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Author Topic: 500 Scientists Say They Doubt Evolution
twinky
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quote:
...they are calling for the whole scientific establshment to address this properly.
This has already happened, and it is continuing to happen. It's not as though there are no scientists in the field of evolutionary theory. The insinuation that evidence supporting evolutionary theory has not been carefully examined is disingenuous, and frankly disrespectful toward the many scientists who have spent their careers conducting precisely this kind of careful examination.

If they were actually interested in doing something about their "discomfort with evolution," they would devise an alternative, testable theory and subject it to the kind of rigorous examination to which evolutionary theory has already been subjected. If it stands up, they'll have a case.

I note that even the vaunted Discovery Institute, which sponsored the petition and, incidentally, has discrediting evolutionary theory as its stated goal, has done nothing of the sort. The fact that it prefers to pursue a public relations-based strategy against evolutionary theory -- rather than a science-based strategy for another theory -- is telling.

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Ron Lambert
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It is amazing how pathological some people are in their determination to deny and obfuscate anything that contradicts even the most irresponsible claims that proponents of evolution have made. This statement that 514 reputable scientists at prestigious, mainline institutions signed, proves that there are many scientists uncomfortable with evolution and with the adequacy of natural selection to explain evolution, and they are calling for the whole scientific establshment to address this properly.

And come off it, Adam613--questioning something and doubting it ARE the same thing.

Cannot evolutionist proponents concede anything--even something so obvious and simple as this? What are they afraid of? That if they give in to fairness and honesty, their whole beloved paradigm of evolution might be refuted? This really demonstrates to me how weak Evolutionism really is, despite all the bluster and trash talking. Deep down in their hearts, they know their position is not impregnable. Creationism can yet win out in the public contest of ideas. And I know it will, because I know the Creator, and I believe His Word will be vindicated.

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Alcon
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quote:
And come off it, Adam613--questioning something and doubting it ARE the same thing.
Not in a scientific context.
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Alcon
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quote:
It is amazing how pathological some people are in their determination to deny and obfuscate anything that contradicts even the most irresponsible claims that proponents of evolution have made. This statement that 514 reputable scientists at prestigious, mainline institutions signed, proves that there are many scientists uncomfortable with evolution and with the adequacy of natural selection to explain evolution, and they are calling for the whole scientific establshment to address this properly.
It is amazing how determined some people are to attack evolution on religious grounds regardless of the science behind it. And it is even more incredible the sickeningly decitful tactics they are willing to use. Aren't decit and trickery the in the portfolio of the devil and his servants who good christians claim to despise?
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twinky
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quote:
Creationism can yet win out in the public contest of ideas. And I know it will, because I know the Creator, and I believe His Word will be vindicated.
If your creationism wins out in the public contests of ideas, it will be because of the highly manipulative and disingenuous PR campaigns of groups like the Discovery Institute, not because of anything even remotely related to science.
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Bob the Lawyer
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The ignorant shall inherit the Earth.

Edit: Which isn't to say that a creator must always be at odds with science. But most people don't understand what science actually says, let alone how it goes about saying these things.

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Ron Lambert
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Twinky, what you profess to fear could not happen that way. If Creationism wins, it will be because it is the truth, and is proven so. That is what you really fear. And you are right to fear it. I promise you, your fear will be realized. The Creator will defend His Creatorship. The Evolutionism jihadists are pushing Him too far. He will vindicate Himself, even if humans fail to be truthful.
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Bob the Lawyer
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Owned.

It'd hate to be twinky right now.

So owned.

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Ron Lambert
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Bob, you will note that I revised that last sentence. I did not mean to direct it all against Twinky.
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Advent 115
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I thought this might be interesting to those people who assume that all scientists believe evolution is true.

quote:
SEATTLE, February 22, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The statement reads: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

The list of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington.

Discovery Institute first published its Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS's "Evolution" series. At the time it was claimed that "virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true."

See the full list here:
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660


.....Son of a! *slams fist on desk*

This could set back the evolutionist advancment by years! Darn you scientests for betraying science!

p.s. Isn't the fact that we have fossils amongst other things good enough to prove evolution exists? [Confused]

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twinky
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quote:
Twinky, what you profess to fear could not happen that way. If Creationism wins, it will be because it is the truth, and is proven so. That is what you really fear. And you are right to fear it. I promise you, your fear will be realized. The Creator will defend His Creatorship. You are pushing Him too far. He will vindicate Himself, even if humans fail to be truthful.
Ron, it is presently happening in your country in precisely the manner I described. Spend a few minutes reading up on the history and development of the Discovery Institute and its involvement in the intelligent design movement in the United States. I even posted some helpful links for you on the first page of this thread.

