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Old 2008-06-07, 18:58   #386
cheesehead
 
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"Richard B. Woods"
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Nelson,

You're engaging in the rhetorical trickery called "straw men", in which you pretend that I said something I didn't actually say, so that you can refute the false statement. Please stop falsifying what I've posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
So they can't understand the tenets of evolution
That's not what I wrote. Straw man.

Quote:
then it shouldn't be taught at all.
Invalid because it proceeds from the false premise "So they can't understand the tenets of evolution".

Quote:
First get them indoctrinated in evolution
Straw man. I never described anything that can be categorized as indoctrination.

Teaching the basics of chemistry is not indoctrination in chemistry, is it?

Quote:
If you are convinced that evolution is the sum of all öf things
Straw man. I never wrote that evolution is the sum of all things.

Evolution pertains to a specific area of science. By pretending that it encompasses more than it actually does, you are taking the cowardly path of knocking over "straw men" rather than honestly confronting the actual truth about what evolution is and isn't. (This is a common tactic of creationists.)

Quote:
As I remember I was in the 7th grade when Evolution was first presented to me. And I could see the fallacy then without anybody telling me.
Which fallacy was that?

Quote:
Quote:
I note that the creationists don't call for a presentation of weaknesses alongside strengths of mainstream thought in public school science classes other than biology. Isn't that because they'd be told that students have to achieve a certain level of understanding of those fields before they can properly appreciate a description of "weaknesses" in those fields?
Actually they do you just aren't looking hard enough.
Please provide specific examples. Show us where creationists call for a presentation of weaknesses alongside strengths of mainstream thought in public school science classes other than biology.

Quote:
About all you can get out of evolution that really means anything significant is we are what we eat.
Evolution has nothing to do with "we are what we eat".

Quote:
I mean that in a rather broad sense in that all the necessary building blocks of life have to be present in the food chain of everything on the planet.
1) That's still not part of evolution.

2) It's a false statement anyway, because animals and plants can synthesize various types of "building blocks of life" within themselves. Human skin can create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, for instance. We don't have to eat vitamin D in order to be healthy.

- - -

And now, I'll respond to a passage in the middle of your post:

Quote:
are you going to fairly present an opposing view?
Here's your chance.

Show us what a fair presentation of an opposing view looks like, by presenting a fair summary of evolution.

Right here.

In this thread.

Show us exactly what you mean by "fairly present an opposing view"!

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-06-07 at 19:07
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Old 2008-06-07, 19:51   #387
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I already did everything you ask. Why do you always want a rerun.
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Old 2008-06-07, 20:20   #388
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
I already did everything you ask.
Oh, yeah? Then tell us where you already posted a fair summary of evolution. I haven't seen it.

Quote:
Why do you always want a rerun.
This statement, false because I've never asked for a rerun, looks like an attempt to evade giving us a fair summary of evolution.

If you've already posted a fair summary of evolution, tell us exactly where it is. (Or you could copy-and-paste it, from wherever you previously posted it, to a new posting in this thread. Be sure to identify it so we'll know it's your fair summary of evolution.)

If you can't do that, then your "I already did everything you ask" is just a cowardly lie. If you _can_ show us exactly where you've already posted a fair summary of evolution, then I'll apologize.

If you will post a fair summary of evolution and admit that you had not done so previously, I'll declare that you've show guts and integrity and withdraw my accusation of "cowardly lie".

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-06-07 at 20:34
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Old 2008-06-09, 11:27   #389
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Nelson,

If you don't know how to write a fair summary of evolution, then posting "I don't know how to write a fair summary of evolution" would be an honest answer. But posting "I already did it", when you actually haven't done it, is dishonest -- a lie.

If you don't want to post a fair summary of evolution (regardless of whether you know how), then answering "I don't want to post a fair summary of evolution" would be an honest answer.

If you are willing to post a fair summary of evolution, but don't know where to get the information (a fuller, fair description of evolution) with which to compose your summary, then posting "I'm willing to post a fair summary of evolution, but I don't know where to find a fair description of evolution so that I can compose a fair summary of it" would be an honest answer.

See? An honest answer is okay, but when I see dishonesty I may point it out.

(BTW, in another thread recently, you were discussing the basis of morality.)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-06-09 at 11:39
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Old 2008-06-09, 17:50   #390
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
Consider if the amino acids that make up our bodies were much different than the rest of the plants and animals on this "puny insignificant rock" and our digestive system wasn't capable of breaking them down we would starve to death ... end of story.
I find that message board posters usually employ phrases like "end of story", or "end of discussion" when they know their arguments are weak.

In your case - do you really think the fact that the earth is filled with things we can eat and digest is some kind of "amazing happenstance"? If so, your ignorance of evolution and/or religious/mystical biases are so strong that informed debate with you is impossible.

