Most British scientists: Richard Dawkins' work misrepresents science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    You're welcome.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    The opinion piece there is pure rhetoric, and to quote it as some kind of actual argument speaks volumes. Even Dawkins would probably not stoop to that, but then maybe he would. I suspect but haven't checked, that Dawkins studiously avoids one-on-one debate with anyone of Peltzer's calibre. Instead choosing the froth and bubble lightweights strong on philosophizing, like William Lane Craig.
     
    danshawen likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    51,740
    There is no logical equivalency between naturalism and supernaturalism. The supernatural is not the default position if a natural mechanism can't currently be found. There is plenty of evidence of natural forces, all of science and technology is based on understanding them. There is zero evidence of anything supernatural. I don't even know how you would go about showing anything to be supernatural. So it's not as if, if you can prove a specific instance of a scientific theory not holding up, that it undermines the premise of materialism. So your whole argument is a straw man. Yes, there can be legitimate criticisms of certain mechanisms of certain hypotheses of abiogenesis. But abiogenesis is hardly a complete theory that Dawkins holds up as the cornerstone of his entire career. There are several plausible hypotheses about it, and if one is wrong, perhaps another is right. If the Miller-Urey experiment is not a complete picture, that is to be expected with small scale experiments. Science thrives under such doubt.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,633
    I don't think that early Buddhism was. While it has a concept of faith (sraddha), that just means having enough confidence in the path to motivate an individual to set out on it. The Buddha was clear that one doesn't really know until one has experienced for one's self. That's an extraordinarily empirical form of religion.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wheel008.html

    There are similar empirical tendencies in many religious traditions. One can read the scriptures, but one doesn't really know until one has actually experienced the Holy Spirit or whatever it is supposed to be.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoria

    (How the scientific use of the word 'theory' emerged from the preceding uses of the Greek word 'theoria' might make a good topic for a scholarly paper or even a dissertation subject.)

    A great deal of this seems to me to be based on a distorted idea of protestant Christianity (justification by faith alone) along with all kinds of implicit a-priori metaphysical and epistemological assumptions about what is and isn't knowable and what does and doesn't exist.

    In that regard, I suspect that even in science faith probably has a larger role than is typically acknowledged. The whole idea of there being natural laws that hold true universally seems to be an article of faith, a methodological postulate. It's difficult to see how that belief could ever be conclusively proven. Logic and mathematics raise problems as well. How do we recognize necessary logical connections if not by intuition? (The Platonic use of 'theoria', the hypothetical intellectual 'eye' that perceives the Forms.)

    Of course one can make the pragmatic argument that these kind of assumptions seem to work (at least so far), they allow us to build airplanes that don't fall out of the sky. But the same kinds of pragmatic arguments can be made for religion as well, as William James is famous for doing.

    No scientific evidence, arguably. (The yogin, the Buddhist monastic, or the Christian contemplative might say they have evidence of another sort.) Certainly natural science would seem to be in no position to investigate hypothetical beings that aren't parts of the natural universe. It's even questionable whether science is in a position to investigate abstract and seemingly non-physical things like numbers and mathematical structures, despite its dependence on them in its theories.

    I guess that the biggest thing that annoys me about Dawkins is that these kind of issues raise deep and difficult epistemological and metaphysical issues. Dawkins doesn't seem to have much feeling for those subjects but yet he poses to the lay public as an authority in them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,633
    The cosmological fine-tuning arguments might be objective evidence. (I'm exceedingly skeptical about that, but people do make that argument.)
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,298
    Yes they do, but I don't buy that argument either. The fact that (say) the probability of being struck by lightning is very very low does not mean that nobody is struck by lightning. The universal constants all have to have some value, so the fact that they have a particular value is not ipso facto impossible, or so it seems to me.
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    51,740
    Buddha's experience wasn't a religion until he sat down and codified it into one. I don't consider an experiment in meditation to be religion. Like science, there is still the possibility to reject it entirely.
    That's a point in my favor. There's no way to investigate them with any kind of reliable method, so there is no good reason to believe it.
    False.
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    I totally agree......
    Check out some of his rather peculiar answers here.......
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/kansas/kangaroo3.html
     
    danshawen likes this.
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    I certainly believe the article and the paper were over critical of Dawkins and and I believe the first quote by iceaura, illustrates that position.
    I certainly do not go along with exchemist's and the article's view that he does a disservice to science, and simply see his rather abrasive style as not winning over as many friends and influencing as many people as Carl Sagan would imo win over.
    He speaks factually, and is certainly as far as I can see, not in error, and again, is saying the same thing as Carl in a different tone.
    In other words in my opinion, Dawkins could be perceived to offend a religious person, far more than Carl could be seen doing.

    And speaking quickly again on Abiogenisis, doesn't the Christian bible say somewhere "remember man that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return" Is that not support for Abiogenesis?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Duh? Science is based on logic and evidence. Religion is based on fairytales and wishful thinking. How much more antithetical can two views of the universe be?
     
