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12/21/2005 08:35:38 AM · #26
Originally posted by Didymus:

Seldom mentioning that it was the science that screwed up the planet in the first place.

Nonsense. It is business in the pursuit of profit which has irresponsibly exploited scientific advances and advancing technology which has screwed up the planet.

The discovery of hydrochlorofluorocarbons didn't destroy the ozone layer -- the desire to sell a 20 billion cans of paint and hairspray and auto air conditioners did.
12/21/2005 08:38:22 AM · #27
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Didymus:

Seldom mentioning that it was the science that screwed up the planet in the first place.

Nonsense. It is business in the pursuit of profit which has irresponsibly exploited scientific advances and advancing technology which has screwed up the planet.

The discovery of hydrochlorofluorocarbons didn't destroy the ozone layer -- the desire to sell a 20 billion cans of paint and hairspray and auto air conditioners did.


General, have I told you lately that you're my hero? At least on DPC...
12/21/2005 08:54:12 AM · #28
Originally posted by legalbeagle:

This was my distinction: science is a procedure practiced by people (scientists). Of course you can blame scientists for looking to discover things for unethical ends, or for applying science using unethical means, but "science" can only be blamed to the extent that you use the word very vaguely.


There are precedents, where not only people practicing certain ideology, but the ideology itself has been denounced, nazism being the most obvious case (not that I'd compare science to nazism in any way, but then, hey, the nazis had their ideas about scientific experiments too, didnt they?)

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

A better way of expressing it would be that people are driven to by the needs to solve real or imaginary problems and may make decisions and use the tools available to them unethically. I think that statement would apply in relation to religion just as equally as to science. It is just that religion relies on other tools.


That statement definite applies for religion, too. But when science is separated from the acts of scientists, then so should religion be freed from responsibility for the acts of religious people, committed in the name of religion, don't you think? For many people, religion is a four letter word. Let's restore some balance here.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

Equally, people are capable of some astonishingly positive action, and both science and religion are capable of achieving those results.


Amen to that.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

We can hypothesise as to what further evidence we might expect to see in certain circumstances, and design equipment and experiments and carry out research to test the hypothesis. If all of our experiments are consistent with our hypothesis, and we cannot conceive a coherent and rational alternative, is there not some justification for believing the hypothesis to be accurate (subject to future discovery)?


Speaking of evolution of the species, there is no way to conduct a repeatable and strictly scientific experiment. We can only observe discrete pieces of evidence and try to interpolate them in a way we think best for our purposes. It's like the children's game, join-the-dots. Join them one way, you get a rabbit. Another way, you get a fish. Evolution still remains a hypothesis.
As for the alternative theory, I believe one was just banned in court.
Ah, you said it must be rational? Rational to whom? Why? Many things, seemingly irrational, have later proved to be correct.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

How far back in history are you suggesting that we should revert to find happiness? Science is nothing more than a more reliable process for discovery than used previously, when intuition and belief were relied upon. Humanity has been on a voyage of discovery for 60 million years. Are you really advocating a return to prehistory?


60 million years is a bit of stretching it. Let's go back to first primeval societies, say, a hundred thousand years back. Are we happier today? No. We just have different thing to worry about, and a lot more of them. Mostly created by what we call civilization.
I recently read about a UN global survey, done a while ago, to find out about happiness in the world (i.e. where are people the happiest). Results? None of the technologically advanced nations came even close to the top. Nigeria won, if I remember correctly.

Do you know that in Bhutan there is no measurement of GDP? They measure GNH instead. Gross National Happiness. Now, thats something I like and respect. :-)
12/21/2005 08:54:20 AM · #29
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Didymus:

Seldom mentioning that it was the science that screwed up the planet in the first place.

Nonsense. It is business in the pursuit of profit which has irresponsibly exploited scientific advances and advancing technology which has screwed up the planet.

