OT: What the heck do they teach in college??

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Daniel Ganek wrote:


Heck, when I was in 9th grade, we had a whole semester's course called Consumer Education, where we learned about such things as the difference between simple and compound interest, how to calculate mortgages, how revolving credit works... being in Canada, all forms of Metric/Imperial conversion were covered... all sorts of practical, day-to-day applications of math.
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Steve wrote:

They teach them that they should never judge another human, and that everything is relative.
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Well, it's good for their self-esteem, you know. That's more important than actual achievement, since if you try to make kids achieve, they might get their feelings hurt.
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TeGGeR wrote:

Yes, well that way, when their boss asks them a simple math problem, and they show what a dumbshit they are, they won't feel too bad about it!
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Larry Bud wrote:

The traditionalists seem to do just as badly -- look at how literacy is usually worst where belief in creationism and disblief in evolution are highest.
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an explanation for "how we got here" since my period of paleontological reading around 1970; the shortfalls aren't apparent until you examine the time line and estimate the number of generations for various changes. It was literacy that led me to my conclusions. All but one of my educated friends are also Creationists, although I am actually a Solipsist (more exactly, a Material Agnostic).
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

About every national poll asking about the subjects has shown this.

What kind of scientist are you?
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analyse with the best of 'em, too - that's how I make my living.
And you?
Mike
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I count well, too. But then I run out of fingers and toes. (Can I count them twice?)
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Michael Pardee wrote:

So you don't believe in Creationism either? After all it makes even less sense and has less evidence to support it than any major theory of evolution does.
Are biologists qualified to do your job?
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makes any sense at all. My personal belief is that the creation comes from what we regard as ourselves, reminiscent of Taoism. Few people agree with me and I see no purpose in trying to explain, much less to convince anybody. Even the simple explanation is lengthy, but my belief doesn't alter the fact of the utter inadequacy of evolutionary theory in the origin of Mankind.
You assume we are fundamentally biological beings, but the evidence is heavily against that. If we are fundamentally biological, we are probably the products of evolution. But evolution falls far short of explaining why we should have the capacity for abstract thought. There is no theoretical mechanism for it, as natural selection is the mechanism for physical improvements. Natural selection has only the most marginal effect on intelligence; the intelligence of parents is not clearly related to the intelligence of offspring. Larger brains allow for greater capacity for skills, but abstract thought is a very different matter. Nor can we theorize that social units containing intellectually superior individuals will thrive - that is contrary to the process of natural selection, which requires the suppression of weaker individuals. In addition, related lines should show similar development - the Great Apes should compete quite closely with us for intellectual capability.
Hominids have been around roughly five million years. At an average of 10 generations per century, this allows something like half a million generations for the physical changes from Australopithecus to Homo Sapiens to occur. So far so good. But the first hint of abstract thought - cave drawings - only dates back about 30,000 years. Allowing for undiscovered cave drawings and other uncertainties, let's place it at 100,000 years... possibly as many as 10,000 generations ago. Agriculture appeared 10,000 years (1000 generations) ago. Writing is about as old. I don't know what happened in the last 10,000 generations, but it clearly was not evolutionary forces that produced our level of thought. There is no evidence whatever, and a predominance of indications to the contrary, that 10,000 generations ago hominids existed that could have engaged in this conversation (language barriers aside).
There is no evolutionary basis for art, literature, science, mathematics, philosophy, law or religion. For the reasons I cited above, schools of evolved beings could teach skills, but not ideas - they could not conceive of biology. There would be no books, because books contain only symbols and pictorial representations: abstractions. Evolved beings are fundamentally interchangable, so individual deaths would be meaningless. That sort of existence, what I refer to as an "earth and sky" perspective, is alien to human existence anywhere on Earth. We are, as the saying goes, spirits in the material world.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

If it's so clear, then why does almost everybody with far more knowledge and experience in this field disagrees with you?
Honestly, are you making a good engineering assessment about this?
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That's clearly your perception - do you have any evidence that is actually the case? I very much doubt it. We have already seen in other posts in this thread that there is a popular stereotype of adherents to creation theory as stupid, and adherents to evolution theory as smart. I think I have dented the first stereotype and I suggest the second isn't at all accurate; evolutionists are often just uncritical of what they have been taught. I don't blame people for that - is there anybody who isn't busy? It's a question of priorities, whether to do the research and thought required to examine controversial beliefs. I would respect an evolutionist who did the research, if I ever meet one.
We live in a time (maybe all times are the same in this respect) where dogma is presented as "scientific fact." Do you believe CFCs are responsible for seasonal ozone holes over the Arctic and Antarctic? Or that the Arctic is thawing because of global warming? Or that fossil fuels are responsible for the rise in atmospheric CO2 in recent decades?

