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# 245117 19-Jan-2019 11:20
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From another thread. Opening here to discuss

nunz:
kingdragonfly: Good find... However you've fallen for the "theory of evolution" argument. There's also the "theory of gravity"

<... A hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction about the relationship between two variables.

A theory is a well-established, tested explanation that provides a unified description of some aspect of the natural world. A theory is based on substantiated data, repeated testing, and the consensus of a wide group of scientists/researchers






And there you have the problem.
It's not tested
It's not substantial data
And it doesn't hold up under new information

I think itwas hawkung who calculated three odds of evolution at some thing like 10exp43000 or there abouts

Modern genetics show humans are closer to kangaroos than monkeys yet the same blocks keeps getting wheeled out as an absolute truth





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  # 2163629 19-Jan-2019 11:25
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There is a guy called Martin Nowak that transcends the depiction of the above cartoon.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




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  # 2163641 19-Jan-2019 11:58
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https://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/science/31prof.html

"In Games, an Insight Into the Rules of Evolution"

"When Martin Nowak was in high school, his parents thought he would be a nice boy and become a doctor. But when he left for the University of Vienna, he abandoned medicine for something called biochemistry. As far as his parents could tell, it had something to do with yeast and fermenting. They became a little worried. When their son entered graduate school, they became even more worried. He announced that he was now studying games.

In the end, Dr. Nowak turned out all right. He is now the director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard. The games were actually versatile mathematical models that Dr. Nowak could use to make important discoveries in fields as varied as economics and cancer biology.
...
'We see this principle everywhere in evolution where interesting things are happening,' Dr. Nowak said.

While cooperation may be central to evolution, however, it poses questions that are not easy to answer. How can competing individuals start to cooperate for the greater good? And how do they continue to cooperate in the face of exploitation? To answer these questions, Dr. Nowak plays games.

His games are the intellectual descendants of a puzzle known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Imagine two prisoners are separately offered the same deal: if one of them testifies and the other doesn’t talk, the talker will go free and the holdout will go to jail for 10 years. If both refuse to talk, the prosecutor will only be able to put them in jail for six months. If each prisoner rats out the other, they will both get five-year sentences. Not knowing what the other prisoner will do, how should each one act?

The way the Prisoner’s Dilemma pits cooperation against defection distills an important feature of evolution. In any encounter between two members of the same species, each one may cooperate or defect. Certain species of bacteria, for example, spray out enzymes that break down food, which all the bacteria can then suck up. It costs energy to make these enzymes. If one of the microbes stops cooperating and does not make the enzymes, it can still enjoy the meal. It can gain a potential reproductive edge over bacteria that cooperate.
...
"

 
 
 
 


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  # 2163642 19-Jan-2019 12:01
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Thing is, Nowak believes that science is incomplete without religion and religion is nothing without science, is openly religious and is a passionate defender of religion.





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  # 2163643 19-Jan-2019 12:01
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I'm not sure what you are wanting to discuss, @kingdragonfly. If you wanted rational discussion then why use a cartoon that so badly misrepresents the actual situation?

 

 

 

Edited to clarify who question is addressed to.




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  # 2163647 19-Jan-2019 12:20
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Honestly I don't know what point Nunz is trying to make. I think "evolution is a theory, and so is the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, so both theories are equally valid."

Another argument says, "no one was alive billions of years ago, so we'll never know the truth."

Other arguments against evolution: The Earth isn't billion of years old, it is thousands of years old, and evolution is limited or non-existent.

The last argument is "we don't know everything, so it must be God."

The cartoon represent science educator Bill Nye and the President of the Creation Museum Ken Ham in a three hour debate.

You can argue that neither Bill Nye or Ken Ham are the best people to represent the debate.

However Bill and Ken both make pretty easy to understand points

To be clear, I believe Adam and Eve didn't ride dinosaurs, the earth is round, the moon landing happened, and evolution is a fact.


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  # 2163701 19-Jan-2019 13:34
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We have so many interesting discussions here. About the harm or otherwise of different drugs, of conservative or liberal social policies, of crime and punishment. In all these discussions, reams of facts and figures are cited, logic is questioned, arguments are presented, but in the end it all comes down to what people believe. There can never be any absolute proof of anything, only probability.

 

I believe in science when it is properly practised and presented. Of course science hoaxing also exists, as well as genuine mistakes. But we don’t have cars and computers and smart phones because someone prayed for them. Science delivers. Religion does not, except in an abstract sense to those who are prepared to put up with its assumptions. I don’t question that religion offers much to those who value it, but it doesn’t bake bread or explain why my fingers and toes come in fives.

