Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Russia teen sues over evolution teaching

Russia teen sues over evolution teaching (Page 4)
Thread Tools
tie
Professional Poster
Join Date: Feb 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 01:09 AM
 
Evolution is not all that well understood.

I've read some great papers on it recently, for example
The speed of evolution & maintenance of variation in asexual populations - Desai, Fisher & Murray (2005).
(Fisher is the Fisher of the transverse Ising model, I think, a Harvard physicist.)

Let me paraphrase some of his arguments. I'm not trying for absolute accuracy here; read his paper for that.

Fisher claims that most quantitative questions about evolution (e.g., its speed, the kinds of complexity we would expect to have develop over a given period of time, etc.) are very poorly understood. E.g., the earth is billions of years old, but if someone told us it was 10^{100} years old, it isn't clear that we would know they were wrong based on evolution. If they told us it was 10^{10^100} years old, then certainly we'd expect substantially more biological complexity, though. So the uncertainty is on the log log scale, not even in orders of magnitude (log scale)!

There are various parameters determining evolution. For example,
  • population size
  • number of generations
  • mutation rate (per base pair per generation)
  • genome size (in base pairs)
  • Unknown parameters include the selective pressure (of course, selection can be parameterized in various ways).
E. coli genome can be reproduced 100 times before a single base pair error occurs, humans have ~10 base pair changes per generation on the other hand. The question is what parameters and combinations of parameters are important for understanding the speed of evolution.

Fisher develops models, using approximate analysis of stochastic differential equations and verified somewhat with experiments. The simplest question is if there is a single possible mutation which confers a fitness benefit. So what happens, with a simple model, is that the population is dominated by the original state for a long time. The mutation crops up occasionally, but fails to get established because of stochastic effects. Eventually, the mutation is successfully established, and then it takes over the entire population exponentially quickly.

The next model he considers is where there are many possible mutations, each offering similar fitness benefits (say, additively -- although nonadditive effects can also be considered: deleterious mutations, a distribution of different fitness benefits for different mutations, ...). In this case, there is a ladder (assumed infinite) of achievable fitnesses, and the question is how quickly the population progresses up the ladder. If T_{establishment} > T_{mutation} = (population size) * (mutation rate), then the whole population moves up just step by step together. On the other hand, if multiple mutations can occur before a single one takes over the population, then there is some distribution of fitnesses in the population. This looks something like
^population
| ... *
| . ***
| . ***
| *****
-------------> fitness
The population below average fitness is dropping exponentially fast since it can't compete, the population at average fitness is staying the same, the population just above the average fitness is growing exponentially quickly (as well as picking up additional mutations, but this is a smaller factor). The population at the leading edge is not yet growing exponentially quickly because of stochastic effects, but is picking up new mutations.
What is going on is that there are several beneficial mutations moving through the population at the same time, before any one has had time to dominate completely. k beneficial mutations growing k times faster, etc.

He tries to predict the shape of this fitness histogram, and in particular the width between the average and the leading edge (the portion of the histogram below the average is probably affected by deleterious mutations, which he didn't try to model). A postdoc of his ran experiments (fairly involved ones -- for example, he measured fitness by comparing growth rates with the original unstressed yeast strain [tagged with fluorescence]), and remarkably the simple model worked fairly well at predicting the fitness histogram. I found these experiments quite interesting.

According to Fisher, open questions include a quantitative understanding of the role of sexual recombination (he only talks about mutations in asexually reproducing populations). He also wants a better understanding of the case where multiple deleterious mutations are required to combine before a positive effect is obtained. Other authors have investigated the role of sex, but I haven't read their papers yet.

One point he makes is that the field had been hampered by concentrating too much on exact solutions to the stochastic differential equations which pop up.
The 4 o'clock train will be a bus.
It will depart at 20 minutes to 5.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 01:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Thanks but no thanks.

It's clear from your opening volley that you have no intention of having a civil dialog.

Go find someone else to bully into believing your point of view. It's obvious that you don't think you can do it on your intellect alone.
As always, I would welcome a civil dialog, if that is an option. But I've already tried that with you before and got no response. You seem unwilling to discuss the issue unless it's in the context of you spouting falsehoods as if you were handing down some lesson about "the way things really are." Unfortunately, you have a very very weak understanding of the issue, and whenever you're called to task on specifics, you turn tail, though the wounded martyr is a new low for you; bravo. I thought I'd save you some time today by cutting to the chase. You're welcome.

For completeness, I've drawn up a little outline of what was wrong with your "opening volley" (here's the short version: everything).
• "Forcing a bacteria to mutate..." Mutations aren't forced, they're selected for. This is a fundamental misunderstanding.
• "...doesn't create a new and unrelated bacterial species..." Why didn't you say "a new species?" I know why. It's because that route does create new species sometimes, they're simply not "related." And why is "related" in "air quotes?" Because you really have no idea what "related" would mean in a microbiological context, do you? You use the word to mean "if they have a common ancestor, then they're 'related.' Therefore evolution cannot produce 'unrelated' species." Am I close?
• "...By their nature bacterias, viruses and other pathogens..." The plural of bacterium is bacteria. The plural of virus is virii.
• "...have to adapt to survive..." They have to? Why? Because their hosts are constantly evolving?
• "...With radiation, we can cause mutation as well..." This is exactly what you (erroneously) said in the first sentence. What are you talking about?
• "...While that can create abrupt changes and adaptations as well, unless you believe the comic books, it's not going to turn someone say...from a man to a spider."

