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Accept It: Talk About Evolution Needs To Evolve


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#1 MarkForbes

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 02:28 AM

Accept it: Talk about evolution needs to evolve
By Eugenie Scott August 1st, 2009; Vol.176 #3 (p. 32) ...

So you urge scientists not to say that they “believe” in evolution?!


Right. What your audience hears is more important than what you say.… What [people] hear is that evolution is a belief, it’s an opinion, it’s not well-substantiated science. And that is something that scientists need to avoid communicating.
You believe in God. You believe your sports team is going to win. But you don’t believe in cell division. You don’t believe in thermodynamics. Instead, you might say you “accept evolution.”

How does the language used to discuss new discoveries add to the problem?


To put it mildly, it doesn’t help when evolutionary biologists say things like, “This completely revolutionizes our view of X.” Because hardly anything we come up with is going to completely revolutionize our view of the core ideas of science.... An insight into the early ape-men of East and South Africa is not going to completely change our understanding of Neandertals, for example. So the statement is just wrong. Worse, it’s miseducating the public as to the soundness of our understanding of evolution.
You can say that this fossil or this new bit of data “sheds new light on this part of evolution.”

So people get confused when scientists discover things and change ideas?


Yes, all the time. This is one of the real confusions about evolution. Creationists have done a splendid job of convincing the public that evolution is weak science because scientists are always changing their minds about things.

So how do you explain what science is?


An idea that I stole from [physicist] James Trefil visualizes the content of science as three concentric circles: the core ideas in the center, the frontier ideas in the next ring out and the fringe ideas in the outermost ring....


[We need to] help the public understand that the nature of scientific explanations is to change with new information or new theory — this is a strength of science — but that science is still reliable. And the core ideas of science do not change much, if at all.
The core idea of evolution is common ancestry, and we’re not likely to change our minds about that. But we argue a lot about … how the tree of life is branched and what mechanisms bring evolutionary change about. That’s the frontier area of science.

And then of course you have areas that claim to be science, like “creation science” and “intelligent design,” that are off in the fringe. Scientists don’t spend much time here because the ideas haven’t proven useful in understanding the natural world.

You’ve been on talk radio a lot. What’s your sense of what the public understands about evolutionary biology?

The public has a very poor understanding of evolution. People don’t recognize evolution as referring to the common ancestry of living things. Even those who accept evolution often don’t understand it well. They think it’s a great chain ... of gradual increases in complexity of forms through time, which is certainly an impoverished view of evolutionary biology. That view is the source, in my opinion, of: “If man evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?” ... That’s probably the second most common question I get on talk radio.


It’s like saying, “If you evolved from your cousins, why are your cousins still here?” And of course the answer is, well, in fact, I didn’t evolve from my cousins. My cousins and I shared common ancestors, in our grandparents.

What’s the current state of the effort to keep schools teaching evolution?


Sometimes it feels like the Red Queen around here, where we’re running as hard as we can to stay in the same place. The thing is, creationism evolves. And for every victory we have, there’s pressure on the creationists to change their approach. We constantly have to shift our response. Ultimately the solution to this problem is not going to come from pouring more science on it.

What should scientists and people who care about science do?


I’m calling on scientists to be citizens. American education is decentralized. Which means it’s politicized. To make a change ... you have to be a citizen who pays attention to local elections and votes [for] the right people. You can’t just sit back and expect that the magnificence of science will reveal itself and everybody will ... accept the science.
http://www.sciencene...y_Eugenie_Scott

Some interesting statements, some odd statements. But definitely giving some useful insights.

#2 Portillo

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 12:55 AM

We also shouldnt teach students that there may be problems with the theory of evolution, so that we dont confuse them.

#3 MarkForbes

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 04:18 AM

We also shouldnt teach students that there may be problems with the theory of evolution, so that we dont confuse them.

Eugenie suggests that scientist should be intellectually dishonest and use speech codes to make students and the public believe in evolution.

#4 jason

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:04 AM

i like the comments on that . "its the use of anthromorphic langage"

well lets see here

somehow blind natural selection and sheer random mutattions is what made this animal uniique.

honest enough.

#5 Ron

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:25 AM


We also shouldnt teach students that there may be problems with the theory of evolution, so that we dont confuse them.

Eugenie suggests that scientist should be intellectually dishonest and use speech codes to make students and the public believe in evolution.

Eugenie Scott also suggested evolutionists no longer debate YEC'ers. Although she attempted to side-step why this was, it was mainly because they were getting their clocks cleaned at every debate. I guess the facts don't lie! Anyway, this leads to Dawkins refusal to debate William Lane Craig. Dawkins was even getting quite shrill in his defense of not debating Craig. So what does Craig do? He recently toured Great Britton for a series of debates and lectures. And at every site, he left an open chair for Richard Dawkins (should he finally decide to show up) at every event. He even widely advertised this fact, so that Dawkins couldn't ignore it. So, at EVERY EVENT, there was a chair on the stage with a sign that read "Richard Dawkins" prominently displayed on it. But, like the chair, Richard Dawkins has no substantive answer.

