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Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:27 PM

Finally, There Are More Young Americans Who 'Believe' in Evolution Than Creationism

https://www.sciencealert.com/finally-there-are-more-young-americans-who-believe-in-evolution-than-creationism




Finally, There Are More Young Americans Who 'Believe' in Evolution Than Creationism
FIONA MACDONALD, 20 NOV 2015

There’s been a long-standing divide between Americans who believe in evolution, and those who think God created humans just as they are. But a recent poll has shown that 51 percent of American adults under the age of 30 now claim to believe purely in secular evolution, which means evolution independent of any divine power – a jump from 40 percent back in 2009, when the research began.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Centre back in July, and overall, the results were incredibly positive. Even though just over half the young people said that they believed solely in evolution as a result of natural selection, 73 percent said they expressed some sort of belief in evolution – which is 12 percent more than six years ago – as Rachel E. Gross reports for Slate.

The research showed that around 65 percent of all adults in the US believed that humans have evolved, which sounds like incredible news, but only 35 percent thought it was due to causes independent of a higher power. And another 31 percent said they believed that humans have always existed in their current form since the beginning of time.


Dated, but speaks to the harm of religion.

43 replies, 1334 views

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Reply Finally, There Are More Young Americans Who 'Believe' in Evolution Than Creationism (Original post)
NeoGreen Feb 2020 OP
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #1
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #5
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #7
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #8
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #24
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #26
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #29
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #31
Cartoonist Feb 2020 #11
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #12
Cartoonist Feb 2020 #13
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #14
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #15
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #16
Cartoonist Feb 2020 #17
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #18
Cartoonist Feb 2020 #19
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #20
Cartoonist Feb 2020 #21
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #22
AtheistCrusader Feb 2020 #37
AtheistCrusader Feb 2020 #36
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #23
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #25
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #32
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #34
VMA131Marine Feb 2020 #28
Newest Reality Feb 2020 #30
Jim__ Feb 2020 #38
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2020 #40
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #2
JohnnyRingo Feb 2020 #3
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #6
JohnnyRingo Feb 2020 #33
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #41
trotsky Feb 2020 #35
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #42
3Hotdogs Feb 2020 #4
comradebillyboy Feb 2020 #9
safeinOhio Feb 2020 #10
greymalkin415 Feb 2020 #27
Act_of_Reparation Feb 2020 #39
hunter Feb 2020 #43

Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:42 PM

1. Lately,

I have an issue with belief in all its forms, even though I am glad that their is that shift.

You can believe anything and not even know the how or why of it. Sounds true to me!

It would also be good if young people learned to carefully discern the difference between belief, knowledge and information. I could go into that more, but let it suffice.

I am not as moved by more people believing x if they don't KNOW why x is believable in the first place and it misses the fundamental point. When they know as much as they can that shifts the equation closer to knowing than believing and that knowledge is then useful for processing information about the subject.

I think beliefs are fine, but they could be put into their proper context. Imagination is wonderful, but it has its own realm in the noosphere. If we want to be scientific about things, then my point stands. If x amount of people agree with the findings of evolution and don't really know any details about why they do, it is still a belief and belies the fact that science is a process and even subject to change rather than a firm collection of dogmatic facts, and facts are very few in that sense.

My understanding of the word, "belief" is that its etymology may go back to old Germanic and the word "lief" which means to make things up and there for to "be lief" is to be making up things, which we humans can celebrate because our creativity brings all kinds of possibilities into existence from fables to facts.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:57 PM

5. Yes, here we go again. Religious belief is no different than trust in science.

Except it's not. One of those things relies on empirical processes, logic, reason, and falsifiability while the other relies on hocus pocus and appeal to ignorance fallacies which can't be challenged. So if only for that reason alone the "why" part just isn't too hard to figure out.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 02:19 PM

7. Nope.

You are reading that into what said if you are referring to my comment, which I hope you are not. Forgive me if I misunderstood.

This is a much deeper topic than that. There are scientists and philosophers who go into more depth on it and the answers are not cut and dried. Assuming that does a disservice and injustice to the realm of inquiry, especially when it is in the service of scientism and if you think that a statement like that is something that requires refutation based on a biased approach.

Superficial overviews of the methodology of science and its interpretations are just as prone to fallacy and bias as other forms of knowledge and when there is an agenda behind it, it becomes obvious that the idea of having a factual truth that disproves something with prejudice.

