Sunday, September 20, 2009

Evolution is a fact

From AronRa's series, "Foundational Falsehood of Creationism"

59 comments:

Gideon said...
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Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

I don't know, Evo. It all sounds so glib, but in the end I can't accept it because I just can't handle his annoyingly snobbish accent.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Gideon self-destructed: "Gravity's a theory? LOL! Haven't proven it, yet? LMAO! Fuck, atheists are fucking stupid!"

That's correct, my little friend! It's never been proven (and never will be), but it has been upwardly revised a couple of times and is now a much, much more robust theory than it ever was. Not as robust as evolution, but right there.

You **really** don't understand science at all, do you?

Gideon said...
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metamorphhh said...

Gideon:

What you fail to understand (there's a shocker!) is that the term 'theory' applies to our understanding of the mechanism(s), and NOT to the existence of the foundational principle. Through observation, we know gravity exists, though we don't understand exactly HOW it does what it does.

Regarding evolution, we actually know a lot of the 'hows'; we just don't know all of them. But the existence of the principle itself is considered a fact by the bulk of the scientific community, across many fields of discipline.

So you see, your whole stand-up act is, once again, a complete distortion of what the video's saying. Fancy that.

John Evo said...

Jim -

Gideon is one of those cases of willful ignorance/liar.

He isn't stupid. Part of it is just that he doesn't like what he's learned - and wherever that happens, he stops learning. That's the "willful ignorance" part.

The "liar" comes in where he has had enough exposure to known and accepted facts and how they over-rule every one of his objections - yet still uses the same weary objections!

For instance, he knows that I didn't say "gravity isn't real". But beating up *that* straw man is a hell of a lot easier than dealing with the scientific meaning of "theory".

I just enjoy correcting him now and then. What can I say? It's a weakness, I know. But I do it less and less! :)

metamorphhh said...

John-

Anyway, it was a good video. Clear presentation of what a scientific theory actually is, in contrast to the spin theists are always putting on things.

John Evo said...

That's why I share it, buddy. there are always going to be Gideons and You can't change them. But there are people out there with religious beliefs who are open minded enough to at least question the dogma if their religion tells them "evolution is a lie". If just one of them sees this video because I put it up, then it was worth putting up. Again, what can I say? It's worth it to me.

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

...a biblical fact...

OXYMORON ALERT!

Gideon said...
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cl said...

I personally don't have much of a problem with evolution, although I reject many of the conclusions atheists seem derive from it.

SI,

Man, no matter what thread I get on these past few days, I find you saying something about me. Didn't you tell jim you were going to take his advice and ignore me?

Evo,

I liked the heavy dose of scientific honesty in the opening minutes, and I like how the narrator clearly defines and articulates things like theories and hypotheses, but that he criticizes "creationism" for not being testable or making predictions is laughable - it shouldn't. I also think the narrator took a few unwarranted cheap shots that reveal his own ignorance and bias. For example, it tars Fred Hoyle with the stain of "creationist" in mentioning steady-state theory which is in no way, shape or form exclusively Fred Hoyle's idea. I say bias because the intent to marginalize theists is clear. That's what burns me out the most about this entire debate: it's like two sides of hungry, insecure wolves waiting to devour each other when what's needed most badly is confident synthesis, not more people falling headlong into archaic dichotomies.

Other negatives include the narrator asking, "How do creationists account for the cosmic background radiation" as if that has some import to the notion that the universe was created. He really trips over his own words in that section (around 8:33). I also dislike the narrator's overconfidence in stating the age of the universe - for the same reasons the narrator himself prefers the word theory over truth. Also, he says stuff like, "There is no fact evolution doesn't agree with (9:10)" yet originally the facts did not fit the theory. If there weren't facts evolution didn't agree with, the theory couldn't change. It's possible there will always be facts evolution doesn't agree with. Such doesn't overthrow evolution, it just challenges us to learn more.

All in all, an interesting video: part legitimate scientific caution, part obviously intended to denigrate creationists. Oh, and BTW, this guy has that "condescending delivery" too (hopefully delivery is less a source of consternation than accent). Like the guy in the last video, he just comes across as a snooty know-it-all. But it's understood that such was probably intended and exaggerated for dramatic effect this time.

jim,

"Through observation, we know gravity exists, though we don't understand exactly HOW it does what it does. Regarding evolution, we actually know a lot of the 'hows'; we just don't know all of them. But the existence of the principle itself is considered a fact by the bulk of the scientific community, across many fields of discipline."

