to the fact that the answer is not to be found in materialism. "

The thing that I refer to here is the issue of where the final nail is driven in terms of evidence for humanity on a purely intellectual level. It refers to the point made regarding the nature of information carried on our DNA. The information, as I previously stated and you agreed with, is not itself material, but is a product of a mind and an agent, if you will. This, I think, is the most sturdy evidence for the unborn being a human being worthy of our protection at the point of conception. Even scriptures state that we are created in God's image and that we do not know exactly how we are like him, but we are. I think that in some ways we have greater access to the examination of our physical selves than we do to our spiritual selves and that might account for the statement that we do not know in what way exactly we are in God's likeness. Of course the other part is our limited knowledge of God.
I agree with you on your point that when you see a human being, you recognize that as a human being without having to give it all that much thought. The saying "It takes one to know one." comes to mind. I also agree with you that ToNy has shown a hostility toward Christianity to some level and that his interests in pursuit of truth are suspect. That being said, it is quite clear that with all his human foibles, ToNy is in possession of a fine analytical mind, even if it has been terribly misguided and, I think, put to bad use.
At any rate, even if I concede that there is some truth in what ToNy says, it doesn't take away from the fact that what we are left with confirms that the unborn is a human being at the point of conception. When we consider the immaterial/material nature of a human being and weigh the importance of each to defining humanity, I think it is the immaterial that weighs in heavier. For example: Take away an arm and it remains a human being. Take away the soul and it is just a shell/corpse that used to be a human being.

Again, mere sophistry to show his position that it can't be done, thereby pushing the position that systematic rights denial is merely a matter of personal prefered definition forward while trying to claim he has not.

Since it is not even relevant to the question, in any practical sense, it has nothing to say about fetal reduction except to continually attempt to pull people off topic.

It is almost as if he wants the rest of us to avoid the conversation and focus on this illustration of how to be an effective troll. I find any thought of the practical implications of the view disturbing and a bit disgusting.

Louis,

>> "ToNy has shown a hostility toward Christianity to some level"

it probably comes off that way in debate. I try to be nice but, honestly in my opinion, people here dish out WAY more to me than I ever dish back. (Have you seen how many times daron has insulted me in the last 4 pages? It's rather bizarre - he seems like a very angry man...)

anyway, as i've stated repeatedly on this blog, for as unimpressed as I am over Christian doctrine, I am doubly unimpressed by atheist doctrine. so i think i'm pretty fair.

>> "when you see a human being, you recognize that as a human being"

the problem is, this isn't the case.

First, if you put a zygote into the hand of someone on the street, they'll freak out and wipe their hand on a napkin. There tends to be some belief displayed here that people have an innate ability to recognize humans with their eyes. But in the grand continuum of human development, this is far from the case. At first glance, they just look like blobs of goo.

Second, even trained Christian prolifers do not treat zygotes like full-fledged human beings--as revealed in the burning IVF lab thought experiment -- or as evidenced by the willingness of Christians to leave their children in cryonic suspension for decades.

Third, most prolife folks here are simply not aware of the underlying presuppositions which they have been taught in high school biology. They have a very romantic notion of scientific classification and seem to believe I am "arguing for the sake of arguing." This is understandable because, until recently, in many ways, there hasn't been a great need to "dig deeper" into the underlying reasons as to why they believe what they believe. The definition of what a human is is a horrendously complex subject--that taps on many different academic disciplines. Folks tend to think they can just "ask a biologist". But biologist scrutinize over taxonomic ranking constantly. As Jeffrey Shwarts noted:

"although many students of human evolution have lately begun to look favorably on the view that these distinctive hominids merit species recognition in their own right as Homo neanderthalensis, at least as many still regard them as no more than a strange variant of our own species"

* neanderthals in human evolution - Ian Tattersall, Jeffrey H. Schwartz ,Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

In this whole thread, the only justification anyone has given hence far for the utilization of their preferred taxonomic ruleset, is various platitudes like "its just common sense" and "it takes one to know one".

