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



Posts: 114
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,09:47   

Quote

pzoot Posted: April 05 2008,09:23  

You can't make this up.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=Plagermation

"Did you mean: Plagiarization"


I think Kevin was trying to make a funny. But, alas, the question goes unanswered. Furthermore, I second, again, oldmanintheskydidit's request to show us what other evidence has been suppressed by academia. Seriously, we should know this. Please inform us. Right now, I am unaware of any data collected that put into doubt evolution's power to explain the diversity of creatures on our planet.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10762
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,09:57   



--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
wheatdogg



Posts: 8
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,12:31   

I've been posting a detailed analysis of the Leader's Guide for Expelled on my blog. I'd welcome comments and criticism. I've divided it into parts: 5 so far.
Visit www.wheatdogg.com.

Thanks!

  
Jason Spaceman



Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,13:24   

A review of Expelled here claims:

Quote
Executive Producer Walt Ruloff said scientists also told them that federal health and science institutions and universities have instructed them to stop conducting publicly funded genomic, microbiological and other research into intelligent design.


Uhhh, what research would that be?

   
silverspoon



Posts: 123
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,13:59   

Quote (Jason Spaceman @ April 05 2008,13:24)
A review of Expelled here claims:

 
Quote
Executive Producer Walt Ruloff said scientists also told them that federal health and science institutions and universities have instructed them to stop conducting publicly funded genomic, microbiological and other research into intelligent design.


Uhhh, what research would that be?

It probably means they were told to stop reading Behe & Dembski’s books on the job.

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Grand Poobah of the nuclear mafia

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,15:07   

Quote (silverspoon @ April 05 2008,13:59)
Quote (Jason Spaceman @ April 05 2008,13:24)
A review of Expelled here claims:

 
Quote
Executive Producer Walt Ruloff said scientists also told them that federal health and science institutions and universities have instructed them to stop conducting publicly funded genomic, microbiological and other research into intelligent design.


Uhhh, what research would that be?

It probably means they were told to stop reading Behe & Dembski’s books on the job.

No, it means they had to throw out the mushrooms they had growing in the basement.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
deejay



Posts: 113
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,15:50   

Very nice reply, Wes.  But are you prepared for the ultimate rebuttal?

  
silverspoon



Posts: 123
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,15:53   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 05 2008,15:07)
No, it means they had to throw out the mushrooms they had growing in the basement.

Well that explains it. They were doing ‘double super secret’ experiments for the Biologic Institute at taxpayer expense. :p

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Grand Poobah of the nuclear mafia

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,17:23   

Quote (silverspoon @ April 05 2008,15:53)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 05 2008,15:07)
No, it means they had to throw out the mushrooms they had growing in the basement.

Well that explains it. They were doing ‘double super secret’ experiments for the Biologic Institute at taxpayer expense. :p

Don't think it's easy to grow mushrooms in your basement. It's really darn difficult.

???

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Henry J



Posts: 4792
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,20:54   

Quote
Don't think it's easy to grow mushrooms in your basement. It's really darn difficult.


But they are such fun gi's, aren't they?

Henry

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2008,21:17   

It gets a lot easier if you sterilize your workspace.  The inside of a hot oven door is a great workbench.

I'm just saying.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
kevinmillerxi



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,02:26   

Once again, like a good reductionist, Wesley misses the forest for the trees. Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why? Because we all bring something different to the data. Are you denying this, Wesley? Because if you are, why aren't we in agreement on this matter?

  
bfish



Posts: 267
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,03:05   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 06 2008,00:26)
All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why?

Um.....Level of education? Level of understanding? Familiarity with the data? I'm just shooting in the dark here.

"Ignatius,  what's all this trash on the floor?"

"That is my worldview that you see. It still must be incorporated into a whole, so be careful where you step."


Hey, Kevin - seriously - where did the animation come from? Little jokes aside, we'd all like to hear about that.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,03:16   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 06 2008,03:26)
Once again, like a good reductionist, Wesley misses the forest for the trees. Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why? Because we all bring something different to the data. Are you denying this, Wesley? Because if you are, why aren't we in agreement on this matter?

Of course, Wesley can speak for himself.

