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Science Forum

  1. Standard member vivify
    rain
    14 Nov '17 23:20
    YouTube

    "Would you as a geologist, engage in a debate with a believer in flat earth?" I think he makes some good points.

    Thoughts?
  2. 15 Nov '17 09:25
    Originally posted by @vivify
    [youtube]BhmsDGanyes[/youtube]

    "Would you as a geologist, engage in a debate with a believer in flat earth?" I think he makes some good points.

    Thoughts?
    I wouldn't, as a sane, honest human being, debate anything with Dawkins. He is to science what PETA are to animal care and Westboro is to Christianity.
  3. 15 Nov '17 11:34
    Originally posted by @shallow-blue
    I wouldn't, as a sane, honest human being, debate anything with Dawkins. He is to science what PETA are to animal care and Westboro is to Christianity.
    Why wouldn't you debate anything with Dawkins?
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    15 Nov '17 11:58
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Why wouldn't you debate anything with Dawkins?
    Because he knows Dawk is very sharp and can see through ridiculosities the creationists bring to the table? Like the incredibly sharp mind of Ken Ham who sincerely thinks mankind and dinosaurs walked on Earth together. AND spent 150 MILLION dollars building what he thinks is a replica of the Ark, thinking millions of people will come see it when in fact it is a bust, less than 1/4th of the people he expected actually showed up.

    Yes, GREAT mind that Ken Ham. Dawk would eat him for lunch.
  5. 15 Nov '17 12:39
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Why wouldn't you debate anything with Dawkins?
    I just told you. Is reading what people write as hard for you as it is for Dawkins, PETA and Westboro?
  6. 15 Nov '17 13:14
    Originally posted by @shallow-blue
    I just told you. Is reading what people write as hard for you as it is for Dawkins, PETA and Westboro?
    - You've not told (me) anything. You made a meaningless comparison between Dawkins and Westboro that went something like this:

    1) Westboro is bad
    2) Dawkins is like Westboro
    3) Therefore Dawkins is bad

    You never went any further than a vacuous one-liner.

    You may as well have said "Dawkins is a doo-doo head, so there!"

    - Are you seriously insinuating that "reading what people write" is "hard" for Dawkins? Is that your next well-thought-out Ad hom attack? Do you have examples of Dawkins exhibiting this "poor reading comprehension" (Trademark The Duchess, All Rights Reserved)?

    Do you have anything remotely sounding like a proper argument against Dawkins as a scientist, or are just salty and bitter because he's roflstomped all over your Christians beliefs so many, many times?
  7. 15 Nov '17 19:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @vivify
    [youtube]BhmsDGanyes[/youtube]

    "Would you as a geologist, engage in a debate with a believer in flat earth?" I think he makes some good points.

    Thoughts?
    I have read some of Dawkins' work (e.g. Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype) that substantially moved the field of evolutionary biology forward at that time. And his contention that "if you engage in a scientific debate over creationism then you inadvertently legitimize a pseudoscience that does not deserve equal treatment" is valid.

    However, I followed him on twitter for awhile too and he's clearly become an extremist and a provocateur in his own right. For example, instead of saying that creationism shouldn't be taught in science class because it's pseudoscience (like a normal person would), he asserts that religion is a form of child abuse. As an extremist, he can't argue with creationists because he can't find any common ground. He isn't even looking for common ground.

    In reality, it seems to me that common ground does exist. Most "creationists" are not the young earth kind, but they can still feel threatened by scientific ideas. The perceived threat of science on religious faith is a real problem that should be addressed. That's why Gould correctly argued that science and religion should be separate and non-overlapping entities. Science should not care whether God exists or not. As Gould describes it, "Religion is too important to too many people for any dismissal or denigration of the comfort still sought by many folks from theology." A soul, for example, is not scientific at all but it is a useful concept.

    The official position of the Catholic Church asserts that faith does not conflict with the scientific consensus on evolution. Many creationists can engage in evolutionary debates beginning with the premise that Genesis is a purposefully-vague metaphor. Science is filling in the details with evidence-based experimentation. The search for details as to how it all works is thrilling. From this standpoint, the pious student no longer feels closed-off and threatened in biology class, and it is no longer necessary for christian advocacy groups to insist that creationism is taught as science. Creationism clearly belongs in Sunday school, but Dawkins chooses to stoke the flames of conflict between science and religion instead of recognizing the relevance of faith-based concepts outside the realm of science.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    15 Nov '17 19:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    I have read some of Dawkins' work (e.g. Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype) that substantially moved the field of evolutionary biology forward at that time. And his contention that "if you engage in a scientific debate over creationism then you inadvertently legitimize a pseudoscience that does not deserve equal treatment" is valid.

    However, I followe ...[text shortened]... igion instead of recognizing the relevance of faith-based concepts outside the realm of science.
    In other words, all you atheists, suck it up and recognize that the biggest scam in human history, religion, is out there and there is nothing we can do about it. It is really a blight on the human race for humans to be convincing other humans about gods, all of them scams perpetuated for thousands of years and now since one billion or more believe in one of the Abrahamic religions the weight of those billion are somehow proof of the varacity of the ridiculous claims of those 3 religions.

