Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by DarthTom, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    That's utter conjecture for the reason that I've underlined. You've also completely overlooked my first and third objections, regarding respectively the work of Bohm and Everett.

    That's false. Dark interference fringes of light are precisely neighborhoods that surround locations where the probability of observing a photon from the given source is in fact exactly equal to zero. That's an elementary result of quantum mechanics!

    As the works of Bohm and Everett both show, the issues that you're raising have no bearing on the question of whether the universe operates deterministically.

    But really, the question of whether the universe operates deterministically is irrelevant to the question of whether words like how and why are meaningful, as I'll explain below.

    If I'd said that "why" should have any association with morals, you could ask why I think it should have that association. In fact, though, what I've been saying is that "why" shouldn't be restricted to such an association.

    No, sorry. To the degree that science does anything at all, science answers both how and why. It does both. The assertion that phenomena must conform to any of our theories is one not proven by science; that assertion can never be proven. All science can do is provide an estimated confidence level that our theories agree with natural phenomena. That confidence level can theoretically approach 100% but will never actually equal 100%.

    In that sense, science can't even completely assure us that what it says with respect to how things are occurring is really how they are occurring. But, to the degree that our theoretical models are supported, how is a question that has an answer, and that answer is relative to the supported theory, and the same thing goes for why. "Why?" exists in the context of our supported models as meaning, "By what theoretical principles is the behavior predicted?"

    Both how and why are theoretical concepts.

    Additionally, just because some questions have answers in the context of our theories, it doesn't mean that all questions have answers. For example, quantum theory explains why interference patterns have the shapes that they do very nicely. What the theory doesn't do is answer why individual photons do what they do individually. That's beyond the scope of what the theory is capable of doing. That still doesn't mean that it doesn't offer an explanation for the shape of, say, interference patterns, in addition to describing what that shape is.
     
  2. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As soon as you mention Quantum Physics, I win the argument.

    Please supply a link. My quick reading in Wikipedia states this is not true and only approximation are available.

    I'm not even going to touch this. The only point to be made is that ideas like the Many world theory is speculation at this point.

    Problem 1 is that there is an infinite number association and none of them are testable

    Problem 2 The concept of purpose or meaning is not required for the universe to function.

    I don't think you understand what is being asked. Asking why implies that the purpose or meaning of phenomena can be discerned. As I have stated repeatedly the question is meaningless when it comes to natural phenomena. For instance you can ask "Why do the tides exists?" and you can respond by explaining the mechanics of the phenomena (PROCESS) but you can't say there is intrinsic meaning (PURPOSE). Or another way to put it when it come to the Origin of Life or the existence of the Universe, the moral question is what people care about but the question itself doesn't add anything to our understanding.
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    If that's true, then there's nothing else to discuss. :techman:
     
  4. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    CorporalCaptain wins the thread. Congratulations!

    :techman:

    --Alex
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I guess as long as simple semantics make people go at each other's throats, all hope is lost.
     
  6. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Amen to that. It would be nice if there would be a genuine discussion, but I have noticed that some people view increased education as giving them the immediate upper hand in any argument. Oh well.
     
  7. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    That doesn't make sense. If someone is has a doctorate in Early Middle English then they're going to be able to formulate a more informed argument about pronunciation in Piers Plowman than a 16 year-old anime fan. That is most certainly giving them an upper hand in the argument.
     
  8. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I have to agree. This little sidebar reminds me of The Death of Expertise. "My ignorance is as good as/better than your knowledge." No, it isn't.

    Sad to see anti-intellectualism popping up here.
     
  9. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    You may have noticed that I used the word "Any." That was a carefully chosen word. I also chose to use the word "immediate." My statement was a general one, and notwithstanding your humorous (and well educated) hypothetical example which actually validated my general statement, I stand behind that statement.
     
  10. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Where do you see "anti - intellectualism"?
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the problem is more like this: during the discussion about the correct pronunciation, the guy with the doctorate dismisses the anime fan's opinion as invalid because his post contains spelling mistakes.

    While we're at it: why the hell is it "pronunciation" when the verb is "to pronounce"?
     
  12. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because English is a bastard language where the rules are made up and the points don't matter.
     
  13. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Theism by it's very nature is anti-intellectual.
     
  14. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's snobbery in it's worse form. If something isn't clear, it's polite to ask for a clarification.
     
  15. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You'll find that apologetics is nothing more than logical fallacies and arguing about semantics. Historical science indeed.
     
  16. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    @ Yminale: Multiple consecutive posts are frowned upon. If you wish to respond to several posts, use the multi-quote function.
     
  17. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    While I disagree that believing in a religion is inherently anti-intellectual (many of our greatest scientists were religious to some degree), I do agree that Christian apologetics is nothing more than a string of logical fallacies. Having been a Christian apologeticist, it's the modus operandi of any faith that tries to associate religion with science.
     
  18. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Certainly you can believe in God and be a proper scientist.

    It doesn't matter if you ask yourself "is God responsible for lightning" and then research the actual causes of lightning, or if you say "stupid shit, there is no such thing as a god that causes lightning" and then research the actual causes of lightning.

    And since I know a lot of religious people who are very well versed intellectuals, I disagree with the notion that theism is anti-intellectual. I consider it one of those extreme point of views that aren't helpful at all in the recents discussion. Fundamentalism is the problem, but it always is. There are also fundamental scientists who stick to their own theories and laugh at every other theory. Or fundamental vegans and vegetarians. Or fundamental Star Trek fans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  19. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    The thousands of scientists who believe in God agree with you. Many of those also believe that the universe and life were created by Almighty God.
    Religious study is a search for truth, and requires a tremendous amount of critical thinking, comparative research and other "intellectual" pursuits. It requires humility (an important quality in science) and determination. It requires making adjustments to thinking and action when needed, and being loyal to something higher and bigger than oneself.
    Those who automatically and arrogantly dismiss religious thought and those who believe in God are mirror images of the Church hierarchy who persecuted and ignored people like Copernicus and Galileo. The majority of those individuals had studied at the most prestigious centers for education in their time period. They were considered well educated, intellectual, and were quite confident that they knew the "best" way to interpret natural events thanks to their extensive study of Aristotelian writings. They felt that they had the upper hand mentally, and did not need to consider any other possibility, or think critically about the instruction they had received.

    Intellectualism is not the problem. It is when intellectual people begin to use their own judgment to close off lines of inquiry simply because they feel such inquiries are "beneath" them.
     
  20. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We moved past "A wizard did it" with those exact examples you cite (among others). Dismissing religious explanations as unscientific and therefore invalid is just good sense.

    Now, if you instead say "A wizard did it, and here is evidence supporting my theory of how." you can be a part of the conversation, but that theory and any supporting evidence will be tested just as thoroughly as any without the wizard involved. Thus, there is no point in involving the wizard at all.