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Author Topic: The idiots are gaining ground
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 13, 2006 19:39      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060810-evolution.html

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chromatic
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 09:57      Profile for chromatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You have a time machine? Either that or you have an epistemological problem with the empirical method.
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 10:23      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wrong on both counts.

I am absolutely certain that nobody has a proven answer and anyone with a halfway decent education should be answering "not sure" to that survey. According to the poll, about 80% of the population is certain they're right even though they have no proof of it.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 12:24      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm always right most of the time. [Razz] Anyway the theory of evolution has a lot more concrete evidence going for it (fossils, etc.).
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 12:40      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure, there's more evidence for evolution... overwhelmingly so. The survey item, however, was the factual statement "Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals." Possible answers were True, False and Not sure.

If you don't have irrefutable proof, you can't be sure. Simple as that.

Consider, for a moment, one of the major problems with religious wars. Everyone is certain that they're right and nobody will admit they don't have proof. Millions of people have been killed over that sort of idiocy.

Evolution vs creationism hasn't turned into a war with casualties (that I know of), but do you really want to start stating a theory as proven fact and take on that sort of mindset?

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 12:59      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Quite right. To believe what you read in a science text book is tantamount to faith - the same faith we deride others for employing. I don't think I believe anything: I'm merely inclined to give credence to some theses that appear to have been thought out, as opposed to those that are derived from pure dogma.

Actually I'm lying - I do believe in pies and HP sauce.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 13:27      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Steen and Spungo: You're missing a subtle point about believing things. I am "sure" of many things that I "believe" to be true based on the evidence that I have seen. The difference between scientific faith and religious faith is that scientific faith allows you to change your beliefs if better evidence comes along.

Evolutionists refine their beliefs over time. Creationists ignore data that doesn't fit.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 13:58      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And if you assert that evolution is a fact, where is the room for refining your belief?

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 14:07      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kill everybody that disagrees with you. Let God sort 'em out.

?

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 14:18      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
And if you assert that evolution is a fact, where is the room for refining your belief?

Evolution is fact. The question is if darwinian evolution or some other evolution took place. The refinement comes in the time scale, the method, how and when things changed. It would be a shallow argument to say that things were always like they are now.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 14:44      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's a reason it's called evolution theory and not evolution fact.

Congratulations on being part of the 80% that makes the baby Darwin cry.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 15:07      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...and I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Disagree with me, and you will be Touched By His Noodly Appendage...the Wrong Way. [evil]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 15:25      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
There's a reason it's called evolution theory and not evolution fact.

Congratulations on being part of the 80% that makes the baby Darwin cry.

It's acutally called "Darwins Theory of Evolution." That is, how Darwin says these things became these other things. It is not a theory that things used to be different. That is fact. I'm just saying things used to be different than they are now. This change is called evolution. There are many "theories" on how it happened. Darwins is the most famous.

There are facts in science. Oxygen has so many protons. We breathe oxygen. ect. I am not saying that Darwins theory of evolution is fact. I am saying evolution is fact.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 16:12      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ashitaka:
This conversation is about a specific, ongoing series of changes, not a general statement that things change.

That said, you are stating "things used to be different than they are now" as a fact without defining things. Do you have proof that neutrons have changed over time? That there is some fundamental difference between a neutron in the past and a neutron today?

Given that neutrons cannot be proven to have come from somewhere else (unless you want to invoke God or the big bang theory as facts and make this even messier), I have just disproved your so-called fact of evolution. Shall we go back to calling evolution a theory as it properly should be?

If you're going to try to argue specific points with vague, general statements posed as facts, be prepared to support them with evidence.

dragonman97:
Stop watching so much hentai [Razz]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 16:22      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
And if you assert that evolution is a fact, where is the room for refining your belief?

When some facts come along and prove you wrong.
You say "Well, I got that wrong, now I know better".
Scientists do that all the time.

There's a reason it's called evolution theory and not evolution fact.

An aussie scientist who makes a hobby of debunking Creationism and associated nonsense (like Ark-aeology - the claims that Noahs Ark has been found on some hillside) turned up at a debate with a Creationist and, when the hoary old "it's only a theory" chestnut was raised, he produced a set of jumper leads and a very large battery and challenged his opponent "Wanna test the theory of electricity?"

Evolution is no less a 'fact' than the electricity that's driving my computer right now.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 16:38      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD:
So you agree that neutrons have changed and are no longer the same as they used to be?

*edit*

I should add this for those who are getting confused about my point of contention here: I am, by most definitions, an athiest. As a result, trying to lump me in with creationists is a fast way to prove you have no grasp of what it is that I'm saying.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 17:20      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
And if you assert that evolution is a fact, where is the room for refining your belief?