 

Science offers good explanations for a lot of things that we experience in life, though of course it still can’t explain what happens to us after we die, assuming anything does. But it explains a lot more in ways that make sense to me than religion does.

 

Yet even science has trouble when it starts delving into stuff like quantum physics paradoxes, or the nature of black holes, or the time before the Big Bang, or even the Big Bang itself. When pushed to its extremes, science as we understand it breaks down into absurdities. But it still explains a whole lot of other stuff.

 

Ultimately, science is just like religion. It is a matter of belief, even faith. Either you believe in the way it explains things, or you don’t. I believe in science. I have never been able to believe in religion. It just doesn’t explain anything in a way I find satisfactory. Science may not yet have answers to the big questions, but it does pretty well with lots of the little ones. Religion doesn’t even do that. Maybe it offers rules to live by, but it doesn’t explain why those rules exist, or what makes them better than other ones. It just says this is what you have to do, and you will be punished if you don’t. That seems a bit old-fashioned to me.

 

Not being an expert on evolution, I have to go on what little I know, or think I know, and what ‘feels’ right to me. I am aware of some of the criticisms and I don’t doubt there are holes in the ‘theory’. Like all science, it is a work in progress (as opposed to the absolute, unchanging assertions in the bible). I don’t know if we are closely related to kangaroos or not. I hadn’t heard that one before. But I do know that fossils exist and dinosaurs once roamed the earth, unless that is also a vast scientific conspiracy, and I know that the finches Darwin studied displayed differences that appeared to be related to their environments. I know the world is filled with plants and animals and micro-organisms that show differing degrees of similarity to each other, and I know that short-lived creatures like fruit flies can be made to show signs of apparent evolution, just as flu viruses do so vaccines have to be changed every year, or bacteria are doing so some strains are becoming resistant to antibiotics. If I have to pick a theory that explains all this, I will go with evolution until someone comes along with something better. For me, biblical proclamation is not something better.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2163705 19-Jan-2019 13:51
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kingdragonfly: Honestly I don't know what point Nunz is trying to make. I think "evolution is a theory, and so is the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, so both theories are equally valid."

Another argument says, "no one was alive billions of years ago, so we'll never know the truth."

Other arguments against evolution: The Earth isn't billion of years old, it is thousands of years old, and evolution is limited or non-existent.

The last argument is "we don't know everything, so it must be God."

The cartoon represent science educator Bill Nye and the President of the Creation Museum Ken Ham in a three hour debate.

You can argue that neither Bill Nye or Ken Ham are the best people to represent the debate.

However Bill and Ken both make pretty easy to understand points

To be clear, I believe Adam and Eve didn't ride dinosaurs, the earth is round, the moon landing happened, and evolution is a fact.

 

It appears that this thread should be titled "the attack of Nunz".

 

It starts with picking a post out of nowhere, and then picking a fight with that post, rather than a discussion of the title of the thread.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2163707 19-Jan-2019 14:01
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I'm not of the opinion that the story the bible tells is fact but I do believe that evolution is regarded as a theory -- that doesn't mean it isn't 100% true but we don't yet have all of the information. It looks like the most likely (to me and others) but science is science and it is known as the theory of evolution


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  # 2163712 19-Jan-2019 14:17
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I think one day, Geekzone might do a post on what science - and more specificially, what the scientific method is and how different fields practice it. At least, it would be great if people could learn the terminology and not misuse it.

Anyhow - in a nutshell, science is based on empirical measurement and direct observation. Loosely speaking, if the scientific method has been followed correctly, the output - scientific fact, cannot be argued with. However, one is free to disagree with the outcome, and even present ones own ideas as a hypothesis as a counter argument. However, I would suggest that one can only dismiss the original facts if ones new theory has more supporting evidence than the original.

An example, we thought the earth flat until some person presented more empirical evidence that it wasnt.

Belief, as far as I know, cannot be proven and is not emperical. As it was suggested to me recently, the best one can do with belief is to convince someone else to have the same belief.

Each I think has its own strengths and weaknesses, one can be useful for generating understanding and the other can be usful in generating rich communities and cultures.




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  # 2163733 19-Jan-2019 14:57
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Evolution is a fact; there is evidence for it. It has been observed several times over decades. (australian skink, antibiotic resistance, mexican tetra) We are not clones of each other. Genes mix and mutate all the time, and have been for billions of years. Female humans (often) choose stronger/wealthier/smarter males. [Source: life 101]. Just because it seems mind boggling does not mean it's not a valid argument.

 

Natural selection is one of the mechanisms of evolution. Wikipedia lists 4 others: biased mutation, genetic drift, genetic hitchhiking, gene flow. 