The discovery of hydrochlorofluorocarbons didn't destroy the ozone layer -- the desire to sell a 20 billion cans of paint and hairspray and auto air conditioners did.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To bring your reasoning home what you advocate are the olden days with horse and cart and crap all over the street. Believe me, the ozone layer is fine. It is a dynamic layer which has been expanding and contracting very much like the major cycle of the universe. It is amazing how many socialist enjoy the cornucopia of the capitalist. Remove capatalism and see what you left. Not quite a cutting edge society.
12/21/2005 08:58:22 AM · #30
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Didymus:

Seldom mentioning that it was the science that screwed up the planet in the first place.

Nonsense. It is business in the pursuit of profit which has irresponsibly exploited scientific advances and advancing technology which has screwed up the planet.

The discovery of hydrochlorofluorocarbons didn't destroy the ozone layer -- the desire to sell a 20 billion cans of paint and hairspray and auto air conditioners did.


(explains patiently)
The discovery made it possible.
Moreover, the discovery was not something that 'just happened'. Chemical research is predominantly done in deliberate pursuit of substances that the chemical industry can sell 20 billion cans of.
Without the power of science, chemical industry would still be selling red clay for lipstick.
12/21/2005 09:07:14 AM · #31
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

It is amazing how many socialist enjoy the cornucopia of the capitalist. Remove capatalism and see what you left. Not quite a cutting edge society.


Wouldn't be much of a loss, really. All the 'cutting edge societies' have been able to exist only thanks to draining in resources from beyond their boundaries, thus increasing ecological, economical, technological and social disbalances in the world.
From an American individuals point of view, the disappearance of the American standard of living would be a catastrophe. Hell, for me even the disappearance of the living standard of my own modest country would be a disaster.
On the other hand, for six billion people, the disappearance of the American living standard would not be a problem at all. And for the planet as a whole, it would be a very healthy thing.
12/21/2005 09:08:51 AM · #32
Originally posted by Didymus:

Moreover, the discovery was not something that 'just happened'. Chemical research is predominantly done in deliberate pursuit of substances that the chemical industry can sell 20 billion cans of.
Without the power of science, chemical industry would still be selling red clay for lipstick.

This is only true in the last couple of hundred years, since the rise of industrial capitalism. Most scientific "breakthroughs" were made by scientists doing "pure research," and who had a notoriously poor record of commercially exploiting their discoveries.

The exploitation of the discoveries is a business decision, which weighs short-term profit against long-term ecological damage -- guess which way business decided to go ...

Message edited by author 2005-12-21 09:11:07.
12/21/2005 09:12:10 AM · #33
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Didymus:

Moreover, the discovery was not something that 'just happened'. Chemical research is predominantly done in deliberate pursuit of substances that the chemical industry can sell 20 billion cans of.
Without the power of science, chemical industry would still be selling red clay for lipstick.

This is only true in the last couple of hundred years, since the rise of industrial capitalism. Most scientific breakthroughs are made by scientists doing "pure research," and who have a notoriously poor record of commercially exploiting their discoveries.

The exploitation of the discoveries is a business decision, which weighs short-term profit against long-term ecological damage -- guess which way business decided to go ...


Come on, GeneralE, you can't be THAT naive.
Who do you think funds all the 'pure' research?
It's mostly various Departments of Defence and large corporations with enough cash to think long term. Taxpayers are lucky if they get a 20% share.

Besides, last couple of hundred of years is all that matters (except that the seeds of this exponential industrial growth and energy consumption were planted earlier, about 500 years ago). It was either Isaac Asimov or Arthur Clarke who once pointed out that 90% of all the scientists of all times are still alive today.

Message edited by author 2005-12-21 09:23:04.
12/21/2005 09:21:36 AM · #34
Originally posted by Didymus:

Evolution still remains a hypothesis.


Only for those who don't have a clue what a scientific theory is.

