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The trouble with teaching evolution
Posted: 06 November 2005 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Rod, thanks for backing me up. I suddenly felt as if I am being assaulted by Huxley himself, only poorly read and suffering from ADD… Now I can safely point out the concept of homology was introduced in 1843 by Richard Owen, who saw it as the evidence of an archetype, God’s blueprint in a way, in God’s little animals. Darwin’s main publicist and spokesperson, Thomas Huxley later recast the argument as a “proof” of evolutionary concept of common origin, and I guess all the faithful feel that they have to repeat the chant even if logic points to the contrary.

As for your objection to a particular form of introducing evolutionary theory through the what the scientists believe, I agree that we can encounter the objection that not every one wants to be a scientist. Well, I think it’s OK. The point of school curriculum is not to turn everybody into a scientist, but to teach state-of-the-art in every discipline, without discouraging the interested and without unduly alienating the unwilling to accept the naturalistic/rationalistic foundations of science.
I believe it is possible to persuade even the religious kids that the science is an enterprise which is not expressly hostile to their beliefs, and if scientists stick with the evolutionary theory it is because it produces tangible results rather than because they need it to justify homosexual marriages (yeah, I had that brought up by fundies countless times).
This is also why I think we’d make better progress by introducing evolution in a more abstract terms as an emergent property of any system replicating with mistakes,  rather than as a fossil-based alterna-Genesis. It would be also more intellectually honest than trying to pass the infamous Archaeopteryx as true-to-God transitional form leading to modern birds when we know it to be an evolutionary inconsequential mosaic.

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Posted: 07 November 2005 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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There seem to be no limits to this guy’s mythology or to his arrogance about it. A currently beloved myth, equating “science” with endless progress. insists that nobody in the past actually knew or accomplished anything of real value because they didn’t know any “science.” Ten seconds with Google, using just the key words “Islamic science,” could clarify how advanced medieval Islamic scientists (and I’m using the word correctly) were and how much the West is indebted to them. Just for kicks, check out the following reference—unless, of course, you consider USC some conservative, subversive organization.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/introduction/woi_knowledge.html#28

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Posted: 07 November 2005 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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So, midgardsormen, you feel that introducing the Archaeopteryx as some form of evolutionary species that was produced in the change from reptilian life forms to avian life forms is wrong? We all agree that the Archaeopteryx (and who knows how many other thousands of special variations on that model) were evolutionary dead ends, but some variation upon variation of that same line of ancestral animals finally led to what we now refer to as birds.

I don’t think that any evolution scientist would claim some kind of direct line of decent here, when we speak about evolving forms of life we are really talking in generalizations, that much is understood.  If you feel that the Archaeopteryx was not part of the line of decent, then how do you account for the ultimate appearance of birds from the raptor type dinosaurs?

Let me put this another way.  In the human genome across this planet there are acknowledged 5 main races of human populations, what this does not indicate is that these 5 races are generalizations.  From the true caucasian to the true asian race there exists no real, distinct geographical groups, as such.  Caucasians and asians are connected by huge population groups that are neither clearly one nor the other.  In fact most of the earth’s human populations do not fit neatly into any one racial category, but are, as individuals, some combination of two or more racial ancestries. 

So at the level of the individual (where the real evolving takes place) the generalizations are difficult to delineate, but it is at the level of generalizations that evolutionary trends can be seen. Same thing goes for the Acheaopteryx, if you just look at individual anatomies and morphologies you can’t make claims about evolutionary trends, but if you think in generalizations, then the process of evolving makes sense.  Although evolution actually happens at the level of individual animals it is only in general descriptions of large populations that real changes become apparent.

