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Changing the definition of science in Kansas - Page 2  

post #41 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
But there is nothing in the history of knowledge to suggest that it would be wise or efficacious for science, while seeking such an explanation, to declare: "until we have a better grasp on this phenomena we are obliged to consider it supernatural ".

And I am not saying they should.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
As far as I can tell, your only reason for championing this particular scenario is because you regard prayer as having a special claim to mysteriousness, and that if prayer can be proven effective then science must surely allow for its supernatural status even, as you would have it, they pursue natural explanations.

Actually...I was only using it as an example of something which a) has been studied scientifically, and b) for which there are no current naturalistic explanations. I allow tha there may well be some in the future, but I also allow that there may never be any naturalistic explanation of it (and there may be other things like this too BTW)...but the observation of its effect is still valid.
post #42 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
More thorough description of proceedings. Links to transcripts. Video if they have them.

I agree. I'd like those things too.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Evolution is criticised and upended every day.

Except it isn't really allowed in the public schools. And "upended" When? Where? How come we never hear/see/read anything but "We found the 'missing link' of evolution!"?

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Many evolutionary hypotheses have proven to be right.

Actually, they are never really "proven right"...only not disproven.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
On the other hand, creationism...

I haven't mentioned creationism or God at all in my arguments.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
If you believe in Creationism, you are being willfully stupid. You weren't put on this Earth by your God to be willfully stupid.

Well, if I was put on this earth by God, then it stands to reason I was "created". But your own inconsistency aside...

You are certainly welcome to your opinion about those that believe that there is/was an intelligent, mindful creator. However demonizing or adhominem attacks against individuals or groups of them isn't a very interesting or productive argumentation technique. Countering someone's questions with "Well, you must just be stupid." doesn't really answer the questions. But, then again, it is the prevailing debate technique used today, and especially here at AO/PO.

Finally "creationism" is far too broad a brush to paint with (as is "evolution" BTW).

But...my real point of the discussion was about what science is, how it is really practiced, how it is defined, etc. The issue in Kansas is simply a launching point for that discussion.
post #43 of 302
Quote:
Except it isn't really allowed in the public schools. And "upended" When? Where? How come we never hear/see/read anything but "We found the 'missing link' of evolution!"?

You don't know because you likely haven't sought an education in evolutionary theory.
The fact that you even bring up "missing link" as something scientists consider seriously just shows it plain as day. You absorb mass media stories about scientific discoveries as scientific principle explanations and expect someone to take it seriously?

You can't claim what scientists say about evolution. You only involve yourself in the argument on the creationist side where the lines you claim scientists use is repeated in an intellectual circle jerk.

This is why real scientists know better than to involve themselves in these idiotic arguments; those who claim to know so much about what scientists say have absolutely no idea and never seek out information and explanations if there is the potential that they run counter to their ideas.

Let me illustrate this idea with a perfect example. I have a few Teaching Company lectures. Here is my mother's explanation of the ones she wants: "All of them except the evolution ones."

I use my mother as a template for mainstream Christian emotionalists. That is the Christian Right Wing in action. "Tell me that what I have believed since I was 3 years old is true. Reinforce my world view or don't talk at all."


Quote:
I haven't mentioned creationism or God at all in my arguments.

Of course you haven't. You think it's coy and clever, but it's not. You think it's not transparent, but it is.

At least have the moral fiber to be honest.

- You don't know much of anything about evolution because you don't seek the information out.
- You know your true desire (religious theological instruction in public schools) is unconstitutional so you want to find a back door.

The Christian Right isn't just hiding its light under a bushel, it's caking the thing in foot-thick mud.
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post #44 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
why don't they just change it's definiton to:

A practice conducted by a bunch off hellbound sinners who exist simply to attempt to defame our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and anything else scribed within the iron clad truth that is the Bible.


OMG, I haven't laughed this hard since... wait... I've NEVER laughed this hard. I think I broke a blood vessel!

Classic. Instant, classic.
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post #45 of 302
What pre-tell does the definition of science got to do with the arcane scientific method?

The scientific method is about as incomplete a description of what science is as the hypocratic oath is an explanation for what medicine is...

There are no events which do not have a "naturalistic" explanation. Period. That does not require one to not believe in god. It does require one to not believe in miracles as such...
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post #46 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Of course you haven't. You think it's coy and clever, but it's not. You think it's not transparent, but it is.

Well you got me!

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
At least have the moral fiber to be honest.

I am. My point here it not about God or creationism. You can attempt to layer that on me if you wish though.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
- You don't know much of anything about evolution because you don't seek the information out.

Wrong.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
- You know your true desire (religious theological instruction in public schools) is unconstitutional so you want to find a back door.

Wrong again.

That's three in one post Grover. Whew!

And actually, religious education in public school is arguably not unconstitutional. Although it certainly appears to be illegal currently. But that's not what I'm here to discuss.
post #47 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
What pre-tell does the definition of science got to do with the arcane scientific method?

Arcane? Is this really so arcane?

1. Observe
2. Hypothesize
3. Predict
4. Test/Experiment

It isn't to me. But then what do I know.
post #48 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
And I am not saying they should.



Actually...I was only using it as an example of something which a) has been studied scientifically, and b) for which there are no current naturalistic explanations. I allow tha there may well be some in the future, but I also allow that there may never be any naturalistic explanation of it (and there may be other things like this too BTW)...but the observation of its effect is still valid.

Hmmm......

So I guess I'm not clear what you're after, then.

