Nasa / Space optimize

Seven warning signs of bogus science


warning-general-2.gifIn an age where we still have to convince people that the Apollo landings actually happened and that perpetual motion devices don't actually exist, it's handy to have these Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science around to help the logically disinclined ferret out the charlatans among us:

  1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
  2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.
  3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.
  4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.
  5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.
  6. The discoverer has worked in isolation.
  7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.

These are the characteristics of the lone, rogue scientists who often save the day in badly written sci-fi movies (*cough*The Core*cough*)--and thus they appeal to some rote mythic instinct that compels the more fanciful among us to believe them--but in reality scientists can't and don't work alone, and thus don't confront and recapitulate the entire scientific community with more media appearances than evidence. Thusly, you are forewarned.

Found at The Chronicle of Higher Education via SFSignal.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

476 comments
dave
dave

Good pointers here, also. Google it

TEBushmaker
TEBushmaker

William "Luke" Stewart (Media Fusion) of Dallas TX proclaimed infinite-bandwidth over the powerlines. "By piggybacking on the magnetic field instead of on the electricity itself, Media Fusion planned to operate at a billion-plus gigabits per second". See rule #6 & #7.

bob.cooper
bob.cooper

5 More warning signs 8. Claim urgency ??? If we don't do something NOW [or continue to do something] we will somehow cross a "tipping point". 9. Claim a scientific consensus, and then vilify anyone who dares to criticize or is in any way skeptical of the findings. 10. Make or tolerate false or misleading statements in support of the claims. Unleash Al Gore. 11. Turn support into a Religion. 12. Create A powerful constituency to advance your position. Government regulation works best.

kkernspa
kkernspa

Remember in the 70's when the environmental movement was predicting a new ice age? Their theory was that greenhouse gases were blocking the sun's warming rays and causing a cooling effect. Now these same gases are now somehow causing global warming. The 7 signs in this blog seem to fit this issue to a tee, Mr. Gore.

mikecepek
mikecepek

Your #2 says that one can tell bogus science when someone "says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work." Do you live in the U.S.?? Money and politics run the show here. Rent and watch the DVD "Who Killed The Electric Car?". Then see what you think. Ask yourself why gas mileage sucks on all our vehicles. Do you really think we're at the technological limit there? No way. When it comes to the food we're served in the industry, is it more about profits than public health? One of the truths of a democracy run amok with politics and capitalism like our is that people with power and money CAN actually suppress others who threaten that power and/or money. Think about it. If you came up with an idea that (for example) eliminated the need for gasoline for fuel overnight, do you really think that you would survive long? No, you wouldn't, and your ideas would die with you. That's what's saddest for me, when innovation takes a back seat to greed.

pdege
pdege

Soundly puts evolution into the bogus science world!

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

that the patent office people don't always know what could or could not be done and what is bogus.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

because one person said there would be an ice age and because we didn't have satellite sensors, computer models, measurements from around the globe it must be bogus? You're saying that because someone said something stupid long ago you'll close your eyes to actual data? Go bury your head in the sand! Just make sure it's up by Montana so you'll have beachfront property in 40 years.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I havent seen that movie, but I remember a long time ago, someone started a car company with lots of 'modern day' safety features. This car was killed off because it would compete with the top 3 car companies in the US. You are right about gas mileage, even in non-hybrids. There are plenty of additions that can be made to a car through aftermarket means to extend the power and mileage. The problems here, is that some require tuning to different areas (colder/hotter/altitude, etc.), and it would increase production while at the same time possibly limit (because of cost) the buyer base for them. The last statements I totally agree with

royhayward
royhayward

rent that movie. At least not in your own name, so make sure you tell them your name is 'Mike' By the way, I am having a sale on Aluminum hats if you are interested.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

solar technology is another good example. No way we don't have the technological know-how to power our homes via solar, yet the cost of installing to the home is prohibitive enough to the average family that few, if any are using it. It would be interesting to know how many patents for inexpensive solar technologies lie languishing in the patent office, owned by the coal and oil companies.

royhayward
royhayward

1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media. There have been pitches to the media for both of these but I don't think they fill this requirement. 2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work. Um no not really. I don't know ID is being suppressed as we all know about it. But there are few looking for grants to further the study. And of course Evolution is not being suppressed so much as pushed. 3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection. We have trouble detecting both, not because it is at some limit, but because of the nature of time really. 4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal. both really. 5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries. both and neither. 6. The discoverer has worked in isolation. Bah. 7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation. I actually question this sign. Don't we expect science to do this anyway? Score? E = 2, ID = 2 Looks like by this scale neither of these is a bogus science. And that other rule about the shouting and fanatical proponents, they seem to exist on both sides too. -- Many on both sides want to make this about religion and faith verses truth and fact. As a man of science and faith I often wonder where the conflict is. God is smart enough to have used evolutionary processes if it fit his purposes, and he has his own purposes that require us to have faith. If there were never any doubt how would faith develop?

neilb
neilb

Let's have a little more information before we accept your word for something as far-reaching. Such a bald statement without any elaboration puts YOU in the bogus science world. You got anything to back up that claim?

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

I don't know about the electric car but remember the Chevrolet Sprint? It was a 3 cylinder HB that got about 35-40 mpg in the mid 80s. I never owned one but did drive a few. They weren't hot rods but were fast enough for traffic. They didn't sell very well. People just didn't want small cars. When they went to the car lot what did they look at? Camaros not Sprints, maybe a celebrity or cavalier. Then in the 90s I noticed the SUV craze starting. Bigger = Better! In 1980 there was an article in a motorcycle magazine about bikes and fuel economy. The writer thought that smaller bikes were going to sweep the country. Six years later it was hard to find a bike smaller than 500cc. They weren't a lot better on gas than the sprint. My point is people wanted bigger, powerful, faster vehicles not cheaper more economical. Maybe that's changing in this country.

neilb
neilb

as to what science really is. The UK - and I guess the US as well - is currently gripped by a retreat from reason into superstitious thinking and behaviour. Astrology, Alternative Medicine and Intelligent Design are just three examples of constructs built on a totally irrational beliefs, supported by anecdotal and pseudo-scientific "evidence" and believed in only by those who don't have the wit to find out the truth. Astrology and other similar brands of mumbo-jumbo are absolutely and without reservation the bullest of bullsh*t that ever there was. It is a senseless delusion that does not even have the benefit of being harmless fun. It is a harmful bore. Harmful to the human spirit, harmful to the dignity and wonder of the real universe and the real power of the mind to think for itself. I hate astrology with a fervour that is almost frightening. (Thank you, Mr Fry) Alternative Medicine kills people. It DOES NOT cure anything! When I listen to practitioners of this appalling trade witter on with their "energy flows", "chakra points" and other bollocks, I despair. Homoeopathy? Gah! PROVE IT! ID just isn't science. It's wishful thinking. To attempt to compare the interlocking, internally consistent theories and their associated evidence and predictive abilities spread across a myriad scientific disciplines that goes to make up what the general public appear to think of as "Evolution" strains my imagination to think of an appropriate simile. As a man of "science and faith", describe to me (using your "man of science" portion) why the faith is necessary in any way when discussing evolution or any science. Yes, I suppose God COULD have done it if He wanted but as he's (in your mind, not mine!) an omnipotent being, he COULD have done anything. That's ME snookered! That's the problem, you see. When discussing or arguing about this, there is always the option for a retreat into irrationality and I will not follow you there. Neil :D

Absolutely
Absolutely

...using the Supreme Court for free publicity! Yes, you [b]do[/b] think that ID fits sign #1 of bogus science! You [b]know[/b] it to be true. Quote: " I don't know ID is being suppressed as we all know about it. [b]But there are few looking for grants to further the study[/b]." Which begs the questions, if they haven't looked for grants, and therefore cannot have received any, and therefore have not done any research, how do we all know this bogus theory? Answer: it was pitched directly to the media, of coarse!

