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Russia teen sues over evolution teaching (Page 7)
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Jan 1, 2007, 06:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
we have a mountain of forensic evidence, all of which supports the "paint happened to splash" hypothesis and none of which supports the other painters.
Unless one of the painters splashes paint as their technique. Which is why evolution and creation theories are not incompatible.
     
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Jan 1, 2007, 07:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Unless one of the painters splashes paint as their technique. Which is why evolution and creation theories are not incompatible.
Absolutely. The point is just that, from a scientific standpoint, we can't defend the idea that it was that painter. It might have been or might not have been, but it's not a scientific idea either way.

Also, the idea behind intelligent design isn't analogous to "Well, he could have splashed paint." That's just evolution in a theistic universe.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Jan 1, 2007 at 07:16 PM. )
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Jan 1, 2007, 08:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
There you go again.

What was it I said about vehemence and derision?
You reap what you sow, chief.

Couldn't you find any way to voice your rebuttals without the simple rudeness that you have throughout this whole thread?
1, rebuttals? To what? All you've provided was judgement here, not evidence and not even an opinion. If you enter the discussion just to insult people, you can't expect a polite resopnse.

2, what's rude is for someone to come out and declare that an entire field of research is wrong when you know darn well that your own conclusion is based in ignorance. They're not saying "I have a right to my conclusion," they're saying "no, your conclusion is wrong," and what's more they're saying it knowing that their reasoning has already been disproven.

If people want to discuss this honestly, admitting they don't know the topic and asking honest questions, or failing that assuming they do know the topic and presenting logical arguments from evidence (as ebuddy has done in the past), that's one thing. But to argue that the entire field of research is either doing bad science or intentionally deceiving them while refusing to even look at the evidence, that's rude. Again, you reap what you sow.

Please note, I'm not arguing any position on evolution, creationism, ID, or any other funny name that someone should invent. I'm pointing out where it all went off the rails in this thread.
Off the rails? I think we made some progress. Snow-i is realizing where his all-purpose basic education isn't enough to argue technical topics. You have to be informed, and that means looking up the state of the field for yourself, not relying on your distant memories from primary school, even if they had been more accurate than his.

I'm characteristically the first person to reject arguments made out of false equivalences, moral, evidential, or otherwise. I see a lot of the people who make moral equivalence arguments in other threads rejecting equivalence arguments here. Now I'll be able to tell when one of those posters is inconsistent in future threads by their disapproval of equivalence here and their endorsement of it in said future thread. Thank you.
I don't even know what you're talking about. Are you implying that evolution is subject to some kind of moral compromise? It's not about morals, it's just about finding out how the world works. If you're saying that we should use "equivalence" as some kind of measuring stick, rather than merits, you're way off base.
( Last edited by Uncle Skeleton; Jan 1, 2007 at 08:51 PM. )
     
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Jan 1, 2007, 08:49 PM
 
Er, in addition to what ChuckIt said,

Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Unless one of the painters splashes paint as their technique. Which is why evolution and creation theories are not incompatible.
Which painter is that, in this analogy? God?

I ask this for two reasons. One is that I don't think you have any basis for claiming that God (any particular one) has this style, as opposed to any other imaginable style (for instance, some would say that God's creations are all made from clay). So if you have a designer in mind, how do you go about saying the likes of "I think God did it because God's preferred medium is DNA"?

And two, it's extraordinarily difficult to get any ID supporter to identify who the "designer" is. Most (including the one person in this thread who has defined ID for the purpose of his argument, as well as Behe, the world's only professional biologist ID supporter, in the above linked video lecture) specifically refuse to identify a particular designer, and also deny that it matters who or what the designer is. This tactic invalidates your argument (for those who employ it).
     
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Jan 1, 2007, 10:32 PM
 
No one has ever proven there is a magic supernatural ghost.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 07:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
And two, it's extraordinarily difficult to get any ID supporter to identify who the "designer" is. Most (including the one person in this thread who has defined ID for the purpose of his argument, as well as Behe, the world's only professional biologist ID supporter, in the above linked video lecture) specifically refuse to identify a particular designer, and also deny that it matters who or what the designer is. This tactic invalidates your argument (for those who employ it).
How does it invalidate my argument? I never set out to prove ID. I never set out to deny evolution or deny that we are a cosmic fluke. Not once. I also clearly on several occasions never claimed to be an ID supporter. You refuse to acknowledge that I am not arguing against evolution, repeatedly. I am done in this thread. I've failed to properly get the point across. Thats my own fault for the confusion on where i stand in the issue.


I cannot argue the side you want me to argue. You will not acknowledge me as trying to argue an objective point about the definition of "fact" without bringing in my own personal beliefs (as i tried to do from the beginning). I am done in this thread.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 07:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Which painter is that, in this analogy? God?
Some would answer; "of course it was God".

I ask this for two reasons. One is that I don't think you have any basis for claiming that God (any particular one) has this style, as opposed to any other imaginable style (for instance, some would say that God's creations are all made from clay). So if you have a designer in mind, how do you go about saying the likes of "I think God did it because God's preferred medium is DNA"?
This is a bit of a strawman. In one instance you appear frustrated that proponents of ID won't just come out and say God was the designer, then you question the argument that God did it because God's preferred medium is DNA. ID proponents as I've understood them, are trying to identify intelligent deliberation over purely natural phenomena.

And two, it's extraordinarily difficult to get any ID supporter to identify who the "designer" is. Most (including the one person in this thread who has defined ID for the purpose of his argument, as well as Behe, the world's only professional biologist ID supporter, in the above linked video lecture) specifically refuse to identify a particular designer, and also deny that it matters who or what the designer is. This tactic invalidates your argument (for those who employ it).
ID generally refers to the intelligent designer as an "intelligent agency". While there is considerable debate regarding who built Stonehenge, it is not arguable whether or not Stonehenge was a designed thing as far as I know. We don't know who the designer was for certain, but it is patently obvious Stonehenge is a designed thing. If your argument is that Stonehenge did not occur by purely natural phenomena, your argument is perfectly validated regardless of whether or not the designer is identified. I'm getting the impression that it is important for ID to identify who the designer is so you can say; "I TOLD YOU SO!"
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Jan 2, 2007, 07:51 AM
 
The holidays are over and I"m back for a short lived poke in the ribs!

Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
There you go again.

What was it I said about vehemence and derision?

Couldn't you find any way to voice your rebuttals without the simple rudeness that you have throughout this whole thread?
Hard to argue when it starts out that way, huh? I mentioned it at the beginning of the thread myself.

Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Absolutely. The point is just that, from a scientific standpoint, we can't defend the idea that it was that painter. It might have been or might not have been, but it's not a scientific idea either way.
Not true.

We can show that our best guess is that it was splashed on. How that splash started or by what mechanism is yet to be determined and even at that it's just our scientific "best guess". Any attempts to explain how that might have happened or alternatives to our best guesses, even without any conclusive evidence most certainly are "scientific ideas" as long as they do not rely entirely on unproven religious beliefs.

Just as scientific as the theory I mentioned about radioactivity being fueled by the sun which had ZERO scientific evidence but was accepted as the scientific "best guess" until people knew better. It's funny how things no longer become "scientific" when it's possible that those things could provide support for things like creationism. The bias against there being definitive evidence that can be discovered showing something that points to a higher power or energy source (maybe not unlike radioactivity before it was discovered) is irrational. That's sad, and NOT scientific. REAL science doesn't limit possibilities - it's open to them.

