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BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'

saulgoldie 18 Sep 11 - 09:50 AM
Paul Burke 18 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM
Bill D 18 Sep 11 - 10:57 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 11 - 11:39 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 11 - 11:58 AM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Sep 11 - 01:38 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 11 - 02:05 PM
DMcG 18 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 18 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 11 - 04:11 PM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 04:21 PM
Stringsinger 18 Sep 11 - 06:26 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Sep 11 - 06:58 PM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 07:03 PM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 07:21 PM
DMcG 19 Sep 11 - 01:50 AM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 11 - 02:13 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Sep 11 - 10:04 AM
olddude 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 19 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 19 Sep 11 - 12:52 PM
Lighter 19 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 02:41 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 06:17 PM
Dave MacKenzie 19 Sep 11 - 07:28 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 07:58 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 08:08 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 08:53 PM
Paul Burke 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 AM
Dave MacKenzie 20 Sep 11 - 03:20 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 06:59 AM
Ed T 20 Sep 11 - 07:18 AM
Musket 20 Sep 11 - 07:19 AM
akenaton 20 Sep 11 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 20 Sep 11 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 20 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM
Jeri 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM
akenaton 20 Sep 11 - 03:46 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 04:48 PM
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Subject: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: saulgoldie
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 09:50 AM

A *belief* is something that requires faith, and does not necessarily suggest consequences that can be reliably and consistently reproduced. One *believes in* the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, and the FSM (Google it). They cannot be reliably produced or reproduced, and are, therefore, *beliefs.*

Science is not a belief system. It is a *process* that leads to reproducable results. Arithmetic is not a belief system. It is a *process* that leads to reproducable results. One *accepts* science and arithmetic. They require no *belief.* They are *processes.* They stand alone, independent of any *beliefs.*

Gravity is not a belief; it is a demonstrable reality. One does not *believe in* gravity. All of our experience and available data consistently demonstrate that gravity is real, regardless of which *belief system* may choose to deny it.

The *process* of the scientific method of investigation is the underpinning of virtually everything around us. No *belief system* can claim any of the sort of reproducable results that have created our existence.

One may "not believe in" evolution or climate change. But the rigorous investigatory *process* of science has demonstrated that these are realities, supported by voluminous data. If one *chooses* to not *accept* these realities, then one is demonstrating *willful ignorance.*

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM

My Chambers 20th Century dictionary, 1981 edition, defines "believe" as "regard as true; accept as true what is said by...", without any requirement for that regarding or acceptance to be blind. So that doesn't get us very far. the term does seem to have been hijacked by the faith community to mean blind faith, which is why they frequently claim that science is "just another system of belief". This of course is a neat way of refusing to talk about the reasons for believing one thing rather than another.

If you want a rather hilarious example of where this weasel way with words leads you, read this tosh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:57 AM

I wish I had a nickle for every time someone has said to me: "Well, it's true for ME!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM

And I wish I had a nickel for every moron I've heard/read saying that atheism is just another belief system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM

What, you haven't read repeatedly in the deconstructive social theory of the last thirty years that science is "just another belief system"?

My impression is that that craze has passed its peak, but that may only be true for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:39 AM

Saul, very well put.

I say they "deny" evolution, not that they "don't believe in" it, for that exact reason.

There is also "accept" versus "tolerate" which was done up on South Park.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:58 AM

Slightly tendentious, I can't help feeling, for Saul in the OP to equate evolution & climate change. My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

~Michael~

*Please don't pretend not to understand whom I mean by this, whatever your beliefs or acceptances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM

But...I don't believe in gravity. I've just learned to live with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 01:38 PM

My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

No, I don't think you are. I think most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real. Down here in Texas they argue evolution just as hard as they argue climate change - the religious right would like to have people presume that there are lots of scientists who don't accept the science of evolution that is in most debates these days, because it suits the religious right that that be so. They want to feel that science is on equal footing with religion and is a choice when in fact this really is apples and oranges. They may have a few examples of people who weren't the best scientists in their fields or a few who are truly religious and don't believe the science they work around, but they're few and far between.

