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Author Topic: New Movie to Criticize Scientific Establishment
Xaposert
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quote:
Creationists and their supporters sabotage the education of children.

I oppose the sabotage of education.

Why is that so awful to say?

Because it is misleading. Creationists oppose the sabotage of education too - just as you do. That's the whole point of trying to get creationism in school. Your ultimate goals are the same - to spread the truth.

Now, you can put all sorts of words in the mouths of Creationists if you want to, but it isn't going to convince me that that they are some sort of evil creatures bent on fooling the world into believing things they know are false. That's no more accurate than rhetoric like "the terrorists kill because they hate freedom". It's obvious you don't buy into the Creationist argument, but Creationists DO buy into their argument. They think it is the truth. They think it is misleading to teach children otherwise. They DO think the facts are on their side. You might believe otherwise, but in my view if they didn't consider Creationism to be the truth, I can't imagine they would want it to be taught to children instead of evolution.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Creationists oppose the sabotage of education too - just as you do. That's the whole point of trying to get creationism in school. Your ultimate goals are the same - to spread the truth.
Well now, we are just arguing over what "truth" is.

If someone honestly believes, for religious reasons, that 2+2 = 5, and they want that taught in schools, is it really helpful to the conversation to refer to that belief as "truth"?

Are reasonable people really supposed to bend over backwards and say that anyone can argue to teach anything in school as long as they think it's "truth", no matter what the facts are?

Creationism isn't about the facts. It's just not.

Experts all over the world, experts who are Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Daoists, all agree that evolution is a solid scientific theory.

The only people who are Creationist are Creationist because it's their faith postion. If the evidence were compelling, then the conclusion would be shared by people who aren't conservative Protestants, but such people are virtually unknown.

It's not about the facts.

quote:
Now, you can put all sorts of words in the mouths of Creationists if you want to
They say enough without any prompting. Dembski, the major Intelligent Design advocate thinks that science doesn't spend enough time studying angels.

Angels. Really, I'm not creative enough to make that up.

quote:
but it isn't going to convince me that that they are some sort of evil creatures bent on fooling the world into believing things they know are false.
Oh please. They want the school system to tell children that their conservative Protestant beliefs are totally unquestionably right. That's what it's about. It's not like they really care about Punnett squares or genetic drift.

quote:
That's no more accurate than rhetoric like "the terrorists kill because they hate freedom". It's obvious you don't buy into the Creationist argument, but Creationists DO buy into their argument.
It's not just me. Hindus don't buy it. Buddhists don't buy it. Atheists don't buy it. Virtually no Catholics or Jews buy it. No one "buys" Creationism unless they start their as part of their religious belief.

If you think that Creationists have a legitimate, honest, scientific argument to make, then why don't you pick one and defend it with evidence and sound reasoning?

quote:
They think it is the truth. They think it is misleading to teach children otherwise.
As do flat-earthers.

quote:
They DO think the facts are on their side.
Oh please.

No one on earth is a Creationist because they concluded it from the facts!

If that were the case, why wouldn't there be Hindu and Buddhist Creationists?

People are Creationist because it's their faith. Professional Creationists know that in order for their beliefs to have the same respect that science gets, they have to say that there are facts on their side. And laypeople know that what they are told sounds good, so they repeat what they are told when asked to make a case for the reasonableness of their beliefs.

quote:
You might believe otherwise, but in my view if they didn't consider Creationism to be the truth, I can't imagine they would want it to be taught to children instead of evolution.
Of course they consider it to be true. That's why they want it taught.

But they are wrong.

Do you see that there is a difference between respecting a person, and their right to hold an opinion, which is pretty much considered a good thing to do all the time, even when we don't like the opinion, and respecting the opinion itself?

When an opinion is obviously counter-factual, and grossly illogical, it doesn't deserve any respect at all.

Honestly, you sound like the sterotype of the wishy-washy liberal, who can't bear to condemn any notion, no matter how barbaric or crazy, because it would force you into the position of saying that not every point of view is perfectly equally legitimate.

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Nathan2006
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I think it's also important to note that there are creationists out there (Somewhere, in the great expanse of the Earth) that don't want creationism to be taught instead, but they want it taught too.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't ID and Creationism different things?

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King of Men
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Kinda-sorta. The ID movement is what they came up with when the latest surge of creationism proper lost in the courts, and the main spokesmen are different. (Creationists are like cockroaches, you can't kill them, you can only force them back and keep them in check.) Anyway, the avenues of attack are different but the end goals are the same.

As for wanting it taught "too", fine, put it in religious class. If somebody wanted phlogiston theory taught, it wouldn't get any better just because they very graciously permitted oxygen to be mentioned as well. Besides, if you teach biblical creationism, why don't the Moslem, Hindu, and Native American versions get a look in as well? And I'd like to plug the Norse creation myth as well, just because 'Ginnungagap' is such a fun word to say. Each of these has just as much evidence going for it as the biblical kind, that is to say, zero. (Although Hindu creationism does at least get a Universe some millions or billions of years old. And a human history of similar length.)

