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kathrynhr 03-11-2009 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mriff (Post 1316009)
Kathryn, I'm not sure what you do for a living, but I have to say that you have it wrong here. There is nothing tiny about the Theory of Evolution. As I've said, it underlies all of the life sciences. I'm not sure what else I can do to convince you of that, but I can certainly provide some sources.

I disagree. It is one piece, and a piece that gets more attention than it should for the reason that each side of the debate is unwilling to acknowledge the rightful existence of the other.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mriff (Post 1316009)
It's not about multiple points of view and 'teach both sides'. There are no two sides. The Theory of Evolution is the only theory of how forms evolve. There are no other theories.

Whether one believes that intelligent design is a proper theory or not, many people believe it is the truth. So, logic says that in order to engage them in any sort of meaningful debate, you must accept that they begin all reason on a certain foundation. Whether you believe the foundation to be faulty or not is of no consequence. To engage someone else you must meet them where they are. Remarks like "there are no other theories" are unhelpful and inflammatory except in like-minded company.

BTW, I am a software developer.

test54 03-11-2009 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathrynhr (Post 1315976)
I am equally opposed to suppressing either view. "Some people believe X, and others Y. Here's why... " is the best thing for our children to hear. Not only does it make them more tolerant of multiple points of view, but it gives them a chance to apply their own reason.

This is my view as well, however in reality I'm not sure how practical it is since the teachers are usually not going to be completely impartial. If so then I would think that the evidence of evolution would win out over the complete lack of evidence of creation. But I still think that ultimately the best education comes from being exposed to all viewpoints, no matter how crazy they may seem. But that can also lead to issues like what if Scientology grows and then must there be point in school where the kids must learn the theory of how Xenu seeded the earth with humans?

test54 03-11-2009 01:31 PM

fyi -
Branches of Science
Note: Not all branches are included.

Aerodynamics: the study of the motion of gas on objects and the forces created
Anatomy: the study of the structure and organization of living things
Anthropology: the study of human cultures both past and present
Archaeology: the study of the material remains of cultures
Astronomy: the study of celestial objects in the universe
Astrophysics: the study of the physics of the universe
Bacteriology: the study of bacteria in relation to disease
Biochemistry: the study of the organic chemistry of compounds and processes occurring in organisms
Biophysics: the application of theories and methods of the physical sciences to questions of biology
Biology: the science that studies living organisms
Botany: the scientific study of plant life
Chemical Engineering: the application of science, mathematics, and economics to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms
Chemistry: the science of matter and its interactions with energy and itself
Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
Computer Science: the systematic study of computing systems and computation
Ecology: the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment
Electronics: science and technology of electronic phenomena
Engineering: the practical application of science to commerce or industry
Entomology: the study of insects
Environmental Science: the science of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment
Forestry: the science of studying and managing forests and plantations, and related natural resources
Genetics: the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms
Geology: the science of the Earth, its structure, and history
Marine Biology: the study of animal and plant life within saltwater ecosystems
Mathematics: a science dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
Medicine: the science concerned with maintaining health and restoring it by treating disease
Meteorology: study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting
Microbiology: the study of microorganisms, including viruses, prokaryotes and simple eukaryotes
Mineralogy: the study of the chemistry, crystal structure, and physical (including optical) properties of minerals
Molecular Biology: the study of biology at a molecular level
Nuclear Physics: the branch of physics concerned with the nucleus of the atom
Neurology: the branch of medicine dealing with the nervous system and its disorders
Oceanography: study of the earth's oceans and their interlinked ecosystems and chemical and physical processes
Organic Chemistry: the branch of chemistry dedicated to the study of the structures, synthesis, and reactions of carbon-containing compounds
Ornithology: the study of birds
Paleontology: the study of life-forms existing in former geological time periods
Petrology: the geological and chemical study of rocks
Physics: the study of the behavior and properties of matter
Physiology: the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms
Radiology: the branch of medicine dealing with the applications of radiant energy, including x-rays and radioisotopes
Seismology: the study of earthquakes and the movement of waves through the Earth
Taxonomy: the science of classification of animals and plants
Thermodynamics: the physics of energy, heat, work, entropy and the spontaneity of processes
Zoology: the study of animals

I liked the list and thought it could be useful at this point of the conversations.

mriff 03-11-2009 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathrynhr (Post 1316050)
I disagree. It is one piece, and a piece that gets more attention than it should for the reason that each side of the debate is unwilling to acknowledge the rightful existence of the other.