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Has adherants which would no sooner question the truth or accuracy of their theories any sooner than the pope would question the existance or benevolance of his god, the only difference between them is the robes.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

What is Best. Car Makers make what sells not what is best. The moment that you start to believe otherwise you are headed for a really hard time when you wake up to the [b]Facts of Life.[/b] Col

royhayward
royhayward

I did a quick search of the new hybrid vehical and their MPG ratings. they are really not that impressive. For my commuter car I own an old junker. 1992 ford Festiva. So it is not a big car and has a small engine. I bought it for $350 2 yrs ago, it had not been taken great care of, but I will try to keep it going until the wheels fall off as it is getting 45 MPG. The Prius is the only car I found that can beat this. Most of the hybrids are touting 30ish MPG. Well folks at this time it is 2007, that means that the fuel technology that we were using 15 years ago is pretty much beating the pants of of the 'new and improved' fuel economy today. Plus the fact the the this is a used car that won't be depreciating and didn't cost an arm and a leg to purchase.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

It gauls me that my Dad's 1 ton diesel pickup gets significantly better mpg than my clunker. Of course he paid 3 times as much up front for it.

royhayward
royhayward

And if I am typical that maybe Americans 'have' changed what they want. :)

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

The manufacturers test grounds all over periodically, but they are going to offer what people want the most. Heck, I was getting my truck serviced (yes, an actual need for a truck), and I started looking at Chargers. MMMM, Hemi... Of course, there were several 'gas guzzler' ones on the lot. These really had bad mileage, and an extra CA. tax for being a gas guzzler. I asked why they had several there, and the salesperson said that it was one of the hottest models. Personally, I think the 8-cyl Hemi would be good for me, if I were to get one. But without a racetrack close by, that gas guzzler version doesnt look too good (especially with the tickets I would probably get).

royhayward
royhayward

While living in Tennessee several of my co-workers received a check every month instead of a bill from the power company. And the Power company there will help you get hooked up with the system to do it. Residential homes can generate more power than they consume during the day, and the draw power at night. (yes the pay more for the power they draw than they get 'credit' for the power they sell to the utility) The power they produce in the daytime goes to power office buildings and companies that use lots of power during the day. I see that they have change their site since I first visited. Here is the link into what I am talking about. http://www.tva.com/greenpowerswitch/partners/index.htm

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

In fact, I am thinking in terms of solar technologies such that we no longer have to pay the utility companies for electric. I periodically catch documentaries that showcase the existing technology that some among the wealthy are currently using to power their homes without ever paying a monthy utility bill. And many of them employ thiese technologies to such a degree that they are selling the excess electricity they generate back to the utility companies. The initial outlay is exorbitant, and I wonder that this is not purposeful. Big deal - wind farms run by utility companies. Still got that stinking monthly bill. But my mistake, I wasn't clear enough.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I hadnt thought about this in a long time. How was GOD created? By another GOD? Where would this chain stop? How did GOD become GOD? Can really strain the brain trying to figure that out (and it would only be theory anyway). If GOD created the universe, and the universe was nothingness before its creation, how did GOD survive before it was created? Oh, the list goes on and on. But, I don't want answers, or even comments, just thought I would post it as it came to mind while reading yours.

Absolutely
Absolutely

I'm going to stick to ID in this sub-thread. If you want to talk about GW I'm in, but I won't help you mix metaphors.

royhayward
royhayward

1. These are not my words, as I was sighting this source as an example of scientific research into ID theory. 2. I have often used a similar argument when talking with GW and anti-human clan. i.e. "Either man developed on earth just like all of the other animals, so there are no moral issues and we can do what we want, just like a cat, dog, bear, etc. Or God created man and has given him dominion over the earth, at which point we can do what we want, but will have to answer to God for it if we make a mess. Or man was created or descendant from aliens from another planet, solar system or galaxy. This last option is the only one where we are trespassers and corrupter of the planet." Basically, I find people arguing against human development and progress to be racially suicidal, and there arguments hollow. 3. I think that you will find that most science leads to more questions. The idea that they study of ID will answer all questions is ludicrous, and not science-like. The fact that you state that there are more questions generated by this theory help to qualify it as real science, not detract from it.

Absolutely
Absolutely

From royhayward's source: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wow/can-natural-processes-explain [i]When considering how life began, there are only two options. Either life was created by an intelligent source (God) or it began by natural processes.[/i] If these "two" possibilities are mutually exclusive as asserted, then God is an unnatural phenomenon, and natural processes are unintelligent. These assumptions beg the questions: "[b]Who or what[/b] created those natural processes?" & "[b]How[/b] intelligent is it compared to us?"

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]What did you expect? Instruction on how to create a world? Such an answer would not serve us well then or now. If you think something has been left out or you want more information, ask Him yourself. (I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.)[/i] Your recommendation reveals that you [b]know[/b] the falsehood of the position you support: "I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you." Within the actual laws of nature, your position is baseless. Case dismissed.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]When my 5 year old asks me how the car works I tell her a simple answer. I start it with the key and then use the steering wheel, gas and break peddles to make it go. This satisfies her curiosity without damaging or confusing her. And is accurate as far as it goes. When Moses asked God where man came from, he got a similar answer. It was satisfactory to the person asking, and accurate as far as it went.[/i] Nice anecdote. It is not applicable to your discussion with me. No, it isn't.

Absolutely
Absolutely

roy: [i]Are you disqualifying people on the basis of their personal research time and budgets?[/i] a: I disqualify your ideas on the basis of their weakness. Your "support" for them is anecdotal at best, more often fraudulent misinterpretation of [b]other people's[/b] work. [i]If you had read the paper I linked for you, they took the data from direct experimentation.[/i] Who conducted the experiments? The people who do the work and see, first-hand, which theories lead to better science, choose evolution. [i]The branch of science we are discussing would be difficult to conduct because of the scale of the experiment. It is relatively costly for us to construct a new solar system with a planet at the right location to have liquid water, seed it with the right chemical substances and then zap it with lightning.[/i] All hypotheses regarding cosmological scale phenomena suffer the same difficulty. You whine about your inability to conduct planetary-scale experiments and confirm your 'theory of everything' by [b]direct[/b] observation. Scientists compare the predictions of our hypotheses to the results of experiments on scales we are able to perform, and slowly develop theories that explain more than we have directly observed. This approach gives us insights that are more than the sum of the parts with which we began. [i]Just because I didn't do the experiment with my own hands and money does not mean I can't draw conclusions from it.[/i] No, it doesn't. But, you are among company which [b]collectively[/b] does not do [b]any[/b] research, yet proclaims conclusions that directly contradict those of the professionals who [b]did[/b] do the research. [i]And finally, what about the peer review process that we use in science? If that is only conducted by those that buy into the initial hypothesis many things will be missed.[/i] The "initial hypothesis" of the Scientific Method is that what is real is universally so, therefore testable, hence peer review. If one person's findings cannot be confirmed by anybody else, they are judged erroneous. If you work according to a contrary "initial hypothesis" you are not performing science, plain & simple.

