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Monday, July 17, 2006

N.Y. Post: Mushnick: WRIGHT STARS IN AD FOR FAITH HEALER (RR)

To live, I’d drink even the liquid of feces!

So it’s Saturday afternoon and we’re watching the Mets on Ch. 11. They’re playing the Cubs in Wrigley, when, during a commercial break, David Wright, in his Mets uniform and standing in Shea, pops up to tell us:

“Hi, I’m David Wright. I invite you to the ‘Salvation Miracles Revival Crusade’ with Dr. Jaerock Lee, at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 28 and 29.”

...Sorry, boys and girls, while we mean no offense toward anyone’s spirituality and religious devotion - Wright’s included - that was the weirdest player/team-connected TV ad we’d ever seen within a telecast of a big league game.

And are Mets telecasts and Mets dressed in their Mets uniforms now available to help deliver religious come-ons of any and all kinds?

Repoz Posted: July 17, 2006 at 11:18 AM | 462 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: international, mets

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   201. Daryn Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2103619)
God guided the process? Consistent with the best available theory, and neither supported nor contradicted by fact.

The consistency of believing in God's guidance and accepting the theory of evolution appears to be lost on most of America, but particularly lost on the religious right.
   202. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#2103623)
Statements such as "believe in evolution" or "evolution as fact" highlight this. One does not believe in any theory.

Evolution is fact. We have seen it occur. We have made it occur. Not in us, but in simpler creatures. The theory is that the same sort of process created us from those simple creatures. And the totality available facts -- data and observations, we call them -- support this theory, with quite a bit of uncertainty around the margins. But that's always going to be the case.

Evolution? Fact.
People evolved from "lower" organisms? Objectively our best guess based on fact.
Evolution happened exactly like XXXX? Probably wrong, the little picture is very muddled.
God guided the process? Consistent with the best available theory, and neither supported nor contradicted by fact.
God created people and other creatures in their current form? Not consistent with facts.


DCA, no arguement. I was referring to human evolution. I certainly think it likely but it isn't an observed fact, as evolution in lower organisms. My point wasn't that ID is just as valid as evolution to explain our existence, most emphatically I think ID isn't valid. My point is that if we (we being scientists) tell the public that they must "believe" in evolution, we shouldn't be surprised if they believe something else. We do a very poor job at actually explaining what we know, what we think and how we come by these views. We also don't explain well what the essence of science is.

However, do you hear about studies which "prove" that something causes cancer, etc?



Oops, that was supposed to be "How often do you hear..."


Indeed. Or "proven" safe.
   203. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2103624)
vaux, your treatise was eloquent and rational. thanks.

booey did have a point; while much of CEverett's belief is irrational (and I'd agree that 'absolutely disbelieving observable fact constitutes a corruption of intellectual honesty') to most of us, the debate about evolution is not so cut and dried, and to suggest that intellectual deisgn must be "stamped out" is over the top. Maybe you were only referring to the dinosaur theories of Carl's.

I also think we're in danger of misues of the 'liberal/conservative' labels here. This ain't political; it's a world view of pure naturalism vs allowing the supernatural. Unfortunately some politial conservatives have taken to crying 'liberal' to score points.
   204. JC in DC Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#2103631)
Sex-ed is quite a bit different from philosophy with a religious bent. Not only that, but sex-ed is pretty much a practical thing. And it most closely relates to biology.

Additionally, when it's being added as PART OF THE SCIENTIFIC CURRICULUM, it takes on quite a different meaning than just being added as something to be taught.


Paragraph #1 is awfully naieve nonsense. Sex ed is NOT philosophy w/a "religious" bent? False. It absolutely is. Sex ed is driven by and informed by philosophical and ideological concerns, many of which I reject.

Evolution is fact. We have seen it occur. We have made it occur. Not in us, but in simpler creatures.


We have "seen" evolution occur? Do you mean the adaptation of an organism to its environment, or the creation of a new species out of another? And, when you write "we have MADE it occur" doesn't that sort of undo the whole "evolution" thing? Isn't the "making" of evolution by a purposeful being the position of ID?
   205. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2103636)
booey did have a point; while much of CEverett's belief is irrational (and I'd agree that 'absolutely disbelieving observable fact constitutes a corruption of intellectual honesty') to most of us, the debate about evolution is not so cut and dried, and to suggest that intellectual deisgn must be "stamped out" is over the top. Maybe you were only referring to the dinosaur theories of Carl's.

I also think we're in danger of misues of the 'liberal/conservative' labels here. This ain't political; it's a world view of pure naturalism vs allowing the supernatural. Unfortunately some politial conservatives have taken to crying 'liberal' to score points.


Again, I have to disagree with this.

ID has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT IN SCIENCE CLASSROOMS. This when it has essentially NO relation to science, whatsoever.

It is not a "world view of pure naturalism vs. allowing the supernatural." For that matter, Darwin's theory does not preclude a supernatural source.

It is about teaching something which is not scientific in a science class.

I'm not sure how often I have to keep repeating this this before people stop saying that this isn't happening (or just ignoring it).

F
   206. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2103637)
Let's get the facts clear: proponents of ID are the ones trying to mandate the teaching of ID in science class.

Exactly. And, as I said above, I think the general lack of an outcry about this - even from folks who don't agree with ID - is that science classes have become overly focused on standardized tests that test memorization of facts and the ability to plug numbers into equations without understanding what the numbers mean. I think the general public has a pisspour understanding of what a science class should be. In other words, I think I can understand why there isn't a huge outcry. However, please don't think this means I don't think there should be one. ID does not belong in a science classroom except in a lesson designed to teach the difference between faith and reason and their respective places in understanding the universe.

Actually, the ID/evolution debate serves as a tailor made template to teach science. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be used this way very often.
   207. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2103638)
oops, sorry guys - I was responding to posts in the 90s.... didn't realize I was a whole page (100 posts ) behind! I'll go back to my job now...
   208. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2103639)
oops, sorry guys - I was responding to posts in the 90s.... didn't realize I was a whole page (100 posts ) behind! I'll go back to my job now...
   209. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2103640)
I also think we're in danger of misues of the 'liberal/conservative' labels here. This ain't political; it's a world view of pure naturalism vs allowing the supernatural. Unfortunately some politial conservatives have taken to crying 'liberal' to score points.
Yes, and I'm sure that trying to score points is unique to one political ideology.

As for whether it's liberal or conservative, I agree that there's nothing inherent in either of those two ideologies that pushes them one way or the other on the evolution/ID issue; it simply happens to be primarily people who self-identify with one of those two ideologies who fall on either side of the debate. On the other hand, here's a nice column from a staunch conservative strongly criticizing the ID movement.
   210. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2103647)
Paragraph #1 is awfully naieve nonsense. Sex ed is NOT philosophy w/a "religious" bent? False. It absolutely is. Sex ed is driven by and informed by philosophical and ideological concerns, many of which I reject.


Hmmmm, maybe I'm misremembering my sex-ed class (which could very likely be the case since I didn't really remember much about it, even the films :p) or being awfully naive, but how exactly is sex-ed philosophy with a "religious" bent?

Or maybe my sex-ed class was much less than other people's sex-ed class. IIRC, it was like a week or so, for us.

F
   211. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#2103654)
We have "seen" evolution occur? Do you mean the adaptation of an organism to its environment, or the creation of a new species out of another?

We've actually seen both of these. What we haven't seen is genetic mutations that create new information.

And, when you write "we have MADE it occur" doesn't that sort of undo the whole "evolution" thing? Isn't the "making" of evolution by a purposeful being the position of ID?

Exactly. An ID argument would be something like "Over the past X million years, we have seen changes in the types of creatures inhabiting the planet. It is vanishingly improbable that the necessary mutations could have occurred merely through random chance and natural selection. Hence we must conclude that an external agent was involved in this process." To me it's not a particularly meaningful argument, because it's too vague. If you can identify who/what that agent was and when/how he became involved, then I'm interested!

I have to say, I find this thread hilarious. Disclosure: I don't believe in Intelligent Design, nor am I (by American usage of the term) a conservative.
   212. Daryn Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2103658)
<strike>pisspour </strike> piss-poor

It is as bad as piss, not raining like piss.
   213. JC in DC Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2103659)
Hmmmm, maybe I'm misremembering my sex-ed class (which could very likely be the case since I didn't really remember much about it, even the films :p) or being awfully naive, but how exactly is sex-ed philosophy with a "religious" bent?


Fair question. Which I don't have the time to answer beyond noting the very assumption that children must be taught sex in public school (i.e., that the state should do this aspect of parenting) is highly suspect, informed by a certain notion of the state (and one which, w/DMN I believe, I oppose). Then you get on to the nitty gritty, including for instance that children must be taught the spectrum of sexual identification, or the variety of acceptable families, and you've imported a host of ideological suppositions. True?
   214. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:42 PM (#2103662)
ID has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT IN SCIENCE CLASSROOMS.

And macro-evolution has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT AS A FACT.

This when it has essentially NO relation to science, whatsoever.

sorry, but you can say it however often you wish, that doesn't make it true.

Darwin's theory does not preclude a supernatural source.

I hear people say this, but naturalistic macro-evolution (I've read plenty of Dawkins, et al) insists on random change and mutations Without outside sources. It demands that any supernatural keep its hands off; the natural truly is the blind watchmaker. A God can exist, He merely cna't DO anything.

It is about teaching something which is not scientific in a science class.

It's about teaching logic and looking at evidence. If we come to a point where the scientific evidence shows there a supernatural explanation is far superior (logical) for what has occurred, will ID be accepted as potnetially valid, or will some still insist it be stamped out?

I agree, ID proponents have often been too heavy-handed. Science class ought to stick to science. But maybe when some kid comes home from school saying the teacher claimed we evolved from bacteria without outside influence, end of story, I can see why some are reactionary.
   215. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2103663)
pisspour piss-poor

It is as bad as piss, not raining like piss.


Boy, you just don't understand anything.
   216. Paul D(uda) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2103672)
I think the general public has a pisspour understanding of what a science class should be.

