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BS: Science under attack.

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Subject: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 01:57 PM

Absolutely shocking!

The gist of the article... "Since April 2010, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has engaged in a campaign of harassment against climate scientist Michael Mann through a groundless, intrusive investigation of his work at the University of Virginia between 1999 and 2005.

Escalating the attacks in early 2011, a Virginia activist group that denies the scientific consensus on climate change sought the same information through the state's open records law. And the ability of scientists in Virginia to ask tough questions about our world—and pursue contentious lines of research—is at stake.

The attack begins

Cuccinelli's initial subpoena, delivered to UVA on April 23, 2010, stated that Mann is being investigated under provisions of the Virginia Fraud against Taxpayers Act of 2002, which establishes civil penalties for making fraudulent claims for payment from the state. The "fraudulent claims" in question are applications for state-funded grants which partly supported Mann's work at UVA. The subpoena demanded that the University hand over not only all data and documents created by Mann in connection with his grant-funded research, but also all correspondence between Mann and a long list of his colleagues."

How's about that eh? Unreal!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:20 PM

Validation of scientific research by court as opposed to peer review -- unreal it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:24 PM

Surprised?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM

Surprised? YES. INDEED!

Shocked, disgusted, actually "scared" that such crap could go on in the US in the present day... beyond reality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 02:47 PM

No surprise. Ignorant lawmakers have been around a long time.
A few cases stand out, one being the Scopes trial in 1925; the state Legislature had passed a bill prohibiting the teaching of evolution in state schools.
Recently we have seen the barring of research money for stem cell research, although this is one of the most important medical breakthroughs ever.

Gene transfer studies are being attacked, and probably will be the next advance brought into legislatures and courts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 03:45 PM

On the face of it, Global warming findings are not fraud. Nor could any basic research be including para-scientific research on things like ESP and UFO's. It would only be actual fraud if he were claim that by giving him money or other support, a certain goal would be met.

I think the public has a much stronger claim against the GOP when they say that cutting taxes will lower the deficit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 06:22 PM

I hope the case goes forward. And I hope Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is reprimanded for bringing a frivolous case before the court, sued by Professor Mann for harassment, forced to resign from office, disbarred, forced to reimburse the State of Virginia for the money he wasted on his witch-hunt, and prosecuted by his successor for malicious and unwarranted prosecution. And if he'd catch scabies somewhere along the way, that'd be nice too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 06:24 PM

Don't hold back, BWL. Say what you REALLY mean!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 06:30 PM

I also hope that he catches terminal crotch rot and spends his all of his prison time scratching wildly at his crotch.

Fool....

Reminds me of the "legislators" out here who, in this year's session, tried to get a bill passed which would, under the so-called "Exclusion Principle" suggested by Tom Jefferson, prevent Idaho from enforcing federal laws those in charge didn't agree with.

The state Attorney General told them to forget it and yet they persisted. The second time he told them that it could be considered an act of secession and could lead to a declaration of martial law. Fortunately, the fools backed down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 07:06 PM

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was a disaster from the 1st day he was in office... along with a governor who is almost as bad.

They are part of the extreme right-wing attempt to neutralize every Democratic law and procedure imaginable... under the guise of religious 'truth'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 08:37 AM

I thought the Dark Ages were past and gone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Musket
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 09:58 AM

Before anybody thinks it could only happen in The USA..

Here in The UK a few years ago, McDonalds won a case where people had said that if you eat their food, it will be bad for your health long term. It appears that if you can afford a better legal team, you can prove your food doesn't clog arteries.

Luckily, a few regional directors of public health repeated this in PCT board meetings under qualified privilege, just in case anybody thought court judgements clashed with what we know about fat and cholesterol.

(I have had a quick search on the details, but can't find them. This case did happen, or I should stop eating cheese before going to bed. I don't think I dreamt it?....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 10:18 AM

The real problem isn't the court case, it's the climate deniers in the media, business etc across the world that are making sure the science isn't being disseminated to the public, who have a right to know after all. The climate scientists aren't blameless in this; there is a real failure on their part to educate the public about climate change and it's consequences and we are now at a very dangerous point in this debate. Considering there is an overwhelming consensus amongst climate scientists that human activity is affecting the climate of the planet, this is a desperate issue.

Science as a whole suffers from this problem, but in the case of climate science I worry the battle is already lost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 11:07 AM

The only thing funny about this is that cucinelli means ladybug in Italian...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 11:42 AM

Mather is largely right on McLibel (google that term) but the case was won on "innuendo" that is to say the meanings attributed to the words of the campaigners that would not have occurred to the normal person but were invented by skilled lawyers. Happily, the campaigners caused enormous harm to MacDonalds and even looney US attorneys are unlikely to be able to get McLipids to enter into any similar arse-kicking contest with another porcupine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 11:49 AM

Ian, see the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLibel_Case


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 12:47 PM

There was a Horizon programme about this theme some months back. The sceptics (or pillocks) strongly believe that one unsubstatiated hypothesis is enough evidence to counter overwhelming scientific evidence.

To the effect - "My opinion is possible, therefore it must be true and therefore all other evidnece must be false".

Has anyone thought through that in the end it is the wealthy who don't give a f*** if they destroy the planet as it is a problem for later generations, and in their view it would vbe better for a couple of billion p[eople to die than have to change their lifestyle."

Maybe then it is the biilions who are being selfish, how dare they expect to have water or a climate that sustains life if it robs some magnate of a few dollars!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Musket
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 01:50 PM

Thanks 999. I hadn't put McLibel, yet I suppose that is a logical search term...

I am also aware of a doctor who recently won his case but just about bankrupted him in the meantime by trying to publish a paper examining the benefit or otherwise of chiropractic therapy. Ben Goodman's book "Bad Science" also makes interesting reading regarding the use of the legal world to stifle scientific or indeed academic debate at any level where there is a buck to be turned peddling snake oil.

Stifling real debate on climate issues could, sadly, make these other issues irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 02:10 PM

They had a "discussion" on LBC 97.3 (a London local radio station) last night on this very subject. Most contributions, apart from a lucid guy from Brussels (it is online as well, so "local" is a bit fuzzy) who knew what he was talking about, were structured along the lines of "I am ignorant about science, but my opinion is that the emails from the University showed that the science was definitely flawed, and that any apparent warming is a very small number and anyway due to sunspots, and my opinion trumps the scientific consensus". They clearly had drawn the information from some common source with an axe to grind.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: grumpy al
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 03:58 PM

Why do so many legislators, who cannot understand or even bother to try to understand scientific findings, adopt a head in the sand policy about everything? The only reasons I can think of are fear and/or blind ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 04:30 PM

Or political opportunism, an inflated self-importance, religious fanaticism, or plain old stupidity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: grumpy al
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 04:31 PM

well put Greg F. missed those


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 05:33 PM

New Scientist this week has a piece on spotting the believers in Bullshit - I could post a link, but it would only work if you are already a subscriber. I read hard copy.

It was useful on how to spot the stuff, but I'm still not clear on why people go there.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 06:04 PM

New Scientist is not a genuine science publication.

It is science-oriented tabloid with a definite political agenda.

Real science and math publications are very hard to understand unless you are trained in that field. They also have very limited circulation and cost more to print that they can ever bring in.

By simplifying the product so the average high schooll student can roughly understand what is being said enables several things to happen. Firstly, the publisher can sell millions of copies and make lots of money. Secondly, he can push his political point of view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 06:19 PM

Ja, mein fuehrer


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 06:51 PM

New Scientist "a tabloid"?   That word must have some other meaning wherever pdq lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 08:02 PM

Tabloid publishing is to journalism what punk (or rotten) wood is to solid timber.

It is not so much a matter of subject (such as sex and drug use among the famous), but a matter of quality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 09:19 PM

That word must have some other meaning wherever pdq lives.

PeeDee lives in the Land of Delusion. Pay no attention.

(P.S. - talk about having "a definite political agenda.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 06:54 AM

Is there an implication that some of us would not understand proper science journals?

Then again, we can't access the ****** things. Not in public libraries. No longer on paper in university libraries. Behind pay walls. Not cheap, and you don't know wherther the paper is any use until after paying. Not available to alumni of universities, even when they've paid a subscription for library use.

That's you, Elsevier, Wiley and Jstor.

The article, however, did, I suppose have a political bias, since some of the BS attitudes it singled out seemed to be those associated with a right wing agenda. You know, I don't recall seeing a left-wing anti-science idea being peddled around over the years. Odd, that.

If anyone knows any different, I'd be interested to know.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 07:14 AM

As a keen avocational palaeontologist I often run into the problem of finding papers, but there are ways around this:

1) If you have a reference or abstract, contact the author directly. Workers are often very happy to send a copy of their papers.

2) Open-access journals: These are becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to JStor etc. Authors are realising they need to get their research to a wider audience and are increasingly publishing through these outlets which are mostly online. Check forums and blogs in your chosen subject area, ask for copies of papers or links if necessary.

3) Libraries often keep copies of journals or can get them for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 12:47 PM

The article, however, did, I suppose have a political bias, since some of the BS attitudes it singled out seemed to be those associated with a right wing agenda.

Uh, No.

Bullshit is bullshit, period, and has no political orientation or bias.

Just because a preponderance of right-wingers choose to embrace bullshit doesn't mean that those who don't have a left-wing bias.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 06:55 PM

Greg, I was being polite. Or ironic. Or something.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 11:06 PM

"Just because a preponderance of right-wingers choose to embrace bullshit doesn't mean that those who don't have a left-wing bias."

Beautiful post, Greg. That should be appended to every political thread on this forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 12:09 AM

Seems to me that cases of this sort go back to Galileo. Even so, it still moves and Climate Change, aka Global Warming is still happening, no matter how much the deniers deny it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: J-boy
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 01:03 AM

The universe has no regard as to what humans might think is right or wrong. It simply is. And we are all part of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 04:21 AM

The deniers may deny it, and that is their prerogative. Unfortunately the deniers are hell-bent on using their arguments to protect their commercial interests, and if they get their way, once they are proved wrong it will be too late to do anything about it, and it won't be there problem anyway as they will be long dead and gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Midchuck
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 08:36 AM

I never cease to be amused at how much liberals/environmentalists talking about climate change sound like conservatives/religious fundamentalists talking about the literal truth of the Bible, etc.

In each case, you're not only evil if you actually disagree with them, you're evil if you say, "I don't know what the truth is, I'm waiting for you to convince me with hard evidence, rather than yelling about what a miserable sinner I am for failing to accept Truth immediately and without asking any embarrassing questions."

SOMETHING's happening to the climate. But something's always happening to the climate. Can you say "ice age"?

But of course, I'm living 5 or 6 hundred feet above sea level, not in a major city that some idiot decided to build 4 or 5 feet above sea level, so maybe I don't take the matter as seriously as some.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 09:44 AM

Here is a statement taken from the IPCC official website...


The global average surface temperature has increased over the 20th century by about 0.6°C.

The global average surface temperature (the average of near surface air temperature over land, and sea surface temperature) has increased since 1861. Over the 20th century the increase has been 0.6 ± 0.2°C5, 6 (Figure 1a). This value is about 0.15°C larger than that estimated by the SAR for the period up to 1994, owing to the relatively high temperatures of the additional years (1995 to 2000) and improved methods of processing the data. These numbers take into account various adjustments, including urban heat island effects. The record shows a great deal of variability; for example, most of the warming occurred during the 20th century, during two periods, 1910 to 1945 and 1976 to 2000.

Globally, it is very likely7 that the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the instrumental record, since 1861 (see Figure 1a).

New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely7 to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely7 that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year (Figure 1b). Because less data are available, less is known about annual averages prior to 1,000 years before present and for conditions prevailing in most of the Southern Hemisphere prior to 1861.

On average, between 1950 and 1993, night-time daily minimum air temperatures over land increased by about 0.2°C per decade. This is about twice the rate of increase in daytime daily maximum air temperatures (0.1°C per decade). This has lengthened the freeze-free season in many mid- and high latitude regions. The increase in sea surface temperature over this period is about half that of the mean land surface air temperature.


Note that the maximum-minimum thermometer was not in common use until about 1800, so any temperature "data" before that time is a guess (or worse, a lie).

Also, the warmest period in the century was 1936-42, the hight of the Depression and the slowest industrial output of the period in question.

Not mentioned is that all of the increase is in the minimum temperature. No change in maximum readings at all. This is consistant with the ability of city buildings and roards to store heat and release it night. The weather stations in rural areas at the begining of the century were often in a city 100 years later.

The temperature is always changing to some extent. The 0.6 degrees C is very small compared to most other similar periods of the. It hardly deserves the term "global warming". Actually, "global normalcy" be a more correct term, but that would not put the public in a state of alarm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 10:16 AM

Nicely cherry-picked, PeeDee.

Please also quote from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) & Kyoto Protocol.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 10:36 AM

From the IPCC's latest report that that pdq must have overlooked:

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007

   * Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

   * Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90%) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations.

   * Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized, although the likely amount of temperature and sea level rise varies greatly depending on the fossil intensity of human activity during the next century (pages 13 and 18).[41]

   * The probability that this is caused by natural climatic processes alone is less than 5%.

   * World temperatures could rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 °C (2.0 and 11.5 °F) during the 21st century (table 3) and that:
       * Sea levels will probably rise by 18 to 59 centimetres (7.1–23 in) [table 3].
       * There is a confidence level >90% that there will be more frequent warm spells, heat waves, and heavy rainfall.
       * There is a confidence level >66% that there will be an increase in droughts, tropical cyclones, and extreme high tides.

   * Both past and future anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will continue to contribute to warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium.

   * Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values over the past 650,000 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 11:38 AM

As I said, above, just because right-wingers embrace bullshit...

well.....

never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 02:04 PM

"... and now far exceed pre-industrial values over the past 650,000 years."

Such statements add fuel to the fires of those who do not "believe" in "global warming". 650,000 years? Why would anyone say that? It detracts from and cheapens the analyses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 02:14 PM

Great point, gnu.

Perhaps bobad will go back and read the entire statement he posted as an exercise in "critical thinking".

The post is essentially "opinion" followed by wild "speculation" in the form of predictions.

* World temperatures could rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 °C (2.0 and 11.5 °F) during the 21st century...

That is about as bad as the recent religious prediction that the world will end "next Friday".


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 02:20 PM

Science is not under attack by Cucinelli or any of the other corporate shills who link the culture wars with energy policy. It is our very lives and civilization that is under attack in order to preserve the short term profits of energy companies.




The real issue of science being under attack usually comes from the science community itself. Whenever linear thinging scientists disagree with great thinkers who tend to be right hempispheric thinkers there is always trouble and the threat of isolating the global thinker from the 'Normal' science community.

This is particularly true in genetic science. It turns out a geneticist by the name of LaMark beleived that genes can be changed by enviormental factors in as little as one generation and in rare cases within ones own lifetime. He was laughed out of town and the the term LaMarkian was used to describe nonsensical idiots in scinece.

It turns out Lamark was right, beyond his own expectations.


In short science is not under attack in the American culture war politicians who represent wealthy corporate interests. It is the trillion dollar energy corporations who feel their profits are under attack if people use their own eyes or science to link climate change disasters and energy company practices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:00 PM

I have not closely considered Lamarck since the mid 60s but I do not believe that he associated heritable change with genes since the concept of DNA was then unknown. I am not aware of the theoretical rehabilitation of his views in inherited characteristics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:22 PM

Richard Bridge,
With your background you will certainly enjoy reading and critiquing a book by Lynn McTaggert, THE BOND,

read chapter 2 regarding my ideas about Lamarck.

The book is well worth the $12 and the one minute to download to your Kindle. If in paperback, it is worth $5.99 as well.

I like the book because it is a wellreasoned alternative to the current failing paradigm that is tearing civilization apart despite the opportunities that non linear science and psychology could mend today.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+bond++lynn+Mctaggert&x=18&y=36


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:39 PM

The evidence about climate change is abundant and out there easily researched and I'll take the word of most scientists about this issue, thank you very much.

Science has always had an enemy, religion being one, political opportunism, another, greed and corruption (think M.I.C) finally.

This is the history of science, the fear people have of technological breakthroughs,the lack of understanding of the medium, the attempt to replace a empirical method with an ideological one, this is old hat.

There is a new branch of psychology, Evolutionary Psychology which promises to bring more knowledge to the public about the functioning of the brain and how it adapts to new situations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 03:47 PM

Lamarck did NOT suggest anything like 'genetic' inheritance. He believed in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. That is, if your father built up his muscles, you could inherit them. (simplistic example, but relevant.)

"Two ideas were incorporated in Lamarck's theory. The first was the theory of use and disuse; the idea that body parts used more often become stronger and larger, while parts not used slowly waste away and disappear. The second idea was the inheritance of acquired characteristics theory, the concept that modifications that occur during an organisms lifetime are passed on to its offspring. His example was the giraffe. He believed that the long neck of the giraffe resulted from the ancestors of giraffes stretching their necks longer and longer while trying to reach the highest branches of the trees."

Lamarck was important because he got so much wrong, and gave us a window to what is NOT relevant. He did many useful things in regard to science & evolution and categorization, but he failed to see the proper connection between evolution and personal behavior.

(I was introduced to Lamarck in my 1st philosophy class in 1957, and he was being used as a bad example even bacvk then.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 04:17 PM

pdq-i tend to agree with you,but i wonder if you think the "alarmists"have another agenda for their campaigning[as they accuse the "deniers"of having]or do you think it came from genuine conviction.it seems mostly genuine concern?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 05:53 PM

GUEST,pete from seven stars link...

...if you can sign-up and send me a PM, I will give you my opinion on that one........I am trying not to mix fact (science) with opinion right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 06:58 PM

Well read the book Bill and learn the context of what he got right by what we have learned in the last 2 years.

Its easy to miss the point or cling to 1957 dogma but you see he was used as an example in which his ridicule was in time proven undeserved, as is the case for many scientists despised in their day, or even today.

Perhaps we could used the old hackneyed example of Galileo assuage the outraged.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 07:22 PM

awww..Don... the information in 1957 was NOT 'dogma'. It was basic science.

from the wikipedia article...."The basic concept of inheritance of acquired characters was finally widely rejected in the early 20th century."

What Lamarck got right was some obvious stuff that is standard knowlege now.
   " Lamarck's contribution to evolutionary theory consisted of the first truly cohesive theory of evolution, in which an alchemical complexifying force drove organisms up a ladder of complexity, and a second environmental force adapted them to local environments through use and disuse of characteristics, differentiating them from other organisms."

What he got wrong has been thorougly discredited as 'bad science' and is what I learned in 1957. Lamarck was not stupid or incompetent, and he made some important contributions...just not what you..(or that book).. seem to be asserting.

**Some** genetic evolution can occur fairly rapidly...in certain insects, or in swallows in the Pacific islands who adapt to changing climate in just a couple of years, but these are exceptions and don't involve 'acquired characteristics'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: EBarnacle
Date: 12 Jun 11 - 11:02 PM

The problem is that we decide is important to the organism's development is not necessarily what the organism determines it has to or is able to do in the short term. Every virus that infects us successfully changes our genetic code, often in a previously unexpected or undesired manner.

We do not control nature, we live with what happens...even when we create the conditions that cause it to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 07:23 AM

Hi, pete. The scientists I know, some at one remove, not climatologists, but in the Earth Sciences, including meteorology, and related disciplines, are worried. Some are very worried. They would not be worried if toeing a party consensus was necessary to obtain funding, and they knew the science was dubious. They are worried because they are not able to disprove the changes that are, definitely, observed.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 09:39 AM

Semantic distinction, and this is important: We do not "believe in" science. We "accept" science as distinct from "believing in" religious values.

We may "believe in" the tooth fairy. But we accept the fact of gravity, and the fact that, in the absence of clouds, the sun appears on the horizon every day.

These semantic distinctions are crucial in our discussions. Saying "believe" when talking about science suggests that science is a belief system no more or less than any religion. It is not. It is a rigorous process of hypothesis and investigation.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 09:46 AM

That's the THEORY of gravity, Saul, just like the 'Theory of Evolution'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 09:53 AM

THE BOND (reviewed on March 1, 2011, Kirkus Reviews)

New Age guru McTaggart (The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World, 2008, etc.) argues that new scientific evidence shows that humans are hardwired to seek connection and to live in harmony.