royhayward
royhayward

When my 5 year old asks me how the car works I tell her a simple answer. I start it with the key and then use the steering wheel, gas and break peddles to make it go. This satisfies her curiosity without damaging or confusing her. And is accurate as far as it goes. When Moses asked God where man came from, he got a similar answer. It was satisfactory to the person asking, and accurate as far as it went. What did you expect? Instruction on how to create a world? Such and answer would not serve us well then or now. If you think something has been left out or you want more information, ask Him yourself. (I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you.) Now we have really left the purpose of this blog behind. We really don't want to go down this path.

royhayward
royhayward

Are you disqualifying people on the basis of their personal research time and budgets? If you had read the paper I linked for you, they took the data from direct experimentation. Then applied logic to the result to arrive at a conclusion. Is this not scientific research? The branch of science we are discussing would be difficult to conduct because of the scale of the experiment. It is relatively costly for us to construct a new solar system with a planet at the right location to have liquid water, seed it with the right chemical substances and then zap it with lightening. So instead, to reduce the cost and time involved, we examine the fossil record. (again we can use the recorded data and not have to go find our own fossils) We look at the geologic record and the magnetic resonance record of the earth. We look at similar data collected on the few other planets where we have gathered some data. Then someone constructs an experiment on a smaller scale, in controlled conditions. That experiment yields data that when published is free to be interpreted by many people. Now the data from the Miller?Urey research can be examined to see what if any conclusions we can draw from it. Amazingly, we can come up with a few conclusions. This is one of the great things about science. You can start out looking for a way to get to the moon and end up with Tang. (Wait, maybe that is not such a 'great' thing?) :) But anyway, it is fairly common in the history of scientific research for its practitioners to serendipitously find something they weren't looking for. Miller went out to provide evidence for abiogenesis, but instead has provided evidence against it. Just because I didn't do the experiment with my own hands and money does not mean I can't draw conclusions from it. And finally, what about the peer review process that we use in science. If that is only conducted by those that buy into the initial hypothesis many things will be missed.

Absolutely
Absolutely

They are not contributing to experimental science, nor to theories that are confirmed or even supported by subsequent experiment. They are nothing but a social movement, parroting the word "science" and a smattering of its vocabulary to impress those even more ignorant than themselves, which is darn few.

Absolutely
Absolutely

I meant no insult to your chosen profession. My statement was merely factual, about a different connotation that isn't common in IT. Go forgive yourself.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"I for one, do not check my logic at the door to the chapel..." Adam is dirt + hot air, Eve is his rib. Sure, you're the paragon of objectivity. Sure.

royhayward
royhayward

If you guys want to keep redefining the terms that you have used, I would like to redefine all of the uses of the words "So" to mean "Who's your daddy" Modified definition of what you gave. for faith: Faith. (n) A belief that is not based on 'demonstraitable' proof. and here is one from the scientific method. Hypothesis: A belief with insufficient evidence to provide proof at this time. At some point we have to believe something that we can't prove or we don't have any questions to answer. If we stop at, "there is insufficient evidence." then we stop making any progress. I for one, do not check my logic at the door to the chapel, and I refuse to check my faith at the doors of science. Why should I do either. I don't have a separate "thought pattern" about this. Do you? I bet they have therapists for that condition. I have always felt that being internally consistent was necessary in order to approach the world honestly. I won't be praying on Sunday and then cheating on Monday. And I won't be peering through a microscope on Saturday and then closing my eyes on Sunday. Such an approach would be an a front to God and men.

royhayward
royhayward

"An IT pro isn't expected to know the research scientists' specialized use of that word. Sorry." That is really funny, I guess all we do is follow the manual to get our work done! I hadn't realized that my profession was so lame.

neilb
neilb

and I regard the confusion as purely on your part. Use the scientific, [b]rational[/b] portion of your [b]intellect[/b]. Suspend the assignment of "truth" to that for which you have no evidence. Faith. (n) A belief that is not based on proof. Doesn't really seem to have a place in a discussion on the merits - or otherwise - of any scientific theory. OK?

Absolutely
Absolutely

I thought his phrase implied different thought patterns, not different hemispheres or sectors of your brain, but he'll have to speak for himself to confirm that. My question, really, was based on my curiosity about the role reversal of portraying the man of faith, explaining a topic from science to a man of science. Why didn't you pick a complex subject from the Bible, or your own theological beliefs, to illustrate a concept that would be difficult to explain using stick figures? Why did you refer to a scientific topic for your hyperbolic statement about "complexity"? Was it just out of habit, or did you intentionally choose a subject from your own knowledge of science?

Absolutely
Absolutely

These religious sites that merely [i]argue[/i] for Intelligent Design don't qualify. If the word "research" means to you just reading existing works, then please substitute the phrase "formal experiment". That's what I meant. A practicing theoretical or experimental scientist would have understood that by "research" I meant [i]original[/i] experimental or theoretical work, submitted to peer review. An IT pro isn't expected to know the [i]research[/i] scientists' specialized use of that word. Sorry. PS I've already gotten "all riled up at their conclusions," on a previous day. I haven't repeated that waste of cortisol today, but thanks for your concern. :D

royhayward
royhayward

I did a really fast search for you and here is a site is obviously religiously backed or based. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wow/can-natural-processes-explain I don't agree with all of their statements and I am sure you will get all riled up at their conclusions but the evidence that they are presenting is the type of critical discussion that we need in our study of science. -- It was stated in this thread that ID doesn't propose anything but is just about tearing down evolution. Well, isn't that what a good peer review will do? Try to poke holes in the research and experiments? You poke holes in my research, and I poke holes in yours. This makes us both form better data and theories.

royhayward
royhayward

Of course, the allegory of the 'nuclear physicist' represented that he had complex knowledge, or specialized knowledge. And he was bing requested to explain it in a restricted context. This was in response from Neil, and his request for me to explain the benefit of faith in science. But to only 'using your "man of science" portion', as if I am able to only use a portion of my brain at will. This was analogous to the stick figures. If you look at the common usage of allegories, many times there is an exaggeration to make the point that is intended but the author. Let me know if this clears up your confusion.