But there is a simple reply that will be apparent to most reading this: it doesn't follow from the fact that "no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate" or that "all of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview" or that "what is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next" that the results of those subjective interpretative moves all have equal validity, or scientific value.

The cycle of hypothesis, prediction, and empirical test that represents the engine of science embodies the invention of a form of "social cognition" that provides tools - perhaps the only tools there are - for lifting our collective efforts to know the world out of the solipsism and relativism and subjectivity you describe. Intelligent design creationism does not employ those tools and indeed inherently abjures those tools because it rejects the essential constraints of methodological naturalism and embraces supernatural explanatory stories that are not subject to test by means of the tools of science. Contemporary evolutionary science, through the collective application of this cycle of hypothesis, prediction and empirical test, has an epistemological warrant that ID will never possess because genuine science avails itself of tools that, to a significant degree, constrain the subjectivity to which you refer.

It is irrelevant to this collective scientific efficacy that individuals and subcultures (such as you, and the community to which you are committed) continue, for subjective reasons, to construe the world in ways that ignore or deny the genuine yield of that scientific engine. It is also irrelevant to that efficacy that you and yours instead cling to the subjectivity you are defending as a way to protect overvalued ideas that may otherwise recognized as untenable in light of the yield of science. You're entitled to that choice. It doesn't follow that your choice has equal epistemological merit from the perspective of the scientific community. It doesn't.

Postmoderism got that part wrong: a modest realism is in fact attainable.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4902
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,06:48   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 06 2008,02:26)
Once again, like a good reductionist, Wesley misses the forest for the trees. Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why? Because we all bring something different to the data. Are you denying this, Wesley? Because if you are, why aren't we in agreement on this matter?


Apparent fisking?

I do not disagree with Kevin on the simple observation that people do come with different worldviews. I never have disagreed with that. What I have disagreed with is the assertion that this diversity of worldviews means that those disparate people with their disparate worldviews will not, in fact, agree on various issues when approached via the scientific method. We can see that over and over again in the way that scientists of almost all cultures and traditions do come to agree on matters where the evidence and arguments demonstrate consilience.

Kevin is again trying to make this exchange be about me, apparently to distract from the fact that his assertions do not survive the slightest scrutiny. Of course, we have reports that this distressing tendency to give up on trying to grapple with concepts and instead cast everything in terms of persons extends to Kevin's movie. And even in trying to attack me, Kevin is incompetent.

Nothing I've said so far here touches upon the issue of reductionism. My master's thesis, though, explicitly argues for an increased role for a synthetic approach to artificial neural system modeling, so the scattershot accusation Kevin makes is rather wide of the mark. Kevin, just so you don't have to go down yet another wrong turn in your next reply, I'll note that I'm not an atheist, either.

And, no, I have not "avoided" Kevin's main argument. I have directly addressed the contention that the mere existence of individual worldviews means that the scientific process cannot pick out a superior explanation from a field of candidates.

Kevin started with an assertion that post-modernism meant that everybody will come to a different conclusion about an issue in science because of worldview differences:

Quote

In response to your question, Ellazim, I think you are a reasonable person. You other guys, however, need to take a primer on post-modernism. There's objective reality, and then there's our subjective experience and interpretation of that reality. All knowledge is perspectival, there's no way around it. No one can experience reality objectively, only from his or her limited point of view. That's why, when presented with the same body of evidence, people will arrive at such different conclusions. How we interpret the evidence depends on the worldview through which we view the evidence.


I pointed out that this wasn't true, that people with widely divergent worldviews actually often come to the same conclusion in science:

Quote

The value of pi is not socially constructed. People with all sorts of "worldviews" agree on pi, just as they agree on the findings of evolutionary biology. How can that happen if the social solipsism of dilettante post-modernists were true?


Kevin then claimed that he was misunderstood, and referenced a discussion where he had muttered some selective statements about post-modernism. And I responded again to the point that differing worldviews must lead to differing conclusions by reference to what we actually observe happen, which does not support Kevin's "point".

Quote

Quote

I think what's also getting missed here is the point that I'm not saying reality is socially constructed.


Don't various post-modernists say exactly that? Is that not in the recommended primer on post-modernism?

Quote

But our interpretation of that reality certainly is.


Not *all* interpretations are socially constructed, thus my reference to the concept of pi. If pi is an exception, then so can other things be...