Bob

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Posted: 07 November 2005 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“MJ”]There seem to be no limits to this guy’s mythology or to his arrogance about it. A currently beloved myth, equating “science” with endless progress. insists that nobody in the past actually knew or accomplished anything of real value because they didn’t know any “science.” Ten seconds with Google, using just the key words “Islamic science,” could clarify how advanced medieval Islamic scientists (and I’m using the word correctly) were and how much the West is indebted to them. Just for kicks, check out the following reference—unless, of course, you consider USC some conservative, subversive organization.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/introduction/woi_knowledge.html#28

MJ, you should be talking about arrogance, precious. You have started your contribution to this discussion (teaching evolutionary theory in public schools) with admission that you had no first-hand experience with the subject. Somehow that didn’t stop you from offering a solution, consisting of loosely strung together outdated banalities, that would have passed for evolutionary argument on That 70’s Show. Then, not being able to follow an argument constructed by a professional molecular biologist , you labeled its author, me (BTW I have a paper coming out in next issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology), as a brainwashed science-hater with a direct pipeline to the mind of God. That’s a bit too much, coming from somebody backward enough to claim that her Jesuit college education was the best training ever. The funny thing is that you are still here, unburdened by much knowledge or insight, but mumbling along nevertheless.
You have asked me to prove my assertion about essential atheism of National Academy of Science members - I did. What’s your response? Oh, well, what else but another off-the-wall accusation, charging me with equating science and “endless progress” (never said that) and denying scientific legacy of medieval Muslims (distorted and misrepresented argument). I really think that such matters are way over your head, but this very last attempt to spell it out: indeed many religious scholars in the past set out to discover the mind of their Gods by studying nature. At that level their study was very much unlike modern science in two aspects - 1) they all started with assumption, actually unshakable belief, that their God’s providence was the untimate boundary condition and the supreme causality whereas modern science is expressly naturalistiuc/rational; and 2) they did their studies as passive observers - they did not really experiment, as in trying to reconstitute a more complicated system from less complex components they never discovered that they could do just fine without adding God in it. Nowdays, if you do science in say biochemistry or molecular biology, you can’t discover the influence of God on your lil’ molecules, even if you try real hard. So naturally, people tend to forget about deity that has about as much power over the molecular processes, as has the color of the paint on the lab walls.

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Posted: 07 November 2005 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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[quote author=“homunculus”]But I’ll back off just a bit to introduce a concept that’s been on my mind ever since the weekly PBS series about Origins recently started airing. It seems apparent to me that current use of the word “theory” has problems. Different scientists seem to have differing definitions of this word. A couple of weeks ago, for instance, the origins of Earth’s moon was discussed, and one proposal-hypothesis that is now considered by many astronomers to be true was called a “theory” on the show by the man who came up with the idea. I realize he was only speaking casually, but we need to be ultra aware of our use of the word “theory,” since it seems to have taken on so many levels of certainty. Evolutionary theory is on much more solid ground than the currently-popular moon formation hypothesis, for instance. (See Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God.) I suspect that we already have enough words to solve this problem, but not everyone is properly using them.

Midgardsormen, do you think more careful use of language would help religious people feel more comfortable with science? Can’t the two co-exist honestly without the need for religions constantly needing to catch up with the actual world? Don’t forget that your kind of people once tortured and killed innocent believers in a certain—now so obvious that it’s not even referred to as “theory”—planetary system.

I am a firm believer in the importance of precise language, and think that people ignore drifting language at their peril.

If I had my way, I would like to see the word hypothesis used more often in the everyday sense.  For instance, when someone’s TV stops working in the middle of the game, they might say, “I have a theory,” when, in fact, they have a hypothesis.  When they go and wiggle the cable that runs between their cable box and their TV, and the picture returns, they have a theory (actually a working theory, but more on that later). 

With regards to the word theory, it would be helpful for people to distinguish between a theory (it has passed at least one round of experimental testing without being disproven), a working theory (not only has it been tested, but is used extensively to perform actual work of some sort), and a mature working theory (not only is it used extensively, but it has become a foundational cornerstone of other working theories).

Of course, a theory (at any level) can still be incorrect.  Our amateur TV repairman, for instance, might be wrong, and the problem might be with the connector on the cable box, instead of with the cable itself.  The thing that I would stress is that, from a probabilistic standpoint, the more mature a theory is, the less likely it is to be grossly incorrect.  Newton, for instance, is still, to this day, not considered to be “grossly” incorrect.

Evolution causes problems because people want to consider it as a single issue, which is, to say the least, a gross oversimplification.  Evolution is a branch of science which contains many hypotheses, many working theories, and many mature working theories.

