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Archive for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Education issue

October 29, 2008

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To the editor:

As a member of the 2004-2006 state science standards committee and a past president of Kansas Citizens for Science (KCFS), I am concerned that the State Board of Education remains committed to having quality mainstream science standards rather than reverting back to creationist/intelligent design-influenced standards, as has happened twice in the past decade.

In response to a recent questionnaire from KCFS (www.kcfs.org/kcfsnews), candidate Carolyn Campbell said, "I believe the theory of evolution should be taught. I also believe in the separation of church and state. Creationism and intelligent design can be taught in social study or religion classes." Candidate Robert Meissner, however, was the only candidate in the state to not return the questionnaire.

I urge citizens to not overlook this important race for State Board of Education. Make sure you know where the candidates stand on the important issue of science education in Kansas, and be sure to vote on Nov. 4.

Jack Krebs,
Lawrence

Comments

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

JackRipper, a bit of background.Science refers to the process of gathering evidence, forming conjectures about the evidence, developing a formal hypothesis which indicates how the current evidence may be described under the conjecture, competitive testing of all candidate hypotheses under a formal criterion for probable correctness, plus the body of hypotheses testing best thereby and which thereafter are referred to as "Theories".In the most formal sense, the criterion used for this is a more exacting expression of Occam's Razor, which has been proven in the absolute mathematical sense in the paper "Minimum Description Length Induction, Bayesianism and Kolmogorov Complexity", by Paul M. B. Vitanyi and Ming Li. This shows that the most "concise" hypothesis (a function of both the bit size of the conjecture of how the data should be described, and how many bits are needed to convey all properties of the data thereby) is the one most likely to correctly describe the character of future data. Science thus becomes dependent (due to this paper) on the philosophical assumptions that propositional logic is valid for formal inference, that the Zermelo-Fraenkel Axioms of set theory (which serve as the modern foundation for all mathematics) are self-consistent (though they need not be complete), and that Reality is relatable to Evidence. EVERYTHING else in science (even cause-and-effect) is a inference from these, based on current evidence, and subject to change based on arrival of more evidence pointing a new direction.Note that the root of the word "prove" is from the Latin probare, "to test". Thus, hypotheses that become theories may be said to have been "proven" in the sense that Science uses the word. This is distinct from the mathematical sense, in that the usual use of "proof" in mathematics indicates a rigorous derivation from axioms; however, the sense that science uses is similar to the sense that a person might seek to "prove" that their brain is not a piece of cauliflower.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

In order to present Creationism in science class, you would also need to show why it requires making additional assumptions and that these assumptions are thus probably wrong... or omit this. Mandating inclusion of those points would constitute an explicit ATTACK on religion, which would be exceptionally difficult for a Government agency to justify under the Free Exercise requirement of the First Amendment. Mandating omission of them would constitute a tacit ENDORSEMENT of the points by the state, equally difficult due to the Disestablishmentatian requirement of the First Amendment. Thus, raising the issue of Creationism is impermissible in the curriculum without crossing that narrow but essential line.The best approach for science teachers when the students raise the question (because the lovable precious snowflakes raised to believe it inevitably will) is to point out that different Religions have additional assumptions which may be different and lead to different conclusions, and to suggest the kids talk to their parents and pastor about their particular religion.So, JackRipper, it's not fear, it's POLICY.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 1 month ago

... shhh... extrapolating into the moment... mmmmmmm....