Well, we will agree to disagree on this topic. I'm a biologist by training, so as you can see it is near and dear to my heart.

Quote:

Whether one believes that intelligent design is a proper theory or not, many people believe it is the truth. So, logic says that in order to engage them in any sort of meaningful debate, you must accept that they begin all reason on a certain foundation. Whether you believe the foundation to be faulty or not is of no consequence. To engage someone else you must meet them where they are. Remarks like "there are no other theories" are unhelpful and inflammatory except in like-minded company.
Remarks like 'there are no other theories' are absolutely correct. It is a true statment. Why should I not make it when it is so? There truly are no other theories that explain how forms evolve. And when I say theory, I'm talking about a Scientific Theory. Not how theory is stated in the dictionary.

Please don't take this personally. But it's amazing to me that people who are not formally trained in science, particularly the life sciences, think they can understand enough about evolution to even join the debate at all. Was that inflamatory? Probably. But I've read extensively on this topic and as you can tell, I have an opinion. :oops:

mriff 03-11-2009 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by test54 (Post 1316063)
fyi -
Branches of Science
Note: Not all branches are included.

Aerodynamics: the study of the motion of gas on objects and the forces created
Anatomy: the study of the structure and organization of living things
Anthropology: the study of human cultures both past and present
Archaeology: the study of the material remains of cultures
Astronomy: the study of celestial objects in the universe
Astrophysics: the study of the physics of the universe
[B]Bacteriology[/B]: the study of bacteria in relation to disease
Biochemistry: the study of the organic chemistry of compounds and processes occurring in organisms
Biophysics: the application of theories and methods of the physical sciences to questions of biology
Biology: the science that studies living organisms
Botany: the scientific study of plant life

Chemical Engineering: the application of science, mathematics, and economics to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms
Chemistry: the science of matter and its interactions with energy and itself
Climatology: the study of climates and investigations of its phenomena and causes
Computer Science: the systematic study of computing systems and computation
Ecology: the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment
Electronics: science and technology of electronic phenomena
Engineering: the practical application of science to commerce or industry
Entomology: the study of insects
Environmental Science: the science of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment
Forestry: the science of studying and managing forests and plantations, and related natural resources
Genetics: the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms
Geology: the science of the Earth, its structure, and history
Marine Biology: the study of animal and plant life within saltwater ecosystems

Mathematics: a science dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
Medicine: the science concerned with maintaining health and restoring it by treating disease
Meteorology: study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting
Microbiology: the study of microorganisms, including viruses, prokaryotes and simple eukaryotes
Mineralogy: the study of the chemistry, crystal structure, and physical (including optical) properties of minerals
Molecular Biology: the study of biology at a molecular level
Nuclear Physics: the branch of physics concerned with the nucleus of the atom
Neurology: the branch of medicine dealing with the nervous system and its disorders
Oceanography: study of the earth's oceans and their interlinked ecosystems and chemical and physical processes
Organic Chemistry: the branch of chemistry dedicated to the study of the structures, synthesis, and reactions of carbon-containing compounds
Ornithology: the study of birds
Paleontology: the study of life-forms existing in former geological time periods
Petrology: the geological and chemical study of rocks

Physics: the study of the behavior and properties of matter
Physiology: the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms
Radiology: the branch of medicine dealing with the applications of radiant energy, including x-rays and radioisotopes
Seismology: the study of earthquakes and the movement of waves through the Earth
Taxonomy: the science of classification of animals and plants
Thermodynamics: the physics of energy, heat, work, entropy and the spontaneity of processes
Zoology: the study of animals

I liked the list and thought it could be useful at this point of the conversations.

Interesting list test. Just for kicks, I went through and highlighted all branches of science in which the Theory of Evolution would have an impact.

mriff 03-11-2009 01:55 PM

If you want to read up on something that is very interesting, check out the HOX gene. Google it, buy a book on it, whatever. Sean Carroll studies these genes in his lab and their association to development in fruit flies. Here is just one snippet from the web:

These genes became known as 'Homeobox', or 'Hox' genes (derived from the term 'homeosis' , meaning the developmental transformation of a body segment). It was subsequently discovered that mammals possess four sets, or 'clusters', of Hox genes as opposed to the single set controlling development in the fruit fly. By studying these gene clusters in other species, it has become clear that their overriding mechanism, as well as their basic genetic codes, have been highly conserved across evolution and time, suggesting an early development in the history of life.

