Skip to main content

I saw this article  on TPM, and it pissed me off.  I know I shouldn't be surprised by the complaints of creationists that they "are not getting equal time" on a TV science show or any other science venue; this is one of the creationists' strategies to insert their religious views on the rest of us.  But I have a newsflash for creationists:  science is not a democracy.

As a former scientist, I can speak with some authority that my fellow scientists didn't give a damn what I thought about something.  They only cared about what I could prove with laboratory data.  And this is true for all scientists and their hypotheses.  Show me the data, and if I can reproduce what you did, your hypothesis is probably valid.  Obtain enough data that validates your hypothesis, and over time, your up to theory status; this is how science works.

However, creationists want to treat their so called "theory" as some kind of 1st Amendment issue.  According to them, there should be some kind of fair play, and any scientific forum should be open for creationists to present their views.  Absolute fucking political bullshit.

And what I mean by political is that creationists are counting on American scientific ignorance and sense of fair play to win.  As with any good politician, creationists know their target audience.  Creationists know they cannot win this so called "debate" relying upon the scientific method because creationism is not science.  They start out in a hole with the scientific community, so creationists pitch their message to all the people who did not receive adequate science education or critical thinking skills while in school.  Seeing as Americans are basically ignorant of the scientific method, creationists go for the old fair play move, as if scientific data was just another point of political view.

To paraphrase a saying from a famous movie, "There is no democracy in science!"

 

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I Can't Seem to Get Through to Educated People (16+ / 0-)

    the nature of the problem with the term "theory" and the need to constantly remind society in these discussions that it's a TECHNICAL TERM that does not mean the same thing it means on the street.

    Instead what I see is the luddites using it their way and scoffing at the elitists, while the scientists use it their way and scoff at the luddites. "Sure, gravity's a theory too." Snort, snort. --Getting nowhere.

    This would be no problem with sports, where everyday words are technical terms with entirely novel meanings, like "down" in football. People understand that. They would not have a sympathetic sense of fair play toward a referee or a reporter who thought that 3rd down meant 3 guys got knocked over on the play. They need to have "theory" explained in the same basic way.

    And that would sweep this hurdle aside for any rational even if uneducated listeners. Then it would be 10 times easier to establish that the creationists are not properly part of a discussion of science and their material is not fare for science instruction.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:36:24 PM PDT

    •  Great point. They give their ""theory" the (6+ / 0-)

      same importance as scientific theory. I liked your analogy as well.

      Oh for crying out loud!

      by 4mygirls on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:41:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  problem is that any herdsman realizes evolution (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4mygirls, Aunt Pat, gffish

        has to be correct; otherwise, we would not have many of the breeds we do today.
        If evolution is wrong, ask a Creationist if a fox and a dog share a common ancestor and they will say yes.  Ask them then why can't a fox and dog breed?
        Ask them if a golden jackal and dog share a common ancestor.  If they answer yes, ask them why a dog and golden jackal can produce fertile offspring when a fox and dog cannot even breed?
        Then ask them if a black striped jackal can breed with a dog and if so will the offspring be fertile?  Then ask them why a dog can produce fertile offspring with a golden jackal and infertile offspring with a black striped jackal and cannot breed with a fox when all share a common ancestor?

        (The answer is in the number of chromosomes and the answer is species drift which Creationists specifically deny happens)

        •  Wow. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, gffish

          Dog breeding is definitely evolution.  However, no creationist I know would concede that a fox and a dog share a common ancestor.  The ones I know are simply not that smart.  They would say "no, god made dogs 'dogs' and foxes 'foxes', and that's that."

          I'm thinking a better angle might be genetically altered corn.  Everyone knows Monsanto has genetically altered crops, including corn.  Monsanto's inserted genes into corn that kill rootworms, thus alleviating the need for pesticide for rootworms.  The Monsanto corn would kill the rootworms, resulting in much bigger corn crops.  

          Then the rootworms "evolved", developed immunity, and now the Monsanto corn no longer kills the rootworms.  The rootworms' DNA has changed to allow them to produce the necessary proteins that give them "Monsanto corn immunity".  That is, a "new" kind of rootworm has evolved.  How does "creation science" account for this evolution, and what "creation science tests" can be performed to demonstrate how this process works?

          Ah, this wouldn't work either.  The creationists would simply move the goalposts, saying something facile, like "god did it".  Great science, that.

