Tennessee makes it safe to teach "alternative" science.

It's not oxymoronic. It's just moronic.

LarryC wrote:

It's not oxymoronic. It's just moronic.

That's hot.

If Creation Science is central to anyone's personal faith, they're in for a rough time.

This is also true of any religious tenet that can be disproven, of course - but the theory of evolution is one of the more rigorously-tested hypotheses in science.

OG_slinger wrote:

"Creationists are simply wrong."

A bold statement. Especially since the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory.

Theory = "a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena"

"Commonly regarded as correct" is the key phrase here.

I don't disagree that something like that should be either left out of school or taught in some other class however. LarryC, pretty much summed what I think up.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

If Creation Science is central to anyone's personal faith, they're in for a rough time.

Not really, I imagine those people that have faith in Creation "Science" look like this when talking about the scientific method.

IMAGE(http://kevinblissett.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/head-in-sand.jpg)

Hoo boy. This old chestnut again.

The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

"Creationists are simply wrong."

A bold statement. Especially since the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory. Like gravity.

Bold is my addition.

Jonman wrote:

Hoo boy. This old chestnut again.

Hey now, don't criticize my beliefs just because I don't believe there are such things as electromagnets. After all, it's "only a theory".

*edit- Also I don't believe in "Math". It's only a theory.

I'll put a caveat to that.

Creationists are wrong when they insist on coercing public schools to evangelize their beliefs.

I think OG_Slinger is barking up the wrong tree if he wants to fight inclusion in the school system on the basis of veracity or belief. That just puts the fight in the territory of faith and belief, which is not what we want, and more importantly, that's not science either.

The Theory of Evolution is not right. Science does not say that the belief of Creationists is wrong. This is because science does not deal in beliefs.

Using science to justify or evangelize atheism just plays into the hands of the Creationists. It tells everyone that it's okay to use the public school system to push an agenda or science classes to further beliefs. It's a losing strategy.

Let science be science and let belief be belief.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Hoo boy. This old chestnut again.

Hey now, don't criticize my beliefs just because I don't believe there are such things as electromagnets. After all, it's "only a theory".

*edit- Also I don't believe in "Math". It's only a theory.

It's a good job Creation Science isn't a theory then, isn't it?

The Conformist wrote:

the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory.

One of many rebuttals illustrating the fallacy at play here[/url]]Critics of evolution frequently assert that evolution is "just a theory," with the intent of emphasizing that scientific theories are never absolute, or of characterizing it as a matter of opinion rather than of fact or evidence. This reflects a misunderstanding of the meaning of theory in a scientific context: whereas in colloquial speech a theory is a conjecture or guess, in science a theory is an explanation whose predictions have been proven true by experiments or other evidence. Evolutionary theory refers to an explanation for the diversity of species and their ancestry which has met extremely high standards of scientific evidence. An example of evolution as theory is the modern synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian inheritance. As with any scientific theory, the modern synthesis is constantly debated, tested, and refined by scientists, but there is an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that it remains the only robust model that accounts for the known facts concerning evolution.

Critics also state that evolution is not a fact. In science, a fact is a verified empirical observation; in colloquial contexts, however, a fact can simply refer to anything for which there is overwhelming evidence. For example, in common usage theories such as "the Earth revolves around the Sun" and "objects fall due to gravity" may be referred to as "facts", even though they are purely theoretical. From a scientific standpoint, therefore, evolution may be called a "fact" for the same reason that gravity can: under the scientific definition, evolution is an observable process that occurs whenever a population of organisms genetically changes over time. Under the colloquial definition, the theory of evolution can also be called a fact, referring to this theory's well-established nature. Thus, evolution is widely considered both a theory and a fact by scientists.

Similar confusion is involved in objections that evolution is "unproven," since no theory in science is known to be absolutely true, only verified by empirical evidence. This distinction is an important one in philosophy of science, as it relates to the lack of absolute certainty in all empirical claims, not just evolution. Strict proof is possible only in formal sciences such as logic and mathematics, not natural sciences (where terms such as "validated" or "corroborated" are more appropriate). Thus, to say that evolution is not proven is trivially true, but no more an indictment of evolution than calling it a "theory". The confusion arises, however, in that the colloquial meaning of proof is simply "compelling evidence", in which case scientists would indeed consider evolution "proven."