For most of the secular city, frankly that's all you need. (In my experience, Pro-choicers are MUCH worse at philosophy than pro-lifers.) But my aim is that I can reveal a major flaw that permeates throughout the prolife/prochoice debate. And, try to convey the message that, without a divine communique, any taxonomic ruleset that one would bother to scribe, is, ultimately, necessarily subjective.

Trent,

Try to answer my question posed to you if you get a chance.

Some questions simply do not deserve an answer - Richard Dawkins

Says wrong-again ToNy to Trent,

For, at that point, all we need do is place a zygote in your machine, and see what the reading is. And, Trent will have solved the abortion issue.
But, Shirley, you jest.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/sep/08091204
Knowing that the zygote is human, which we do, does not solve the problem. even knowing that it is murder is no solution.

Trent, you are 100% correct in my opinion when you say:

It is almost as if he wants the rest of us to avoid the conversation and focus on this illustration of how to be an effective troll.

ToNy says:

I try to be nice but, honestly in my opinion, people here dish out WAY more to me than I ever dish back. (Have you seen how many times daron has insulted me in the last 4 pages? It's rather bizarre - he seems like a very angry man...)
No you don't, ToNy. There are far worse insults than being called a liar when you lie, and a troll when you troll. Your "debate" is an insult to reason and you are insulting to people (purposely so, I have to surmise) when you mock discourse and when you ignore logic.

To wit:

Daron,
Wait, so the reason why you feel justified in claiming that:
"one species never gives birth to another species"
is because:
"if the so-called speciation event cannot be pinned down to a particular generation then it cannot be known that it happened at any one generation, and therefore, your claim that parents can give birth to offspring of a different species is false."
That's your argument ? ? ? ?
:)
So, complete this sentence:
The mother of the world's first pelican, was of the species ____.

! :) No, ? ToNy, that is not my argument. &
You don't ;) think it is either, do you, because you ignored the argument,
???

The argument is that no mating pair of the human species gives birth to a member of a different species - which was one of your many nonsensical defences. You said they can/might and do. You guaranteed its necessity because you believe in evolution.
But it doesn't happen, has never happened and never will happen. So be nice. Use your criteria, show me that I am wrong, defeat my argument with one example.
To further defeat your claim I show that evolution does not make this necessarily so because there are countless examples where evolution has not even altered a species, in tens to hundreds of millions of years of genomic adjustments, to the point that we can't tell that the offspring are of the same species. I give you not one defeating example but many where evolution is not evidenced to have done what you claim it does necessarily.

But you can't defeat my argument because neither the logic nor the evidence is on your side. But worse you don't even have the tools or the language to do so because you have no way of knowing what a species is, for there is a species problem. Not knowing, nobody can meet your so-called challenge with respect to humans, but, as it turns out, you have no challenge because you've denied yourself the vocabulary, having noted that there are problems within the philosophy of biology.
You argue , and I use the word loosely, that the matter is not one of biology. And how do you do this? By showing us how weak and mute is biology on matters of this depth. So what? Those who accept that science has something to say (as you most assuredly do when it doesn't suit this waste of your precious seconds) accept that it can affirm certain things. One of those would be whether or not a lump of tissue is part of a woman's body or whether or not it is a separate organism. Another would be whether it is a human offspring or a worm.

Prove it! You'll say.
No.
You have eliminated the tools and the epistemology. And, as I said before, so what? As I asked before, in this debate, what good are you? You aren't any. Anybody can twirl in the sun and pretend we can't know anything, but nobody lives like that. Any five year old can string "why" questions together until there is no further answer, but that doesn't negate the answers he got along the way.

Since you are such a fan of philosophy you ought to do some work on the philosophy of knowledge. See, we can have knowledge of things (like this construct is a human being) even if we can't provide a proof acceptable to the most arm-foldy skeptic. In fact, we have true knowledge of these things even if we can't prove it to ourselves and don't know how it is that we know these things.
And when we do know these things we can appeal to others who know them as well.