          To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

          by XOVER on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:27:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some of us tried that exact argument (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aunt Pat, BMScott, gffish

            with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  The counter-argument is that that's "micro-evolution", so it's not the same thing.

            Even though, to the best of my knowledge, separating things into "micro" and "macro" when it comes to evolution isn't actually a thing, in the science world.

            I actually would argue that in some ways genetics show evolution, on an extremely small scale.  I inherited genetic traits of both my mother and father, and so I'm similar to them, but different.

            •  RE: micro and macro evolution (0+ / 0-)

              It is a bit of silliness Creationists use to try to argue that species change within species but fail to create new species.  This was developed when it became obvious species drift could be observed over a relatively short period of time.  The problem is they are demanding that centuries long processes be reproduced in a lab in a few years.

              I always ask folks who argue this if Jesus is the mini-deity then and the Trinity the macro-deity.  They always respond that is silly and Jesus is the Trinity revealed.  I reply, "same way with evolution"  

          •  dogs are better 'cause they are bigger (0+ / 0-)

            and you can see them with your eyes.  If someone argues foxes and dogs lack a common ancestor the next question is if jackals also lack a common ancestor and if so, why the different outcomes in breeding with feral or wild dogs.  And if "kind follows kind", then why would a black striped jackal/golden jackal mix not be fertile?  After all (with apologies to Gertrude Stein) isn't a jackal a jackal a jackal?  
            Then there are those examples where gross anatomy led to some jackals being classified as foxes and vice versa.  Are those which crossed with feral dogs now nullified?

          •  The problem with that is, it's probably NOT a new (0+ / 0-)

            kind of rootworm -- it's probably a rootworm that was out there all along. There just weren't all that many of them. However, now that we've planted 10s of thousands of square miles of Bt-corn, those special rootworms have come to dominate the population.

            This is the counter-argument one will always get from creationists when one points to any such example -- and the truth is, it's a pretty reasonable counter-argument. For example, there was a much ballyhooed experiment that seemed to show a particular metabolic "evolution" in a population of E. coli</>. The problem was, the particular mutation in question involved the loss of a gene's function, not the acquisition of a novel gene.

            The closest one can get at this point is the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which involves, among other things, different species of bacteria exchanging genes with each other. However, as the comment above mine notes, the creationists dismiss this with weird little epistemological waffle -- the equivalent of adding one more epicycle to support a geocentric model of the solar system.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:32:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I always tel them the same thing (14+ / 0-)

      Gravity is also a theory, jump off a 10 story building then get back to me about what exactly is meant by the term theory in science.

    •  part of the problem seems to lie in today's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, Aunt Pat, gffish

      science education where almost half of the science teachers admit they would like to or do teach some form of Creationism.  Therefore we are seeing the rise of the anti-vaxxers, the flat earthers, homeopathic medicine, climate change denialism and other Luddite type behavior because change is uncomfortable and it is more comfortable to pretend oil can be created in 30 years or that the speed of light varies in a vacuum or that species never change or that water will be the 21st Century's oil or that we are past peak oil or that we are approaching peak water or that we are losing arable land and tropical forests at an unsustainable rate (pause for breath)

      In short we can ignore our problems until they become crises and suffer the consequences or we can deal with the problems before they become crises.  Being human, we choose to kick the can farther down the road and rely on a book based on the beliefs of Bronze Age shepherds to inform our scientific knowledge

    •  excellent post, only marred by misuse of "luddite" (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe we can explain THAT term along with "theory", going forward...the need may be equally great, given the fallout of confusion that results.

      Yes, experimental results aren't like the guest list for a middle-school party:  the cool kids have nothing to do with it, and it doesn't matter who said what over the weekend.  Just so, the Weavers' Rebellion had NOTHING to do with ignorant dread of machinery and EVERYTHING to do with opposition to the deliberate commercial destruction of the social landscape...not unlike what Sam Walton did to rural America.

      Yes, words mean things - and NOT just the words we feel like defending.  Thank you.

      trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

      by chmood on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:10:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

      "It's only a theory," implying "It's some crap I made up while I was high."

      "Theory" is a pretty brag-worthy title for a hypothesis. It's been through the testing and trials. It's stood the challenges of the brightest minds. It's been weighed in the balance and NOT found wanting.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:16:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pseudo Science (0+ / 0-)
      "But evolution is only a theory."

      Which is true.  I mean it is a theory.  And it's good that they say that, I think.  It gives you hope, doesn't it — that maybe they feel the same about the theory of gravity — and they might just float the fuck away."

