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Biological evolution and Traditionalism

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 04:50:49 AM
How are you sure that this "Absolute" exists? Is it not a mere tautology?

The Absolute is the most self-evident thing in the world because everything that exists, including our own being testifies to it.  Reality is absolute by definition, however the implications of this escape nearly everyone.

“The idea that the Supreme Principle is both Absolute Reality and, for that reason, Infinite Possibility, can suffice unto itself, for it contains everything...”
Frithjof Schuon

“In metaphysics, it is necessary to start from the idea that the Supreme Reality is absolute, and that being absolute it is infinite.  That is absolute which allows of no augmentation or diminuation, or of no repetition or division; it is therefore that which is at once solely itself and totally itself.  That is infinite which is not determined by any limiting factor and therefore does not end at any boundary; it is in the first place Potentialty or Possibility as such, and ipso facto the Possibility of things, hence Virtuality.  Without All-Possibility, there would be neither Creator nor Creation...”
from Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism

“If it were necessary or useful to prove the Absolute, the objective and trans-personal character of the human Intellect would be a sufficient testimony, for this Intellect is the indisputable sign of a purely spiritual first Cause, a Unity infinitely central but containing all things, an Essence at once immanent and transcendent. It has been said more than once that total Truth is inscribed in an eternal script in the very substance of our spirit; what the different Revelations do is to “crystallize” and “actualize”, in different degrees according to the case, a nucleus of certitudes that not only abides forever in the divine Omniscience, but also sleeps by refraction in the “naturally supernatural” kernel of the individual, as well as in that of each ethnic or historical collectivity or the human species as a whole.”
from Light on the Ancient Worlds

How would you call the rival theory of the theory of evolution? Intelligent design is not exclusive of fundamentalist Christians.

There is no question here of rival theories, there is a question of truth and falsehood.  That forms are crystallisations of metaphysical principles can be deduced from intellectual intuition and traditional accounts which are based on divine inspiration.  Evolutionary theory is a recent assertion and therefore, especially considering the enormity of its assertions has the responsibility, if it is to be accepted, of disproving every traditional account of man's origins, which brings me to this...

The theory of evolution is not an universal induction (no theory is), but by far, is the best theory about diversity, specially because intelligent design fails to falsify their hypothesis. The strength of intelligent design cannot be found on itself through the observation of natural events, but is there the fill the relatively few gaps of evolutionary theory.

Why is it that proponents of intelligent design (once again I stress that this is not the position of the traditionalist school as such), are required to falsify a hypothesis but that evolutionists have no obligation to do the same, this is typical modernist reasoning.  

To clarify, the term intelligent design only applies to the traditionalist position if it is understood to mean that forms are crystallisations of universal intelligence.  There is no question here of the anthropomorphic Creator literally designing things, although most traditionalists would say the the true content of this mythology is enough to outweigh its errors under certain circumstances.


I find this unnecessarily complicated. Is there any way that someone could prove that the Absolute wasn't for the material formation and evolution of life?  Life originated and evolved from matter, the rival theory intelligent design or "the theory of emanation" is there to battle against the gaps of "evolutionary records" and stuff like that. Is simple: there's diversity, and evolutionary theory is far better than intelligent design explaining it.

This point of view is why the evolutionist hypothesis came into being, that is to say a total ignorance on non-physical reality, or the impression that reality consists entirely of sensible things.  Let me stress that the 'rival' theory as you call it was not created to disprove evolutionary theory but is an offshoot of the traditional understanding of the origins of life.  There are gaps in evolutionary theory because it is not true, there are no real gaps in the emanationist conception.  The reason for the diversity of life is the Infinite, which contains by its very nature the necessity of indefinite diversity and manifestation.  It is relatively easy to explain the existence of a particular creature or form in terms of its metaphysical symbolism, but this will never be enough to convince someone who is entrenched in the materialist mindset.  

“The form of a peripheral being, whether it be animal, vegetable or mineral, reveals all that that being knows, and is, as it were, itself identified with this knowledge; it can be said, therefore, that the form of such a being gives a true indication of its contemplative state...humanly speaking it would be absurd to say that gold is more intelligent than copper or that lead has little intelligence, but metaphysically there is nothing ridiculous in such an assertion: gold represents a solar state of knowledge, and it is this, moreover, which permits of its association with spiritual influences and its being thus invested with an eminently sacred character.  

