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אבולוציה וחכמה אנושית (en)

הרב אליהו אהרמן (ר"מ בישיבת הכותל לשעבר, מחברם של כמה וכמה ספרים), כותב על אבולוציה וחכמה אנושית:

 

The Rambam writes [Melachim 8/11]

כל המקבל שבע מצות ונזהר לעשותן הרי זה מחסידי אומות העולם ויש לו חלק לעולם הבא והוא שיקבל אותן ויעשה אותן מפני שצוה בהן הקב"ה בתורה והודיענו על ידי משה רבינו שבני נח מקודם נצטוו בהן אבל אם עשאן מפני הכרע הדעת אין זה גר תושב ואינו מחסידי אומות העולם ולא מחכמיהם [ויש גורסים "אלא מחכמיהם"].

 

Anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvos and is precise in their observance is considered one of 'the pious among the gentiles' and will merit a share in the world to come.

 

This applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them in the Torah and informed us through Moses, our teacher, that Noach's descendants had been commanded to fulfill them previously.

 

However, if he fulfills them out of intellectual conviction, he is not a Ger Toshav, nor of 'the pious among the gentiles, nor of their wise men [some texts read "rather from their wise men"].

 

The Rambam writes at the beginning of Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah

 

יסוד היסודות ועמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון

 

The foundation of foundations and pillar of wisdom is to know that there is a Primordial Being [who created the world].

 

So a person who doesn't believe in G-d is lacking basic wisdom. Rav Soloveitchik suggested that this might be the Rambam's source for his assertion that if he keeps the sheva mitzvos out of intellectual convictions and not because of belief in G-d then he is not even a wise man. And if that is correct then the correct text would read ולא מחכמיהם – nor from their wise men.

 

On the other hand one can argue possibly that the two Rambam's aren't connected. The Rambam in Yesodei Hatorah is talking about a basic belief. The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim is talking about why he is keeping the mitzvos. It could be that the Goy believes in G-d but doesn't believe that He gave the sheva mitzvos and keeps them out of intellectual conviction. According to that he WOULD be a wise man [because he believes in G-d] but would still lose out on Olam Haba because he is not a righteous gentile. In order to earn that accolade he would have to keep the mitzvos because Hashem commanded Moshe. If that is true then maybe the correct text would read אלא מחכמיהם. He is wise, he believes in G-d, but is not מחסידי אומות העולם.

 

One thing is FOR SURE – anybody who doesn't believe in G-d  automatically lacks true wisdom.

 

ראשית חכמה יראת השם.

 

If one doesn't believe in G-d then he would also be able to believe me when I say that I wrote a thousand page book of philosophy and mathematics by taking my computer, smashing it against the wall, which resulted in a BIG BANG and out came another post.

 

The world is FAAAAAR more complex than anything I have written and yet the chochma-less claim that it was an accident.

 

I quote Einstein.

 

"Two things are infinite. The Universe and human stupidity. And I am not sure about the Universe."

 

———————-

 

One of many articles on the topic :

 

 

The universe is full of an infinite variety of complex systems, from the almost incredible universe itself to the tiniest one-celled creature in the ocean. The most intricately involved of all is the human brain which Isaac Asimov once called "the most complex and orderly organization of matter in the universe."

 

More incredible even than that, however, is the fact that some humans (including Asimov himself) who possess such marvelous brains, with their trillions of inter-connecting electrical circuits, still manage to imagine that the complex human brain arose by chance through mutations and natural selection!

 

Those of us who believe in the God of the Bible—the personal, omnipotent, omniscient God of creation and redemption—find nothing mysterious at all about the origin of the complex structure of the human brain or any of the great multitude of complex organisms and other complex systems of the world. "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things" (Isaiah 40:26). "The Lord of hosts is His name" (Isaiah 48:2). ". . . the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air" (Genesis 2:19). As to His method of creation, "He spoke, and it was done" (Psalm 33:9). Very simple and clear—if one just believes in God!

 

The naturalistic creed of most evolutionists, however, requires them to account for complexity naturalistically. Somehow a scenario must be developed showing how a primeval chemical molecule could evolve into a replicating protein, then a complex protozoan, eventually a large beast, and finally a human being with an infinitely complex brain. The increase of complexity involved would seem to be incredible—but it must have happened, they insist, because otherwise God would have done it, and that would be unscientific.

 

The problem with trying to be scientific, however, is that science doesn't help either. Instead of a process that increases organized complexity, there is a universal scientific law that all natural processes tend to decrease complexity in the universe. This is the famous Second Law of Thermodynamics, or law of increasing entropy. It is expressed in various ways, depending on type of situation—decreased energy available, increased randomness and disorganization, garbled transmission of information, etc. Entropy always increases in a closed system, and it always tends to increase even in an open system.

