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LostInSpace

So it begins: Kansas school board redefines science

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quote:

Originally posted by Darkling:

1:So what you're saying is that it's appropriate to believe in the "Big Bang" Theory, you know, everything in the universe was once the size of a spec, then BANG!!! The Universe was born and has been expanding ever since. Oh yeah, that's VERY scientific. Please, it takes even MORE
Faith
to believe that than Intelligent Design. It only defies EVERY law of Nature that there is.

2: However, even if we move Billions of years into the future to the puddle of muck/water/whatever, to say that Life somehow evolved from "Nothing", there's another one that takes BLIND faith to believe in. First of all, water is a Solvent, it doesn't cause things to "Come Together". And Second of all the number of Enzymes, Protiens, Nucleic acids and so forth that would have to come together at just the right time, at just the right amount for even the absolute "simplest" single celled life form to spontaneously form is so rediculously minute and so far fetched, that if Darwin would have understood the complexity, I guarantee you that he would not have put together his theory.

3: Take apart a Swiss Watch, then imagine something about 1000X more complex and say to yourself, would this be able to put itself together... I don't think so.

1: Did I ever say anything about science is faith? Faith has noting to do with it. I also never said anything written in science should be written in stone and never change. That's the difference between science and religion. Scienctific discovery is every changing (evolving) whereas religious theology is static: God created everything that's all we need to know.

It may even be proved that Einstein didn't get it completely right:

NEWS.com.au: Einstein's wrong, relatively speaking

Who are you to say that the universe didn't begin that way? What scientific discovery did you make that can either prove or disprove it. I know I can't make that assertion one way or the other. However, seeing how gravity works it's not such a far fetched concept but more plausible than some esoteric belief in GOD.

2: Amino acids are created in laboratory

3: Oh that argument. When I was in high school, I use to work in a small retail store and the manager was/is a Jehovah witness. He told me that Dinosaur bones were buried in the ground by the devil.

Something for you to ponder:

quote:

Creationism Meets Bird Flu Politics

by jclifford @ 4:53 am. Filed under General, Science, Religion, Bumper Stickers

Over the weekend, weÔÇÖve had an interesting debate forming about the H5N1 avian flu story. The debate over whether to treat the hype about H5N1 seriously doesnÔÇÖt seem to break down strictly along party lines - yet.

As I first mentioned last night, however, I have noticed a perplexing dedication among Christian fundamentalists to promoting the idea that a deadly avian flu is poised to make a merciless sweep across the United States. Perhaps their dedication has to do with providing political cover for George W. Bush. Perhaps the H5N1 obsession among right wing evangelicals has to do with the strange hope that the plagues of the End Times apocalypse are almost upon us - first we get sick, and then Jesus returns.

Whatever the motivation, itÔÇÖs amusing to see the rhetorical contortions that Creationists get into when discussing the bird flu story. Last night, I mentioned how the Christian Broadcasting News is republishing a story from the Associated Press about the way that H5N1 may mutate into a new strain - in other words, about the fact that the current bird flu being discussed could only become a pandemic if it evolved the ability to pass more easily from human to human.

Without such evolution, the H5N1 bird flu story has no wings - so to speak. Right now, itÔÇÖs only people who work closely with birds and their families who seem to have cause to worry about the bird flu. So, when the Creationists try to get the fear factor going, they have to step lightly, and play around a little bit with the facts.

For testimony in this case, IÔÇÖll call upon an article written by Pat RobertsonÔÇÖs people at the Christian Broadcasting Network especially for the CBN TV show The 700 Club. In this article, a biography of Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor, the 700 Club audience is warned to brace itself for the bird flu. But why?

Well, according to this article, bird flu is already in the United States! Well, of course, thatÔÇÖs true. New strains of flu virus that are transmitted from birds to humans come into the United States quite often. Almost all of these strains of flu arenÔÇÖt much to worry about, though. It was way back in 1918 that the last big deadly bird flu hit the USA. That one died off long ago. Right now, there isnÔÇÖt any deadly bird flu in the United States.

