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Everything posted by jryan

  1. In which of the examples? The thrust of the article is that the editorial decisions in the textbooks are left to non-scientists who are on record seeking politically driven goals, and the text books correctness has suffered because of it. Also, getting back on topic, religion is a refuge for the down trodden. I don't think that was ever really a big secret. It's kind of the whole point.
  2. You asked me for an example of political correctness affecting the actual correctness of textbooks. I gave you an article that had several examples.
  3. I get the meaning of it, I am pointing out that even the representative example has an explanation counter to your argument.
  4. No, John, but your response is actually a good example of why it is useless debating with you. You continually chose to answer to only some of what I said when what I was saying was in response to ALL of your point. It is a thoroughly dishonest method of open debate that you are using, so I simply threw your style back at you and you got upset. That reminds me, have you stopped beating your wife?
  5. The act of digging compresses the soil, making it denser and making it take up less space than the whole from which it was removed.
  6. I think you miss my point. I am not talking about the "theory of gravity" I am talking about the obvious phenomenon that we call gravity. It obviously exists. Drop a pencil and see which direction it goes. HOW gravity exists or WHAT gravity is is a different subject entirely for which a falsifiable theory is warranted. But whatever force that is that caused the material of the universe to congeal, and causes universal attraction between bodies based on mass of the objects, you can't deny it exists. It is the most ever present, consistently dependable laws of the physical world apart from whatever repeatable physical phenomenon it is that makes the mass of material between our ears capable of observing and contemplating the universe. Well, sure, but no God theory was ever put forward by me, either. My argument was a philosophical one. As I said in another thread, I don't think that science and religion are mutually exclusive, nor should either be used to describe the other. Science deals with HOW and religion deals with WHY, at the most basic level. Theists and atheists at the root level simply disagree on the existence of a WHY in the universe. Again, I was making a philosophical argument, not a scientific one. In that same way the quest for extraterrestrial life is not practically falsifiable nor repeatable nor scientific.. or certainly not in any way that wouldn't also apply to God. As an aside to this argument, I'll point you to this intriguing essay, by an atheist, that speaks to my point but from the other side of the divide: Beyond Reductionism
  7. You choose to answer what you find worthy in my response and I have now done the same with yours. We lose all of your arguments in the process because there really wasn't much there to begin with.
  8. No, in your view creationism exists on errors, but they believe the errors to be true. You most certainly believe things that are in error, are those beliefs "based on lies"? I wouldn't say that. I would say that you are simply mistaken. Richard Feynman once said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” ... I would assume that you agree with this? It is the foundation of the discipline, after all. Once you stop believing that then you stop being a scientist. No, you claimed it was out of context without bothering to show proof of some other context. In fact, your "context" that you provided simply made a different, less definitive statement than the one quoted. In other words, you didn't put the quote in context, you corrected the quote that was in the article. The whole reason that the quote was in the article was because it was wrong, you went and proved what the article had already assumed. Good job! Sorry, I couldn't be bothered with most of your post so I just cropped it.
  9. No, I am showing your arguments as fallacious and pointing out a common devolvement of your debate with each step. I don't think they are "stupid" as much as I think they are disingenuous. Sure, I agree. The problem I have is that I see you bias leaking through in the manner in which you address textbook mistakes, and how easily you want to cast aside a boat load of examples by using logical fallacies and cherry picking (both poorly executed) for no other apparent reason than they fail to fit your personal narrative. But you DIDN'T address the article. How many more times do I have to show you that your half-hearted cherry picking and logical fallacy does not amount to a real addressing of the article? You asked me for an example, I gave you an example, and you have done everything in your power to avoid addressing the example in any meaningful way. That is where we have been on that subject for several post exchanges. You can't see past superficiality to examine the evidence you asked me to provide. Until you choose to be a actual "free thinker" this is pretty much as far as you and I can take this subject. You showed nothing of the sort. You posted a link to somebody responding to the author to tell her she is a creationist even when she explicitly states in her message in question that she believes in evolution, and he provides no actual evidence to back up his argument other than a letter from her foundation repeats teh term "liberal bias" with the assumption that ... what, that liberal biases don't exist? Or that only conservatives can see liberal bias? It's moot anyway as your evidence is simply perpetuating the ad hominem you crafted against the author rather than address her points. And the kicker is the letter you post doesn't even address the bolded bit of her statement you wanted to wanted to counter. I didn't address this because your long response was simply a gratuitous ad hominem that added nothing to the discussion, but there you have the detailed response you were looking for. The response you have provided is itself festooned with logical fallacy, but I will hope your knew that by reading it. The rest later.
