In Despair of Folly
BlueShirt1: The Wireclub science forum is a bad joke, dominated almost entirely by a pair of pathologically obsessed Creationist halfwits routinely advancing the following arguments ad nauseum:
Absurdity 1 (A1) : Macro-evolution (i.e., evolution from one species to another, in contrast with "microevolution" ) has never been observed. (Therefore) It never happened.
Absurdity 2 (A2) : Macro-evolution has never been observed. Thus, the investigation thereof constitutes not bona fide science, but pseudoscience.
Both inferences are manifest drivel--non-sequiturs par excellence--regardless of whether or not the respective conclusions happen to be true, i.e., whether macroevolution actually HAS occurred, or whether evolutionary inquiry really IS pseudoscience (arguments for another day).
Before proceeding, let us assume, dubious or not, for the sake of argument, that our Creationist friends are correct in claiming that macroevolution has never been observed to happen. In other words, let us grant that the PREMISE ("macroevolution has never been observed" ) of their arguments is true. The point being made here is that the CONCLUSIONS they draw from the aforementioned premise simply do not follow.
Re A1: To argue that X (whatever X happens to be) has never been observed, therefore X is not real, or X never happened, is analogous to arguing "No one has ever observed a dinosaur being born, therefore dinosaurs never gave birth".
Re A2: What we generally and intuitively regard as good science routinely makes inferences from that which can be observed to that which cannot. Think of scientists making inferences from certain observable effects to theoretical, unobservable causes. Think of gravity, think of quarks, think of tectonic plates, think of phlogiston, think of forces, fields, and luminiferous aether.
Now, to be clear, scientists are not always right in making such inferences, indeed, they more often turn out to be wrong than right. We're now told that phlogiston, just to name one, does not exist; an inference from observable effects to unobservable cause that went terribly awry.
The salient point here, however, is that a (very stupid) claim to the effect that making inferences to unobservable entities, processes, mechanisms, etc. immediately labels the practionioners thereof to be engaging in pseudoscience entails that, by parallel reasoning, all those engaged in the study of forces, fields, quarks, gravity, and black holes are to be condemned as pseudoscientists.
To repeat: None of the above constitutes a defence of macroevolution; it may or may not have happened. What is DOES constitute is the failure of our resident Creationist peabrains to construct a valid argument.
(Edited by BlueShirt1)
MJ59: THE FOLLY OF MILITANT CREATIONISM
Maybe it takes more mental agility than we possess, but it just doesn't compute that teaching the scientific fact of evolution affronts the religious convictions of someone who chooses to believe that the world was created by God from nothing in six days.
It doesn't compute and yet, increasingly, so-called creationists are using that argument to challenge the teaching of evolution in public schools. What's worse, in a disturbing number of cases they're winning and, in the process, crippling science curriculums and doing violence both to science and religion.
As reported Thursday by Tribune reporter Jeremy Manier, a school district in Colorado dropped a video that had been used to teach human reproduction because it contained a brief explanation of evolution, a fundamental concept in biology.
The son of a church pastor complained that by teaching evolution as scientific fact, not merely theory, the film offended his religious beliefs.
All over the country, creationists have tried to bully school boards and other public education authorities into disallowing the teaching of evolution or at least diminishing its importance, often by presenting it as merely an unproven "theory" or "belief."
Too often, these attempts at intimidation have been successful. And often the creationists have won even when they lost. Teachers say they have trimmed their treatments of evolution to avoid hassles.
The tragedies here are manifold. First of all, children who don't learn properly about evolution can't fully understand modern biology. They are being shortchanged educationally.
Secondly, popular understanding of science is damaged. Instead of a patient and humble search for understanding through observation, hypothesis and testing, science comes to be viewed as simply a matter of opinion and belief.
And finally, religion, which really is about belief and things supernatural, is contorted into absurdities like "creation science," a set of propositions that are neither religious nor scientific.
In the name of God, such foolishness ought to stop.