-Matt

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Posted: 07 November 2005 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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I like the approach of teaching evolution from the point of view of “this is what the current scietific community believes, and here is why”.  It does seem to neatly get around the problem of how to deliver the concepts without engaging the defense mechanisms.  Many religious people happily study comparitive religion, after all, because they want to know what other people believe.

My concern, however, is that the religious people will develop a resistance to this approach, because science is more dangerous than other religions in the sense that it actually gets results.  Christians would not want their kids to study other religions if, for instance, their prayers actually healed amputees.

Still, it is much harder to mount a defense against it.  It is demonstrable, for instance, that scientists tend to subscribe to evolution.  It is equally easy to establish why they do.  This leaves religious opponents in the unfortunate place of having to oppose some knowledge as “fundamentally dangerous”, which tends to turn much of the public off.

-Matt

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Posted: 07 November 2005 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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psiconoclast - good points. There is a flip side to evolution getting results though - namely the results. Despite their beliefs in afterlife, angels, and pearly-gated community Christians tend to be as concerned about their health as us mortals, or even more so. So as long as we keep focus on the utilitarian role of evolutionary theory like, oh, emergence of new rif-resistant strains of mycobacteria during recent outbreak of tuberculosis in London out of all places, or mutating avian flu strains, they usually mellow out. The thing is that we can illustrate all the evolutionary postulates with experimental and/or clinical examples of molecular evolution, staying away from direct collision with Genesis. At least until Harvard pours all those millions into abiogenesis research and creates a chicken from a primordial soup with a pinch of meteorite. Especially a KFC chicken. That’s gonna win it for the evolution once and for all. Till then we got to adapt wink

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Posted: 08 November 2005 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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” they did not really experiment, as in trying to reconstitute a more complicated system from less complex components they never discovered that they could do just fine without adding God in it.”

I hate to break it to you, but it was the medieval Islamic scientists who first began doing real scientific experiments. We follow in their tradition. The sad truth is you have no idea what you’re talking about most of the time, and absolutely no idea to whom you’re talking. You know nothing about me, my background (except that I attended a Jesuit college for a short period) or my accomplishments.

Congratulations on your upcoming article in Nature. When you’re credited with “making breakthroughs” in your scientific field, as I have been, in the Encyclopedia Britannica, we’ll all really cheer for you. My profile for this forum is a bit misleading. I’m probably much older than you. After I retired from laboratory research plus teaching at major universities and lecturing around the world, I turned to writing about and researching the battle between science and religion. This is very interesting and I’m learning a lot.

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Posted: 08 November 2005 04:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Guys, are we splitting hairs again? MJ, I’m pretty familiar with the history of chemistry and I can give the medievals a lot of credit for their ongoing curiosity. I would be interested in an example of one of their experiments that you consider meets the modern idea of testing an hypothesis. As my definition of science is probably a little broader than Midgardsormen, I do think that simply collecting, identifing, categorizing, noting patterns,etc. is science. Otherwise, what did Darwin or early astronomers do that would be considered science. So much of what our ancestors noticed about the world was serendipitous or trial and error, and I’m having a hard time coming up with a true scientific experiment before the age of Paracelsus in the 1500’s when basic ideas about pharmacology and the systematic use of new drugs came around. And even they were so wrong that it’s still mostly luck they came up with anything useful. Until mankind came up with at least one theory that worked, it’s hard to see how they did much “real science” to test it.  And throwing chemicals together to see what happens, doesn’t really qualify as modern scientific method, which is what I think Midgardsormen is talking about.

What do you think? Rod

PS Guys, check out the video from Idea City 05 under the Appearances section on this site’s homepage….great presentation.

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Posted: 08 November 2005 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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The Romans were doing “real” science.  They had engineers, for crying out loud, who used the theories du jour to build hundreds of miles of aqueducts, cement roads, arches, and many other things.  Before the fall of the Roman Empire, they had developed electrolysis, the steam engine (at small scale, but working nonetheless), cement (which was lost for hundreds of years), underground sewage, and a host of other things that we would think of as advanced technologies, rooted in a scientific understanding of the world.  I mention the Romans, only because I am more familiar with their accomplishments than those of the Muslims.