For instance, people can throw around Occam's Razor and disregard the fact that it was used as a valid "proof" that God created the Universe because it is the simplest answer, all things considered. It was a two-edged sword and more of a truism than a completely logical proof, but it is useful in some contexts.

Evolution is a theory. Science is not dogmatic, (or should not be essentially). The way that evolution should be expressed is that, so far, the information we have gathered makes the theory of evolution the most viable and provable one to date. Now, the reason for that is that science is not what is used as a sledgehammer in the common vernacular to pound down theists, etc., which is one of the things that distinguishes it from religious cosmologies, etc. Empirical science began as part of an anti-rational movement as you may know so to conflate it with the field of logic and reason is to miss the point or present it in a specious manner, again in order to prove a perspective rather than discover the truth of the matter. Evolution will hold unless or until there is a point where something possibly deeper or more comprehensive, (like emergence) either expands on it or transforms our understanding, hence science in not the dogma that practitioners of scientism utilize as a counterpoint to other ways of knowing or viewing realty.

I would add that skepticism is being misused, misunderstood and corrupted in the same way. I am a skeptic's skeptic and can't accept a close-minded stance that utilizes skepticism to promote biases about reality by way of a prejudice that skews the picture, aka, The Amazing Randi. Skepticism is simply a means of questioning validity and suspending judgement or belief in order to investigate what can be investigated, rather than a one-sided, disguised disbelief that rests on its own assumptions in order to disprove what it can't accept.

Even science itself has some issues and a crises that makes using it in certain ways concerning people's beliefs fallacious and disingenuous, to say the least, and it is rather dangerous, just like the people who promote science without really understanding what it is and what is for precisely and then inject philosophical interpretations as a means to form an anti-theological argument from a myopic point of view. So there is a related crises, you could say:

https://aeon.co/essays/post-empirical-science-is-an-oxymoron-and-it-is-dangerous

Now, I am open to hear about anyone's "certainty' here.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 02:52 PM

8. Obsolecence...

I just wanted to note that, for the record, there are some ideas being used here to promote science that are a bit outdated and, in many contexts obsolete.

Occam's Razor only holds in some cases, and now appeals to people who want to belief a simplistic view when our current science involves a growing complexity that transcends that kind of thinking all together, yet it remains a part of the cannon of scientism and I would hope that proponents of science would get with that rather than using it as a leverage or tool in arguments.

The same applies to using falsifiable as a dogmatic truth. It has, for good reasons, been pretty much abandoned, but is still flickering in some people's minds as truth and, again, a useful attempt to prove what is uncertain and maintain a superior position, which is fine with me, but how that reflects and actually supports science is just baffling if people are actually up-to-date with the very science they have faith in. However, that might delineate the difference between mere believers in science, philosophers of science and scientists, which, in the end, all rests on a method and that methodology is what science is in my understanding. It is a tool we use from a certain perspective, which is not necessarily and antagonist to other views, (religion, philosophy, etc.) Arguments on those matters are helpful and can be productive, but those arguments and discussions are about the implications and relative meaning of scientific discovery, et al.

This brief tale suggests that scientists will stop tinkering and agree to relegate a theory only when a demonstrably better one is available to replace it. We could conclude from this that theories are never falsified, as such. We know that Newton’s laws of motion are inferior to quantum mechanics in the microscopic realm of molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles, and they break down when stuff of any size moves at or close to the speed of light. We know that Newton’s law of gravitation is inferior to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. And yet Newton’s laws remain perfectly satisfactory when applied to ‘everyday’ objects and situations, and physicists and engineers will happily make use of them. Curiously, although we know they’re ‘not true’, under certain practical circumstances they’re not false either. They’re ‘good enough’.

Such problems were judged by philosophers of science to be insurmountable, and Popper’s falsifiability criterion was abandoned (though, curiously, it still lives on in the minds of many practicing scientists). But rather than seek an alternative, in 1983 the philosopher Larry Laudan declared that the demarcation problem is actually intractable, and must therefore be a pseudo-problem. He argued that the real distinction is between knowledge that is reliable or unreliable, irrespective of its provenance, and claimed that terms such as ‘pseudoscience’ and ‘unscientific’ have no real meaning.


If you would like to refute that or have an opposing argument, I would like to hear it from what you know.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 09:14 PM

24. Are you presenting a challenge to yourself?

Because you replied to yourself.

As far as your challenge goes assuming you are addressing it to me, I really have no interest in it because instead of addressing your original assertion, all you appear to be doing is going further down the rabbit hole and I've already reached the limit of how far I'm willing to follow.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 09:42 PM

26. There are two ways to post.

You can edit a post after the fact or respond to your own post.

