Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shocking Scientific Literacy Poll

Or How to Measure the Height of a Skyscraper

Last week the National Science Foundation released its Science and Engineering Indicators report which includes the results of a scientific literacy poll which reveals levels of scientific ignorance that are being called shocking. The poll, which the NSF calls “high-quality,” is a “major source of data” for the NSF report. One question about heliocentrism and geocentrism (“Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?”) is drawing attention from journalists and commentators because one in four American got it wrong. But amidst all the hand wringing and calls for more funding there is one minor issue: the scientific literacy poll is itself scientifically illiterate.

It is said that he who defines the terms wins the debate. Nowhere is that more true with evolution and this scientific literacy poll is a good example. As the NSF puts it, the poll asks “factual knowledge questions.” And just what is a factual knowledge question? What are the truths that Americans ought to know?

One of them is that lasers do not work by focusing sound waves, but rather light waves. It seems that half of Americans don’t know this. Perhaps this is because lasers not only are quite complicated, but they come in a tremendous variety of types. In fact there are lasers that, yes, focus sound waves.

Another “truth” that we are supposed to know is that it is the father's gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or girl. The only problem is this isn’t true. Sex determination varies between species and, like most of biology, defies rules.

Another question asks about continental drift: “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.” We are supposed to say this is true, but science doesn’t know the future.

Of course there is the mandatory evolution question. We must agree that “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” But that is a religiously-driven claim that goes against science.

And what about the heliocentrism versus geocentrism question? It is a non scientific false dichotomy. The Earth does not “go around the sun,” any more than does the “sun go around the Earth.”

That is because neither statement makes sense. In order to make a meaningful statement about what goes around what, one first needs to specify a frame of reference. For an observer on the sun, the Earth circles the sun. And for an observer on Earth, the sun circles the Earth. That is “factual knowledge.” When the weatherman gives the sunrise time he is not guilty of scientific illiteracy. What Copernicus, Galileo and Newton showed is that the Earth circles the sun once a year in a sun-fixed inertial frame and that the sun does not circle the Earth once a day in an Earth-fixed inertial frame.

With evolution science has become a vehicle used to advocate beliefs. In the process science is diluted and mediocrity is rewarded. All of this reminds us of simple-minded exam question about how to measure the height of a skyscraper with a barometer. The “correct” answer has to do with using the barometer to compare the air pressure at the street level and on the roof of the skyscraper, and using those measurements to compute the vertical distance between the two points.

But the young physics student who was far more creative than the dull professor wrote that one could tie a string to the instrument and lower it from the roof until it touched the sidewalk below. Then measure the string.

Or better yet, one could drop the instrument from the roof and measure the seconds to impact. Square the value, divide by two, and multiply by 32.174 to get the height in feet.

Or if one wanted to avoid the liability of striking pedestrians below, one could approach the janitor of the building, explaining to him that you will give him this very nice, expensive instrument if he will tell you the height of the skyscraper.

275 comments:

  1. "For an observer on the sun, the Earth circles the sun. And for an observer on Earth, the sun circles the Earth."

    My historical scientific answer is: When the Creator created man from the dust of the earth and walked with man on the earth, the sun circled the earth. When man sinned against the Creator, man erroneously retained the notion that the sun still circled the earth. When the Creator returned to the earth as a man and walked the earth, was nailed to a cross stuck in the earth, was buried in the earth, was raised again the third day from the earth, the sun -- from the only perspective that counts -- once again circled the earth. Today, with the kingdom of God within some, and without others, the correct answer NOW could be either, depending on in which kingdom the observer dwells. Of course, in solving science problems, for the sake of making the math more simple, either one might switch their perspective.

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  2. Ch,
    Perhaps this is because lasers not only are quite complicated, but they come in a tremendous variety of types. In fact there are lasers that, yes, focus sound waves.


    Since sound is not electromagnetic radiation how is this possible?

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    Replies
    1. I have heard of a SASER - Sound Amplification by Stimulated Emission of acoustic Radiation which apparently is analogous to the LASER - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

      Delete
  3. Cornelius Hunter: For an observer on the sun, the Earth circles the sun. And for an observer on Earth, the sun circles the Earth.

    The Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun. It is more than reasonable to say that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Furthermore, saying the Sun revolves around a fixed Earth would be inconsistent with Newtonian Mechanics.

    Cornelius Hunter: In fact there are lasers that, yes, focus sound waves.

    Oh, gee whiz. Engines may be adapted to trim lawns, but they don't work by trimming lawns, but through combustion.

    Cornelius Hunter: Sex determination varies between species and, like most of biology, defies rules.

    It's clear from the question they are referring to humans.

    Cornelius Hunter: “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.” We are supposed to say this is true, but science doesn’t know the future.

    Science doesn't know anything with absolute certainty, but the continents are moving and will continue to move tomorrow, just as the Earth is moving about the Sun and will continue to move tomorrow.

    Cornelius Hunter: “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

    Of course they did.

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    Replies
    1. Z:


      The Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun.

      Your bias is showing. Evolutionists don’t back down, they double down.


      Cornelius Hunter: In fact there are lasers that, yes, focus sound waves.

      Oh, gee whiz. Engines may be adapted to trim lawns, but they don't work by trimming lawns, but through combustion.


      http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2010/feb/25/hail-the-first-sound-lasers


      Cornelius Hunter: “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.” We are supposed to say this is true, but science doesn’t know the future.

      Science doesn't know anything with absolute certainty, …


      But dogma does.

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    2. Those aren't actually lasers, Cornelius. They're analogous to lasers, but since there's no light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, the term doesn't properly apply. This is of course why the article you linked refers to them as "lasers". You also know this perfectly well, but would rather play pedantic word games to score points against those darn "evolutionists".

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    3. Zachriel: The Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun.

      Cornelius Hunter: Your bias is showing.

      Not an argument.

      Cornelius Hunter: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2010/feb/25/hail-the-first-sound-lasers

      Interesting, but a 'saser' is not a laser, which is based on light.

      Cornelius Hunter: But dogma does.

      Would you like to wager whether the continents will still be moving next week or next years?

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    4. didymos:

      How about this one:

      Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.

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    5. Z:

      Z: The Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun.

      CH: Your bias is showing. Evolutionists don’t back down, they double down.

      Z: Not an argument.


      Your claim that the Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun is true given the preferred reference frame. And yet you and test present it as *truth*. Evolutionists are reference-frame prejudiced.

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    6. CH: Your claim that the Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun is true given the preferred reference frame. And yet you and test present it as *truth*. Evolutionists are reference-frame prejudiced.

      Preferred reference frame? The question was asked in the context of a *scientific* literacy survey, what other frame did you expect?

      You don’t need to be scientifically literate in Astronomy to know the sun rises the morning and sets in the evening. The frame of reference you’re referring to would make the question irrelevant to the goal of the survey.

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    7. Cornelius Hunter: Your claim that the Earth-Sun system revolves around a point well within the interior of the Sun is true given the preferred reference frame.

      Um, no. It's basic mechanics.

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    8. The mechanics are complicated. The earth-sun system is part of a larger system which is part of a yet larger system which is part of a yet larger system, and so on.

      Delete
    9. Joe G: The earth-sun system is part of a larger system which is part of a yet larger system which is part of a yet larger system, and so on.

      Which is why we specified the Earth-Sun system.

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    10. Zachriel:
      Which is why we specified the Earth-Sun system.

      You "specify" quite a bit that isn't indicative of reality.

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    11. Joe:

      Zachriel:
      Which is why we specified the Earth-Sun system.


      Evolutionist Zachriel is simply proving my point. The Earth does not revolve about a point inside the Sun, in an Earth-fixed reference frame (which, by the way, is the frame we all live in, including those who took the dumb scientific literacy test). But evolutionists won't define reference frames because that would undercut the point they desire to make. Zachriel says "we specified the Earth-Sun system." But of course he didn't specify a reference frame. (He is, of course, implicitly using an inertial reference frame.)

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    12. Cornelius Hunter: The Earth does not revolve about a point inside the Sun, in an Earth-fixed reference frame

      Ask Galileo if the Earth moves.

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    13. Why don't you remind us of exact what philosophy of science you're referring to when you say "the science". Oh that's right, you still haven't done so, despite being repeatedly and directly asked to do so, over and over again.

      Nor am I surprised, as defining it rigorously would undercut the argument you're trying to make.

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    14. How is the above disclosure important?

      Cornelius' very objection to this question suggests he thinks scientific theories are not explanations about how the world works, in reality, but merely predictions what we should observe.

      However, we knew the earth orbited the sun long before we actually went into space. Specifically, the earth orbiting the sun, rather than vice versa, is *the* explanation for all of the visual frames of reference, including being on the earth’s surface and rising every 24 hours, being in orbit of the earth and the sun not rising or setting every 90 minutes, or even not rising and setting at all. All of these visual points of reference are observations, not explanations about how the work works, in reality.

      Apparently, given his objection to the question, that’s something that Cornelius thinks science cannot do. But that’s not implied by the bare statement “the science”. Go figure.

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  4. Another question asks about continental drift: “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move.” We are supposed to say this is true, but science doesn’t know the future.

    It was true, since March 2013 the continents have continued to move.

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    1. I can prove the continents will not always move in the future. In the future our sun will become a red giant , providing it lasts that long, which will be the end of the earth. So there will be no continents to move. I don't think you and I need to worry about it. But that's minutia. ;)

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    2. Prove? Sorry, but that conclusion makes the assumption we will not create the knowledge of how to move the earth’s orbit in four billion years or so. So, you’ve grossly underestimate the role that knowledge plays. No surprise here.

      We cannot predict the impact of the growth of knowledge beyond a very limited planning horizon. This not only comes into play in regards to the growth of human knowledge, but the growth of knowledge in an organisms’s genome. This is why we cannot predict future evolutionary change in the distant future, despite it being subject to the laws of physics.

      IOW, the claim that Evolution isn’t science because we cannot predict it grossly underestimates the role that knowledge plays. This is par for the course.

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    3. In addition, this is why we make predictions at the time we make observations, rather than when the theory was first created. Specifically, to criticize a theory, we take it seriously, as if it were true, in reality, along with *all* of our current, best theories about how the world works when, and that all observations should conform to them *at that time*.

      While Cornelius would like you to think otherwise, scientific theories are not mere prophecies to be found false or true. They are explanations about how the world works, in reality.

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    4. Well, isn't that special. Ok, well leaving science fiction how would moving the planets orbit help? How many habitable planets orbit a red giant? What are the factors that describe the habitability of a planet? Do you actually know any science? Or do you just go to talk origins or Wikipedia?
      You're correct, there's not much point in us having any discussion.

