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KU prof's e-mail irks fundamentalists (Christian Bashing OK)
Wichita Eagle ^ | 25 Nov 2005 | Associated Press

Posted on 11/25/2005 8:34:07 AM PST by Exton1

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To: sagar
It would be leftism, however, to "feel" for the other side, be politically correct, and allow unscientific stories be taught as science.

Be careful, you're putting the whole field of climatology at risk.

101 posted on 11/25/2005 12:30:48 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: AmishDude
No, but I appreciate your attempt at creating a strawman.

No, I was asking about your intent. If I wished to be accusatory I would not have phrased it as a question. As it was I simply wanted clarification so that I could avoid forming an incorrect conclusion.

I am saying that believe in the validity of the scientific method is a faith.

On par with religious faith? Or are you just using two different meanings of the same word for a false equivocation? Or is it something else that I've not considered?
102 posted on 11/25/2005 12:32:38 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio
On par with religious faith?

There is no "par". Faith is either 1 or 0. That is the point of faith.

103 posted on 11/25/2005 12:36:05 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: AmishDude
People in the easier areas of science and in the area of humanities often create vocabulary in order to obscure their subject. As a mathematician, this baffles me, because my vocabulary is an endless search for intuitive terms.

What was it that baffled you? Maximum parsimony? You understand parsimony, right? Well, a maximum parsimony tree is a tree that requires the minimum number of changes to connect all the elements on the tree.

I had no idea a mathematician would have such difficulty with common English words.

So, in general, it would be impossible to conduct an efficient algorithm for what you ask. Although approximation would be possible, any attempt to create a maximum tree would just be ad hoc.

It's odd it's impossible, since we've been doing it for at least 20 years. The scaling of the problem is irrelevant if you're talking about small numbers of organisms and relatively short sequences, and the method is intuitive.

But if you are in the habit of giving your students monkey-work, maybe they are able to get the measure of your field.

I hope you don't teach, because it appears you have a propensity for talking out of the wrong orifice about subjects you don't understand.

104 posted on 11/25/2005 12:36:41 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: AmishDude
Faith is either 1 or 0.

I just found in one dictionary seven different definitions for the word "faith". One of the definitions would apply when speaking of "religious faith". A completely different definition would apply to your claim of "faith" in the scientific method.
105 posted on 11/25/2005 12:37:29 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: AmishDude

"Be careful, you're putting the whole field of climatology at risk."

Indeed. The field of climatology teaches the reason for lightening -- God's anger. And teaches hurricanes are due to God's wrath, forget pressure and humidity. :D


106 posted on 11/25/2005 12:40:14 PM PST by sagar
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To: sagar

Lightning.


107 posted on 11/25/2005 12:41:24 PM PST by sagar
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To: APFel
Those who cite the First Amendment in order to justify crass behavior is using a coward's shield. Free speech is responsible speech, and frankly I'm tired of folks wheeling out the Bill of Rights every time they feel the need to be an a**hole. And since we are speaking frankly, I'm tired of colleges and universities protecting and paying these mealy mouthed individuals.

The guy was expressing his opinion on a listserv, as a private individual, just as you are. And just as you are free to use anatomical references on this forum, so he is entitled to use coarse means of expression on the listserv in question. Or do you intend to deny him what you yourself practice?

Free speech, free speech, free speech, decorum be damned. Everyone has the right to be a butthole while working in a publicly funded educational institution because free speech gives you the right to be a jerk. Respect means jack, cuz we got that free speech. Polite discourse is for suckers.

One has to question the intelligence of someone who uses language like the above in a call for polite discourse.

108 posted on 11/25/2005 12:42:04 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
"ribosomal protein" and "s7" are particular terms and "widely separated" and "maximum parsimony tree" are, in an of themselves are also particular terms with particular meanings that cannot be immediately deciphered from the individual words. If you think they can, note that the term "maximum parsimony tree" is, in fact, defined as a minimum of some function. To the uninitiated, it isn't clear what function you are optimizing, let alone that it is a minimum.