      ~  Tim Minchin

  •  It's a SCIENCE show! (9+ / 0-)

    They can spend their money to make a religion show. Idiots.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:38:00 PM PDT

    •  They had their chance with the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, 4mygirls, Aunt Pat, gffish

      fabulous movie "Expelled" featuring the great actor and thinker ben stein. (Before anyone beats me up, that was sardonic)  There wasn't a lot of "both sides" in that, except for what was misrepresented by stein and his cabal. Perhaps, using that as a precedent, Dr. Tyson should have done the same thing as stein did.  

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:23:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or they can allow SCIENCE! equal time on Sunday... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, Aunt Pat, gffish

      ...yeah, somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

      'Course, it's not about fairness for them - it's about advantaging their POV AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY - and steadfast opposition to the return of the favor.  So, they can bite me.

      trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

      by chmood on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:14:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sad how it is easier to learn what to believe (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alypse1, JesseCW, Naniboujou, Aunt Pat

    than how to think. Since between evolution and genetics pretty much everything is explained in a way that makes sense. Creation "science" is an irrational belief based on the idea that God made the world look old to test our faith.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:51:08 PM PDT

  •  One thing I don't get about the creationists is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, Aunt Pat, gffish

    why they think that the evolution is inconsistent with their belief that God created the universe and created human life.  No one knows what caused the big bang to happened, or what caused life to begin in the first place.  It seems to me that since our current science can neither prove nor disprove that these things occurred as a result of an action by God, they would be better off trying to reconcile their religious beliefs with science rather than denying what has been scientifically proven.  

    •  Biblical inerrancy, basically. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alypse1, JesseCW, Aunt Pat, gffish

      I've known people who thought no one who rejected 6-Day Creationism could be a theist, period. Because in their minds, if you reject their interpretation of those first three chapters of Genesis you reject the whole Bible, and they just can't get how anyone could believe in any deity at all if they don't believe in the Bible.

      Left that church...

      •  Matthew versus Luke (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, Aunt Pat, gffish

        They have different genealogies for Joseph. Can both be inerrant?

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:19:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what does it matter? Christians acknowledge (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat

          Joseph was not Jesus' daddy.  The current argument I think is that lineage in First Century Israel was matrilineal so paternity does not matter.

          However, since David's successor, Solomon, had 1000 wives, concubines and such, it is probable, given the number of generations that had passed since Davidic rule, that the majority of the population in Israel could trace their lineage back to David.  However, we also have the "Begats" which I suppose we are also supposed to take seriously since, if we follow them, from memory, it seems that most of the Patriarchs only had one son since anyone who has done genealogical research can attest that after six or so generations, the side branches of your family tree becomes untenable and are generally pruned back for brevity sake  

      •  more like biblical illiteracy (5+ / 0-)

        since they all rely on English translations and even today, the nuances of various biblical and ecclesiastical languages, to wit: Aramaic, Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Ecclesiastical Latin, and the problem of many original texts being lost to time so that all we have are translations of earlier texts or even translations of translation of translations.  Add to this that many NT authors struggled with their Greek and you have a very large opportunity for errors.

        Add to this the penchant of ministers to cherry pick the text and instead of presenting lengthy passages within historical contexts, instead the faithful are presented with bits and pieces from here and there within the entire book (which BTW was composed by political process a couple of centuries after the facts chronicled so many texts were omitted and other texts only made it to the canons by the hair of their theological teeth) and you have the ability of proving any point you care to make, the same as it can be argued a dictionary is "Moby Dick" deconstructed if you pick out the right words

        •  It's all about creating the desired result.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, gffish, Cassandra Waites

          They've been pulling the same crap for the 56 years I've been listening to them, and they've gotten better/slicker/harder to catch at it but they are no less transparent in it.

          Sadly, "Christians" have for the last 1000 years have been synonymous with "good, decent, ordinary people", and that has really allowed the wolves and other predators to pervade the populace and hide their viciousness, their venality, their hypocrisy behind that time-worn-but-carefully-maintained fiction of themselves as 'humble servants'....