devobrun 6 years, 1 month ago

wolverine, there is a difference between evidence and a test. That's why they are different words. Your evidence-based science is at once non-testable and fruitless, for the same reason. It is an explanation of the stuff you see laying around. It is a narrative, a story used to explain.Sorry, I don't buy it. Furthermore, I don't have to buy it. It makes no difference to me what your narrative is, my life is the same. Oh, but if kids are taught that science = technology and the fruits of technology (like cell phones) are a result of the same kind of science as evolution, then I have a problem.Its a lie. A big fat lie that transfers political power away from physics to physics narratives. It allows things like "green" energy as if it is different from any other ability to do work. Science has gotten sloppy wolverine.Your evidence is correlation science. While correlation implies causation it isn't the same. Except in your sloppy science of evolution where evidence is test. Next your going to lay concepts like proof and truth and facts on me. Spare yourself.There are no proofs in science. Truth, if it exists, is approached asymptotically. And one man's fact is another man's mere viewpoint. Tighten it up evolutionists. Evolution seen here and now, tested, that's science. Extrapolating back 2 billion years is a story. The story of life, not distinguishable from other forms of story telling.

Becky 6 years, 1 month ago

So which GOD would be ok to teach in science class JackRipper?

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

Puggy, as noted in my initial remark: Creationism is an artifact of Biblical Inerrancy. The RC Church are still embarrassed by the bout of stupid they went through with Galileo's time, and pay more attention these to what Saint Augustine of Hippo had to say on Science-Bible conflicts. Additionally, the Catholic Church rests not only on the authority of the Bible, but on the authority of the Petrine Apostolic Seat. (Similarly, the Orthodox Churches rest on their Orthodoxy with the decent from other Seats.) Contrariwise, the Protestants rest on the authority of the Bible alone. Thus, Mundane Inerrancy and Creationism are mostly Protestant phenomena. devobrun, the mathematical expression of "I don't know" is called the null hypothesis. Creationism is provably (marginally) better than the null hypothesis. The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is provably substantially better. Before we can toss the current MES, you have to come up with something even "better"... in the formal sense of the word.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

Devo,The fact that you seem to be obsessed with origins rather than the process of evolution itself belies your scientific credibility in criticizing evolution. The whole reason for using evolution and natural selection is because it works for biologists. For example it has been largely responsible for the advances we've seen and the practical consequences that have accrued from developments in molecular biology. To test an hypotheses in biology, a biologist would ask, does this function or property have selective value? Does a structure or molecule increase the chances of survival for the particular organism, for the particular living system that we happen to be investigating? If it doesn't seem to, why not? Where does this lead us? To new, previously unknown functions? It is a useful and predictive tool to have. Of course I would not expect an electrical engineer (driven by fears of being related to apes) to understand or appreciate the value of having a theoretical framework such as evolutionary theory in framing hypotheses, developing ideas, and testing models in the biological sciences as well as other scientific areas.And finally, please stop with your "governmental conspiracy" theories. It makes you look like an idiot because you don't want to deal directly with the evidence. Saying "So long as creationism is the foil, evolution looks like science" is meaningless. Think about it Devo. Your bias is overwhelming any objective analysis or discussion concerning evolution.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 1 month ago

Nice post JK.The science that I was taught in my youth is slightly different from what is taught today. But it was a foundation that could be built upon and progress made. How do you build upon, "God did it.", or "Magic happens here."?

Rex Russell 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes Bob, logically since creation is a religeous teaching,it should be taught at church if they wish to. I don't believe we should have religeous people telling everyone that Creation theory is actually science. Conversely, fundemantally and more over Constitutionaly, we shouldn't be telling people what to preach or teach in their churches.You can't have one without the other. Regardless of your opinion of its being fact or fiction. It is still peoples right to believe what they want to believe.

acoupstick 6 years, 1 month ago

"Even without these direct observations, it would be wrong to say that evolution hasn't been observed. Evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes. Evolution makes predictions about what we would expect to see in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetic sequences, geographical distribution of species, etc., and these predictions have been verified many times over. The number of observations supporting evolution is overwhelming."The test has already been applied over geologic time and the resulting evidence is everywhere we look. We just have to ask the right questions.Devo, while I find your "scientific fundamentalist" views of science charming, I think you cross the line between healthy skepticism that is a hallmark of good scientists and good old-fashioned paranoia. You've given us a glimpse into your inner engineer, but are engineers scientists? Perhaps only in the most strict, technical, and narrow sense, and those are exactly the terms I would use to describe your philosophy of science. If you can't seem to fit evolution into your scientific philosophy, perhaps that philosophy is inadequate. That said, I do respect and value what I perceive a genuine concern for science in its truest and most pure form on your part. I just think you are misinformed with respects to evolution.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree, Jack-- there's nothing wrong with teaching about creation myths, including the Christian version and it's spinoff, intelligent design. Just do it in the proper class, which would not be in science class.