And again I pointed out that despite wide differences in worldview, those examining the fossil record through the scientific method have overhwelmingly settled upon one "interpretation":

Quote

Quote

Why is that? Because each person brings something different to the evidence.


Why then does the scientific community, comprising millions of individuals from almost every culture in the world, have just one broad consensus that the fossil record shows the history and diversity of life evolving by descent with modification showing common descent from one or a few original forms? Is that "interpretation" of only equal value to the "interpretation" of the long-dead people who didn't even believe that fossils were anything but odd mineral deposits? Or can there be "interpretations" that can be demonstrated to be superior to other "interpretations" by consistent criteria? Whether Dawkins notes it or not, ignorance is common. Do the "interpretations" of people who are ignorant count just the same as the interpretation hammered out over decades of intersubjective criticism and testing by thousands of domain experts?
The science community subjects interpretations to intersubjective criticism and ruthlessly discards the unworkable, meaningless, and counterfactual interpretations. Does that count for anything in the end product?


And I hit upon this point again in my next reply:

Quote

What I was pointing out is that a scientific consensus is different, it proceeds from the evidence through hypotheses that are tested, and a community that criticizes the arguments until what convinces that community is the consilience of evidence and theory, not the personal authority of either any one individual or even the collective authority of the community. The process doesn't always proceed smoothly, as Kuhn noted in discussing paradigm shifts. But what happens even then is driven by the various and sundry individuals of the scientific community, each of whom by Kevin's earlier (and apparently abandoned) argument having their own separate worldview and thus without any expectation under Kevin's argument that they could possibly agree upon some one view, and yet that is exactly what the history of science shows us has happened time and again.


I'm afraid that I simply cannot fathom how my responses from the start have not addressed Kevin's point. Maybe Kevin would like to pretend I never said these things, but the simple fact is that I did.

Why is it that Kevin has chosen to ignore the fact that I did address his point, several times over in fact, and instead simply asserts that I have "missed" that point? I think it is because Kevin has discovered he has no argument that would support his position, and yet doesn't want to admit error. Unfortunately for this tactic, there is not an "infinitely plastic past" that he can reshape into a course of history where he could possibly be winning on the merits. The history clearly shows that I *have* addressed his point, such as it is, over and over again.

Kevin brought up the Galileo incident, arguing that Galileo couldn't have successfully argued with his colleagues in scientific endeavor about heliocentrism given that a pre-existing explanation of geocentrism was commonly accepted. I noted that there is no evidence that those approaching the evidence and arguments of Galileo empirically had, in general, any difficulty seeing the consilience between evidence and the inference of heliocentrism. The new explanation not only explained the old data, but also made sense of Galileo's new evidence collected via telescope observations. It was, in fact, the Inquisition of the Catholic Church whose "worldview" forced them to reject Galileo's arguments, based not upon consideration of the available scientific evidence, but rather upon a commitment to a pre-existing religious doctrine.

In the current discussion of IDC, it is the advocates of IDC who regularly skip over the hard work of examining the relevant evidence. Consider, for example, Kevin Miller, who recently claimed:

Quote

Take the fossil record, for example. We're all working with the same body of data. There's no question that the fossils are out there, and that these are the calcified remains of creatures that were once alive. But over the years, people have interpreted this body of evidence in vastly different ways.


And so I said, fine, let's do work with the same data, here's a paper that presents evidence of speciation in the fossil record; what is your considered reason on the evidence that we shouldn't consider it to be just that?

Quote

Quote

Pearson, P.N.; Shackleton, N.J.; and Hall, M.A., 1997. Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of _Globigerinoides_trilobus_ and _Orbulina_universa_ (planktonic foraminifera). Journal of the Geological Society, London, v.154, p.295-302.


Happily, Don Lindsay has put various of the figures online for your viewing pleasure.

Someone claiming to be "working with" the evidence of the fossil record in some substantive sense should either already be familiar with the cited work or have no difficulty in locating and retrieving the actual paper for study.

Is there an alternative "interpretation" that follows from a principled examination of the evidence?


When Kevin failed to address this other "point" that he himself introduced into the discussion, I said this:

Quote

Now, back to stuff Kevin skipped right over. Kevin said something about the fossil record and working with the data. I brought up a particular piece of research that presented evidence of speciation and asked Kevin to expound upon it.