No need to follow it, ey? If it rubs you the wrong way, that is not my problem, is it?

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 10:51 PM

29. It doesn't rub me the wrong way

The convention you are using isn't used by anyone else that I'm aware, probably because it makes no sense to reply to yourself when you mean to address someone else. If you want to march to the beat of your own drummer, don't let me stop you.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 10:58 PM

31. Thanks.

You, too.

I prefer it to editing in some cases and at least I get to point out that a response to my own comment is an addendum, so it is defined and clear.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 04:26 PM

11. Occam's razor was never a valid proof for God

Since when is the creation of an omnipotent being a simple solution?

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 04:36 PM

12. I didn't say it was.

It was utilized in the same political and philosophical arguments that are not presented by scientism which actually weakens the claims being made rather than supports them. However, compare the omnipotent being, (which is not necessarily a persona of any kind) with the details that support the theory of the Big Bang.

Without supporting either contention, I can say that Occam's Razor is useful just as is the techniques of deduction and logic of Sherlock Holmes and in various contexts, but it is not some bulletproof assertion of actual fact, especially today.

It is kind of a good thing that those who represent opposing political/philosophical views to atheism and anti-theism are not usually up-to-date or they could call out some of the errors being used to refute them.

How simple do you think the explanation of the Big Bang is? I mean what do you know about it and what was prior to the initial process? Wouldn't that be something fundamental? Do you understand the causes and conditions prior to said event and what they would be? That seems to be relevant here, since the basis of a proposition should have some support, to be fair.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 04:49 PM

13. You're still wrong about Occam.

I didn't mean to imply that you were using OR, just that anyone trying to use it to prove God's existence was blowing out his ass and was promptly laughed at. It's like pointing to a tree and saying, there's your proof.

As for the big bang, OR doesn't apply there either. It's kind of like a placeholder. We once believed the Sun orbited the Earth. That was updated once we figured it out. All the questions about the Big Bang are still unanswered, but it still beats creationism by a light year.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 05:12 PM

14. Can you be more specific?

Here is Hawking's view, I would assume that you have studied the matter:

This subatomic ball of everything is known as the singularity (not to be confused with the technological singularity during which artificial intelligence will overtake humans). Inside this extremely small, massively dense speck of heat and energy, the laws of physics and time as we know them cease to function. Put another way, time as we understand it literally did not exist before the universe started to expand. Rather, the arrow of time shrinks infinitely as the universe becomes smaller and smaller, never reaching a clear starting point.

According to TechTimes, Hawking says during the show that before the Big Bang, time was bent — "It was always reaching closer to nothing but didn't become nothing," according to the article. Essentially, "there was never a Big Bang that produced something from nothing. It just seemed that way from mankind's point of perspective."

In in a lecture on the no-boundary proposal, Hawking wrote: "Events before the Big Bang are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them. Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang."


https://www.livescience.com/61914-stephen-hawking-neil-degrasse-tyson-beginning-of-time.html

Hence, one empirical miracle is granted, in a sense is granted and we can explain the rest. I imagine you can see the humor there. I tend to try on different views like clothing to see how they feel and fit, but my own biases are a primary concern and therefore, subject to investigation and contemplation. That is why I don't find that much value in a view that "this premise is true" because, "that premise is false" to be universally applicable or necessarily accurate because it falls prey to dualism which is most certainly relative to say the least. Since relative information of any kind is subject to innumerable variables and the conditions and the context of that information can be said to be also relative and relevant to the information, its interpenetration and the biases of the interpreter, then the problem of a correlative absolute as a foundation comes into question in regards to the fundamentals and foundations of knowledge itself.

Keep in mind that, if you are looking for an good argument about the validity of theism, I would not be the one to approach on that. I consider it to be a political/philosophical debate and not scientific, per se.

It is more a matter of point of view and the repeated category errors that ensue. I am not invested in either one exclusively, but fully aware of the strategies and premises that both sides utilize in order to substantiate their views and argue about it. And, after over forty-years of investigation, I also do not take a completely neutral view as that would also be erroneous. Rather, my interest is in the overall constructs that are devised and presented and the biases that are exhibited in defense of atheism, anti-theism and theism. I find it is not at all necessary or even scientific to yield, in a reactionary way to any bias if and when possible, but it can yield some intriguing insights into the transparency of complete immersion in conceptually constricted views of reality.