    If the religious set wants to prove god or gods exist, have them call one in and it will for sure have my full attention. Humans just parroting the same tired phrases over and over again, forget it if you think you are actually going to convert me. Proselytizers should be thrown in jail. They are the perpetrators of the scam.
  9. 15 Nov '17 19:34
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    ... he asserts that religion is a form of child abuse.
    Religion IS a form of child abuse. Nothing extremist about it. Filling your child's head with such life changing lies should not be excused.
  10. 15 Nov '17 19:46
    Originally posted by @great-king-rat
    Religion IS a form of child abuse. Nothing extremist about it. Filling your child's head with such life changing lies should not be excused.
    But.... they love Santa. It seems cruel to take that away from them.
  11. 15 Nov '17 19:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @sonhouse
    In other words, all you atheists, suck it up and recognize that the biggest scam in human history, religion, is out there and there is nothing we can do about it. It is really a blight on the human race for humans to be convincing other humans about gods, all of them scams perpetuated for thousands of years and now since one billion or more believe in one ...[text shortened]... g to convert me. Proselytizers should be thrown in jail. They are the perpetrators of the scam.
    Why is it that when you start talking about the benefits of a lack of religion in society all the sudden it starts to sound like a religion?

    All I want from my atheism is to not go to church every Sunday. I don't care what others do. I don't feel threatened by them. I don't feel the need to indoctrinate others, seemingly turning atheism into its own religion. I don't see the harm in kids going to church on Sunday, as long as they show up ready to learn real biology on Monday.

    I do agree that some ideas are very bad, but its not religion itself. Of course we should fight the bad ideas that cause harm, but general religious concepts of faith and spirituality and community are not the enemy.
  12. Standard member vivify
    rain
    15 Nov '17 21:01
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    I have read some of Dawkins' work (e.g. Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype) that substantially moved the field of evolutionary biology forward at that time. And his contention that "if you engage in a scientific debate over creationism then you inadvertently legitimize a pseudoscience that does not deserve equal treatment" is valid.

    However, I followe ...[text shortened]... igion instead of recognizing the relevance of faith-based concepts outside the realm of science.
    As far as religion being "child abuse", I remember him using teaching children about eternal torment in hell as an example. That makes sense, since I'd be abusing my child if I told him there's a being called The Boogie Man who will take his soul and torment him if he doesn't behave. Right?

    Regarding "common ground", you just stated that it's "correct" to believe science should be separate and non-overlapping. How can there be common ground, then?

    Adding to all this is the fact many creationist claims have thoroughly debunked. This leaves no room for toleration of creationism—it is a flat out falsehood.

    Make sense?
  13. Standard member vivify
    rain
    15 Nov '17 21:10 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    Why is it that when you start talking about the benefits of a lack of religion in society all the sudden it starts to sound like a religion?

    All I want from my atheism is to not go to church every Sunday. I don't care what others do. I don't feel threatened by them. I don't feel the need to indoctrinate others, seemingly turning atheism into its own re ...[text shortened]... harm, but general religious concepts of faith and spirituality and community are not the enemy.
    If religion was simply like believing in Santa, where no one is hurt from believing in it, then I'd agree.

    Unfortunately, religion has had disastrous effects all throughout history until the present day. Women are still being stoned to death for accusations of not being a virgin. People have died from abortion clinics being bombed, or shot up. Children have died because their parents refused to give them medicine due to "faith-based" reasons. Gays not only have been denied the right to marry, but in many countries, live in fear of death. Religious beliefs have stunted scientific research, such as with stem-cell research. Religious people have made laws denying women the right to get an abortion, resulting in disastrous effects, such as unwanted children, children growing up poor because their parents can't afford to care for them, children living in foster care, increased crime as a result of growing up such broken homes.....etc., etc.

    Religion must be fought against because it's affects only make the world worse.
  14. 15 Nov '17 21:13
    Originally posted by @wildgrass
    But.... they love Santa. It seems cruel to take that away from them.
    You aren't equating the temporal funny story of Santa (explained to be fake when they are still children and still impressionable) to the lifelong religious stories and threats that are told to be the absolute undisputed truth, are you??
  15. 15 Nov '17 22:47
    Originally posted by @vivify
    As far as religion being "child abuse", I remember him using teaching children about eternal torment in hell as an example. That makes sense, since I'd be abusing my child if I told him there's a being called The Boogie Man who will take his soul and torment him if he doesn't behave. Right?

    Regarding "common ground", you just stated that it's "correct ...[text shortened]... This leaves no room for toleration of creationism—it is a flat out falsehood.

    Make sense?
    All good points. They do make sense.

    1) Other than religious exemptions for vaccinations (and physical abuse of course), I think Dawkins is abusing the term abuse. At least in my brief foray with religion, Sunday School consisted of moral fables about right and wrong, sharing and community service (i.e. serving soup to the homeless). Many of the fables teach the value human relationships over blind faith (see the Garden of Eden). Obviously, we all know there's bad stuff that you can do that leads to punishment and kids need to know about it. At appropriate ages, it's not abuse to talk about it. In sunday school, the consequences are used as metaphors, as least outside of fundamentalist interpretations. If you do something bad to someone that you will regret it is eternally painful. This is true.

    2) The common ground, I think, starts with the recognition that most of the concepts of religion are completely compatible with scientific principles. Creationism and evolution should not be considered opposing "theories" on which to explain our existence. They are compatible. Non-overlapping was Gould's term for the distinct questions that religion and science are capable of answering.

    3) It is unremarkable that creationist claims were wholly debunked by science. Creationism clearly isn't science. I think to move forward we need to remove the perceived threat that science poses to religion. Remove the threat, and the need for creationism as an alternative theory disappears. Dawkins wants to amplify the threat, which only amplifies the need among religious folk for an alternative "scientific" theory in biology class. Thanks to Dawkins, the perception is that we're trying to debunk God's existence, which couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, science does not care.