The problem has been the notion that there are always black and white "sides" to things and equal time rulings on television required that if you had someone who was a solid member of the scientific community to discuss something you had to find an "opposite," usually some barely known lunatic fringe person who suddenly is elevated way above their pay grade to "debate" with someone who actually knows what they're talking about. It has been a deplorable failure, and the FCC finally axed the rule, as I understand it, but there has been little fanfare because that might cause people the examine all of the mis-information it allowed to enter the mainstream news cycle. Let's see if broadcasters begin to understand that debate can happen around a sliding scale of facts and belief systems.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:05 PM

But as I perceive the question from my reading, SRS, evolution is now unquestioned among those with any pretension to being seriously regarded as 'scientists who are current', as you put it; but there is not the same consensus within that demographic regarding climate change?

You yourself hedge the climate-change question with a sort of 'escape-clause' "most" ~~ 'most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real'. Would you include that limiting 'most' at the beginning of a similar assertion regarding evolution?

Please believe I put the question purely in a spirit of enquiry. I repeat that this is far from being my field; but that is the impression I have gained from my reading within the topics referred to.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM

Hmmm, I'm not entirely convinced that the difference is as solidly meaningful as you hope, so let's think about gravity. What exactly is meant by 'gravity is real'? If you mean 'things fall' (which is not of course universally true) that's rather different to accepting the Newtonian explanation, and had Einstein 'accepted' that, it's doubtful if he'd have come up with the space-time continuum. Or maybe you mean you accept gravity as one of the fundamental forces in a sense that is somewhat different to the effect of forgetting about that last step. But even if you do, that's just the current best explanation which might be chucked away in a year or two if the current problems with Higgs continue. So while I applaud your efforts to distinguish between a fixed set of unchanging beliefs (which I don't think is true of religion by the way), and science as a processes whereby what is [believed/accepted] at one stage is overturned and replaced by something that is [believed/accepted] instead, to me the different choice of word is not particularly useful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM

i was wondering when the evangelical atheists would rise up again on mudcat-though of course framed as a question of semantics .
there are some like greene who convert through the example of a godly life and gracious manner but the idea that all [i can only speak for christians]convert entirely without reasoning is woefully way out.you may endeavour to invalidate that reasoning but it is reasoned just the same.
just to clarify the equivocation on your part;
no-one as far as i know claims [operational,observable,testable]science is just another belief system-
so called origins science;-well thats another matter-IMO a philosophical matter.
hava a nice day
pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM

Ya know, Custer didn't believe all them Indians were out there, but he finally had to accept it. Look where his belief got him!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 04:11 PM

I wouldn't say Most for scientists and evolution. Deny evolution and you have to throw out cosmology, geology, archaology, anthropology, and every single branch of biology and molecular chemistry and a whole lot of physics. You can't be in the life sciences and harbor doubts about the FACT of evolution.
Arguments about the PROCESS, on the other hand, abound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 04:21 PM

My impression is that all climatologists agree that average, annual, atmospheric temperatures worldwide have been trending higher for thirty years.

The controversy is about its significance and

1. how much results from human activity, rather than from perfectly normal, natural cycles

2. whether it presents a long-term danger to national economies and even civilized life (in coastal cities that could be inundated, for example, and if deserts develop in vital food-producing areas)

3. what if anything can be done about it (if it truly is a threat)

4. how much time is left to do those things, should they need doing

5. whether it's worth doing those things at all, since the problem may be irreversible and it's mostly our grandchildren who'll have to deal with it, not us.

The issue, then, is not as simple as certain politicians want you to think - and it's smug politicians, not scientists, who insist that nothing at all is happening.

The earth is steadily getting warmer. Period. For now.