"...new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory." - Pope John Paul II

Message edited by author 2005-12-21 09:25:14.
12/21/2005 09:27:37 AM · #35
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Didymus:

Evolution still remains a hypothesis.


Only for those who don't have a clue what a scientific theory is.

...new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory. - Pope John Paul II


"Always look for friends among your opponents and you will generous and invincible."
/Loyola/

If you wish, I can bring in quotes from prominent scientists, seriously questioning the validity of present day Darwinism. It'll have to wait a little, though, until I get home to my bookshelf. I'm in the office now.
12/21/2005 09:34:50 AM · #36
Originally posted by Didymus:

Originally posted by graphicfunk:

It is amazing how many socialist enjoy the cornucopia of the capitalist. Remove capatalism and see what you left. Not quite a cutting edge society.


Wouldn't be much of a loss, really. All the 'cutting edge societies' have been able to exist only thanks to draining in resources from beyond their boundaries, thus increasing ecological, economical, technological and social disbalances in the world.
From an American individuals point of view, the disappearance of the American standard of living would be a catastrophe. Hell, for me even the disappearance of the living standard of my own modest country would be a disaster.
On the other hand, for six billion people, the disappearance of the American living standard would not be a problem at all. And for the planet as a whole, it would be a very healthy thing.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Suppose I say to you that we have no real say in this planet. That it is still going through convulutions which may have a net result of another upheaval that will bury what is above and bring what is below to the surface. Only the most naive believe that planet earth is stable.

Consider all the disasters before there was an America. Say what you will, but absence its mighty power and you will have a void sending civilization back. It defends freedom. Look at the commodoties, I rather bathe, shower and sleep here than abroad.

Now, resources are best put to their best end. Why have trees if you can not make a chair. This is the art of the industrious. Our stay here may be shorter than we think if mother nature rips out with hurricane, a tornado or worse an earthquake. Not much is really settled. Yes, it is nice not to be wasteful but do not think that you are going to save the earth. The earth has its independent time table and will follow whatever pattern is inherent in it no matter what we do.
12/21/2005 09:39:03 AM · #37
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

Why have trees if you can not make a chair.


I think I'll print and frame this one.
12/21/2005 09:40:15 AM · #38
Originally posted by Didymus:

There are precedents, where not only people practicing certain ideology, but the ideology itself has been denounced, nazism being the most obvious case (not that I'd compare science to nazism in any way, but then, hey, the nazis had their ideas about scientific experiments too, didnt they?)
Science is not an ideaology, it has no ideals: it is just a procedure designed to achieve an accurate assessment. And in any case, what is Nazi-ism? It is bandied around so much, but it is used with little real comprehension, I think. The Nazi party was a political party that had a lot of policies.

Originally posted by Didymus:

That statement definite applies for religion, too. But when science is separated from the acts of scientists, then so should religion be freed from responsibility for the acts of religious people, committed in the name of religion, don't you think? For many people, religion is a four letter word. Let's restore some balance here.

I don't think that people criticise religion per se (though they may choose not to believe in it). I was going to write "it is not inherently right or wrong" - except that maybe that is the problem: to its believers, it (and only it) is inherently right.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

We can hypothesise as to what further evidence we might expect to see in certain circumstances, and design equipment and experiments and carry out research to test the hypothesis. If all of our experiments are consistent with our hypothesis, and we cannot conceive a coherent and rational alternative, is there not some justification for believing the hypothesis to be accurate (subject to future discovery)?


Originally posted by Didymus:

Speaking of evolution of the species, there is no way to conduct a repeatable and strictly scientific experiment.
It is impractical to view the process of evolution in bodies of slowly reproducing organisms or those with a small number. Where organisms reproduce rapidly and in large numbers, we can see the process of evolution occurring within a shorter timescale (bacteria, virii, mosquitoes).

