61% Believe in Evolution

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sandy, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. redwards I doubt it Registered Senior Member

    I'm not even sure what the hell you're arguing here. The vast majority of human technological advancement has come during the exponential technological upswing we've experience in the past 200 years or so.

    All of which has nothing to do with the transition fossils I was showing you.
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  3. Myles Registered Senior Member

    Suppose I give you a smallpox virus. What then ? How do you learn to eradicate it or do you succumb ?
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  5. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Apes are closer in intelligence to fish than humans? Hmmm...


    ------------------------------------- Fish ---- Apes ---- Humans

    Complex social organization --------- No ------ Yes ----- Yes
    Culturally distinct behaviors ------- No -------Yes ----- Yes
    Ability to solve complex problems --- No -------Yes ----- Yes
    Willfully exhibit:
    kindness ---------------------------- No -------Yes ----- Yes
    deception --------------------------- No -------Yes ----- Yes
    grief ------------------------------- No -------Yes ----- Yes

    etcetera, etcetera.
    I too have studied fish (in my many fish tanks as a child).
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
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  7. Dr Mabuse Percipient Thaumaturgist Registered Senior Member

    so you all think 'creationism' is the best explanation?...

  8. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    "you all" who?
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Now where did that thread go?

    I'm looking around for it, but I could have sworn this story was covered in another topic not too long ago, and what we found when we looked into it was that the man was fired not for refusing to accept evolution, but for letting his belief interfere with his work. He was refusing to write a paper according to the scientific result because he didn't believe in the science (for theology, not any demonstrable fault of the science), and thus would not perform the duties of his job.

    Did that thread get sent to the Cesspool, or am I just imagining it?

    Anyway, I'll see what I can find. But, yes, Creationists like to pretend he was fired expressly for his beliefs.
  10. Bells Staff Member

    Moderator Note

    John, this applies to you in particular.

    This thread had originally meant to be about a study into why people do not believe in evolution, preferring instead to believe in creationism, and its bastard child, commonly referred to as intelligent design. In other words, this thread was meant to delve into the sociology behind evolutionary denial and its subsequent effects on society and education as a whole. However, the past few pages have shown that one member at least, (yes, this is where it applies to you, John) is unable to debate the issue, instead preferring to take it to a whole other level, attempting to disprove evolution. All your arguments have thus far been unsubstantiated and frankly, reaching the realm of the ridiculous.

    John, if you wish to disprove or deny evolution, there is a thread that deals with it directly in the Biology & Genetics forum. I strongly advise you to display your disbelief in evolution and abiogenesis in that particular forum. Trolling is not permitted John, so consider this your unofficial warning. You were previously warned by Fraggle to cease your trolling, and you ignored it. I would suggest you heed my warning, because I will take further action in this thread as necessary if you persist.

    I was tempted to simply go on a harsh clean-up of this particular thread and delete all off-topic posts. Having seen how other members attempted to keep it to topic and were side-tracked by John, and put so much effort in their attempts to educate him, I have decided to not go on a deleting frenzy, preferring instead to give a warning to any member who wishes to use this thread as a soapbox to prove creationism and intelligent design over evolution and vice versa. To those members who desperately attempted to do the right thing, I apologise for having allowed it to get to this point. I also commend you for not having taken it to a flame thread, as many of these threads have been known to go in that particular direction. If it continues, I will simply delete the posts and will ultimately end up having to close the thread entirely. So please, keep it to topic. I understand it is easy to take the discussion into the realm of evolution vs creationism/ID and some leeway is needed in that regard, but this thread has veered completely off-topic. If you wish to debate evolution vs creationism/ID, I'd suggest you take it to the appropriate forum.

    Thank you.
  11. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    John99, the difference between apes and humans is not critical to explaining how all life's variety originated. To a human, the difference is vast. If you look at their DNA, it's not so much. Relatively tiny changes in DNA can amount to substantial changes in the organism it makes. You should consider the remarkable fact that bacteria and human have so much in common, we exist using the same basic code.
  12. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    So, back on topic. One problem with this whole issue of believing in evolution is the use of the word "belief". This denigrates evolution to something like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the FSM, or some god that requires some level of faith. Do I believe in evolution? Absolutely not. Faith is not required. I know evolution is essentially true. It is a well-vetted scientific theory (i.e., it is not "just a theory") based on a plethora of scientific facts. Faith in evolution is however required for many because our schools do not do a good job of teaching the underpinnings of evolution. (Our schools do not do a good job of teaching, period). If it comes down to a matter of faith, religion will win. People, after all, do not want to spend eternity in hell because of some apostatical belief in evolution.