Where are the flaws? I've discussed this at length with an on-line friend who is very bright and who disagrees with me about nearly everything - a combination we both value. We have an irreconcilable disagreement about the science behind macro evolution, mostly because his standards for science are slightly looser than mine. He has been chewing on the failure of evolution to explain the sudden development of the capacity for abstract thought for more than a month now and has come up with nothing... a new record for our discussions. Maybe I should stop tweaking him about it :-)
I have no illusions about changing your beliefs; there would be no benefit to me in that anyway. I just hope you and others reading this will drop the demeaning stereotypes.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

It's probably the perception of every Nobel laureate in chemistry, medicine, or physics. How do your qualifications compare to theirs?

Not every believer in evolution is smart.

When did you do that?

Creationists who reject evolution are always uncritical of creationism.

That applies more to anti-evolution creationists.

CFCs haven't made it smaller.

Of course, because without global warming we'd average almost 100F lower temperature.

That's not controversial at all among scientists who study this.

Well, according to your wife... ;)
You've relied on rhetorical crutches, you know -- it's obvious, it's apparent, clearly, it's unlikely, it just makes sense/doesn't make sense -- without showing any proof or even correlations. I doubt that you'd accept an engineering study full of the same.
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References, please, and some indication of why they believe it - are they just parroting the line, or have they engaged in the research themselves?. You say "nearly every", so you must be ready to share with us a census with the stated opinions of the great majority of the "Nobel laureate[s] in chemistry, medicine, or physics". Otherwise, you are just parading your superstition.

claim if you are firm in your stereotyping of creationists as stupid, you know.

*Always?* You have spoken to each one of them? How many is that, anyway, and how long did it take you?
Creationism isn't the only explanation for humanity as we know it; it only beats whatever is in second place. The debate comes down to the same sort of bottom line as the quest for a Grand Unified theory of physics: reconciling the known facts of the situation only produces unlikely looking explanations, while the simplest and most likely explanation is that the universe (or man) can't possibly exist. But here we are.

To some, certainly. Ditto for Evolutionists.

That's not an answer. You have undoubtedly swallowed the line about CFCs and ozone depletion, just as you have swallowed everything else. But in 1997 NASA/NOAA launched a joint mission called POLARIS (Photochemistry of Ozone Loss in the Arctic Region in Summer) to determine what was actually happening. Making in situ measurements to avoid the contamination that started the whole controversy in the first place, they reached the conclusion the ozone thinning was being caused by "an increased role of NOx catalytic cycles for ozone destruction during periods of prolonged solar illumination such as occur at high latitudes during summer." (see the End of Mission statement on NASA's archive site: http://cloud1.arc.nasa.gov/polaris/polaris.ems.html )

100F???? And you believe this because...? (Check out http://laurentian.ca/geology/FACULTY/copper.html for at least some more credible numbers; the argument is that by burning fossil fuels we are approaching ancient conditions before the carbon was sequestered.) Arctic thawing is a well-known regional weather phenomenon called the Arctic Oscillation (see http://tao.atmos.washington.edu/ao /), not some global effect. But belief that it is due to "global warming" is as prevalent as the belief that evolution has produced mankind, and is as poorly questioned.

great certainty are that (1) atmospheric CO2 levels have risen 36% in recent times and 20% in the last half century, an average of over 0.4% per year for the last 50 years (http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/s2412.htm ) and (2) that fossil carbon introduced since 1890 comprises only 2% of the atmospheric carbon today (http://www.c14dating.com/corr.html ). If we were to remove every molecule of fossil carbon from the atmosphere, we could turn back the clock on CO2 increases about five years. The data is there, but few people seek it out. They blindly believe as you do: "most experts...." and feed their ignorance instead of their knowledge.

all about; whether creation theory is untenable. So far you have not addressed that issue except to say "Creationists who reject evolution are always uncritical of creationism." How about something we can work with - any original thought.

Well, at least we know digesting reports isn't your strong suit. If you have some specific arguments or data, please come out with them. Your cavalier reliance on hordes of unspecified "experts" who are supposed to do your thinking for you is unconvincing. As the saying goes, "62.87% of statistics are made up." So far, it appears 100% of yours are made up.
I've explained my qualifications; what are yours?
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

They're not confusing their religions with their sciences.

I won't make a 100% blanket statement, although in this case I should have.
It's absolutely ridiculous of you to accuse me of parading my superstition when you're the one who's pushing his religion as science.

I had none, but I do now -- a question isn't an assertion.

Don't be silly.

It's not an explanation, period, just as the flat earth theory doesn't explain the shape of our planet.

That makes no sense. You've cut something into 2 pieces and gotten > 100%.

It's not a question.

Most of my information about this came from our company chemists, although they specialize in water and the lower atmosphere, not the upper.
The science advisor of that leftist enviro-Nazi, Ronald Reagan, must have swallowed the CFC/ozone depletion propaganda as well because he believe the connection was strongly supported.

Look, I know ozone depletion can't be correlated perfectly with CFC releases, and photochemists and atmospheric scientists look at many factors, including particulates, mists, solar output, and wind patterns as well. But since the mid-late 1980s the vast majority of scientists qualified to understand all this have concluded that CFCs are strongly responsible for ozone depletion.

That's approximately the amount of natural global warming. Were you assuming that global warming was only bad and couldn't be good?