The Intention Experiment has been called the science behind the wishing-will-make-it-so bestseller The Secret, and was cited in Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol as the source for a main character's fascination with mind-over-matter power. Here, the author writes that recent studies in physics, biology and other fields indicate that our individualistic, dog-eat-dog way of living is based on antiquated Darwinian thinking. Cutting-edge science shows that a drive for cooperation and partnership is a fundamental aspect of human nature and should inform our lives. Our present competitive worldview brings economic and ecological crises; the new scientific story told by quantum physics offers "the extraordinary possibility that all of life exists in a dynamic relationship of cooperation." Thus, humans can look forward to an improved future of living in partnership with the universe. McTaggart relies heavily on the work of biologist Franz Halberg, a founder of chronobiology, who says humans are part of a complex energy system that is acted upon by the universe's planetary geomagnetic activity. In one study, Halberg and others found that peaks of terrorism in the period between 1968 and 2008 "exactly matched the periods of cycles of solar wind and the Earth's geomagnetic index." The author acknowledges that many of her cited findings from a hodgepodge of research are preliminary, circumstantial or unconfirmed, but she capably weaves them into a seemingly certain scientific case for holistic living within a cosmic "Bond."

Upbeat and well-intentioned, but not entirely convincing and often hokey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 10:41 AM

Yes, Science is under attack by politically-motivated thugs, just like the thread title suggests...


WorldNetDaily         Commentary
Monday, June 13, 2011

David Kupelian

Crunch time: Payback machine grinding GOP candidate's kids
Posted: March 23, 2011

Earlier this month, WND broke the sensational story in which Art Robinson – the noted scientist who challenged Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio for Oregon's 4th District congressional seat in November – alleged some extraordinarily nasty post-election political retribution was underway against his children.

DeFazio, one of Congress's most influential leftist progressives, having co-founded and chaired the House Progressive Caucus, won with 54.5 percent of the vote, compared to 43.6 percent for Robinson, a solid Reagan conservative – largely because, during the home stretch, DeFazio and his supporters launched a vicious media smear campaign against Robinson consisting of multiple outrageous lies ("Robinson's a racist," "Robinson's in the pocket of 'big oil,'" etc. – even, believe it or not, "Robinson wants to irradiate your drinking water.")

Immediately after the election, however, Robinson announced that he would challenge DeFazio again in 2012. And that, according to Robinson, is when the ultraliberal Oregon political machine went into high gear, intending to grind not only Robinson up within those gears – but three of his children as well, all students in the nuclear engineering Ph.D. program at Oregon State University.

Before I explain how, let me quickly tell you about the Robinson kids.

In 1980, after having co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., with Nobel-winner Linus Pauling, Art Robinson founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine with the help of his chemist wife Laurelee. They had six children, which they homeschooled on 350 acres in southern Oregon. But in 1988, Lauralee died suddenly from hemorrhagic pancreatitis, leaving Art with the daunting task of caring for six young children, aged 18 months to 12 years. What did he do?

As I explained in a previous column:

Art restructured their homeschooling curriculum in such a way that his children could, to a considerable extent, teach themselves. He also eventually packaged the curriculum and offered it to the homeschooling world. "The Robinson Curriculum" apparently works pretty well, as today all six of Art's children either have doctorate degrees or will shortly. One has a chemistry Ph.D., two have doctorates in veterinary medicine and the last three are all in the Oregon State University graduate program working toward their Ph.D.s in nuclear engineering.

Oh, and how'd they pay for all that expensive college and postgraduate schooling – six times? Sales of "The Robinson Curriculum," which remains very popular among homeschoolers.

Talk about the American can-do spirit!

But now, faculty administrators at Oregon State University, which reportedly received $27 million in earmark funding thanks to DeFazio and his fellow Democrats during the last Congress, appear to be in the process of throwing some or all of the three Robinson children – Joshua, Bethany and Matthew – out of the graduate school where they have invested years in pursuit of doctorates in nuclear engineering.

But wait, you might be wondering, maybe there's something wrong with these kids. Maybe their grades are no good and they're just not cutting the mustard. Maybe it's more complicated than what's being presented here. Maybe …

Not a chance. After Joshua Robinson, who's been working for four years on his doctorate, constructed a "prompt neutron activation elemental analyzer" (look it up) and added it to the OSU nuclear reactor, it earned him the award for best Masters of Nuclear Engineering thesis at OSU (see photo), and it has been praised by scientists at two prominent U.S. research facilities.

Well, what about Bethany Robinson, maybe she's the slouch. Not exactly: Although Bethany, who has invested four years in her doctorate, has an OSU grade point average of an almost perfect 3.89, she has reportedly been told by a faculty member that he's terminating her thesis work and taking all of her work in progress for himself!

So, the bad apple must be Matthew Robinson. Wrong again. Matthew, with an OSU grade point average of 3.91, passed up a $57,000 per year offer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (that's where my own father went to school, one of the best in the world) just so he could be with Joshua and Bethany at OSU.

It gets worse. Besides endangering the educations and careers of three of its best students – all named Robinson – OSU is apparently intent on destroying one of its finest professors as well.

OSU Professor of Nuclear Engineering Jack Higginbotham is a real hero in this whole miserable scenario. A fully tenured professor, Higginbotham is president of the OSU Faculty Senate and he is director of the Oregon NASA Space Science Consortium. And yet, after 24 years on the OSU faculty, they want to destroy him too. Why? Because he had the integrity to truly care about his students and to stand up for them in the face of the current plot against them.

Specifically, since the good professor was privy to all of various meetings and actions planned against the Robinson kids, he warned them and their father – and openly defended them.

As Art Robinson tells it, "Professor Higginbotham warned us that faculty administrators at OSU were working to make certain that Joshua, his sister Bethany and, if possible, his brother Matthew never receive Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering from OSU, regardless of their examination, academic and research performance. Professor Higginbotham then reviewed with us the details of the plan to destroy the education of these students and advised me to do anything I could to protect my children."

Robinson added: "In retribution for Professor Higginbotham's efforts to protect the Robinson students from these unprincipled attacks, he personally has become the target of a campaign of defamation, vilification, persecution, Star-Chamber humiliation and other career-destroying actions ..."

Unfortunately, the president of Oregon State University, Edward Ray, has not seen fit to stop the unethical and probably illegal goings-on in his nuclear engineering department. Ray reportedly has refused even to meet with Robinson about these events.

Now, all of this is about to come to a head.

Last week, Joshua Robinson tried to enter the OSU reactor bay to work on his project but was reluctantly informed by a reactor operator that he had been barred from entry under orders from Instructor Steven Reese. Reese is married to Professor Kathryn Higley, the department chairwoman who has carried out much of the action against the students and Professor Higginbotham. And next Monday, March 28, the first day of the new school term, Reese is planning on bringing in two students to take over Joshua Robinson's project. Joshua will remain locked out, unable to complete his Ph.D. project.

Higginbotham, meanwhile, has retained a major Oregon law firm to help him salvage his position and his career.

You may understandably be thinking: I'm sympathetic to the Robinsons – IF all this stuff is true. But how do I know it's true? So far the story is a big "he said-he said" with no definitive proof. Fair enough. But now, think like a detective or an investigative journalist and evaluate some of the puzzle pieces strewn about:

    * How can a student win an award for best Masters' thesis, only to be disqualified for the exact same project as he progresses toward his doctorate?

    * Why would Joshua Robinson, who has had ready access to the university's nuclear reactor continuously for over four years, where he single-handedly designed, fabricated and assembled his widely praised project, suddenly not be fit to even enter the reactor room?

    * Why would a university claim it can't answer questions from the press about a student due to laws protecting that student's privacy, but then when the press obtains the required waiver, continue to stonewall?

That's right. In its March 7 "Statement Regarding Internet Postings By Art Robinson," OSU's public relations department declared: "Federal law prohibits institutions of higher education from discussing matters concerning our students with anyone other than the student himself or herself without the express consent of the student involved."

Fine. The next day WND obtained "express consent of the student involved" in the form of a formal waiver from Joshua Robinson, explicitly permitting the university to talk to us about him and share documents related to his case.

But when presented with Joshua's release permitting OSU to talk to us, university spokesman Todd Simmons replied to WND editor Art Moore saying the release was "ridiculous" and refused to provide any more information than before we obtained and presented the release.
   
    * Why would rumors be circulating around the department that Joshua failed three oral exams, when he has only taken one oral exam – ever – and passed it handily?

    * If all is routine as OSU says, why would a tenured and celebrated nuclear engineering professor, Jack Higginbotham, be on the verge of losing his job and career because he tried to help students avoid being unjustly kicked out, and now be retaining legal counsel to negotiate with the university's lawyers? Higginbotham wants to talk publicly about the situation, but cannot at this point, on advice of his attorneys.

I've personally read over 500 emails sent to Prof. Higginbotham, almost all from Oregonians, including many OSU alumni and some from scientists and science professors – and every one of them is outraged, to put it mildly.

What on earth is Oregon State University doing? This is a fine institution, but some of its administrators are playing a very dangerous game. They are playing with their reputation, with their ability to fund-raise, and with their core academic integrity.

It's crazy. Saner heads need to prevail at OSU – and quickly.

If you want to help right a terrible wrong that's about to happen – not just to Art Robinson, his children who are students at OSU, and Professor Higginbotham, but to Oregon State University itself, which is in the process of irreparably harming itself – go to Robinson's website, Oregon State Outrage.




David Kupelian is an award-winning journalist, managing editor of WorldNetDaily.com, editor of Whistleblower magazine and author of the best-selling books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 11:10 AM

Please Note:

IF all this stuff is true. But how do I know it's true? So far the story is a big "he said-he said" with no definitive proof.

Now, this whole story couldn't be another fine product of The Republican River Of Bullshit, could it?

Long on guesswork, supposition, innuendo &c &c &c. Sound familiar?

No, coundn't be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 11:17 AM

But now, faculty administrators at Oregon State University, which reportedly received $27 million in earmark funding thanks to DeFazio and his fellow Democrats during the last Congress, appear to be in the process of throwing some or all of the three Robinson children – Joshua, Bethany and Matthew – out of the graduate school where they have invested years in pursuit of doctorates in nuclear engineering.

At one time in the US these thugs would be prosecuted. Now it is just "business as usual" for those who have reduced American politics to a "blood sport".


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 11:40 AM

What? I am from Oregon. I want to know more. Having never heard of David Kupelian I went looking. Here is one I found. This is how it begins:

"To: U.S. Congress As Constitution loving God fearing citizens of the Unites States of America we demand an end to the collaboration and secret agreements being made between our government and alien beings from outer space and subterranean hollow earth. We declare these agreements are HIGH TREASON against the Constitution and the people of the United States.

"We demand an end to secret societies who have infiltrated and run our government and demand the abolishment of those who are attempting to turn this nation under Luciferian power and control through a New World Order. We stand under agreement of the Constitution of America that this country is under the Most High God and declare our intentions to serve and love only the Most High God."

http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/peace_freedom/patriots_and_protesters/news.php?q=1307641058


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 11:59 AM

Here is an interesting profile of the man done several years back, before he made the mistake of messing with one of our professional politicians, also know as Congress Critters...


                                                                                                      Dr. Art Robinson


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 12:26 PM

Gee whiz! Imagine my surprise to find that Kupelian is a right-wing nutter.

As I said, the Republican River Of Bullshit flows on, bank high.

As for PeeDee, I seem to recall something about knowing the measure of a man by the company he keeps or some such like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 12:29 PM

PS: JEEZIS KEE-RYST! Congress appropriating money for education!!! Obviously some sort of Luciferian power exerting control to bring about a New World Order !!!

Oregon State is probably the only institute of higher learning to ger Federal funding, right? Right??


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 12:30 PM

PPS: PeeDee, Note: Correlation is not causation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 12:37 PM

I SAW Art Robinson 'interviewed' during the campaign. He was a bull-headed, contentious, ill-mannered buffoon! His ideas are nonsense, his attitude is "hey, you fools...pay attention. All my opponents are just out to get me".

I'm sure David Kupelian's "most high God" is laughing up his sleeve at the whole sorry mess.
When you get one right-wing conspiracy fanatic defending another, this is what you run into.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 01:13 PM

Seems that several folks are determined to divert this discussion away from Science.

The name of Dr. Arthur B. Robinson is important in the Global Waring controversy.

Note...

Oregon Petition


The Global Warming Petition Project, usually referred to as the Oregon Petition, is a petition opposing the Kyoto Protocol and similar efforts to mitigate climate change. It was organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), a non-profit organisation run by Arthur B. Robinson, between 1999 and 2001 and was circulated again from late 2007 to early 2008. During the former period the United States was negotiating with other countries on implementation of the protocol before the Bush administration withdrew from the process in 2001. Former U.S. National Academy of Sciences President Frederick Seitz wrote a cover letter endorsing the petition.

The Oregon Petition is the third, and by far the largest, of three prominent efforts to argue that the scientific consensus on global warming does not exist; the other two are the 1992 Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming, and the Leipzig Declaration. The petition site currently lists more than 31,000 signatories...

{part of the text of petition follows}

"We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 02:27 PM

thanks pdq,but dont think i shall be able to follow your suggestion.

hi penny.i do believe there is genuine concern,but what reading i have done informs me that there is not 100% agreement,and [to my limited understanding]reasonable doubts are offered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 02:32 PM

He is certainly a major voice in the discussion of global warming and alternate energy, but it is NOT diverting the discussion from science to note how very controversial he is.

from this page

"The influence Robinson and the others have is to muddy the waters and delay action on global warming,' says Sheldon Rampton, research director for the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization that promotes media literacy. 'I thought he was thoroughly discredited years ago,' Rampton says. 'But the global-warming skeptics certainly haven't given up. And they seem willing to promote anyone who can be half-plausibly sold as an expert."

He has been praised & promoted by Fox 'News', Glenn Beck and other questionable right-wing sources...and supported by Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the dumbest members of the US Senate.

Everyone has the right to an opinion about the issue, but not a right to their own facts. I shall continue to make clear the biased & distorted views of Robinson to counter the versions being posted by pdq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM

If anyone is diverting things away from science its Robinson & Kupelian (& peeDeeby extension)- diverting it into right-wing fundagelical dogma & pseudo-science.

Bill D - 'controversial' is being kind to Robinson. He's a nutter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 03:34 PM

pete, what size of agreement would you want? Would 90% be enough? 80%? And are you prepared to gamble on whatever percentage it is who opposes the near consensus being right, when future generations, and not so far into the future, depend on it? Islands in the Pacific are already flooding and losing their fresh water to salt water invading the aquifers. Inuit in Canada are seeing conditions on the ice that there is no memory of. The Thames Barrier is having to close far more often than the design specs anticipated. Change in temperature is happening, and the change is tracking the change in atmospheric CO2 that started with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (I saw the graph in the Open University years before Al Gore.)

It is possible that this is coincidence, with sunspot changes inconveniently matching the effects definitely due to man. But the proposed changes to mitigate the temperature changes are not going to make life worse if the temperature change is not anthropogenic. The oil will last longer, and we'll be able to go on longer doing the things we do with it if we're more economical with the stuff. Whereas, if the vast majority of scientists in the field are right, and we do nothing, things will get very much worse indeed.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 03:38 PM

100% agreement - that's a joke, right, Pete? When was the last time in human history there was 100% agreemant on anything?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 06:54 PM

Point made, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM

Greg F,
I don't know if you are being serious or just trying to jerk my chain. Do you mean that we don't know that gravity and evolution are real? If not, then what do we really "know??" Virtually all of our modern mechanics, bio-tech, and electronics are based on the reality of evolution and gravity and the process of investigation known as "science." If we don't "know" them, then what do we "know," at all? Honestly...

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:24 PM

No, Saul, sorry - no such intended.

My intent was to say that if the fundagelicals and junk science folks maintain, in spite of overwhelming evidence, that evolution is merey a "theory", then applying the same criteria, gravity must only be a "theory" as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:52 PM

Just how long are the American people going to allow the flat earthers, be it on science, economics, Obama's birth or whatever, have all this access to the media???

These are extremely radical people who haven't earned a right to get the attention they get...

Time to get back to facts and intelligence if this country is to survive itself...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 10:18 PM

Definitive Proof: Majority Of Scientists Do Not Support Man Made Warming Theory

Survey of peer reviewed studies reveals less than 50% of published scientists believe global warming is man made. More skeptics than advocates among scientific community while IPCC claim majority endorse the theory .

Infowars.net | August 30 , 2007

    Steve Watson

A new survey of over 500 peer reviewed scientific research papers on climate change, written between 2004 and 2007, has concluded that less than half endorse what has been dubbed the "consensus view," that human activity is contributing to considerable global climate change.

In direct conflict with assertions by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a scientific consensus agrees it is 90% likely that man is responsible for warming, Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte's survey contends that only 45% support the theory and that is only if you include papers that merely lean towards endorsement.

Though the survey has not yet been released, the results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment , and science blog DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy which states:

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."

The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the "primary" cause of warming, but it doesn't require any belief or support for "catastrophic" global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

Man made warming proponents have often pointed to a similar survey that was conducted by history professor Naomi Oreskes on peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003 which found that a majority of scientists supported the theory.

Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte sought to update the research and according to DailyTech, used the same database and search terms as Oreskes but reached a radically different conclusion.

The introduction and the summary of the IPCC's report was written entirely by politicians under the mandate of the UN, the input of actual scientists was minimal. In addition, all sections that were written by selected scientists were edited to comply with the report summary.

Some of the scientists involved even admitted that the IPCC models failed to accurately predict climate change and that "none of the climate states in the models corresponds even remotely to the current observed climate".

By contrast, the ISI Web of Science database covers 8,700 journals and publications, including every leading scientific journal in the world and is not directly influenced by any governmental body.

Schulte's survey confirms the claim that the climate change momentum has shifted among prominent scientists who are now benefiting from a greater depth of research. A spate of new research papers has significantly chilled fears of global warming.

The new survey provides undeniable proof that the world is being sold a lie on climate change by a group of politicians and elite lobbyists who wish to seize on the opportunity to hype the global warming threat and use it as a means of social manipulation for political and corporate gain.

As we have extensively reported, it is the elites, the establishment and big business interests that are pushing these fears , not the scientific community.

People who still trust the platitudes of politicians and elitists who implore us to change our way of life, cough up more tax money, and get on board with the global warming religion save being linked with Holocaust denial, are as deluded and enslaved as the tribes of Mesoamerica who, unaware of the natural phenomenon of a solar eclipse, thought their high priests could make the sky snake eat the Sun, and therefore obeyed their every demand.

Politicians are professional liars, they make careers out of deceiving people and twisting reality to fit pre-conceived agendas, yet a cascade of otherwise rationally minded people are eager to blindly trust everything they have to say about climate change, no matter how delusional it sounds.

They are also willing to comply with the ridiculous overbearing "solutions" to climate change that will just coincidentally restrict mobility and freedom of travel, regulate personal behavior, empower and expand global government and reinvigorate the surveillance state - everything Big Brother ever wanted - but surely they wouldn't lie to us about global warming to achieve it, would they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 03:22 AM

Link to source and comments


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 03:32 AM

One comment includes this nugget of information.

Todays "study" for instance. A: we can't see it. B: it is published in: Energy and Environment. Which is Climate Skeptics Journal, where they can publish anything without scientific scrutiny.
http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/20...

"If the manuscripts of climate-change skeptics are rejected by peer-reviewed science journals, they can always send their studies to Energy & Environment. "It's only we climate skeptics who have to look for little journals and little publishers like mine to even get published," explains Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, the journal's editor."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 03:42 AM

And another comment: but it is really worth going and reading all of them.

Source watch on the Journal "energy and environment" of which an advanced copy was obtained for this story.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Energy_...

The journal Energy and Environment is a social science journal published by Multi-Science. The journal's editor is Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, a reader in geography at the University of Hull in England and climate skeptic.

Energy and Environment is not carried in the ISI listing of peer-reviewed journals . Its peer review process has been widely criticised for allowing the publication of substandard papers [1][2]. Numerous climate skeptics and contrarians have published in the journal and these studies have later been quoted by Republican critics of global warming science such as Senator James Inhofe and Congressman Joe Barton[3].


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:06 AM

Right, pdq needs to hone up on his critical thinking skills methinks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:06 AM

Right, pdq needs to hone up on his critical thinking skills, methinks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:40 AM

This is hardly the first time PeeDee has used bullshit to back up his argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:43 AM

Just how long are the American people going to allow the flat earthers...


A long, long time, Bobert. See Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles Pierce


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 08:14 AM

Definitive Proof: Majority Of Scientists (who are published in journals with low standards for acceptance) Do Not Support Man Made Warming Theory



Very like polling Fox News reporters or Southern governors on their opinion of Obama


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 08:51 AM

Like I said: "flat earthers"...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 08:54 AM

Kinda like those vanity press outfits a person pays to publish his book, eh Bill?

But wait a minute, tho - there's always the "I Saw It In Print So It Must Be True" proof

(wch predated I Read It On The Internet So It Must Be True by many years & so has a certain historical caché)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 09:21 AM

There was a time when a poll of influential clerics (many of whom who doubled as scientists in their day) would have assured us that the Sun went around the Earth.


This why there IS a site such as SourceWatch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 12:00 PM

Greg

rather than getting home schooled at the Robinson's why don't you get your PHD from me for FREE.