    I see two key sources in the rejection of evolution in the USA: anti-intellectualism and fanatical protestantism. Regarding the former, which are held in higher regard in the USA: members of the high school football team or the debate team? On a recent drive, I recently counted far fewer "I am a proud parent of an honor student at XYZ Elementary" bumper stickers than "My kid beat up your honor student" bumper stickers. We tolerate the intellectually gifted in this country, but we do not admire them. Instead, we call them "nerds" and "geeks".

    It is a bit paradoxical that the USA managed to become the scientific powerhouse of the world latter half of the 20th century. One explanation of this paradox is the flight of the German scientists and H2B visas. We didn't make our country a scientific powerhouse; foreigners did. Another explanation is that anti-intellectualism, while rampant, is not anywhere close universal. A sizable minority of us (roughly 39%, per the OP) do like science and encourage our kids to take it up as a pursuit. We are a big country; that sizable minority plus a bunch of foreigners overcame the anti-intellectual bent of the majority of this country to make us a scientific powerhouse.

    The key cause of rejection of evolution in the USA is of course fanatical protestantism. The Pilgrims didn't come to the USA to escape religious persecution so much as to create a society where extreme religious persecution was the norm. Massachusetts was originally a religious state akin to what exists today in Iran and remained so until 1833. (The First Amendment originally applied to the federal government only; it did not prevent the states themselves from establishing a state religion.) The fanaticism of the Pilgrims lives on to this day and is the key source of the rejection a large part of the body of science. Evolution simply happens to lie at the forefront of this wholesale rejection of logic and critical thinking.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This goes back to my complaint that science does not have a good vocabulary and rhetoric for explaining itself to laymen. It's almost like this is a guild and we're sworn not to share it with outsiders. And just to make sure we don't, the Elders haven't given us language the outsiders can understand.

    Of course we "believe" in evolution because the definition of "believe" is to "accept something as true." It's just not a very useful word in science because it doesn't explain why our belief in relativity or plate tectonics is qualitatively different from their belief in the Resurrection or Noah's flood. In order to clarify that, we have to launch into an exposition of the scientific method with its empirical observation, experimentation, testing, and all the other things that religious hypotheses lack.
    We don't even have a good word for this. "Theory" is a lousy word, since outside the Academy it implies conjecture; what they call a theory we call a hypothesis. We don't use the word "fact" the way they do either. To us a fact is something that is "true beyond a reasonable doubt," and I have to borrow the language of the law even to define it succinctly within the Academy. They use "true" and "fact" for conditions that we never encounter in science. Only in mathematics, which deals entirely with abstractions and reasoning, can something be "proven true": we know Lobachevskian geometry is true even if we never encounter a Lobachevskian space that it describes.

    Even "faith" means different things to us. To them, faith is based on hope. When they say they have faith that there is an afterlife, all they're saying is that they hope there is one, although you'll rarely get any of them to recognize that equivalency consciously. For us, faith is something we consciously confer on someone or something that has earned it. We have faith in theories that have been developed, tested and peer-reviewed in accordance with the scientific method. And that comes down to our faith in the scientific method itself, which is recursive. It has been tested and peer-reviewed by millions of scientists over hundreds of years and it has never been falsified.

    So when we say we "know" that the "theory" of evolution is "true," we're using the words in an entirely different way than laymen, especially religionists. We "know" something because, ultimately, we have "faith" in the scientific method, which has earned that faith rather than demanding it of us as a very unscientific sort of test.
    But to be fair, most people don't understand 99% of the things they believe, and that includes us--at least those of us who are not career scientists. In high school I read a long book in patient language explaining general relativity and for several years I could recreate the math, so I really know that relativity is "true." But I never acquired that kind of intimacy with organic chemistry or solid-state circuit theory. Nonetheless I know they are true because I have faith in the scientific method that yielded them.

    When we ask schoolchildren to believe in the autonomic nervous system, aerodynamics or evolution, we're asking all but the brightest of them to have faith in the scientific method. And since they haven't been taught that (even in my more enlightened high school fifty years ago we never even heard of the scientific method), we're really asking them to have faith in us, because we're the presumably trustworthy elders who do understand this stuff and we wouldn't lie to them.

    Considering how much they've been lied to already--by their parents about the alleged traumas of sex, by their government about the alleged nobility of war, by their police about the alleged dangers of drugs, by their corporations about the alleged superiority of one cola over another--is it any wonder that they're not sure whom to trust?

