Author Topic: what scientists do and creationists don't  (Read 2746 times)

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Offline free

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2011, 02:35:54 PM »
The part about all physical life descending from a common ancestor, yes, I would agree that's true.   It's just when one get's into other aspects of it, things can get sketchy....

Please, give actual instances of where evolution is sketchy.  Evolution is one of the most tried and tested pieces of science we have, that is why it hasn't had a major fundamental change, there hasn't been anything sketchy.

I think people have just demonstrated where it's sketchy by showing how it could be used to mitigate personal responsibility, which was my initial issue with it.

If you don't like something that doesn't make it sketchy.  There a ton of things you might not like about a principle of science, but that doesn't make it less real or sketchy.  Find a problem with the theory, not something you dislike.

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2011, 02:41:55 PM »
Nope, didn't lie at all.   Natural selection attributes causality of actions to genetics... mentions nothing of free-will.   So,  I don't see any lying in my interpretation,  seems like an interpretation that many will reasonably come to, as in the court cases which already have....

The future, the utopian dream for evolutionists being that all religions finally end and evolution is accepted, doesn't seem like a utopia at all.  Seems like a society that has a convenient way to mitigate any responsibility for their choices,  and so will end the civil society, unless modifications are made, to the theory, the theory of evolution....

Natural selection also mentions nothing of ice cream and ice hockey.  Doesn't mean one has to do with another.  I don't think I've ever heard any evolutionist argue that evolution denies free will.  I've heard them argue other things denying free will, but I'm really having a hard time finding your connection here. 


Offline velkyn

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2011, 02:49:48 PM »
Nope, didn't lie at all.   Natural selection attributes causality of actions to genetics... mentions nothing of free-will.   So,  I don't see any lying in my interpretation,  seems like an interpretation that many will reasonably come to, as in the court cases which already have....

The future, the utopian dream for evolutionists being that all religions finally end and evolution is accepted, doesn't seem like a utopia at all.  Seems like a society that has a convenient way to mitigate any responsibility for their choices,  and so will end the civil society, unless modifications are made, to the theory, the theory of evolution....

and more lies about what "Evolutionists" think.  The pathetic ignorance and the usual incompetnet attacks by an idiot (and I rarely say this but it is deserved in spades here) who can't even take the time to know what he's attacking are amazing. 
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2011, 02:51:36 PM »
Really, almost all of the physical sciences militate against the idea of free will, since they are about predicting the behaviour of the real world, and people are a part of that world.  So Gill sort of has a point, even if his focus on evolution was kind of random.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2011, 03:35:45 PM »
Different sort of circumstances, Gnu.  Lying to someone in order to mislead their actions, because their intentions conflict with ours...or lying to ourselves, because we can't handle the truth.
I wasn't talking about lying to ourselves. I meant that if scientists and/or philosophers ever definitively conclude that free will is an illusion, they should keep quiet about it. Because consequences are important, a point you ignored.

And I've read scientists saying the same thing. Michael BrooksWiki wrote in 13 Things that Don't Make Sense, my bolding:

Quote
Human consciousness, our sense of self and intention, may be nothing more than a by-product of our being the enormously complex machines that are our big-brained bodies, but it is a useful one, enabling us to deal with a complex environment. What’s more, our human cultural arrangements have evolved in parallel with our consciousness, and they rely on the naïve view that we are able to direct (and are thus responsible for) our own actions.

Philosophers will continue to discuss the implications of the scientific facts with sangfroid, but coldly conceding we are brain-machines and giving up on the notion of personal responsibility will most likely remain too dangerous a move for those having to deal with real-world situations. There is surely too much at stake — too many unforeseeable consequences — to risk dismantling our societal norms for the sake of scientific ‘truth.’