I am even cheaper than Glen Beck University.

Home schooled higher education works for most things except medicine and the law for which there are board exams and the bar.

What kind of PHD do you want?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 12:03 PM

Just how long are the American people going to allow the flat earthers...


Now, THAT ststement pisses me off. Whadya mean--are you inplying the earth IS NOT FLAT


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 04:29 PM

Back in my teens when I lived in Dover (of the Straits, not the evolution/creationist debate), the Flat Earth Society had its headquarters in the town. Now and again he would publish a bit in the local paper about the evidence for the flatness, using the horizon on the sea and its position against the cliffs when viewed from different heights. The society was, like Earth in the Hitchhikers' Guide, mostly harmless.

I gather that on his death the movement moved to a trailer in the States, and has become religiously nasty.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 07:37 PM

The Flat Earth Society is a highly respected organization with highly qualifed and respected members from all walks of life. Indeed, I have seen the abyss while on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada.

I was also screeched in while in Newfoundland. Scientifically proven to influence your understanding of varied universally held truths.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 12:07 AM

I don't know that I'd say that the earth is flat but there are parts that make one wonder. Have you driven through Kansas recently? And in Estacada, Oregon, one feels like one is literally driving on the skin of the planet.

So, yeah. Maybe the earth is flat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 12:10 AM

Of course it's flat. And getting flatter by the minute. Just read the news.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 12:10 AM

Sounds like an interesting book Greg, where can I get it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 12:31 AM

Bobert - PM
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:52 PM

Just how long are the American people going to allow the flat earthers, be it on science, economics, Obama's birth or whatever, have all this access to the media???

These are extremely radical people who haven't earned a right to get the attention they get..."


They have the freedom of speech and they have earned big bucks for saying stuff that those who profit most, want to hear and want the unwashed public to hear.

THe mind set of dog eat dog, social darwinism, cheating is better than studying, nice guys finish last, he's a whistle blowing boy scout-don't trust him, the truth won't set you free - it will get you prosecuted...etc. will stymy every attempt to do the right thing until the last fish is fished out, the last Orangetan is dead, the last galacier has melted, the last private island compound of a billionaire is either over run or underwater or the last seed crop is eaten.

If you offer a person gold now, or food and water for the rest of their life, they take the gold.
It would be wonderful if family values included sustainable global enviornmental values, but it doesn't.


I suggest to you the pleasure of reading Lester Brown.
He claims there is a cure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ringer
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:57 AM

If you were worried by global warming, be very afraid indeed of the new ice-age that the sun's inactivity is about to usher in.

Click Here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 11:23 AM

i see we are back on evolutionism again.
is this directly related,or just disassociated soundbites?.
i would be interested to hear what practical science has resulted from evolutionism.i have heard otherwise!.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 03:52 PM

Pete,

Do this:
Don't ever go to the doctor again.
Move into some green area and refuse to live in any dwelling that was designed any time after about 10,000 BCE.
Grow, hunt, or gather all your food.
Find your water in some naturally occurring location.
Refuse to use *any device or service* that has any design or structural features that were derived by humans through the use of the scientific method, which is to say *all of it.*

You must do this, since you do not "believe" in science. For starters.
Sheesh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 03:52 PM

Oh, and...100!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 04:13 PM

Ringer gives a link to a discussion of the coming of a New Ice Age. That actually is the theory that pre-dates the Global Warming theory.

From the 1950s through about 1980, "scientists" predicted that pollution was going into the atmosphere in sufficient quantity to block heat from the Sun and create a catestrophic temperature drop. Death, starvation, etc. Same scare tactics used by the GW hawkers use right now.

Both senarios have been pushed for years, but with the help of PR experts like Michael Mann and James Hanson, the GW scare has won the PR battle.

Neither prediction is true. We have Earth orbit cycles and Sun radiation cycles which often work in oppostite directions, keeping us in the state of "global normalcy" we have had in the last 150 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 05:00 PM

"If you offer a person gold now, or food and water for the rest of their life, they take the gold."

That is capitalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:32 PM

i would be interested to hear what practical science has resulted from evolutionism.i have heard otherwise!.

Vaccinations.

As has been stated many times, there is no such thing as "evolutionism". The word is an attempt to make science sound like a religion; it is a contradiction in terms. Your continued use of the word is gravely insulting to those of us who don't base our information on a religious belief system. It is a nasty example of the title of this thread -- an attempt to deny reality because it doesn't fit with your preconceived religious notions.

Why do you keep pulling that word out of your hat, knowing that you are being a jerk for using it? I urge you, once again, to get educated. And not by your church teachers who already have their minds made up. Please eschew ignorance.

Would you like it if I always referred to your religion as "Satanism"? It is closer to reality than referring to science as a religion because Christians actually do believe in Satan; in fact, they own the concept.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:56 PM

"Please eschew ignorance."

That should be the motto for this site.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 08:34 PM

Ebbie... "Have you driven through Kansas recently?"

Well...yeah...*grin*, and the Flint Hills, while not exactly ski slopes, will get 'flat' out of your head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 10:26 PM

'"Please eschew ignorance."'

Gesundheit!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Musket
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 11:40 AM

That's the great thing about global access to every opinion through instant media. You can read anything in order to satisfy your prejudice.

The thing is... Only one position will observe the laws of physics, so be a bit more careful when finding "facts" to support your view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:17 PM

i would like to have taken the credit for coining "evolutionism"but it,s already in use from cs lewis who also did,nt accept the theory.

my education may not attain the heights of my critics,but i know that practical science does not need darwinism.
i wiil look up"vaccinations"when i have time as you did not say how evolutionism had any bearing on it.

there is already an "ism"for my position,already used disparigingly"fundamentalism".i dont mind in the least!
pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:55 PM

Unfortunately "fundamentalism" about ANY subject usually means: "My mind is made up, and no amount of contrary data will convince me otherwise."

In our poliical process recently, it has been said: "Everyone is entitled their opinion and beliefs, but no one is entitled to their own facts." This applies to religion, science, and various other human endeavors.

There is usually only one way to be *right*, but there are always many ways to be *wrong*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 04:06 PM

I read a lot of C.S Lewis way back, and still have a lot of his books. He had a lot of good things to say, but he did not have a science education, and as far as I can tell, did not mix much with scientists. His opinion of scientific ideas is not really based on knowledge and understanding of the field.

As I would not want to listen to Dawkins' opinions on medieval religion and literature, I would not regard Lewis as an authority on science.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:15 PM

"my education may not attain the heights of my critics,but i know that practical science does not need darwinism."

Still substituting absolute certainty and dogma for lack of education and wilful ignorance, eh, pete? You neither impress nor convince anyone!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:45 PM

In my experience I have found that even the most proposterous ideas and groups are sometimes right for the wrong reason.

Flat Earth implies a 2 dimensional plane but we have 3D objects in our observable universe. BUT MAYBE NOT! Maybe it is all 2D with some kind of special effect.



Listen carefully...While making a sound recording of a gravity wave detector at Fermi Labs, we heard a funny noise. In fact it was making a near musical noise that were certainly not gravity waves at all. Nor were they the background radiation of the big bang.
To find out what it is we are now engaged in a million dollar Halcon experiment that will determine if the dectector is recording the sound of our holographic universe fusing into Three Dimensions in real time.

If one of the ultra sensitive laser beams returns from its trip in a more "fuzzy" state compared to its reference beam, that would mean that the essence of 3D space becomes virtually pixilated as we magnify it to its most extreme detail.


So... until we know for sure we might just be a a very small and special 3D construct living in the rest of the 95% of the universe which we can not see directly, as in dark energy, dark matter and dark drift. Where would the information for this spooky 3D action at a distance come from??? It is theorized that it is at the unobservable outer surface of our finite universe (the inside surface of our bubble like cosmos)

Its not Flat Earth as intended by whackos but it is 2D undergoing a holographic third dimension conversion.

Shhh did you hear that? Its the sound of our third dimension being created as we speak.


It goes to show you that some ideas are more radical than others. Science can try to objectify findings with direct measurment or in clever experimental ways to determine how truthful some ideas may be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 11:56 PM

Luckily PeeDeeCue's boiler plate denialist BS is easily refuted by the Skeptical Science Basic Answers from actual scientists who do not have their heads up Rush Limbaugh;s ass....

"In the thirty years leading up to the 1970s, available temperature recordings suggested that there was a cooling trend. As a result some scientists suggested that the current inter-glacial period could rapidly draw to a close, which might result in the Earth plunging into a new ice age over the next few centuries. This idea could have been reinforced by the knowledge that the smog that climatologists call 'aerosols' – emitted by human activities into the atmosphere – also caused cooling. In fact, as temperature recording has improved in coverage, it's become apparent that the cooling trend was most pronounced in northern land areas and that global temperature trends were in fact relatively steady during the period prior to 1970.

At the same time as some scientists were suggesting we might be facing another ice age, a greater number published contradicting studies. Their papers showed that the growing amount of greenhouse gasses that humans were putting into the atmosphere would cause much greater warming – warming that would a much greater influence on global temperature than any possible natural or human-caused cooling effects.

By 1980 the predictions about ice ages had ceased, due to the overwhelming evidence contained in an increasing number of reports that warned of global warming. Unfortunately, the small number of predictions of an ice age appeared to be much more interesting than those of global warming, so it was those sensational 'Ice Age' stories in the press that so many people tend to remember.

The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet. Today, with 30+years more data to analyse, we've reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming."

Don't worry, the denialist political hacks will feed him some more garbage to bring in here and strew...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 03:13 AM

Regrettably, here I must agree with Mither.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 04:19 AM

Pete,

Do this:
Don't ever go to the doctor again.
Move into some green area and refuse to live in any dwelling that was designed any time after about 10,000 BCE.
Grow, hunt, or gather all your food.
Find your water in some naturally occurring location.
Refuse to use *any device or service* that has any design or structural features that were derived by humans through the use of the scientific method, which is to say *all of it.*


And Pete (not that you accept the theory - personally I think science is right) although you would have to go back in time for this, live without the threat of global warming and without the worries of a nuclear disaster and whatever else science may conjure up. If we take mans' comfort and desires out of the equation, perhaps planet earth and its other inhabitants would have been better off without science?

Actually, I don't think the negative parts are the fault of science itself. I don't see anything wrong in trying to discover how things work or to develop from that learning. Science itself does not create man's lack of foresight, nor does it elevate itself to the exclusion or denial of God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 04:58 AM

"Listen carefully...While making a sound recording of a gravity wave detector at Fermi Labs, we heard a funny noise. In fact it was making a near musical noise that were certainly not gravity waves at all. Nor were they the background radiation of the big bang."

Crikey Don, that sounds fascinating. Can we here any of these sounds? I'd love to hear gravity waves, let alone your musical noise too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 06:31 AM

Some comments on practical applications

OK, biassed site, but so are those opposing this view.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ringer
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:17 AM

Why should we believe Skeptical Science Basic Answers, TIA, rather than (for example) Watts Up With That? Skeptical Science is a well-known warmista site (and I acknowledge that WUWT may not be entirely impartial). So unless we trade cites/sites forever (which I decline to do) we have to make up our minds on other criteria.

Your quotation has at least one apparent inconsistency: "In fact, as temperature recording has improved in coverage, it's become apparent that ... global temperature trends were in fact relatively steady during the period prior to 1970." The implication is that improved temperature-recording post 1970 has showed that temperature-recordings pre 1970 were misleading. How does that work then? I'm not saying it's wrong, but it needs explanation at least.

Also, your quote concludes, "...we've reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming."

Ah, the ad populum logcal fallacy (and that apart from the fact that science is never "settled" - new findings tomorrow may completely overturn today's consensus). In today's zeitgeist, research funding is unavailable unless "AGW" appears in the application. What a surprise, then, that almost all "working climate scientists" support AGW, when all the others are no longer working because they can't get funding.

Governments like the implications of AGW: they can put up taxes, crying, "but it's green! green!" and if governments like anything more than controlling what we do it's spending our money. The cash they pour into climate research (but only for those projects which don't rock the AGW boat) makes any research money spent by big oil look like small change. Then there's all that money to be made by trading carbon credits...

I don't think that there's any evidence that climate change is significantly affected by human activity. I make this prediction: in 10 years from now AGW will be remembered only as a historical curiosity. I have made predictions on this site before: 11 years ago I predicted that the euro would fall apart within five years. I was wrong on the timescale, admittedly; but, given the situation in Greece, would anyone bet on the euro being around for another decade? (Sorry: I'm conflating two different hobby-horses.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:53 AM

I suppose that the match between CO2 increase, temperature increase, and the increase in industrial activity is not evidence of anthropogenic warming, then, but mere coincidence.

The outcome, if we do nothing, and it is anthropogenic, doen't bear thinking of.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 02:36 PM

Ringer-
Go read the original journal articles. Never stop at the seondary citations on any web page or in any book or article.
Have you ever read any journal articles on climate science?
Peer-reviewed journal articles in actual scientific journals?
Can you provide me with the citation for even one? Okay, don't bother, I am giving you one.

You are correct, one can play the duelling URL game forever.
How about we play the duelling science game?

Read this article, then tell me your arguments with it, and/or find me another original source that contradicts it.
Go...

http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:00 PM

hi again penny.
i wish i knew how to do the blue clicky thing and send out long articles!i did read most of your link and it seems to me the usual evolutionary confusion of speculative origins science with natural selection[known by creationists before darwin !]
i do not have the info to hand,but i understand that bad backs used to be treated according to ape ancester theory and done damage in the process.by contrast a creationist prof had success by not following that idea.idont think thats the only example either.

i cited cs lewis re the term





evolutionism .he was a philosophy prof as well i believe
but i will give you another scientist rejecting evlutionism.in the current "creation"mag dr jim mason explains the flaws/limitations of radiometric dating techniques.this is wihin his field of expertise.

jon.
i think science is right also-operational science,but not untestable origins.
as a fellow believer,i would wonder how you read texts that teach creationism,if unlike penny you do accept all the bible as trustworthy.thats a query rather than a criticism.
pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:14 PM

OK,Pete, I'll try in brief. I've never really been able to accept the Genesis creation as a literal word for word account. I can wonder about things including God using genetic engineering... but I've never reached I suppose a position of being even close to satisfied with my thinking on this one. What/however though, I do firmly believe that God is our creator.

I've not read any texts teaching creationism outside the bible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:45 PM

So, Jon and pete - obvious question - if God is our Creator, who or what created God? Is there an infinite regression i.e. does the Creator's Creator have a Creator etc., etc.? Remember that any answer that you give to this question (apart from "I don't know") will be speculative and, according to pete, speculation is some sort of sin.

Another question: Modern astronomy is revealing that many stars in our Galaxy have planets (a fact not revealed in the Bible, by the way). It could be that, at some point in the near future, an Earth-like world will be discovered - and even an Earth-like world with an intelligent species with which we can communicate. What are you going to do, Jon and pete, if it turns out that those aliens have never heard of God - or have never seen the need to invent one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:53 PM

[snip] of God - or have never seen the need to invent one?

Yawn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 05:58 PM

And man created God in his own image, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 06:32 PM

The question "what was there before God?" just is too hard to contemplate.... it's difficult to even know how to approach it, so most religious folks just state that ' God has always been there', with no concern for where or what 'there' is. It "answers" all they feel needs answering...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 06:35 PM

The thing is, when one has a position and beliefs that can't BE questioned, certain answers to hard questions are automatic. It saves time and argument, whether it is 'true' or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 06:47 PM

Here's a page which discusses Lewis' views on the issue of evolution. As I still don't think that someone, however brilliant a thinker I acknowledge him to be, who has not studied the science, is not really entitled to be regarded as a major source of information on it, I don't put this forward as something I would necessarily support, anyway. But it does not justify Pete's argument.

Lewis and evolution

And another:


Further discussion

And correspondence on the subject with a creationist.


Acworth letters

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 08:57 PM

Since we have wandered into the realm of religion, I have a couple of questions.

1) How do we know that the Creator is not a flying spaghetti monster?

2) If we are going to "believe in" the Bible, how do we know which version to choose to believe in? (Oooh, didja see that, folks? He said, "choose!")
3) Wouldn't such a choice have to have some reasons for it?
4) Wouldn't those reasons want to be factual?

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 10:30 PM

1) How do we know that the Creator is not a flying spaghetti monster? We don't...but Occam's razor says that's too complicated an answer. Ummm.. it further might say that just positing a 'creator' is making too many assumptions.

2) If we are going to "believe in" the Bible, how do we know which version to choose to believe in? Whatever Daddy believed in is the usual answer.
3) Wouldn't such a choice have to have some reasons for it? There ARE reasons....as in "Daddy said so"
4) Wouldn't those reasons want to be factual? The answer I keep hearing is that "In religion, the kind of facts you refer to aren't available. We must look to other sources of enlightenment. Open your heart, and you will see." Sounds 'slippery', but such answers are presented quite seriously.


Sadly, most of your questions are just dismissed by those who never ask such questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:17 PM

1) How do we know that the Creator is not a flying spaghetti monster?

One very visible indicator is that you would not feel an uncontrollable urge to make such remarks over a "flying spaghetti monster".


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 04:26 AM

"[snip] of God - or have never seen the need to invent one?

Yawn."

Why is that yawnworthy, Jon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM

Not sure about yawnworthy myself, but probably for different reasons to Jon.

Considering what aliens (who might not exist) have in the way of intelligence (which may not exist, or even more likely not exist in a way we recognise) may or may not believe in (which is again further to caveats) is, frankly, a perilous activity. But, ok, I'll be foolish and leap in.

Most alien life will be of a form that we do not recognise as reflective. I would hazard a guess that daffodils on Earth do not see a need to consider the existance of God, but their form of intillegence, if it exists, is so unrecognisably different to mine that the question approaches meaninglessness. So let's restrict ourselves to intelligence that is self-reflective, i.e. capable of asking the 'why am I here?/Has life a purpose?' questions with answers other than things like 'To serve my hive/society' . It seems to me most likely that asking those question necessarily preceed any formal approaches to answering them, which have examples such as 'science' and 'philosophy' in our world.   And the simplest answer without those is 'there must be something/someone in charge'. So, on the basis of no evidence and very little data I would speculate that any form of life which we would recognise as intelligent and self-reflective and has any sort of progression in its society would have believed in a god or gods at some stage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 06:58 AM

I think the problem with your theory Dave is that people do convert to and from atheism in their lifetimes. While I think some is cultural, it is nowhere near as simple as a society becoming more enlightened (in our case by science) with (it can be expressed in these sort of terms - not pointing at you here) some ill educated backward people resistant new ideas. CS Lewis has been mentioned in this thread.

On a more personal level, I'd say the most scientifically qualified person I know scientifically is a phd microbiologist. If scientific enlightenment was the sole factor, I would think he would have to be in the certainly no God camp but he is of the opinion that there is another factor/dimension/something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 07:12 AM

No problem, Jon. I was not attempting to answer the question at an individual level, nor whether I thought God exists or not, nor whether there is some antithesis between believing in God and Science. As it happens, I think the two are quite compatible but that is a personal opinion and if others want to think otherwise they are free to do so without criticism from me.

No, I was simply giving a highly caveat-ed view on whether I think alien societies without a concept of god are likely. Reflecting further on it, there seems to be a version of the anthromorphic principle at play here: the more 'they' are like us, the more comprehensible they will be and the ways they need to be like us seem to carry the seed of believing in god with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 07:18 AM

2) If we are going to "believe in" the Bible, how do we know which version to choose to believe in?[snip]
3) Wouldn't such a choice have to have some reasons for it?


From a Christian perspective, I'd say we do not "believe in" the Bible but accept it as God's word or teaching but maybe you would consider that hair splitting.

A Christian would choose a Christian bible. Within this I believe there are a couple of differences in the books contained in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant cannons so the denomination might make a difference.

Apart from that, I think reasons of making a choice would include:

Having a common Bible for a group, eg. a church.

The language used in the translation. Personally I choose the New International Version as I find it easier than say the older English in the King James version without (I suppose) becoming too "simplified" in the use of the English language. Another person may prefer the (I'm told) more poetic style of the KJV, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 07:26 AM

nor whether there is some antithesis between believing in God and Science

I don't think they should be at odds with one another although some things are difficult. As mentioned above, I have not managed to resolve my own personal thinking on the creation to my (limited) satisfaction.