The scaling of the problem is irrelevant if you're talking about small numbers of organisms

That's what makes it monkey-work. It's just an algorithm. Grab the handle. Turn the crank. There's your answer. The real questions are: Can you prove that the algorithm always gives a maximum parsimony tree? That's "proof" now. Not proof-by-example. What is the average-time performance? What conditions on the sequences will fail to produce average-time performance? Can they be considered "unnatural"? Can you construct a tree in polynomial time such that the number of changes to connect all elements on the tree is always at most (1+epsilon)M where M is the minimum and epsilon is a fixed positive constant.

Now if you present a proof in class that the algorithm always terminates and always produces the MPT, then that would be a good start.

109 posted on 11/25/2005 12:52:36 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: Dimensio

You are welcome to defend your faith by claiming that it is a better faith than others, but that does not make it any less a faith.


110 posted on 11/25/2005 12:54:45 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: onja
But also there are no trees before the supposed time of the flood. They all magically start at around 4000 or so years. And I know you didn't expect me to know all the details of those fossils. What I'm wondering though is whether we know that the fossil evidence shows the progression of the evolution of the animals(or humans) or whether we have little jumps that could be seperate animal or human groups. Like say a black, white, and Asian face are all different but the same species. Perhaps Neanderthals are another segment of the homo sapiens who were very stupid and so got assimilated. Just wondering.

I don't have time today for anything detailed. If you truly are interested, consult PatrickHenry's List-O-Links. There is enough information there to last a while.

On the subject of trees, there is a continuous record of tree-rings going back about 11,600 years. Not all the same tree, of course, but numerous standing dead bristlecone pines each contribute a part of the sequence. Incidentally, these well-dated rings are used to establish the radiocarbon calibration curves. If there had been a flood, there would have been indications in the rings and standing dead trees all would have been floated or washed away.

There is a tree-ring sequence, but I am not as failiar with that one.

111 posted on 11/25/2005 1:02:13 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Right Wing Professor

"Sure thing, Mullah Omar. But here in America, we have this thing called "free speech."

Which you are hard at work denying to proponents of ID.

There are limits even on free speech, the old "fire in a crowded theater" being the most familiar example. Speech that interferes with the free exercise of religion is another.

How interesting that you call me a "Mullah," when you defend the "right" of this professor to abuse his authority by infringing on freedom of religion, while I am arguing for the free exercise of religion.

Usually a person has to be a DUmmy to get things that twisted.


112 posted on 11/25/2005 1:12:14 PM PST by dsc
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To: sagar

"It isn't "leftism" to put religious mythologies in a mythology class."

As a matter of fact, it is. Hard core leftism. The destruction of religious faith is one of the core items on the left's agenda, and relegating religious beliefs to the status of "myths" is undeniably a move in support of that agenda.


113 posted on 11/25/2005 1:15:18 PM PST by dsc
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To: Coyoteman
That should be: There is a tree-ring sequence in Europe, but I am not as failiar with that one.
114 posted on 11/25/2005 1:16:13 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Ah, I see. So Christianity is to be above criticism.

So you equate "mocking" and "criticism"?

115 posted on 11/25/2005 1:17:15 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: curtisgardner
Typical response of the Left. Dont address the real issue; instead get mad that someone called you on it.

Shades of leaked memos in the U.S. Senate.

Leak staffer ousted

“It’s capitulation to the old Democratic trick that if you catch us with our hands dirty, we’ll blame Republicans for dirty tricks,” said a GOP aide.

116 posted on 11/25/2005 1:25:24 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: orionblamblam

"Really? Do you even know what he meant by "stick it" in this context.?"

Oh, yes.

"If you saw, say, a Scientologist or a Wahabbi on a streetcorner handing out literature, you have the freedom to "stick it" to him by handing out debunking literature, engaging in debate or even mocking."

Acctually, your freedoms in that area are not without limit. For instance, he may not want to debate you, and if you refuse to leave him alone, your behavior might be criminal. Mocking, as well, is in many places regarded as provoking speech, and in some jurisdictions you can be arrested for that.

Further, this took place in a state school. Your position is tantamount to arguing that it is a violation of separation of church and state to promote religion, while it is perfectly permissible to mock religion with public funds.

"You do not exactly have the freedom to lie"

And who is going to distinguish between honest mistake and lie? There are many God-haters right here on these FR threads who have a history of asserting that statements they disagree with are "lies," just like the DUmmies do.

"You do, as with the case with the prof, have the freedom to point out the flaws, inconsistences, lies and whatnot in your opponents worldview."