          Maybe we could figure out a way of keeping tabs on "the great commission", so as to prevent Witness 'A' from continually RE-proseltyzing individuals and communities (or as I once observed to a Jehovah's Witness, "He may well have commanded you to go forth and preach the gospel, but that doesn't mean he's instructed each of you to speak TO ME, personally.")

          trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

          by chmood on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:31:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  funny thing is this "once saved always saved" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gffish, Cassandra Waites

            coupled with "by faith alone" tenets lead many to conclude that so long as they claim faith, they are relieved from having to live their lives according to their own precepts while insisting that others live according to those same precepts they ignore

            •  One of the keys that kept me from remaining... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              entlord

              if "God" can permit so massive (and massively simple-minded) a loophole, then, no, that "God" isn't actually paying attention at all.  It's sufficient to let you know you're being played.  It's HOW they took over the asylum.

              trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

              by chmood on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:14:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •   There is no 'science' (0+ / 0-)

    in democracy. Democracy is a humanistic social institution a form of governance, it's not a science. Religious dogma be it Judea/Christian. Hindu/Buddhism, Muslim/??? or whatever religious theory you believe is the answer to why we are here it, has no truck with democracy. Democracy is a social beast it is chock full of squishy inalienable truths that are as old as religions. Both contain ancient explanations of the universe as seen from the human viewpoint.    

    Of course the authoritarians who run the religions and the governments globally, the modern 'world as we find it' attach themselves to a higher reality. As does science it claims to be the one and only truth, and yet it is built on theory also. What ever happened to those old fashioned humanistic inalienable truths? The truth is out there it's not that hard to comprehend. It's not religious or 'scientific' it's what is going down right here, right now. The everlasting now that's not static but moves regardless of our puny interpretations of what created this thing called life.

    Man oh man, just gimme some truth. Who gives a rats ass about the constructs of blind human ego that says we or the gods we create are above the common laws of nature and the worse/ better angels we cook up are inevitable with no cure, in the name of science or religion. Neither seems to deal with the fucking mess we humans have created.

    There is your creationist/non creationist CT theory, it's all just a construct the rat bastards use to keep humans in the fear and dark be it religious crazy bs or the inevitable world that the reality based world that says is science and data Both say they are reality and trump your humanity and mother nature. Ancient text's that profess to contain the truth, the reason behind the universe and beyond are nothing but human folly. The bs. we now accept as the truth and nothing else is irrelevant as nature and the real world as we know it will just continue to balance itself regardless of crazy ass human theories.                    

    •  Who cares about the constructs of human ego? (0+ / 0-)

      People, that's who. That is pretty much what this is all about--the theory of evolution is a slap in the face to what we might call human exceptionalism, that people were deliberately created "in the image of" the creator of everything, which is about as special as it gets.

      I think the alternative should be, rather than calling people stupid for following their instinctive egotism (which itself is probably a product of evolution and a key survival mechanism), we should celebrate science as a human accomplishment that, in a way, actually proves we are pretty damn special. I find it breathtaking that human beings have figured out how to do things like calculate the total weight of the universe...think of that! It's almost "godlike" in its way...

      Also, in an age when so many people think of their cats and dogs as "family," evolution demonstrates that, in a way, they actually are.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I imagine that's what NdGT meant when (0+ / 0-)

        he spoke of the "spiritual experience" of science.  I don't think for a minute he actually believes it, though.  He's previously and passionately articulated a view of man's place in the universe that's considerably more grounded: it is a vast, and today largely empty, expanse that is inhospitable to man, and our small bubble of habitability is historically and prehistorically far more deadly to life than not.

    •  There are certainly people who (0+ / 0-)

      elevate scientific knowledge to epistemological truth; many of them working scientists.  But that's a personal decision, and one generally made depending on the scientific claim in question.  For example:

      "The sun revolves around the Earth."

      Just about anyone today will tell you that's a load of horse shit, but people do a lot of good work based on the convenient fiction that Earth is fixed at rest and the heavens are moving.

  •  Science has no agenda, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stunvegas, alypse1, Crashing Vor

    to quote a friend of mine.

    Science also has no WATBs.

    Science has one, and only one, purpose: To seek the truth.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:45:48 PM PDT

    •  and to make a buck (0+ / 0-)

      for whoever needs the ultimate truths that science discovers to lend validity to whatever scam the owners of the place are pumping as realty.  

    •  Science has little to do with seeking truth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kumaneko, BMScott

      And we're better for it.  Better to have a system that does better than most at generating useful best guesses and is second to none in discarding falsehoods than to fret about the truth of things.