Most here aren't arguing against the idea that based on evidence, evolution as a mechanism is currently our best guess as to how our species got to where it is. It's not those on my side of the argument who are being irrational or attempting to stifle dialog. It's the attempts by those who accept science as their religion who irrationally try to squash any discussion of higher forces or powers having an effect on the process (which doesn't have to necessarily be an all-seeing powerful God) or there being alternatives to our unproven best guess. We aren't suggesting that it be taught that there is equal evidence for all theories. Just for the intellectually dishonest and disrespectful attempts to try to remove alternatives from the academic table to be put to a stop and those with such irrational and unscientific bias be put in their place.

It's clear that you have irrational folks on one side of the crazy tree who don't want to hear anything about science - especially if it disagrees with their religious beliefs, and there's irrational folks sitting on the other side of the crazy tree who don't even want to hear anything about science if it disagrees with their religious (atheism with science supporting their belief system) beliefs.

I say neither set of crazies have any business setting the standards for what is taught regarding the origin of our species. Unfortunately, the crazies on the latter side of the tree are the ones entrenched in the mainstream of the academic left who control these things. Sad.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I cannot argue the side you want me to argue. You will not acknowledge me as trying to argue an objective point about the definition of "fact" without bringing in my own personal beliefs (as i tried to do from the beginning). I am done in this thread.
...another one bites the dust. It's sad that debates have to be "won" in that manner, but not unpredictable. It's a lot easier from them to win when they debate strawmen and refuse to see a rational middle ground when it's staring them in the face. Of course, that would require them to take a real good look at their own irrational non-scientific biases and I think such a thing would be much too painful. :lol
( Last edited by stupendousman; Jan 2, 2007 at 07:58 AM. )
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 11:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
We can show that our best guess is that it was splashed on. How that splash started or by what mechanism is yet to be determined and even at that it's just our scientific "best guess". Any attempts to explain how that might have happened or alternatives to our best guesses, even without any conclusive evidence most certainly are "scientific ideas" as long as they do not rely entirely on unproven religious beliefs.
As I said, not a scientific idea — because it relies entirely on unproven religious beliefs. Even you agree with me, even if you don't want to agree with me.

Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
It's funny how things no longer become "scientific" when it's possible that those things could provide support for things like creationism. The bias against there being definitive evidence that can be discovered showing something that points to a higher power or energy source (maybe not unlike radioactivity before it was discovered) is irrational.
No, what's irrational is this conspiracy theory about how I'm one of them craaaazy atheists just so afraid of creationism. If you come up with real evidence of some "higher power or energy source" and base ideas on it, that would be scientific. Science can't touch that which has no evidence.

Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
We aren't suggesting that it be taught that there is equal evidence for all theories. Just for the intellectually dishonest and disrespectful attempts to try to remove alternatives from the academic table to be put to a stop and those with such irrational and unscientific bias be put in their place.
How about we remove alternatives from the academic table because it's deceptive to suggest they have any scientific value? I mean, we don't teach the idea that planets have perfectly circular orbits as an "alternative" (except possibly as "here's a blatantly false idea"). Are we being "intellectually dishonest" in refusing to do so? I don't think we are. Do you? Should we also teach the idea that the earth is a cube? How far do we have to go before we're intellectually honest?

Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
...another one bites the dust. It's sad that debates have to be "won" in that manner, but not unpredictable. It's a lot easier from them to win when they debate strawmen and refuse to see a rational middle ground when it's staring them in the face. Of course, that would require them to take a real good look at their own irrational non-scientific biases and I think such a thing would be much too painful. :lol
Yes, that's right. Me being "irrational," "non-scientific" and "crazy" is the middle ground here. I don't know how I could have rejected such a reasonable compromise up to this point.
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Jan 2, 2007, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
How does it invalidate my argument?
That's why I wasn't talking to you. By convention you can tell who people are talking to because they quote those people at the top of their post. The quotes now have little arrows that let you click and get directly back to the original post. They're very convenient.

I never set out to prove ID. I never set out to deny evolution or deny that we are a cosmic fluke. Not once. I also clearly on several occasions never claimed to be an ID supporter. You refuse to acknowledge that I am not arguing against evolution, repeatedly. I am done in this thread. I've failed to properly get the point across. Thats my own fault for the confusion on where i stand in the issue.
Then why are you here? What are you arguing?


I cannot argue the side you want me to argue. You will not acknowledge me as trying to argue an objective point about the definition of "fact" without bringing in my own personal beliefs (as i tried to do from the beginning). I am done in this thread.
It's your own fault that you can't comprehend the word "fact." Conclusions are not facts, observations are facts. Observations lead to conclusions. Conclusions are theories. You're the one that keeps trying to shoe-horn evolution into the classification "fact" and then argue against that classification. Your premise is faulty.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 04:12 PM
 
Just so we're clear, there are two different things people may be talking about when they say "evolution." One is the process of evolution, which is an observed fact. The other is the precise reasons and effects evolution has had over the history of the earth — this is a theory formed from a vast body of evidence.
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Jan 2, 2007, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
This is a bit of a strawman. In one instance you appear frustrated that proponents of ID won't just come out and say God was the designer, then you question the argument that God did it because God's preferred medium is DNA. ID proponents as I've understood them, are trying to identify intelligent deliberation over purely natural phenomena.
The analogy in question says "we know jackson pollock paints things that look as if they were random splatters, that's why we suspect jackson pollock when we see things that look as if they were random splatters." But here's the thing: we already know about jackson pollock and we know that his style was splashing paint, independent of whatever painting is currently under consideration. We have no such independent information about god.

The ID version of the analogy would be "we know god creates things that look as though they developed by random mutation and common ancestry, therefore we suspect god when we see things that look as if they developed by random mutation." What's the basis for that first part then? We haven't seen god make these creations (as we've seen pollock make his). We haven't even got god's alleged testimony about that. The best we've got is the bible, which if anything contradicts the similarity to products of random mutation (things were created purposefully as they are, and from clay not DNA). And given that the bible is not going to be accepted as scientific evidence (right?), Wiskedjak's analogy would be in a world where no jackson pollock had existed (or rather, been recorded in any way), and would go "We hypothesize that one of the painters splashes paint as their technique, even though we don't have evidence that s/he existed, and the only basis for that hypothesis is that there must have been one because there are a bunch of canvases in this warehouse with paint splashed on them and empty paint buckets lying around on the floor."

The reason it's a problem for this argument to have a "designer" specifically identified is because the argument goes that we can recognize this designer's style specifically. But how do you recognize the style of god as opposed to any other designer, scientifically speaking?

ID generally refers to the intelligent designer as an "intelligent agency". While there is considerable debate regarding who built Stonehenge, it is not arguable whether or not Stonehenge was a designed thing as far as I know. We don't know who the designer was for certain, but it is patently obvious Stonehenge is a designed thing. If your argument is that Stonehenge did not occur by purely natural phenomena, your argument is perfectly validated regardless of whether or not the designer is identified.
It's obvious because we draw specific similarities between it and other things we ourselves designed. Humans have been standing rocks upright for a long time, to build shelters and monuments. It's obvious that it is similar to our own designed things. If you argued that it was designed by aliens rather than humans, would that argument be as strong? No, of course not, because we don't have any framework for recognizing alien design. The only designs we recognize are ones that are specifically similar to things humans design. That the designer was human is inextricably linked to all the ways we have for recognizing design.