Based on this thread, I'll put myself in that camp. Having never taken a science course at university (outside of a stats course that was taught like a science course) I didn't realize some of this stuff.
   217. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2103678)
We have "seen" evolution occur? Do you mean the adaptation of an organism to its environment, or the creation of a new species out of another? And, when you write "we have MADE it occur" doesn't that sort of undo the whole "evolution" thing? Isn't the "making" of evolution by a purposeful being the position of ID?
No, it doesn't "undo" anything (except the belief of a few that evolution _can't_ occur.) And no, it isn't "the position of ID." ID isn't the belief that a purposeful being can cause evolution; that's not even the least bit controversial. People have been doing that for millennia. ID is the belief that evolution couldn't have happened without such intervention.

Fair question. Which I don't have the time to answer beyond noting the very assumption that children must be taught sex in public school (i.e., that the state should do this aspect of parenting) is highly suspect, informed by a certain notion of the state (and one which, w/DMN I believe, I oppose). Then you get on to the nitty gritty, including for instance that children must be taught the spectrum of sexual identification, or the variety of acceptable families, and you've imported a host of ideological suppositions. True?
First, I wanted to say that when I went to school, sex ed was always taught either as a stand-alone class or as part of health class, not as science. Second, I agree that the notion that sex ed should be taught in school requires certain philosophical assumptions about the proper role of the state which I don't share. (Of course, I support the separation of school and state, not just sex ed and state.) Third, I agree and disagree with JC's basic assertion about sex ed being philosophical-religious. There are scientific elements to sex ed, and to the extent that it focuses on the biological facts, it is science. But sex ed courses tend to include normative elements as well as biologiccal ones. That's not inherently wrong (modulo my objection that it doesn't belong in public school), but it's not science.
   218. DCA Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2103679)
Fair question. Which I don't have the time to answer beyond noting the very assumption that children must be taught sex in public school (i.e., that the state should do this aspect of parenting) is highly suspect, informed by a certain notion of the state (and one which, w/DMN I believe, I oppose). Then you get on to the nitty gritty, including for instance that children must be taught the spectrum of sexual identification, or the variety of acceptable families, and you've imported a host of ideological suppositions. True?

That's one way to look at it. But there's another: some parents don't -- or can't -- teach about sex in public schools and sex ed is kind of something that has to be known for both basic biology, basic public health, and basic social studies; the school has to fill in the gaps if it's going to be able to effectively teach something that is within its commonly accepted mandate. Kind of like free lunch -- some parents don't or can't feed their kids, so the school does it for them.

The "spectrum of sexual identification, or the variety of acceptable families" can either be ideological or just politeness and conflict-avoidance (because otherwise one of the kids is going to have a not-on-the-spectrum parent or an unacceptable family). While I think there is some ideology going on, I think practical concerns are more likely to be the drivers here.
   219. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 18, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2103683)
God guided the process? Consistent with the best available theory, and neither supported nor contradicted by fact.

The consistency of believing in God's guidance and accepting the theory of evolution appears to be lost on most of America, but particularly lost on the religious right.


That is a good point, but I wonder if the converse isn't the real issue. Evolution certainly does not preclude God's guidance, but it does allow for God's non-existence. I'm always uncomfortable assigning motivation to people who do not share my beliefs, but I'll do it anyway. It seems to me that any theory that allows the denial of the standard Christian God is a problem, not just those that require it. Thus, convincing the religious right that God and evolution can exist together is not enough. They will need to hear that God and evolution cannot exist apart.
   220. chris p Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2103686)
sex ed as a science, eh? so you have the kids go off and test their hypotheses and report back?
   221. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:02 PM (#2103688)
ID has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT IN SCIENCE CLASSROOMS.

And macro-evolution has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT AS A FACT.


And if you look at what bunyon and I have written, you'll see that we have problems with that (or teaching any science as "fact", for that matter).

This when it has essentially NO relation to science, whatsoever.

sorry, but you can say it however often you wish, that doesn't make it true.


No, but, when the vast majority (greater than 99%) of scientists and the US federal court say it isn't, and I myself have looked at the logic of it and can't equate it to science, I'd say I'd have a pretty darn good shot of being right.

Darwin's theory does not preclude a supernatural source.

I hear people say this, but naturalistic macro-evolution (I've read plenty of Dawkins, et al) insists on random change and mutations Without outside sources. It demands that any supernatural keep its hands off; the natural truly is the blind watchmaker. A God can exist, He merely cna't DO anything.


Well, maybe that's your problem. Dawkin's theory is NOT Darwin's theory. From what I've read, he has a heavily atheistic slant on things which is NOT part of Darwin's theory.

Also, Dawkin's theory is NOT the one being taught in classrooms today.

It's about teaching logic and looking at evidence.


No, that would be in a Rhetoric or Argumentation class. Science classes should teach SCIENCE.

If we come to a point where the scientific evidence shows there a supernatural explanation is far superior (logical) for what has occurred, will ID be accepted as potnetially valid, or will some still insist it be stamped out?


IF we ever come to that point, whatever theory that best explains the observations would be the theory "most accepted" until new observations came about to disprove that theory. That is the scientific method.

Of course, one of the main issues with ID is that it doesn't make any claims which CAN BE TESTED. So, you might as well be yelling in a vacuum to try to get any scientific evidence which shows that ID is "far superior (logical)" for what has occurred.

I agree, ID proponents have often been too heavy-handed. Science class ought to stick to science. But maybe when some kid comes home from school saying the teacher claimed we evolved from bacteria without outside influence, end of story, I can see why some are reactionary.


Again, this is more a debate about how science should be taught in schools.

Not on whether ID should be taught in the science classroom. Just because the schools do a poor job of teaching science does NOT justify teaching a non-science in a science classroom and claiming it's science.

That defies logic.

F
   222. DCA Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#2103690)
And, when you write "we have MADE it occur" doesn't that sort of undo the whole "evolution" thing? Isn't the "making" of evolution by a purposeful being the position of ID?

Just another example of how the evolution theory is just as valid with or without a sentient being forcing it. And it may be that cause and control don't go together. Perhaps God just wanted some fuzzy pets but we -- cunning, cruel, and not nearly fuzzy enough -- were the unintended consequences and now he's doing the best he can to get rid of us without making things worse. That's as good a supernatural explanation as any.
   223. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2103693)
And macro-evolution has been so vehemently challenged because people are FORCING IT TO BE TAUGHT AS A FACT.

This is highly misleading. ID does not limit itself to challenging the factual basis for macro-evolution. If it only did that, it would be (barely) within the ballpark of science. ID goes far beyond this, however, to actively deny the existence of macro-evolution, against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, AND to posit an unscientific basis for this denial.

Teaching macro-evolution as factual is no more problematic than teaching astronomy in 1929 and telling students there were 8 planets. Actually, given recent discoveries, it's no more problematic than telling students today there are 9. This all gets back to bunyon's point that science is much more than a collection of facts.

Science does reject supernatural explanations. There's a good reason for this: if the explanation is supernatural, there's nothing for the scientist to do. That's the end of the inquiry. Science is NOT about logic. It uses logic as a tool, but recognizes that logic is inadequate for understanding the external world. Science is about testing evidence against the material world.
   224. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:06 PM (#2103696)
Fair question. Which I don't have the time to answer beyond noting the very assumption that children must be taught sex in public school (i.e., that the state should do this aspect of parenting) is highly suspect, informed by a certain notion of the state (and one which, w/DMN I believe, I oppose). Then you get on to the nitty gritty, including for instance that children must be taught the spectrum of sexual identification, or the variety of acceptable families, and you've imported a host of ideological suppositions. True?


Well, yeah. I'd agree with that.

I guess maybe my sex-ed class was really shallow, then.

All we were taught was how procreation works, and where babies REALLY come from. Oh yeah, and how to prevent conception, and what sorts of problems you might run into if you had unprotected sex.

That's pretty much it.

But then again, it's been a long time since I took a sex education class, so things very well might have changed between when I took it and now.

Let's put it this way, the sex-ed classes I took had no relation to philosophy with a religious bent. How's that?

F
   225. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2103703)
Once again FJ made all the right points before me. I'll shut up now.
   226. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2103706)
Actually, given recent discoveries, it's no more problematic than telling students today there are 9.

There are either 8 or dozens. If Pluto is Sedna is, Quaoar is...

This is highly misleading. ID does not limit itself to challenging the factual basis for macro-evolution. If it only did that, it would be (barely) within the ballpark of science. ID goes far beyond this, however, to actively deny the existence of macro-evolution, against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, AND to posit an unscientific basis for this denial.

I've seen some ID folks make good arguments about some areas where "evolution" isn't airtight (yet). They seem not to realize that even if they are right and "evolution" is wrong, that isn't proof that ID is right. Disproving one theory does not necessarily prove another.
   227. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2103707)
Once again FJ made all the right points before me. I'll shut up now.


Nah, don't shut up. You put the points, in a different way, so that it's possible that someone else will understand it better.

At least, I can hope so, so that people will understand that ID is not science, and I won't have to keep reiterating it, backing up my argument, and then, have to argue about it again.

Of course, TomH did make a good point (which reiterated what both bunyon and I have stated before) in that the way that most schools (mostly public) currently treat science is very poor, and should be changed so that people have a better idea of what exactly science is.

F
   228. JC in DC Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2103710)
Science does reject supernatural explanations. There's a good reason for this: if the explanation is supernatural, there's nothing for the scientist to do. That's the end of the inquiry. Science is NOT about logic. It uses logic as a tool, but recognizes that logic is inadequate for understanding the external world. Science is about testing evidence against the material world.


According to one scientific worldview, of course. As many here no doubt know, "science" stems from the L word for "wisdom" or "knowledge" and is about the pursuit of knowledge. It is a modern assumption (and probably not even a postmodern one) that science is strictly constricted in the manner Mefisto and others in this thread suggest. For Aristotle and the Greeks and up until the 16th century and somewhat later (and depending on whom you ask), "science" was a term properly applied even to the science OF THE SUPERNATURAL. There were the sciences of ethics, of art or aesthetics, of biology, of psychology, of theology, of music, of math, of being (metaphysics) among others. I reject the constriction of science to the purely physical or "natural" and reject as question-begging the notion that b/c something is "beyond nature" it is beyond knowing. Indeed, I would argue that it was precisely the more expansive conception of science that was historically required for the development of modern science, but that would take a much longer argument.