If your creationism were both true and evidentially supportable, it would not require this kind of cynical manipulation to promote it.

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fugu13
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I find it interesting a list with more than a smattering of people from community colleges is full of only people from "prestigious, mainline institutions". Remind me again how a community college is either prestigious or mainline?

Not to mention that a very large number of the people on the list are professors emeritus, so they're not really at anywhere right now.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Ron,

I have a question. I can't find anywhere on the Discovery Institute's website a description of how they circulated their petition, what the full text was (if that blurb was "it" or whether there was any accompanying material).

I did find a couple of things about the list of signatories bothersome.

1) Dead people are included on the list. Ultimately, what that means is that the list can NEVER shrink. I assume that if a scientist wrote to them to say "take my name off" they would do so, but if dead people are listed, then the intent is to creat an ever growing list. Granted these appear to be signatories to a specific statement, but couldn't they just as legitimately reach back to pre-Darwin days and pluck a few ID proponents from among the generations of scientists back then too? Clearly they want to claim "a growing number..." One wonders why that hasn't happened.

2) The word "virtually" (as in "virtually all...") is an important caveat that people seem to ignore. If even 5% of all scientists disbelieve a scientific theory, people would still be justified in using the word "virtually" in that sentence.

3) Science does work by consensus, it's true, and dissenters are generally encouraged to fight for a consensus opinion in favor of their version of the facts. The problem is that it does require convincing facts. Within the community of evolutionary biologists there is a FAITH that evolution will provide better explanations than ID in the long rung. Both theories have been around a long time. Darwin was dealing with ID back when he wrote Origins. It's a fascinating logical exercise that applies as well today as it did back then. Darwin has some pretty cogent things to say about why ID is incorrect. It's not like any of this is new.

4) Your faith in God's pre-eminence is admirable. It does appear to me, however, that your faith includes a more literal interpretation of the Bible than most of the faithful would agree to. Would YOU bow to consensus in that view? I mean, realistically, you are taking the minority view in your faith as well as your view of science. It's all well and good to be "outside" the mainstream, and to believe you will one day be proven correct. But, in the meantime, you are asking much of others that you yourself seem unwilling to do. That is...to consider the possibility that other viewpoints are correct.

Don't you simply run the risk of making yourself irrelevant to the debate if you shout foul at others for doing exactly what you are doing.


And now...let me just address ID specifically.

ID, as a cohesive theory, no longer exists. We've had this discussion numerous times on Hatrack, and every time, various sources are quoted showing that ID has come to mean anything from "a theory that posits a "designer" based on the failure of "natural selection" to adequately explain the existence of certain complex biological processes" -- to "young earth creationism."

Given that this is the case, I assert that ID has ceased to be. It is a smudge of thought smeared from outright religious dogma to a blip of "hey, guy's here's a challenge for evolution."

Rather than propose an opposing theory, I suggest the following. Put together a list of the biological phenomena/entities that natural selection cannot explain. List them in priority order if you like. We'll post the list where all can see them.

Then...we'll watch the scientific journals to see whether anyone comes up with an explanation of said phenomena/entities -- based on an evolutionary framework or not. We'll just watch and see.

Each time an article is published related to one of these things, we'll bump the thread and take a look.

If we see a pattern in the things that are still remaining in 5 years -- maybe then we'll have enough info on which to base an opposing theory.

In the meantime, we can just track how well Evolution does as a theory with the things you propose are not explainable.

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Boothby171
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Yeah, except they're not all "reputable," and they're not all scientists.

I actually tried to join NCSE's "Steve" campaign, but they wouldn't have me! Apparently, I'm not quite "Steve" enough for them.

But seriously, they didn't want me because I wasn't a PhD scientist, just a Professional Engineer (Mechanical and Aerospace, originally, now I'm an Entertainment Engineer). So the list of over 700 Steves is really chock-a-block full of "reputable scientists." So there!

Also, recent articles about the Discovery Institute's statement talk about the reasoning behind many of the signatures, and the fact that, taken independently of the Discovery Institute's intent, the statement is fairly innocuous.