I'm getting the impression that it is important for ID to identify who the designer is so you can say; "I TOLD YOU SO!"
I'm not, but it's not a bad idea
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
The holidays are over and I"m back for a short lived poke in the ribs!
Happy new year!

Hard to argue when it starts out that way, huh? I mentioned it at the beginning of the thread myself.
On the contrary, it's easy to argue when you actually have facts on your side. When all you have is ad homs and falsehoods, it's your material that makes things hard on you.

You haven't presented one piece of evidence, and when evidence is presented against you, you ignore it (I'll give you another shot to do exactly that in a minute). The entirety of your argument has been "Scientists make mistakes, therefore we shouldn't listen to them. They thought the earth was flat for crying out loud." It's nothing more than an ad hom.

Here's your chance to prove me wrong. It was discovered in the last year that human chromosome 2 is a fusion product of 2 ancestral ape chromosomes. How do you reconcile this with either evolution's falsehood or the possible truth of any alternative theory (ID or you make one up)?

citation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

previous mention: http://forums.macnn.com/95/political...1/#post2812321

Not true.

We can show that our best guess is that it was splashed on. How that splash started or by what mechanism is yet to be determined and even at that it's just our scientific "best guess".
Ok, let's live inside the paint analogy for a little bit. Supposing you found this splashed paint, what possible evidence could be found to convince you that it was accidental? And a corollary, do you believe that past events can ever be deduced by the remaining evidence? Is there such a thing a smoking gun in your world? Or is it that if even one person anywhere objects to a conclusion, the conclusion must be vacated, even if that one person is a proven liar?

Any attempts to explain how that might have happened or alternatives to our best guesses, even without any conclusive evidence most certainly are "scientific ideas" as long as they do not rely entirely on unproven religious beliefs.
No, not all ideas are equal. The idea that the paint is fresh dinosaur blood from a dinosaur that was brought forward trough time and then disappeared after doing the deed is not a scientific idea, it's fantasy.

Just as scientific as the theory I mentioned about radioactivity being fueled by the sun which had ZERO scientific evidence but was accepted as the scientific "best guess" until people knew better.
I'm calling your bluff on this story. Show some evidence that this ever happened, because I can't find it.

And while you're at it, back up your flat earth story too, unless you also thought columbus was responsible for proving that?

The bias against there being definitive evidence that can be discovered showing something that points to a higher power or energy source (maybe not unlike radioactivity before it was discovered) is irrational. That's sad, and NOT scientific. REAL science doesn't limit possibilities - it's open to them.
When will you accept that the liars are the ones egging you on to believe that ID is valid and evolution is not? It's not scientists that are being dishonest, it's whoever is feeding you these lines, and it's really really sad that you're buying it hook line and sinker, without double-checking your own story.


It's not those on my side of the argument who are being irrational or attempting to stifle dialog.
If you would bring some evidence, we'd discuss it. We've discussed ebuddy's evidence in the past. None of it panned out, but it wasn't rejected outright.

Your problem is your argument has no substance. You come in with a "you're wrong," but when people say "ok, how?" you have nothing to follow it with. You need support, and since this is science and science is about evidence, you need evidence. Ideas are not scientific without evidence.

Just for the intellectually dishonest and disrespectful attempts to try to remove alternatives from the academic table to be put to a stop and those with such irrational and unscientific bias be put in their place.
No one is stopping you! Go ahead with your science on ID! I fully support you. The only thing people object to is for you to go out there, try to find evidence, FAIL TO DO SO, and then talk as if you hadn't failed.

and there's irrational folks sitting on the other side of the crazy tree who don't even want to hear anything about science if it disagrees with their religious (atheism with science supporting their belief system) beliefs.
Here's where you're wrong. Scientists love to hear things that disagree with the current understanding. That's how careers are made, by developing new frameworks and new ideas. But those ideas need to have evidence. Just like everything else in science.


...another one bites the dust. It's sad that debates have to be "won" in that manner, but not unpredictable. It's a lot easier from them to win when they debate strawmen and refuse to see a rational middle ground when it's staring them in the face. Of course, that would require them to take a real good look at their own irrational non-scientific biases and I think such a thing would be much too painful. :lol
What's the middle ground here? Spell it out. Make the scientific case for each side. Or if you don't know the facts, make the case for your side and I'll fill in the rest for you.

I'll tell you what's sad, is that people think they can argue this issue without knowing the first thing about it. How would you react if someone argued vehemently that terrorists have a perfect right to control the whole world, just because they must have it otherwise they wouldn't be risking their lives over it, and for you to deny it to them is being "politically dishonest"?
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 08:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
On the contrary, it's easy to argue when you actually have facts on your side. When all you have is ad homs and falsehoods, it's your material that makes things hard on you.
Sorry. I'm not the guy who starts off insulting people. I don't need to. My arguments are able to stand on their own.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton
Here's your chance to prove me wrong. It was discovered in the last year that human chromosome 2 is a fusion product of 2 ancestral ape chromosomes. How do you reconcile this with either evolution's falsehood or the possible truth of any alternative theory (ID or you make one up)?
A. Which 2 apes mated in order for these chromosomes to "fuse"? Or, was this just supposition based on similarities between our chromosomes and those of some apes?

B. I never said that evolution was a "falsehood". You're going to have to fight your strawmen on your own.

Ok, let's live inside the paint analogy for a little bit. Supposing you found this splashed paint, what possible evidence could be found to convince you that it was accidental? And a corollary, do you believe that past events can ever be deduced by the remaining evidence? Is there such a thing a smoking gun in your world? Or is it that if even one person anywhere objects to a conclusion, the conclusion must be vacated, even if that one person is a proven liar?
Huh? You're obviously busy arguing with that guy in your head..maybe the same guy who you are imagining you're arguing against when you debated Snow-i before he gave up on you.

I'm calling your bluff on this story. Show some evidence that this ever happened, because I can't find it.
Here's a cite that took me about a half second to dig up.

Radioactivity: Historical Figures

On Becquerel:

"Initially he believed that the sun's energy was being absorbed by the uranium which then emitted X rays."

He didn't have anything other than a "best guess" to decide this, and yet it was accepted as the best answer as to how the force was occuring.

And while you're at it, back up your flat earth story too, unless you also thought columbus was responsible for proving that?
It's your assertion that scientists never believed the Earth to be flat?

When will you accept that the liars are the ones egging you on to believe that ID is valid and evolution is not?
Not my argument - pass.

Your problem is your argument has no substance.
Your problem is that you're too busy absorbed by your bias and need to tell others who believe different than you that they are "wrong" to even know who or what you are arguing. Several times in you very last message you where arguing against me for positions I don't take or very distorted versions of ones I do.

Listen, think, then talk. It will do you wonders. That's the scientific way if you ask me. You might find more people willing to challenge you so you can increase your knowledge. That should be the point of debate after all.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 08:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
A. Which 2 apes mated in order for these chromosomes to "fuse"?
What are you asking? You want us to dig up two ape corpses and go, "These two apes mated"? (I'm not being snippy. I seriously don't know what a reasonable answer to this question would look like.)

Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Or, was this just supposition based on similarities between our chromosomes and those of some apes?
"Similarity" in that our chromosome looks like those two chromosomes fused one on top of the other, including telomeres and centromeres, yes. Logically speaking, I can't think of another remotely likely explanation for what we're seeing.

Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Listen, think, then talk. It will do you wonders. That's the scientific way if you ask me. You might find more people willing to challenge you so you can increase your knowledge. That should be the point of debate after all.
I believe Uncle Skeleton and I have been asking people to present evidence for quite a while. What are we supposed to "listen and think" about?
( Last edited by Chuckit; Jan 2, 2007 at 08:54 PM. )
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Jan 2, 2007, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Some would answer; "of course it was God".
While others, such as myself, would answer; "I don't know"
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
It's funny how things no longer become "scientific" when it's possible that those things could provide support for things like creationism.
sci·en·tif·ic (sī'ən-tĭf'ĭk):
Of, relating to, or employing the methodology of science.

sci·ence (sī'əns):
1 a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
1 b. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
1 c. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

2. Methodological activity, discipline, or study: I've got packing a suitcase down to a science.

3. An activity that appears to require study and method: the science of purchasing.

4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.
While I don't disagree with the idea of Intelligent Design, I find that there is nothing scientific about it.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 10:14 PM
 
You've been "asking" me to take an anti-evolutionary position this entire thread.

I never took that stance in the first place. You argued and argued for evolution but I never tried to deny it as a plausible theory. I was trying to point out that there is much to learn about science and it is absolutely arrogant to take "best guess" as fact. The best wikipedia has to offer is that we probably evolved from homo erectus despite 10-15 other species from the genus homo, many of which we could have our roots in. Scientists don't even know if we came from one species in one location or we are the result of many of the different homo species that mingled over time. So where's the proven fact? I fail to see it? I do not doubt its plausibility. But our knowledge of human (among other animal) evolution is far from being complete, and far from being able to call "fact" in good science, especially when vehemenetly denying other possibilities.

NOTE: Please do not take this passage as an anti-evolutionary stance. I'm tired of you trying to argue that there's evidence supporting evolution. I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that its incomplete when many refer to it as "fact" and call it "good science."
Source: Human - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Logically speaking, I can't think of another remotely likely explanation for what we're seeing.
This could not be a more perfect example of the point I am trying to make. Just because there is no other theory with as much evidence does not confirm our best guess. It just means we need to find more evidence before confirming on denying a theory/hypothesis. It is not fact because modern science cannot provide an alternative. It needs to have its own proof beyond a doubt outside of alternative theories.


Now, relating my point to the original thread. The science textbook has no place denying a possibility (any possibility) without sufficient evidence to [i]prove[/] beyond a doubt that the theory is absolutely false. It would be far better to omit other possibilities then to arrogantly deny them, especially when a good portion of the population believes in them.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
The science textbook has no place denying a possibility (any possibility) without sufficient evidence to [i]prove[/] beyond a doubt that the theory is absolutely false. It would be far better to omit other possibilities then to arrogantly deny them, especially when a good portion of the population believes in them.
Do you know what the science textbook in question claims? Or, are you simply unable to think of another remotely likely explanation for the Russian teen's complaint?
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 10:44 PM
 
Thank you for correcting me

I should have said "any science textbook" instead of the one in question.

Regardless of what the textbook actually states, I stand by my assertion of what it should not state.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 11:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
While I don't disagree with the idea of Intelligent Design, I find that there is nothing scientific about it.
Why are we limiting the investigation into whether an intelligent higher power (maybe an energy form or some other form - not necessariliy "God") plays some role in the origin of our species? Most here haven't limited it to that. Does it make it easier to justify biases if you can just say "aw..it's religious, so I ain't listening"? It seems that several people here aren't debating against evolution or for ID, but rather the intellectually honest middle ground of accepting plausible ideas where there is nothing more conclusive than a "best guess". It's amazing the amount of irrational bias that passes for "science" these days.
     
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Jan 2, 2007, 11:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
This could not be a more perfect example of the point I am trying to make. Just because there is no other theory with as much evidence does not confirm our best guess. It just means we need to find more evidence before confirming on denying a theory/hypothesis. It is not fact because modern science cannot provide an alternative. It needs to have its own proof beyond a doubt outside of alternative theories.


Now, relating my point to the original thread. The science textbook has no place denying a possibility (any possibility) without sufficient evidence to [i]prove[/] beyond a doubt that the theory is absolutely false. It would be far better to omit other possibilities then to arrogantly deny them, especially when a good portion of the population believes in them.
Gee...a rational post in this thread other than my own. Whodathunk!

     
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Jan 2, 2007, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
It seems that several people here aren't debating against evolution or for ID, but rather the intellectually honest middle ground of accepting plausible ideas where there is nothing more conclusive than a "best guess". It's amazing the amount of irrational bias that passes for "science" these days.
If ID had any plausible ideas - meaning testable hypothesises - science would be all over it testing it. Sadly for ID it has none and it is treated as what it really is: A thinly veiled attack on science from a conservative Christian minority.

Stop treating "science" as some close minded entity that rejects new ideas or hypothesis based on a bias and read up on scientific method.

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Jan 2, 2007, 11:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Gee...a rational post in this thread other than my own. Whodathunk!
Yes, and it's not like this wasn't covered already earlier:
Originally posted by - - e r i k - -:
I agree with vmarks on this one, there is no need for a textbook on biology to take a derogatory view on religion. However we don't know this for a fact, only through a throwaway comment in an interview.

How do we know that she didn't just interpret perfectly benign passages as hostile because they were incompatible with her beliefs?
And as for his first post, ID zealots frequently spins what is considered good science: debate, into some weird reality where the scientific community is in doubt whether or not evolution or darwinism is accepted as fact because some small details of the theory is still emerging and being debated. Just like gravity, darwinism is universally accepted in the scientific community as a law of nature - even if it's particulars are being ironed out and discussed. That's just how science works. It's not a "best guess" - that is just preposterous spin.

Frankly I don't really see where these ID nuts come from - WHAT is it exactly about evolution that threatens their religion? I just don't get it.

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Jan 3, 2007, 12:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
A. Which 2 apes mated in order for these chromosomes to "fuse"? Or, was this just supposition based on similarities between our chromosomes and those of some apes?
I take this to mean that you disagree with the finding that they are ancestral chromosomes fused together (?). I'm curious, did you read the paper I linked to, or even the abstract, or did you make this decision blind? Either way, how do you explain the homology throughout, excepting only the part of the chromosome where non-functional centromeres, telomeres and pre-telomeric sequences? In other words, given that personal opinions on the matter is not relevant, what other possible explanation could there be? We're not talking "best guess" anymore, as absurd as that term is to start with, it's "only guess" time now, and it perfectly explains the evidence. Behe has given no response to this that I can find, and he's had over a year to think of something. In case you don't want to read the paper, here is a brief summary I found:

http://www.evolutionpages.com/chromosome_2.htm


Huh? You're obviously busy arguing with that guy in your head..maybe the same guy who you are imagining you're arguing against when you debated Snow-i before he gave up on you.
I'm trying to guide you into discussing evidence, since so far it's been like pulling teeth getting you to even acknowledge the empirical world.