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    5. eklektos: Ok, well leaving science fiction how would moving the planets orbit help?

      Are you saying our sun becoming a red giant doesn’t represent a well defined problem?

      eklektos: How many habitable planets orbit a red giant? What are the factors that describe the habitability of a planet? Do you actually know any science?

      Do I know of any science that prevents red giants from having a habitable zone? No I don’t. Do you?

      A quick search from Wikipedia…

      Once a star has evolved sufficiently to become a red giant, its circumstellar habitable zone will change dramatically from its main-sequence size. For example, the Sun is expected to engulf the previously-habitable Earth as a red giant.[62] However, once a red giant star reaches the horizontal branch, it achieves a new equilibrium and can sustain a circumstellar habitable zone, which in the case of the Sun would range from 7 to 22 AU.[63] At such stage, Saturn's moon Titan would likely be habitable in the Earth sense.[64] Given that this new equilibrium lasts for about 1 Gyr, and since life on Earth emerged by 0.7 Gyr from the formation of the Solar System at latest, life could conceivably develop on planetary mass objects in the habitable zone of red giants.[63] However, around such a helium-burning star, important life processes like photosynthesis could only happen around planets where the atmosphere has been artificially seeded with carbon dioxide, as by the time a solar-mass star becomes a red giant, planetary-mass bodies would have already absorbed much of their free carbon dioxide.[65]

      The earth, had it been continually moved to remain in the habitual zone, wouldn't need to be seeded, as it already had an atmosphere.

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    6. There are many factors involved in habitability, not just distance from the star. Plus there are a host other problems, like the hydraulic effects of changing a planets orbit. It would only apply if you were a simple life form, not a multicellular organism. Not to mention that if you move the earth that far out you've lost the protection of the gas giants so you'd constantly be getting pounded by meteorites from the Kuiper belt. Titan has no moon, which would be a problem. So you'd have to move that too. The Earths magnetic field is decaying so the solar wind will strip away our atmosphere long before the sun becomes a red giant. Dead people don't move things. I find your argument uncompelling. But those concerns are merely scientific. Not to worry, it will emerge.

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    7. Scott,

      Btw, thanks for making my point. All you've done is post a portion of a Wikipedia article, which you didn't even understand. I didn't need the article, I have some knowledge of the habitability factors of a planet. It is interesting that you just cut and pasted a portion of the article without actually understanding it and then threw in a little ad hoc. You're knowledge does not seem to be emerging.

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    8. eklektos: There are many factors involved in habitability, not just distance from the star.

      Yet, your proof was based on the distance of the a star (our sun) and the earth, right?

      eklektos: Plus there are a host other problems, like the hydraulic effects of changing a planets orbit. It would only apply if you were a simple life form, not a multicellular organism.

      First, we’re talking about plate tectonics, right? A planet doesn’t need to be inhabited to continue plate tectonics, does it?

      Second, now you’re assuming we would not create the necessary knowledge to solve these problems as well. That implicit assumption was my original point, which you seem to keep repeating.

      eklektos: Not to mention that if you move the earth that far out you've lost the protection of the gas giants so you'd constantly be getting pounded by meteorites from the Kuiper belt. Titan has no moon, which would be a problem. So you'd have to move that too.

      A civilization could change the orbit of a planet but not change the orbit of a moon or meteorites? And we’re not “scientific”?

      eklektos: The Earths magnetic field is decaying so the solar wind will strip away our atmosphere long before the sun becomes a red giant.

      Again, you’re assuming we do not create the necessary knowledge of how to reverse the decay or create or our field in time to prevent our extinction. You keep making my point for me.

      eklektos: I find your argument uncompelling.

      As someone who greatly underestimates the role of knowledge, this comes as no surprise.

      eklektos: But those concerns are merely scientific. Not to worry, it will emerge.

      Your “concern” is based on your specific conception of the growth of human knowledge, not “merely science”.

      eklektos: All you've done is post a portion of a Wikipedia article, which you didn't even understand.

      I understood it quite well. See above. All you’ve done is made the same assumption, which apparently you didn’t understand in the first place. Nor is it clear how the ability to change the orbit of a meteorite being entailed by the ability to change the orbit of a planet, slipped by your “scientific mind”.

      eklektos: The Earths magnetic field is decaying so the solar wind will strip away our atmosphere long before the sun becomes a red giant.

      What is your reference for this claim? It wouldn’t happen to be, the internet, would it?

      Also, unless something is prohibited by the laws of physics, the only thing that would prevent us from achieving it is *knowing how*. Specifically, our inability to obtain it regardless of how much knowledge was brought to bear would be a testable regularity in nature, which would be itself a law of physics.

      However, our planet currently does have a magnetic field, so it’s not prohibited by the laws of physics. As such, the only thing that would prevent us from restoring it or even creating a magnetic field of our own is *knowing how*. That is, creating the necessary knowledge in time.

      People in the year 1900 didn’t consider the internet or nuclear power unlikely, they just didn’t conceive of them at all. As such, they couldn’t factor the impact they would have in the future. For example, who could have predicted connecting two computers would eventually lead to the overthrow of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes by citizen’s reporting via realtime social media services, such as twitter?

      Unexpected conclusions lead to solving problems we never intended to solve in the first place. Not only do we not know that our conjectured theories will solve problems we want them to solve, but we do not know they will not solve some other problem we didn’t intend to solve in the first place.

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    9. Scott, you're wrong, just admit it. My claim was based on the distance of OUR planet from it's sun. Plus you have another problem, moving out to Jupiter wouldn't help. You'd have to move it farther out. It will swallow all the planets in the solar system. And unless your a bacteria you couldn't take the radiation from a red giant. I could come up with a lot more reasons its unfeasible. You'd better off positing warp drive and reseeding another planet. And it does violate Newtonian physics. And it's just plain ridiculous. Give it up.

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    10. eklektos: My claim was based on the distance of OUR planet from it's sun.

      eklektos: I can prove the continents will not always move in the future. In the future our sun will become a red giant , providing it lasts that long, which will be the end of the earth. So there will be no continents to move. I don't think you and I need to worry about it. But that's minutia. ;)

      The earth ending due to our sun becoming a red giant assumes we will be unable to create the necessary knowledge to change the earth’s orbit over billions of years. However, it’s unclear how you can predict what the impact of that growth will have that far in the future. Care to enlighten us as to how that is possible?

      eklektos: Plus you have another problem, moving out to Jupiter wouldn't help. You'd have to move it farther out. It will swallow all the planets in the solar system.

      So, now you’re suggesting our sun will swallow *all* of the planets in the solar system when it becomes a red giant? And we’re not scientifically literate?

      The sun, as a red giant, will have a size of a proximately 2 AU. That’s not large enough to swallow all of the planets in the solar system.

      eklektos: And unless your a bacteria you couldn't take the radiation from a red giant.

      References please.

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    11. Scott,

      you’re suggesting our sun will swallow *all* of the planets in the solar system when it becomes a red giant?

      This is a valid critique, I should have said destroy.

      And unless your a bacteria you couldn't take the radiation from a red giant.

      You're source:
      In analyzing which environments are likely to support life, a distinction is usually made between simple, unicellular organisms such as bacteria and archaea and complex metazoans (animals). Unicellularity necessarily precedes multicellularity in any hypothetical tree of life, and where single-celled organisms do emerge there is no assurance that greater complexity will then develop.[e] The planetary characteristics listed below are considered crucial for life generally, but in every case multicellular organisms are more picky than unicellular life.

      People who work in the field agree that life requires a F,G, or mid K main sequence star. The list of habitability factors last I heard was a minimum of 26. It's probably gone up as they keep finding more. See spectral class:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_habitability

      Posit warp drive :)

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    12. Scott,

      Taking a less confrontational approach. Why do we believe such a thing is possible? The gravitational forces required to do it would have to be immense. How would the gravitational forces involved not fundamentally alter the planets surface? Possibly even breaking it up. And if we get around those how would we survive the greater emission of radiation and wrong spectral class of the light? Advancement of knowledge is well and good, but until such a thing could be explained I'll stick with my prediction.

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    13. eklektos: And unless your a bacteria you couldn't take the radiation from a red giant.

      Haven't followed the whole discussion, but cyanobacteria and cryptomonads can photosynthesize red light using phycobilins. By the way, humans don't photosynthesize, they ingest other organisms for nourishment.

      Not sure why it's important. Once you start moving planets around, there should be abundant sources of energy, such as fusion. Humans, or their descendants, may have already begun spreading out to the planets, the Oort Cloud, and beyond. They will presumably move the Earth out of danger for sentimental reasons, and turn it into a museum, and the Moon into a parking lot.

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    14. We checked the future record. The world waxes old like a garment. The Earth isn't made into a museum, but hauled off and sold off for scrap. Sorry.

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    15. zachriel,

      Posit warp drive. It's more fun Or folding space like the Navigators in the story Dune. But as all that's not plausible yet I'll stick with my prediction. But it's just a prediction.

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    16. Is this your prediction?

      eklektos: I can prove the continents will not always move in the future.

      Continental drift is due to the generation of heat in the Earth's interior. As the Earth cools, the movement will slow then cease. This process will take about a billion years, so continental drift will cease long before the Sun runs out of fuel and becomes a red giant.

      Delete
  5. In order to make a meaningful statement about what goes around what, one first needs to specify a frame of reference.

    Not really,one just has to understand physics, both the sun and the earth revolve around the center of mass, since that center of mass lies with the sun, the earth revolves around the sun. Contrary to appearances. Likewise the sun is quite a bit larger than the size it appears in the sky.


    For an observer on the sun, the Earth circles the sun. And for an observer on Earth, the sun circles the Earth.

    When I ride my bicycle ,it appears the bike is stationary and the earth moves beneath my wheels,therefore the bike is unmoving and it is the earth which rotates under my wheel per your frame of reference theory. As I approach another rider his earth is rotating under his bike in the opposite direction. As we pass each other the earth is simultaneously rotating in opposite directions within the space of the sidewalk. For someone siting on a bench this catastrophic event is unnoticed

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    1. velikovskys said: "Not really,one just has to understand physics, both the sun and the earth revolve around the center of mass, since that center of mass lies with the sun, the earth revolves around the sun. Contrary to appearances."