You wouldnÔÇÖt think that from reading the 700 Club article, which speaks of, ÔÇ£increasing rates of human diseases and epidemics such as ÔÇÿbirdÔÇÖ flu. The avian ÔÇÿbirdÔÇÖ flu came to the U.S. after severe outbreaks in Asia. Bird flu was discovered in 2003 on a Texas chicken farm. The virus was spread by contact with chickens to humans. Symptoms of bird flu include the following: fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, lethargy, conjunctivitis (eye infections), breathing problems, and chest pains. Dr. Gaynor says what people fear most with this epidemic is human-to-human transmission, which has not yet occurred.ÔÇØ

What this article doesnÔÇÖt mention is that the bird flu thatÔÇÖs already in the United States isnÔÇÖt greatly feared - even if human-to-human transmission were to take place. ThatÔÇÖs because itÔÇÖs the H5N1 bird flu virus thatÔÇÖs most deadly - and itÔÇÖs only in Eurasia right now, not much of a threat to the United States.

Then thereÔÇÖs the issue of human-to-human transmission, which has occurred, but is extremely rare, with the H5N1 bird flu virus. The 700 Club article doesnÔÇÖt mention why human-to-human transmission is so rare with the H5N1 virus in Eurasia, and doesnÔÇÖt happen with some strains of bird flu now in the United States.

The fact that the 700 Club article is struggling not to mention is that it takes
evolution
for a virus that is not easily transmissible from human to human to gain the ability to spread easily among humankind. Viruses donÔÇÖt have minds, you see, so they canÔÇÖt just come up with the idea to spread from human to human even though theyÔÇÖve never done so before. They donÔÇÖt come up with plans to invade new species. The only way that a virus can gain the ability to move quickly from organism to organism within a species it hasnÔÇÖt touched before is for it to change the genetic code of instructions that dictates how it behaves after invading a host cell. ThatÔÇÖs evolution, and thatÔÇÖs what the 700 Club doesnÔÇÖt want to tell its audience.

What the 700 Club audience suggests is that there is only one bird flu out there, and that when people talk about the bird flu threat, the threat from bird flu already existing in the United States is the same as bird flu in Eurasia. Of course, this description completely ignores the existence of large numbers of different strains of bird flu. Really, what different strains of bird flu have in common is that birds are their most common carriers. So, pretending that there is only one bird flu is like pretending that everything that lives in trees is the same thing - so that monkeys, squirrels, racoons, owls, and gypsy moth caterpillars would all just be referred to as tree animals. ThatÔÇÖs the big biological mistake that the 700 Club makes when it lumps H5N1 bird flu in with the other strains of bird flu already in the United States.

Of course, itÔÇÖs difficult to cover health and science news when your theological taskmasters require you to deny the reality of biological evolution. So, I at least have to give the people at the 700 Club points for creative writing. But, you know, when it comes to getting information about science and public policy, it may not be the best idea to go to the creative writing community. Instead, I suggest a more post-medieval approach to the truth: Consider getting your information from professionals who donÔÇÖt require all pieces of information to conform to the ideas of a book 2,000 years old.

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I don't understand why it's so hard to believe the Big Bang theory just because one can't conceive of all the matter in the Universe coming from a single spec, yet so readily accept that a God created it all from nothing. What's the difference? Where did God get all this matter?

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Guest Remo Williams

quote:

Just because someone understands evolution, does NOT make them an atheist, over 40% of scientists in the US are Christians.

And just who said that it did was it me, or are you putting words in my mouth as you tend to do others?

quote:

I can argue evolution with a creationist until the cows come home, they use their strawmen, and religious beliefs ALL day long, and they will call me atheist, or tell me that evolution is my religion etc, And NEITHER is true. Evolution is NOT a religion, and I am a Deist, NOT an atheist.