No, not "as with the prof." What he did was not reasoned argument, but an abuse of power to slap people he hates in the face. And he did it with public funds.


117 posted on 11/25/2005 1:35:42 PM PST by dsc
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To: dsc
And he did it with public funds.

His comments were cited from a Yahoo listserv. How does this involve public funds?

118 posted on 11/25/2005 2:18:57 PM PST by Quark2005 (Science aims to elucidate. Pseudoscience aims to obfuscate.)
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To: Dimensio
Or are you just using two different meanings of the same word for a false equivocation? Or is it something else that I've not considered?

He's just another clown. Strange people these mathematicians - except the applied ones, of course.

119 posted on 11/25/2005 2:20:11 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: dsc
Maybe the KU Jayhawks could use the prof on the basketball team, he seems to be their missing link.
120 posted on 11/25/2005 2:23:24 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: dsc
How interesting that you call me a "Mullah," when you defend the "right" of this professor to abuse his authority by infringing on freedom of religion, while I am arguing for the free exercise of religion. Usually a person has to be a DUmmy to get things that twisted.

This from the same idiot who thinks we need to start shooting academics? You are a joke on any forum.

121 posted on 11/25/2005 2:26:36 PM PST by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: Quark2005; dsc
His comments were cited from a Yahoo listserv. How does this involve public funds?

His comments may or may not, but certainly the class would.

As to his comments, "My understanding was that was a private e-mail communication that somehow was moved out of those channels and has become a public document," Shulenburger said.

I would wager that public funds were used somewhere.

122 posted on 11/25/2005 2:37:29 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Get real, bubba.

There is a difference between criticism and mockery. To wit.

Criticism: The act of criticizing, especially adversely. A critical comment or judgment.
The practice of analyzing, classifying, interpreting, or evaluating literary or other artistic works. A critical article or essay; a critique. The investigation of the origin and history of literary documents; textual criticism.

Mockery: Scornfully contemptuous ridicule; derision. A specific act of ridicule or derision. An object of scorn or ridicule: made a mockery of the rules. A false, derisive, or impudent imitation: The trial was a mockery of justice. Something ludicrously futile or unsuitable: The few packages of food seemed a mockery in the face of such enormous destitution.

Failure to realize the difference proves, again, the bankruptcy of professorial pretendence.

123 posted on 11/25/2005 2:37:44 PM PST by Thumper1960 ("There is no 'tolerance', there are only changing fashions in intolerance." - 'The Western Standard')
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To: Thumper1960
There is a difference between criticism and mockery.

Sure. And some things deserve only mockery...

Failure to realize the difference proves, again, the bankruptcy of professorial pretendence.

...; for example, worthy of mockery are people who make up words like 'pretendence'.

124 posted on 11/25/2005 3:13:48 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
[set a standard that it's not culturally acceptable to mock Christianity in America," she said.
Ah, I see. So Christianity is to be above criticism. Somebody email Senator Brownlee a copy of the First Amendment.]

criticism <> mockery
125 posted on 11/25/2005 3:14:21 PM PST by starbase (One singular sensation.)
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To: dsc
There are limits even on free speech, the old "fire in a crowded theater" being the most familiar example. Speech that interferes with the free exercise of religion is another.

Mocking religion does not interefere with its free exercise.

How interesting that you call me a "Mullah," when you defend the "right" of this professor to abuse his authority by infringing on freedom of religion, while I am arguing for the free exercise of religion.

How did the professor interfere with free exercise?

126 posted on 11/25/2005 3:15:17 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: AmishDude
That's what makes it monkey-work. It's just an algorithm. Grab the handle. Turn the crank. There's your answer. The real questions are: Can you prove that the algorithm always gives a maximum parsimony tree? That's "proof" now. Not proof-by-example. What is the average-time performance? What conditions on the sequences will fail to produce average-time performance? Can they be considered "unnatural"? Can you construct a tree in polynomial time such that the number of changes to connect all elements on the tree is always at most (1+epsilon)M where M is the minimum and epsilon is a fixed positive constant.

These are exercises for a math class, not a biology class.

Get a clue.

127 posted on 11/25/2005 3:17:08 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: starbase; Right Wing Professor

criticism <> mockery

Since we're parsing and splitting rhetorical/definitional hairs, mockery is certainly a subset of criticism.

