published Monday, September 12th, 2011

Evolutionists ‘sully’ science

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Evolutionists ‘sully’ science

I’m not a supporter of Rick Perry, and this letter should not be construed as an endorsement of his politics or his campaign.

In your editorial of Aug. 28, you state that a belief in creationism (intelligent design) “is an affront to people of genuine faith” and a “sullying of science.” Let’s face it — creationists cannot prove their theory. They must base their belief on two things — God exists and the Bible is accurate. Archaeology and history have proven the accuracy of much of the Bible, but they can only take us back so far. There was no eyewitness to creation. It must be accepted by faith. The same is true of God. His existence must be accepted by faith.

On the other hand, there is no eyewitness account of a bunch of matter sloshing around and accidentally getting swished together and forming some sort of living organism. In fact, it can be shown to be mathematically impossible. Let’s face it — evolutionism is, at its roots, a theory that must be accepted by faith.

I challenge you to talk with scientists on both sides of this debate, and ask hard questions. Examine the evidence and you may find that is the evolutionists who are “sullying” their science.

PETE SUNDIN

Apison

There are good, bad corporations

Thank you, Chattanooga Times, for your Aug. 13 editorial on corporations paying fair share of taxes. Corporations should not be compared to people. Corporations may not be our enemy, but they are all about profit. The CEOs and shareholders have a personal share of that profit. Corporations should not be making government policy, and they need to pay their fair share of taxes. Their fair share has no comparison whatsoever to how much individual taxpayers pay.

The only comparison of corporations to being like people is there are good and bad. Those corporations that take all the jobs out of this country, and those that hide their money in other countries so they don’t have to pay taxes, refuse to invest in clean technologies and help pollute our country and other countries, are some of the worst corporations. Good corporations invest in people, education and the environment. They invest in the government by paying their fair share of taxes.

Corporations are lobbying hard to reflect their profit values on to government policy. If you would like to know more about what corporations are up to, see the documentary, “The Corporation.” http://www.thecorporation.com/index.cfm?page_id=2. Knowledge is the new Social Security.

LOU McKENZIE

Sale Creek

Some need explanations

A. Sheldon Gelburd’s letter on Sept. 4 was clearly satirical in nature. It’s a shame you have to explain that to some of your readers. On the other hand, it’s exactly how some media outlets and certain politicians have become so successful.

JOSEPH S. HODGIN

Cleveland, Tenn.

Heed the lessons of Rome’s demise

Will Durant, noted historian and philosopher stated, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”

Government works by compromise. The Republican Party’s goal is to bring down President Obama even at the expense to our citizens — no compromise.

Corporate culture is keeping wages low to ensure cheap labor with little or no benefits. The Republican Party supports this culture. Our largest companies have become multinational corporations with tax havens to hide profits and minimize taxes.

Taxes stifling America are not on corporations or the rich, now lowest in modern history. Higher costs and taxes on everything that lower- and middle-income citizens pay are a larger percentage of their dwindling income than the rich. This is fact, not class warfare.

President Bush took America to war with Iraq, a country that had not attacked us. An indisputable fact. President Obama should extricate our military as soon as possible.

Pay attention, citizens, and heed the lessons of the demise of Rome.

PAT TABOR

Estill Springs, Tenn.

GOP message is fear, greed

The mantra and platform of the tea party that now runs roughshod over the Republican Party is Obamaphobia, Islamophobia, EPA-phobia, regulation-phobia, xenophobia, IRS-phobia, government-phobia, and you-phobia.

If you don’t look and talk like them, you are anti-American. This from the Republican Party that enacted a platform at its 1948 convention for expanding Social Security, more funding for public housing, civil rights legislation and promotion of health and education by the federal government.

It is inconceivable that they have drifted so far from the core values of this nation. The Republicans’ message is now one of fear, greed, anger and rejection.

Lacking any innovative ideas to assist in bringing America out of the Bush recession, the Republicans, and their mainstream corporate media propaganda, oppose and resist all effort by President Obama to address the nation’s long-term economic challenges.

As one pundit noted: “It has been obvious since Rush Limbaugh’s ‘I want Obama to fail’ that this president will suffer Republican Derangement Syndrome. He could in fact, be the Messiah and they would find a reason to avoid, ignore and assail.”

The ultra-conservative, obstructionist tendencies of the Republican Party leadership have laid the foundation for America’s 2012 election of discontent.

JOHN HIGHT

Global warming not man-made

I believe in global warming and cooling.

This cycle has been going on since the earth accrued its present state and atmosphere. To contend that man can have an influence is pseudoscience which is a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as based on scientific method.

Issac Asimov stated, “Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold.”

Look what “man-made global warming” frenzy is leading us to. All sorts of scams from failing solar-panel projects to massive wind farms which do little, if anything, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or help the environment but give those who need a “thumb to suck.”

The Department of Energy was created to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion, and we import more oil than ever before.

Bjorn Lomborg, a global warming proponent, stated, “Global warming is real and man-made,” but many of the elaborate and expensive actions being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than scientific assumptions.

WILLIAM GODSEY

Crossville, Tenn.

Call Waters ‘Big Mouth’

Sorry, Leonard Pitts (column in Perspective, Sept. 4), I have another name for Rep. Maxine Waters — it is “Big Mouth.”

While employed by the California Highway Patrol, I was assigned a motorcycle escort detail for two slain policemen in Inglewood, Calif.

The church was filled, so public address systems were used on patrol vehicles for officers who could not be seated in the church.

There were about 50 Los Angeles motor officers present.

This funeral was approximately two months after the Rodney King arrest. Even though the church was not in Ms. Waters’ district, she was allowed to speak.