For the slower reproducing organisms, we are forced to look at the historical record. We see evidence of animals slowly changing form and function in the fossil record, dated by reference to geological strata and by reference to carbon and other ageing techniques. We can predict the existence of intermediate stages, and then find them. We can predict that they will not overlap in time and place, and there is no inexplicable contravening evidence.

Further, we develop an entirely new science when discovering the gene, and predict that common elements of this should be observable in species that are related by evolution. And, notwithstanding that this is a totally new area of science, analysis proves to be coherent with the changes seen in small organisms and with the changes and branching observed in the fossil record.

All of these different approaches (and many more) all point towards a single coherent theory of general application. It is still possible to look at the fossils, conduct experiments on the development of bacteria, conduct a fresh comparative DNA review and cerify the findings. The alternative approach, where every convincing bit of evidence is "an exception" (eg evolution only works on the micro scale) and the suggestion is that "someone just made it all this way" is a little demeaning to our achievements.

Originally posted by Didymus:

As for the alternative theory, I believe one was just banned in court.
Ah, you said it must be rational? Rational to whom? Why? Many things, seemingly irrational, have later proved to be correct.


"Rational" is not an easy word to pin down. It is easier to give one example of irrationality: belief in the supernatural without evidence. While ID may be a theory, it is not a scientific theory, and it is an irrational theory.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

60 million years is a bit of stretching it. Let's go back to first primeval societies, say, a hundred thousand years back. Are we happier today? No. We just have different thing to worry about, and a lot more of them. Mostly created by what we call civilization.
I recently read about a UN global survey, done a while ago, to find out about happiness in the world (i.e. where are people the happiest). Results? None of the technologically advanced nations came even close to the top. Nigeria won, if I remember correctly.

Do you know that in Bhutan there is no measurement of GDP? They measure GNH instead. Gross National Happiness. Now, thats something I like and respect. :-)


It all really depends on your frame of reference. If you would be happy with a primeval life with nothing but an absolute reliance on nature to support you, with a life expectancy of less than 20 years and a high likelihood of premature death, then fine.

If you wanted to live in Bhutan, you would be pleased to be able to receive tv, cable, the internet, radio, healthcare, drive a car, etc.

I believe that some of the unhappiest people in this world are in nearby Uganda, where the "Lord's army" is massacreing millions using primitive means in the name of religion.
12/21/2005 09:52:06 AM · #39
Originally posted by legalbeagle:

I believe that some of the unhappiest people in this world are in nearby Uganda, where the "Lord's army" is massacreing millions using primitive means in the name of religion.


Your example of Joseph Kony's religious rationalization of the Lord's Resistance Army's actions is very similer to Adolf Hitler's social/scientific rationalization for his actions. Both are extreme examples of religion and reason gone very very wrong.
12/21/2005 10:28:15 AM · #40
Originally posted by legalbeagle:

Originally posted by Didymus:

There are precedents, where not only people practicing certain ideology, but the ideology itself has been denounced, nazism being the most obvious case (not that I'd compare science to nazism in any way, but then, hey, the nazis had their ideas about scientific experiments too, didnt they?)
Science is not an ideaology, it has no ideals: it is just a procedure designed to achieve an accurate assessment. And in any case, what is Nazi-ism? It is bandied around so much, but it is used with little real comprehension, I think. The Nazi party was a political party that had a lot of policies.

Originally posted by Didymus:

That statement definite applies for religion, too. But when science is separated from the acts of scientists, then so should religion be freed from responsibility for the acts of religious people, committed in the name of religion, don't you think? For many people, religion is a four letter word. Let's restore some balance here.

I don't think that people criticise religion per se (though they may choose not to believe in it). I was going to write "it is not inherently right or wrong" - except that maybe that is the problem: to its believers, it (and only it) is inherently right.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

We can hypothesise as to what further evidence we might expect to see in certain circumstances, and design equipment and experiments and carry out research to test the hypothesis. If all of our experiments are consistent with our hypothesis, and we cannot conceive a coherent and rational alternative, is there not some justification for believing the hypothesis to be accurate (subject to future discovery)?


