In the news: Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'

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John Wilkins

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:00:49 AM10/21/05
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http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126

Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST

Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
school curricula.

The theory, advocated by right-wing Christian groups in the United States,
says that complex biological organisms cannot be explained by evolutionary
chance alone and must be the work of an intelligent designer.

It is not currently taught to Australian school students but federal Education
Minister Brendan Nelson, a Christian, revealed in August he had met a group
called Campus Crusade for Christ and would support it being taught alongside
Darwin's theory of evolution.

The scientific community's open letter said it would be gravely concerned if
intelligent design was taught in schools.

"To do so would make a mockery of Australian science teaching and throw open
the door of science classes to similarly unscientific world views - be they
astrology, spoon-bending, flat-earth cosmology or alien abductions - and crowd
out the teaching of real science," said the letter to national newspapers.

The letter said intelligent design ignored the basic scientific principle that
a theory should be testable through observation or experimentation.

"Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."
--
John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com
"Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122

Elf M. Sternberg

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:21:39 AM10/21/05
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John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:

> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

Damn. But not astrology? How could they miss that? For the
next five years we'll be able to bludgeon them with the fact that one of
the ID Trinity (Johnson, Dembski, Behe) believes that astrology is also
a science in the same way that ID is a science.

Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
scientists in the U.S. have done the same.

Elf

TomS

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:39:09 AM10/21/05
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"On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
<djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."

>
>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
>Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
>theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
>it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>
>More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
>Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
>school curricula.
[...snip...]

70,000 in Australia?

That's impressive.

By the way, does anyone have a website which gives more
information about this? Like the entire letter, how long it has
been in the works, ...


--
---Tom S. <http://talkreason.org/articles/chickegg.cfm>
"It is not too much to say that every indication of Design in the Kosmos is so
much evidence against the Omnipotence of the Designer. ... The evidences ... of
Natural Theology distinctly imply that the author of the Kosmos worked under
limitations..." John Stuart Mill, "Theism", Part II

APOCALYPSE

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:42:30 AM10/21/05
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Haven't they been condemning it since its inception?

NashtOn

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:39:45 AM10/21/05
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In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

Nicola

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:51:13 AM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
for not accepting a scientific theory?

gregwrld

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Oct 21, 2005, 9:55:08 AM10/21/05
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So show us the science...

-g(regwrld)

scooter

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Oct 21, 2005, 10:16:05 AM10/21/05
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Yea..huh, huh...good point. Except most of us live in 2005 instead of
the "days of the Holy Inquisistion".

Ian H Spedding

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Oct 21, 2005, 10:24:25 AM10/21/05
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Getting nostalgic for the good old days?

Ian

--
Ian H Spedding
>
> Nicola

NashtOn

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:03:49 AM10/21/05
to

Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
scientists.

Nicola

Mike Thom

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:34:24 AM10/21/05
to

TomS wrote:
> "On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
> <djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."
> >
> >http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
> >
> >Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> >Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
> >
> >Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> >theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> >it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
> >
> >More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> >Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> >school curricula.
> [...snip...]
>
> 70,000 in Australia?
>
> That's impressive.

Well I don't mean to niggle, but actually there were 4 signatories who
represent institutions with more than 70,000 scientists/teachers
between them.

Also, Australia's government may be conservative but the implication
isn't quite the same as in the US - I can't see it becoming mainstream
government policy...

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:38:07 AM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:
> >
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> >
> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

Oh Booohooohooo!

Yes, i can see how *that* equals branding irons, stretch-banks and
"burning at the stake".

> In essence, they would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a
> living as scientists.

So basically you cannot point to a single instance of anyone being
tortured or executed for not believing a scientific theory?

Can you point to one instance of anyone loosing his/her job because of
not believing a scientific theory?

Behe still holds his job and he deserves every bit of ridicule he gets,
given his statement that Astrology is a valid branch of science.

Dana Tweedy

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:40:00 AM10/21/05
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"NashtOn" <na...@na.ca> wrote in message
news:pr76f.111879$Ph4.3...@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...

Not if they produce the evidence. Also, I don't see Michael Behe
starving...

DJT

Elf M. Sternberg

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:58:45 AM10/21/05
to
NashtOn <na...@na.ca> writes:

> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Y'know, if you say something mindbogglingly stupid, you
*should* be called to the carpet for it.

Elf

mur...@tntech.edu

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:08:15 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:

> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed


> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists. In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Okay then, give us a single example of *that*. Then we can discuss
whether the treatment was justified.

---DPM

> Nicola

hers...@indiana.edu

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:25:32 PM10/21/05
to

NashtOn wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
> > NashtOn schreef:
> >
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> >
> > Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> > for not accepting a scientific theory?
> >
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

When someone makes ridiculous (or even simply even slightly erroneous)
arguments wrt science, other scientists are *supposed* to call them on
it. That is the way that science works to progressively get closer to
an accurate description of material reality and how it works. Most of
the time, of course, the errors that people get called on are only
slightly erroneous. But when scientists (or even putative or
ex-scientists) make ridiculous assertions, they should expect those
assertions to be called ridiculous.