      •  problem is there is "true" and "Truth" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naniboujou

        Science searches for true answers to our experiences while religion seeks for the "Truth" which they persist in claiming is "true"

        •  I wouldn't draw such a distinction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Naniboujou, BMScott

          where it concerns the definition of truth.  Science is unique in that it abandons truth as a hopeless ideal and instead deals with the most useful and ordered of statements about the universe--mathematical ones----regardless of whether they embody a fiction.  Alan Guth may ponder the truth behind the origins of the universe, but cosmic inflation as a scientific enterprise is a solution to a system of equations compared to some measurement.

          •  You're redefining truth (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord

            in ways tat serve your rhetorical aims.

            As is often stated, the theory of gravity is theory -- it is also fact.

            As is evolution.

            If you don't like the word "truth", substitute "fact", "knowledge", or a similar word. Let's avoid the pedantry.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:13:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It’s important to realize, however, that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rduran

              when we say (correctly) that evolution is both a fact and a theory, we’re equivocating on evolution: evolution-the-fact and evolution-the-theory are not the same thing.  The fact is that modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms are continuing to change over time; the theory is the proposed mechanism.  And rduran is correct in saying that science is looking for something a bit different from (absolute) truth.  This extract from an essay on the scientific method is pretty clear:

              The notion that we can find absolute and final truths is naive.  If there are any underlying "truths" of nature, our models are just close approximations to them—useful descriptions which "work" by correctly predicting nature's behavior.  We are not in a position to answer the philosophical question "Are there any absolute truths?". We can't even determine whether there is an underlying "reality" to be discovered.  And, though our laws and models (theories) become better and better, we have no reason to expect they will ever be perfected.  So we have no justification for absolute faith or belief in any of them.  They may be replaced someday by something quite different in appearance and with different underlying concepts.  At least they will be modified.  But that won't make the old models "untrue", for the old models will work as well as they always did.  All of these reservations and qualifications about truth, reality, and belief, don't matter in a practical sense—such philosophical quibbles aren't relevant to doing science.  We can do science quite well without ‘answering’ these questions—questions that may not even have answers.  Science limits itself to more finite questions for which we can arrive at practical answers.
            •  "Fact" and "knowledge" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BMScott

              are not synonyms for truth, and conflation of those two terms with justified belief is a recent philosophical development.  Typically by people easily impressed by a good story rather than the mechanism by which it was generated.

              What you consider pedantry is what allows us to continue to use demonstrably false laws of motions and universal gravitation everyday.  It's the lie of an homogenous, isotropic universe that's proven so fruitful in cosmology.  It's the fiction of non-random natural selection that allows us to model constraints on randomly arising traits.

              If you want truth, stare your navel with the epistemologists.  Science is the business of generating useful explanations, not truthful ones.

              •  A singularly unpleasant behavior amongst some (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raptavio

                people with a certain level of intelligence and sophistication is a devotion to argumentation so profound and compulsive that they continue to argue with people after the point is conceded.

                raptavio said, fine, you define "truth" in a way that makes it inapplicable to the phenomenon under discussion, so let's use the word "fact" instead.

                and you responded with a rant about how "truth" is not a synonym for "fact".

                which is exactly the point -- a point having to do with definitions of terms -- raptavio had conceded for purposes of the discussion.

                so with whom-the-fuck are you arguing?

                To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 09:55:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The point was certainly not conceded (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BMScott

                  Nor is the central issue here definitions.  The central issue here is whether it's okay to abide by what is essentially fiction.  I'm perfectly fine with it, provided it's useful or at the very least harmless.  Some folks--I assume raptavio is one--that that notion offensive.  That attitude lies at the core of an unfortunate, tin-god arrogance that is often poorly matched with a debater's actual experience and skill set.  

                  •  the point about whether the word "truth" was (0+ / 0-)

                    applicable certainly had been conceded.

                    If you don't like the word "truth", substitute "fact", "knowledge", or a similar word. Let's avoid the pedantry.
                    your solipsistic fascination with the notion that our scientific descriptions/models of reality are "essentially fiction" is an amusing hobby that allows you to set yourself up above the rest of us mere mortals, but the argument doesn't rest on whether or not the word "truth" means the same thing as the word "fact", or the word "knowledge".

                    while the "we can't really know anything" model entertains the dilettante, i suggest that there is an important epistemological difference between a model of acupuncture that accurately explains how it works (assuming it does), versus the model upon which the practice is based. however, by your lights, the "chi" explanation is scientific, because it appears to be useful, and is no more "fictional" than any other scientific model.

                    people -- especially, people who like to call themselves "scientists" -- often try to make a distinction between science and engineering. i find the distinction to be questionable -- what most scientists spend most of their time doing is pretty clearly a form of engineering. i think your definition of science dynamites any sort of fence that might conceivably exist between science and engineering, which may or may not be a wise or truthful understanding.

