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February 07, 2005

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Mr. M

Okie dokie. This is getting so tired that I think I'm going to have to write another christian debate article over at Left of Center.

Here's the problem. We're getting bated. We are getting thrust into this argument as to whose take on the creation of life the universe and everything is the right one, but that's not what we should be arguing.

Here is the inherent reasons why we shouldn't be arguing who is right:

-The mechanics behind the creation of our exhistence can not, and will not, be proven without the possibility of debunking on either side.

-This is an emotional argument. Any statement, rational or not, made against a certain view will not be entertained by the opposing side, but instead only strengthen their resolve.

-Correctness of theory does not directly address the legislatable parts of the argument, ie. seperation of church and state, and teaching creationism in schools.

-Considering the fact that a vast majority of the population of America is to some degree Christian, any anti christian sentiment is therefore a minority argument that cannot gain any ground without help from the majority.

Sorry, dude, but I'm seeing this argument just about everywhere I go. Political Animal usually has one good science vs. religion talk a week, and the smaller blogs are really bad about the whole thing. Some blogs that say they are left wing politcs/policy end up being nothing more than Christian bashing.

Not that I'm on the side of creationists. I'm just saying that all this argument gets us no where. Hell, it just invigorates the opposing argument.

Here's what we need to do, and I'm going to post up on the LofC here soon, maybe later tonight, in more detail.

We need to develop talking points that actually address the issues affected by religion vs. science. We need to create counter arguments to common meme's among the religious right. In particular, in cultivating our message to combat the right, we must also understand that we can not ever appease the fundamentalists with anything short of conversion, but we can provide logical dialogue that can and will appeal to the reasonable Christians in this country, a constituency that I believe is in the majority.

Mr. M
Left of Center

Peter

Interesting thoughts, Mr. M. Yet I think using scientific, logical arguments to refute Intelligent Design, as Pharyngula did, is exactly what needs to be done to counteract the ID movement (whose goal is to teach ID in science classes in public schools).

There is a reason that creationists have moved on to ID-promotion in their fight against the teaching of evolution. And that is because of the broad popular belief in this country that real science is extremely important. So creationists have jumped onto the allegedly "scientific" Intelligent Design movement in order to get their views into science classes.

Going after ID full-force with arguments rooted in science is the right way to counter this movement, I think.

Virtually all real scientists and scientific-minded people have no objection to teaching religious concepts such as creationism in public school classes on religion, theology, philosophy, etc. So this is not a religion vs science fight. This is a fight over what is science and what is not.

And you are right, we will never convince the fundamentalists. Our audience, instead, are the reasonable majority that are religious, and hence susceptible to the ID argument, but who also place a high value on true science, and thus are persuadable via arguments such as the one above.

I should probably turn this into a full-fledged post. Hopefully I'll have time soon.

Mr. M

Here's the real point, Pete, no matter what the label on the can, it's always chili with beans. I don't care if you call it, "Chili con carne," or "Southwest Style Chili," or "beans meat and chili powder."

The problem with trying to argue the scientifc validity of either side is that, from a philisophical standpoint, neither point can be proven completely valid, or even more valid than the other.

If you want, I can, using historical reference, and philosophical method, disprove any and all validity of the empirically collected data that forms the foundation of scientific theory.

My point is that each side of the fence can trump the other at any given time, and then in turn be trumped, and therefore the argument in and of itself is futile and fruitless. It's the intellectual equivalent of playing tic tac toe where all but two of the squares are blacked out.

Effort shouldn't be spent trying to prove or disprove any of the theories to be correct. Partly because if we could prove any theory ultimately correct it would cease to be a theory, and therefore be a law. Instead, the effort should be placed on defining each side of the argument, as well as what should be taught in public schools. Once that is done, one can intelligibly argue, and actually win, by delineating which of the two theories best fits the frame established for public education, and how it should be taught.

Only therein can you actually win the argument.

Mr. M
Left of Center

Peter
The problem with trying to argue the scientifc validity of either side is that, from a philisophical standpoint, neither point can be proven completely valid, or even more valid than the other.

If you want, I can, using historical reference, and philosophical method, disprove any and all validity of the empirically collected data that forms the foundation of scientific theory.

I have to strenuously disagree here. The knowledge gained from science and the scientific method is a foundation of our society. No historical reference or philosophical method of argument can change that.

Behe and others pushing Intelligent Design promote their work as scientific. They do this in order to convince a broad segment of the population—a segment that, while religious, has profound respect for scientific knowledge—that it should be a legitimate topic for science classes in public schools. Professional and amateur scientists would be derelict in their duties if they allowed these illogical, distorted arguments to gain a foothold as "science" with the general public.

Mr. M

Than one shouldn't be arguing the truth behind ID, but instead point out its failures in scientific methodology, and scientific methodology only.

I agree, the fundamental difference between evolution and creationism is that one is a science, and the other is a faith. I further agree that it is the responsibility of our public school system to teach science, and not faith.

I'm a little busy right now to philosophically disprove the validity of scientific endeavors right now, but when I get half a moment to breathe, I will. Not because I believe it, but to show that I can.

In the end, everything comes down to a measure of faith. What you believe. Faith vs. Faith will never yield a victor, that is why I'm so adamant about taking a different tack on trying to win this battle.

Mr. M
Left of Center

tsuyoshikentsu

I stumbled onto this article from Google in my science class, so if I'm breaching some kind of ettiquite, or if you're expecting a long, detailed post, I apoligize.

Simply put, Mr. M, I'd very much like to see you debunk this evidence. If you can, the long-standing argument can finally be resolved and I will return happily to religious school to finish my obviously inadequete discussion. If you can't, then I will go on being evolution's disciple. The Hardee-Wineburg equation seems to work in my brief and limited experience, but if there is a way to prove them wrong, my mind is open.

(For those of following this who don't know what the Hardee-Wineburg equation is, here's a brief synopsis. The equation itself is a²+2ab+b², where a is the dominant trait of a gene and b is the recessive. The equation, using only the number of homozygous recessive in a population, can be used to determine a percentile ratio of homozygous dominant to he

tsuyoshikentsu

<>

...a percentile ratio of homozygous dominant to heterozygous to homozygous recessive for any given gene.)

Roger

Behe and others pushing Intelligent Design promote their work as scientific. They do this in order to convince a broad segment of the population—a segment that, while religious, has profound respect for scientific knowledge—that it should be a legitimate topic for science classes in public schools.

I don't think Behe is "pushing" ID for any religious reasons. He is a Roman Catholic, not a fundamentalist, and comes by his opinions sincerely, as best I can see. He may be wrong about what the evidence implies, and he may be straying from what some consider the proper philosophical underpinnings of "natural science". But folks who constantly question or assign nefarious and/or religious motivations to those who disagree with Darwinsim, are engaging in a classic logical fallacy.

Why would an independent observer take the word of these folks who are obviously not arguing logically?

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