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Dagonee
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In fact, the Steves should all sign this petition, and then they can say, "More people who signed this petition reject ID than support it."

Edit: Pesky apostrophes.

[ March 01, 2006, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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twinky
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Also, Ron, I think you're mistaking acceptance of evolutionary theory as the pervailing scientific understanding of much of the history and development of life on Earth for the belief that it is absolutely true in every particular and in some way refutes the possibility of the divine. As far as I can tell, only Advent115 has made anything resembling the latter statement on this thread, and his post came after all of yours.

The approximate converse, however, is not true. Many creationists are quite willing to state that their beliefs are unequivocally true -- you just did so yourself. I think you should extend to evolutionary theory the same courtesy that it, by its very nature as a scientific body of work, extends to you: admit the possibility that you might be wrong.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
The trouble is that I suspect this list will be written off and ignored by evolution-only supporters, who will continue to claim the scientific community agrees that evolution is the complete account of how life came to be as it is.
The critical problem is that virtually no credible scientists claim that evolution is the complete account of how life came to be. We claim that evolution is the best scientific theory available to explain the origins of the diversity of life on this planet. There is a big difference. Nothing in this petition contradicts that.

My big concern is that many scientists who believe that evolution is the best working theory for describing the complexity of life, could in good conscience sign this petition. Yet those who publish this petition will never acknowlegde this.

I'm also disturbed that the credentials of those who signed are seriously misrepresented. Some of them are biologists and some of them are members of national academies and some of them are faculty at prestigious institutions -- but most of them are none of the above. Some of them are mathematicians, some hold only honorary appointments, some seem to have no real expertise in the area of evolution. My guess is that if we went through the list in detail that over half of them had no more expertise in evolutionary theory than can be obtained in a single undergraduate biology class.

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Eruve Nandiriel
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quote:
quote:
What is the significance of '500' when put into context? As in the total number of doctoral scientists?
Short answer: Not significant at all!

Long answer:
According to NSF there are about 540,000 doctoral scientists in the US alone (in 2001)(http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf05301/).

Which means that 514 is less that 0.1%, and that's using the number of doctoral scientists in the US, never mind Russia.

In other words, this isn't enough data to disprove the statement that "ally that "virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true.". Using just this statement we'd have to say that 99.9% of scientist believe it to be true, and I'd call 99.9% virtually every one...

I feel the need to point out that just because there were 514 scientists that signed that statement doesn't mean that ONLY 514 scientists are skeptical about evolution. You can't compare the 514 scientists who signed it to the 540,000+ scientists in the US. You have to consider the number of signatures in context.

Now if they had asked X number of scientists, and kept track of how many believe Darwin's theory, and how many are skeptical, then the number of skeptics could be taken in context. However, since they only say 514 scientists signed it, and don't give the context, I find the article to be pretty much useless.

edit: Oops, didn't see the second page.

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Kwea
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Ron, you crack me up.


The sad part is I know you don't mean to. [Frown]


I bet you even think you know what my beliefs are, and what my "agenda" is, but you probably would be wrong.


Current evolutionary theory has already deviated from Darwin, but that is OK.....the basic precepts have been proved over and over again, although the specific mechanisms are still being questioned.


All of science involves questioning facts, but just because someone questions a specific mechanism doesn't mean he thinks the whole theory is bunk...despite your claims to the contrary.


Also, I can find people at collages in the US who think that the Holocaust never happened, but that doesn't go very far to disprove the body of evidence proving it did. Claiming that "everyone" in that list is equally credible just because a few of them teach at fairly reputable colleges is a load of crap.


quote:
The only thing this proves--and it unquestionably does--is that there are many scientists uncomfortable with evolution and with the adequacy of natural selection to explain evolution, and they are calling for the whole scientific establshment to address this properly.
Well, since at least 10 fairly educated people here have pointed out that this does NOT state such a thing at all, let alone unquestionably......


I fail to see that in the text, as you have written it...could you point it out again?

Because I could sign this in good faith, and I believe in evolution.

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Enigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Twinky, what you profess to fear could not happen that way. If Creationism wins, it will be because it is the truth, and is proven so. That is what you really fear. And you are right to fear it. I promise you, your fear will be realized. The Creator will defend His Creatorship. The Evolutionism jihadists are pushing Him too far. He will vindicate Himself, even if humans fail to be truthful.