Or you can check out this YouTube video:

YouTube - Regulatin' Genes

kathrynhr 03-11-2009 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mriff (Post 1316074)
Please don't take this personally. But it's amazing to me that people who are not formally trained in science, particularly the life sciences, think they can understand enough about evolution to even join the debate at all. Was that inflamatory? Probably. But I've read extensively on this topic and as you can tell, I have an opinion. :oops:

Sir... you cannot simultaneously argue that science is pervasive and affects all of life, and then turn around and say with a straight face that people who are not formally trained in science shouldn't join in a scientific debate.

That's like me saying no one but a programmer should debate which BB OS versions are most superior, since they could not possibly understand the sort of code that goes into creating them or the real reason behind the bugs they encounter.

If everybody is affected by something, surely everyone's perspective is valuable? :smile:

mriff 03-11-2009 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathrynhr (Post 1316142)
Sir... you cannot simultaneously argue that science is pervasive and affects all of life, and then turn around and say with a straight face that people who are not formally trained in science shouldn't join in a scientific debate.

First of all, Sir was my dad. Name's mriff. :razz:

And no, I don't want anyone kept from the debate. I just want to see informed debate. And really, I can say that with a straight face. I don't debate whether or not my kids get a vaccine or whether or not they need to see a doctor. I trust what science has to offer.

Quote:

That's like me saying no one but a programmer should debate which BB OS versions are most superior, since they could not possibly understand the sort of code that goes into creating them or the real reason behind the bugs they encounter.
No way that I could debate you in any way shape or form on what is the best way to program anything. That is so far over my head it's not funny. I trust you as a programmer to know what to do.

Quote:

If everybody is affected by something, surely everyone's perspective is valuable? :smile:
Surely it is. Unless it is disingenious. Which is where we find ourselves in the creationism/evolution 'debate'. I'd be interested in your opinion on the post I made (#458) earlier. Several have read it and commented.

mriff 03-11-2009 02:27 PM

Here's some more food for thought for the crowd. Who do you think is most capable of designing a high school curriculum? Do you think that reading specialists should design the reading class curriculum? Do you think that math teachers should design the math curriculum? It seems to me that we would want people in the best position possible to have a large say in what is taught in each class.

If you agree that this is a good idea, then you will also agree that a person trained in science would be in the best position to design a good solid class curriculum.

If you think that this actually happens, you will be woefully surprised. It is not what happens in most school districts in this great country. Curriculums are designed be people who are untrained in the common diciplines for which they are greatly impacting.

Comments?

mriff 03-11-2009 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kathrynhr (Post 1316142)
Sir... you cannot simultaneously argue that science is pervasive and affects all of life, and then turn around and say with a straight face that people who are not formally trained in science shouldn't join in a scientific debate.

Thinking a little further about this comment, what is truly amazing to me is that as pervasive as science is, that most people take it for granted. You're right, it is pervasive. It's an extremely important area of study. Scientific discoveries have greatly advanced our quality of living. Yet, some in certain scientific fields are ridiculed for their chosen field of study. So yes, it is a bit more than a 'pipe smoke' debate. ;-)

kathrynhr 03-11-2009 02:41 PM

Regarding post #458:

I found the paper overtly one-sided, as most such papers are. For instance:

Quote:

Despite political and legal setbacks (Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, 2005), ID creationists continue their campaign to de-secularize public education and, ultimately, American culture and government, thereby undermining foundational elements of secular, constitutional democracy."
Dogs and cats, living together... mass hysteria!

People need to get a grip.

To me, though, this quote sums up what really unnerves the author:

Quote:

To advance their anti-science and anti-secularism agenda, ID creationists ... seek to use public schools "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies, to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God, and to see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life. (Discovery Institute, 1998).
If you believed that something was true, that's what you'd choose to teach to your children. The only thing about this situation that's alarming is that people seem to be alarmed -- yet again -- when human beings display normal human behavior.

This, however, is the real point:

Quote:

Although implementing the First Amendmentxxx8217;s guarantee of religious freedom has sometimes been difficult, public schools have been generally successful in providing an educational environment free of religious strife for 90% of American children, thus enabling them to concentrate on acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to economic and civic life (Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Doc. 623).
Indeed. In spite of the fact that the age of the world is in question, it does continue to turn. :-D

kathrynhr 03-11-2009 02:54 PM

Has anyone ever seen "The King and I"? (A broadway musical based on a true story.)

There's a wonderful scene where the King of Siam summons the heroine (Anna, an English schoolteacher) to his study in the middle of the night to speak to him. When she arrives, she sees him lying on the floor reading a Bible.