128 posted on 11/25/2005 3:25:27 PM PST by ml1954 (NOT the disruptive troll seen frequently on CREVO threads)
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To: onja; Coyoteman
But also there are no trees before the supposed time of the flood. They all magically start at around 4000 or so years.

you really, REALLY need to look beyond creationist sources if you are going to debate this issue.

You have been lied to - there were trees FAR earlier than 4000 years ago (2000BC) and FAR earlier than 4000BC (6000 years ago)

if you desire evidence, look up Amber. That is pertified pine tree sap. There are quite a few examples of such, even some containing trapped insects, dating from before the KT Event (~65 MILLION years ago) where there was pine sap, there were pines. I encourage you to seek more - there is quite a staggering amount of it.

while you are at it, you might wish to contemplate the problem for YEC (and especially the Flood notion) posed by the existence of the iridium layer known as the KT Boundary. If you wish, I will illustrate why it is a serious problem for Flood Believers, but I would prefer to leave you to work it out on your own.

129 posted on 11/25/2005 3:56:46 PM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: onja; Coyoteman
(lost a line somehow)

But also there are no trees before the supposed time of the flood. They all magically start at around 4000 or so years.

you really, REALLY need to look beyond creationist sources if you are going to debate this issue.

You have been lied to - there were trees FAR earlier than 4000 years ago (2000BC) and FAR earlier than 4000BC (6000 years ago)

if you desire evidence, look up Amber. That is pertified pine tree sap. There are quite a few examples of such, even some containing trapped insects, dating from before the KT Event (~65 MILLION years ago)
where there was pine tree sap, there were pine trees.

that is one minor sample of evidence.

I encourage you to seek more - there is quite a staggering amount of it.

while you are at it, you might wish to contemplate the problem for YEC (and especially the Flood notion) posed by the existence of the iridium layer known as the KT Boundary. If you wish, I will illustrate why it is a serious problem for Flood Believers, but I would prefer to leave you to work it out on your own.

130 posted on 11/25/2005 4:07:04 PM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: balrog666

"This from the same idiot who thinks we need to start shooting academics? You are a joke on any forum."

Trying to perpetuate a fallacy, eh? That's very "scientific" of you.


131 posted on 11/25/2005 4:33:54 PM PST by dsc
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To: Quark2005

"His comments were cited from a Yahoo listserv. How does this involve public funds?"

His remarks serve only to blow his cover. The abuse of authority and misuse of public funds lies in what he did and plans to do with regard to the class.


132 posted on 11/25/2005 4:38:53 PM PST by dsc
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To: dsc
Trying to perpetuate a fallacy, eh? That's very "scientific" of you.

He's a SIPO. Scientist In Pretension Only

133 posted on 11/25/2005 4:44:46 PM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: Right Wing Professor

"Mocking religion does not interefere with its free exercise."

It can. Free exercise includes equal access to public facilities. Making believers objects of mockery impairs their equal access.

"How did the professor interfere with free exercise?"

By attempting to make believers objects of mockery, thereby impairing their equal access to the university.


134 posted on 11/25/2005 4:49:06 PM PST by dsc
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To: AmishDude
You are welcome to defend your faith by claiming that it is a better faith than others, but that does not make it any less a faith.

And calling a well-established method a "faith" doesn't make it a faith.
135 posted on 11/25/2005 4:49:27 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: dsc

It can. Free exercise includes equal access to public facilities. Making believers objects of mockery impairs their equal access.

By attempting to make believers objects of mockery, thereby impairing their equal access to the university.

You have learned and adopted the ways of the left-wing postmodern deconstructionists well, grasshopper. However, any criticism you may have ever had of their methods has now become invalid as you have become as one with them in your methods.

136 posted on 11/25/2005 4:58:35 PM PST by ml1954 (NOT the disruptive troll seen frequently on CREVO threads)
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To: Right Wing Professor
You mean to say that you instruct your students to crank out an algorithm (which exists as software on many platforms, including java right on the web) and you don't even verify that it always works?

What I ask are fundamental questions regarding your technique. Again, running the algorithm is not conceptually difficult. There's nothing to understand, it's all shallow.