I however feel science has one (at least potential) limitation though. If there is a spiritual dimension of some form or other. examining purely on the physical level in unlikely to yield a complete picture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 07:56 AM

I don't think you even need to get as far as the spiritual to stretch what science is capable of addressing adequately. An example I have used before is a football club. Legally speaking, I imagine a club is the documents used to create the constition, register it at Company House and so on. No fan would think that dry heap of papers is what the club 'is'. However, what it really is is too ephemeral to yield easily to scientific analysis. Sure, some aspects can: you can study fan behaviour via pyschology, or group dynamics when designing entrances and exits; you can study the best playing techniques through sports science, or model aspects with economics. No doubt you can all think of similar examples youself. Yet what the club itself 'is' remains outside the simply physical, and neither the ground nor the players are more than aspects of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 08:07 AM

Interesting example, thanks Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 09:03 AM

While I'd love to take credit for it, my example is just a modernisation of a problem the ancient Greeks knew about. I first heard of it referred to as the paradox of the Argos, but found people didn't really relate to that. A somewhat more modern version is known as Washington's Axe, but again lots of people think that's just a joke, so I came up with my version which I humbly offer above. Whatever, this problem of composite identity affects almost everything we deal with day-to-day (what is a brand, for example) yet this sort of existance is very different from the scientific notion of existance, whether a substance in a lab or a mathematical model. Which why I find it disappointing when someone as eminent as Stephen Hawking can write (in a book I read last week) "Philosophy is dead" in the sense of being replaced by science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 09:12 AM

Argo, not Argos. The problem of the Argos is why everything you want is out if stock


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 10:12 PM

Well, science has lots of limitations. So far at least, it doesn't have the tools to measure all sorts of things, from football clubs to spiritual experience to emotions to beauty. That doesn't mean that it isn't pretty good at doing what it purports to do, which is describing as accurately as possible how the physical world works. In addition, it enforces the idea that things should make sense.

My big problem with accepting the Bible as truth is that it so very full of events that range from improbable to flatly impossible. I've always wondered why so many Christians who take the Bible literally appear to have left their brains at the door. It is possible to believe in God, to believe that Jesus was an incarnation of God on earth, and that the Bible contains lots of wisdom and truth, without also taking on things like virgin birth, raising from the dead, and all the other events that science, in its role as a describer of our world, tells us almost certainly didn't take place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 10:41 PM

Each to their own, John but I do believe that nothing is impossible. I think we just have degrees of probability based on our own understanding.

To attempt (perhaps badly) to respond to "all the other events that science, in its role as a describer of our world, tells us almost certainly didn't take place."

If there is a spiritual world, higher level or whatever it may be called, science would be unable to describe its capabilities or how it may be able to interact with the physical world we know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 03:11 AM

The problem that I have with religions generally is that they are far too parochial. That's was the point that I was trying to make with my comments about possible aliens and whether or not they are likely to have religions.

Human religions purport to be about the infinite but when put on the spot can only resort to hand waving and put downs. Meanwhile out there - beyond the bounds of our tiny planet are vast, unfathomable gulfs containing infinite worlds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:11 AM

Well, science has lots of limitations. So far at least, it doesn't have the tools to measure all sorts of things ... That doesn't mean that it isn't pretty good at doing what it purports to do

I couldn't agree more. For me, it is not going too far to say that science is the most successful intellectual method mankind has ever produced and if you want to make a statement against the scientific consensus then you'd better do so using the scientific method itself. i.e. by constructing an independently-repeatable experiment that reveals a flaw in the consensus.

Having said that, though, I think we need to be humble enough to recognise that science does have limitations, and far too many armchair scientists (and not a few professional scientists) don't. It is understandable that they are reluctant to do so when under attack from people with ulterior motives or who think science results can be decided in a court of law, or by popular vote, but in the long run I think it a mistake to imply something is only true if it is scientifically provable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:14 AM

OK then Shimrod, I'll explain why I yawned.

What are you going to do, Jon and pete, if it turns out that those aliens have never heard of God - or have never seen the need to invent one?

The way I had read it, it carries the implication that religions are necessarily (rather than may be) invented by man. And it seemed a rather loaded question,

Apologies if I was wrong but what I thought was happening is common from (certain types of) atheists....


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:29 AM

And to answer the question, I'd certainly be puzzled and would have to think things through.

What would you do if you found religion existed everywhere there was "intelligent life"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:35 AM

And I will (again) very briefly give my own background. I was a devout atheist until I was about 27 (I'm now 50) and although I became a school drop out, sciences were my subjects. Let's put it this way, I was taking A levels in physics, chemistry and maths and I had an A at O Level in biology. My RE O Level was not awarded a grade on the certificate - I got a U.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:52 AM

When did people first get the urge to worship stuff anyway? I reckon we were trying to make sense of it first - circa 35,000BCE - seeking the patterns of nature as other, the cycles, the malevolent and benevolent aspects - at which point some power-crazed opportunist starts personifying it into gods and spirits to get fear over people, so scientific curiosity gets subverted into Religion and we've been suffering ever since. Worse is when we stopped worshipping Nature and started worshipping The Creator of Nature instead - then we could do with nature pretty much as we pleased because then we were in pole position.

Religion is a Human thing; Science likewise, but Science is peer-reviewed and falsifiable whereas Religion is fear-driven reactionary superstitious bull-shit perpetuated purely to keep people ignorant and servile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:55 AM

Ah, not content with making me chance my arm about whether possible-aliens with possible-intelligence are likely to have believed in a god or gods, you now want us to reflect on how earth religions fit with their concept of god. You like easy questions, don't you? *smile*

Ok, I'll go for it. Apologies if this offends anyone, but we have to think from a religious viewpoint for the next paragraph or two. It's part of the question, I'm afraid.

Christians often say it was necessary that Christ died for our sins. [I am unable to comment adequately on any other religion, sorry!] I think there is a certain amount of imprecise thinking there. It seems to me totally impossible that it was necessary to God that that should happen; we could have been forgiven sins at any time. No, the necessity is the other way about, it was necessary for us to see how far God was prepared to go to forgive us. The whole concept of 'revelation' depends upon god showing his forgiveness.

Now transpose that to our remote alien world. If the necessity was the first way round, then clearly the god of all universes is satisfied by the single sacrifice, but all those alien worlds do not have anything revealed to them. So my money would be on that a Christ-like figure is necessary in each world. Quite what form that revelation would take is beyond even my desire to take risks, and there is no reason it need involve death, but I would think it likely it involves some form of extreme sacrifice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:59 AM

Religion is a Human thing; Science likewise, but Science is peer-reviewed and falsifiable whereas Religion is fear-driven reactionary superstitious bull-shit perpetuated purely to keep people ignorant and servile.

So why do some highly (and in some cases scientifically) educated and intelligent people convert from atheism to belief in a something else(s)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:06 AM

I suppose the question there Dave could be:

Would these aliens be like (or be) the angels in heaven or like ("sinful") man. If it's the latter, and with regards to Christianity, I suspect you would be right...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:17 AM

I'm not wholly convinced, Suibhne. If there was a 'pure' form of enquiry as a first stage, which then got taken over by power-crazed opportunists and subverted into religions it doesn't seem to have left much trace. As far as I am aware, all the earliest (non-essential) artifacts seem to be religious in tone, or at the very least ambigious. Are you aware of any that support the 'pure enquiry' hypothesis?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 06:42 AM

So why do some highly (and in some cases scientifically) educated and intelligent people convert from atheism to belief in a something else(s)?

No one's perfect and religion is geared up to very significant comforts in the mythology zone of death, disease and suffering. Science offers cold facts which peeps can't cope with all of the time. For life to have meaning, it seems we need the make-believe as well as the real - the myth-realms of human invention that are, alas, so easily exploited.

it doesn't seem to have left much trace.

I think we see such traces in stone circles and cup-and-ring patterns; we see that same will to understand and control nature in the massive encircling henges of Avebury and Thornborough and the stark scientific geometry of Silbury Hill. Screw religion here - these guys were scientists making a human realm bigger than nature could ever be. Only in patronising retrospect to people assume such things had to be Religious Temples. Think again. Life, death, vitality in the human realm which is, after all, the whole of the case... Avebury one day; Spaghetti Junction the next!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 06:59 AM

No one's perfect and religion is geared up to very significant comforts in the mythology zone of death, disease and suffering. Science offers cold facts which peeps can't cope with all of the time.

Rather than being consistent as you suggest, I think it seems to go either way and my suspicion is the other way round might be more common, eg. That a God could be so cruel as to allow a child to die or someone to suffer cancer adds to the "proof" that he doesn't exist, that people with existing faith can find themselves really doubting, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:19 AM

Religion is a Human thing; Science likewise, but Science is peer-reviewed and falsifiable whereas Religion is fear-driven reactionary superstitious bull-shit perpetuated purely to keep people ignorant and servile.

One more question on this. What does this keeping people ignorant and servile achieve?

Assuming power is the motive and thinking in terms of earthly politics as the means to power, does Christianity turn them in to more socialist leaning people like myself or maybe capitalists? Going by Pete referring to a "fundamentalist", I'd imagine he and I would be likely to vote in different directions at an election.

A "conspiracy" that would split (or perhaps more likely leave untouched) the vote would seem a little pointless to me.

On a more personal level, I'm very much in favour of good education being freely available to all and worry about this governments moves. How does that fit in with being part of a plot to keep people ignorant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:40 AM

What does this keeping people ignorant and servile achieve?

The Religious legacy is one of wholesale oppression, sexism, cultural, ethnic & class hatred that endures to this day. I'd say the reason is a no-brainer. The rich man in his castle; the poor man at his gate.

People are inclined to religion; it's pure fantasy folklore, unlike the commonality of science which is universal. Religions are cultish, cultural, diverse, bonkers and yet have given us some great works in terms of music, myth, art, literature, architecture etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:48 AM

The Religious legacy is one of wholesale oppression, sexism, cultural, ethnic & class hatred that endures to this day. I'd say the reason is a no-brainer.

So you would choose to ignore the fact that there are many people of faith opposed to these things?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:54 AM

Religions are cultish, cultural, diverse, bonkers

Presumably then it would follow that all Christians are [whatever], and all Muslims are [whatever],etc.?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:05 PM

From: GUEST,Jon Date: 18 Jun 11 - 10:41 PM
Each to their own, John but I do believe that nothing is impossible.


Then you believe that its possible that "God" does not exist and religion is merely a human construct.

Right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:08 PM

Your right Greg, I should have stated I believe that through God nothing is impossible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:08 PM

Hey folks, people are people. There are saints and sinners, power-seekers and followers, ethical and otherwise, nice and nasty, selfless and greedy. Trying to say that all Christians are one thing or another, and that all of Christianity is bad is failing to take into account that people are people. Some of the best people I know are Christians, as are some of the worst. The same goes for atheists. Likewise, Christians who claim that atheists lack moral standing are equally guilty of ignoring individuals in order to make a grand statement.

A bad Christian, or even a bad era in organized religion, doesn't prove anything. Nor does a scientist who converts. Everyone seems to be seeking authority to make their points instead of talking about the merits of the statements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:13 PM

"What would you do if you found religion existed everywhere there was "intelligent life"?"

That's a very good question, Jon! Somehow, though, I don't think that my first act would be to rush out and sign up for a religion. To misquote my dear old Mum: " Just because the whole Universe is sticking its head in the fire, doesn't mean that you have to as well!"

But if some alien could convince me that God exists though ... (?)

I agree with everything that you said on 19 Jun 11 - 4:52 AM, 'Suibhne Astray' - that's more or less what I think about religion too.

By the way, I don't describe myself as an 'atheist' but as an 'agnostic'. As a RC priest said to me once: "Ah! I see. A fence-sitter, eh?" To which I replied, "yep!" You see anything is possible but the existence of God doesn't strike me as very probable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:24 PM

A bad Christian, or even a bad era in organized religion, doesn't prove anything. Nor does a scientist who converts.

I don't think a scientist converting proves religion is right John but I do think the knowledge that it happens does quite reasonably cast doubt over suggestions that religion is (I suppose) necessarily the product of scientific ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:40 PM

So you would choose to ignore the fact that there are many people of faith opposed to these things?

Why are they opposed to them when they're enshrined in the history and theology of the very faiths they have choosen to believe in? Odd. People are people though - and religion is a non-falsifiable cultural construct that (like Soap Opera & Folk Music) serves to comfort some and irritate others. I don't find it comforting nor do I find it particularly irritating - though I meet a lot of Christian do-gooders who still believe the majority of humanity is damned to an eternity of hell, which strikes me a strange thing for them to choose to believe in. But then I meet a lot of Folkies who can't stand Hip-Hop, The Fall, Kraut Rock or Free Jazz, all of which I love with a passion. At this point I'd like to say each to their own, but I find it hard to deal with people who have selected to believe in a doctrine which says I'm a miserable sinner who's going to spend eternity being tormented by demons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:43 PM

But if some alien could convince me that God exists though ... (?)

Supposing they could show you things that are way beyond our science and their science and told you they were miracles from God.

Might you be convinced or might you perhaps think "well there will be a scientific explanation some day - I'm still not convinced"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:55 PM

Jon asks at different points:

"What would you do if you found religion existed everywhere there was "intelligent life"?

"So why do some highly (and in some cases scientifically) educated and intelligent people convert from atheism to belief in a something else(s)?"

To the first question, I would hazard an opinion--though there is no way to test-- that it does happen that religious beliefs are part of the evolution of any intelligent life-form which is able to contemplate the question "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" (Martin Heidegger posited this as the primary philosophic question). I don't know what a life-from would be like which could 'contemplate' its own existence without suggesting at some point that some OTHER entity 'created' it/us. How that thought would progress once the life-form encountered some basic 'science' we can only imagine.

As to question 2, it is largely a matter of psychology as to why intelligent people convert to...or from! atheism. I could tell you MY story, but insight into my personal development doesn't 'prove' anything one way or another.
Now...because the issue of how very large groups of humans DO answer these questions affects the very fabric of society (just look at the conflicts going in 'defense' of various religious principles), I think it IS important to confront the questions Jon asks as honestly and precisely as possible......and I ask Jon (and others) a further rhetorical question: What if it was discovered (*never mind that it can't BE discovered*) that the Universe just *is*, with NO creator and no basis for behavior other than pragmatism & self-preservation?
My own answer is that NOT making **assumptions** about a creator-with-an-agenda is the safest and leads to fewer logical contradictions....all the while recognizing that many people, because of their psychological conditioning, simply cannot deal with the sort of "non-answer" I prefer.

I wonder if there are any other races of intelligent being 'out there' who have lived long enough to resolve all this? I doubt it....


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:08 PM

Well, I can say for a fact that all the life we share Planet Earth with are atheists so it's a fair guess that the rest of the life in universe is too. Religion is a purely human construct; it goes with our canny knack for storytelling and self-deception AND enhances our capacity for cruelty and idiocy no end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:35 PM

So you would choose to ignore the fact that there are many people of faith opposed to these things?

Why are they opposed to them when they're enshrined in the history and theology of the very faiths they have choosen to believe in?


Because there are thoughtful Christians, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and all the rest and well as thoughtful agnostics and atheists. There's nothing in the least odd about it. Equally, there are foolish and offensive Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Jews and all the rest as well as foolish and offensive agnostics and atheists. Unfortunately, there is nothing odd about that either


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 03:05 PM

I ask Jon (and others) a further rhetorical question: What if it was discovered (*never mind that it can't BE discovered*) that the Universe just *is*, with NO creator and no basis for behavior other than pragmatism & self-preservation?

It is impossible to be certain how one would in hypothetical situations but I hope I would accept it. As I assume most atheists would accept it if the other scenario happened and God turned up in a chariot one day


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 03:18 PM

As I would hope too Dave. I would speculate I would find the acceptance would be one that involved a fair amount of thought rather than be an instant "I've seen the light" one though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 03:22 PM

"Well, I can say for a fact that all the life we share Planet Earth with are atheists..."

In my opinion your "fact" is a slippery thing. For all we can know, most living things are much closer to the creator than we.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 03:58 PM

There's nothing in the least odd about it.

Agreed. But anything that strives for an elite righteous opposition in the face of the excellence of peer-reviewed falsifiable common or garden existence is most decidedly odd.

For all we can know, most living things are much closer to the creator than we.

There is no creator; nature creates itself and knows nothing of religion. As the poet said:

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.


(Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, #32)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:08 PM

too much to pick up on everything,and i would probably be too stretched anyway.

penny-seems our sources on cs lewis are different,though the creation.com article did acknowledge his earlier theistic evolutionism.

S A- Religion as a negative seems a gross exaggeration in view of the great amount of good done.not that there has not been bad as well, but certainly not the blanket negative you seem to infer.

jon-thanks for your reponse.i would say that the many references to genesis in the NT and other OT books indicate that the creation account is meant to be taken literaly.even liberal hebrew scholars affirm this from their study of the text.
however i acknowledge that many christians believe as yourself,and have done since darwinism gained popular acceptance
pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:45 PM

anything that strives for an elite righteous opposition in the face of the excellence of peer-reviewed falsifiable common or garden existence is most decidedly odd.

Oh dear, we seem to be about to start down a very well worn science-vs-evolution path: Sorry, but I've spent too long on that in threads past to bother going there again. If we stay off that track I'm happy to post, but if were are going to go there, I'll bow out. But can we remember most religious groups and most Christians accept evolution, please? They do not 'strive for' etc etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:46 PM

Sorry about the underlining. It was meant to end after 'accept' but at least it still makes some sort of sense as it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:51 PM

Just a slight clarification there pete. I don't fit any Evolutionist, 6 Day Creationist and I'd guess any other "ist" that may exist to group people by beliefs in this area. Mine is a position of personal and self puzzlement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:04 PM

Actually, by the way, I don't believe dear old Walt W for a minute. Animals achieve all that as a result of a much more limited imagination than humans and given the choice I bet WW would not want to lose his mental faculties to that extent. I'm with the other poet who declared "There's a price to sinning, and I'll pay it"


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:12 PM

Questions for any strictly literalist fundamentalist here:

If your wife told you that a snake had been talking to her, how would you respond?

If your neighbor told you that his mule had just spoken to him, and given him a message from God, how would you respond?

If your mule spoke to you, and told you he had a message from God for you, how would you respond?

If the Christian minister whom you most respect told you that he could make the sun stand still in the sky, how would you repond?

And, lastly, do you understand why I asked the previous questions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:13 PM

A good question is does "intelligent life" provide a solution, or most of the problem?

Maybe, after "intelligent life" has its hour in the Sun, the Earth will be passed back to (so called), "non-intelligent life", who seems to have been doing quite well before "intelligent life" took over?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:18 PM

Actually, by the way, I don't believe dear old Walt W for a minute. Animals achieve all that as a result of a much more limited imagination than humans and given the choice I bet WW would not want to lose his mental faculties to that extent. I'm with the other poet who declared "There's a price to sinning, and I'll pay it"

I don't know Dave. There are times when I wish I didn't have a human mind. Anyway, I'm about to attempt to switch mine off and get away from the PC for a while. I'm going to sit down the garden in the dusk and have a cup of tea or something. Thinking of another thread, I might see some bats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:38 PM

clarification noted jon.apologies for overstating your position.

going back to claim that vaccines result from evolutionary theory.
i read that evolutionist jerry coyne acknwledges how little it has anything to do with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 05:52 PM

Oh dear, we seem to be about to start down a very well worn science-vs-evolution path

I wasn't refering to evolution, rather common-or-garden life in general - the real stuff we get on with and experience in the here and now rather than the other stuff that happens in religions, or rather doesn't happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 02:39 AM

Lewis' later doubts of evolution were in private communications and not in his published work, which is interesting. Why not publish?

You need to read several resources, don't you?

But anyway, Lewis did not in his writings at any stage address the nature of the hard evidence put forward in science, but dealt with the issue as philosophy. "Let us assume that evolution is a myth..." is an interesting approach, but not dealing with what science argues. Arguing that any observations cannot be trusted because we are observing with created senses withing the creation (I think that is what he was saying) throws all of science, tchnology, engineering etc out, and makes attempts to improve medicine, understanding of such phenomena as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and so on pointless.

He who does not engage with science is not a reliable authority on science. Lewis is an authority in his own fields. Science is not one of them.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:15 AM

falsifiable common or garden existence
Well, there are whole branches of philosophy that try to get a proper handle on that! It's far more subtle than meets the eye, even without getting into religious or spiritual areas. I don't know how to fit quantum mechanics into common or garden existence, for example. I gave the example of a football club earlier: does that exist in the same sense that a lump of sodium does? Or a mathematical formula? Or are these different types of existence?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 09:50 AM

Different types of existence, eh? I think we're back to Paddy's Hammer here (ten new heads and eight new shafts over the last fifty years) but at least there's no doubt as to its C-or-G existence, likewise the ephemeral organic process of living / being / becoming / growth / decay that all things are prone too, be it Football Teams, Folk Clubs or pinches of salt even though, ultimately, matter can't be created nor destroyed. Existence is for all eternity as it says in The Egyptian Book of the Dead, as quoted on the cover of Myrrh by Robin Williamson (1971). Even in Plato's cave we might assume a degree of commonality with respect of perception, which is always as much subjective as objective - not the same thing with God or Religion of course which is pure Disney.