                    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

                    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:32:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you're asking if you can really know anything (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BMScott

                      then you are a dilettante.  "Really knowing anything" is a silly philosophical conceit positivists put forward in order to sneer at others.  It's extremely irritating when advanced by people who can't calculate their way out of paper bag and are left with simply regurgitating (often terribly) authority.

                      Bottom line, who cares if you can really know anything?  We've got tools that can predict future events.  That's pretty damned useful even if they are idealized fantasies. If that's solipsistic, then so be it.  At least I'm not fretting over what Ken Ham believes happened 6,000 years ago.

                      i suggest that there is an important epistemological difference between a model of acupuncture that accurately explains how it works (assuming it does), versus the model upon which the practice is based. however, by your lights, the "chi" explanation is scientific, because it appears to be useful, and is no more "fictional" than any other scientific model.
                      Nothing I've said here or anywhere else could possibly lead you to conclude that "by [my] lights," the chi explanation is scientific.  I've described useful models as a product of the method, not the definition.
                      people -- especially, people who like to call themselves "scientists" -- often try to make a distinction between science and engineering. i find the distinction to be questionable -- what most scientists spend most of their time doing is pretty clearly a form of engineering. i think your definition of science dynamites any sort of fence that might conceivably exist between science and engineering, which may or may not be a wise or truthful understanding.
                      Whatever distinction there is lies in specialty, not in broad category.  Scientist in field X, engineer in field Y, we're all just applied mathematicians.  Sometimes more than that, sometimes not.  And instead of harping about what people think happened or did not happen in the distant past we should focus on child and adult innumeracy.
              •  Enough with the semantics! (0+ / 0-)

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:26:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Sex and pregnancy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Crashing Vor, gffish

    There is no scientific evidence for a causal link between sex and pregnancy. No one has ever seen a sperm. The device that called a microscope could easily be a fraud.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:22:46 AM PDT

  •  Thirty Years in the Making (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, BachFan

    When Reagan shouted "back to basics" he meant take all the inquiry, investigation and logic out of school curricula. (They you hire your cronies, like N. Bush, to produce the lowest level high stakes tests you can!)

    It is no coincidence that those kids, now in their fifties, haven't a clue about what science is or how it is done.

    The idea that you could have a scientist (I give Bill Nye that title loosely, but he did OK) debate a congresswoman (Blackburn) is like having a graffiti artist debate an architect on how to improve a city. The idea that people watch it and think it is actually a debate is very sad.

    The good news; there are at least a few in America's business community who realize that their unholy alliance with mental midgets isn't getting them too far.

  •  Deciding scientific 'truth' by show of hands is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    fundamentally the same logical fallacy as 'settling' domestic violence by splitting the difference. You know, your partner promises to only beat you every other day instead of every day.

  •  Creationists thinks they are one of many brands (0+ / 0-)

    in the marketplace consumer items.   Scince is not TIDE soap, it stands on facts, observation and studies that can be replicated by others to verify your results.  Creationism copetes with science because a willful few have decided that one must dominite the other.  The creationists posit this:  such a complex universe means there must have been a maker.  Science seeks knowledge to understand the laws of the universe.  The creationists have made this a competition.  How preposterous:  why would God compete with his own creation?  Science brings an open sense of awe concening it's work and findings.  Creationists are not content to make their case for a maker, they  denigrate science and scientists who study and use their knowledge to improve human life.  

    •  I see so many typos in my comment that I (0+ / 0-)

      want to apologize to all who may have tried to read it.  It reduces thousands of years of religion to a short paragraph.  At least a post could be written and  it will be   the first of many or none at all, I fortell.

  •  Oh, science is a democracy, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, BachFan

    but only reality gets to vote.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:14:30 AM PDT

  •  The real problem is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish

    these Fundamentalist "Christians" don't really believe in God the Great I Am that Is All of Existence. No, they believe in a little vindictive "God" who bolsters and supports their belief themselves and their prejudices.

    “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful -- just stupid.)” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

    by midgebaker on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:23:20 AM PDT

  •  Creatinists want "equal time" (0+ / 0-)

    But Ronald Wilson Reagan eliminated the Fairness Doctrine, so they will have to pay their money and stand in line like the rest of us, even though they usually revere Reagan as something of a demigod.   Tell the Creationists that they reap what they sow.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site