Ms. Waters stated, “These two officers were good officers, not like those Los Angeles policemen.”

The Los Angeles motor sergeant directed his unit to disconnect the PA, and then all his officers left the church parking lot.

The Rodney King riots started some time later. At what point is the Times Free Press going to stop Mr. Pitts’ comments.

JACK ALLEN

Ringgold, Ga.

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ToHoldNothing said...

And the first letter critiquing evolution commits the common mistake of equating evolutionary theory with abiogenesis theory, technically preceding it. If you claim any theory requires faith to believe it, it's not evolution. Abiogenesis or big bang, perhaps in part, though this boils down to different ideas of what constitutes evidence (legal vs. scientific, for example), so I won't press the issue beyond saying that your claim is bunk as relates to evolutionary theory. Creationist theory is fundamentally faith based at all levels, not so with evolutionary theory or the scientific method as a whole.

September 12, 2011 at 3:23 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I challenge you to talk with scientists on both sides of this debate, and ask hard questions. Examine the evidence and you may find that is the evolutionists who are “sullying” their science.

There is no "debate" and there are very few scientists and almost no biologists that don't accept evolution. Those that don't are welcome to offer up a paradigm-shifting alternative, but so far they haven't.

September 12, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

L4F that film was completely debunked, its makers shown to be dishonest. Learn something before posting on this subject. People like Dawkins were misled about the subject of the film, then misquoted or had their statements taken out of context. No one has lost their job because of their beliefs, but they have been let go because of proven incompetence at their job. One was portrayed as fired when in fact was not and retained his position.

A full analysis of the film is available online.

September 12, 2011 at 10:45 a.m.
EaTn said...

Well I'm definitely not a Rick Perry fan, who reminds me of a money-begging televangelist. I believe the evolutionists are letting the building blocks of evolution theories stand in the way of pure horse sense. I watched an hour video yesterday of a prominent medical school professor on the intricate details of the female reproductive system--totally amazing design. Or as the evolutionists would say, what luck.

September 12, 2011 at 12:19 p.m.
bookworm said...

You'all are missing the point. Charles Darwin is not a threat to the Bible, but rather I believe his theory of natural selection is in support of the Bible. Darwin believed in God, it's just that he was trying to explain the way God's power could have worked. What better plan could god have than a grand plan of evolution? Of coarse this pre-supposes that man may not be the 'big Kahuna,' but rather a chain link in an ongoing process. That's fine with me as long as God in creating a 'better man' does not throw away the sex part.

September 12, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

EaTn, the human body is a hodgepodge of quirks that can be traced to its evolution. The reproductive system is a good example. Why would a designer place the entertainment area (sexual and reproduction) through the waste disposal system (excretory), exposing the reproductive system to bacteria and infection? Why would the male reproductive system cause a weakness in the abdominal wall if it was properly designed? What is the purpose of nipples on males? Why would a facial nerve travel down into the chest, around the aorta and back to the face? (Same thing in a giraffe, but it's much longer) Why do the size of a baby's skull make birth so risky in humans? Our spine, which is designed for suspension, suffers terribly from compression, a consequence of a quadriped going bipedal without a design change in the vertebrae. Even our neck, free from the need to hold up a skull that sticks forward, has lost the muscle support making ours very prone to injury.

If there was a designer, he/she/it did a pretty lousy job on humans. However, all this strange features are explained by evolution: we are a collection of features that work well in four-legged animals but cause problems in bipeds.

September 12, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

like you believe in Al Gore and Michael Moore propaganda films.

I don't.

The film also features scientists who have been fired for their anti-evolution views.

None did. The ones that lost their jobs lost them because they are incompetent. Teaching Intelligent Design as science, for example.

As for God making a lousy design, well, God allows things to happen so we learn to deal with difficulties. For example, suppose a baby is born with no arms and legs, that little monster is gonna face difficulties that could turn him into an excellent professor, a writer, or a sideshow freak. If God made everyone the same, if the rules of natural selection were the only ones that mattered, then wouldn't we have to kill the deaf, blind, retarded and infirm just like Hitler did? Wouldn't we have to decide what is "life worthy of living" and what isn't?

Whaaa?

Good Dog, L4F you have not demonstrated any knowledge at all about evolution, biology or the film. (It appears from your comments thatyou didn't even read my post, much less go to the website and see for yourself) Sounds like you swallowed that movie hook, line and sinker. The film was completely analyzed by scientists in the field, and found wanting in every way. Ask Dawkins what he thought. He was misled as to the subject of the film; they gave him an alternative title (Crossroads) that did not match the premise of the film when finished, even though the rights to the title "expelled" were already secured. He was furious. richarddawkins.net/articles/2394-lying-for-jesus. It was a misleading, poorly made, dishonest propaganda film, made for rubes like you who refuse to learn anything.

September 12, 2011 at 1:28 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Wow, I'm unimpressed by the truly low level of education in the areas of science that pertain to our existence as one of the many species to have inhabited this planet.

Children that learn religion as science in school will always grow up to be adults eager to argue religion as science in debate.

To say that "if there is no God then human life has no value whatsoever" is truly the most ridiculously ignorant utterance I have ever heard... (within debate about the validity of the scientific method and its implications regarding human origin)

How do you define value, is what I would like to know.

And please refrain from getting all emotionally irrational and spouting rhetorical voodoo about ghosts and spirits.

September 12, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.
LibDem said...

At least L4F has the 'freedom' to bow down to a god and wait for instructions from a 'prophet'. How disappointing for the god that its servants have value only as servants.

September 12, 2011 at 2:02 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I read your comments, Ikeithlu, I decided to reply only to those points that interested me, that's the nature of the Internet.

