Evolution is only a theory!!!!!
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  1. #1
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    Evolution is only a theory!!!!!

    OK, I guess I got your attention-and if i have, I guess you all know that this is the battle cry of all those "creationist" troglodytes, who don't seem to grasp the difference between a scientific "theorem" and the sort of hare-brained "theories" that people trash-talk with every day. But I digress.....

    Since the most famous equation of Pythagorus is only a theory (the infamous Pythagorean theorem concerning right triangles-A^2 + B^2 = C^2), I propose that we should all start challenging the validity of this theory at school board meetings, and should demand an alternate "faith based" choice for those who wish to not believe. I'm proposing that instead of using trigonometry, which is corrupt because it assumes this theory to be fact, that instead we start teaching our kids that the only "correct" way to measure angles and lengths is by direct measurement. Perhaps we can also protest at meetings of mathematicians, surveyors, or anybody else who uses this unholy science of trigonometry. We must fight the influence of this unfounded Greek ideas that has been forced on us by "activist math teachers"! Unite!!!!
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  2. #2
    AJS
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    Well it's really worse than that - weren't the Greeks actually (gulp!) idol-worshipping pagans? Clearly their ideas were all inspired by...Satan!
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    Last edited by AJS; 11-29-2004 at 07:40 PM.

  3. #3
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    isn't there a proof out there for the Pythagorus theorem?
    it was a long time ago that i learned it and don't remember...
    if it hasn't been proved how can it be used at all?

  4. #4
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    The Greeks also had other "funny" ideas.

    Don't forget that they also believed that the only true love could be between two men. Because this is in direct contravention of the interpretations of the bible this automatically throws out anything they may have believed.
    Just because you won't listen to reason does not mean I have to listen to idiocy.

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  5. #5
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    I think the creationists sometimes bring up some good counter points for evolution, but they tend to recycle the arguments long after they have been refuted. The worst part is when they try to cast their agenda in the light of presenting an alternate theory. I suppose we could find some lingering questions about gravity, but that doesn't mean we don't teach it.

  6. #6

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    Both are theory. Both must be accepted by faith. Neither is demonstrable in a lab.
    IMO, both are religion.
    What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Gran
    I think the creationists sometimes bring up some good counter points for evolution...
    Really? I can't say that I've ever seen one that actually gave me pause to think. They typically are downright silly or often contain deliberate misrepresentations or at least misinformed statements of the "evolution" position which the creationists then "refute", followed by the non sequitor that therefore "evolution" is wrong. As if one little fact (which typically is not even true) could counter the gigantic mound of facts supporting evolution by natural selection. As far as I can tell the ID or creationist arguement ALWAYS comes down to "it's so complicated, how could evolution account for it, therefore it must be God (or whatever)".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by banjoboy
    Both are theory. Both must be accepted by faith. Neither is demonstrable in a lab.
    IMO, both are religion.
    You don't understand how science works, nor does something have to be demonstrable in a lab to be considered science (which is besides the point, as many predictions from evolutionary theory can readily be demonstrated in a lab, I believe even speciation has been observed in the lab). Evolution by natural selection (like plate tectonics in geology) is a continuous phenomenon that if true should leave both historical evidence and current evidence in living species, and it has and does. Currently there is not even a viable alternative to evolution by natural selection because it does such a good job of explaining the facts as we know them. Seeing as the basic tenets of the theory were laid out before the modern sciences of genetics and molecular biology were even known, and it has stood the test of these new fields, plus all the new fossil and geological data, it is exceedingly unlikely that Darwin didn't get it right.

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    Main Entry: the·o·ry
    Pronunciation: 'thE-&-rE, 'thi(-&)r-E
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
    Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theOria, from theOrein
    1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
    2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION
    3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art
    4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory
    5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
    6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject
    synonym see HYPOTHESIS

    There are several meanings to the word,and I don't think everyone is using the same meaning.