He sees that she's there, he starts their conversation by declaring that Moses was a fool. When the bewildered teacher questions him, the king replies:

"Here it stands written by him, that the world was created in six days. You know and I know, it took many ages to create world. I think he shall be a fool to have written so."

Anna replies,

"The Bible was not written by men of Science, but by men of faith. It was their way of explaining the miracle of creation... which is the same miracle whether it took one week or many centuries."

(The king then hmphs, and asks her to compose a letter to Abraham Lincoln asking if he would like any elephants to help him win his civil war.)

mriff 03-11-2009 02:56 PM

Quote:

Indeed. In spite of the fact that the age of the world is in question, it does continue to turn. :-D
Yep, it's your last statement that is at the very core of the debate. There are those that want to challenge the First Amendment by inserting their overtly religous leanings into the science classroom. If you don't believe that, then go check out anything written by the Discovery Institute. It's people like Don McElroy who are clearly trying to guide science teaching to areas that cannot be tested or confirmed. Some would say guide science teaching back 300 years. So the world continues to turn because there are those who believe strongly in a sound education, particularly in science, who work hard to keep sound science as the basis for training our students.

mriff 03-11-2009 03:14 PM

I mean put yourself in the position of a biologist. The evidence for evolution is so overwhemling that it is granted theory status. (I've posted a couple times just what scientific theory means.) Then say you have a guy like Don McElroy say with conviction that the earth and every living thing on it is no more than 10,000 years old. Then someone tells you that he will drive what gets put into your childrens science text book. If that doesn't burn you up, someting is wrong. I know it burns me up.

(The Young Earth Creationists are on par with The Flat Earth Society, IMHO)

JSanders 03-11-2009 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mriff (Post 1316074)
But it's amazing to me that people who are not formally trained in science, particularly the life sciences, think they can understand enough about evolution to even join the debate at all.

Ok, I will give you that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mriff (Post 1316247)
There are those that want to challenge the First Amendment by inserting their overtly religous leanings into the science classroom.

Then you give me this: You have no basis at all to speak of the First Amendment. How does that challenge the First Amendment? Remember now, you have very little basis on which to discuss this. You are not a historian nor a political scientist. I have been trained in both, as well as avocational interest in both subjects. It amazes me that people who are not formally trained in this history, particularly constitutional history, think they can understand enough about our Constitution and Bill of Rights to even join the debate at all.

Just food for thought.

mriff 03-11-2009 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JSanders (Post 1316337)
Ok, I will give you that.



Then you give me this: You have no basis at all to speak of the First Amendment. How does that challenge the First Amendment? Remember now, you have very little basis on which to discuss this. You are not a historian nor a political scientist. I have been trained in both, as well as avocational interest in both subjects. It amazes me that people who are not formally trained in this history, particularly constitutional history, think they can understand enough about our Constitution and Bill of Rights to even join the debate at all.

Just food for thought.

I didn't profess to be an expert on the first amendment. You are correct. I am neither an historian nor a political scientist. (Although I've read extensively on US history, particularly war history, so if you are a war buff, let's start another thead. That one could be a lot more fun than this one.) I was simply responding to something that Kathryn posted. She posted a quote, however, from someone I happen to agree with. It was from the Barbara Foster paper posted some time ago. I'm not sure if you ever read it though, since I can't recall if you posted your comments.

But I am certainly happy to know that you think that people who are not formally trained in science, particularly the life sciences, should even join the creation/evolution debate at all.

mriff 03-11-2009 06:18 PM

"Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science." --Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281

djm2 03-11-2009 06:21 PM

Good debate point JSanders.

Now this could degenerate into a discussion of what degree of training qualifies as "qualifying" one to discuss these matters as an expert vs. an interested observer -- that is the path that is potentially open.

I will be the first to say that by my standards I can only qualify as an interested observer. Do we have any PhD historians or political scientists, with a degree granted from an accredited university, who care to chime into this debate?

mriff 03-11-2009 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by djm2 (Post 1316534)
Good debate point JSanders.

Now this could degenerate into a discussion of what degree of training qualifies as "qualifying" one to discuss these matters as an expert vs. an interested observer -- that is the path that is potentially open.

I will be the first to say that by my standards I can only qualify as an interested observer. Do we have any PhD historians or political scientists, with a degree granted from an accredited university, who care to chime into this debate?

None here. My Ph.D. is not in history or political science.

ndub33 03-11-2009 06:38 PM

BA, Organizational and Mass Communications, Eastern Washington University.

Just wanted to say that this has evolved into a thought provoking and very interesting discussion.

(y)


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