By the way, there actually do exist Hindu and Buddhist creationists, they just have a different myth.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Creationism isn't about the facts. It's just not.
That's just plain not true. Creationism is about the facts as Creationists see them, just as the support of evolution is about the facts as supporters of evolution see them. It's not like the Creationists out there saying "Well, all the facts say I'm wrong but I'm going to believe it anyway." No, they are saying "the facts show we are correct" or at worst "we don't yet have all the facts, but when we do it will show we are correct."

quote:
If the evidence were compelling, then the conclusion would be shared by people who aren't conservative Protestants, but such people are virtually unknown.
Actually, members of all sorts of religions reject evolution:
Jewish Opposition to Evolution
Hinduism and Creationism
Beliefs of World Religions About Evolution

quote:
Honestly, you sound like the sterotype of the wishy-washy liberal, who can't bear to condemn any notion, no matter how barbaric or crazy, because it would force you into the position of saying that not every point of view is perfectly equally legitimate.
But not all things are what they sound like. After all, I'm more than willing to condemn the notion that scientists need to be in the business of supressing dissenting viewpoints like Creationism or Intelligent Design. It really has nothing to do with whether or not these viewpoints are "legitimate". It has to do with how science can best find those viewpoints that are legitimate and consistent with the evidence. As long as science is about the facts, those theories best supported by the facts will inevitably rise to the top. It is only when scientists become dogmatic and begin using unscientific political tactics to advance their theories that the waters become murky, scientific theories start to look like political positions, and inferior theories end up looking no better or worse than those theories well supported by the facts.

quote:
When an opinion is obviously counter-factual, and grossly illogical, it doesn't deserve any respect at all.
This is contrary to the spirit of reasoning that science is based upon. All opinions deserve respect - that is the only way you can accurately determine whether or not it is counterfactual or grossly illogical. Otherwise you end up like those who thought it wasn't possible that the earth wasn't the center of the universe, or who thought it wasn't possible that the continents could move, or who thought it wasn't possible that man might descend from "apes" - all things that have seemed obviously counterfactual or grossly illogical to many at one point or another, and which have been found true because there were those willing to respect them enough to actually consider that they might be true.

[ October 12, 2007, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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fugu13
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Science class in high school (and before) is not much about doing science. If that were it, we'd thrust people in classrooms with experimental equipment and say, 'have at'.

It is about learning how to do science, and learning about discoveries in science, and recreating discoveries in science.

It is perfectly possible to publish a creationist paper or an ID paper in a peer reviewed journal, given a sufficiently strong argument to pass the peer review process.

That does not mean creationism and ID have places in science class. Designing a curriculum for school is by its nature suppressing viewpoints that are not conducive to the particular goals of a class. There is limited time. Subjects cover huge areas. No matter what curriculum is designed, viewpoints will be suppressed. Since we are then very much in the business of suppressing viewpoints in education, there must be an evaluation process. In a science class, creationism and ID don't make the cut.

Luckily for us, just because someone believes something is true doesn't get it taught in schools. You keep pointing out the convictions of creationism and ID supporters as if it matters; it is practically irrelevant. In front of very science textbook, in front of every datum presented in a science class, there is an implicit (and sometimes explicit) "as seems most/very likely given the framework of the scientific method" (except for the philosophy of science parts, such as the scientific method itself, which are wrapped in a similar meta-statement). Unless creationism and ID ideas can be broadly evaluated to meet that criteria, they don't belong in a science class.

And no, I'm not saying that nothing that fails to meet that criteria gets into science classes, I'm saying it shouldn't.

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Tresopax
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Yes, but that is just a matter of voting in the right school board members who will make sure schools use the right textbooks. I don't think achieving that requires the scientific community to behave in the way that this movie seems to be complaining about. I don't think anti-creationism scientists shunning pro-creationism scientists has much influence on the picking of textbooks for schools - beyond possibly making the scientific community look oppressive to outsiders and giving voters the impression that the whole issue is just some sort of liberal vs. conservative thing.
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fugu13
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"seems to be complaining about"

You're making an awfully large number of assumptions about the nature of a movie you haven't seen, and the truthfulness of its claims, to be criticizing scientists based on it.

In an ideal world, people wouldn't be ridiculed for believing in creationism (though many supporters of creationism would be ridiculed for certain specific statements). Of course, in an ideal world people wouldn't be ridiculed for many things rejected by the majority, in and out of science. I don't see any evidence scientists who do ridicule are being that egregious in comparison to the normal range of human behavior. Something to improve, yes. Something to consider overly distortionary, no.