Hazel Ripstra 6 years, 1 month ago

For what it's worth, I don't think it does any good to be rude.The key issue here is not individuals who don't accept evolutionary theory. The key issue is that the worldwide scientific community overwhelmingly DOES accept evolutionary theory, and therefore that is what should be in our science standards.Carolyn Campbell understands this. Among other things, she is a Christian who undoubtedly has religious beliefs about the role of God in the world, but she also understands that from a scientific view evolutionary theory is the accepted theory for how life has developed on earth. She understands that we can't teach the religious views as science, though.

Calliope877 6 years, 1 month ago

"I am concerned that the State Board of Education remains committed to having QUALITY mainstream science standards rather than REVERTING BACK to creationist/intelligent design-influenced standards"wtf?

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 1 month ago

Where exactly do the creationists come from these days?I went through 13 years of Catholic schooling in Topuka and was taught in religion class that Creation is a story from the Old Testament and not scientific fact...meanwhile, I was taught in science class that Evolution is the generally accepted theory.I agree that creation could be taught in a social studies or history class, but not as science. Who are the people who actually believe otherwise and where are they coming from?

Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

I love how theist claim that "scientist are doing the same thing as us" without understanding even the slightest concept of how scientific theories are formed. I would suggest they STFU.

devobrun 6 years, 1 month ago

While your at it, bobxxx, put grand narratives of all kinds in your class as well. Evolution of apes, big bang, anthropogenic GW, hurricane forecasting.....There's lots of them now days. Teach kids to be honest grownups. Maybe we can rekindle the notion that mostly we don't know. Every now and again things like monetary crises jump up and remind us that, for all the experts in the world, we really don't know and we must be grownup about it.Mr Krebs lives in fear that he and his colleagues will be discovered doing the same thing as the religious types. That is, he might be caught pontificating about that which is untestable and useless. Then evolution will join phrenology and other jokes in the litany of overwrought sciences.

Hazel Ripstra 6 years, 1 month ago

HI JackRipper - my comment about being rude was in response to the STFU and to calling people retards. It wasn't to you. Sorry for the confusion - your post appeared while I was composing mine so it looked like I was responding to you.

wolverine 6 years, 1 month ago

devobrun , "none based upon fairy tales like "all apelike creatures descended from a common apelike ancestor"Like this evidence?Hominid Fossils , 1 & 2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkM3iFn7eLchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsZjCokzpJMGenetic evidence.ERV'shttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De-OkzTUDVAHuman Chromosome 2 fusion.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-WAHpC0Ah0

Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

Jack, that is like claiming "We should teach closed mindedness as a way to be open-minded".