This is another place where the fuzzy definitions get us into trouble.  Various ancient peoples clearly had fairly advanced technology.  Advanced technology is an implicit recognition that the world works according to stable laws (naturalism), because it represents a lot of effort that hinges on things that continue to work as they always have.  So, just because the endeavors of these ancient peoples did not always conform to our modern, distilled concept of science, does not mean that they were not “doing” science, or, if one must, a methodologically similar precursor.

The point is that people have been, collectively, trying to understand the world and benefit from that understanding, for a long time.  As time has passed, our understanding has improved, but so have our methods for gaining understanding.  If technology is knowledge, then science is metaknowlege.

Of course, the real issue, the one that brought us all to this board in the first place, has to do with religion, and the quest for knowledge.  Most religions that bother to explain how the universe works, and how the world came to be, are demonstrably wrong, or to be kind, extremely non-literal.  Either way they are useless, for instance, to someone who is trying to develop an artificial heart.  As the battle rages over what to teach in science classes, it is religion, not science, that stands to lose the most.  After all, science is all about results, and God still hasn’t healed any amputees.

If I were the head of a Church (a truly laughable concept), I would run, not walk, from the fight over the science classroom.  My official explanation would be that science is a “frame of mind” that is very good at solving technical problems, but that religion can tell us how to behave towards each other, and offer something for our souls.  I don’t really feel that way, of course, but I do have a degree of respect for many modern churches that, more or less, take that stance.

-Matt

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Posted: 08 November 2005 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“MJ”]” they did not really experiment, as in trying to reconstitute a more complicated system from less complex components they never discovered that they could do just fine without adding God in it.”

I hate to break it to you, but it was the medieval Islamic scientists who first began doing real scientific experiments. We follow in their tradition. The sad truth is you have no idea what you’re talking about most of the time, and absolutely no idea to whom you’re talking. You know nothing about me, my background (except that I attended a Jesuit college for a short period) or my accomplishments.

Congratulations on your upcoming article in Nature. When you’re credited with “making breakthroughs” in your scientific field, as I have been, in the Encyclopedia Britannica, we’ll all really cheer for you. My profile for this forum is a bit misleading. I’m probably much older than you. After I retired from laboratory research plus teaching at major universities and lecturing around the world, I turned to writing about and researching the battle between science and religion. This is very interesting and I’m learning a lot.

Well, MJ, I figured you were not in sciences and for a good chunk of time. There is this retired dude who just had a letter published in ASBMB Today advocating more “humble view” of Intelligent Design cuz apparently he doesn’t get what’s going on in transcription and translation anymore, and proteomics gives him gas. Well, thanks for letting us know. Some people just know when it’s time to retire not only from science, but also from making public statements about science they once helped to advance. Me, I just hope to have a freak gun-cleaning accident before my entrails so obviously outlast my brains.
So if we are talking about bad news, let me share some with you also - both medieval Muslim “scientists” and Encyclopedia Britannica have the legacy, but little relevance to modern experimental science. I heard though that people in the country still buy this Encyclopedia for their thirdgraders, don’t they? Good for them then, they can read all about you. Me, I find “papers is press” too old already wink Have you ever done a single-molecule experiment - you know, not merely observing but manipulating a single molecule in real time? Kinda moment of truth, ain’t it? Like here is your molecule and it’s doing what’s it doing, and there is very little you can to explain away the stuff you are “uncomfortable” with. Or have you crystallized and solved an atomic resolution structure of a complex, that everybody thought was sure can’t be crystallized and certainly nobody was able to tell you what to expect when you done just that impossible?
For your religious “scientists” time stood still, the stars were holes in the firmament, and nature came in pretty big chunks, that tend to run away if you don’t kill them and stuff them with horsehairs. And of course, they had God’s plans to fit everything they learned about. That was a problem even later - look at Agassiz, for example, a brilliant scientist limited by his religiosity, who had to live with the idea of a Divine Plan to drown the fishes in floods. And people still argue how much Mendel manipulated his data, driven by religious zeal to show immutability of species. I was reading quite a bit on history of science, and my impression is that in about 150 years the Greeks did most of the thinking for good two millenia, while the Christian and Muslim naturalists mostly drew stuff and occasionally pocked something with a stick. Then first math, later physics got to the point of thinking again, the time for biological sciences to think comes only now, with the operational freedom to do whatever, or nearly whatever one wants. And one needs to think pretty fast, cuz the half-life of dogmas gets shorter and shorter. Not a good place for God-fearing folk to be in, you know. So yeah, as I told you before they ain’t doing too good in modern sciences. Or they get to become less fearing - we do have a good number of recovering ex-Catholics around…