If you're saying that science need not allow for "supernatural" as an explanation for phenomena that are not yet understood in scientific terms, and that science can and should pursue its investigations into such phenomena, then what is the point of contention?

I think it's fine that you, personally, suspect that some things will never be understood by the mechanisms of science, but that's not an argument for changing curricula.

1) You think that there are things that will remain ever invulnerable to scientific explanation and that science should declare that now, as a matter of principle and fariness, in which case you are not being honest when you claim that you are not saying that, as you do above.

2) You think there are some things that science has no explanation for at the moment, and that you prefer to think of such things as supernatural, while allowing for the possibility that science may one day have explanations for these things and should pursue such explanations (as has happened so many times before), in which case we agree.

3) You think number 2 but feel that for some reason that obliges science to declare the supernatural to be an operative principal, which is incoherent.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
post #49 of 302
post #50 of 302
Cuilla:

I'm wrong that you haven't studied evolution? Wonderful, then explain to me why the focus on a "missing link" shows a poor understanding of evolutionary theory and history.
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post #51 of 302
Will Kansas dental schools now demand stickers in texts or curricula time for the Tooth Fairy?
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post #52 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
If you're saying that science need not allow for "supernatural" as an explanation for phenomena that are not yet understood in scientific terms, and that science can and should pursue its investigations into such phenomena, then what is the point of contention?

Actually science should allow for it as a possibility, but not presume it is or is not the explanation. Investigation can continue willfully.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
I think it's fine that you, personally, suspect that some things will never be understood by the mechanisms of science, but that's not an argument for changing curricula.

The issue is with how science is defined. Rageous disputes this. I don't agree with him. Science quite evidently appears to presume only naturalistic explanations (whether that is written in some definition or not...and it is in some).

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
1) You think that there are things that will remain ever invulnerable to scientific explanation

Yes.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
and that science should declare that now, as a matter of principle and fariness

No.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
2) You think there are some things that science has no explanation for at the moment,

Yes.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
and that you prefer to think of such things as supernatural, while allowing for the possibility that science may one day have explanations for these things and should pursue such explanations (as has happened so many times before), in which case we agree.

Wouldn't even say I prefer (though maybe sometimes I do)...as much as a supernatual explanation might be the only one in X case or another.


Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
3) You think number 2 but feel that for some reason that obliges science to declare the supernatural to be an operative principal <snip>

Not really.
post #53 of 302
post #54 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Cuilla:

I'm wrong that you haven't studied evolution? Wonderful, then explain to me why the focus on a "missing link" shows a poor understanding of evolutionary theory and history.

You are simply misunderstanding my use of it.

This is the thing that is widely popularly expressed with no discernable (public) counter challenge by any scientists.

But even so...let's go straight to some more scientific sources that good old MarcUK just showed up...right on cue to give us such an example of . Read the articles he has posted as current examples of scientists using this expression themselves. Earlier articles (which I cannot find at the moment) say the same thing about "ring species". Using almost exactly the same phrase or strongly implying it. And these are statements/quotes from the scientists themselves.
post #55 of 302
So you can't answer my question, then? Why not just admit you don't know much of anything about evolutionary theory and nothing outside of what you read in self-affirming creationist (ID is creationism) "literature"?

I read MarcUK's article and no scientist says "missing link" or anything like it. I would love to see a specific interpretation from you. But then again, I'm asking for something I'm not likely to get; substance.

Quote the scientists. If they said it in the articles like you say they have quote them.
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post #56 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
So you can't answer my question, then? Why not just admit you don't know much of anything about evolutionary theory and nothing outside of what you read in self-affirming creationist (ID is creationism) "literature"?

Because there is nothing for me to admit in that question/statement/accusation/assertion. Are you asking me if I am a "scientist" that studies evolutionary matters all the time, every day? No I am not. But do read...and I read beyond what you call the creationist writings.

It is clever to turn this into an argument about the exact nature of my knowledge of evolution. But it is irrelevant...a diversion.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
I read MarcUK's article and no scientist says "missing link" or anything like it. I would love to see a specific interpretation from you. But then again, I'm asking for something I'm not likely to get; substance.

You must be blind then.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4512487.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4498049.stm

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Quote the scientists. If they said it in the articles like you say they have quote them.

"This little beast is the missing link between predatory dinosaurs and the bizarre plant-eating therizinosaurs" -- Scott Sampson, Utah Museum of Natural History

"These exciting fossils will help fill in the 'missing link' " -- Professor Richard Aldridge, geologist

And from this press release from UCSD:

http://www.qeced.net/bio/evolbio/MissLink.htm

"Their description of the intermediate forms of two reproductively isolated populations of songbirds that no longer interbreed is the "missing evidence" that Darwin had hoped to use to support his theory of natural selection, but was never able to find."
post #57 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Except it isn't really allowed in the public schools. And "upended" When? Where? How come we never hear/see/read anything but "We found the 'missing link' of evolution!"?

I don't think you can make a claim that it isn't allowed in public schools. It's certainly allowed I think. I'm sure most science teachers would weep sweet tears to have a student display a critical mind. On the other hand, criticisms using flights of fancy for support, are probably received with bitter exasperated tears for wasting time.

And yes many a hypotheses and theory of evolution have been upended. Romer's hypotheses of tetrapod evolution, fish to 4 legged land animals, was proved wrong. This was virtually the only theory of tetrapod evolution for half a century that was proved wrong. Human evolution theories have been upended multiple times and has been modified continuously over the years. There are millions of things left unstudied just because there isn't enough people and time.