Quote

Kevin has the opportunity to prove Dawkins wrong the right way, by making a principled argument against evolution having occurred that is based upon the specific evidence at hand. Will he do that?


The answer, it appears, is "No."


Edited by Wesley R. Elsberry on April 06 2008,07:44

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4902
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,09:41   

Huh. I seem to have ticked off Kevin Miller. He has a post on his blog placing me in the class of scoundrels, and the post is categorized as "Mofos". I have a weblog, too, it turns out:

The Miller/Elsberry Omnibus

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,10:21   

Everytime I read IDCists' (or indeed other denialists/antiscience promoters/anti-Enlightenment stooges) "arguments" I hear one overriding message coming through:

"(My) ignorance and lack of understanding is just as valid and just as important as (your) knowledge and understanding".

The personal pronouns are in brackets because the form of the argument remains the same, some however prefer to frame it as a universal as opposed to an ad hominem argument.

It's the eternal legacy of a cultural perspective in which it is impossible to mention someone's ignorance without creating drama but it is perfectly acceptable to mention their lack of ability to run the hundred metres in 10 seconds. The hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to matters intellectual is amusing in the extreme.

Sorry boys and girls, if you're going to ignore data, remain clueless about the available evidence and play postmodernist word games with "worldviews" you've lost your right to claim an equal intellectual footing. Elitist? Condescending? Unpleasant? Perhaps so. But also honest, true, and demonstrably accurate. As well as the most important one for you: eminently correctable.

Watch how THAT is misunderstood.

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,10:36   

I dunno Louis.  While you have made an excellent point, surely we must be able to see both sides of an issue?

For example, I think we would be fair, and teach both sides, and could frame this entire argument with Kevin Miller as :

1.) Kevin Miller - Big stinky squishy turd?

0r

2.) Kevin Miller - World Class Turd?

HTH :)

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4902
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,10:50   

Quote

"(My) ignorance and lack of understanding is just as valid and just as important as (your) knowledge and understanding".


Somehow that put me in mind of the Simpson's episode where Lisa has just wished for "peace on earth" via a magical monkey's paw. The aliens take this as their cue to invade, and so one alien is shown running down a street after some guy. The alien is menacingly waving a stick with a nail in the end and shouts, "Your superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons!"

I can't say that I busted a gut laughing then, since I have had the actual experience of busting a gut in 2004, but I did find it quite amusing.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,11:01   

I wonder if the courts are going to go with PoMo when Harvard asks the theater chains to turn over all Expelled revenues to the rightful owner of the cell video.

Courts are known for considering all world views -- those of the defendants and of witnesses -- to be equally valid. That's their job, isn't it?

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,11:09   

Quote (J-Dog @ April 06 2008,16:36)
I dunno Louis.  While you have made an excellent point, surely we must be able to see both sides of an issue?

For example, I think we would be fair, and teach both sides, and could frame this entire argument with Kevin Miller as :

1.) Kevin Miller - Big stinky squishy turd?

0r

2.) Kevin Miller - World Class Turd?

HTH :)

It's like the Bill Hicks comment about pro-lifers, an issue so divisive he and all his friends were bitterly split on the issue. One camp of friends thought they were evil fucks, the other camp thought they were annoying idiots. Bill, ever the peacemaker, said "Brothers, sisters, can't we all just come together and agree that they are annoying evil idiot fucks?".

It's a technique I find curiously appropriate when it comes to IDCists.

But seriously, we have to remember in all this that they are still people. Not very honest people to be sure, but people still. If anyone has reason to be offended by the fact of common descent it is not the creationists objecting to being distant cousins with modern monkeys, it's us having mighty cause to be offended by virtue of being much closer cousins to creationists and their ideological ilk. They do our species far greater disservice than any monkey cousin could.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,11:17   

Oh and I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Who knew that the anti-science, anti-Enlightenment postmodernist drivel of the worst elements of the pompous, self-righteous, politically left wing academic social studies gurus would gel so beautifully with the anti-liberal, anti-science, anti-Enlightenment, reconstructionist neo-facism of the pompous, self-righteous, politcally right wing, theocratic ignoramuses?