Culture arises from a common concensus of shared perception. If this wasn't the case it couldn't exist because we'd have no language. Out of language come the concepts and the constructs and the ideologies and theologies and philosophies etc. etc. but the basis of it is common, material and as delightfully tangible as hedgerows, penguins, pigs, pizza, the Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture and Henry Purcell's Chamber Music (a bit of an obsession right now). Thus can fiction writers create entire alternative realities which (like Religion) might give people a good deal of meaning, yet it would be folly for the Phil Rickman fan to visit Hereford Cathedral hoping to catch a glimpse of Merrily Watkins... Or the Iain Rankin fan going up to Edinburgh hoping to buy Rebus a pint in the Oxford... Or the Being Human fan hoping to see a few vampires in Bristol... Or the Shameless fan to go looking for Chatsworth Estate in Manchester...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:01 PM

as you say penny;lewis was not a scientific expert-maybe accounting for not publishing?
mind you,not being qualified in some areas has never stopped a certain oxford prof from meddling in print on such topics!.
on the other hand;origins"science"obviously cannot experiment on the past as does operational science.
origins IMO has more to do with philosophy.i think lewis was a prof of said subject!.
your own subject is very learned and respect due to you,but the same data you view evolutionly is obviously interpreted catastrophically by equally qualified creationist geologists.
pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:30 PM

"origins"science"obviously cannot experiment on the past as does operational science."

You're talking about testable hypothesis here I presume?

Actually, you can use testable hypothesis on the past by any number of means, it's how we can understand the formation of stars with physics and cosmology or the 'leaky replacement' theory of Homo sapiens' migration out of Africa and eventual eradication of other species of human using palaeontology, geology and genetics.

If it's not testable it's not science. Interpretation is another matter of course, but from a scientific point of view you have to have something to interpret and that means evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:31 PM

Jon/Pete -

Its only fundagelicals that perceive a necessary conflict between religion & science.

Suggestion. Read Dr. Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search For Common ground Between God And Evolution.

Then we'll talk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:41 PM

Read Dr. Kenneth Miller's Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search For Common ground Between God And Evolution.

Life's too short matey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 12:43 PM

Jon/Pete
Its only fundagelicals that perceive a necessary conflict between religion & science.


Many atheists seem find the conflict so great they seem to believe science disproves God...

Btw. It's not clear why you addressed me. I am neither fundamentalist nor evangelical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 01:35 PM

but at least there's no doubt as to its C-or-G existence

You've not talked to enough philosophers, then! There's very little they can't doubt, even leaving Descartes aside *smile*

Even in Plato's cave we might assume a degree of commonality with respect of perception
Not really. The whole point of the Platonic form is that it does not exist in the C-or-G sense, but only a metaphysical one. And the nature of perception opens a whole new can of worms.

I need to declare my level of ignorance here. I have only read half a dozen or so philosophy books. What I know on the subject mainly comes from somewhat exhausting discussions, often on a daily basis, with my daughter who is weeks away from completing a masters on the subject. So it is a safe bet I misunderstand a lot of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 01:57 PM

Not really.

Yes really, otherwise the language wouldn't exist with which we might discuss it - or anything else for that matter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 02:43 PM

Well, I could just say 'not really' again, but I don't think that would get us very far!

As I happens, I am far from enamoured with the Platonic model, but I believe he would say the form exists metaphysically irrespective of the ability of language, and that the language is invented to try to describe the pre-existing form. In at least some circumstances science agrees with this in that the existence of things is not related to our ability to discuss them and we often have to invent specialist terminology for that precise purpose. (Of course, quantum mechanics is, as usual, somewhat different)

It would useful if someone who had actually studied this stuff could confirm or dismiss that statement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 02:56 PM

Buddhists have been on to this for years. Read Suzuki.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 02:57 PM

Years? Pah! I meant millennia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 03:16 PM

Many atheists seem find the conflict so great they seem to believe science disproves God...

Very few actually make such a claim. Many say that they do not believe in a 'god' because they simply see no good reason to do so.

Most atheists just say that those who assert the existence of a god or gods are responsible for providing relevant evidence. They do not accept pointing to ancient texts and thousands of years of stories as the sort of evidence that convinces doubters.
Then, when someone (the current 'intelligent design' argument) says:"I just can't imagine the whole working, complex Universe being as it is without a creator to 'organize' it.", the response is: "Well, *I* can't imagine any entity that COULD design all the laws of physics and set it all in motion!"

One side is resorting to the assumption that existence requires something prior to existence, while the other side says that is merely a psychological need to HAVE an answer. The 2nd group is content to just study what we can see and measure and not speculate about "what came before the Universe"...except as it might be explored hypothetically BY math and/or science.


Someone asked ...or brought up... the question of "What if God appeared in a golden chariot...?" and presumably did things that left no doubt who/what He was... like the clouds opening up and lightning striking when rules were violated. I have no doubt that 99% of atheists would change their minds. But until then, we seem to have only stories and unverifiable claims.

I, personally, have no problem with folks believing what they wish.. up to the point they try to make that belief apply to ME and the laws and culture I live in.

There is a good reason what the operable word is **belief**


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 07:35 PM

If God appeared in a golden chariot, worked miracles, and proclaimed his godhood, I would simply assume he was from a race that had more advanced science than we do. In any event, I wouldn't take his word for it. He'd have to create and people a universe while I watched. To be a fair test, his new universe would have to have different laws of physics than ours does.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 07:42 PM

And if he did?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:34 PM

Well....I have said...or tried to- that *I* can imagine a situation or two that would convince me, and I have ALWAYS felt that if a god created weak, silly, fallible people, he would HAVE to drop in more often than every few thousand years if he wanted them to follow certain rules.
*IF* some entity just created everything and then went away and ignored it, that would sorta leave us where we are now...inventing stories and rules that favor those with the cleverest promoters.

If a god-type being appeared to ME, I'd have some questions about planning and such.... I'm not sure I'd want to spend eternity ∞...in a Heaven with a boss who can't give better guidance & rules...in all languages & cultures. Did he really give all the knowledge to just one group and expect them to convert EVERYONE else? This feuding over details is tedious.

Now if all you want is some great music and art and interesting stories to meditate on, several religions have those...and I am really glad that we HAD a few thousand years of 'belief' to inspire some of the beauty in life. I can savor those things without buying into the theology,,,,


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:36 PM

gee...that was 200! It must be a sign!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:59 PM

People are smarter than you think. Its not that we have to invent stories as much as we have had our most important truthful stories burned or buried at the command of the sharp mercelious type A power grabbers. The Gnostics (knowledge holders) had a far more sensible and rational story of Christianity but were declared heretics by a bloodthirsty group of autocrates.

Intellectuals are always a stone in the shoe of tyrants and corporate profit whores.

The science of the coming food and water shortage has been around for thirty years. In the last ten years the worst sins against nature have been commited in the name of capitalism and freedon.

The same is true of climate science and the coming sea level rise.

As a result of the great finanicial "whoopsie" 14 trillion dollars of real assets have been divided between Wall St banks, insurance companies and all the ancillatory agencies that were supposed to guard the hen house.

With that 14 trillion we could have saved all the cities on the shores of the Mediteranean Sea, harvest valuable rexources from nearby asteroids, feed the poor, provide health care, build an infrastructure for the USA that might rival China SIngapore or Germany, go to Mars and any number of wonderful things instead of re-enriching 400 ultra rich families that are already rich.

Wherever science faces down disasters in the making by profitable global corporations they are naturally put on the defensive and attacked.

I have quoted I claudius here for over 10 years when he saw all the greedy plots for power leading to a great fall. He said "Let all the evil in the mud , hatch out"
Look around at Climate disasters on the rise, Fukushima, 95% fish depletion, Financial weapons of mass destruction, buried munitions & nerve weapons in the sea, oil/water/land/religious/ Wars..

The evil in the mud has reached its season and is now hatching out.


You can read Lenny Brown and get a positive optimistic spin on how and what we may still be able to save. However it will take alot of smart people with knowledge and clout to do the right things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 09:15 PM

OK Bill, let's assume this particular God is one that meets with your approval (after all this is hypothetical). How would you react?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 10:30 PM

Hmmm... that's not exactly enough to answer about... If this god met my approval, it would be because he made sense and was able to explain why he does what he does...whatever that is.

Now... since I can't even comprehend or imagine how anything powerful or clever enough to "create the Universe" would interact with me...or any humans, I can't say how I would react if one tried. As it stands now, *IF* I were convinced it WAS a real 'god', I would want to talk & ask questions...NOT 'worship'. I can't imagine that an entity of that sort would care about being worshiped!

So...you see how hypotheticals can make it tricky to even discuss things?

I have posted many times the logical truism: "From false premises, anything follows.". The relevant corollary here is: "If a lot of strange and contradictory assertions are being made, it may indicate that some false premises were inserted at some point." You cannot 'prove' a negative...so no one can state definitively that there is no god....but you can show that not all assertions about 'possible' god-features can be true at the same time. It's what a court would call 'circumstantial evidence'.

I totally see WHY humans have felt the need for answers and have thought that some 'higher power' was involved in their lives.....in fact, I can't imagine how we could have evolved any other way. I just feel that we need to temper the urge to theology with more reasoning. We can still be in awe of the totality of the Universe and have deep concern for each other without relying on some 'higher power' to explain it to us.

It ain't easy growing up...and I feel like the human race is barely into adolescence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 04:02 AM

So...you see how hypotheticals can make it tricky to even discuss things?

Yes but Dave and I managed to attempt to give short simple straight honest answers to your original hypothesis...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 04:09 AM

The Gnostics (knowledge holders) had a far more sensible and rational story of Christianity

Having waded through most surviving (published) Gnostic writings, the last thing I'd call them is sensible and rational. The underlying dualism is intersting (especially with respect of the later heresies of the Middle Ages) but the rest of it makes the worst excesses of the bible look pretty tame by comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 07:12 AM

It would useful if someone who had actually studied this stuff could confirm or dismiss that statement.

I've spent too much time hanging around with vapid academics to really care to be honest. There exists an intellectual deference which, 9 times out of 10, strikes me as wholly unjustified, especially when it comes to just discussing stuff like this - just as we would were we sitting in a bar over a pint or three irrespective of our qualifications.

The bottom line is falsifiable commonality; without it there would be no concensus, without conscensus there would be no language, and without language there would be no culture. Language hangs concepts on things, and things on concepts, but for words to work there must be concensus, out of which comes dialogue, dialectic and enquiry. Language can create whole other worlds too - through language we have created God and Religion; through Language we have created Cartoons and Supernatural Ballads. In one way I'd argue Top Cat and Tam Lin are more real that God could ever be; God only comes into his own as a Fictional character and as a metaphor of a certain scientific arrogance that assumes we know it all. Earlier on someone said humanity is still in its adolescence - I'd go along with that, but only because of my innate optimism that one day we'll get there.

Meanwhile, religion remains entrenched in our culture as both folklore and superstition (always optional - never true!) and the more secular things get, so it seems the more people reach out for unknowable. The folkloric aspects of death stand as a vivid testimony to this - from heartbreaking child-graves festooned with windmills and teddy bears, to elaborate way-side shrines to those killed in RTAs. The outpouring of collective grief after the death of Princess Diana back in 1997 was folkloric spirituality at its most explicitly spontaneous.

Still, as an atheist caught up in such considerations I'm not about to respect religion nor yet the religious, rather acknowledge that there persists an urge that rests alongside the other less savoury attributes of our humanity as (at best) a particularly grim necessity which (once upon a time) threw up great works of art, architecture, literature and music - though rather less so in this day and age. Religion and God are as human as Fish and Chips; things of wonder, but ultimately a matter of personal choice. With that in mind, I will persist in my argument for a common cause that unites us all irrespective of that which divides us, and of this greater common reality I will live in celebration until my last breath.

In Bristol Cathedral last week I even joined in with The Lord's Prayer whilst photographing the various carvings of The Elder Lady Chapel, including a particularly fine 'green man' (see HERE for one of the pictures) which one usher was very keen on telling me was a figure of folklore and pagan myth. Ordinarily I would have taken great delight in telling them otherwise, but on that day I just let them get on with it; it was far too nice a day for facts!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 08:41 AM

It would useful if someone who had actually studied this stuff could confirm or dismiss that statement.

I've spent too much time hanging around with vapid academics to really care to be honest

Sorry, I should have said 'confirm or dismiss that I had given an accurate account of the Platonic model'. I didn't mean to imply they should say whether the statement was itself true.

I'm not one to defer to academics much either, but it is always helpful to be sure we are talking about the same thing, so I care whether it is accurate, and as I said above, I could easily be misunderstanding it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 09:58 AM

1) What's the premise?

2) What do you mean by 'studied this stuff'?

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 11:03 AM

"...Dave and I managed to attempt to give short simple straight honest answers to your original hypothesis..."

I'm a bit confused as to what 'my original hypothesis' was... but MY answers are as honest as I can make them, and they are usually neither short nor simple because these issues are complicated...... and I spent many year in college studying the various ways one can approach them.

You say, jon, ". I was a devout atheist until I was about 27 "....presumably some serious life event changed you. I was quite the opposite...I was brought up as a Christian and never much questioned the issue until my late teens. No one thing caused me to have doubts, but just trying to be totally honest about thinking and asking questions gradually led me to those years of study, where I found I could not reconcile the tenets of any religion with the demands of my own concience and the rigors of logical thought.

Short answers are possible....but only to state the essence of my basic position- not to explain or defend it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 11:10 AM

Sorry Bill, perhaps I shouldn't have used hypothesis. I was referring back to.

"I think it IS important to confront the questions Jon asks as honestly and precisely as possible......and I ask Jon (and others) a further rhetorical question: What if it was discovered (*never mind that it can't BE discovered*) that the Universe just *is*, with NO creator and no basis for behavior other than pragmatism & self-preservation?"

I think the God and his chariot, etc. stemmed from there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 11:21 AM

Missed name above. sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 11:31 AM

I see... *smile*...but 'honest & precise' still doesn't translate to 'short' for me. The shortest I can manage is that I really can't be sure HOW I would react if I was convinced I was confronted by a genuine god. Perhaps HE would control how I reacted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 11:53 AM

just by way of clarification-
Jesus appearance here was a visit from God.largely rejected by his own despite the miracles.
i am aware of course that such accounts are not accepted as factual by most here.

bill-though not agreeing with you,i like your civil,thoughtful contributions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 12:52 PM

>>I can't imagine that an entity of that sort would care about being worshiped! <<

>>Jesus appearance here was a visit from God.largely rejected by his own despite the miracles.<<

I love these two statements as bookends for the whole discussion. Both depend upon an equal measure of faith and arrogance yet both have an honest humility.

Bill puts the question aside by saying that >>he<< can't imagine what such a being would care about. Pete imagines that his interpretation of scripture is the whole truth on the matter.

I know it is an old saw, but it is logical nonetheless, If you assume for the point of argument and omniscient, omnipotent being, you pretty much completely negate that He/She/its motives can be understood by mere mortals, even with extensive study. Logically, God has infinite data and processing power to draw upon while all we have is arguments like these.

On the other hand Pete is more or saying that God's visit was rejected despite the miracles. I've read the Gospels several times. If you assume every single word to therein to be true, it is still easy to see why Jesus, is not universally seen as the Son of God. Not everyone even then was privy to the miracles. Pilate, being the most notable and of those who witnessed many miracles, Thomas doubted, So did Peter. And don't get me started on Judas.

To pete, reading what I have just read from you, I say that the Gospels do not offer proof. They offer a way to enlightenment and salvation, IN SPITE OF THE LACK OF PROOF.
Bill D, I think is honest and open minded about this and most things. I would say is correct in his analysis about whether personal experience can be used to "prove" if God exists.

I would also say that I cannot imagine how God, can "prove" himself to us. In fact, if he were to try, I would be suspicious. The message of the Bible is not "Prove I exist scientifically." it is "Have Faith."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM

I think pete makes a reasonable comment which assuming the biblical account was true does illustrate a point that I think believers and others in this thread agree on. That is that "signs" would not necessarily convince a person.

To me the most interesting biblical bit would be about those who saw and suggested that he was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. I doubt the same suggestion today would be used but "he's using some technology we haven't heard of" could well be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 02:50 PM

Since I have had a concept of both, I have always considered "casting out demons" to mean "curing mental illness." Though I do not understand the scientific principle behind transferring the "demons" to livestock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 03:07 PM

>>I can't imagine that an entity of that sort would care about being worshiped! <<

It just seems to me that a large does of anthropomorphism is involved when humans start imagining or predicting or analyzing how a god would think or act.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 03:15 PM

Certainly Bill,

When I start to draw the graphs from my point of view they extend well off any page I can imagine. Even the geometrical concepts of a line or plane are always limited in my mind as "As far as I can see or otherwise detect." Extending that same theoretical limitlessness to knowledge literally boggles my mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 03:36 PM

Since I have had a concept of both, I have always considered "casting out demons" to mean "curing mental illness." Though I do not understand the scientific principle behind transferring the "demons" to livestock.

Jack, I think it would be called coincidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 02:26 AM

Suibne suggested the bedrock should be 'falsifiable concensus' (and indeed said that for her it is. So it is worth running Bill D's hypotheses against this.

John and I felt that the statement 'There is a god' is, hypothetically at least, falsifiable. Quite what would required to do that we don't know, but the concept is not inherently absurd. Pete has not said but I would guess he would find it harder to contemplate than Jon or I and I would hazard a guess that for him it is not falsifiable - feel free to correct me, pete

So now we can ask if the statement 'There is no god' is falsifiable, again hypothetically. This is interesting because we have a split Bill D can at least conceive of being faced with a god, so for him the statement seems to be falsifiable. John P, on the other hand, would assume the being simply had more advanced science than us, which at least suggests the question is not falsifiable. I am not criticising John P in any way: that seems a coherent approach (and fits in with Clarke's dictum that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, so John is in good company)

All of which suggest to me that for all the merits of falsifiable concensus - and there are many - it can only be part of the bedrock. Rather like Godel's theorem, there are likely to be statements one believes that are not falsifiable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:12 AM

"Logically, God has infinite data and processing power to draw upon ..."

It therefore follows, logically, that He must have some pretty massive cooling fans stashed away somewhere! Perhaps it's all the waste heat from all of His computations that is driving the expansion of the Universe?

Oh dear ... perhaps I shouldn't have started this ...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:58 AM

Suibne suggested the bedrock should be 'falsifiable concensus' (and indeed said that for her* it is.

God exists to some, and not to others; but to all God is a human concept, if not an actual construct. That much, at least, is the common concensus, even to those for whom God is somehow real, because, here in the material world where there is no objective falsifiable evidence of the supernatural it takes a measure of self-delusion (i.e. faith) to first believe in it, then have the neck to assume that others must believe in it too, and then to carry around the conceit that hellish damnation awaits those who don't share in your particular brand of bullshit. Where the religious might see evidence of God (sunsets, fluffy kittens, footprints, holy water, stigmata, simulacra of the BVM etc.) the non-religious see something else entirely. The common ground is what they're both seeing - the objective falsifiable material concensus which is there for everyone irrespective of subjective spin.

* Her is a He by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:58 AM

I was vaguely pondering the cooling business last night, thinking about the knowing every ones thoughts bit. I sometimes feel on overload with just my own...


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:42 AM

it takes a measure of self-delusion (i.e. faith) to first believe in it, then have the neck to assume that others must believe in it too, and then to carry around the conceit that hellish damnation awaits those who don't share in your particular brand of bullshit

why is it that your posts seem to assume that if there is a God He will be a God of one of the major religions and the way your bashing seems to go, probably the Christian God?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:42 AM

missed name above again, sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:29 AM

assume that if there is a God He will be a God of one of the major religions

You misunderstand me, Jon - in the real world there is no God and I don't assume otherwise; major, minor, pantheistic, monotheistic, god of the spiders, sun god, insect god, god of the jelly-fish or yet the great gods Pan & Priapus. Otherwise - most of my experience with religion and the religious is Abrahamic and predominently Christian at that. I'm not including the 'new' religions here - such as Paganism - which don't have so much to answer for in terms of historic barbarism, much less do they condemn non-believers to hell or assume that humanity is so flawed it needed the vile pornography of The Passion and Crucifixion to wipe out our sins. I love Myth - I'm married to a Roman Catholic graduate of Theology and spend much of my free time immersed in the art, culture and folklore of Pre-Reformation Christianity.

My personal logic is simple; I am an atheist because I can't conceive of a being more divine than Duke Ellington, John Coltrane or Rahsaan Roland Kirk. There are angels too - Sun Ra was one, Miles Davis was another - and in this life we are blessed by the rare and trascendent genius of truly gifted people like Peter Bellamy and Mike Waterson which to me is spiritual enough in its resolute and entirely falsifiable common humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:47 AM

No I understand you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:14 AM

Actually - maybe Miles was more of a demon; the Dark Magus indeed...