If you like a challenge to your own biases, then I recommend the book, Biocentrism, (Lanza). That is not to convince you of anything, but to present an interesting and provocative, scientifically-based model that suggests a biological implication in the very constants we observe in the Universe. If anything, it might be more fun than merely debating hackneyed, political views on science vs. religion which, often, are based on misunderstandings, and as I said, gross category errors while assuming that both views are in no way compatible, which is far too simplistic and superficial for my treatment of the subjects.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 05:28 PM

15. A good way to put it:

People reject certain views and even vehemently oppose them when they have adopted a perspective that says, “I know as a matter of theory that these things can’t exist, so I’m not going to look at the evidence.”

Science is about looking at the evidence not about necessarily supporting a diametrically opposed opinion or bias. If there is no evidence, that is not construed as a proof. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence in certain fields that are not looked at at all because of that kind of biased approach and the political misuse of skepticism, even within the profession.

I guess people gravitate towards a psychological need to "have it all figured out" in lieu of being comfortable with not knowing and that is often a strong motivation for presenting an extreme view and holding to it no matter what. People can get rather crafty and creative in that respect, but what does that have to do with real science? If scientists were that close-minded, it would never have got off the ground and we wouldn't see all results of it.

At least, that is my humble understanding of science and how not to conflate it with other categories in an attempt to prove a point.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 06:09 PM

16. Maybe you could comment on:

Richard Feynman might have been a poor philosopher, but he wasn’t kidding when he wrote:

‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.’ To work satisfactorily, Big Bang cosmology requires rather a lot of ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’, such that ‘what we can see’ accounts for an embarrassingly small 5 per cent of everything we believe there is in the Universe. If dark matter is really matter of some kind, then it’s simply missing from our best theory of matter. Changing one or more of the constants that govern the physics of our Universe by even the smallest amount would render the Universe inhospitable to life, or even physically impossible. We have no explanation for why the laws and constants of physics appear so ‘fine-tuned’ to evolve a Goldilocks universe that is just right.


Hence, the theory of biocentrism and the question of how much we know as far as what's missing in our observation of the Universe in total. There is a humility in that and our hubris and assumptions can only serve to retard or delay further insights. At least Lanza takes a good stab at trying to explain the inability to give a fundamental reason for the Goldilocks aspect of the constants by way of relationships, though we are effectively only working with that tiny five-percent of what is here in regards to the physical Universe. It is not a settled issue at all.

So then, from the apsects of physics alone, what is the basis your are asserting?

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 06:30 PM

17. I can see that

I also see the humor in substituting the singularity for God. It's too late now, but I would ask him to prove the singularity exists as he describes it.

That's where the God argument fails as well. If one defines God as something ineffable, then what's the argument? However, if one goes on to describe God as a sentient being who likes sticking his nose in other people's business, then that requires a proof that has yet to be named.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. - Carl S.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 07:09 PM

18. Well,

It seems that you are rather fascinated with a God and I am not, at least, it seems to have your attention. There is no dearth of theologians, etc. with whom you can debate your intense interest with. Perhaps the nuances of my open-ended inferences and inquiry are too fine.

Sticking god's nose in this is rather irrelevant to me and that's not what my business was about, so I am sorry if you didn't realize that, but might consider that anyone can do what you are correcting or criticizing without apology.

An easy way to understand it is if I just say I am more about what is beyond the God you are dealing with, like an Asura. God is a non sequitur concerning my responses to you and maybe I didn't make that sharp and clear enough. If you insist on bringing your god into this, then there is nothing more to discuss.

Thanks though. It was interesting in a sociological way. I learn much from people's views and how they present them.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 07:17 PM

19. My God??????

My fascination with God??????

What are you on about?

This conversation just went off the rails.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 07:39 PM

20. You can't see it?

No it is not off the rails. I wasn't talking about God and you brought it up as an interpretation of the information.

To me, that might indicate something about your predilection to project your bias on the conversation and has nothing to do with what is being presented, (except of course what you saw). To me, an intense and extreme view is not indicative of a rational skepticism, but a strong, emotional connection with the subject itself to the point that it triggers reflective reactions. Been there, done that. We all fall prey to that in some way initially.

In that case, your insistence on professing your confirmation bias just puts me in a rather ridiculous position of providing you with a vehicle to continue to confirm the bias, (both by way of pro and con) expressed and I think you are better of engaging in that with someone who wants to argue within your preferred dichotomy, or should I say, dilemma. I understand, though, that when one is steeped in a dilemma, (seeing how it is either/or) and there are no other options, then you have to stand your ground in that way, but this discussion was not really geared in that direction, if you noticed, it goes way beyond that, even conceptually.