JamesRL
JamesRL

There is a fairly popular new contest show hosted by Jeff "...you might be a redneck..." Foxworthy (who used to work for IBM). The premise of the show is that contestants are asked a host of questions in various disciplines, including math, science, geography etc. The highest level of question is at the 5th grade curriculum level. Like many shows, there are "aids" including a group of 5th graders. I've watched maybe 4 episodes and I've never seen anyone get close to winning the million dollar prize - one of the consequences of losing is the requirement to look in the camera and say "My name is .....and I am NOT smarter than a fifth grader". I have seen a high school teacher, a rocket scientist and a lawyer all fail. A 5th grader would be 11 years old. By the way I enjoy playing the game at home because some of the american answers are challenging for a Canadian - at least the geography and history ones. James

Absolutely
Absolutely

The idea that QM, and by (erroneous) extension Einstein, "overturned" or "debunked" Newtonian physics is popular among New Agers and other mystics this side of the pond. The "logical" conclusion they have in common is an exaggeration of the importance of that measurement problem which bears Heisenberg's name, immediately followed by misapplication of the "principle" of inherent uncertainty to whichever fact that particular mystic wishes to evade at that particular moment.

neilb
neilb

I am not a product of your school system so I didn't know - without checking - what fifth grade is! I now know it is roughly equivalent to our first year secondary school. Whilst I don't deny that very old history books might take the same viewpoint about earlier cultures believing in a flat Earth, it makes them no more right than you given the currently greater level of understanding about such cultures. Every educated person since the third century BC to the present day has believed that the Earth is round. You, like so many, seem to be a victim of historical myopia, the inability to give earlier humans and their cultures credit for their intelligence and achievements. So, you see, it still doesn't answer the question which I asked of YOU. "Humour me, please, and name a significant historical grouping that believed that the Earth was flat." I do not know of one and Im pretty damn sure you won't be able to find one. As for linking GW and ID, at this point we part company. There is no comparison that can be made and I even find it difficult to see what point you are making. I don't think that I've posted much serious comment on GW here for a while because the further I dig, the more complicated the science becomes, there is too much political and commercial interference on both sides and I haven't really worked out for myself just how much I think Man is doing and whether the cure is worse than the disease. So, you see, I don't have to abandon anything about GW. ID, on the other hand, contains no science whatsoever. It's trash and there is ample proof for the viewpoint that it is a creation myth only equivalent to the creation myths of, say, the Hindus or the Australian Bushmen - but considerably less honest than either. This is, of course, despite the approval for ID shown by your President - whose credentials as a scholar and intellectual are unimpeachable. As for your other point which, again, I don't really understand; Newton was in no way devalued by Einstein. Neil :) Hmmm. Edited because I put a joke "sarcasm" tag on the GWB reference and the page formatting crawled up its own arse!

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]My initial post to this thread was to compare the two theories. First theory, ID, second theory GW. If you reject one on the basis of "evidence to the contrary" then you should be consistent and reject the other.[/i] Which step in the Scientific Method mandates intellectual package dealing? What reasoning did you employ to arrive at the conclusion that one's evaluation of ID "should" be in any way correlated to the same person's evaluation of GW?

royhayward
royhayward

Neil, you said, "What irks me as a skeptic, however, is when a belief is clung to despite evidence to the contrary or when science and scientific discoveries are misrepresented by groups for their own ends." Lets step back from ID, and apply yous statement back to GW for just this post and your reply. My initial post to this thread was to compare the two theories. First theory, ID, second theory GW. If you reject one on the basis of "evidence to the contrary" then you should be consistent and reject the other. As for your quest to become educated in history, "Humour me, please, and name a significant historical grouping that believed that the Earth was flat." Please just go to a book store and get an old 5th grade history text. Earlier I described science as the quest for empirical truth. It is also the history of 'We were wrong.' Whenever we make a discover of things like gravity or sub-atomic particles and the like we are declaring the previous scientists to have been in error. Going after flat-earth facts really misses the point. (Point: Scientific facts are not static, but are constantly changing due to new discoveries or greater understanding.)

PSer
PSer

Neilb: ?What irks me as a skeptic, however, is when a belief is clung to despite evidence to the contrary or when science and scientific discoveries are misrepresented by groups for their own ends.? Roy: ?Science has had all kinds of "Facts" that later are abandoned. In all fairness, religions have also had beliefs that were later 'modified'.? Funny how ?scientists? KNOW when to ?abandon? a debunked, previously thought ?Fact?, while ?religions? can ?MODIFY? Beliefs, of all things, how convenient for them. ?You can change ideas ... a ?belief? is MUCH more difficult to change.? ?Rufus Just an observation ... carry on.

neilb
neilb

I didn't say that any individual or group or society never believed that the Earth was flat but that none of these ever held the [b]scientific[/b] viewpoint that the Earth was flat. I said that simply because I believe that the definition of "science", even for more primitive cultures, demands a bit of structure and rigour. No culture that ever put a bit of effort into their version of science ever thought that the Earth was flat. Humour me, please, and name a significant historical grouping that believed that the Earth was flat. The belief in something that is not science or that there is something greater is surely not a problem. What irks [b]me[/b] as a skeptic, however, is when a belief is clung to despite evidence to the contrary or when science and scientific discoveries are misrepresented by groups for their own ends. In a recent poll, nearly half of the US citizens polled stated their belief that evolution had no place in forming Man. Now that worries me a little as, odd balls they surely are from my perspective, this is hardly isolated! Neil :D

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

"Most people of faith also use airplanes and electricity and study science. What we get irked at, is when we are ridiculed for believing something that is not science. Or believing that there is something greater than scientific knowledge. We also get irked when stuffy teachers tell are children that there is no God because science has proof that he does not exist. This does not mean that we don't want our children to go to school or to study science. It just means that we want our children to get an education not indoctrination." As far as I can tell, science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Punchline to a fun joke: "Go get your own dirt." edit typo - you'd think I wouldn't have so darn many of them, being a teacher...

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]We also get irked when stuffy teachers tell are children that there is no God because science has proof that he does not exist.[/i] No teacher in a public school should tell your children anything about God, pro or con. If that does happen, it's an isolated disciplinary action to handle with the individual teacher that oversteps their authority. It is not a valid excuse for teaching of religious doctrines such as ID, which has no basis in science.

royhayward
royhayward

Well that is just silly. The statement, 'It has NEVER been a "scientific fact".' is totally unsupportable. Science has had all kinds of "Facts" that later are abandoned. In all fairness, religions have also had beliefs that were later 'modified'. Science revising or abandoning theories does not invalidate the practice of science. Likewise, religion can also evolve without creating a crisis of faith in its practitioners. I know a few of those people that you speak of, where the answer to every question is, "God" or "Jesus" and being fairly well oiled in religious circles these are the odd balls. Most people of faith also use airplanes and electricity and study science. What we get irked at, is when we are ridiculed for believing something that is not science. Or believing that there is something greater than scientific knowledge. We also get irked when stuffy teachers tell are children that there is no God because science has proof that he does not exist. This does not mean that we don't want our children to go to school or to study science. It just means that we want our children to get an education not indoctrination.

maecuff
maecuff

I've always found you rather sumg. and tiwsted. I especially like the tiwsted.