Copyright © 2021, Chicago Tribune
MJ59: The Folly of Creationism
Posted on 5-June-2008 | 12 Comments
Imagine a scientist from Japan or India or some other place where he had never heard of the creation account in Genesis (or its Islamic counterpart). If he were to honestly and systematically consider the objectively verifiable evidence in reaching scientific conclusions (as a scientist should), then:
1. It would never occur to him that the world is only 6,000 years old (see How Old is the Earth);
2. It would never occur to him that there had been a miles-deep global flood about 3,000 years ago (see The Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood);
3. It would never occur to him that all species lived at the same time (see The Fossil Record: Evolution or “Scientific Creation” [Note: that link to Clifford A. Cuffey’s article seems to be bad], see also Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record); and
4. He would inevitably conclude that all species evolved over time, are related by common descent, and that the relationships are becoming more clear all the time (see Tree of Life Web Project ).
Because creationism doesn’t have any evidentiary support — indeed, the evidence contradicts creationism — it has no scientific standing. Therefore, it is properly regarded as a religious doctrine. There’s nothing wrong with that, and creationists are free to believe whatever they like; but the point is that there’s nothing scientific about such beliefs.
Despite the disgraceful denials of creation “scientists” (including Intelligent Design devotees), if you scrape away the thin veneer of sloppily slapped-on scientific jargon, you’ll find a religiously motivated ideologue. Their unfathomable fanaticism does not constitute a scientific controversy; nor does their indefatigable persistence indicate a weakness in the theory of evolution.
Therefore, under both state and federal Constitutional principles, creationism — in all its ever-changing guises — has no place in the science classes of government schools.
Copyright © 2008. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
BlueShirt1: Hmm, can't say I'm a huge fan of that Curmudgeon fellow either, mate. He seems to me every bit as dogmatic and benighted as those he condemns.
How, for example, is a claim such as "creationism doesn’t have any evidentiary support" or "there’s nothing scientific about such beliefs" to be justified?
Would we not require certain objective criteria to determine what constitutes scientific evidence, and what makes a belief scientific?
Until such criteria are provided, Mr Curmudgeon is doing exactly what the bad guys are doing, i.e., simply STIPULATING ex cathedra what is, and what is not, the case.
In other words, he's saying "Don't believe THEM, believe ME" . . . and why? Coz, um. "I say so".
MJ59: Lol you ,may be right, but at least the people who contribute to his blog are actual scientists, so I take their word as being correcton evolution.
BS even had a go at this guy: Paul Braterman
Paul Sydney Braterman is Emeritus Professor of chemistry at the University of North Texas and honorary senior Research Fellow in Chemistry at the University of Glasgow. Braterman is also a science writer and education campaigner. Wikipedia
Born: 16 August 1938 (age 82 years), London, United Kingdom
Education: Balliol College
I asked him to pop on over to his site and engage him in debate, but he declined
BlueShirt1: ". . . but at least the people who contribute to his blog are actual scientists, so I take their word as being correct on evolution."
The problem again being: scientists themselves agree on precious little regarding evolution.
Which ones are "correct" again?
BlueShirt1: Anyway, all that really matters is Vegemite.
My local hypermarket is having a "Straya Week" promotion.
Eight jars in my fridge now
BlueShirt1: Mate, I know you're a thinker who tries to avoid the brainwash traps that so many succumb to. Consider this quote . . .
"Imagine a scientist from Japan or India or some other place where he had never heard of the creation account in Genesis (or its Islamic counterpart). If he were to honestly and systematically consider the objectively verifiable evidence in reaching scientific conclusions (as a scientist should), then:"
He immediately identifies himself as a person who hasn't the first damn clue what he's talking about. This is pure propaganda, pal.
"Objectively verifiable evidence"? Er, would Mr Curmudgeon mind explaining wot dafuq that is supposed to be?
BlueShirt1: Yes, mate, the scientistic brigade has just as many clueless fanatics as the Creationist wacko brigade.
