So your spots are getting pounded ...

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gulo
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gulo » September 12th, 2010, 6:38 am

gbin wrote:
gulo wrote:gbin - I may be jumping to conclusions...
May be? :roll:
gulo wrote:As for the dismissal of anecdotal evidence, which I think is frankly just stupid...
Who dismissed it? I didn't, and I don't recall anyone else doing so, either. Anecdotal information can be incredibly valuable. What I and others have been dismissive of is all the assumptions that are being made - as outright declarations, no less - based solely on such information. And then all the assumptions that are being made based on those assumptions, etc. Frankly, gulo, you've been jumping to an awful lot of places.
gulo wrote:God bless the Scientists. And their Religion.
And that just further demonstrates your poor grasp of what science is and is not. That's ok, we're none of us expert on everything, all of us ignorant of many things, and there's certainly no obligation on the part of anyone here to understand science (though you'd doubtless find it useful in nudging your perceptions toward reality). But you can probably count on me and others here calling you on it when you misrepresent science. If that bothers you, tough.

Pretty funny, Daryl - and all too accurate! :lol:

Gerry
It doesn't bother me a bit being called on things, Gerry. How else are we to evolve? :)

I have a firm enough grasp of science to have used it well enough to have made scientific contributions. In the literature, which means, as you know, I was thoroughly screened by other scientists - authorities no less. If my grasp of science were so poor, I doubt this would have been possible. In fact, I would argue that the successful execution of this process makes me a scientist, no? (Just as my herping makes me a herper and my collecting a collector.)

I enjoy science, and enjoy practicing it. I have been around enough scientists to know that for many of them, it is nothing less than a religion, and I don't have much time nor mercy for such zealots. (The Church and Science - the classic battle, right? First the Church claimed ownership of higher knowledge, then the Scientists did - and still do in many individual cases. Well, as i said, there are many ways of knowing outside of either. My favorite scientists get this, and are better observers for it.)

Observant locals - I have learned a lot from them. Even the ones who kill snakes. Even the ones who get the nomenclature wrong, which is not necessarily an impediment if you speak the local language. And yes, there are as many stupid ones as there are in any culture of people.

Anyway, isn't this fun?! :lol:

Today i'm going herping up the road. Won't tell you where, though, other than that. Keeps the spots from getting pounded, you know. I'd take you, though - i'm really starting to like you. ;)

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by stlouisdude » September 12th, 2010, 7:45 am

Every field has arrogant and incompetent people. I bet many of us know an MD that fits this category.

All through University the thing that was hammered on was that science provides a process for investigation and that no knowledge is ever complete. That process includes the use of multiple methods and in fact evidence is much stronger when triangulated.. when multiple methods arrive at a similar conclusion and when those results can be reproduced.

I'll give you one funny example of how observation was useful. I was talking with a chick about people not washing hands when leaving the washroom. She said about 1 out of 3 women didn't, I said I saw about the same number of men who didn't. Well, long story short we ended up with teams of people monitoring hand washing at University. Turns out my perception wasn't entirely accurate as about 40% of men did not wash their hands and 20% of women. A later experiment replicated results that men would use urinals in a certain order depending on the position of other men using urinals. Btw, this was a state institution so you guys are paying for this "information".

You guys are lucky to have picked a wildlife path, just think, you could have spent your University days having to watch people piss :)

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gbin
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gbin » September 12th, 2010, 7:52 am

gulo wrote:It doesn't bother me a bit being called on things, Gerry. How else are we to evolve? :)
I'd instead say "improve" so as not to (further) muddle anyone's understanding of evolution, but otherwise my sentiment, exactly. :thumb:
gulo wrote:I have a firm enough grasp of science to have used it well enough to have made scientific contributions...
Two points: 1) I have fixed the occasional faucet in my day, but it doesn't by any means make me a plumber. 2) Even among plumbers some are better at it than others. For my own part, too, I am certain that I am a better scientist than I was earlier in my career, and I would hope I'll be a better scientist still by the time I'm done. Equating scientific evidence with anecdotal information and science with religion both show a poor grasp of science, in my view. If it's instead just been hyperbole on your part for the sake of argument, well, folks have enough trouble today understanding what science is and is not - and there are more than a few people out there trying to deliberately confuse them about it for less than honorable purposes - that I believe people who truly get it should be trying to help better the situation, not worsen it.
gulo wrote:... I'd take you, though - i'm really starting to like you. ;)
Thanks! I reckon we'd get along fine and have a darn good time, too! We're likely much more similar than it has appeared in this forum of late, and there's certainly fun to be found even in dissimilarities, too. :beer:
stlouisdude wrote:... about 40% of men did not wash their hands and 20% of women...
Ugh! :shock:

Gerry

gulo
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gulo » September 13th, 2010, 7:30 am

gbin wrote:
gulo wrote:It doesn't bother me a bit being called on things, Gerry. How else are we to evolve? :)
I'd instead say "improve" so as not to (further) muddle anyone's understanding of evolution, but otherwise my sentiment, exactly. :thumb:
gulo wrote:I have a firm enough grasp of science to have used it well enough to have made scientific contributions...
Two points: 1) I have fixed the occasional faucet in my day, but it doesn't by any means make me a plumber. 2) Even among plumbers some are better at it than others. For my own part, too, I am certain that I am a better scientist than I was earlier in my career, and I would hope I'll be a better scientist still by the time I'm done. Equating scientific evidence with anecdotal information and science with religion both show a poor grasp of science, in my view. If it's instead just been hyperbole on your part for the sake of argument, well, folks have enough trouble today understanding what science is and is not - and there are more than a few people out there trying to deliberately confuse them about it for less than honorable purposes - that I believe people who truly get it should be trying to help better the situation, not worsen it.
gulo wrote:... I'd take you, though - i'm really starting to like you. ;)
Thanks! I reckon we'd get along fine and have a darn good time, too! We're likely much more similar than it has appeared in this forum of late, and there's certainly fun to be found even in dissimilarities, too. :beer:
stlouisdude wrote:... about 40% of men did not wash their hands and 20% of women...
Ugh! :shock:

Gerry
I never said I was a good scientist. Apparently adequate. (At times.)

I don't disagree with you (if i understand you right) about what science is, I think i'm speaking more of what i've found scientists to be. The perfect system with the imperfect driver. Not having been around any great ones. I've been around some great horsemen - no great scientists. Unless insufferable is an indication of greatness. In which case I may have to reconsider about the scientists. :)

chad ks
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 8:48 am

And that just further demonstrates your poor grasp of what science is and is not. That's ok, we're none of us expert on everything, all of us ignorant of many things, and there's certainly no obligation on the part of anyone here to understand science (though you'd doubtless find it useful in nudging your perceptions toward reality). But you can probably count on me and others here calling you on it when you misrepresent science. If that bothers you, tough.
Hey Gerry, nice to see you involved in another debate. Seriously, it's a great quality about FHF that we have professionals to discuss with...I consider it a luxury.

Anyway, you're doing philosophy here, not science. In fact, and I really do mean this with all due respect, it seems to me that the vast majority of scientists who are limited to their scientific training (as opposed to their scientific training combined with logical and argumentative training) and education are piss poor at doing philosophy (I don't mean you specifically Gerry). Yet, often times the philosophers who I respect the most ARE scientists who are also philosophers. At this piont, Gerry- if you're willing, I would love for you to describe science and your interpretation of demarcation and then I would love to discuss what it means to make the connection between "using science to nudge your perceptions toward reality" and "acting like a person ought to act". In fact, I consider science a religion the most when I hear scientists suggest science as a means of living life, a means of accessing reality and living up to our intellectual potential. This is exactly the same role as religion through history- I might suggest to you, Gerry, that science simply IS the most widely accepted current academic view on truth in the world today, yesterday it was belief in the supernatural and god...in my mind, this is simply artificial selection applied to religion, selection for the bits of information that strike scientists as accurate in accordance with their method for finding knowledge (= epistemology). So, could it be that science is the new breed of religion? And if so, what's wrong with that?

chad ks
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 8:50 am

gulo wrote:[
I never said I was a good scientist. Apparently adequate. (At times.)