I don't subscribe to scientism or metaphysical realism, per se, and I distinguish it from the methodology of science, as I said. It has many religious qualities to it that do not do science itself justice, IMHO. I also notice that people I have talked with who use science as any basis for their beliefs don't tend to really even keep up on science itself and express rather outdated concepts, (to the point of obsolescence) in order to substantiate their position, like using hackneyed quotes as mantras/shields. I am sure you would agree that science, in its own realm is not about jingoism.

So, thanks for the discussion, anyway. I enjoyed it.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 07:44 PM

21. Excuse me!

I tend to stick to the subject of the OP.
Sorry I didn't join you on the siding.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 08:23 PM

22. No problem.

Well, my intent started with belief, knowledge and information and how i would prefer that knowledge be differentiated from belief, however I don't necessarily denigrate belief or imagination in their own place, nor do I need to. This is a grand, diverse and multi-faceted Universe and just won't fit into our little boxes that we find comforting and meaningful. I agree with Shakespeare, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." That is the spirit that keeps science and innovation alive, open and fresh.

I did think of less wordy way to illustrate a bit of what I was getting at, most people won't effort to do it, but this is illustrative:

Lets call free will and determinism a dualism, a dichotomy. Now free will implies an agent that acts willingly and freely of its own accord, to put it simply. A decision an agent makes is not necessarily per-ordained or subject to any external, controlling factors. It can be a sudden choice and self-determination. Of course, there can be more definitions, but that will do.

Determinism does not have to be a reference to some divine being or force because you could attribute it to something like the billiard balls aspects of Newtonian physics, i.e., everything that happens from the Big Bang to now is simply a matter of a complex series of direct, cause and effect relationships of the constituents of matter. In that case, this, right now, could all be proved to be a result of the Big Bang in that framework if you could measure and account for every interaction along the way, although the Uncertainty Principle would put some sand in your gears in that case. You and everything and everyone else and the environment are a direct outcome of the initial start of everything as per the Big Bang. So it is, then, predetermined without any random input or variance at all.

Now, if you study all you can about both free will and determinism, (from various points of view and from ancient ideas to modern physics) you will come to a point where you could logically argue for both of them and even in great detail. A good logician can argue any subject to a successful conclusion in that way in many cases. At some point, I would suggest you will encounter both a relationship and a paradox involved, but the initial question is, can you come to a definitely conclusive proof for either and what happens if one is true but the other is not? Of course, like political and philosophical arguments about other dichotomies, this is the realm of reason, logic, knowledge, philosophy, epistemology, etc., not science, per se. There are many issues that are not at all relevant to the proof's of science, but rather, they are amenable to reason and logic, which in themselves, are not necessarily conclusive or definitive, but rather a formal structure of our semantics and thought and most certainly abstractions, i.e., never the thing itself.

That underscores some of my points and demonstrates and interesting aspect of the dualism of phenomena which then allows for an approach to a meta-system perspective, as per Einstein's point about the necessity for having one to understand and resolve the problems of any system--even physics, which is reaching a critical crux in many ways, but you have to dig into the current discussions about that in the field to see what I mean. The development of set theory reveals that in how it was used to make up for certain problems with the math in formulas.

Thanks for your time and feedback.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 01:15 PM

37. Feynman died 32 years ago, before we could even map the CMB (2013).

We didn't even know if the universe was open, closed, or flat in 1988. Things have changed. Hell, the COBE experiment started the year after he died.

Maybe cite experts in the field that existed in this century.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 01:07 PM

36. Who the fuck is positing Ockham's Razor as a "Proof" or "bulletproof assertion of actual fact"

besides you?

Please tell me this isn't some clumsy attempt at constructing a strawman?

"Do you understand the causes and conditions prior to said event and what they would be?"

Much of Hawking's lifelong work led to working theories that give us understanding that fits the currently known/observable evidence, but the issue is by no means solved.

Since I can't jam his entire last book through this text field (it is copyrighted after all) the short version is; conditions prior were Nothing. Not vacuum of space, which isn't nothing. Empty space is really quite full of things, especially at the quantum level. But actual true nothing. And that proceeds to form a universe, because based on our understanding of that condition; nothing, true nothing, not even a quantum foam, is unstable.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 08:44 PM

23. "Evolution is a theory"

While true, frequently used by religionists in a failed attempt to equate scientific knowledge with religious belief. Inevitably followed by some sort of word salad.