If you're looking for something that says biological evolution as a whole is wrong and invalid. There probably isn't such a thing. The framework fits all known observations and evidence. If it is upended, said new theory has to say the same thing about the data, but be better at it. It hasn't come yet.

Quote:
You are certainly welcome to your opinion about those that believe that there is/was an intelligent, mindful creator. However demonizing or adhominem attacks against individuals or groups of them isn't a very interesting or productive argumentation technique. Countering someone's questions with "Well, you must just be stupid." doesn't really answer the questions. But, then again, it is the prevailing debate technique used today, and especially here at AO/PO.

Your point was about debate, about how science can't be challenged without people bringing up the challengers faith. Is this a strawman argument or not?

Science is challenged continuously. What one must have are data and experimentation. A person's faith is irrelevent. Only data is. What do the evolution critics bring to the table?

Quote:
But...my real point of the discussion was about what science is, how it is really practiced, how it is defined, etc. The issue in Kansas is simply a launching point for that discussion.

You mentioned something about the power of prayer for healing. Does it come as a surprise to you that it has been put to the test? Scientifically test? Many "supernatural" phenomena have been put the test. None have come out positive.

From Wired magazine, discussed in this very forum years ago:

A Prayer Before Dying


THE ASTONISHING STORY OF A DOCTOR WHO SUBJECTED FAITH TO THE RIGORS OF SCIENCE - AND THEN BECAME A TEST SUBJECT HERSELF.
...
In July 1995, back when AIDS was still a death sentence, psychiatrist Elisabeth Targ and her co-researchers enrolled 20 patients with advanced AIDS in a randomized, double-blind pilot study at the UC San Francisco Medical Center. All patients received standard care, but psychic healers prayed for the 10 in the treatment group. The healers lived an average of 1,500 miles away from the patients. None of the patients knew which group they had been randomly assigned to, and thus whether they were being prayed for. During the six-month study, four of the patients died - a typical mortality rate. When the data was unblinded, the researchers learned that the four who had died were in the control group.

All 10 who were prayed for were still alive. ...


I probably don't have to tell you the conclusion. This is what science is about. Evolution has been put through orders of magnitude more rigor.
post #58 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
So, my question is, what is wrong with this definition of science[?]

The agenda behind it?

Actually, there's nothing wrong with the definition depending on what you mean by "adequate". There's also no need to change the old definition, depending on what you mean by "natural".

In the broadest sense of the word "natural", there is nothing which is not natural. Should anything worthy of the label "deity" exist, then a deity is a natural thing. The distinction made by the word "supernatural" merely expresses the concept of something which lies outside the limits of our understanding of nature, not the idea of something actually existing outside of nature. This is not as close-minded some might take it sound, merely a reflection of a simple tautology that to exist is to be a part of nature.

Before getting to what's "adequate", there's a common attack on the practice of science that I'd like to mention, which goes something like this: Let us assume for the moment that there exists some entity akin to the Biblical God, or some other Powerful Intelligent Entity (PIE? ), and that this Entity is indeed responsible for creating life and the universe as we know it.

Isn't it terribly unscientific to simply, flatly rule out that which could be true? If the above is true, how could science ever find its way to this truth?

Perhaps one answer (which should make at least some religiously inclined folk happy to contemplate) would be that some truths are simply beyond science. Science may have inherent limits. Of course, it does not automatically follow that whatever science can't discover, religion or spirituality can. Some knowledge may simply be beyond human reach.

The main conflict, however, between science and so-called supernatural explanations is not that they are flatly ruled out simply for being supernatural, but that those supernatural explanations which are typically offered are inadequate as scientific theories.

The best measure of adequacy in science is certainly not how many questions a theory can be used to answer. It is far better to answer a limited range of questions well than to answer many questions generically. When the subject is evolution, I've quite often seen evolution's detractors hold up every single question unanswered by evolution, every single mystery, as a strike against evolution, presumably thinking that because "God did it", or "that's how God wants it to be" can be used by these detractors as an answers to any unknown makes those explanations somehow better.

An adequate scientific theory also has to do more than simply label a phenomenon. It need not explain a phenomenon entirely, but it has to give you something more than you had without the theory. If Newton had merely said "Gravity is that which holds the planets in their orbits" he'd not have contributed much to science. With nothing more said, "gravity" could merely be a synonym for the old "crystalline spheres". Our ability to predict the positions of the planets would not have moved forward a bit.

But Newton did go further. He defined gravity as an attractive force between all objects, and provided a quantitative description of this force, in the form of the equation F = GMm/(r^2). Suddenly, not only did the movements of the planets make much more sense, but they were much more predictable. Even more, completely different phenomena, like how apples fall from trees, could be seen, measured, and experimentally proven to be expressions of the same law of gravity.

Suppose, however, Newton instead had said that the movements of the planets were due to a Giant Invisible Hedgehog (GIH). The planets move as they do because the GIH wants them to move that way. Apples fall from trees because the GIH has declared it so. The sky is blue and grass is green because the GIH thinks that's pretty. Wow! The GIH explains everything gravity explains... and more!

Of course, the GIH theory doesn't help you explain the movements of the planets any better than you could before you learned of his Furry Greatness. Well, perhaps Newton could say that the GIH has declared that there is an attractive force between the planets defined by F = GMm/(r^2). Oh, and the GIH says this force works on apples too. So, now we have a theory that gives us all of the advantages of the simple gravity theory, explains the color of the sky and grass too, and as a bonus will give many generations of schoolchildren something to draw, trying to imagine what the GIH looks like... apart from being invisible, or course.

