Author Topic: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?  (Read 710 times)

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Offline rickymooston

Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« on: May 12, 2012, 08:22:23 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I believe that the evidence for the theory of evolution, with a minor number of modifications inthe details upon the original, is very strong and I'm unaware of any "competing" current scientific theory. I'm aware of a number of scientific theories that were discarded in favor of evolution.

Anyway, I think the term "Darwinist" is  great term. There exist people who believe the theory of evolution to be true and one's who do not. I'll be clear that I'm discussing what Creationists call "macro-evolution" and the great insight that microevolution begats macro evolution.

I am indeed a "Darwinist" and I've always been one since first learning about the theory of evolution as a kid.

That isn't particularly interesting.

The question is why I was a "Darwinist" and why I am still one.

All Darwinists are not made equal.

When I was a kid, I believed in evolution because I was told about it by people I trusted. It should be noted that some of those people also told me about the existence of Santa Claus in whom I also believed.

As I grew older, a faith in the scientific establishment and eventually reading about their results came into play. I've not a very small number of scientific experiments and none of those was related to biology. What I know about evolution is most second and third hand.

If I had gone into an appropriate field of science, I'd have been exposed directly to more of the mount of evidence supporting evolution. All the same, a vast majority of the evidence received by me would be second and third hand.  The biologist is very limited in the amount he knows about geology or physics. Only a very small amount of it is direct.

Some atheists have argued that the existence of successful technology is proof of the integrity of the scientific process but the truth is, the scientific process is sometimes inteferred with. In Russia, a country with tanks and atomic weapons, there was a biologist whose theories were held up by the state. Corporations and politicians have attempted to suppress the publication of some scientific results.

At the end of the day, I'm a Darwinist because I have a qualified belief in the overall integrity of the scientific community and because the case they've presented is pretty air tight.

Why are you a Darwinist or why does the term make you cringe? Sorry that I couldn't make the OP a bit briefer.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 08:31:09 AM »
It's very silly. Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection was incomplete. Per the origin of the term "Darwinist", you'd have to accept Darwin's theory of evolution, rather than the more complete model that takes into account random mutations, among other things.


Why did I bold "win"? Well, that's for you to find out.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 08:40:26 AM »
It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been co-opted by the religious right as a word that invokes spittle.

I think we should change the name to "The Absolutely Frickin' Brilliant Theory of Evolution", because I like causing apoplexy in certain individuals.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 08:50:35 AM »
It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been co-opted by the religious right as a word that invokes spittle.

The term American receives quite a lot of spittle when it is uttered in Iran, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia.

The problem is not the term but the person uttering the term and that person will show the same contempt for the idea when its called something else.

This is the reason for the record, I have very little respect for American liberals like Hillary Clinton who turn around and call themselves "progressives".

Quote
I think we should change the name to "The Absolutely Frickin' Brilliant Theory of Evolution", because I like causing apoplexy in certain individuals.

Not a good idea.

It is more important to follow Feymann and emphasize that support for scientific theories is provisional.

Newton's theories on mechanics were brilliant. Apparently they were wrong despite the fact that are accurate to an amazing degree.

Darwin's work was apparently brilliant though. He was a meticulous scientist. The amount of research he did is hard to imagine. Its more amazing that genetic evidence seems to show him to be correct.

Science is amazing. Its sad that the volume of knowledge is now beyond any individual to verify completely.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Omen

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 09:00:47 AM »
Why are you a Darwinist or why does the term make you cringe? Sorry that I couldn't make the OP a bit briefer.

Scientific theories are not ideological belief systems, signifying them by the namesake of their original proposer clumsily misconstrues science with ideologies, and no scientific theory explains 'everything' hence Darwinian natural selection was not complete anymore than newtonian physics is complete.. yet we no more have to call ourselves darwinist than we do newtonist.  Rhetorically, reducing scientific notions to this kind of vague qualification invites the appeal to moderation fallacy that many theist and anti-science advocates use, by insisting there are 2 sides to every issue and that the only correct side is the moderated middle ground.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 09:20:22 AM »
Ricky, are you an Einsteinist?  Are you a Listerist?  Newtonist?  Keplerist?