Taking the ultrarational option might get us nowhere — and that would most likely be the best result we could hope for. More likely, the destruction of our legal and cultural frameworks in the light of scientific revelations would take us somewhere we really don’t want to go. It is possible that if invoked in legislation, our scientific efforts could undermine some of the foundations on which human society has been constructed.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 03:39:48 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Azdgari

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2011, 03:40:17 PM »
Alright.  Maybe we can't handle the truth.  I disagree, since accountability is a fluid concept that we humans have formed to suit our purposes in the first place, and it can be tweaked to apply to a deterministic universe.  A tweaked version of the accountability-concept would allow us to retain our social and legal framework while being honest with ourselves about our natures.

This brings us to a meta-problem, though, Gnu:  If lying is more important than truth in this context, then nothing you say on the topic can be taken as genuine.

This poses a problem as your interlocutor, Gnu.  You aren't an honest interlocutor.  It doesn't matter what points are made against you on this topic; honesty will not constrain you to answer points in a rational manner.

Can you see how this is a problem, Gnu?

EDIT:  And you were talking about lying to ourselves - convincing ourselves that free will is real, regardless of any facts demonstrating otherwise.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 03:43:26 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2011, 03:52:52 PM »
same old "there are things man was not meant to know"  and “the sky is falling” crap  So what if we say, yep, there is no "free will" because gee, no one can fly to the moon on their own power, but you idiots have to behave anyway.  No reason to assume that anything will be “destroyed”. 

and it would certainly put a lot of philosophers out of a job.   
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2011, 04:20:15 PM »
Azd:
Quote
Alright.  Maybe we can't handle the truth.  I disagree, since accountability is a ... etc etc
So we'll have to agree to disagree, as we're talking about the future...

Quote
This brings us to a meta-problem, though, Gnu:  If lying is more important than truth in this context, then nothing you say on the topic can be taken as genuine.
I don't see the problem. If you think I'm lying about anything, you can call me on it, as before. Nothing's changed.

Quote
And you were talking about lying to ourselves - convincing ourselves that free will is real, regardless of any facts demonstrating otherwise.
Not on this thread. Here I was replying to your statement:
Quote
If lying about reality promotes people taking responsibility for their actions, then we should lie about reality.
I took that to mean, lying to others, though I may have misunderstood you.

Offline Samothec

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2011, 08:50:13 PM »
And I'm sure you'll probably say again, that these people are just misinterpreting evolution and genetics.   Well, then wouldn't it be reasonable to update evolution, to add clarity and more definition to it so these misinterpretations aren't happening,  since clearly it is not unheard of?

Updates to evolution are occurring. The biggest problem is that theists are very forcefully fighting the teaching of evolution and science in general – making false claims of sketchiness and interpretation, like you do – which makes it difficult to keep people properly informed.

Also, lawyers will use anything as a defense, no matter how ridiculous.
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Offline Samothec

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2011, 09:15:17 PM »
Snipped for focus
I wasn't talking about lying to ourselves. I meant that if scientists and/or philosophers ever definitively conclude that free will is an illusion, they should keep quiet about it. Because consequences are important, a point you ignored.

Consider:
There are theists who distort science to support creationism and actively tear down science. This activity has very likely contributed to the decline of America. (No, I do not have proof of this assertion at this time.) The recent economic crisis has shown the world to be too interlinked to allow any large nation to fail. Since the consequences of allowing theists to continue tearing down science is rather hazardous to America and probably the world, should we restrict their access to the latest science? It would be difficult but it would benefit humanity. How far should we go to restrict them?
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Gill

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2011, 10:20:37 PM »
Snipped for focus
I wasn't talking about lying to ourselves. I meant that if scientists and/or philosophers ever definitively conclude that free will is an illusion, they should keep quiet about it. Because consequences are important, a point you ignored.

Consider:
There are theists who distort science to support creationism and actively tear down science. This activity has very likely contributed to the decline of America. (No, I do not have proof of this assertion at this time.) The recent economic crisis has shown the world to be too interlinked to allow any large nation to fail. Since the consequences of allowing theists to continue tearing down science is rather hazardous to America and probably the world, should we restrict their access to the latest science? It would be difficult but it would benefit humanity. How far should we go to restrict them?

And how does science teach people to behave morally in a society?