Your choice, but then don't try to argue against my points.

Yes, I was inspired by that movie, and I honestly don't know how you can "debunk" a documentary that interviews people with opposing points of view.

I didn't debunk it. Scientists did. With evidence to back them.

As for the people fired being incompetent, I don't know about that, many of them were award-winning scientists with Phd's that got in trouble only after they were politically incorrect. One didn't get tenure for having a slide that mentioned intelligent design. Just because one has a PhD doesn't make them correct.

In a way, I'm not surprised, if I was a science teacher and taught that some studies say that smoking improves concentration, I'm sure the science community would come after me for saying anything positive about smoking.

No, they'd say you are teaching something that the evidence does not support. If there was evidence to back what you said, you'd have every right to teach it.

Like the film mentioned, science isn't a democracy, there's no free exchange of ideas unless they are ideas approved by most scientists.

Science is not a democracy. You are correct. Scientific ideas live and die on evidence, and only on evidence. Don't like it? Don't do science.

It's like global warming, any scientists who doesn't believe in it will be demonized or compared to a holocaust denier.

If you are one of the 2-3% of scientists that doesn't accept AGW, you better have a lot of evidence to support your claims.

Tell me, lkeithlu, is evolution so weak that you and your kind must persecute anyone who doesn't believe in it?

No, only those that are dishonest in their attempts to prevent it from being taught as science. You can believe in any silly idea you want, including unicorns, pixies, Thor, Santa Claus and the flying spaghetti monster. Just don't think you can call them scientific.

September 12, 2011 at 2:24 p.m.
EaTn said...

I guess if God were creating us to our standards he would have made our body parts to last forever. Men would like for women to have smaller mouths and women would like men to have bigger ears, and so forth(joke). He did make all with brains to reason and all with a spirit and soul which to some is beyond reason.

September 12, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

In fact, my only conclusion from the movie is that education must be privatized, including The Smithsonian. Want to advance an agenda and censor those who don't buy into it? Do it with private dollars.

I work in private education. We teach science, not fairy tales. Unlike our local public school, it appears.

*To say that "if there is no God then human life has no value whatsoever" is truly the most ridiculously ignorant utterance I have ever heard... "

---Prove it, you don't believe in God? Then what's the scientific basis for valuing life?

There is no "scientific" basis for valuing life. That lies with philosophy, religion and other uniquely human endeavors. That does not make evolution any less real.

By the way, have you heard of the Animal Liberation Force and PETA? The environmental movement sees humans as a disease, some of them would love to see millions of humans die to save the planet.

PETA and ALF are extremists and should be prosecuted when they break the law. Their stands on most things are ridiculous. What, surprised? That I'm a liberal and also anti ALF and anti PETA?

Remember the war against DDT? That was based on lies from "Silent Spring," those lies got rid of DDT which resulted in millions of Africans dying of Malaria.

DDT was dangerous to the environment, Rachel Carson's exaggerations notwithstanding. Mosquitoes were becoming resistant to it and it would have to be replaced anyway, and by banning it we brought many birds, including the Osprey, back from the brink. Millions continue to die from malaria, which will not be eradicated using insecticides.

Face it, environmentalism and science can kill.

As can ignorance and arrogance in that ignorance.

L4F, no one is saying you must "believe" evolution. But evolution is true, and your rejecting it does not change that. Don't want to mess with science and its strict rules and objective requirements? Fine, don't. But don't expect for your view to be taught to school children as science, and don't whine when the dishonesty exhibited by your heroes in Creation and Intelligent Design are publicly exposed. As long as you are not running for public office, you don't have to demonstrate a grasp of reality. Perry, though, is not exempt.

September 12, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
dao1980 said...

L4F,

Again, I feel a whopping "wow".

I have never said that I don't believe in God.

Science does not weigh in on subjects that cannot be researched through the scientific method, and for adults to argue religion as science is just plain embarrassing.

Valuing life is a choice of perspective, not a duty of science.

Although... I do believe that many scientists find great value in the diversity and intricacies of life itself... as well a personal warm fuzzy that "I" for example, am alive and exist with the option to choose my experiences in exploration of the world through my senses.

If you need God to help you find value in yourself and the existence of the universe you reside in, than you may need to take a "time out" to evaluate your relationship with your surroundings.

It sounds to me like you are using the possible existence of God as some sort of selfish justification for your own lack of informational congruency within your thought processes.

Ha! I do like that you mentioned the crazies, everyone knows that the ALF and PETA are a bunch of irrational idiot organizations manned by confused fools hoping to make a "difference" with little conception of what a "difference" really is.

September 12, 2011 at 2:39 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

---There's evidence that backs all kinds of things, pro-smoking, pro-fat, pro and anti whatever. But the secular media loves a narrative, they don't want pro-smoking and pro-fat stories because they want people to lose weight and quit smoking. See? If it doesn't fit their agenda, they won't report it on page one, assuming it even makes the paper.

I'd be happy to see this evidence. Not conjecture, not articles in popular magazines, but scientific studies.

---That's like saying "don't like cooking beef? Don't become a chef" or "don't like junk lawsuits? Don't become a lawyer." Your stance alone shows exactly the problem with science today, you people have this arrogance that you know better than the rest of us. Tell me, how can I respect a scientific community that focuses more on preventing disease than in curing them? I am so sick of opening newspapers and reading over hyped science stories about products that are either too expensive, impractical, or just a theory.

That science is misused by the public and misunderstood by the likes of you does not make the process less valid, no r does it make an argument for changing how it's done.