  10. #10
    53T
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    Here, here

    Quote Originally Posted by banjoboy
    Both are theory. Both must be accepted by faith. Neither is demonstrable in a lab.
    IMO, both are religion.
    I agree, both are religion. I, of course, do not accept either, as I have no faith.

    I do find evolution to be a very provocative theory. In addressing modern social problems, I am often struck by how quickly evolution and natural selection are thrown out the window in favor of what I call the "equal potential" model. This model is often applied to job training, elementary education and often higher education. It suggests that all people have the equal potential to acheive in society, if given the proper resources, by family or by government.

    I often find more satisfying solutions is natural selection. For example, Indian children in the northeast often do well in school. Are all Indians very smart? Do all Indian parents "take and interest in education". Nobody ever asks, "was there a significant selection that occured to skew the inate potential of the popultaion in question?" I ask this all the time. In the case of Indians, I have found that that from a vast pool of Indians (what, about a Billion?) only a small set emmigrate to the US. A cursary examination of that set reveals that they are largely drawn from the highest socio-economic division in India.

    Some observers argue that these well-off parents provide the proper resources for education to their children, hence high performance. I argue that the high acheivment of the parents was due to higher intrinsic potential of the parents, who passed this trait on to their children. While this occurs largely unnoticed in many populations, emigration in the Indian case is a very selective filter that magnifies the natural selection process and allows us to study the effects. A large international laboratory, if you will.

    The American experience is full of such case studies. Look back at who came here and why, and see if you can spot the genetic effect on the corresponding american sub-population. The Irish came here looking for work and potential for leadership, both things that they were denied in Ireland in 1850-1950. Do Irish-Americans show a propensity for work and holding elected office in American cities? Irish immigration in the 21st century is driven by other factors. Do the recent immigrants and their offspring show different aptitudes? Africans came here in the 16th and 17th centuries with no motivation at all, as they were forced to come as captured slaves. Did African-Americans show a propensity for separation in the 19th and 20th centuries?

    Imigration from certain countries has been driven by the differential in social handouts (welfare) between the county of origin and the US. Do the offspring of these groups show a propensity for reliance on welfare programs?

    Long Island has long been identified as a cancer hot-spot. Someobservers continue to search for an environmental reason. Nobody seems to be looking at the genetics. The popultaion growth on Long Island occurred in a short time period in the mid-20th century, and drew from a largely homogeneous population of white New-Yorkers. Has anyone compared the coresponding cancer rates between today's Long Islander's and the off-island decendants of the Islander's ancestors?

    In my town there are four elementary schools. They all score well on state-wide tests, but two score higher than the other two, even controlled for race. The two lowest scoring schools have apartment complexes in thier districts. Do the aprtment renters provide less resources to their children? Or have they passed on the gene-set that predisposes a person to lower socio-economic performance, and it has manifested itself in lower test scores?

    In summary, evolution is a great theory. I wish it were applied more often in solving some of our pressing social problems.

  11. #11

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    If you think that evolution is bunk and God created man, keep this in mind:

    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS

    End of debate.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53T
    I agree, both are religion. I, of course, do not accept either, as I have no faith.

    [Snip]

    In my town there are four elementary schools. They all score well on state-wide tests, but two score higher than the other two, even controlled for race. The two lowest scoring schools have apartment complexes in thier districts. Do the aprtment renters provide less resources to their children? Or have they passed on the gene-set that predisposes a person to lower socio-economic performance, and it has manifested itself in lower test scores?

    In summary, evolution is a great theory. I wish it were applied more often in solving some of our pressing social problems.

    I think you are attempting to assign a genetic cause to issues which have little if any genetic component. There is no "good in school gene", but there a number of non-genetic factors which affect scholastic performance, especially standardized testing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougSloan
    Main Entry: the?o?ry



    There are several meanings to the word,and I don't think everyone is using the same meaning.
    Unfortunately you are correct. Despite the fact that the scientific method and the scientific meaning of the word theory are addressed in chapter one of every middle to high school science textbook, creationists use the colloquial meaning as a cornerstone of their arguement.