 

In the case of open systems, there must be an influx of energy (or ordering information) into the system from outside in order to keep it in equilibrium and for a time to offset the tendency to decay. Eventually it will decay anyway; a man, for example, may keep functioning for many years, but he will finally die. By the same principle, the earth and all its systems could survive, perhaps, for millions of years, but the sun would itself finally burn out and the earth's supply of external energy lost, so the earth and its systems also would all disintegrate and die. In fact, if present processes continue long enough, the universe itself will ultimately die.

 

How, then, when the whole universe is decaying and dying, struggling hard just to maintain a fragile equilibrium in which living humans and animals can be maintained for a while—how can evolution toward higher organized complexity ever take place at all? Well, here is their current best answer:

Thus, once again we conclude that an energy flow through an open system is an absolute necessity if order is to be created from disorder.1

 

Yes, but that is necessary just to maintain its present order (or better, organized complexity). How can it be increased? How can a population of worms, say, be upgraded into a population of human beings?

 

Most evolutionists today, when pressed to answer such questions, will say that Ilya Prigogine, with his concept of "dissipative structures" in "far-from-equilibrium" thermodynamics, has provided the answer to the mystery of life's origin. That it does not really do so, however, as I pointed out elsewhere2.

 

However, the author of a recent book has now taken on the ambitious project of applying the Prigogine approach, not just to the origin of life from non-life, but also to every stage of evolution, from the evolution of the cosmos to the evolution of social systems. He rather audaciously tries to make the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the dissipation process, with its inevitable increase in entropy, the very generator of evolution and increased complexity.

 

At all times in the Universe, and at all places, the second law of thermodynamics is the ultimate arbiter of Nature's many varied transactions; it, and the ubiquitous process of energy flow directed by it, embody the underlying physical principle behind the development of all things.3

 

Chaisson, like Prigogine and other writers, has been able to note certain situations where a sudden increase in "order" in a system has been generated in a part of that system. The special condition required seems to be "fluctuations" in the flow-through of energy under "far-from-equilibrium" conditions in that field of flow. In such unstable conditions, there also is inevitably an abnormally large amount of energy lost to the external environment—hence the name "dissipative structures."

 

Prigogine's classic example of such structures was the sudden development of eddies in a liquid surface caused by a flow of heat up from a source of heat at the bottom. These are "ordered" structures, but they are necessarily accompanied by increased dissipation of energy to the environment. Another oft-used example is the tornado, a highly ordered structure generated by flow of heat and/or air in the atmosphere.

Tornadoes are paragons of order through fluctuations. . . . though superbly (and locally) constructed, can be utterly (and globally) destructive, . . .4

 

How such dissipative structures, even if they are maintained indefinitely by the continuing non-equilibrium thermodynamics of the field of flow, can ever be the base on which higher and still higher degrees of complex structure can be developed is still a mystery which Chaisson does not pretend to solve in his entire book on "cosmic evolution." He, like Prigogine and other evolutionists, is adept at making broad evolutionary generalizations, but also at avoiding experimental proof.

 

With the whole universe running down, and with the decay process apparently even hastened by the extra energy loss required to generate increasing complexity, how can the evolutionary process possibly be sustained, all the way from particles to people?

 

The non-equilibrium dynamics are universally maintained, Chaisson believes—believe it or not—by the expanding of the universe!

The very expansion of the Universe, then, provides the environmental conditions needed to drive order from chaos; the process of cosmic evolution itself generates information.5

 

But saying so doesn't make it so! We would like to see some real scientific evidence that this supposed cosmic process of universal expansion is really generating evolution. But Chaisson only provides wishful thinking.

How that order became manifest specifically in the form of galaxies, stars, planets, and life has not yet been deciphered in detail.6

 

But, even after such a profound understatement, this eminent cosmologist still claims to have developed a thought channel which evolutionists can use to guide their wishful thinking.

We thereby have a means to appreciate in the main, if perhaps not yet understand the particulars, the observed rise in complexity throughout the eons of cosmic evolution.7

 

He also says his present 274-page book is an "abridgement" of a "larger opus to come" in which all the specific evidences can be given to show just how, in detail, an over-all disintegration of complexity in the universe somehow really produces more complex systems all over the universe.

 

Right now, however, the details are all missing. Chaisson at least does acknowledge that there is much work yet to do before evolutionists will really have a rational explanation of complexity without God.

Our treatment of cosmic evolution set forth in this book is by no means complete or comprehensive, especially regarding the devilish details.8

 

I might respectfully suggest that Dr. Chaisson carefully consider whether the devil is not only in the details but in the whole concept of cosmic evolution, especially the oxymoronic idea of complexity through dissipation and evolution by entropy.

 

References

  1. Eric J. Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001), p. 47.
  2. See, for example, Science and Creation, volume 2 in The Modern Creation Trilogy, by Henry M. Morris and John D. Morris (Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 1996), pp. 150-158.
  3. Cosmic Evolution, pp. 207-208. The author of this book is a research professor in physics, astronomy, and education at Tufts University.
  4. Eric J. Chaisson, op. cit., pp. 62-63.
  5. Chaisson, p. 131.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.