I don't disagree with you (if i understand you right) about what science is, I think i'm speaking more of what i've found scientists to be. The perfect system with the imperfect driver. Not having been around any great ones. I've been around some great horsemen - no great scientists. Unless insufferable is an indication of greatness. In which case I may have to reconsider about the scientists. :)
This is a very important distinction to draw- between scientists and science. The same distinction applies to the religious as well as religion. I think that you were correct to consider science a brand of religion...

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Cole Grover
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Cole Grover » September 13th, 2010, 9:34 am

chad ks wrote:I think that you were correct to consider science a brand of religion...
I'll have to step in here and disagree, buddy. I meant to chime in and raise this point with gulo, but didn't get a chance earlier this morning. Religion and science are completely separate philosophies, something I'm sure you're actually aware of. Science is no more a brand of religion than religion is a brand of science.

To quote Wikipedia (Sorry... :roll: )
Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe. It is commonly regarded as consisting of a person’s relation to God or to gods or spirits.

See, religion has its base in "belief", an idea which has no place in science. Science, on the other hand, is based on factual reality. Case in point (and an often contentious issue between the philosophies): a person can refuse to "believe" in evolution, but evolution continues to be a factual reality in spite of that. The same is true of gravity, Earth's roundness, or any number of other tested and verified truths.

On a separate note, how has herping been in KS? SLOW here in MT...

-Cole

chad ks
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 9:58 am

Cole Grover wrote:
chad ks wrote:I think that you were correct to consider science a brand of religion...
I'll have to step in here and disagree, buddy. I meant to chime in and raise this point with gulo, but didn't get a chance earlier this morning. Religion and science are completely separate philosophies, something I'm sure you're actually aware of. Science is no more a brand of religion than religion is a brand of science.

To quote Wikipedia (Sorry... :roll: )
Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe. It is commonly regarded as consisting of a person’s relation to God or to gods or spirits.

See, religion has its base in "belief", an idea which has no place in science. Science, on the other hand, is based on factual reality. Case in point (and an often contentious issue between the philosophies): a person can refuse to "believe" in evolution, but evolution continues to be a factual reality in spite of that. The same is true of gravity, Earth's roundness, or any number of other tested and verified truths.

On a separate note, how has herping been in KS? SLOW here in MT...

-Cole
I couldn't be happier to have YOU respond, Cole, because I've always thought your scientific knowledge to be very respect worthy. Thanks for chiming in! First of all, I whole heartedly reject your (or wiki's) definition of religion because it is sub-par. It is far too narrow to include obvious religions without gods such as Buddhism and Confucianism. However the middle section of the definition IS accurate in accordance with my conception.

To me, in order to adequately understand religion, one must adequately understand religious systems that do not fall into our typical western conception of the word: many religions do not involve the supernatural or dogmatism applied to gods or theism. In fact, in my study of religion, I've come to have a hard time differentiating between some eastern religions and some western political ideologies; I believe that an honest and intense study of global religion will produce the idea that political ideology, religious practice and pragmatism are all belief systems that fill the same role within the human mind-oriented system of belief and knowledge.

Do you believe that science requires no belief? In this case, I urge you to consider what it means to have options for belief such as these:

"do I believe in evoution, or creationism?"

"do I believe in the big bang?"

"do I believe that science should be my philosophy (=pragmatism)?"

Anyway, I would like to say more but right now I have to go. Thanks Cole!

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 13th, 2010, 10:00 am

Science is a belief system but its a belief in a process rather than a set of tenets. This has always been the big difference between science and religion to me.

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way." --Bokonon

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Daryl Eby
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Daryl Eby » September 13th, 2010, 10:06 am

Cole Grover wrote:
chad ks wrote:I think that you were correct to consider science a brand of religion...
I'll have to step in here and disagree, buddy.
Me too. Religion requires faith and considers doubt a weakness. Science requires evidence and seeks proof. If some folks place an unjustified amount of faith in some scientific claims, that is a reflection on them, not on the science or scientists that they believe.

Added in response to Chad's most recent comment: Saying that science, religion, and political ideologies are all belief systems sounds right to me, but that does not mean that science and politics are religion. Just like saying humans, dogs, and whales are all mammals, but that does not mean dogs and whales are humans.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Mike Pingleton » September 13th, 2010, 10:23 am

"do I believe in evolution, or creationism?"

apples and oranges. bananas too.

I believe it's time for some lunch.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Mike Pingleton » September 13th, 2010, 10:26 am

"Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am, a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So go out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, and bag the peaks... and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over your enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box...I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards." - Edward Abbey

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gbin
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gbin » September 13th, 2010, 10:36 am

chad ks wrote:... I think that you were correct to consider science a brand of religion...
And I'm pretty sure that you don't really believe what you're saying, Chad, but are instead just indulging in more game-playing (and in this case are baiting me in particular). If I thought you were sincere then I'd happily participate in a discussion of the topic with you, but under the circumstances I'm reluctant. I think Cole, Bryan and Daryl are doing a fine job of dealing with it, too.

But I suppose that given the Great FHF Crash of 2010 there isn't any longer a post of mine in the archives explaining what science is and is not, so I'll add my part to the conversation and then leave it at that.

Science is a means to gain understanding of the world around us, i.e. a way to seek truth, and as such is most certainly a philosophy.

Religion is a faith-based belief system, whereas science is an evidence-based belief system. (I suspect this is really what you meant to get at, Cole.)

Science differs from other evidence-based belief systems in that it specifically requires the application of the scientific method, which is designed to minimize the influence of bias on the collection and interpretation of information.

I can't spare more than a few minutes on lunch today, so I'll leave it to others to describe the scientific method or do so myself (maybe by edit so that it's all in one place) when I have more time.

Gerry

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Fundad
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Fundad » September 13th, 2010, 10:53 am

"Any observant local knows more about his surroundings than any visiting scientist. No exceptions."
-Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, Biologist; Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society;
Scholar of Clare College, Cambridge University; Frank Knox Fellow, Harvard University;
Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology, Cambridge University...
I Love this, and its Right on the mark..

Fundad

chad ks
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:01 am

Bryan Hamilton wrote:Science is a belief system but its a belief in a process rather than a set of tenets. This has always been the big difference between science and religion to me.

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way." --Bokonon
lol, nice qoute.

I agree with you, both are belief systems and this becomes much more evident when one considers the proposition: "believe in science", which to a scientist is a meaningless combination of words but to a non-scientist (the majority of the world) these words represent an alternative for belief to non-science. But you might have misunderstood religion, which is also a belief in process. I'll explain my argument more below...

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 13th, 2010, 11:04 am

Fundad wrote:Quote:
"Any observant local knows more about his surroundings than any visiting scientist. No exceptions."
-Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, Biologist; Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society;
Scholar of Clare College, Cambridge University; Frank Knox Fellow, Harvard University;
Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology, Cambridge University...



I Love this, and its Right on the mark..

Fundad
I have to agree with this too. I'm always amazed when a scientist visits an area, spends two weeks (or more likely two days) surveying then declares him or herself as the supreme expert on the site and draws some very poor conclusions on the experience. These things are published way too often. Of course when you're the first to do something you can get away with alot.

OTOH, we're all welcome to go out and prove those scientists wrong. Or in the interest of a scientific discussion where proof isn't really possible, provide evidence that the scientists are full of beans...

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:05 am

Mike Pingleton wrote:"do I believe in evolution, or creationism?"

apples and oranges. bananas too.

I believe it's time for some lunch.
Hey Mike, thanks for chiming in with a good point. Apples to oranges though? Not hardly. :D

You see, we're talking about beliefs here...and as far as beliefs go, they're all alternatives to one another but some are different because they are dichotmous, or forced. This occurs when one potential belief has contradictory elements toward another and these elements must be analytically fused into the identity or definition of the potential belief. In other words, if creationism is a word that necessarily involves the rejection of science and if a scientific world view (= pragmatic world view) necessarily involves elements that contradict with necessary parts of creationism, you have a forced option...meaning that you MUST choose between one or the other. This means that, apples or steaks, you have to make a decision between options.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 13th, 2010, 11:10 am

I have to admit I have virtually no interest in philosophy. Its taken me long enough to understand science I won't pretend to understand relidion too.

I mostly just hope I'm not becoming the "murderously resentful man". I can attest firsthand that there is a LOT of faith involved in science. My doctorate seems like a long long way away...