Obviously Behe has dealt with the ostracism by cultivating a whole new
class of friends who like what he says. Kooks associating with kooks.

> In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

Only if they stop doing good science. There are many scientists who
have had nutty ideas about fields other than those they did science in
who still managed to do good science, get grants, etc. Even, in one
case, where many in Congress thought a scientist was a communist
traitor and refused to give him a passport (which may have prevented
him from discovering the double helix), yet that person (a two-time
Nobelist) still got grants and did good science, even in an area
(vitamin research) where he was somewhat kooky. And there is always
the church (or UFO or other) lecture circuit for real kooks who have
given up on doing science, like Behe.
>
> Nicola

NashtOn

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:33:59 PM10/21/05
to


All this sidetracking is irrelevant to this discussion.
My point is obvious, you seem to be the only one who missed it.

Nicola

Mike Dworetsky

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:36:09 PM10/21/05
to
"Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com> wrote in message
news:87r7af0...@drizzle.com...

Isn't there also David Berlinski? Do I have that spelled right? Or is he a
straight creationist/astrology advocate?

--
Mike Dworetsky

(Remove "pants" spamblock to send e-mail)

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:48:10 PM10/21/05
to

NashtOn schreef:

Me and five other people...

So far that's six out of six.

Mark VandeWettering

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Oct 21, 2005, 12:58:30 PM10/21/05
to
On 2005-10-21, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
> Kleuskes & Moos wrote:
>> NashtOn schreef:
>>
>>
>>>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
>>>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>>
>>
>> Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
>> for not accepting a scientific theory?
>>
>
> Nowadays the "punishment" is much more subtle. It would be in the form
> of ostracism and ridicule from the other scientists.

If you'd like to propose something which is ridiculous, who is to blame
when the result is ridicule?

> In essence, they
> would lose their livelihood or have a difficult time making a living as
> scientists.

That's because they aren't scientists.

I have the same problem trying to make a living as an opera singer.

Mark

> Nicola

Larry Moran

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Oct 21, 2005, 11:59:18 AM10/21/05
to
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:39:45 GMT, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:

[snip]

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?

I still believe in it. :-)

Larry Moran

Lee Oswald Ving

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Oct 21, 2005, 1:34:40 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote in news:XL86f.111920$Ph4.3426665@ursa-
nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca:

> All this sidetracking is irrelevant to this discussion.
> My point is obvious, you seem to be the only one who missed it.

We *all* got it. Smarmy, pseudo-martyrdom. Claiming a prestige for ID that
it lacks. Soundbites instead of evidence. Puerile demogoguery. Tantrum when
called on it.

IOW, your own little imitation of ID's best.

It's unimpressive, to say the least.

john.1...@gmail.com

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Oct 21, 2005, 1:50:39 PM10/21/05
to

>From conversations I had with him about 10 years ago, I believe that
David
Berlinski is a guy who attempts to increase book sales by making
inflamatory statements.

His scientific background is almost nonexistent. His math background is
mathematical logic, so it seems he tends to have a dislike, bred of
nonmathematical science.


>
> --
> Mike Dworetsky
>

John Harshman

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:25:36 PM10/21/05
to
Larry Moran wrote:

And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
I'm confused.

david ford

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:00:58 PM10/21/05
to
John Wilkins wrote:
> http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
> Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>
> More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> school curricula.

IDiocy might corrupt young minds and aspiring scientists. It's
dangerous.

ID as a metaphysical research program
http://groups.google.co.in/groups?selm=dford3-1129317540.779352.231140%40f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com

> The theory, advocated by right-wing Christian groups in the United States,
> says that complex biological organisms cannot be explained by evolutionary
> chance alone and must be the work of an intelligent designer.
>
> It is not currently taught to Australian school students but federal Education
> Minister Brendan Nelson, a Christian, revealed in August he had met a group
> called Campus Crusade for Christ and would support it being taught alongside
> Darwin's theory of evolution.

Essay on Problems with Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.10A.B3.10005310900310.17702-100000%40jabba.gl.umbc.edu

> The scientific community's open letter said it would be gravely concerned if
> intelligent design was taught in schools.
>
> "To do so would make a mockery of Australian science teaching and throw open
> the door of science classes to similarly unscientific world views - be they
> astrology, spoon-bending, flat-earth cosmology or alien abductions - and crowd
> out the teaching of real science," said the letter to national newspapers.

Belief in spontaneous generation, blindwatchmaking, and mental
spoon-bending is scientific.
http://www.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0401291120.41a6d843%40posting.google.com

> The letter said intelligent design ignored the basic scientific principle that
> a theory should be testable through observation or experimentation.

ReMine, and Birch & Ehrlich on the unfalsifiability of the ToE
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.SGI.3.96A.990620062330.18490880A-100000%40umbc9.umbc.edu


> "Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
> making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
> science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."