The point for this thread is that the argument from design for the creator is a properly "scientific" theory in the broader sense. It takes logic, evidence, and extrapolates to a conclusion. It can therefore be rejected if found incoherent.

That our classrooms see fit not to include the broader notion of science and have become simply materialistic is "religious" in the sense of being beyond proof. One ideological position re science has prevailed over others and is now reigning as the only game in town. That's false. Scientifically so.

It goes w/o saying that none of what I've written diminishes the incredible advances of science in the narrow sense, nor does it argue against such physical science being taught w/in its own sphere.
   229. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#2103721)
Also, Dawkin's theory is NOT the one being taught in classrooms today.

Don't know how true this is. My kids have read Dawkins.

It's about teaching logic and looking at evidence.
No, that would be in a Rhetoric or Argumentation class.


?? Much of the scientific method is looking at evidence and drawing logical conclusions. Sure, this could spill over into rhetoric, but I WANT our children to learn this, and the science class seems to me to a good place to have this.Maybe we agree that "this is more a debate about how science should be taught in schools."

ID goes far beyond this, however, to actively deny the existence of macro-evolution, against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, AND to posit an unscientific basis for this denial.

I disagree with the 'overwhelming weight of the evidence', but I guess we'll agree to disagree on that, just like others may disagree on Ruth/Bonds/etc. Maybe I am unfamiliar with certain factes of the ID movement, but I understand that ID does NOT posit an 'unscientific' basis for denial. It posits a non-naturalistic basis (something that most scientists thru history {{just to name a few, Louis Agassiz William Albright Charles Babbage Francis Bacon Sir Charles Bell Robert Boyle George W. Carver Georges Cuvier John Dalton Rene Descartes Jean Henri Fabre Faraday John Ambrose Fleming William Herschel William Huggins James Joule Kelvin Johannes Kepler John Kidd Gottfried Liebnitz Carolus Linnaeus Joseph Lister James Maxwell Gregor Mendel John Michell Samuel Morse Isaac Newton Pascal Pasteur Ramsey }} would have accepted). It posits a creator as the logical conclusion if naturalistic explanations do not suffice.

If this discussion is best to have in a rhetoric class, ok, I'll live with that.
   230. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2103722)
I have no use for that hypthesis.

Really, I can't see the attraction in believing in an almighty being. And if he's so great, why the hell did it take him nearly four billion years to create modestly complex organisms?

As long as we're bashing strawmen, a lot of liberals can get quite mad when science threatens some of their cherised beliefs (most notable in nature vs nurture). Postmodernist types often reject the idea of science and logic as some kind of white male trickery.
   231. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2103725)
JC, I'd love to see the "broader" science taught to students. It would benefit them and society greatly. But arguably the biggest advancement in the physical sciences is the principle of reproducibility. If you can't describe the conditions and results such that it can be reproduced elsewhere, by someone else, then it isn't scientific under the present definition. Of course that precludes the supernatural. If the whim of God or spirits or what have you is part of the equation, modern science can't speak to it. In fact, shouldn't speak to it. The supernatural simply has no part of a modern science curriculum. Not because the supernatural doesn't exist (YMMV) but because it is in ignoring the non-reproducible that modern science obtains its greatest power.

If it is clear that the discussion is outside the science classroom, the broader discussion is one we absolutely should be having.
   232. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#2103730)
It posits a creator as the logical conclusion if naturalistic explanations do not suffice.

Giving the default win to the ID man in his funny bowtie, thanks, but no thanks.
   233. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#2103735)
As long as we're bashing strawmen, a lot of liberals can get quite mad when science threatens some of their cherised beliefs (most notable in nature vs nurture). Postmodernist types often reject the idea of science and logic as some kind of white male trickery.

The whole of BTF stands, jaw agape, looking down that long, dark road, wondering if we shall proceed or go back to talking about the Braves EqA.
   234. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2103736)
Postmodernist types often reject the idea of science and logic as some kind of white male trickery.


I've seen something similar said by RETARDO vis a vis sabermetrics. Not identical, but similar.
   235. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2103737)
I reject the constriction of science to the purely physical or "natural" and reject as question-begging the notion that b/c something is "beyond nature" it is beyond knowing.

I agree with your etymology, but not your conclusion. Words change their meanings. In particular, words acquire technical meanings, whether in science or in philosophy. The term "science" as I'm using it has a limited meaning. It does NOT, however, require the identity "beyond nature" = "beyond knowing". It just means that "beyond nature" = "beyond science (limited defintion)".

That our classrooms see fit not to include the broader notion of science and have become simply materialistic is "religious" in the sense of being beyond proof.

AFAIK, religion is not considered "beyond proof", and certainly is not so considered by any formal religion I know of. People are free to introduce evidence and use logic or empirical testing for any purpose, including religion.

Using "science" in the narrow sense in order to define what's taught in science class is equivalent to defining history to exclude philosophy even if one believes that "history is philosophy teaching by example" (or vice versa if one is a Hegelian).
   236. DCA Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#2103738)
There are either 8 or dozens. If Pluto is Sedna is, Quaoar is...

There are only 3 or 4 planetoids with nearly as much of a case as Pluto, although I'd tend to think the easiest line to draw excludes Pluto. Sedna is very eccentric, but Quaoar is one of the comparables. There's at least one other that's at least as big as Pluto, but I don't know if any of them have their own satellites a la Charon and some other little rocks. I wonder how this debate is filtering down to first grade classrooms.
   237. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#2103747)
I confess I don't see the point of the list of scientists in 230. They are mostly pre-Darwin and the few that aren't died soon after. Aristotle wasn't a Newtonian; so what? Also, you left out a number of the first names (or titles, in Kelvin's case).
   238. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#2103748)
There are only 3 or 4 planetoids with nearly as much of a case as Pluto

that we know of

, although I'd tend to think the easiest line to draw excludes Pluto.

Agreed. (Though I'm biased. I like that I've seen all the planets in a telescope but I have no shot at the newer, more distant worlds).

I wonder how this debate is filtering down to first grade classrooms.

Heh. I'd like to hear that discussion. I bet it would be a) charming b) funny c) aggravating and d) educational. Kids really do speak the truth.
   239. Chris Dial Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#2103751)
There's at least one other that's at least as big as Pluto, but I don't know if any of them have their own satellites a la Charon and some other little rocks. I wonder how this debate is filtering down to first grade classrooms.

Red is trying with her Dobsonian, but it's just a 6", with 10mm eyepiece.
   240. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#2103757)
Chris - trying for Pluto? I saw it in an 8" in 1989 when Pluto was near perihelion and a bit brighter. I'm not sure it could be done in a 6" at this point. Are you at a dark site?
   241. chemdoc Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#2103761)
JC, I'd love to see the "broader" science taught to students. It would benefit them and society greatly. But arguably the biggest advancement in the physical sciences is the principle of reproducibility. If you can't describe the conditions and results such that it can be reproduced elsewhere, by someone else, then it isn't scientific under the present definition.

If I'm understanding you correctly, it then follows that we do not have any theory or explanation for the origin of life which can properly be labeled as scientific.
   242. Chris Dial Posted: July 18, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2103763)
I saw it in an 8" in 1989 when Pluto was near perihelion and a bit brighter. I'm not sure it could be done in a 6" at this point. Are you at a dark site?

The software for finding teh planets is outstanding, and yes we took it to the beach. There is also some dark spots out by SHNPP. I don't really expect Pluto, at least not until I invest in a 3.5 mm with 68° view
   243. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2103766)
a lot of liberals can get quite mad when science threatens some of their cherised beliefs (most notable in nature vs nurture). Postmodernist types often reject the idea of science and logic as some kind of white male trickery.

Everything is nurture. Nature is a category invested with all kinds of power relations. You just have to look at the way science has been misused in the past to see that whenever there's a conclusion about "human nature", "natural behavior", ect, it's usually being deployed in service of an ideology.

Anyone here read Whitehead's Science and the Modern World? This should be required reading for anyone entering into this debate, from students to policymakers to pundits...
   244. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2103769)
If I'm understanding you correctly, it then follows that we do not have any theory or explanation for the origin of life which can properly be labeled as scientific.

It might not be feasible to recreate the whole origin of life according to a theory in the lab, but if you can't at least do it in principle I would call it unscientific.

And to actually regard the theory as anything more than a wild guess I'd like to see key elements of it in the lab
   245. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:05 PM (#2103771)
According to one scientific worldview, of course. As many here no doubt know, "science" stems from the L word for "wisdom" or "knowledge" and is about the pursuit of knowledge.


Actually, I've never heard scientia translated as "wisdom," and when I plugged wisdom into a latin translator, I got sapientia, prudentia, consilium. AFAIK, scientia is usually translated as knowledge, science, or skill

However, the problem is that what WE call science usually centers around the scientific method, or as m-w puts it:

knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method

It is a modern assumption (and probably not even a postmodern one) that science is strictly constricted in the manner Mefisto and others in this thread suggest.


Well, of course, it was a modern assumption. The scientific method wasn't formalized and used significantly until about the 17th century. In fact, Francis Bacon outlined a new system of logic to improve upon the old philosophical process of syllogism.

For Aristotle and the Greeks and up until the 16th century and somewhat later (and depending on whom you ask), "science" was a term properly applied even to the science OF THE SUPERNATURAL. There were the sciences of ethics, of art or aesthetics, of biology, of psychology, of theology, of music, of math, of being (metaphysics) among others.


Of course, Aristotle also proposed that the sun went around the Earth. Do you want to follow him there, also?

Just because Aristotle gave us a lot of knowledge and interesting theories doesn't mean that we can't IMPROVE on it.

I reject the constriction of science to the purely physical or "natural" and reject as question-begging the notion that b/c something is "beyond nature" it is beyond knowing.


Why? It seems stupid, IMO, to say that we "know" anything, for certain. Remember what the Oracle said about Socrates.