---Well, I'm not a scientists but I do read history, and I remember that back in the 1970s the consensus was "global cooling" and the upcoming ice age. So, if scientists got it wrong once, they can get it wrong again.

Science gets things wrong all the time. But in the long run the evidence points in the right direction.

That's why society has to be based on freedom and not the whims of science.

Hahahahahaha so we can base everything on guessing and anecdotes, right? You want to do science, then you have to do the hard work of science.

September 12, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.
EaTn said...

quote from above: "If you need God to help you find value in yourself and the existence of the universe you reside in, than you may need to take a "time out" to evaluate your relationship with your surroundings."

Lots of truth in that statement for to paraphrase a worthy disciple, our surroundings shout out the existence of God. For those who realize they may have more questions than answers I recommend a relatively short reading in the book of Romans in a modern Bible translation. You may be pleasantly surprised.

September 12, 2011 at 5:04 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You have brought up some valid points, L4F. Science has been wrong and it has been misused. Examples:

Eugenics: In a hard, non-feeling way, eugenics makes perfect sense. We practice a form of it when breeding animals. (think greyhounds) However, as a society we value human life in all its variations. We would no more practice eugenics in a moral society than we would condone murder. But eugenics has been promoted in the past, and although scientifically sound, it is universally accepted as ethically wrong.

Alcohol use in moderation: It was always assumed that any form of alcohol use was harmful, but we see evidence that moderate use in adults has benefits.

Plate tectonics: Rejected as impossible, during the 60s growing evidence won over most geologists. It is now the bedrock theory and reigning paradigm in geology.

Piltdown Man (1912): a bogus fossil passed off as a "missing link", constructed of a modern skull and an animal jaw. Other paleontologists exposed this fraud, but it took 40 years.

Room temperature fusion: Scientists were suspicious when lab records were not released so that the work could be duplicated and verified. It turned out to be a hoax. Again, it was other scientists that exposed the fraud.

Radiating food: There is no evidence to indicate the radiating food is harmful, and in fact it could reduce the number of illnesses and deaths due to spoilage and contamination. Out of fear and misunderstanding the technique is rejected.

Racial differences: The differences between the races is so tiny, yet we use race to classify and to discriminate.

Miracle diets, miracle cures, claims that vaccines cause autism, ufos, and the loch ness monster. All these are things that some people accept but have no evidence to back them.

That scientific ideas have been used to do bad things is no surprise, nor does it diminish the validity of the science itself. That fraud occurs is not a surprise, though in most cases it is the scientific process itself that exposes and corrects it.

The only people trained to pass judgment on the validity of an area of science are those that work in that area. Computer programmers cannot pass judgment on evolution, field biologists cannot critique bridge design, engineers cannot evaluate psychiatric diagnoses, chemists are not trained in the area of primate physiology. If a mathematician says "evolution is wrong", no one pays attention. If an structural engineer points out problems with a building design, we should pay attention. We have to trust the experts to evaluate these things-we cannot be proficient in every area ourselves. If you go through life thinking that science is one big conspiracy to turn you away from your faith, I feel sorry for you.

September 12, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
rolando said...

Our "science" [such as it is these days] is no longer based on proof but on consensus. Whoever gets the most votes in support of his "theory" gets the gold ring. Proof no longer has anything to do with anything. [ I give you religion, evolution, global warming as caused by man, et al].

One guy says, "I think...", another says, "I feel...", and neither provides hard proof of it -- and that is the only true way to create a new Law of Something.

Guesses have nothing to do with "proof", they are two completely separate things, Guesses or hypothes and are merely the first step in arriving at a Law.... The Evolution hypothesis is the perfect example of "proof by consensus".

No wonder we are sucking hind tit in the Sciences, worldwide. Oh, that's right -- we are ahead of Somalia and perhaps Namibia...although the latter is a close call, since they do have that neat fur-bearer [sarcasm].

PS For the pick-nitters out there, dictionary.com provides this:

Quote

Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.

Unquote

Evolution is a series of best-guesses, and it does a credible job of it. Problem is, it ignores way too much evidence that doesn't fit the preconceived mold.

Same can be said of ID, of course.

Both hypotheses require a large degree of acceptance based on faith.

September 12, 2011 at 8:21 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Our "science" [such as it is these days] is no longer based on proof but on consensus. Whoever gets the most votes in support of his "theory" gets the gold ring. Proof no longer has anything to do with anything. [ I give you religion, evolution, global warming as caused by man, et al].

Here you are wrong entirely. Science has never been about "proof". That belongs to mathematics. Science is about explanations of evidence. Consensus is reached when all participants apply the theory to the evidence. It's not about "whose theory is popular". Scientists are brutal to their colleagues, demanding ample support for any ideas thrown into the ring. Bad ideas are eventually winnowed out because they don't hold up to the evidence. Theories (not "guesses", not "hypotheses") explain the current accumulated evidence. There is NO evidence refuting evolution. None. Zip, Nada. Find a rabbit fossil in precambrian strata, and the theory is falsified.

Evolution is a series of best-guesses, and it does a credible job of it. Problem is, it ignores way too much evidence that doesn't fit the preconceived mold.

Supply some evidence that evolution ignores.

Evolutionary theory is one of the best supported (by the evidence collected over the last 150 years) scientific theory there is, on par with gravity and atomic theory. We don't teach "intelligent falling" or "invisible fairies" to explain the physical world.

rolando, I'm disappointed. I thought you were going to go off and learn something. You've got a ways to go.

September 12, 2011 at 8:29 p.m.
Livn4life said...