Oh, well in that case why bother circulating petitions such as this? Why does the Discovery Institute even exist? Couldn't creationists just sit on their hands and say "God'll prove us right eventually, so no sense in arguing about it. Any day now he'll vindicate himself and show all those scientists... Yep, any day now..."

--Enigmatic

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I thought this might be interesting to those people who assume that all scientists believe evolution is true.


quote:
A similar story in fact happened during Darwin's lifetime, a publication "100 scientists against Darwin". He responded to the petition amused, to paraphrase Darwin:

"if the assertions of these scientists were valid, it would require only one of them"

Actually, this was Einstein. And the pamphlet '100 scientists against Einstein' was published by the Nazis, who disapproved of 'Jewish science'.

Ahah, King of Men, your quite right. I was just remembering what I read in a popular book not long ago. Same principle applies of course.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Ron, you crack me up.
The sad part is I know you don't mean to.

I was trying to find some way to say this, Kwea, but I think you nailed it.

Ron, in case you missed the points being made in this thread, I'll enumerate them for you:

1) The statement these individuals have signed is not actually a support of ID or creationism. Quite literally, it says that more study should be done on evolutionary theory. Even truly devoted "Darwinists" could quite happily sign this particular petition.

2) Of the "scientists" on the list, only a few are indeed qualified. In general, their bios are not particularly prestigious.

3) 514 names is a drop in the bucket. As has been observed, to date 730 scientists -- real scientists, mind you, on a list that excludes applied engineers and the like -- named Steve have endorsed evolution. If we assume that the incidence of Steves in science does not correlate in some way to evolutionary belief, that means (all else held equal, of course) that the ratio of evolutionists to people who'd sign this petition (which, as noted in point #1, does not necessarily mean they're not evolutionists) is roughly 730:6. Even accounting for other variables, it's safe to say the ratio therefore is more than 100:1. I'm perfectly comfortable rounding that last percentage point to "nearly all scientists believe in evolution."

I made the point on Ornery that it's not that hard to find 500 people who'll say they believe anything. More interesting to me, though, is that you apparently believe this little petition demonstrates anything useful, and believe moreover that other people should find it revelatory.

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Dan_raven
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Faith gives 100% belief in every aspect of that faith.

Science demands proof and debate in a continuing growth of that science.

People of faith look at a given science, see the debate and say, "See the flaws in your faith."

People of science look at faith and see the lack of debate and say, "See the flaws in your science."

People of both look at each other and say, "What's the problem?"

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Xaposert
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quote:
Xap: try rereading the statement. Point me to where they are saying evolution is [edit: silly fingers getting ahead of brain. problematic].
"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life." This means that they have some problem(s) with evolution's ability to account for the complexity of life. You could technically read the statement otherwise, but that would require deliberately ignoring the context that I'm fairly sure the scientists listed are generally well aware of.

quote:
Not a large percentage! A miniscule percentage. If this weren't an article designed to mislead, the headline would read, "We can only find a tiny number of scientists that doubt evolution".
That is not correct. It could be a large percentage or it could be a miniscule percentage -we can't tell from this list. All it really says is at least 500 scientists believe this statement - which is definitely more than none. It would be misleading if it tried to say this shows most or a large percentage of scientists believe in the statement. But it doesn't claim that. Instead it only claims that this list refutes the suggestion that "virtually every scientist" believes in Evolution. While all but one or two might be considered "virtually every scientist", I think all but 500 is pretty clearly not every scientist by any fair standard.

[ March 01, 2006, 11:38 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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Kwea
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As I alluded to, my personal beliefs are that ID is on to something. However, I don't think those things are science, nor do I claim they should be taught in a science classroom.


I also don't have any conflicts with being religious and believing in evolutionary theories.

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fugu13
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Your grasp of statistical implications is amusingly small, Tres [Smile] .
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
It seems to me that with zero funding, you could get 500 scholars of Christianity to say say that they doubt that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.

That made me laugh, but only because its unfortunately VERY true.
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andi330
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Frankly, I don't know what to believe anymore. One thing I will say is that regardless of what the scietific theory is, scientists come out of the gate like gangbusters shouting about their new "discovery." Later on someone mumbles, "maybe we weren't entirely correct."