neilb
neilb

Come on! Proof-read your posts, you waste of blood and organs. Have a nice day... :D p.s. I just LOVE the alliteration in your posts! Shows that you're trying, at least.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Whether or not such a quote exists is irrelevant, and does not speak to the quote itself. Your non sequitur has been noted.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Show me one quote, from Albert Einstein, just one, describing [b]any[/b] contribution of his faith to his professional success. You can't. While his research informed and re-shaped his faith, his faith never did contribute a thing to his work.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Johannes Kepler [1571-1630] Astronomy/Laws of Planetary Motion "I had the intention of becoming a theologian...but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for 'the heavens declare the glory of God.'" "I am a Christian...I believe... only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ...In Him is all refuge, all solace." "Let my name perish if only the name of God the Father is thereby elevated." "[God] is the kind Creator who brought forth nature out of nothing." Blaise Pascal [1623-1662] Scientist noted for work in physics, hydrostatics, vacuums; inventor of mechanical calculator "Jesus Christ, I have separated myself from Him: I have fled from Him, denied Him, crucified Him. Let me never be separated from Him. We keep hold of Him only by the ways taught in the Gospel. Renunciation, total and sweet. Total submission to Jesus Christ..." {from a manuscript dated Monday November 23, 1654 and found in his own handwriting in his coat at his death} "Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness engenders pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God engenders despair." [Pascal - Pensees no 527] *Also famous for "Pascal's Wager"--a powerful defense of the Christian faith _____________________________________________________________________________ Robert Boyle [1627-1691] Founder of Modern Chemistry/Gas Dynamics Governor of Missionary organization for propagating the gospel in New England Personally financed the translation of the Bible into Irish, Turkish, and Arabic Author of "The Christian Virtuoso" reflecting on the study of nature for Christians Author of Christian devotional book, "Occasional Reflections" His will after his death financed the "Boyle Lectures" which were lectures in defense of Christianity "From a knowledge of His work, we shall know Him" "Christ's passion, His death, His resurrection and ascension, and all of those wonderful works which He did during His stay upon earth, in order to confirm mankind in the belief of His being God as well as man." ____________________________________________________________________________ Sir Isaac Newton [1642-1727] Mathematician, Physicist Inventor of calculus Law of universal gravitation Newton's three laws of motion: 1) Law of inertia 2) Force=mass*acceleration 3) Principle of action and reaction Published "Newton's Prophecies of Daniel" after his study and translation of the Book of Daniel [in the Bible] "About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the Prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition." "There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history." " This thing [a scale model of our solar system] is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you, as an atheist, profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?" ____________________________________________________________________________ Sir William Herschel [1738-1822] Astronomist. Discovered Uranus, several nebulae, and binary stars. First to accurately describe the Milky Way Galaxy ?All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more the Truths contained in the Sacred Scriptures.? "The undevout astronomer must be mad." _____________________________________________________________________ Samuel Morse [1791-1872] Inventor of the telegraph [Morse's sketch of the railway telegraph above] "Education without religion is in danger of substituting wild theories for the simple commonsense rules of Christianity." First message sent by the electric telegraph: "What hath God wrought" {This is found in the Bible; Numbers 23:23} {The message was sent from the Supreme Court Room in the Capitol to the railway depot at Baltimore; May 24, 1844} {In one letter, Samuel Morse wrote "What hath GOD wrought" by capitalizing and underlining "GOD" twice!} ______________________________________________________________ Michael Faraday [1791-1867] Inventor of the electric generator and the transformer Discovered Benzene--used to make plastics, nylon and dyes Produced the first test tubes Described Field Theory *Hailed by Albert Einstein as the foundation for his own scientific discoveries* Elder in his church for over 20 years "Speculations? I have none. I am resting on certainties. 'I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.'" "A Christian finds his guide in the Word of God, and commits the keeping of his soul into the hands of God. He looks for no assurance beyond what the Word can give him, and if his mind is troubled by the cares and fears which assail him, he can go nowhere but in prayer to the throne of grace and to Scripture." "Since peace is alone in the gift of God; and as it is He who gives it, why should we be afraid? His unspeakable gift in His beloved Son is the ground of no doubtful hope." --[1861 letter] "The Bible, and it alone, with nothing added to it nor taken away from it by man, is the sole and sufficient guide for each individual, at all times and in all circumstances?For faith in the divinity and work of Christ is the gift of God, and the evidence of this faith is obedience to the commandment of Christ." ____________________________________________________________________________ Matthew Maury [1806-1873] The "Father" of oceanography Aided in the laying of the first trans-Atlantic cable Maury believed Psalm 8:8, which speaks of the "paths of the seas" , and he discovered "oceanic currents" Maury described atmospheric circulation and showed that it was already described in Ecclesiastes 1:6 Maury showed Job 28:25 to be true with respect to the weight of the winds. "The Bible is true and science is true, and therefore each, if truly read, but proves the truth of the other." _____________________________________________________________________________ James Prescott Joule [1818-1889] Described the First Law of Thermodynamics: The Law of Conservation of Energy [American Biochemist Isaac Asimov said that the First Law of Thermodynamics is "one of the most important generalizations in the history of science"] Kinetic Theory of Gases "Joule-Thomson" effect--the basis of refrigeration A unit of energy [work] in physics is now called a "joule" "It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed." "Order is manifestly maintained in the universe...governed by the sovereign will of God" "After the knowledge of, and obedience to, the will of God, the next aim must be to know something of His attributes of wisdom, power, and goodness as evidenced by His handiwork." _____________________________________________________________________________ James Clerk Maxwell [1831-1879] Statistical Thermodynamics, Field equations of electricity, magnetism, light " No theory of evolution can be formed to account for the similarity of molecules, for evolution necessarily implies continuous change." "Almighty God, Who has created man in Thine own image, and made him a living soul that he might seek after Thee, and have dominion over Thy creatures, teach us to study the works of Thy hands, that we may subdue the earth to our use, and strengthen the reason for Thy service; so to receive Thy blessed Word, that we may believe on Him Who Thou has sent, to give us the knowledge of salvation and the remission of our sins. All of which we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ, our Lord." {prayer written by Maxwell and found amongst his notes} Maxwell was an elder in the church he helped establish near his home. __________________________________________________________________________ Louis Pasteur [1822-1895] Father of Microbiology, developed "pasteurization" "The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator." "Science brings men nearer to God." _____________________________________________________________________________ Jean-Henri Fabre [1823-1915] Entomology, Biology Author of 8-volume series "Souvenirs Entomologiques" detailing the behavior and life history of many species "Without Him, I understand nothing; without Him, all is darkness?Every period has its manias. I regard Atheism as a mania. It is the malady of the age. You could take my skin from me more easily than my faith in God." ______________________________________________________________________________ Sir Joseph Lister [1827-1912] Father of antiseptic surgery, first to wire fractures, developed dissolving sutures "I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity" ________________________________________________________ Lord Kelvin [William Thomson] [1824-1907] Physicist, Laws of Thermodynamics, Absolute temperature scale, inventor "With regard to the origin of life, science...positively affirms creative power." "Overwhelmingly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us... the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words." ___________________________________________________________ George Washington Carver [c. 1864-1943] agricultural chemist, inventor of over 300 products "Without my Savior, I am nothing." "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." "God is going to reveal to us things he never revealed before if we put our hands in his. No books ever go into my laboratory, a thing I am to do and the way of doing it are revealed me." ________________________________________________________ Wernher Von Braun [1912-1977]; first Director of NASA, pioneer of space exploration "Scientific concepts exist only in the minds of men. Behind these concepts lies the reality which is being revealed to us, but only by the grace of God."

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Show me one charge levied against Al Capone that proved he was a crime syndicate boss. Since the only thing he was convicted of was tax evasion, the only crime he comitted was tax evasion. Lazy logic abs... as usual...

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

In other words, ideally suited to a sumg, supercillious simpleton such as yourself.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"There is a problem here. This question is like saying to a nuclear physicist to explain how a nuclear power plant works using only stick figures. It might be attempted, but so much is lost that is it almost useless." I noticed, by the way, that you have chosen an allegory that portrays the "man of faith" in the position of the nuclear scientist, and the "man of science" as requesting that the man of faith "explain how a nuclear power plant works using only stick figures. It might be attempted, but so much is lost that is it almost useless." Science is not merely empirical, it is also analytical. "If those who study science today, only encounter one view, that harms science"

Absolutely
Absolutely

He was very smart. A lot of people have been very smart. Big deal. His insight into the relationship of space to time does not make his statements about religion anything more than his personal opinion. I've seen several quotes about Einstein's opinions of the impact of his personal research & theories on his personal philosophy & faith, but I can't recall [b]even one[/b] stating that his faith ever helped him discover [b]anything[/b]. Can you find such a quote?