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:11 am

Daryl Eby wrote: Me too. Religion requires faith and considers doubt a weakness. Science requires evidence and seeks proof. If some folks place an unjustified amount of faith in some scientific claims, that is a reflection on them, not on the science or scientists that they believe.

Added in response to Chad's most recent comment: Saying that science, religion, and political ideologies are all belief systems sounds right to me, but that does not mean that science and politics are religion. Just like saying humans, dogs, and whales are all mammals, but that does not mean dogs and whales are humans.
Good point about doubt...however, many religions encourage doubt. Doubt is not a necessary condition of religion. One can be of a particular religion and doubt elements within it such as the conflicts within Christianity that revolve around free will, etc. Also, I've noted many Christians who claim to have TRIED to doubt their belief, like Descartes did, but have failed. When you consider the word doubt, how is it that it can be applied to anything but not religion? Do you doubt that you exist? To some people who claim to have personal experiences of the divine, it would be equally strange to doubt their experience. This isn't justification to promote the belief, but it is reasonable justification to believe for the individual. Some have called it "private data".

One could make an equally compelling argument that science also rejects doubt, such as the doubt that science accesses reality any better than non-science. Or how about scientists who doubt global warming or scientists who doubt the accuracy of science in finding meta-physical truths...you see, science is as much subject to the disparities of human social interactions as any other enterprise.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:13 am

Bryan Hamilton wrote:I have to admit I have virtually no interest in philosophy. I mostly just hope I'm not becoming the "murderously resentful man". I can attest firsthand that there is a LOT of faith involved in science. My doctorate seems like a long long way away...
lol. You seem interested to me! You just don't understand it well enough to know that you ARE a philosopher just by being a scientist (= a positivist). We're all philosphers really (if we seek truth and wisdom), but the instituion of philosophy that is so widely mocked in the sciences (in my experience) really just reflects ignorance, the same brand of ignorance that creationism reflects applied to science.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:29 am

And I'm pretty sure that you don't really believe what you're saying, Chad, but are instead just indulging in more game-playing (and in this case are baiting me in particular). If I thought you were sincere then I'd happily participate in a discussion of the topic with you, but under the circumstances I'm reluctant. I think Cole, Bryan and Daryl are doing a fine job of dealing with it, too.
Hey Gerry, my sincere compliments earlier were my attempt to prompt you to put personal differences aside and have a real discussion. I know where you're coming from and how it must sound to consider what I'm saying, but what I'm saying has truth and merit and if you reject it simply because I'm the one presenting it, you will be missing out on an opportunity to learn. I'm assuming by your claims that you have some things to learn about science and philosophy, are you willing to give it a try or are you too spiteful and bitter about our previous exchanges? If I'm wrong, I believe that you will prove it and I will have learned something new as well as added a good argument to my arsenal of fun arguments.
But I suppose that given the Great FHF Crash of 2010 there isn't any longer a post of mine in the archives explaining what science is and is not, so I'll add my part to the conversation and then leave it at that.
Thank you for adding your part, it's a contribution that I consider meaningful. I hope that you will participate and will not simply leave it at that...because if by some chance we do have a well natured conversation in which you and I both learn something, it will have been worth the risk of repeating the mundane facts of science that you probably take for granted.
Science is a means to gain understanding of the world around us, i.e. a way to seek truth, and as such is most certainly a philosophy.
Indeed!
Religion is a faith-based belief system, whereas science is an evidence-based belief system. (I suspect this is really what you meant to get at, Cole.)
Okay, now let's talk. When you speak of religion, it sounds to me like you're including everything religious both present and past. Past religions, according to you I suspect, were less faith based and more fact based even though these facts, as factual as they seemed at the time, were non-scientific and were merely the positing of anthropic forces behind the mysteries of the world. People had minds that made their plows move, so they thought there must have been minds to make the wind and sun move. That's science before science- the application of sense data and rationality to form conclusions base on evidence. Now, it might not have used the scientific method because it hadn't yet been invented, but surely we can agree that early forms of religion were in place of modern forms of science.

So, if there came a point when science developed into an enterprise best suited to reduce human influence and anthropic-imposition on our beliefs, at that point was religion erradicated from our lives or did it just shift into something new that better reflected the tools that science had formed to better access truth?

To me, religion is the human attempt to find truth and little more. There is a following taxonomy, like there is in herpetology, that describes the types of religion in a hierarchy of detail starting with the broadest and ending with the most detailed...religion would be like a kingdon and then corresponding to this heading would be a cascade of more-detailed types of religion such as political ideology, scientific ideology, theistic ideology etc.
Science differs from other evidence-based belief systems in that it specifically requires the application of the scientific method, which is designed to minimize the influence of bias on the collection and interpretation of information.
Yes, but what is the scientific method if not a way by which we seek facts? Wasn't religion historically the same method? Of course there are all sorts of discussions to have about the validity of some beliefs versus others...but what it ALL boils down to is credulity. You seem to think that all religious belief is credulous and THAT'S what you mean to separate from science, I'm positive of this.
I can't spare more than a few minutes on lunch today, so I'll leave it to others to describe the scientific method or do so myself (maybe by edit so that it's all in one place) when I have more time.
Thanks for participating and I hope that you'll have time later to correct all of my mistakes. ;)

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Cole Grover
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Cole Grover » September 13th, 2010, 11:33 am

gbin wrote:Religion is a faith-based belief system, whereas science is an evidence-based belief system. (I suspect this is really what you meant to get at, Cole.)
More or less, yes. Belief is irrelevant, though, in my eyes. I see "belief" as fundamentally faith-based, so they're one and the same to me. I accept your definition above as more complete than mine. Reality continues whether people believe in it or not. Religion doesn't have that luxury.

Chad,

Always a pleasure to interact with you, whether it be in person or through electronic media. As for your stance on the subject, you're the philosophy student, not me! Your proposition to "believe in science" is, to me, an oxymoron. I'll be stepping out, now - I'm heading out of town and won't have internet access for the rest of the week.

-Cole

RobK

Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by RobK » September 13th, 2010, 11:34 am

“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect us.”
No wait.. that's not right...

this one...

"If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search." — some guy by the name of Nietzsche

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 11:37 am

Cole Grover wrote:
Chad,

Always a pleasure to interact with you, whether it be in person or through electronic media. As for your stance on the subject, you're the philosophy student, not me! Your proposition to "believe in science" is, to me, an oxymoron. I'll be stepping out, now - I'm heading out of town and won't have internet access for the rest of the week.

-Cole
Of course the feeling is mutual! You, too, were at one time a philosophy student. You see, the idea of "believe in science" is only an oxymoron to people who believe that their collective sense would provide for truths...but there's a lot of argument to be made about that subject and it is by no means restricted to philosophy. Sometime check out the historical dialectic between rationalism and empiricism, then after that feel free to come back and agree with me. ;)

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Cole Grover » September 13th, 2010, 11:59 am

chad ks wrote:check out the historical dialectic between rationalism and empiricism, then after that feel free to come back and agree with me.
Bam! LOL Gotta run.

-Cole

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 1:32 pm

Since none of the many scientists around seem to want to chat, I'll add a little more kindling (of course I realize they're probably just too busy to humor me):
Science differs from other evidence-based belief systems in that it specifically requires the application of the scientific method, which is designed to minimize the influence of bias on the collection and interpretation of information.
Ah, then you accept that science is indeed a belief system. That's step one, step two is realizing that to the majority of humans living on the earth today science is no more a potential belief than any accepted religion. The requirement for adopting science into one's identity is education, but what is the process by which we adopt religious views? Education.

Anyway, to create even more "controversy", let's consider for a moment the various lingual uses of "religion". Specifically, its use as a predicate such as in the proposition: "Wow, that guy has a religious devotion to X", whatever X may be. X could be sports, or herping...or dare I say, even SCIENCE.

Yes that's right folks, one can have a religious devotion to science and THIS is the crux of my argument. To me religion isn't about the belief...it simply can't be because things can be said of one religion that are totally alternative to another...creating qualities within religion as a whole that are simultaneously true and untrue. Hmmm, that doesn't work...so then perhaps we should think about the qualities that ALL religions have, like faith. Some religions have a high degree of faith and ask to be believed contrary to reason and observation/evidence, other religions have a low degree of faith that only applies to their hope that what they believe is true in spite of its coherence to accepted fact and science.