Amazing that my brain is constructed in just such a way that I comprehend the words in Nelson's postings and assemble them into the "illogical gibberish" they are. I mean, the odds of us just happening to be alive AND ONLINE at the same time *and* to have been born with knowledge of the same alphabet and "english language" organ - it just staggers the imagination.

Whoops, almost forgot:

"'Nuff said."
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Old 2008-06-09, 19:09   #391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
About all you can get out of evolution that really means anything significant is we are what we eat. I mean that in a rather broad sense in that all the necessary building blocks of life have to be present in the food chain of everything on the planet. Consider if the amino acids that make up our bodies were much different than the rest of the plants and animals on this "puny insignificant rock" and our digestive system wasn't capable of breaking them down we would starve to death ... end of story.

nelson
This is the first time I've heard the weak anthropic principle applied to our digestive systems, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still just a convienent "escape-all" rather than a valid argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
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Old 2008-06-18, 06:19   #392
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Another report today of a scientific study whose findings are consistent with evolution, but not with creationism:

"Like Humans, Other Apes Plan Ahead"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/...rapesplanahead

Quote:
Chimps and orangutans plan for the future just like us.

They are capable of exercising self-control to postpone gratification and to imagine future events via "mental time travel," according to new research from Lunds University Cognitive Science in Sweden.

The skill of future planning was commonly thought to be exclusive to humans, although some studies of apes and crows have challenged this idea, say researchers Mathias and Helena Osvath. Now, for the first time, there is "conclusive evidence of advanced planning capacities in non-human species," they say.

The results are detailed online this week in the journal Animal Cognition.

...

"This suggests that the advanced mental capacities utilized in human future planning are shared by phylogenetically more ancient species than previously believed," the authors wrote, and "that capacities central to humans evolved much earlier than previously believed."
Once again we find a closer relationship between humans and other species than creationists would care to admit.
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Old 2008-06-18, 06:46   #393
cheesehead
 
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Default Why gay genes persist through natural selection

Another study's report provides further evidence that genes for inherited homosexuality persist through natural selection because they actually confer reproductive advantage. (And it's not even that gay uncles are better babysitters!)

"Why Gays Don't Go Extinct"

http://www.livescience.com/health/08...sexuality.html

Quote:
Homosexuality in males may be caused in part by genes that can increase fertility in females, according to a new study.

The findings may help solve the puzzle of why, if homosexuality is hereditary, it hasn't already disappeared from the gene pool, since gay people are less likely to reproduce than heterosexuals.

A team of researchers found that some female relatives of gay men tend to have more children than average. The scientists used a computer model to explain how two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

In 2004 the researchers studied about 200 Italian families and found that the mothers, maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of gay men are more fecund, or fruitful, than average. Recently, they tried to explain their findings with a number of genetic models, and found one that fit the bill.

"This is the first time that a model fits all our empirical data," said Andrea Camperio-Ciani, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Padova in Italy who led the study. "These genes work in a sexually antagonistic way — that means that when they're represented in a female, they increase fecundity, and when they're represented in a male, they decrease fecundity. It's a trait that benefits one sex at the cost of the other."

The researchers detail their findings in the June 18 issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

If this scenario turns out to be true, it could help explain the seeming paradox of hereditary homosexuality.

...

"Sexually antagonistic selection is an old idea by Richard Dawkins, but this has never been proven in humans," Camperio-Ciani told LiveScience. "There are a large quantity of these traits found in insects, for example, and recently in deer sexually antagonistic traits have been discovered, showing that high-ranking males produce rather unsuccessful daughters. We found that sexually antagonistic selection is operating also in our species, and we found it in a very important trait, which is homosexuality."

...

Even if this sexually antagonistic genetic system is at work, it can only account for a portion of the overall causes of homosexuality in men, Camperio-Ciani said. Other factors, both genetic and social, likely also play a part.

"I think it's almost beyond a doubt that genes have some influence," said Ray Blanchard, a researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, who studies the effect of birth order in predicting whether a male will be born homosexual. "My personal view is that there is probably more than one biological mechanism contributing toward homosexuality. I think it's also safe to say that there is at least one non-genetic influence."

...

Research by Paul Vasey, a psychologist at the University of Lethbridge in Canada, and his graduate student, Doug VanderLaan, provides preliminary support for the Italian team's results. The scientists studied homosexual men in Independent Samoa, known locally as fa'afafine ("in the manner of a woman"). They found that the mothers of fa'afafine produce more offspring than the mothers of heterosexual men in that society.

