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  Topic: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed., Sternberg, Gonzalez, Crocker - A film< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Glen Davidson

Posts: 1075
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,12:59   

Another monotonous drone insists that we accept science's guilt prior to presentation of any evidence:

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

October 6th, 2007 at 12:44 pm
Glen Davidson, I wonder why you’re protesting so furiously, without firsthand knowledge of this movie’s content?

I wonder why you’re coming up with false claims about what I’m doing. I’m responding to a whole lot of unfounded attacks, essentially ad hominem fallacies, upon science and its practitioners, and have never pretended to be addressing the movie.

It seems odd to me that you’ve elected yourself the only “truly enlightened” intellectual here.

It seems to me that you have nothing worthwhile to bring against what I’ve written, hence you are out to malign someone who has done what you cannot, actually discuss the issues raised at this blog in an intellectual manner.

Do you realize that you’ve already posted 6 times in this thread alone — and the movie doesn’t come out for another 4 months?

Do you realize that you haven’t actually addressed any of the substance of what I’ve written? Not surprising, because pro-ID folk have a knack for ignoring the need for evidence, substantive reasoning, etc.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the promo material for this movie suggests that it’s about “closed minds”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, its a rather simple fact that this particular blog entry is attacking and misrepresenting evolutionary ideas themselves, as well as bringing up a whole lot of canards about “persecution” without even a feint toward supplying any evidence that this is so.

— not so much a debate about the details of Creation — but a true disclosure of those too BIGOTED to consider any other possibilities, or deeper discussion.

Apparently your beef with me is that I don’t accept their completely unsupported assertions. You also seem to fail to recognize what I’ve in the main discussed, which was the lack of honesty in this blog, as well as how very wrong Ben Stein is to attack the Enlightenment. Especially since the Enlightenment-influenced societies were the ones who fought off Hitler and the rest of the largely anti-Enlightenment Nazis. I also bothered with the abysmal nonsense from “Prof” and the ad hominems of “Galactic” (supposing they are not the same person).

Is that the type of scientific discovery we should embrace?

Is your unquestioned belief in the veracity of these people anything I should embrace?

Should details that conflict with our belief system be hidden?

The details are hidden, should they in fact exist. I wouldn’t have thought that this vital fact would be missed by you, but apparently it was. Ruloff can present actual evidence for his claims, and I will be happy to consider it. These people haven’t done so, but apparently think we’re supposed to take it all on faith.

— even if empirical scientific data backs up someone’s claims?

Bring in the empirical data, why don’t you? That’s our complaint, that no one from your side ever does, least of all this blog.

Should those scientists be ridiculed or shunned for expanding our horizons to other possibilities?

They’ve been ridiculed for bypassing the processes that vet science and make it into a worthwhile endeavor. And we’re still waiting for any evidence in favor of ID, as I’ve mentioned.

Should the status quo be maintained — just to keep the money (grants,etc.) flowing into universities?

Should you drone on and on about a “conspiracy” for which you lack even a scintilla of evidence?

In case you haven’t come to grips with this reality, your knowledge of Darwinism is also a “belief system” — with preconceived biases,

Another mind-numbing repetitive talking point from someone who seems not even to recognize the need to back up his charges. The fact that IDists chant this illegitimate claim is no reason why we should adopt it.

that make the pieces fit (for you).

Gee, yes, that’s what theories are about, fitting the evidence together. I’d like to see ID do that, or for you whiners to come up with evidence for your conspiracy theory.

Your adamant opposition to Believers isn’t proving anything — in fact, you highlight quite well what this movie is about (e.g. you’re a bully).

The real bully just calls the guy who demans evidence a “bully”. Learn something about science, why don’t you, and quit insisting that you have the right to force your ideas into science without providing any kind of evidence in favor of it.

If someone knows deep in their heart that God exists, your pompous arguments are not going to make a difference.

Your bullying and name-calling isn’t going to do anything to persuade anyone with any intellectual honesty. Besides, if you were intellectually honest you wouldn’t imply that I’ve been arguing against God at all. It’s amazing just how lacking in honesty most (at least most who comment) on your side is.

Please wait for the movie.

Right, I’m supposed to wait for the movie, while Stein and the producers malign those on the science side without presenting any sort of evidence.

There’s plenty of time for mankind to solve this puzzle. For now, maybe we should just be talking about whether people are being open to honest, complete discussions?