When Evolution IS PROVEN AS A FACT, get back to me. Otherwise there are credible folk who say you need as much faith to believe in EVO as you do Creationism. But the worship of Science which has failed continually to find a true missing link keeps hypothesizing and selling a bill of goods based on other things science has proven. As for faith, all the beautiful and smarter folk will one day find they have believed in nothing when it might have been good to at least given something transcendent and beyond a chance. But then, we will have so evolved by then, on their planet they will think they are gods themselves. Perish at the thought. But the Yap goes on and on and on and round and round and round.

September 13, 2011 at 7:33 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

L4L, there was so much ignorance in your post I don't know where to start. How about this? Evolution is a fact. (so I'm "getting back to you") It happened. And it is not inconsistent with faith. And folks don't "worship" science, they do science or learn science. People don't "believe" in evolution as it isn't a belief system. So, learn something about science before posting about it so you don't look foolish.

September 13, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Great posts, rolando and L4L.

lkeithlu,

If evolution were a fact, then it wouldn't also be a theory. You can't have it both ways.

September 13, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Actually, Stewwie, it is both a fact and a theory. Evolution happened (fact). The theory addresses mechanisms and specifics, and encompasses volumes. It is well established, and well supported by a large amount of evidence. Your ignorance of science and your incredulity doesn't make it any less real or valid.

I've had this discussion with you before, Stewwie. Looks like you've learned very little since then.

September 13, 2011 at 10:49 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

---So when the government decided to ban a certain type of light-bulb because some scientists see it as "bad," that's not "worshiping science"?

Not that I approve of the government banning anything that isn't harmful, no , that is not "worshipping science.

What about drugs? A friend of mine is a bodybuilder and he takes steroids, he's been taking them for years and he looks great. He has suffered no ill effects, and many body builders do what he does. Yet thanks to "science", he is persecuted by a government that sees steroids as bad.

Steroids are harmful, and restricted for kids and for athletes for good reasons. Your friend is either lucky or has not yet seen the effects. It also encourages questionable efforts to be more competitive, which is why most sport governing bodies ban them.

Frankly, I liked science a lot more before the government got involved in it. In fact, I respect scientists a lot more when they work for private corporations improving products and creating drugs

Fair enough, but government misusing science does not diminish the validity of established theories, including evolution.

than when the government spends $300,000 so they can study fruit flies in Brazil.

Studying the natural world for its own sake reaps all kinds of unforeseen benefits, and should be encouraged.

How does any of this make evolution any less true?

September 14, 2011 at 10 a.m.
harrystatel said...

Science demands proof; God demands faith.

So if there's proof of God", why do you need faith?

Science is falsifiable; God is not.

I'd rather have a pair of hands that work than a thousand lips that pray.

September 14, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Evolution hypothesis ignores the precambrian, lkeithlu. It ignores the 3.5 billion years of very slow changes...then it ignores the extremely fast [in geological time] changes that occurred in the Cambrian...not the changes themselves but the comparative rapidity.

Evolutionary theory deals very well with the PreCambrian and Cambrian areas. As I said in a previous post, that the record is incomplete is to be expected, given the great age. There is no other theory within science that explains this era or its fossils.

It ignores all of failed mutations in the long march up the ladder -- not the semi-successful splitting off,

It does nothing of the sort

but the "day to day" failures required to move up.

Nothing happens on a day to day basis

It ignores the fossils that "the dog ate"

Name one

and never questions their absence.

Biologists know that a large part of the fossil record remains missing and undiscovered. That does nothing to diminish the robustness of the theory.

Absence of something does not prove its existence; nor does it dis-prove it. Saying "The dog ate it" does not mean it existed.

No one says the dog ate it (what a strange thing to say) but there are many instances where, by using the existing record and knowing the geology of an area, fossils have predicted before they were then discovered. Google Tiktaalik roseae as the most recent example of just such a fossil, which is also a "transition" between aquatic and terrestrial forms. Nothing in creation nor intelligent design can do this.

September 14, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
rolando said...

You are all over the spectrum on this thread, lkeithlu...just a few points:

Science has always been about truth. The scientific method itself is a search for the truth; for starters, it requires repeatable results. That constitutes proof. A rose by any other name... [since you recognize few quotes and pretend ignorance...that was a quote.]

Hypotheses such as Darwin's cannot move up to "Theory" status without a certain amount of confirming evidence or "proof of concept". It won't move any higher without confirmed predictions.

Biologists know that a large part of the fossil record remains missing and undiscovered. That does nothing to diminish the robustness of the theory.

Like I said, "the dog ate the fossils" [another quote; google them]. Covers all kinds of things -- like the homosexual gene, for instance...

Can't name the missing fossils...because they are "missing".

Nothing in creation nor intelligent design can do this.

There you go again, presuming something based on something you deny exists...[ see 2nd entry down]

You want to do science, then you have to do the hard work of science.

No, all that's needed is consensus -- a simple majority of reviewers -- and you are over. Hard work is a very small part of science today...without all that consensus, you are as nothing. Facts have little to do with today's science -- publish the "wrong" or unpopular facts and you are dead meat without a grant in sight.

There is no "scientific" basis for valuing life. That lies with philosophy, religion and other uniquely human endeavors.

So scientists do not value life, per se, because that is one of those unprovable things that must be accepted on faith. Interesting attitude, that. Sure you aren't a eugenicist on the side?

...that the record is incomplete is to be expected, given the great age. There is no other theory within science that explains this era or its fossils. Nothing happens on a day to day basis [Italicized emphasis mine]

Yet you claim that same rock shows all the evidence needed.

We are speaking of fossil evidence here, lkeithlu. Compared to the time of life on earth, the entire Cambrian worked on a day-to-day basis.