Again who called you an Atheist? Evolution is the work of the creator so indeed your using Science to understand his work.

quote:

Evolution is a scientific theory, one of the MOST rigorously tested in the world, it has some gaps, NOT holes, and it has NO inconsistencies WHATSOEVER, or else it would NOT be a scientific theory. BUT, that is ALL it is, a scientific theory, a theory, that if there is evidence enough, will change as the evidence grows.


It has major holes and is flawed it will change in time but don't take my word for it you will see it yourself in good time.

quote:

You can discuss science in a theology discussion, but you cannot discuss theology in a scientific discussion, because it then becomes a theology discussion.

LOL! Ok if you think so, but it actual works both ways. Sort of like the little saying I seen posted by some one else.

"In science the absence of proof is not proof of absence."

In Christianity the absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Hehe oh well you see things as you feel are correct and I will do the same and guess what we're both correct to some effect.

Since I have no doubt that there is a creator its easy for me to use science to understand how this has all come to being. Where you don't know if there is a creator and only see science, as a tool of proving there is or is not.

Anyway I tire easily of this never-ending debate that no one can prove either way. I only speak up to let known the truth as I see it not to convince anyone that they are in error. They one way or the other will know this in good time no matter what I say.

Cheers

[ 11-13-2005, 12:48 AM: Message edited by: Remo Williams ]

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Guest

See you did it too,

I was using generalities, and you chose to think I was picking on you.

And the last statement,

quote:

Since I have no doubt that there is a creator its easy for me to use science to understand how this has all come to being. Where you don't know if there is a creator and only see science, as a tool of proving there is or is not.


I am a Deist, I do know, see, another assumption on your part.

We agree on it totally, yet you have assumed that we disagree, or that I don't believe in God.

And no, evolution has no major flaws, it is internally consistent, and yes, it WILL change, as ALL scientific theories do, only because it will find MORE falsifiable evidence to change it.

ID does not use falsifiable evidence, therefore it can NEVER be scientific.

Science never asks the question of whether god exists or not, it is limited to falsifiable evidence and causations, therefore, God, or the Intelligent designer has no place within it.

I would be a happy camper if science were able to prove the existence of god, or would I? or would you?

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Guest Remo Williams

quote:

Science never asks the question of whether god exists or not, it is limited to falsifiable evidence and causations, therefore, God, or the Intelligent designer has no place within it.


I think this is where we disagree since I can not see how it can be said that he has no place in something that studies his work, even though they are not intent on proving with Science whether there is a creator or not.

It doesn't matter really, the main thing we do agree on is that ID and evolution should not be taught as opposing views in a Science class.

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quote:

...That the majority of the US population is suspicious about the validity of evolution...

Where did you find that, Nomad?

At any rate, I haven't heard a single person on these boards claim evolution isn't a perfectly viable theory. Who are you arguing against? The hundreds of millions of people across the globe who don't buy into your disbelief?

Evolution is a good explanation for how we came to be how we are today post-creation. Most normal Christians recognize that. We've all said it here on these boards. Why do you persist?

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quote:

Originally posted by Prez:

Where did you find that, Nomad?

At any rate, I haven't heard a single person on these boards claim evolution isn't a perfectly viable theory. Who are you arguing against? The hundreds of millions of people across the globe who don't buy into your disbelief?

Evolution is a good explanation for how we came to be how we are today post-creation. Most normal Christians recognize that. We've all said it here on these boards. Why do you persist?

The argument is that ID (as of now) is not a science but a faith based concept. Just because we don't understand something fully or has the circumstantial appearance of a deliberate design because we don't understand it fully, doesn't mean there is ID.

Ask yourself these questions, who are the proponents of the ID movement? What is their agenda? Who or what is the force behind this concept of ID?