Is this "a theological or philosophical notion"?:
[1949 Simpson]"man is the result of a purposeless materialistic process
that did not have him in mind"

Simpson cite in
Timeline of Materialism, Spontaneous Generation, and Blindwatchmaking
Views
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-348jecF47mfcjU1%40individual.net

> --
> John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
> University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com
> "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
> hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122

John's erroneous beliefs can't hide.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-1127704575.828237.280060%40g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
Don't make me laugh.
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-1127877013.477499.48130%40g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com

david ford

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:08:09 PM10/21/05
to
John Harshman wrote:
> Larry Moran wrote:
> > On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> > What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
> >
> > I still believe in it. :-)
>
> And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
> typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
> I'm confused.

I am "confused," as well, as always.
Larry, were you going to become a "respondent to" this?:

replies to Larry Moran posts
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-39lhabF61ut8sU1%40individual.net

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1992 1997 Richard Milton
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311082031310.9519-100000%40linux1.gl.umbc.edu
followup questions for a talk.origins heavy hitter
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311160022220.23666-100000%40linux1.gl.umbc.edu
questions on Larry's "The Modern Synthesis of Genetics and Evolution"
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0404121927.4b34084b%40posting.google.com

dgen...@hotmail.com

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:07:26 PM10/21/05
to

John Wilkins wrote:
> http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>
> Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>
> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.

spoon-bending and alien abductions?
Teach the controversy!!!

Dave

Walter Bushell

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:09:56 PM10/21/05
to
In article <87r7af0...@drizzle.com>,
"Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com> wrote:

> John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:
>
> > Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative
> > evolutionary
> > theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms,
> > comparing
> > it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>

> Damn. But not astrology? How could they miss that? For the
> next five years we'll be able to bludgeon them with the fact that one of
> the ID Trinity (Johnson, Dembski, Behe) believes that astrology is also
> a science in the same way that ID is a science.


That's funny so do I and from all indications so do you. In a boar's
rectum.

> Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
> scientists in the U.S. have done the same.
>
> Elf

--
Guns don't kill people; automobiles kill people.

Kleuskes & Moos

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:12:24 PM10/21/05
to

david ford schreef:

> John Wilkins wrote:
> > http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
> >
> > Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
> > Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
> >
> > Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> > theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> > it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
> >
> > More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
> > Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
> > school curricula.
>
> IDiocy might corrupt young minds and aspiring scientists. It's
> dangerous.

Wow! For once I actually *agree* with you!

<snip self-referencing diatribe>

Ray F-L

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Oct 21, 2005, 2:50:26 PM10/21/05
to
>From dictionary.com:

3 entries found for egocentricity.
e·go·cen·tric adj.

1. Holding the view that the ego is the center, object, and norm of
all experience.
2.
1. Confined in attitude or interest to one's own needs or
affairs.
2. Caring only about oneself; selfish.
3. Philosophy.
1. Viewed or perceived from one's own mind as a center.
2. Taking one's own self as the starting point in a
philosophical system.

ego·centric n.
ego·centric·al·ly adv.
ego·cen·trici·ty (-trs-t) or ego·centrism n.

Cheers,

Ray Freeman-Lynde


A.Carlson

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Oct 21, 2005, 3:03:06 PM10/21/05
to
On 21 Oct 2005 08:58:45 -0700, "Elf M. Sternberg" <e...@drizzle.com>
wrote:

>NashtOn <na...@na.ca> writes:

Yeah, but then NashtOn and company just simply ignore what you said
and continue to go on revealing that they are mindbogglingly stupid.

Tracy Hamilton

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 4:39:07 PM10/21/05
to
david ford wrote:
> John Harshman wrote:
>
>>Larry Moran wrote:
>>
>>>On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
>>>
>>>[snip]
>>>
>>>
>>>>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
>>>>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>>>
>>>What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
>>>
>>>I still believe in it. :-)
>>
>>And you should, because you seem to be the only respondent to notice the
>>typo. You must think the earth revolves around you. Or is it the sun?
>>I'm confused.
>
>
> I am "confused," as well, as always.
> Larry, were you going to become a "respondent to" this?:
>
> replies to Larry Moran posts
> http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-39lhabF61ut8sU1%40individual.net

[warning - this post is in reverse chronological order]

Why should he waste his time with somebody who can't carry their
end in a discussion?

<quote>
"Tracy,

You're addressing someone who is completely incapable of understanding
your point. We've been over and over the same ground in the past five
years. He will never get it.

Ford will keep posting articles that attack adaptionism and the object
to the idea that natural selection is the only mechanism of evolution.
All this does is prove to the world that he doesn't understand modern
evolutionary theory. We all know this by now."
<end quote>

Your link, which you asked me to reply to, got no follow-up. I said
in response to that link:

<quote>
"Wherein you repeat Richard Milton's question that really has nothing to do
with whether evolution is supported by the evidence? Then rephrase a
phrase Larry says is misleading to the point of prevarication? What is
there to answer? Well, what there is to answer is my post, which is about
EXACTLY the same issue.
I asked you to to REWORD something to remove ambiguities (an old
trick of prevaricators) to CLEARLY show what you think. Now that
can't be a bad thing, can it? Are you a prevaricator or not - it
should be easy to prove by a straight-foreword response. Not a
specially crafted response to avoid the issues. Perhaps that is what
Larry Moran does not care for.

