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Jorge_Banner
New Member

Argentina
6 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  18:52:42  Show Profile Send Jorge_Banner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why is it that so much time and effort is dedicated to confront creationists the way it's usually done when there is an antecedent concept to the evolution vs. creation debate that's much simpler to discuss and analyze, especially for lay people that probably don't even understand evolution and that concept is god? Isn't it much easier to explain to people, for instance, that creation should not be taught in science class because creation implies god and science has no place for the concept of a god because sciences only deal with reality?

A is A

Edited by - Jorge_Banner on 03/27/2008 18:53:50

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  19:05:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am more and more of the opinion that, for dedicated creationists at least, you don't have a chance of demonstrating the validity of evolution to them without first demonstrating the invalidity of the bible.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  19:12:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Jorge_Banner

Why is it that so much time and effort is dedicated to confront creationists the way it's usually done when there is an antecedent concept to the evolution vs. creation debate that's much simpler to discuss and analyze, especially for lay people that probably don't even understand evolution and that concept is god? Isn't it much easier to explain to people, for instance, that creation should not be taught in science class because creation implies god and science has no place for the concept of a god because sciences only deal with reality?
That is one of the arguments that we make. Science says nothing about God because it can't. Science deals in the realm of the falsifiable. This realm...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Jorge_Banner
New Member

Argentina
6 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  20:24:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Jorge_Banner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

I am more and more of the opinion that, for dedicated creationists at least, you don't have a chance of demonstrating the validity of evolution to them without first demonstrating the invalidity of the bible.




That's kind of the point I'm trying to make. If I start discussing the validity of the bible I'll get lost together with everybody else, in a sea of details, history and anecdotes. Fun, but not conclusive. Straight to god and you attack the foundation of all the folly and maybe some listener can benefit from it and you've made the world a better place. Go for the throat, I say.


A is A
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  20:27:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jorge, welcome to the SFN.

As Kil has said, we do use that argument. The problem lies, mainly, with the set of people who reject all of science (they call it materialism). They don't care one bit about having an argument, they only care about eradicating the scientific worldview.

In the US that group of people is fairly large and well funded, so much so that they have infiltrated political offices (elected and appointed) disguised as political conservatives. To date we have mostly managed to block their attempts to insert their religion (almost exclusively fundamentalist christianity) into our public school classrooms.

Their political operatives have moved from local school-boards into state legislatures now, and in the last year we have seen TX adopt a law that allows children to answer science questions with religious answers... and the teacher can't penalize them for it. OK and FL are both considering such legislation at this very moment. Just a matter of time til it is introduced into more state legislatures as well.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Jorge_Banner
New Member

Argentina
6 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  20:28:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Jorge_Banner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

That is one of the arguments that we make. Science says nothing about God because it can't. Science deals in the realm of the falsifiable. This realm...


Sciences says nothing about god because science deals only with that which exists. Science doesn't waste time on fairy tales and ghosts, holy or not.

Your statement about science and the "falsifiable", I don't understand.


A is A
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Jorge_Banner
New Member

Argentina
6 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  20:33:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Jorge_Banner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Jorge, welcome to the SFN.

As Kil has said, we do use that argument. The problem lies, mainly, with the set of people who reject all of science (they call it materialism). They don't care one bit about having an argument, they only care about eradicating the scientific worldview.

In the US that group of people is fairly large and well funded, so much so that they have infiltrated political offices (elected and appointed) disguised as political conservatives. To date we have mostly managed to block their attempts to insert their religion (almost exclusively fundamentalist christianity) into our public school classrooms.

Their political operatives have moved from local school-boards into state legislatures now, and in the last year we have seen TX adopt a law that allows children to answer science questions with religious answers... and the teacher can't penalize them for it. OK and FL are both considering such legislation at this very moment. Just a matter of time til it is introduced into more state legislatures as well.




Thanks for the welcome, Dude.

I'm sure you're right. It has always been a tough battle. At least we don't get burned at the stake like in the Dark Ages nor stoned to death like amongst muslims.


A is A
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2008 :  23:24:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jorge_Banner:
Your statement about science and the "falsifiable", I don't understand.

Hmmm...

Science is built on hypotheses that can be tested in some way. Many hypotheses, if not most, fail. Those that don't may advance to the status of a theory. All theories are tentative in that with the introduction of new evidence, a theory might be altered to varying degrees to explain the new evidence, or in some cases, completely discarded in favor of the new evidence which leads to a better theory with more explanatory power. The key here is that any hypothesis or theory must be testable and therefor falsifiable.

Now, let's say I claim that last night there was a three headed monster under my bed. That claim cannot be tested without a time machine. My sanity might come into question, but it would be impossible to prove that there was not a three headed monster under my bed last night. That claim can't be falsified. Supernatural claims are often outside of what science can test for, so they can't be falsified. Only doubted. Strongly doubted, as the case may be...