I wouldn't say that "gravity exists" or that "existence of the principle is considered a fact." I would say we know that certain bodies attract others, and that organisms pass traits to their offspring such that allows for proliferation with modification. You're of course free to dismiss that as semantics, but I think the difference in description facilitates a clearer understanding of what's actually going on, and could help those for whom such understanding does not come intuitively.

metamorphhh said...

cl:

"I wouldn't say that "gravity exists" or that "existence of the principle is considered a fact." I would say we know that certain bodies attract others, and that organisms pass traits to their offspring such that allows for proliferation with modification."

Would you then also say that communication doesn't exist, or that the principle of motion isn't a fact, since what we actually know is that information is somehow transferred between individuals, and that bodies exist in such a way that allows them to change position, and relocate? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. And like the former, I believe the bulk of the scientific community would support the notions of both motion and communication. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Or it could be semantics, like you say.

Of course, if we follow that route we might also say that bodies don't exist, but only the relationship between energy and space, and that organisms don't exist, only organizations of sub-atomic particles, and proliferation and modification don't exist, only transitional state changes through time. Etc.

Yeah. Seems to be semantics.

Gideon said...
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metamorphhh said...

Gideon:

"So, I guess you don't exist, eh, Jimbo?"

How can we have any kind of a conversation when you miss the simplest of points?

Gideon said...
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metamorphhh said...

Gideon:

"...I'm talking to myself, right?"

By Jove, I think he's got it!

On the other hand, if I'm to take you seriously for a moment, what you've done here is misinterpret my logical extension of an argument I believe to be founded in semantics, as being my own argument. Thus the 'Of course,if we follow that route' preface to the passage you've quoted.

Also, you'll notice my concluding sentence, "Yeah. Seems to be semantics".

Hope this was helpful.

metamorphhh said...

Gideon:

"Speaking of gravity/attraction, explain if you would what force it is that draws you to the posterior of a sheep?"

That would be the force of 'sympathy'. It can't be comfortable, having your helmet lodged way up inside there like that. Besides, what would the goat behind you think?

*raises hand in back of class* Ooh! Ooh! I know, Mr. Kotter! Gideon sandwich with mayo!

John Evo said...

cl said: "but that he criticizes "creationism" for not being testable or making predictions is laughable - it shouldn't."

Oh, I agree and I'm sure AronRa would also. Yet we know that "creationists" do not simply make a claim from religious belief. They support it with something **they call** "creation science".

Yet you know, between laughs, that they have not tested nor made predictions. Thus...

Gideon said...
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cl said...

jim,

You were bantering with Gideon about whether "gravity exists" - because Gideon had constructed an rhetorical argument trying to make it look like Evo claimed gravity doesn't exist - when I think Evo was just respecting the verbal parameters the narrator had established - the part where the narrator talks about why science states things as theories. For the purposes of everyday conversation and quick expression of ideas, phrases like "gravity exists" work just fine. What I meant was, for the purposes of accurately explaining what's actually going on - which is what we need to do to help people understand science - it's better to describe gravity as the attraction of one body to another, rather than something that just exists. I was pondering the superiority of one method of description vs. another, on the basis of which better reflects actuality.

Gideon,

You said, "cl... you trying to incorporate evolution into intelligent design? It's one or the other, man."

That might make for an interesting discussion between us.

Evo,

You said, "Yet we know that "creationists" do not simply make a claim from religious belief. They support it with something **they call** "creation science". "

Sure. Does that make the idea of creation illogical?

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

And hence, sheer ignorance becomes enshrined.

Your turn, Giddy. Let loose the flying monkeys.

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

That's what I like about you, Giddy. You're so accommodating. ;)

Gideon said...
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cl said...

Gideon,

It's like trying to amalgamate apples and oranges, cl.

If you assume that what I'm going to say is mutually exclusive with what you and/or the Bible permits, then of course. Don't assume.

Too many Christians, in an effort to pacify belligerent humanists, are willing to water down the most basic tenets of Christianity.

See? There you go assuming again. What "basic tenets of Christianity" have I denied, and what statements of mine are the basis for your claims?

The idea that a being of unlimited power HAD to accomplish His work over ridiculously long periods of time, is ludicrous.

I've not argued that idea, have I? If yes, where? If no, why respond to an idea I've not argued?

The fossil record does not bear any such evidence, contrary to what these witless wonders might say.