I am sure that Larry believes there are old earth creationists who are
idiots, and "evolutionists" who are idiots.

So, how about replying to my points, if you wish?

If you happen to amaze either me or Larry Moran, I am sure we would
be glad to discuss more about Richard Milton's incompetence."
<end quote>

The "explanation in your own words" this refers to was from:


<quote>
david ford <dfo...@gl.umbc.edu> wrote in message
<news:Pine.LNX.4.44L.01.0311...@linux3.gl.umbc.edu>...
> Eldredge, Niles. July 1980. "An Extravagance of Species"
> _Natural History_, 47-51. Paragraphs from 48, 50, and 51:

I agree that 1980 was a good time to re-examine the role of natural
selection. What do *you* think the outcome was, since this has been done?

Please use your own words, as we have seen no evidence of any understanding
on your part.

Tracy P. Hamilton"
<end quote>

A quote from you (no big surprise). Followed by
an offer to discuss the issue brought up by the original speaker quoted
(Examine Natural Selection), about what it means (meant),
and the result of that examination. Followed by a demonstration
of why your quoting is worthless in general - it is based on YOUR
inability to discuss what they say and reason whether they are right or
wrong.
To us it is merely a collection of things people have said, some
right some wrong. Some very old, some not very current, some
only bringing up things that appear to be problems that were resolved
long ago. Some profound, some shallow, some deliberate misrepresentations.

Anyway, your draft 1:
<quote>
"Except for a few fervent believers such as Dawkins, those that have
considered the major problems with the theory of natural selection have
concluded that the theory cannot account for the _how_ of how the
biological world developed in the course of the earth's 4.5 billion year
existence, and have concluded that the theory does not find confirmation
in the fossil record, particularly at those locations in the fossil record
where we have particularly good and numerous specimens. Materialists that
have concluded that the theory of natural selection/ the neo-Darwinian
mechanism cannot account for the biological world believe that a superior
theory of a blindwatchmaking mechanism or cluster of blindwatchmaking
mechanisms will eventually be discovered."
<end quote>

My request for removing ambiguities:

<quote>
"Frankly this is an inadequate response because it is ambiguous.
Please rewrite with these issues in mind:

How *can* (not is!) natural selection be confirmed by the fossil
record?
(what should be seen and *why* it follows from natural selection
and taphonomy) If it *can't* be, then not confirming it is a red
herring. You certainly wouldn't want to use such a rhetorical device,
now would you?

Are there no gradual changes, or is there no *pattern* of gradual
change
(that is, gradual change everywhere).

What are the major problems with natural selection? If it is that NS
*alone* cannot explain all of evolution, that does not mean that
natural selection has been invalidated *in any manner* (in trouble, or
about to collapse, whatever). This is precisely what
Eldredge was talking about, and which you still seem unaware of.
Is it a major problem that a hammer can't be used as a saw, but that
both
are needed to build a house?

This lack of awareness is precisely why John Wilkins wants you define
what you mean by neo-Darwinism: if it is a theory that *only* has
natural selection as the mechanism, nobody thinks that.
Not even Dawkins.

Drop the blindwatchmaking as an adjective. It is stupid.

To be fair, I will summarize Eldredge in MY words:

A common view [one could argue whether it was common or a
caricature] is that evolution is gradual *constant* accumulation
of small improvements driven by natural selection. The fossil record
does not bear this out. Rather than assume it is a fault of
the fossil record, examine the theoretical assumptions. Natural
selection
is still valid, but not the driving force for *speciation*, when
genetic isolation occurs. Once isolation occurs, there are two random
walks (with some selection, so not completely random) rather than one,
so they wind up at quite different destinations,
the further apart as time progresses. This is what the record, both
fossil and genomic, shows. "
<end quote>

By the way, if any of my words above are ambiguous, lay out the two
alternative interpretations for me to distinguish between.

[snip two more URLs]

Tracy P. Hamilton

Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:17:08 PM10/21/05
to

"Mike Dworetsky" <plati...@pants.btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:djb5dp$s6f$1...@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
> --tell me, does astrology get more consistent results than say
meteorology, SETI, earthquake prediction, cosmology, pre NASA planetary
geology?
Al

Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:18:42 PM10/21/05
to

<john.1...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1129917039.1...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

Like evolution?
>
>
> >
> > --
> > Mike Dworetsky
> >
>


Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:21:49 PM10/21/05
to

>
> > John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:
> >
> > Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
> > scientists in the U.S. have done the same.
> >
> > Elf
>
> --
> Guns don't kill people; automobiles kill people.