Absolutely
Absolutely

"The ID folks that I have met are a bit out there at times, [u]but why don't we [b]let them[/b] do some studies[/u] and provide them with the chance to make their case?" I haven't handcuffed any of them to the doors of their churches. They are perfectly free -- as much as I am -- to study science to the limit of their abilities, to use such money as they have, or can be awarded in research grants, and to submit the results of their experiments for publication in peer-reviewed science journals. They are not even trying to demonstrate the [b]scientific[/b] validity of their theory, but [b]only[/b] to advance it culturally, by appeals to emotion, never to reason.

neilb
neilb

It's just another communication tool if used appropriately. I know what I meant to say and I'm certain that you got the message. Job done. :D You try too hard... "pusillanimous pismire" for pity's sake.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

gratz! you've mastered the snort, like most porcines, lets see if you can crawl up the evolutionary scale to primate.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

And the classic straw man arguement. Poor neil thinks I'm a creationist or one who advances the Intelligent design theory. When you learn to read, you will find that I have explicitly declared that I am neither. What you fail to realize is that you've proven the truth of that quote in your response to me. You are so blinded by your hatred of ID and creationist theories that you automatically label anyone who so much as poses a question as "one of them". THIS is the blindness that Einstein spoke of. Dogmatic atheism so bent on proving itself that it ignores all other possibilities. Thank you for proving my point. Notice that intelligent people needn't resort to such vulgarities to prove their points. As to the charge of smugness, compared to you, I am a a paragon of humility.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Now you can look up other words that give you trouble, like 'and' or 'the' or 'is'. I find it laughable that before you were caterwauling because you thought me devoid of cognizance, and now your grievance is that I used a word that make you break out your dictionary. Unlike you, I do not have this incessant need to impress others with vapid displays of intellectual prowess, but I will indulge in the occasional swipe at a pusillanimous pismire such as you. You may want to use dictionary.com for any of the words that were too big for you.

neilb
neilb

"nescient". (n). lack of knowledge; ignorance. You've used it twice, now. Me, a "nescient twit"? Oh, I'm cut to the quick. You are too good at this for me...

jdclyde
jdclyde

that he doesn't think that is a good thing? :0

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Hey, I'm just following your example, numbnuts. Since you call it 'whining' when I ask you politely to stop the ad hominems, I've decided to take different approach. Now stop whining about how mean I'm being to you. If you don't want to get flamed, don't flame others you nescient, pompous a$$. You write like you're being paid by the word! You just go on and on and on and you never say anything, all the while basking in your own self-importance. So, until you learn to be civil, you'll get no civility from me.

neilb
neilb

that you whine about [i]ad hominem[/i] attacks yet contribute nothing else to the discussion. Do you have anything at all to say? Nah. I thought not. :)

neilb
neilb

I have to say that from my readings, Einstein did not believe in a personal god. He used the term to describe an aspect of order in the universe. His opinions about religion are well known and easily available. I suspect that if he had known that in a few decades after he said your quote above, ignorant fundamentalists would be misinterpreting them as an apology for ID, he would certainly have used other words. Here's what Einstein said in greater detail "When one views the matter historically, one is inclined to look upon science and religion as irreconcilable antagonists, and for a very obvious reason. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events - provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously. He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death." Neil :D Edit to add: You've used Einstein twice but I think my quote just about buttfucks your smugness, eh? :)

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

So many words being forced into so few ideas... the critical morass is being reached....

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

eat any good books lately? Obviously the Einstein quote went right past you.

neilb
neilb

Has not been the view of any other than the most primitive of societies or ignorant of individuals. The Greeks knew the Earth was round and made a pretty good fist of calculating the size. The ancient Chinese, the Egyptians, Mayas - all knew it was round. Columbus knew it was round and was trying to reach the Indies by "going the other way" but got it wrong because he didn't know how big it was. It has NEVER been a "scientific fact". Why would I ask a physicist to explain to me how a nuclear reactor works and limit the information sources and descriptive information on which he can draw? I wouldn't do that as it would be stupid. Still, I would not expect any mention of God in his commentary. Where does God fit into a request for scientific information? As for ID, I'm quite happy for them to do studies but they never do anything other than search for "flaws" (i.e. unknowns) in any branch of science that doesn't fit with their requirements and invent "God done it" responses. It ISN'T science. Again, I invite you to slap me down with any evidence that you can find. Let's get some specifics out and ditch the generalities. I accept fully that all viewpoints are relevant when interpreting observations but, if you are going to call it science then it MUST be pursued with proper scientific rigour and all that the scientific method entails. I don't disagree with you on the benefits of "empirical search for true knowledge" but I have real problems with where faith - by definition a belief that is not based on proof - fits into this! You can examine friction by learning the rules of Coulomb and, as you say, you can fix that lesson by having a bit of fun describing imaginary friction demons and their properties but under no circumstances would you ever call the latter "science". What that is an example is of a good teaching method. As for your last rather patronising sentence; what don't I get? Neil :D

koebelin
koebelin

Oh sure, if Einstein lived in Galileo's time period they would have made him say he was sorry too. So can Jesus travel faster than the speed of light?

royhayward
royhayward

makes it difficult for you to comprehend the other. I have always thought of science as being an empirical search for true knowledge. So your question: "As a man of "science and faith", describe to me (using your "man of science" portion) why the faith is necessary in any way when discussing evolution or any science." There is a problem here. This question is like saying to a nuclear physicist to explain how a nuclear power plant works using only stick figures. It might be attempted, but so much is lost that is it almost useless. Second problem here. In our quest for more knowledge and understanding of the world, rejecting ideas for study based on a religious test it counter productive. The ID folks that I have met are a bit out there at times, but why don't we let them do some studies and provide them with the chance to make their case? The world is not flat, but at one time that was the accepted scientific fact. What is more harmful, inviting discussion into our forums of education or baring the debates on subjects we think are settled by science? I had a physics teacher who read us a comparative essay on friction. One position was the principles of Newton and physical properties of the matter. The other position was that demons inhabited the surfaces and tried to hold on. It was amusing to the class and was an effective way to teach. If those who study science today, only encounter one view, that harms science. This is why it is necessary. --- But you probably still don't get it. That's ok, there is always hope for the future.

royhayward
royhayward

Belief in the creation as a fact have dated back to the beginning of recorded history. Wiki gives a creationist appeal to reason and science as early as 45 BC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_creationism This Wedge doc and the "Discovery Institute" start back in 1993est. which is relatively recent. I believe that AlGore made some lame movie and then suckered in a bunch of idiots to pay money to see it. Does this alone cast doubt on the GWs scientific claims? If I want to silence or trash a branch of study so that they can't get funding and are listed as 'bogus science', I can just get a fringe group to mount a media campaign and they will be dismissed from the forum of investigation? I think this puts wayyyy to much power into that first rule of media. I liked my answer and think I am on track.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]Based on its content, what, if anything, are you able to infer about the Discovery Institute's strategy? If you were able to make any such inference, are you able to apply it to the role of the media in pursuing their strategy, and how the Supreme Court fits into that picture?[/i] You did not state anything responsive to my questions. You merely diverted with tangentially related questions, and inapplicable statements.

royhayward
royhayward

I have answered all the questions in this thread that I can see. Is there some implied or encrypted question that I missed? Or did you expect only a 'yes' or 'no' answer counselor?

