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General Chat Thread, It couldn't happen in the USA in General; Which, IMO, is a pity. Government bans all existing and future Academies and Free Schools from teaching creationism as science ...
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    It couldn't happen in the USA


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    Garacesh (19th June 2014), nephilim (18th June 2014)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I am on a forum for one of my hobbies and the whole "evolution is a theory" rubbish is spouted by the creationists on the site.

    It is thrown back that "Gravity is a theory". Also it tends to be the ones that don't believe in evolution that are against having their children vaccinated.

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    Evolution is a theory. A very good one! It is one that has made useful predictions, predictions which have subsequently been confirmed by evidence. And there is a whole hell of a lot of evidence. As a theory evolution is falsifiable. Despite the mountains of evidence in support of evolution, it would take just one single piece of evidence to prove it is false.

    Gravity too is a theory. It is pretty dodgy in some respects, we know newton was 'wrong' hence General Relativity. GR is also, almost certainly wrong.Both are tremendously useful if you want to hit another planet with a probe, measure your position on the earth via satellites to within a few meters, or just program a robot to catch a ball.

    Creationism is not _even_ a theory. It makes no useful predictions. It cannot be falsified by evidence. It is not supported by any evidence in that there is no objective evidence that "god" did it.

    Now if only we could get HRH Charles W to shut up about homoeopathy being a medicine.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Now if only we could get HRH Charles W to shut up .
    Fixed that for you.

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    Garacesh (19th June 2014), pcstru (18th June 2014)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    At least its better than that woman blaming homeopathy products for turning people gay. Not much, but still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    At least its better than that woman blaming homeopathy products for turning people gay. Not much, but still.
    Mmmm. Well ...

    There is evidence of homoeopathic products.
    There is evidence that people take them.
    There is evidence that some people are homosexual.
    There is probably evidence that someone came out after taking a homoeopathic remedy.

    And as a theory, "Homeopathic products turn people gay" is at least falsifiable, in that you could statistically quantify any correlation and show that there was nothing beyond noise (no signal).

    So IMO it (creationism) is not better than that at all. It is a whole steaming heap-load worse.
    Last edited by pcstru; 18th June 2014 at 07:05 PM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Not quite what was meant, but it all boils down to stupidity though really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Not quite what was meant, but it all boils down to stupidity though really.
    Yes, but I can have some sympathy for those that are fooled by Homoeopathy; the placebo effect is real and we all have cognitive biases which make it difficult to evaluate evidence especially in the context of our own lives. "I was feeling rough, I took a potion, I felt better" has many possible explanations but it is difficult for people not to equate a correlation as cause and effect.

    Creationism goes way beyond such natural cognitive biases. It involves feats of amazing compartmentalisation of evidence, twisting of known facts and a complete lack of evidence in support. There is a conscious choice in that, it's not *just* being fooled by effects like regression to the mean.

    Of course, people are free to believe what they want. The problem comes when they then want those beliefs to be promulgated using taxpayers money and falsely presented as a "scientific theory". It is good to see that this is being recognised in the UK.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Evolution is a theory.

    Gravity too is a theory.
    I think it's worth pointing out that the word 'theory' in a scientific sense =/= 'theory' in the everyday, Joe Public, I've got a random idea that may or may not be right sense.

    I know Wiki isn't the best source for referene but - Scientific theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - The first paragraph is as good a definition as any.

    The Theory of Gravity is a good example. I dare you to jump out a 2nd storey window and then come tell me the gravity isn't proven!

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    At least its better than that woman blaming homeopathy products for turning people gay. Not much, but still.
    You sure they're not just dyslexic and dropping the E?

  14. 3 Thanks to Bompalompalomp:

    Garacesh (19th June 2014), nephilim (19th June 2014), SiliconAlley_Sam (19th June 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think it's worth pointing out that the word 'theory' in a scientific sense =/= 'theory' in the everyday, Joe Public, I've got a random idea that may or may not be right sense.

    I know Wiki isn't the best source for referene but - Scientific theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - The first paragraph is as good a definition as any.
    It's a fair point, although generally, creationists are using the term correctly when they point out that evolution is a theory. Usually, there is another word present, a rhetorical modifier - "Evolution is just a theory", as if that puts it on the same level as "intelligent design" or a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis - which are not even scientific theories (in that they cannot be falsified).
    The Theory of Gravity is a good example. I dare you to jump out a 2nd storey window and then come tell me the gravity isn't proven!
    Pedantically, it wouldn't prove it. Absolute proof doesn't really exist outside of logical philosophy and mathematics. Of course, in everyday living and everyday use of language, it's reasonable to describe 'gravity' as 'proven'. But like many things, as you get more into the detail of what do we mean by 'gravity', we necessarily disassociate from such absolutes as 'proven'.

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    i love the fact that creationists use you couldnt see it happen you wernt there (or words to that effect) to say evolution is wrong well nobody alive today could see the bible written or taking place so by the same logic that could be just as made up. But going down that road how do i know any of you exist i cant see you you could all be figments of my imagination and i could be the figment of someone elses. You cant even prove you exist catagorically

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    You cant even prove you exist catagorically
    Cogito ergo sum, is as good as it gets (and pretty good IMO).

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    I am on a forum for one of my hobbies and the whole "evolution is a theory" rubbish is spouted by the creationists on the site.

    It is thrown back that "Gravity is a theory". Also it tends to be the ones that don't believe in evolution that are against having their children vaccinated.
    Natural selection at work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Cogito ergo sum, is as good as it gets (and pretty good IMO).
    i think i maybe therefore i possibly am?

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