Do you think it's silly, or not silly, to self-label according to scientists who helped develop ideas that we now (mostly) accept?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 09:25:39 AM »
It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been co-opted by the religious right as a word that invokes spittle.
The term American receives quite a lot of spittle when it is uttered in Iran, Afganistan and Saudi Arabia.

It is only American spittle I am hoping to minimize. The other has some justification.

Otherwise, I'll go with Omen on this. Labeling the theory of evolution with one persons name detracts from all the research and discoveries that have followed Darwin. Yes, he was brilliant, but those doing genetic research and field studies and theoretical work since Darwin are not dummies.

The "Theory of Evolution" allows for all sorts of adjustment over time without relying on one persons name to help brand it. That isn't necessary. We can honor Darwin far more by following up his theory with more research and discoveriy.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2012, 07:27:35 PM »

Omen, I partially agree here in the following sense:
scientists don't care what "Darwin thought' on a given issue and the term "Darwinist" is meant to refer to the general every evolving theory rather than the thoughts of the man himself; i.e., biology has advanced beyond Darwin's oriiginal ideas. It isn't an idealogy tied to the man. Attacks on the man, a favorite tactic of creationists are stupid. (Creationists also love attacking Lysle and his geological theories in the same way1).

On the other hand, no idealogy is "complete' in the sense of applying to everything. In the same way Newtonians laws didn't address speciation, feminism doesn't really deal with economics or personal conduct or the treatment of animals or whatever.

I am distinguishing the scientific theory from belief that the scientific theory is true. The choose of the name Darwin is simply a convenient way to disguish the theory from others such as Lemarkian evolution2
1) Many people's belief or disbelief in the truth of the theory is based direct first hand data. Most Darwinists have not for example "examined the fossil evidence directly", or looked at the DNA evidence directly. They are forced to implicit trust in the honesty of the scientific establishment as a whole to self correct and to publish results for public consumption. They have not done fruit fly experments or the like. The number of informed scientists who have looked at the data directly is relatively small.


1- Apparenlty Lysle's original theory was wrong but naturally the prevailing theories built on his insights. Geologists still have lots of evidence that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
2- Lemarkian evolution turns out to be partially true. Recent discoveries discuss epigenes which react and remember environmental factors


"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2012, 07:43:44 PM »
Do you think it's silly, or not silly, to self-label according to scientists who helped develop ideas that we now (mostly) accept?

I don't think its silly when people exist who, for whatever reason, disagree with those theories. The fact that a theory is labled after a scientists name is a matter of convention. A person who is believes Quantum theory is true might be termed a Quantumist. A lay person believing a theory is true should further be distinguished froma scientist in the field.

Ironically, Einstein's theory and Quantum theory are proveably wrong.

Stringists already agree who believe string theory is true and that it supercedes the others.

My belief in relativity is not informed:
1) I've never actually performed the Michaelson-Morely experiment
2) I've not observed the orbit of Mecury
3) I've not seen the calculations for the above experiments.

In terms of Kepler's disgarded theories, I've never observed the orbits of the planets. There was a time when there were Keplerians and Plotemians. The later believed the older theory to be true.

It is the case that scientists have lied and scientific results have been misrepresented. I believe in the basic integrity of the scientific community but that is a weakness in my being a 'Darwinist".
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2012, 07:47:15 PM »
Are you a "Wegnerist"?

Alfred Wegner put forward the theory of continental drift in the early 1900's, and it is almost universally accepted today that the continents do indeed move about on the mantle of the Earth.

How about Alfred Turing?
Turing through his innovated research and ideas essentially helped for form the foundation for what we like to think of as modern computer principles, and his work is still used today as a benchmark for artificial intelligence research.  Does that make anybody who uses a computer automatically a 'Turing-ist'?


The idea that we must define ourselves as an -ist ultimately limits our capacity to think clearly, in much the same way that choosing to define ourselves as 'Christian', 'Hindu', or Geocentrist limits our capacity to explore other options.  Either that, or we are forced to label ourselves with an overabundance of '-ists' to cover all of the items that define our existing belief set.

Its fairly easy to see how a person who chooses to lock themselves into the framework of an unchanging religion could choose to also lock themselves into the unchanging framework of the person who worked on the foundations of a theory which helped in so many ways to advance society and humanity.  The real world is a bit messier than that though.