This is what I've asked you before (no response), and what I've asked someone else above in this thread (also no response): Is it your understanding that the theory of evolution predicts that existing species will evolve into other existing species? As per your usual, I expect no response, but I expect to see you back in the next thread about evolution, at square one, which for you is "Scientists don't actually know anything, but don't press me about the details."

edit: I wouldn't accuse you of casting FUD on an entire field of study about which you know almost nothing, if not for the fact that you have so ably proved it already. I'm willing, even eager, to discuss matters evenly. But if you're going to insist on calling black white and up down, especially when you should know better from previous encounters, I'm not going to coddle you.

Have a nice day!
( Last edited by Uncle Skeleton; Dec 21, 2006 at 01:30 AM. )
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by tie View Post
I've read some great papers on it recently, for example
The speed of evolution & maintenance of variation in asexual populations - Desai, Fisher & Murray (2005).
(Fisher is the Fisher of the transverse Ising model, I think, a Harvard physicist.)
Heh, reminds me of the Linus Pauling anecdote at Appeal to authority - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anyway, where was this published? I can't find it on PubMed. Does the "submit" in the url mean it hasn't been accepted?

Fisher claims that most quantitative questions about evolution (e.g., its speed, the kinds of complexity we would expect to have develop over a given period of time, etc.) are very poorly understood. E.g., the earth is billions of years old, but if someone told us it was 10^{100} years old, it isn't clear that we would know they were wrong based on evolution. If they told us it was 10^{10^100} years old, then certainly we'd expect substantially more biological complexity, though. So the uncertainty is on the log log scale, not even in orders of magnitude (log scale)!
This must be from a different paper, but I'll address it unread. I can't see how anyone could expect to tell the age of the earth by the "progress" of evolution. First, evolution is not sequential; there's no objective measure of "progress." Second, evolution's driving force is filling niches. Once the niches are filled, evolution is at a relative standstill for arbitrary lengths of time (there is no "clock"). Third, the majority of life on earth is regularly extinguished. The dinosaurs may have continued to evolve to the point of developing fire safety and calculus, but they wouldn't have contributed that advancement to those life forms that survived the meteor. Similar to the directionless point, there is no promise that any "progress" will be maintained from one day to the next as the environment changes. Fourth and most profoundly, the idea of "biological complexity" is ludicrous. There can be no objective measurement of such a commodity, and if there were it would not be enhanced by evolution as time goes on. Extra "complexity" (be it measured in genome size or the number of protein interactions or the number of organs or the size of the organism or the size of the organism's brain or any other conceivable metric) is significantly selected against in terms of metabolic expense and in terms of error risk. This of course doesn't mean that an equal or greater selective pressure in favor of complexity can't drive it's evolution, but it does mean that complexity won't be piling up willy nilly over time. I'm interested in the idea, but I've never seen any indication that it can be taken beyond step zero (the step that consists of naming it). I'd be interested to read the paper this concept came from.

There are various parameters determining evolution. For example,
  • population size
  • number of generations
  • mutation rate (per base pair per generation)
  • genome size (in base pairs)
  • Unknown parameters include the selective pressure (of course, selection can be parameterized in various ways).
E. coli genome can be reproduced 100 times before a single base pair error occurs, humans have ~10 base pair changes per generation on the other hand. The question is what parameters and combinations of parameters are important for understanding the speed of evolution.

Fisher develops models, using approximate analysis of stochastic differential equations and verified somewhat with experiments. The simplest question is if there is a single possible mutation which confers a fitness benefit. So what happens, with a simple model, is that the population is dominated by the original state for a long time. The mutation crops up occasionally, but fails to get established because of stochastic effects. Eventually, the mutation is successfully established, and then it takes over the entire population exponentially quickly.

The next model he considers is where there are many possible mutations, each offering similar fitness benefits (say, additively -- although nonadditive effects can also be considered: deleterious mutations, a distribution of different fitness benefits for different mutations, ...). In this case, there is a ladder (assumed infinite) of achievable fitnesses, and the question is how quickly the population progresses up the ladder. If T_{establishment} > T_{mutation} = (population size) * (mutation rate), then the whole population moves up just step by step together. On the other hand, if multiple mutations can occur before a single one takes over the population, then there is some distribution of fitnesses in the population. This looks something like
^population
| ... *
| . ***
| . ***
| *****
-------------> fitness
The population below average fitness is dropping exponentially fast since it can't compete, the population at average fitness is staying the same, the population just above the average fitness is growing exponentially quickly (as well as picking up additional mutations, but this is a smaller factor). The population at the leading edge is not yet growing exponentially quickly because of stochastic effects, but is picking up new mutations.
What is going on is that there are several beneficial mutations moving through the population at the same time, before any one has had time to dominate completely. k beneficial mutations growing k times faster, etc.

He tries to predict the shape of this fitness histogram, and in particular the width between the average and the leading edge (the portion of the histogram below the average is probably affected by deleterious mutations, which he didn't try to model). A postdoc of his ran experiments (fairly involved ones -- for example, he measured fitness by comparing growth rates with the original unstressed yeast strain [tagged with fluorescence]), and remarkably the simple model worked fairly well at predicting the fitness histogram. I found these experiments quite interesting.

According to Fisher, open questions include a quantitative understanding of the role of sexual recombination (he only talks about mutations in asexually reproducing populations). He also wants a better understanding of the case where multiple deleterious mutations are required to combine before a positive effect is obtained. Other authors have investigated the role of sex, but I haven't read their papers yet.