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Posted: 08 November 2005 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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midgardsormen:

. . . I like to torture people, and in most disturbing, devious forms. . . .  n good old times . . . I’d log on under some fictitious name and post an anti-evolutionist argument of my own making just to rattle everybody’s cages. And did they rattle indeed. The trick was to fashion such an argument from a bona fide scientific article, like one of many Orgel’s works . . .

It seems a bit unusual for an intellectual gymnast to warn us in advance that he may have future plans to screw with us, but clearly we now have at least something like such a warning. It’s nice to have a little cage rattling to look forward to. We are after all a naive group, obviously deserving of reform. Watch for careful word choice but careless mechanics.

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Posted: 09 November 2005 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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This thread started as a discourse on how to best teach evolution.  It has quickly dissolved into an intellectual pissing match, mostly stirred up by midgardsormen.  Dude, I don’t know what the best way is to teach evolution to the next generation, but I sure hope it won’t be taught by a santimonious, arrogant prick like you.  Congrats on your publication in one of the more backwater of the Nature spinoff journals.  There are so many of them now, I’m not sure my library carries that one.  What’s it’s impact factor?  Or has that one been around long enough to have one yet?

Really, since you are the authority on everything, I’m surprised that you can’t even spell “horizontal” correctly.  MJ, who seems an entirely genteel and well-informed ex-scientist, is mostly right in saying that people and plants share some genes.  Sure, they are not exact copies, but if a gene from one can substitute for the correspnding gene from the other, it’s that close enough?  Yes, yes one could argue that the Creator made it that way.  The same way the Creator put the dinosaur bones here to fool the heathens.  The religious crazies are beyond coverting, and will always come up with a counter.  But the battle for the heads of the next generation must be fought.  Instead of taking that on, though, you’d rather beat up on emeritus professors.  Isn’t there enough real ignorance around to target, that you could minimize the friendly fire on your allies?  If your answer is no, then maybe it’s time to have that gun cleaning accident….

Since “in press” is too old for you, you must be a real big shot.  I’m sure you’ll get tenure at whatever community college it is you work at.  However, I wouldn’t book your flight to Stockholm just yet - I doubt too many Nobel laureates have wasted their time trolling the web, using fake names to “torture” people with brilliant Devil’s advocate arguments, just for fun.  I’m actually embarrassed to have wasted my time reading your self-aggrandizing drivel, and then bothering to write this.  Good day!

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Posted: 11 November 2005 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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There is a wonderful book, now out of print, entitled “The Idea of Prehistory” by Glyn Daniel and Sir Colin Renfrew. In it they look into the origins of the Christian determination for the age of the world. A few quotes:

“James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, calculated in the early seventeenth century that from the evidence in the Old Testament it was possible to delcear that the earth had been created inn 4004 BC….published in Ussher’s Annals of the Ancient and New Testaments (1650) were widely accepted; the year 4004 Bc was inserted in the margins of the Authorized Version of the Bible where, to quote A. P. White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, it was ‘soon practically regarded as equally inspired with the scred text itself.’  pg 10.

The following paragraph goes to explain then when during the year 4004 BC did the event accually happen, the good Archbishop had not identified.  The actual time and date for creation in 4004 BC was generated by:
“Dr. John Lightfoot….who published his A Few and New Observations on the Book of Genesis, the Most of Them Certain, the Rest Probable, All Harmless, Strange and Rarely Heard Of Before, in 1642….....an man was created by the Trinity on October 23, 4004 BC at nine o’clock in the morning. We may perhpas see in these dates and time a prejudice of a Vice-Chancellor for the beginning of an academic year and the beginning of an academic morning….” pg 10

So the exact date of creation happens to coincide with the start of a school year and morning classes!