There are plenty of people who pursue alternations of the initial theory of evolution, and new evidence shows that the way it works can be much more fluid than we may have originally thought.  Simple 'survival of the fittest' doesn't always apply, particularly when an environment supports multiple modes of survival and an abundance of resources.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2012, 08:59:29 PM »
Yeah, I get it.  Science is science and not philosophy. 

But sometimes the lines blur. 

I started calling myself a Kropotkinist many decades ago because his scientific work changed the filters through which I saw the world around me.  Maybe it was because he viewed the data in front of him through a philosophical lense. 

Here is a quote from him that I grabbed off of wikipedia.
 

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense – not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.
— Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Conclusion.

Of course, calling myself a Kropotkinist generally results in blank stares or blinking eyes or a change in subject.  Oh, but on the rare occasion that his name evokes a glimmer of recognition.....
 

Offline Seppuku

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2012, 09:00:04 PM »
The problem I see is that whilst the theory originates from Darwin, he by no means *owns* the theory. It has been taken, tested, twisted and turned by many scientists. I think the term 'Darwinist' is perhaps unfair on all that have made up the pieces that make up the theory of evolution, as far as I am concerned it is a joint effort.

It's not like philosophy where you might belong to a particular school of philosophy that might have been named after its creator. Like Marxist or Platonic or Aristotelian[1] or Epicurean or Kantian or anything like that. I think that's why people arguing against evolution choose to use the term 'Darwinism' because they want to treat it like a philosophy (or religion) rather than a science, just as they use 'theory' in the laymans sense rather than scientific, oblivious to things such as 'the theory of gravity' or 'germ theory'.

People don't belong to the 'Darwin' school of science, they're evolution scientists. I think when you're a supporter of evolution your label should be redundant, because it's just a case of accepting science. I don't think we should have to differentiate our support for evolution from other science. At the end of the day, it's just science, it remains as a theory with a crap load of evidence, which is why it is accepted. It should be as redundant as say, "I feel gravity is real" or I'm a "Newtonist" or a "gravityist". The idea is ludicrous. I understand that because people have to defend the theory of evolution, it is necessary for people to use it as a label. Just as the fact we call ourselves atheists, even though it should be as redundant as a-unicornist or how a Christian is a-Vishnuist.

So if I am to use a label, I'll stick to the one that best describes me as a supporter of science rather than a supporter of a person's ideas, which formed a science.
 1. Aristotelianism is a word as I've just found out.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 07:32:39 PM »
Omen, I partially agree here in the following sense:
scientists don't care what "Darwin thought' on a given issue and the term "Darwinist" is meant to refer to the general every evolving theory

Then the term is instantly rendered incorrect since modern evolutionary science is comprised of dozens of theories, only one of which is derived from Darwin.

Quote
rather than the thoughts of the man himself; i.e., biology has advanced beyond Darwin's oriiginal ideas. It isn't an idealogy tied to the man. Attacks on the man, a favorite tactic of creationists are stupid.

It is a semantic game of rhetorical nonsense, that serves no academic purpose.  It only helps encourage misinformation through creationist anti-science appeals.  We don't treat any idea in science as if those ideas can be summed up into ideological beliefs and doing so invites the very bias, the invitation to not being objective, that works against good science.

I'm not even sure you understand what you're arguing for.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 08:50:04 PM »
What Omen said...

Quote
My belief in relativity is not informed:
1) I've never actually performed the Michaelson-Morely experiment
2) I've not observed the orbit of Mecury
3) I've not seen the calculations for the above experiments.
They are informed but you have not verified them - that's your choice.

I suppose you could make all your own clothes from spinning wool and cotton or you could buy them in a store - they'd still be clothes.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2012, 10:25:16 PM »
]They are informed but you have not verified them - that's your choice.

I suppose you could make all your own clothes from spinning wool and cotton or you could buy them in a store - they'd still be clothes.

You seem to have missed my point. We are forced, in thus complex society, to take most of the facts we know to be true on faith.

Sure, i could choose to vslidste the Michselson-morely experiment but they is slso a bunch of other results i cant verify. Even the grest scientist in the world is very limitedvin what he can test directly.

Physics alone is so vast now, that no individual can perform a significant portion of the experiments. Each researcher focuses on a small portion, toneither build on or to test.

Now, for the most part, i think, the system is relstively good at self policing but we are running into people running interference. Look at the c,imate change debate for example ...