One point he makes is that the field had been hampered by concentrating too much on exact solutions to the stochastic differential equations which pop up.
His point in this paper seems to be that a model including multiple mutations in individuals is better than models that don't. I don't understand the significance of this. Maybe you just linked to the wrong paper?
( Last edited by Uncle Skeleton; Dec 21, 2006 at 10:55 AM. )
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
• "...By their nature bacterias, viruses and other pathogens..." The plural of bacterium is bacteria. The plural of virus is virii.
The plural of virus is definitely not virii. That's a silly geekification and has nothing to do with latin. The plural is of course viruses.

[ fb ] [ flickr ] [] [scl] [ last ] [ plaxo ]
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: 888500128
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 03:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by tie View Post
Evolution is not all that well understood.
Its *mechanisms* are still very much in discussion, and probably will be for another couple hundred years (that's the way science works).

Evolution itself is not in question, at all, except among a tiny handful of very noisy pseudo-scientific crackpots.
     
tie
Professional Poster
Join Date: Feb 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Maybe you just linked to the wrong paper?
Quite possible -- probable. I only go to talks and pretend to read papers (don't tell anyone). This does seem to be the most relevant paper, though.

This must be from a different paper, but I'll address it unread. I can't see how anyone could expect to tell the age of the earth by the "progress" of evolution. First, evolution is not sequential; there's no objective measure of "progress." Second, evolution's driving force is filling niches. Once the niches are filled, evolution is at a relative standstill for arbitrary lengths of time (there is no "clock"). Third, the majority of life on earth is regularly extinguished. The dinosaurs may have continued to evolve to the point of developing fire safety and calculus, but they wouldn't have contributed that advancement to those life forms that survived the meteor. Similar to the directionless point, there is no promise that any "progress" will be maintained from one day to the next as the environment changes. Fourth and most profoundly, the idea of "biological complexity" is ludicrous. There can be no objective measurement of such a commodity, and if there were it would not be enhanced by evolution as time goes on. Extra "complexity" (be it measured in genome size or the number of protein interactions or the number of organs or the size of the organism or the size of the organism's brain or any other conceivable metric) is significantly selected against in terms of metabolic expense and in terms of error risk. This of course doesn't mean that an equal or greater selective pressure in favor of complexity can't drive it's evolution, but it does mean that complexity won't be piling up willy nilly over time. I'm interested in the idea, but I've never seen any indication that it can be taken beyond step zero (the step that consists of naming it). I'd be interested to read the paper this concept came from.
Of course you are right (or at least aren't wrong). This is just part of the grand justification that goes the introduction of a rather specialized and technical result, and probably isn't meant to be taken too seriously. So don't argue too much. In the yeast he was studying, his assumptions basically all held. (Measured evolution was sequential, there was a concretely measured progress, etc.) So he was trying to determine for similar (limited) models, what parameters determine, at least roughly, the rate of progress.

By the way, your wikipedia link is dead.
The 4 o'clock train will be a bus.
It will depart at 20 minutes to 5.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Salamanca, España
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
The plural of virus is definitely not virii. That's a silly geekification and has nothing to do with latin. The plural is of course viruses.
I have seen people write the plural of Airbus as Airbii. True story.

V
I could take Sean Connery in a fight... I could definitely take him.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Apr 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 04:03 AM
 
That would make the singular of Wii "Wus" ... which may describe some of its devout fans, but that's another story.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
That would make the singular of Wii "Wus" ... which may describe some of its devout fans, but that's another story.
Hey, you take that back!
Chuck
___
"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Salamanca, España
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kerrigan View Post
That would make the singular of Wii "Wus" ... which may describe some of its devout fans, but that's another story.
So, the official verdict of the high-comittee of supreme MacNNers is: Let's just derail this thread, it's original premise is too stupid to deal with anyway.

Besides, if this teen causes too much trouble, Putin just presses a button. End of story.

V
I could take Sean Connery in a fight... I could definitely take him.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 05:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
The distinction between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" is more political than scientific. Evolution is evolution.

The thing about "Well, it didn't turn into a spider!" is missing the point of evolution. When things mutate, they don't mutate fully formed into some set species. Their traits change, and when they change beyond a certain point, we call it a new species.

Probably.

Taliesin
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 06:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post

I get the feeling that this quote is fueled at least slightly by an incomplete knowledge of the subject. There is amply evidence that higher-order mammals do indeed have a rudimentary self-awareness (it has been proven with apes and more or less with elephants). Furthermore, the idea that animals do not have a sense of history or history-creation doesn't really make sense in the context of their species' niche. Animals communicate what types of food are best, what things are dangerous, what things are good, etc. etc....and furthermore, this "history-creation" is readily adaptable based on environmental circumstances.

To take it into a controversial area, there are higher-order mammals (specifically, the bonobo ape) that regularly have sex for "fun," and regularly practice homosexuality (eg. females will manually pleasure other females). What does this suggest for the rather commonly-heard theory that homosexuality is a human "sin"?

greg
Ok, maybe my argument needs much more illustration: There are probably some animals that have a rudimentary version of selfawareness and communication-abilities, but the difference is they don't build upon it, in order to improve their abilities over generations.

For example, I have never seen an animal making fire to cook something or to keep warm (sure animals can eat most stuff raw and have mostly a fur to keep warm, so they don't need fire, but that's merely one point in an endless list), I have never seen an animal producing clothes for himself... or doing agriculture to harvest vegetables and fruits or keeping animals captivated to let them reproduce in order to have a constant source of meat...