As I said earlier, there are people who believe in creationism and are published scientists. Some are moderately well known in their fields, much as with people who believe in just about anything. That creationist and ID papers don't get published in major peer-reviewed journals doesn't need to be explained by the contempt some hold for the ideas when it can be far more easily explained by the lack of scientific support for the ideas, which is the cause of much of the ridicule.

There is ample evidence of scientists about-facing on ideas once-ridiculed that good evidence was discovered for.

Most scientists I know who campaign against creationism and ID being taught in schools (not against it being published; they don't have to campaign against that, it doesn't have the merit) don't ridicule their opponents, btw. That tends to be a more off-hand sort of thing. They try to either methodically explain why a variety of the creationist/ID arguments are unsupported by the evidence, or how the scientific method works and why creationism and ID do not fit within it.

The reason they campaign tends to be because for a long time scientists assumed that something so utterly beyond the pale of scientific evidence would not find a foothold in science classes. But it did, and threatened to take over entire state curricula. Unsurprisingly, scientists found they had an interest in seeing what students were being taught to be science was at least minimally part of the science being done in the real world.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
That's just plain not true. Creationism is about the facts as Creationists see them,just as the support of evolution is about the facts as supporters of evolution see them.
They why is it all the educated people of every faith agree that evolution fits the facts, and no one who isn't a conservative Protestant agrees that the facts fit Creationism?

quote:
It's not like the Creationists out there saying "Well, all the facts say I'm wrong but I'm going to believe it anyway."
Really? You want to argue that not a single Creationist argues that dino fossils are meant to "test" good Christians?

Not a one?

No, most Creationists just don't know the facts. The people they get their info from either don't know them, or make a living lying and distorting them.

Seriously, if you want to be buried in examples of professional Creationists lying, it can be done. Talkorigins has a huge list of dishonest quote mines. And that's just one kind of falsehood.

quote:
Actually, members of all sorts of religions reject evolution:
See, here's what I'm talking about.

I never, ever said that no one who wasn't a conservative Protestant rejects evoltuion. That's a fact, you can read my posts.

But you didn't care. You argued against something I never said.

You would say that I have my "truth" of what I wrote, and that you have your "truth" about what I wrote. I say that the "truth" is what the message board recorded I wrote, and that I'm right about what I wrote, and you are wrong.

But to get back to the point I actually made...the Institute for Creation Research makes its members sign an oath stipulating all the conclusions they find to be unquestionably true, including the claim that god consists of Father, Son and Holy spirit, and the Bible is infallible and compltely authoritative.

Is this how people who are honestly looking at the facts operate? Does this suggest to you that the members of the ICR think that members of other faiths will be persuaded by their evidence?

quote:
After all, I'm more than willing to condemn the notion that scientists need to be in the business of supressing dissenting viewpoints like Creationism or Intelligent Design.
Who's supressing anything?

Creationists are perfectly free to open museums, host websites, preach at church revivals, they can do whatever they like. They can even produce wildly misleading movies.

They just can't teach religion as if it were science. And when they say ridiculous things, honest people have the right to point outhow ridiculous those claims are.

Do you think that is wrong?

quote:
It really has nothing to do with whether or not these viewpoints are "legitimate".
But isn't that what you are arguing? That they have their truth, and I have mine, and why am I so mean as to not treat their truth with the respect that my truth gets?

quote:
It has to do with how science can best find those viewpoints that are legitimate and consistent with the evidence.
Correct. The way to do that is to actually look at the real world. It turns out that this method works really, really well. Real science is accepted by people no matter what their religious faith. And when there are disagreements about what the best conclusion from the evidence is, those disagreements don't fall along faith lines.

Does Creationism work that way?

quote:
As long as science is about the facts, those theories best supported by the facts will inevitably rise to the top.
Of science, yes. But they won't be taught in schools if Creationists are elected to school boards.

quote:
It is only when scientists become dogmatic and begin using unscientific political tactics to advance their theories
Creationism is a POLITICAL movement. It's not science. Scientifically, it's dead.

If you disagree with me, make your case. Show us the original research, the peer-reviewed papers.

Scientists have been publishing papers about evolution for 150 years. Do today's Creationists care? Has it kept Creationism out of the classroom?

Nope. How will doing more science change that?

quote:
that the waters become murky, scientific theories start to look like political positions, and inferior theories end up looking no better or worse than those theories well supported by the facts.
Funny how this is exactly what Creationists do, and you don't seem to care to condemn them for it.

quote:
This is contrary to the spirit of reasoning that science is based upon. All opinions deserve respect - that is the only way you can accurately determine whether or not it is counterfactual or grossly illogical.
Oh, so you think that Creationism still deserves the benfit of the doubt?

Then by all means, defend it.

