1. Standard membershavixmir
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    01 Oct '08 11:09
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I realise that the "Genius of Charles Darwin" series finished weeks ago but the "Darwin" thread it prompted is still winding its pointless way so I thought I'd start another.

    I watched the series hoping to see an explanation of the theory for the layman (it is a remarkably simple theory considering its impact: no maths required and if explained well the w ...[text shortened]... ne opportunity to educate and inform thrown away? What do you guys think?

    --- Penguin.
    You can't convince religious people to become un-religious, no matter how strong your argumentation is.
  2. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    01 Oct '08 13:06
    Originally posted by Feastboy
    Not under attack... 'under attack'....
    OK, I get your point.

    Something I've been wondering about -- how should, say, acupuncture therapists explain their work? Chinese medicine has its own terminology -- perhaps they should stick to that and merely smile and shrug when asked for a scientific explanation?
  3. Cape Town
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    01 Oct '08 13:41
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    OK, I get your point.

    Something I've been wondering about -- how should, say, acupuncture therapists explain their work? Chinese medicine has its own terminology -- perhaps they should stick to that and merely smile and shrug when asked for a scientific explanation?
    As far as I know there is no scientific explanation for the beneficial results of acupuncture other than a suggestion that it might be an example of the placebo effect.
    So yes they would do best to stick to their own terminology, and admit that the methods are not scientific. They are welcome however to claim that they have scientifically proven that they get good results (if they can provide the studies).
    I strongly suspect that people who attempt to use scientific words such as 'energies' are attempting to legitimize their ideas by association or deception. I take issue with theists who frequently do the same.
    Having said that there might be legitimate reasons for using certain terms (such as 'energies'😉 when the similarities are clear and when it is clear that it is not being used in a scientific way.
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    01 Oct '08 13:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    As far as I know there is no scientific explanation for the beneficial results of acupuncture other than a suggestion that it might be an example of the placebo effect.
    I have a problem with saying "it's just the placebo effect". It sounds downright patronising.

    Perhaps Chinese medicine should be viewed as an art instead of a science ...
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    01 Oct '08 22:561 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I have a problem with saying "it's just the placebo effect". It sounds downright patronising.

    Perhaps Chinese medicine should be viewed as an art instead of a science ...
    It might sound patronising but unfortunately alot of the time it's probably true. Most therapies are about making people feel better, and alot of the time they succeed quite well. They do make people feel better, and the patients in feeling better experience a placebo effect and actually get better (if only for a short time). Most of the 'evidence' that alternative therapies work comes from anecdotal evidence of people trying it and it working for them, although you get exactly the same sort of thing with people wearing 'lucky' shirts or whatever. They attribute the good things that happen to them to the shirt rather than the extra confidence they have when they wear a shirt that they think makes good things happen to them... Ok.. rambling a bit now... lets move on...

    Acupuncture is an interesting one in that it does work (sometimes - i wouldn't call it an 'exact' medicine) but no-ones quite sure how. One current theory is that by causing very small pains along a nerve it can overload pain sensors in the brain and block out larger pains. There are other theories along the same point and this is a feasible scientific study because it depends on actual physiology rather than half-baked ideas about energy. Of course, there will also be a placebo effect to this too, just as there will be with all medicines. The difference lays in the effect being positive/negative and it's magnitude.

    (edited for spelling)
  6. weedhopper
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    01 Oct '08 23:121 edit
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I realise that the "Genius of Charles Darwin" series finished weeks ago but the "Darwin" thread it prompted is still winding its pointless way so I thought I'd start another.

    I watched the series hoping to see an explanation of the theory for the layman (it is a remarkably simple theory considering its impact: no maths required and if explained well the w ne opportunity to educate and inform thrown away? What do you guys think?

    --- Penguin.
    God I know, and Darwin I know, but what is a "Dawkins"? 😀
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    13 Oct '08 17:35
    I was disappointed with "The God Delusion." He opens by claiming that the book is meant for everyone, and that he would not go out of his way to insult anyone. Yet three pages later, his tone is derisive and insulting. The first half does present atheists arguments decently, but the book is clearly written for our amusement and not in the spirit as claimed by the introduction. He even includes lengthy quotes from atheist humor sites! I gave up on it in the middle, when he was trotting out his own pet theories as to how religion came to be. It's okay for him to have his pet theories, but I'd like to hear from someone who has genuinely studied the problem and given it a decent amount of thought.
  8. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    16 Oct '08 11:18
    Originally posted by convect
    I was disappointed with "The God Delusion." He opens by claiming that the book is meant for everyone, and that he would not go out of his way to insult anyone. Yet three pages later, his tone is derisive and insulting. The first half does present atheists arguments decently, but the book is clearly written for our amusement and not in the spirit as claime ...[text shortened]... from someone who has genuinely studied the problem and given it a decent amount of thought.
    You should appreciate this then:
    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/010652.html
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    16 Oct '08 18:50
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    You should appreciate this then:
    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/010652.html
    Yes indeed. A very relevent article. Thank you.

    -- Penguin.
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    20 Oct '08 07:45
    Originally posted by Penguin
    Yes indeed. A very relevent article. Thank you.

    -- Penguin.
    So how have your views developed since opening this thread?
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    21 Oct '08 21:46
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    So how have your views developed since opening this thread?
    I am becoming more of the opinion that his scientific ideas are of great merit but his personal appearances serve more to polarise than to educate & enlighten. This may be due to the way the media portrays him.

    --- Penguin
  12. Cape Town
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    23 Oct '08 06:55
    Originally posted by Penguin
    I am becoming more of the opinion that his scientific ideas are of great merit but his personal appearances serve more to polarise than to educate & enlighten. This may be due to the way the media portrays him.

    --- Penguin
    And his books / writings on religion?

    I think "The God Delusion" was a good thing. I find there is too much of a tendency to resist criticism of religion, even when the criticism is of other religions than your own or when you are an atheist.
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    23 Oct '08 17:19
    I think his writings put clearly what a lot of people often only vaguely think of.

    Having said that, it is obvious that he will polorise opinions. The thing is, the religious contingent already have sections with extremist views, whereas the atheist community don't really. Except Dawkins. It is time we said that religion was/is a stupid idea, and Dawkins could be a catalyst for that. It worries me that you have to believe in god to get anywhere in American politics for example.

    Anyway I was running close to leaving the Science thread altogether there.

    I do find his television manner quite awkward which doesn't help when he's trying to interview someone of a religious background, and he can come off as a bit arrogant, but to be fair it must be like banging your head against a brick wall.

    His books however are yummy brain food.
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    23 Oct '08 19:21
    Originally posted by Feastboy
    I think his writings put clearly what a lot of people often only vaguely think of.

    Having said that, it is obvious that he will polorise opinions. The thing is, the religious contingent already have sections with extremist views, whereas the atheist community don't really. Except Dawkins. It is time we said that religion was/is a stupid idea, and Da ...[text shortened]... st be like banging your head against a brick wall.

    His books however are yummy brain food.
    His science writing I think is superb. I much preferred the 1st half of The God Delusion to the second. I wish he had spent 3/4 of the book explaining why atheism should be the default perspective and only 1/4 attcking the evils of religion.

    And I agree he comes across as arrogant and superior on the telly.

    --- Penguin.
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