The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

"Creationists are simply wrong."

A bold statement. Especially since the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory.

Theory = "a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena"

"Commonly regarded as correct" is the key phrase here.

I don't disagree that something like that should be either left out of school or taught in some other class however. LarryC, pretty much summed what I think up.

This sorta sums it up well, I think: http://www.notjustatheory.com/

Sure, commonly regarded as correct.

Anyone is welcome to test the theory of evolution, find a flaw in it, perform tests that prove the flaw, find other scientists to confirm the test results and therefore require changes in the theory. So far, that hasn't happened.

Do you also say "it's just a theory" when confronted with the heliocentric theory or the germ theory of disease?

Ah, and this is where I take my leave. It's one to disagree with someone because of how they view things, it's another to completely mock them outright. I have no problems with how people view or believe in things, but I would never sink so low as to mock them for what they sincerely believe in. I realize that my view on things may perhaps be silly to many of you, but you can at least keep the conversations civil and mature. This conversation has kinda strayed off course anyways, I do however apologize for perhaps being the instigator of that. I do ask one thing though, please be more patient with people, even if you think how they view things are just ignorant and silly, you'd be surprised how far a little of that and kindness will take you.

Intelligent falling. TEACH THE CONTROVERSY!

Edit for substance to go with the snark:
The problem with teaching anything other than testable/observable science in the classroom is that one or more faiths' beliefs are being given credence and wait by what should be a neutral body(the public education system). We have observed natural selection and even speciation in the lab. We have observed and tested gravity, electromagnetism, and a huge swath of other phenomenon. That is the criteria we must use in teaching, because those things are constants. The equations we've developed for gravitational effects always work, no matter what, if any, deity you believe in. The speed of light is always the same, and the technologies dependent on it work regardless of whether the engineers are atheist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or Satanic.

Science is not up for democratic vote, the circumference of a circle doesn't change when a state legislature defines pi as 3.000, and carbon dating doesn't start failing when enough Christians proclaim that the universe is only 6000 years old. That is why real scientific theory and law gets taught in public schools, it works.

Theory = "a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena"

"Commonly regarded as correct" is the key phrase here.

That fails to explain that theories that are "commonly regarded as correct" are that way because they are supported by huge amounts of observation, experimental evidence and correlated facts, to the point where regarding them as incorrect is generally the same as *being* incorrect. Unless you've got information that falsifies the theory of evolution, or explains the evidence better, you're going to be incorrect in discounting it, rather than innovative.

That's not an insult. It's no different from a Christian arguing that the Bible does not contain accounts of the Resurrection. It does. And likewise, evolution is not in any way casually, fragilely or unsteadily grounded. It's like, oh, a house built on rock instead of sand.

The Conformist wrote:

Ah, and this is where I take my leave. It's one to disagree with someone because of how they view things, it's another to completely mock them outright. I have no problems with how people view or believe in things, but I would never sink so low as to mock them for what they sincerely believe in. I realize that my view on things may perhaps be silly to many of you, but you can at least keep the conversations civil and mature. This conversation has kinda strayed off course anyways, I do however apologize for perhaps being the instigator of that. I do ask one thing though, please be more patient with people, even if you think how they view things are just ignorant and silly, you'd be surprised how far a little of that and kindness will take you.

Several people in this thread have attempted to engage with you honestly and respectfully. Declining to respond in kind, and instead take offense at other posters as an excuse to leave, is a choice.

For my part, I would have loved to hear your responses to Robear and Katy.

Robear:

I think that that's a dangerous way of thinking about scientific theories, and a chief reason for the inertia of many scientific theories and suppositions that should have long ago been tested more rigorously.

It is important to keep in mind that it is NOT incorrect to question a theory and to act fully in skepticism of its veracity. That is the only way to exclude bias in a testing of its hypothesis in the light of current observations. You must NOT believe in it, and you must not be afraid to think of it as if it were incorrect.