Now, the scientific method is designed to get around that

If i were a scientist, i would have more concrete evidence of integrity in the system. My "faith" would come with more evidence.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2012, 10:49:12 PM »
Then the term is instantly rendered incorrect since modern evolutionary science is comprised of dozens of theories, only one of which is derived from Darwin.

Darwin's main hypothesis, while built upon considerably by hundreds of years of research, is still true. The modern research only makes sense in light of that one; i.e., it follows the same basic paradigm. We ca,l it Darwins theory of evolution for a good reason. We are aware, that Darwin was not even aware of the science of genetics, let a,one, the existence of epigenes or whatever ...

One dsy, perhaps another theory will arise that actually contradicts Darwin's.

Yes, within evolutionary biology a myriad of theories exist; e.g., i was looking at one called the ujified neutral theory of diversity.


Quote
We don't treat any idea in science as if those ideas can be summed up into ideological beliefs and doing so invites the very bias, the invitation to not being objective, that works against good science.



Competing schools of thought peridiocally arise in science. Books have been written about paradigm shifts along such lines. Eventually enough evidence is gathered to decide such conflicts.

"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2012, 10:56:49 PM »
Are you a "Wegnerist"?

I am unaware of a large group of people believing thiis theory to be false. Sure, i am a Wegnerist and this is based on my faith in the scientific etsblishment; my believing it to be true is not due to me doing more than a casual reading on the subject.

Yes, Many advances in evolutionary biology have occured in recent years

As for Turing, he was indeed a father comouter science in many ways.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2012, 12:13:10 AM »
I am unaware of a large group of people believing thiis theory to be false. Sure, i am a Wegnerist and this is based on my faith in the scientific etsblishment; my believing it to be true is not due to me doing more than a casual reading on the subject.

Yes, Many advances in evolutionary biology have occured in recent years

As for Turing, he was indeed a father comouter science in many ways.

It depends on what you call a 'large number of people'.  However, that was not the point I was making.  The point being that every day in our daily lives we do things that require a functional use of many theories, or take for granted that those theories are functional.  Doing so doesn't make us an '-ist' for each of them. 

The only reason one might choose a self label with an 'ist' on it is if that label in some way happened to define you as a person in a larger context.  In the same way that one might choose to label themselves based on their current employment.  "I'm a computer programmer""A rocket scientist", or "I'm an underwear model"

Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night.  Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2012, 06:06:03 AM »
Sure. I agree for example, it would be retarded to call myself a mortalitist because I believe all people eventually die.

A label is only useful, if it distinguishes you from others. Almost everybody "knows" that the death theory is true. In essense, the word allows one to have a conversation, when the distinctiin is actually useful. I dont think we enrich the conversation by deciding that a label cannot be made. The fact that i am in fact a mortalitist, does not mean, being a mortalitist is an idealogy. I hlave only by the way known a very small number of people who have died. Thankfully, i have not seen anybody die either. While the evidence for tge theory of mortality is immense, the direct evidence available is ,imited. I certainly could gather more if i were so inclined. Granted, the evidence available to me increases daily. Assuming a global death conspiracy is not in place, i cant rationally deny the tgeory of death and no sane person does. An examole of a global conspiracy, might be people lying to me about the deaths of all my grandparent's friends or guiness lying about the oldestvperson on earth.

In the future, there may be viable alternatives to Darwin's theory of evolution. But in any case, the terms evoultionist or Darwinist refer to people who believe, for a large variety of reasons, the theory of evolution through variation and natural selection to be true. Labeling them as being Darwinists does not tell you why they believe that theory to be true and whether or not their belief is provisional.

Now that you have a label, you can ask the question, why are almost all biologists Darwinists? That answer, we know, is because the evidence still supports the theory.

Curiously, in the twists and turns of science, we have found aspects of evolution that work along Lemarkian lines. We have found cases where genetic drift may dominate. The theory of punctusted equilibrium, which i do not totally understand, but which you may have alluded to in you previous post, is another twist. My understanding is, st the moment, none of these twists and turns, truly over turns Darwin's basic thesis. There is no controversy about the truth of Darwins theories today among scientists.  When referring yo scientists, the term Darwinist may indeed be as meaningless as the term mortalitist right now. Hoever, in the future,
It may distinguish competing paradigms.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 07:21:02 AM »
You seem to have missed my point. We are forced, in thus complex society, to take most of the facts we know to be true on faith.
This has been true since the beginning of human communications. Its truth has not changed merely because we know more now.