In the case of man, intelligence is inward and existence outward...one might also say that man is normally, by primordial definition, pure knowledge and the mineral pure existence: the diamond, which stands at the summit of the mineral realm, integrates intelligence as such in its existence or manifestation, therefore passively and unconsciously, whence its hardness, transparency and luminosity; the spiritually great man, who stands at the summit of the human species, integrates the whole of existence in his knowledge, therefore in an active and conscious manner, whence his universality.”
from The Transcendent Unity of Religions

that passage helps to explain the following one...

“Animals that reflect the quality of goodness are static and peaceful: the Indian ox, with its uneven back and its horns forming a semicircle, calls to mind snowy ridges above which rises the solar disc; the beauty of its eyes adds a sort of contemplative sweetness to this picture.  The sheep, the dove, and the swan are quasi-paradisaical because of their innocent and peaceful nature; the white color adds a quality of celestial purity.

The bison and camel incarnate the mountain but more especially its “earthly” aspect: the bison its massive, fearsome, hostile aspect, and the camel its patient, contemplative, priestly aspect.  The bear also manifests an aspect of “earth” in its heaviness and unpredictability.

Animals having a dynamic symbolism incarnate a celestial aspect that is awe-inspiring but also at a lower level a passional aspect: the tiger is cosmic fire in all its rage and splendor; like fire it is terrible and pure.  The lion is solar: the passional aspect is here neutralised by a kind of royal serenity; like the eagle – which in its own order manifests the principle of lightning – the lion in its own fashion expresses the force of the spirit.

The lowest animal species, those that repel us, manifest most directly the quality of ignorance; they are repugnant to us bceause they are like “living or conscious matter” whereas the law of matter is precisely unconsciousness.  Monkeys shock us for the opposite reason, that is, because they are like men who have been deprived of the central consciousness that characterises mankind; they are not “conscious matter” but consciousness decentralized, dissipated.  On the other hand there exist higher animals that possess an inferior “spiritual” form, and conversely: man does not like either swine or hyenas but feels no antipathy towards such insects as bees, butterflies, or ladybirds.”
from Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts

So you see it is not difficult to explain the diversity of life and indeed all phenomena with recourse to metaphysics and traditional symbolism.  The reason why such explanations will not be accepted is because people only want an explanation which does not involve supra-sensible reality as this categorically denied by modern thought.

It is not dogmatic as a long as it doesn't become a religion itself, as long as it is open to criticism. A lot of traditionalists embrace Schuon, Guenon and Coomaraswamy as part of their clubhouse, and embrace anti-evolutionism even when the arguments exposed by them against evolutionary theory are not very good.

The first sentence here should then be applied to both arguments, too often this is not the case.  As for the accusations of a clubhouse mentality, it's not really relevant to the discussion, which should be about what is true rather than who said what.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 07:41:33 AM
The Absolute is the most self-evident thing in the world because everything that exists, including our own being testifies to it.  Reality is absolute by definition, however the implications of this escape nearly everyone.

“The idea that the Supreme Principle is both Absolute Reality and, for that reason, Infinite Possibility, can suffice unto itself, for it contains everything...”
Frithjof Schuon

“In metaphysics, it is necessary to start from the idea that the Supreme Reality is absolute, and that being absolute it is infinite.  That is absolute which allows of no augmentation or diminuation, or of no repetition or division; it is therefore that which is at once solely itself and totally itself.  That is infinite which is not determined by any limiting factor and therefore does not end at any boundary; it is in the first place Potentialty or Possibility as such, and ipso facto the Possibility of things, hence Virtuality.  Without All-Possibility, there would be neither Creator nor Creation...”
from Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism
I'll bite.

Quote
“If it were necessary or useful to prove the Absolute, the objective and trans-personal character of the human Intellect would be a sufficient testimony, for this Intellect is the indisputable sign of a purely spiritual first Cause, a Unity infinitely central but containing all things, an Essence at once immanent and transcendent. It has been said more than once that total Truth is inscribed in an eternal script in the very substance of our spirit; what the different Revelations do is to “crystallize” and “actualize”, in different degrees according to the case, a nucleus of certitudes that not only abides forever in the divine Omniscience, but also sleeps by refraction in the “naturally supernatural” kernel of the individual, as well as in that of each ethnic or historical collectivity or the human species as a whole.”
from Light on the Ancient Worlds
This is utter crap, however.

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There is no question here of rival theories, there is a question of truth and falsehood.  That forms are crystallisations of metaphysical principles can be deduced from intellectual intuition and traditional accounts which are based on divine inspiration.  Evolutionary theory is a recent assertion and therefore, especially considering the enormity of its assertions has the responsibility, if it is to be accepted, of disproving every traditional account of man's origins, which brings me to this...
With this understanding, can't you simply propose that evolution is the "how" in regards to the crystallization of living forms?