Considering your lack of honesty, yes, I think that I’ve been aiming at the main issue, the lack of honesty on the part of ID and its proponents.

…or is “hatred” the new code word for “scientific knowledge”?

I guess that IDists like you think that hatred is a substitute for the scientific process and rational discussion.

Glen D

Another, to be split up:

<blockquote>Mr. Davidson—I find your comments disappointing.</blockquote>

I found your comments to be shrill, accusatory, and without substance.

<blockquote>I was hoping to have someone engage ideas with me in a thoughtful manner. I was trying to look at the way scientific knowledge is gained, the process by which it happens, not at any specific issue—</blockquote>

Then I think that you should have written your post in a thoughtful manner, and not with a lot of unwarranted accusations.

<blockquote>I’m sorry you didn’t quite catch that point and instead primarily went on a rant against pro-ID people (the pagans storming the gates)</blockquote>

It's a shame that you don't deal honestly with what I wrote, but instead have to set up a strawman instead.  I barely wrote about ID people, I addressed your points at post #54.

<blockquote>and wrote a passionate defense of evolution (as if it needed another one).</blockquote>

I did not write a passionate defense of evolution, I wrote about science and how evolutionary theory fits in with the normal acceptance procedures in science.  Rather than engaging with such substantive considerations, you simply accuse.

<blockquote>ID is just the current hot example by which to reflect on science as a field and epistemology. I never said I was pro-ID,</blockquote>

And I never said that you were pro-ID, so quit implying that I did.  Only in your imagination did I "rant" against ID, and it appears that you either could not or would not read what I wrote competently.

<blockquote>and in fact, I am not in the ID camp at all.</blockquote>

Non sequitur.  

<blockquote>My intention was not to challenge evolution or ID but to pose a wider challenge of a general depiction of science as evidenced by the language of the anti-ID posters.</blockquote>

Yes, and that is what I addressed, the lack of any meaningful knowledge about science and of the philosophy of science in your first post.

<blockquote>As someone who has spent my adult life as a scientist, I can hardly be seen as someone out to destroy it</blockquote>

Why not?  Behe's out to destroy it, in essence if not in intention.

<blockquote>—I’m sorry you only have 2 categories in your world: enemy and proselyte.</blockquote>

I'm sorry that you have only two ways of dealing with someone who engaged your claims with knowledge and intelligence, with accusation and with wholly untrue claims.

<blockquote>I can think of another arena where anyone who questions is the enemy and only those who uncritically accept the view of the faithful are accepted.</blockquote>

Apparently you're speaking of your world.  You haven't clue about myself, any more than you know how to discuss basic issues of science.

<blockquote>My previous post contained several controversial claims about how science operates, but they are not mine – they’re Kuhn’s.</blockquote>

Oh, I see, I'm supposed to believe you because you have adopted dogma from an authority.  No way I'm playing that game.

<blockquote>You are obviously familiar with his work, and have found it unconvincing.</blockquote>

Of course I find it unconvincing.  He's in an analytical tradition that I have never thought much of, nor do I find Popper to be very impressive.

<blockquote>If you have compelling rebuttals of Kuhn’s claims, please present them and stipulate whether they are your ideas or someone else’s so that I may read the original criticism.</blockquote>

The fact of the matter is that Kuhn wants us to suppose that "paradigms" can be, and are, irreducibly different from each other.  He writes:

<blockquote>I do, in short, really believe some--though by no means all--of the nonsense attributed to me.  The heavens of the Greeks were irreducibly different from ours.  The nature of the idfference is the same as that Taylor so brilliantly describes between the social practices of different cultures...  ...In neither can it be bridged by description in abrute data, behavioral category.

Thomas Kuhn.  <b>The Road Since Structure</b>.  Eds. James Conant & John Haugeland.  Chicago and London:  The University of Chicago Press, 2000.  p. 220</blockquote>

If one considers Aristarchus's heliocentric model, the Pythagorean cosmic model, and the sense that some ancients had that the sun is a burning fire (not true, but probably the best guess at the time), I fail to see the irreducible differences.  Copernicus appealed to Aristarchus as a predecessor, which almost certainly carried part of the weight of his argument.

Kuhn overemphasizes the breaks in science, too much ignoring the large amount of continuity in it.  Evolution builds upon artificial selection, genealogical knowledge, and especially upon the taxonomy of Linnaeus and later taxonomists.  General relativity and quantum mechanics both build upon Newtonian physics, and end up subsuming its claims into their own.