*

I suppose Kipling summed it up in his glorious Hymn to humanity:

But when I meet with frantic folk who sinfully declare
There is no pardon for their sin, the same I will not spare
Till I have proved that Heaven and Hell which in our hearts we have
Show nothing irredeemable on either side of the grave.
For as we live and as we die - if utter Death there be -
The people, Lord, Thy people, are good enough for me!


Utter death? Well, some believe in Heaven, others in Reincarnation, but the reality of everything we are going back into the universe from which came is just as profound. Likewise Heaven and Hell; to the Gnostic Cathars the material world was Hell, which has echoes with respect of the Nature vs. Nurture debate. Some of the happiest people I've ever known were dying of incurable diseases, like my old mate Steve who died of CS when he was 23. Do we really need God when we've got such people to inspire us?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:50 AM

All I can give there is my own outlook which while I'm sorry does give the hell fear, doesn't really give me the degree of "heaven joy" that most other Christians seem to have. I suppose I would view it as a bonus and I would like to meet my maker but while I can be afraid of the process of dying, the concept of death and then nothing does not frighten me, nor do I feel I need more - escape from this world in itself can at times seem like it would be a relief.

All the same, I suppose I can't deny the occasional comfort. I hope you will forgive me the first verse of a hmymn that (while not expecting it to mean anything to you) means a lot to me:

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

Don't always feel so much of the gladness but the resting place, I like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:42 AM

These discussions always fall apart when they get personal, because it's not in my nature to deny anything to anyone. Similarly, I react when the religious come knocking on my door, or shushing me in churches for not showing respect; but it's not the religious I wish to persecute, but religion itself, for its history, its dangers, its lies, its propagation of ignorance, and its oppressional and denial of our very humanity and sexuality as being sinful. This we owe only to ourselves and unto each other by accepting that God is only human too, and we can't all be right, but we can all be wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 09:18 AM

At least you acknowledge you have a desire to persecute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 09:55 AM

Only by way of defence, Jon - religion persecutes by its very existence, much less its utter indifference to the wonders of life in in the here and now. Silence the preachers on the streets of our cities, make it illegal for people to call door to door, and for the sake of sanity stop teaching it in our kids. We live in a world of a myriad options - let's celebrate that fact, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 10:04 AM

We live in a world of a myriad options - let's celebrate that fact, eh?

Your way we'd only have the options you approve of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 10:40 AM

The ultimate end of Atheism is, like that of altruistic Anarchy, to acknowledge that there are as many Truths as there are human beings, and that we must live to enable that fact. As Bakunin said, we are not truly free unless our freedom guarantees the freedom of others. The idealistic oposition to religious righteousness is to acknowledge that such faiths are incompatible with common freedom - like the idealistic opposition to Fascism, Racism, Homophobia and Sexism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 10:44 AM

Sorry Suibhne, but I'm unable to see you as being fundamentally different to any other type of extremist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:06 AM

Your way we'd only have the options you approve of

Jon...Suibhne & I (and at time, various others here)react as we do in large measure because many of the religious try very hard to see to it that the world had only the options that THEY approve of! If all that religious people did was go to church, pray privately and do good works, there would be little conflict.
In the USA right now, right-wing extremists are mounting a multi-faceted attempt to get permanent control of the government, largely driven by greed...but with the underlying theme of Traditional Protestant Christianity to support their efforts! There was a HUGE protest the other day because one TV network, in editing a patriotic intro to a GOLF tournament, they managed to accidently leave out the words 'under God'. People seriously demanded boycotting all the advertisers because of an editing error!
There is a constant effort by sanctimonious groups to change our Constitution to something which defines us as as "Christian Nation" and seeks to control marriage laws, education and school textbooks, 'moral' content of TV shows and our own doctor's medical practices.



   You can barely imagine the efforts BY the religious to see to it that everyone has "only the options THEY approve of"!!

I strive every day to see to it that no one is denied the freedom to worship and attend church...as stated in the US Constitution....but because religion is a matter of **belief**, I ask that I am granted the same freedoms.

To repeat what I have said many times before:

"Freedom OF religion must also include, by definition, freedom FROM religion for those who wish it."

Sadly, too many interpret 'freedom of religion' to mean that the religious have no restraints in the pressures and distortions they may use to convert...or at least, control.... the rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:11 AM

I regret having to say all that...but too much of the strife in the world -- today and in the past-- was driven by various and sundry interpretations of unprovable religious doctrines.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:12 AM

Well - the only thing I'm exteme about is human freedom and the right of each & every one of us to believe what they want providing that belief doesn't infringe on another person's right to believe what they want. The equation is simple - I'm not about to condone the racist or the fascist, any more than I am the religious or the righteous. Thing is, this isn't a matter of faith - it's right there - it's real, and it's wondrous, and we deal with it each and every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:13 AM

If all that religious people did was go to church, pray privately and do good works, there would be little conflict.

I hope I'm missreading you here. Are you suggesting that the only views put forward in public should be atheist ones?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:20 AM

Re the American problem Bill, I don't know much about it. It does both puzzle me and trouble me though that there does at least appear to be some strange entanglement between right wing American politics and Christianity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:23 AM

Jon...NO! Of course not! People may, in my view, say and publish their views and opinions freely. I only wish to restrict their attempts to INFLICT those views on the uninterested & unwilling...such as a woodworking group I am a member of INSISTING on beginning meetings with a spoken prayer to Jesus, ignoring the Jews & atheists and Native Americans and sometimes Hindus in the room!

WHY can't there simply be a 'quiet moment of personal meditation'? Surely 'Jesus' will hear mental prayers as easily as spoken ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:26 AM

That said, American politics puzzle me anyway. I don't know how much is the "Mudcat effect" (which also happens with UK discussions here) but everything seems so polarized.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:29 AM

"...does at least appear to be some strange entanglement between right wing American politics and Christianity."

'appear'?? HA! If I were to find all the videos of right-wing politicians making statements that not only assume Christianity is THE way, but attempting to have it enshrined in law, you'd be amazed.

Sarah Palin & Michelle Bachmann...and many others... start with fundamentalist Christianity and make everything else 'fit' under it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:35 AM

Jon...because in the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying.."Go, and become fishers of men", many believe that they are required to send missionaries and attempt to convert the rest of the world. It is a strange circular reasoning which assures that there will always be the polarization you speak of.

"We don't WANT to be converted!"

"But my religion demands that you MUST be converted!"

In the meantime, many in Islam demand death to anyone who, in their opinion, insult or attack THEIR religion.

Polarized? Indeed....


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:36 AM

WHY can't there simply be a 'quiet moment of personal meditation'?

It sounds to me a much better approach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:39 AM

Yep... it would satisfy me..

Now...the world calls. It is only noon here, and I have much to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 11:45 AM

Jon...because in the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying.."Go, and become fishers of men", many believe that they are required to send missionaries and attempt to convert the rest of the world. It is a strange circular reasoning which assures that there will always be the polarization you speak of.

OK, my personal take on this, others may differ.

I do read it that we are supposed to ensure everyone has HEARD the word but I think it stops at that. It is neither my duty nor indeed within my capabilities to say convert.

In your case, you know the text anyway and are perfectly capable of making up your own mind, I could perhaps harden you further against if I tried but I could not convert you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 12:57 PM

In your case, you know the text anyway and are perfectly capable of making up your own mind,

You're beginning to sound like the patronising missionaries who come proselytizing door-to-door. For sure I know the text (doesn't everyone?) just as I know it was written by a diversity of idiots in the dark days before secular humanism had pointed the way towards the light. Kindly keep it to yourself, for it is a crime to even think this stuff is in the least bit revelevant to anyone else - let alone dare suggest they need to be lobotomised converted by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:09 PM

I think I've said about all I need to now, apart from a few points:

First, and perhaps most important: my apologies to Suibhne for the gender error. (Not that I'd want to get into a debate on whether being mistaken for the other gender is a good, bad or neutral thing ...)

Secondly, while I agree with Bill that a short period of meditation before the class would be better than an enforced prayer, I'm more athiest-than-the-athiests here: I'd rather they didn't have that either. To me, it is not the remit of a woodworking class to tend to your emotional or spiritual health and to do so says you 'ought' to be dedicating some of your time to it. That's a personal choice, not a group one.

I also strongly disapprove of religion being involved politics. For an individual politician, he should follow his beliefs insofar as that is compatable with the promises he made to the electors, but it seems wrong in principle and in practise that parties are religiously aligned. In the UK we are rarely concerned with or even aware of the religious beliefs of our politicians and in fact we tend to be suspicious of anyone who is too public with them. I don't know if there has ever been an atheist US President, but if there has, there can't be many. And that to me is A Bad Thing and close to a form of disenfranchisement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:12 PM

I am amused by people who seem to think their way to freedom is censoring others. I dislike the message of the Jehovah's Witnesses. But if I work to ban them from knocking on our door. Something I like to do will probably be banned next.

English common law (and US tort law) provides all the protection we need from such things while protecting our own freedoms. I urge you not to mess with that. I fear the cure will be much worse than the aliment.

And yes in the US there is an unholy overlapping alliance between certain Christians and greedy interests. The preachers are saying that if we uphold Christian Values (ban gay marriage, stop abortion, limit government, support Israeli colonialism, go to war with Islam) then we will be restored to prosperity. I don't think we can combat this with censorship. Education is the key. Shine a light and the roaches will scatter.

The Christian Values that we are losing are the real Christian Values. We need to do more loving our neighbors as ourselves and less throwing the first stone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:38 PM

I don't see anything wrong with someone campaigning on religion or even campaigning to accomplish religious goals. That is a part and parcel of being free to choose. I think that there could be an atheist President. Six years ago on this very liberal leaning forum, progressive voices were doubting there could be a Black President.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:39 PM

"The Christian[sic] Roaches".

I like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:50 PM

(sic)???


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:51 PM

They are not roaches because they are Christian. Quite the opposite. They are Christian to hide the fact that they are roaches.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 01:57 PM

I suspect I wasn't clear enough - it happens! I agree there's nothing wrong with an individual compaigning for whatever cause they like. I can also agree with a party campaigning to represent a specific religious point of view: if they get elected they reflect the will of the people and all that. The problem is that under the US system and also the UK since we voted to reject Alternative Voting (boo hiss, but that's another story) you only really have a choice of 2 or perhaps 3 parties that are an amalgam of lots of views. And its having a strong religious bias at that level that's the problem for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 02:08 PM

Democracy is a messy business.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 02:24 PM

You're beginning to sound like the patronising missionaries who come proselytizing door-to-door. For sure I know the text (doesn't everyone?)

In the context Bill had set of missionaries going out into the world, perhaps not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 02:28 PM

I think that only a small percentage of nominal Christians really know the text.

The real message, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." In my opinion, needs to be spread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:22 PM

"In the UK we are rarely concerned with or even aware of the religious beliefs of our politicians..."

I have heard that in several European countries this is the case. Here, it is about the first thing that is ferreted out by opponents.
When Dwight Eisenhower was nominated in 1952, he had to go very quickly and FIND a nice, easy-to-tolerate church to attend, and then to be seen there. As far as I know, that is as close as we ever came to a 'non-religious' president.

.... Bill had set of missionaries going out ...

That was only the most obvious example. In some places in this country, (mostly Southern and MidWestern)(I lived in Wichita, where that abortion doctor was murdered) it is difficult to even live peacefully if you admit or advertise that you do NOT go to church. This is not a joke....and in those areas, do not even consider running for any major office if you are not known to be Christian. You will simply be branded as heathen and 'connected' to every sin known.

Jon... I find it hard to comprehend that there is anyone who has NOT "heard the word". What happens...whether YOU would limit it or not.... is that "hearing" is coupled with peer pressure and fear and distortion of history-- and often supported by illegal, but tolerated, teaching in the schools. When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher organized the Christmas pagent, and my class was TOLD we were to participate and memorize the lines about shepherds and angels and Bethlehem. At that time, I was a good Methodist but, and never even wondered if anyone in my class was uncomfortable with it all. All I know is, it was inserted into our lives as if there were NO doubt. Well, that was 1952, and there are 'some' more rules now....but in many areas, breaking or ignoring those rules is the regular practice, since the majority would make life miserably for those who tried to opt out.
*sigh*...it is sad to remember all this and to have to make these hard points, but it IS the case that "freedom" does mean 'freedom FROM religion' as well as 'freedom TO engage in religion'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:25 PM

There is one aspect of Abrahamic religions that is rarely discussed in a conversation like this and that is the fact that these religions assume that 'Man' (i.e. human beings) represents the 'pinnacle' of creation and were put on Earth to have 'Dominion' over everything. It is this assumption which, I believe, has led us to behave like a plague and to devastate all of the other life that we share this planet with.

Actually, I suspect that humans having been acting like a plague on the surface of the Earth since they/we left Africa. The Abrahamic religions have merely provided (spurious) legitimacy for, and 'sanctified', such activity. Ultimately, the wanton destruction of Nature will lead to the extinction of our own species and hence the Abrahamic religions may actually represent a threat to our survival.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 04:45 PM

and that is the fact that these religions assume that 'Man' (i.e. human beings) represents the 'pinnacle' of creation

Angels are considered superior creations to us.

and were put on Earth to have 'Dominion' over everything. It is this assumption which, I believe, has led us to behave like a plague and to devastate all of the other life that we share this planet with.

I think there are enough good old human qualities such as greed, blind faith in our own ingenuity, etc. to consider first.

Ultimately, the wanton destruction of Nature will lead to the extinction of our own species and hence the Abrahamic religions may actually represent a threat to our survival.

Our application of science/technology seems to me to have taken us closer to potential destruction of the planet than anything else I can think of. I'd suggest one of our other great enemies is the great god "Consumerism".


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:16 PM

Pete, that's very kind of you, but I am not what I would call learned. I don't think, however, that the creation apologists are looking at the same evidence I have. When I have investigated what they say about things which I have thought evidence of long age, and not of the flood, such as the Chalk, the explanations have ignored important features of the rocks. Some areas they have not looked at all.
One group did go to Siccar Point, an important place in the development of geology, for which I admire them, but they did not find anything to counter the conventional interpretation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:19 PM

Ultimately, the wanton destruction of Nature will lead to the extinction of our own species and hence the Abrahamic religions may actually represent a threat to our survival.

Extinction? I think not. If there is anything left besides cockroaches after the collapse of society, it will be people. We are as adaptable as they are. If such a collapse happens, there will still be people, there will still be religion. I am not so optimistic about science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:37 PM

Science, the scientific method, is a *process* that reveals reproduceable results. One does not *belive in* science. One *accepts* science as a process of investigation that is the underpinning of virtually all we know.

Religion is a *belief* system that does not. Religion was a *creation* of early humans to explain that which could not be explained in terms of the best knowledge of the day. Different societies have *chosen* different religions for this purpose. Science has pushed back the boundaries of what can be explained.

Religion has outgrown its usefullness to humans. But it persists. If we all continue to *believe in* religion, whatever religion, religion will be the downfall of humanity.

Humans, in some form, may survive. Cockroaches depend on humans for their waste to survive. They will only survive as humans do.

I may *believe in* the flying spaghetti monster as the creator. Who can challenge my *belief* anymore than any other *belief* system? There is no tangible proof.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:54 PM

Of course one Believes in Science. One believes that the process of science can answer life's mysteries. I may even be bold enough, based upon a preceding post, to wager that soulgoldie harbors such beliefs.

None of us are omniscient. We need beliefs to get by in this world. The difference is what are beliefs are based upon.

Cockroaches have been around for many millions of years more than humanity and several breeds live wild throughout the southern US including outside our house. They don't need us to survive.   Likewise, science requires civilization, at the very least, a lot of free time and recording media. Religion requires only blind faith and oral traditions. If there is a downfall science is a much more likely victim than religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:59 PM

Religion has outgrown its usefullness to humans. But it persists. If we all continue to *believe in* religion, whatever religion, religion will be the downfall of humanity.

While I agree with you about where religion came from and its lack of relevance in my own life, I don't really see it being the downfall of humanity. Religious organizations, possibly. There's a big difference between Church and God. Also, lots of humans seem to find religious belief useful, and most of them don't accept all the details of their sect's dogma. Most religious folks I know have no desire to force their religion on others and are, I think, better people for their religion. I admit to having a hard time not doubting their mental clarity or intellectual honesty, though.

Fortunately, we don't all believe in religion, and the numbers of those who do are dwindling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:03 PM

"we don't all believe in religion, and the numbers of those who do are dwindling. "

You think so? Globally? Demographically? or just where you live?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:08 PM

Of course one Believes in Science. One believes that the process of science can answer life's mysteries.

Jack, you've just stepped over the line. Saying that science is a belief system is bullshit. The only people who ever say that are religious folks who want everyone else to be on the same page they're on. No one who knows anything about science thinks it will solve any mysteries, except for the as yet unknowns about how are universe is put together physically. Get off it. You've certainly been in enough conversations on this topic to know how offensive you're being.

Science describes. Period. No belief involved. As someone in another thread said, saying that science is a belief system is like saying that my hobby is collecting stamps, even though I don't have a stamp collection and don't want one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:11 PM

"we don't all believe in religion, and the numbers of those who do are dwindling. "

You think so? Globally? Demographically? or just where you live?


Naw, I'm just speaking in anecdotes. I hope it's true, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:17 PM

I did not say that science is a belief system. I am saying that people believe in science's ability to answer their questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:36 PM

Huh. Maybe we're using the word "belief" in different ways. The word is a bit slippery. I would say that I trust science to tell me the truth about those subjects it is able to speak to. But I would never use "belief" with a capital B to describe any of the results of scientific investigation, especially not in a conversation about religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:45 PM

But I would never use "belief" with a capital B to describe any of the results of scientific investigation,

I didn't do that either. Someone said that People don't believe in science and I disagreed.

(actually he said "belive" but I assumed that was a typo.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:02 PM

The word (belief) is a bit slippery.
A bit? Extremely, I would say! There's lots of 'belief' in science, but the point is it is falsifiable belief, whereas most people don't think religious belief is. I don't agree, but that's me ...

I would say that I trust science to tell me the truth about those subjects it is able to speak to.

I wouldn't. 'To the best of our belief (!)", yes. The truth is another matter. I believe (!) any scientist worthy of the name must be prepared to abandon whatever scientific beliefs (!) they have accumulated in the event of a new scientific experiment that reveals a previously unrecognised flaw. And I believe (!) the peer review process is an effective way of doing that eventually, but not that it will necessarily do so in a relatively short timescale because scientists are people too, with careers and research grants to worry about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:14 PM

DMcG's last paragraph speaks to the point I was making. To live you have to act, to act you have to take risks. To take risks you need beliefs.

You can believe in God to look after you when you are driving or you can have faith in the science behind the design of the road and your car and your tires etc. I do both. I believe in science AND I believe in God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:30 PM

A lot of people believe in the Big G just before they take the Big Dirt Nap. Science... not so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 07:56 PM

I didn't do that either.

Well, actually you did ;^) No matter. Time to go, more later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:15 PM

Jack,
What exactly do you *believe* in?

What *facts and reason* led you to *choose* this belief?

Do you feel that "it chose you?"

If so, why do you feel *incapable* of using your powers as an individual thinker and choosing?

How can you prove to someone who does not share your belief that it is believable?

How do you explain the fact that throughout human history, billions (that is 1,000,000,000s) of people have disagreed and still disagree on just what is "the correct" dietific belief?

Can you disprove "the Flying Spaghetti Monster?"

Are "so many" people who do not share your belief stupid, crazy, or in some other way out of their minds?

Why is your *belief* superior to anyone else's?

How many astronomical, biological, or engineering discoveries came strictly from any religious process? How many from the scientific *process* of inquiry?

If religion is the answer, why did the Catholic Church apologize to Gallileo after a mere 500 years for excommunicating him for his "heresy"?

Do you "believe" that the Earth revolves around the Sun? If so, how do you know? If not, what do you believe is the relationship between the two celestial bodies, and what facts can you cite to prove *your belief?*

I could go on...

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: gnu
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:25 PM

John P.... "I didn't do that either. Well, actually you did ;^) No matter. Time to go, more later."

Could you please direct us to the post from which you quote (?huh?) if it's not the previous one or two so we can follow the conversation without searching for WHO said WHAT?

Jaysus man! I am early onset Oldtimers and I don't DO memory more than a few posts. It's just a matter of courtesey, even for those who CAN remember what they had for breakfast, Sometimes, I don't even


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:29 PM

"Jack,
What exactly do you *believe* in? "

Did you not read this? Is it not clear?

"I believe in science AND I believe in God."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:33 PM

John P,

I didn't...