Because the rest of the educated world has long since measured Creationism, and found it wanting.

quote:
Otherwise you end up like those who thought it wasn't possible that the earth wasn't the center of the universe, or who thought it wasn't possible that the continents could move, or who thought it wasn't possible that man might descend from "apes" - all things that have seemed obviously counterfactual or grossly illogical to many at one point or another, and which have been found true because there were those willing to respect them enough to actually consider that they might be true.
You have it backwards.

Once the evidence started to show that those strange things were true, then it was rational to start believing they were true.

But not before.

You start with the evidence, then you see what conclusion you have to draw from it. And when you collect more evidence, then you change your conclusion.

What Creationists do is they have their Bible, the bible tells them what their conclusion is, and then if pressed, they spout argumetns and 'evidence' that supposedly support their faith position.

Once again, if you have a real example of scientsts acting arrogently, why don't you post it so the rest of us can see it?

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Tresopax
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quote:
But isn't that what you are arguing? That they have their truth, and I have mine, and why am I so mean as to not treat their truth with the respect that my truth gets?
No, that's actually not what I'm arguing at all.

quote:
Once the evidence started to show that those strange things were true, then it was rational to start believing they were true.
I didn't say it was rational to believe all theories. It's obviously irrational to think theories that conflict with the evidence are as true as those that don't. My point was that you should still respect them nonetheless, even if you don't believe them. And by "respect" I mean refute their theories only with the facts, through the scientific method, rather than by villifying them as the "opponents" of true science.

quote:
Once again, if you have a real example of scientsts acting arrogently, why don't you post it so the rest of us can see it?
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn - Kuhn studies over hundreds of years of the history of science, and demonstrates how science as a community acts in a dogmatic fashion, circling the wagons around the dominant scientific paradigm and resisting (often aggressively) attempts to refute it. As Kuhn says:

"Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Much of the success of the enterprise dervies from the community's willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost."

I think the history of science demonstrates that the scientific community has a habit of approaching its dominant theories in this dogmatic fashion, as if they know it to be true. (Fortunately, it also demonstrates that eventually a scientific revolution comes around resulting in new and better theories.)

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MrSquicky
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Tres,
I think you completely misunderstood what Kuhn was saying. Normal science is in no way the same as science as a whole. And his description of the puzzle-solving aspect of normal science cannot be accurately be categorized as you said: "act[ing] in a dogmatic fashion, circling the wagons around the dominant scientific paradigm and resisting (often aggressively) attempts to refute it.", but rather a period where most people working in "normal science" mode see evidence that contradicts the accepted theory as produced by errors in methods or at most, explained by special cases or small alterations in the accepted theory. He goes on to say that when enough evidence piles up or particularly clear evidence is brought up, there is a dramatic scientific revolution.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
It's obviously irrational to think theories that conflict with the evidence are as true as those that don't.
So what?

Creationists believe all kinds of things that conflict with the evidence.

Yet you don't have a critical word to say with regard to them.

quote:
My point was that you should still respect them nonetheless, even if you don't believe them. And by "respect" I mean refute their theories only with the facts, through the scientific method, rather than by villifying them as the "opponents" of true science.
Are you seriously laboring under the notion that Creationism hasn't been thoroughly refuted already?

For goodness sakes, scientists in the 1800's realized that the earth was teribly old, that orgnaisms had lived and gone extinct, and that there was no global flood. They all stopped being Creationist 100 years ago. Why didn't you know that?

Refuting with facts DOES derail bad science hypotheses. 100 years ago, it did the trick.

It will NOT derail Creationism, becuase Creationism isn't science. All the real Creationist scientsts switched camps 100 years ago, and surely you aren't going to argue that the evidence has gotten better when it comes to supporting Creationistm, are you?

It's not vilifictation to call a spade a spade.

Creationism isn't science. It's purely political.

quote:
"Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Much of the success of the enterprise dervies from the community's willingness to defend that assumption, if necessary at considerable cost."

I think the history of science demonstrates that the scientific community has a habit of approaching its dominant theories in this dogmatic fashion, as if they know it to be true. (Fortunately, it also demonstrates that eventually a scientific revolution comes around resulting in new and better theories.)

Thank you for proving my point.

You can't come up with a single actual example.

And I will be waiting until doomsday for you to come up with a single example of a scientific point where you think that mainstream science is wrong, and Creationism is right.

Kuhn is writing about scientific ideas being overturned by scientific ideas.

Does this mean that you are prepared to argue that Creationism is in fact, science?

Because I think it's time that you make that argument, or stop with your whole "Poor Creationists, no one wants to engage them scientifically" nonsense.

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Paul Goldner
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Science is waiting for a scientific defence of creationism to respond to. Without a scientific argument for creationism, there can be no scientific critique of the hypothesis.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Creationists believe all kinds of things that conflict with the evidence.
Creationists even believe things that contradict the Bible, the very book they claim to derive their belief from. Mere science or objective reality (which has, after all, a distinct liberal bias) has no chance.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
Science is waiting for a scientific defence of creationism to respond to. Without a scientific argument for creationism, there can be no scientific critique of the hypothesis.