And finally, ...fossils have predicted before they were then discovered. Google Tiktaalik roseae as the most recent example of just such a fossil

How specifically are they predicted and specifically detail that of roseae. cites are good...I can investigate it...note the non-use of "research" -- that is too limiting.

Prediction is, as you know, a requirement for upgrade.

The lack of complete fossil evidence is indeed shattering. The entire evolution thing as applied to humans is the object of the discussion. Where's the beef? [yet another quote]

September 14, 2011 at 5:35 p.m.
rolando said...

Back to my woodworking...

September 14, 2011 at 5:47 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You are all over the spectrum on this thread, lkeithlu...just a few points:

?

Science has always been about truth.

Nope-Science is about explanations of physical evidence.

The scientific method itself is a search for the truth; for starters, it requires repeatable results.

Nope again. Science is about observations, documentation of observation, experimentation (when applicable; here is where repeatable results comes in)

That constitutes proof. A rose by any other name... [since you recognize few quotes and pretend ignorance...that was a quote.]

Read my posts a bit better. Science is never about "proof".

Hypotheses such as Darwin's cannot move up to "Theory" status without a certain amount of confirming evidence or "proof of concept". It won't move any higher without confirmed predictions.

It is a theory in every scientific definition of the word; hypotheses are applied to specific experiments. You do not demonstrate knowledge about how these two terms apply to science. As for confirmed predictions, my last post contained only one example in one area. Genetics, embryology, cladistics, and systematics have many examples.

Like I said, "the dog ate the fossils" [another quote; google them]. Covers all kinds of things -- like the homosexual gene, for instance...

There is no such thing as the "homosexual gene". Sexual orientation is a developmental phenomenon, not a genetic one.

Can't name the missing fossils...because they are "missing".

well, duh

*Nothing in creation nor intelligent design can do this.

There you go again, presuming something based on something you deny exists...*

Okay, let's try it: use intelligent design to explain this sequence of fossils, their features, geographical distribution and ages: Pakicetus, Ambulocetus, Rodhocetus, Dorudon, Aetiocetus. Remember, these fossils exist. They are not imaginary. So a scientific explanation must contend with all of them and their properties. Have at it.

ps, if you bail again it will be telling

September 14, 2011 at 6:12 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

...all that's needed is consensus -- a simple majority of reviewers -- and you are over. Hard work is a very small part of science today...without all that consensus, you are as nothing. Facts have little to do with today's science -- publish the "wrong" or unpopular facts and you are dead meat without a grant in sight.

If you are not actively engaged in a scientific field, you have no basis to make this claim. You are either arrogant in your ignorance or dishonest.

There is no "scientific" basis for valuing life. That lies with philosophy, religion and other uniquely human endeavors. So scientists do not value life, per se, because that is one of those unprovable things that must be accepted on faith. Interesting attitude, that. Sure you aren't a eugenicist on the side?

Point out where in that statement where I claim scientists don't value life. What I say is true-there is no "scientific" notion of value. But you are the one who made the incorrect jump to scientists not valuing life, not me.

Yet you claim that same rock shows all the evidence needed.

The rocks display the evidence that supports evolution. There is no such concept as "all the evidence needed". However, there is nothing there that refutes evolution, nor supports another theory.

We are speaking of fossil evidence here, lkeithlu. Compared to the time of life on earth, the entire Cambrian worked on a day-to-day basis.

You're kidding, right? The Cambrian "explosion" last millions of years.

And finally, ...fossils have predicted before they were then discovered. Google Tiktaalik roseae as the most recent example of just such a fossil. How specifically are they predicted and specifically detail that of roseae. cites are good...I can investigate it...note the non-use of "research" -- that is too limiting.

Well, did you?

Prediction is, as you know, a requirement for upgrade.

?

The lack of complete fossil evidence is indeed shattering. The entire evolution thing as applied to humans is the object of the discussion.

Did you read some of the sources I suggested Physical Anthropology by Clark Larsen? talkorigins.org? These are reputable sources, from people in the actual field. If not you have done the intellectual equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and saying "La, la la I can't hear you!"

Actually, evidence outside the fossil record is so compelling, even with NO fossils evolution stands firm and well supported.

September 14, 2011 at 6:19 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

As a side note, please don't forget that I work for a church. None of this is at all in conflict with church teachings. Just in case you want to apply the "but of course you are an atheist" claim. But I am also a scientist, in a social group of many scientists. They'd be very surprised to hear of your "notion" of peer review, a brutal and taxing process from where we sit. Since you are not a peer-reviewed scientist, where did you get such ideas? Coulter?

September 14, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.
rolando said...

You are either arrogant in your ignorance or dishonest.

I am neither, lkeithlu...just experienced with various political in-groups, cliques, academia in general, and back-biters of all types. If you aren't one of them, or don't think as they do, don't bother to apply. This forum is a rather good place to find and study them, actually.

Science is about explanations of physical evidence.

So you admit science is not about truth. Interesting. Define truth, please.

Science is about observations, documentation of observation, experimentation

You say obervations, etc; I say truth. That's one of the differences between your physical evidence and my investigations...different words are used to the same end effect.

Read my posts a bit better. Science is never about "proof".

I could say the same and be as accurate, in my terms. Change "never" to "always".

You do not demonstrate knowledge about how these two terms apply to science.

You sure sling that word "science" about a lot. By your usage, you don't seem to know a lot about it yourself.

Here is what dictionary.com has to say about the two words:

  1. Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.

Evolution is Darwin's hypothesis; it has reached consensus, yes...and we all know what consensus is. "...all others beware." [another quote]

September 14, 2011 at 8:36 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You haven't answered my questions rolando.