      So what is mass? According to the inspired wikipedia, "In physics, mass (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough]") is a property of a physical body which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies."

      it is a property (what is a "property" without a mind to determine?)

      of a physical body (what other kinds of bodies are there? spiritual, perhaps?)

      which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force
      (what does science say is the cause of "force"?)

      and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction (what does science say causes mutual attraction across vast distances?)

      what does science say is the cause of the mind?
      what does science say is the cause of life?

      Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. Maybe we should pay more attention to Him than to those who talk as if they know all the answers about truth and life.

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    2. awstar:So what is mass? According to the inspired wikipedia, "In physics, mass (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough]") is a property of a physical body which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies."

      And that attraction we give the quality of weight.

      it is a property (what is a "property" without a mind to determine?

      A property of the physical world.

      of a physical body (what other kinds of bodies are there? spiritual, perhaps?)

      Perhaps,

      which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force
      (what does science say is the cause of "force"?)


      What causes mass to exist? That is one reason the LHC exists. Interesting isn't it.

      and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction (what does science say causes mutual attraction across vast distances?)

      I believe presently, it is that mass warps the fabric of spacetime. Gravity wells.

      what does science say is the cause of the mind?
      what does science say is the cause of life?


      Lots of things, but that is irrelevant to whether it is justified to think the sun orbits the earth.

      Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. Maybe we should pay more attention to Him

      Maybe for philosophy, not for the science.

      than to those who talk as if they know all the answers about truth and life.

      You just told me that you have those answers in Jesus.

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    3. awstar February 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      [...]

      So what is mass?


      Good question. The Wikipedia entry is a reasonable attempt explain what is meant.

      According to the inspired wikipedia, "In physics, mass (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough]") is a property of a physical body which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies."

      Put another way, on Earth a block of lead would be much heavier than a box of feathers of the same size. How do we know it's heavier? We know because it takes much more effort to lift the block of lead than the box of feathers. Now take the box of feathers and the block of lead out into space. Even though both are now 'weightless', you would still find it harder to move the block of lead around than the box of feathers. We perceive - and can measure - that it takes more effort to move lead around than feathers. Whatever there is more of in lead than feathers is mass.

      it is a property (what is a "property" without a mind to determine?)

      A property partly what makes a thing itself and not something else. My definition of "naturalism" is simply that it is the study of the 'nature' of things, 'nature' being that which makes a thing itself and not something else.

      Do things only exist if there are minds there to observe them? Some people seem to think so. But, if so, who is observing me to make me exist? And who is observing that observer to make he, she or it exist? And who is observing that observer, and so on ad infinitum?

      And suppose there is whole crowd of us standing around a car, why do we all seem to see the same car, say a red Impala? Why aren't some people seeing a yellow Mustang or a blue Corvette? Why isn't it "shape-shifting" between the different models depending on who's concentrating on it at the time?

      of a physical body (what other kinds of bodies are there? spiritual, perhaps?)

      Perhaps. What do you mean by a "spiritual body" and how would we test to see if such a thing exists?

      which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force
      (what does science say is the cause of "force"?)


      Wikipedia can help here again:

      In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a certain change, either concerning its movement, direction, or geometrical construction. In other words, a force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (which includes to begin moving from a state of rest), i.e., to accelerate, or a flexible object to deform, or both. Force can also be described by intuitive concepts such as a push or a pull. A force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity. It is measured in the SI unit of newtons and represented by the symbol F.

      Where does it come from? It's a good question. Where do any of the laws or regularities, the observable and measurable properties of this universe come from originally? No one really knows but it's one of the things science is trying to find out.

      and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction (what does science say causes mutual attraction across vast distances?)

      what does science say is the cause of the mind?

      what does science say is the cause of life?


      All perfectly good questions - which science is also asking and to which it is trying to find answers. Science doesn't have them - yet. But that doesn't mean that it never will. All it can do is keep on looking.

      [continued...}

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    4. [...continued]

      Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. Maybe we should pay more attention to Him than to those who talk as if they know all the answers about truth and life.

      Perhaps "they" should but how does that answer the questions you've just been asking? Perhaps a few give an impression of greater certainty than is strictly warranted and perhaps the simplifications involved in science reporting can give a false impression of the current state of play.

      But scientists, more than most, are aware of what they actually know and how much they have still to learn. The whole enterprise is a work-in-progress that will be going on for the foreseeable future and probably a whole lot longer. If you want absolute certainty then look to Scripture, otherwise you'll have to be content with the provisional explanations which are the best science can provide at any one time.

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    5. me:
      "what does science say is the cause of the mind? what does science say is the cause of life?"

      v: "Lots of things, but that is irrelevant to whether it is justified to think the sun orbits the earth. "

      me again: But it is relevant to when the sun and earth appear and what caused them to appear.

      me; "Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. Maybe we should pay more attention to Him "

      v: "Maybe for philosophy, not for the science."

      me again: Exactly, we are talking philosophy here -- not science -- when we talk of the origins of life and the cosmos. Jesus said, “‘But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female’." (Mark 10:6) The cosmos and Adam and Eve begin at the same begining -- the begining of creation. No evolution, no billions of years between the two events. So those who invoke science as their authority for saying otherwise, are really philosophizing. Why take them anymore seriously than Jesus?

      me: "than to those who talk as if they know all the answers about truth and life."

      v: "You just told me that you have those answers in Jesus."

      me again: And everyone else has those answers by what authority?

      Delete
    6. Velikovsky,

      It would appear as if the earth was rotating under your wheels if your speed was constant (no acceleration or deceleration). Of course accomplishing this on a bicycle would be problematic. But that's minutia ;)

      Delete
    7. Velikovsky,

      Mass is not weight.. See where this leads? ;)

      Delete
    8. Velikosky,

      Sorry, that last should have been direct at Ian. But you get my point. :)

      Delete
    9. It would appear as if the earth was rotating under your wheels if your speed was constant (no acceleration or deceleration).

      Not really, I can make the earth rotate faster or slower or even stop if I consider my bike as a fixed point.

      Mass is not weight.

      Of course not, though if they had asked that question Dr Hunter might argue that they are.



      Delete
    10. velikovskys: Not really, I can make the earth rotate faster or slower or even stop if I consider my bike as a fixed point.

      Only if you reject Newtonian physics and hold to naïve Hunterism — or if you're twelve years old. God bless the children.

      Delete
    11. velikovsky,

      Not really, I can make the earth rotate faster or slower or even stop if I consider my bike as a fixed point.

      I think I gave parameters. Pretty sure I did. See: Einstein. But he believed in God, so he was one of those nasty theists. Btw, the example is mine. I seem to vaguely remember an example involving a train, but I can't remember if the example was Einstein's or a textbooks.

      Delete
    12. zachriel:Only if you reject Newtonian physics and hold to naïve Hunterism — or if you're twelve years old. God bless the children.

      Exactly

      Delete
    13. elkektos: think I gave parameters. Pretty sure I did.

      Reread, yes if you were going a constant speed it would appear that that way,any motion would

      See: Einstein. But he believed in God, so he was one of those nasty theists.

      Probably a deist if anything

      Btw, the example is mine

      That the speed of the bike must be constant for it to work?

      I seem to vaguely remember an example involving a train, but I can't remember if the example was Einstein's or a textbooks.

      http://www.vicphysics.org/documents/teachers/unit3/EinsteinsTrainGedanken.pdf

      Though I think that is about time dilation

      Delete
  6. Dr. Hunter,
    Your post has reminded me of a movie, "Being there", in which Peter Sellers plays a mentally challenged gardener who gets lost after his employer dies. In the movie, his simple view of the world as a garden is seen as mighty metaphoric philosophy. By the same token, you have taken the bumbling ignorance of the average American and interpreted it as brilliance.

    If a respondents were prepared to say: "not all lasers focus light, some focus sound"* then for that recipient your position would be valid. However, I am sure that the vast majority of respondents who "got the question wrong" really just didn't have a clue about lasers.

    In the same way you have defended ignorance on a number of the other issues. It is true that in non-humans sex is determined in a variety of ways. However, in humans the sperm makes the determination. Again, if a respondent were to answer the question "incorrectly" because of their knowledge that the phenomenon is not universal, then you would be right. However, I am sure that for the most part people got the question wrong from ignorance, not from knowledge.

    On the part of heliocentrism versus geocentrism, you are correct of course. However, again, I doubt if even 1% of the respondents who got the question wrong understood your perspective based defence. If they did not understand the "perspective" defence, then they simply displayed their ignorance, not their brilliance.

    On the issues of continental drift and "the mandatory evolution question", a different issue arises for many. It is an issue of trust, not of knowledge. If the questions are worded carefully, stating what "most scientists think/believe/hold to" you may be able to souse out those who are ignorant from those who trust non-mainstream sources more than they trust mainstream sources.

    I think, however, that defending those who hold minority views by defending blatant ignorance is a fool's game.

    * Actually on this one, I believe you to be incorrect, as "light" is the "l" in laser. If one were to make a similar technology with sound, it would be properly called saser, rather than laser. More likely someone has used a laser in the process of making a saser type device, in which case the laser is only a cog in the wheel, but that cog still "focused" light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bFast:

      However, I am sure that the vast majority of respondents who "got the question wrong" really just didn't have a clue about lasers.

      So we decide what people really know.


      In the same way you have defended ignorance on a number of the other issues.

      You misunderstand. I don’t defend ignorance, I criticize it.


      On the part of heliocentrism versus geocentrism, you are correct of course. However, again, I doubt if even 1% of the respondents who got the question wrong understood your perspective based defence. If they did not understand the "perspective" defence, then they simply displayed their ignorance, not their brilliance.

      People live in an Earth-fixed reference frame. They displayed ignorance only according to the evolutionary reference frame bias. This question did not just happen to be on the list. It is at the foundation of evolution’s whig history and Warfare Thesis lies about the Galileo Affair. Respondents scored much “worse” on other questions but this one gets the headlines. The dumbing down of this question (even at the cost of making it non sensical) is not a mistake. This is evolutionary dogma. Evolutionists disposed of the nuances and inconvenient truths of the Galileo Affair and of the science, opting instead for simplistic lies to enforce their dogma. A scientific wording of this question would have ruined all that.

      Delete
    2. DrHunter:o we decide what people really know.

      You seem to be

      People live in an Earth-fixed reference frame. They displayed ignorance only according to the evolutionary reference frame bias. This question did not just happen to be on the list.

      Yikes,reference planes are inflected with evolutionary bias as well. My guess it is on the survey because geocentrism has been proven to be a bad model for the solar system. It requires one to reject both Newtonian and relativity. It is requires the earth to not rotate.