Fortunately the world of talk radio and ministry groups have no need to be concerned with such trifle things.
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Paul Goldner
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I know. but the lack of scientific argument is why tresopax's argument is not only idiotic, its irrelevent.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Thank you for proving my point.

You can't come up with a single actual example.

It seems like you aren't interested in any examples I'd be giving or understanding my position, except insofar as you can poke holes in them and/or attack Creationism. I pointed you to Kuhn's historical analysis, but you don't seem interested in considering that real evidence. I could give you specific examples (famously biologist Richard Sternberg which is mentioned in this movie, less famously my professor who treated Creationism with a great deal of disdain, or even the attitudes of scientists on Hatrack, etc.), but is there any chance you wouldn't immediately come up with some reason to reject it as a valid example, regardless of how valid it actually is? If you really want to know what I think or if you really want to know why one might want to respect Creationism, then I'd be happy to answer your questions. But if you've already decided with certainty and do not respect my position, then I'm not sure how answering more questions would help anything.

quote:
think you completely misunderstood what Kuhn was saying. Normal science is in no way the same as science as a whole. And his description of the puzzle-solving aspect of normal science cannot be accurately be categorized as you said: "act[ing] in a dogmatic fashion, circling the wagons around the dominant scientific paradigm and resisting (often aggressively) attempts to refute it.", but rather a period where most people working in "normal science" mode see evidence that contradicts the accepted theory as produced by errors in methods or at most, explained by special cases or small alterations in the accepted theory.
I agree that normal science isn't science as a whole. But it is science as it is most commonly practiced, and I think evolution is in a phase of normal science right now as we speak. "Circling the wagons" may have been overstating it, but I think Kuhn definitely shows that during normal science scientists aim to defend the paradigm rather than actively question its validity. Counterinstances are treated not as reasons to doubt the truth of the theory, but rather as errors that need to be corrected in some way so as to be consistent with the theory's truth. The truth of the paradigm is simply assumed to be true, until the point that a paradigm shift occurs. And during normal science, speculation outside the paradigm isn't really considered science at all. This all is what I referred to as the dogmatism of science - this notion that science knows the answer, and that scientists must "puzzle-solve" to make the evidence fit the answer we already know.

quote:
I know. but the lack of scientific argument is why tresopax's argument is not only idiotic, its irrelevent.
As for the "idiotic" comment, that's a blunt ad hominem.

As for the lack of scientific argument... I am not a Intelligent Design supporter. I believe in Evolution. And I am not a scientist. So I don't see how I could possibly give a very good scientific case for something that I neither believe in nor have studied in detail. But, again, as I said I am not making that argument. I am NOT saying Creationism is true or has valid evidence supporting it. My argument is a broader complaint about how we treat dissent to accepted scientific theories, regardless of whether that dissent is well supported or not.

I must say, it is difficult to take a middle position on Hatrack. Must I choose between either accepting and proving Creationism or rejecting Creationists as evil monsters? Can't I respect the need to treat Intelligent Design fairly without going so far as saying Intelligent Design is true? Why am I inevitably lumped into one extreme or the other?

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King of Men
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quote:
It's not like the Creationists out there saying "Well, all the facts say I'm wrong but I'm going to believe it anyway."
They do, actually. Here is Kurt Wise, poster-child for creationists because he has a PhD, on the subject:

quote:
Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand."
He's honest about it; few are. But that's their stand.
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Paul Goldner
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"As for the "idiotic" comment, that's a blunt ad hominem."

Really? Where did I attack your character as a means of attacking your argument? No, Tres, I called your argument idiotic.

And it is. It relies on a whole bunch of false assumptions provided to you by creationists who treat scientists far worse then scientists treat creationists.

And, of course, those creationists aren't doing science... and demanding that their mythology be treated as science, which is why your argument is also irrelevent.

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Tresopax
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quote:
As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.
A distinction needs to be made here: That the Bible says it is true is a fact, even though it is not scientific evidence.

He still doesn't say he'd believe creationism even if ALL the facts said he's wrong. Rather he believes that the one fact that the Bible says it is true trumps all possible scientific evidence. Not very scientific, but it is certainly a logical argument based on the facts (or in that case "fact" singular), as long as you think the Bible is so infallible that it outweighs any other possible scientific evidence.

quote:
And it is. It relies on a whole bunch of false assumptions provided to you by creationists who treat scientists far worse then scientists treat creationists.
Nothing I've said relies on anything a creationist has said. I'm sure there are plenty of creationists who treat scientists worse than scientists treat creationists, but given that the folks at Hatrack seem to already agree on that, I don't see much purpose in spending time pointing out what creationists are doing wrong.
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guinevererobin
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quote:
As for the lack of scientific argument... I am not a Intelligent Design supporter. I believe in Evolution. And I am not a scientist. So I don't see how I could possibly give a very good scientific case for something that I neither believe in nor have studied in detail. But, again, as I said I am not making that argument. I am NOT saying Creationism is true or has valid evidence supporting it. My argument is a broader complaint about how we treat dissent to accepted scientific theories, regardless of whether that dissent is well supported or not.
Well, thank you.