Richard Dawkins fears debating William Lane Craig! Eugenie Scott fears evolutionists debating YEC’ers…

#6 menes777

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:48 PM

Eugenie Scott also suggested evolutionists no longer debate YEC'ers. Although she attempted to side-step why this was, it was mainly because they were getting their clocks cleaned at every debate. I guess the facts don't lie! Anyway, this leads to Dawkins refusal to debate William Lane Craig. Dawkins was even getting quite shrill in his defense of not debating Craig. So what does Craig do? He recently toured Great Britton for a series of debates and lectures. And at every site, he left an open chair for Richard Dawkins (should he finally decide to show up) at every event. He even widely advertised this fact, so that Dawkins couldn't ignore it. So, at EVERY EVENT, there was a chair on the stage with a sign that read "Richard Dawkins" prominently displayed on it. But, like the chair, Richard Dawkins has no substantive answer.

Richard Dawkins fears debating William Lane Craig! Eugenie Scott fears evolutionists debating YEC’ers…


Actually here is why. http://richarddawkin...te-creationists I agree with him. The point of the debate isn't to further truth or really convince either side. It's just a show and Dawkin's has been advised not to give the time or attention to creationists. What are the possible outcomes for him? He wins, the atheists cheer and the creationists still believe what they want. He loses and the atheists still believe what they want and creationists cheer. It's an exercise in futility because it's a dog and pony show, mainly to gain attention to whoever called the debate.

Realistically ask yourself, are you watching a debate to really see who will convince you or to support your side of what you already believe to be true? It's akin to watching a football game. You don't go to see who is the better team, you go to support your team. If your team wins so much the better. Of course Football has a clear way for one side to win. A debate on the other hand not so much. Yes there is a moderator that can decide victory but most people decide that for themselves anyway.

#7 jason777

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 01:39 PM

Science shouldn't be about supporting your beliefs; Rather, being able support your theory. Dawkin's and others know that they will be exposed as naturalistic faithfuls rather than scientific hopefuls.



Enjoy.

#8 jason

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 04:16 PM

i thought science was this always being skeptical , never think you have it all figured out. when you think you do. think agians and keep searching.

funny thing is they keep saying that too us and yet ingore the holes in their theories.

and when some do come forth that are athiests and say it aint happening they get ignored.

#9 Ron

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:49 AM


Eugenie Scott also suggested evolutionists no longer debate YEC'ers. Although she attempted to side-step why this was, it was mainly because they were getting their clocks cleaned at every debate. I guess the facts don't lie! Anyway, this leads to Dawkins refusal to debate William Lane Craig. Dawkins was even getting quite shrill in his defense of not debating Craig. So what does Craig do? He recently toured Great Britton for a series of debates and lectures. And at every site, he left an open chair for Richard Dawkins (should he finally decide to show up) at every event. He even widely advertised this fact, so that Dawkins couldn't ignore it. So, at EVERY EVENT, there was a chair on the stage with a sign that read "Richard Dawkins" prominently displayed on it. But, like the chair, Richard Dawkins has no substantive answer.

Richard Dawkins fears debating William Lane Craig! Eugenie Scott fears evolutionists debating YEC’ers…

Actually here is why. http://richarddawkin...te-creationists I agree with him.

The funny thing here is that Richard Dawkins has had many-many debates AND with Creationists (you can google that for all the links you want). One of my favorites was his debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (this is the one Dawkins refuses to admit having, but lost so badly)And the Rabbi then posted footage of the two hour debate to prove it happens, AND that Dawkins was a liar:

“...Dawkins attacked me on his website and denied that he and I had ever debated. My office quickly posted the full footage of a two hour debate which took place on October 23, 1996, a debate which Dawkins actually lost after a vote taken by the students as to which side, science or religion, caused more students to change their minds. In my article on the subject responding to his attack I was extremely respectful of Dr. Dawkins and was therefore shocked to receive a letter in return in which he accused me of speaking like Hitler. Had the noted scientist lost his mind? Hitler? Was this for real?” (see: http://www.beliefnet...ful-Attack.aspx )

Now he (Dawkins) simply refuses to debate with William Lane Craig. The first excuse he gave was because Craig wasn’t a “Bishop” in a Christian church. And Dawkins has dodged with flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse. Craig want’s to debate Dawkins points in his book “The God Delusion”. Dawkins debated Alastair McAlister, and lost I might add, and yet he won’t even defend his own book!