If there is no authority greater than man, it would seem that the temporary elected officials are man's ultimate authority according to science.

The problem isn't science, it's trying to apply it to areas of life where it really has no use.

Offline jetson

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2011, 10:42:57 PM »

The problem isn't science, it's trying to apply it to areas of life where it really has no use.

You mean, exactly like religion.  What use does religion have?

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #70 on: December 28, 2011, 10:43:23 PM »
same old "there are things man was not meant to know"  and “the sky is falling” crap 
It's not the same old crap when it's coming from the world's leading evolutionary biologists. If you respect science, Velks, you should at least listen to the experts in their field.

E.O. Wilson said (my bold):
Quote
So there can be no determinism of human thought, at least not in obedience to causation in the simple way physical laws describe the motion of bodies and the atomic assembly of molecules. Because the individual mind cannot be fully known and predicted, the self can go on passionately believing in its own free will. And that is a fortunate circumstance. Confidence in free will is biologically adaptive. Without it the mind, imprisoned by fatalism, would slow and deteriorate. Thus in organismic time and space, in every operational sense that applies to the knowable self, the mind does have free will.
You don't have to agree with him, or with Brooks. But sneering at them for talking crap isn't really an argument.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 10:45:10 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Gill

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #71 on: December 28, 2011, 10:51:24 PM »

The problem isn't science, it's trying to apply it to areas of life where it really has no use.

You mean, exactly like religion.  What use does religion have?

I just gave one example, morals

Offline wright

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2011, 10:52:34 PM »

And how does science teach people to behave morally in a society?

It doesn't. Who is saying it does; can you give a specific example?

Quote
If there is no authority greater than man, it would seem that the temporary elected officials are man's ultimate authority according to science.

Again, a specific example of this is needed, if this is to be taken as anything but a strawman.

Quote
The problem isn't science, it's trying to apply it to areas of life where it really has no use.

Glad we agree that science and the scientific method isn't the problem here. Like Samothec said: it's a lawyer's job to work on behalf of their client. If that means seizing on what others might see as a ridiculous distortion of law or evidence, most of them will do so. That by itself does not invalidate what's being distorted.
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Offline Gill

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2011, 11:02:06 PM »

And how does science teach people to behave morally in a society?

It doesn't. Who is saying it does; can you give a specific example?


We have Samothec trying to somehow link creationists attack on science to 'America's downfall' or the economic problems in America.    So then I pose the questions;

What downfall? downfall in morals, economics?

how does science help us to live in a more moral and economically responsible society?  It doesn't.  You likely need "a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values."  (wiki: religion)

Offline jetson

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2011, 11:18:52 PM »

The problem isn't science, it's trying to apply it to areas of life where it really has no use.

You mean, exactly like religion.  What use does religion have?

I just gave one example, morals

Humans created morals, not religion.  Is it not clear to you that religion is not required for morals to be present, and good?

Offline Gill

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #75 on: December 28, 2011, 11:23:55 PM »
Course, you don't need all the other organized things that can go with religion to have morals.   But creating a belief system on one's own morals is still in the same vein as religion, even if called something else.   

Offline jetson

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #76 on: December 28, 2011, 11:27:43 PM »
Course, you don't need all the other organized things that can go with religion to have morals.   But creating a belief system on one's own morals is still in the same vein as religion, even if called something else.

I'm talking about groups of individuals that need to work together, in order to survive.  Nothing at all to do with "belief systems".  Everything to do with survival.  I'm not talking about individuals deciding on individual morals either.  That would not work in groups.  Groups have to work together, so they are forced to arrive at some form of consensus on how to treat each other.  Religion is not required at all for any of that to occur, IMO.

Offline wright

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #77 on: December 28, 2011, 11:30:09 PM »
[

We have Samothec trying to somehow link creationists attack on science to 'America's downfall' or the economic problems in America.    So then I pose the questions;

What downfall? downfall in morals, economics?

how does science help us to live in a more moral and economically responsible society?  It doesn't.  You likely need "a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values."  (wiki: religion)


Ah, so this is a reply to Samothec's assertion; thanks for the clarification. But I hope you realize that it's not as if religion has some monopoly on morality. Discounting the fallacy that religious belief in itself makes people act morally, religion is just a way to codify and enforce preexisting morality.