This is not a matter of being innovative; this is simply a matter of remaining scientific about science.

More cogently, phrasing it in that manner challenges Creationists and other people-of-faith in an arena which goes directly against their life beliefs. It introduces the idea that science is a faith, and that it is being taught in school. If science is a faith that can be taught in school, then surely they have an obligation to champion theirs as well!

NO.

We must not give them that ammunition.

LarryC wrote:

Robear:

I think that that's a dangerous way of thinking about scientific theories, and a chief reason for the inertia of many scientific theories and suppositions that should have long ago been tested more rigorously.

It is important to keep in mind that it is NOT incorrect to question a theory and to act fully in skepticism of its veracity. That is the only way to exclude bias in a testing of its hypothesis in the light of current observations. You must NOT believe in it, and you must not be afraid to think of it as if it were incorrect.

This is not a matter of being innovative; this is simply a matter of remaining scientific about science.

More cogently, phrasing it in that manner challenges Creationists and other people-of-faith in an arena which goes directly against their life beliefs. It introduces the idea that science is a faith, and that it is being taught in school. If science is a faith that can be taught in school, then surely they have an obligation to champion theirs as well!

NO.

We must not give them that ammunition.

Larry, could you give me a good example of a commonly held scientific theory that isn't being tested, experimented on, and studied on a regular basis?

Yep. Even c being a hard limit has been under scrutiny lately.

The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

"Creationists are simply wrong."

A bold statement. Especially since the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory.

Theory = "a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena"

"Commonly regarded as correct" is the key phrase here.

I don't disagree that something like that should be either left out of school or taught in some other class however. LarryC, pretty much summed what I think up.

It's not bold at all.

You are likely confusing the public use of theory, which is little more than "I have a vague idea or unproven assumption of how or why something works", and the scientific use of theory, which means "there's a sh*tload of observation, experimentation, testing, and confirmation supporting how or why something works."

Scientific theories are a hell of a lot more bulletproof than most people think they are as they constantly have to survive new information and discoveries. If there's a new discovery that contradicts what the Theory says should happen, then the Theory is disproven. Every time we've learned something new it has supported, not contradicted, the Theory of Evolution. We now have more than 150 years of proof for evolution.

If you doubt the validity of scientific theories then you can do your own experiment: try to disprove the Theory of Gravity by jumping off a tall building.

The Theory of Evolution. When was the last time this was tested rigorously by a scientist who didn't already fully buy into it? Only specifics of it are being investigated. The overarching theory itself is now almost never questioned.

For that matter, Gate-Control Theory in the propagation of pain sensation. No one I know is actively working to test its validity.

It is important to keep in mind that "THEY" are people. WE are people. We have limitations, we have biases, and no, we are not all testing every hypothesis everywhere all at once. We generally pursue our interests and just as there are fads and movements in pop culture, so there is also in science.

OG_slinger wrote:

If you doubt the validity of scientific theories then you can do your own experiment: try to disprove the Theory of Gravity by jumping off a tall building.

Or, in lieu of suggestions of self-harm, perhaps recommendations to read Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn? After all:

Karl Popper wrote:

Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again.

Nevin73 wrote:
The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

"Creationists are simply wrong."

A bold statement. Especially since the "Theory of Evolution" is just that, a Theory. Like gravity.

Bold is my addition.

IMAGE(http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20110922.gif)

LarryC wrote:

The Theory of Evolution. When was the last time this was tested rigorously by a scientist who didn't already fully buy into it? Only specifics of it are being investigated. The overarching theory itself is now almost never questioned.

For that matter, Gate-Control Theory in the propagation of pain sensation. No one I know is actively working to test its validity.

It is important to keep in mind that "THEY" are people. WE are people. We have limitations, we have biases, and no, we are not all testing every hypothesis everywhere all at once. We generally pursue our interests and just as there are fads and movements in pop culture, so there is also in science.

