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Evolution Disclaimer Supported
The Advocate (Baton Rouge) ^ | 12/11/02 | WILL SENTELL

Posted on 12/11/2002 6:28:08 AM PST by A2J

By WILL SENTELL

wsentell@theadvocate.com

Capitol news bureau

High school biology textbooks would include a disclaimer that evolution is only a theory under a change approved Tuesday by a committee of the state's top school board.

If the disclaimer wins final approval, it would apparently make Louisiana just the second state in the nation with such a provision. The other is Alabama, which is the model for the disclaimer backers want in Louisiana.

Alabama approved its policy six or seven years ago after extensive controversy that included questions over the religious overtones of the issue.

The change approved Tuesday requires Louisiana education officials to check on details for getting publishers to add the disclaimer to biology textbooks.

It won approval in the board's Student and School Standards/ Instruction Committee after a sometimes contentious session.

"I don't believe I evolved from some primate," said Jim Stafford, a board member from Monroe. Stafford said evolution should be offered as a theory, not fact.

Whether the proposal will win approval by the full state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday is unclear.

Paul Pastorek of New Orleans, president of the board, said he will oppose the addition.

"I am not prepared to go back to the Dark Ages," Pastorek said.

"I don't think state boards should dictate editorial content of school textbooks," he said. "We shouldn't be involved with that."

Donna Contois of Metairie, chairwoman of the committee that approved the change, said afterward she could not say whether it will win approval by the full board.

The disclaimer under consideration says the theory of evolution "still leaves many unanswered questions about the origin of life.

"Study hard and keep an open mind," it says. "Someday you may contribute to the theories of how living things appeared on earth."

Backers say the addition would be inserted in the front of biology textbooks used by students in grades 9-12, possibly next fall.

The issue surfaced when a committee of the board prepared to approve dozens of textbooks used by both public and nonpublic schools. The list was recommended by a separate panel that reviews textbooks every seven years.

A handful of citizens, one armed with a copy of Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species," complained that biology textbooks used now are one-sided in promoting evolution uncritically and are riddled with factual errors.

"If we give them all the facts to make up their mind, we have educated them," Darrell White of Baton Rouge said of students. "Otherwise we have indoctrinated them."

Darwin wrote that individuals with certain characteristics enjoy an edge over their peers and life forms developed gradually millions of years ago.

Backers bristled at suggestions that they favor the teaching of creationism, which says that life began about 6,000 years ago in a process described in the Bible's Book of Genesis.

White said he is the father of seven children, including a 10th-grader at a public high school in Baton Rouge.

He said he reviewed 21 science textbooks for use by middle and high school students. White called Darwin's book "racist and sexist" and said students are entitled to know more about controversy that swirls around the theory.

"If nothing else, put a disclaimer in the front of the textbooks," White said.

John Oller Jr., a professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, also criticized the accuracy of science textbooks under review. Oller said he was appearing on behalf of the Louisiana Family Forum, a Christian lobbying group.

Oller said the state should force publishers to offer alternatives, correct mistakes in textbooks and fill in gaps in science teachings. "We are talking about major falsehoods that should be addressed," he said.

Linda Johnson of Plaquemine, a member of the board, said she supports the change. Johnson said the new message of evolution "will encourage students to go after the facts."


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution; rades
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: PatrickHenry
Thank you so much for your post!

Actually, I like your reasoning better - but donh has been arguing for an imaginary existence in which case, sensory confirmation is also taken on faith.

6,201 posted on 01/30/2003 12:00:33 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AndrewC
Well, the monitor in front of your face is not a concept(at least I think so), but rights and truth are.

Neither can exist unless embodied. rights are statements about relations between people. Number is a construct that begins with the counting of objects. You cannot give me an example of a truth that exists independently of examples. You can assert that it can but the moment you try to explain it you fall back on examples.

6,202 posted on 01/30/2003 1:08:26 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
Neither can exist unless embodied.

So you require that concepts be embodied? That is a strange requirement.

6,203 posted on 01/30/2003 1:26:31 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
So you require that concepts be embodied? That is a strange requirement.

Not a popular concept, I agree. But behind every abstraction is experience with a class of things. And an embodied mind interacting with things.

6,204 posted on 01/30/2003 1:37:58 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
Not a popular concept, I agree.

Well, I don't know if people will accept unicorns as "real".