Does it matter? The course of least regret would be to assume that it does. But that's also the course of maximum immediate expense and discomfort, especially since almost every nation on earth wants to get more thoroughly industrialized so it can improve its standard of living - by pumping more global-warming pollutants into the air. But if industry isn't responsible, say industrialists, why penalize us and wreck the economy? And the most short-sighted industrialists have every motive to deny, by all means necessary, that anything is happening at all, even though it is. They don't want to "believe in" it.

So if the warming is largely man-made, it will worsen as long as we do nothing about it. And if it's still reversible, it soon may not be.

Climatologists and atmospheric scientists, of course, do not set policy anywhere in the world. So expect the worst.

But maybe everything will just work out fine in this best of all possible worlds!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 06:26 PM

Here is an objectionable reading from Paul Burkes reference, yes it is "tosh"

" Religion is then not fundamentally different from science, both seem like attempts to frame true beliefs about the world."

The significant difference is that science doesn't frame "true beliefs" at all. It tests
hypothetical theories by rigorous empirical work and with the knowledge that these theories can change at any time. Religion doesn't do this.

Some would argue that religion does change but if it does, it mutates into another religion which is framing another "true belief". If science changes, it is because scientists attempt to change it all the time by challenging the theory in question ie: Ptolemy and Copernicus, Newton and Einstein and now quantum mechanics vs. Einstein's relativity.

Has the Catholic church changed much in the last couple of hundred decades?
When it is challenged, we see what happened to the challengers. Back in the day, auto-de-fe. Maybe that may have changed but I think in some cases grudgingly.

"Accept" is appropriate because it is easily "unaccepted" whereas "belief" is hard put
to become "unbelief" as ex-Christians, Jews, Muslims et. al. can tell you.

Global warming is a scientific consensus by the leading scientific academies of the world in every country. C02 trapped in the atmosphere produces a disastrous hydrologic
cycle that robs the land of water causing the desertification of the world or deluges such as found in Pakistan, Haiti, Australia, Vermont and...................

"Better get ready to tie up de boat in Idaho...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 06:58 PM

Slightly tendentious, I can't help feeling, for Saul in the OP to equate evolution & climate change. My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

~Michael~


No, you're not right. Climate change and evolution are both true. When I say that, I mean true in the sense that the overriding notion in both cases is now supported by so much incontrovertible evidence that they cannot ever be realistically denied. In other words, we've reached the point at which denial of either only ever comes from completely deluded people. That isn't to say that details can't be questioned and certain ideas modified, but the general thrust of both concepts is no longer open to question. Evolution is, these days, only ever "questioned" by religious nut-cases. In the case of climate change, the actuality is undeniable, but whether the current warming is natural or influenced by human activity is open to some question. Not as much question as some would have us believe, but enough question to make it impossible to state whether or not human activity has or has not (or something in between) influenced climate change. One can speak only in probabilities which are impossible to put figures to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 07:03 PM

Think about it.

Does anyone with even a room-temperature IQ really think that standardized measurements of the annual, average temperature of the earth, which have been going on for many decades, based in information from all over the world, are a matter of opinion and debate in the scientific community?

It's as though your brand-new thermometer has been showing around 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a week, and you decide that means it's probably winter, or else the damn thing is broken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 07:21 PM

Yup. That's why my house is at 4,800 feet above sea level. Any day now I'll have beachfront property that will be worth A LOT!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 01:50 AM

"Accept" is appropriate because it is easily "unaccepted" whereas "belief" is hard put
to become "unbelief" as ex-Christians, Jews, Muslims et. al. can tell you


Again, I'm not sure I'd entirely agree. While some people do have to struggle hard before ceasing to be (say) a Christian, an awful lot simply drift away without much reflection. Conversely, introducing a new idea to science that overturns established ideas and threatens vested interests has never been that easy. Nowadays, given the way everything is funded and the need for scientists to actually be able to feed and house themselves, it may well be more difficult than it has been for some time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:13 AM

I would say that both "accept" and "believe" have to do with acknowledging as true, something that you are not able to prove or ascertain for yourself.

