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Author Topic:   Hello everyone, and my senior paper
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 70 (692840)
03-07-2013 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Dr Adequate
03-07-2013 3:22 PM


Nothing wrong with being well-rounded.
Some folks get that way by eating lots of pie.
Others choose to study history.

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-07-2013 3:22 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 70 (692842)
03-07-2013 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by KevinAthans
03-07-2013 2:39 PM


There is much about this topic you do not understand...If you do not like my view, fine. But your attitude towards me and the utter disregard for what I am saying is more similar to the dogmatic views of the creationists that will not even hear the other side of the argument.
Yes, Kevin; you're going to see a lot of that here, and elsewhere as wellfolks who are creationists but accept evolution; who, though they fall for whatever mainstream science has to say, lack critical thinking abilities.
They make no headway with what they do; they just replace one dogma with another and carry on their merry way.
But as you say, pay them no attention: history certainly won't.

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by KevinAthans, posted 03-07-2013 2:39 PM KevinAthans has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(3)
Message 33 of 70 (692845)
03-07-2013 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by KevinAthans
03-07-2013 4:16 PM


If you think the history of how science came to be, and the religious involvement, isn't important, fine.
I didn't say it was unimportant in general. I said it was unimportant to the practice of biology, in response to you writing: "Most biologists have not even read Darwin’s works. Without an understanding of the origins of the things they study, how can they know what they are studying?"
I am not sure why you are under the impression that there is science vs theology...Thoughout much of history they were the same thing...
I didn't say versus, but they are different practices, after all. In particular, they're different in the way that I've pointed out. In theology, the foundational texts (Bible, Torah, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc) are held to be the most accurate, and succeeding texts can be no more than glosses on these works. In science, the foundational texts are the most primitive, and it is hoped and expected that succeeding texts will be better.
Consequently, in theology we can see a man trying (for example) to refute Arianism by reference to the Gospel of John (taking Scripture as the ultimate authority) rather than by making careful observations of the Godhead in an attempt to discover if it's triune; in science, by contrast, no-one would think to settle a point merely by quoting Darwin, Newton, or anyone else.
Becoming familiar with the foundational texts of science is therefore unnecessary for a practicing scientist; it's something he might do for amusement in his free time. A Christian theologian, on the other hand, who confessed that he'd never read the Bible and was saving it for his retirement ... would get some funny looks. And the sack.
A scientist arguing science, and a creationist arguing theology accomplishes nothing. One is arguing apples, the other oranges. They will simply not agree, period. But if people understand the history of the debate, the population can understand it and make the correct decisions.
Except that someone who is interested in the history of the debate at all as a consideration within the debate is arguing oranges. Or bananas.
I see what you're getting at to a certain extent. If some creationist is reciting some lie about how : "Darwin was an atheist who invented evolution to deny God blah blah blah" then one could disabuse him of this irrelevant falsehood by pointing out the equally irrelevant truth. But to really educate a creationist, we would need to explain to him not just why his claim is false, but why it is irrelevant.

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KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4112 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


(1)
Message 34 of 70 (692855)
03-08-2013 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by New Cat's Eye
03-07-2013 5:28 PM


I understand your points. I would argue that the 50% that deny evolution are not included in your theological evolutionists. The question is about acceptance of evolution, not whether or not it is a mechanism of God.
I think the lack of our science skills (as a country) shows the problem. Here in Minnesota, one of the better states for education, about 20% of students are never taught evolution in high school even though it is mandated. That is too many IMO.
I know Creationists will never change their mind...I am focused on the education of the younger generations.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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KevinAthans
Junior Member (Idle past 4112 days)
Posts: 16
From: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Joined: 03-06-2013


Message 35 of 70 (692856)
03-08-2013 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by nwr
03-07-2013 5:34 PM


Well we will simply have to agree to disagree...

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 36 of 70 (692857)
03-08-2013 1:28 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by KevinAthans
03-07-2013 4:31 PM


When it comes to understanding the theory of evolution, a modern textbook will teach you more than reading Darwin would. In fact it's absurd to suggest otherwise. You can't understand the theory unless you know it, and there have been a some major advances since Darwin.
Even for understanding the basics a decent pop science book would probably be easier to read and directed at a more appropriate level for a beginner. And it would be based on more complete information, having the advantage of access to the work done since Darwin.
In fact it is true in general that to understand how anything works now it is far better to study it now, than it is to know the origins. The only people I've seen argue otherwise are creationists.