Who knew that Pat Robertson would be so methodologically identical to Jacques Derrida, at least in certain limited aspects.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,11:44   

Quote (kevinmillerxi @ April 06 2008,02:26)
Once again, like a good reductionist, Wesley misses the forest for the trees. Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why? Because we all bring something different to the data. Are you denying this, Wesley? Because if you are, why aren't we in agreement on this matter?

Kevin, why are you ignoring my question?

I'll ask again: why are you lying to people about movie times? Isn't that supposed to be something your religion says is bad?

I mean, we all know your movie is lying about everything else as well, but let's just focus on you guys sending out dishonest emails to keep undesirables out. How do you morally rationalize that?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,11:48   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ April 06 2008,10:50)
Quote

"(My) ignorance and lack of understanding is just as valid and just as important as (your) knowledge and understanding".


Somehow that put me in mind of the Simpson's episode where Lisa has just wished for "peace on earth" via a magical monkey's paw. The aliens take this as their cue to invade, and so one alien is shown running down a street after some guy. The alien is menacingly waving a stick with a nail in the end and shouts, "Your superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons!"

I can't say that I busted a gut laughing then, since I have had the actual experience of busting a gut in 2004, but I did find it quite amusing.

It reminds me of a Simpsons episode where Homer forgets to pick up Bart from a soccer game. After a couple hours, he finally remembers and he finds Bart sitting outside in a horrendous rainstorm. Homer's defense is "now Bart, let's not argue about who forgot to pick up who".

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1046
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,16:01   

Quote
Not *all* interpretations are socially constructed, thus my reference to the concept of pi. If pi is an exception, then so can other things be...


I don't know about Pi being "socially constructed," but most of us on the continental side of philosophy would indeed consider Pi to be a construct.

Basically it all goes back to Kant, that we can't know a "thing in itself".  Or, to take Nietzsche's interpretation of these matters, even supposing that there is a "thing in itself" is an abomination.  All that we know is what is in our heads, our interpretations, we don't know anything about some "Pi" existing outside of us.

However, this does not inevitably lead to the kind of relativistic nonsense that Kevin would invoke to shield his IDist nonsense.  I mention Kant in particular because he was quite deliberately telling us how it is that we can do science using evidence, even though we don't know that our "categories" and senses tell us how the world "actually is."  Kant was a scientist himself, and he understood that, construct (not his term) or no, we observe the world and come to reasonable shared conclusions, or as later philosophers would say, to "intersubjectively sound conclusions."

Be that as it may, Pi remains a construct, perhaps a "social construct," because it is simply a way in which we humans understand the world.  3.1415926... is not something that we found in the world, it is something that our minds abstracted (or inferred) out of our observations (which themselves are already interpretation before they even hit consciousness).  

It is not relativistic (in the usual sense, even if it must be in any absolutist framework--hence we reject absolutist frameworks), however, because it is the only honest interpretation possible from dividing the circumference of a circle by the diameter of the same circle.  Given the proper context, anyone who can think will come to similar conclusions regarding "Pi", from its initial definition, to its use in trigonomic equations.

And the same holds for evolutionary conclusions.  These are all constructs as well, but the only honest ones involve agreed-upon understandings of equations (like those involving Pi), evidence, and what indicates that one thing descended from another thing.  It's all a construct, just like paternity judgments and microevolution are, yet it's unquestionable that any honest person will use the same framework for understanding macroevolution as microevolution and paternity evidence--unless given a very good reason to do otherwise.  As we have observed, Kevin et. al haven't given us a very good reason to do otherwise, and we consider their objections to be intellectually dishonest.

Whether or not this makes sense to Wesley or others is not the point.  Mostly I wouldn't bring up these matters in a science discussions, for the issue of our construction of "reality" just doesn't enter into the normal discourse of science.  It does when the IDists are trying to score points with cheap philosophical tricks, however, which is why I now point out that we do indeed consider "Pi" to be a construct, yet do not consider it to be thereby relativistic or in any serious dispute whatsoever.  

This whole discussion is substantially why nothing in science is considered to be Truth, for we don't know "the world," we only know what we understand of our perceptions.  Yet it is essential that we maintain the "truth-values" which we construct out of our shared understandings, or we can't do science.  That should be obvious when ID is brought up, since it would only be the death of scientific explanation, due to its egregious attempts to distort our understanding of "truth" in science.  