devobrun 6 years, 1 month ago

Creationism is a straw man. So long as creationism is the foil, evolution looks like science.Oh, bob, PhD electrical engineering, president of two companies. The first was a NASA contractor building radars and test equipment in support of Sally Ride's "Mission to Planet Earth". Remote Sensing.The second company was an irrigation control company. Sense soil moisture and control irrigation, mostly in Calif.Lots of papers, presentations, science, engineering.....none based upon fairy tales like "all apelike creatures descended from a common apelike ancestor". To this 56 year old, the statement about apes is both accepted by the majority of "scientists" and fruitless at the same time. The criteria of scientific acceptance used to be testing, testing, testing, with the intent to refute the hypothesis. Not anymore. Nope the intent of science is to feed the government/scientific establishment. Promote the illusion of fecundity so that massive research organizations can continue to be funded by the NIH, and NGOs like the MacArthur Foundation long after the line of research has petered out. Back in Jan 1961 Ike delivered a speech of farewell. In it he coined the term "military-industrial complex". He warned of problems resulting from a too-cozy relationship between the these two. It is famous. He also warned in the same way the too-cozy relationship between government and research. Research at the universities and other related research establishments. Google the speech for details. Why is the military-industrial complex so famous but the government-research warning forgotten? Because universities used to be independent bastions of alternative thought. Today, universities are run on the $ coming in from government agencies. Peer review? By whom? The same people who make the grants and attend the same conferences. You guys are involved in a classic case of what the military calls a circle j...Your emperor has no clothes and you won't listen because everybody who is anybody knows that evolution is wonderful science. No it isn't. I think it is crap and furthermore, I can believe it is crap without substituting creationism or any other grand narrative. I don't know how all this got here. You don't either. Simple.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"Why was there a big bang, why did we evolve, why was there anything for all this to come from in the first place?"Aliens seeded life on our planet in simple cellular form. They came back to make observations from time to time, but the last time they crashed in Roswell. Now, they send the ones that nobody likes or will talk to, and these aliens generally spend their time making new poster accounts on forums in order to abuse people, because the other aliens make their lives miserable on the homeworld. Keep in mind, the aliens themselves only have theories on where They came from.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

Devobrun, "evidence-based science" is testable. See my earlier "bit of background" post.Though truth in science is only approached asymptotically, there is proof in science (also detailed in the "bit of background). To wit, mathematical proof of hypothesis probabilities under present evidence. Philosophically and mathematically, there's no difference between inference of billions of years ago and inference about Last Tuesday, and no difference between proof of Evolution and proof that a person's brain is not a piece of cauliflower.

devobrun 6 years, 1 month ago

abb3w: "Creationism is provably (marginally) better than the null hypothesis. The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is provably substantially better. Before we can toss the current MES, you have to come up with something even "better": in the formal sense of the word."Provably? Not scientific.Maybe in the math department, not in science.I do not have to come up with something better. It is a grand narrative that is useless. Coming up with other grand stories that are useless is no better.supertramp: "The fact that you seem to be obsessed with origins rather than the process of evolution itself belies your scientific credibility in criticizing evolution"Obsessed with origins? I thought the whole evolution war thing was about just this. I am not obsessed about origins, you guys are. You are framing the arguments. Changing genetics and expression of those changes are not the issue in this debate. It is the misapplied assertion that evolution for fruit flies is exactly the same as the evolution of a grand scale. There is a difference you don't acknowledge it.Your example shares with engineering the most important questions of engineering:Does it work?Or, this is crap, it won't last, can it?Or, who cares?Regarding theoretical framework, you are kidding right?Quantum electrodynamics is the most fundamental, fecund, tested, used theory in the history of mankind. From QED (acronym chosen purposefully), we get Maxwell's equations. From those we get Ohm's Law and all the constitutive equations for capacitors, inductors, etc.......We don't predict the past from them. We don't depend on them beyond the lifetime of a product. Its a viewpoint folks. Engineers don't extrapolate into regions that will never be tested. Either in reverse time or in projected time. Will Maxwell be in effect in 100 million years? Don't know, don't care. Was it in effect 500 million years ago? Ditto. The result is that when we design and build radios, radars, phones, etc. we aren't trying to change anyone's theoretical, abstract, spiritual way of life.Also, as a result of the fecundity of our work, we accidentally change the world in ways that we never anticipated.Cell phones, computers, radars, video games and many more examples of EE have changed how people live. How they think, what they believe, what there relationships are to each other, the government, etc. No this isn't extrapolating into grand stories. It has happened. This blog and the zombie 14 year old boy in front of your TV are testaments to that. And evolution science just isn't keeping up. Neither is Christianity. Both of you need to put up or shut up.