I guess I'd say that when you accept something, you take it to be true; but it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to you, one way or the other.
When you believe something, you also take it to be true; but you put your heart in it and it does make a difference to you.

I think I could say that "accept" usually has to do with data; while "believe" has to do with concepts and values.

Anyhow, that's how I perceive the difference between the two terms.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:04 AM

I once worked for a guy who loved to play the straight man to other people's jokes. He would frequently deliberately set up a joke to be completed by someone else.

People would come into our department looking for files. (In those days, a file was a folder full of papers.) They'd say, "I think I saw it here last week."

The boss would assume his most pompous attitude and say, "Around here, we don't think—we know!"

To which the expected punch line was, "Yeah, I don't think you know, either."


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: olddude
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM

Well as the great Art Thieme once told me .. "Life is tough, none of us are getting out of it alive"

I guess we will all know soon enough


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:56 AM

"acknowledging" has always bothered me, in that most of its uses seem to indicate that one is merely 'signing on' to some 'truth' that is, or should be, undisputed.

WordWeb gives these synonyms and definitions:
1. Declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of..
2. Express recognition of the presence or existence of

admitting
knowing
recognizing
noticing
receipting

When Roy Moore, the judge in Alabama, had the monument with the 10 Commandments installed in a public building, he kept repeating that he was merely "acknowledging" God; ignoring other belief..or non-belief... systems, and implying that no one should dare 'doubt'.

The word feels pretty heavy to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM

MtheGM said But as I perceive the question from my reading, SRS, evolution is now unquestioned among those with any pretension to being seriously regarded as 'scientists who are current', as you put it; but there is not the same consensus within that demographic regarding climate change?

Depends on where you live. I'd say the urban population areas have a better sense that evolution is simply the way things happened to get to where they are. The smaller town and rural populations go through school systems that aren't so robust and aren't so good at keeping science and religion in separate boxes. This is a state that has been slow to accept change (the Justice Department had to force Texas schools to integrate, for example). It suits a segment of religious folks to discount science whenever possible. I believe this is strictly a crowd-control trick. If people realize that science reveals things that used to be unknown and were in god's hands, then religious leaders have less influence with their flocks. Seriously.

You yourself hedge the climate-change question with a sort of 'escape-clause' "most" ~~ 'most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real'. Would you include that limiting 'most' at the beginning of a similar assertion regarding evolution?

I didn't hedge any climate-change question - but I did stop short of calling the poor scientists and those who are on the fence Idiots. I'll now call them Idiots to make that perfectly clear.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM

"so called origins science"

Origins science? Which disciplines are those exactly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 12:52 PM

whelk-not so much which discipline but the interpretation of data from various disciplines.
this also reflects on mrrzys comments-
creationism does not throw out the branches of science as he will know if he has ever gone to creation.com or similar.
as i inferred before;you may disagree but the issues are tackled
best wishes -pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM

Some more idiocy: a leading female Tea Party presidential candidate was asked whether she believed in evolution. Her answer was simply that there are "hundreds of scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, who believe in Intelligent Design." So she'll defer to them.

In theory, there's little conflict between the facts of evolution and the hypothesis of intelligent design. Maybe God commanded evolution to fulfill His long-term goals. You don't have to reject evolution to believe in God.

But in fact "ID" seems to apply almost solely to a literal interpretation of Genesis: seven days, Garden of Eden, etc. No symbolism allowed.

Why is that?

CNN just reported on a kids' book about evolution. Its author says no U.S. publisher would touch it. He sold it to a Canadian publishers and its been nominated for several awards.

According to the same report, 41% of U.S. adults disbelieve or have serious doubts about the existence of evolution. Meanwhile, 80% of U.S. adults over 25 are high-school graduates. Get the picture?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM

Intelligent Design, is it? ~~

Just take a look at, e.g., childbirth.

Bloody UNINTELLIGENT Design, I'd call it!