And a partial dictionary definition of theory and hypothesis as in common usage is not the same as its usage in science. Are you a scientist or not? Have you ever engaged in scientific inquiry? If so, where and in what discipline? Where have you published and who has cited your work? Do you even know what this means?

And, no, again, science is not about "proof". I'm not sure how many different ways I can say this before you will hear it.

You sure sling that word "science" about a lot. By your usage, you don't seem to know a lot about it yourself.

I actually do, and very well thank you. It's my profession. But you, not so much.

September 14, 2011 at 8:42 p.m.
rolando said...

There is no such thing as the "homosexual gene". Sexual orientation is a developmental phenomenon, not a genetic one.

I agree, but tell that to the homosexuals who have reached consensus that there is one...it just hasn't be found yet. Sounds like your "missing evidence" and my retort, "The Dog Ate Them."

**Can't name the missing fossils...because they are "missing".

well, duh**

That's kinda what I was telling you but a little more politely. It was in response to your demand to identify which evidence was ignored, if memory serves.

So a scientific explanation must contend with all of them and their properties. Have at it.

You said, There is no "scientific" basis for valuing life. That lies with philosophy, religion and other uniquely human endeavors.

I answered: So scientists do not value life, per se, because that is one of those unprovable things that must be accepted on faith.

Good to see you recognizing the difference of science [which you say is without a basis to value life] and the "others" which seem to have all the basis. You are halfway home...

September 14, 2011 at 8:51 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

*There is no such thing as the "homosexual gene". Sexual orientation is a developmental phenomenon, not a genetic one.

I agree, but tell that to the homosexuals who have reached consensus that there is one...it just hasn't be found yet. Sounds like your "missing evidence" and my retort, "The Dog Ate Them."*

Just because some people think there is one doesn't make it real. So far there is no evidence, and in fact the nature of homosexuality does not point to a genetic cause.

That's kinda what I was telling you but a little more politely. It was in response to your demand to identify which evidence was ignored, if memory serves.

So a scientific explanation must contend with all of them and their properties. Have at it.

This was in reference to cetacean fossils, which are quite real. I ask you to apply a competing theory to these fossils, their features and ages. Don't weenie out on me. This is how science works. Think you have a better theory? Then put it to the test.

You said, There is no "scientific" basis for valuing life. That lies with philosophy, religion and other uniquely human endeavors. I answered: So scientists do not value life, per se, because that is one of those unprovable things that must be accepted on faith.

Good to see you recognizing the difference of science [which you say is without a basis to value life] and the "others" which seem to have all the basis. You are halfway home...

Once again, you are not reading my posts, and I know it is not because you have comprehension problems. I never claimed that science is all there is; it is just one human endeavor. The concept of value, soul, love, spirituality, beauty and faith all exist and are all valuable. They lie outside the realm of science. And should, as they cannot be explained by physical laws or phenomenon. So I ask again:

How does any of this make evolution any less real or valid as a scientific theory?

C'mon rolando-stop dodging.

September 14, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.
rolando said...

I'm getting there. Be patient and not quite so arrogant, if you please. I am under no obligation to answer anything.

One could say I am actively engaged, yes. Criminal Justice, Criminal Science, and Criminology are recognized as such...they just deal with many things.

What I say is true-there is no "scientific" notion of value. But you are the one who made the incorrect jump to scientists not valuing life, not me.

I made the jump based on your statements: to paraphrase, There is no scientific basis to value life and you claimed scientific training or employment of some sort somewhere along the way. Ergo, you, as a scientist have no basis to value life.

I said that, yes; it was an illogical jump, yes; it was said to break you out of the "scientific" shell just a tiny bit and separate the real from the sheltered life. There are things other than science in play here.

However, there is nothing there that refutes evolution, nor supports another theory. The Cambrian "explosion" last millions of years.

Except the relative-to-Cambrian paucity.

Yes, about 600 million, wasn't it? Compare that to 3.5 billion. Roughly 5% of the time to develop from the precambrian micro-stuff to millions of creatures. Amazing how that works.

None of this is at all in conflict with church teachings. Just in case you want to apply the "but of course you are an atheist" claim.

I had no intention of applying that claim. I also agree none of it is in conflict with religious teachings or ID. It all depends on your definition of "year", doesn't it?

September 14, 2011 at 9:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I'm getting there. Be patient and not quite so arrogant, if you please. I am under no obligation to answer anything.

No, but you are the one that wants to reject the scientific position on evolution. That kinda puts you on the stage.

One could say I am actively engaged, yes. Criminal Justice, Criminal Science, and Criminology are recognized as such...they just deal with many things.

These are applications of science. Do you publish actual research and have had it peer reviewed? You seem to imply that peer review is just scientists agreeing with each other over lattes.

I made the jump based on your statements: to paraphrase, There is no scientific basis to value life and you claimed scientific training or employment of some sort somewhere along the way. Ergo, you, as a scientist have no basis to value life.

As a human and as an American, I do indeed have a basis. Your words are rather insulting. Are you implying that scientists are not human?

I said that, yes; it was an illogical jump, yes; it was said to break you out of the "scientific" shell just a tiny bit and separate the real from the sheltered life. There are things other than science in play here.

Sheltered is a poor description of my life. And my life and work is very real, thank you, as is the work of most scientists. Do you actually know any? However, my question still stands: how does the existence of value, god, spirituality, art, beauty, literature, whatever, diminish the validity and reality of evolution?

Yes, about 600 million, wasn't it? Compare that to 3.5 billion. Roughly 5% of the time to develop from the precambrian micro-stuff to millions of creatures. Amazing how that works.