acoupstick 6 years, 1 month ago

"Devobrun, what are your scientific credentials?"I believe he teaches physics at Bishop Seabury, a private Episcopalean middle/high school. But don't hold that against him. ;)By the way, I teach science at a private religious school but am agnostic myself. I have to encourage my students to have a respectful attitude toward members of their community who do not believe in evolution. They are quite scornful of the young-earth creationists in their community! For what it's worth, I believe that the only way evolution and creationist beliefs are absolutely incompatible is if creationists belive the earth is less than 10k years old. Once one accepts the fact that the earth is around 4.5 billion years old, the rest of the pieces fit together quite nicely. Creationists who are anti-evolution tend to ignore the fact that evolutionary biologists don't work in bubbles. Evolutionary theory is informed by genetics, biochemistry, molecular and atomic physics, astronomy, geology, paleontology, paleoclimatology, embriology, physiology, etc, etc.The beauty of science is that we are all studying pieces of the same puzzle.

Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Some general comments on this thread:Hey bobxxxx,Creationists are not necessarily stupid. Do they really understand how science works? Generally the answer here is no, often they are not willing to apply that understanding across all domains of knowledge about the workings of the universe.JackRipper, yup this is a free country and we can believe anything we want but in science classes especially at the primary and secondary level all teachers typically have time for is the standard scientific view point. Creationism and it's modern incarnation "Intelligent Design" are basically empty of scientific content because you can rationalize any outcome and make any prediction whereas evolutionary biology has a structure leading to testable hypotheses.The only type of creationism that has any sort of testable hypothesis is that young earth creationism which says the account in genesis is literally true. However that form of creationism is easily falsified by any number of lines of evidence.So when scientists don't want to waste time teaching about creationism it is either because the ideas are empty of scientific content such as so called intelligent design...or any hypotheses flowing out of creationism are easily falsified. It is not that scienticists are "afraid they are right".Now should teachers address student concerns about evolution as they come up? Sure, but it needs to be done in the framework of helping students understand first of all the limits of science and second of all how and why scientists learn about how the universe operates. Devobrun, I notice a pattern in your comments...you always bring up global warming and evolution as being useless and not testable (neither of which is true). At the same time you never mention intelligent design or creationism as being useless and not testable. Should I infer that you think that these ideas are all on an equal scientific footing? Just curious.Regards to all...

sci4all 6 years, 1 month ago

"Why would either side be afraid of teaching kids how to look at all sides and learning how to think to come to their own conclusion."You don't get kids to think by teaching them falsehoods masquerading as science. If that was the case, kids would also be taught that diseases are caused by demonic possession, that leeches are a cure-all for every ailment, that the earth is the center of the universe, and that simple chemistry will turn lead into gold.Teach them to have an open mind, sure, but not so open that their brains fall out.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

Bobxxx, your assessment of creationists as "stupid" is an oversimplification. You should check out the analysis at scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/10/acceptance_of_human_evolution.php (posted in the start of October). The relationship between Biblical Inerrancy, Intelligence, and opposition to Evolution is non-linear, and requires a cusp catastrophe to describe. Counter to your (and my original) intuition, the MEASURED DATA shows that smartest of the Inerrant faction are the most opposed.Stupid isn't the problem; it's the belief in absolute Biblical Inerrancy, which is more a result of nurture in ignorance than a stupid nature. While the difference is subtle, you should also grasp how it is important.

Paul Decelles 6 years, 1 month ago

Boobxxx,Creationism is based on an outmoded paradigm, and paradigm shift takes time. There are some pretty smart people within their own spheres of competence including some scientists who don't get how the biological world works. Whether is because of religious upbringing or a failure to understand how science works or just for emotional reasons or some combination there of, doesn't mean they are stupid. For instance Louis Agassiz was one of the most famous scientists in the 19th century-brilliant person but he never accepted evolution as far as I have been able to tell. And like the young earth creationists would construct elaborate rationalizations to support creationism-even to the point of hypothesizing multiple creation events to explain basic patterns in biogeography.The tragedy is that some of his work in glaciation was critical for the down fall of special creation.