We have evidence of altruism in human prehistory...http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/war-what-is-it-good-for-it-made-us-less-selfish-1697321.html, and numerous examples of it in animals. We have zero evidence of any gods, much less that altruism (or any other aspect of morality) was contributed by a god.

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Offline Gill

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #78 on: December 28, 2011, 11:46:02 PM »
... But I hope you realize that it's not as if religion has some monopoly on morality.....

Yes, I know.  I personally don't practice any religion right now, with the rituals, and specified meeting locations and what not.  But I do have a moral sense, and my own beliefs.  That seems to be my own type of religion so to speak.  But I guess that just depends on how one defines religion.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #79 on: December 29, 2011, 02:18:16 AM »
So we'll have to agree to disagree, as we're talking about the future...

Until it becomes the present, anyway.  At which point you can close your ears, because critically examining this issue is too dangerous for your liking.

Quote
This brings us to a meta-problem, though, Gnu:  If lying is more important than truth in this context, then nothing you say on the topic can be taken as genuine.
I don't see the problem. If you think I'm lying about anything, you can call me on it, as before. Nothing's changed.

Ahh, but Gnu, the entire game has changed now.  You've revealed that your belief in free will is a product of doublethink, not a genuine intellectual conclusion.  You believe in free will in the same way that someone whose only justification for their theism is Pascal's Wager, believes in God:  Because of the (supposed) consequences of the alternative.

Hence the need for a supernatural brain.  Hence the need - as you've expressed it - to disregard science if it disproves the idea of a supernatural brain.  You are not open to being proven wrong by evidence, because your main motivation for your belief isn't evidence-based in the first place.

So, what approach should I take, given that I disagree with you?  Should I try to argue rationally?  What would be the point, since you aren't willing to be rationally argued out of your position?

Not on this thread. Here I was replying to your statement:
Quote
If lying about reality promotes people taking responsibility for their actions, then we should lie about reality.
I took that to mean, lying to others, though I may have misunderstood you.

Lying about reality.  No "to others", no "to ourselves".  Just lying about reality.  That applies to everyone.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 02:21:24 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline Samothec

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #80 on: December 29, 2011, 03:45:22 AM »
Consider:
There are theists who distort science to support creationism and actively tear down science. This activity has very likely contributed to the decline of America. (No, I do not have proof of this assertion at this time.) The recent economic crisis has shown the world to be too interlinked to allow any large nation to fail. Since the consequences of allowing theists to continue tearing down science is rather hazardous to America and probably the world, should we restrict their access to the latest science? It would be difficult but it would benefit humanity. How far should we go to restrict them?
We have Samothec trying to somehow link creationists attack on science to 'America's downfall' or the economic problems in America.    So then I pose the questions;

What downfall? downfall in morals, economics?

how does science help us to live in a more moral and economically responsible society?  It doesn't.  You likely need "a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values."  (wiki: religion)

To clarify: Tearing down science has resulted in the decline of American students' test results in science and mathematics. Without educated people we can not maintain our technological edge – something that is already beginning. With our manufacturing being shipped overseas where we can enslave third world people into making our products, we are losing our financial resources. Which leads to economic problems. Hopefully I don't need to spell this out in even more detail for you, Gill.