  10. Again, you don't know what you are talking about. You are still mired in results over process. That the old process took less time is a completely unfounded and ludicrous claim because you have no idea how much effort went into these observations. You have the end results. They also didn't have as much to work with as they were starting from scratch so their conclusions were destined to be rudimentary or wrong. That didn't make it less scientific. Just admit it was a silly claim and move on. Trying to defend it isn't helping you out. No it is you stating that Alsations don't bite mailmen and concluding when an Alsation bites a mailman that it is no longer an Alsation. Why should I make an argument against it? If this is what you believe then it shoots a great big whole in the argument that Christianity, or theistic religion, is particularly detrimental to science because not only was mostly secular China more detrimental to science (as Swansont argues was due to it's insularity) in the middle ages than were Christian states, but the limitations on science in 20th Century came for the most part from atheistic communist states. Arguing that they were "religions" is merely a semantic dodge of the over riding point asserted that theistic religion and it's belief in God is a greater limiter on scientific discovery than is atheism. That initial assertion ignores the natural conclusion of your argument regarding communism as a religion.. that atheistic cultures have, by your own measure, turned "religious" 100% of the time... all while knowing that predominantly Christian and Muslim states have variously better records of forming non-religious states than do atheists. It's easy enough to understand why that is, too, given the fact that any secular state where the people are mostly theist will not grant their state the title of godhead, and therefor can operate morally and intellectually separate from the state. Almost by design such societies don't grant their governments the kind of power you see in a communist "religious" state. Even without believing in a God it is plain to see how a state in which the populous have a personal and unwavering sense of morality resist the efforts of the state to establish a unified state morality. You can argue that an atheist is more pragmatic and flexible than a theist, but in the case of a Soviet Union and all other Communist nations this ability to bend has only lead to a more out of control and more deadly state as a result. I believe in objective morality as it is the very foundation of inalienable rights. Of course, which is why I provided my evidence for the assertion, with numbers and everything! If I got the numbers wrong then feel free to call me on it. But if you need to have me google it for you here: The Black Book of Communism - criticized as being both too high in it's estimates and too low. It's total estimate is about 94 million dead between 1920 and 1997, which says nothing of the trials and imprisonments. The Spanish Inquisitions -The most notorious and deadly of the Inquisitions (all inquisitions in all of Christian Europe ran from the 1200s through the 1800s), ran from 1480-1834. The total inquisitions in Spain were about 90,000 with a total 1,414 executions, or 4 executions per year average. These were obvious atrocious abuses of power, but nothing compared to a Communist sate. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge beat the Inquisitions totals on any given day and he was small time compared to Mao and Uncle Joe. *sigh* You still don't understand how stuff works. All you have done is justify your faith in the nature of the article without actually addressing the points of the article itself. THAT feels a lot like your characterization of religion. You seem afraid to actually address the evidence... but then that makes sense because you utterly failed your first two attempts -- the first being your absurd accusation of my "cherry picking", the second being your actual failed attempt at cherry picking. Since you have failed how better to avoid a third failure than a refusal to address the evidence at all? Hence your retreat to ad hominem.