These are mostly my own arguments, though I they echo, or are echoed by, a physics teacher that I had who taught Kuhn and other philosophers of science.  He asked if I agreed with Kuhn, I said "No," and gave my reasons (continuity of methods, especially), and he concurred.  Others in the class were surprised, as they considered Kuhn to be the unquestioned voice of science philosophy as you seem to do.

<blockquote>Your comments are disturbing because they imply that the Philosophy of Science (as a field) trashed Kuhn’s ideas long ago, ran back and picked up the torch of the Enlightenment, and then proceeded as if 200+ years of thought never occurred.</blockquote>

No, you misunderstand that as much as anything.  Kuhn was only partly accepted by scientists.  Many scientists and philosophers disagreed with Kuhn, as one may see in the Kuhn quote above (he's there responding to claims that his ideas are nonsense).  He seems to have declined in popularity recently as well, at least in science and in philosophy.

<blockquote>If you’ve studied philosophy a “great deal,” then you should be warier about claiming mass agreement on such issues as Kuhn’s idiocy.</blockquote>

If you claim to be able to read and write well enough to be a scientist, you should not ascribe to me such dishonesties as the statement above.  I didn't write anything like that, and I suspect that even you know it.

<blockquote>My good friend and philosophy professor assures me there is no such universal agreement on that question.</blockquote>

Since that wasn't the question, so what?  Try to stay on topic, and actually respond to what I write instead of what you dream that I wrote.

What is more, I was not aware that the "dogma" to which you referred was Kuhn's terminology.  "Dogma" has an entirely different connotation in Kuhn's writing than it does in these discussions, and you terribly confuse the issues when you pretend that "dogma" means the same in this context as in Kuhn's writings, regardless of how much I disagree with Kuhn (he'd never confuse the terminology here like you did).

<blockquote>And I don’t think she would invite me to talk to her philosophy class about Kuhn’s critique of science if this were the case.</blockquote>

And I think that is totally irrelevant to the issues, which you continue not to discuss.

<blockquote>For the sake of this discussion and its ramifications for society as a whole, take off your combat helmet and try communicating with me instead if you have significant and thoughtful (and original) criticisms to contribute to this important discussion.</blockquote>

Sorry, your projection is the one to whom you are addressing those remarks.  I did not come in accusing people of exhibiting "breathtaking ignorance" like you did.  What you wanted to do was to trash a whole lot of people whom you don't know without any evidence, while proclaiming your superiority.

<blockquote>You will get no ad hominem attacks from me.</blockquote>

You began with ad hominem attacks.

<blockquote>I’m offering the chance to have a REAL discussion on this topic with a scientist who knows a little philosophy and cares a great deal about these issues.</blockquote>

It's certainly not easy to believe you after you've implied that I suggested that you're an IDist, when I never did any such thing, and that I "ranted" against IDists, when I barely even discussed them in my post (#54).  Then the implication that I had said that the field of science philosophy at large had concluded that Kuhn awas an idiot is another unwarranted ad hominem attack by implication.  I require far more honest responses than the one you've made here before I begin to treat them as anything but hostile polemicists.

<blockquote>I’m not interested in “he’s an idiot and I’m right b/c…” posts that merely attack the opposing side w/o engaging questions.</blockquote>

You're the one who didn't engage my arguments.  I responded to your claims, so I don't appreciate the false implication that I did otherwise.  Can you ever leave off the unfair and untrue attacks?

<blockquote>I (following Kuhn) never claimed that science does not use scientific methods.</blockquote>

I never said that you claimed that.  I pointed to the proper methods used in the adoption of Darwin's ideas, which you had denied.  Rather than engaging what I've written, however, you have done virtually nothing but attack strawmen of your own.

<blockquote>Rather, I question, as Kuhn did, what the nature of scientific methods is because my experience practicing science bears little resemblance to the naïve comparison-with-nature description that is invariably presented to the general public.</blockquote>

It's not a bad description of science for the general public.

I do mention philosophical issues often enough, and too often am accused of "writing long" or some other supposed sin.