This message is a reply to:
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foreveryoung
Member (Idle past 660 days)
Posts: 921
Joined: 12-26-2011


Message 37 of 70 (692860)
03-08-2013 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by KevinAthans
03-08-2013 12:56 AM


I know Creationists will never change their mind..
That all depends on the person. The pivotal moment is what you decide to do when confronted with this question: Does God create the world by deliberately making it look extremely old with indisputable evidence for its age and biological evolution but doing it in 6 days with special creation for every species just 6000 years ago?

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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3514
From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
Joined: 07-14-2003


(2)
Message 38 of 70 (692861)
03-08-2013 6:16 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Dr Adequate
03-07-2013 3:22 PM


The study of foundational documents is therefore as pointless to scientists as it is essential to theologians. There is no particular reason why a biologist should read Darwin any more than there is a reason why a physicist should read Newton's Principia. Indeed, I've never met a physicist who has.
As a biologist who has read The Origin of Species, I disagree. The text itself is, of course, largely irrelevant as is what Darwin thought exactly and whether he was right about any particular detail. However, I think it is foolish to ignore the history of science. Understanding the reasoning behind is both useful in understanding the subject itself, in helping formulate better ideas and in critiquing new ideas.
Kevin's claim that the history is more important than the study is an absurd overstatement but I think you go too far in rejecting entirely the value of the history of science. There is a reason that every scientific paper begins with an introduction setting the paper into the context of pre-existing work, after all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-07-2013 3:22 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9274
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 39 of 70 (692866)
03-08-2013 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by KevinAthans
03-08-2013 12:57 AM


Well we will simply have to agree to disagree...
Just some advice. That is a terrible response. Makes you sound like a troll or a creo. As I said before, if you can't defend your posts then don't post to a debate site.
Is that what you are going to say to your professor when he examines your paper?

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Jon, posted 03-08-2013 12:18 PM Theodoric has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 40 of 70 (692893)
03-08-2013 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Dr Jack
03-08-2013 6:16 AM


As a biologist who has read The Origin of Species, I disagree. The text itself is, of course, largely irrelevant as is what Darwin thought exactly and whether he was right about any particular detail. However, I think it is foolish to ignore the history of science. Understanding the reasoning behind is both useful in understanding the subject itself, in helping formulate better ideas and in critiquing new ideas.
Well of course it's useful to understand the reasoning behind a claim. But that would be part of science. It is useful, for example, to understand the argument for the ubiquity of natural selection; it is not useful to biologists as such to know that Darwin thought of it after reading Malthus' Essay On The Principle Of Population "for amusement" in October 1838.
Kevin's claim that the history is more important than the study is an absurd overstatement but I think you go too far in rejecting entirely the value of the history of science. There is a reason that every scientific paper begins with an introduction setting the paper into the context of pre-existing work, after all.
Well, I think that's stretching the phrase "history of science" further than it will reasonably go. The importance of previously obtained results to a new paper is that they are results; the importance of saying that they were published by Smith and Jones in Nature in 1998 is so that people can look up the results and the methodology; the fact that Smith was led to an interest in biology as a result of the inspirational teaching of Mr. Braithwaite, his eighth grade science teacher, or suchlike biographical details, is passed over in silence even if the authors of the new paper are aware of the fact. The references are there to provide an insight into the facts of the subject, not its history as such.
---
There is a certain value to an aspirant scientist in looking at the history of science, but not to gain insight into the sciences themselves: rather, one can treat the history of science as a set of exemplars and awful warnings. For example, there's a passage somewhere in Darwin's letters or autobiography or something where he writes that whenever he came across a fact which seemed to contradict or challenge his thesis, he would immediately make a note of it, because one is more prone to forget such facts and remember those that are congenial to one's ideas. Anyone who wants to become a great scientist like Darwin could profit from his example. Nonetheless, the fact that he did that has no bearing on the question of whether he was right, and about what.