Not only that, but you are, then, rejecting a method which has 1) made it easier to disprove theories quicker than before leading to quicker focusing of attention on the more correct theories, 2) take out biases that might be inherent in a single individual, and 3) allow quicker building on top of other theories which leads to new advancements.

I don't understand why you have a problem with classifying one thing as science and another as philosophy. Both are trying to get to the "truth" in the world, but have different methods of going about it. To say that they are both "science" because they both seek knowledge seems like a strange broadening of the term of science which I believe is unwarranted (and perhaps, nonsensical and confusing).

The point for this thread is that the argument from design for the creator is a properly "scientific" theory in the broader sense. It takes logic, evidence, and extrapolates to a conclusion. It can therefore be rejected if found incoherent.


Ok, so, then, if any theory doesn't prove incoherent, it has to be "scientific?" Sheesh, you're, then, going to have so many "scientific" theories that you'll die before you'll be able to differentiate which one has some "truth" to it unless you base it solely on what "feels" right to you. How is this going to improve our knowledge?

That our classrooms see fit not to include the broader notion of science and have become simply materialistic is "religious" in the sense of being beyond proof. One ideological position re science has prevailed over others and is now reigning as the only game in town. That's false. Scientifically so.


Huh? How the heck, do you get anything "religious" from this? Religious means "relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity." This "form of science" is decidedly NOT trying to take anything on faith or to acknowledge some ultimate reality or deity.

It goes w/o saying that none of what I've written diminishes the incredible advances of science in the narrow sense, nor does it argue against such physical science being taught w/in its own sphere.


I don't think you CAN state that it goes without saying. You're saying that you'd rather not have science be based on the scientific method. Yet, WITHOUT THAT BASIS, we would NOT have the level of knowledge that we do have currently. It would be significantly poorer.

So, it DOES seem like what you've written diminishes the advances of science.

I might be misreading it, but I really don't see how you can get such a detailed knowledge of how things work built upon the plethora of data collected in such a short time span, unless you work with the scientific method as a basis.

F
   246. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:06 PM (#2103772)
If I'm understanding you correctly, it then follows that we do not have any theory or explanation for the origin of life which can properly be labeled as scientific.

I think that is a bit much, but not by a lot. Our theories explain what we've observed. But we've observed damned little of the history of life on our planet. However, given those theories, one can make predictions about the behavior of currently alive organisms and test the predictions. So far as those predictions bear out the theory and can be described and reproduced, the theory and explanation is scientific. However, I think it is likely that we will never be able to gather enough evidence to conclusively prove any theory of the origin of life.
   247. JC in DC Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#2103773)
Mark:

If we adopt your restrictive sense of "science" can we then teach ANYTHING "scientific" about the origins of life (human or otherwise)? This is a version of chemdoc's question above, obviously.

For clarification's sake, when we talk about "evolution" as scientific fact, do we mean it in Dawkins' sense, as opposed for instance to Gould's, that it disproves "design?"
   248. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2103775)
Everything is nurture. Nature is a category invested with all kinds of power relations. You just have to look at the way science has been misused in the past to see that whenever there's a conclusion about "human nature", "natural behavior", ect, it's usually being deployed in service of an ideology.

Nurture-first people can be megalomaniacs who want to shape people after their own ideas of perfection with no nasty human nature getting in the way, like the Homo Sovieticus of the Soviet Union.
   249. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#2103782)
I confess I don't see the point of the list of scientists in 230. They are mostly pre-Darwin and the few that aren't died soon after. Also, you left out a number of the first names (or titles, in Kelvin's case).

apologies, I was in a hurry.

famous post-Darwin scientists would include

William Albright 1897-1971 Leading archaeologist of the 20th century. Initially approached Bible as fiction, until discoveries in the mid-east made him a Bible believer.
Jean Henri Fabre 1823-1915 Chief founder of modern entomology. Scoffed at spontaneous generation, vigorously opposed evolution.
John Ambrose Fleming 1849-1945 Invented the diode. Non-Darwinist.
Sir William Ramsey 1852-1916 Discovered a whole family of elements (neon, krypton, xenon, radon). Nobel prize winner. Non-Darwinist.
Joseph Lister 1827-1912 Founder of antiseptic surgery. Described himself as a “believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity”.
William T Kelvin 1824-1907 Worked with temperature scales, and concepts of energy dissipation (2nd law of thermodynamics). Opposed evolution.

I guess the point is, some time ago most scientists would have scoffed at macro evolution. Today, most scoff at I.D.. Americans are divided 50-50. It's a bit presumptutous to claim victory by numbers - things change quickly. I'm willing to go where the evidence takes me, and to teach our children to do the same.
   250. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2103783)
Francis Bacon 1561-1626 “No one should maintain that a man can be....too well studied in...God’s Works. Rather let men endeavor an endless proficiency.”
   251. Backlasher Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2103786)
Of Lovin' Spoonful fame?


Yes.

I agree with your etymology, but not your conclusion. Words change their meanings. In particular, words acquire technical meanings, whether in science or in philosophy. The term "science" as I'm using it has a limited meaning. It does NOT, however, require the identity "beyond nature" = "beyond knowing". It just means that "beyond nature" = "beyond science (limited defintion)".


But this is not about linguistics. What JC said is accurate, probative to the point, and not addressed in any of the post lunch responses.

As bunyon notes, inquiry should not be reduced to rote memorization of Maxwell's Equations any more than it should be the statistics of 1920 backup middle infielders. Both of these things can be looked up, its just the former probably does become rote after long periods of use. Forcing it to be rote would not be an educational objective.

And right now, the best of the arguments have talked about "repeatability". Repeatability is not the sum total of epistemology. The scientific method (as discussed by FJ) is just a meta-algorithm; it can be analyzed like any other algorithm. For many areas of inquiry, any algorithm in this class would be intractable. For many practical decisions, any algorithm in this class would converge so slowly it would not be practical in any real-time or any-time system.

IOW, you can reach valid, supportable, and utilitarian decisions much faster, and in many cases with no appreciable difference in the level of validity (or the strength of the hypothesis) by using other methods.

But science has obtained such a cultural mythos that it has all the indicia of a religion, and its propogated in educational settings the same way as a religion. At which point, that which is in the canon does become a matter of polity. "Sex Education" is not a priori appropriate because you wish to classify it as science. The theorems that comprise "evolution" are not per se right because you call them science.

Many of them are operable, and many may be more operable than anything that may exist in the canon (albeit not the idea) of ID. I really don't know.

Moreover, I would not think that ID canon states that "macro evolution" must be wrong. It could, but that is not distinction, and even if it did, it is not probative.

Macro evolution can exist with ID because entropy can exist in the system. For instance, there is "intelligent design" by definition in this thread, but this specific tangent was probably not anticipated by the designer. Moreover, the designers may decided to artificially select ideas or content by closing the thread or removing a poster.

Here is the distinction and why its not "for a philosophy class" or "for a science class"

You can teach a kid the basic Mendel experiments. You can tell him that observably, you will have a certain distribution among the mating of the plants. That should not offend any sensibility.

If you stop there (which is what education in the millenial generation has done), then you have a problem. That distribution is not an intrinsic property for all such matings. As we know from other inquiry, we can artificially skew the distribution; we can observe other criteria that may make small, but at times meaningful differences in that distribution. The more complex the system, the more likely that could occur. (These are the bunyon points as extrapolated by lasher). That is problematic in the progress of that art because people believe in intrinsic properties that just aren't true. That is the focus of many saber-conversations.

Moreover, at some point the question then becomes the phenomonology of the distribution system. When it is taught, and you see a whole generation abandon causation, that such components are without additional causation, caused by some mysterious thing that has all these weird causative properties, or is designed by an intelligent actor is part of that inquiry. You don't just stop with the Mendel experiment. An express or subjective decision is then made on the reason and the state based reason for doing these things.

And what is told by a state actor is very much a matter of polity. Because you will have to handle that situation. Do you provide the two leading theorems to the students. Do you choose one theorem over the other. Do you suspend the kid that raises his hand and says, "What about intelligent design" Do you tell everyone "we can't talk about that because this is a science board, so only topics that relate to the Mendel Coefficient and that worship the good name of Charles Darwin will be allowed." Do you give the kid who wears a Darwin Rocks T-Shirt the authority to lead study groups and the guy who says "Darwin Sucks" a trip to the principals office. Do you pat someone on the head for saying, "Falwell is an idiot", but paddle the ass of the kid that says Newton is overrated.
   252. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#2103787)
Nurture-first people can be megalomaniacs who want to shape people after their own ideas of perfection with no nasty human nature getting in the way, like the Homo Sovieticus of the Soviet Union.

Social engineering isn't unique to the Soviets- in fact, a lot of neuroscience right now is being simultaneously misapplied by marketers and moral philosophers. US ad agencies have a long history of using pavlovian technqiues to create arbitary links between stiumlus and response.

Nurture I think urges us to be descriptive and historical in explaining human behavior. "It's human nature to be self-interested" vs. "it's human nature to be altruistic"- I find it far more interesting to search for what causes people to have these beliefs, how these views of human nature get written into social and institutional structures, ect...
   253. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:22 PM (#2103789)
I don't really expect Pluto, at least not until I invest in a 3.5 mm with 68° view

Good god no. 3.5mm eyepieces are seldom useful. Aperture is much more important than magnification. However, if you really want a higher magnification than the 10mm you're using, I recommend the 7mm Nagler Type I. You can still buy it for less than $200. If you have a 6" Dob, I'll guess f/5, the 7mm would give you 110x, which is plenty. Pluto isn't going to show a disk no matter what you use so no use killing your eyes.
   254. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2103791)
"Particularly if states--Kansas, I'm looking at you (I had the displeaure of living in you a few years ago, no offense to the many fine Kansans around, and there's some nice scenery there too, but honestly, how can you guys stand it?)--"

I suspect it depends on where in the state you're living. I've been in eastern Kansas since 1995, and the experience has been only enjoyable. (Well, there were bad moments, obviously, but of the normal, non-Kansas specific type)

We "stand it" in large part because the people are courteous and pleasant, the standard of living (in EK at last) is good, the schools are of good quality (the geniuses in Topeka not withstanding) and the weather is nice. There's four, distinct seasons with nice fall foliage, we get snow but not too much snow, and as hot as it can get in the summer, there are always breaks in the heat.