I would ask someone who has been shot about this one.
it seems you don't like logic or maths
Al
>


Cyde Weys

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 5:18:44 PM10/21/05
to

Cyde says:

I like the mindboggling hypocrisy inherent in their view of all
possible scientific hypotheses should be discussed equally without
ridicule, but what is the FIRST thing that happens when you start
talking about the wide variety of religions?

Here's a hint: "WE ARE THE ONE TRUE RELIGION! THE REST OF YOU ARE
HERETICS AND GOING TO HELL!"

Frankly, I think'd it only be fair that we scientists get to condemn
intelligent design proponents to science hell.

Stuart

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 5:36:04 PM10/21/05
to

No.


Tell you what Al. TUne out all weather broadcasts. I just hope you
don't live in the Flordia keys.

Second, this is an argument about methods. Astrology doesn't use the
scientific method.

THe other things mentioned above do or did.


Stuart

Ernest Major

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 6:01:58 PM10/21/05
to
In message <djblgr$6id$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, Al
<alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> writes

>> --tell me, does astrology get more consistent results than say
>meteorology, SETI, earthquake prediction, cosmology, pre NASA planetary
>geology?

Apparently astrological predictions are no better than can be achieved
by chance. Meteorology does much better than that. Earthquake prediction
is not (yet) very precise, but I'd guess they're better than chance. I'm
not sure why SETI (a research program, which so far has achieved
consistently negative results), cosmology and pre-NASA planetary geology
are on the list.
--
alias Ernest Major


--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.12.4/143 - Release Date: 19/10/2005

Elf M. Sternberg

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 7:07:22 PM10/21/05
to
Ernest Major <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> writes:

> I'm not sure why ... pre-NASA planetary geology are on the list.

I'm not sure either, other than to assume htat prior to the
invention of the satellite geologists had very little data to work with.
It's a poor assumption. Plate tectonics, the ultimate planetary
geology, was a robust science before Sputnik. Mineral geologists had a
much-better-than-astrology track record. The subject of their study
was, after all, all around them.

Elf

Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:08:29 PM10/21/05
to

"Stuart" <bigd...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1129930564.7...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

Hi Stu
I'm still trying to find out what the scientific method is.
This is something that you can enlighten me on.
However, I'm sure that many astrologers would argue with you on that one.
I was in Florida early on this year, but I was thinking of the weather
reports here in UK.
It wouldn't be hard to get better results with astrology.
>
> The other things mentioned above do or did.
Tell me about earthquake prediction? I have Pakistan in mind at the moment.
Al
>
>
> Stuart
>


Al

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:13:19 PM10/21/05
to

"Kleuskes & Moos" <kle...@xs4all.nl> wrote in message
news:1129902673....@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> NashtOn schreef:

>
> > In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> > cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>
> Can you how me a single example of anyone being tortured or executed
> for not accepting a scientific theory?

There are many examples of black balling, character assassination, ridicule
and so on. I have already given many examples on this very NG.
Al
>


Walter Bushell

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:17:14 PM10/21/05
to
In article <djblpi$pfa$1...@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk>,
"Al" <alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

I would point out that that if you can survey the person who has been
shot, he didn't die at least yet; but that would be as stupid a misuse
of rhetoric as your comment on my sig.

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:17:40 PM10/21/05
to
Mike Thom wrote:
> TomS wrote:
>
>>"On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 23:00:49 +1000, in article
>><djaopc$30uk$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>, John Wilkins stated..."

>>
>>>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>>>
>>>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>>>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>>>
>>>Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
>>>theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
>>>it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>>>
>>>More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
>>>Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
>>>school curricula.
>>
>>[...snip...]
>>
>> 70,000 in Australia?
>>
>> That's impressive.
>
>
> Well I don't mean to niggle, but actually there were 4 signatories who
> represent institutions with more than 70,000 scientists/teachers
> between them.

True.
>
> Also, Australia's government may be conservative but the implication
> isn't quite the same as in the US - I can't see it becoming mainstream
> government policy...

I can. There is an increasingly strong thread of sectarianism in the current
government, who make their individual religious views a point of political
play. The last time that happened in Australia was when Archbishop Mannix, a
very doctrinaire Catholic, dictated labor politics for a generation here, back
in the pre-War era.

The PM, several ministers, and worryingly, some of the opposition party on the
left (we have *real* leftists here) have made play on religion. Recently, a
Muslim was unable to get preselected for the conservatives.

The Federal education minister has come out publicly in favor of ID as this
article suggests, but has backed down to say he wants it taught only in
religious classes (we hae Religious Education in public schools - it's
optional and nonsectarian, so far).

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:19:19 PM10/21/05
to
NashtOn wrote:

> John Wilkins wrote:
>
>>http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>>
>>Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>>Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>>
...

>>"Not being able to imagine or explain how something happened other than by
>>making a leap of faith to supernatural intervention is no basis for any
>>science -- that is a theological or philosophical notion."
>
>
>

> In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.

You think they were for or against the rotation of the universe around my ego?