Does that help?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  03:48:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Jorge & welcome!

I can no more 'prove' that there is no God of any sort than the most dedicated Bible-ranter can that there is, therefore, one would think that the subject is unworthy of discussion. Which it is, but, sadly, 'God' and it's attendent Bible is all all they have to go up against scientific theory, the ToE in particular. And as that is all that they have, they are capable of producing some very interesting misrepresentations and outright lies that I, for one, rather enjoy.

And the really funny part is that some of us in here can quote Chapter & Verse better than they (I'm not one of them, but I'm pretty good at it).

I've been doing this for a long time, trying to impart logic & reason as applied to science & religion, and if I've enlightened even a single mind, I don't know about it. I have come to realize that it is seldom, if ever, possible to overwhelm blind faith, however misguided that faith might be. We tell them about radiometric dating, and they tell us hogwash about a trilobite found in a fossil, human foot-print, or some such swill, and then, when that's been laid to rest, they might go from silliness to high-sounding apologetics such as these and these, and 'round we go again.

So why keep at it? Why keep hitting the wall when I know it's all but futile? Well, there are a lot of folks who hang out here but never post, lurkers, if you will. I feel that, perhaps, some few of them might interested in what I post and I'm of some benefit to them even if I never convince a single 'True Believer.'

Also, it's fun!






"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  03:58:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Jorge_Banner
Your statement about science and the "falsifiable", I don't understand.

A hypothesis make a statement about the reality as we see it.
But before we can move it up to theory status we must ask "Is it not so?".
This is the part which is called "Falsification". We must come up with some way to know if we are wrong.

Our perception of reality is only a tiny piece of reality. This means that our hypothesis will likely always be incomplete. If we only design tests that are meant to confirm our hypothesis, it may well be that we missed that the hypothesis has a blind spot that makes it wrong in certain instances.
By trying to find out what's wrong about a hypothesis, we can find the blind spots and adjust our hypothesis to make it better.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  06:11:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Falsification:

Any hypothesis must include (implicitly) a set of conditions that would (if true) nullify the hypothesis.

Basically you have to be able to take a hypothesis and say what data would make this hypothesis wrong.

One of filthy's favorite examples is the Devonian Bunny. If anyone ever found a mammal in the devonian strata and confirmed it with radiometric data, phylogeny/cladistics (a part of the ToE) would take a serious hit and need to be fully revised (if not scrapped outright).

A devonian mammal would push the timeline of mammilian evolution back about 150 million years to the time when fish started emerging from the oceans for the first time. It would be difficult to account for, to say the least.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  07:23:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And what if the Devonian Bunny were found? Not only found, but upon examination, seen to have a load of Elmer Fudd's #6 birdshot deep in the fossil. What then? Should I run to one of out local Baptist churchs, kick the door down in the middle of services, and shout: "Take me to the river, O Glory, I wants to be SAVED!!

Certainly not; God is not the default position. Just because the ToE was suddenly shown to have a major fault does not automaticly imply that a system based on belief/faith in the edited and selected writings of Bronze Age, tribal priests before the dawn of science is correct. After all, all they had to work with was the myths and legends of their own ancestors, and you'd be just as well off with Harry Potter.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  08:41:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Mab and Dude have more accurately defined falsification than I did. My attempt was more general and had to do with what can be falsified. So good work guys!!!


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Chippewa
SFN Regular

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  09:23:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know how many times over the years over at BadAstronomy.com someone has had to define "falsifiable" (as well as "scientific theory".)

Especially the concept of "falsifiable" in science. It seems to be unknown to a broad spectrum of people.

Diversity, independence, innovation and imagination are progressive concepts ultimately alien to the conservative mind.

"TAX AND SPEND" IS GOOD! (TAX: Wealthy corporations who won't go poor even after taxes. SPEND: On public works programs, education, the environment, improvements.)
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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  11:13:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Now, let's say I claim that last night there was a three headed monster under my bed. That claim cannot be tested without a time machine. My sanity might come into question, but it would be impossible to prove that there was not a three headed monster under my bed last night.
Any sort of monster, three headed or otherwise, ought to have left behind certain forensic evidence had it spent any time under your bed. Saliva or bristly fur for example. Impressions or claw marks in the rug or wood floor might tell a tale as well. A litter Little bones scattered from the beast's midnight snack, depending if he's a bone crusher or not. Perhaps the luggage you normally store there was moved out of the way or smashed under the monster's considerable weight. I know from experience with my children that you can convincingly falsify the claims of monsters inhabiting dark places in the home.

-Chaloobi

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2008 :  12:08:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What if the monster under the bed is God?

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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