In the paint splatter analogy, which you confronted me on, what evidence could possibly exist for you to move it out of your "merely best guess" category?

Here's a cite that took me about a half second to dig up.

Radioactivity: Historical Figures

On Becquerel:

"Initially he believed that the sun's energy was being absorbed by the uranium which then emitted X rays."

He didn't have anything other than a "best guess" to decide this, and yet it was accepted as the best answer as to how the force was occuring.
It doesn't say anything about that being accepted by the scientific community.

It's your assertion that scientists never believed the Earth to be flat?
Yes. It is. By "scientists" I assume you mean the scientific community in consensus, of course. Ever since there were "scientists" in the modern sense of the word (ie, they studied empirical results rather than just authoritative (religious) texts, they have known or at least suspected that the earth was round, or at any rate never believed that it was flat (there was a time when they were unsure if it was a closed sphere or simply a round-on-top, open-underneath cup.

Your problem is that you're too busy absorbed by your bias and need to tell others who believe different than you that they are "wrong" to even know who or what you are arguing.
Oh yes, I'm horribly biased towards looking at evidence, and I won't even give the non-evidence crowd the time of day! Someone please save me from my error!

Listen, think, then talk. It will do you wonders. That's the scientific way if you ask me. You might find more people willing to challenge you so you can increase your knowledge. That should be the point of debate after all.
You haven't said anything, what am I supposed to listen to? All you've said is what's not so, and often times it quite clearly clashes with reality as supported by evidence, so I've corrected you. When you insist on repeating falsehoods after being corrected, with no evidence to back you up, I have no choice but to assume you're lying, and I ridicule you for it. If you would support your case (or even state it?), maybe you could avoid such problems in the future.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 12:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
I don't think he demonstrated much of anything. He stated something, but there was no demonstration.

But who is anti-religion and derisive?

Lpmckenna does it when he says that any person with a view other than evolution is a tiresome twit.

DCMacdaddy did it when he could come up with no better response than "wow, got some sand in your vagina?"

Chuckit didn't go as far as DCMacdaddy did, but he did say ""These are widely held views" has jack **** to do with science. What's next, we teach intelligent falling in physics classes?
Umm vmarks . . . How is anything I said "anti-religion"? Do I need to remind you that my snarky comment about "sand in [his] vagina" was a personal attack on Kevin. Or, at least that was how it was seen by you when you PM'ed me about it and docked me 10 points worth of infractions. So, if you want to paint me as anti-religion by all means show where I have been anti-religion. But, (like in the whole ID debate) if you have no evidence to back up an assertion, don't make the assertion.
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Jan 3, 2007, 12:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
While others, such as myself, would answer; "I don't know"
But this was about recognizing the style of the artist. How can you recognize the style of the artist if you don't even know who the artist is?
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 12:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
You've been "asking" me to take an anti-evolutionary position this entire thread.
No I haven't. Show me where.

I know you've called evolution "bad science," and accused those who study it of being "bad scientists." You did it again later on in this post. You're wrong to attack evolution in that manner, and yes, that is an attack. Saying "I think you're probably right, but" before calling someone incompetent does not mean you're not attacking them (verbally).

I was trying to point out that there is much to learn about science and it is absolutely arrogant to take "best guess" as fact.
I find it pitiable that you would accuse scientists of being arrogant when you don't even know what the evidence is they base their conclusions on. It's fine to be ignorant of the field, that's why we have experts. No one can be well educated on every subject, so we defer to experts on their own subjects. But if you want to then challenge the experts on their own subject, even go so far as to call them bad at their job, call them arrogant, call them deceitful, you're going to have to actually learn the field first. I see no evidence that you have taken the effort to even gain a cursory understanding of the evidence for evolution, before you started name-calling. You should be ashamed for this.

to take "best guess" as fact.
Listen. I've told you time and time again. Listen this time. Evolution is not taken as fact. Neither is gravity or electro-magnetism or any other scientific theory.

The best wikipedia has to offer is that we probably evolved from homo erectus despite 10-15 other species from the genus homo, many of which we could have our roots in. Scientists don't even know if we came from one species in one location or we are the result of many of the different homo species that mingled over time.
Wikipedia can't tell you where exactly Halley's Commet came from before it got stuck in our solar system either, but that doesn't mean the theory of gravity is on shakey ground. (does it? do you also think gravity should be put up alongside intelligent falling as a scientific explanation?)


So where's the proven fact? I fail to see it?
Nowhere!! Didn't I give you a whole post on why science never uses the word "proven"? Did you see it? No, I shouldn't hope for some much as you actually reading what people write back to you.

especially when vehemenetly denying other possibilities.
Oh that's rich. Who vehemently denies other possibilities? We scorn them, but only because their proponents make false claims about the "proven-ness" (a sure tip-off that they are full of crap) of their "theories." Have you ever read The Boy Who Cried Wolf?

I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that its incomplete
Incomplete is a vague term. In order to understand what you're saying, I would like to respectfully ask you to specify exactly what new evidence might ever be uncovered to overcome your objection. Please tell me.


when many refer to it as "fact" and call it "good science."
Source: Human - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Funny, that page never says evolution is a "fact."


It just means we need to find more evidence before confirming on denying a theory/hypothesis.
This is the evidence. The evidence is that we have two nearly identical ape chromosomes as our single second chromosome. You talk a lot about "waiting for the evidence," but when the evidence actually comes in you want nothing to do with it.

It is not fact because modern science cannot provide an alternative. It needs to have its own proof beyond a doubt outside of alternative theories.
It does! You just have to look at it. Did you (look at it)?
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
This could not be a more perfect example of the point I am trying to make. Just because there is no other theory with as much evidence does not confirm our best guess. It just means we need to find more evidence before confirming on denying a theory/hypothesis. It is not fact because modern science cannot provide an alternative. It needs to have its own proof beyond a doubt outside of alternative theories.
This post leads me to believe you don't understand the scientific method. This statement is NOT intended as a personal attack. But the fact that you use phrases like "best guess" or that you suggest we need to "find more evidence before confirming on denying a theory/hypothesis" are seen by me as indicators of lacking a basic understanding of how the scientific method works or what purpose it serves.

If the current "best guess" for the explanation of how humans have changed over time is Darwinian evolution than that "best guess" IS the current explanation.

This doesn't mean other explanations can't be entertained or that questions can't be posed against the current explanation, but this probing of ideas MUST be done using the scientific method. And there is NOTHING about the idea of Intelligent Design that can be tested in a scientific manner. So, until it can be tested in a scientific manner it doesn't qualify as a possible alternative idea, at least not in a scientific context.