I grew up with some family members who believed in creationism and others who believed in evolution and, while in the end I fall to the evolution side of the house, it amazes me how disrespectful and dogmatic those on both sides of the house are. And "dogmatic" and "scientific" don't seem to go together to me. But you can't say that, because then suddenly, you're on the creationist side. There really is no middle ground... and both sides are embarassing.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
It seems like you aren't interested in any examples I'd be giving or understanding my position, except insofar as you can poke holes in them and/or attack Creationism.
That's just great.

I ask you twice for specific examples, you refuse to provide any, and then when I point that out, you assert that I wouldn't be interested anyway.

That's a really honest argument you have there.

quote:
I pointed you to Kuhn's historical analysis, but you don't seem interested in considering that real evidence.
That's because a quote from a philospher isn't evidence.

quote:
I could give you specific examples (famously biologist Richard Sternberg
Ah, well go on then with Richerd Sternberg. Panda's Thumb has a long series of posts about the facts in that case, I'm confident that this resource will be more than sufficient to prove that Sternberg was treated fairly.

quote:
less famously my professor who treated Creationism with a great deal of disdain,
Well, Creationism deserves it. It's a counter-factual, illogical idea.

It was disproven 100 years ago, remember?

Do you think it is okay for geology professors to be dismissive of flat-earthers' claims?

If you do, what is the difference between the claims of flat-earthers, and the claims of Creationists?

quote:
but is there any chance you wouldn't immediately come up with some reason to reject it as a valid example, regardless of how valid it actually is?
Well, I guess you don't need to bother to try to come up with an example, since you aleady know what I will say.

Wow, that makes it pretty easy for you to claim to win any argument. You just tell yourself "the other person was never going to be able to deal with my mighty arguments, so I won't bother making them".

quote:
If you really want to know what I think or if you really want to know why one might want to respect Creationism, then I'd be happy to answer your questions.
Forget Creationism for a moment, how much respect do you have for the idea that gravity is caused by tiny fairies pushing everything towards earth?

How much respect do you have for the idea that disease are caused by demon posessions?

How much resepct do you have for the idea that the capital of Illinois is Chicago?

I have no problem admitting that those ideas are utterly stupid, and I don't respect them in the slightest. And I bet I'm not the only one on the board who thinks so

And you?

quote:
But if you've already decided with certainty and do not respect my position, then I'm not sure how answering more questions would help anything.
Now you are confusing the picture.

Creationism is bunk. Total bunk. I've seen more than enough evidence to know that's the truth. And even you don't want to defend it, becuase I've asked you to do so twice, and you can't.

Your position of thinking that all ideas, even the totally ridiculous ones, deserve to be treated with the same respect as scientific theories which have been abundantly supported for 100 years, just because the adherants claim the idea is scientific, that's the one I wanted you to defend, with reasoning and evidence.

But you have done a terible job. your "they have their truth, and you have yours" is laughable. Your one pale example of Sternberg is also pathetic when examined. They guy used his authority to by pass peer-review to publish a terrible paper that was totally inappropriate for the journal.

quote:
but I think Kuhn definitely shows that during normal science scientists aim to defend the paradigm rather than actively question its validity.
You have to be kidding.

In order to make your case, you have to prove that it's happening in evolution. How can you not see that?

So for starters, point out the evidence that the scientific community is avoiding.

Heck, point out the SCIENTIFIC argument that the wagons are being circled agaisnt!

quote:
Counterinstances are treated not as reasons to doubt the truth of the theory, but rather as errors that need to be corrected in some way so as to be consistent with the theory's truth.
Example, please.

quote:
The truth of the paradigm is simply assumed to be true, until the point that a paradigm shift occurs. And during normal science, speculation outside the paradigm isn't really considered science at all.
So you are actually arguing that no one thought taht Einsten was doing science until his ideas were accepeted?

How do you think he got his papers pubilshed if no one thought they were science?

Do you claim that there was some brave Sternberg pushing them through over the objections of the mainstream community?

quote:
As for the "idiotic" comment, that's a blunt ad hominem.
No, it's not. He didn't call you idiotic, he called your idea idiotic. And it is. You are claiming that ideas whose scientific merit died 100 years ago should still be treated as valid scientific alternatives.

quote:
As for the lack of scientific argument... I am not a Intelligent Design supporter. I believe in Evolution. And I am not a scientist. So I don't see how I could possibly give a very good scientific case for something that I neither believe in nor have studied in detail.
Oh please.