Science is the teaching of current principles, theories and discoveries. I could easily come along and say that based on the complexity of everything it must be of ID. I could easy arrive at the conclusion that the universe itself is alive and conscious as well as the Earth and it is they who are the creators. I could easily go to the public school boards and demand that they teach this idea in a science class as well. Does it scientifically pass water? No. ThatÔÇÖs the point. While ID and my concept put forward are both just fanciful concepts, they have no bearing on current scientific principles and discoveries.

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quote:

Originally posted by Chavik:

Nuh uh. He sneezed.

How would you respond to that, given that "God bless you" doesn't really seem appropriate?

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Thanks for the link Aperson.

But I think you guys might be falling a little bit on the alarmist side.

Excerpt from CBS news poll story : "But most would not substitute the teaching of creationism for the teaching of evolution in public schools."

As for the ID crowd, their "agenda" could be just a scientific validation of their beliefs. I don't know, since I don't have an agenda. I believe in intelligent design, I believe that scientific evidence supports it, and I teach it to my kids at home. Case closed, for me.

What the public schools do, I really couldn't care less about.

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Guest

I homeschool as well, and I would NEVER teach my children ID as science, because it's not.

I will teach it to them as a religious studies type of thing, but would NEVER teach it to them as hard science.

Science is not whatever you BELIEVE it is, science is science, and should be taught that way.

But, hey, that's just me I suppose, and 99% of all scientists.

If the definition of science is stretched enough to include ID, and this is according to SWORN testimony of Behe, one of the founders of ID theory, then Astrology could be considered scientific.

Sorry, I won't teach that definition of science to my kids.....

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quote:

Originally posted by Prez:

Thanks for the link Aperson.

But I think you guys might be falling a little bit on the alarmist side.

Excerpt from CBS news poll story : "But most would not substitute the teaching of creationism for the teaching of evolution in public schools."

As for the ID crowd, their "agenda" could be just a scientific validation of their beliefs. I don't know, since I don't have an agenda. I believe in intelligent design, I believe that scientific evidence supports it, and I teach it to my kids at home. Case closed, for me.


Well, that would be nice except for the fact that the "Wedge Strategy" is used by many supporters of ID (obviously not you). Especially the ones who provide funding, like the Discovery Institute.

linky

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For what it's worth, I teach college in this field and want to clear up a few misconceptions and distortions I'm seeing about ID, science, and religion.

1. ID is not science. That said, it's still philosophy of science, and nobody teaching science fails to teach a philosophy of science at the same time. ID challenges a materialist view of reality, and contemporary science is committed to that, but make no mistake, it's a philosophical perspective, not an empirical one. If contemporary scientists want to be materialists, then fine, but let's not pretend that such a presupposition bears the full weight of an empirical proof.

2. Science is not anti-religious. Galileo argued that his views were more orthodox than the church's, and Newton wrote more theology than he did science. Some scientists want to push point (1) above, but you can't use science to prove that God doesn't exist any more than you can use a wood splinter for a compass needle (it's the wrong tool for the job).

3. If people treat any critical discussion of Darwin's theory as "creationism," then the commitment in science to evidence and critical reasoning has gone out the window. It makes sense to think that even evolution is reducible to more fundamental principles (intelligent or not), but as long as it's treated as a point of dogma by materialists in science, then it's no better than dogma as knowledge.

4. Some have said that evolution does not speak to human origins (life from non-life). That's only partly true. Darwin's theory, strictly speaking, does not. That has not stopped contemporary scientists from embracing an evolutionary model for producing the first life, and it is this which has been the most frequent sticking point for people of faith. The number of those who doubt evolution as a theory of change is far smaller than those who doubt its ability to transform raw chemistry into life. This is what ID is really critiquing, and I think that as such it's a good critique.

Well, there's probably more to say, but that's good enough for now.

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quote:

Originally posted by Prez:

As for the ID crowd, their "agenda" could be just a scientific validation of their beliefs. I don't know, since I don't have an agenda. I believe in intelligent design, I believe that scientific evidence supports it, and I teach it to my kids at home. Case closed, for me.