Example: Pluto is a planet. No now we think Pluto might be a KBO (Kupier Belt Object). No, it'a a planet, see it has moons. No, but it is smaller than some asteroids and maybe smaller than some KBOs.

What's the reality? Scientists create theories and tout them according to the best scientific evidence available at the time of the "discovery." However, our abilities to develop scientific protocols are always evolving and what seems correct one day, maybe proven false ten years down the line. It's rare that you'll ever hear (or read) a scientist use the words, "I (we) don't know."

Recycle and carpool folks, because by the time we have developed the scientific protocols to be able to tell absolutely whether the current warming trend is man made or a natural cycle (or a combination of both) it'll be too late to do much about it.

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TomDavidson
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Your Pluto example is actually quite bad, because the argument over whether or not it's a planet has little to do with functional differences and more to do with agreement over definitions.
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andi330
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Your Pluto example is actually quite bad, because the argument over whether or not it's a planet has little to do with functional differences and more to do with agreement over definitions.

Well Tom, since I'm usually asleep right now and I'm going to bed as soon as I finish the post, perhaps I'll find a better example just for you when I get home from work tomorrow. Or not. After all, I'm not around much anymore, I just don't have the time to spend hours on the internet everyday. Pluto just happened to be one of the more recent discussions that I could think of off the top of my head at 12:30 in the morning.


Edited to delete a counter argument intended for the Global Warming thread. Sorry guys I'm really not at my best a 12:30 a.m. when I've been up since 6 a.m. the previous day.

[ March 02, 2006, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: andi330 ]

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Beren One Hand
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quote:
Cannot evolutionist proponents concede anything--even something so obvious and simple as this? What are they afraid of? That if they give in to fairness and honesty, their whole beloved paradigm of evolution might be refuted?
I don't know where people get the idea that scientists are somehow irrationally attached to the theory of evolution.

I'll bet many scientists would give their left nut/ovary to find substantial evidence that would disprove an established scientific theory.

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Bob the Lawyer
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What I really want to know is how many Helens agree that evolution is responsible for the diversification of all the world's species.
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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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quote:
Originally posted by andi330:
Before I go however, I wanted to refute the "fact" that every reputable scientist believes in Global Warming.

Why? I can't find anywhere else in the thread where global warming was mentioned at all.
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imogen
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Scientists have nut/ovaries?

Weird.

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Xaposert
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quote:
Your grasp of statistical implications is amusingly small, Tres [Smile] .
Perhaps so, but even the smallest understanding of statistics is enough to see that a statistic showing 500 scientists believe something proves it is false to say that all scientists don't believe it.
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Bob_Scopatz
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So...you're satisfied that answering something (virtually) no-one is actually saying is somehow of value?

edited to add the "(virtually)" since I'm sure there are idiots out there who might claim that "all" scientists believe (or disbelieve) just about any notion you'd care to mention.

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fugu13
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As I've never said that, I don't care one whit, Tres, much as I don't care if you prove the moon is not made of cheese. Perhaps you would care to tackle something I (or someone else versed in science making an argument in favor of evolution) has said instead of these straw men you find it so much easier to argue against?
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TomDavidson
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Bob, have you ever read the short-short story "The Tenth Dentist?" It's really quite good. [Smile]
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twinky
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quote:
Instead it only claims that this list refutes the suggestion that "virtually every scientist" believes in Evolution.
This claim is false, Xap. 500 is approximately 0.1% of the number of doctoral scientists in the United States alone, as just_me noted in a post directly after your first post to this thread, back on page one. Even if there are no doctoral scientists anywhere else in the world, you think that 99.9% is not "virtually all?" What's your criterion for "virtually all," then? 99.95%? 99.99%? How many repeating nines do there need to be before you'll grant "virtually all?"
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Xaposert
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quote:
As I've never said that, I don't care one whit, Tres, much as I don't care if you prove the moon is not made of cheese. Perhaps you would care to tackle something I (or someone else versed in science making an argument in favor of evolution) has said instead of these straw men you find it so much easier to argue against?
I'm just refuting the idea that has been suggested on this thread that this article is misleading. The ONLY thing the article claimed to refute with this list is the suggestion that "virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true." And it DOES in fact refute that. Therefore, the article is not misleading. The article said nothing at all about ID, or Creationism, and said nothing at all about how great or small is the actual percentage of scientists who doubt evolution.