When the first Neanderthal told the second Neanderthal that there was a tiger behind the rock, the second one had to "take it on faith" as you say. The question the second Neanderthal might have asked himself is, "Does he really know this?"

Quote
If i were a scientist, i would have more concrete evidence of integrity in the system. My "faith" would come with more evidence.
That disregards reality - the rational person will accept the best possible explanation, even if it turns out later to be incorrect - what else is there to do? The question is, "Does this new explanation fit the data and explain more and more accurately?"

When whichever Greek it was said, "All swans are white." It may not have been accurate but it was workable and useful. Same with Newton. Everything is a step along the road. You seem to be suggesting that until we have reached the destination, we should not move from our present postion or even guess in which direction the destination lies.

The malaria example is one of many; science was not so much wrong in believing that malaria was caused by foul air, as moving towards the answer. The "mal aria" (foul air) came from the swamps, in the swamps were mosquitoes. So we would have been correct to latch on to the science... and then push it further. Newton explained the effects of gravity imprecisely - Einstein improved it. Should we have disregarded Newton?

Stephen Hawkins asserted that God is not necessary for the universe nor anything in it to exist. We can explain phenomena without reference to a deity.

So we should accept such things. However, we must not hold on to them when new evidence emerges - that is the province of religion and dogma.

I suppose that you could be pedantic and preface absolutely every statement with, "As far as it is understood..." but everything falls into that category and always will - the phrase is a condition of observation - there is no absolute truth.

The sum of your knowledge = [What you have experienced + the way you understand it] + ([What others have experienced + the way they understand it + the way they explain it] x [the way you understand it])

Anyway, to keep this on topic, "Darwinism" is a perfectly good word to encompass the philosophy of accepting the Theory of evolution.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline rickymooston

Re: Is the term Darwinist really that silly?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2012, 06:46:06 AM »
This has been true since the beginning of human communications. Its truth has not changed merely because we know more now.

Yes and humans have systematically lied to each other since that time as well; the Catholic church and the communist parties come to mind. Several corporations have managed to run interference as well over the years. Our balony detection kits are good but far from perfect. We have to come armed with an understanding that much of our provisional knowledge is based on faith. The more first hand knowledge you have in an area, the less its based on faith.

My German teacher claimed, Goethe was the last human to know all the significant knowledge of his day.


Quote
That disregards reality - the rational person will accept the best possible explanation, even if it turns out later to be incorrect - what else is there to do? The question is, "Does this new explanation fit the data and explain more and more accurately?"


What if you do not have direct evidence availible to you? You have never seen a swan but are tokd by some suthority that all swans are white? Your evidence is, to go back to your tiger example, the integrity of the guy telling you about the tiger combined with the cost benefit analysis of finding out whether he is right.

Note i am an evolutionist for a reason. I am just being objective about the limitations of basis of my believe in it. All of the data available to me, points to the essential paradigm to still hold with the observation that scientists today have a far deeper understanding than Darwin did. When the scientific establishment alters its view, i will ,ikely alter mine. I may ask for a high level explanation but like the vast majority of evolutionists, my provisional faith is on the integrity of the establishment to provide me with the data and the reasoning behind the best explanations.



A person raised in a creationist house hold in a remote area may have no evidence available to him or her suggesting evolution is correct.  When faced with the same scienctists an evoltuionist is faced with, he may disbelueve the scientists whereas an evolutiinist, withiut a strong scientific backgriund may belief in the integrity of the scientists and their data. The differences in concrete first hand knowledge, may be rather small and centers far more around evidence tgat rekiable data sources are reluable than on


Or go to the global warming example. Most of us do not have the background to understand clinate science. Some emails, apparently taken out of context were used to suggest systematic fraud among climate scientists

There are people people who have agendas in both directions on thst issue.

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When whichever Greek it was said, "All swans are white." It may not have been accurate but it was workable and useful. Same with Newton. Everything is a step along the road. You seem to be suggesting that until we have reached the destination, we should not move from our present postion or even guess in which direction the destination lies.

Sure. Science is built on the correct approach and all of the evidence available to me suggests for the most part, our system has integrity and the truth eventually comes out.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.