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  1. #46
    CC FIDE Master Southpaw Jim's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I have a problem with ID being taught in schools... in a religion class.

    It's not science, it's a cynical sidestep on the part of the American religious right. Years ago they realised that they were trying to stop Darwinian theory being taught in schools, so instead they've developed something that they hoped would compete for science class-time instead, and potentially confusing the lil' buggers in the process.

    Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays. People are as welcome to believe in ID as anything else, but it has no place in the science class (at least not until there is some kind of quantifiable, tested proof).

  2. #47
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    This more likely belongs on the DGE thread but since we're all here...

    Peter Godly (click watch this movie)
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  3. #48
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belthasar
    Peter Godly (click watch this movie)
    Top stuff ... should be mandatory viewing for all Christians!
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  4. #49
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotrash
    I'm not sure I have a problem with ID being taught in schools... in a religion class.

    It's not science, it's a cynical sidestep on the part of the American religious right. Years ago they realised that they were trying to stop Darwinian theory being taught in schools, so instead they've developed something that they hoped would compete for science class-time instead, and potentially confusing the lil' buggers in the process.

    Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays. People are as welcome to believe in ID as anything else, but it has no place in the science class (at least not until there is some kind of quantifiable, tested proof).
    I kind of agree with the first paragraph, but the problem is, there are elements of evolution that are also philosophical, not scientific, so are you also happy to have those bits excised from the curriculum and have a special religious studies class for that?

    I agree with the first 80% of your 2nd paragraph too. Teaching kids how to apply critical thinking skills should be a net positive. But I expect there will be a huge variance in what is taught ... so just as you get "fundamentalists" wanting to teach nothing but ID/creationist views (not something I support), you also get "evolutionists" wanting to teach nothing but evolutionist views and glossing over some of the very difficult problems with specific aspects of evolutionary theory.

    As for the third paragraph ... proven fact ... just how exactly has evolution been proven?

    Now if they got into class and taught natural selection, taught genetics, taught geology, chemistry and so on and restricted themselves just to the actual scientific facts (that is, only what we actually observe), great. Then you could have a separate religious studies class where all the Christians/Moslems/Jews could leave and let the Atheists be taught Evolution ... then all the Atheists could leave and bring back in the Christians/Moslems/Jews and teach them I.D.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurotrash

    Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays.
    No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.
    Usually there is a paradigm shift, often associated with much gnashing of teeth and resistance, but which is eventually accepted as a new paradigm.

    There are problems with evolutionary theory which any competant biologist could outline but creationism does not solve these problems. The big one of course is the scarcity of fossils of intermediate forms.

    Scirntists work within the established theories despite the known problems. For example scientists could not explain certain observations using Newtonian physics. Einstein came up with a theory that could explain these observations.

  6. #51
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    Evolution and ID do not contradict each other (much)

    Darwinism and selfish gene theory explain very well the process of evolving.
    However, they are much more vulnerable when used to explain the creation of life.

    1. Most of living forms appeared during Cambrian age between 530 and 520 millions years ago (so called "Cambrian explosion"). Since then there were few small evolutional (perfectly explained by selfish gene theory)changes, but nothing as dramatic.

    2. If every existing living form mutated from small microorganism, geologist would find some "intermediate forms". They did not.

    That suggests that creation was much more complicated and sophisticated process that mere "evolving by chance" from nothing.

  7. #52
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    I just rolled 100 dice, and looked at the result. I did the maths, and worked out that the probability of this result was 10^77. The probability is so small, that it is clearly evidence of divine intervention.
    Sorry pax, must've missed your contribution first time around. Randomly producing any old result is of course just as plausible or implausible as producing a desired improbable result. The challenge though surely is to demonstrate that it is likely to get a particular implausible result, not just any result.

    Now I reckon the easiest way for you to get your desired result from 100 dice rolls would be to load the dice. Oops, sorry, that would require I.D. wouldn't it ...
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  8. #53
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    When I refer to him as a "leading creationist author" (which seems correct, based on sales of more than a quarter of a million books) this is based on what I would call his populist writings. It is much the same as with a guy like Richard Dawkins as a "leading evolutionist author" (his technical field is, I believe, zoology, I don't know how far outside of that field he goes). Or you might consider popular figures such as Attenborough, or whatever.
    Yes, I was talking about Sarfati's populist writings. Dawkins' professional speciality is greatly influenced by the ID/evolution debate so it would seem natural to me that his populist writings would reflect this. I'm sure he makes comments well outside his area of speciality which is generally the norm for that sort of writing but the professional motivation is apparent. I can't see a professional motivation from physical chemistry.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #54
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to know how much those commenting on the scarcity of intermediate forms on this thread actually know about how many intermediate forms have or have not been found.

    These threads often turn into link wars with people linking bits from talkorigins, answersingenesis or ID sites according to their predelictions, but before getting to that point I would like to point out that you do not need to go to the fossil record to discover transitional forms because many forms of a transitional nature are with us today. (eg See my comments on residual shells and slug/snail transitional forms - malacology being my primary area of expertise - in posts 867 and 886 of the "Does God Exist?" thread.)