137 posted on 11/25/2005 5:04:14 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: Dimensio
And calling a well-established method a "faith" doesn't make it a faith.

You have a great deal of faith in the notion that the method is well-established (care to quantify?) and in the means by which the method was established.

138 posted on 11/25/2005 5:05:35 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: ml1954

"You have learned and adopted"

Road apples.

What I am learning here is that there are those on the atheistic evolution side who are every bit as intellectually dishonest as Michael Moore and Al Franken.


139 posted on 11/25/2005 5:08:45 PM PST by dsc
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To: AmishDude
You have a great deal of faith in the notion that the method is well-established (care to quantify?) and in the means by which the method was established.

Are you suggesting that science abandon the scientific method? I'm having trouble discerning what it is you're trying to argue here.

140 posted on 11/25/2005 5:14:45 PM PST by Quark2005 (Science aims to elucidate. Pseudoscience aims to obfuscate.)
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To: Quark2005
Are you suggesting that science abandon the scientific method?

I'm saying faith in the scientific method is a faith. You must accept its validity in order to use it. (This does not address the flaws in the method, which are most egregious in so-called junk science. Of course, these flaws can be considered part of the method itself.)

141 posted on 11/25/2005 5:18:57 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: AmishDude
You have a great deal of faith in the notion that the method is well-established (care to quantify?) and in the means by which the method was established.

Now you're just playing semantic games and using a false equivocation.

The word "faith" has different meanings. When speaking of religious "faith" it has one meaning. When speaking of the "faith" to which you refer it has a completely different meaning. Trying to claim that accepting the scientific method as a valuable tool is on par with religious faith is fundamentally dishonest. That is to say that when you claim that they are equivalent, you are lying.
142 posted on 11/25/2005 5:19:59 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: dsc
What I am learning here is that there are those on the atheistic evolution side

What about people on the Christian evolution side?
143 posted on 11/25/2005 5:20:41 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: AmishDude
There is no "par". Faith is either 1 or 0. That is the point of faith.

Kewl...

I believe you're correct and right on point.

Science imposes no such a priori dichotomy as it is but merely a method and not a philosophy.

144 posted on 11/25/2005 5:21:06 PM PST by Rudder
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To: Dimensio

I didn't say they are equivalent, you did. I simply state that you must have a faith in the scientific method in order for it to apply. It may "make sense" to you, for example. You've accepted the notion for so long, you don't realize that there are simply premises that must be accepted.


145 posted on 11/25/2005 5:23:34 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: AmishDude
I'm saying faith in the scientific method is a faith. You must accept its validity in order to use it. (This does not address the flaws in the method, which are most egregious in so-called junk science. Of course, these flaws can be considered part of the method itself.)

What are the 'flaws' in the scientific method?

146 posted on 11/25/2005 5:25:15 PM PST by Quark2005 (Science aims to elucidate. Pseudoscience aims to obfuscate.)
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To: AmishDude
You are mincing words. You have faith in your religious beliefs, which are independent of evidence.

Scientists trust in the scientific method based on several centuries of experiment and improvement.

If we were to believe you, then how did the scientific method evolve? It didn't just spring into existence all tested and ready to go, did it? No. It was developed through trial and error (or in the case of my field, by trowel and error).

Faith does not evolve in this manner. It is based on an entirely different origin and it is not accurate to equate the two.

147 posted on 11/25/2005 5:30:06 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Quark2005
What are the 'flaws' in the scientific method?

What aren't the flaws?

But I think your question is more revealing than my answer.
148 posted on 11/25/2005 5:32:29 PM PST by AmishDude (Your corporate slogan could be here! FReepmail me for my confiscatory rates.)
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To: AmishDude
I didn't say they are equivalent, you did. I simply state that you must have a faith in the scientific method in order for it to apply

So if you weren't trying to make an equivocation, why bring up the word "faith" in the first place? Why use that word when it's clear to anyone with a brain that its dual meaning can cause confusion?
149 posted on 11/25/2005 5:33:25 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Quark2005
What are the 'flaws' in the scientific method?

I got five pile of Current Contents that will never be read and they keep on coming...

Science is too prolific, it needs a "summary" publication, and more, to keep us abreast of the major discoveries.

150 posted on 11/25/2005 5:33:42 PM PST by Rudder
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