6,205 posted on 01/30/2003 1:41:04 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
There are lots of imaginary concepts, including circles, squares, planes, pigs with wings, etc. But behind them is experience.

Next, I assume you will produce a sketch or a description of something that has no "real" parts. But it will be composed of abstractions of things experienced.

I suspect that rebellion against this was at least partly the motivation for folks like Jackson Pollack, who tried to form images with no relation to objects. This is what's known as a futile gesture. Unique objects are still objects.

6,206 posted on 01/30/2003 1:50:40 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
There are lots of imaginary concepts

All concepts are imaginary as they are formed in the mind.

Next, I assume you will produce a sketch or a description of something that has no "real" parts.

Your wish is my command.


6,207 posted on 01/30/2003 2:34:56 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: donh
You can say "rights come from God" until you are blue in the face, and you can write it into a constitution, but none of this makes rights come from God. You can't make it true by just saying it, even with an authoritarial air while in the process of founding a government. Apparently in this particular corner of the universe, you DO think something can be made true by simply imagining it.

No, then I would revert to axioms like you do. Instead, I will put up mannishness of man as my proof, and the ordered creation, and the bible. A personal infinite creator-God is consistent WITH ALL OF THESE. But you live in a dichotomy and your life is not consistent with your beliefs. That is for sure.

6,208 posted on 01/30/2003 2:43:11 PM PST by exmarine
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To: donh
No. Pragmatism is simply the best we can do. I'm not enamored of pragmatism or democracy, I just think they have the best track record, and have the most universally supportable philosophies

Democracy has a pitiful track record - it was an utter failure in ancient Greece; that is precisely why the U.S. is not a democracy. A constitutional republic has the best track record - that would be America.

Pragmatism fails also in that it is useless to predict the long run. No matter what moral system you put forth, I can and will rip it to shreds with logic (it's not that I am so brilliant - I'm not - It's that your moral systems are so easy to take apart). Since you can not find any logical or practical fault with moral absolutism, you are only left with attempting to defend your moral systems against logical attack.

6,209 posted on 01/30/2003 2:48:50 PM PST by exmarine
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To: B. Rabbit
Why would an omniscient and omnipotent God have to ponder anything?

Put is this way. God did not give us EXHAUSTIVE knowledge about Himself, only SUFFICIENT knowledge.

6,210 posted on 01/30/2003 2:49:53 PM PST by exmarine
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To: Condorman
You can, of course, present evidence in support of this proposition.

Read the bible.

6,211 posted on 01/30/2003 2:52:03 PM PST by exmarine
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To: exmarine
So you use the bible to prove the bible? Not impressed.

Show me evidence of this "God" fellow you keep referencing and upon whom depends your entire moral structure.
6,212 posted on 01/30/2003 3:47:39 PM PST by Condorman (Circular logic is self-validating. Therefore, it is correct.)
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To: Condorman
Show me evidence of this "God" fellow you keep referencing and upon whom depends your entire moral structure.

Condoleeza Rice and President Bush.

6,213 posted on 01/30/2003 3:53:09 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: AndrewC
Do you have to work at being irrelevant or is it something that just comes naturally?
6,214 posted on 01/30/2003 4:36:13 PM PST by Condorman (I am Dolby of Borg: They blinded me with irrelevance.)
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To: donh
I don't have a materialist cause, as I am not a philosophical materialist, I am a rigorous philosophical naturalist, which means I'm neutral about immaterial causes. Which means, incidently, that I don't have a hypothetical, either, since I'm indifferent. Oh, and I don't have a cause either, except to see that science is taught in the science classroom. Other than that, though, your response is right on the mark.

Don, please, let's be honest, your interest goes a lot deeper than 'science'. Anyways, I really do not see any difference between your postings and what is normally called materialist. Please elucidate the difference, I sure can't figure it out.

The imaginer is still an intelligent being and your reality (and mine) still depends on the rules set by that intelligent being.-me-

You don't know that.

Of course I know that. To even imagine such a complex world must require a tremendous amount of intelligence. Also it is undeniable that there are certain rules in this world we live in - gravity for example - and many others. So yes, I do know that even under your supposition, this would be true.

And we've been through this before. You have no proof that the imagineer is intelligent, if intelligent, you have no indication that suggests to what level of detail the imagineer had to understand the details of what he was imagining for it to work out. You have no proof that the imagineer isn't caught in an endless loop where she imagines up something that in turn imagines her up. When you propose immaterial causes, you can't be disproved, but for the same reasons, you can't pin them down with any persuasive authority.