The only box you have yet to check is the claim that creationism is also a "theory", which may be correct only in the purest literal sense. That doesn't mean it isn't pure unadulterated bullshit when it's used to construct a false equivalency with the Theory of Evolution. While you may or may not intend to go that far, it's still very much down the same road you are traveling.

Despite your attempts all you are really doing is just repeating the same arguments that have been well debunked in forums that extend well beyond this one. When you start describing scientific "belief" in the same context as religious belief and pretending they are the same thing, you really aren't coming up with anything remotely resembling an original argument. I've been listening to the same thing for at least the last 30 years by all sorts of people and it just never gets any better.

Your example of pointing out pseudoscience masquerading as science in order to discredit science doesn't hold much water either. At best it's a distraction from whatever point you were trying to originally make. The scientific community does not have a problem with skepticism, at least no where near the same level religious belief does. So all you are really doing is constructing another false equivalency.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 09:39 PM

25. Thanks for your opinion!

I think you are having an argument with yourself here, because it really goes off track from what I said. Way off. I never insinuated that Evolution being a theory, (which it still is no matter what you are doing here) and that referring to it in any way demotes it or equates it with creationism, which I have not even mentioned nor do I imply? Where are you getting that stuff in my comments?

I am wondering if you know the difference between belief, speculation, hypothesis, theory and fact, because your standardized response, (I have seen it over and over, so you could have just said refer to the standard response) seems to suggest that, but you sound like you just came across a theist or saw a ghost, or both. I will definitely deny your rude and crude attempts at that. You can go duke it out with a creationist or espousing intelligent design and maybe don't look for something that is not there.

Do you often read into something like that and then expect somebody to pick it apart for you?

Thanks for your insinuations, but you are really off base. You are actually skilled at reiterating a common set of response, but what it has to do with my points really relies on your false assumptions and so a rather militant response is usual.

No, really, do you expect me to backtrack and respond to all when you can go so far out like that? I mean, save us the effort.

Thanks for your views on it, no matter what. That's typical and you can't even see that I wasn't discrediting science, so being so myopic does not help your contentions here.

Here is a litmus test. If I say that--based on discussion now in the field about problems with post-empiricism--the Many Worlds Theory is potentially the equivalent of a pseudoscience and there are sound reasons for that, what do you say? Why would I even suggest that? I could say the same about String Theory. Is that absurd or do you understand the how and why and that this is not merely my opinion? I will consider that an indicator. If I said that there are no actual, consensual and agreed upon criterion for distinguishing science from pseudoscience or just plain bullshit, what is your response? These questions have NOTHING to do with your response, my previous comments, or making an argument concerning them. It is more about where you are coming from scientifically.

I made my points clearly. If you missed them or misunderstood them, well, then so be it.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 11:04 PM

32. Speaking of arguing with yourself...

I clearly qualified my statement as not applying to you.

I'm merely pointing out the arguments you are making sound very familiar. If you don't want to be associated with such folks, you might want to refrain from regurgitating their well debunked arguments that do mirror yours which are fully intended to discredit science. I suppose only you know your true intent, but if it quacks like a duck...

As far as knowing the difference between belief and all the other things you mentioned, I'm not the one associating the word "belief" with science in the same context as religious belief. You might want to consider the possibility that just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean they don't understand the terms you are using. To suggest otherwise isn't just rude, it's pretty sloppy reasoning. It reminds me of another DUer in this forum who frequently claims others misunderstand him as a substitute for actually supporting anything they have to say.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 11:29 PM

34. Ok.

Why didn't you point that out in the first place rather than having to clarify it after the fact? And you didn't relate in that way.

I can see that you made some valid associations there based on your perspective, but it might have been helpful in making your point. You are also making some loose connections there that are subtle and indirect, but very close to ad holmium. I don't mind, but gee, it wreaks. I prefer an open out and out attack rather then being subjected to condescending associations like that.

Again, you misread me and I feel it a bit ridiculous to have to repeat myself. I thought I made it very clear that there are "beliefs" in science that is referred to as scientism. I stand by that. That was to distinguish from knowing what methods and data are used to formulate the theory. How is that discrediting science? Or am I touching on your political views of it and evoking a flaming response? I am pro science but have little use for scientism and I would assume you know what that refers to and it can have a similarity to religious belief and I would think that is important for understanding science itself, which I advocate. Is that clear enough?