"[Camperio-Ciani’s] results are consistent with a growing number of studies that suggest that the female relatives of male homosexuals are more fecund than those of male heterosexuals," Vasey said.

Camperio-Ciani and his team hypothesize that the genes they modeled may cause people of both sexes to be extremely attracted to men, which would lead men with the genes to pursue relationships with other men, while causing women with the genes to have more sexual partners, and become pregnant slightly more often than an average woman.

...

The research may shed light on a complicated and controversial topic: whether homosexuality is a choice, or whether it is caused by factors beyond a person's control.

"I think this is an example where the results of scientific research can have important social implications," Camperio-Ciani said. "You have all this antagonism against homosexuality because they say it's against nature because it doesn't lead to reproduction. We found out this is not true because homosexuality is just one of the consequences of strategies for making females more fecund."
Genetics and evolution are complicated, but they continue to be shown as more and more consistent with reality than the theories born from religious fundamentalism.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-06-18 at 06:56
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Old 2008-06-18, 14:58   #394
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Am I the only one who thinks that evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive?

Let's say as a thought experiment that some decades from now we are able to create life in the lab. Being the busy bodies that we are, we decide that we don't want to be alone in the universe and send of space probes filled with lab created life to nearby planets/moon etc. In some of these places the conditions may be conducive for life and as a result our man-made organisms takes hold and multiply.What we have done now may be akin to creationism.

What we will find on those planets/moons a billion years from now is the result of evolution.

( I am aware that creationists contend that God created life in its original form leaving no room for evolution overlooking any evidence to the contrary. But main stream science has also failed to provide a convincing explanation for the origin of life.)
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Old 2008-06-18, 15:25   #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Another study's report provides further evidence that genes for inherited homosexuality persist through natural selection because they actually confer reproductive advantage. (And it's not even that gay uncles are better babysitters!).
Interesting - if true, that would neatly answer one of the longrunning "open questions" themes of this thread. Thanks for the link!
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Old 2008-06-18, 23:33   #396
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Visu View Post
Am I the only one who thinks that evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive?
No, but that concept is only a result of the informal way in which we (including myself) sling around the terms "evolution" and "creationism".

(Note: In the following, as elsewhere, I quote from Wikipedia not because it is some supremely reliable source [it isn't, as illustrated by the fact that it is relatively easy for any unqualified or even hostile person to edit the text of most Wikipedia articles], but because it's handy and usually correct enough for the purposes of forum discussion.)

Re "evolution" -- From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evoluti...heory_and_fact:

Quote:
Evolution is often said to be both theory and fact. This statement, or something similar, is frequently seen in biological literature. The point of this statement is to differentiate the concept of the "fact of evolution", namely the observed changes in populations of organisms over time, from the "theory of evolution", namely the current scientific explanation of how those changes came about.
When I write "evolution", unqualified, I almost always mean the theory of evolution, and so do, I think, most other participants in this thread.

Neither the fact of evolution nor the theory of evolution concerns the origins of life! They concern the changes that occur in living organisms over time, not how life originated. It is a common misunderstanding, often found in creationist anti-evolution arguments as well as in unrelated contexts, that the origin of life is also a topic in the field of evolution. It's not, even though there are connections between them (just as there are connections between biology and physics, but that doesn't mean that biology includes physics).

Re: "creationism" -- From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism:

Quote:
Creationism is a religious belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their original form by a deity (often the Abrahamic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) or deities, whose existence is presupposed.[1] In relation to the creation-evolution controversy the term creationism (or strict creationism) is commonly used to refer to religiously-motivated rejection of evolution.[2]

Such beliefs include young Earth creationism, which takes Book of Genesis literally, while Old Earth creationism accepts geological findings but rejects evolution. The term theistic evolution has been coined to refer to beliefs in creation which are more compatible with the scientific view of evolution and the age of the Earth.

Creationism in the West is usually based on creation according to Genesis, and in its broad sense covers a wide range of beliefs and interpretations. ...
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_science:

Quote:
Creation science or scientific creationism is a movement within creationism which attempts to use scientific means to disprove the accepted scientific theories on the history of the Earth, cosmology and biological evolution and prove the Genesis account of creation.[1]
When I write "creationism", unqualified, I almost always mean "scientific creationism" as defined above. (I can't speak for other participants in this forum.) Because "scientific creationism" is not really scientific in the way that physics or psychology are, for instance, I prefer not to write that exact phrase when I'm referring to it.

- - -

So, as defined here, the "theory of evolution" and "scientific creationism" are mutually exclusive; they cannot both be correct.

I think that most people who say they think evolution and creationism can both be true are using a definition of "creationism" other than that given above for "scientific creationism". For such other definitions, see the Wikipedia article on "Creationism".

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-06-18 at 23:48
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