You are being totally ridiculous. For one thing we are definitely intelligent beings, even if we were someone's dream that person/being would have to be at least as intelligent as us. Science has also more than proven that there are definite rules in this world we live in. So even if it is the figment of someone's imagination, it does have rules.

6,215 posted on 01/30/2003 6:26:50 PM PST by gore3000 (Evolution is whaatever lie you want it to be!)
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To: donh
These things have been observed in a sense - we have observed their effects. What you are talking about though is something which is purely fictional, therefore it is not science.-me-

In what manner does observing stellar incidences, and infering stellar histories, differ from observing fossils and morphologically similar modern forms and infering biological evolution? In both cases, you are pinning a theory that implies an enormous range of behaviors you have not observed on a tiny handful you have observed.

First of all, I do think that we have indeed seen some stars explode through our telescopes, so this stuff is not completely 'imagination'.

The reason you cannot infer evolution from fossils is twofold:
1. the bones show us only a very small part of what makes a species what it is. The DNA, the organs are the most important part of a species and there is no trace of that except in a handful of very special cases.
2. Homology is nonsense. There are far too many examples of totally unrelated species with similar features and what is worse, there are examples of closely related species with completely different features. Therefore homology, the only basis for paleontology is total nonsense. It's not science, it's fairy tales for atheists.

6,216 posted on 01/30/2003 6:35:53 PM PST by gore3000 (Evolution is whaatever lie you want it to be!)
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To: Condorman
Do you have to work at being irrelevant or is it something that just comes naturally?

So this baby seal walks into a club...

6169 posted on 01/29/2003 9:09 PM CST by Condorman (Rim-shot... Crickets... Flee angry mob...)


6,217 posted on 01/30/2003 6:36:25 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: donh
This is a totally irrelevant defense. You said whatever creates life must function like life. Do prokariotes' functions "essentially" resemble social ants functions, or not? Do prokariotes cede their genetic potential to a central queen? Do prokariotes swarm seasonally?

No they do not. First of all ants are eukaryotes - a completely different order of being, further apart from prokaryotes than plants are to animals. Second of all ants are multicellular - a tremendous leap requiring numerous new functions, new organs, new arrangements which also is totally impossible. Third of all ants are sexual and prokaryotes are asexual. Therefore, in the stuff that really matters biologically they are completely different. Your 'analogy' is even sillier than saying that rowboats and planes are alike because they both can get you over water without getting wet.

6,218 posted on 01/30/2003 6:41:44 PM PST by gore3000 (Evolution is whaatever lie you want it to be!)
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To: donh
It is not just Behe and Dembski that say abiogenesis is impossible. Just about the entire scientific community deems it to be impossible except for some inveterate atheists like Dawkins or Gould who are/were in no way biologists or even scientists (and no, I could care less if the Wizard of Oz gave them a diploma saying otherwise).-me-

the scientific community concurs that instantaneous biogenesis from amino acid junk is, while not quite impossible, scientifically fruitless to consider.

Well Don, your "scientifically fruitless to consider" sounds a lot to what I said. No matter what you call it, science says its scientifically impossible.

6,219 posted on 01/30/2003 6:45:24 PM PST by gore3000 (Evolution is whaatever lie you want it to be!)
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To: PatrickHenry
Automated blue-skipping placemarker, a service of FreepScriptTM.
6,220 posted on 01/30/2003 7:12:52 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Automated blue-skipping placemarker, a service of FreepScriptTM.

Isn't it your bedtimeTM?

6,221 posted on 01/30/2003 7:51:01 PM PST by AndrewC (Bedtime for Bonzo Alert)
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To: AndrewC

  irrelevant
       adj : having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue [syn: unrelated]

6,222 posted on 01/31/2003 6:30:30 AM PST by Condorman (Pakicetus)
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To: AndrewC
That top floor reminds me of the architecture of ID. If you zoom in on any one piece it appears to be self-consistent and logical, but the picture as a whole is absurd.
6,223 posted on 01/31/2003 7:16:42 AM PST by js1138
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To: Condorman
  irrelevant
       adj : having no bearing on or connection with the subject at issue [syn: unrelated]

Do you have to work at being irrelevant or is it something that just comes naturally?

So this baby seal walks into a club...