  11. Again, you fail to grasp the very simple concept that science is a process, not results. It is quite possible to arrive at a wrong conclusion scientifically. But in the case of your absurd argument of the "failure" of the Ancient Greeks, I again must assume your ignorance. The very idea of reducing the physical world to composite elements began with that very same classification system that you declare a "failure". It's a very odd and ignorant path you are carving here as you wish to claim that "science" started with Francis Bacon, not the Greeks, because the greeks got things wrong... but I would challenge you that Francis Bacon also "failed" in the same way. If you choose to come over to the logical side of this debate and try to argue that Francis Bacon started "science" as a matter of process, rather than results, then I would go back to logically arguing that Aristotle was the originator of empiricism, not Francis Bacon. Well maybe there is hope then as you seem to understand that science is a process.. you just need to realize that that process has been in place for at least 2000 years before your arbitrary argument for when science began. I didn't argue that theists have a monopoly on morality. I am arguing that they have a monopoly on why we should follow it. Again, this line of argument you are using was thoroughly debunked nearly 100 years ago and ever since when a state founded on atheism and the preeminence of the state and man as ultimate arbiter in human morality proceeded to kill 40 million of it's citizens. This test has been repeated in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba and elsewhere with precisely the same result. Some 100 million bodies in mass graves stand against the 2,500 dead from the Inquisitions. The Inquisitions happened over a 500 year span, to the 80 years that atheistic states have to work with. So, again, like the comparison between China and Europe on scientific discovery you must first explain why atheistic states appear to be so much better at killing people than religious ones do before you can claim that religious cultures are uniquely prone to killing people. When confronted with the existence of millions of people dying in an atheistic state you then simply argue that these states were religions. This is not compelling and screams of confirmation bias, or worse. But sure, in a way you seem to confirm my point here in that atheism only seems to have an individual answer for morality. All evidence points to that it is wholly insufficient at a cultural level where it has only lead to death and destruction. By this I can assume that you believe that atheists can be religious, then? So your primary argument against theism, the restrictive nature of religion, apparently applies uniformly to atheism and atheistic societies more regularly than to theistic ones. Imagine that.
  12. I don't agree that economics is a science as there is no single truth to be sought on the subject. Keynes is not some truth upon which economics builds any more than his contemporaries who held conflicting views. A discipline with an undefined number of correct answers to the original question does not appear to be a science as much as it is engineering.
  13. And you missed the point. But then it does seem to be rather standard to rush to the Inquisitions when other avenues of debate are failing. But then the inquisitions killed 2,500 people over the course of 500 years whereas the unscientific Soviets and Chinese starved over 100 million people while refusing the accept that state agricultural doctrine was faulty. If you want to try and win on anecdotes just know that you lost that argument almost 100 years ago. You are displaying that you are willing to ignore thousands of years of human history to claim a point built from defiant ignorance. You are being the opposite of a free thinker to score points for atheism as free thought. In other words, you aren't helping your cause. No, it's not wrong nor is it irrelevant. The very fact that you claim that these religious institutions were really secular in terms of study IS THE WHOLE POINT. I have been arguing that that science and religion are separate pillars in society and can't be used to invalidate the other, while you are claiming that religion impedes science. My examples of middle age universities fostering scientific study supports my point, not yours. Also, science is a process, not an outcome. The scientific process is designed to allow the progress of knowledge through a strict regime of empirical study. To judge science in the middle ages against the science today on outcomes shows a very base ignorance of what you are even supposed to be arguing for. No it didn't. You really need to take a step back and reassess your knowledge on this subject before you choose to continue this line of debate. You are wholly uneducated in the history of science and therefor not well armed for what you are trying to argue. The scientific method has been traced back to Egypt circa 1600 BC. But the scientific method used today started with Aristotle's development of empiricism in the 4th century BC, and was drawn directly from his texts. I am not ignoring it, I am denying it. But your insistence that science started with "Bacon" I assume you are arguing Francis Bacon because you arbitrarily picked a non-theist, rather than ROGER Bacon, who ACTUALLY is the beginning of the scientific method in European study... but you can choose him because he lived hundreds of years