The last sentence is important when applied to the incredulous religious person, who is actually a scientist without the institutional education. The religious person is acting scientifically by positing what to them is a reasonable explanation in accordance with their senses, rationality and lived experience. The scientist is doing no different. Gerry argues that the difference is the scientific method, however we can use these exact methods to make preposterous claims such as this:

...if I release this ball and if it drops to the earth, it means that god exists. You see, the method doesn't do anything to prevent the faulty conclusion. It's THIS reasoning that disconnects the scientist from the science and the method, scientists take the evidence that they observe using the scientific method to further their own personal narrative such as that god doesn't exist, a similar claim was recently made by Hawking.

Yet another counter example to Gerry's claim is that science existed before the scientific method. Yet another- what scientific method can we use to experience one of the foundations of all science, the atom?

The simple truth is, no matter how many scientists can combine to disagree with me, that there's nothing inherently "within" science that tells me that I ought to ascribe to it rather than any other belief system. I grant that science leads us to many specific types of truths and that these truths cannot be reasonably disputed, but what is it within science that promotes the idea that TRUTH ought to be the number one priority for a life well lived? What about kindness or wisdom as a number one pursuit, even when it doesn't coincide with truth?

What if scientific truth leads to heart ache or cynicism? If the goal of adopting a belief system is to reduce regret within a life well lived and if part of this is ascribing to that system which grants the most evident truth, at what time is it then permissable to reject truth in sacrifice for the life well lived once they come into conflict?

This is tremendously important and as far as I can tell few scientists actually ask themselves which is more important as a virtue: living your life according to truth or living your life according to happiness? I believe this isn't a forced question or a dichotomy, but it becomes one when the two ideas conflict and one has to be granted at the expense of another. It just so happens that many people can live their entire lives without ever encountering this conflict between truth and happiness, perhaps many of the people arguing on behalf of their limited understanding of science within this thread will never encounter such a problem...which is obviously why they shrug it off.

...but to the rest who care to create maximally happy lives rather than purely happy lives, pure being a measurement of truth, they are left with a problem that scientists rarely offer to help with, especially the types of scientists who adopt the poor philosophy and immature attitude of people like Richard Dawkins and that king fool of a jester, Christopher Hitchens. These people are unsophisticated thinkers and unfortunately their irrational evangelism on behalf of their unsophistication has duped many potentially good philosophers into becoming limited scientists... :)

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 1:47 pm

So, as I understand it, most scientists who are anti-religious are actually saying this:

Premise 1: A life well lived is the goal of every living person.

Premise 1: Truth is the number one virtue and method by which to achieve a life well lived.

Sub-conclusion 1: Truth must be a matter of testability/repeatability as well as scientific consensus
Conclusion: Science is the best method to use to access truth and thus the scientific person will accomplish a life well lived.

I could be wrong in this argument or scheme and I may have misrepresented science, if so please correct me and we'll discuss it. If I am correct that this is the basic form of the argument that most scientists would make for WHY a person would adopt a scientific world view, then I would like to propose this counter argument:

Premise 1: A life well lived is the goal of every living person

Premise 1: Moral and virtuous behavior such as kindness, understanding and tolerance equate to the number one virtue and method by which to achieve a life well lived

Sub-conclusion 1: Enterprises that invoke these virtues contribute to a life well lived

Conclusion: A scientific world view is not necessary for a life well lived because it does not invoke these virtues.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 1:49 pm

John Vanek wrote:Philosophers are so cute :beer:
You must have never seen a picture of William James. heh. I really wish there were more cute philosophers, especially the female kind...

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Mike Rochford » September 13th, 2010, 4:30 pm

Chad- I think truth is the foundation of a moral life. It's not the only quality, but it helps. For example, the belizians that burned down the croc sanctuary may have been acting morally (But that's a pretty big MAYBE) if it were true that the owners had something to do with the disappearance of those children. However, it obviously wasn't true. Was it a (big) misunderstanding? Sure. Does that make it ok? No way. And the more we can avoid that type of misunderstanding, the better off we all are. As long as people attack the idea of religion and not the intelligence or character of the people who follow it, I really don't understand how it is fair to say that scientists are intolerant or lacking a sense of morality.

Humbly,

Mike E. Fresh

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 4:48 pm

Mike Rochford wrote:Chad- I think truth is the foundation of a moral life. It's not the only quality, but it helps. For example, the belizians that burned down the croc sanctuary may have been acting morally (But that's a pretty big MAYBE) if it were true that the owners had something to do with the disappearance of those children. However, it obviously wasn't true. Was it a (big) misunderstanding? Sure. Does that make it ok? No way. And the more we can avoid that type of misunderstanding, the better off we all are. As long as people attack the idea of religion and not the intelligence or character of the people who follow it, I really don't understand how it is fair to say that scientists are intolerant or lacking a sense of morality.

Humbly,

Mike E. Fresh
Good points and well said Fresh! (you're always humble man):

That was very sad. Obviously I don't support willful ignorance (=credulity)...and I think it's misguided and irrational to criticize the enterprise of religion...it's like hacking off a corn snake's head because it's a snake and some snakes are venomous and dangerous. Apply your criticism to where it belongs, which isn't to religion. I often wonder what exactly the anti-religious activists are criticizing- the person, the belief, the education level...it's not very clear most of the time.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Mike Rochford » September 13th, 2010, 5:04 pm

So what ought one criticize if not religion? Some part of the system that leads to this kind of misunderstanding is deserving of criticism. If it's not the person it must be the organization. No?

Mike

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gbin » September 13th, 2010, 5:22 pm

John Vanek wrote:
Bryan Hamilton wrote:I'm always amazed when a scientist visits an area, spends two weeks (or more likely two days) surveying then declares him or herself as the supreme expert on the site and draws some very poor conclusions on the experience. These things are published way too often..
I hate to be that guy, but can you back this up with examples? While I'm sure it happens occasionally, I doubt it happens often. I can't think of any field studies that can be conducted in two days, let alone two weeks.
Yeah, I've been a scientist myself and associated with an awful lot of others over quite a number of years, now, and yet I've only rarely encountered any who are arrogantly dismissive of laypeople's field expertise, anti-religious, etc. as some folks claim are so common to the profession. But I suppose if you're inclined to see someone as an enemy (for whatever reason) then you're likely to represent that someone as an enemy to others - regardless of the truth of the matter.

Gerry

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 5:46 pm

Mike Rochford wrote:So what ought one criticize if not religion? Some part of the system that leads to this kind of misunderstanding is deserving of criticism. If it's not the person it must be the organization. No?

Mike
Good question, that's not my call. I'm addressing a few arguments that are popular among scientists with the understanding that they mean to criticize a specific behavior rather than religion as a whole. I've always been a big fan of opposing intelligent design standards in Kansas science schools, that seems like a worthwhile cause because it protects the greater good from having irrational beliefs imposed upon them. It's a two way street, of course... :beer:

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 5:48 pm

chad ks wrote:
Mike Rochford wrote:So what ought one criticize if not religion? Some part of the system that leads to this kind of misunderstanding is deserving of criticism. If it's not the person it must be the organization. No?

Mike
Good question, that's not my call. I'm addressing a few arguments that are popular among scientists with the understanding that they mean to criticize a specific behavior rather than religion as a whole. I've always been a big fan of opposing intelligent design standards in Kansas schools, that seems like a worthwhile cause because it protects the greater good from having irrational beliefs imposed upon them. It's a two way street, of course... :beer:

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gulo » September 13th, 2010, 6:06 pm

I need to qualify my "science as religion" comment. Again, it is not that i take science to be a religion, but rather that some scientists treat is as such. Something sacred not to be questioned. (Especially not by a "layman" egads!) Which is ridiculous. Science - especially field science - will always be more question than answer. Such scientists, to me, are more indoctrinated than educated.

I have become acquainted with scientists who vehemently insist that science is the only way to know. Any knowledge arrived at by any means other than scientific method is not knowledge. Anyone who has arrived at any authority that is not based on scientific method is a fool to be summarily dismissed without further examination. These people to me are no less than religious zealots - they have made a religion of science. It is a sin, to them, to suggest that science may not be providing us with all we need to know, and possibly cannot. The problem here is not science, it is the individual scientists.