6169 posted on 01/29/2003 9:09 PM CST by Condorman (Rim-shot... Crickets... Flee angry mob...)


6,224 posted on 01/31/2003 8:43:59 AM PST by AndrewC (Intriguing what Darwininians consider as relevant Alert)
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To: js1138
If you zoom in on any one piece it appears to be self-consistent and logical, but the picture as a whole is absurd.

That is exactly the description for Darwininian evolution and its just-so stories.

6,225 posted on 01/31/2003 8:45:39 AM PST by AndrewC (Intriguing what Darwininians consider as relevant Alert)
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To: AndrewC
That is exactly the description for Darwininian evolution and its just-so stories.

I accept the analysis but not the conclusion. It depends on your viewpoint (which is why we have the term viewpoint.)

I have known for some time that these discussions do not hinge on logic and evidence, but rather on worldview.

6,226 posted on 01/31/2003 8:49:51 AM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
I accept the analysis but not the conclusion. It depends on your viewpoint (which is why we have the term viewpoint.)

I have known for some time that these discussions do not hinge on logic and evidence, but rather on worldview.

I agree with your last paragraph. For instance, recently a study on bird wing flapping was used as "evidence" for the ground-up evolution of birds. I considered it as just evidence for what birds do with their wings when they climb inclines. Another recent fossil find of a "4-winged" bird was used as "evidence" for the tree-down evolution of birds. You can't lose as the "evidence" points in both directions.

6,227 posted on 01/31/2003 9:17:21 AM PST by AndrewC (Intriguing what Darwininians consider as relevant Alert)
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To: anguish
never-ending-thread-bookmark
6,228 posted on 01/31/2003 10:24:17 AM PST by anguish (while science catches up.... mysticism!)
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To: gore3000
Well Don, your "scientifically fruitless to consider" sounds a lot to what I said. No matter what you call it, science says its scientifically impossible.

Very well. Point me to an array of articles in a micro-biology journal that supports your thesis, and I'll go read up on it.

6,229 posted on 01/31/2003 10:31:34 AM PST by donh
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To: gore3000
This is a totally irrelevant defense. You said whatever creates life must function like life. Do prokariotes' functions "essentially" resemble social ants functions, or not? Do prokariotes cede their genetic potential to a central queen? Do prokariotes swarm seasonally?

No they do not. First of all ants are eukaryotes - a completely different order of being,

Which arises from prokariotes.

further apart from prokaryotes than plants are to animals.

Which arise from eukariotes.

Second of all ants are multicellular - a tremendous leap requiring numerous new functions, new organs, new arrangements which also is totally impossible.

Which arises from animals.

Third of all ants are sexual and prokaryotes are asexual.

Sexuals, which arise from asexuals.

Therefore, in the stuff that really matters biologically they are completely different.

Uh huh. Competely different, yet they are biological precursors, one to another. You make my case. Thanks.

Your 'analogy' is even sillier than saying that rowboats and planes are alike because they both can get you over water without getting wet.

The measure of an analogy is whether or not the parallel being drawn is compelling. You are free to reject my thesis, as it is simply one of many hypotheses, however, you are not free to mis-represent it. It may be wrong, but it is not irrelevant to the argument I am making.

6,230 posted on 01/31/2003 10:42:52 AM PST by donh
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To: AndrewC
I considered it as just evidence for what birds do with their wings when they climb inclines. Another recent fossil find of a "4-winged" bird was used as "evidence" for the tree-down evolution of birds. You can't lose as the "evidence" points in both directions.

Modern birds both climb and fly. What's your point, except that honest disputes occur about the most likely interpretation of incomplete evidence. Just as there are honest disputes among the world's religions as to the nature of god.

6,231 posted on 01/31/2003 10:55:00 AM PST by js1138
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To: gore3000
First of all, I do think that we have indeed seen some stars explode through our telescopes, so this stuff is not completely 'imagination'.

Just as we see speciation in action when we look at present-day specie-crosses, such as horse&donkey&zebra, or lion&tiger, or dog&cat, with their successively dwindling chances of successful fruition.

The reason you cannot infer evolution from fossils is twofold: 1. the bones show us only a very small part of what makes a species what it is. The DNA, the organs are the most important part of a species and there is no trace of that except in a handful of very special cases.

Oh, you know exactly, down to the minutest detail, what the makeup of Alpha Proxima is?