Absolutely
Absolutely

But you haven't answered my questions yet.

royhayward
royhayward

Belief in the creation as a fact have dated back to the beginning of recorded history. Wiki gives a creationist appeal to reason and science as early as 45 BC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_creationism This Wedge doc and the "Discovery Institute" start back in 1993est. which is relatively recent. I believe that AlGore made some lame movie and then suckered in a bunch of idiots to pay money to see it. Does this alone cast doubt on the GWs scientific claims? If I want to silence or trash a branch of study so that they can't get funding and are listed as 'bogus science', I can just get a fringe group to mount a media campaign and they will be dismissed from the forum of investigation? I think this puts wayyyy to much power into that first rule of media.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Based on its content, what, if anything, are you able to infer about the Discovery Institute's strategy? If you were able to make any such inference, are you able to apply it to the role of the media in pursuing their strategy, and how the Supreme Court fits into that picture?

royhayward
royhayward

the rule for indicating bogus science being that the "science" is pitched directly to the media. If I am in court, then I got there some how, probably by either suing someone, having someone sue me, or bing involved in some criminal case. I believe that Neil is the only one that thinks ID might be criminal (harmful ~= criminal). So if I sue someone or they sue me and the media shows up to report it, that does not qualify as my pitching to the media. I think the consensus was that we didn't have to meet all of these criterion to be bogus, but ID does not meet this one. Now the guy on the infomercial with that "special pill", he is pitching his "science" directly via the media. There may be other ways to pitch to teh media, but since going to court does not automatically get you on TV and such, it does not fit the bill. Need I go on?

Absolutely
Absolutely

"...using the Supreme Court for free publicity!" I agree, The Supreme Court is not a "media" (sic) nor a medium of news/entertainment. My intent was to state that Intelligent Design was only covered by the media because it was a legal issue. Ergo, the Discovery Institute used the Supreme Court for free publicity.

royhayward
royhayward

I don't recall any infomercials on late night TV or Press conferences where people were announced it. If we are going to include the courts lets include all publications. This means that if you publish your scientific paper that you have declared it qualified for rule number one. This of course makes it as meaningless as the rule about laws of nature. And strictly speaking, the the "looking for grants" qualification is not on the list. Nor should it be.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Both are blatantly inconsistent with demonstrable facts, and unworthy of any respect.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

"Repeat: Why do some expect to see "missing" species in the fossil record? This is central to your assertion that Intelligent Design offers an "answer" to a "problem" of evolution theory. Why no answers from the Flat-Earth Creationists, now, to this question?" I didn't make the original assertion (above), nor am I a flat-earther, creationist, or evolutionist. However if you are desperately seeking an answer to the question quoted above, I will give my personal opinion as answer. I don't know why some expect to see missing species in the fossil record. It strikes me as illogical for the evolutionist and the creationist both to expect such a thing. If, by expect missing species is meant fossils we just haven't found yet, then why not just say fossils we just haven't found yet? And both creationists and evolutionists need to stop shouting that these theories of theirs are anything more than theories. There is far more that we don't know about the nature of reality than there is that we do know. Theories are speculation in progress. I myself expect to see only what is found and as it is found in the fossil record. All the fossil record tells me is that earth has had an interesting history, and that certain species are indeed extinct. Anything more is - gee - speculation. edit typo edit again to add: Now, will you answer the question "Why do you equate flat-earthers with creationists?"

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

flat-earthers with creationists?

Absolutely
Absolutely

This is central to your assertion that Intelligent Design offers an "answer" to a "problem" of evolution theory. Why no answers from the Flat-Earth Creationists, now, to this question?

neilb
neilb

I had a pitchfork in my hands, a large pile of it in front of me and I was in a slinging mood. Neil :D You got your own back because I had to go away and Google bloody "Kronecker Delta", though. I don't [b]need[/b] that sort of thing at 5:40pm! Edit to add: Now if L_L had realised that was the way to get at me rather than calling me a "pusillanimous pismire"...

Absolutely
Absolutely

If that post had been addressed to you, I would probably have said "Kronecker Delta", or possibly just "step function".

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

It is amazing isn't it, that there is so much we still do not understand? "Touch a scientist and you touch a child" A true scientist sees the world with wonder and hungers for knowledge and understanding with the same voracious appitite that a child has.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

but the day I go out and buy a camcorder to prove that I even HAVE a cat for someone on the internet who has been nothing but nasty to me. Even if I were insane enough to do this, your next line would be to prove it was my cat/that the film wasn't photo edited, et cetera. Really, why should I go to all that trouble for someone I don't care for at all? Either I have a cat, or I don't, either it has prehensile toes or it does not. If I were going to lie about something, I wouldn't make up something so silly as a story about a cat.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I never said that I knew much at all about evolution which is why I've been asking questions. Perhaps instead of being a grade-A jacka$$ about it, you could answer a few without the smarmy declarations of superiority. I thought you might be an interesting person to tap for a bit of insight. No thanks, the price is too high.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Thanks, The human capacity for justifying bad behavior through 'circumstantial ethics' never ceases to amaze me.

neilb
neilb

Do you not think that if someone chooses to trot out the old chestnut about "Mars is warming too" without checking in the slightest to see if it's wholly true, partly true or total fabrication, they might be deserving of a certain level of censure. Well. Is it true? And if it is, says who?

neilb
neilb

as an example of the general LACK of understanding about evolution and evolutionary processes. As long as this prehensile cat can breed with other cats, this is merely an example of the variability possible within the species "domestic cat". Only if this cat's "thumbs" become fixed in a population of felines that cannot (or do not) breed successfully with the domestic cat do we get anything out of the ordinary. Abso, do you mean "quantum leap" in the now accepted meaning of a major change or in the correct (but opposite) meaning for "quantum" as the smallest change possible? Evolution tends to follow both paths. Neil :D

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

"DNA is life" I'd think it more appropriate to say that the instructions for life are in the DNA. "Then there's all the inactive DNA swimming around in our systems like so much commented out code in a computer program..." Hmmm... maybe Uncle Billy IS god! ;)

Absolutely
Absolutely

And I'm not less trusting than you deserve. "I'm just skeptical of your claim." Again, what was your mention of corn meant to illustrate?