What the public schools do, I really couldn't care less about.

I have no problem in the world with that. It is a constitutional right of what you do in your own home and what religious belief you hold. One can also teach it in Catholic school, Sunday school or a Church sermon for all I care. But once one starts trying to force it on the scientific community or public school occupied by students from many different ideological backgrounds (from athiests to religious fanatics) that's where I draw the line as well as the country should. I'm sure something like that is covered in the constitution.

You also have to remember the past violent and antagonistic relationship between the scientists and the religious. Not on the scientists part but the religious. It is only just a foot step away for the scientific community being under the thumbscrews of the religious again. Which not only hurt the scientists greatly but the worlds population also by keeping scientific discoveries under lock and key for a thousand years or more under the guise of blasphemy.

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quote:

Originally posted by Aperson:

Well, that would be nice except for the fact that the "Wedge Strategy" is used by many supporters of ID (obviously not you). Especially the ones who provide funding, like the Discovery Institute.


Thanks for that. How did you come across or even find that. I don't think in all the things I've read even mentioned that.

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Okay. So because you read somewhere that a frickin single cell organism accidently popped out of some petri dish, there is no God.

What can I say? You couldn't have a worse perspective on this, and I could not disagree with you more.

This is what they call an impasse, and it would be pointless to continue. Next topic, please.

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quote:

Do you mean that because you won't pursue this discussion, everybody else has to desert this thread ? A bit arrogant don't you think ?

Umm... no. Boy Howdy! You are getting EVERYTHING wrong. I simply was stating that I MYSELF am done with this topic. Feel free to continue, by all means.

Please don't automatically assume that your scientific knowledge is somehow superior to mine. I think you would be rather surprised at the extent of my affinity for and understanding of the sciences. Arrogance is not really becoming on you. Beating my head against a wall is not my idea of fun, nor is debating someone who is only willing to repeat their stance over and over again, never adding anything new or willing to hear a word the other party is saying. Have fun arguing with yourself!

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quote:

4. Some have said that evolution does not speak to human origins (life from non-life). That's only partly true. Darwin's theory, strictly speaking, does not. That has not stopped contemporary scientists from embracing an evolutionary model for producing the first life, and it is this which has been the most frequent sticking point for people of faith. The number of those who doubt evolution as a theory of change is far smaller than those who doubt its ability to transform raw chemistry into life. This is what ID is really critiquing, and I think that as such it's a good critique.


What people mean by "life" has always been an interesting question for me.The way I see it, people tend to call complex mechanism(too complex to completely analyze-understand- at a time) "living". For example in the past people thought the earth was "living" because they couldnt explain earthquakes,thunders,winds etc. People eventually were able to analyze these(meaning they began to *understand*) and earth is considered "non-living" now.

We understand how waves are happening and that makes it "non-living" but we cannot completely explain the complex reactions humans give to their environment(for now) and thats why humans are considered "living".

So,IMO, theres no *objective* difference between "life" and "non-life".

Just wanted to give my answer to that argument.

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quote:

Originally posted by Wolfheart:

What people mean by "life" has always been an interesting question for me.The way I see it, people tend to call complex mechanism(too complex to completely analyze-understand- at a time) "living". For example in the past people thought the earth was "living" because they couldnt explain earthquakes,thunders,winds etc. People eventually were able to analyze these(meaning they began to *understand*) and earth is considered "non-living" now.

We understand how waves are happening and that makes it "non-living" but we cannot completely explain the complex reactions humans give to their environment(for now) and thats why humans are considered "living".

So,IMO, theres no *objective* difference between "life" and "non-life".

Just wanted to give my answer to that argument.

I'm not sure complexity is what gives us our notion of "life" because I can imagine a machine that was too complex for me to understand it and I can also look at a biological entity that I cannot understand and make a clear distinction between the two. I think the relevant criteria here is the attribution of mind which, for lack of a better set of factors, we judge based on our experience of our own mind. I.e., I think a dog is a living thing because I see that it moves purposively, has reactions indicating intelligence, and other factors that I identify with my own conscious experience.