Basically, as long as you're not so lost to politics that you can't deal with large quantities of Republicans, Kansas is a perfectly pleasant state.
   255. Backlasher Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:28 PM (#2103792)
Huh? How the heck, do you get anything "religious" from this? Religious means "relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity." This "form of science" is decidedly NOT trying to take anything on faith or to acknowledge some ultimate reality or deity.


Because there is a faithful worship to the process and the canon. You do not need "science" as you have defined it to arrive at truth. It is a useful class of processes for arriving at truth.

More important, in the vast majority of endevors, the search is not for the "truth". It is for the valid with the most operable constantly inuring to that which has the most instantes of being valid.

Where it has become religion is what has been explained earlier, where there is a blind devotion to the canon in a certain field EVEN IF THAT FIELD USES INITIAL PRESUMPTIONS THAT ARE NO MORE OR LESS A TAUTOLOGY THAN A COMPETING SYSTEM OF THOUGHT.

In that instance, it has all the indicia of a religion; it has all the attributes in action as a theology; and it has its own deities in weird or made up external agents of causation (or the negation of those, which would not even be a tautology).
   256. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2103796)
Don't know how true this is. My kids have read Dawkins.


Really? The only book that I could see that would be read in schools would be The Blind Watchmaker, and that would mainly be used as a refutation of ID. If that's the only form of evolution being presented, I'd be a little worried. Don't your kids use textbooks?

?? Much of the scientific method is looking at evidence and drawing logical conclusions. Sure, this could spill over into rhetoric, but I WANT our children to learn this, and the science class seems to me to a good place to have this.Maybe we agree that "this is more a debate about how science should be taught in schools."


The scientific method INCLUDES looking at evidence and drawing logical conclusions, but it is not SOLELY that, nor is it defined by it.

If we're talking only about learning to look at evidence and drawing logical conclusions, I'd rather there be a separate class of rhetoric be taught.

For science, you require MORE than just that.

Maybe I am unfamiliar with certain factes of the ID movement, but I understand that ID does NOT posit an 'unscientific' basis for denial. It posits a non-naturalistic basis (something that most scientists thru history {{just to name a few, Louis Agassiz William Albright Charles Babbage Francis Bacon Sir Charles Bell Robert Boyle George W. Carver Georges Cuvier John Dalton Rene Descartes Jean Henri Fabre Faraday John Ambrose Fleming William Herschel William Huggins James Joule Kelvin Johannes Kepler John Kidd Gottfried Liebnitz Carolus Linnaeus Joseph Lister James Maxwell Gregor Mendel John Michell Samuel Morse Isaac Newton Pascal Pasteur Ramsey }} would have accepted). It posits a creator as the logical conclusion if naturalistic explanations do not suffice.


As others have stated, there is a problem with assuming that God is everywhere if there's no natural explanation (I believe it's called "God is in the gaps" argument).

Also, as others have stated, most of the scientists who you name didn't live AFTER Darwin's theory was published. And, I don't believe that all of them believed in the same thing as ID. IIRC, some believed that there was a Deity behind the inner-workings of the universe who set up the scientific "laws" of nature and then, just let it run, which is decidedly opposite of ID.

If this discussion is best to have in a rhetoric class, ok, I'll live with that.


Neither do I. To reiterate, I do have a problem with it as a science class.

F
   257. bunyon Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#2103798)
Chris, I have to run, but I look forward to hearing about your continuing quest for Pluto. If ever you do locate it, it will be quite anti-climatic. Albireo is a much better use of your time. And globs, lots of globs.
   258. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2103803)
If we adopt your restrictive sense of "science" can we then teach ANYTHING "scientific" about the origins of life (human or otherwise)? This is a version of chemdoc's question above, obviously.

Not much in the sense of facts or theory about the origin of life at this point in time. What we can do is teach how scientists approach the question. There's much more to be said for the origins of hominids and homo sapiens.

For clarification's sake, when we talk about "evolution" as scientific fact, do we mean it in Dawkins' sense, as opposed for instance to Gould's, that it disproves "design?"

I'm a Gould man myself. I think Dawkins gives to many of his arguments more weight than they will bear.

The list in 250 is not very impressive and I still don't see the point. Tycho Brahe wasn't a Copernican. He was a good scientist, but he was wrong. Alfred Russell Wallace didn't accept his own theory as applying to humans. He was a good scientist, but he was wrong. Etc.
   259. Chris Dial Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#2103825)
Good god no. 3.5mm eyepieces are seldom useful. Aperture is much more important than magnification. However, if you really want a higher magnification than the 10mm you're using, I recommend the 7mm Nagler Type I. You can still buy it for less than $200. If you have a 6" Dob, I'll guess f/5, the 7mm would give you 110x, which is plenty. Pluto isn't going to show a disk no matter what you use so no use killing your eyes.

That's very helpful. I'm quite the am, and the magnification is very nice for other things since I can't do much about the f/5. Saturn and Jupiter have been simply magnificent. Far better than I could have hoped. Sounds like you can give me some sound advise.
   260. TomH Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2103832)
The only book that I could see that would be read in schools would be The Blind Watchmaker, and that would mainly be used as a refutation of ID. If that's the only form of evolution being presented, I'd be a little worried. Don't your kids use textbooks?

Sure they do. They also read River Out of Eden.
   261. Guapo Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2103837)
But science has obtained such a cultural mythos that it has all the indicia of a religion, and its propogated in educational settings the same way as a religion.

This seems to be more appropriately labled as dogmatism, not religion. (Welcome back, by the way. Don't overexert yourself on your first day back.)
   262. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#2103845)
And right now, the best of the arguments have talked about "repeatability". Repeatability is not the sum total of epistemology. The scientific method (as discussed by FJ) is just a meta-algorithm; it can be analyzed like any other algorithm. For many areas of inquiry, any algorithm in this class would be intractable. For many practical decisions, any algorithm in this class would converge so slowly it would not be practical in any real-time or any-time system.

IOW, you can reach valid, supportable, and utilitarian decisions much faster, and in many cases with no appreciable difference in the level of validity (or the strength of the hypothesis) by using other methods.


That is true. However, why should we classify this as science? Why cannot we classify this as "knowledge" or better "logic"? Why overrride a term which has come to be associated with the scientific method?

But science has obtained such a cultural mythos that it has all the indicia of a religion, and its propogated in educational settings the same way as a religion. At which point, that which is in the canon does become a matter of polity. "Sex Education" is not a priori appropriate because you wish to classify it as science. The theorems that comprise "evolution" are not per se right because you call them science.


The REASON it has obtained such a "cultural mythos" is BECAUSE of the repeatability and its emphasis on DISPROVING theories and not just accepting a theory if it fits decently. This is the reason why people put more stock in science and why it becomes dangerous when the pseudo-sciences, junk sciences, and even poorly-performed science make their claims as science. I would probably go farther than you and say that the theorems that comprise "evolution" are probably NOT right because we call them science. I WOULD say that they best fit the data that we currently have.

I don't think anyone supported "sex education" as a priori appropriate as a science. The only argument that would be remotely close would probably be mine that it has some relation to biology, so I could understand why the school district would lump it in, but the "sex education" that I had had no relation to what JC was talking about, so we were really talking about apples and oranges.

Moreover, I would not think that ID canon states that "macro evolution" must be wrong. It could, but that is not distinction, and even if it did, it is not probative.


Well, I don't know if ID canon states that "macro evolution" must be wrong, but some of ID's proponents say that (or don't include evolution in their ideas).

Macro evolution can exist with ID because entropy can exist in the system. For instance, there is "intelligent design" by definition in this thread, but this specific tangent was probably not anticipated by the designer. Moreover, the designers may decided to artificially select ideas or content by closing the thread or removing a poster.


I'm not sure why you're bringing up this thread as an example of "intelligent design." It doesn't really make a good analogy to the arguments being made by the IDers, in my mind.

Here is the distinction and why its not "for a philosophy class" or "for a science class"

You can teach a kid the basic Mendel experiments. You can tell him that observably, you will have a certain distribution among the mating of the plants. That should not offend any sensibility.

If you stop there (which is what education in the millenial generation has done), then you have a problem. That distribution is not an intrinsic property for all such matings. As we know from other inquiry, we can artificially skew the distribution; we can observe other criteria that may make small, but at times meaningful differences in that distribution. The more complex the system, the more likely that could occur. (These are the bunyon points as extrapolated by lasher). That is problematic in the progress of that art because people believe in intrinsic properties that just aren't true. That is the focus of many saber-conversations.

Moreover, at some point the question then becomes the phenomonology of the distribution system. When it is taught, and you see a whole generation abandon causation, that such components are without additional causation, caused by some mysterious thing that has all these weird causative properties, or is designed by an intelligent actor is part of that inquiry. You don't just stop with the Mendel experiment. An express or subjective decision is then made on the reason and the state based reason for doing these things.


I'm really not understanding this example (maybe because I got out of bed too early this morning). Could you clarify what this example is trying to show?

And what is told by a state actor is very much a matter of polity. Because you will have to handle that situation. Do you provide the two leading theorems to the students. Do you choose one theorem over the other. Do you suspend the kid that raises his hand and says, "What about intelligent design" Do you tell everyone "we can't talk about that because this is a science board, so only topics that relate to the Mendel Coefficient and that worship the good name of Charles Darwin will be allowed." Do you give the kid who wears a Darwin Rocks T-Shirt the authority to lead study groups and the guy who says "Darwin Sucks" a trip to the principals office. Do you pat someone on the head for saying, "Falwell is an idiot", but paddle the ass of the kid that says Newton is overrated.


Ideally, the kids would be taught what exactly the scientific method is and how it can be used to "tell us" things about the world. And if ID were brought up it could be shown how exactly it is unscientific vs. other scientific theories (such as evolution).

I'm not sure I'm currently in the state where I can understand where you're leading with the other questions. But if science were taught properly, I don't think it would lead to that state.