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

oh, and GEEZ, abs... now you're not content to insult me, you've decided to go after my cat? Not that he'd care... but still... man you are negative.... I'd hate to have the same distrust of people that you do.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Which remains as it always was. Why is it that adherants to certain theories resemble priests more than scientists? If I ask a question and it is an honest question, why is it that the asking provokes such vitriol. You've made assumptions about me as have others simply for asking questions. Why is that? Is that healthy? Should one not be able to defend one's positions without open hostility to them being questioned? My initial comments to DrZinj were part of an ongoing conflict when I asked the simple question. If man is responsible for global warming, why are other planets in the solar system getting warmer? What I got for my question was a three paragraph rant on how I know nothing of Astronomy. Suffice it to say, that whike it would not be quite so ludicrous as saying that you know nothing of biology, it would still be quite ludicrous indeed. When adherants to a particular theory act more like priests than scientists, I question the science.

neilb
neilb

The question to be asked about micro- and macroevolution is "How can one NOT lead to the other?" rather than the question you are asking. Here we go: On the western side of the ancient continent of F'kawe lives a population of proto-rodents we shall call grumpies. Their range is most of the western half of the continent up to the central mountain range, their food is insects, their mating is triggered by the rainy season and the females produce a particular pheromone when mating is possible. During one of the interglacial periods, the sea-level rise cuts off a peninsula, turning it into an island. The small population of grumpies on the island begin, by genetic drift, to fix slightly different physical and genetic characteristics to the mainland population. The sea levels rise and the two populations interbreed and the island grumpie changes are incorporated into the main grumpie gene pool. Time passes... During the next interglacial period, the sea-level rise cuts off a peninsula, turning it into an island. The small population of grumpies on the island begin, by genetic drift, to fix slightly different physical and genetic characteristics to the mainland population. One of these is a shift in the breeding pattern and slight but gradual changes in the pheromones. The sea levels rise and the two populations do not, now, interbreed because the signals are wrong. The island grumpie populations spreads out into the main continent and retains and increases the differences between the original grumpies - which are also undergoing changes - and the new strain of - shall we say - frumpies. THAT'S how speciation happens.

Absolutely
Absolutely

And why do you predict that a cat with opposable thumbs would necessarily lead to (more) intelligent cats? [i]I also have a cat that was born with opposable thumbs on his front paws. Yes, this cat actually has hands and **uses** them as hands. If this happened in the wild, we could eventually see a species of cats with hands, eventually using tools, and then intelligence would kick in as a dominant factor to give an advantage from that point.[/i] Also, do you havbe pictures or video of this cat using its opposable thumbs? It's not that I want to make fun of your goofy cat, I'm just skeptical of your claim.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

if DNA is life, why doesn't a cell die without it? Then there's all the inactive DNA swimming around in our systems like so much commented out code in a computer program... Makes you wonder at times if we're not all characters in a very advanced computer game.....

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

In fact, there is an example that comes to mind... Corn. Corn did not exist until two progenitor species produced it. I also have a cat that was born with opposable thumbs on his front paws. Yes, this cat actually has hands and **uses** them as hands. If this happened in the wild, we could eventually see a species of cats with hands, eventually using tools, and then intelligence would kick in as a dominant factor to give an advantage from that point.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

which is the point. I have questions, not arguements. Since you have a background in this area, I'd like to pose questions to you, not to fight but to learn. What I tried (and seemingly failed) to say is that I understand the micro, I can see it, it is in terms I can understand. My questions about macro are simply this: The creationists and ID people have raised questions, why not answer them? "We don't know" doesn't negate the theory, theories are not designed to be the catch all. Oh, and BTW, you can't prove a negative neil, you know that. Same thing with global warming... If I ask 'what about mars and other planets that are warming'. I'd like an anser to that and not a dissertation on how stupid I am for asking. When an adherant of a theory goes ape$shit over someone asking a question, then in my opinion, he is no longer a scientist, but a priest of a religion.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

How exactly did personality arise out of the impersonal? What is an adequate or valid explanation for personality if the driving force behind existence is impersonal? Or something to that effect. edit a freaking typo

Absolutely
Absolutely

"What raises my ire is when by proffering a QUESTION, the response is contempt, derision and closed-minded dismissal." Hey, we [b]do[/b] have something in common! My question is about the "gaps" that supposedly are problematic for macro-evolution. Your description of those gaps is brief, but an indicative summary of a claim I've read & heard repeatedly, but with insufficient explanation of the supporting premises to convince me. "The macro, however is interesting, the evolution from one species to another has some gaps in it, particularly the evolution of man." I don't understand why one would expect not to see gaps, and I think you're just the person to explain it to me. Given that you accept micro-evolution based on evidence you're able to witness real-time (the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy that you described); and given, that the assumption of macro-evolution is that certain adaptations provide a [b]quantum leap[/b] in fitness over the previous species, which lacked those adaptations; why does one expect to see "missing", intermediate "species" in the fossil record?

neilb
neilb

Be aware that I was, for twenty years, a biological scientist. This probably - in your eyes - makes me biased but in my eyes it allows me a depth of knowledge to objectively assess creationism in all its forms and, as it purports to be science, this especially applies to Intelligent Design. When I examine the biochemical and biological "evidence" for ID or "evidence" against Darwinian evolution (almost exclusively the latter as ID produced no evidence other than explanations for the "failings" of evolutionary theory) I believe that I am able to assess it [b]objectively[/b]. I find it at best shallow but more usually misleading in context, content and interpretation. And, I fear, that the misrepresentation of the data and its misinterpretation is mostly deliberate. However, don't take my word for it as it's all nice and easy to check out. One of the things that happens if we are honest and assess sufficient evidence is that we arrive inevitably at the conclusion that the Creationist/ID'ers perennial question about microevolution and macroevolution is just so much bollocks. So, here's a little question for you: You accept microevolution is demonstrable and, at the same time, argue that there has been no proof of macroevolution. Yet no mechanism has been described for [b]preventing[/b] microevolution causing macroevolution. Since every step of either process has been demonstrated in genetics and the rest of biology, the argument against macroevolution is, in fact, the downfall of the anti-evolution platform. Describe how we do [b]not[/b] get macroevolution. Neil :D I hate editing my bloody posts but I screwed up the bold-off tag so I had to!

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I am not a creationist, though I do think that creationists offer some interesting questions that I would rather see debated than shouted down. I do not fault science, but it's adherants who refuse to question everything. When a scientist sees data, his reaction should be "What does this mean" and not "I KNEW it." as the latter indicates confirmation bias. Now, when you talk about evolutionary theory, do you mean the macro or the micro? The micro is observable, demonstrable and can be recreated. It's what makes cancer therapy so damn difficult because the tumors select for chemo-resistance once the drugs are intoduced, ditto that for radiation. The little ba$tards also shift their physical location, requiring retargetting of therapies (fortunately diagnostics equipment is advancing by leaps and bounds) The macro, however is interesting, the evolution from one species to another has some gaps in it, particularly the evolution of man. It was once thought that the Neanderthal was the precursor to the cromagnon and that there was a direct line. Now, it seems that humans may have evolved from a degree of cross-breeding between TWO and not one progenitor species. I also recall a recent article confirming that two other species peviously determined to be steps in evolution existed simultaneously and casts THAT step into doubt. I find the idea of specialization and irreducable complexity introduced by the creationists to be fascinating. Now, I will not go so far as to say that since there is no clear explaination (that I know of) for the sudden appearance of an eye (for example) that the theory of evolution is null and void. To assume something as that would be a fallacy of construction. But it does pose an interesting question which I'd like to know the answer to, as I am a curious individual. What raises my ire is when by proffering a QUESTION, the response is contempt, derision and closed-minded dismissal. When anyone gets to THAT point on any subject, that all reasoned debate to anything that challanges one's established beliefs is met with anger and contempt, that individual has become a fanatic.

neilb
neilb

So what you seem to be saying is that I am not allowed to come to any conclusion. I would add that my conclusion - which I have arrived at without needing your permissions - is internally consistent, logical and totally open to argument. What I haven't had on this site is a coherent evidence against any aspect of evolutionary theory - ever. Do YOU have such evidence? If so, I'd love to hear it as I'm quite happy to have a discussion about any of this. Neil :D