Originally posted by Didymus:

Speaking of evolution of the species, there is no way to conduct a repeatable and strictly scientific experiment.
It is impractical to view the process of evolution in bodies of slowly reproducing organisms or those with a small number. Where organisms reproduce rapidly and in large numbers, we can see the process of evolution occurring within a shorter timescale (bacteria, virii, mosquitoes).

For the slower reproducing organisms, we are forced to look at the historical record. We see evidence of animals slowly changing form and function in the fossil record, dated by reference to geological strata and by reference to carbon and other ageing techniques. We can predict the existence of intermediate stages, and then find them. We can predict that they will not overlap in time and place, and there is no inexplicable contravening evidence.

Further, we develop an entirely new science when discovering the gene, and predict that common elements of this should be observable in species that are related by evolution. And, notwithstanding that this is a totally new area of science, analysis proves to be coherent with the changes seen in small organisms and with the changes and branching observed in the fossil record.

All of these different approaches (and many more) all point towards a single coherent theory of general application. It is still possible to look at the fossils, conduct experiments on the development of bacteria, conduct a fresh comparative DNA review and cerify the findings. The alternative approach, where every convincing bit of evidence is "an exception" (eg evolution only works on the micro scale) and the suggestion is that "someone just made it all this way" is a little demeaning to our achievements.

Originally posted by Didymus:

As for the alternative theory, I believe one was just banned in court.
Ah, you said it must be rational? Rational to whom? Why? Many things, seemingly irrational, have later proved to be correct.


"Rational" is not an easy word to pin down. It is easier to give one example of irrationality: belief in the supernatural without evidence. While ID may be a theory, it is not a scientific theory, and it is an irrational theory.

Originally posted by legalbeagle:

60 million years is a bit of stretching it. Let's go back to first primeval societies, say, a hundred thousand years back. Are we happier today? No. We just have different thing to worry about, and a lot more of them. Mostly created by what we call civilization.
I recently read about a UN global survey, done a while ago, to find out about happiness in the world (i.e. where are people the happiest). Results? None of the technologically advanced nations came even close to the top. Nigeria won, if I remember correctly.

Do you know that in Bhutan there is no measurement of GDP? They measure GNH instead. Gross National Happiness. Now, thats something I like and respect. :-)


It all really depends on your frame of reference. If you would be happy with a primeval life with nothing but an absolute reliance on nature to support you, with a life expectancy of less than 20 years and a high likelihood of premature death, then fine.

If you wanted to live in Bhutan, you would be pleased to be able to receive tv, cable, the internet, radio, healthcare, drive a car, etc.

I believe that some of the unhappiest people in this world are in nearby Uganda, where the "Lord's army" is massacreing millions using primitive means in the name of religion.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

There appears to be a very selfish premise here. Who determined that happiness is the quest of the human being? The very arguments that you advance were the reason that the Buddah checked out. The final conclusion is that life is sadness. We are mortal with a limited life span. Every family is often shaken by the death of another. We walk around in a universe that we create and we create a reality that spins along until the next test of sadness arrives. We accept and we adjust and we go on. We think we are the pilot of our fate but so many strings are being pulled and often we end up in dead road.

This age does not purport to be the best. It is just another experience and for some of us, the only experience. We are indeed our worst enemies because there is some perverse desire to dominate and to rule over others. Some people are so aggressive that they are not happy unless they are in charge. Observe that the worst crimes have been the crimes we have committed against each other.

Then there is the the supposed "intellectual" division which is occupied more by charlatans who expound that theirs is the only way to think. Do you really think that universal questions have a ready answer?