F
   263. DCA Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2103853)
I wonder where BL would come in to the debate if JC hadn't already been here.

Scientific theories are often held onto more strongly than they should. But its really an excercise in to consider them in the same breath as religious tenets. In theory, and in practice on the long-term scale, science acts exactly as billed: it develops theories consistent with observation, then discards or replaces or improves those theories when additional data finds the original demonstrably false or somehow lacking. Religion has no such reality check.

Anecdote: When I was an undergrad I went to a talk by a prof from somewhere in the upper midwest who was studying the environmental terrorism movement (history/sociology lens). He was obviously sympathetic to the cause, though perhaps not the methods, and he probably didn't personally spike trees or pour sand in gas tanks or the like during his youth. You can probably picture the type. He was asked by another student, isn't "science just another way of validating knowledge," a commmon meme among college-age liberals (and some not so college-aged). His response wasn't surprising or jaw-droppingly astute, but it really struck to the heart of the question -- as if he'd been asked many times before.

"No. Science is above all, the art of paying close attention."

And it's true. Science is about careful and precise and exacting measurement of the physical world. The theories come from and depend entirely on that observation. It is an one end the source of the theory and at the other its check -- in theory and in the long-term. And this is why "blind devotion" to well-accepted science isn't quite so blind -- because we know that the source/inspiration is real and that checks have been made, and passed, at least for a time. If we demand more proof, we can have it. And knowing we can have it, we don't always ask.

Falsifiability is a useful concept, but it's only, as BL notes, the algorith. What science really is, stripped of the details, is the observation. And here is how it differs from religion (note: oversimplification follows). Religion is about seeing God and God's work in the natural world. Science is about seeing exactly what is the natural world. One can do both ... but they are not the same kind of looking, and it is a disservice to both to ignore this distinction, which is profound in theory and only slightly less profound in practice.
   264. FJ Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#2103863)
This is going to be my last post for a while because I need a break as I don't think I'm completely understanding all the arguments being thrown around, and I need something to eat :p.

Because there is a faithful worship to the process and the canon. You do not need "science" as you have defined it to arrive at truth. It is a useful class of processes for arriving at truth.


It depends by what you mean by truth, but I'll agree that "science" is not the only (or necessarily best) means to arrive at knowledge.

I disagree that there is a faithful worship to the canon. Science has proven time and again that it is flexible enough to chuck old beliefs if the data doesn't fit. In fact, another reason why science is so "revered" is because people used it to stand up in the FACE of canon, and throw it out when it, no longer fit the data or another theory fit better. To say that science is faithful to the canon seems to ignore the whole basis of the foundation and history of science.

There IS a somewhat faithful worship to the process (and even then, it's been modified), because with that process comes 1) reliability, 2) a rigorous set of testing which can give you a degree of confidence in your theories, and 3) a quick way to show when you are wrong in your hypotheses.

More important, in the vast majority of endevors, the search is not for the "truth". It is for the valid with the most operable constantly inuring to that which has the most instantes of being valid.


Ok. I don't have a problem with people not looking for the "truth" using the scientific method. I DO have a problem with classify that as science. Why do you not have the same problem?

Where it has become religion is what has been explained earlier, where there is a blind devotion to the canon in a certain field EVEN IF THAT FIELD USES INITIAL PRESUMPTIONS THAT ARE NO MORE OR LESS A TAUTOLOGY THAN A COMPETING SYSTEM OF THOUGHT.


No, I disagree. Evolution is still believed by the vast majority of scientists because it is the theory that FITS THE DATA THE BEST. It isn't just because it is "canon," that people still believe in it. We don't know if ID would be better or not because ID does not make testible predictions. If ID were to actually make predictions which could be tested, then, we could get past whether ID or evolution is the "better" scientific explanation.

I don't think anyone on this thread is necessarily disputing ID as a philosophical explanation, but as a scientific explanation as it has no basis in science (based on my, bunyon's, and Mefisto's definition).

In that instance, it has all the indicia of a religion; it has all the attributes in action as a theology; and it has its own deities in weird or made up external agents of causation (or the negation of those, which would not even be a tautology)


Theories are MODELS. They COULD develop cult-like followings by people who believe in it (especially if they don't understand it), just like any other idea could. I disagree that they are in this instance.

F
   265. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 18, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2103864)
Welcome back, BL

EVEN IF THAT FIELD USES INITIAL PRESUMPTIONS THAT ARE NO MORE OR LESS A TAUTOLOGY THAN A COMPETING SYSTEM OF THOUGHT

You've been reading Goedel, haven't you?
   266. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2006 at 11:17 PM (#2103893)
I'll agree that "science" is not the only (or necessarily best) means to arrive at knowledge.

I'll state it stronger: science is the best means we now have to arrive at knowledge.
   267. robinred Posted: July 19, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2104059)
Backlasher Posted: July 18, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2103792)

Figured you'd be in this one. Glad to see you back.
   268. Booey Posted: July 19, 2006 at 02:54 AM (#2104227)
Holy hell, people- I just checked back on this thread for the first time since yesterday and noticed that a simple disagreement I had with Vaux over some phrasing in one of his comments turned into a 270 post throwdown. My bad - that certainly wasn't what I was going for. I see that some of you understand what I was trying to say and agree(which is cool), I see that some disagree(which is also totally cool), and I see that a select few either deliberately or unintentionally twist what I said into something I never intended, or question my allegiances and motives themselves - which is, well, not cool, but expected. There's always one or two in every epic thread.

Anyway, it's been an interesting discussion. And I've learned my lesson - I'll add "liberal" and "intelligent design" to my list of words to never say again during a BTF thread. 'Night, y'all.
   269. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: July 19, 2006 at 09:51 AM (#2104428)
I'll add "liberal" and "intelligent design" to my list of words to never say again during a BTF thread.


And Mike Crudale.

Best Regards

John
   270. pv nasby Posted: July 19, 2006 at 11:15 AM (#2104440)
Ahh, Onan is back from his rug cleaning and boxing hiatus. At least I assume he was off beating somewhere.
   271. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 20, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2105260)
I guess the point is, some time ago most scientists would have scoffed at macro evolution.

Well, that's not too surprising since they all preceded the Modern Synthesis. Darwin's inferences were brilliant, but they were made entirely outside the realm of genetics. Once Mendel came along, followed by Morgan, Fisher, Wright, etc., a biological framework was established where the rules could be understood and observations could be made. That continued on in the latter half of the 20th century as the field of molecular biology was born. Discoveries in this area required some adjustments to pure Neo-Darwinism, most importantly Kimura's neutral theory, but it refined the Modern Synthesis. Now, in the age of genomics, we find that the data generated in the last decade are quite interpretable in the terms established by all of these people long before it was possible to actually read a strand of DNA. Either they were right or very lucky.
   272. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 20, 2006 at 08:47 PM (#2105296)
Thus, convincing the religious right that God and evolution can exist together is not enough. They will need to hear that God and evolution cannot exist apart.

This is a good point, and I wish that evolutionary biologists who believe in God (they do in fact exist) would do far more of it. Of course, the place for them to do that would be in their Churches, primarily.
   273. Fridas Boss Posted: July 20, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2105309)
Nice last 2 posts A. R.
   274. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 08:57 PM (#2105311)
Thus, convincing the religious right that God and evolution can exist together is not enough. They will need to hear that God and evolution cannot exist apart.

Impossible. Too much of the religious right insists on biblical inerrancy, including the literal truth of the Genesis story, the flood, etc.

The fact that a bunch of goyim got so hooked on Jewish fairy tales, that they believe them more than we do-- and we wrote the damn things -- is something I find quite funny. Then again, as the saying goes, somebody has to buy retail.
   275. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 20, 2006 at 09:10 PM (#2105330)
Impossible. Too much of the religious right insists on biblical inerrancy, including the literal truth of the Genesis story, the flood, etc.

Yeah, but I think there's a larger group of Christians who would check "no" to believing in evolution, solely because no one has ever made an appealing argument to them.
   276. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#2105352)
Thanks to all the kind words to those that offered a "welcome back".
...


I DO have a problem with classify that as science. Why do you not have the same problem?


I think I'm severly miscommunicating my position on this issue to you. I do have problems with many things that border this issue:

(1) I do believe in a seperation of church and state.

(2) I do believe that are items that would be out of scope in certain classes.

(3) I do believe that parents have some say in the education and value system being instructed to their children, especially when it is done pursuant to state control and is a vested right of the party.

You keep coming back to "not in a science class." And others keep coming back to ID being a religious issue and IIRC; one even went so far as to say "your God."

But neither of these are the issue at hand. Per my first post, I believe many are conflating the messenger with the message.

The concept of intelligent design does not require adherence to any particular religious doctrine. It would require what would be a supernatural (at least based on current naturalistic thought) and sentient agent of agents. That agent can neither be proved nor falsified except by tautology. It can be rationalized by a number of different means, but any such rationalization would be in the realm of theology or philosophy.

BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT BELONGS IN A PHILOSOPHY CLASS BECAUSE THAT INQUIRY IS NOT GOING TO BE CONDUCTED IN ALMOST ANY SECONDARY OR GRAMMAR SCHOOL, MUCH LESS A PUBLIC SCHOOL.

What is going to be discussed is genetics, evolution, and natural selection. Much of that is not under dispute. Reproduction, inheritance, etc. are valid, valid in enough contexts to be utilitarian, operable for most concerns, and not inconsistent with the concept of Intelligent Design.

But when you deal with the topics of natural selection and the ontology of the distribution rather than the distribution under certain conditions, under certain assumptions, you are no longer in any such safe realm. I doubt students at this age will get into the heavy Gould debates, etc. But when such things do occur, the usual mechanism of study is that the student is exposed to competing operable, valid, and utilitarian theories. From time to time, and depending on the intellectual level of the students, an exercise may even be to engage in the debate.

And per my last post, its naive to believe that such subject will not arise in an intellectually curious class. AND YES IT OCCURS IN A SCIENCE CLASS. A student will question ontology, phenomonology in any educational subject and some response may be given.