    A valid scientific theory must make predictions which when tested prove true, otherwise the theory must be modified or discarded. Evolution predicts that we should find fossils of extinct species, and we do. It predicts that we should see changes in allelic frequencies in response to outside pressures and we do. Darwin's original theory has been modified as the mechanics of inheritance were discovered (rediscovered). Biblical literalism makes predictions which do not hold true, while intellegent design does not make testable predictions (at least in any enumeration I have seen) and as such does not meet the prima faca demands of a scientific theory. (I thought I should throw in a little legal-esque language for you Doug)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tri_Rich
    I think you are attempting to assign a genetic cause to issues which have little if any genetic component. There is no "good in school gene", but there a number of non-genetic factors which affect scholastic performance, especially standardized testing.
    This was the classic fallacy of "social Darwinism", ascribing all differences between people or groups to genetics. Surely genetics matter, but trying to tease that out from "nuture" components is problematic and largely pointless.

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    end of debate?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Fast2Furryious
    If you think that evolution is bunk and God created man, keep this in mind:

    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS
    FOSSILS

    End of debate.
    Arguendo, what if God created the fossils?

    No argument can end a debate when discussing theology.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougSloan
    Arguendo, what if God created the fossils?

    No argument can end a debate when discussing theology.
    Hence the reason that you can't argue science vs religion. Deists can always give their god some supernatural power to explain why something is the way it is.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by banjoboy
    Both are theory. Both must be accepted by faith. Neither is demonstrable in a lab.
    IMO, both are religion.
    By that logic, we should also teach wicca, bhudism and any other belief in school. There are many versions of creation out there. No, that is not the way to do things.

    Rather than call evolution a matter of faith, we should test the scientific validity of creationist arguments. If there is scientific evidence for creation, we should teach it. Note that scientific evidence goes beyond just raising questions about evolution, which is much of what I've seen among young earthers. It means that creationists have identified a model of the universe that not only explains phenomena, but also predicts it.

    As for evolution being a matter of faith, I think that is stretching things a bit. There are all sorts of issues in physics that we can observe but not reproduce at will. Take quantum particles, which can appear in two places at one time. We can't predict the precise nature of this, but it is observed enough that the phenomenon isn't disputed. Evolution is rather like this, because from the simple observations of Darwin to fascinating affirmation in the genetic record, the signs of evolution abound. Sure, it can't be reproduced in a lab, but neither can plate tectonics or a good number of other solid theories.

  18. #18
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    I've seen pictures of the classic rock layers of sediment, formed over millions of years, with a fossilized tree standing perpendicular to the layers. That one has stumped me for a while. I can't give the next argument justice, but there are several claims about the abundance of certain radioactive elements that should have dissipated millions of years ago, but are in relative abundance. Also, the distance between the earth and moon, given present rates of attraction, would imply that the two bodies have been around for less than 10,000 years.

    These arguments all focus on the key ingredient of evolution: time. While there are many indicators of an old earth, there are a few oddities that give me pause. Some young earth arguments are entirely bunk though.

  19. #19
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    Actually, I find the fossil record to be the least validating argument for the following reason:

    Fossilization is extremely rare, and not all life forms are prone to wondering into a tar pit. To a critic of evolution, the fossil record is a timeline with many large gaps. They demand to see the missing link.

    However, when you do have a good set of data with continuous changes, the creationist doesn't see different species. Therefore, you are damned either way with the fossil record.

    I tend to use genetics as an argument for evolution.

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    "Provocative theory."

    Just not provocative enough for you to pursue the most basic understanding of where it is applicable, and where its application is just plain idiotic.

  21. #21
    53T
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    Thanks for making my point!

    Czar, Tri-Rich and Dwayne have all demonstrated the left running full speed away from evolution whenever it hints at genetic differences between sub-groups that may contribute to the survival of the bloodline. And, yes, I do understand evolution. Perhaps you all should reexamine your commitment to the theory.

    Social Darwinism is a pejoritive term that was applied to "theories" that attempted to apply the mutation/pressure/survival/extinction model to humans that lived in the period from about 50,000 years ago to the present.