It think most of it can be attributed to abstract thinking and the will to preserve, communicate and improve newly discovered methods.

This spiritual ability is both good and bad, it's the source of many fascinating and wonderful results, but also the source for much harm and destruction.

If the human were just another animal, it would surprise me that there is no other animal with the same or more capabilities and will as we humans that would be our rival on this planet.

Like already said, I believe that humans are bodily not fundamentally different from animals, but spiritually they are.

Taliesin
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Absolutely not. While some scientists can indeed be deists (ie, not believing in a personal god, but not discounting that a "force" set everything off), only about 40% of scientists (and 10% of "eminent scientists") believe in a personal god.



Sources
Well I have never claimed that the word god had to mean a personal God. Quite to the contrary by describing a god that set everything off, but otherwise didn't intervene in any way is more a description of an impersonal god than anything else.

Most scientists indeed believe that such an impersonal god/force set the universe off.

But it's also true that most scientists don't believe in a personal god, ie. the sort of god described in the abrahamitic religions. ie. an active god, that has communicated and interacted with humanity on a personal level..

Taliesin
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
As always, I would welcome a civil dialog, if that is an option. But I've already tried that with you before and got no response. You seem unwilling to discuss the issue unless it's in the context of you spouting falsehoods as if you were handing down some lesson about "the way things really are."
A. I don't spend every waking minute on the boards. That's likely why I didn't see your post in the first link in order to respond.

B. If you check out the second link, I posted a response right after yours. In fact, I believe I spent a lot of time trying to pin down the vaporous definition of "theory". That's a pretty good thread.

It seems that in this case, your excuse for spouting is somewhat based on falsehoods as well. If you welcome a civil dialog, it's your obligation to set an example by starting one. You failed. You continue to fail by equating a difference of opinion to something dishonest or lacking basic intelligence. If you want pissing contests, have at it. No thanks here.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: midwest
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 08:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
B. If you check out the second link, I posted a response right after yours. In fact, I believe I spent a lot of time trying to pin down the vaporous definition of "theory". That's a pretty good thread.
I read through the second link and agreed with much of what you had to say. To be clear, I'm intrigued by the notion of ID and it would be dishonest of me to say I had NO bias or propensity in this regard as I am one of faith.

That said, I've tempered my critique of the TOE because regardless of the fallacies of a few zealots throughout the theories' past, the work of a great many has been conducted in bolstering it. Honest work. Hard work. Work that has faced much scrutiny and "refining" over time. ID however, has relied too much upon its own zealots and have not done enough to separate themselves from simple hype. They have a few peer-reviewed articles, but in the past several years have done little to nothing to bolster their hypothesis. No labwork. Few publications, sluggish and too often, no response to scientific scrutiny. They have little to nothing to offer a science class at this point. There simply isn't enough time in class to address all hypothesis' with the same degree of merit that ID has.

I used to really dig into and debate this subject. In so doing, I ran across several sites of the more zealous proponents of ID and found statements, quotes, and "factoids" that simply didn't add up. In some cases there were quotes from those sites that I used myself. I was challenged by Uncle Skeleton among others. I couldn't support my use of those statements. I tried really hard because again; as one of faith I have a propensity for [i]wanting[/] to support ID. I'm just being honest here.

When I in turn, challenged the hosts of those sites I received mostly no reply and in fact one that said; "while some of the quotes can not be found, I assure you they are accurate". Upon having received that reply, I made a personal decision that I was no longer going to do their work for them. I even found the ISBN # of a book that supposedly contained one of the quotes and asked them to use their infinite resources to affirm their claim. I did not word my communication to them in an adversarial way, but in a supportive way. They never granted even the most basic affirmation of their claims. If they are not willing to do the most basic legwork regarding a theory they supposedly are basing their life's-work on, including very little in peer-review, labwork, and in fact rely upon dishonesty and unsubstantiated rhetoric; they simply have not earned my support and in fact give those of faith a tainted reputation.
ebuddy
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Madison, WI
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
If you welcome a civil dialog, it's your obligation to set an example by starting one. You failed. You continue to fail by equating a difference of opinion to something dishonest or lacking basic intelligence. If you want pissing contests, have at it. No thanks here.
<criticism of techniques for logical discussion>
Except you are "lacking basic intelligence" . . . in how to argue/debate scientific principles. Your "difference" of opinion is based on un-sound and illogical scientific premises. That's what Uncle Skeleton's complaint is about. You are arguing about a scientific topic but not using the standard scientific approach to doing so. By arguing in this fashion you both reveal your ignorance on the topic and the general scientific principles on which the topic is founded.

You can claim a distinction in the forms of micro-evolution is a "difference of opinion" all you want but the argument you use to make this point is not sound scientifically. If you want your assertion about forms of micro-evolution to be taken seriously, you need to be serious about using logic and sound scientific principles to explain your point--The logical argument/position you advanced regarding bacterial mutation is a good example of where you showed you do not understand the scientific principles. So, if you want to situate your interpretive approach to the topic of micro-evolution as a "difference of opinion" by all means do so. But don't expect it to be taken seriously as a logical argument if you cannot argue your point from a scientifically valid background. Otherwise, it is merely your "opinion" and everyone knows opinions only have value to the holder of said opinion.
(Look at eBuddy's postings on this topic--not just in this thread--for an excellent example of how to argue against the accepted ideas about evolution in a logical and scientifically sound way.)
</criticism of technique for logical discussion>
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 11:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
A. I don't spend every waking minute on the boards. That's likely why I didn't see your post in the first link in order to respond.
Well then, rest assured that no one has ever imagined that a species of life would somehow evolve into another species that already exists. The theory does not depend on this happening (never has), and no one has ever suggested that this might happen. I hope that relieves some of the logical dissonance you have over the theory of evolution and those who support it.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
but the difference is they don't build upon it, in order to improve their abilities over generations.