You are arguing that the whole community of scientists is wrong to dismiss Creationism.

That means that you think you are a better judge of science than all the world's scientists.

If you can't defend your claim, withdraw the argument. It's the honest thing to do.

quote:
But, again, as I said I am not making that argument.I am NOT saying Creationism is true or has valid evidence supporting it.
You have argued that because some people THINK there is valid evidence, that the rest of us need to treat Creationism as if it has valid evidence.

And you are esentially arguing that the rest of us are wrong when we label Creationism as not science. That means you must think there is evidence, since science requires evidence.

So either you know what evidence led you to that conclusion, or you are making things up.

So if you disavow knowing of any evidence which supports Creationism, we are left with option B.

Which we all knew from the start, but thanks for making it clear.

quote:
My argument is a broader complaint about how we treat dissent to accepted scientific theories, regardless of whether that dissent is well supported or not.
Ah, see, here is the sticking point between yourself, and most of the people on this board.

I think you would agree that there is not a lot of scientific support for the idea that angels have a big impact in how the world works.

Most of the people on this board figure that that fact means that science should not spend anytime attempting to research angel activites.

But Creationists like Dembski think that it is a failing of science to ignore all that angel activity, and if you actually believe the argument you are making, you should too.

quote:
I must say, it is difficult to take a middle position on Hatrack.
Oh spare us.

There are a lot of things in this world where there are at least some good evidence and argumetns on both sides.

But Creationism is NOT one of them. The sooner you see that, the sooner you can stop arguing in favor of more angel reserach.

quote:
Must I choose between either accepting and proving Creationism or rejecting Creationists as evil monsters?
You have to choose between accepting lunacy and rejecting it. Most intelligent people have no problem choosing the latter.

quote:
Can't I respect the need to treat Intelligent Design fairly without going so far as saying Intelligent Design is true?
But you don't want to treat Creationim fairly. To treat it farily would be to judge it like all scienticfic ideas are judged, whicih would lead you to reject it.

But you won't do that. You want it to have the respect of a scientific idea without being science. Why is that fair?

quote:
Why am I inevitably lumped into one extreme or the other?
You chose to argue that Creationism should be treated like science. It's not our fault there's no way to do that without looking like a loon.

You can forget responsing to everything I wrote if you will just answer one simpe question:

What is the difference betwen wanting science to spend more time addressing the concerns of Creationists, and wanting science to spend more time studying the workings of angels?

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Paul Goldner
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*polite applause*
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scholar
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Creationism and ID are not trying to say we believe God created the earth. They are saying, we KNOW God created the earth and you must too. They are trying to force people to believe in their religion using science to do so. Is it any wonder scientists go, wait a minute. This is NOT science. This is faith and we will not allow faith to be treated as science. If you say ID is a science, you are making faith into a fact. Not only is the science bad, but it is intolerant.
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Tarrsk
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*echoes polite applause*

I suspect that Tresopax will, in his usual way, focus on the style and tone of your post in his response ("wah wah you [and by extension all scientists] are so RUDE and ergo INTOLERANT") rather than the substance of your arguments, but this is nothing new.

Regarding Kuhn, Tresopax is missing the real relevance, which is, ironically enough, that evolutionary theory itself is the better scientific explanation that overthrew the previous creationist paradigm. Kuhn also writes that such a transition should take approximately one generation after accumulation of significant evidence in favor of a new theory (and against the old theory), since that is the length of time for the "old guard" to literally die off. This is exactly what happened throughout the early 20th century. As we accumulated more evidence, from fields as diverse as paleontology, chemistry, ecology, and most powerfully of all, the newly born fields of molecular biology and genetics, the remaining holdouts against evolutionary theory within the scientific community passed on. The story diverges from Kuhn's in that in this case, the evidence was so strong (and grew so rapidly, once molecular techniques were invented), that the holdouts were far and few between.

Since then, the evidence for evolution has only increased in number and strength. As swbarnes2 noted, the biological sciences community has long since moved past the incredibly basic question of "Does evolution occur?" Heck, we've long since answered questions like "What are the mechanisms through which evolutionary change occurs?" and "What sort of pressures, both internal and environmental, can spur natural selection?"

Is another paradigm shift possible in the future? Sure, hypothetically, if someone either comes up with a better theory that fits the evidence, or finds some evidence that truly damns Darwinism to the pit of discarded hypotheses. Do I think this is at all likely? Speaking as someone who is just starting out in the professional field, and therefore (if we take Kuhn as gospel) should be among the most likely to jump on a new paradigm, I really don't think so. At this point, overturning evolution wouldn't be like replacing Newtonian physics with relativity theory. It'd be more analogous to discovering that inertia doesn't exist and that even in the absence of a force, we actually do naturally slow down in Aristotelian fashion.