Historic context suggests that people want religion, and some seem to need it, and that without it we loose cohesion as a community. So it makes perfect sense to me that certain scientists want something more (and less) of science than it really represents.

Beware the zealot, the one who has all the answers, regardless of background. I suppose that's the lesson here.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by VanAR » September 13th, 2010, 6:22 pm

AH, a philosphical discussion- I'd much prefer if this were done in person, over a beer.....

Unfortunately, I've already had my beer, and am now communicating over the intertubes, so I apologixze if my logic (or grammar) becomei unssouned. I hope the same applies to you (whoever the collectrve people may be).

Seems that this discussion has taken a turn into relatively uncharted territory, far beyond discussions of impacts on animals, and into genuine philosophy.
So, as I understand it, most scientists who are anti-religious are actually saying this:

Premise 1: A life well lived is the goal of every living person.

Premise 1: Truth is the number one virtue and method by which to achieve a life well lived.
As my #1 favorite movie character would say, Archaeology is the search for FACT, not truth.....
Premise 1: A life well lived is the goal of every living person

Premise 1: Moral and virtuous behavior such as kindness, understanding and tolerance equate to the number one virtue and method by which to achieve a life well lived
Science has no bearing on either of the above statements, IMO. Science is a method of understanding, with no comment on the philosophies of mores, virtue, kindness, or tolerance. I leave out understanding as science is the primary human endeavor that results in "understanding" of the natural world- not necessarily its motives. Eugenics makes a great example- the science of natural and artificial selection show that Eugenics is possible, but have nothing to say about its moral implications.

Science is a means toward mechanistic understanding of the universe. It is concerned with the HOW of a phenomenon, and not the WHY. This makes science an inherently mechanistic and reductionist philosophy, which is where I think it differs most from religion.

As for Chad's example:
...if I release this ball and if it drops to the earth, it means that god exists. You see, the method doesn't do anything to prevent the faulty conclusion. It's THIS reasoning that disconnects the scientist from the science and the method, scientists take the evidence that they observe using the scientific method to further their own personal narrative such as that god doesn't exist, a similar claim was recently made by Hawking.
Any scientist that attempts to explain WHY gravity exists is a fraud attempting sell a controversial opinion for financial gain (Hawking is not exempt from that accusation). Science is the means to explain how gravity works, not why it exists. The ultimate WHY explanation is the realm of religion. Dawkins and others overstep their bounds by attempting to bring spirituality within the realm of science. Just as religions are untestable, the possibility of a supreme being or supreme scheme is equally untestable (by human means) and is thus not part of science. Dawkins, Hawking, and others have made a living out of attempting to do this, but it just isn't valid.

To finish, I'll suggest that science does incorporate some aspects of faith. To be a good scientist, you must have faith that the system works- that other scientists are doing their best to limit or report bias in their work, and that peer review is a valid method for filtering dishonest work from that which is valid. Because science is necessarily a human endeavor, the faith is not necessarily in the method or idea, but in your fellow scientists.
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
.....
However, I don't think any of that applies to the current discussion. The current discussion rests upon the premise that observing the disappearance of snakes from a disturbed area is because disturbance directly results in harm to the snakes. THAT IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ARGUMENT. Rather, it is a hypothesis that is HIGHLY testable via the scientific method, and is based on non-mechanistic observations that do not control for external influences. As a result, the 'science as religion' red herring argument is completely beside the point, and is being used as an ignorant cop-out to disavow certain individuals from having to mechanistically explain how "disappearance = harm", rather than "disappearance = suddenly I am not able to find a snake that I used to see". There are several leaps of faith necessary to this argument, none of which have been addressed in a controlled manner. Could it happen? Absolutely. IS it happening? Much harder to say given current arguments.

Van

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gbin » September 13th, 2010, 6:39 pm

chad ks wrote:... I'm addressing a few arguments that are popular among scientists...
gulo wrote:... it is not that i take science to be a religion, but rather that some scientists treat is as such...
And that quick we get not one but two more examples of what I was just talking about: People who likely have little direct experience with actual scientists (and who obviously have a poor grasp of science in general) somehow encounter all these big, bad scientists, while someone who's made a career in the profession has only rarely met such. Curious, isn't it?

Better leave a light on when you go to bed at night, kids, or the scientists will get you! :twisted:

Gerry

P.S. You're wasting your time addressing Chad as if he were serious, Van - or even worse, you're encouraging him. He might not know much about science, but it seems pretty obvious that he knows he's sprinkling misinformation about it throughout his posts.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Daryl Eby » September 13th, 2010, 6:45 pm

gbin wrote:Better leave a light on when you go to bed at night, kids, or the scientists will get you! :twisted:
OMG. Now I'm gonna have nightmares. Somebody hold me. :oops:

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 7:28 pm

VanAR wrote:AH, a philosphical discussion- I'd much prefer if this were done in person, over a beer.....
Yeah, that'd be ideal...but this will do for now. :beer:
Science has no bearing on either of the above statements, IMO. Science is a method of understanding, with no comment on the philosophies of mores, virtue, kindness, or tolerance. I leave out understanding as science is the primary human endeavor that results in "understanding" of the natural world- not necessarily its motives. Eugenics makes a great example- the science of natural and artificial selection show that Eugenics is possible, but have nothing to say about its moral implications.
Well, that's debatable. Some people have argued that certain scientific reasoning (abductive) can be applied to moral situations and behavior. But, I get what you're saying and this is true. I like your attitude, it isn't what I'm arguing against. I'm arguing against people who use science as a foundation upon which they become activists against religion- this is a complaint about scientists and not science and about specific scientists and not all scientists.
Science is a means toward mechanistic understanding of the universe. It is concerned with the HOW of a phenomenon, and not the WHY. This makes science an inherently mechanistic and reductionist philosophy, which is where I think it differs most from religion.
Ah, but you see the "how" and the "why" have been historically fused into one question until our tools for finding knowledge were sharpened enough to separate them. This separation is very profound in the history of science and philosophy- the Greeks were some of the first western thinkers to ask scientific questions and let's not forget that mathematic inquiry, the result of philosophy, is what eventually gave birth to the hard sciences and attempt to describe the universe deductively. I don't see the meaning in even considering the "how" and "why" function or non-function of science or religion because to me this discussion isn't about the validity of science, which I acknowledge as a fact-producing process, it's about whether or not science can serve as a replacement for religion and more importantly on a larger scale could religion and science be wedded concepts considering the mutual necessary conditions that they share. The answer is meaningful because it contributes to either the inflation of the deflation of the popular science movements against religion. If there's any question of whether or not this movement exists, ask and I will provide examples. I understand that you believe that they are distinct terms based on the function of each, but to the religious person the how and why are often synonymous.
As for Chad's example:
...if I release this ball and if it drops to the earth, it means that god exists. You see, the method doesn't do anything to prevent the faulty conclusion. It's THIS reasoning that disconnects the scientist from the science and the method, scientists take the evidence that they observe using the scientific method to further their own personal narrative such as that god doesn't exist, a similar claim was recently made by Hawking.
Any scientist that attempts to explain WHY gravity exists is a fraud attempting sell a controversial opinion for financial gain (Hawking is not exempt from that accusation). Science is the means to explain how gravity works, not why it exists. The ultimate WHY explanation is the realm of religion. Dawkins and others overstep their bounds by attempting to bring spirituality within the realm of science. Just as religions are untestable, the possibility of a supreme being or supreme scheme is equally untestable (by human means) and is thus not part of science. Dawkins, Hawking, and others have made a living out of attempting to do this, but it just isn't valid.
As much as I've always enjoyed his work and respected him, Hawking certainly fits the bill. It's this leaping to conclusions that thrusts these excellent scientists such as him and Dawkins into the realm of philosophy where they're subject to criticism such as what I've mentioned. I agree that science seeks to explain how gravity works- but part of the problem is that historically science has often made many accurate predictions without knowing the how such as Newtonian physics. Science has often been very wrong too, as in the particle and the wave theories of light which were both at one point widely accepted.
To finish, I'll suggest that science does incorporate some aspects of faith. To be a good scientist, you must have faith that the system works- that other scientists are doing their best to limit or report bias in their work, and that peer review is a valid method for filtering dishonest work from that which is valid. Because science is necessarily a human endeavor, the faith is not necessarily in the method or idea, but in your fellow scientists.