Furthermore, if you don't care one whit about the argument I made, you shouldn't make claims about how the argument suggests I don't understand statistical implications. If you do that, you should assume I'm going to explain why the implication I made is actually true.

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Xaposert
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quote:
Even if there are no doctoral scientists anywhere else in the world, you think that 99.9% is not "virtually all?" What's your criterion for "virtually all," then? 99.95%? 99.99%?
Virtually all would be 100%, except maybe one or two who for whatever reason are anomalies and can be written off. Otherwise it is not virtually ALL, but rather a huge percentage.
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TomDavidson
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Wow. Remind me never to play "Let's Round This Number" with you.
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Juxtapose
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quote:
The ONLY thing the article claimed to refute with this list is the suggestion that "virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true." And it DOES in fact refute that.
It doesn't because:
1) Any rational person would in fact call 99.9%, "virtually every scientist."
1a) It DOES refute the statement "Every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true." The next time someone makes that claim, I'll be sure to correct them.

2) Nowhere in the statement does it say that the cosignees believe evolution to be untrue. It says, "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life." This could represent dissatisfaction with finer points of the theory or an opinion that the theory is incomplete. I think evolution accurately describes what takes place in speciation, but I would agree with this statement, because I suspect that "random mutation" is actually a process we don't know very much about yet and therefore term, "random."

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Juxtapose
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Tres, if we were playing poker, each starting with $500,000, and you ended up with $999,000 and I had a grand left, you can bet I would say you had virtually all my money. I suspect, prior to this thread, you might have too.
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Xaposert
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It takes 10,000 signatures to get on the presidential ballot in Virginia as an indepenedent. That is about 0.1% of Virginia's population. You are suggesting that when a candidate achieves this, it's still correct to say that "virtually all" Virginians reject that candidate? If you had to get 5% of an entire population to actually sign a petition in order to prove that there exists some segment of that population that agrees with the petition, petitions would be doomed to fail.

On any other issue, if 500 scientists signed a petition, it would be agreed that that petition represents that some segment of the scientific community agrees with what the petition is saying. If 500 scientists said that oil drilling in Alaska is dangerous, and then I tried to argue that virtually all scientists think it is okay, what would you say? If 500 scientists said that a certain meteor could hit this earth in 50 years, and then I tried to argue that virtually all scientists agree such a meteor would not hit, what would you say? If 500 scientists warned that New Orleans could be flooded when a hurricane strikes, and then if the president claimed "virtually all" scientists agree there is no such danger, what would the public say? Seriously - what would you say? I'd bet you would definitely not say "Well, there are thousands of PhDs out there, so 500 is an insignificant number - we can still assume virtually all scientists agree on this issue."

How many signatures does a list have to have before it convinces you that there is not agreement among virtually everyone on the issue?

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Bob_Scopatz
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I added the "virtually" for your benefit, not mine. I personally don't give a flip. You're the one arguing against positions that (virtually) no-one is taking when you tilt the windmill with the word "all" in it.

You're just shifting sand again, Tres.

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Xaposert
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quote:
You're the one arguing against positions that (virtually) no-one is taking when you tilt the windmill with the word "all" in it.
But that's the ONLY position the article claims to refute. If we all agree that position is wrong, what's the disagreement with the article and the list it cites?

I suspect people are assuming it's really a plot to suggest many scientists support Creationism or ID, and thus misleading in that it suggests those are valid alternatives to Evolution. But since the list says nothing about that and the article says nothing about that, I think it's not quite fair to complain about the list and article on those grounds. As I mentioned in my first post on this thread, I think it's better to admit the list shows exactly what it shows and cannot be said to illustrate anything beyond that. It shows only that there exists a segment of the scientific community that doubts evolution, but says nothing about how large a percentage that may be, nothing about how much they doubt it, and nothing about whether or not they think ID is a valid alternative.

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KarlEd
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What I find amazing is that anyone still responds to Tres in an evolution thread. You people must be bored. You should know by now, that when his arguement has no substance he retreats to the narrowest definition of his terms and argues semantics.
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TomDavidson
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Xap makes arguments with substance? IIRC, that handle was created specifically for the purpose of making semantic, meaningless objections to things.
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KarlEd
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<slaps forhead> Well that explains a lot. Unfortunately it only increases my amazement that he gets responses.
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