BelgianStrider: MJ59: Couldn't have said i t better myself lol
Me neither , and that article is, in itself, an undeniable evidence that "creationists" are scientifically at the wrong end. (without mentionning that the other religious creation stories are dogmatically denied too by them -where are the reasons, evidences that those stories would be incorrect compared to genesis)
BelgianStrider: I don't think that the theory of evolution is put in doubt and all accept it to be factual beyond reasonable doubt.
In my opinion: they are bikkering concerning (in our limited comprehension "futile" ) details.
How "far" that extinct specie is from the common ancestor and how that specie evolved.
Without telling where to classify "dubious specimen" possessing caracteristics of two species...
Btw a theory becomes more than valid when predictions can be made.
Darwin predicted where to find ancestral humanoids and Tiktaalik is not "discovered" by pure luck at all. It was "told" where to search.
BelgianStrider: And we can not deny that reviewing, peering and critical analyse make science come to detect errors, You mentioned it. Electrromagnetic waves do not need any "propagation medium" like sound does, so "aether" was an incorrect and complete faulty concept.
Btw still a used word in popular language amongst broadcasters. "We are again in the aerher/air"
Revolutionist ideas brought science even further i.e the "General theory of relativity" of Einstein. We even know that it is not complete and fully "right" but it explains quite a lot.
The Newtonian model is far from perfect but good enough for us here in that "slow moving environment".
It is also an utopic indoctrinated idea to believe science will ever give answer to everything.
BelgianStrider: My conclusion is: I prefer by far a self-correcting system instead of a preposterous dogmatic indoctrinating authoritarian system, knowing well that no human-made system is perfect.
Well, I hate to do this, dude, but you're talking just as much shite as the other mob, rehashing scientistic propaganda that you've heard somewhere without pausing to subject it to the merest trace of critical thought.
"Science has the ability to correct itself"
"[Science is] a self-correcting system instead of a preposterous dogmatic indoctrinating authoritarian system"
. . . etc. etc.
The term "self-correct" implies taking that which is wrong and changing it to that which is right.
Let's begin with theories of gravity, say. We were once told that gravity is the disposition of all massive objects to strive towards their "natural place" (Aristotle).
Later, Descartes assured us Aristotle was fulla shit: gravity is in fact the mechanical action of swirling "vortices".
Later still, Newton assured us that Descartes was fulla shit: gravity is in fact an attractive "action at a distance" force which acts instantaneously over any distance against a backdrop of absolute space and absolute time.
(For brevity, I will now omit 300 other theories of gravity which all lie decomposing on the scientific compost heap.)
Most recently we are told that Aristotle, Descartes, Newton and 300 others were all fulla shit: gravity is to be identified with the geometry of spacetime (Einstein).
We could rehash this entire process for theories of light, theories of the Sun, theories of atoms, theories of evolution . . . you name it.
How exactly do you see this as a process of "self-correction"?
I'm not trying to be a provocative pest. What I AM trying to do is make you stop and THINK!
Isn't that why you despise these Creationist wackos? A paucity of critical thought?
BlueShirt1: "Btw a theory becomes more than valid when predictions can be made." - Belgian
If by "valid" you mean "true", this is more utter codswallop, dude.
It is well known that false theories yield true predictions.
Consider Ptolemaic astronomy, say. Does it yield true predictions? Yes, shitloads!
Is it true (c.f. "valid" )? Ans: Nope.
BelgianStrider: That's what I mean by self-correcting, and excuse me but the General Relativity theory, do not discredit the Newtonian model of gravity, it gives another description and it predicts better astronomical events... thus making Einstein's theory valid and better than that of Newton till there is a much better one.
I said also quite clearly that science will never get answers on everything and are "models" describing "as best as possible" natural phenomenons.
So no, science will never obtain the ultimate truth, if the ultimate truth do exists...
i.e. one question that (in my very humble opinion) will never be answered is what precedes the Big Bang or (eventually) God.
