Denial of Evolution V

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Hercules Rockefeller, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think it's matter of mere technical or political aspects, I think it's important that we distinguish this debate is about and is not about.

    Because if it's about "evolution", then this debate was over before it started. Evolution of species is fact, and is demonstrated countless times in countless circumstances every day.

    What is in contention is evolution by natural selection.

    By analogy, if some came on this forum with a thread called 'Denial of aerodynamic lift', it would be dead in the water. Aerodynamic lift happens - though there is some animated discussion about exactly what principles are involved.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
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  3. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    OK, my remarks were directed to the distinction between teaching evolution (the recent source of comments spurred by leopold's remarks) which cover politics, particularly the war between information and propaganda.
    I guess we're debating several things in tandem. (And we can add "topic" to the mix!

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    ). There is little or no debate among normal people (excluding actual scientific controversy). The bulk of controversy comes from the fundies. I wouldn't concede that in their minds evolution is a fact. There are still many who adamantly deny it, without necessarily even understanding what we mean by the term, or much less what natural selection is. I guess I'm having trouble understanding how any typical debate on the subject doesn't always boil down to fundie politics.
    Ok, if you say so. I certainly understand that, as do the majority of folks who post here. I'm not exactly sure if the fundies do.
    Ok. But you will still have denial from some sect that believes wings are lifted by angels, or God, that this idea you refer to is a conspiracy to undermine some church or tenet of their faith, that these are man-made concepts, all subordinated to the Creator, etc.

    I agree with you. I also think that all such debates could be sequestered to a thread that asks: why does superstition still thrive in the age of science and discovery?

    I think there was a recent thread that was offered to invite denial of natural selection. And I recognize that there are many half-superstitious, half-realistic people who might tend to argue against natural selection so that they can preserve their superstitions about a Supreme Commander of the Universe, coupled with the grassroots acceptance of evolution in conformity with evidence like the fossil record.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    leopold:

    What's the source of that statistic? I find this quite hard to believe.

    Well, assuming it is correct, there are a number of reasons. One might be the fear of coming under attack from fundamentalist religious nuts (including parents of some of the kids that the teachers are teaching). It's just easier not to get emboiled in the kinds of arguments that evolution raises in some of the bible-belt states.

    Another reason may be poor education of some biology teachers, but that would probably not account for a majority.
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    "sciencedaily" post 23 this thread.

    maybe they are aware of some "trade secrets" that aren't generally known.
    for example:
    i was under the impression we had scads of transitional fossils.
    the article from "science" seems to suggest otherwise.

    or maybe they are like i am, need to be slapped with the hard evidence before they make any judgments.

    like i mentioned before, it's unfortunate we do not have access to the raw data the stats were taken from.
     
  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    But of course!

    Most kids are heading back to school this month. Last week, my friend, a high school biology teacher in Mt. Vernon, Washington, got the inevitable: “So are you saying we’re related to monkeys?” To which she replied: “I’m saying you’re related to yeast.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guilty-planet/2011/09/18/back-to-school-teaching-evolution/


    Don't forget the best transitional evidence is DNA.

    Hard evidence, like this:
    http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2011/02/1_out_of_8_biology_teachers_reject_evolution.html

    Now that's quite a slap in the face!
     
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Right you are:
    http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2011/02/1_out_of_8_biology_teachers_reject_evolution.html

    13% are bucking.
     
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    leopold:

    You really think that after more than 100 years of argument about evolution there is still a Grand Scientific Conspiracy that hasn't been uncovered by your creationist friends?

    If so, they must be incompetent, given the amount of energy they put into trying to debunk evolution.

    Every fossil is a transitional fossil.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    in my opinion the articles from "sciencedaily" and "science" are about 1000 times more credible than something printed by the "washington post"

    you have to admit that fabricating evidence and passing that "evidence" onto the world isn't exactly unheard of in the field of evolution.
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Please give me an example or two of fabricated evidence, leopold.
     
  13. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Perhaps, but since you are incapable of understanding and interpreting those articles (as has been explained to you time and time and time again), your opinion in this matter has been demonstrated as worthless.


    The same can be said for numerous areas of human endeavour, both scientific and otherwise. So to point this out as a particular failing of evolutionary theory is merely another example of your disingenuous debating strategy. The scientific method ensures that, sooner or later (mostly sooner), fraud is identified and does not contribute to scientific theory. You and I both know it. We’re in the second decade of the 21st century – trying to use the Piltdown Man hoax as an argument against the validity of evolutionary theory is just downright sad.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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  15. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Hold on a minute: I was trying to track down the source you gave (post #23) and I noticed a corroborating story in the Washington Post. I didn't care about their credibility, just what they said. It's all the same original source. You could have provided it yourself if you were concerned about truth in reporting!