      It is at the foundation of evolution’s whig history and Warfare Thesis lies about the Galileo Affair. Respondents scored much “worse” on other questions but this one gets the headlines.

      You seem to be the only fighting that fight. Perhaps the Flat Earthers are just victims of an evolutionary bias too.After all, the earth looks flat

      Delete
    3. velikovskys,

      Flat Earthers? There's a tired meme. Let's drop that one. I don't think the ancients were stupid. Just watch a ship travel over the horizon and you know the earth isn't flat. That's mythology. However given the internet there's probably a flat earth society somewhere. ;)

      Delete
    4. The Flat Earth model is an archaic belief that the Earth's shape is a plane or disk. Many ancient cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD) and China until the 17th century. It was also typically held in the aboriginal cultures of the Americas, and a flat Earth domed by the firmament in the shape of an inverted bowl is common in pre-scientific societies.[1]

      Delete
    5. I don't claim it was never believed. However it has no application to today, unless you happen to be studying the particular culture that believed it. It is simply used as a pejorative today by the "smart people" to insult their opponents. However in the end you find that often their supposed "smartness" is illusion. It was mythology. I think I said that, pretty sure I did.
      So drop the meme.

      Delete
    6. BTW,

      I'm pretty sure Zheng He was aware the earth wasn't flat, but he was a sailor.

      Delete
    7. ekoktos:I don't claim it was never believed

      Apologies for the misreading then.

      However it has no application to today, unless you happen to be studying the particular culture that believed it

      It is analogous to the belief that the sun orbits the earth. Both are based on faulty assumptions.

      It is simply used as a pejorative today by the "smart people" to insult their opponents.

      I am not responsible for what smart people do. Myself for the reasons listed above it was reductio ad absurdum.

      However in the end you find that often their supposed "smartness" is illusion

      True, some people need to show others how smart they are. I don't share that need.

      It was mythology. I think I said that, pretty sure I did.

      It is a myth that people actually believed it? Or it is a myth because science has proven it untrue?

      So drop the meme.

      As you wish

      Delete
    8. It's a myth because it doesn't correspond to reality, and is a natural religion. If you want someone to defend paganism you'd have to find somebody else. However that's no the same as a meta-narrative about the past to borrow a phrase from the silly postmodernist. Postmodernism arose as reaction to the excessive claims of the modernists. It was a valid critique. However the claim that there is no truth is self contradictory. Pilate made it. They just went to far the other way. They should have borrowed a virtue from the puritans called temperance.

      Delete
  7. For an alleged scientific poll it asked some very unscientific questions.

    No one knows how long plate tectonics has been going on here. The universe didbn't start with a huge explaosion- the "big bange was neither big nor did it go bang. There isn't any evidence that todays humans evolved from anything but humans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe G: No one knows how long plate tectonics has been going on here.

      There is no significant scientific doubt that the continents have been moving for millions of years.

      Delete
    2. Zachriel:
      There is no significant scientific doubt that the continents have been moving for millions of years.

      And yet there isn't any scientific evidence to support it

      Delete
    3. Of course there is. You might start with the geological succession supported by radiometrics.

      Delete
    4. Read "Annals Of A Former World" by John McPhee

      Delete
    5. Zachriel:
      You might start with the geological succession supported by radiometrics

      Radiometrics relies on the untestable assumption that the earth was at one time so hot that no crystals remained.

      Delete
    6. The age of the earth depends on HOW it was formed. And since no one knows how it was formed no one knows it age.

      Delete
    7. Zachriel,

      Radiometric dating has a host of problems, not the least of which is calibration. Depending on which method you get conflicting results, ect.

      Delete
    8. Joe G: The age of the earth depends on HOW it was formed.

      There are rock formations that are about 3 billions years old. That provides a lower limit to the Earth's age.

      eklektos: Radiometric dating has a host of problems ...

      Radiometics is a highly developed field.

      Delete
    9. Zachriel:
      There are rock formations that are about 3 billions years old.

      That may be what you think but it isn't so. The rocks could be old and the earth could be much younger.

      Delete
    10. Zachriel,

      Explain to me how radiometric dating works. And about calibration standards and tolerances works

      Delete
    11. eklektos: Explain to me how radiometric dating works.

      Start with Zircon.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating#Uranium-lead_dating_method

      Delete
    12. Joe G: That may be what you think but it isn't so. The rocks could be old and the earth could be much younger.

      Sure, but we have the geological succession consistent with radiometric dating consistent and theories of geological formation. It requires handwaving not just one measurement, but multiple measures using widely varying methodologies. Feel free to continue waving your hands, though.

      Delete
    13. That may be what you think but it isn't so. The rocks could be old and the earth could be much younger.

      How,Joe, does 3.9 billion year old rock igneous rock create the Canadian Shield on a planet that did not exist?

      Delete
    14. Zachriel:
      Sure, but we have the geological succession consistent with radiometric dating consistent and theories of geological formation.

      That is what you believe, however geology is more consistent with catastrophism than it is to gradualism. So you can believe whatever you want. It doesn't make it so.

      BTW zircon has too much helium to be billions of years old.

      Delete
    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    16. Zachriel,

      Yea, that's what I thought. So you're just an internet scientist. And of course you don't have a clue how they're calibrated, nor what calibration and standards even entails.

      Delete
    17. vel:
      How,Joe, does 3.9 billion year old rock igneous rock create the Canadian Shield on a planet that did not exist?

      So you are unable to follow along. Great.

      The crystals that contain the radioactive element(s) was made on an asteroid, comet or meteor. Then that material was used to make Earth. But that material was old.

      Radioactive elements can start decaying when they are made. And they ain't made here.

      Delete
    18. Zircon U-Pb dating encompasses two measures with a combined precision of about 1%. Did you have a point?

      Delete
    19. Joe G: geology is more consistent with catastrophism than it is to gradualism.

      The Earth has experience catastrophic and gradual changes.

      Delete
    20. velikovskys: How, Joe, does 3.9 billion year old rock igneous rock create the Canadian Shield on a planet that did not exist?

      4.0 billion (correction of above). See Bowring & Williams, Priscoan (4.00–4.03 Ga) orthogneisses from northwestern Canada, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 1999.

      Delete
    21. This just in: even older rocks. Valley et al., Hadean age for a post-magma-ocean zircon confirmed by atom-probe tomography, Nature 2014.

      Delete
    22. Zachriel:
      The Earth has experience catastrophic and gradual changes.

      And nothing tat sez it is 4,5x billion years old.

      Again we need to know HOW the earth was formed before we can say how old it is.

      What part of that don't you understand?

      Delete
    23. RATE Papers that scientifically dispute a 4,5x billion year old earth.

      Delete
    24. joe: The crystals that contain the radioactive element(s) was made on an asteroid, comet or meteor. Then that material was used to make Earth.

      The crystals are embedded in igneous rock,temperatures necessary to melt that rock would reset the clock on the crystals even if they were older. It is not a localized event, the rock covers thousands of square miles.

      Zachriel: 4.0 billion (correction of above). See Bowring & Williams, Priscoan (4.00–4.03 Ga) orthogneisses from northwestern Canada, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

      I was just being conservative.

      Dating the oldest rocks http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/02/24/3950076.htm

      Delete
    25. Crystals survive in the magma- Magma Opus: Geologist Reveals Earth's Plumbing

      20,000 Kelvin is the reset/ melting temp, per olegt
      Momentous Theory In Earth Science Topples


      Delete
    26. Zachriel,
      Zircon U-Pb dating encompasses two measures with a combined precision of about 1%. Did you have a point?

      That doesn't really address the problem. I'll leave you to figure out why.

      Delete
    27. velikovskys: I was just being conservative.

      No problem. We were correcting our own previous misstatement.

      Joe G: BTW zircon has too much helium to be billions of years old.

      Too much or too little?

      Delete
    28. Joe,

      I don't know your technical expertise or what you've read, beyond written summaries. I have the RATE papers on the list of things to get so I can examine the raw data. Until I have I am unwilling to commit. I do find the attempts to explain the conclusions away totally ridiculous and in fact stupid.

      Delete
    29. Joe G: RATE Papers that scientifically dispute a 4,5x billion year old earth.

      We read the Humphrey's article on helium diffusion. The amount of helium depends on when the crystal was heated, not when it was formed. Even then, most helium diffusion ages are in the millions of years. Nor does the study explain the U-Pb ratio. Indeed, the latest study, Valley et al., actually studied the migration of lead through the crystal.



      Delete
    30. eklektos: I'll leave you to figure out why.

      In other words, no, you don't have a point.

      Delete
    31. Zachriel,

      No, I have neither the time nor patience to teach you how calibration and standards actually work. Do your own work. You once again begged the question.

      Delete
    32. Too much helium in the zircons to be billions of years old. Also rad decay starts/ can start when the unstable isotope is formed. And that is in the supernovae and neutron star collisions.

      And that means that rad decay has been going on for a long time before the earth accretion started.

      And millions of years is much less than billions.

      Delete
    33. ellektos- I am not committed either way. All I know is that a 4.5x billion year old earth relies on untestable assumptions.

      Delete
    34. Joe,

      when I follow the link all I get is a headline?

      Delete
    35. So Joe, what is your estimate for the age of the earth, ballpark?

      Delete
    36. vel,

      Between 10,000 and 1.5 billion years. It's a big ballpark (and 10,000 is actually too low and 1.5 b is too high)

      Delete
    37. eklektos: No

      You'll post hundreds of words, but can't be bothered to defend your position.

      Joe G: Too much helium in the zircons to be billions of years old.

      Henke, Humphreys’s Young Earth Helium Diffusion “Dates”: "This brief summary examines only a few of the many difficulties with the dating models that Humphreys used to generate his estimate of the age of the earth."
      http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/henke.pdf

      Delete
    38. I believe Henke less than you believe Humphreys. And Humphreys' wasn't the only paper I linked to.

      Delete
    39. Joe G: I believe Henke less than you believe Humphreys.

      Can't make you consider the evidence.

      Delete
    40. I've considered it. OTOH you won't consider the fact that isotopes can start decaying when they are formed and uranium wasn't formed here. Also you are ignoring the evidence that demonstrates crystals can and do survive in magma.

      And you, focusing on Humphreys, are not considering the evidence.

      Delete
    41. Joe G: OTOH you won't consider the fact that isotopes can start decaying when they are formed and uranium wasn't formed here.

      That's correct, but uranium is incorporated into Zircon crystals, while lead is not. Consequently, when the crystals form the Pb-U ratio is near zero.