Testing a part of the theory tests the whole. If a theory is as large scale and overarching as Evolution, or Special/General Relativity, it's only possible to test specifics, and see how they fit into a larger picture, unless you're dealing with a research budget roughly equal to the GDP of the entire world. That's why the research is shared, disseminated, and reviewed by other scientists who work in the same and related fields. All biological research that involves genetic inheritance is testing the Theory of Evolution.

LarryC wrote:

The Theory of Evolution. When was the last time this was tested rigorously by a scientist who didn't already fully buy into it? Only specifics of it are being investigated. The overarching theory itself is now almost never questioned.

For that matter, Gate-Control Theory in the propagation of pain sensation. No one I know is actively working to test its validity.

It is important to keep in mind that "THEY" are people. WE are people. We have limitations, we have biases, and no, we are not all testing every hypothesis everywhere all at once. We generally pursue our interests and just as there are fads and movements in pop culture, so there is also in science.

I would guess the overarching theory of evolution is questioned about as often as the overarching theory that the Earth is not, in fact, the center of the universe. There comes a point to where questioning the basic facts of science have become pointless. It's clear evolution as an overarching theory is correct. It's not even in question. The specifics of how it occurs are tested every day via research, and particulars will change. That doesn't mean someone has to say "Is Evolution wrong?", because it clearly isn't. It's as proven as "Earth not flat".

LarryC wrote:

The Theory of Evolution. When was the last time this was tested rigorously by a scientist who didn't already fully buy into it? Only specifics of it are being investigated. The overarching theory itself is now almost never questioned.

It's not questioned because all the specifics being investigated support it. It's only when observations and experimentation contradict the theory that you have to either revise or discard the theory.

It is important to keep in mind that it is NOT incorrect to question a theory and to act fully in skepticism of its veracity. That is the only way to exclude bias in a testing of its hypothesis in the light of current observations. You must NOT believe in it, and you must not be afraid to think of it as if it were incorrect.

Correct. However, this is your unfamiliarity with American thought showing. Let me put it this way - if the theory can't be "true" or "believed", then it's valueless. American vernacular speech equates "supported by lots of evidence" as "true" or "correct". That doesn't mean that it can't be questioned with contrary evidence. It means instead that it should not be questioned based on no evidence, or misconstrued evidence, or fake evidence. That's the point I was making.

For someone to accept the evidence of science in most areas, but not accept it in a few due to simply a dislike of the conclusions, seems to me to be making an arbitrary choice. Do you feel that science is a carry-out menu, where we can say " Oh, yes, the germ theory of disease works very well, but quantum theory is clearly wrong, because teleportation can't exist." Is that a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence?

That's what the scenario is here. "Science is all well and good, but evolution? That disagrees with my religion, so I'd be angry if my son's science teacher taught it." Is that a good stance, or a bad one?

LarryC wrote:

The Theory of Evolution. When was the last time this was tested rigorously by a scientist who didn't already fully buy into it?

First question. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, and in the presence of an overwhelming amount of supporting evidence, why would a scientist *not* buy into it? That's kind of the point.

That's not to say that that scientist shouldn't be objectively looking at the data they're gathering to confirm that it also supports that hypothesis.

So, I'm going to make a wild guess and say today. Today was the last time it was tested rigorously by a scientist who was open to the idea of his/her results disproving some or all of it.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

Several people in this thread have attempted to engage with you honestly and respectfully. Declining to respond in kind, and instead take offense at other posters as an excuse to leave, is a choice.

For my part, I would have loved to hear your responses to Robear and Katy.

And to them an you I thank you for being so kind and respectful I would LOVE to be able to sit and discuss these things with the many of you. However I knew better before going into this topic that all this usually leads to negative places. And ultimately what it boils down too is I believe that God created/has allowed this world to exist, it's all based on my faith, my sheer faith in God. I have no Science to back that up, I have nothing. Not to mention that I do not have the knowledge to conduct such studies to prove such a thing, without referring to the Bible itself, which would do no good since it would hold no weight with anyone here. Faith is what I have, in my life it is all I've had, it's helped me survive through so very much. I know that confuses many people, irritates them, and baffles them, but that's what I believe in.