Most scientists, however, spoil sports such that they are, will start asking impertinent questions like: "Why a hedgehog, and not a zebra or an artichoke or an unemployed chimney sweep?" "How do you know the GIH is invisible? Could he just be good at hiding?" "Why does the GIH favor blue skies and green grass?" "Why not just leave it at that F = GMm/(r^2), and leave out the hedgehog thing? The sky and grass color stuff is pretty feeble anyway, don't you think?"

Aside from the usual important standards of being testable and supported by evidence, a good scientific theory can be said to:
  • Do more than simply give a name to a known phenomena.
  • Do more than replace one unknown with another unknown.
  • Be limited and focused in the types of questions it answers.
  • Tell you something that you didn't know before.
  • Contain no extraneous details which do not derive from the supporting data, nor which do not add to the explanatory or predictive value of the theory.
Here is where supernatural explanations typically show so little promise that they don't merit serious consideration. If Biblically-literal so-called scientific creationism is what you're trying to pass off as science, the sad fact is that, for scientific purposes, there's little to distinguish the Biblical God from the GIH. How does God having a son named Jesus help explain dinosaur fossils? What does appearing to Moses in a burning bush have to do with vestigial leg bones in whales? The Biblical God carries too much extraneous baggage to be pertinent to the problems scientists try to answer. The Biblical God can be used to answer too many questions too generically.

As for Intelligent Design, the problem is this: Reduce the concept of an Intelligent Designer down to only that part which could possibly apply to questions of biological or cosmological origins, and what do you have left? Certainly not anything that looks like the Biblical God -- no Moses, no Jesus, no burning bushes there at all, except by wishful thinking. You in fact don't have anything left which can be distinguished from an alien race or a Primordial Robot or a GIH.

The only question the existence of a Designer can be used to answer is "where did all this amazing, complex stuff come from", and the only definition left for this Designer when extraneous detail is stripped away is "the source of unknown amazing complexity". In other words, the Designer merely becomes a label to place on the unknown, and nothing more.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #59 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
I don't think you can make a claim that it isn't allowed in public schools. It's certainly allowed I think. I'm sure most science teachers would weep sweet tears to have a student display a critical mind.

True. But are teachers raising and informing students about the questions, the controversies and challenges or are they relying on students to raise them? I mean the teachers are supposed to be well...teaching.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
If you're looking for something that says biological evolution as a whole is wrong and invalid. There probably isn't such a thing. The framework fits all known observations and evidence. If it is upended, said new theory has to say the same thing about the data, but be better at it. It hasn't come yet.

Here's where we get into trouble...again the broad brush of "evolution". I have said before that I agree with the basic ideas (variations, mutations/changes, descent of those changes)...where things get wrapped around the axle is when it comes to speciation...and this is really the linchpin of "evolution". It is the "whole story" really. Everything else (variations within species, similarities between species, etc.) is readily observable. Speciation is not. And the best examples anyone has come up with ("ring species") appear to be operating on some faulty or incomplete or (to my view) undocumented assumptions.

We get into the same problem when someone says "Do you read the Bible literally?" This is like the "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question. "The Bible" is a broad and diverse set of writings, some poetic, some allegorical, some claiming to be historical. So saying "Do you read the Bible literally?" is too imprecise as are statements like "evolution is true" or "evolution is false".

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Your point was about debate, about how science can't be challenged without people bringing up the challengers faith. Is this a strawman argument or not?

Is mine? No. I was responding to your saying that anyone that believes in creationism is willfully stupid.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Science is challenged continuously. What one must have are data and experimentation. A person's faith is irrelevent. Only data is. What do the evolution critics bring to the table?

Actually, I don't need data to challenge assumptions. That is an argument based on logic. If you (as a scientist or someone else) state something, I have a right t know your assumptions, question why you have those assumptions and so. I don't need data for that. I am challenging the deductive reasoning in that case.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
You mentioned something about the power of prayer for healing. Does it come as a surprise to you that it has been put to the test? Scientifically test?

No.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Many "supernatural" phenomena have been put the test. None have come out positive.

<snip>

During the six-month study, four of the patients died - a typical mortality rate. When the data was unblinded, the researchers learned that the four who had died were in the control group.

All 10 who were prayed for were still alive. ...[/i]

So would you say that the results were significant enough to day that something (in this case prayer) had an observable and statistically significant effect?
post #60 of 302
or ... hmmm.
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post #61 of 302
Quote:
It is clever to turn this into an argument about the exact nature of my knowledge of evolution. But it is irrelevant...a diversion.

No, it's entirely relevant.
You try to make statements not only about the scientific merit of evolution but of the contemporary statements of evolutionary scientists. You absolutely need credibility to be taken as a valid source. I am asking you to establish your credibility.

Quote:
You must be blind then.

MarcUK had one post in this thread and one link. That link said nothing about "missing link".

Link 1:
"This little beast is the missing link between small-bodied predatory dinosaurs and the highly specialised and bizarre plant-eating therizinosaurs."

Link 2:
"These exciting fossils will help fill in the 'missing link' in the evolutionary history of very early fishes," Professor Aldridge explained.

First off, this is fish and dinosaur evolution, not human evolution which was the point of contention in "missing link" parlance. Marc posted an article on human ancestors (or related ancestral species), don't move the goalposts, that's what intellectual cowards do.