      Delete
  8. 1. The center of the Earth is very hot. True or false?

    true

    2. The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move. True or false?

    Yes they are and have been moving. No one knows for how long they have been doing this

    3. Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?

    The earth goes around the sun more often then the sun goes around the earth.

    4. All radioactivity is man-made. True or false?

    false

    5. Electrons are smaller than atoms. True or false?

    true

    6. Lasers work by focusing sound waves. True or false?

    false- Light Amplification by Stimulations of Emitter Rays

    7. The universe began with a huge explosion. True or false?

    false


    8. It's the father's gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or girl. True or false?

    false- In humans it is the father's Y or X CHROMOSOME that determines the sex


    9. Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria. True or false?

    false

    10. Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. True or false?

    It depends. If that earlier species was also human then true. If that other species was not human, then false.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laser, light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation

      Delete
    2. Despite my typo-should have been emiiteD, not emiiter, there isn't any difference

      Delete
    3. Very good mister Danger, but what's this? :)

      Delete
  9. Well, as I already claimed that science education is woefully inadequate, and dogmatic and boring, it simply confirms my suspicions. The nuances are trivial. Getting bogged down in minutia doesn't get us anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ekoktos:Well, as I already claimed that science education is woefully inadequate, and dogmatic and boring,

      It depends if you are interested in how things work,in solving puzzles. If you are, there are plenty of non dogmatic, interesting things out there. It is as simple a looking at the night sky.

      The nuances are trivial. Getting bogged down in minutia doesn't get us anywhere.

      Not in science

      Delete
    2. Some things are difficult to make interesting unless you're very creative, the periodic table for example. But that doesn't mean all things in science education operate like learning the periodic table. However they are frequently taught that way.

      I can tell you with some certainty education isn't science. And we're not discussing science per se in this post but science education. ;)

      Delete
    3. eklektos February 23, 2014 at 6:49 AM

      Well, as I already claimed that science education is woefully inadequate, and dogmatic and boring,...


      In my experience, mathematics education was much worse, a form of intellectual torture and humiliation of those who had difficulty grasping the concepts by those to whom it came easily and who had no understanding of, or sympathy for, those who to whom it didn't..

      Science education in the US suffers from being a political and religious football. It isn't helped by the scandalous situation where an admittedly small minority of so-called science teachers are openly promoting Protestant creationist beliefs in the science classroom and a larger number simply make no reference to evolution for fear of the hostility it will be greeted with by the students and their parents and the lack of any support they will receive from school administrators for just doing their job.of teaching the prescribed curriculum.

      If school science education is deteriorating in the US it is because there are large swathes of the population who prefer to fill their ignorance with the comforting poetry and mythologies of religion rather than face the reality of an apparently indifferent universe being revealed by science

      Delete
    4. Ian,
      yea, repeat that tired old story. How long has evolution been the dominant teaching paradigm in the country? When was the last time creationism was taught in the public schools? What, just give you another 100 years and you'll get it right? What color is the sky in your world?

      Delete
    5. Creationism is taught in parts of Texas now

      Delete
    6. velikovskys,

      yea, that's the reason science education is bad in this country. Because in a few isolated places in Texas they teach creationism. Even if true, which I seriously doubt, it really doesn't help the case. What color is the sky in you're world. Explain to me why at a constant speed it would appear as if the earth was moving under your bicycle..

      Delete
    7. vel:
      Creationism is taught in parts of Texas now

      Materialism and its bastard child evolutionism are taught throughout the US. And it is making us scientifically illiterate.

      Delete
    8. ekoktos:yea, that's the reason science education is bad in this country. Because in a few isolated places in Texas they teach creationism.

      I was just answering your question. I expect that the reason US science education lags is less religious and more political and economic.

      Even if true, which I seriously doubt, it really doesn't help the case.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_texas_public_schools_undermining_the_charter_movement.html

      What color is the sky in you're world.

      Let me check,it is kinda grey overcast,with just a hint of blue and a touch of white

      Explain to me why at a constant speed it would appear as if the earth was moving under your bicycle..

      I prefer multiple choice tests but no matter.

      The same reason the sun appears to move thru the sky, motion like time is relative. Since we have no sensation of the earth moving, we infer it is the sun which moves and the earth is fixed.

      Back to the bike,if per DrHunter the decision of what is fixed relative to another object is purely personal choice, then if I choose to believe my bike, contrary to the sensation of motion, is unmoving and each pedal stroke causes the earth to move. I could speed up or slow down the rotation of the earth.Just like a 3D spin class.

      Now of course that leads to absurdities, and my point was so does the sun moving around the earth in light of what we know of astronomy thru theory and observation. The sun would need to orbit both the earth and moon, which we again know is absurd.

      So DrHunter's objection that the frame of reference needed to be included is clutching at straws. If one is aware of any basic scientific knowledge or history, the metric of the test, then even from the frame of reference of the earth, the sun only appears to be moving.


      Delete
    9. joe,: Materialism and its bastard child evolutionism are taught throughout the US. And it is making us scientifically illiterate.

      Hasn't seemed to have hurt the rest of the world

      Delete
    10. And what have they done wrt science?

      Delete
    11. Joe G February 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM
      And what have they done wrt science?


      "What did the Romans ever do for us?"

      Delete
    12. LoL! The Romans believed on Gods. They weren't materialialists pushing evolutionism.

      Delete
    13. Joe,
      The results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which are being released on Tuesday, show that teenagers in the U.S. slipped from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which gathers and analyzes the data in the U.S.

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-rankings-2013-12#ixzz2uIsrGDcC

      Delete
    14. Ian,

      "What did the Romans ever do for us?"

      There is no modern technology that requires a belief in evolution to exist. Not in medicine, physics, biology, or anything else. In fact Darwinian assumptions have often hindered science and education. Not the least of which is in wasted resources on a fruitless endeavor. I don't need a belief in a Darwinian mythology to discover how things actually work. You want to believe it, fine. Just don't tell the rest of us we have to believe it and assume superiority because you do. I offer the gospel freely. Repent and believe and you'll be saved. I don't think I'm better than you, we're all wretches. I can't force you to accept it, that's not up to me. :)

      Delete
    15. vel,

      The US dropped and materialism rules. Go figure. Also those tests do not demonstrate that the rest of the world has advanced science more tha the US has.

      Delete
  10. velikovsky,

    The night sky is very interesting. I got to look through the Clark 8" refracting telescope at UF. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have Newtonian 10" reflector- about 4' of focal length. I also have 2 4" Newtonian reflectors, one computer controlled.

      Unfortunately I now live in a very wooded area

      Delete
  11. You know, the more interaction I have here the more convinced I am that most of the "Darwinist" here don't have any scientific knowledge or experience. I beginning to doubt they even come from a technical background. The couldn't read a technical paper if their life depended on it. They seem to be internet scientist. That's a cryin' shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ekoktos:ou know, the more interaction I have here the more convinced I am that most of the "Darwinist" here don't have any scientific knowledge or experience.

      Joe has done extensive work with watermelons as I recall, and Zach , we believe is a professional smart person. Not sure about Scott.

      Myself, to use a golf metaphor i can get the ball around the course. I am not a scientist by trade. Why the concern? I cannot recall you making any actual scientific argument that would require expertise to answer.

      I beginning to doubt they even come from a technical background.

      You realize this is not a scientific blog, right?

      The couldn't read a technical paper if their life depended on it. They seem to be internet scientist.

      Guilty, but so far it hasn't been necessary.

      Delete
    2. velikovsky,

      Well, I'd hoped that you were interested in "how things work, and solving puzzles" beyond the occasional diagraming of an argument. Which is why I tended to use more humorous interactions. I actually take time to read the scientific papers, on both sides. Even if it's not my particular field I can evaluate the arguments, though I may have to look up the definition of specific jargon. These things are important because I can grasp the underlying concepts. Wikipedia is well and good to find specific data, well sometimes. But it won't tell you "how things work" beyond a few brute facts. I made several specifically scientific arguments, but of course those didn't get touched. I can err in my logic sometimes. To quote Luther: "I can err, I am but human. But unless I am convinced by...". You can look up the rest. When you point out that in a country of 300+ million people a few charter schools and private schools which receive vouchers teach creationism, which is not quite correct, for reasons which if you examine then you'd pretty readily discover, and leave the implication that somehow Ian's phony claims about science education being ruined by all those fundamentalist is true I'm doubtful of the fruitfulness of future interaction. Darwinist have held sway in the public schools for most of my life. (I did specify public schools btw). My very early education I can't remember the subject coming up, as they were too busy teaching us readin', writin' and rithmatic'. So the idea those mean ole nasty theist are the cause of scientific illiteracy stretches credulity to the breaking point. I'll leave you with this. The answer to the bicycle question is the relativity of motion. But it's an actual "puzzle", you can't google it.
      Toodles

      Delete
    3. vel:
      Joe has done extensive work with watermelons as I recall,

      Wow, jealousy from an unexpected source.

      Just because I threw some watermelon rinds out into the woods and they collected ticks- yup 8 legs and all- ,which was totally unexpected, evos are having a hissy fit. And yes I did reproduce it.

      But that was years ago and it ws a very dry summer. Dry enough to dry out the vernal pool at the bottom of the hill- something that I had also never observed.

      I don't know what the ticks were doing there but the more I thought about the more I figured they were hanging out waiting for a host. A potential host-birds, chipmunks, red and grey squirrels- comes by looking for something with water and some ticks attach themselves.

      Anything else I can help you with?

      Delete
    4. Ask ekoktos, he was the one looking to establish everyone's bona fides. I got no problem with it all all,it shows an inquisitive mind.

      Delete
    5. velikovskys,

      I was trying to find out whether the people involved actually had any ability to asses the science beyond regurgitating popular articles and running off to their favorite website to cut and paste. As to the comment on Joe and zachriel I took it to be humor. Joe apparently took it as a dig. I gather you're English and we have different senses of humor you silly kniggit.
      aufwiedersein

      Delete
    6. eklektos:As to the comment on Joe and zachriel I took it to be humor. Joe apparently took it as a dig

      Two birds with one stone.

      I gather you're English and we have different senses of humor you silly kniggit.

      Thanks for the compliment but no , I am a New Orleanian transplanted to Texas.