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 9:19:59 PM10/21/05
to

You have to identify the right ego. Hint: It's not in North America...

R. Baldwin

unread,
Oct 21, 2005, 10:12:31 PM10/21/05
to
"John Wilkins" <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:djc41v$1e8l$2...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au...
> NashtOn wrote:

I nominate this exchange on a beautiful typo.

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 12:07:03 AM10/22/05
to

*bows*

an...@sci.sci

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 1:53:32 AM10/22/05
to
> I don't see Michael Behe starving...

I understand the only reason he's still on the payroll is because he
has tenure, which forbids firing him. Is that correct?

But is there any way he could be censured? He'd be forbidden to have
any contact with any paying students, and he'd be forbidden to
represent himself as faculty of that college in any public forum
including court trials/hearings. He'd be given a laboratory (a
converted outhouse), with no equipment, no InterNet or other services
except electricity for a single 100-watt lightbulb (or equivalent
lower-wattage flourescent bulb), and he'd be assigned to preform ID
research, with only a manual typewriter for preparing reports, no staff
to help him, and no access to the college library, no place to park his
car. He'd have to use public transportation to get between his office
and the public library, walking a half mile each way between his office
and public transportation, and pay his own way. He'd be required to
spend 8 hours per day in that tiny office, and he'd be required to
present reports once each month as to progress in ID that he's achieved
and plans for further research.
.

A.Carlson

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 3:24:46 AM10/22/05
to
On Sat, 22 Oct 2005 02:08:29 +0100, "Al"
<alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>
>"Stuart" <bigd...@aol.com> wrote in message
>news:1129930564.7...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> Al wrote:

>> > --tell me, does astrology get more consistent results than say
>> > meteorology, SETI, earthquake prediction, cosmology, pre NASA planetary
>> > geology?
>>
>> No.
>>
>> Tell you what Al. TUne out all weather broadcasts. I just hope you
>> don't live in the Flordia keys.
>>
>> Second, this is an argument about methods. Astrology doesn't use the
>> scientific method.
>
>Hi Stu
>I'm still trying to find out what the scientific method is.

The basics aren't really too complicated.

First you start of with a hypothesis (presumably based on
observations). From this hypothesis you make certain predictions
BASED on the hypothesis. Think of an 'if...then' statement here. 'If
this is true, then I would expect x to happen.'

The purpose of such predictions are to check or challenge your
hypothesis to see if you are on the right track. You should be just
as concerned with disproving a bad hypothesis as you are proving a
good one. If the predictions that you made are affirmed, then that
adds weight to your hypothesis. With enough observations, you will
end up with a tested theory.

I certainly am no meteorologist but I can make a stab at one
particular point as an example of how this works with the weather. If
you posit that the surface temperature of the water below a growing
hurricane has a proportional relationship to the strength of a
hurricane you can make the prediction that the higher the temperature,
the stronger the hurricane will be. This particular 'prediction' has
been borne out through many observations and gives scientists an idea
of the potential strength of a growing hurricane.

Of course a hurricane is an extremely complicated weather event with a
variety of contributing (many random) factors influencing it's
strength and direction of travel (among a whole lot of other issues),
with surface water temperature being only one of these factors.
Model(s) used to predict how a hurricane grows and works certainly
would include surface water temperature among many other inputs to get
the best picture possible of what is going on and what might develop.

>This is something that you can enlighten me on.
>However, I'm sure that many astrologers would argue with you on that one.
>I was in Florida early on this year, but I was thinking of the weather
>reports here in UK.
>It wouldn't be hard to get better results with astrology.

I assume that you are talking about the direction or path that a
hurricane will travel. Don't get hung up on the use of the word
'prediction', as in a hurricane's 'predicted' path. Just because the
best model for a hurricane that we have today can't predict everything
about it as accurate as we would like (or need, in this case) does not
mean it can't predict anything, or that this is somehow tied to
'predictions' related to a particular hypothesis that 'proves' a
particular model.

>> The other things mentioned above do or did.
>Tell me about earthquake prediction? I have Pakistan in mind at the moment.

That would be directly related to plate tectonic (again, simplified).
Earthquakes of course are caused by sudden shifts that occur in
adjoining plates (whether they're sliding past each other, one going
under another, etc.). It is generally known which plates are doing
what and in what direction, which fault lines are active, and
therefore, which areas are particularly prone to earthquakes of a
given magnitude.

You generally hear talk of things like pressure building along a
certain fault line. If a particularly active plate hasn't had a 'big
one' in a while and pressure is building up, the odds are probably
high that one soon will occur. Again, scientists have a general idea
of what's going on in a general area of the world and what the
potentials are, but not to the point where they can predict the exact
wheres, whens, and what magnitudes that would be the most helpful.

That particular region (Pakistan, Turkey, Iran) happens to have some
major plate activity going on and is therefore particularly prone to
having massive earthquakes. Just because scientists cannot tell us
exactly when and how big does not negate in any way our understanding
of how earthquakes and plate tectonics interrelate.