As I pointed out very clearly to you on the last thread, DNA and biology are not THE arguments. People have recognized other people since the dawn, and they have known their offspring were other people, and they have wrestled with the idea of killing them, whether post or prenatal.
The DNA and biology arguments are in place to defend, not assault, when, to justify their choices (instead of facing them as in the above link) people make appeals that can be answered with those tools.

Oh yes, and of what species was the mother of the first pelican? Without Hopeful Monsters, and sticking within evolution you've asked a nonsense question - unless you ignore evidence. There can be no pelican before the first pelican (way to stack the deck) but you have no example of a pelican being born of another creature, so you can't know that it ever happened. Welcome to your world where epistemology drives ontology. Since you don't know how to recognize a pelican or a non-pelican, though, it is of no import.

Thanks Louis,
I agree 100% with your comment.
I'm not quite sure what the solution is, though, or whether you think there is one. In fact, I don't think there is one at the human level.
Without a worldview change and without having their eyes opened by God, people will not even listen to the fact that we are created in God's image. They won't even accept that a human being, as God's image-bearer, has intrinsic worth.

So what do we do?
We still must speak the truth. Obviously, the ultimate truth is as you have said.
But I think the truth that a DNA analysis will reveal that the being in question is a separate human being from the mother is a truth worth stating - just as it is worth telling a person the truth that their "fetus" has its own heart beat, or feels pain, or has fingernails.
Sometimes these truths are enough to persuade.
More often than not they are insufficient. When fallen man wants to serve himself he will find any excuse.
But the knowledge of God as seen in His creation is sufficient to remove their excuses (and condemn them). But they have to be able to see the creation.
In the same way these physical arguments remove excuses. That doesn't mean they will not be denied, or replaced with other excuses, or finally swept away by the pro-abortionist who says "you're right, science shows it is a human being, and I choose to murder her".

So what do we do? Speak truths that will not necessarily have the necessary effect? Or speak only the Truth and preach the Gospel?
I see value, certainly, in the latter.
But we are still called to be in this world and, fallen and fallible as we are, I think it is still incumbent upon us protest when falsehoods are being advanced.

Thoughts?

First, if you put a zygote into the hand of someone on the street, they'll freak out and wipe their hand on a napkin
They don't have the tools or the information. Give them the tools and information and they will agree it is a human being.
The definition of what a human is is a horrendously complex subject--that taps on many different academic disciplines. Folks tend to think they can just "ask a biologist".
Digging into presuppositions is great. It is, in fact, crucial to thorough thinking. One presupposition is the idea that defintions determine anything. They have nothing to say about the ontological element, but are merely trying to tell you what a word means. But even as they fall short there, words are not the things they describe. So the presupposition that casting doubt on definitions casts doubt on reality or knowledge has to be examined and found false. Playing with words does not effect truth.

And, once again, the argument is not "just ask a biologist". It is "you can even ask a biologist and even he will agree".

And, try to convey the message that, without a divine communique, any taxonomic ruleset that one would bother to scribe, is, ultimately, necessarily subjective.
This is, quite frankly and nicely put, silly. You act as though we begin with a human scribbling, a series of intersecting circles (or a hastily scratched tree) and say "oh look! the infant offspring of two beings in the "human" category also lies within that set. It must be a human!" This post-modern deconstructionism gets us nowhere. There simply is no question that human parents give birth to human babies. You are not trying to make people see, you are trying to blind them.

As Trent has said many times, your questions aren't even questions. As I say, they are jokes.
Philosophy is nothing if not a search for the truth, and games have to end and yield to truth at some point, no matter how fun the exercise was in passing.
And again, if you can't even tell that your mother is a human you are worse than useless in a debate with humans.
Nobody is questioning this. And when appeals to biology are made it is because someone has pretended, and blinded others to believe, that there is some intrinsic and relevant biological difference between humans and embryos that justifies their destruction - like a foreign invading parasite. And when appeals to DNA are made it because the same blinders have claimed that the embryo is no more than a growth or tumor to be removed at the mother's desire.