      Delete
    7. velikovskys,

      Watch out, the creationist fundys will get you. I went to Mardis Gras once when I was young. Alice Cooper was the Grand Marshall of Endimyon. Seems kinda fitting.
      Aloha

      Delete
    8. eklektos:When you point out that in a country of 300+ million people a few charter schools and private schools which receive vouchers teach creationism,

      You asked when was the last time creationism was taught in public schools. The answer is today in public supported schools in Texas.

      about science education being ruined by all those fundamentalist is true I'm doubtful of the fruitfulness of future interaction

      Whatever,talk to Ian, I never made that claim

      Darwinist have held sway in the public schools for most of my life. (I did specify public schools btw).

      That is because it is the best actual theory we have,and btw charter schools are public supported,and state controlled, a public school.

      My very early education I can't remember the subject coming up, as they were too busy teaching us readin', writin' and rithmatic'. So the idea those mean ole nasty theist are the cause of scientific illiteracy stretches credulity to the breaking point.

      I only attended parochial schools growing up and don't remember any biology till high school. The only nasty theists were the nuns.

      It is not theism per se that is an issue , it is the kind of theism which views science as a threat.If I was to guess why American education lags behind it would be if you are smart and capable there are lots easier ways to make a living than teaching. You get hammered from every direction,administration,the public and the kids.

      I'll leave you with this. The answer to the bicycle question is the relativity of motion. But it's an actual "puzzle", you can't google it.

      The only puzzle I see is why you are having such a hard time understanding the point, but I agree I would not know how to google that.

      Delete
    9. How do you know Creation is being taught in TX public schools? Is it in science class?

      Delete
    10. velikovskys,

      It is not theism per se that is an issue , it is the kind of theism which views science as a threat.If I was to guess why American education lags behind it would be if you are smart and capable there are lots easier ways to make a living than teaching. You get hammered from every direction,administration,the public and the kids.

      Well, they've brought it on themselves. The whole public school racket is a joke. The Federal Government should have never gotten involved. Leave the schools to the states and localities. You have far more chance of fixing it at a local level. If a state has bad schools then it's their responsibility to fix it. Quit trying to mainstream kids. Everyone's different. Have AP classes, regular classes, and developmental classes. When you teach in that fashion you teach to the middle. That leaves out the top and the bottom. The top gets bored and that causes problems. The bottom gets frustrated and that causes problems. Require teachers to know their subject, not "teaching theory", which changes yearly. Get rid of all those administrators you don't need, who rewrite curriculum every year to justify their existence. Stop revising textbooks every three years except in subjects which must remain current, like. To the best of my knowledge Algebra doesn't change much year to year, or in 2k years.
      You're just making textbook publishers rich. The first four years forget all the other nonsense and teach readin', writin', and rithmatic', intensely. They don't need to do computer science until later. Besides, the students are often more technically capable than the teachers. All that HALO don't cha know.If a child can do these the other subjects comes much easier. Reward teachers who a good, get rid of those who aren't. Public service is just that, service. Nobody's entitled to a government job. Is there a chance of any of this happening. Get serious. :)

      Delete
  12. DrHunter: What Copernicus, Galileo and Newton showed is that the Earth circles the sun once a year in a sun-fixed inertial frame and that the sun does not circle the Earth once a day in an Earth-fixed inertial frame.

    I missed this, so you are actually saying you whole argument about specifying the frame of reference is bogus, the sun does not rotate around the earth in either case. Unless one is unaware of all scientific knowledge since Galileo, which is what the test is measuring. Good thing you aren't a defense attorney

    ReplyDelete
  13. 1. Given that there is no mechanism by which biogenesis could occur, nor even a decent hypothesis.

    2. Given that mutation is an insufficient mechanism to explain complex protein folds or the mechanisms to use them. And further that mutation of epigenetic information would produce unviable organisms.

    3. Given that the fossil record is insufficient to explain how macroevolution could occur. 95% of the fossil record is marine invertebrates, with 5% containing everything else.We barely have proof of transitional forms in the fossil record of speciation, and those are highly subjective.

    4. Given that Linnaean taxonomy is founded on a Darwinian explanation of how those forms could arise.

    Conclusion: There is no evidence sufficient to demand that macroevolution occurred. Or bind anyone to believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. eklektos: 1. Given that there is no mechanism by which biogenesis could occur, nor even a decent hypothesis.

    That's like saying because Newton didn't know the origin of the solar system, he couldn't propose a valid theory of planetary motion.

    eklektos: 2. Given that mutation is an insufficient mechanism to explain complex protein folds or the mechanisms to use them.

    Protein folds are actually rather common even in random sequences.

    eklektos: 3. Given that the fossil record is insufficient to explain how macroevolution could occur.

    The fossil succession strongly support evolution, nor is it the only evidence.

    eklektos: 4. Given that Linnaean taxonomy is founded on a Darwinian explanation of how those forms could arise.

    Linnaean taxonomy predates Darwin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zachriel said

      "The fossil succession strongly support evolution, nor is it the only evidence. ."

      Fossil succession cannot support any theory, because as darwinists claims not all the liife forms are presents in the fossil record, that is the reason almost there are no transitional. So the absence of rabbit fossils in the cambrian it is not evidence that there wasn´t rabbits in the cambrian. The use of fossil succesion as evidence of life evolution led darwinists to the mistake of consider coleachants(and some trees) extints and they are still alive.
      Then no, fossil record fits with any theory of origin of species.

      Delete
    2. Blas: So the absence of rabbit fossils in the cambrian it is not evidence that there wasn´t rabbits in the cambrian.

      I think you are missing the point of the rabbit, finding one is falsification, not finding one is not support. Positive evidence supports.

      Delete
    3. Joe,

      Not to mention the coelacanth disappears from the fossil record for 75k years as Darwinists reckon time.

      Delete
    4. vel,

      Do you think that looking for a pre-cam rabbit is a valid scientific research program?

      Delete
    5. velikovskys

      "I think you are missing the point of the rabbit, finding one is falsification, not finding one is not support. Positive evidence supports."

      Darwinistic logic.
      So do you have any positive evidence that there wasn´t rabbits in the cambrian?

      Delete
    6. Blas: Fossil succession cannot support any theory, because as darwinists claims not all the liife forms are presents in the fossil record, that is the reason almost there are no transitional.

      No that is not correct. That would be like saying we took photographs of a child at various intervals, but that it doesn't represent evidence of the child growing up.

      Blas: So the absence of rabbit fossils in the cambrian it is not evidence that there wasn´t rabbits in the cambrian.

      It's a trivial example. Rather you won't find mammals, birds, or many other organisms represented in the Precambrian.

      Blas: The use of fossil succesion as evidence of life evolution led darwinists to the mistake of consider coleachants(and some trees) extints and they are still alive.

      There is always going to be some uncertainty with the fossil record because they only represent snapshots. We certainly have enough snapshots to show a progression, just like we have pictures of the child growing up.

      Joe G: Do you think that looking for a pre-cam rabbit is a valid scientific research program?

      Help yourself.

      Delete
    7. joe:

      Do you think that looking for a pre-cam rabbit is a valid scientific research program?


      Valid? Sure ,paleontologists search for specific types of animals in certain strata.

      On the practical side, since most precambrian rock is a basalt or severely metamorphosed the chances of an intact bunny seem remote.

      However if one believes an origin story which could include miracles then there is no reason why there could not be bunny fossils in the precambrian,miraculously preserved.

      But even that assumes the accepted age of the earth, if one believes in a very young earth, fossils of bunnies could be intermixed throughout the fossil record willy nilly depending only on the whim of the designer,no miraculous preservation required

      Delete
    8. Please show me one grant to look for a pre-cam rabbit.

      Ya see I know that it ain't a valid scientific research program. I also know that evolutionism if found.

      Delete
    9. Zachriel you can make wrong examples of childs growing and snapshots that show progressio but the point is you have no positive evidence that were not rabbits in the cambrian. And you use this arguments to explain why the transitional forms are so rare. Then you cannot use the the fossil record as evidence of evolution unless you are irrational or dishonest.

      Delete
    10. Blas: you have no positive evidence that were not rabbits in the cambrian.

      Rather, we can predict there were no mammals in the Precambrian. There were no humans in the Mesozoic. There were no birds in the Paleozoic. That's because they would precede any plausible ancestor. Furthermore, we can predict there were never any Centaurs or Griffins. Do you know why?

      Delete
    11. You can predict whatever you want, that do not makes the fossil record a positive evidence for evolution since it is incomplete, then absence of evidence it is not evidence of absence. If darwinists were able to admit this would gain credibility.

      Delete
    12. Blas: You can predict whatever you want, that do not makes the fossil record a positive evidence for evolution since it is incomplete

      So photos of someone over the years isn't evidence of their growing up and growing old.

      Delete
    13. As Darwin said the existence of irreducibly complex systems refutes evolutionism. And science has uncovered a plethora of irreducibly complex systems within biology, including living organisms.

      Case closed yet the whining continues and the losers won't get out of our way.

      Delete
    14. Joe:Joe GFebruary 25, 2014 at 8:39 AM
      Please show me one grant to look for a pre-cam rabbit.


      Maybe everybody is too busy looking for Bigfoot. Why not submit a grant yourself, after all you can't trust evolutionists

      Ya see I know that it ain't a valid scientific research program

      Your logic is breathtaking.

      Delete
    15. Joe G: As Darwin said the existence of irreducibly complex systems refutes evolutionism.

      The term "irreducible complexity" usually means that all the parts are essential. Darwin said that if it can't evolve incrementally, then his theory is refuted.

      Joe G: Please show me one grant to look for a pre-cam rabbit

      Why would anyone bother to look for something so unexpected under current scientific understanding? But this is your chance to overthrow the central theory of biology! Go for it!

      Delete
    16. vel, I have talked with scientists who have told me taht looking for a precam rabbit is not a valid scientific research program. THAT is my "logic".

      Find Dave Heddle and ask him- he went off on an evo for suggesting the pre-cam rabbit.

      Delete
    17. Zachriel

      "So photos of someone over the years isn't evidence of their growing up and growing old."

      You do not have photos of someone growing you have photos of someone dressed as an egipcian, then other dressed as a greek, then other as a roman and you want to convert that in evidence that all that guys are relatives.

      Delete
  15. Zachriel,

    1. Begs the question
    2. Begs the question
    3. Ipsis dixit
    4. Even Wikipedia gets it right that modern Linnaean taxonomy is based on Darwinian explanations. Begs the question

    wow, 4 for 4. You really are a professional smart person

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linnean taxonomy predates Darwin. Darwin did steal it, modify it and then explain how his concept can account for it.

      However no one knows how or why proteins fold. Some think that they just do. However genetic engineering has shown that not to be the case. They have had little success outside of producing insulin. Most polypeptides just refuse to fold in their new host.