Morals comments tomorrow - it's late.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 03:56:34 AM by Samothec »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #81 on: December 29, 2011, 09:57:42 AM »
same old "there are things man was not meant to know"  and “the sky is falling” crap 
It's not the same old crap when it's coming from the world's leading evolutionary biologists. If you respect science, Velks, you should at least listen to the experts in their field.
E.O. Wilson said (my bold):
Quote
So there can be no determinism of human thought, at least not in obedience to causation in the simple way physical laws describe the motion of bodies and the atomic assembly of molecules. Because the individual mind cannot be fully known and predicted, the self can go on passionately believing in its own free will. And that is a fortunate circumstance. Confidence in free will is biologically adaptive. Without it the mind, imprisoned by fatalism, would slow and deteriorate. Thus in organismic time and space, in every operational sense that applies to the knowable self, the mind does have free will.
You don't have to agree with him, or with Brooks. But sneering at them for talking crap isn't really an argument.

it is if they are making baseless claims.  It's unsupported "crap", aka an opinion that fails and I "sneer" at them for the same reasons I sneer at theists.    I'd like to know how they are sure that things will be "destroyed" or "slow and deteriorate". Where is the evidence?

I've seen the same arguments made by these evolutionary biologists made by theists, that somehow the human race will fall into disrepair if their baseless assertions are not followed.  We've seen this being disproved with theists, that the world has progressively gotten less religious and nothing apocalyptic has happened.  There is no reason to think that the claims of doom by these people will be met with the same lack of actual events.   
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Offline velkyn

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #82 on: December 29, 2011, 10:05:21 AM »
Yes, I know.  I personally don't practice any religion right now, with the rituals, and specified meeting locations and what not.  But I do have a moral sense, and my own beliefs.  That seems to be my own type of religion so to speak.  But I guess that just depends on how one defines religion.

yep, that is exactly how one defines religion,
Quote
personal set or institutionalized system of religious (relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity) attitudes, beliefs, and practices merriam-webster.com
.  You have your own version as does every other theist.  You all decide that some magic being agrees with you.  Of course, the problem is showing such a being exists and answering why such a being gives different answers to different people.     

There is no evidence that any magical being has anything to do with morality.  Religions are part and parcel of the human society in which they are invented, and always are straggling behind humanity as it grows and changes since a religion claims an unquestioned truth.  These "truths", aren't changed easily and are only changed when humanity moves beyond them, never before.  We have Christianity having no problem with slavery, until that "truth" was changed in the face of reality and how humans don't like being slaves.  And even then some stragglers of that are still around, sure that the "white man" is superior. 
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Offline Samothec

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #83 on: December 29, 2011, 03:10:23 PM »
I am going to create a new topic for the morals discussion since this thread is already very off topic. Hopefully this second topic of mine will work better than my first where I was trying to be clever and botched it – do'h. It is in the Religion & Society area, titled: Morals vs Ethics - link below (yes I need to work on embedding URLs)

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,21062.msg467848.html#msg467848
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Offline riley2112

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #84 on: December 29, 2011, 03:16:15 PM »
Just think about how that money could help set up farming co-op's in countries that could use the help. Theist building shrines,instead of following the teachings of their saviour,pathetic.
That is something that I agree with you on. People saying they are worshiping God and trying to help others know God so that their soul may go to heaven, as they drive off in their new caddy, wearing that thousand dollar suit, it is pathetic. And I am embarrassed by it,
Most people think they know what they know. The problem starts by not knowing what you don't know. You know?  (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence)   (Albert Einstein)One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #85 on: December 29, 2011, 04:15:37 PM »
Velkyn:
Quote
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But sneering at them for talking crap isn't really an argument.
it is if they are making baseless claims.  It's unsupported "crap", aka an opinion that fails and I "sneer" at them for the same reasons I sneer at theists.    I'd like to know how they are sure that things will be "destroyed" or "slow and deteriorate". Where is the evidence?
I don't know what Wilson and Brooks are basing their comments on, but there is evidence out there which supports their position.

This NY Times article discusses some work in this area, and links to a psychology paper entitled: The Value of Believing in Free Will, subtitled: Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increases Cheating.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: what scientists do and creationists don't
« Reply #86 on: December 29, 2011, 04:25:28 PM »
Encouraging a disbelief in moral objectivity probably does, too - when not replaced with another understanding of morality that fills the same roll (ideally an accurate one).

Similarly, depriving someone of the foods they're used to is lethal, unless they are able to eat something else viable in its place.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.