Traditionally that response is very naturalistic AND THAT IS CURRENTLY IN THE CURRICULUM. It is not per se an atheistic position, but it certainly has a strong atheistic connotation. ID merely offers an alternative to the many components in this arena. It has a monotheistic connotation, but it does not require monotheism. It certainly does not require any religious doctrine. As a concept it is no more and no less theocratic than much of naturalistic causation.

And no, its not THE THEORY THAT BEST FITS THE DATA. Its a tautological theory that has no higher strength score in any type of reliability test, and is actually more complex than a design theory. IOW, its the Theory that best fits the data if and only if you presume there is no supernatural sentience, which is almost directly synonomous with atheism.

In a public school, I do not want any student pushed, compelled or certified toward any specific religion. But the seperation of church and state does not mean one cannot conduct legitimate inquiry into social, natural, or supernatural events in a public forum. The state not sponsoring religion does not mean the state should sponsor atheism. It means the state should act atheistically.

And that is the compelling difference on this subject. I don't have an intellectual stake in which theory is right. I have a social stake in the fact that a valid theory which comports to the will of the people in an area where they should be vested and have franchise, is being denied because people think it may have an inference counter to atheism.

In cases of specific curriculum, I would object to anything that endorsed a specific theological construct. I don't object to a non-natrualistic theory being shown as a viable alternative to a naturalistic theory.
   277. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 20, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#2105377)
do you belive in ID BL?
   278. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#2105394)
It is not per se an atheistic position, but it certainly has a strong atheistic connotation.

The Catholic Church will be surprised to hear this. And wasn't the same said of Copernicus and Newton? That's rhetorical -- it was.

ID merely offers an alternative to the many components in this arena.

This appears to be simply a version "teach the controversy". THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY. Creationism does not now and never has provided any alternative.

It certainly does not require any religious doctrine.

Sure it does. Belief in God is "religious". Belief that God intervened to create species here on earth is "religious".

And no, its not THE THEORY THAT BEST FITS THE DATA.

Yes it is. That's why scientists accept it and use it. Again, the same could be said for the Big Bang Theory or, for that matter, quantum mechanics. If creationists want to act like scientists, let them publish data. Then there can be an argument about best fitting the data. Until then, no such argument exists.

Its a tautological theory

This is incorrect.

and is actually more complex than a design theory.

A reference, I assume, to Occam's Razor. That may be useful in some cases, but it is not the arbiter of scientific theory. The theory of relativity is far more complex than divine intervention. That says nothing about its accuracy.

its the Theory that best fits the data if and only if you presume there is no supernatural sentience

And that's exactly what science, properly, assumes.

I do not want any student pushed, compelled or certified toward any specific religion.

There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of creation myths from all over the world. If we teach them all, it will be a class in folklore rather than biology. In practice, creationists want to teach one particular form of divine creation, and that is one reason why the Dover court found that it violated the First Amendment. It's creationism, not biology, which violates your principle.
   279. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2105397)
Yeah, but I think there's a larger group of Christians who would check "no" to believing in evolution, solely because no one has ever made an appealing argument to them.

There is an even larger group of christians who has no trouble "believing" in evolution, just as they have no trouble "believing" that the earth goes around the sun, regardless of what the pentateuch might suggest.
   280. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#2105401)
so what about teaching evolution? why didn't the court see it as endoring aethism?
   281. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2105407)
so what about teaching evolution? why didn't the court see it as endoring aethism?

Because you can believe in evolution AND believe in God.

But you CAN'T believe in ID without also positing the existence of a GOD.
   282. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:23 PM (#2105409)
why didn't the court see it as endoring aethism?

In addition to Srul's post, I'll add that the First Amendment only bans government establishment of religion. Some people do argue that atheism is itself a religion, but that's disputed and no court has ever so held (that I know of).
   283. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2105410)
do you belive in ID BL?


I don't know how to answer that. I do not likely believe everything that has been canonized around ID; I do believe there is design in life and nature.

The Catholic Church will be surprised to hear this. And wasn't the same said of Copernicus and Newton? That's rhetorical -- it was.


I don't work for them, they are free to object to anything I say. If they like, they can come on this board and discuss the matter with me in the fullest detail they desire. But right now they aren't here, they can't express themselves, but I'd be happy to discuss the matter with you.

This appears to be simply a version "teach the controversy". THERE IS NO CONTROVERSY. Creationism does not now and never has provided any alternative.


Who said anything about "creationism" There obviously is a controversy; the fact you choose not to recognize the controversy would be evidence of dogmaticism on your party.

And no, there is no "teach the controversy;" there is a don't force anyone into making a premise in state sponsored education which requires them to make a choice between religions, including a religion whose tenant is that there is no supernatural agent.

This is incorrect.


No, its very correct, and I have shown you why. If you think you can prove the ontological basis of naturalism without a tautology, knock yourself out. I double dog dare you.

Sure it does. Belief in God is "religious". Belief that God intervened to create species here on earth is "religious".


I don't know how many different ways I have to say this. BELIEF IN GOD is not necessary for the validity of ID. Belief in one or more supernatural sentience's would be a precursor. Likewise, a belief that no such supernatural entity exists would be a precursor to buying into a naturalistic theory of ontology.

On that there is no controversy. On that, a choice must be made. And on that the only proof that one may make is a tautology.

Then there can be an argument about best fitting the data. Until then, no such argument exists.


Really, I haven't seen a singly person make an argument about "BEST FITTING DATA" on this subject. I've seen a lot of people assert this because of their belief system. But belief theory doesn't measure hypothesis strength only the likelihood of action or decision.

A reference, I assume, to Occam's Razor. That may be useful in some cases, but it is not the arbiter of scientific theory. The theory of relativity is far more complex than divine intervention. That says nothing about its accuracy.


A reference to nothing, merely a fact. Relativity is irrelevant. Accuracy is not an appropiate measure because the domain of possibility is infinite. Validity and utility are at issue.

And that's exactly what science, properly, assumes.


And there you have the problem. Its the "I think this is the proper theology therefore the state must instruct according to my belief system" And that is precisely what is taken issue with usually when someone terms it "wacky liberals"; they want a state endorsement of atheism, which is just as repugnant as the state endorsement of the Church of X.


There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of creation myths from all over the world. If we teach them all, it will be a class in folklore rather than biology. In practice, creationists want to teach one particular form of divine creation, and that is one reason why the Dover court found that it violated the First Amendment. It's creationism, not biology, which violates your principle.


Where have I said a word about the Dover court. As near as I can tell, we are talking strictly about ID and its place in curriculm. I have expressly stated that no specific form of theology should be taught, and the teaching of theology is not likely to occur in the public classroom.

But here is the better question, if a kid constructs an essay that in its entirety shows the proper manipulation of any Mendelian distribution algorithm, but offers a differing explanations on the atypical distribution population, what are you going to do.

Are you going to give him a gold star when he attributes it to luck, and expel him when he says it was likely outcome based on the original programming of his DNA, when faced with this perceptable outcome.
   284. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2105414)
But you CAN'T believe in ID without also positing the existence of a GOD.

Not so, at least not with regards to evolution. ID requires an external agent, but that doesn't have to be divine. It could be drunk alien frat boys who did it for a dare.

I find the vehemently anti-ID position to be quite funny. "NOT IN A SCIENCE CLASS." Really? So this is all just a matter of scheduling? If a school timetables teaching ID into a science lesson that's not cool, but if they replace the science lesson that day with a compulsory class called Scientific Philosophy, then teaching ID is fine and dandy? Come on now.
   285. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#2105415)
But you CAN'T believe in ID without also positing the existence of a GOD.


I disagree. You can believe in ID without having to worship anything. You can believe in ID without having to have any omniscient entity. The entity need only be supernatural. In fact they could be supernatural and detestable.

And supernatural is really only supernatural based on the present knowledge of nature. If ID is merely limited to life on earth, you can believe in space aliens, GAIA theory, or just about any sentience which does not even have to be supernatural.

It only requires a designer that is capable of doing that level of design.

In fact, if one of my pals were here, he would tell us about --- NANOTECHNOLOGY. Which would have Intelligent Design and would appear to be supernatural in prior moments in time.
   286. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:37 PM (#2105417)
I think I owe double alou a coke.
   287. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#2105420)
You can believe in ID without having to worship anything. You can believe in ID without having to have any omniscient entity. The entity need only be supernatural. In fact they could be supernatural and detestable.

I find your post quite disingenous, BL. A supernatural being who designed the world and all that inhabits it -- that's God.

Just because it is detestable, just because you do not worship it, does not mean it is not God. It is just a different concept of God.

But okay, let's play along and say it was "a supernatural entity" who is not God. One question. Who created that entity?
   288. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:42 PM (#2105422)
Not so, at least not with regards to evolution. ID requires an external agent, but that doesn't have to be divine. It could be drunk alien frat boys who did it for a dare.

And who created the aliens?

Which would have Intelligent Design and would appear to be supernatural in prior moments in time.

Which is just a repetition of the old saw that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinquishable from magic to a primitive culture.
   289. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2105423)
I usually steer clear long threads.
I sorta find this funny, cause I always though BL and TWOAL where like, super liberal and stuff, just based on all the baseball topics etc.

Weird wild stuff.
   290. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2105425)
But okay, let's play along and say it was "a supernatural entity" who is not God. One question. Who created that entity?


I don't have to reach that in FJ's biology class. As I said, if this is limited to biology, intelligent design in biology could be done by (from 2Alou), "Drunk frat boy aliens."

Your question is theological. I believe in such supernatural agent. If you want more specifics, I'm a Unitarian.

But as for logic, that being could be created by supernaturalistic process or existed as such. That end game is the same even if its Yahweh, Zeus, or the First Law of Thermodynamics at issue. At some point, you have a persistence or agnostic end point. That is true in mythology, theology AND science.
   291. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2105429)
And who created the aliens?
Not relevant for the present purposes. Maybe they arose by chance, like Richard Dawkins would have you believe. Maybe they have always been since the beginning of time. What does it matter? Totally irrelevant. In this context, ID is posing this question; is it possible that life as we know it, on Earth, arose simply by chance? Or does it necessitate some (unknown) external actor? We are not concerned with the origins of the universe or any such. That's for another day.
I sorta find this funny, cause I always though BL and TWOAL where like, super liberal and stuff, just based on all the baseball topics etc.
For the nth time*, I'm not pro-ID! Although I am probably not super liberal (see the Everett thread).