Rex Russell 6 years, 1 month ago

Geezus, Bob is going to blow out his sphincter and a few veins in his neck if he doesn't calm down. I agree creationism should be tought from the pulpit and evolution should be tought in science class. Creationism is religeon and evolution is science. Creationism does not hold up to scientific testing and evolution is not a new religeon. OK, this is where I get off Bob's crazy train. Creationists are not equal to terrorists. That's just too much. Faith lets you accept things without proof. Science does not. Misguided becauce of faith-yes. Terroristic-no.

wolverine 6 years, 1 month ago

devobrun,"I do not have to come up with something better."You do if you want to teach it as Science. You must, by its nature, make use of another more fulfilling model/theory which can incorporate all the assembled facts and observation and explain them all consistently better(and some) to be more useful than evolutionary theory. That is the nature of the beast, deal with it.It is a grand narrative that is useless. Coming up with other grand stories that are useless is no better."I thought the whole evolution war thing was about just this. I am not obsessed about origins, you guys are. You are framing the arguments."By definition the process of evolution involves the origins of new species, so this origins descriptive can't be ignored. I framed 3 evidences which have more to do with common ancestry than the expounded life origins, care to take a stab at them?"Changing genetics and expression of those changes are not the issue in this debate. It is the misapplied assertion that evolution for fruit flies is exactly the same as the evolution of a grand scale."Ok, wherein is the difference? Are you stating that only flies can evolve in this manner, or that only artifical selection works but not natural selection, or that new novel genes/traits can't emerge on their own? Be specific."we aren't trying to change anyone's theoretical, abstract, spiritual way of life."That's only b/c QM has, for virtually all religious folk, no religious, theological, or spiritual implications or consequences. Such science knowledge is readily adopted. Such knowledge of if it worked in the past or future has no bearing on theological dogma. Still, evolutionary theory for most is no more theological consequential then having to realize that the Al Mighty doesn't actually control the celestial orbits of planets and stars, but instead they are directed and controlled via natural forces and processes. Cell phones, computers, radars, video games and many more examples of EE have changed how people live. How they think, what they believe, what there relationships are to each other, the government, etc. "No this isn't extrapolating into grand stories."Again, that's b/c it has no real implications as it as a process has nothing much to tell in terms of spirituality, or any story derived from it. If would, if for example such theological books decried that such electrical forces worked in a manner only controlled by God(s), but this isn't the case."Both of you need to put up or shut up."Speaking of put up, why not put up against the evidence I mentioned?

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and "evolution for fruit flies is exactly the same as the evolution of a grand scale" is technically not a primary "assertion". It's an inference from evidence under the primary assertions of science (back to "bit of background" again), which is slightly different. If the evidence (or, less likely, underlying primary assertions) changes, so will the inference.