I dare say that Kevin brought up post-modernism only in order to similarly distort science (not all post-modernists are relativists, I would point out, and a favorite of post-modernists, Nietzsche, was no relativist in scientific matters), which he must do because ID cannot succeed in normal, more or less Kantian, science.  He seems to understand neither philosophy nor science well, and instead uses both to try to obscure the non-relativistic (or at least, "intersubjectively sound") aspects existing in both.

Glen D

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http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

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

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,16:14   

kevin and the rest of his fellow travellers care nothing about philosophy nor science.  they are simply concerned with constructing the narrative that is most appealing to the particular audience at hand at any particular moment.  He comes by here for kicks, since he knows himself to be deeply and fundamentally dishonest, he doesn't care what the science is or about arguing for his points.  It's the Gish Gallop all over again, with an AC/DC album cover.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1046
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,16:25   

Since this discussion is occurring across two forums, I'll include my response to the post "Consensus science, the first refuge of scoundrels--and Wesley R. Elsberry" on Kevin's forum:

 
Quote
What a hideous distortion of what "inter-subjective agreement" is about.

All that it really comes down to is the fact that in science we are capable of coming to agreement about what evidence means.  The exact conclusion to be reached may be in doubt for many years, as has been the case in many evolutionary matters, but honest scientists largely agree on classical cause and effect scenarios and analysis of those scenarios (such as inferring evolutionary descent and change).

When IDists come along and try to say that the evidence that we all agree points to descent with modification (sans divine intervention) in the matter of microevolution or some such thing[, yet] does not point to macroevolution, even though the same inferences are made using the same sorts of evidence, then we know that we are dealing with intellectually dishonest folk.

That has nothing to do with everyone agreeing on scientific conclusions, as indeed, the point of being a scientist is to come up with new hypotheses and conclusions, sometimes destroying accepted ones in the doing.

Plus, this is pure bilgewater:

"Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had."

The consensus of scientists is that Newton's laws of motion and gravity are essentially reliable under non-relativistic conditions and non-QM precision (and some hold even in these cases).  They have been reliable for almost 400 years, and the IDists don't even pretend to have any question about them.

Glen D


Actually, I think the first refuge of scoundrels is to attack, like Kevin has done from the very beginning.  And he's either too stupid or too dishonest, or both, to understand Wes's positions.

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http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

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

   
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1046
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,16:49   

Noticed this on Kevin's thread (by Kevin):

 
Quote
Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next.


Of course we don't approach the evidence as a blank slate.  That's why we teach logic and evidence.  What Kevin wants is for any viewpoint to be the equal of any other, even though he never answers the question of whether or not he'd like to be tried under anything but normal scientific and judicial rules of evidence if he were charged in a murder (he might like it, if he could claim that magic is why his blood is on the victim, but would not like it if he is accused of killing by witchcraft).

Sure, what is obvious to those who have learned how to interpret evidence reliably, is not obvious to Kevin.  But that's all for the good.  And that is why we wish to teach science, for people like Kevin are unable to understand vast swathes of our culture, all because he is far too ignorant, as well as highly prejudiced.

More importantly, people across cultures are able to understand the sense and reliability of what was originally largely a Western point of view, at least in its fullest understanding--using cause and effect analysis to get at the facts (yes, I know that nearly all cultures have done so to some extent--which only gets back to how really reliable such methods are, for it derives from a completely human, cross-cultural, understanding of the world).  Japanese, Chinese, and Westerners, all agreed upon mathematical conclusions, the specifics being developed separately in many cases.  And the Japanese who were being shielded from Western science found the little bit that leaked in (anatomy, and some physiology) to be dramatically superior to the then-current Japanese ideas about anatomy..  Eventually the Japanese were to adopt Western science fully, without having to worry about the culture or religion of those from whom they originally adopted it (sure, our science disagreed with some of their religious beliefs, which wasn't much objection to at least the better educated Japanese).