The idea of Intelligent Design is MORE THAN capable of being discussed within the frame-work of philosophy or cosmology. It is MORE THAN capable of providing rational answers to questions posed against it. But the way you discuss ideas of philosophy or cosmology are NOT the same way you discuss ideas of science. So, when those of us who criticize ID as being not comparable with evolution it is because of this point--ID's current lack of any ability to be investigated using the scientific method--we are not criticizing ID in its entirety, only its ability to function scientifically.
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
Why are we limiting the investigation into whether an intelligent higher power (maybe an energy form or some other form - not necessariliy "God") plays some role in the origin of our species? Most here haven't limited it to that. Does it make it easier to justify biases if you can just say "aw..it's religious, so I ain't listening"? It seems that several people here aren't debating against evolution or for ID, but rather the intellectually honest middle ground of accepting plausible ideas where there is nothing more conclusive than a "best guess". It's amazing the amount of irrational bias that passes for "science" these days.
Um, you said investigation. Are you investigating? Is anyone? I don't think anyone is investigating anything about ID or any other "energy source." And it's not because anyone is keeping people from doing that. It's because no one wants to. To you the intellectually honest middle ground apparently is to give up on theories that actually do show support in the evidence, so they won't out-pace ideas that don't. For me, and for any scientist, the intellectually honest middle ground is to do that investigation for all ideas, to discover which one is most consistent with the real world, especially before deciding which ideas pass muster and which don't. If you push your idea before investigating, you deserve for it to get shot down. Just don't push it and no one will attack you over it.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I take this to mean that you disagree with the finding that they are ancestral chromosomes fused together (?).
No. Take it to mean...ANSWER THE QUESTION. I took no position either way.

Again...instead of having to answer a question or admit your basing your beliefs on supposition (no matter how convincing it may be to me, you or others) you'd rather expend a lot of energy arguing a point you've decided someone has regadless of the truth.

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Jan 3, 2007, 02:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
This doesn't mean other explanations can't be entertained or that questions can't be posed against the current explanation, but this probing of ideas MUST be done using the scientific method. And there is NOTHING about the idea of Intelligent Design that can be tested in a scientific manner. So, until it can be tested in a scientific manner it doesn't qualify as a possible alternative idea, at least not in a scientific context..
WHY AGAIN are we limiting this to ID?. For instance, there are a multitude of tests to measure forms of energy (which could be the source of any evolutionary forces), and even Albert Einstein formed theories and equations which supported the idea that there are other dimensions beyond what we can actively see. Many of Einsteins theories involved stuff not easily tested.

Now...these tests most likely will come up with squat, do to the possibility that if such energy forces (or "God" to some) do exist, our current methods of testing are not sophisticated enough to measure them. Testing, and then coming up with something non-conclusive is not the same as not being able to test at all. If you are talking generically about "God"...well, no. You can't really test something that exists as a matter of faith. If "God" is something real and is energy or matter based, or exists as part of another dimension of time/space, then it's possible to try and test that regardless of whether your tests bear fruit.

In other words, it's possible to discuss the scientific possibility that the origin of our species was the result (in part or in whole) of unknown energy forces or extra-dimensional powers. I don't think it should be given equal weight to our current "best guess" (evolution as the mechanism), but the current standard of excluding possibilities which might somehow give even the slightest nod to those who believe there was more at work than chance genetic changes doesn't reflect well on the intellectual honesty of those who try to purport that such an effort is based on anything other than personal bias, IMO.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
To you the intellectually honest middle ground apparently is to give up on theories that actually do show support in the evidence, so they won't out-pace ideas that don't.
Howzabout I just insert a photo of a scarecrow in each of my posts, and you simply post a photo of a lit torch in yours from now on?

I've never suggested that anything be "given up". I've made it clear that I believe that evolution as a means for the origin of our species is currently our best guess based on evidence. Why would I want any further investigation into this possibility dropped? AGAIN...I have no opposition to evolution or it's teaching as our current best guess. My opposition is WHAT IS intellectually dishonest and not scientifically sound - declaring as fact what is in fact a "best guess" and declaring all other possibilities off limits for discussion in a science class even when it does not require mention of a religious "God" to do so.

My example given as far as radioactivity goes holds. What WAS the accepted theory for why ores gave off the energy at the time when radioactivity was first discovered? I posted the first link I came upon which showed that the foremost expert on the subject held a theory that he accepted (and it would be rational that many of his colleagues would do the same) which had ZERO evidence in support. Science does not require concrete proof or direct evidence for a theory as to how something happens for it to be able to be considered in a scientific forum. At least it hasn't in the past. I don't doubt that in order to satisfy the theophobes that hold court in the academic left, there may be attempts to change that (we saw all the definition swapping and confusion in the other thread when it was clear that normal, accepted definitions wouldn't keep theories involving possibly intelligent energy sources to be considered out of a scientific discussion - what a hoot that was!)

So to get back to the earlier point...do you think that strawmen evolve from lower forms of thought, or do their creators simply instantly wish them into being?

     
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Jan 3, 2007, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
No I haven't. Show me where.

I know you've called evolution "bad science," and accused those who study it of being "bad scientists." You did it again later on in this post. You're wrong to attack evolution in that manner, and yes, that is an attack. Saying "I think you're probably right, but" before calling someone incompetent does not mean you're not attacking them (verbally).
And where exactly have i done that? Please don't exxagerate my arguments to suit your needs. I've stated repeatedly that I agree with evolution, but i disagree with ruling out possibilities such as ID because of it. I never attacked evolution I never disagreed that there was evidence for it. I never disagreed that its a plausible theory.


I find it pitiable that you would accuse scientists of being arrogant when you don't even know what the evidence is they base their conclusions on. It's fine to be ignorant of the field, that's why we have experts. No one can be well educated on every subject, so we defer to experts on their own subjects. But if you want to then challenge the experts on their own subject, even go so far as to call them bad at their job, call them arrogant, call them deceitful, you're going to have to actually learn the field first. I see no evidence that you have taken the effort to even gain a cursory understanding of the evidence for evolution, before you started name-calling. You should be ashamed for this.
There ya go again....makin up my arguments for me. When did i call any experts bad at what they do? I've called you arrogant for continually stating evolution as fact and denying the very possibility of ID. You are the one who ignores the scientific method when you say in one breath that ID is absolutely false and in the next that you don't deny other possibilities. Which one is it?



Listen. I've told you time and time again. Listen this time. Evolution is not taken as fact. Neither is gravity or electro-magnetism or any other scientific theory.
No, I've said time and time again that it shouldn't be taken as fact, and you've come up with a plethora of arguments against it. Never once have you said "you are correct we should consider other possibilities as evolution is not a proven theory." Even when you agree with what I've been arguing this entire time you find a way to argue it to me.


Wikipedia can't tell you where exactly Halley's Commet came from before it got stuck in our solar system either, but that doesn't mean the theory of gravity is on shakey ground. (does it? do you also think gravity should be put up alongside intelligent falling as a scientific explanation?)
Nope, but will you deny that other forces could be acting upon the comet such as dark energy and exotic matter? Things we know almost nothing about? Will you?


Nowhere!! Didn't I give you a whole post on why science never uses the word "proven"? Did you see it? No, I shouldn't hope for some much as you actually reading what people write back to you.
Funny, several posters have been doing it to me the whole time.

Oh that's rich. Who vehemently denies other possibilities? We scorn them, but only because their proponents make false claims about the "proven-ness" (a sure tip-off that they are full of crap) of their "theories." Have you ever read The Boy Who Cried Wolf?
I've tried to make it clear over and over I am not arguing for creationism. You just don't want to listen. You want to argue against me as a religious nutjob who has no knowledge of science and no ability to rationally think. I have made it clear over and over that I am not. But thats not what you want to argue against.

Incomplete is a vague term. In order to understand what you're saying, I would like to respectfully ask you to specify exactly what new evidence might ever be uncovered to overcome your objection. Please tell me.
Let me get this straight. In order for me to prove the point that there is much to learn I have to specify what exactly we have left to learn? How does that work?