    In any case there are stacks of transitional forms in the fossil record at levels higher than species. Intermediates between species are rare in the fossil record because the period over which a new species evolves in is typically short compared to the lifespan of each species as a stable entity.

    Re the Cambrian explosion, while it's very interesting that so much diversity appeared in such a relatively short space of time, there is no reason why dramatic changes have to occur at a uniform pace. The ability for dramatic changes to succeed depends both on the environment at the time and the extent to which niches are already filled.

  10. #55
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Sorry pax, must've missed your contribution first time around. Randomly producing any old result is of course just as plausible or implausible as producing a desired improbable result. The challenge though surely is to demonstrate that it is likely to get a particular implausible result, not just any result.

    Now I reckon the easiest way for you to get your desired result from 100 dice rolls would be to load the dice. Oops, sorry, that would require I.D. wouldn't it ...
    Natural selection loads the dice anyway because unsuccessful rolls are far more likely to fail.

    An example of a natural selection type process involving dice is this: roll 100 dice, keep every one that rolls a 6, and reroll the rest, moving those that roll a 6 aside each time, until all dice are showing a six. This will take hundreds of rolls to get 100 sixes compared to one roll for an intelligent designer loading the dice, but it is still so much faster than the 6X10^77 attempts expected to get 100 sixes all at once with fresh rerolls of all dice.

    It's not that simple because rather than keeping all of the sixes natural selection knocks a few of the sixes on the head and keeps quite a few fives and even the occassional one, but the point is that directed chance is incredibly fast compared to undirected chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.
    Usually there is a paradigm shift, often associated with much gnashing of teeth and resistance, but which is eventually accepted as a new paradigm.
    When theories have withstood enough scrutiny and attempts to disprove them without being falsified, then "largely a proven fact" is fair enough for practical purposes. You don't have absolute proof but you have something that is very strongly supported as provisionally true, which is as close as you are going to get.

  11. #56
    CC FIDE Master Southpaw Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.
    Ok, ok ok - my language was incorrect. What I really mean is that the evidence in support of evolution is overwhelming.
    - genetic inheritance
    - fossil record
    - natural selection
    - homology

    ID proponents have been shown to quote scientific authorities out of context, and seem to have a prediliction for playing subtle games of semantics. I'm yet to hear any convincing evidence from the ID side of the street

    As someone who has studied science, I remain open to being persuaded, but at the same time highly skeptical.

  12. #57
    CC FIDE Master Southpaw Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    When theories have withstood enough scrutiny and attempts to disprove them without being falsified, then "largely a proven fact" is fair enough for practical purposes. You don't have absolute proof but you have something that is very strongly supported as provisionally true, which is as close as you are going to get.
    Thankyou - Kevin has expressed what I meant much better than I did

  13. #58
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Kevin, since its your specialty ... snails with residual shells (i.e. inside the body of the snail, or whatever form that takes) ... are any of these known to be a product of development (i.e. here's the same snail from NNN years ago, with no internal shell and here it is today with a shell, a gain of information)? Are they cases where the shell is gradually disappearing, a loss of information)? Or do we "not know" what is happening to the shells? Are there any known 'drivers' in terms of natural selection that are causing measurable change in one direction or another?

    That's probably way too much information I'm looking for, but perhaps you can give me a 1-2 paragraph summary of the state of play?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  14. #59
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    I kind of agree with the first paragraph, but the problem is, there are elements of evolution that are also philosophical, not scientific, so are you also happy to have those bits excised from the curriculum and have a special religious studies class for that?
    Not sure quite what you mean here, unless you're referring to the underlying framework of philosophy of science principles also necessary for a wider range of science. If it's that, I think that philosophy of science should also be taught, in basic form, at earlier stages than it is. It disappoints me that people can pick up a B.Sc without having to do any philosophy of science at any stage.

  15. #60
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Natural selection loads the dice anyway because unsuccessful rolls are far more likely to fail.

    An example of a natural selection type process involving dice is this: roll 100 dice, keep every one that rolls a 6, and reroll the rest, moving those that roll a 6 aside each time, until all dice are showing a six. This will take hundreds of rolls to get 100 sixes compared to one roll for an intelligent designer loading the dice, but it is still so much faster than the 6X10^77 attempts expected to get 100 sixes all at once with fresh rerolls of all dice.

    It's not that simple because rather than keeping all of the sixes natural selection knocks a few of the sixes on the head and keeps quite a few fives and even the occassional one, but the point is that directed chance is incredibly fast compared to undirected chance.
    I think pax's analogy fails completely, but for a different reason ... evolution requires that sometimes, when you roll the dice, you get a seven or an eight or something else ... this is the 'gain of information' problem that I still don't see any way around within the timeframes of the proposed age of the earth, observable mutation rates, and the probability that mutations will be positive rather than negative (they are universally observed to be almost always negative are they not?).
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

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