What is ironic is that most of the world has accepted scientific methods as superior to superstition and supposed "revelation," while the US which descended directly from the Enlightenment ideals of France and the UK, continues to battle anti-Enlightenment forces such as Kevin, Stein, and the DI.  It may even come to the point where China and Japan accept the reliability of cause and effect analysis of science matters, while the United States does not.  After all, science works no matter who you are or where you are, and so does the hatred of science--the latter only brings stupidity, misery, and death.

Glen D

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http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

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

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,18:16   

Hilary Putnam has had very interesting things to say on this matter. Here I quote myself from an earlier post on the now dormant "faith vs. reason" thread, summarizing his view of realism in a social context. I think very much on topic, with notions that very much reinforce Glen's remarks:

What are often considered objective descriptions of physical systems are inherently entangled with the conceptual and intentional commitments of the observer (and here we need not even resort to quantum observer effects).

See, for example, Hilary Putnam's very interesting argument in The Many Faces of Realism.

Putnam invites us to imagine a pressure cooker on which the safety valve has jammed, causing the cooker to explode. Why did the cooker explode? We say that the cooker exploded because the valve failed to open. We don't say that the cooker exploded because an arbitrary section of the wall of the cooker, say one centimeter square, was in place and hence retained the steam, even though, from the perspective of physics, the stuck valve and this arbitrary section of cooker wall play identical roles: the absence of either would have allowed the steam to escape and averted the explosion.

Why do we insist that the faulty valve caused the explosion, and not an arbitrary area of the wall? Because we know that the valve "should" have let the steam escape - that is its function, what it was designed to do. On the other hand, the arbitrary bit of surface was not doing anything wrong in preventing the steam from escaping; containing the steam is the function of that patch of cooker surface. Hence, in the instance of this human artifact, there is an inescapably normative element to what superficially appears to be a simple physical explanation.

Putnam concludes that, in asking Why did the explosion take place - and knowing what we know and knowing what interests we have - our explanation space consists of the alternatives:

(1) Explosion taking place
(2) Everything functioning as it should.

What we want to know is why (1) is what happened, as opposed to (2). We are simply not interested in why (1) is what happened as opposed to an infinite collection of alternatives such as, 3) An arbitrary patch of surface is missing, and no explosion takes place.

In short, our interests dictate that the presence of a given area of the wall of the cooker, and countless other facts about the physics of the explosion, take their places as background conditions rather than causes of the explosion. This discrimination between causes and background conditions cannot be provided by an account of the explosion supplied by mathematical physics, because the normative, designed aspects of the cooker cannot be deduced at the level of physics. Consideration of causation in this sense requires knowlege of the history of the mechanism - the story of its origins and purpose - in addition to its present physical state. Hence an irreducible explanatory relativity must be introduced if we are to understand the cause of this explosion.

This is not, however, to say that there is no objective adjudication to be had regarding the truth of the assertion that the stuck valve caused the explosion. Quite the contrary. Once we have specified our interests, given the nature of our language, and, indeed, given our scientific practices (all of which help us discriminate foreground and background), it would be simply false to say that the wall of the pressure cooker caused the explosion - even though the physics of the explosion dictate that had that area of wall not been present the explosion would not have occurred. In fact, it is only once we have identified our conceptual commitments and our interests that the determination of the cause of the explosion at the level of our interests becomes an adjudicable, objective fact. Hence, unless one is to abandon the idea that the stuck valve on the pressure cooker caused the explosion is an adjudicable, objective fact (in a court of law, for example), one must acknowledge the importance of those interests and abandon the notion that an idealized, purely observer-independent perspective is inherently more correct or more useful. We want to know why what should have happened failed to happen - or why what should not have happened, happened, a statement of our values and perspective that cannot be deduced from physics. (In the instance of organisms, this "intentional" dimension of "function" maps onto the contingent story of descent with modification by means of natural selection - a notion that advocates of ID just can't seem to wrap their heads around).

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Henry J



Posts: 4792
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2008,18:49   

Quote
Be that as it may, Pi remains a construct, perhaps a "social construct," because it is simply a way in which we humans understand the world.  3.1415926... is not something that we found in the world, it is something that our minds abstracted (or inferred) out of our observations (which themselves are already interpretation before they even hit consciousness).


That, and the value follows as a direct consequence (i.e., by logical deduction) of the rules of the kind of geometry that people use most of the time for anything that involves geometry (i.e., Euclidean geometry).

Henry

  
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