No, it is like the blind leading the blind. We are all limited as to how much info we can digest and many of us are too lazy to pursue the truth on our own. That means we rest on the ideas of others. While this may have a benefit, it is best not to accept anything as the golden answer. For example: 500 years B.C. you will find writings that indicate the Sun as the center of our universe. This was known as a helios universe. Next came the power of the church and the earth was put as center. remember the epicycles? Remember all the rubish that the scientist came up with to explain an earth centerd universe. Somebody comes along and reverts it to the old belief and we give the reverter the full credit. Read Gullivers Travels and look at how jupiters moons were depicted...lol...before they were discovered. It is all a so funny, this pretence we live under.
12/21/2005 10:30:43 AM · #41
Originally posted by Didymus:


To me, it seems there are two competing theories, neither of which has been proved or disproved. The judge, however, deems it within his competence and authority to assert that one of those theories will eventually proved correct and the other will not. The judge considers himself qualified to rule on the origin of species.


So, what you're saying is there's two different schools of thought on the subject.

Then why teach them in the same place?
12/21/2005 10:56:44 AM · #42
You’ve created quite a “straw man” argument with your reply to me, Didymus.
Originally posted by Didymus:

That's the viewpoint of the priesthood. Priests, unlike their parishes, generally have no illusions about the religion they preach.

Science still isn’t religion no matter hard you try to stretch the definition. I’d prefer we’d stick to talking about science.

Originally posted by Didymus:

For the simple guy in the street brain surgery remains a miracle and nothing's gonna change that.

And yet brain surgery still isn’t a miracle no matter what the simple guy in the street believes about it. You are aware that brain surgery isn’t, in fact, a miracle, correct?

Originally posted by Didymus:

The simple guy hears every day, how science, with a little bit more time and a trillion dollars of the taxpayers money, is soon going to solve all the problems of mankind, pollution, starvation, diseases, anything you want.

Science has been solving the problems of pollution, disease and starvation and will continue to do so. (Though starvation in the modern world tends to be a political problem (often exacerbated by civil wars) rather than a scientific one.) Do you have a problem with that? If you had cancer, would you prefer a treatment developed in the 1920s or one developed in the 1990s? If you and your children lived near a refinery, would you prefer its furnaces to a have “scrubbers” from the 1920s (a/k/a none) or “scrubbers” developed by ABC Corporation based in part on research by XYZ University in the 1990s?

Originally posted by Didymus:

Seldom mentioning that it was the science that screwed up the planet in the first place.

I think GeneralE addressed this issue well enough. Side note to graphicfunk: I’m a fan of capitalism and have money in the stock market. However, I don’t think that industries should be trusted to regulate themselves when it comes to profit vs. issues such as the environment, safety or child labor, but that is an issue for a different thread. This thread is about the definition of science and the results of the Kitzmiller decision.

Originally posted by Didymus:

Science promises bliss in the future and the simple guy believes.

Who is this “simple guy” you keep referring to? Where does science “promise bliss in the future”?

Originally posted by Didymus:

He believes in the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Science speaking through the mouths of its priests.

The simple guy is wrong if he believes that science is omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient and that scientist are priests. Again, who is this alleged “simple guy” you keep referring to? His naiveté does not define the scientific method or current scientific theories.
12/21/2005 11:25:40 AM · #43
There is just so much here that I would like to comment on - another good rant thread! But time and job-security dictate otherwise.

Originally posted by graphicfunk:


Meanwhile, why even include any type of teaching that remains a theory. With all the resources we have we should have proved evolution a fact, but we can't and we won't. Another upheaval will render this experience null and void and cover us all with sediment. A new generation will arise and will begin the search all over again.


The scientific process is incremental, but generally asymptotic....i.e. heading towards a final precise understanding. The precise value for the Hubble constant has shown just such a trend over time. That is why 'theory' should be taught. It is a framework to hang understanding on and progress in forward direction. So what if that theory changes, you say? Well-established theories don't change...the transition from Newtonian to Relativistic mechanics was a fundamantal but asymptotic change (not a reverse).