For example, I have never seen an animal making fire to cook something or to keep warm (sure animals can eat most stuff raw and have mostly a fur to keep warm, so they don't need fire, but that's merely one point in an endless list), I have never seen an animal producing clothes for himself... or doing agriculture to harvest vegetables and fruits or keeping animals captivated to let them reproduce in order to have a constant source of meat...

It think most of it can be attributed to abstract thinking and the will to preserve, communicate and improve newly discovered methods.
In other words using tools, and teaching others new skills with these tools. This has been documented in chimps (using a stick to fish termites out of a hole) and dolphins (using sponges to protect their sensitive noses when they poke the seabed for some type of food).

If the human were just another animal, it would surprise me that there is no other animal with the same or more capabilities and will as we humans that would be our rival on this planet.
One advantage of intellect over instinct is that it allows much faster progress. Technological advances are orders of magnitude quicker than evolutionary adaptation (right?). So it makes sense that even though more than on species might begin to make technological advances (at all), the one that happened to start doing so first would invariably outpace its competitors by unsurpassable leaps and bounds. That star would even burn so bright that it would burn itself out before the next star even got a chance to shine. In other words, I don't find it at all surprising that technology-using species would never encounter each other on the same planet, even if they were downright common.

edit: besides the fact that Neanderthals were most likely a similar tool- and fire- and clothing-using species, but our ancestors wiped them out long ago. They even have evidence for ritual burial (spirituality).
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 11:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by tie View Post
By the way, your wikipedia link is dead.
Oops, fixed
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
In other words using tools, and teaching others new skills with these tools. This has been documented in chimps (using a stick to fish termites out of a hole) and dolphins (using sponges to protect their sensitive noses when they poke the seabed for some type of food).
Or even sea otters, which often use rocks as tools to crack shells and such. The use of tools by animals is relatively well-documented.

Originally Posted by Taliesin
Ok, maybe my argument needs much more illustration: There are probably some animals that have a rudimentary version of selfawareness and communication-abilities, but the difference is they don't build upon it, in order to improve their abilities over generations.
Neither do humans.

You're talking about "improving abilities over generations," but this is entirely a modern concept. Human evolution is measured in at least a million years; we've got written records for what, the last 5000 at best (when was Gilgamesh again)? That's an incredibly small chunk. Evolution means that humans went generations upon generations upon generations upon generations with this exact same lack of "improvement."

Furthermore, "improvement" is a misnomer, because it implies that any species must somehow evolve to better suit their ecological niche. That doesn't seem to be the case at all; most species seem incredibly well-suited for the environment they've lived in for however many thousands/millions of years. Until the recent human explosion, environmental disturbances seems to have largely been through external changes (weather, environment, etc.) and competition between species was relatively long-lived and often allowed time for evolutionary adaptation.

In contrast to this "niche" that man animals seem to have comfortably occupied, humans aren't specialized at all. We're the ultimate generalist; we're strong but not that strong, we're not that fast, we climb trees but not well, we swim but quite poorly, we eat everything....

greg
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 03:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Or even sea otters, which often use rocks as tools to crack shells and such. The use of tools by animals is relatively well-documented.
I was under the impression that kind of thing was instinctual, not learned and taught. But either way it's still relevant.


You're talking about "improving abilities over generations," but this is entirely a modern concept. Human evolution is measured in at least a million years; we've got written records for what, the last 5000 at best (when was Gilgamesh again)? That's an incredibly small chunk. Evolution means that humans went generations upon generations upon generations upon generations with this exact same lack of "improvement."
Maybe that means humans didn't evolve a soul until 5000 years ago

Also I don't think homo sapiens appeared until about 200,000 years ago tops, and even specimens from 50,000 years ago are qualitatively different from today's.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
I think our best guess of human evolution is that our bloodline split with apes about 5 million years ago, with crude stone-tool-making hominids appearing about 3 million years ago. (The Palaeolithic era spans from then to about 12k years ago.) It seems that Homo erectus was using fire at least 500,000 years ago (and perhaps it was present as far back as a million years). Erectus originated in Africa and was quite similar to us today, except for a braincase with about 2/3rds the modern capacity. (Aside: but still larger than today's ape's though, who can use simple tools, have a surprising knowledge of medicinal plants, can recognize themselves in a mirror, and can employ a vocabulary of several hundred non-verbal "words," although debate remains on their use in the wild. It's also clear that different groups of the same species, such as in different parts of Africa, have different habits and traditions that are passed down to the young - ie. the beginnings of "culture.") The taming of fire led to a spike in human numbers to maybe 100,000 or so at best. The spread of Erectus out of Africa is under lots of debate of course.