I think old-earth hypotheses are epistemically justifiable given the evidence, and that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with them.

The God I serve is bigger than any humanist's conception of how matter came to be, operates, or is controlled.

Remember that the God you serve is also bigger than any believer's conceptions about Him, and that we're in a position of grave danger when we dogmatize more than scripture permits.

I am a literalist, because anything less is compromise, and you can't do that with Satan.

My official position on Earth's age is "I don't know." What's your best argument suggesting I should accept the claim that yowm refers to a solar day?

Well, if it isn't Mr. Censorship! (to SI)

I thought SI's refusal to allow criticism of his comment policy was cowardly, as are his decisions to close comment threads, but I'm not quite ready to commit to charging him with censorship, yet. He's right on the line, IMO.

Gideon said...
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cl said...

..the Bible isn't written exclusively for scholars, and it has to be understandable for everyone, not just the privileged. If a "thus saith the Lord" is only interpretable by priests or professors, it isn't any good... IMHO. If that's dogmatizing, so be it. Guilty as charged.

I'm not saying it was written for scholars. I'm saying sometimes what we think a particular verse means actually might not be what the particular verse means. I'm urging caution on account of our own human stupidity - which you and I agree on - and our tendency to misunderstand God's clear Word. Remember, it was the Bible-crowd who thought the Psalms meant the sun circled Earth.

Also, I don't assume anything, I just know where this has led many times in the past with the same opening inquiries,

Gideon! Come on! That's like, "I don't assume anything, I've just had these types of conversations before." As far as blog conversations go, that something led to X in the past doesn't mean it will lead to X again in the future. That's faulty logic and you know it.

I'm letting you know what to expect from me if you were.

Believe me, I know exactly what to expect should I incur the unfortunate circumstance of falling into your disfavor!!

I don't care what your view is of SI, I know him to be a liar and a censor, and if that's too hard for you to accept, that's your prerogative.

It's not that such is "too hard" for me to accept, it's that I have no conclusive proof, although I tend to believe you. Really, I expected better, after all that mushy talk about freethought.

I was immediately impressed with it's no-nonsense, simplistic statement that there is a reason for life, not some happenstance occurrence of space-plankton colliding, having sex, and pushing out a primordial goo-baby that, zillions of convenient years after a conveniently unobservable event, resulted in us.

I'm just as impressed.

Gideon said...
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cl said...

"I wouldn't be discussing this matter with you, here, on an infidel's blog, of all places. They get enough sport from Christians as it is."

Well, you know where to find me.

"Oh, and I don't bother trying to get onto SI's or Fat-Body's blog, anymore, they want to be cry-babies, they can go have intercourse with themselves, and/or each other."

Too bad. I'll miss you. I say stick with it.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Gideon said: "I'm not going anywhere... right, Johnny?"

You have stumbled onto a question (or comment) that is not wholly undeserving of a thoughtful response. And that response is - Yes! Or, No!

"yes" that *is* right and "no" you aren't going anywhere. You are absolutely worth the price of my beliefs, buddy, and even if I faltered and thought you weren't, you have true value in my mind - anecdotal though your example may provide - both in the use of reason and the positions and claims of Christianity.

I'll give you another - if I actually cared what anyone thinks of the power of my blog, it would certainly be helpful to have a lot of comments. It is a (probably false) indicator that this is kind of a "happening" place! Hey, *I'm* not trying to fool anyone - but they will assume what they will. :)

And if you were just being kind enough to see if I'm OK, yes I am. I'm here, reading every word. Carry on.

John Evo said...

cl - sorry, your question "Does that make the idea of creation illogical?" was so deeply buried in the thread that I almost forgot to respond!

No. But that wasn't what was being discussed. Perhaps you got lost too? Sounds almost like you thought you were responding to WS over at SI's blog, but perhaps there is another explanation.

What it does make is that it is a little less "laughable" that someone would demand that such creationists actually provide some testable claims and predictions.

:)

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

Oh, and you did know my blog was up and running again, did you not? Or, would you dirty yourself visiting it?

I think it's great, Giddy. Especially the picture of Hitler saluting my avatar. It's so....you. And I didn't even feel the need to shower afterward.

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

Hey, you didn't leave a comment!

I didn't want to ruin your perfect record of no comments. Best to leave it in it's pristine state. It'll make it easier to identify when archeologists dig it up in a few million years.

Gideon said...
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Temaskian said...

I'm one minute into the video and I like it already. Thanks, John!

John Evo said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Temaskian.