Can the Mind of a Monkey Be Trusted?

I ran across a very interesting quote from Darwin.  It relates very well to the topic I’ve been pondering over the past two weeks.  What kind of unscientific arguments did Darwin use in support of evolution?  What were his presuppositions?

Creationists are often criticized for starting with their conclusion (that God exists and the Bible is His Word).  What will be obvious in these passages, is that Darwin did the same. 

Darwin was reasoning through the apparent design in the Universe in his autobiography (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin) when he said the following:

Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.

Darwin realized the problems with speculating that everything came about by pure chance, especially considering the “immense and wonderful universe”, including our ability to contemplate that Universe.   However, he continues:

This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species, and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt—can the mind of man which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions.

And yet, Darwin expresses a problem he sees with concluding the design of the Universe, namely that since we evolved from “the lowest animals” how can we trust the conclusions that our mind comes to? 

Does anyone see what he just did?  His fallacies are two fold.

1.  He assumed evolution in order to speculate that perhaps he can’t trust his evolved mind when it concludes design.  He assumed evolution to prove evolution.

2.  He applies the principle that we wouldn’t trust the mind of the lowest animals to why we can’t conclude that nature was designed, and yet fails to apply this also to his conclusion that nature evolved.  Why the double standard?  Given where our minds came from, if we can’t trust a design conclusion, then why can we trust a non-design conclusion?  

Darwin applies his logic to creation but not evolution, for no other reason except that he doesn’t.

In another place, Darwin asks a very important question:

But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

Evolutionists are quick to point out that we have 99% of our DNA in common with an ape.  And yet, do ape’s minds have convictions?  Would we trust what a monkey “decides”?  Can a monkey even decide something that isn’t put into motion by simply the chemicals in his brain reacting to outside stimulus?  (And yes, I know the biological difference between an ape and a monkey, but for this argument they’re no different).  

Why do we consider the conclusions of our minds, so close in every way to the ape, to be reliable or trustworthy?  A very good question indeed, Charles Darwin.

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7 Comments on “Can the Mind of a Monkey Be Trusted?”

  1. asmo Says:

    “Why do we consider the conclusions of our minds, so close in every way to the ape, to be reliable or trustworthy?”

    We don’t. It’s why scientists test their conclusions.

  2. Eric Kemp Says:

    Troll

    Are you saying that we can test the conclusions of our minds? How do we test the conclusions of our minds, without using our minds that we’re trying to test in the first place? Uh oh, I made you think again.

  3. asmo Says:

    You test them against the real world. But since you’re a Fluffy Headed Thiest, you’re free to claim divine revalation bypasses the mind or whatever hogwash you want to claim today.

    You were asked this question:
    “I am curious as to how Kemp would distinguish between a “divine revelation” that is true versus a “divine revelation” that is false. If there is a way to do such a thing, I would certainly like to hear it. If there isn’t, then I would still like to know what Kemp thinks the word “truth” even means.”

    Then you Ran Away from it (a sure sign of honesty)
    “That’s a good question. If God wanted to speak to His people in a reliable way, and a way that wouldn’t FORCE everyone to believe in Him, how do you think He would do it?”

    Could you answer the question? or by your evaision are we to assume there is no way to determine if a divine relavation is false? or that God cant speak reliably to people without FORCING them to believe in him?

    Please tell us more of what your God cannot do.

  4. Eric Kemp Says:

    Troll

    You are the pinnacle of a mindless defender of your faith. Let’s go over this again:

    In my post, I pointed out a good question that Darwin asked, which was, “Why do we consider the conclusions of our minds, so close in every way to the ape, to be reliable or trustworthy?”

    You countered with, “We don’t. That’s why scientists test their conclusions”.

    I then asked you “How do we test the conclusions of our minds, without using our minds that we’re trying to test in the first place?”

    Your answer was: “You test them against the real world.”

    Wait, what? How do you even consider that an answer? You aren’t even attempting to be honest nor think for yourself. I guarantee that any theist you’ve talked to is no more dogmatic in their belief than you are. You are begging the question and you aren’t even attempting to reason through the question. Why? Because the answer would take you to places you don’t want to go. So you consider begging the question to be a logical answer.

    I wonder why I keep expecting some semblance of sense from you. I don’t know why I keep doing this, but I’m going to try again. How do you test your conclusions “against the real world” without using your mind, the mind you’re attempting to test in the first place?

    Then, not only do you beg the question, but you attempt to red herring your way out of it by distracting from the topic at hand.

    “Could you answer the question? or by your evaision are we to assume there is no way to determine if a divine relavation is false? or that God cant speak reliably to people without FORCING them to believe in him?”

    I’m not answering the question, not because I can’t and not because it isn’t a good question, but because it’s irrelevant to my point over at UF. I was questioning the presupposition of empiricism. Mainly, my question was, how can you know that empiricism is the only reliable way to knowledge when empirical evidence can’t tell you that empiricism is reliable? Put another way, is there a scientific experiment that can tell you that ONLY empiricism is reliable? This question was not answered. So the point of “how” I can know a divine revelation is reliable is besides the point, especially if you can’t answer how you know empiricism is solely reliable.

    My question of “How do you think He would do it?”, isn’t running away. It’s merely attempting to trap my oppenents into answering the question for me. Would you really begrudge me such tactics? But nobody answered the question, so I’m not going to respond to a red herring.

    Now, admittedly, I haven’t been back since I posted my last bout of responses. However, that’s just due to time constraints. Perhaps I’ll have some more time today.

    Wait! I just figured out who you are! You’re Sunny Day aren’t you? Just admit it. Reveal who you are! Sunny, you do realize that you merely troll Unreasonable Faith too right, with your shouted insults from the peanut gallery? As long as you know the role you fill over here and there, and you’re comfortable with it.

  5. dwilli58 Says:

    Great post and great point! Every day and in every way evolution becomes weaker! The lie, ultimately, is always exposed! Don’t give the ne’er-do-well trolls a voice, they don’t deserve it!

    asmo Says:

    February 6, 2009 at 6:03 am

    You test them against the real world. But since you’re a Fluffy Headed Thiest, you’re free to claim divine revalation bypasses the mind or whatever hogwash you want to claim today.

    Asmo (troll), glad to see that you have “evolved” past your man-made god, Darwin! You, evidently, unlike Darwin, are so far “evolved” that you will never question, as he did, what you believe to be truth. Evolution is a false theory, Asmo, but folk like you could almost make me reconsider, but NOT IN THIS AGE!

    Jesus warned us about you, Asmo!

    “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” (John 15: 18-21)

    Have a great day!


  6. […] I guess Charles could “no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe” and therefore, was, in […]

  7. Troll Says:

    “I’m not answering the question, not because I can’t and not because it isn’t a good question, but because it’s irrelevant to my point over at UF.”

    You just keep running Eric, I’m told exercise is good for you.

    If you are such an honest individual, why are your actions continually dishonest?


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