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Author Topic:   first genetic material
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 29 of 84 (507634)
05-06-2009 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by dpeele
05-06-2009 9:02 PM


Re: Fortuitous happenstances
Do you believe this quote to be true.
You need to define what you mean by "true."
Science does not deal in truth, Truth, TRUTH, or even TRVTH.
Science deals in facts and theories. As Heinlein noted:
Piling up facts is not science--science is facts-and-theories. Facts alone have limited use and lack meaning: a valid theory organizes them into far greater usefulness.
A powerful theory not only embraces old facts and new but also discloses unsuspected facts.
Expanded Universe: The New Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein, 1980, pp. 480-481
And as found on a physics website at CalTech:
Truth: This is a word best avoided entirely in physics [and science] except when placed in quotes, or with careful qualification. Its colloquial use has so many shades of meaning from ‘it seems to be correct’ to the absolute truths claimed by religion, that it’s use causes nothing but misunderstanding. Someone once said "Science seeks proximate (approximate) truths." Others speak of provisional or tentative truths. Certainly science claims no final or absolute truths. Source
Some definitions which deal with "theory:"
Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses. Theories do not grow up to be laws. Theories explain laws.
Theory: A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory. (Source)
When a scientific theory has a long history of being supported by verifiable evidence, it is appropriate to speak about "acceptance" of (not "belief" in) the theory; or we can say that we have "confidence" (not "faith") in the theory. It is the dependence on verifiable data and the capability of testing that distinguish scientific theories from matters of faith.
So, based on these definitions you probably meant to ask, "Do you believe this quote to be accurate (i.e., supported by scientific facts and theory)."
Carry on.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by dpeele, posted 05-06-2009 9:02 PM dpeele has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by dpeele, posted 05-06-2009 9:56 PM Coyote has replied
 Message 43 by IchiBan, posted 05-09-2009 11:49 PM Coyote has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 31 of 84 (507638)
05-06-2009 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by dpeele
05-06-2009 9:56 PM


Re: Fortuitous happenstances
Very well... do you believe the statement to be accurate?
Its not my field, but some research on the web suggests that its most likely accurate.
I certainly don't see any alternative that seems likely at all.
What's your take on this? You have said you are not sure of its truth/accuracy, but what would you see instead?

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by dpeele, posted 05-06-2009 9:56 PM dpeele has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 33 of 84 (507644)
05-07-2009 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by dpeele
05-06-2009 10:51 PM


Re: Fortuitous happenstances
But does the lack of an alternative make a theory accurate? People thought the world was flat for thousands of years. I don't have the answers, but I know the big bang was not observable and is not repeatable.
A theory is the single best explanation for a given set of data. If there are two or more competing ideas, they are more often considered to be hypotheses. When one emerges as the most likely then it is considered to be the theory.
The layman's use of "theory" is very much different from that of scientists. To a layman it can mean a guess, or a wild guess. That is not the case in science. In order to reach the level of a theory there has to be multiple tests, all passed, and there has to be successful predictions.
While the big bang may not be observable and repeatable, neither condition is required in science. There are a great many things we can't (or can no longer) observe, but that does not lessen their reliability. Lincoln's assassination is neither observable (from the present) nor is it repeatable, yet no one but kooks would doubt that it happened.
The flat earth was more of a peasant's or cleric's idea than one held by scientists. If I remember correctly early Greeks had the round earth idea over two thousand years ago. Some of these strange ideas persisted because some interpreted the bible to favor them. The sun revolving around the earth is one example. The young earth is another.
So aren't we left with assumptions that are believed to be true/accurate - otherwise we would not have made them??
Well, yes. But "assumption" does not mean guess or wild guess. And it certainly does not mean "automatically wrong" as some creationists suggest.
An assumption is something we use because it has been found to work. There's certainly no use in an assumption that's wrong!
Here's an example of an assumption in science:
In radiocarbon dating (one of my fields) we assume that radioactive decay has been constant because there is a huge amount of evidence supporting that assumption, and no credible evidence contradicting that assumption. The fact that radiocarbon dating then relies on an assumption is not an argument against its accuracy. In order to discredit radiocarbon dating, as creationists are always trying to do, you have to do more than point out that it relies on this assumption. You have to show that there is reason to doubt this assumption. In the meantime, with all of the data at hand supporting this assumption, science will continue to use it.
Recently, creationists ponied up over a million dollars for the R.A.T.E. project, which was designed to show the radioactive constants weren't constant, and that a young earth was supported by science. They ran their own tests and those test supported what scientists had been saying all along--but these creation "scientists" wouldn't accept their own data! They had an a priori religious belief that they clung to in spite of the fact that their own research showed it to be incorrect! Here is a reference:

Assessing the RATE Project: Essay Review by Randy Isaac
All of this goes to show that scientific assumptions are not automatically wrong, as creationists often suggest. They are useful, working tools as long as they are supported by the data. If they are contradicted by data they will be modified or discarded.
I hope this brief look at how science works helps. The big bang is not my field, so I can't be more specific there, but science uses pretty much the same methods throughout so what I've related should apply.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by dpeele, posted 05-06-2009 10:51 PM dpeele has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by dpeele, posted 05-08-2009 10:27 PM Coyote has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 38 of 84 (507917)
05-08-2009 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by dpeele
05-08-2009 10:27 PM


Re: Fortuitous happenstances
I have read that radiocarbon dating is based on several faulty assumptions.
You have been fed lies.
But that is off-topic for this thread so I will take the response to a more appropriate thread.
Give me a few moments to find one and respond. (You will have to look for the new thread.)

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by dpeele, posted 05-08-2009 10:27 PM dpeele has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by dpeele, posted 05-08-2009 11:13 PM Coyote has replied
 Message 45 by IchiBan, posted 05-10-2009 12:02 AM Coyote has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 41 of 84 (507924)
05-08-2009 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by dpeele
05-08-2009 11:13 PM


Re: Fortuitous happenstances
I was just responding to your presentation of carbon dating into the discussion. Please direct me to the correct thread I would like for you to help me work through the misinformation I read.
I gave the example of radiocarbon dating as an example of the use of assumptions, but to follow up in detail on this thread would be off topic.
Here is the new thread:
http://EvC Forum: Radioactive carbon dating -->EvC Forum: Radioactive carbon dating
I am glad to help, as will others posters here.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by dpeele, posted 05-08-2009 11:13 PM dpeele has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by dpeele, posted 05-10-2009 4:02 PM Coyote has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 44 of 84 (508019)
05-10-2009 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by IchiBan
05-09-2009 11:49 PM


Heinlein as a philosopher
Heinlein is your philosopher? pretty shallow stuff.
You want to debate the issue, start a new thread.
For that new thread, see if you can come up with a philosophical concept more realistic than this:
quote:
The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by IchiBan, posted 05-09-2009 11:49 PM IchiBan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by IchiBan, posted 05-10-2009 12:04 AM Coyote has replied
 Message 79 by IchiBan, posted 05-12-2009 1:19 AM Coyote has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 47 of 84 (508022)
05-10-2009 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by IchiBan
05-10-2009 12:02 AM


Re: creationists lie
'Creationists lie' that seems to be 95% of your spiel to gather from your rote cut/paste responses backed only by your assertion.
If you can't see that creationists lie, start a new thread by that title and we'll see what we can come up with. It would be off-topic here.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by IchiBan, posted 05-10-2009 12:02 AM IchiBan has not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1592 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 48 of 84 (508023)
05-10-2009 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by IchiBan
05-10-2009 12:04 AM


Re: Heinlein as a philosopher
Heinlein was a sick puppy, but you quote him like he was Biblical scripture.
Start a new thread if you want to debate this.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by IchiBan, posted 05-10-2009 12:04 AM IchiBan has not replied

  
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