  14. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Let's see who really is offering the straw-man argument. "There are several plausible hypotheses about it,..." Really? OK, so link to a good article setting out the one you think is the most robust. I will state right here and now, your pet hypothesis, whatever it is, will have no chance surviving the Peltzer hurdles course.
    That 'supernatural (a placeholder word) = magic' in the minds of materialists is an unfortunate psychological impediment. Blocking the entirely rational option of admitting some unseen intelligence at work, given the total implausibility of a purely naturalistic explanation for abiogenesis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

    Intelligent design (ID) is the pseudoscientific view[1][2][3] that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[4]Educators, philosophers, and the scientific community have demonstrated that ID is a religious argument, a form of creationismwhich lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses.[5][6][7]Proponents argue that it is "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins" that challenges the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science,[8][9]while conceding that they have yet to produce a scientific theory.[10]The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank based in the United States.[n 1]Although they state that ID is not creationism and deliberately avoid assigning a personality to the designer, many of these proponents express belief that the designer is the Christian deity.

    Detailed scientific examination has rebutted the claims that evolutionary explanations are inadequate, and this premise of intelligent design—that evidence against evolution constitutes evidence for design—has been criticized as a false dichotomy.
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    As per argued by both Professor Richard Dawkins and Professor Carl Sagan.
     
  16. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Funny coincidence. I just got a begging email from Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia Founder. Reminding me of my former financial contribution(s) to help keep Wikipedia afloat. And naturally asking for more. It's totally biased articles like the one you just linked to (and of course felt the need to quote a large chunk from and reproduce here) that remind me why I've always had mixed feelings about supporting it.
     
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Biased articles? Well they do differ I suppose from your own thoughts.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    And of course, I'm sure you have used WIKI many times.
    In essence the article is pretty factual. ID raises to many never ending questions, and of course it is taking a short cut instead of the scientific method.
    And scientifically speaking, Abiogenisis is the only scientific option open, even though hard evidence has not yet been found. Whether that abiogenisis occured Earth or given a helping hand via Panspermia, the fact remains that universal abiogenisis, is the only answer.

    And again, doesn't the Christian bible say somewhere "remember man that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return" Is that not support for Abiogenesis?

    Bingo!!! And irrespective who you find the most convincing, both Dawkins and Sagan both say that.
     
  18. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Translation: raises too many embarrassing shortcomings - fatal ones - in a fragmented mishmash of hypotheses that materialists have been forced to resort to.
    Nonsense. Outright excluding ID as an option, given the fatal flaws in all existing materialist notions for abiogenesis, is ideologically fueled irrationality.
    Only by demanding, as a matter of dogma, that the material world is all that is or can be.
    As an ex-Christian who long ago wised up to the many inconsistencies in that so-called Sacred Scripture, what makes you think I should give a hoot for that quote?
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Not at all.....Nothing embarrassing about asking who designed the designer...In fact just plain old common sense.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    No, not really...as I explained, any ID is unscientific due to the reason already mentioned. Abiogensis obviously occurred...we are here afterall.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The material world/universe, is all we have evidence for.
    Any ID fairy tale is just that...a short cut due to faith and gullibility and the old "god of the gaps" nonsense.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Whether you give a hoot or otherwise is neither here nor there.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    It's a quote from the bible!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins although quite different styles, are putting it as it factually is, according to present observations and data.
    Far removed from the Peltzer character who obviously has an agenda, evidenced by his flawed summary.
     
  20. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Smarter cosmologists realize that conundrum is no worse than explaining a self-creating cosmos. Or an eternal one. Always an ultimate barrier to further explanation is faced. Some are blissfully ignorant of the various issues. Lucky them.
    That tautology satisfies you? Fine I suppose. As long as you don't berate others for not singing along to that tune.
    Easy to find you out there. Answer the challenge I raised in #41. Of course that won't happen. Detailed knowledge is needed for that.
    Making it hypocritical to quote in the first place, given you are an atheist!
    Your opinion. Nothing more. Both Sagan and Dawkins clearly had/have atheist evangelizing agendas, one style just softer than the other.
     
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Sing to whatever tune that makes you happy, but I see the fact that while I'm simply aligning with the scientific method, you appear to be promoting a loonie, as he has been categorised.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I've seen many challenges by you directed at others when a certain stalemate or position is reached.
    Like I said, this issue is simply the fact that the only scientific position that can be taken is abiogenisis. I'll stick with that for the reasons stated.
    Two things there....one many Atheists quote passages from the bible, simply to illustrate a point, secondly, I aint an Atheist, and have never claimed to be.
    I simply align with the scientific position, particularly in the face of god botherers and creationists, that for whatever reason, see the opportunity to berate and/or deride science.
    My opposition to such antics is justified.

    Sure, my opinion, just as you have yours......but a correction on your point re Sagan and Dawkins...while we all have agendas, Sagan and Dawkins agenda is simply the promotion of science, as with all modesty, so is mine.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    It's the Peltzer character with the questionable agenda, due to the fact that science is pushing ever so surely, any need for any deity into oblivion, and will continue to do so.
    But anyway, this is off topic, and we must agree to disagree, so tell me, what do you think of the comparison with Sagan and Dawkins?

    Have you anything to offer on Dawkins or Sagan?
    Do you agree that Sagan is among the greatest educators of our time?
    Do you see Dawkins as abrasive?
    Do you see that abrasive style as detrimental to winning friends and influencing people as opposed to Sagan?
    Did you see Sagan's Cosmos Series?
    What do you think of his incredible thought provoking narrative on the pale blue dot?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  22. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,497
    Huh??!! I won't go trawling for choice quotes, but...you could have fooled me on that one! So what do you label yourself, just to clear that up?
    Nothing more than already stated.
     
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Go ahead, and I don't label myself anything, other than interested in science, and the scientific method..

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    OK.
     

Share This Page