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Jon
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 41 of 70 (692896)
03-08-2013 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Theodoric
03-08-2013 8:45 AM


As I said before, if you can't defend your posts then don't post to a debate site.
That's nonsense. There are many reasons to post here that have nothing to do with some sociopathic desire to always prove the 'correctness' of one's ideas.
Is that what you are going to say to your professor when he examines your paper?
My guess is that the professor is already aware of the assignment and doesn't need to be convinced of the value of the questions Kevin is posing.
If you don't think his ideas matter, then don't read the paper.

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Theodoric, posted 03-08-2013 8:45 AM Theodoric has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Theodoric, posted 03-08-2013 12:28 PM Jon has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 70 (692899)
03-08-2013 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by KevinAthans
03-08-2013 12:56 AM


I understand your points. I would argue that the 50% that deny evolution are not included in your theological evolutionists. The question is about acceptance of evolution, not whether or not it is a mechanism of God.
Show me the question and the results, then we can talk about it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by KevinAthans, posted 03-08-2013 12:56 AM KevinAthans has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 43 of 70 (692900)
03-08-2013 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by KevinAthans
03-07-2013 5:03 PM


In reference to the creation-evolution controversy, specifically, or let’s say the credibility of science, an understanding of the history of science is far more important to people. I have taken biology classes, I have taken history classes, and I have taken philosophy classes. As far as this debate goes, I find the history of science to be far more valuable. I have also found a class in scientific reasoning to be more valuable. There are a lot of bad studies out there that are statistically irrelevant. If a scientific study does not use proper procedure, a representative sample, a large enough sample, etc, the study is pointless. Studies that tell us nothing and fraud in science creates issues. Many people see science as a tool used by a group of people to persuade others of their views. The creationists, specifically, see science as a similar line of thinking as is used in theology. This is obviously incorrect. Scientific thought dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks and has evolved and changed over time. It was once intertwined with theology, it then started to pull away and has become what it is today. If people understand how and why this happened, understood the history and the context of it, as well as the social implications, one can make a better argument for why science is legitimate and not something that is faith based.
You make a good case. But if I was trying to explain this with reference to Darwin in particular, I wouldn't just dwell on his religious views and the reasons for them. I'd point out that there were genuine puzzles in biology which seemed to elude creationist explanation, in that they could hardly be explained in terms of good design.
There is a reason why evolution (which seems obvious in hindsight, and which could in principle have been thought of by an ancient Greek sitting in his bath) didn't emerge until the Victorian era, and why Darwin and Wallace then thought of it almost simultaneously. There's even a reason why both the people who thought of it were British. The reason, in my opinion, is that both of them were presented with puzzles in biogeography which would never have occurred to a naturalist, however keen-witted, who had been confined to a single land-mass. This puzzle was combined with a further puzzle, the reason for the Principle of Faunal Succession --- discovered by William Smith as a side-effect of the burgeoning Industrial Revolution's insatiable quest for more coal.
In short, besides discussing what didn't motivate them, it is worth mentioning what did --- that they were presented with new puzzles that had no answer within, or which actually contradicted, conventional teleological explanations.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9274
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 44 of 70 (692901)
03-08-2013 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Jon
03-08-2013 12:18 PM


That's nonsense.
What is nonsense is you and he thinking that people shouldn't be criticizing and pointing out flaws in his argument.
The purpose of a site like this is to debate, not "agree to disagree".
That is just plain stupid.
My guess is that the professor is already aware of the assignment and doesn't need to be convinced of the value of the questions Kevin is posing.
You assume a lot. I would think the professor would want the premise and paper to be defended. If not people could write any old bullshit and say well "lets agree to disagree".

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Jon, posted 03-08-2013 12:18 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Jon, posted 03-08-2013 12:45 PM Theodoric has replied

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 70 (692905)
03-08-2013 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Theodoric
03-08-2013 12:28 PM


What is nonsense is you and he thinking that people shouldn't be criticizing and pointing out flaws in his argument.
What argument are you pointing out a flaw in?
You assume a lot. I would think the professor would want the premise and paper to be defended. If not people could write any old bullshit and say well "lets agree to disagree".
What is the premise that hasn't been defended?

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Theodoric, posted 03-08-2013 12:28 PM Theodoric has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Theodoric, posted 03-08-2013 2:27 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied

  
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