So there!

LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 08:47 PM

Jack,
I asked several questions. You only barely and briefly came close to answering one of them. C'mon, convince me of the error of my ways! The gauntlet is down! Rise to the challenge!

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 09:23 PM

I thought all of those "questions" were rhetorical. I don't have any urge to reply to them. For example what makes you think I would want to talk about spaghetti monsters?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 02:54 AM

Do you "believe" that the Earth revolves around the Sun? If so, how do you know? If not, what do you believe is the relationship between the two celestial bodies, and what facts can you cite to prove *your belief?

The fact they move relative to each other is simple observation. Even using the Newtonian model neither moves round the other but both round a point in between their centres of gravity. (The presence of the rest of the universe makes this more complicated but the same principle applies.) As with all of science the search is for the simplest explanation that fits all the data, not an abstract truth. For almost every purpose the mathematical modelling is vastly simplified if the sun is used as the origin for solar-system calculations, but if you have some calculation or requirement that is easier with the opposite assumption it is still scientifically accurate. For example research into road traffic accidents may refer to 'sunrise' and 'sunset' which is of course a sun-moves-round-the-earth model.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:22 AM

"Extinction? I think not. If there is anything left besides cockroaches after the collapse of society, it will be people. We are as adaptable as they are. If such a collapse happens, there will still be people, there will still be religion."

So, 'Jack the Sailor', you have 'faith' that our species is above Nature and the processes of evolution and extinction, do you? A religious point of view if I ever heard one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:39 AM

For example research into road traffic accidents may refer to 'sunrise' and 'sunset' which is of course a sun-moves-round-the-earth model.

It's a matter of objective perceptive pragmatics to speak of sunrise and sunset; likewise the movement of stars in the night sky and precession which is all down to the moving / wobbling earth but when you're on the earth the evidence of that is heavenly rather that terrestrial. Even the shivering skyclad pagans who watch the solstice sunrise accept that - and not even the most pedantic of scientists would ever call it The Solstice Earthfall, though it does have a certain ring...

Talking about rings and soltices, and getting back to early evidences for scentific enquiry, I'd say the Large Hadron Collider is the Stonehenge of our times. Enquiry and Enlighenment define our humanity, and the Atheistic Tradition stretches back to the very crack. Religion and God are just lazy habits we slipped into somewhere along the way for the sake of oppression and political control, although some scientific discoveries might be described as unfortunate in that respect - such as the discovery of the causal link between sexual intercourse and pregnancy which has defined the Patriarchal order of things ever since, especially in such Evil Institutions as the Unholy Roman Catholic Church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:04 AM

The M6 is the Stonhenge of our times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:48 AM

I'll see your M6 and raise you a Spaghetti Junction (Gravelly Hill) which inspires in me the same tranquil awe, but then again, I don't drive. I love the M6 on the whole really, especially the old service stations, such as the one at Lancaster which looks decidely weird when viewed across the fields from the A6. I wonder, in time, when the cars have gone and humanity has regressed to unprecented savage state ruled over by sentient cockroaches, will they be saying the M6 is the work of God?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 10:29 AM

The gestalt of the M6 (including the toll road and Gravelly Hill Interchange) is truly awesome (in the original sense of the word) when considered. Being an expat bummie the section through the second city is the part that I love most of the whole road, I still consider it my home turf. From the turnoff to the Aston Expressway at Spag. Junc. to the extended flyover that passes the once might Forty Dunlop, the views of the Villa and the rotunda and the dreaming towers of Birmingham. I always loved the feeling of sailing over the rail yards and factories, the rhythmic whump of the car going over the expansion joints... sigh. No service stations in the brum and the Black Country, there you fend for yourself, a single cell in the bloodstream of the country itself, an artery from the nation's beating heartland feeding the capillaries that in turn are feeding the myriad symbionts that makes us as a country what we are at any one, whole brief moment.

Suc a contrast to the motorway at it's far extremity in Cumbria and its route with the fells of the lakes and Yorkshire funnelling the road as it winds onward and where it feels like it's transporting you past a land still brooding over the brutal incursion of this industrial behemoth.

It passes close to where I live now and is still one of our main routes south or north, climbing as it does over the Mersey and the ship canal (another monument), although it's become so crowded and today's drivers so fuppin' insane that travelling along it can be a real nightmare.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 10:47 AM

saulgoldie,
I think Jack is the wrong person to be asking those questions of. He seems to be more involved in Jesus' injunctions to be a good person than in the blind adherence to any conservative Christian dogma. I don't get the whole belief thing myself, but I don't remember seeing him claim to be superior to or more right than others.


Trivia:
Jaysus, indeed, it's so not important once we talked for a bit.

Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor - PM
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 05:54 PM

Of course one Believes in Science. One believes that the process of science can answer life's mysteries. I may even be bold enough, based upon a preceding post, to wager that soulgoldie harbors such beliefs.


And I even quoted it later:

Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P - PM
Date: 22 Jun 11 - 06:08 PM

"Of course one Believes in Science."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM

Perect joy for me is driving through up to & through the Lune Gorge on the M6 listening to Kraftwerk's Autobahn in its 23 minute entirety... Well, sitting in the passenger seat anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 03:29 PM

John P, I was not aware that the capital "B" imparted a special meaning.

Here are definitions of believe and belief which I accept.

If you can discredit my arguments based on these please proceed. Are you saying that I was using "Believe" as a credo because of the capital? Is that written down somewhere as a "rule?"

People can't have religious "believes"; they have religious beliefs. If you have it, it's a belief; if you do it, you believe.
Source: http://www.wsu.edu/
belief Meaning(s)

    * (n) any cognitive content held as true
    * (n) a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

believe Meaning(s)

    * (v) accept as true; take to be true
    * (v) judge or regard; look upon; judge
    * (v) be confident about something
    * (v) follow a credo; have a faith; be a believer
    * (v) credit with veracity


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:05 PM

Yes, adding a capital to a word is a commonly used way indicating a grand meaning for the word. "With a capital B" is a well known way of describing that.

The word "belief" has two very different meanings for me. Saying I believe in the existence of Hong Kong, even though I've never seen it, means that I have good, logical reasons to think I've been told the truth about whether or not Hong Kong is really there. Saying I believe in God is almost the opposite -- that I don't have any logical reason to think God exists, but I believe it anyway. A mystical and non-logical statement. Saying that I believe that science tells me the truth (with a small T) is very different than saying I believe in something which requires acceptance without any reasons.

All of which is to say that we ought to be clear about how we're using the word in a conversation about belief -- and ask for clarification if there's any question about meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 04:29 PM

"With a capital B" is a well known way of describing that."

It is MY understanding that "With a capital "insert letter here" is a well known way to stress whatever the speaker or writer wants to stress. As in "That fighter has Balls! With a capital B."

That said, How "credo" any more "grand" than any the other four meanings? I think that the perception of grandness is coming form you.

"I don't have any logical reason to think God exists, but I believe it anyway."

Are you serious? Do you accept eyewitness testimony as evidence in a court of law? I can show you lots of that kind of evidence. A truly scientific mind could not close that door. If you don't accept it that a function of your Belief system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:11 PM

No, the perception of grandness came from you capitalizing a word in the middle of a sentence, an issue I've don't care about and have been trying to let go of.

Eyewitness testimony in a court of law is VERY different than personal stories about the existence of God. The two aren't even on the same planet. One is a description of a physical event that happened and which doesn't require any Belief to believe and the other is a description of a non-physical, non-causative event that does require Belief. All I have to do with an eyewitness in court is to decide whether or not he's lying. With personal stories about God -- none of which, as far as I know, can stand up to very much cross-examination -- I have to decide whether or not God exists.

Please understand that I'm not one of those who thinks that science can answer all questions and that spirituality is bullshit. Science can only answer questions of how our universe is put together physically. It can't describe love, team spirit, beauty, the phenomenon of the belief in God, or a whole host of other things. And the gaps in our knowledge are much greater than what we actually know -- like what it is about humans that allows/causes us to have spiritual experiences.

Sorry, I really don't have a Belief system. At least not one with a capital B. ;^)   I am a very spiritual person who has had numerous mystical/spiritual/non-linear experiences and who thinks that if everyone did what Jesus said the world would be a much better place. Where it all falls apart for me is Believing in all the other stuff that religions claim as truth. Why not have the spiritual experience, and learn from it, and be an ethical/moral person, without taking on the virgin birth, raising from the dead, and a conscious creator who cares what individuals do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:17 PM

Various people, in promulgating religious concerns have used words like 'accept' and 'acknowledge' to give extra authority to the particular religious systems they follow. In the American South a few years ago, someone ordered a stone monument with the 10 Commandments installed in the state house. When objections were raised, saying he had no right to do this, he used the phrase, "I am merely 'acknowledging' God...".

This sort of language is a way of assuming the existence you wish to prove in the very way it it phrased...a classic bit of circular reasoning. Even the phrase "Do you 'believe' in God" has a construction that assumes that there IS such a thing, and dares you to NOT accept it. One should ask more neutrally, "Do you believe in *A* god?" or "Is it your belief that some supernatural 'entity' created everything and is monitoring things daily?".....some such construction of phrasing.

I regularly hear or read of people using the phrase "My God is..X, Y, Z.." ... as if that shows something about reality. I suppose I can see WHY they say such things if they are strongly committed to some particular theology, but it is not a fair & reasonable way to conduct a sincere debate on the basic issue. It is merely another way of stating one's 'belief'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:47 PM

John, You seem to be digging yourself into a logical hole. You say you have no belief system, as you use your own idiosyncratic belief about what is "logic" to decide whether there is a God or not. You cannot know. You cannot have talked to every witness. You cannot have seen every piece of evidence.

The fact that Billions of people believe something is certainly one logical reason to accept it. If you have other beliefs that you feel refute that. That is fine. If you came to those beliefs through what you feel is a logical process. That is fine also. But I would urge you not to confuse your belief in your process as truth or fact. None of us are omniscient. We must depend on our beliefs to function. I will grant that there is often a qualitative difference in the process by which different people come to their beliefs and that the difference can sometimes lead to better outcomes.

But Catholic belief in The Virgin Mary has prevented suicide in times of a grief and despair deep enough to kill many an atheist.

In that case, which belief is logical?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:47 PM

There are aspects of science that require attack or at least a well reasoned reset.

Peer review for example can sometimes do more harm than good when putting new concepts through the filter of the status quo. Reproducing results is a good thing but there are sciences that are conceptual in search of quantitative experiments but if the controversial subject is shot to hell by "status quoticians", then funding for experimentation is jeopardized.

Some mathematicians believe the universe at large is entirely quantifiable with math, as if the universe is at its core a mathematical construct. The problem is when math can not describe a phenomenon, it is falsely assumed that the premise is at fault and the the current state of math.

I have complained for decades that linear thinking is the worst possible way of visualizing anything, yet that is what is considered to be "normal thinking". For example people think of time (actually space-time) as having a linear direction that points from past through the now into the future. The problem is that nothing is linear in a universe in motion and expansion. Whlie it seems perfectly normal to me that time most likely has more than one dimension, an x and y axis would more accurately describe time along with all its relativistic qualities linked to gravity.

Time has two dimensions!? Most likely. That's why events viewed from the instant of now, may reveal recent future events and adjacent past events in a slightly fuzzy fashion. Viewing time as a linear thing, is just wrong. Time viewed as a multi dimensional wave feels intuitively correct.

Some of you may have had the privilege of viewing how time actually moves in quantum jumps. People under the influence of LSD have viewed trucks moving down a midnight highway from a great distance and saw the trucks move in instant steps and not a smooth constant motion. Some of them reported the process as a smooth trail but when asked to concentrate on that trail it broke into discrete segments of movement. Maybe you sped up your mind and became aware of the cycling of florescent lights turning on and off quickly. You may have seen a conductors baton trail in a discrete go stop go stop fashion making it impossible to see on particular stop of a down beat. Some cosmologists believe that every instant is within the dimension of time and time is composed of discrete packets of the now.

Thinking about time is much richer when thinking in a dimensional way rather than a straight line fashion. Thinking about a billiards shot is best done in a linear fashion.

The point is that observable phenomenon should get more credence than it does. Yes there are optical illusions that make direct scientific observation suspect but math can also have paradoxes and nonsensical answers. Today we can directly observe a single object being at two places at once, without any smoke and mirror trickery.
Yet people dismiss this phenomenon without full appreciation for what it means - because many observers are (here we go again)
linear thinkers.

A linear thinking observer may not see what I see because I can only process language and spatial thoughts with my right brain hemisphere. I have to force myself into the shortest distance between point A to point B linear concepts, and even when I do, it still seems wrong because in reality the points are moving, entropy is progressing and gravity changes and warps space time etc.

I try from time to time to give a glimpse into what dimensional thinking is all about compared to linear but sometimes it sounds like I am being judgmental of left brain persons. That is not my aim, in fact I am envious of those who have instant access to words spoken or read.


In conclusion, the way in which we think is crucial and comes in more than one valid flavor. Relativity was a big step in the Right direction. Phenomenology and direct observation should be given the same validity as mathematics in science. Also the scientific community can become a bit parochial at times when the goal is to enforce a status quo due to linear thinking patterns.


succinctly,
some self important science ass holes have a stick up their ass regarding new ideas and protect their turf for the money, first and foremost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 05:54 PM

I know the man you are talking about Bill. He was the elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. I lived in Alabama at the time. I don't think the particular words that he used were important for him or his supporters. They were blatantly defying the law. They felt that they were so righteous that they did not have to be right. The courts saw otherwise.

That case was certainly an argument against choosing judges by election.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 06:02 PM

Could you please wipe religion off the bottom of your shoe and return to science, science doing an attack and science receiving a valid attack .

Invalid attacks are nonsensical and frankly a bit boring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 06:19 PM

Jack you will feel happier posting on a religious thread.

Jack, I know you dont have data that Virgin Mary Catholics are less likely to suicide than Catholic athiests or athiests in general

Unless science has harmed you in such a way as to perpetuate a valid attack, your comparison of science contrasted against Catholicism is ridiculous.

My experience with science and Catholicism is one in which the Vatican having a voracious appetite for scientific insight, directions and facts. I knew a nun ordered by the the Pope to get her PHD at Boston College in applied science.
I know cafeteria Catholics who are scientists.

I sense you have a hurt, but it is not with science. I encourage you to find out what it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: John P
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 06:32 PM

Sorry, Jack, that's all nonsense. No, the fact that so many people believe in God is not any kind of proof. Everyone also used to believe the world was flat and had a sun going around it. So what?

Yes, I can say with reasonable certainty that there is no god of the type described by Christianity. If there was someone like that wandering around, more of us would know about it. It might even get written up in the scientific journals. The same logic lets me say that the great pasta god doesn't exist, either. I suppose it is vaguely possible that I might eventually find a witness who would convince me, but the chances of that are so small that I can safely discount the possibility. Show me some physical miracles, and then convince me they are not advanced science.

The fact that belief in God has had a hugely beneficial effect on lots of people's lives is also not proof of the existence of God -- it's just proof that lots of people have had beneficial effects from believing in it. I don't have any doubts about that.

I'm fairly confident of my ability to follow a logic trail. You haven't presented one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 08:09 PM

Jack...to echo and add to John's point, I would ask:

How many people does it take to 'believe' in something before it is etched in stone as true? A majority? 87.531%

How do you deal with minor but hotly contested beliefs...not to mention major ones?
(A now famous joke/routine made popular by the comedian Emo Phillips illustrated this in the heretic joke. History is full of schisms and conflicts that developed when various folks couldn't agree on theology. Why shouldn't we burn witches and heretics if were are 'sure' they are guilty & evil? After all, suicide bombers are dying regularly because they are convinced Allah wants infidels dead!... oh, that's 'crazy extremism, you say? The 'crazy extremists' don't feel they need a voting majority to carry out God's will.)

That's one of the reasons that doubters & skeptics begin to question ALL theological propositions..... if ONE extreme notion is not supported, how do you determine that more genteel ones are?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Jun 11 - 09:45 PM

John,

How do you decide something is nonsense? Are you omniscient? Or are you comparing it to your beliefs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 08:15 AM

Something for the climate change deniers (pdq?) to chew on: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/06/2011622132049568952.html

"Scientific research confirms that, so far, humankind has raised the Earth's temperature...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 08:27 AM

I used to be sceptical about the human contribution to climate change, but after seeing the sort of company I was keeping I realised I was in serious error! Windfarms are still a blight however; designed only to prove the ineffectiveness of renewable energy and so waving in, quite literally, a new generation of nuclear power stations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 11:50 AM

Like the cartoon Tucan I am coo coo for Cosmo;ogy.
Cosmology may not find the ultimate reality but it certainly finds big ones.

I have found people here who are one or two degrees of seperation from some great cosmologists and physicists.

There may be a young future cosmologist here. It would not be the first time a young musician became a scientist/cosmologist of note.

Toying with great ideas is a gas, and leads to some exhillerating personal discoveries, or it may not float your boat at all.

Which of the following ideas gives you a charge or makes you think of new possibilities:

Time exists but stands still in a singularity but comes to life once at least two things can be compared.

Time came before space.

How can something be at two places at once?

What if time is 3 dimensional just like our directly observable world ?

Have you ever seen a physically impossible event occur?

When Einstien said humans go against the grain of space time did he mean that we construct and order things while the rest of the universe endergoes entropy?

Do you believe many of the experiences and natural processes that happen to you, is mirrored in the universe at large?

Do you think that a comprehensive understanding of reality will enrich your life?

Do you expect that unlocking the forces that are smaller than atoms lead to the greatest energy sources of all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ringer
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 12:45 PM

"Scientific research confirms that, so far, humankind has raised the Earth's temperature...."

Thank you, bobad. But from the same cite:

"So far human greenhouse gas emissions have raised the temperature of the planet by one degree Celsius."

and there is no evidence for that whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 12:55 PM

There has to be evidence in a news article?

Since when?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM

Here is what NASA said while BUSH was still in.

That was 4 years ago and things certainly haven't cooled. They said .6 degrees to .9 degrees for the sake of one sentence in a rather long article, can't we round that up to 1?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 01:18 PM

One degree Celsius is quite significant...no matter what the 'provable' cause.

I'm not sure what you WOULD consider as 'evidence', as we can't exactly hold up a thermometer and watch it rise as a new power plant starts up... but we CAN measure fairly accurately the effects of various chemical reactions and plot the changes in the atmosphere as these occur...and then measure statistical rises in temperature at various points and see correlations. It seems to me that there are serious indicators that there are probably causal connections involved. Just how long should we wait before taking the cautious approach and trying to limit the behavior that SEEMS to be related to climate change? There IS a concept called "err on the side of caution", and IF we adopted it, various conditions would be better anyway! Less pollution, less strip mining, fewer men dying in coal mines....etc.
   All that would really change is certain short-term economic interests...but we KNOW that means fewer millions for certain corporate interests.

   For many years both makers and users of tobacco products tried to hide from growing evidence that tobacco was dangerous! Think of the lives that could have been saved if common sense had been applied to THAT debate! WHY do so many automatically resist good circumstantial evidence that Global Climate Change is partially fueled by human activity?

   Why does the song by Pete Seeger "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" keep running thru my head?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: saulgoldie
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 03:48 PM

Well, I don't know anymore what "some people" accept or reject out of hand as evidence. But the evidence captured in the polar ice core samples that show what was in the air and the prevaling temperature going back many millions of years seems pretty convincing. I'll stack that evidence up against any counter-indicating corporate-sponsored "research" ennyday of the week, and twicet on Sundays.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 04:27 PM

Sea level has clearly gone up
CO2 has clearly gone up
Glaciers have clearly receded

The smirking naysayer who quips "there is no evidence for that (temperature rise)", disregards the concern for what it all means come 2032. The naysayer reminds of a troll

The quirky fact that the sun has skipped its usual highly active phase and has remained relatively cool for 2 eleven year cycles should scare the hell out of some people. I dont claim to know what it means but when the sun finally goes into high activity it may do so with a vengence.
The other puzzle is that while the sun has remained in a low to no sunspot phase for 2 cycles, why are there reports that Mars has warmed these last 10 years?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Jun 11 - 04:35 PM

"The quirky fact that the sun has skipped its usual highly active phase and has remained relatively cool for 2 eleven year cycles should scare the hell out of some people. I dont claim to know what it means but when the sun finally goes into high activity it may do so with a vengence."

Hold on thar Chicken Little! I haven't heard this "quirky fact" of yours but I would at least find some historical examples of the sun taking vengeance through high sun spots before hitting the "should scare the hell out of people" button.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ringer
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 10:22 AM

"The smirking naysayer who quips "there is no evidence for that (temperature rise)", disregards the concern for what it all means come 2032."

And the fool who thinks that I smirk while posting, that my post was a quip, or that I disregard future effects (why 2032 particularly?), none of which can be determined from my post, would do better to keep quiet.