    Forget the rags. Here, let's go the original investigators' home base:

    . . .Berkman and Plutzer found that about 13 percent of biology teachers "explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light." Many of these teachers typically rejected the possibility that scientific methods can shed light on the origin of the species, and considered both evolution and creationism as belief systems that cannot be fully proven or discredited.

    Berkman and Plutzer dubbed the remaining teachers the "cautious 60 percent," who are neither strong advocates for evolutionary biology nor explicit endorsers of nonscientific alternatives. "Our data show that these teachers understandably want to avoid controversy," they said.

    The researchers found these teachers commonly use one or more of three strategies to avoid controversy. Some teach evolutionary biology as if it applies only to molecular biology, ignoring an opportunity to impart a rich understanding of the diversity of species and evidence that one species gives rise to others.

    Using a second strategy, some teachers rationalize the teaching of evolution by referring to high-stakes examinations. These teachers "tell students it does not matter if they really 'believe' in evolution, so long as they know it for the test," Berkman and Plutzer said.

    Finally, many teachers expose their students to all positions, scientific and otherwise, and let them make up their own minds. This is unfortunate, the researchers said, because "this approach tells students that well established concepts can be debated in the same way we debate personal opinions.

    Berkman and Plutzer conclude that "the cautious 60 percent fail to explain the nature of scientific inquiry, undermine the authority of established experts, and legitimize creationist arguments." As a result, "they may play a far more important role in hindering scientific literacy in the United States than the smaller number of explicit creationists."


    http://live.psu.edu/story/51023

    http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Creationism-Control-Americas-Classrooms/dp/0521148863

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencemag.org%2Fcontent%2F331%2F6016%2F404.summary&ei=dQieT7nvM4WW2AXUwLjeDg&usg=AFQjCNF0iMy91_vzNWqh7avSu2uBP6erSA

    Here you can get the data package, questionaires etc:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6016/404/suppl/DC1
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    leopold:

    Has it occurred to you that all those known fossil hoaxes failed? Why? Because they were uncovered as hoaxes - usually by scientific experts.

    But you're throwing the baby out with the bath water, anyway. To dismiss the whole of evolutionary theory because there have been a few hoaxers is like dismissing the existence of Elvis because there are a lot of Elvis impersonators. Don't mistake hoaxers for the real deal.
     
  17. darryl Banned Banned

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    What position does leopold take? Is he/she an old earth creationist, YEC, progressive creationist... theistic evolutionist? What? He/she does not come across as a religious creationist... I am not seeing any bible quotes... though I have only read some of their posts. Maybe this user should explain their problem/s with evolution.

    I find it odd that this user is to object against evolution on the fossil record... nothing is static in the fossil record... it has already been refuted that everything just came into existence at the same time, if that was the case then that is what fossils and geology would show us... but the opposite is what has happened... so the only type of creationism which *might* be possible is progressive creationism - which says there have been millions of acts of creation... billions even? But this as some have pointed out violates occam's razor and also doesn't quite hold up becuase we have observed natural speciation etc etc theres no need for divine influence, also if divine influence happened in the past and some God/being/alien/designer etc etc created species.. then why not now? Yet creationists they may claim there was divine influence in the past, but such an arguement would not be testable... and would belong in a metaphysical discussion... so in short I can't see how one can be a creationist though theistic evolution is still open on the table.
     
  18. Bells Staff Member

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    We do have the raw data and just because you refuse to acknowledge it because of a misrepresented sentence in Science, which the author later corrected does not mean it does not exist.
     
  19. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    i am merely pointing out the discrepancies i find and i am getting beat with a club for it.
    i've been banned because i pointed out that gould mentioned punctuated equilibrium for the gaps, the almost complete absence of transitional fossils, in the fossil record.
    i've been given infractions for pointing out that gould said the record is poor in this respect.
    smooth move hercules.

    i misrepresented nothing in this respect.
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    the original study was published in "science".
    that's the only source i will personally trust in this matter.
     
  21. darryl Banned Banned

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    So you accept common descent?
     
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Here's their article from Science.

    Here's the press release, the day before Science came out.

    The preceding is cited by the National Science Teachers Association

    Here is the archive containing the data. This is the cover sheet showing the test was funded by NSF and conducted by Penn State.

    Here is the actual questionnaire.

    Here is the raw data.

    I'm not sure if you understand that the original survey was conducted in 2007 at Penn State. If you don't trust the Penn State press release then why trust the survey itself?

    My cite is from the Penn State press release.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. Aerodynamics exists, and lift happens; it's what keeps planes in the air. There is a lot more to it, and there are still some areas that we are working on. But no one questions that lift is part of aerodynamics.

    Evolution exists, and natural selection happens; it's what drives evolution forward. There is a lot more to it, and there are still some areas that we are working on. But no one questions that natural selection is part of evolution.
     
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