Of course, then you get into the debate about the Neanderthal, the Cro-Magnon cousin who lived about 130,000-30,000 years ago. But Homo neanderthalensis were pretty damn smart – they had bigger brains than us on average, they buried their dead with elaborate rituals, etc. etc. etc. The Cro-Magnon looks like it was more like modern Europeans, slighter and built more for speed like a track athlete, while the Neanderthal was more heavyset like a wrestler (with the infamous bun on the back of the skull!). It looks like both groups were pretty much identical for at least 50,000 years, because unless bones are found archaelogists can't really tell whether a site belonged to one or the other.

While the Neanderthals were successful living in Europe near the edge of the Ice sheets (their skull shape was similar to other humans in northern latitudes today), climatic instability seems to have been favouring the Cro-Magnons when they began to move north about 40,000 years ago (the Gulf Stream caused lots of freezing/thawing in short time periods around this time). Such instability seems to have favoured, as it does today, the generalist Cro-Magnon, who were less rooted and physically specialized than the Neanderthals (although weaker at close quarters I'm sure).

In about 10,000 years, it looks like the Neanderthals were completely assimilated or wiped out. It was a war that seemed to have sparked innovation (new tools, weapons, clothing, rituals, cave painting, etc. are all seen at this time). By the end the Neanderthals seem to have been driven into rougher and rougher terrain (like many indiginous peoples Europeans have displaced in the past few centuries), hiding out in the mountains of Spain and Yugoslavia.

Anyways, yeah....I didn't think we're a lot different from humans even as far back as you mention. To quote Ronald Wright,
Like the butt of Dr. Johnson's joke that much may be made of a Scotsman if he be caught young, a late-Palaeolithic child snatched from a campfire and raised among us now would have an even chance at earning a degree in astrophysics or computer science. To use a computer analogy, we are running twenty-first-century software on hardware last upgraded 50,000 years ago or more. This may explain a lot of what we see in the news.
Feel free to add.

greg
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
Most scientists indeed believe that such an impersonal god/force set the universe off.
No they don't. Where do you get the data to back up such an outrageous claim?

Some scientists have been known deists, and certainly there is still some that are. But saying that most are simply isn't true .

[ fb ] [ flickr ] [] [scl] [ last ] [ plaxo ]
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 21, 2006, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
The distinction between "microevolution" and "macroevolution" is more political than scientific. Evolution is evolution.
Quoted for truth.

[ fb ] [ flickr ] [] [scl] [ last ] [ plaxo ]
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I think our best guess of human evolution is that our bloodline split with apes about 5 million years ago, with crude stone-tool-making hominids appearing about 3 million years ago. (The Palaeolithic era spans from then to about 12k years ago.) It seems that Homo erectus was using fire at least 500,000 years ago (and perhaps it was present as far back as a million years). Erectus originated in Africa and was quite similar to us today, except for a braincase with about 2/3rds the modern capacity. (Aside: but still larger than today's ape's though, who can use simple tools, have a surprising knowledge of medicinal plants, can recognize themselves in a mirror, and can employ a vocabulary of several hundred non-verbal "words," although debate remains on their use in the wild. It's also clear that different groups of the same species, such as in different parts of Africa, have different habits and traditions that are passed down to the young - ie. the beginnings of "culture.") The taming of fire led to a spike in human numbers to maybe 100,000 or so at best. The spread of Erectus out of Africa is under lots of debate of course.

Of course, then you get into the debate about the Neanderthal, the Cro-Magnon cousin who lived about 130,000-30,000 years ago. But Homo neanderthalensis were pretty damn smart – they had bigger brains than us on average, they buried their dead with elaborate rituals, etc. etc. etc. The Cro-Magnon looks like it was more like modern Europeans, slighter and built more for speed like a track athlete, while the Neanderthal was more heavyset like a wrestler (with the infamous bun on the back of the skull!). It looks like both groups were pretty much identical for at least 50,000 years, because unless bones are found archaelogists can't really tell whether a site belonged to one or the other.

While the Neanderthals were successful living in Europe near the edge of the Ice sheets (their skull shape was similar to other humans in northern latitudes today), climatic instability seems to have been favouring the Cro-Magnons when they began to move north about 40,000 years ago (the Gulf Stream caused lots of freezing/thawing in short time periods around this time). Such instability seems to have favoured, as it does today, the generalist Cro-Magnon, who were less rooted and physically specialized than the Neanderthals (although weaker at close quarters I'm sure).

In about 10,000 years, it looks like the Neanderthals were completely assimilated or wiped out. It was a war that seemed to have sparked innovation (new tools, weapons, clothing, rituals, cave painting, etc. are all seen at this time). By the end the Neanderthals seem to have been driven into rougher and rougher terrain (like many indiginous peoples Europeans have displaced in the past few centuries), hiding out in the mountains of Spain and Yugoslavia.

Anyways, yeah....I didn't think we're a lot different from humans even as far back as you mention. To quote Ronald Wright,

Feel free to add.