It is amazing, and yes it worked. Do you have an alternative explanation that is better than evolution? That does not lie outside the realm of physical laws and is hence scientific? I'm not talking about your beliefs. You can believe that God "created" the Cambrian fauna if you like, but there is no evidence to support that nor refute the idea that they evolved without a creator.

I had no intention of applying that claim. I also agree none of it is in conflict with religious teachings

yes

or ID.

Which, if you agree is a religious explanation, great. Then we are on the same page.

It all depends on your definition of "year", doesn't it?

What is yours? Mine is the time required for the earth to travel one orbit around the sun. Funny, that is the accepted definition. Curious to know if there is another, how it would not violate the laws of physics and how it would apply to evolution.

September 14, 2011 at 9:39 p.m.
rolando said...

I never claimed that science is all there is

No, but you act like it. I am trained to respond not just to what people say, but in their word choice, syntax and grammar. You certainly gave it a central place. But you surprise me -- in a positive way.

I am not trained to respond with any new theory to contend with evolution, of course. If I had been, I would have presented it long ago, with or without consensus -- of course, without it, no matter how astounding the hypothesis, it would never see the light of day. I am definitely not one of the good old boys.

My job includes helping trained people break away from the now-corrupt and restrictive peer review process and think about "what-if".

You know, I DO have things to do in my life other then post here. Working with wood, for instance. Sailing. Motorcycling. The world is too big and beautiful to ignore for long.

And yes, I read and re-read your posts. I do, however, choose to ignore some of it. The demands beyond my training, for instance.

I must answer this one -- you labor under a false impression, a false premise, and a pair of Arrogance Blinders:

I have given my field of study -- Federal Criminal Investigations. I have written [and had published] a number of definitive and unique regulations on the subject on Central Personnel Security. All aspects were covered. Peer review? Both the best and the highest -- They survived federal court review and were used in court...as I have been as an expert witness. Also, portions of my work were incorporated, verbatim, into two Executive Orders, still extant, although I never intended them to be so used. I neither seek nor want recognition. Take it or leave it -- I am not a tyro on this matter. I have interviewed, in depth, a number of top scientists and other professionals, varying from forensic psychologists and psychiatrists to one notable high energy laser designing engineer. Your snide remarks and better-than-thou attitudes are wearing a bit thin, m'lady.

So I now say, without further ado...

Good night, Mrs Calabash, wherever you are. [Yet another quote]

September 14, 2011 at 10:08 p.m.
rolando said...

Good Lord, this thread is habit forming.

What is yours? Mine is the time required for the earth to travel one orbit around the sun. Funny, that is the accepted definition. Curious to know if there is another, how it would not violate the laws of physics and how it would apply to evolution.

Next step in the series... How would you define a year without the earth or the sun? Citing or referring to other "earths" and other suns is begging the question. I am establishing common definitions here. Please bear with me. Evolution and how life began is certainly pertinent in this question.

September 14, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I have given my field of study -- Federal Criminal Investigations. I have written [and had published] a number of definitive and unique regulations on the subject on Central Personnel Security. All aspects were covered. Peer review? Both the best and the highest -- They survived federal court review and were used in court...as I have been as an expert witness. Also, portions of my work were incorporated, verbatim, into two Executive Orders, still extant, although I never intended them to be so used. I neither seek nor want recognition. Take it or leave it -- I am not a tyro on this matter. I have interviewed, in depth, a number of top scientists and other professionals, varying from forensic psychologists and psychiatrists to one notable high energy laser designing engineer.

Congratulations (and I mean that in all sincerity)

Your snide remarks and better-than-thou attitudes are wearing a bit thin, m'lady.

Perhaps, because I am trying to keep you on topic. I still contend that you have no basis for judging a scientific theory such as evolution on its merits (without learning something other than Coulter/town hall BS) though you seem determined to try. I am not trying to change your mind, but if you make a claim I know is unwarranted or false I will call you on it.

So I now say, without further ado...Good night, Mrs Calabash, wherever you are.

Sweet dreams. Off to work for me.

September 14, 2011 at 10:23 p.m.
rolando said...

Sorry for the snipiness, lkeithlu. It is late and my sugar is low.

Be safe out there.

September 14, 2011 at 10:31 p.m.
rolando said...

G'Day, Miss lkeithlu. Just wanted to mention that probably 80% of my work was with engineers of various persuasions. They are...different. Probably because they are preoccupied; interesting people, in any case.

Don't imagine I am limited to Coulter or to townhall, although I read both. I also read here and at any number of other, more reputable, sources. Point is, I investigate both sides of a topic, apply empirical evidence, eliminate the BS and arrive at my decision. Voila!

Just realized...600 million is about 15% of 3.5 billion, not 5%. Oops. Still an awfully short time, comparatively, for all that evolution action; false starts, dead ends, and all. Yes, I know, it is parallel not serial action. Still holds true...the serial is still there, eating up time.

Back to the workshop...

September 15, 2011 at 12:36 p.m.
rolando said...

Have you seen this one? The topic was mentioned here somewhere...

http://www.climatedepot.com/a/12797/Exclusive-Nobel-PrizeWinning-Physicist-Who-Endorsed-Obama-Dissents-Resigns-from-American-Physical-Society-Over-Groups-Promotion-of-ManMade-Global-Warming

The Good Doctor was not alone in resigning, either. Seems like "consensus" has bitten the warmers in the backside, no?

September 15, 2011 at 1:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Howdy! Can't stay long-major deadline looming...

Your link is interesting. Unfortunately, my understanding of climate is so elementary (chemistry/geology, only one course in climate and only a small amount of meteorology), I can't really pass judgment on it. That is such a contentious area, is it not?

September 15, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
rolando said...

It used to be.

I remember deadlines...

September 15, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.
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