The room is in someone providing fresh facts. Everything I know to be true is only true based on the fact that I have not seen good contrary evidence. The trick is not to ignore contrary evidence that doesn't fit my model. That's what differentiates good science from bad.
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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 17:31      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
I should add this for those who are getting confused about my point of contention here: I am, by most definitions, an athiest. As a result, trying to lump me in with creationists is a fast way to prove you have no grasp of what it is that I'm saying.

Oh, I hope you don't think that I think you're a creationist. I'm just nitpicking the distinction between *belief* that makes it possible to function without resorting to first principles every day and *BELIEF* that makes it possible to function without having to think about things.

Your original point was (IMO) that unless you have irrefutable proof of a fact, you can't be sure if it is true. That clearly has nothing to do with supporting/or not evolution. I just think, as a principle for making life managable, that when you get over 90 something % sure of a fact you can call it "truth".

Maybe the problem is that it's only the scientists who nit-pick the definition of truth. The BELIEVERS just have to believe.

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 18:22      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
Consider, for a moment, one of the major problems with religious wars.

Steen this is not a religious war. This is your religion against science.

You are the only one at war. Much like your ancestors. I recall when they argued that the Bible said enslaving black folks was God's will.

Now it's this.

Go burn a cross, will you?

CP

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 18:26      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CP:
Go back and re-read my post where I mention that I'm an atheist, which I edited well before you posted your comment.

Once you've done that, feel free to pull your head out of your ass and reconsider this being my 'religion' against science.

And I'll tell you exactly where you can shove the bible and burning cross, idiot.

Now, with that out of the way, back to rational discussion.

quantumfluff wrote:
I just think, as a principle for making life manageable, that when you get over 90 something % sure of a fact you can call it "truth".

The problem with that is when you present your 90% certain belief as truth. The person who believes you adds that to their body of knowledge as 100% true, not 90% likely. Build upon that long enough and you introduce enough error that you can find yourself quite far off from the truth, yet completely certain that you've got it.

I very intensely dislike anyone presenting their ideas as concrete facts. Feel free to act upon them, but when you start telling other people what is true, why not be honest?

Is it so very hard to say "all evidence points towards the theory of evolution being a fact" rather than "the theory of evolution is a fact"? Do you not have moral qualms about presenting something that, while likely to be the truth, may in fact not be?

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 18:52      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
QF: I get what you're trying to say, but I think Steen's on the money here. Your logic sadly fails the 'tonic' test, i.e., a scientist goes out one night and drinks a lot of gin & tonic - gets blind drunk - wakes up with a stinking hangover. Goes out the next night and drinks only whiskey & tonic - same thing happens. On the third night he only drinks rum & tonic. Same thing. By your rationale, he should forego tonic for ever as it is obviously getting him hammered every time.\

It is absolutely vital in the world of science that one maintains a perspective on the validity of the various hypotheses: if we were to allow your level of rigidity into the thinking, we would still be in a geocentric universe.

Steen's major contention is that the label 'scientific law' is used far too freely: one need always bear in mind that ANY scientific principle is open to scrutiny at any point in time. E.g., Herr Einstein? Did he care about 300 years of Newtonian thinking? You need to be very careful what you assume - houses of cards tumble very easily.

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uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 18:54            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let's get something straight. Who are the so-called idiots? From what I understand, you're an idiot if you state a certainty in the origin of the human species.

Looking at the graph on TFA, the general trend is that the number of people voting uncertainty is on the increase. Surely this suggests that people are getting smarter?

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 19:02      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fine, ruin my fun. [Razz] I was wondering when someone would notice that the number of people answering "not sure" had gone from 7% to 21%.

In the previous arguments I've seen on here, I've noticed how very polarized people's opinions seem to be (at least the vocal people). I wanted (and still want) to make the point that you should try to be accurate in what you present as true and what you present as probably true.

One reason I've become so picky about this is my former duties as analyst (yay, I'm support only now... no more liability issues for me) for my company. Saying something is probably the source of a problem has a far, far different meaning than saying something absolutely is the source of a problem. Potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars different, in fact.

So, be honest, mkay [Smile]

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 19:31      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Correct me if I'm wrong, Steen, but what you are talking about is philosophical skepticism. It's not that he's saying one or the other is wrong, as much as that they are both dogmatic when there's always room for inquiry.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 14, 2006 19:33      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Heh...Steen: Mathematicians sort of did that to me. Now I qualify just about anything with cautions about possible inaccuracy... [Wink]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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