greg
I'm not getting what your point is. Taliesin said that humans, unlike (other) animals, accumulate knowledge from one generation to the next. I don't see what your answer "Human evolution is measured in at least a million years" has to do with that, nor even what it means. It's been millions of years since we branched from other apes? Are you saying that if humans are so different, why did it take so long before we started writing histories? That's the only thing I can come up with, but if that's it it would support Taliesin's claim that there's more to humanity than is explained by evolution. Color me stumped.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 05:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I'm not getting what your point is. Taliesin said that humans, unlike (other) animals, accumulate knowledge from one generation to the next. I don't see what your answer "Human evolution is measured in at least a million years" has to do with that, nor even what it means. It's been millions of years since we branched from other apes? Are you saying that if humans are so different, why did it take so long before we started writing histories? That's the only thing I can come up with, but if that's it it would support Taliesin's claim that there's more to humanity than is explained by evolution. Color me stumped.
I'm saying that the notion that "humans accumulate knowledge from one generation to the next" is entirely a modern concept, and does not serve as an argument for why we are somehow different from animals. According to evolution, for millions of years Homo sapiens sapiens and their predecessors lived exactly like "animals" now – with little or no change at all between generations, and with little "new knowledge" passed on to later generations. Living in today's world, in which one can born and be "outdated" by the time they die, hides the fact that for the vast majority of our timeframe this in no way occurred. Like what we see around us today, humans did not change at all in successive generations.

greg
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 07:09 AM
 
After 4 pages, nothing has changed. No matter what anyone believes the facts are the facts.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: FFM
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 07:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
No matter what anyone believes the facts are the facts.
And that's why evolution will be continued to be taught.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 08:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
<criticism of techniques for logical discussion>
Except you are "lacking basic intelligence" . . . in how to argue/debate scientific principles. Your "difference" of opinion is based on un-sound and illogical scientific premises. That's what Uncle Skeleton's complaint is about.
Your opinion is noted. As is my opinion that essentially calling people stupid, especially when in the past the people doing the name calling have been unable to keep their arguments straight, does nothing to forward civil dialog.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 08:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
And that's why evolution will be continued to be taught.
Evolution will continue be taught not because it is factually correct, but rather it's currently our "best guess". The reason other theories will not be taught is due to fallacious assumptions and bigotry.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 09:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Evolution will continue be taught not because it is factually correct, but rather it's currently our "best guess". The reason other theories will not be taught is due to fallacious assumptions and bigotry.
Indeed.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Madison, WI
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 10:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Your opinion is noted. As is my opinion that essentially calling people stupid, especially when in the past the people doing the name calling have been unable to keep their arguments straight, does nothing to forward civil dialog.
It's not my "opinion" that you are debating a scientific topic in un-scientific ways, it's merely an observation after reading all your posts in this thread. There are generally accepted means and methods to present scientific information (evidentiary based means with data taken from sources generally accepted as being valid) and you have not been using those means and methods in your posts. But, more fundamentally, you have made statements that are scientifically and factually wrong--not a difference of opinion, not slightly incorrect, but outright wrong. The several points you made about bacteria and mutations were the most startling example of this wrongness. Even if you were arguing the topic in an un-scientific way, you lose all credibility for your arguments by putting forth factually wrong information.

The thing is, we could be talking about what makes the color blue, blue. And if you were to put forth statements that were factually wrong, you would still be wrong. The subject under debate is irrelevant to the fact you are not debating it in a scientifically sound way.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 11:47 AM
 
Again Evolution is just the current "best guess" 20 years from now something else may be taught that is the new "best guess"

Speaking as if evolution is the absolute truth is well... dishonest.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Again Evolution is just the current "best guess" 20 years from now something else may be taught that is the new "best guess"

Speaking as if evolution is the absolute truth is well... dishonest.
100 years ago, you might have been able to say that. Nobody with any degree of authority really doubts evolution these days, though there are still a lot of specifics left to fill in.
Chuck
___
"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 12:55 PM
 
First I will get slammed down for this but I am Atheist. With that out of the way I do believe that the book she found offencive was a scientific book (in this case biology) but it could be any for this arguement.

There is nothing scientific about god and creation. Her biology text book is not stating facts but follows the best scientific ideas of the time of printing. In science/biology/chemistry class you should be using the appropriate information. Would you see it fit to grab a book of darwin in theology class or sunday school? Of course not that would be, for a lack of a better word, Idiotic. I am also not saying that noone should ever read the "good book" if nothing else it is a very poular very old book with many people making referances to it in "real life", most athiests do read it as well and do not pick and choose what to read for no toher reason than to give good intelligent arguements.

Knowing this is the same as science where there will be many real life referances as well. Each has their place and both cover theories you can decide wether or not to believe. They should both be reat and or taught so you can make informed decisions on what you wish to believe. It all comes down to reading all you can so you can make informed decisions not tjust believe because that is what you were told to.

And hat is what real athiesm is all about.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
The reason other theories will not be taught is due to fallacious assumptions and bigotry.
No. Any alternative theory can be presented, but they have to meet requirements to be considered a theory (and no, you can't just redefine the meaning of the word "theory," either): evidence, direct observation, and testing.

Testing, by the way, also includes the possibility of disproving a theory. Since Intelligent Design/Creation don't qualify for any of those requirements, they're not theories.

Just so you know, "String Theory" is just as heated a debate as Creation/Intelligent Design. In fact, some might even argue that String Theory is worse than Creation/Intelligent design, as Wolfgang Pauli's famous phrase, "It's not even wrong."
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
100 years ago, you might have been able to say that. Nobody with any degree of authority really doubts evolution these days, though there are still a lot of specifics left to fill in.
Again, 100 years ago they had it all figured out too I bet. Throughout mankind we've had it "figured out" till we didn't.

It must take a lot of faith to think we finally have it "figured out" again.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Again, 100 years ago they had it all figured out too I bet. Throughout mankind we've had it "figured out" till we didn't.