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Why is it that proponents of intelligent design (once again I stress that this is not the position of the traditionalist school as such), are required to falsify a hypothesis but that evolutionists have no obligation to do the same, this is typical modernist reasoning.
This is simply a case of pure ignorance.  Proponents of evolution are continuously engaging in the attempts to falsify the theory.  Every experiment performed or discovery made in relation to the theory is a possible means of falsifying it.  You clearly lack a proper understanding of the scientific method.  

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There are gaps in evolutionary theory because it is not true, there are no real gaps in the emanationist conception.  The reason for the diversity of life is the Infinite, which contains by its very nature the necessity of indefinite diversity and manifestation.
Gaps in a theory do not equate to falsehood, and if you think there are no gaps in the emanationist conception, you are simply mistaken.  Any human concept will necessarily be imperfect.  Even if you were to presuppose that a certain concept was given to man by an infallible, supreme being, man would easily pervert and distort such an idea, not to mention lack the language necessary to convey a perfect concept.

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It is relatively easy to explain the existence of a particular creature or form in terms of its metaphysical symbolism, but this will never be enough to convince someone who is entrenched in the materialist mindset.
OK.  Explain to me exactly how dogs (arbitrarily chosen) came into being.  Your explanation may not leave any gaps, and must account for all observable phenomenon.  Go!

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 09:19:10 AM

Most birds possess pneumatic bones.

You're right, pneumatic bones are an avian feature of the Archaeopteryx.

Quote from: Dewar
I deem the skull typically avian and I believe that this opinion is shared by the vast majority of evolutionists who have gone into the matter. "The skull," writes Sir A. Smith Woodward (Zittel's "Textbook of Palaeontology," Vol. 2, p. 436), "is shaped like that of a typical bird, its constituent elements being fused together and its quadrate free."


The brain is not the same, the cerebelum lies behind the mid-brain, in a stage between dinosaurs and birds . The nasal opening of the Archaeopteryx is far forward, separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra, unlike birds where the hole is much smaller.


Quote from: Dewar
"The vertebrae on the long tail are not fused." In fact they are not completely fused. A long-tail is not a character of reptiles. Some pterodactyls, in the words of Seeley, "had tails so short as to be inappreciable." These last two features, teeth and number of vertebrae in the tail, may vary in closely-allied forms. Some whales have teeth, others lack them. Some monkey are tailless, others have very long prehensile tails.


Yes, there're no fused vertebrae and no pygostyle, unlike birds that end up in pygostyle which is a fussed ossification. Birds have no teeth, not some of them, I can't see the relevance of the second part.

Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution

The arguments in this text are based on modernism and straw men. For example, explaining the last so-called misconception, the author does not differentiate between absolute certainty and an explanation which is deduced from observation and based on a hypothesis which in turn is supposed to replace a traditional theory. However, this is what people mean when they, albeit inaccurately, call it "just a theory".

The theory of evolution is not an universal induction (no theory is), but by far, is the best theory about diversity, specially because intelligent design fails to falsify their hypothesis. The strength of intelligent design cannot be found on itself through the observation of natural events, but is there the fill the relatively few gaps of evolutionary theory.

******

Talk origins is a great site to know the basics of evolution. I take a lot of stuff from there, as the Archaeopteryx stuff. I'd love similar site's suggestions or books (no Dawkins please, unless it is strictly biology)
I like this guy's work: http://www.youtube.com/user/AronRa
This user covers any ground not examined by the aforementioned youtuber: http://www.youtube.com/user/DonExodus2
Sean Carroll has released quite a few excellent books: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Fittest-Ultimate-Forensic-Evolution/dp/0393330516/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289409356&sr=8-1
If you're ready for more technical material, give this a read: http://www.amazon.com/Earths-Biosphere-Evolution-Dynamics-Change/dp/0262692988/ref=pd_sim_b_7

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 11:22:14 AM

There is no question here of rival theories, there is a question of truth and falsehood.  That forms are crystallisations of metaphysical principles can be deduced from intellectual intuition and traditional accounts which are based on divine inspiration.  Evolutionary theory is a recent assertion and therefore, especially considering the enormity of its assertions has the responsibility, if it is to be accepted, of disproving every traditional account of man's origins, which brings me to this...

Pure falsehood or truth? Is not that pretty ambitious? A theory is a framework of observation and explanation of a phenomena within reality, in this case life's diversity. Darwinism is a framework, but is theory of emanation just pure truth?

Again, how could I not deduce that the Absolute organized life and consciousness from inert matter?  That's what my intellectual intuition tells me.