 

Science is not a belief system; if something cannot be observed, measured, repeatedly tested, no scientific explanation exists. Scientists can offer 'proposed' hypotheses that may or may not be easy to test (sometimes the technology is not quite there yet, for e.g higgs boson). An existing hypothesis is no longer considered valid if it is incompatible with any other empirical evidence or observation.

 

Religion is a belief system: explanations are offered without the burden of proof. Little to no distinction is made between theories, facts, hypotheses. Very established, modern understanding of the natural world is incompatible with religious texts; i.e. many texts reflect rudimentary understanding of natural phenomena yet boldly attempt to offer explanations for the most complex ones.

 

IMO, the more interesting debate is about the philosophical foundations of science vs religion.   


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  # 2163749 19-Jan-2019 15:48
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gsr:

 

Science is not a belief system

 

 

I think my statement about this is being misunderstood. I think science is based on truth. I think scientific method is the path to this truth. But ultimately, my belief in science is just that: belief or 'faith'. I can't absolutely prove this this belief is 100% correct. I think it is, but I have no way of knowing that beyond any possible doubt. Some fundamentalists seem to believe that god put fossils in the ground to confuse us, and the world really is only 6,000 years old. Science tells me that is nonsense, and I believe that. But how can I know it? I have to make a choice as to what I believe. Science makes more sense to me than religion does so I choose to believe science. But if a religious believer maintains that an all-powerful god can do anything, including making the world appear four billion years old, all I can do is say my faith lies somewhere else. No scientific evidence can 'prove' that god didn't create the world 6,000 years ago assuming god exists and can do anything. Science can't actually prove that god doesn't exist, so it becomes a philosophical question.

 

 

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2163752 19-Jan-2019 15:53
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gsr:

 

Science is not a belief system; if something cannot be observed, measured, repeatedly tested, no scientific explanation exists. Scientists can offer 'proposed' hypotheses that may or may not be easy to test (sometimes the technology is not quite there yet, for e.g higgs boson). An existing hypothesis is no longer considered valid if it is incompatible with any other empirical evidence or observation.

 

 

Science is most definitely a belief system! It is built on a number of important coherent beliefs. I can think of a few important ones to start with:

 

  • there is an external objective reality, i.e. that is observable and measurable
  • there is consistent structure in the universe, i.e. so our observations aren't limited to this place
  • there is uniformity through time, i.e. so we can use observations of the past and make predictions for the future

Technically, what you are describing is empirical science but not all modern science requires empirical knowledge. While modern science is largely about this, science isn't totally empirical. There are broad areas of theorising and research that are non-empirical, e.g. much of quantum theory. As you also seem to point out, the lack of current technology does not prevent those theories being considered scientific even if we cannot even envisage the technology that would be needed to observe or test them. So we could add the belief:

 

  • all scientific theories will eventually be empirically testable

Also, an "existing hypothesis" can still be considered valid even "if it is incompatible with any other empirical evidence or observation". Competing and opposing theories can co-exist as can competing and opposing experimental results.

 

 


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  # 2163753 19-Jan-2019 16:05
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@Rikkitic

 

I like your thoughts a lot.

 

I think science and religion have different sorts of explanations to offer. There's a Christian mathematician from Oxford - John Lennox - who, when speaking on the supposed conflict between science and religion - often uses an analogy of a boiling jug of water. He claims Science's answer to the question "why is the jug boiling?" is in terms of molecules, energy etc. etc. etc., and religion's answer is in terms of agency ("because I want a cup of tea"). In my opinion both answers are valid and valuable, though their usefulness is contextual. To me this highlights why the religious answer to the question of how the world and life as we know it came to be ("God did it") is totally unsatisfying to somebody who wants to understand the mechanics of the process (evolution etc.).

 

kingdragonfly: Another argument says, "no one was alive billions of years ago, so we'll never know the truth."

 

This is where I sit at the moment. As I've heard it, the scientific answer to the question of how life as we know it came to be - some form of abiogenisis followed by evolution from a single-celled organism - seems staggeringly unlikely to me. This definition of evolution is - in my opinion - not a "fact" in the strict sense because it is not a process that has been observed in full or reproduced. On the other hand, I'm equally unsatisfied by the religious explanations I've encountered.

 

 


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  # 2163754 19-Jan-2019 16:08
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kingdragonfly: Honestly I don't know what point Nunz is trying to make.

Nunz did not start this topic and has not posted in this topic. This topic should not have been started with a quote from a member in a completely different topic.

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  # 2163756 19-Jan-2019 16:11
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Rikkitic:

 

Science can't actually prove that god doesn't exist, so it becomes a philosophical question.

 

 

 

 

True. However, it's well established policy for claimants to hold the burden of proof. I don't see why it should not apply to religion, as to the existence of God.      


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