Notice I didn't say anything about a connection between manmade CO2 and global warming.

A conclusion unsupported by any evidence you've seen. Frankly you're giving a "salesman's argument," touting the skimpiest evidence as absolute proof, a common tactic among charlatans and kooks.
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different than my view of reality and completely unrelated.
Mike
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That assertion could certainly be made about proponents of creationism or its new twin, intelligent design, but its validity with regard to evolutionary theory is questionable at best.
Every scientific theory presented as orthodoxy in science classes began in exactly the position that ID/Creationism occupies today - a heresy believed by a handful of people who don't buy the orthodox view. But the heretics have always been required to earn their place in the curriculum by producing peer-reviewed evidence, not by appealing directly to school boards and state legislatures.
ID advocates provide no evidence in favor of their beliefs, only criticisms of evolutionary theory. While there are obviously gaps in evolutionary science, the positive evidence for evolution is massive. There are thousands of mutually corroborating observations from many different fields, including geology, paleontology, comparative anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, ethology, biogeography, embryology, and molecular genetics.
When asked what might disprove evolution, the biologist JBS Haldane replied, "fossil rabbits in the pre-Cambrian." Not a single authentic fossil has ever been found in the wrong place in the evolutionary sequence. Evolution, like all good theories (and unlike ID), makes itself vulnerable to disproof.
A theory isn't just a bunch of criticisms, even if they're valid. A theory ties things together. It explains and predicts. Intelligent design does neither. And it makes no attempt to explain obvious design failures.
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wrote:

say. (There are unresolved debates within evolutionary theory of course, particularly whether life began as a single instance or if there were multiple beginnings throughout the eons.) It is the practice of trying to extend it to beings capable of the deep abstract thought such as we are that evolution falls critically short. By way of analogy, theoretical physics does a good job of explaining how metals came into existence, but extending that to explain the existence of automobiles is unwarranted.
Intelligent design (which I feel is a more accurate description of the theory than "creationism" because of the religious overtones) gains much of its currency from the famous Sherlock Holmes observation, "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Failing any alternatives to evolution to explain our existence, and the failure of evolution to bridge the gap to sentient being, intelligent design - in all its breadth - is the best fit.
My rejection of evolution as the source of mankind dates from right around 1970, when I was a confirmed atheist. My religion, adopted when I was 10 (yes, there was a specific moment) was Scientist, and in practice I remain an old school scientist in the mold of Sir Francis Bacon and Anton Von Leuwenhoek (talk about geeky childhood heroes!) today. Science was what convinced me of the inadequacy of evolution to produce people. Ironically, Leuwenhoek made my list ahead of Benjamin Franklin mostly for his excellent methodology in demonstrating that the then-popular theory of spontaneous generation was untenable. (Well, that and his pioneering work in microscopy, which was my big passion before electronics.) I adopted the Material Agnostic philosophy a few years later as a result of science, while my religion and practice were still Scientist. I changed my faith to Christian in 1978 as a result of personal experiences, remaining a scientist in practice and a material agnostic in philosophy.
I think you can see why I think it is a mistake to assume creationists are driven by religious doctrine. Personally, I feel all creation myths are only interesting as literature.
A final note: as I pointed out and nobody has tried to refute in any of the posts so far - not a single idea in this post (your excellent post or my reply) can be attributed to the products of evolutionary processes.
Mike
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On 9/26/2005 10:24 PM Michael Pardee spake these words of knowledge:

Michael, Doyle was wrong. A correct statement would be, "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be possible." Not at all the same, but accurate, unlike the statement of Holmes, which supposes that all evidence is known *and* incontrovertible, or impossible.
Here is the crux of the problem with your stance. You surely recognize that it is disingenuous to refute those who don't accept teaching creationism with the canard, 'you haven't proved me wrong,' particularly in this discussion.
The difference between the two theories boils down to this: evolution fits the science that we now have and understand, so far. In the future, we may find that our comprehensive abilities grow, and the theory of evolution needs changing. Conversely, we may find something within our existing scientific purview that doesn't fit with the theory of evolution, again necessitating an adjustment.
Creationism - intelligent design is simply that, unless you posit an intelligence which didn't do the designing - can, without adjustment, encompass any and all data. One may choose to say that the intelligent designer chose to create the world from a drop of sweat from the brow of Ganesha, or incorporate it on the back of a giant turtle, supported by four elephants. This cannot be verified, but it cannot be disproven. Simply put, intelligent design is not testable. It falls outside the realm of science and cam not be taught as science.
To claim that intelligent design is not religion simply points out that you don't know what religion means. Religions have been proposed since time immemorial for two reasons: to explain things otherwise not explained, such as where we came from and what happens when we die, and for control of other humans. In supposing intelligent design, ipso facto you suppose an intelligent designer. That's religion, no different in substance from many other religions throughout the history of mankind, promulgated to explain the origin of man (ironic overtones mine) and universe. It's religion because it's not testable! Your particular, lucid view of the situation highlights the primary weakness of the entire idea: lack of data never justifies a conclusion.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
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