*where n is large and positive
   292. Backlasher Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#2105430)
Which is just a repetition of the old saw that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinquishable from magic to a primitive culture.

Sounds good to me. I can live with it. And to our primitive culture the designer may appear magical. Don't most religions have mysticism, and doesn't science require some operable semi-mystical properties. Don't people geek out now on Worm Holes.

I'll let JC discuss the definitional aspect of miracle; that is so far beyond me, I can't even get close to it. But the mechanics of God are not for me to state. I never claimed that lofty aspiration, goal, intellect or SAT score.

I always though BL and TWOAL where like, super liberal and stuff, just based on all the baseball topics etc.


I think we probably are. Most people would find me to be a classic liberal democrat on most issues.
   293. FJ Posted: July 20, 2006 at 10:55 PM (#2105436)
Ok, I think I better understand your position and the points where we diverge. I'll try to highlight those specific points.

Traditionally that response is very naturalistic AND THAT IS CURRENTLY IN THE CURRICULUM. It is not per se an atheistic position, but it certainly has a strong atheistic connotation. ID merely offers an alternative to the many components in this arena. It has a monotheistic connotation, but it does not require monotheism. It certainly does not require any religious doctrine. As a concept it is no more and no less theocratic than much of naturalistic causation.


I guess I strongly disagree with the strong atheistic connotation part about natural selection. It certainly COULD be atheistic, but it could just as easily be THEISTIC. Of course, the problem often is in how it's presented, which is why when TomH said that they were forcing the kids to read Dawkins, I'm a little concerned. I haven't read Dawkins' version of the theory, but from what I hear it is STRONGLY atheistic, which would lead credence to your argument. I would NOT be in support of teaching that in classrooms.

And no, its not THE THEORY THAT BEST FITS THE DATA. Its a tautological theory that has no higher strength score in any type of reliability test, and is actually more complex than a design theory.


Again, another point where we disagree. It IS the theory that best fits the data. I'm not really going to be debating this, because currently (and for the past however many years the Discovery Institute has been in existence), ID gives out NO predictions which can be tested and/or confirmed whereas the theories of natural selection HAVE (and as Richtingen pointed out been modified). ID has not. If it DID and there was data support for it then, I wouldn't have a problem with teaching it as an alternative (or even as a primary theory) in the classrooms.

Otherwise, it's just an exercise in futility, IMO. In addition, I'd say that the design theory is MORE complex. First, you have to posit some exterior force. Second, you have to come up with a REASON for the force to make all the changes it does make. Third, you have to come up with some underlying reason for the change and trying to measure it (and if you're not going to accept natural selection, then, I don't know what theory you'd come up with). If you choose to say that the force doesn't have a reason for doing the things, but then, just does things randomly, then, you're saying there's no point in even coming up with a theory in the first place.

In a public school, I do not want any student pushed, compelled or certified toward any specific religion. But the seperation of church and state does not mean one cannot conduct legitimate inquiry into social, natural, or supernatural events in a public forum. The state not sponsoring religion does not mean the state should sponsor atheism. It means the state should act atheistically.


I agree.

And that is the compelling difference on this subject. I don't have an intellectual stake in which theory is right. I have a social stake in the fact that a valid theory which comports to the will of the people in an area where they should be vested and have franchise, is being denied because people think it may have an inference counter to atheism.


Again, this is where we differ. In my mind, it IS NOT A VALID THEORY. Give me some predictions that ID makes. Give me something testable that we can try out. Then, it MIGHT be a valid SCIENTIFIC theory. Until they do come out with that, though, it has ZERO validity. This is also why I don't have a problem if it's not being discussed in a SCIENCE class. I also don't have a problem with discussing ID and showing WHY it is not valid SCIENCE whereas evolution (and natural selection) is . But to put it forth as a valid, competing scientific theory? That, I do have a problem with.

F
   294. FJ Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2105446)
I find the vehemently anti-ID position to be quite funny.


I find the "ID isn't science, but I don't understand why people object to having it in a science class, oh, but it's still not cool" position, to be even funnier. Perhaps, a little bias being shown here?

"NOT IN A SCIENCE CLASS." Really? So this is all just a matter of scheduling? If a school timetables teaching ID into a science lesson that's not cool, but if they replace the science lesson that day with a compulsory class called Scientific Philosophy, then teaching ID is fine and dandy? Come on now.


I disagree. Would there still be people who would object to ID? Sure. There are always people who won't pick and choose the battles they fight. The current objection is to making it a "SCIENCE" which has bigger connotations than just argumentation.

And I actually think a Philosophy class in high school would have been cool, but considering the school budgets probably infeasible.

F
   295. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:06 PM (#2105447)
Not relevant for the present purposes. Maybe they arose by chance, like Richard Dawkins would have you believe. Maybe they have always been since the beginning of time. What does it matter? Totally irrelevant. In this context, ID is posing this question; is it possible that life as we know it, on Earth, arose simply by chance? Or does it necessitate some (unknown) external actor? We are not concerned with the origins of the universe or any such. That's for another day.

No, it's completely relevant. ID asserts that it is impossible for such complex organisms to have arisen without an external actor. The fact that they are on earth is not the issue. The fact that they are "complex", is. Any alien that could be an "intelligent designer" would, by definition, have to be a complex organism. IF aliens complex enough to design life could arise without an intelligent designer, that by itself disproves intelligent design.

So I ask again -- where did the aliens come from?
   296. J. Cross Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#2105459)
Wow, what a bunch of ridiculousness in this thread.

I suppose that every time don't completely understand a certain mechanism they should debate whether there is something "supernatural" at work?

Gee, scientists don't understand exactly why ice has all of the properties it has, lets spend a week discussing whether there's some supernatural influence!

No, the are many things that are less understood than evolution and yet no one is pushing the argument that there's a supernatural element at work. Why? Because it's not part of someone ideological/political agenda.

There's a controversy only because, for whatever reason, a literal interpretation of the bible is "in" again. Without religion, there's no controversy here and it's disingenous or misinformed to suggest that there is.
   297. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#2105462)
Sounds good to me. I can live with it. And to our primitive culture the designer may appear magical. Don't most religions have mysticism, and doesn't science require some operable semi-mystical properties. Don't people geek out now on Worm Holes.

Again, this seems to either misunderstand the point of intelligent design, or at least to point to a paradox. Intelligent Design posits that life on earth is so complex, it had to be designed by an intelligent designer. You cannot say, well it could also apply to some form of extra-terrestrial intelligence with a huge technological advantage, because that merely moves the question to, how could this being have arisen, without having its own intelligent design?

Sooner or later, as you move back in time, you have to come to a first mover, a being who exists out of time, that essentially created itself, and which thereof, of necessity, operates on supernatural level.

Like it or not, you are then describing a God.
   298. FJ Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2105464)
In fact, if one of my pals were here, he would tell us about --- NANOTECHNOLOGY. Which would have Intelligent Design and would appear to be supernatural in prior moments in time.


I don't believe this is true. I don't keep that abreast of nanotechnology, but it (as we currently use it) would definitely leave traces that we could detect in the system (and probably outside of the system).

F
   299. Guapo Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#2105473)
Not relevant for the present purposes. Maybe they arose by chance, like Richard Dawkins would have you believe. Maybe they have always been since the beginning of time. What does it matter? Totally irrelevant. In this context, ID is posing this question; is it possible that life as we know it, on Earth, arose simply by chance? Or does it necessitate some (unknown) external actor? We are not concerned with the origins of the universe or any such. That's for another day.

I don't see how you get there from here. If you're going to posit to the science class that Entity X (an external actor) created life on earth, and you can't explain where Entity X fits in to the universe, you're now dealing with a supernatural concept. Whether you characterize "Entity X" as "God" or "Derek Jeter" or "Drunken Aliens", it's still a supernatural concept, and you have now strayed from questions that can be answered by science to questions that can only be answered through religion.

Also, I need to insert some reality into the facts on the ground, as they say:

Intelligent Design is a concept, developed by Christians, as a means of teaching Christian concepts in schools. There, I said it. The Discovery Institute wants to promote a religious agenda, and the courts shot down creationism, so they repackaged it as "Intelligent Design," tried to dress it up in a nice secular outfit, and started the process of knocking on the local school board's doors again. But in terms of where Intelligent Design comes from, and what it's intended to do- it's a part of a religious movement, plain and simple.

Does this necessarily lead to science teachers beating their children over their heads with bibles? Nah, not necessarily. (The Dover case does relate one particularly gruesome anecdote about a school board member setting fire to a mural on evolution, but that's probably an isolated case.) But you can bet that in most discussions of ID the drunken aliens are probably not going to get much airtime as opposed to other more well-known concepts. This country's founders had a deep distrust of the entanglement of church and state and I think a healthy skepticism of what ID proponents are selling is appropriate as well.

My personal views? I'm a Christian and I believe in intelligent design. But I picked that up through my own thinking, and through church, and through conversations with my parents. I didn't learn that in biology class.
   300. Srul Itza Posted: July 20, 2006 at 11:22 PM (#2105479)
Maybe they arose by chance, like Richard Dawkins would have you believe.

That depends on what you mean by chance.

It all gets back to DNA. DNA is simply a self-replicating molecule. Given the right chemical circumstances and enough time, self-replicating chemicals will arise. Once they arise, they will prosper, because they are self-replicating. Once the process starts, it will continue.

Life in this particular form at this particular may be the result of a happy confluence of events -- chance -- in terms of the location and chemistry of this third rock from the sun. Given a sufficiently large universe and a sufficiently wide set of circumstances, life in some form, I believe, is inevitable.

Now, was there some supernatural first mover behind the whole thing -- a being responsible for the big bang and the creation of a universe under laws that guaranteed that life, and then intelligent life, would arise?

Could be.
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