When I say you misread me, read the above and try to discern that from being simply misunderstood. What terms are you misunderstanding? I am also not looking for support in what I am saying and I just pointed out how you seem to be framing me as a covert anti-science, creationist, etc. Now, how would it be a lament that nobody understands me when i have a problem with your suppositions and obvious prejudice being directed at my comments? Actually, I am more miffed than anything else because it seems rather off the wall. You know what I mean?

If you are a self-appointed guard at the gates of science, that's fine with me, but maybe you could pick on your chosen enemies and not frame me as one of them in order to shoot something. Maybe you can admit that you did make a host of assumptions in lieu of asking questions that might make clear any misunderstandings? Assumptions and overlays like that are a bit rude, confrontational, imposing and authoritarian in some ways, whereas questions would be more reasonable and rationale.

Regurgitating debunked arguments was a very vague statement and does context matter here? Thanks! You are have managed to regurgitate a few common, though unrelated, responses as well, no? I have read many.

Hey man, sorry you had that reaction. I stand by what I said and will leave it at face value regardless of the less than elegant responses and dire need to confront them. Don't worry, science is not affected!


Thanks for the clarification.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 10:24 PM

28. Another one who doesn't understand the term "theory"

You wrote:

“The way that evolution should be expressed is that, so far, the information we have gathered makes the theory of evolution the most viable and provable one to date. ”

This is not, no way, what a scientific theory is. For one thing, scientific theories must be falsifiable, but they are never provable. A theory is a comprehensive explanation for something that has stood the test of time and is consistent with the available evidence. The theory of evolution is simply that life on Earth evolved from simple to more complex life forms over time. It says nothing about how or why evolution happened, and there is no evidence that seriously challenges that explanation.

Evolution is as much a theory as General Relativity, even though we know the latter is incomplete. There is no competing explanation that seriously challenges evolution as an explanation of the evidence of the progression of life on earth.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 10:57 PM

30. I understand it that way.

Using the word provable was an error in the way you are putting it and I was referring to evidence in a common vernacular.

That doesn't mean I don't understand what scientific theory means, but thanks for pointing that out and telling me all about it.

What do you think of the problems with Popper's falsifiability criterion and the reasons for abandoning it? I am just wondering if you are aware of that and up-to-date on why that is so, since you are bringing a classical interpretation in which has been commonly accepted. As you may well know, some of the problems with falsifiabilty are insurmountable. Applying a theory typically requires that we simplify the problem by imagining that the system we’re interested in can be isolated, such that we can ignore interference from the rest of the Universe, at least on paper. Correct?

In his book Time Reborn, the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin calls this ‘doing physics in a box’, and it involves making one or more so-called auxiliary assumptions. Consequently, when predictions are falsified by the empirical evidence, it’s never clear why. It might be that the theory is false, but it could simply be that one of the auxiliary assumptions is invalid. The evidence can’t tell us which.

We know that Newton’s laws of motion are inferior to quantum mechanics in the microscopic realm of molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles, and they break down when stuff of any size moves at or close to the speed of light. We know that Newton’s law of gravitation is inferior to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. And yet Newton’s laws remain perfectly satisfactory when applied to ‘everyday’ objects and situations, and physicists and engineers will happily make use of them. Curiously, although we know they’re ‘not true’, under certain practical circumstances they’re not false either. They’re ‘good enough’.

There is a move towards empirical demarcation as one alternative to the problems with falsifiablity, (and you can look them up because I am not going to cite them all here.) You may be aware of them via the findings of John Adams and Urbain Le Verrier concerning Newton's laws of motion.

Popper himself was ready to accept the above:

the criterion of demarcation cannot be an absolutely sharp one but will itself have degrees. There will be well-testable theories, hardly testable theories, and non-testable theories. Those which are non-testable are of no interest to empirical scientists. They may be described as metaphysical.


Maybe you are familiar with the philosopher Larry Laudan. In 1983, he declared that the demarcation problem is actually intractable, and must therefore be a pseudo-problem. He argued that the real distinction is between knowledge that is reliable or unreliable, irrespective of its provenance, and claimed that terms such as ‘pseudoscience’ and ‘unscientific’ have no real meaning.

I am not sure where people hang around to get their information, put I prefer relevant, up-to-date views as opposed to the sensationalism of popular culture science that is so prevalent. Science has a dynamism to it even though some proponants of it are very conservative, but often people are talking about years ago when they argue their points and some ideas do persist and take time to infiltrate popular thinking. That may or may not matter when you are making a political or philosophical argument against something.