2. Homology is nonsense. There are far too many examples of totally unrelated species with similar features and what is worse, there are examples of closely related species with completely different features. Therefore homology, the only basis for paleontology is total nonsense. It's not science, it's fairy tales for atheists.

I'll assume you mean morphology when you say homology. What the micro-biologists do is establish homologies, what the field paleontologists do is investigate morphologies.

This is, of course, your patented brand of unscientific hogwash. Neither morphology nor homology is not the "only" basis for paleontology. Lining up the allied morphologies of the fossils with the geological strata in which they predominently occur is the primary basis of paleontology, and it was quite a compelling one, even before there was such a thing as micro-biology.

6,232 posted on 01/31/2003 10:56:10 AM PST by donh
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To: gore3000
Well Don, your "scientifically fruitless to consider" sounds a lot to what I said. No matter what you call it, science says its scientifically impossible.

And therefore, neither God's intervention, nor random chance, win this round. Your feeble implication to the contrary notwithstanding.

6,233 posted on 01/31/2003 10:59:25 AM PST by donh
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To: gore3000
Don, please, let's be honest, your interest goes a lot deeper than 'science'. Anyways, I really do not see any difference between your postings and what is normally called materialist. Please elucidate the difference, I sure can't figure it out.

I have already done that, addressed to you, twice. Kindly address your posts to someone else if you can't do even this tiny amount of homework.

6,234 posted on 01/31/2003 11:02:52 AM PST by donh
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To: js1138
What's your point, except that honest disputes occur about the most likely interpretation of incomplete evidence.

As I said, having it both ways precludes losing.

6,235 posted on 01/31/2003 11:04:53 AM PST by AndrewC (Intriguing what Darwininians consider as relevant Alert)
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To: gore3000
You are being totally ridiculous. For one thing we are definitely intelligent beings, even if we were someone's dream that person/being would have to be at least as intelligent as us.

I am being totally unanswered. Post your proof that the world is not the dream of an infinitely more interesting and complex entity than we are--as far above being intelligent as we are above having primative tropisms.

Science has also more than proven that there are definite rules in this world we live in. So even if it is the figment of someone's imagination, it does have rules.

So? Post your evidence that dreams can't have rules.

6,236 posted on 01/31/2003 11:08:12 AM PST by donh
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To: exmarine
Democracy has a pitiful track record

Right, because in failing (and sometimes before failing), it leads to unbridled tyranny. Which is, I point out, not democracy. Having a constitutionally limited government is a good plan. But constitutionality is orthogonal to whether or not you have a democracy.

- it was an utter failure in ancient Greece; that is precisely why the U.S. is not a democracy. A constitutional republic has the best track record - that would be America.

Sigh. Does or does not our Constitution establish a democratic union, and lay down the rules for it's operation in rather specific detail, Mr. Logical?

6,237 posted on 01/31/2003 11:14:04 AM PST by donh
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To: exmarine
Pragmatism fails also in that it is useless to predict the long run. No matter what moral system you put forth, I can and will rip it to shreds with logic

Being repetitive and rude and unwilling to defend your proposed alternative is not quite the same thing as "ripping to shreds with logic". Tell me again how the Bible does not support slavery. I somehow missed that lecture.

Since you can not find any logical or practical fault with moral absolutism, you are only left with attempting to defend your moral systems against logical attack.

Oh, indeed. Apprently, I also missed the lecture where you defended the genocide of the anabaptists by the Pope and Martin Luther. Perhaps you could give me a posting reference?

6,238 posted on 01/31/2003 11:19:17 AM PST by donh
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To: exmarine
But you live in a dichotomy and your life is not consistent with your beliefs. That is for sure.

That is undemonstratable, rude, annoying and pointless, kindly knock it off or post to someone else.

6,239 posted on 01/31/2003 11:22:00 AM PST by donh
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To: AndrewC
Explain to me how either interpretation disproves evolution, and explain how both can't be true at the same time.
6,240 posted on 01/31/2003 11:37:44 AM PST by js1138
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To: AndrewC
No. And if there is something objective for the concepts of gravity or truth to correspond to, they don't go away when I'm asleep, either.

How do you know?

Faith in scientific observation.

One of the things that was interesting about Piaget's observations of learning in children, was the almost universal attainment of basic kinetic physics by children right around the age of 9 months, as I remember. What he observed was that at that age, children will begin to track objects that disappear from view. If a ball travels behind a couch, the child will begin to anticipate the ball coming back into view at the appropriate place and time with it's eyes. An act of faith in Newton's laws, I contend.