It pays to pay attention if you want to pretend to be nice or even polite.

Daron,

I'm confused as to why this ancillary issue is so hard for you?

The premises were:

A: evolution is true
B: species exists.

In this paradigm, suppose you have in your hand the mother of the world's first pelican.

Suppose further that you are asked what species it is.

What is your answer?

Is your answer that the world's first pelican was placed on this planet by God. And you do not feel that this event is in violation of premise A?

(To anyone reading this, do you know what he's getting at? I re-read his comments and they are completely incomprehensible to me. "There can be no pelican before the first pelican" <- what? Is that an answer to the question? There can be no car before the first car. ok... profound... But, the question was about how the first pelican got there given the above premises.)

If you don't answer soon Daron i'm just gonna assume you're trollin away.

Trent,

Try to answer my question posed to you if you get a chance.

ToNy

"First, if you put a zygote into the hand of someone on the street, they'll freak out and wipe their hand on a napkin."

Unless they knew the source of it, in which case they will freak out for a different reason. Knowing the source is part of "It takes one to know one." Though I suspect that you prefer a more simplistic characterization of that statement when applied to your debate opponents. When I speak of seeing in that statement, it is in a more general sense of perception than with one's eyes. It is quite likely that others view that the same way.

"Second, even trained Christian prolifers do not treat zygotes like full-fledged human beings--as revealed in the burning IVF lab thought experiment -- or as evidenced by the willingness of Christians to leave their children in cryonic suspension for decades."

Granted that there is a kind of emotional component working here, but on an intellectual level I think that there is a clear acknowledgment of the humanity of those mentioned above and there is certainly not a denial of it.

"In this whole thread, the only justification anyone has given hence far for the utilization of their preferred taxonomic ruleset, is various platitudes like "its just common sense" and "it takes one to know one"."

Clearly even at early stages of development, there is a clear human DNA signature that along with the identification of the parents identify the individual as being excluded from any other species. Both of these pieces of evidence are verifiable. It is unlikely that a cow is going to perform a paternity test in order to determine this on its own kind, but then, when it comes to human beings, it takes one to know one. At a later stage of development we can verify that our early assessment was correct, by the fact that the child is capable of distinguishing moral categories in knowing right from wrong, further confirming humanity. So, we have material and immaterial working hand in hand to inform us of what is in fact a human being. To exclude one or the other is discarding a holistic approach to identification of what it means to be human.

Looks like my pasting of the link may be another fail. Here is that link to the defender of murder.

In this paradigm, suppose you have in your hand the mother of the world's first pelican.

Suppose further that you are asked what species it is.

What is your answer?

In this paradigm this is an impossible scenario. I am confused why this is so difficult for you.

Is your answer that the world's first pelican was placed on this planet by God. And you do not feel that this event is in violation of premise A?
I was going to say "absolutely". But then I realized we have to get to the presuppositions in your though experiment. Evolution does not say anything about first life. And it doesn't say anything about God. We have to define evolution now. Is it not merely change over time? Yes, I say it is. So calling it that says nothing about whether or not I've violated premise A, does it?

See how easy it is to be "nice"?

If you don't answer soon Daron i'm just gonna assume you're trollin away.
Ow. Zing. you sure are an insulty insulterton. Why the anger?

Of course it makes sense to say before the first pelican there was no prior pelican. You are begging the question by asking me what birthed the first carbon, nitrogen blah blah construct that human taxonomies would arbitrarily include under the heading "pelican". Our artificial, woefully limited categories would easily allow in as "pelican" that which birthed the construct you are calling "pelican".

ToNy, the question has been answered. You just don't like my position.

Your tactic is an evasion of the question at hand at best. It is an attempt to make a justification for human rights abuses at worst.

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