It must take a lot of faith to think we finally have it "figured out" again.
I didn't think you could be even more wrong. Good job.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I didn't think you could be even more wrong. Good job.
You guys sure know how to back up your accusations. Atleast make an effort.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
You guys sure know how to back up your accusations. Atleast make an effort.
What is there to explain? Science and exploration exist specifically because we don't know everything. We make advancements and improvements because we lack understanding.

We don't know everything. Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
What is there to explain? Science and exploration exist specifically because we don't know everything. We make advancements and improvements because we lack understanding.

We don't know everything. Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something.
Then we aren't in disagreement, and I wasn't referring to you.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I'm saying that the notion that "humans accumulate knowledge from one generation to the next" is entirely a modern concept, and does not serve as an argument for why we are somehow different from animals.
Uh...

According to evolution, for millions of years Homo sapiens sapiens and their predecessors lived exactly like "animals" now – with little or no change at all between generations, and with little "new knowledge" passed on to later generations. Living in today's world, in which one can born and be "outdated" by the time they die, hides the fact that for the vast majority of our timeframe this in no way occurred. Like what we see around us today, humans did not change at all in successive generations.
You're making 2 extraordinary claims here, and I don't think either of them are supported by any evidence. 1, you're saying that human ancestors from "millions" of years ago are equivalent to modern humans, in terms of culture. A million years ago we're talking about australopithecines with chimp-sized brains. Multiple millions of years ago you might as well be talking about chimps. You're basically saying that since man=chimp, men are not different from chimps. I think there is a large difference between sapiens and neanderthalensis, and even between cro-magnon and modern man. 2, you're saying that humans did not pass knowledge between generations before 5000ya simply because the oldest surviving text is that old. But surely H. erectus' ritual burials and H sapiens' skills at tool-building were taught from one generation to the next. Just because they didn't make an attempt to preserve the information for our modern benefit doesn't mean they weren't advancing technological knowledge. One might argue that the exponential increase in knowledge correlates with the exponential increase in population.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Evolution will continue be taught not because it is factually correct, but rather it's currently our "best guess". The reason other theories will not be taught is due to fallacious assumptions and bigotry.
You mentioned "civil dialog" and "calling people stupid." Being uninformed is not stupid, and being uninformed is not uncivil. But having people inform you again and again about exactly how you are uninformed, about exactly how your arguments are faulty, and exactly how theirs are correct, and then after this for you to categorically ignore those revelations and insist on the same argument with the same uninformed, erroneous nonsense again, that is stupid, and uncivil. It's you who brought these qualities to the discussion. If you're going to continue to insist on denying the truth of things, at least you must come up with a new argument, not one that has been torn apart multiple times in the past.

In the case of this thing you have here, you've been told before that "best guess" is an unsatisfactory description, unless by "best guess" you mean that decades of evidence has been collected in excruciating detail, in large number, with proper experimental control, and published openly and subjected to peer review, and all of it supports this "best guess" and none of it supports any other "less good guesses," then that is how science works. Science is all about verifying theories (or as you refer to them "best guesses") about the nature of nature, and updating or superseding those theories as new evidence is discovered. If you don't like that, then science isn't your cup of tea. It's not your prerogative to change what science is just to suit your favorite mythology.

The reason other guesses are not taught is because they have no support from the evidence. None. Your repeated and unwavering refusal to address this aspect of the failure of these other guesses is deeply telling, and is the sole reason you are faced with uncivil remarks and being called stupid. It is stupid to repeat your same ignorant claims again after being informed of why they are ignorant and refusing to acknowledge the information.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Again Evolution is just the current "best guess" 20 years from now something else may be taught that is the new "best guess"

Speaking as if evolution is the absolute truth is well... dishonest.
Science is not about finding absolute truth, that is what religion is for. The theory of gravity is not the absolute truth either, but it's still more appropriate to teach it the way all science is taught, by presenting the unanimous scientific consensus of the parts which are understood as exactly that: the unanimous scientific consensus. If you require an "absolute truth" label put on things that are presented that way, that's your problem.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Science is not about finding absolute truth, that is what religion is for.
Actually that isn't what religion is for either. And I agree with you about Science. I just wish it's proponents would start acting like it.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Then we aren't in disagreement, and I wasn't referring to you.
You weren't referring to anyone. It's a straw-man. Science never declares that we know everything. It only declares, this is what we do know. If you heard any "we know everythings" they came from inside your own head.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You weren't referring to anyone.
I assure you I was. Stop being silly.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 04:23 PM
 
I assure you I was.
You guys sure know how to back up your accusations. Atleast make an effort.
     
Kevin  (op)
Baninated
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: In yer threads
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 04:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
You guys sure know how to back up your accusations. Atleast make an effort.
Um you were the one making the accusations. I know who I was referring to. For you to tell ME that I wasn't referring to ANYONE is a bit obnoxious. As if you know better than I as to what I was talking about.

How else was I supposed to respond to such a silly statement?
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Rockville, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 22, 2006, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I know who I was referring to.
Yes, but the whole point of having this thing on an internet message board is so that other people can finally find out what you're thinking. I believe you refer to talking just for the pleasure of hearing your own voice as "verbal masturbation," and that's what what you just said amounts to.

I have no doubt that you think someone said that science knows everything, but in reality they didn't, because it doesn't. Your confusion arises when you confuse "science doesn't know everything" with "science doesn't know anything." The first is true, the second is most certainly not. You seem to have the mistaken sense that the second is also true, and therefore that other people who don't know anything are on equal footing with the current scientific consensus, scientifically speaking. You're wrong in that.
     
 
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:20 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2014 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2