The point of the debate isn't to further truth or really convince either side.

That is incorrect menes, this isn’t the “Sophists Rhetoric” of centuries ago, and debate does indeed “further truth” and does indeed convince those in the middle, AND those who will actually weigh the evidences. This is why there are votes after many debates AND why there is so much dialogue long after the debates are over.
But to get back to the point, the Dawkins debate(s) were to either show all the fallacious material in “The God Delusion”, or show that Craig’s arguments were incorrect. Dawkins can’t even defend his own book it seems.



It's just a show and Dawkin's has been advised not to give the time or attention to creationists. What are the possible outcomes for him? He wins, the atheists cheer and the creationists still believe what they want. He loses and the atheists still believe what they want and creationists cheer. It's an exercise in futility because it's a dog and pony show, mainly to gain attention to whoever called the debate.


So all debates are a show now… I would have to beg to differ! All the past Presidential debates that I have watched and listened to since I came of age to vote, have helped me to decide who it was I would vote for! That alone disproves your assertion, because these debates helped me to either solidify behind the candidate I originally believed, OR switch candidates based upon the truths or fallacies that exited their lips. These were neither “dog and pony” shows, nor were they simply “attention getters” for the debate handlers.

Realistically ask yourself, are you watching a debate to really see who will convince you or to support your side of what you already believe to be true? It's akin to watching a football game. You don't go to see who is the better team, you go to support your team. If your team wins so much the better. Of course Football has a clear way for one side to win. A debate on the other hand not so much. Yes there is a moderator that can decide victory but most people decide that for themselves anyway.

Your assumption here is that I won’t admit when “my side” is wrong; but that is an incorrect assumption on your part. I use to be a hedonistic atheist, but after my own studies, I had to follow the evidences. If the atheist has a good argument, I will have to admit the truth of it. In fact, because of good atheistic points, I have had to revise my ideas on some things. The main problem for the atheist though, their main sticking point, is that they are foundationless in their origins, and in origins in general.

I do like your football analogy (to a point), because it can show the fanaticism of “some people” on either side. But the honest person can admit weaknesses along with strengths. But your last two statements are self-defeating, and belie the weakness in your argument.

First – You insinuate that debate cannot have an objective victorious conclusion
Second – You say that the “people” can decide a victory for themselves.
Conclusion – Number two negates number one! If people can objectively decide victory for them-selves, then debate can indeed have an objectively victorious conclusion!

#10 Portillo

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:32 PM

Actually here is why. http://richarddawkin...te-creationists I agree with him. The point of the debate isn't to further truth or really convince either side. It's just a show and Dawkin's has been advised not to give the time or attention to creationists. What are the possible outcomes for him? He wins, the atheists cheer and the creationists still believe what they want. He loses and the atheists still believe what they want and creationists cheer. It's an exercise in futility because it's a dog and pony show, mainly to gain attention to whoever called the debate.


Why does Dawkins write entire books about God, yet then claim that he doesnt like to give attention to creationists and Christian philosophers.

#11 Ron

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:01 PM


Actually here is why. http://richarddawkin...te-creationists I agree with him. The point of the debate isn't to further truth or really convince either side. It's just a show and Dawkin's has been advised not to give the time or attention to creationists. What are the possible outcomes for him? He wins, the atheists cheer and the creationists still believe what they want. He loses and the atheists still believe what they want and creationists cheer. It's an exercise in futility because it's a dog and pony show, mainly to gain attention to whoever called the debate.

Why does Dawkins write entire books about God, yet then claim that he doesnt like to give attention to creationists and Christian philosophers.


Its known as attempting to "have your cake and eat it too".

Also, if you read "The God Delusion", you're quickly notice that has far less to do with science, than it does with Dawkins atheistic philosophies. Which begs the question, "why not defend your philosophical work against other philosophers"?

No, Dawkins is running scared...

#12 supamk3speed

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:06 PM

I have seen footage of him debating Ben Stein. He seams to be quite a fearfull man, he was telling Ben that aliens must have started life on earth. In his opinion, even if he couldn't explain where life comes from it couldn't have come from God. He is extremely biased. I also think he is scared of God.

#13 jason777

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:26 PM

Its known as attempting to "have your cake and eat it too".

Also, if you read "The God Delusion", you're quickly notice that has far less to do with science, than it does with Dawkins atheistic philosophies. Which begs the question, "why not defend your philosophical work against other philosophers"?

No, Dawkins is running scared...


Yeah, I heard he interviewed two christian pastors for his documentary, but refused to include them because he couldn't find any fault with Jesus' testimony. So, he only included the radical Muslim religions, etc. That is flat out dishonest propaganda and he knows he will be exposed if confronted with it.


Enjoy.




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