Funny, that page never says evolution is a "fact."
Exactly my point, so why the hell are you saying it is in your previous arguments? I agree with most modern science! I don't agree with people like you close-mindedly touting it as absolute fact!!!! Goodness gracious have you read any of my posts? Or are you just reading my opening sentences and making the rest of what i have to say up?


This is the evidence. The evidence is that we have two nearly identical ape chromosomes as our single second chromosome. You talk a lot about "waiting for the evidence," but when the evidence actually comes in you want nothing to do with it.
There it is once again. Making up my arguments for me. When have i denied evolution as a plausible theory? When have i said there isn't evidence to support it? When have i said anything other then i personally agree with evolution? You are now trying to take the stance i've had the entire time and argue against me with it.

It does! You just have to look at it. Did you (look at it)?
So you're contradicting everything you just stated.

Well is it fact? Or is it an unproven theory? Make up your damned mind. Perhaps you need to look up the word "fact." Here, let me help.

fact - Definitions from Dictionary.com
"something that actually exists; reality; truth"

You've said yourself that its not a proven theory, and that its dumb to deny other possibilities. So how can you say in the same passage that it is "reality, truth."

You can't argue both sides of the fence against me. Pick one, and stick to it.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 04:33 AM
 
Arguing about what is concidered facts or not in science is pure semantics. Get over it already.

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Jan 3, 2007, 07:58 AM
 
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).
Interesting, but I think birds building their "homes" in trees, and beavers creating dams and tunnels and ants and bees and their hives are also very interesting.

Is the human just another example of an intelligent and social animal, that can be cited with the previous examples?






Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
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.
Good argument.

Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
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).
Indeed the neanderthals were very similar to us, but I don't think that our ancestors wiped them out, I think they were our ancestors, at least in part. It seems that we modern humans are the result of an interbreeding between the neanderthals and the other contemporary humanoids.

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Jan 3, 2007, 08:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Arguing about what is concidered facts or not in science is pure semantics. Get over it already.

Its important when these "facts" are used to deny the possibility of an alternative/complimentary theory to the origins of humanity, such as ID.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
Indeed the neanderthals were very similar to us, but I don't think that our ancestors wiped them out, I think they were our ancestors, at least in part. It seems that we modern humans are the result of an interbreeding between the neanderthals and the other contemporary humanoids.
Taliesin
And in my experiences/research I have heard both interpretations of the same evidence. Both are plausible given the situation, both have merit under the known evidence. Which one (if either) is "fact" however is not so clear. My remarks about "good science" earlier would apply to this situation as it being arrogant to pick one and taut it as fact, using it to deny other possibilities...
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 09:20 AM
 
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.
Yes, birds are building homes, beavers are creating dams, bees and ants keep organising their hives...

does that mean the human is just another intelligent and social animal?


Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
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."
What's your point? Dinosaurs lived way more years on earth than humans, and yet didn't develop any culture.

Most scientists would date the first appearance of humans to about 200,000 years ago in Africa. They spread then pretty quickly over all of the earth, including to the Americas. They were mostly nomads, hunters and gatherers and organized in families, clans and eventually tribes.

The next major change in development occured with the introduction of agriculturing and all that it entangled, like specialisation, development of scripture, settlements, villages, states, armies, wars...

The most recent major change occured with the introduction of industrialisation.

Can you cite a similar story about any animal?

I think what is behind all this human development is the ability of abstract thinking and its expression in the form of a language.



Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
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
So you have found another category in which a human is unlike other animals, right? He is a generalist transcending niches.

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Jan 3, 2007, 10:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Its important when these "facts" are used to deny the possibility of an alternative/complimentary theory to the origins of humanity, such as ID.
It's not evolution that's used to reject intelligent design — intelligent design's utter lack of scientific merit does that just fine by itself.
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Jan 3, 2007, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Arguing about what is concidered facts or not in science is pure semantics. Get over it already.
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Its important when these "facts" are used to deny the possibility of an alternative/complimentary theory to the origins of humanity, such as ID.
Why do you keep doing this? Why do you keep confusing a theory of how humans have changed over time (evolution) with a theory as to where human life originated (ID)? The theory of evolution does NOT explain the initial origins of human life, or any life for that matter, so why do you keep confusing the two (origins and change-over-time) as if they were related?


As for your statements about "facts" being used to "deny the possibility of an alternative/complimentary theory to the origins of humanity" you still seem to be unclear on the concept of a scientific "fact". A scientific "fact" is logically true--based on the principles of the scientific method and the general laws of logic--until evidence emerges to partially or completely contradict the scientific logic of the fact. All anyone needs to do to have Intelligent Design become more accepted as a scientific concept is to provide more scientific "facts" to support the idea of Intelligent Design. But simply wanting ID to be accepted as an "alternative/complimentary theory to" evolution is insufficient to get it to be taken seriously as a scientific concept.

Science requires a high level of evidence before ideas can be promulgated as factual. The fields of philosophy and theology don't require the same types of evidence--testable and verifiable evidence--to support claims within their discipline. So, it is much more appropriate to discuss the concept of ID within those intellectual frame-works until such time that enough scientific evidence has been accumulated to allow ID to be discussed as a scientific topic.

By all means, start a thread talking about ID as an philosophical or theological concept for the origins of life: We can have a nice conversation about that topic without needing to mention evolution or scientific evidence. But please stop trying to establish some scientific basis for the concept of ID--by comparing ID to the scientifically valid and accepted ideas regarding evolution--unless you are prepared to provide scientific evidence to support your claims. Otherwise, you make it hard to take seriously your points when you talk about subjects, as if they were based on science, but without provide any scientific evidence.
( Last edited by dcmacdaddy; Jan 3, 2007 at 11:16 AM. )
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
Interesting, but I think birds building their "homes" in trees, and beavers creating dams and tunnels and ants and bees and their hives are also very interesting.
I believe you made a distinction between tool-use by instinct and tool-use by skills learned through individual communication. It is an important distinction, and as such I may have inferred it in your comments incorrectly. I believe birds building nests and beavers building dams and bees building hives are all behaviors that these animals will do without being taught. The term "hard-wired" is often used to describe this, though I dislike it because it gives connotations that are inaccurate between neural "circuitry" and the circuitry we know from electronics, but it does help people understand the difference between instinct and education. The examples I gave in chimps and dolphins are behaviors that they do not do unless they are shown how by other individuals (presumably one individual discovered the trick by chance and remembered it and taught others).


Is the human just another example of an intelligent and social animal, that can be cited with the previous examples?
That is a pressing question in neuroscience, and I don't have an answer. Our "advancement" over chimps may be qualitative (we have features they don't have at all), or merely quantitative (we have the same features, but more so); we just don't know.