6,241 posted on 01/31/2003 11:37:55 AM PST by donh
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To: PatrickHenry; Alamo-Girl
One can "believe" in the existence of the tooth fairy, but one does not -- in the same sense of the word -- "believe" in the existence of his mother. Belief in the first proposition (tooth fairy) requires faith, the belief in something for which there is no evidence or logical proof. The second proposition (mother) is that kind of knowledge which follows from sensory evidence. There is also that kind of knowledge (like the Pythagorean theorem) which follows from a logical proof. In between mother and the Pythagorean theorem are those propositions we provisionally accept (or in common usage "believe"), like relativity and evolution, because they are scientific theories -- logical and falsifiable explanations of the available data (which data is knowledge obtained via sensory evidence).

Mine might not be the most common usage, but I don't think my terminology is messed up spectacularly. At the base of scientific perception is, I aver, faith--no proof exists that compels me to believe what an oscilloscope screen tells me is in any way related to a physical signal, only usage and custom and a continuous stream of accurate results (when the dang thing is tuned right) shore up my belief. This is, at best, strong inductive evidence, not proof.

Striking at the heart of the argument, at the base of logical proof is, I aver, faith in the axioms and predicates, which are, by definition, not proved--ie. taken on faith.

6,242 posted on 01/31/2003 11:55:05 AM PST by donh
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To: donh
Thank you so much for the clarification! Hugs!
6,243 posted on 01/31/2003 11:59:08 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: gore3000
Don, please, let's be honest, your interest goes a lot deeper than 'science'

Let's leave the rude presumptuousness to exmarine, he's better at it. Nothing is "deeper" or more interesting than science to me.

6,244 posted on 01/31/2003 12:03:48 PM PST by donh
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To: donh
If a ball travels behind a couch, the child will begin to anticipate the ball coming back into view at the appropriate place and time with it's eyes. An act of faith in Newton's laws, I contend.

Good of the Designer to find a way to pack all that good "pre-learned" stuff into our DNA.

Didn't I once get into a discussion about Chompsky on this issue -- whether such skills are inborn or have to be learned? Mighty tight coding, in any case.

6,245 posted on 01/31/2003 12:10:23 PM PST by js1138
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To: donh
kindly knock it off or post to someone else.

You're about the only one left who will talk to him.

6,246 posted on 01/31/2003 12:13:32 PM PST by js1138
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To: js1138
Good of the Designer to find a way to pack all that good "pre-learned" stuff into our DNA.

Perhaps you could consider respect for Newton's laws a tropism. Like algae swimming toward light. Quite a handy thing to have if you have to live outdoors, and make a living in rough terrain all day.

6,247 posted on 01/31/2003 12:16:08 PM PST by donh
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To: js1138
Explain to me how either interpretation disproves evolution, and explain how both can't be true at the same time.

Well, in this group we all know that "proof" is not an operative word. When asked for "proof" the reply is often (I paraphrase here) "Proof is for math, science does not use proof". In light of that condsideration, to ask how something disproves evolution is not a consistent application of the premises in the discussion. It is evident to me that ground-up and tree-down are mutually exclusive methods to achieve a single end in this particular instance. If it were not so, I believe scientists would have offered a plausible hybrid theory by now. So with all of the "quantification" inherent in fitness functions etc., one or the other of these methods of evolution should be predicable. This is not apparent. What is apparent is that just-so stories abound in Darwinian evolution.

As to both being true at the same time, they both are in a way. We know animals that glide and, of course, birds fly off the ground.

6,248 posted on 01/31/2003 12:24:32 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: donh
Perhaps you could consider respect for Newton's laws a tropism. Like algae swimming toward light.

I'm quite sure that a lot of our behavior follows some pretty simple rules. I'll be impressed with A.I. when it can emulate the learning of these rules with a handful of components.

6,249 posted on 01/31/2003 12:26:26 PM PST by js1138
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To: AndrewC
Last time I looked, birds walk, glide, fly and climb. I had bantam chickens in the yard while growing up. They always roosted in a tree at night. For the young ones, we built a ladder. The old ones used every imaginable method to get up. Some flew directly, some hopped from step to step on the ladder, and some used their wings as arms to pull themselves up each step of the ladder.
6,250 posted on 01/31/2003 12:31:24 PM PST by js1138
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