Are we really supposed to believe in the intelligence of a designer who can't do better than that?

& yes I have read Genesis thank you

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM

Creation.com is full of appalling conjecture and science that has been purposefully skewed for it's own ends.

These people are evil as they are presenting superstitious belief as a scientific theory, supported by the sort of reasoning seen in pub discussions after several pints.

It seems they are unable to accept anything that challenges their beliefs. Fine, but stop spreading that poison and let people make their own mind up. It's like the Enlightenment never happened in some countries, and I'd hate to see a country as fine as the US go under to the Creationist Taliban they have infesting their media and far more worryingly, schools.

This is why buddhism is so great. Creationists really could learn a thing or two about understanding and science from them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:41 PM

" "ID" seems to apply almost solely to a literal interpretation of Genesis: seven days, Garden of Eden, etc. No symbolism allowed."

Why? Well, whether most people even understand the term, "anthropomorphism" is involved. God is endowed with 'lonliness' and 'deciding' and such by many.
The other aspect that *I* am convinced of is that "ID" is just easier as an answer. No complex studies and pondering all the science of physics & cosmology.... just assert "God made it, and He knows how & why!", and you're done!
(This also allows such logic as I recently read from one of the injured survivors of the terrible air show accident. He was near the site, and ran, and woke up in an ambulance. "I guess God was just with me." IF you do the full anthropomorphism, it awkwardly 'follows' that God 'chose' to save some, and only He knows why.)

Humans are just simply capable of denying or accepting odd bits of reasoning.... it is called rationalizing, and we all do it at times....some just use it for their basic approach to living.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM

I really don't understand why evolution is considered incompatible with "intelligent design."

If I wanted to argue that some kind of intelligence lay behind the creation of plants and animals, I'd be much happier to include evolution as part of the picture, than not to include it.

Which would take more intelligence: to build a car, or to build a robot that is able to build a car?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 06:17 PM

If I wanted to argue that some kind of intelligence lay behind the creation of plants and animals, I'd be much happier to include evolution as part of the picture, than not to include it

This is the typical response of the accommodating Christian. The "evolution could be driven (or at least kicked off) by God, therefore it seems OK to me" argument. The point about evolution is that the process and its steps all capitulate to scientific explanation, always, inexorably, as evidence accumulates. There is no need for a God, even at the beginning. Not only is there no evidence (and never will be) that a God has intervened, his inclusion actually gets in the way of the theory. Interpolating God into the process adds an element which cannot be explained, which puts evolution beyond the scope of science. This is no more than a back-door strategy to discredit the science of evolution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:28 PM

If I only had Steve Shaw to rely on, I'd probably be a Creationist. The only good thing he does is demonstrate the weaknesses of a Catholic schooling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM

Have you got a point or will you resort, as ever, to lazy sniping? Evolution and religion are twain that never meet. Whilst I find it touching that so many people of faith "accept" that evolution is true, but then go on to impose God either at the beginning of it or as some kind of guiding light of the process, they are, at best, playing an intellectual trick on themselves or, at worst, being bloody dishonest. Scientists incorporate bits into evolutionary theory when evidence arises. They do not spend hundreds of years painstakingly amassing, peer-reviewing, contesting, rejecting and interpreting evidence, only for some clod to come along and debase the whole thing by suggesting a permanently-inexplicable and evidence-innocent driving force. So, I repeat: have you a point? Piss, will you, or get off the bloody pot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:58 PM

Steve...many of us basically agree with you, but you remind me of a post I made about Lucy in the "Peanuts" strip.


"Minds can be changed...IF they think they are making the change freely and voluntarily, and they see benefits, even amorphous ones, to the alterations in their lives.
People usually do not react well to being shamed, pushed or ordered to change, or made fun of for current beliefs.

Many changes in history and in individuals can be likened to pulling a brick with a large rubber band......it stretches and nothing seems to be happening, then suddenly there will be a lurch as the brick jerks forward a bit....not all the way, but visible progress. Pull too hard and too fast, and you may break the rubber band.