Secondly, these are both statements from scientists meant to shortcut a larger point to make the idea easier to digest. Look at the second statement, "help fill in the 'missing link'". He's not talking about one species being a "missing link" all on its own.

Quote:
"Their description of the intermediate forms of two reproductively isolated populations of songbirds that no longer interbreed is the "missing evidence" that Darwin had hoped to use to support his theory of natural selection, but was never able to find."

"Missing link"? Where?
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post #62 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Arcane? Is this really so arcane?

1. Observe
2. Hypothesize
3. Predict
4. Test/Experiment

It isn't to me. But then what do I know.

This sequence of four conceptual parts is not applicable to everyday science. More often than not, it works in a completely difference manner:

1) Experiment
2) Observe
3) Hypothesize
4) Predict

And science is only the last two parts as long as it provides a testable hypothesis based upon observation.

The other two parts are natural aspects of human behavior.

You know nothing.
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post #63 of 302
Thread Starter 
Whew! I'm tired after reading that. Some of it I agree with...other parts I'd like to discuss further...but alas it ia Friday afternoon and I am wearing down (a little )

I do, however, wish to address one particular point...

Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
the usual important standards of being testable

Testable. This indeed is an important aspect of the scientific method. So, regarding evolution and, in particular, let's examine a core assertion offered and see if it is testable:

Quote:
All known species of plants and animals have evolved over the course of many (hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, whatever) years.

Is that statement testable?

Now...let's follow the scientific method:

1. Observation:
a. We have observed a number of classifiable similarities among species from both current living species and fossil samples we have uncovered.
b. We observe that individuals within species often exhibit variations in form.
c. We observe that these variations are "passed down" to children.

2. Hypothesis:
Over the course of time, all known species of plants and animals have emerged through a process of mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation, these accumulations eventually resulting in populations that are, biologically-speaking, both distinct and reproductively isolated.

3. Predict:
Species will continue to change through a process of mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation and new populations that are biologically both distinct and reproductively isolated from one another will emerge.

4. Test:
How do we test this?
post #64 of 302
All species have evolved over the course of many (hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, whatever) years is not a core tenant of evolution.

That is a secondary result that was arrived at by logic.
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post #65 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
No, it's entirely relevant.
You try to make statements not only about the scientific merit of evolution but of the contemporary statements of evolutionary scientists. You absolutely need credibility to be taken as a valid source. I am asking you to establish your credibility.

No. You have it wrong. I am challenging the pressumption of only natural explanations of observed phenomena.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
MarcUK had one post in this thread and one link. That link said nothing about "missing link".

Look further up (and it is not that much further up).

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
First off, this is fish and dinosaur evolution, not human evolution which was the point of contention in "missing link" parlance. Marc posted an article on human ancestors (or related ancestral species), don't move the goalposts, that's what intellectual cowards do.

I'm not moving anything. I never said my discussion was limited to or focused on human evolution. Besides...what difference would that make. Supposedly we have all evolved anyway. But I wasn't using the "missing link" thing in regard to a specific species or evolutionary thread.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
"Missing link"? Where?

Okay...you got me Grover...he said "missing evidence". You win.
post #66 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
All species have evolved over the course of many (hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, whatever) years is not a core tenant of evolution.

That is a secondary result that was arrived at by logic.

Isn't that the common hypothesis offered based on the observations and assumptions?
post #67 of 302
Quote:
No. You have it wrong. I am challenging the pressumption of only natural explanations of observed phenomena.

Do you have any proof or even solid logic that anything unnatural exists?

Your objection to the use of the word "natural" exists on an illogical basis, so it's difficult to even follow what you're talking about.


Quote:
Okay...you got me Grover...he said "missing evidence". You win.

There's a significant difference. You can' just find the word "missing" and lump all the ideas in together.

You look at it that way because you obviously don't know much about evolutionary theory. That's why you can't actually answer my questions. And why IDers don't actually have any science behind their ideas.

It's strategic intellectual retreat.
proud resident of a failed state
proud resident of a failed state
post #68 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Isn't that the common hypothesis offered based on the observations and assumptions?

The fundamental hypothesis of evolution is that species are related to each other (confirmed).

This leads to the hypothesis that there exist mechanisms by which one species can become another (confirmed).

This leads to the weaker hypothesis, because it is difficult to prove, that all species originate from one particular origin (yet to be confirmed, and may not be practical to confirm it)...
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
post #69 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Do you have any proof or even solid logic that anything unnatural exists?

Your objection to the use of the word "natural" exists on an illogical basis, so it's difficult to even follow what you're talking about.

Using that line of argument, I could say to scientists, "Do you have any proof that things not fitting a definition of "natural" (physical, material) do not exist."

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
There's a significant difference. You can' just find the word "missing" and lump all the ideas in together.

Yes. You're right. You win.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
You look at it that way because you obviously don't know much about evolutionary theory. That's why you can't actually answer my questions. And why IDers don't actually have any science behind their ideas.

It's strategic intellectual retreat.

Yes. You're right. You win.

P.S. (Although I am really tired of this banter with you) EDIT: I'm just tired of you. This isn't about me as much as you want to make it so.
post #70 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
The fundamental hypothesis of evolution is that species are related to each other (confirmed).

They are "related" how? Confirmed where?

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
This leads to the hypothesis that there exist mechanisms by which one species can become another (confirmed).

Confirmed where?
post #71 of 302
Come on guys and girls we know evolution is a fact!

Wine was beer before beer evolved into a wine like state to better adapt to the envirnonment in which it existed.