wolverine 6 years, 1 month ago

devobrun,"wolverine, there is a difference between evidence and a test."And just how do you think the evidence of ERV's, Human Chromosome 2 fusion, and the many Hominid Fossils when tested and analyzed turned out? Yes, they turned out supportive evolutionary theory.Your evidence-based science is at once non-testable and fruitless, Ah, but it IS testable. One such test is with Human chromosome 2 fusion, and how with respect to extant living apes they have a 48 chromosomes (2x24 pairs )while we homo sapiens have 46, (2x23 pairs). Now, a scienctific prediction, if evolutionary theory is true and we share ancestry with the extant apes, where did the pair go? Evolutionary theory simply must account for them and upon analyzing the genome we find our 2nd chromosome 2 be such evidence for where it went via a fusion.Ken Miller explains herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXdQRvSdLAsDetailed analysis done herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPp0c_5_m6Qhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk5W2ISYvjM"It is an explanation of the stuff you see laying around. It is a narrative, a story used to explain."Ah, but it is testable and possibly refutable via such repeat testing and further evidence."Sorry, I don't buy it."Ok, but why? Why is evidence 'good enough' for any other science theory, but (somehow?) when it comes to evolution it's not sufficient."Furthermore, I don't have to buy it."I guess not, but this attitude and reasoning is not typical of Ph.D who understands electrons via eletrical engineering and would laugh at others using the same foolish position against the evidence for electrons."Oh, but if kids are taught that science = technology and the fruits of technology (like cell phones) are a result of the same kind of science as evolution, then I have a problem.Does not science and its methodology produce or at least the knowledge required for new technology, or if not, then how? Different domains of science reveal different knowledge of our world and they are applied in different manners."Your evidence is correlation science."Right, just like the evidence for gravity and how it all correlates to the same model used in general relativity."Next your going to lay concepts like proof and truth and facts on me. Spare yourself."Actually science cannot use such terms as 'proof(s)' as at no point are science theories absolute, they are, according to the science methodology always tentative and always allowed to be critically examined no matter how much supportive and consistent evidence supports a given theory.Hint hint, DNA and RNA (along with the other evidence) tells the story, it's written and recorded in the organisms themselves.

Polly_Gomer 6 years, 1 month ago

Devo knows everything and knows nothing. Devo says a lot and says nothing.How convenient.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

devobrun: Provably? Not scientific. Maybe in the math department, not in science.from Florida Benchmark SC.3.N.3.1: "Recognize that words in science can have different or more specific meanings than their use in everyday language"The use of the word proof in science is a bit different than in mathematics (mostly, outside information theory), but science presupposes the validity of mathematics. Again, see earlier "bit of background".devobrun: I do not have to come up with something better.If you wish to supplant a scientific theory, I'm afraid that is a philosophical requirement. Considered acceptable ways are both providing more evidence changing the evaluation of "better" within present options, and providing a new option "better" than the present ones. Meanwhile, the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis remains the current Theory in Science.devobrun: It is a grand narrative that is useless.Possibly it is useless. Truth is not required to be useful. However, Evolution certainly is science, which has been shown in the past to be sometimes useful. devobrun: Engineers don't extrapolate into regions that will never be tested.This is one difference between science and engineering. It is also one reason why engineering is intrinsically dependent on science.devobrun: And evolution science just isn't keeping up.You're not following it very closely. Evolution is actually tied to statistical mechanics nowdays. See "Natural selection for least action", Kaila and Annila (doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178).

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

Possibly true, supertramp. Hopefully gr will keep asking questions about the specific points not understood, and I can keep trying to explain.While waiting, I can continue giving opera lessons to a horse.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

gr: Origins are not outside of science; however, Biological Evolution (as currently expressed) is properly limited to the origin of new species, presuming there is already some manner of life. The question of how life arose, while part of science, and of interest to evolutionary biologists, is separate. The terms "Abiogenesis" and "biogenic transition" are used to discuss the origin of life, and "prevolution" sometimes used to describe natural selection prior to self-replication.supertrampofkansas: A minor terminology quibble. As I understand, the correct term for describing that all life on earth is "one big happy family" is "Uniform Common Descent" from a critter called the "Last Universal Common Ancestor". "Macroevolution" is a relative term, indicating that a population has speciated; thus, microevolutionary developments in one new species are macroevolutionary to the other new species.

gr 6 years, 1 month ago

supertramp: "The fact that you seem to be obsessed with origins rather than the process of evolution itself belies your scientific credibility in criticizing evolution"Are origins outside of science?

gr 6 years, 1 month ago

"but this question is not what evolutionary theory is about."So would it be correct that you are saying that science and evolution are not equivalent? That is, if one should disagree with evolution is not the same as saying one disagrees with science?