(reposted for about the 6th time)
Old Peanuts cartoon:

Lucy, talking to Linus: "Change your mind!"
Linus just looks at her.
Lucy.."CHANGE YOUR MIND!!
Linus looks more intimidated...
Lucy.."CHANGE YOUR MIND, I SAY!!"

Lucy, walking away, disgruntled and mumbling."Boy, it's hard to get people to change their minds these day!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM

Don't bloody patronise me please. I am not here to change people's minds, thank you. If I think someone is being duped, it's best I say so. If I think an argument is being dishonestly made, likewise. I suggest you cut the whimsy and join the discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:08 PM

Incidentally, I note that creation dot com agrees with me! You didn't tell me that, did you, pete! The site warns its adherents of the falseness of the compromising embracing of evolution that some believers indulge in. Excellent advice!



Mind you, I don't think they really believe in geological time. Oh well. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:53 PM

Patronize? naaawww.... just wishing for a kinder tone...

"If I think someone is being duped, it's best I say so. If I think an argument is being dishonestly made, likewise. I suggest you cut the whimsy and join the discussion.

I do agree that anyone should stand up and "say so" if they believe a position. But they should be very careful about accusing the other side of 'dishonesty'. No doubt there IS some in the anti-evolution crowd, but most of those people are also "standing up for what they believe"! Our job is to get them to re-think their logic and pay attention to facts and science...not to just insult them and harden their resolve to 'not listen'.

And...BTW... I have been in this general discussion for 10-12 years here, and my 'whimsy' is part of the discussion. I make my points in ways I 'think' might catch the opposition in a slightly open-minded mood and get them to muse on it. YOU may, of course, say it any way you choose.... and in a way, you may make my task easier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 AM



Of course it isn't, at least at the level that some versions of ID allow that evolution occurred after the designer created the "evolving machine". What IS incompatible is the story of creation as told by all religious myths (the Biblical one is by no means the only one). But ID doesn't then elucidate anything. There is no trace ID proponents have found in ancestral DNA to show how the designer designed in its subsequent evolutionary path.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 03:20 AM

The point I'm making, Steve, is that you define a position for anyone who disagrees with you, and then attack them for either holding that position or not holding that position. I used to think you were irerational until I learnt that you'd spent half a century being a 'good Catholic'. I recognize your mindset from lots of other Catholics I've known, though, in fairnessm Karen Armstrong (another ex-Catholic) did describe Creationism as 'not only bad science but bad theology'. I did hear that in the Creationist States not only is Science not taught in schools, but neither is Theology!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 06:59 AM

Gibberish, Dave. And I have no idea where you get half a century being a 'good Catholic' from. Not me. And thanks for the narcissistic description of yourself, Bill. I honestly haven't got time for such tripe.

As for accusations of dishonesty, well, dishonesty is rife among the more ardent advocates of creationism. Institutionalised, I'd say. Changing their minds won't be possible and I don't come here to try to do that. But it is important that good people try to get behind that dishonesty and expose and dismantle it. In public. If you want to see dishonesty personified (and, in my view, sheer wickedness), just spend about 15 minutes on creation.com. Not everyone who is a creationist is a pious, well-intentioned, reasonable nice person. Talk to them as though they are and they've got you. Far better to show the world what charlatans they are. Maybe it's the Celt in me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:18 AM

""...I don't believe in gravity. I've just learned to live with it.""

Could have been the last words of the captain of the helium-filled airship the USS Akron?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:19 AM

I used to believe that a girl I knew at college would succumb to my charms. I had to accept I was not her type. I wanted my future wife to believe I was witty erudite and charming. She had to accept I liked my beer and football too much to totally give myself over to her.

In the context of this thread however... I suppose belief is another way of saying faith? Metaphysical activity such as God, angels etc requires faith in order to exist, even if just in the collective minds of those sharing such faith.

I accept some people have such belief.