Darwin said so!

Not only that but the beer fossil record shows it to be fact!

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
post #72 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Come on guys and girls we know evolution is a fact!

Wine was beer before beer evolved into a wine like state to better adapt to the envirnonment in which it existed.

Darwin said so!

Not only that but the beer fossil record shows it to be fact!

Fellows

Well, one fact I can agree on is that I am going to get out with me wife and get myself some beer or wine tonight.

post #73 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
They are "related" how? Confirmed where?



Confirmed where?

As groverat pointed out... you are woefully lacking any understanding of this subject...

Look at this page .

It reviews techniques for deciding taxonomic classifications. Note, carefully, how phisiologic classifications often correspond to genetic classifications. That means the lipid biosynthesis pathway in my liver is very similar to the lipid biosynthesis pathway in liver of chimpanzees but is dissimilar to the lipid biosynthesis pathway in yeast. I am thus more related to chimpanzees than I am yeast when it comes to lipid biosynthesis pathways. But here is the crucial point, I can take a whole organism and all of its phisiological and genetic properties, and compare it to all other organisms and obtain a self-consistent relationship map. This is what I mean by species are related to each other. Any intelligent design theory would have to account for that. Evolution hypothesizes it at the get go. (This is the oldest concept that evolution has within it, humans implicitly understand relationship between organisms).

Genetic flux has been observed. Sexual selection has been observed. Single point mutations in certain genes can give a person hirsuitism, causing them to look like chimps. In old taxonomy they would have been classified as some new species, wrongly of course. Crossing over events in DNA have been observed. Gene duplication events have been observed. etc etc etc...
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
post #74 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
It reviews techniques for deciding taxonomic classifications. Note, carefully, how phisiologic classifications often correspond to genetic classifications. That means the lipid biosynthesis pathway in my liver is very similar to the lipid biosynthesis pathway in liver of chimpanzees but is dissimilar to the lipid biosynthesis pathway in yeast. I am thus more related to chimpanzees than I am yeast when it comes to lipid biosynthesis pathways. But here is the crucial point, I can take a whole organism and all of its phisiological and genetic properties, and compare it to all other organisms and obtain a self-consistent relationship map. This is what I mean by species are related to each other.

So...more succinctly...by "related" you simply mean that that are characteristics that are observed to be similar. Fine. I don't have a problem with that.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Any intelligent design theory would have to account for that.

That's really not hard to imagine. We observe intelligent designers today who re-use similar ideas, concepts, patterns, and idioms in their designs.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
(This is the oldest concept that evolution has within it, humans implicitly understand relationship between organisms).

But the observance of similarities between things is not a proof that one has evolved from the other or that they have evolved from a common ancestor. That is a possibility though.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Genetic flux has been observed. Sexual selection has been observed. Single point mutations in certain genes can give a person hirsuitism, causing them to look like chimps.

But does it make them into chimps? Do they now inter-breed with chimps? Cease inter-breeding with humans? Suddenly now inter-breed with only their kind (which inter-breeds with no one else)? Are they now biologically reproductively isolated?

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Crossing over events in DNA have been observed. Gene duplication events have been observed. etc etc etc...

And do these result in new biologically reproductively isolated species?

NOTE: Congrats, you've gotten me off topic. I'm going back on topic and plan to avoid debating evolution with you. That was not the original question. The original question/issue was:

Quote:
So, my question is, what is wrong with this definition of science:

The "investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena."

It seems to me that "seeking natural explanations for what we observe around us," presumes a conclusion (which seems very unscientific).

The answer to this question has nothing to do with evolution (per se) or my particular "qualifications" (which you and groverat seem determined to vet based on your own criteria), or even my own beliefs and (supposed hidden) agenda.

It is a question. Why can't science simply be: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. And remain silent on matters that are yet inexplicable? Continuing the process of observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

Where evolution (specifically as an explanation for the origin of species) comes into play is the assertion that it does explain the origin of species when it is merely a hypothesis about how the species have originated, and a predication that they can/will in the future.

There is also problems at the experimentation stage for this hypothesis and prediction in that almost any experiment is likely to simply be an example of an intelligent being (the scientist) creating a new species.
post #75 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
True. But are teachers raising and informing students about the questions, the controversies and challenges or are they relying on students to raise them? I mean the teachers are supposed to be well...teaching.

I have no idea. I just know that when I was in K-12, I was taught opposing theories, history of the theories, and which one was the prevailing one.

I do know that if they teach Creationism or ID, they aren't teaching science. When they start doing some actual research, there may be something to talk about, but as of now, they are more about religion and politics then science.

Quote:
Here's where we get into trouble...again the broad brush of "evolution". I have said before that I agree with the basic ideas (variations, mutations/changes, descent of those changes)...where things get wrapped around the axle is when it comes to speciation...and this is really the linchpin of "evolution". It is the "whole story" really. Everything else (variations within species, similarities between species, etc.) is readily observable. Speciation is not. And the best examples anyone has come up with ("ring species") appear to be operating on some faulty or incomplete or (to my view) undocumented assumptions.

If you accept genetic inheritence and variation, speciation is simply genetic inheritence and variation through a very very long length of time, hundreds of thousands and millions of years. If an animal of today travels into the future 10 million years, given changing environmental pressures and said species of that animal adapts itself to those changes, that animal will not look like any of its great great-to-the-million nephews and nieces, nor be able to breed with them.