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
At this point, overturning evolution wouldn't be like replacing Newtonian physics with relativity theory. It'd be more analogous to discovering that inertia doesn't exist and that even in the absence of a force, we actually do naturally slow down in Aristotelian fashion.

I agree with the rest of your post and think that this is a particularly important point. The concept of evolution itself is not an interpretation of the data, it is the data (if that makes sense). In other words it is an observation, not a theory. For example, iirc, we have fossil records for over 20 (possibly 40 I forget) distinct primate species closely related to modern day humans. We don't currently know the exact progression from primate to human, but the fossils still show the evolution of bipedalism and a larger brain.

I don't know if that made sense so I'll put it another way. Evolutionary theory is an attempt to explain the evolution that we see in the data. Theories that deny evolution (ex: creationism) are automatically rejected not because of dogmatism but because they clearly ignore data. Theories that deny evolutionary theory (ex: intelligent design) are generally rejected because they are unsubstantiated. For example, to make intelligent design a credible theory, proponents have to show that evolution is either impossible or astronomically unlikely given the laws of our universe. At the moment, the evidence put forth for either of those claims is extremely flaky and consists of a combination of attacks on evolution (red herrings) and a series of pitifully invalid thought experiments (along the lines of Ron's silly "Where is there NOT evidence of ordered design?").

I don't know if I made any sense. I'll try to clarify if people find this post confusing (some of the sentences felt awkward as I typed them).

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Tresopax
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quote:
I grew up with some family members who believed in creationism and others who believed in evolution and, while in the end I fall to the evolution side of the house, it amazes me how disrespectful and dogmatic those on both sides of the house are. And "dogmatic" and "scientific" don't seem to go together to me. But you can't say that, because then suddenly, you're on the creationist side. There really is no middle ground... and both sides are embarassing.
Exactly.

quote:
At this point, overturning evolution wouldn't be like replacing Newtonian physics with relativity theory. It'd be more analogous to discovering that inertia doesn't exist and that even in the absence of a force, we actually do naturally slow down in Aristotelian fashion.
When Kuhn describes paradigm shifts, he doesn't paint them as "overturning" the old theories. It is more akin, I think, to changing all the rules, concepts, and definitions so that the old data all still stands exaclty as it always was, but suddenly appears entirely different because it is looked at through a different lens. For instance, relativity didn't overturn Newtonian physics. Newtonian physics operates as it always did, but through the new rules and concepts of relativity it is now understood in an entirely different fashion which can explain the exceptions that the original Newtonian paradigm could not. Similarly, if a paradigm shift occured in regards to evolution, I doubt it would "overturn" evolution. Instead it would change the way we look at evolution and understand it. All the data supporting evolution would still be there but we would see it in a different light, under new rules that could also explain whatever problems we've had with evolutionary theory.

quote:
The concept of evolution itself is not an interpretation of the data, it is the data (if that makes sense).
Yes, that makes sense. But I think that is always the case with scientific paradigms. For instance, Newtonian physics probably appeared to BE the data - since for the most part it held true in all the data. And as I alluded to above, when the paradigm shifted, that data didn't go away. It was just all of a sudden understood differently.

If this were to occur with evolution, it couldn't deny the data that supports evolution. It would have to take same data and apply different rules or concepts to it, so that we understand it in a different way. And that new paradigm would then appear to BE the data, just as evolution does now.

[ October 13, 2007, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Morbo
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I haven't read Kuhn, though I've wanted to for years. But paradigm shifts can occur on different levels. The Relativity paradigm didn't prove Newtonian physics wrong but made them a special case or approximation. Other shifts can be more dramatic, like when heliocentric models of the solar system overturned the geocentric ones. The geocentric model is not a special case or approximation: it's just wrong.

This is pretty much what happened when evolution and other fields overturned creation theory, at least YEC theories.

Also Tres, when discussing shifts taking generations, it's not just about old data: new data is amassed all the time. This happened with Newton's theory: the unexplained precession of Mercury wasn't observed until 1859.

[ October 14, 2007, 12:04 AM: Message edited by: Morbo ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
"I must say, it is difficult to take a middle position on Hatrack."

Oh spare us.

There are a lot of things in this world where there are at least some good evidence and argumetns on both sides.

But Creationism is NOT one of them. The sooner you see that, the sooner you can stop arguing in favor of more angel reserach.

You haven't been initiated to Tres's incredible ability to pick a position that defies the known laws of physics. He isn't in the middle, it's more like an argumentative black hole this time around. It's really amazing to see, but according to him I would venture to say there are no facts, truths, opinions, experiences, viewpoints or beliefs that are concrete. I think he does it for fun.

I could be wrong. After all how can I really know Tresopax? How can anyone say anything about him?

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