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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:29 PM

38. Have you read Pigliucci's "Philosophy of PseudoScience"?

At least the first essay in the book, The Demarcation Problem, is available at google books. The essay begins on page 9, and at page 21 there is a section entitled Rethinking Demarcation. He thinks that this problem is both worthwhile and addressable.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 12, 2020, 08:03 AM

40. Dictionaries I can find suggest it's related to words for either 'love' or 'precious'/'pleasing'

Merriam-Webster's:

"akin to Old High German gilouben to believe, Old English lēof dear — more at LOVE"

American Heritage:

"leubh-
To care, desire; love.

Derivatives include livelong, belief, and libido.

Suffixed form *leubh-o-. lief; leman, livelong, from Old English lof, dear, beloved, from Germanic *leubaz.

O-grade form *loubh-.

leave2, from Old English laf, permission (< “pleasure, approval”);

furlough, from Middle Dutch verlof, leave, permission (ver-, intensive prefix, from Germanic *fer-, see per1);

belief, from Old English gelafa, belief, faith, from Germanic *galaub (*ga-, intensive prefix; see kom). a-c all from Germanic *laub."

Oxford English Dictionary:

"The base in this case is very uncertain. It may show an ablaut variant of the Germanic base of love v.2, lof n., and probably also love n.1 and (with different ablaut grade) lief adj. Alternatively, the verbs may ultimately reflect a derivative formation < a Germanic prefixed adjective (itself of uncertain origin and morphological relationship) whose reflex is seen in Gothic galaufs precious (also galubs ) and Old High German giloub pleasing (in an isolated attestation). (There does not appear to be any substantiation for the very speculative semantic assumptions that underlie an elaboration of this explanation (see J. Trier Holz: Etymologien aus dem Niederwald (1952) 126–31) that attempts to link these adjectives further with the Germanic base of leaf n.1)"

I can't find anything about "make up".

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:45 PM

2. Most Christians believe in some form of creationism

The only difference being the point in time when the "creator" intervened. It's sort of a slippery slope for religionists. If they let go of the idea they were created by hocus pocus, then the whole idea of an interventionist deity comes crashing down like a house of cards. So they send their children off to be indoctrinated in this nonsense only to make society collectively more ignorant.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:54 PM

3. Religion and science should be able to meld.

Discarding nonsense bible stories like the Ark, God forming the sun with bare hands, and the Garden of Eden as archaic should be a matter of common sense. Such stories were interpretations added to the gospel by ancient people of ignorance and really have nothing to do with one's belief in a supreme divinity.

Let's face it, religious people have no problem discarding much of the bible anyway when it suits them. Even the 10 Commandments is heavily redacted by the most pious.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 02:01 PM

6. At what point do you stop discarding?

The only difference is at what point you think your supreme divinity intervenes and how far you're willing to delude yourself.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 11:23 PM

33. I have a hard time stopping

But that's me. Some people need to have faith in something bigger than themselves. I think one could hold believe and realize a scientific cosmos at the same time. I guess that's what faith is.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 12, 2020, 01:01 PM

41. Yes, but that's two separate things

In order to get them to meld you have to discard virtually everything from organized religions that profess faith in interventionist supreme beings.

As NdGT says, “God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on.”

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 12:48 PM

35. No.

Religion can form itself to accept scientific fact. Science cannot change to accommodate religion.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 12, 2020, 01:25 PM

42. In theory, yes. In practice that rarely happens.

Instead of a war on Abrahamic religions as those who have a pervasive victim mentality like to pretend, what we really have is a war on science which has been raging for thousands of years. When you look around at who is pushing back on that war, it isn't the neutralists who keep claiming those things can co-exist, it's the free thinkers who are calling bullshit in public forums including using the legal system where necessary. So while the zealots are using their religious privilege as leverage over the freethinkers, the best thing you can say about the neutralists is they are apathetic about enabling such privilege to begin with.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 01:57 PM

4. Yeah? Well God will tend to their sorry asses when the time comes

to meet St. Peter.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 03:04 PM

9. Trump atty Jay Seculow spent most of his adult life pushing

creationism in public schools.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 03:18 PM

10. Fire Betsy DeVos.

She has failed.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 10, 2020, 09:52 PM

27. I was taught that God created the evolutionary process

 

Abiogenesis is a different belief and discussion

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Response to greymalkin415 (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 06:31 PM

39. Pretty inefficient means of creation, if you ask me.

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Response to NeoGreen (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2020, 05:46 PM

43. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-- Philip K. Dick

Creationism goes away when people stop believing in it, evolution does not.

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