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  Topic: Kris On Comments< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 93
Joined: Jan. 2011

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2011,05:17   

Quote (Alan Fox @ Jan. 21 2011,01:29)
You guys make science look real bad. No wonder so many people don't trust science.

Not sure about that, Kris. I think what makes science (or rather any particular theory) look bad is if it turns out not to be true when tested by experiment.

I got interested by chance in ID about 6 years ago and, since then, have been banned at all but one (ARN - which has adopted the alternative strategy of not permitting new registrations) of the ID sites that I am aware of that actually permit comments. It seemed to me that asking simple questions about ID or correcting misinformation about evolutionary theory were the usual reasons for a ban (though not the pretext, if mentioned at all).

ID's problem (as regards to science rather than politics or apologetics) in my view is simply that there is no coherent ID theory and being asked for details seems to be upsetting for ID proponents.

Solution; get a testable theory of ID, unless you know where to find one already.

Alan, I can't reasonably comment on why you were banned from those sites since I haven't seen what was said by you or anyone else. I have read some discussions on Uncommon Descent (UD), and have noticed that some of the ID proponents do argue fairly strongly at times but they're a LOT more decent about it than people typically are here, or on sites like Panda's Thumb and Pharyngula. I've also noticed that some of the ID proponents quote or cite scientific studies to support some of their claims.

I'm not an ID-ist or a creationist or religious, but the concept of ID or creation is somewhat intriguing. I don't usually put much thought into it and would enjoy and study nature just as much whether ID or creation were true or not. From what I've read about ID, especially on the UD site, I think I understand what they're getting at. If I do, I'd say the 'irreducible complexity' part is the most compelling. That doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with it or with any other part of the typical ID arguments, but I do find it interesting.

One of the problems with ID is that different people see it in different ways. Some people cram religion into it while others say religion isn't the basis for it and has nothing to do with it. Whether there's a 'testable' theory about ID or creation right now or not, I have an open mind about them. No one knows what's behind everything on Earth or in the universe. Science doesn't have all the answers and neither do religious people.

One of the problems with science is that it too is looked at in different ways by different people. There are lots of disagreements in science and people are just as likely to see what they want to see in science as others are in religious beliefs. There are zealots in both arenas.

It's not so much that ordinarily religious people are a problem for science. It's the zealots who are the problem. The ones who want to push their religious beliefs into everyone's mind and life. The same could be said about science zealots. They also want to push their beliefs into everyone's mind and life as though it were a complete replacement for religion. Most people don't take kindly to being forced and that's why sites like this one, Panda's Thumb, Pharyngula, and other religion bashing sites are likely doing more harm than good when it comes to getting people to follow and trust science and scientists.

Try to imagine what a young person would think if they came here or to one of the other sites I mentioned and read all the vitriol against religion. What impression would it give them about science and scientists? Would they come away with more knowledge about science and nature or would they see science and scientists as obsessed religion haters with a HUGE chip on their shoulders?

Also try to imagine a face to face meeting where one side is talking like many of the people here do. Insults, name calling, arrogance, attacks, etc. wouldn't go very far in convincing someone that science is a good thing or that scientists are nice people, and especially if that someone already has a belief system that is anything contrary to science.

Try ordering a smoker not to smoke. Try ordering a drug user not to use drugs. Try ordering a hooker to stop having sex for money. Try ordering a religious person to give up religion. Try ridiculing, insulting, and attacking them and see how well it works.

There has to be a more effective way. Just think if sites like this and the other religion bashing sites were strictly devoted to educating people about science and nature. It could be interesting and fun, with healthy, honest, informative discussions that make people want to come back to learn more.

Kids are the future. If anyone wants them to like and trust science, science and scientists are going to have to appeal to them in a way that attracts them. The same thing goes for attracting adults. Simply bashing religion or anyone who questions science isn't going to accomplish that. It's just going to push people away.

The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions. Plato

  249 replies since Jan. 20 2011,21:35 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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