Absolutely. This is a point that I wasn't even going to bring up but that I appreciate you mentioning- science is an enterprise and is subject to corruption like any other.

However, I don't think any of that applies to the current discussion.


Well, it seems as if there are multiple conversations going on. The one I'm involved in was sparked by a quote that I addressed by Gerry Binczik; it was a controversial post containing conclusions that needed explaining but unfortunately I'm losing my faith that this explanation has or will ever existed. :D

I understand that it's usually unpopular to discuss these types of matters but I'm very comfortable with it and I don't take it personally because in the event that someone comes along and displays my ignorance and shows me my mistakes, I will gladly acknowledge them as part of my process of learning. I don't consider it taboo to discuss things like this, I consider it pleasant. :lol:

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 7:56 pm

And that quick we get not one but two more examples of what I was just talking about: People who likely have little direct experience with actual scientists (and who obviously have a poor grasp of science in general) somehow encounter all these big, bad scientists, while someone who's made a career in the profession has only rarely met such. Curious, isn't it?
Hello Gerry. I understand that you think that I'm being something other than genuine (given the quote below), but I assure you that I'm not. I have a passionate interest in the topic of the philosophy of science. I actually do have experience with scientists of many backgrounds and I've spent a lot of my own time in discussion groups both in person and online; I've actively promoted and hosted university discussions on science and religion as well. I was also a biology major for a few years and I took classes in every science-related department that our university has to offer. So the genuine interest is there, I'm not sure why you seem to be insinuating that my experience is questionable. I've spent enough time thinking about the subject to feel confident enough to present my ideas, are you confident enough to present yours? Sure doesn't seem like it to me with quotes like the next one:
Better leave a light on when you go to bed at night, kids, or the scientists will get you! :twisted:
Let's not hide behind mockery; instead let's just have a discussion Gerry.
P.S. You're wasting your time addressing Chad as if he were serious, Van - or even worse, you're encouraging him. He might not know much about science, but it seems pretty obvious that he knows he's sprinkling misinformation about it throughout his posts.
By all means Gerry, point out the misinformation and correct me because if I'm wrong then you must. That's your own historical standard on these and other similar message boards- you've started many a campaign against people who you think spread misinformation such as Frank Retes, so why not apply your method to me if I am actually sprinkling misinformation throughout my posts? You always seem eager to do a few seconds of research in order to expose misinformation and lies, so go right ahead and address my posts.

I could very easily also question your education in the sciences, Gerry...but I would rather discuss the arguments that I listed before.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 13th, 2010, 8:09 pm

John Vanek wrote:

I hate to be that guy, but can you back this up with examples? While I'm sure it happens occasionally, I doubt it happens often. I can't think of any field studies that can be conducted in two days, let alone two weeks.


What I love about science is that you do not get into it for the money. You get into it because you are naturally curious, and are amazed that someone will pay you to investigate things you would investigate on your own.

OK its slight exaggeration but you get the idea. I don't have time to pull up specific examples tonight but there are plenty of them out there. Systematists still do it all they time when they collect a specimen from a site find it to be a novel haplotype then say "its obviously a separate species and it used a different habitat than the other clades". But they don't necessarily present any habitat data. Historically it happened alot and still does with biogeography and distribution work. A lot of this information is still out there as no one has taken the time to correct it. Ecologists tend to do a little better job but still will blow into a place for a long weekend then make some conclusions about habitat or distributions that are way off.

gbin wrote: Yeah, I've been a scientist myself and associated with an awful lot of others over quite a number of years, now, and yet I've only rarely encountered any who are arrogantly dismissive of laypeople's field expertise, anti-religious, etc. as some folks claim are so common to the profession. But I suppose if you're inclined to see someone as an enemy (for whatever reason) then you're likely to represent that someone as an enemy to others - regardless of the truth of the matter.

Gerry
I'm not saying its the norm or that is uncorrectable, just that it does happen. It also leaves a bad taste in people's mouth about arrogant scientists when it does happen.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Here you go Gerry:

Nominally, the Catholic church has no beef with evolution — they've got their own official twisted logic in which God did some invisible indetectable hocus-pocus somewhere in the documented evidence of evolution. Sometimes, though, that seems as thin and neglected as church doctrine on contraception. Here's an article on catholic.org that is pure unadulterated creationism, flatly denying the facts of human evolution because it contradicts the Magisterium of the Church on original sin and our exclusive descent from Adam and Eve.
This statement, for example, was made by a biologist and associate professor at the University of Michigan. This is an offensive statement to a Catholic, who might wonder exactly what scientific work led the man to conclude that the logic used in their belief is twisted hocus-pocus. He even criticizes a church for "flatly denying the facts of human evolution...". You can find the article here:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010 ... e.php#more

You may ask yourself what's wrong with his article, in my opinion the answer is that he is using his education in science to mock religion by citiing the fact that the religious people don't share his affinity for science and are therefore somehow less than he is. That's clearly his attitude based on his mocking tone. What's wrong with this mocking tone? The philosophy behind it, that's what.

...here's another by that same atheist zealot:
Religion's voice is that of a spoiled child having a temper tantrum.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010 ... o.php#more

I won't even get into Richard Dawkins. You see, Gerry, even though I agree with the spirit behind what the guy above is saying and it seems akward to me to even come close to defending the side of anti-science, evolution-denying and creationism...I must be honest and say that there's no reason behind that man's articles other than his own self promotion. There's no tolerance, understanding or argument present, it's just opining on behalf of his attitude. To the religious people that he criticizes, people who often misunderstand science due to a lack of education more than anything, science will never be an option for belief as long as he and people life him are being so offensive and childish.

I can provide more examples upon request Gerry.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 8:22 pm

Bryan Hamilton wrote:

OK its slight exaggeration but you get the idea. I don't have time to pull up specific examples tonight but there are plenty of them out there. Systematists still do it all they time when they collect a specimen from a site find it to be a novel haplotype then say "its obviously a separate species and it used a different habitat than the other clades". But they don't necessarily present any habitat data. Historically it happened alot and still does with biogeography and distribution work. A lot of this information is still out there as no one has taken the time to correct it. Ecologists tend to do a little better job but still will blow into a place for a long weekend then make some conclusions about habitat or distributions that are way off.



I'm not saying its the norm or that is uncorrectable, just that it does happen. It also leaves a bad taste in people's mouth about arrogant scientists when it does happen.
Hi Bryan, I agree with you and appreciate your points. It seems like there's an awful lot of bickering within the science represented here on this forum, that's for sure. I remember seeing many people get blasted for not sampling enough or for drawing faulty conclusions or for trying to make a name for themselves...apparently scientists are also subject to the limitations of their own egos, surprise!

I think this is a pretty heavy point that supports my criticism of scientist zealots like the one that I just posted...the fact that scientists themselves are often so hateful toward one another (anyone remember the posts about Burbrink's rat snake phylogeny?) shows that peace isn't necessarily found in science and neither is happiness or wisdom...but there sure seems to be a lot of dissension and childish hand waving.

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VanAR
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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by VanAR » September 13th, 2010, 9:08 pm

Ah, but you see the "how" and the "why" have been historically fused into one question until our tools for finding knowledge were sharpened enough to separate them. This separation is very profound in the history of science and philosophy- the Greeks were some of the first western thinkers to ask scientific questions and let's not forget that mathematic inquiry, the result of philosophy, is what eventually gave birth to the hard sciences and attempt to describe the universe deductively. I don't see the meaning in even considering the "how" and "why" function or non-function of science or religion because to me this discussion isn't about the validity of science, which I acknowledge as a fact-producing process, it's about whether or not science can serve as a replacement for religion and more importantly on a larger scale could religion and science be wedded concepts considering the mutual necessary conditions that they share. The answer is meaningful because it contributes to either the inflation of the deflation of the popular science movements against religion. If there's any question of whether or not this movement exists, ask and I will provide examples. I understand that you believe that they are distinct terms based on the function of each, but to the religious person the how and why are often synonymous.
This is an interesting and highly complex argument, IMO, which goes beyond philosophy and into politics. Aside from the Hawking/Dawkins perspective, I haven't heard much of a "published" push for science to replace/supplant religion. OTOH, I don't see why the religious and scientific philosophies could not be wedded as long as their realms of understanding were clearly defined as I've specified before, or somehow similarly.