    I have news from you, evolution has not stopped, just because we have liberal thinkers around. We as a species are constantly faced with environmental pressures that draw out the genetic differences between us. Some individuals will thrive, and their progeny will be more numerous. Remember, it was a series of of mutations concerning intelligence and social behavior that caused the rise of the humans over the other mammals. It was not just our downward pointing nostrils, or well-developed big toes.

    As Dwayne says,
    "This was the classic fallacy of "social Darwinism", ascribing all differences between people or groups to genetics. Surely genetics matter, but trying to tease that out from "nuture" components is problematic and largely pointless."

    If one were to ascribe all social differences to genetics, it would be a fallacy. But to use that as the basis for discounting all genetic factors, is arguing against a straw man. As you say, genetics matter to some degree, but why do you say it is pointless to separate the genetics from the environment? Because it is difficult? Because it is embarassing? Because it is not politically correct? Certainly a more thorough understanding of the root causes of poverty could help us solve the problem.

    Tri_Rich says,
    "I think you are attempting to assign a genetic cause to issues which have little if any genetic component. There is no "good in school gene", but there a number of non-genetic factors which affect scholastic performance, especially standardized testing."

    I find the idea that there is absolutly no genetic component to school performance and test perfromance to be absurd on its face. Of course there are non-genetic factors, and very important ones, but you have no basis to rule out a genetic component to "good in school".

    Czar chimes in with,
    "Just not provocative enough for you to pursue the most basic understanding of where it is applicable, and where its application is just plain idiotic."

    Where it is applicable is exactly my point. I dare say, that where genetics is applicable may be one of the root differences between the left and the right in this country. I am in fact persuing an understanding of the application of genetics, right here. You see, I do not get to interact with many liberals in my day-to-day routine (I work for a living) and I find this board to be full of very intelligent, left leaning (to the point of falling over) commentators.

  22. #22
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    uh have you been paying attention?

    [QUOTE=53T]Czar, Tri-Rich and Dwayne have all demonstrated the left running full speed away from evolution whenever it hints at genetic differences between sub-groups that may contribute to the survival of the bloodline. And, yes, I do understand evolution. Perhaps you all should reexamine your commitment to the theory.

    Tri-Rich and Dwayne are CONS (not the left), just not in the "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" type

    Social Darwinism is a functional theory when applied to society in the same method as the Final Solution. When people of advantage (read: Wealth, Power) stack odds (Read: Health, Education) use it to explain they are somehow more evolved or better suited for survival is the same as killing off non-pures to further your race. Sure it creates 'natural selection' in favor of your bloodline' in the samer manner as an Alpha Male Primate killing the New females, spawned by previous clan leader, offspring. So yes the theory can be applied, but see we're human and from either a secular or sacred POV we're supposed to elevate ourselves above our fellow animalia. That is the function of society, and if you want to put it down to strict animal terms than you should also then have no trouble with somebody coming to your house, shooting you and your kids, taking your wealth and raping (impregnating) your wife. After all that would be "preserving his bloodline'. So let's get to the looting and killing.
    Last edited by atpjunkie; 11-30-2004 at 02:46 PM. Reason: need to addendum

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    Social Darwinism was never more than a specious attempt to rationalize class and racial inequalities that have always been the product of conciously adopted greed and injustice.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with "embarassing".

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    and the "I work for a living"

    is as lame an ad hom as can be imagined. Or do you believe all "lefties" are unemployed agitators, welfare bums, ivory tower intellectual etc....
    statistically (Red vs Blue) there are more working Libs supporting more Cons than vice versa

  25. #25
    AJS
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by 53T
    ...You see, I do not get to interact with many liberals in my day-to-day routine (I work for a living) and I find this board to be full of very intelligent, left leaning (to the point of falling over) commentators.
    I've been following this thread because it's been interesting to read the various arguments that have been raised. However, it is quite revealing that we can't seem to have a reasoned debate around here without someone resorting to some back-handed insult to their fellow debaters, which in turn provokes justifiably angry responses from others.

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