The main point you made about there being no objective way to distinguish between life and non-life is kind of strange because I don't think you have any difficulty picking out a corpse from a live person if you were to see them side by side. To cut to the meat of the question, it may be that our metaphysical intuitions differ here, but if the only change you see in the moments before and after a person dies is that some chemical change has ceased, then I could see how you would reject the distinction. I'm not sure that it is any more objective than the other view for that however since, again, one's presuppositions on materialism weigh heavily here.

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quote:

The main point you made about there being no objective way to distinguish between life and non-life is kind of strange because I don't think you have any difficulty picking out a corpse from a live person if you were to see them side by side.

Yes,it changes from a form("living") that I cannot completely understand its working mechanisms(unpredictable) to a form(dead) that I can easily understand(predictable)

The question is what happens when we completely understand working mechanisms of humans?

Of course thats assuming its possible to completely analyze humans.So like you said its all about one's presuppositions on materialism.

I think I have a better example: people who dont know much about gameprogramming are immersed in a game much easier than a game programmer.Why? Because its easier to give the illusion of reality to the first group(for example convincing them that characters in the game are living) than to the programmer,since the programmer can analyze working mechanisms of a game much better.You would need a more complex program to convince him than to convince regular player.

Would that dog still seem different to a complex machine if you could predict its moves just like you can predict machine's ?

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Unfortunatly, there isn't really an agreed upon difnation of "life" yet. And the difinations that do exsist have rather interesting and amusing holes.

quote:

Originally posted by LostInSpace:

Thanks for that. How did you come across or even find that. I don't think in all the things I've read even mentioned that.

I read the magizines Discover and NewScientist and they mentioned it a few times. So I did some simple research (Yay! Wikipedia) and found that.

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quote:

Originally posted by Wolfheart:

Yes,it changes from a form("living") that I cannot completely understand its working mechanisms(unpredictable) to a form(dead) that I can easily understand(predictable)

...Would that dog still seem different to a complex machine if you could predict its moves just like you can predict machine's ?

I'd argue that if you're a serious materialist, then understanding the first state requires that you understand the second since the material in question is the same.

Since I'm not a materialist, I hold that the reason why I can recognize a significant difference between the two chemically identical states is because there is an organizing/animating principle at work in the living that is not present in the dead. That's the soul in the classic parlance, but I'm hesitant to use the term since contemporary thinkers tend to consider any such usages as tantamount to "pass the rattlesnakes" class fundamentalism.

In relation to the point about predictability, remember that we can predict the behavior of two things that behave identically but which are themselves different kinds of entities. This makes sense if you think about the fact that the ability to predict that a feather and a stone will fall toward the earth does nothing to inform you about the difference between them intrinisically, and it obviously does not follow that there is no distinction between them. The ability to describe the operations of a thing is not the ability to describe what a thing is.

Getting back towards our topic, it is materialism that ID challenges because it basically challenges the notion of randomness that is part of the present generation of evolutionary thinking. We breed dogs for certain traits (and Darwin mentions pigeons), and that's what evolution looks like with a guiding intelligence. That's what ID's suggesting, and what I think most people are not getting is that you can't just bring out the old saw about science being what reasonable people think as opposed to "those crazy religious wackos." Science has nothing to say about the validity of metaphysical claims (religious or otherwise) because they (the metaphysics) are the framework within which the natural world operates. If we note that these are presuppositions to science, not conclusions which science itself can faithfully interrogate, then we become wiser about what we can and do, or cannot and could not know.

By the way, I challenge the earlier writer who spoke of science's martyrdom to religion and 1000-year secrets suppressed by the church to name just one person killed for their scientific theories by established religion. Galileo got house arrest, and his problem wasn't with religion, it was with the church of his day.

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