In general, our inability to predict certain things does not negate
scientifically based models that simply do not have the predictive
abilities that we would like them to have. There is no doubt that
this is a primary focus of research, and scientists should make
progress in these areas as more observations are made and more
mechanisms are better understood.

Compare this now to astrology, which has made no predictions at all
that have been successfully tested. In fact, predictions that can be
made based on certain astrological claims have been shown to be false.

A researcher once went through court records to see if it were true
that people of a particular astrological sign was less likely to get
along with people of another particular sign. He went through divorce
records and found no such correlation.

Mike Dworetsky

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 4:58:19 AM10/22/05
to
"Al" <alm...@warndon83.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:djblgr$6id$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk...

Astrology gets consistent results. These results are 100% consistent with
the null hypothesis that astrology has no predictive powers whatsoever.

Seismology is a science; however, earthquake prediction is not yet at a
stage where it can predict the exact time and place of an earthquake. But
seismology has made it possible to have a clearer idea of where on Earth
quakes are likely, how frequent they might be, and the architects and
engineers have come up with ways of constructing buildings in these areas
that would at least reduce the death tolls by minimising collapse of
buildings. Unfortunately this does not stop people in poor countries
building their houses with traditional methods, nor does it stop shoddy
construction methods.

The average house in California would have easily withstood the recent
Kashmir quake, perhaps with some damage but at least without collapsing on
the inhabitants.

Pre-NASA planetary geology; what relevance does that have to anything?

Meteorology: these days, science has advanced the art of weather prediction
to a pretty high level. However, it can't actually change the weather.

--

John Baker

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 7:53:39 AM10/22/05
to
On 21 Oct 2005 11:00:58 -0700, "david ford" <dfo...@gl.umbc.edu>
wrote:

>John Wilkins wrote:
>> http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=68126
>>
>> Scientists condemn 'intelligent design'
>> Friday Oct 21 13:51 AEST
>>

>> Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
>> theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
>> it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>>

>> More than 70,000 scientists and science teachers signed an open letter urging
>> Australia's conservative government not to allow intelligent design onto
>> school curricula.
>

>IDiocy might corrupt young minds and aspiring scientists. It's
>dangerous.


Apparently you're not yet aware of Michael Behe's "stunning victory"
in Federal court. ROFLMFAO


ID is dead, Davy boy. It crashed and burned in a courtroom in
Harrisburg.

Larry Moran

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 7:26:01 AM10/22/05
to
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 22:53:32 -0700, an...@sci.sci
<an...@sci.sci> wrote:
>> I don't see Michael Behe starving...
>
> I understand the only reason he's still on the payroll is
> because he has tenure, which forbids firing him. Is that
> correct?

I doubt it. Just because Behe has some ideas that you disagree
with doesn't mean that he's totally incompetent. I doubt very
much whether anyone at his university has even considered firing
him.

> But is there any way he could be censured? He'd be forbidden
> to have any contact with any paying students, and he'd be
> forbidden to represent himself as faculty of that college in
> any public forum including court trials/hearings. He'd be given
> a laboratory (a converted outhouse), with no equipment, no
> InterNet or other services except electricity for a single
> 100-watt lightbulb (or equivalent lower-wattage flourescent bulb),
> and he'd be assigned to preform ID research, with only a manual
> typewriter for preparing reports, no staff to help him, and no
> access to the college library, no place to park his car. He'd
> have to use public transportation to get between his office
> and the public library, walking a half mile each way between
> his office and public transportation, and pay his own way.
> He'd be required to spend 8 hours per day in that tiny office,
> and he'd be required to present reports once each month as to
> progress in ID that he's achieved
> and plans for further research.

That would be obvious harassment and a clear violation of his
academic freedom. Professors around the country would rise to
his defense - as they should. My faculty association would
contribute $1000 to his legal fees. I would testify in his
defense, if asked.

The net result of such an attempt would be that the Dean and
the President of the University would have to resign. Your
"solution" would play into the hands of the creationist
idiots and convince them that there really is a conspiracy.
They would have a field day.

Even worse, the very fact that you mention this indicates
that you don't understand the issues.

Behe is one of many scientists who are stuggling to reconcile
their strong religious beliefs with their science. He has
come up with a compromise that's far better than Biblical
literalism and he has spoken out against the YEC idiots. We
must stop forcing him into the "big tent" of the religious
fundamentalists and show him that we understand the
difference between his point of view and theirs. Show him
a bit more respect and focus your wrath on the real enemy.
That will pay big dividends in the future.

Larry Moran


Walter Bushell

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 10:22:03 AM10/22/05
to
In article <djc437$1e8l$3...@bunyip2.cc.uq.edu.au>,
John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:

> Larry Moran wrote:
> > On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:39:45 GMT, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> >
> >>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
> >>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
> >
> >
> > What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
> >
> > I still believe in it. :-)
>
> You have to identify the right ego. Hint: It's not in North America...

Actually it is a characteristic of egos that they are each the center of
the Universe.