What concerns me is the political side of this argument. Seems that most of the conflict of science vs. religion has stemmed from organized religion (a very different thing from religion alone) feeling its power/interests/finances threatened by the free will presumably offered by science-based materialism. This argument usually takes the form of religion providing all moral direction, the removal of which will corrupt society. There's a long history of this type of conflict, going back to Galileo, and it is not dissimilar from Socrates', and, paradoxically, Jesus' persecutions.

I may be a bit controversial here, but I think the reason why religious people see the how and why as synonymous lies with the social brainwashing of organized religion to reduce capacity for critical thought. This relates directly to the links you posted in response to Gerry.

Read the article quoted by the article you quoted (haha), which attempts to stir up new debate over evolution based on the misrepresentation of a (IMO mistaken) competing alternative to natural selection disproving evolution:
http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story. ... 177&page=1

Its got such memorable quotes as:
"In light of the controversy over evolution, it is important to possess a sound understanding of Church teaching concerning the origin of man, for there are some aspects of the theory of evolution which intrude upon Catholic doctrine, and, as a result, can be the cause of serious errors in understanding. Although the Church herself is, of course, not directly involved in scientific study, she nevertheless is the authoritative transmitter of God's revelation, and therefore provides the faithful with the certainty of God's revealed truth as it relates to the origin of humankind."

Read: we know what happened but cannot explain it. All we know is that the mechanism of evolution is wrong.

"Total Evolution -- also termed material evolution -- is a theory which assumes the eternal existence of uncreated matter, and posits that all living creatures emerged from it through a process of evolution. Such a theory is incompatible with God's revealed truth, for we know that God indeed created the material universe and all the matter within it from nothing. The notion that uncreated matter exists without a point of beginning, uncaused and without origin, stretching infinitely into the past is pure nonsense."

Again, science has no bearing on the creation of the universe, per se. Even the big bang theory can't explain WHY the big bang happened.

"Evolutionism is a theory which posits that everything in the universe, including the spirit or soul, is explained by a development from lower to higher orders, or from simple to complex. Evolutionism is a theory which posits that everything in the universe, including the spirit or soul, is explained by a development from lower to higher orders, or from simple to complex. Evolutionism holds that the human soul"

Misrepresentation of evolution- it requires heritable information with a variance of fitness. Material does not evolve. Living organisms do. Science has no bearing on what a soul even is, and no scientist would argue that it does. Organized religions misrepresent science to protect their power.

"F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever have. He is managing editor of catholicpathways.com, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online."

Self-explanatory. Gifts received are highly relative, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Why do you wonder that an evolutionary biologist would take issue with this website? These are clear misrepresentations of evolutionary biology simply because it disproves the literal translation of the bible. Organized religion acts to protect its interests, at the cost of its followers freedom and critical thought. The issue isn't with spirituality or religion, but with the means by which organized religion controls its followers.
I think this is a pretty heavy point that supports my criticism of scientist zealots like the one that I just posted...the fact that scientists themselves are often so hateful toward one another (anyone remember the posts about Burbrink's rat snake phylogeny?) shows that peace isn't necessarily found in science and neither is happiness or wisdom...but there sure seems to be a lot of dissension and childish hand waving.
Nobody ever said peace/happiness was found in science. Again, this is a wisdom/truth vs. reality argument that misrepresents the goals of science. The goal of science is to determine the mechanisms of the universe, not make anyone feel good about the results. As such, science has NEVER attempted to replace religion (aside from the money-grubbing arguments of Dawkins et al), but has been accused of doing so by various organized religions concerned about losing their power over the public.

Confusion of the how/why argument (as you stated before) lies in the FAILURE of scientists to adequately educate everyone else (with interference from organized religion, of course). That may sound like indoctrination to some, but its really not because the basis of science is critical thought. Critical thinking gives people the freedom to make up their own minds, not be stonewalled into one or another argument by anyone, spiritual leader or ivory-tower scientist alike. That philosophy is apparent in what you call "dissension": the arguments/debates in science as seen here represent the active voices of critical thinkers unwilling to accept the evidence someone else has propped up as the basis for some conclusion. This may not appear to be a rewarding, happy experience, but the goal is to find the "most correct" answer. As such, scientific principles themselves evolve as new data become available.

Science is a means to an end. Not a way of life. Religion is a way of life. Confusion of the two result from manipulation by organized religion, and from fraudulent scientists seeking to make easy money.

Van

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 13th, 2010, 10:05 pm

This is an interesting and highly complex argument, IMO, which goes beyond philosophy and into politics. Aside from the Hawking/Dawkins perspective, I haven't heard much of a "published" push for science to replace/supplant religion. OTOH, I don't see why the religious and scientific philosophies could not be wedded as long as their realms of understanding were clearly defined as I've specified before, or somehow similarly.
Oh there have been many books and articles published, many. The majority of them have not been in peer reviewed journals though. No need for them to be as I'm addressing the scientists who misbehave and not science itself...I'll explain a little more below why scientists are religious and therefore why science itself is religious...
What concerns me is the political side of this argument. Seems that most of the conflict of science vs. religion has stemmed from organized religion (a very different thing from religion alone) feeling its power/interests/finances threatened by the free will presumably offered by science-based materialism. This argument usually takes the form of religion providing all moral direction, the removal of which will corrupt society. There's a long history of this type of conflict, going back to Galileo, and it is not dissimilar from Socrates', and, paradoxically, Jesus' persecutions.
Yes indeed, perverse and corrupt people exploit religion a lot and call themselves pure...it's very unfortunate. Also, Socrates wouldn't have found his death to be unjustified, in fact he didn't at all as he told Crito. ;) There have been many atrocities in human history that involved religion, but none of these atrocities were anything more than the result of the same wicked human nature that produces crimes without religious involvement. Greed, aggression and competition are the cause of human related evils, not guns or religions.
I may be a bit controversial here, but I think the reason why religious people see the how and why as synonymous lies with the social brainwashing of organized religion to reduce capacity for critical thought. This relates directly to the links you posted in response to Gerry.
Oh my, if you only knew how brilliant many religious scholars are. C.S. Lewis comes to mind right off the bat...Thomas Aquinas, today you have people like Kenneth Miller and Fred Heeren- all are very brilliant people with high degrees of education and experience in critical thinking. I think many scientists with the negative attitudes that I've encountered in this debate over the years, like Gerry's actually, lack the crucial degree of criticial thinking that it takes to truly understand a situation or a person that conflicts with something taken for granted. I would just LOVE to see Richard Dawkins debate against my former philosophy instructor! How amusing it would be to see Dawkins try to explain his irrationality later on youtube, lol...