    At least the church tacitly admits that the faith it demands has no supporting evidence. That's a certain kind of honesty.
    Both really. Many oppressed people seek revenge against the universe since they'll never have it against their oppressors. So the way to achieve it is to become the oppressors. Revenge is a powerful force that comes from instinct and is difficult to overcome. We've been trying for twelve thousand years, since the Agricultural Revolution both allowed and required us to learn to live in harmony and cooperation with people outside the family. We've made great strides but we still haven't rejected it completely. Capital punishment is nothing but institutionalized revenge and we can't get rid of it because so many people insist on it.

    But I've always noted that religion--at least the Abrahamic variety--reinforces Homo sapiens's tribal instincts, and therefore causes the advance of civilization to stall out at the medieval level, with modest-sized nations containing homogeneous populations. Revenge is a primitive instinct and the Puritans came to the New World prepared to take revenge on the universe for their oppression. The Jews are doing the same thing, oppressing the Palestinians in revenge for a thousand years of antisemitism on another continent. The Muslims are taking revenge on America for the Crusades (which happened before America even existed), and the American president responds by taking revenge on Iraq for something his buddies the Saudis did.
    This came to a head at the Scopes Trial in 1925. This took place in Tennessee and we've always joked about the former Confederacy and a few of the border states being the "Bible Belt."

    Unfortunately American culture moves in enormous pendulum swings. The revolution of intellectualism, reason and science that swept the country outside of the Bible Belt in the postwar era was regarded by many as having gone too far, with its rejection of the wisdom of the elders, its situational ethics, its cheap reliable contraception, its situational ethics, and even its "pop" songs in 11/4 time with lyrics analyzing great literature. The counterrevolution began in the late 1970s, the "born again" revival. Now the Bible Belt has metastasized like a cancer over half the country, as the other half struggles to maintain civilization.
  14. John99 Banned Banned

    Well it was fun while it lasted. For some bizarre reason people take this stuff personally.
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    I know, it's like, so we're apes, so what? We should be proud of our ancestors.
  16. John99 Banned Banned

    Yeah. Dont we have a funny way of showing it? If you ask me we seem to treat things even better when we dont assume a close relationship. I am doing the Apes a favor.

    Like Planet of the Apes...'We cannot be related to those humans'

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  17. Gerti Banned Banned

    Neaderthal man and Lucy.

    It would seem that no one has read the ''vedas'' among these posted comments. The historic Indian texts that go back 5000 years or more.

    Your understanding of the origins of humankind is limited . There is a wealth of information Written in these books that give you a better understanding of where we've come from and where we're going. We have been mislead by socalled archaeologist and historians (procuring grants for there nonsense theories) about mans true nature and our origins.

    Please go and read the puranas. It mentions such things as the amount of species there are in the universe. The different higher and lower plannets. Why there are so many species of life? Why in this age of Kali (conflict, disharmony,Mechanical) there is so much emphasis on materialism?

    Kali yuga is the last of the four yugas, and is the most degraded of the yugas which lasts about 140,000 years. 5000 years have already past. As the yuga progresses in time us humans will evolve into forms that have been found by archaeologists, neanderthal man, lucy, etc. As there are cycles with the seasons of the year, there are bigger cycles of the ages or consciousness of man. Remember the earth is over 2 billion years old and these cycles have been going on since time immemorial.

    So in a nutshell , these human ape-like creatures are from past Kali yugas. The different species are from the progression of Kali yuga.

    Another wealth of information that will enlighten you is Micheal Cremo's book Forebidden Archaeology. He also has an on-line website(mcremo.com).

    Many thanks

  18. Dr Mabuse Percipient Thaumaturgist Registered Senior Member

  19. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    That's if you assume these texts are actually true.

    And Winnie The Pooh mentions talking teddy bears, heffalumps and North Pole-discovering expotitions led by small boys: should we also consider those and wonder why history doesn't credit them?

    And you dismiss those who have pointed how and why he's a crank because...?
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    For thinkers 5,000 years ago, that was a good guess, but science has progressed far beyond that.
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member


    Religion is by definition an extraordinary assertion, so the Rule of Laplace applies: Extraordinary evidence must immediately be provided, or no one is obliged to treat this assertion with respect. Myths and legends do not comprise even ordinary evidence, much less extraordinary evidence.


    Gerti has hereby been warned. If she repeats this assertion or attempts to move her argument forward, without responding to this refutation, in a place of science that qualifies as trolling and she can (and should) be banned.
  22. sly1 Heartless Registered Senior Member

    lmfao...1 post and already talks of banning WOWSA

    back on topic!

    Evolution is convienient!
  23. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    For whom and how?

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