before Francis Bacon, and was a Franciscan monk. To argue that science began with Francis Bacon is as dubious a claim as saying that Henry Ford invented the automobile. Do you believe that you can prove the non-existence of the tiger using science? While your argument certainly paints a pictureof some fretful toddler demanding daddy check under the bed for monsters, you are simply engaging in reductio ad absurdum to prove your point. But, in the real and more complex world, I see that the basic human rights that the West believes are inalienable are, if you believe the atheistic view, completely arbitrary and alienable, whereas in the theistic view there is a "why not" to stand in the way of alienation. Because, as someone who came to a belief in God from an atheistic past, I see this "why" as the only logical underpinning of such concepts as inalienable rights, the very fabric of civilization that makes us humans more than mere animals. It is more compelling than the "just because" I found with atheism. With atheism, while arguing it as a source of free though, I couldn't escape the simple truth that atheism's "just because" explanation of the "why" was limiting and didn't even attempt to explain it. The internal consistency in this belief in "why" was the first evidence I needed for the greater discovery that came next. But that discovery is a complicated and personal thing, and me saying it is so from personal experience is not, admittedly, compelling. It certainly wasn't to me when I was in the same position. In fact, the "just because" of atheism doesn't even hold in it any rational compulsion for discovery. I can't escape the irony of a modern atheistic progressive arguing for and against technological modernism at the very same time all while having no real purpose for doing so. It appears utterly rudderless. No, I am pointing out that you are so completely ignorant of the curriculum of theological study that you assume the whole of the education is spent reading the bible and religious texts. It's another subject that I suggest you educate yourself before going any further. You simply show yourself an ignorant, bigoted person when you choose to state such incorrect generalities. So is it your belief that political correctness only manifests itself with religion? Yes it is. Pointing out the POTENTIAL for bias can not be used as a substitute for the existence of ACTUAL bias which is what he needs to make a non-gratuitous counterpoint.
  14. No, he is using his opinion of her as a stand in for attacking the evidence provided in her article. That is fallacious. But he had to do that because he fumbled his one attempt to cherry pick an error in the actual article when he misread 4 words and ran with it. Rather than risk it, or due to the fact that he couldn't find anything when he read more carefully, he retreated to attacking the author rather than the piece.
  15. Great list. I would also add The Screwtape Letters and Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by CS Lewis.
  16. Ad hominem fallacy. You really need to stop wasting your time putting all this work into arguments that are doomed from the start.
  17. This is an odd statement. But let me try explain religion in a way that a non-believer can understand (because contrary to the more irritable atheists on this forum, faith is more complicated than they believe). Assume that "God" is a semantic device in much the same way "gravity" is a semantic device to describe a phenomenon that, in the universal sense, has no name. It simply is. Planets revolve around the Sun not because we named "gravity", but because the force has existed since at least the birth of the Universe. So now apply that logic to "God", and assume that "God" is a semantic device to describe the entirety of all matter and the forces that determine the behavior of that matter in the universe, known and unknown. These forces are as simple as gravity or as complex as the phenomenon that we know exists that allows a few pounds of elements to interact in such a way that they contemplate the existence of "God", give abstracted names to natural order, and create order where chaos reigns. Once you understand that "God" means everything, or omnipotence then it becomes much easier to understand the rest of what theists believe. In that vein of thought, religious lessons like the Ten Commandments are really just instructions to mankind for our survival, given the curse of "free will". Whether you see these rules as written by a man or not is immaterial as it is all a function of the "everything" that theists call "God" and "free will" is a semantic device to describe mankind's ability to function beyond natural order. It's often mistaken by atheists that theists believe proof is anathema to faith, it isn't. True faith is in the salvation through adherence to a set of rules, and that those rules lead to a better life here, and death. Whether you believe something comes after death is also immaterial as, in the end, you can only judge a persons life by how they lived it and how they died. I would actually describe my personal beliefs somewhat differently than this, but I find this simplified natural explanation of "God" to be more palatable to Atheists than "here's the Bible, read it." No theist I know believes that God is part of the universe, but rather the reverse of that. So trying to pin God's non-existence down by simple observation the world around you is a waste of time. You are looking in the wrong place.