Indeed the neanderthals were very similar to us, but I don't think that our ancestors wiped them out, I think they were our ancestors, at least in part.
Conventional wisdom is that they are a separate branch, and there are a lot of good reasons to believe that, but you're right that DNA evidence is now suggesting that there was some small overlap between our lines.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Taliesin View Post
What's your point? Dinosaurs lived way more years on earth than humans, and yet didn't develop any culture.
I read an interesting piece in New Scientist which tried to estimate what would remain of human civilization if all humans suddenly disappeared:

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg19225731.100 (open access, IFAICT)

"Alien visitors coming to Earth 100,000 years hence will find no obvious signs that an advanced civilisation ever lived here.
...
"Ocean sediment cores will show a brief period during which massive amounts of heavy metals such as mercury were deposited, a relic of our fleeting industrial society. The same sediment band will also show a concentration of radioactive isotopes left by reactor meltdowns after our disappearance. The atmosphere will bear traces of a few gases that don't occur in nature, especially perfluorocarbons such as CF4, which have a half-life of tens of thousands of years. Finally a brief, century-long pulse of radio waves will forever radiate out across the galaxy and beyond, proof - for anything that cares and is able to listen - that we once had something to say and a way to say it.

"But these will be flimsy souvenirs, almost pathetic reminders of a civilisation that once thought itself the pinnacle of achievement. Within a few million years, erosion and possibly another ice age or two will have obliterated most of even these faint traces. If another intelligent species ever evolves on the Earth - and that is by no means certain, given how long life flourished before we came along - it may well have no inkling that we were ever here save for a few peculiar fossils and ossified relics."
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
No. Take it to mean...ANSWER THE QUESTION. I took no position either way.
The answer is that chromosome fusions are not uncommon, resulting almost exclusively in sterility*, but are not caused by two individuals mating ("fusing?"), they are caused by errors in cell replication.

*A notable exception is when chromosome 21 is the one that is fused to another and therefore passed on doublely, in which case the offspring has Down Syndrome, in which males are sterile and females have reduced fertility.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
WHY AGAIN are we limiting this to ID?. For instance, there are a multitude of tests to measure forms of energy (which could be the source of any evolutionary forces), and even Albert Einstein formed theories and equations which supported the idea that there are other dimensions beyond what we can actively see. Many of Einsteins theories involved stuff not easily tested.

Now...these tests most likely will come up with squat, do to the possibility that if such energy forces (or "God" to some) do exist, our current methods of testing are not sophisticated enough to measure them. Testing, and then coming up with something non-conclusive is not the same as not being able to test at all. If you are talking generically about "God"...well, no. You can't really test something that exists as a matter of faith. If "God" is something real and is energy or matter based, or exists as part of another dimension of time/space, then it's possible to try and test that regardless of whether your tests bear fruit.
Are you saying we shouldn't conclude anything about evolution unless the experiments in question perform "these tests?" What are they?

In other words, it's possible to discuss the scientific possibility that the origin of our species was the result (in part or in whole) of unknown energy forces or extra-dimensional powers.
I find fault with the statement that an "unkown energy force" can be scientific, unless you meant "unknown but measurable," in which case how do we measure it (the one you're talking about)?

but the current standard of excluding possibilities which might somehow give even the slightest nod to those who believe there was more at work than chance genetic changes doesn't reflect well on the intellectual honesty of those who try to purport that such an effort is based on anything other than personal bias, IMO.
Haha, it's just like in the Simpsons episode:

" Bart: So finally, we're all in agreement about what's going on with
the adults. Milhouse?
Milhouse: [steps up to blackboard] Ahem. OK, here's what we've got: the
Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people --
Bart: Thank you.
Milhouse: -- under the supervision of the reverse vampires --
Lisa: [sighs]
Milhouse: -- are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish
plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. [sotto voce] We're
through the looking glass, here, people...
-- A conspiracy theory Oliver Stone would be proud of, "Grampa vs.
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
My opposition is declaring as fact what is in fact a "best guess" and declaring all other possibilities off limits for discussion in a science class even when it does not require mention of a religious "God" to do so.
The judge has ruled that ID is a thin veil for creationism, which does mention religious "God." The reasoning for this decision was based on facts, namely the facts that the textbook used for ID is a find-and-replace reprint of one for "Creationism" (literally), and the Wedge Document details exactly how ID was invented specifically to undermine science in favor of religion (Christianity mentioned specifically). These are facts, not theories (not even in the scientific sense).

Other possibilities are not "off limits," they simply have no scientific support, like the saucer people and the reverse-vampires. Discuss them all you want, but if you want to avoid looking foolish, bring some evidence to back you up. Just FYI, anecdotes about past scientific failures are not evidence, and they don't validate current scientific failures.


My example given as far as radioactivity goes holds. What WAS the accepted theory for why ores gave off the energy at the time when radioactivity was first discovered?
I'm not conceding that there was one, but even if there was, the idea that replaced it (radioactivity) had experimental evidence to support it. It wouldn't have been accepted without that.

Science does not require concrete proof or direct evidence for a theory as to how something happens for it to be able to be considered in a scientific forum.
Your language is sloppy and inaccurate ("concrete proof" and "theory" are all wrong), but I will agree to the concept. The first idea to come along is generally discussed more seriously by scientists when there is no existing explanation supported by evidence. Plainly put, beggars can't be choosers. When there is an explanation though, new ideas are held to a seemingly higher standard, namely they must explain experimental results that the existing framework doesn't. But really, it's not a higher standard, because the standard always is that new ideas must explain experimental evidence which was not explained before. The sun-energy idea explained why the rocks gave off energy. The radioactivity idea explained why they gave off energy absent of sunlight. Both of those energy properties were experimental results, unexplained until the new idea explained them. Note also, that new ideas must still explain all the existing experimental evidence as well.

What results does ID (or your "unknown energy") idea explain that aren't currently explained by evolution?


So to get back to the earlier point...do you think that strawmen evolve from lower forms of thought, or do their creators simply instantly wish them into being?
They come from inaccurate and misleading language. If someone comes into a discussion insisting that the sky is yellow, not blue, and claims people are prejudiced against him for denying his claim, then it becomes clear later on that the person just had the words "yellow" and "blue" confused in his head, whose fault was that?
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Why do you keep confusing a theory of how humans have changed over time (evolution) with a theory as to where human life originated (ID)? The theory of evolution does NOT explain the initial origins of human life, or any life for that matter, so why do you keep confusing the two (origins and change-over-time) as if they were related?
American Chronicle: In Search of the Designer of Intelligent Design
Political Cortex: Intelligent Design Cabal Gets a Little Too Clever

ID is meant to be taught as an alternate theory to evolution or "Darwinism", as described by its proponents.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
WHY AGAIN are we limiting this to ID?. For instance, there are a multitude of tests to measure forms of energy (which could be the source of any evolutionary forces), and even Albert Einstein formed theories and equations which supported the idea that there are other dimensions beyond what we can actively see. Many of Einsteins theories involved stuff not easily tested.
The fundamental difference is that Einstein's theories did not contradict any existing evidence. On the contrary, they were developed because existing theories did not account for all evidence available at the time.

Theories are refined, detailed, or modified as new observations are made.

They are thrown overboard when observations are made that are not explainable within the framework of existing theory.

They are NOT, however, thrown overboard when a new idea is put forth that contradicts ALL available evidence and has NO observations or evidence to present in its support. In fact, such fantasy is relegated to fiction and understandably treated as such by scientists.

That's not "arrogance". That's reality.
     
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
ID is meant to be taught as an alternate theory to evolution or "Darwinism", as described by its proponents.
You can't teach ID/Creation as an alternate to Evolution becuase ID/Creation is not a theory! PERIOD!
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Jan 3, 2007, 02:55 PM
 
Not a scientific theory.

Before someone takes it out of context.
     
 
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