Why is it that proponents of intelligent design (once again I stress that this is not the position of the traditionalist school as such), are required to falsify a hypothesis but that evolutionists have no obligation to do the same, this is typical modernist reasoning.  


Evolutionists do it, every day, through taxonomy, genetics, pharmacobiology, evolutionary psychology...




So you see it is not difficult to explain the diversity of life and indeed all phenomena with recourse to metaphysics and traditional symbolism.  The reason why such explanations will not be accepted is because people only want an explanation which does not involve supra-sensible reality as this categorically denied by modern thought.

Are you saying that traditional metaphysics and traditional symbolism explain all phenomena at the same level of Science? The Aristotelian model of the universe makes sense in a metaphysical, even in an artistic level, but it is wrong. Of what use would be intellectual intuition if it brings innacurate descriptions of the physical world? The description made by Schuon is beautiful, but purely psychological. You make the premise: "archetypes emanate from the Absolute" but, how could you verify this? How, exactly, the omni-presence of the Absolute conveys the emanation of archetypes?


The first sentence here should then be applied to both arguments, too often this is not the case.  As for the accusations of a clubhouse mentality, it's not really relevant to the discussion, which should be about what is true rather than who said what.

I'm glad that there's no clubhouse of intellectual intuition here, and that we can discuss natural phenomena.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 01:25:46 PM
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Are you saying that traditional metaphysics and traditional symbolism explain all phenomena at the same level of Science? The Aristotelian model of the universe makes sense in a metaphysical, even in an artistic level, but it is wrong.

How come you defended it on FP?

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 01:48:04 PM
I assume that the definition of "natural" is "consisting solely of the matter, energy, and forces/laws of the physical universe"?  If so, then we should look to the supernatural, as well (in all things, not just this debate).  If not, then the "supernatural", by common definition, is natural, and so should be examined equally.  Either way, we should look into the possibilities (metaphysics?) which cannot be substantiated by simple, physical facts, and must rely upon the curious faculty of humans to experience things outside of the physical reality.  I mean, technically, we don't even "experience" this supposed physical reality - our minds experience a series of translated electrical and chemical stimulae, which are, essentially, illusory, even if based upon the recognition of physical phenoma ("virtual" might be a less inflammatory term than "illusory").

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 10, 2010, 02:15:47 PM
I assume that the definition of "natural" is "consisting solely of the matter, energy, and forces/laws of the physical universe"?  If so, then we should look to the supernatural, as well (in all things, not just this debate).  If not, then the "supernatural", by common definition, is natural, and so should be examined equally.  Either way, we should look into the possibilities (metaphysics?) which cannot be substantiated by simple, physical facts, and must rely upon the curious faculty of humans to experience things outside of the physical reality.  I mean, technically, we don't even "experience" this supposed physical reality - our minds experience a series of translated electrical and chemical stimulae, which are, essentially, illusory, even if based upon the recognition of physical phenoma ("virtual" might be a less inflammatory term than "illusory").
I think illusory is a perfectly sufficient and accurate term.  No need to sugar coat it or whatever.

On things "outside of" (this is actual a term I'd have a problem with, more like "in parallel to") physical reality: I don't think experience is really the correct word.  We can infer, intuit, reason, contemplate, etc., but not experience.  Unless you know something really important that I don't.  In which case, please clue me in.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 12, 2010, 01:25:50 AM
I've always desire the privilege of being educated; to have a way with words, to impress people with so-called "intelligence". This thread as shown me that what modern people normally regard as "intelligence" to be a facade. What a waste of brains.

I see no reason to contest evolution, personally. Why target it? What do you fear?

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 12, 2010, 03:48:52 AM
What is there to fear?  Willfull ignorance, I suppose.  Consider that willfull ignorance is the reason that our human world is the failure it is nowadays.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 12, 2010, 08:05:07 AM
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Are you saying that traditional metaphysics and traditional symbolism explain all phenomena at the same level of Science? The Aristotelian model of the universe makes sense in a metaphysical, even in an artistic level, but it is wrong.

How come you defended it on FP?

I'm not the only author in FP, but I purposely made a reference to this Aristotelian model having in mind that some people here may have read about it in FP. There's a spiritual and artistic importance in traditional symbols, concepts, models etc. and it's because as some say, metaphysics is the base of philosophy. We can trust in metaphysics to bring, or to find reverence (very important!) but we can't rely on metaphysics to accurately explain physics... or biology.

“give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” Applies here too.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 12, 2010, 08:35:50 AM
“give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

Do you understand the difference between Tradition and tradition?