Why do you wonder that an evolutionary biologist would take issue with this website? These are clear misrepresentations of evolutionary biology simply because it disproves the literal translation of the bible. Organized religion acts to protect its interests, at the cost of its followers freedom and critical thought. The issue isn't with spirituality or religion, but with the means by which organized religion controls its followers.
I don't wonder why an evolutionary biologist would take issue with the claims on the website, but I do wonder why there's a need to post them online and to mock them. The mockery and poor attitude does nothing to persuade anyone of anything, but it does an wonderful job of promoting the author's wit and fashionable belief. To me the real shame isn't his, it's in the readers who adopt his unsophisticated and intolerant point of view. Sure he's correct and valid in his frustration, but I suppose it's a measurement of self control to prevent the frustration from causing him to lose his sense of tolerance and replace it with childish scorn and jeering. Here's how it breaks down as far as I can tell: he is complaining about something...that something is a behavior that he finds distasteful, the behavior is misrepresenting science. The validity of what he's doing is based on the idea that these people are misbehaving by doing this- however the measurement of "misbehaving" is debatable. If you believed something that had always worked for you and if the people who made claims about your beliefs mocked you and misbehaved themselves, surely you would find it difficult to just adopt their views without the degrees and many classes that it took for them to achieve them. To me the religious people are innocent provided that they do not lie and that they do not harm others. They are free to try to impose their irrational intelligent design on all of us and we are free to stop them in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I don't see the misunderstanding and lack of education that we see in the Catholic article, predicated by the conflict and controversy fueled by both sides, as such a crime.
Nobody ever said peace/happiness was found in science. Again, this is a wisdom/truth vs. reality argument that misrepresents the goals of science. The goal of science is to determine the mechanisms of the universe, not make anyone feel good about the results. As such, science has NEVER attempted to replace religion (aside from the money-grubbing arguments of Dawkins et al), but has been accused of doing so by various organized religions concerned about losing their power over the public.
No, not directly...but this is the unfortunate side effect that we have when people like Dawkins and Hawking misunderstand philosophy and ask people to reject their religions and identities for the sake of facts and scientific truths. Whenever a scientist or even non-scientist makes an argument against religion based on science, they are identifying with science and trying to convince others to do the same. But unfortunately the others have their own identities as religious people and the lack of education in the sciences to know what's true and untrue when they hear it from their leaders. I believe that the scientists with their facts have the merit of truth on there side, but the truths that science can produce are not the kind of truths that necessarily lead people to moral identities, in fact history has shown quite the opposite (thanks for the atom bomb science).
Confusion of the how/why argument (as you stated before) lies in the FAILURE of scientists to adequately educate everyone else (with interference from organized religion, of course). That may sound like indoctrination to some, but its really not because the basis of science is critical thought. Critical thinking gives people the freedom to make up their own minds, not be stonewalled into one or another argument by anyone, spiritual leader or ivory-tower scientist alike. That philosophy is apparent in what you call "dissension": the arguments/debates in science as seen here represent the active voices of critical thinkers unwilling to accept the evidence someone else has propped up as the basis for some conclusion. This may not appear to be a rewarding, happy experience, but the goal is to find the "most correct" answer. As such, scientific principles themselves evolve as new data become available.
Yes, exactly. That's another really good point that I'm glad to see someone else making. This failure is the result of unsophisticated and immature thinking, which in its infancy was excusable due to the political struggles in the court room and the creation of legislature like the "Louisiana Science Education Act" of 2008. I love how you mentioned critical thinking- it's a quality that is required to understand the philosophy of great people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King- who exercised incredible amounts of moral and intellectual sophistication by understanding their counterparts rather than simply hating them.
Science is a means to an end. Not a way of life. Religion is a way of life. Confusion of the two result from manipulation by organized religion, and from fraudulent scientists seeking to make easy money.
Once again, I love your quote. It actually contributes vastly to my belief that science and religion are one in the same as far as human enterprises go. To me it seems obvious that if science provides facts and if people naturally tend to gravitate toward what they cannot deny to be the truth, it necessarily follows that people will gravitate toward science as a means of creating their personal philosophies and means of living a life well lived. It's already happening before our eyes. It's only natural that people adopt the beliefs that they simply cannot doubt. THIS is important. The religious aspect in science is there and was always there, it just hasn't been clearly pointed out by any scientist yet. The religious aspect comes in the devotion of one's life to the truths that are based and founded in the facts of science and religiously applying the principles of scientific logic to their way of life. This is a profound opportunity for people to find accord rather than find controversy and violence. If a scientist cannot help but to form scientific-like political and philosophical beliefs, then they have fused science in religion...which were already fused to begin with. Science simply would not exist if not for the scientists because community consensus, when it all boils down to it, is the ONLY thing that separates good science from all of the other sciences such as astrology (yes, this is science).

Thanks a lot for chatting with me Van, it takes courage to put oneself "out there" to be scrutinized. I'm still waiting on others to be so bold...

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gbin » September 14th, 2010, 5:25 am

chad ks wrote:By all means Gerry, point out the misinformation and correct me...
Been there, done that - and you well know it. Both on these message boards and by private messages you have many times endeavored to draw me into "debates" on such subjects, and I used to indulge you occasionally until I realized they were never honest debates and so there was no point. You constantly redefine science to suit your purposes. You frequently make negative assumptions about scientists with little or no foundation. You sometimes seem to accept correction - and virtually always insist you're sincere - but that's just part of the game you like to play and even in the same post where you're thanking someone for being corrected on some piece of misinformation you've put out there, you put out still more.

As I've pointed out previously in this forum: It takes a lot less effort to spread misinformation than it does to correct it. And in this case, trying to correct it just encourages you to spread more.

Gerry

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by gulo » September 14th, 2010, 6:14 am

gbin wrote:
chad ks wrote:... I'm addressing a few arguments that are popular among scientists...
gulo wrote:... it is not that i take science to be a religion, but rather that some scientists treat is as such...
And that quick we get not one but two more examples of what I was just talking about: People who likely have little direct experience with actual scientists (and who obviously have a poor grasp of science in general) somehow encounter all these big, bad scientists, while someone who's made a career in the profession has only rarely met such. Curious, isn't it?
"insert profanity here" Gerry, you prick. I think you're one of them, aren't you? Admit it Gerry - repent, repent! Aw come on, it'll make you feel good, like shitting out a worm infestation.

At any rate, Gerry, you are not only making assumptions yourself, you are clearly not listening to people, nor giving them the benefit of the doubt. Just because you found a little piss on your pulpit.

Gerry, you're stupid enough not to see when you, yourself, are giving scientists (not science) a bad name.

Anyway, i'm outta here, which i imagine was the intended result. Delete me, whoever is in charge of such things. Lotta nice folks on here, and i was looking forward on some level to sharing with you, but this puffed up prick is insufferable. Someone should get a pin.

Happy herping!

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by Daryl Eby » September 14th, 2010, 6:36 am

gulo wrote:Anyway, i'm outta here, which i imagine was the intended result. Lotta nice folks on here, and i was looking forward on some level to sharing with you, but this puffed up prick is insufferable.
I can't understand this thinking. Leaving a forum full of a "lotta nice folks" just because you have a serious dislike for one (or several) members makes no sense. While I'm personally interested in reading comments from folks I disagree with, if you don't want to put up with what you consider to be crap, just ignore posts and posters that offend you.

Heck, you can even adjust your settings so that posts from selected members don't show up. Just go the "User Control Panel" (link top right). Select "friends and foes" (from left hand menu). Select "manage foes". List the user names of anyone you want to ignore. Presto, their posts no longer appear on your screen.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chris_mcmartin » September 14th, 2010, 8:42 am

Albert Einstein wrote:"It is therefore easy to see why the Churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest incitement to scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion which pioneer work in theoretical science demands, can grasp the strength of emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labour in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to those like-minded with themselves, scattered through the earth and centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives man a strength of this sort. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people."
---Albert Einstein, The World As I See It, (Citadel Press) ISBN 0-8065-0711-X, pp 27-28

I just happened upon that quote on another site, and thought it could provide more material for discussion, perhaps on BOTH sides of the fence that has sprung up in this thread.

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Re: So your spots are getting pounded ...

Post by chad ks » September 14th, 2010, 8:55 am

gbin wrote:
chad ks wrote:By all means Gerry, point out the misinformation and correct me...
Been there, done that - and you well know it. Both on these message boards and by private messages you have many times endeavored to draw me into "debates" on such subjects, and I used to indulge you occasionally until I realized they were never honest debates and so there was no point. You constantly redefine science to suit your purposes. You frequently make negative assumptions about scientists with little or no foundation. You sometimes seem to accept correction - and virtually always insist you're sincere - but that's just part of the game you like to play and even in the same post where you're thanking someone for being corrected on some piece of misinformation you've put out there, you put out still more.

As I've pointed out previously in this forum: It takes a lot less effort to spread misinformation than it does to correct it. And in this case, trying to correct it just encourages you to spread more.

Gerry
That's unfortunate Gerry. I can't say that I'm surprised- as you mentioned we've been through similar attempts at discussion in the past and per your usual ways and means, you withdraw like a Texas Brown T into her burrow. :lol: Not very bold or courageous or academic of you, Gerry. You always run back to the fictional red herring that I am somehow being disingenuous by poking at you...and that by engaging me you will somehow fuel the burning fire of controversy, lol. You just HATE online conflict and controversy don't ya? :crazyeyes:

I haven't spread misinformation, I've just corrected your misunderstanding of science with argument that has now gone unanswered by you.

I'm very thankful that Van has the boldness necessary to engage in this touchy subject; I've ended up agreeing with him and learning from his contribution...Gerry, I sincerely hope that in the future you will no longer appoint yourself representative of science because obviously you do not have the understanding necessary to defend it and describe it.

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