Please, please will someone tell me what the actual SPECIFIC weaknesses of evolution are? I just can't think of any. The evidence in favour is just so compelling. I could list many breathtakingly beautiful examples of past and present evolution in action. The model fits from the fossil record, anatomical similarities and correlates with DNA sequence, observed adaptation etc etc.

It seems to me that ID supporters are trying to impose a 'purpose' on the universe (and our existence) by invoking a creator. That feels like an insecurity issue. Why can't we accept that we 'are' and the universe 'is' through a natural order of cosmological, physical, chemical and biological processes. It's very liberating and, moreover, despite what some religious people claim, it is not incompatible with free thought, expression or personal responsibility. After all, atoms make up our brains which have enabled us to understand the very existence of the atom.

edit spelling

Message edited by author 2005-12-21 11:28:24.
12/21/2005 11:41:34 AM · #44
Originally posted by Didymus:


If you wish, I can bring in quotes from prominent scientists, seriously questioning the validity of present day Darwinism. It'll have to wait a little, though, until I get home to my bookshelf. I'm in the office now.

Disclaimer: yes this women writes for 'lefty liberal' NY Times, but I still think it makes an interesting read in light of the ID

Dsiclaimer two: I am not going to say anything since both sides seem to be well spoken for :)

Article
12/21/2005 02:06:20 PM · #45
Originally posted by Didymus:

To me, it seems there are two competing theories, neither of which has been proved or disproved. The judge, however, deems it within his competence and authority to assert that one of those theories will eventually proved correct and the other will not. The judge considers himself qualified to rule on the origin of species.

I'm deeply convinced that human education should include many different, competing, even conflicting views on the world. Scientific, religious, agnostic etc. I am positively scared at the thought of judges telling our children what they should know and what they shouldn't. It's just one step away from burning books and two steps away from burning the authors.


Is this debate really about a judge "telling our children what they should know and what they shouldn't"? Was he really opining on the origin of species? If you can't make an argument with respect to why ID should be taught in a science classroom (which is what this debate is really about), then the rest is, as milo said, just strawman arguments. I think this quote from the article that pidge posted says it all:

"The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"'They never came in,' said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"'From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review,' he said."

Why don't we ask ourselves why the religious right is insisting that ID be taught in science classrooms rather than as part of a comparative religion or philosophy curriculum? What is so offensive about the ideal that the United States government will neither sponsor a particular religious worldview nor discriminate against any particular religious worldview? Science and religion are two distinctly different realms of inquiry. What interest have the ID proponents in obfuscating the two?

12/21/2005 02:35:04 PM · #46
Originally posted by bpickard:

There is just so much here that I would like to comment on - another good rant thread! But time and job-security dictate otherwise.

Originally posted by graphicfunk:


Meanwhile, why even include any type of teaching that remains a theory. With all the resources we have we should have proved evolution a fact, but we can't and we won't. Another upheaval will render this experience null and void and cover us all with sediment. A new generation will arise and will begin the search all over again.


The scientific process is incremental, but generally asymptotic....i.e. heading towards a final precise understanding. The precise value for the Hubble constant has shown just such a trend over time. That is why 'theory' should be taught. It is a framework to hang understanding on and progress in forward direction. So what if that theory changes, you say? Well-established theories don't change...the transition from Newtonian to Relativistic mechanics was a fundamantal but asymptotic change (not a reverse).

Please, please will someone tell me what the actual SPECIFIC weaknesses of evolution are? I just can't think of any. The evidence in favour is just so compelling. I could list many breathtakingly beautiful examples of past and present evolution in action. The model fits from the fossil record, anatomical similarities and correlates with DNA sequence, observed adaptation etc etc.

It seems to me that ID supporters are trying to impose a 'purpose' on the universe (and our existence) by invoking a creator. That feels like an insecurity issue. Why can't we accept that we 'are' and the universe 'is' through a natural order of cosmological, physical, chemical and biological processes. It's very liberating and, moreover, despite what some religious people claim, it is not incompatible with free thought, expression or personal responsibility. After all, atoms make up our brains which have enabled us to understand the very existence of the atom.