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 14, 2010, 10:43:28 PM
I've always desire the privilege of being educated; to have a way with words, to impress people with so-called "intelligence". This thread as shown me that what modern people normally regard as "intelligence" to be a facade. What a waste of brains.

I see no reason to contest evolution, personally. Why target it? What do you fear?

 I would agree fully if part of me didn't suspect this whole thing was some elaborate joke by some of these folks. It's either that or it's a spirited attempt by some supspecies of intelligent design creationists, who are just too damn pussy to express their real beliefs, to set the table toward their position. I envision a scenario where someone in this thread concedes perhaps they might have some validity to their ideas, or that they'd like to learn more, only to be met by a private message in their inbox that shows them some Bible passages it might be "cool" to "check out".


Bitchmade Christians : Fuck off.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 15, 2010, 05:21:20 PM
I guess I am a Traditionalist insofar as I think that mankind's ultimate goal should be the goal articulated in Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy.  Maybe this doesn't make me a Traditionalist at all!  But in any event, I approve of religious thinking but must plead ignorance when it comes to some of the specific tenets of Traditionalism, and apparently this "theory of Emanation" is one of them.  I will just say this:  I believe in evolution, but I don't understand how it is some dagger in the heart of God.

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 15, 2010, 10:51:07 PM
If you want to carry this even further into the murky truth, there is no such thing as species, for no creature is separate from another or from the world.

This is what Plato would call sophistry.
Thanks, Plato!

Of course if one decides to read beyond the Wikipedia page for "Sophists" and really think truthfully about the subject, we see that Plato was merely the most clever and least honest of the Sophists. Whereas Sophists engaged in a bit of entertaining wordplay and called it rhetoric, Plato did the same and called it "truth."Ho ho ho!

Anyway, I still don't know what "Traditionalism" is, but this thread has certainly not been a great recruiting tool for its ranks, and a quick perusal of its adherents' wisdom has precluded any desire to even investigate its entry at its Wikipedia page, let alone google it. Any intellectual movement that causes its adherents to willfully ignore plain biological evidence, processes that are readily apparent in every second of life, in the name of "truth" surely belongs in the same filing cabinet as Charles Manson, Richard Simmons, and Susan Boyle. This, I think we can agree, is an Absolute Truth!

Re: Biological evolution and Traditionalism
November 16, 2010, 12:12:09 AM
The example is not a refutation of the arguments.  It is simply a fact which cannot be logically explained without evolutionary theory.  I specifically chose an example involving genetics as a means of introducing genetics into the discussion.  Genetics, as a filed, is essential the one area that opponents of evolution dare not go, as it is totally in opposition to notions of special creation.  If we were to take your analogy of the merging of chromosomes to the statement 1 + 1 = 2, I could simply use a similar analogy and say that 1 + 1 = 2 is a demonstration of lesser things forming greater things (1 < 2 or simpler, yet the interactions of these two simpler things yields a greater thing).  Obviously, this is misleading, but if you can see the flaw in the reasoning I presented, then you can see the flaw in your own.

You say it could not be logically explained without evolutionary theory. But I do not see this conflict, at all. I also do not see how genetics were, as you call it, "the one area that opponents of evolution dare not go", because I am asking you about this area specifically. Just tell me why your example absolutely proves evolution, and you can easily convert me to your side.
   What I meant by saying this merging (which, I assume, is only supposed, or has anyone observed it? But let us accept the supposition for the moment!) resembles the addition of one and one, is that if you combine two vectors of information and the result is one vector of information, this obviously does not imply any "new" information coming out of nowhere; at the most, any "new" information will be the result of the merging.

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I can see this discussion (or at least this sub-section of it) isn't exactly productive.  Instead, I will simply make a rather disingenuous logical move and reverse the onus of the debate:  Let's assume evolution is false.  Why should I accept this notion of emanation?  Or any other alternative you wish to present?

I am not sure what you want to hear here, but my first answer would be: you don't have to accept any theory as soon as you start to question evolutionism. The only thing you should do is to seek out the truth, as I do also; there would be no sense whatsoever in persuading you of one theory over another.
   Secondly, you say all the time that the theory of evolution were so greatly productive and explained everything, but I disagree. This theory works like a mathematical function in that one can put in any variable derived from observation, and the result will be consistent with the function. But at some point the output becomes absurd when compared with observation of human behaviour, religion, and also, metaphysics. Finally, when one starts to question the function, one is called stupid and dishonest by many evolutionists, and they stop thinking about the matter lest their pseudo-religion were shaken to the core. Personally, I would rather concede that I know nothing than sentimentalize the question in this way.