I don't share it though, but that is because I accepted at a young age that not everything coming from the lips of adults is true, and those with dog collars were the first to be dismissed, (closely followed by the old blokes who used to sit outside the pub telling me tall stories, bless 'em.)

Hence I soon learned to accept somebody else's view even if I didn't believe it.

I believe that science and theology are different subjects but accept that many people need to throw them in the same pot to ensure their own faith is not shaken. Sad, but too many people like that to ever change their views I suppose. I don't try to impose facts on them so long as they don't try to impose fiction on me. Trite, but I'm comfortable with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:26 AM

It's all fuckin' fiction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 12:18 PM

well steve
seems we agree on something;you ,me, dawkins,creation.com;ie that theistic evolution is an accomodation.
whelk and yourself accuse those of us who believe the bible as evil.
talk about OTT.HOW DO YOU DEFINE evil ,-apart from holding a different position than yours that is?
and why should we take any notice or trust your thinking;-after all if its just the result of the current state of evolutionary development.

bill-agreement with you also-bitching about your opponents dont win no arguments."seasoned with grace" as the bible says"give a reason of the hope that is in you"i hope there is less bitching from christians but i suppose some do.

akeiton-was that realy you?you normally have reasoned responces i thought!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM

Pete:

I call these people evil because Creationism is a symptom of something more sinister by far. The problem is in a Creationists mind only they can be right. If they're not right, then their entire belief system is under threat, and that won't do. So any and every fact is made to fit that viewpoint, and implicit in that viewpoint is the fact everyone else is wrong.They have to be, or the creationist's belief system is under threat, and as we know that won't do. Because to threaten that belief system is to threaten that person, their very inner 'knowing' threat they are right, and the rest of humanity is wrong. If a scientist has a pet theory, receives new data from a challenger that means said theory is disproved the scientist will accept that, adjust his research parameters and move on (of course they will argue their case vehemently but luckily other scientists will decide which best reflects the available data and the whole field moves on).

This betrays an arrogance that is now becoming problematic because it'a not just Creationism that takes this attitude; a whole swathe of subjects are now impossible to discuss because these nutters so skew the argument against science and reason. This anti-science stance has become prevalent in the US, and there's talk of one of these lunatics (Perry) running for President, the equivalent of electing the Taliban into The White House. This anti-science, anti-reason promotor of intelligent design as a theory is a dangerous man, but unfortunately not atypical of right-wing politicians not just in the US, but moer worryingly over here in Europe too. Perry is the arch hypocrite creationist Christian - a man who professes to be of God but has killed 234 people on death row. So much for thou shalt not kill and turning the other cheek. Funny how he takes Genesis literally, but not the Ten Commandments.

This is the fundamental evil motivating these people, and it's worth thundering against. They're anti-science, anti-reason and anti-humanity and are so devoid of the love and compassion Christ spoke of that's it's amazing so many people are taken in by their rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM

I don't know how it came to be that compromise is intolerable to so many, or at least, seems to be.

When I was growing up and going to Sunday school (Methodist), intelligent design was what most reasonable religious people seemed to believe. Of course, they didn't take the bible literally, and this was necessary to compromise between the Bible and science. I don't even remember hearing about creationism, although I don't doubt the belief existed.

Not being able to see the good in people because they don't believe the same things as us is one of our biggest shortfallings, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 03:46 PM

Sorry Pete, I guess its just been one of those years!

I suppose what I meant was that all of life is a fiction when we examine it....none of us is really alive at all. "All the men and women merely players"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 04:48 PM

Good post, whelk.

Jeri, no-one is saying they can't see good in people whose beliefs differ from theirs. The issue is with people who preach their fictions and fantasies as truth, without a scrap of evidence. These people happen to influence, quite unjustly, billions of people the world over. It's called organised religion. I hate it.I do, though, love the fact that people can privately believe in things that I think are totally wacky, and vice versa. That's part of the wonderful diversity of humanity. There is a difference.


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