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

Are origins outside of science? - GrWhat does "outside" of science mean? Science does explore and investigate the origins (of life) or how life got started but this question is not what evolutionary theory is about.

gr 6 years, 1 month ago

"Is this too complicated for you to understand?"I didn't think so, but some do. Just making sure.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

"Changing genetics and expression of those changes are not the issue in this debate. It is the misapplied assertion that evolution for fruit flies is exactly the same as the evolution of a grand scale." - DevobrunYou got your blinders on again Devo. Your emotions are getting the best of you dude. Do you really think it stops somewhere Devo. As you said either put up or shut up. You make a statement about some process but you offer no evidence for it. Just because you say it, doesn't make it true. Do you really think there is some kind of magical boundry that stops genetics and its expression? What happened to your "test, test, test" mantra. Meanwhile, there is overwhelming evidence for macroevolution (that we are all one big happy family) in the fossil record, in embryology, in anatomy, and on the molecular level. Oh and as abb3w points out Devo this is not an "a priori" truth but rather an "a posteriori" one. If you going to criticize something Devo, at least call it for what it is and not try to "frame" what evolutionists actually say.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

abb3w,Your reply probably went over Gr's head. As far as I can tell, this person has trouble understanding even the most basic of concepts and will often post cryptic replies showing complete confusion over the subject matter.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

abb3w,Well I am not one to quibble with you over such terms. I am not a biologist so my expertise in this area is somewhat limited. Sometimes I do get carried away with my penchant for trying obnoxious cutsy phrases such as the "one big happy family" which has much more to do with "stirring the pot" than any strict definitional accuracy. So I yield to your superior judgement and thank you for illuminating yet another facet of this subject that I had failed to appreciate.

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

Hmm I can see why you are confused Gr. The question I was referring to was the question of how life originated, not the origin of species. Evolutionary theory is about the origin of species which is part of science. The origins of life is part of science as well. Is this too complicated for you to understand? I can try to simplify it further for you if you are having trouble with these basic issues. Just let me know Gr.

abb3w 6 years, 1 month ago

gr: Evolution is a subset of Science. Thus, one might claim to disagree with that one particular part, but not another. This, however, has problems, which go back to the "bit of background" from earlier (comment_727759). Presumably, you would not want to assert that your disagreement is invalid. For your disagreement with Evolution to be valid, you must indicate how Evolution is not a valid inference. However, Evolution is considered the "best" hypothesis for biology, using the aforementioned Occam-like criterion used throughout all of Science. Disputing the validity of the inference of evolution may be done in five ways: (1) show how there is another current alternative "better" under current evidence; (2) produce additional evidence to change the result of which current alternative is "better"; (3) present a new alternative "better" under current evidence; (4) show how the formal criterion of "better" does not follow from the assumptions; or (5) challenge one of the assumptions underlying the criterion. These assumptions are (a) the validity of formal propositional logic, such as may be derived from the Robbins axioms (b) the Zermelo-Fraenkel Axioms of set theory, which is the modern foundation of all mathematics; and (c) that Reality is relateable to evidence.Approaches (1), (2), and (3) are all legitimate basis for valid disagreement within the framework Science, without challenging Science as a whole. The others, though no less legitimate as challenges, are technically challenges within Philosophy of Science to ALL of Science. Approach (5c) is a philosophical point, disputing which is an essential challenge to Science at the boundary demarcating between pure Mathematics (a branch of philosophy, presently relying on Logic and ZF) and Science (although "relateable" is a linguistic shorthand for a mathematical description). Approach (4) is a mathematical challenge to the methodology of science. Approach (5b) is a challenge to all of modern mathematics, as well as to all of science thereby. Approach (5a) is a challenge to the very possibility of Inference via Logic, which potentially undermines almost the entirety of Philosophy (perhaps aside from Solipsism, Surrealism and Nihilipsism), as well as Science and Mathematics.

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