      Dr Sermonti discusses this in "Why is a fly not a horse?"

      Delete
    2. Joe, you should read the Douglas Axe paper. It's available online. "The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds". To date the science has been untouched. Frequently not even addressed.

      Delete
    3. Thank you- I downloaded and read it 3 years ago.

      If you ask Dr Axe, and I have, he will tell you that the synthesis of tryptophan is enough evidence for ID in biology. His knowledge of biochemistry is, well, I would put him up against anyone.

      Delete
    4. eklektos: The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds". To date the science has been untouched. Frequently not even addressed.

      Could you summarize his findings?

      Delete
    5. eklektos: 1. Begs the question
      eklektos: 2. Begs the question

      Not sure you understand the term. Please explain why our comments were "begging the question".

      eklektos: 3. Ipsis dixit

      We pointed to specific evidence, the fossil succession, so it is not ipse dixit.

      eklektos: 4. Even Wikipedia gets it right that modern Linnaean taxonomy is based on Darwinian explanations.

      You said "Linnaean taxonomy is founded on a Darwinian explanation". You seem to have meant modern Linnaean taxonomy is based on common ancestry, which would be closer.

      eklektos: you should read the Douglas Axe paper. It's available online. "The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds".

      Protein folds are common in sequence space.

      Delete
    6. No, polypetides may be but not folds

      Delete
    7. Joe G: not folds

      Davidson & Sauer, Folded proteins occur frequently in libraries of random amino acid sequences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1994.

      Delete
    8. Non-functioning polypeptides that fold- and loaded polypetides at that, doesn't help. Proteins have functions.

      Delete
    9. Joe,

      If you ask Dr Axe, and I have, he will tell you that the synthesis of tryptophan is enough evidence for ID in biology.

      Lucky you. :)

      Delete
    10. Zachriel,

      Read the paper, it's available online.

      http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.1

      Delete
    11. Zachriel

      "Davidson & Sauer, Folded proteins occur frequently in libraries of random amino acid sequences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1994. "

      "Without detailed structural studies, it is not
      possible to determine whether the QLR proteins have novel folds. More-over, we have no information concerning possible dynamic aspects of the QLR structures."

      How I can beleive the ToE if darwinists keep saying as facts things that they do not have positive evidence?
      I understand that the authors also said:

      "Although we have no direct assays for tertiary
      structure, it is difficult to imagine that the QLR proteins could self-assemble into stable oligomers in the absence of some stable tertiary
      interactions. Further, the QLR proteins showed significant variations in properties such as helical
      content, oligomeric structure, tryptophan fluorescence, and stability, which implies that each QLR protein has a different structure in spite of their similar overall compositions."

      But that it is not enough to make a point to Joe objections.

      Delete
    12. Joe G: Non-functioning polypeptides that fold- and loaded polypetides at that, doesn't help.

      See Keefe & Szostak, Functional proteins from a random-sequence library, Nature 2001.

      eklektos: Read the paper, it's available online.

      We've read Axe's paper when it first came out. It is easily contradicted by experiment. See Keefe & Szostak, Functional proteins from a random-sequence library, Nature 2001. Folding, functional proteins are common in sequence space.

      Delete
    13. Well that'd be a neat trick, as the study came out before Axe's paper. And it again doesn't address whether folds exist as I've said. You've read it? Or somebody else?

      Delete
    14. Great, another paper that Zachriel didn't read.

      No, Zachriel, I will NEVER assume that you are arguing in good faith.

      Delete
    15. eklektos: Well that'd be a neat trick, as the study came out before Axe's paper.

      That may explain why Axe's paper wasn't published in a mainstream journal, but one in which Axe is the managing editor.

      eklektos: And it again doesn't address whether folds exist as I've said.

      Not sure why you would say that. If you take random sequences, some will fold into functional proteins.

      Delete
    16. If by "function" you mean can bind to ATP, And in living organisms most proteins are orders of magnitude longer than 80 amino acids.

      Delete
  16. zachriel,

    1. Newton was not trying to prove the origin of anything. So that would be a category error. Further Newton did not to hypothesize a solar system. Darwinism ASSUMES a beginning organism which it cannot prove, therefore it must provide a plausible explanation for how the organism arose. Biogenesis and Darwinian evolution are inextricably linked. Trying to sever the two is just a bait and switch. I used it in a informal way which is allowable, see the article on question begging in your favorite reference. If you wish the formal fallacy, being the pedant you are, it's a red herring. Darwin actually recognized this himself .

    2. The presence of non functional protein folds is a red herring. The question is how a USABLE and STABLE protein fold could arise given the statistical problems of producing a single base pair change to create a stable protein fold. You didn't even address the issue of how you could mutate the epigenetic information which develops the cytoskeletal structures, controls cell binding, and a host of other things. Unusable proteins are recycled in the cell.

    3. Again, you haven't given any proof of anything. You just claim that it exists. You said: The fossil succession strongly support evolution, nor is it the only evidence. The first is naked assertion and the second is irrelevant. Paleontolgy is a mess. Let's start with a single undisputable fossil purporting to show ape to human evolution. (btw evolutionary biologists admit the fossil record is inadequate.)

    4. I gave you credit for being able to understand that I was speaking of modern Linnaean Taxonomy. I guess I gave you too much credit. Besides, when it was developed is irrelevant. So you...wait for it..Red Herring. And more pedantry.

    As to this: Protein folds are common in sequence space

    It's just another red herring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. eklektos: 1. Newton was not trying to prove the origin of anything.

      Evolutionary theory isn’t abiogenesis. It’s an explanation for the concrete biological adaptations we observe in the biosphere.

      Organism build themselves. Right? Specifically, the concrete features of organisms are the result of transformations of matter. But not just any kind of transformation. It’s the kind that occurs when the requisite knowledge (instructions of what transformations to perform) are present. So, the origin of those features is the origin of that knowledge.

      So, evolutionary theory is the theory of how that knowledge *grows*, not what the first replicating cells looked like or the origin of the knowledge they initially contained. So, evolutionary theory is interested in the deltas, while abiogenesis is interested in the “spark”, as you might call it.

      Claiming evolutionary theory must provide a “plausible explanation for how the organism arose.” is like saying umbrellas are useless unless we have an exhaustive explanation of metrology.

      eklektos: 2. You didn't even address the issue of how you could mutate the epigenetic information which develops the cytoskeletal structures, controls cell binding, and a host of other things.

      Some designer that “just was”, complete with the knowledge of how to build all of the above, already present, doesn’t serve an expiatory purpose. That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared” complete with the knowledge of how to build all of the above, already present. Neither actually solve the problem. And no, evolutionary theory isn’t the latter.

      eklektos: 3. Again, you haven't given any proof of anything. You just claim that it exists. You said: The fossil succession strongly support evolution, nor is it the only evidence. The first is naked assertion and the second is irrelevant.

      We do not prove things are true in science. You’ve got it backwards. This is the psychological problem of induction. Just because you seem to experience proving are true, this don’t mean that experiences isn’t as as false as the sun orbiting the earth. Rather, science only proves things are false, and even then, only tentatively. We start out with conjectured theories, try to poke holes in them, and adjust them as we make progress. So, the fossil record “supports” evolutionary by representing a form of empirical criticism of the conjectured theory.

      Delete
    2. Scoptt,

      THe OoL is key because it is only if blind watchmaker processes gave rise to living organisms would we assume they gave rise to the diversity of life.

      OTOH if the OoL was designed then we would assume they were designed to evolve and evolved by design.

      Delete
    3. Scott,

      1. I gave reasons why they are linked. Bastian doesn't get to change the terms because he thinks it makes his job easier. Wouldn't you have to address why they weren't to deal with the argument? They may specialized areas of study, but that's not the issue.

      2. I don't think I mentioned a designer, nor was it entailed in the argument I made. Wouldn't you have to deal with my actual argument?

      3. Do I really have to give a long list of evolutionary biologists who admit the fossil record is insufficient? This is not really a secret.

      Does the last actually deal with my argument? Have you fairly and in an unbiased manner addressed the argument? Isn't it more of a lecture?

      Delete
    4. Joe:
      OTOH if the OoL was designed then we would assume they were designed to evolve and evolved by design.


      Then you agree evolution is a fact in either case.

      Delete
    5. I never doubted evolution. The word has sevaral meanings. I don't have to agree with all of them in order to accept that evolution occurs.

      The entire debate is about the mechanisms and the starting point(s).

      Delete
  17. Correction: In 2. I should have said two base pair change to create...

    ReplyDelete
  18. eklektos: Newton was not trying to prove the origin of anything.

    And Darwin didn't try to explain biogenesis per your original statement.

    eklektos: Darwinism ASSUMES a beginning organism which it cannot prove, therefore it must provide a plausible explanation for how the organism arose.

    Newton assumes the origin of the Solar System, for which he did not provide a scientific explanation.

    eklektos: If you wish the formal fallacy, being the pedant you are, it's a red herring.

    Yes, that's correct. You posed a red herring.

    eklektos: The presence of non functional protein folds is a red herring. The question is how a USABLE and STABLE protein fold could arise given the statistical problems of producing a single base pair change to create a stable protein fold.

    Functional proteins are common in sequence space. See Keefe & Szostak, Functional proteins from a random-sequence library, Nature 2001.

    eklektos: You said: The fossil succession strongly support evolution, nor is it the only evidence.

    We'd be happy to look at the evidence in detail. A cursory glance shows this basic order for the first appearance of taxa:

    Single-celled organisms
    Metazoa
    Craniata
    Vertebrata
    Gnathostomata
    Sarcopterygii
    Tetrapods
    Amniota
    Synapsida
    Mammalia
    Eutheria
    Primates
    Hominidae

    eklektos: I gave you credit for being able to understand that I was speaking of modern Linnaean Taxonomy.

    The point is that the nested hierarchy doesn't depend on a particular explanatory framework, which was worked out well before Darwin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zachriel,

      1. I didn't say he did. But he recognized the problem with his theory if it couldn't be explained. But I did give reasons why they couldn't be severed didn't I? Have you really addressed that?

      2. The question is not whether they are present is it? It's a question of whether you can get a fold of the right type to be able to give rise to a new trait at the macroevolutionary scale. And you haven't really dealt with the epigenetic problems have you?
      #. You've given me a list, but you haven't really given me any reason to accept your list is linear. You'd have to make an argument why that list is correct. And appeal to authority wouldn't help would it? Why do you think that list is correct? Pick one and start there. All you've done is list taxa isn't it? Pick an ape ancestor in the Darwinian line of the descent of man and argue for why it is correct and we'll have a starting point.