We already know that Einstein's theory has to be perfected.
We know we are at the beginning of Quantum Mechanics and still much has to be discovered.
We know the Newtonian Model is not perfect (even at some points invalid at high speeds nearing that of light) but still quite valid for "our exteme slow motion world"
"Valid" means workable - admissible with what we know till now.
BelgianStrider: Self-correcting means also what is wrong and complete invalid (i.e aether), well you do not take that in account anymore.
Before "scientists" where convinced that earth was young and the biblical flood was a historical fact, till some priests doing science noticed that earth was quite old, very old, extreme old and that the flood as written in genesis could not be confirmed , in fact disaffirmed and became definitively a myth ...
Idem ditto with the myth of creation, we know quite better actually.
Do we know everything and in the smallest detail, of course not: has it any + value to know till the slightest detail how every "organism" did evolve? For the sake of the complete truth; may be, but it is utopic with the means we posses till now.
The Big Bang theory emanates from a Jesuit Astronomer. ( I heard he seems to be Belgian too, did not googled for confirmation ... )
And the best beers (trappist) are brewed by Nobertan monks from the "low countries" and one Austrian - nope not Australian-.
Brewing beers are also "scientific theories" and they are very valid ones too.
BelgianStrider: Concerning the existence of God
What is the real truth?
I don't know, nobody knows it either
Imminent atheists have no valable reasons nor evidences to deny it's existence.
The same way great theologians have no evidences neither reasons to confirm it's existence.
Factual both camps can not confirm who posses the real ultimate truth and will they ever get it btw?
Deitists "know" God exists by their "unconditional belief" . "Unconditional belief" is not very scientific, though it has to be respected. So every religion has to be respected - with an extreme small condition though -.
BlueShirt1: @ Belgian
I'm afraid what you're doing is simply continuing to rehash the same old hoary, standard, scientistic party-line propaganda. You said:
"That's what I mean by self-correcting, and excuse me but the General Relativity theory, DOES NOT DISCREDIT THE NEWTONIAN MODEL OF GRAVITY, it gives another description and it predicts better astronomical events... thus making Einstein's theory valid and better than that of Newton till there is a much better one." [my caps]
Before continuing, let us agree that the following three claims are not disputed, at least not by anyone I'm aware of. And we'll continue to take theories of gravity as our example.
1. Newton's theory of gravity yields predictions which are are accurate to a very high degree in everyday situations (i.e., excluding the very small and the very fast). It got us to the Moon and all that. We can say that Newton's theory is "instrumentally efficacious", which is to say it WORKS, indeed, works very well.
2. Einstein's relativistic theory of gravity yields predictions that are even more accurate than Newton's theory. Einstein's theory WORKS better than Newton's theory.
3. Every theory of gravity ever proposed--God knows how many--yields predictions which are accurate to a greater or lesser degree. They ALL work to varying degrees. Meanwhile, they all tell us wildly divergent, indeed logically incompatible, stories about the nature of gravity. Given their logical incompatibility, it is not possible that they are all TRUE; at most only one could be true. (My own hunch is that none of them are true).
In more concrete terms, given that Newton and Einstein make logically inconsistent claims about gravity (e.g. one claims it to be an attractive force; the other to be the curvature of spacetime -- not a force at all), then if one theory is true, the other must be false as a matter of logical necessity. In other words, if Einstein's theory is true, then Newton's theory--instrumental efficacy notwithstanding--is false, i.e., discredited.
Now if, as you claim, Newton's theory is "not discredited" by Einsteinian relativity, by parity of reasoning, to be consistent, one would have to maintain that all 300 (or whatever) theories of gravity from yesteryear have not been discredited either.
No one I know of holds such a position.
On what grounds would you justify a claim that Newton's theory of gravity is not discredited, yet Descartes' theory, say, or Aristotles', IS discredited?
(Edited by BlueShirt1)