This is an excellent book. For archeologists like myself it is a lynch pin in the whole model of understanding prehistory. If the world was created in 4004 BC, then there would be no “prehistory”; that is all of recorded time/written records begin at 4004 BC. So by the 18th and 19th century in Europe all these artifacts from Neandertals and archeological sites that had geologic statigraphy that were calculated to be older than 4004 BC; were starting to raise questions about the age of the earth from a source other than the Bible….that being the natural world.

The book has many other examples of the battles between Clergy and Naturalists.

It is the second edition, 1988, based on Glyn Daniel’s Cambridge lectures. Sir Renfrew made some updates and modifications to the original.

Anthro

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Posted: 04 December 2005 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Midgardsormer,

I totally agree that it is rationally impossible to believe in anything remotely resembling the god of any modern religion if you understand anything about the discoveries science has made about the universe.  The National Academy of Science poll you cited is good evidence that this may be so.  In fact I would go further.  I think it is rationally impossible to be a believer in anything.  I would go even further and say that it is totally unnecessary to believe anything now that humans have invented the scientific method.  The way I see it the scientific method makes observations and collects information (in the “natural” universe) and then draws conclusions (hypotheses) that best fit and conform with previously well tested and (scientifically) confirmed understandings (theories) of what is true about the universe.  These new conclusions are further tested and when confirmed added to the already confirmed understandings and on and on it goes.  Using this method for drawing and confirming all conclusions eliminates the need for any type of belief whatever.  The only problem with this approach comes in those instances where information (data) or observations are not sufficient to form a reasonable conclusion that would best fit and conform with well tested and scientifically confirmed understandings (theories) of what is true about the universe.  The answer to this objection is a simple “I don’t know and more data collection and study is needed.”  This is how science works and I promote its approach for all human endeavors individual and collective.

As a teacher of physics at the high school level I have found that this clearly defines and separates science for my students.  I think your approach of telling students that scientists “believe” things gives the impression that science is just another belief system on a par with all the other belief systems (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism….) that compete for their support and allegiance.  It is a fact that science has no ideology or belief system that it supports or defines.  While there are many (even some scientists) that would use the products of science to promote an ideology or belief “Science” itself is just a neutral interactive intellectual investigative process that humans use to find out what is true about the universe.  Science does and must do its work only in the natural universe because it is only in the natural universe that all scientists have access to the same information and observations that enable confirmation or falsification of hypotheses (conclusions).

I think it would be best if all scientists in all published professional work voluntarily refrained from ever saying they “believed” anything.  I think instead it would be best that they say that it is their “conclusion” based on the evidence available that such and such is the case.  This would go a long way in reducing the confusion of the public in areas of controversy like evolution. 

I find great resistance to this idea when ever I try to promote it.  It seems that scientists and lay people alike just can’t bring themselves to give up the idea of believing things.  I am told I am splitting hairs but I think that this is hair that needs to be split.  I have split the world into two categories of humans, believers and nonbelievers.  Believers will accept things without adequate evidence from the natural world and defend their right to do so as inalienable.  Nonbelievers will require adequate evidence from the natural universe to accept something and when it is absent will say “I don’t know.”  Obviously scientists while doing science must function as nonbelievers.

After reading your posts I have come to the conclusion that you are a man with a talented, nimble, and well informed intellect.  I also think that you will find my suggestion that there is no need for humans to believe anything somewhat absurd and so I would like to see you shoot my idea down.  My idea?

There is no need for humans to believe anything!  A working scientist has no need of belief.  Science is not a belief system.  Let’s ask scientists to voluntarily ban the word believe from scientific papers and publications.  Let’s promote the idea in our “secular” schools that even outside of science there is no need of belief.  In fact belief is bad because it obscures the truth by conditioning the analysis of data to preconceived limitations and conditions.  Beliefs further wreak havoc in our social and political systems because they allow believers to maintain a position unsupported by evidence or directly contradicted by the evidence.

What do you say Midgardsormer?  Am I all wet?  If I am where have I gone wrong?  Come on straighten me out like you straightened out old MJ.


Ray

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