      4. I you wish to propose a non-Darwinian hierarchy then I'm willing to listen. But my point was about the Darwinian classifications of modern Linnaean taxonomy being invalid if Darwinism is untrue. It couldn't be used to prove Darwinism if it assumes what it purports to prove. That is question begging. Modern taxonomist admit those lineages are based on Darwinian assumptions don't they?

      Delete
    2. Evolutionism doesn't predict a nested hierarchy. You are confused.

      Delete
    3. Joe G: Evolutionism doesn't predict a nested hierarchy.

      Evolution predicts that descendent organisms when categorized by character traits will form a hierarchical pattern of subsets contained within supersets.

      eklektos: But I did give reasons why they couldn't be severed didn't I? Have you really addressed that?

      Yes, by pointing out that science is always limited, and that it isn't necessary to explain the origin of the solar system explain how it moves, nor to explain the origin of life to explain how it diversifies.

      eklektos: The question is not whether they are present is it? It's a question of whether you can get a fold of the right type to be able to give rise to a new trait at the macroevolutionary scale.

      Consider the mammalian middle ear. Fossil and evidence from embryonic development show that ossicles evolved from reptilian jaw bones. Genetic evidence shows that small changes to regulatory genes can cause the types of changes required to explain the phenotypic changes.

      eklektos: You've given me a list, but you haven't really given me any reason to accept your list is linear.

      That's the order of appearance in the fossil record.

      eklektos: Pick an ape ancestor in the Darwinian line of the descent of man and argue for why it is correct and we'll have a starting point.

      Humans are not found in strata older than a few millions years, while the first mammals are found in much older strata. It's not a single fossil that is determinative, but the entirety of the evidence.

      Delete
    4. Zachriel,

      1. Newton didn't assume a solar system. He observed a solar system. There is a difference between an observed fact and a hypothesized fact. That's a category error. Plus, as I said he wasn't trying to explain the origin of anything, he was trying to explain what he directly observed. So that also would be a category error. His theory did not entail any discussion of origins. It was irrelevant to the scope of his inquiry.

      Delete
    5. !. But my argument was not whether Darwinism was true. It was whether it is sufficient to require anyone to believe it. So lack of an explanation for the hypothesized original organism would be a factor to be considered. It does not on it's own invalidate it, but you'd have to consider it.

      2. That assumes what it seeks to prove. Simply because there are phenotypic changes within species does not prove that those phenotypic changes which could lead to a reptilian jawbone turning into an ear. Particularly as the instruction set to assemble the structure are not contained in the genome. They are epigenetic. Body plans are not contained in the genome but come directly from the mother/daughter cellular transfer. The gene contains the information to assemble the proteins used in the fold, not to direct it into structures.

      3. I'm afraid it's not. The fossil record is a jumbled up mess. Besides, the Cambrian definitely disproves that. There are whole novel body plans occurring with a very brief span of time, even by evolutionary standards. and no plausible ancestor in the Precambrian strata. Besides, a human metacarpal was found in the same strata as Afarensis, using C14 dating methods. This was explained away by claiming it belonged to another mythical australopithecine. This is a single example. There are a myriad of others. This gives me no confidence that the fossil record can tell us what you claim.

      4. That's the artifact hypothesis turned on it's head. As I stated earlier, the coelacanth disappeared from the fossil record for 75k years. So it's basically an argument from silence. Plus it assumes that the dating methods are correct, and that sedimentation works the way they think it does. But I see evidence it actually doesn't. Hundreds of layers can be laid down in hours. You have trees sticking up through multiple layers.

      Delete
    6. Zachriel:
      Evolution predicts that descendent organisms when categorized by character traits will form a hierarchical pattern of subsets contained within supersets.

      Reference please, Darwin definitely doesn't say that. Also Dr Denton refutes what you claim in "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis".

      Descendents can lose character traits and transitionals would make an overlapping Venn diagram. And nested hierarchies cannot have overlapping sets.

      Delete
    7. eklektos: Newton didn't assume a solar system. He observed a solar system.

      Darwin didn't assume life. He observed life.

      eklektos: Plus, as I said he wasn't trying to explain the origin of anything, he was trying to explain what he directly observed.

      Darwin wasn't trying to explain the origin of life, he was trying to explain what he observed.

      Darwin's theory did not entail the origin of life. It was irrelevant to the scope of his inquiry.

      eklektos: It was whether it is sufficient to require anyone to believe it.

      "In science, 'fact' can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."

      eklektos: So lack of an explanation for the hypothesized original organism would be a factor to be considered.

      Science is devised in such a way that we can reach conclusions about some things while remaining ignorant of everything else.

      eklektos: Simply because there are phenotypic changes within species does not prove that those phenotypic changes which could lead to a reptilian jawbone turning into an ear.

      What we have is a detailed history of morphological change, where each change is a selectable improvement. In addition, we have genetic evidence that the changes are within the range of natural variation.

      eklektos: The fossil record is a jumbled up mess.

      So not only are the biologists wrong, but so are the geologists. That strains credulity.

      eklektos: There are whole novel body plans occurring with a very brief span of time, even by evolutionary standards.

      By brief spans, you mean tens-of-millions of years. What's funny is that you point to the geological record when it suits you, but disregard it when it doesn't.

      eklektos: and no plausible ancestor in the Precambrian strata.

      That is incorrect. There is fossil evidence of bilateria in the Precambrian.

      eklektos: Besides, a human metacarpal was found in the same strata as Afarensis, using C14 dating methods.

      Afarensis is not in the Precambrian or even the Mesozoic. (You didn't provide a citation, but simply waved away the explanation.)

      eklektos: As I stated earlier, the coelacanth disappeared from the fossil record for 75k years.

      That's like asking if humans evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys? Or if people descended from grandparents, why are there still grandparents. An ancestral form can continue indefinitely.

      eklektos: Plus it assumes that the dating methods are correct, and that sedimentation works the way they think it does.

      Seriously. Now the geologists are wrong too. And the physicists who perform radiometry. And the biologists. All of science essentially.

      Delete
    8. Zachriel: Evolution predicts that descendent organisms when categorized by character traits will form a hierarchical pattern of subsets contained within supersets.

      Joe G: Reference please, Darwin definitely doesn't say that

      "FROM the most remote period in the history of the world organic beings have been found to resemble each other in descending degrees, so that they can be classed in groups under groups." — Darwin, Origin of Species

      Delete
  19. Ok, I'm going to try to take a less confrontational approach. I think we are all trying to too hard to prove we're right. I know I'm guilty of this. So in the future I will try to be less confrontational. Whether I'll succeed or not is another matter. :)

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    1. eklektos: Ok, I'm going to try to take a less confrontational approach.

      Feel free to confront our position, but you can assume we are arguing in good faith. We are, and we believe you are too.

      Delete
  20. Let's look at fundamental assumptions. One of the tenets of science is that it be falsifiable. Now Stephen Hawking has recanted his view of black holes. He says he can provide another explanation. The man's pretty bright so I have to give that weight. Now Hawking's science on black holes was the last major breakthrough in physics. Pretty much we've been nibbling around the edges since. If it can be shown that there is an alternative explanation that overturns 40 years of scientific assumptions built on that model. So now we're back to square one regarding the nature of a lot of things. This is why I don't think people are correct to demand that a person give up their worldview. I also think this is why we need real academic freedom. Not what we have now where often the continued defense of something has less to do with science and more to do with economics.

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    1. eklektos: One of the tenets of science is that it be falsifiable.

      Well, sort of. Most tests of a hypothesis try to cleave the universe in two. One powerful method is to make a bold prediction dividing the possible universes into a very tiny sliver and the mundane. But even the most direct falsification can be fraught with difficulties, practical and theoretical. The dichotomy may not be complete. There may be other explanations that lead to the same result.

      eklektos: So now we're back to square one regarding the nature of a lot of things.

      There's a lot unknown about black holes, but that doesn't mean nothing is known.

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    2. There's a lot unknown about black holes, but that doesn't mean nothing is known.

      I agree. I didn't say that there wasn't did I?

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    3. eklektos: If it can be shown that there is an alternative explanation that overturns 40 years of scientific assumptions built on that model.

      Overturning scientific findings is what it's all about. Not sure towards what you were going with your comment. It's not like the phenomenon of gravitational collapse is going away. The question is whether you will burn up in a quantum storm, or be crushed into spaghetti.

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    4. That's that problem. Seeing that no scientist has shown that a non-human can evolve into a human, there isn't anything to overturn. And Dogma can't be overturned.

      Seeing that scientists cannot show that prokaryotes can evolve into something other than prokaryotes, again there isn't anything to overturn and again Dogma rules.

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    5. Joe G: Seeing that no scientist has shown that a non-human can evolve into a human, there isn't anything to overturn.

      We were discussing black holes.

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  21. The paper about functional protein folds says, unless I'm not understanding it correctly says that it is 1 out of 4*!0^11 proteins that is functional. That might mean that the care common because they are just so many possible proteins. But the question is what is the probability of one coming about through a random process. And when you change one amino acid in a protein, they might loose stability, so you need other mutations to compensate. That means you need several mutations at once to create a new functional protein.

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    1. natschuster: That might mean that the care common because they are just so many possible proteins.

      They are clearly common.

      natschuster: But the question is what is the probability of one coming about through a random process.

      It was a random process.

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  22. Once there was a common ancestor of dogs and cats. It had two descendants. One was a little bit dog like. One was little bit cat like. The dog like had a descendant which was a little bit more dog like. The cat like one had a descendent which was a little bit more cat like. That's evolution. The process repeats. If we look at all the species, we would actually see a smooth gradation between dogs and cats. That is not a nested hierarchy.

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    1. natschuster: Once there was a common ancestor of dogs and cats. It had two descendants.

      More likely a multiplicity of descendants.

      natschuster: If we look at all the species, we would actually see a smooth gradation between dogs and cats. That is not a nested hierarchy.

      It would still be a nested hierarchy based on descent. But if we had all the intermediates in one place, but didn't have the record of descent, then we might have trouble reconstructing the edges of the groups.

      Of course, we don't have nearly as complete a record as that. We have dogs and cats and other carnivora.

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  23. West Point has a museum that shows the development of weapons over time. It looks kinda like a series of fossils. But no one would say that the Tommy gun evolved into the Uzi. So artifacts can be arraigned into a series that shows change over time, but not evolution in a Darwinian sense.

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