 

 

 

The Power Of The Eye

 

When I was a child I was a voracious reader. I read all sorts of books and particularly enjoyed novels. One of my favorite writers was Robert Ludlum. [I think I read every book he wrote]. His books captivated me. He had a gift for describing situations and people and bringing them to life. He would often describe the character's eyes. The eyes expressed, fear or hatred or longing or a whole kaleidoscope of emotions.

 

The eyes are the window to the soul. I often look into people's eyes and can see so much. The pupil in Hebrew is called אישון. That means "small man". [The ון at the end makes it small. A small book, for example, is called a ספרון]. You can see the entire person in the eye. I have been to people who could look into my eye and tell me what is going on in my entire body. The soul can also be perceived through the eyes.

 

Looks can "kill". Looks can convey tremendous love and care. If you are not looking in someone's direction but he is staring at you – YOU CAN FEEL IT. [Then you look at him and he quickly looks away].

 

The idea of Ayin Hara is real. The eye can really do a whole lot of damage [and good with an ayin tovah].

 

He is an article about the "evolutionary" development of the eye.

 

Unlike animals, we communicate all kinds of information with our eyes. One subtle glance might express doubt and another joy, all without a word. How did we get this way?

 

Evolutionary psychologists take Charles Darwin’s answer seriously. Supposedly, artful eye expressions evolved from primates that had no eye expressions. When psychologists from Cornell and the University of Colorado in Boulder presented their research results about eye expressions, they dragged up some evolutionary baggage. The journal Psychological Science carried their 2017 report.1

 

The researchers asked study participants to match 50 words, each describing a mental state like curious or bored to one of six eye-based expressions: sadness, disgust, anger, joy, fear, or surprise. Different participants matched the mental states to similar expressions, showing they can discern those six basic emotions from the look of the eyes alone—even when the rest of the face didn’t match the eyes’ expressions.

 

Next, they tested the hypothesis that our own eye expressions affect how we perceive others’ eye expressions. For example, wide eyes enhance viewer sensitivity, whereas narrowing our eyes helps us discriminate particulars. Participants often categorized mental states related to sensitivity with wide-eyed expressions, and they associated mental states involving discrimination with narrow eyes. So far, so good.

 

But then the researchers began crafting stories about how eye expressions began. The Cornell University Press Release said, “We interpret a person’s emotions by analyzing the expression in their eyes—a process that began as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli and evolved to communicate our deepest emotions.”2

 

So, some supposed evolutionary ancestor began to perceive another’s emotional state first by observing their wide or narrow eyes, then by associating those eye widths with how they themselves felt when their own eyes were narrow or wide. Then other, more-complicated, emotional links supposedly emerged.

 

But this speculation imports some unmentioned problems. First, humans discern eye width and narrowness by noticing the amount of the whites in the eyes, called sclera. But apes have no visible sclera! How could any supposed ape-like ancestor notice or mimic a feature that didn’t exist?3

 

Second, this evolutionary story leapfrogs the mechanical and informational requirements for discerning any emotion from eye expressions. One must first be able to precisely alter the shape of one’s eye, and that means new muscles. Humans have about 50 separately controlled facial muscles. We routinely use many of them to express emotions. Gorillas, like other apes, have fewer than 30 muscles in their faces.4

 

And even if some supposed ancestor had an extra set of eye muscles, it would do them no good without the nerves to properly connect those muscles to the informational signals that specify when, how far, and how long to stimulate each muscle.

 

The last problem with this evolutionary scenario may be the most obvious for those with eyes to see it. Scientists have not seen evolution make a new muscle and nerve kit. Nor have they seen evolution make the new information needed to stimulate that muscle at just the right time to convey new emotions, let alone the acute mental programming that notices and interprets those emotional eye signals in others.

 

Psychologists who believe that eye expressions evolved from an ape-like ancestor face difficult problems. They need to show how natural processes could craft an all-or-nothing eye expression system. No aspect of this system would work without visible sclera, muscles, nerves, and the intricate mental capacities needed to manage them and interpret emotions in others’ eyes. We have all these integrated features in place as though someone put them all there.

 

  1. Lee, D. H. and A. K. Anderson. 2017. Reading What the Mind Thinks From How the Eye Sees. Psychological Science. 28 (4): 494-503.
    2. Osgood, M. Eye expressions offer a glimpse into the evolution of emotion. Cornell University Press Release. Posted on mediarelations.cornell.edu April 17, 2017, accessed April 18, 2017.
    3.And why would that supposed ancestor evolve visible sclera unless and until it knew in advance that eye whites would open a new dimension to interpersonal communication, all while evolution supposedly proceeds blindly?
    4. See references in Burgess, S. 2014. Overdesign in the human being with a case study of facial expressions. Journal of Creation. 28 (1): 98-103.

 

 

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