"The naysayer reminds of a troll"

Well, of course, he would, wouldn't he? Anyone who posts an opinion with which Donuel disagrees must be a troll, it stands to reason.

I do point out, however, that my quibble about evidence refers to the (A)nthropogenic bit of AGW, not to any particular value of (G)lobal (W)arming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:13 PM

The Orestes research was from 2004. A lot has happened in the scientific community from that time. I think if a new research were taken about scientific opinion today there might be new conclusions drawn. I distrust the report that PDQ offers as conclusive evidence on the nature of scientific opinion today. I think it's biased. Why? There are too many scientists out there and they are cautious to offer conclusive evidence, because this is the nature of science, to be careful in stating conclusions. There is politics in the scientific community as well. I wouldn't take much stock in the documenting of papers regarding climate change today. There are no conclusive answers but there are certain indicators such as melting ice caps, rising sea tides, an occurrence of violent storms and temp extremes.

The science is there that the heating of the planet is caused by hydrocarbons. How many scientists believe or disbelieve this is debatable in today's environment. There is no reliable science that disputes this fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:15 PM

Anyone gonna' state that coal burning plants, nuclear meltdowns, fracking in the earth,
deposits of nuclear chemicals into the ocean or land doesn't have an effect on climate change?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:24 PM

Anyone gonna' state that coal burning plants, (YES When they are burning coal) nuclear meltdowns,(NO the effect is negligible) fracking in the earth,(NO NOT AS SUCH But using the gas or letting it escape might) deposits of nuclear chemicals into the ocean or land doesn't have an effect on climate change? (NO All chemicals are nuclear, since all elements have nuclei. Do you mean radioactive chemicals. If that is the case the answer is still "NO")


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 12:44 PM

Jack, the effect of nuclear meltdowns is not negligible. The radioactive chemicals are in the land and ocean. They are dangerous. There are dead spots in the water areas near nuclear plants. A by-product, Cancer is a ticking time bomb. Apparently you don't live in Pennsylvania where if you turn on the tap, you get flames. How can you reasonably double down on this viewpoint? What about Chernobyl? Did not that affect its residents?

Where do you get the information that a nuclear meltdown's effect is negligible?

Your "no's" don't add up.

Here's what we are learning about the brain. Scientific facts may not matter. Verifiable factual information may not matter because the mind is controlled by belief systems that tend to be reinforced when alternative conclusions are presented.

In short, deniability is built into the brain and reinforced by mental behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 05:34 PM

We tend to forget that Earth is a closed system for the most part. We keep doing what we're doing, and we ain't gonna be leaving our children and theirs much of a planet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 06:52 PM

Stringsinger I did not say these things had no effect at all. I did not say that they were not dangerous. I said they have negligible effect on climate change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 07:31 PM

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is an absolutely essential part of plant and animal life.

We actually live in CO2-starved condition right now. Doubling or trippling the amout of atmospheric CO2 would lead to an increase in plant growth and a greater abundance of food.

It is a fact the people use too much of the Earth's resources, pollute many things, produce too much burried waste, etc. That is something that people have tried to address for at least the last 50 years. Balance prosperity with responsibe stewardship of the planet.

We are rapidly paving-over the farm land of California with houses and making food-growing more difficult by driving farmer out to coulder and drier rural states when yields are smaller and crop variety is limited.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 07:37 PM

Too true, PDQ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 07:56 PM

...Earth is a closed system for the most part.

True, but it is also a dynamic system and continually adjusts itself through various feedback mechanisms.

An increase in carbon dioxide causes an increase in plant growth which, in turn, cause on increase in atmospheric oxygen which is returned to carbon dioxide by animals. Around and around it goes. An ever-changing system.

The system also corrects problems like pollution as best it can. About 35% of atmosphereic pollution is removed each year by natural causes such as rain. If we reduce our pollution, things would return to "normal" in a few years. Some folks try to scare people into thinkng that air pollution is permanent and that what went up since the start of the Industrial Revolution is still there. Probably not much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 08:37 PM

Potassium is not a poison. It is absolutely essential to brain and heart function.

Yet they use it to kill people on death row.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 06:50 AM

"Balance prosperity with responsibe stewardship of the planet."(sic)

Given the vast majority of the world's ever increasing population lives below the poverty line it seems we're a long way from even knowing what "responsible stewardship of the planet" actually is. Try explaining trophic cascades and ecology to the rich and wealthy of the 'civilised world' and they'll start bleating about their rights and freedoms etc.

No, we're fucked as we're too greedy, too myopic and self-interested and we can't keep our dicks in our pants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 07:56 AM

>>The system also corrects problems like pollution as best it can. About 35% of atmosphereic pollution is removed each year by natural causes such as rain. If we reduce our pollution, things would return to "normal" in a few years. Some folks try to scare people into thinkng that air pollution is permanent and that what went up since the start of the Industrial Revolution is still there. Probably not much. <<

I like this closed loop mobius logic which simply which ignores the long term damage we are doing to the biosphere because it is technically not pollution. Rising CO2, temperature rise, deforestation, depleted ozone, melting ice pack and melting permafrost are not pollution but they make life on the planet more difficult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 02:40 PM

If we allowed dogs to do to our yards what some industries do to this planet, we`d be shooting the dogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 03:25 PM

Actually, with regard to CO2, increasing the ratio in the atmosphere will not benefit plants, which have evolved to exist in the current situation. Depending on the chemistry which they use for photosynthesis, which varies in detail, some will be able to attain better growth, but not all.

See C3 plants, which close down stomata and change chemistry in hot conditions, and comprise most of plants.

C3 plants

C4 plants do better in hotter conditions, but are only about 3% of all plants.

C4 plants

Then there's CAM photosynthesis, also adapted for arid conditions.

CAM photosynthesis

Enzymes need a particular range of temperature to work well, and plants will not be able to use the increased CO2 if it goes with increased temperature.

And that's leaving aside the other effects of heat - I've had wilting potatoes and radishes this last couple of days. Open stomata, high temperatures, water loss. Not good.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 04:31 PM

Actually, with regard to CO2, increasing the ratio in the atmosphere will not benefit plants, which have evolved to exist in the current situation.

Where did that claim come from?

Then there's CAM photosynthesis, also adapted for arid conditions.

Global Warming is about temperatue and "arid" is about rainfall. Not related.

Enzymes need a particular range of temperature to work well, and plants will not be able to use the increased CO2 if it goes with increased temperature.

The 0.6 C increase in atmospheric temperature since 1848 is trivial. Not realy woth mentioning much less worrying about.

And that's leaving aside the other effects of heat - I've had wilting potatoes and radishes this last couple of days. Open stomata, high temperatures, water loss.

Anicdotal evidence, plus it probably involve a hot day. Cold to hot days can have 20-30 degree F changes. Nothing to do with a discussion photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis, including both and vegetation oceanic phytoplankton takes light, Carbon dioxide and water and produces plant energy molecules (as sugar) and releases oxygen.

Animals do roughly the opposite which make the system work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Jun 11 - 06:23 PM

PDQ,

Where are you getting YOUR claims?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Penny S.
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 04:56 AM

I gave links, didn't I? And the Wikipedia articles have references. Temperature was included. You appear to be responding only to my posting. I was made aware of these issues by a scientist working in the field of planetary habitability. Wilting is an example of what happens with greater temperature and plants which do not have the capacity to close stomata.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 08:29 AM

PDQ does not have scientifc sources.
He has political talking points.
Am I wrong?
If yes, please provide the links to peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that support your claims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 10:40 AM

Back to basics. If someone wants complex formulas or the names of other chemical involved in these processes, they are easily found on the web...


Photosynthesis    Carbon exists in the atmosphere as the compound carbon dioxide. It first enters the ecological food web (the connected network of producers and consumers) when photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and certain algae, absorb carbon dioxide through tiny pores in their leaves. The plants then "fix" or capture the carbon dioxide and are able to convert it into simple sugars like glucose through the biochemical process known as photosynthesis. Plants store and use this sugar to grow and to reproduce. Thus, by their very nature as makers of their own food, plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When plants are eaten by animals, their carbon is passed on to those animals. Since animals cannot make their own food, they must get their carbon either directly by eating plants or indirectly by eating animals that have eaten plants.

Respiration    Respiration is the next step in the cycle, and unlike photosynthesis, it occurs in plants, animals, and even decomposers. Although we usually think only of breathing oxygen when we hear the word "respiration," it has a broader meaning that involves oxygen. To a biologist, respiration is the process in which oxygen is used to break down organic compounds into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). For an animal then, respiration is both taking in oxygen (and releasing carbon dioxide) and oxidizing its food (or burning it with oxygen) in order to release the energy the food contains. In both cases, carbon is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Carbon atoms that started out as components of carbon dioxide molecules have passed through the body of living organisms and been returned to the atmosphere, ready to be recycled again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 11:31 AM

It is obvious that PDQ is not a scientist, but do you recognize him in this article?

Blues jam


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stu
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 12:05 PM

"Animals do roughly the opposite which make the system work."

Crikey - is it really that simple?

Actually, no. PDQ's oversimplification of the ecology and ecosystems of the planet and how they've been affected by anthropogenic climate change is typical of how deniers work. In part I blame this communication failure on scientists who need to understand the opposition has been in the business of sourcing, processing, selling and marketing for years; scientists are not known for their marketing prowess. To the more gullible members of society conditioned to see the claims of businesses and their cohorts as being indisputable fact and unlikely to question what they're told, it comes as natural to be distrustful of people who are not trying to sell them anything, or telling them things which threaten to burst their cosy consumerist bubble (made of straw).

In truth it's far more complicated (but understandable) than the deniers make out. PDQ's cut-n-paste explanations of respiration and photosynthesis are largely irrelevant out of content, which they are in this case. Saying something like "An increase in carbon dioxide causes an increase in plant growth" is utterly ridiculous. An increase in 'Tomogrow' liquid fertiliser will result in an increase in plant growth too.

As for the biosphere being a system constantly seeking equilibrium though various mechanisms that might be true, but human activity has altered the variables within that system and the effects are at best unknown and at worst positively disastrous. All the sub-systems within the planet-wide ecosystem are interconnected; change one and they all change. Problem is, we don't know to what degree and how. These systems are incredibly finely balanced and we don't fully understand how declines in species diversity and evolution will effect the biosphere. We know one thing though that the fossil record is unambiguous about: climate change radically alters ecosystems sometimes in very short spaces of time and this will effect all life living in that ecosystem in one way or another.

So the choice is to do feck all and hope we're wrong, or change the way we are doing things and if we're wrong the worse that will happen is the loss of rich people's toys, some lifestyle changes for all of us and the fact we will be living more harmoniously within the ecosystems and ecologies we are part of and if we're wrong, no harm done after a period of re-adjustment.

Not a choice really, is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 12:29 PM

As for the biosphere being a system constantly seeking equilibrium though various mechanisms that might be true

And of course that might not be true. That every change in the biosphere induces additional reacting changes is - as far as we know - true, but there's no reason to assume that will lead to an equilibrium. A fair number of quite simple biological relationships are known to be inherently chaotic


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 12:50 PM

"A fair number of quite simple biological relationships are known to be inherently chaotic..." ~ DMcG

Marriage?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 12:55 PM

Also, a key word is "Seeking" inherent is the potential upheaval before "equilibrium" is attained and the potential that the new equilibrium will probably not be as beneficial to us as the one we are upsetting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 01:10 PM

JtS's link above nails it. Thanks.


PDQ:
"Back to basics. If someone wants complex formulas or the names of other chemical involved in these processes, they are easily found on the web..."

A) We are way beyond the basics. You cannot begin to understand modern Earth Science if you are discussing it based on Encyclopedia definitions. That indicates a very very shallow understanding (perhaps purposefully so).

B) "..easily found on the web..." is not where the science is being discussed. That is where you can find good political talking points.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 01:22 PM

I will not be dragged into a name-calling contest with insecure people who want basic scientific concepts twisted to conform to their political agendas. I studied all this in college, at lenght, and just because Al Gore says that it is hot two miles below the Earth's surface "maybe two million degrees" does not make it true. Journalism majors lecturing me on Kreb's Cycle, which they think is something Maynard G. Krebs rode, will be ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 01:29 PM

PDQ, the only evidence of college in your side of this discussion is your apparent EIBS degree.


Energy Industry Bull Shit


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:11 PM

I'd mention here that PDQ is a well-educated individual. The fact our political views differ just means our political views differ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:16 PM

Thanks, Bruce.

You are one of the few Lefties here who makes an attempt to stand on principle. Most come here to inflict pain on their enemies, real or imagined.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:42 PM

If you are calling me insecure, you surely don't know me at all.
Did your college courses teach you about the Dunning-Kroger Effect?

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.64.2655&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Original Source


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 02:46 PM

I'm not saying that he is not well educated. I'm saying that there is no evidence of that education in his recent posts on this thread.

Bruce, come on, isn't invoking high school biology about the carbon cycle and then saying that man made global warming does not exist because plants process carbon dioxide nothing more than BullShit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 03:11 PM

"07:31 PM

We actually live in CO2-starved condition right now. Doubling or trippling the amout of atmospheric CO2 would lead to an increase in plant growth and a greater abundance of food." pdq


"03:25 PM

Actually, with regard to CO2, increasing the ratio in the atmosphere will not benefit plants, which have evolved to exist in the current situation." Penny S


"Actually, with regard to CO2, increasing the ratio in the atmosphere will not benefit plants, which have evolved to exist in the current situation.

Where did that claim come from?" pdq

I'm confused. Is that exchange what I read it to be? Eb


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 03:21 PM

I think what needs to be questioned is this...

We actually live in CO2-starved condition right now. Doubling or trippling the amout of atmospheric CO2 would lead to an increase in plant growth and a greater abundance of food." pdq

It is the first time on my life I have ever seen this claim. It is my understanding that plant thrive with enough water and nutrients in the soil. That is certainly true for our garden. I see farmers fertilizing and irrigating. When was the last time you saw one dumping dry ice on a garden? I drive by fossil fuel power plants several times a year, I don't notice the vegetation near the plants as being more abundant. I do notice more plants where there is more water. Have you ever driven from San Antonio to New Orleans? If you did you would know what I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 03:58 PM

Google

Carbon cycle


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 04:28 PM

Here is a good place to learn about the...

                                                                                                          Carbon Cycle


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 05:44 PM

Again, the encyclopedia.

There is so much peer-reviewed science that goes so far beyond the encyclopedia, that it is plain silly to be arguing using that. It's like trying to build your own spaceship from plans you got from a comic book. The information may not be incorrect, but it is so simplistic and non-comprehensive of other critical factors that it is just not meaningful.

The "if some is good, more is better" argument is unscientific. If we were to argue in aphorisms, I would reply with "Too much of a good thing can be harmful".

If you are sick and taking medicine to make you well, will you get better three times faster by taking three times the medicine?

Yes, it is possible to increase plant growth with increased CO2 under controlled conditions. It also requires increased water and increased nutrients, and increased organic matter, and protection from invasive insect or other predators and parasites.

Where will the extra water come from?
Where will the extra nutrients and organic matter come from?
Might a slight change in climate invite migration of new predators and diseases?

There is solid historical evidence of a sudden rise in CO2 causing widespread significant plant damage. Read here:

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1960.full.pdf+html

There are many many more examples of humans altering ecosystems to "improve" them (based on an encyclopedia level understanding of complex interactions) that result in ecosystem collapse. Plenty more original sources where that came from. So, are you a skeptic or a denier? We shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 05:47 PM

Sorry...clicky


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 06:29 PM

Increasing the level of carbon dioxide in greenhouses produces a perdictable increase in yield, up to 40% more depending on the crop and other coditions. This technique has been used in practice for decades.

Here, get a system for your...

                                                                                                               greenhouse


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 06:42 PM

People who have been around agriculture known about carbon dioxide augmentation in greenhouses. Since others seen not to have heard of it, I said we must get "back to basisc" in a previous post.

Here is a fine article from our Canadian friends, courtesy of the...

                                                                            Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 06:57 PM

I get it now PDQ, You think that since CO2 in the atmosphere causes a "greenhouse effect" that it would be like pumping more CO2, into the greenhouse. Two words "closed system." A green house is, from the point of view of individual plants. The whole outdoors is not.

The limitations on plant growth and agriculture OUTDOORS are nutrients and water. I have no doubt that increasing CO2, where water and nutrients are optimized will increase plant production. But assuming that in entire Earth's ecosystem, water and nutrients ARE optimized, it frankly, ignorant and not worthy of a man of your obvious educational attainment.

Here is something to consider. Clearly your interpretation of "the carbon cycle" is not working because the amount of atmospheric CO2 is increasing. If what you are saying was true, wouldn't we have the same amount of atmospheric CO2 and more plants?


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 07:26 PM

A small, closed greenhouse is a lot simpler than the entire Earth.
Did you read the science?
What if we add bugs to the greenhouse?
Increasing the CO2 increases the carbon/nitrogen ratio in the plant matter, making it less nutritious for herbivorous predators, which then must eat more, and it is detrimental to the plants.
The record for the PETM is very clear.
Your "CO2 is plant food argument is a nice example of the "fallacy of exclusion" in which a *single* cause and effect relationship is presented as the only cause and effect relationship amongst *many* that may be at work in a system. This is a rhetorical trick, not a scientific argument.
If you want to talk science above a comic book level, please read the original sources.
One is posted above.
A person with your obvious education and intelligence (and as attested by others) should be perfectly capable of reading and understanding this.
Then we can discuss the original sources as skeptic to skeptic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 07:36 PM

And, it is not just bugs.
Perhaps you could take the time to read this one also...

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/298/5600/1987.short

Here's the abstract if you can't get to the full article:

"Simulated global changes, including warming, increased precipitation, and nitrogen deposition, alone and in concert, increased net primary production (NPP) in the third year of ecosystem-scale manipulations in a California annual grassland. Elevated carbon dioxide also increased NPP, **but only as a single-factor treatment**. Across all multifactor manipulations, elevated carbon dioxide suppressed root allocation, decreasing the positive effects of increased temperature, precipitation, and nitrogen deposition on NPP. The NPP responses to interacting global changes differed greatly from simple combinations of single-factor responses. These findings indicate the importance of a **multifactor** experimental approach to understanding ecosystem responses to global change."

(emphasis by TIA)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 07:38 PM

People can't be expected to rid themselves of all misconceptions about a complex subject in a single day.

Perhaps we can settle for replacing one misconception each day until they are all gone.

Here is the one for today: "carbon dioxide is a pollutant" and was declared so by the totally politicized director of the EPA.

Fact is CO2 is the key ingrediant in all life on Earth. It is made into carbohydrates by plant. Animals cannot produce their own food so they are dependant on plants for food, or on animals that have eaten plants. Yes, carbon dioxide is the key ingrediant in all life, not just plants.

When you here someone state that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, please correct the mistake. It's the least you can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 08:01 PM

Potassium is not a poison. It is absolutely essential to brain and heart function.

Yet they use it to kill people on death row.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: bobad
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 08:14 PM

Biologically speaking any substance given in high enough doses can be poisonous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: pdq
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 08:20 PM

People drown in water.

BAN WATER!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 09:12 PM

Bobad, PDQ, I am glad we have all reached the same conclusion.

Water cooling a Nuclear Reactor: Good
Water breaching a Nuclear Reactor: Bad

CO2 in the carbon cycle: Nurishment and Good
CO2 increasing beyond the carbon cycle's capacity to absorb it: Pollution and Bad


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Ringer
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 09:53 AM

"...the "fallacy of exclusion" in which a *single* cause and effect relationship is presented as the only cause and effect relationship amongst *many* that may be at work in a system. This is a rhetorical trick, not a scientific argument."

A bit like attributing global warming solely to CO2, in fact.

"All the sub-systems within the planet-wide ecosystem are interconnected; change one and they all change. Problem is, we don't know to what degree and how."

Agreed; but one consequence of that logic is that it is dangerous to reduce (as if we could!) atmospheric CO2. Since "we don't know to what degree and how" that change will affect all other variables we could be doing more harm than good. It is the nature of a chaotic system (such as the planetary atmospheric-system) to be unpredictable; but all you warmistas seem so confident in your predictions of doom. Shome mishtake, surely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 10:29 AM

A bit like attributing global warming solely to CO2, in fact.

Yeah who would have thought a green house gas would ad heat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 07:34 PM

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/06/28-12

Willy gives me the willies. It's easy to bribe some scientists to deny
global warming or climate change.

New physics by the Koch Brothers.

Creationism on clay tablets delivered by the descending emissary of Mount Texas.

(Endorsed by Bachmann and Perry)


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Subject: RE: BS: Science under attack.
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Jun 11 - 08:04 PM

There is always a market for people to shill for vested interests.


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