  18. This is a VERY important point. Before the modern direct measure of CO2, the graph is naturally smoothed by time, and the time scale is in thousand year increments. You can not in good conscience or good science claim that a sampling in thousand year increments shows no CO2 levels higher than the 150 yearly incremental measurement of today. It could easily have been higher any number of times in between those incremental markers but the sampling rate wouldn't catch it.
  19. Yeah, the polar bear plight has been thoroughly debunked at this point. The original study that projected the death of polar bears was literally based on three dead bears spotted in the ocean from a float plane. Nobody ever actually recovered the bears to find the cause of death, they simply had a guess, and then did some baseless statistics to extrapolate three dead bears over X% of area means 3(1/x%) total dead bears for the entire arctic. From that launched a world panic for polar bears.
  20. The "prepare for the worst" principle has its limits. There are any number of things that COULD happen to you on any a given day, but most you don't really prepare for otherwise you are sitting at home with tissue boxes on your feet and wearing a surgical mask. In the case of "preparing" for global warming you have options such as the green energy movement, but the problem there is that should global warming never materialize you have only really ended up with a far more expensive, less responsive energy supply for no real purpose that the market would have adopted eventually anyway if the secondary benefit is real. For instance, if Solar energy costs, on average, $20 for a given amount, and that same amount of energy costs $5 from an coal burning generator, and "peak coal" hits, the coal generated energy would eventually rise above $20 per unit and people would by nature switch to solar over coal. Granted, this is a very simplified point that doesn't take into account the abundance of varying energy supplies and their ability to scale with national need, but the general principle remains the same. Forcing the switch earlier than market pressures would otherwise dictate simply costs more money with no added benefit.
  21. No, see, your statement is incredibly ironic because what YOU did with the elephant quote is ACTUALLY cherry picking, AND you did a terrible job of it to boot. You took a statement that was four words and still managed to misread it and then offered a counter argument to what those four words didn't actually say... you then went on to proclaim that you ONE poorly executed example is indicative of the entire piece, and stuck with that argument. I've never seen someone who could stuff two complete logical fallacies into a rebuttal of a four word statement... so congratulations on that, I suppose. Your argument is wholly closed minded and sclerotic and really not worth whatever effort you put into it.
  22. No you didn't. Saying that elephants make some sounds that humans can't hear is not the same as saying people can't hear elephants. I would think that someone supposedly scientifically minded would be able to spot the difference in the two statements.
  23. Hah, I see you have sounded the retreat. You ask for examples and when I provide examples you declare them you first attack the source rather than address the information, and then when called out on that you declare the examples are "cherry picked". Ummm... Moontanaman, that is the nature of examples. I go out and pick some examples as you requested and I provide them to you. So far you have managed a stream of logical fallacy but little real meat. I remain ever the optimist though... you will eventually argue a point rather than attack it.
  24. Well, the Green revolution as a solution to strife hasn't panned out. As I said, the green revolution was in full swing in Rhodesia before the anti-colonial movement ended it and brought famine back to the region. Likewise, the green movement was/is in full swing in Côte d'Ivoire in it's booming cocoa industry... harvested by an equally booming child slave trade in the country that is fed new slaves by an equally booming civil war. Africa is a different place, and it's foolish to apply western sensibilities to African problems. Any time I start drifting to believing that I remind myself of a situation in Congo that I read about in the 1990s. The state run TV and Radio and print media was forced in that time to run a "The More You Know" style ad campaign for the people of Congo... but it was not "Don't do drugs" or "stay in School"... nothing like that. The ad campaign was to tell people that Pygmies are people too, and therefor shouldn't be hunted like wild animals for meat. Like a said.. a whole different set of problems on that continent.
  25. Do you care to actually address the points in the article or simply engage in logical fallacy?
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