<blockquote>To take just one example, why do I keep hearing from public defenders of science that falsifiability is a definitive boundary between science and non-science when it was shown long ago that, as such a definitive boundary, falsifiability fails and when my own experience as a scientist confirms that failure? </blockquote>

I mention falsifiability occasionally, but primarily as shorthand for issues that are far more complicated than that.  Most of the time when a hypothesis lacks falsifiability, it turns out not to be science in any normal sense of the term.  However, I prefer to bring up the need for evidence as the issue.  By the way, you sorely lack evidence for almost all of your attacks against me, for they are generally untrue.

Popper is the reason that "falsifiability" is such an issue in science today.  Peirce mentioned nearly the same thing, but he used several other criteria as well.  

<blockquote>Here’s another straightforward challenge for you, offered with the utmost sincerity. Kuhn claims in “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” that the fit of data to a theory (“its problem-solving ability”) is often not the main reason for its acceptance or dismissal and cites several examples, including the contest between the Brahe and Copernican astronomical systems,</blockquote>

I don't know all of the particulars, of course, but I can tackle at least this one to some degree.

First off, it wasn't really until later that the Keplerian model largely won out.  Brahe's model, since it did fit the data probably as well as the Copernican model did, was a contender until Kepler fit the data much better with his elliptical orbits.  No doubt the Copernican model had more followers up until then, but one could not really decide between Brahe and Kepler based upon the data alone.

Secondly, there was good reason to prefer the Copernican model, because it actually explained many of the most prominent "epicyclic" phenomena (while not doing away with them), while Brahe's model was descriptive, not explanatory.  Usually when we say that the data need to "fit the model", we really don't mean that merely mapping the data out is what matters, rather that it fits and explains the data.  Ptolemy and Brahe fit the data, but they didn't do much in the way of making explanatory models.  Science makes explanatory models, not just maps of the phenomena from our perspective, hence "fitting the data" is stated in the context of "explanation", not just "fit" as people like Kuhn and Feyerabend suggest.

<blockquote>the oxygen/phlogiston debate, the fact that Copernicus destroyed a time-honored explanation of terrestrial motion without replacing it, and the fact that Newton and Laviosier did the same for an older explanation of gravity and the common properties of metals, respectively. You claim to disagree with his argument and reject his examples. For our benefit, please show how all of Kuhn’s examples are mistaken. </blockquote>

No, I picked one, and the onus is on you to actually make your case, instead of changing the subject away from what I actually wrote (and dishonestly claiming that I didn't address your faulty claims).  I know the Gish Gallop when I see it, and an unfair demand that you haven't even come close to fulfilling yourself, and no, I don't fall for anything no matter how intellectually dishonest it is.

<blockquote>As for your supposition that my delay in responding was due to unwillingness to engage you rather than inability due to time constraints,</blockquote>

As for as your penchant to make up stuff and accuse me of saying it, it is getting very old.

I didn't in the least say that you were unwilling to respond.  Where do you come up with such unwarranted accusations?

What I wrote in response to "Galactic" might be what you're twisting into your little fantasy, but of course what I was saying there was that "Galactic" is you.  I wouldn't be surprised it was, either, though such identifications are almost always necessarily tentative.

<blockquote> you have committed a cardinal sin of the “religious” and, in the popular language of the day, have claimed to know something you don’t know.</blockquote>

Why can't you even keep your attacks straight?  I didn't write what you claimed, and it is not honest for you to say that I did, let alone to try to build conclusions on your false claim.

<blockquote>Hitchens and Harris would be very disappointed in you. </blockquote>

I have the feeling that Hitchens and Harris wouldn't come up with the sorts of untrue attacks that you have.  Not that I particularly care what they think, but I'm amazed at how readily you make false charges against me.

<blockquote>Are we going to try to understand how science really works or mulishly continue to insist that it operates like it does not.</blockquote>

It looks like you're so intent on insisting that science works as it does not that you'll write any manner of untrue things regarding my own contribution.

<blockquote>Unless someone can engage me at a more sophisticated level this is my last post on this site.</blockquote>

Apparently you can't engage me at all.  I went through a number of your claims, and all you did was to make untrue claims about what I had written.  

Why don't you try actually including what I've written in your responses, so that you don't make as many errors and false charges as you did in your recent post?  Frankly, I'm stunned at how many untrue things you could get into a relatively short post.  It must be very embarrassing for you not to be able even to competently restate <b>what I actually wrote</b>, let alone have any ability to address my scientific and philosophical points.

Glen D


Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

  3612 replies since Aug. 12 2007,07:23 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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