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You presented the first part very good but then you went off into the motives of the ID. What is it that we understand? You say we understand the atom? We really understand it or is our similarity is much like we understand electricity. Do we understand gravity? Of these we know that they exist. But consider, water is a basic atomic structure, why can't we make water in quantity? It is just a simple of matter of affectuating a trigger that will cause a commutation. Forget accelerators, they are as clumsy as are injections in the medical field.

To find a first cause is almost a joke. If you feel better associating yourself as a by product of a process, that is fine, but do not insist that you know the very nature of this process. It is okay to argue that life is the result of a series of accidents...but then reread the line and tell me where in the mathematical realm can such a series of coincidences follow each other? Reread it again because an outsider will accuse you of describing a miracle. To follow your pattern the process could not have been affected by any sense of direction because direction implies guidance.

Message edited by muckpond - fixed quotes.
12/21/2005 03:17:55 PM · #47
Originally posted by graphicfunk:

You presented the first part very good but then you went off into the motives of the ID. What is it that we understand? You say we understand the atom? We really understand it or is our similarity is much like we understand electricity. Do we understand gravity? Of these we know that they exist. But consider, water is a basic atomic structure, why can't we make water in quantity? It is just a simple of matter of affectuating a trigger that will cause a commutation. Forget accelerators, they are as clumsy as are injections in the medical field.


You started OK, but then you started rambling after the words “motives of the ID[M]”. What’s your point? “Not knowing something” is different than “not knowing anything” – the opposite of what you seem to be implying in the previous paragraph.

Originally posted by graphicfunk:

To find a first cause is almost a joke.


Who said anything about “first cause”?

Originally posted by graphicfunk:

If you feel better associating yourself as a by product of a process, that is fine, but do not insist that you know the very nature of this process.


He didn’t insist that he knew “the very nature” of the process.

Originally posted by graphicfunk:

It is okay to argue that life is the result of a series of accidents...but then reread the line and tell me where in the mathematical realm can such a series of coincidences follow each other? Reread it again because an outsider will accuse you of describing a miracle.


That’s because you hold the view that, if you’re holding a winning “lottery” ticket, someone must be fixing the “lottery”, because, after all, what are the chances of winning the “lottery”?

Originally posted by graphicfunk:

The process could not have been affected by any sense of direction because direction implies guidance.


You need to read some books by qualified authors about what natural selection actually means. You, along with many other anti-science proponents, seem to continually get stuck up on the “chance” portion and ignore the “selection” portion of the theory.
12/22/2005 03:53:34 PM · #48
Some interesting new developments for anyone who followed the case:

Prosecutor seeks perjury evidence

Originally posted by from the article:

"The inescapable truth is that both Bonsell and Buckingham lied at their Jan. 3, 2005, depositions about their knowledge of the source of the donation for Pandas. ... ," Jones said in his ruling.


Judges and prosecutors apparently don't take kindly to people who are caught lying while under oath.
12/22/2005 04:04:38 PM · #49
Ah, that's probably just another one of those legal theories...
12/22/2005 04:25:57 PM · #50
Originally posted by milo655321:


You need to read some books by qualified authors about what natural selection actually means. You, along with many other anti-science proponents, seem to continually get stuck up on the “chance” portion and ignore the “selection” portion of the theory.


I have and most certainly agree that natural selection is a valid concept. Creationism\ID proponents also agree.

The difference is that we don't believe that natural selection can explain one species "evolving" into a different species.

Humans are separated from chimps by 40 million differences among the 3 billion DNA molecules, or nucleotides, in each genome. People like to quote the 96% similarity figure. I prefer the 40 million differences.

It is hard for me to imagine the possiblility that there were 40 million beneficial changes to the DNA in the 6 million years scientists say it has been since humans and chimps diverged.
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