Frank J

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 12:46:07 PM10/22/05
to

Elf M. Sternberg wrote:
> John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> writes:
>
> > Australia's scientific community Friday called for an alternative evolutionary
> > theory known as "intelligent design" to be barred from classrooms, comparing
> > it to spoon-bending and alien abductions.
>
> Damn. But not astrology? How could they miss that? For the
> next five years we'll be able to bludgeon them with the fact that one of
> the ID Trinity (Johnson, Dembski, Behe) believes that astrology is also
> a science in the same way that ID is a science.
>
> Still, it's good to know that some people are sane but, John,
> scientists in the U.S. have done the same.
>
> Elf

Which one thinks that astrology is scientific? And has he debated the
other two on it?

As for here in the US, IMO, there's too much emphasis on how ID "sneaks
in God," and not enough on it's tactical similarities to astrology,
spoon-bending and alien abductions. I understand that the former is
necessary to reduce the supply (in public school at least), but in the
long run we need to reduce the demand. There's plenty of misinformation
out there, and any hint of agreement that this is a debate between
"naturalistic" scientists and "open-minded" IDers ultimately
contributes to that misinformation.

Walter Bushell

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 1:25:20 PM10/22/05
to
In article <aa55c$4359d428$c690c02a$26...@TSOFT.COM>, an...@sci.sci
wrote:


Give the man the best facilities and a T-2 line. Then if he cannot come
up with anything. Though the idea of subjecting him to peeer review does
have some attraction.

Paul J Gans

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 3:26:50 PM10/22/05
to

Hmph <clears throat> One more time: we are losing
this battle big time. And not just in Oz or the Us
either.

As Sherlock Holmes observed to Watson on the eve of
the outbreak of World War I, (paraphrased from memory)

There's a cold wind coming from the East, Watson,
and many of us will shrivel and die before it runs
its course.

Substitute creationists for "East" and you have it
exactly.

- -- Paul J. Gans

Paul J Gans

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 3:28:07 PM10/22/05
to
John Wilkins <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>Larry Moran wrote:
>> On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:39:45 GMT, NashtOn <na...@na.ca> wrote:
>>
>> [snip]
>>
>>
>>>In the days of the Holy Inquisition, I wonder if a poll of priests and
>>>cardinals would not yield the same results re egocentricity.
>>
>>
>> What's wrong with the theory of egocentricity?
>>
>> I still believe in it. :-)

>You have to identify the right ego. Hint: It's not in North America...

Can't agree. We have the rightmost egos on earth.

---- Paul J. Gans

Kleuskes & Moos

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 3:53:19 PM10/22/05
to

Paul J Gans schreef:

Don't be so pessimistic...

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people
some of the time, but you can't fool mom.

-- Captain Penny's Law...

Ian H Spedding

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 6:28:13 PM10/22/05
to

Exactly. As the Duke of Wellington said at the battle of Waterloo
"Hard pounding, gentlemen. We shall see who can pound the longest!"

Ian

--
Ian H Spedding

John Wilkins

unread,
Oct 22, 2005, 11:47:41 PM10/22/05
to
The problem isn't creationism. It isn't Intelligent Design. It's every and all
antimodernism that's ever been around from the antivaccination crowd to flat
earthers to antigenetics to antiecology to antinuclear power to these two
idiocies. It's the fact that most of the world can't cope with defeasible
knowledge and change from comfortable certainties. Humans do not, as Aristotle
wrongly thought they did, desire to know. Humans desire to be convinced they
are right.

We managed for a few generations to convince those who made policy that
knowledge gained honestly through toil, but which was tentative and
reviseable, was to be preferred to faith and dogma as a way of knowing the
world. We made great strides and were too convinced that the world was
following us who thought science a good thing. But while the world likes the
output of science, they don't like knowledge most of the time. They would be
very happy for science to stop right where it is at any time. So far, as no
further, would be fine, if the mullahs, priests and prophets had their way.

Since about 1970 the popular mood has shifted away from science in favour of
technodazzle, from learning in favour of infotainment. Critics of science
moved from legitimate concern to ideological objection (or else why is it that
nuclear power is not regarded as a legitimate alternative to hydro-, coal- and
the weak solar-power otptions?).

We are living in the post-scientific era. What we do here is to maintain an
interest in real science (it happens that I care most about evolution and
biology, but the same thing can be said in a host of other domains). We do
this because learning is a Good on its own, but also because as ignorance and
opinion overtake knowledge, some learning will be held in common to support
the next generation when it needs it.

My fear is that we will see society in the west fall to pieces as the
knowledge it needs is overtaken by *real* junk science for political and
social reasons. My hope is that it will persist in societies that still see it
as the way to improve their lot, in China, India, Russia, the rest of Asia.
They may one day reseed the west after it has passed through the next dark
ages. Historians will date it, I think, around 1970. I hope they set the end
of it no later than 2100.

John Wilkins

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Oct 22, 2005, 11:48:50 PM10/22/05