If the environmental pressures stay the same through that long period of time, than the chances are more likely that they will look similar and be able to interbreed.

Quote:
We get into the same problem when someone says "Do you read the Bible literally?" This is like the "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question. "The Bible" is a broad and diverse set of writings, some poetic, some allegorical, some claiming to be historical. So saying "Do you read the Bible literally?" is too imprecise as are statements like "evolution is true" or "evolution is false".

Is it wrong to say that the ICR, IDests, and the Kansas BOE interpret the Bible too literally?

Quote:
Is mine? No. I was responding to your saying that anyone that believes in creationism is willfully stupid.

Why do you think that when anyone challenges evolution, they are considered to be Creationists, or people of faith?

That's the strawman question I'm taking about. I'm sure there are isolated cases, but in science, a person's personal beliefs are irrelevant. If you want to challenge something in science, the coin of the business is data and evidence. All these Creationists who impugn evolution are being willfully stupid. They criticize without evidence. Their hypotheses come without evidence. Even so, their criticisms are answered, yet they blithely ignore it, and continue on. They are being willfully stupid and choose their beliefs over what the data says.

Quote:
Actually, I don't need data to challenge assumptions. That is an argument based on logic. If you (as a scientist or someone else) state something, I have a right t know your assumptions, question why you have those assumptions and so. I don't need data for that. I am challenging the deductive reasoning in that case.

Hmm... assumptions. The primary assumption is the physics one. Known physics (and it's child chemistry) haven't changed in the past 4 billion years.

Quote:
So would you say that the results were significant enough to day that something (in this case prayer) had an observable and statistically significant effect?

Did you read the article?

The basic conclusion was that there was no correlation and the Dr. Targ and company were doing bad science with a sharpshooter's fallacy for the larger second study and incorrect conclusions in the first pilot study.

It is an example of how science works. Targ wanted to prove something, that distance healing works. She received a 1.5 million NIH grant. She performed a study. Her study was reviewed by peers. The study did not survive review. This happens for virtually every piece of scientific research.

So, were the reviewers biased with only accepting "natural" explanations or was Targ wrong?
post #76 of 302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
If you accept genetic inheritence and variation, speciation is simply genetic inheritence and variation through a very very long length of time, hundreds of thousands and millions of years. If an animal of today travels into the future 10 million years, given changing environmental pressures and said species of that animal adapts itself to those changes, that animal will not look like any of its great great-to-the-million nephews and nieces, nor be able to breed with them.

If the environmental pressures stay the same through that long period of time, than the chances are more likely that they will look similar and be able to interbreed.

Yes. That is the hypothesis.

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Is it wrong to say that the ICR, IDests, and the Kansas BOE interpret the Bible too literally?

You are missing my point. My point was to ask about reading "The Bible" literally is too coarse a question. The Bible is a collection of different types of literature. Some parts are most certainly not intended to be read literally. Some parts are. Other parts may be more difficult to determine.

ICR? IDests?

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Why do you think that when anyone challenges evolution, they are considered to be Creationists, or people of faith?

I don't know. Because this is what defenders wish to assume?

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
All these Creationists who impugn evolution are being willfully stupid. They criticize without evidence. Their hypotheses come without evidence.

But one can challenge the assumptions that are made from the data. This is a valid line of argumentation too. Are you willing to accept that?

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Hmm... assumptions. The primary assumption is the physics one. Known physics (and it's child chemistry) haven't changed in the past 4 billion years.

That is an assumption right there. But worse, the assumption isn't the physics...it is that things have happened (variations, mutations, cummulations, etc.) to the point of creating new species. Based on snapshots in time someone draws a line through it and says, "Well it must have evolved that way. There is no other possible explanation."

Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Did you read the article?

<snip>

I really wasn't making the case about a specific study on prayer. That wasn't my point here. The point was about whether science can make observations, draw conclusions but still not have a definitive answer about the how. This example may well have been bad science. So pick something else if we wish. It was intended as a hypothetical and you are turning into a debate on a specific study.
post #77 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
.

I do know that if they teach Creationism or ID, they aren't teaching science...

All these Creationists who impugn evolution are being willfully stupid. They criticize without evidence. Their hypotheses come without evidence. Even so, their criticisms are answered, yet they blithely ignore it, and continue on. They are being willfully stupid and choose their beliefs over what the data says.

This issue, I confess, always perplexes me not because there is any serious challenge to evolution, but for the unending fits of hillbilly ignoramuses, trotting out their book of Genesis and giving us a stem-winder on the hubris of scientists, and the inerrancy of the good book.

We need not find some squalid Southern village, with pigs rooting under the houses, and their inhabitants full of hookworm, nor do we need to find some mountain drug store populated by rustics, waving palm leaved fans and mopping their brows with handkerchiefs, arguing theological hoo-haw nope, we just have to get on this board (or any board) and there they are.

Its been eighty years since the Scopes trial, but it seems we are still cursed with the same group of Drs. of theology, freshly minted from the fundamentalist bible schools of remote hills, or state panhandles, peddling their hooey. No doubt one would not have to look far to get a contemporary text from one of these fellows, something on par with Hell and High Schools, and its warnings about ones children boiling in sulfur for dabbling with the lies of evolution.

Dont misunderstand me, I have nothing against cow-town evangelists, tent revivals, or whoop it up camp meetings. The peculiar imbecilities of religion are something many people enjoy wallowing in. And evolution, for all its eternal truth, is not for the sentimental, fearful, or those in need consolation it doesnt promise that there is a god, or that if there is, that he likes you.

But it a foundational theory of biology, as solid as atomic theory in chemistry or the special relativity in physics. And that is something that these Billy Sunday relics, sooner or later, are going to have to accept.
post #78 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Testable. This indeed is an important aspect of the scientific method. So, regarding evolution and, in particular, let's examine a core assertion offered and see if it is testable:

I'll try to respond to what you bring up here, but I want to say something else first: Wouldn't it be refreshing to see someone with an creationism or ID leaning attempt to put forth strengths of their viewpoint as opposed to repeated (and nearly always poor) attempts to poke holes in evolution?

If the C/ID crowd simply wanted to say evolution was bad science and leave it at that, it would be one thing. But when they're offering as an alternative something so riddled with holes by the same standards with which they attack evolution, it comes off as a bit ingenuous.
Quote:

3. Predict:
Species will continue to change through a process of mutation, mutation transferrance to descendents and mutation accumulation and new populations that are biologically both distinct and reproductively isolated from one another will emerge.

4. Test:
How do we test this?

I'll answer this by starting with an analogy.

Imagine a murder investigation. Interviews with those who knew the victim lead investigators to suspect a certain Mr. X. It turns out that Mr. X works at a plastics factory, and that this factory uses a very unusual chemical solvent in its processing. A prediction is made: If Mr. X was at the scene of the crime, traces of this solvent may be found.

The forensics team goes back to the scene of the crime, et voil&agrave;, traces of the solvent are found -- in the form of a footprint matching Mr. X's shoe size no less. We may not have convicted Mr. X at this point, but we've certainly strengthened any possible case we might bring against him.

There's an important thing to notice about this prediction: It is a prediction about a past event. The only thing in the future at the time that the prediction is formed is the gathering of data which has not yet be acquired.

The false dilemma creationists attempt to create for evolution is to pretend that testable predictions must be for entirely new incidents of evolution, attempting to rule out confirmation via newly acquired data about past events or via new examinations of existing data. These creationists act as if nothing short of a laboratory experiment which turns a fish into a frog or a reptile into a bird would count as "proper testing" of evolutionary theory.

In fact, I can easily imagine that one could successfully perform the above experiment and many would still dismiss it, saying things like "Hey! That's a new kind of frog! You didn't prove anything about how real frogs happened!"

If creationists applied the same standards to murder investigations that they attempt to saddle evolutionary theory with, nothing short of recreating a crime down to killing a new victim would suffice as evidence. Perhaps nothing short of somehow causing the accused to re-kill each specific already-dead victim would suffice.

So how do you test the above Point 3? By making predictions well over a hundred years ago about the kinds of relationships one would expect to find between species if evolution were true, and then seeing new finding after new finding falling into the kinds of patterns the theory leads you to expect, decade after decade, with great reliability.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
post #79 of 302
Quote:
Wouldn't it be refreshing to see someone with an creationism or ID leaning attempt to put forth strengths of their viewpoint as opposed to repeated (and nearly always poor) attempts to poke holes in evolution?

They can't.

Take William Dembski, an ID "scientist".
When asked about whether or not ID is testable or falsifiable he will quite blatantly state "Rather than looking solely at the testability of intelligent design, I want also to consider the testability of Darwinism."

So right away you see that even ID's leading intellectual proponents cannot look at their "science" as anything but a contrarian framework of interpreting facts. It's a modern argument for creationism, that's all it is.

Then as positive evidence for ID he references a Jodie Foster movie. A bad Jodie Foster movie at that.

Further he says that ID is falsifiable if the evolution of bacterial flagellum can be explained. Well, Mr. Dembski, consider your "science" falsified.

--

To me, those of us willing to change our minds to accept new facts do a tremendous disservice to future generations and humanity as a whole by allowing ignorance to dress itself up and inject itself into education simply to coddle the religious emotionalists.

Do not be afraid to offend their sensibilities. I am fine with their beliefs as long as they keep them to themselves; the minute they try to force their illogical religious views onto our children it is a battle that must be enjoined and fought fiercely.

Another thing I find telling is the allied relationship between old-school young earth creationists and IDers (who believe in an old earth) against "Darwinists".
proud resident of a failed state
proud resident of a failed state
post #80 of 302
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
They can't.

To me, those of us willing to change our minds to accept new facts do a tremendous disservice to future generations and humanity as a whole by allowing ignorance to dress itself up and inject itself into education simply to coddle the religious emotionalists...

...Do not be afraid to offend their sensibilities. I am fine with their beliefs as long as they keep them to themselves; the minute they try to force their illogical religious views onto our children it is a battle that must be enjoined and fought fiercely.

Another thing I find telling is the allied relationship between old-school young earth creationists and IDers (who believe in an old earth) against "Darwinists".

We do a tremendous disservice to reason when we permit fundimentalist sentimental mysticism to intrude on 21st century science and education. I dont mind offending them because they are pre-modern bead rattlers, motivated solely by biblical stories (pretensions to science aside).

I used to debate this sort (my best friend in youth was raised a creationist, luckly he has reformed). There is no point. The fact is that 99.9% of the worlds life scientists accept evolution as the solitary model of lifes development. There is no substantive school of creationists/IDers, the handful of popular book writing critics being either lay people or individuals from other displines.

Teach the theory, ignore the crackpots. If you like, however, give them a fire pit, stone monolith, oak tree, and any other ritual object they desire. Put them in some corner of the school playground. There, in all their variants, they can worship the Hocus Pocus hypothesis.
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