All The Things You Aren't Supposed to Talk About : Politics, Religion, & Money!

Discussion in 'Community Hang-Out' started by simplyTravis, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. simplyTravis

    simplyTravis "A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"

    So, I'm curious. Why bring up flat-Earth theory when it is completely obvious that the Earth is not flat? We can observe that it is round easily. Your retort seems to come with a lot of prejudice built into it based on how you are wording things.

    But if I wanted to be facetious I could say that we are all on a flat plane according to the evidence behind the holographic univers theory so...the Earth really is flat according to science!

    Also, I did talk about the philosophy (or you can call it a theory if you want) behind my thought process on Creationism instead of telling you a fact. Sometimes there is more truth behind philosophy than can be measured. Similar to how it's impossible to give the Mona Lisa a measurable grade next to Van Gogh's Starry Night in any sort of objective fashion. We just don't live completely in absolutes. That is another reason why I cited how little we comprehend. Keep in mind, a scientist is still merely a fallible person and not this sort of new age Christ-like figure that progressive ideology tends to allude to. I know scientists still in their fields but I also know a few that left because of how cold that world can be. (Pithing mice for instance when they finish an experiment would take the heart out of most.)

    I also have a hard time forcing everything under the "inscrutable" eye of science because, as you said, there is a lot of incentive to put forth a certain view usually in the form of government and investor grants.

    So, we are a bit at an impasse here. I'm not going to necessarily change my view because I can't prove God exists by going out and taking a picture of Him or weighing Him. You still aren't going to convince me that He doesn't exist because you allude to God in the most ridiculous verbiage possible. I don't find this theory silly because scientists still can't prove how or why got here.

    And finally, you state that scientists should be our main guiding light for getting our money worth out of public education. That isn't always the case. There are times where scientists leave out common sense and human nature because they remove the human element from experiments. I remember quite a few professors that would cite scientific evidence for various methods of classroom management that simply were not feasible in the real world. They could cite various studies but quite a few never actually walked into a classroom. Many of the scientific studies in the past have been very harmful to kids. Just take a gander into how schools were run in the 1800's and 1900's. It can be horrifying.

    So, what I'm trying to get at is that I'm not going to throw all of my faith into the scientific community just because they have a process. I will, however, take into consideration what they say. If they can prove something, that is fine. However, I don't look to them for everything. Especially not when it comes to raising children because progress in science is often more important than anything else. One of my favorite examples of this is Robert Boyle's painting "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" It shows a sort of proto-scientist (natural philosopher) that is recreating an experiment where a bird is deprived of air. There are various reactions in the image and the scientist looks towards the viewer to bring you into the scene and decide who is right. The answer is tough and not necessarily objective just like this topic we have brought up.

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  2. Juegos

    Juegos All mods go to heaven. Staff Member Moderator

    I'm not trying to argue whether God exists or not. I have my own views on that*, and no, it's not that there is a God-Octopus, that was just an example of a belief that is not scientific even if it cannot be scientifically disproven.

    Once again, whether somebody thinks something makes sense or doesn't, or whether they think it's helpful or practical or not, has no bearing on it being scientific. Creationism cannot be scientific until people come up with independently reproducible experiments whose consistent results logically prove a hypothesis. Creationism won't be scientific until many independent creationists can truthfully say, "we observed such and such as they underwent an experimental process of so and so, and found that because A and B, therefore C, such that God has indeed created the Earth X number of years ago; we were able to reproduce these results over and over, just like our peers in these other parts of the world, with no significant or inexplicable variation." Whether somebody thinks this is good or bad is up to that person, but what isn't up to that person is whether something is scientific or not.

    When people talk about the Theory of Evolution, there are hundreds of thousands of cycles of the scientific method behind it, which is what makes it scientific. Not so with creationism in Abrahamic religions, let alone in non-Abrahamic or polytheistic religions (and we're not about to teach all those in an American school just because there are people of those religions that believe in them). Just don't call creationism "scientific". It's like calling cars ground-planes. If it's not planing across the sky, it's not a plane. If it doesn't follow the scientific method, it's not scientific.

    My current view on God is that I don't need to bother myself with the question of whether God exists, and what kind of God that would be (monotheistic, pantheistic, etc). Regardless of whether I believe God is an omniscient, omnipotent bearded man in the sky, or whether God is in every living thing, or whether God is the force that holds all subatomic particles together, there should be no difference in how I live my life. If I want to live a good life, I should be able to do so whether I believe God exists, or doesn't exist, or I can't possibly know at all.

    Edit: Just for clarity, I'm not responding specifically to Travis. I'm responding to the last few pages where there have been several attempts at calling Creationism a scientific theory on the same footing as Evolution.
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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  3. DarkDepths

    DarkDepths Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord


    I don't think that ('that' being the contents of either of your previous 2 posts) is all that unreasonable.

    First, I agree that scientists are "just human too." They make mistakes, they have prejudices, and so on. However, that's what the process aims to diminish. Science is built on repeatable, falsifiable, peer-reviewed experimentation. For results to be "valid" they must be repeatable by other scientists, it must be theoretically possible to demonstrate them to be incorrect, and they have to be reviewed by other scientists typically in a double-blind review wherein the reviewers don't know who the author is, and the author doesn't know who the reviewer is.

    Further, I don't think anyone should have faith in science. Whether or not you "believe" that friction exists, for example, doesn't matter. You can set up an experiment and prove it to yourself. Of course, as things get more complicated, that becomes less and less feasible. But all scientific results are built upon layers of increasingly complex concepts. We can independently review the literature, make ourselves expert, and verify for ourselves. You can't do that for everything, of course, so I admit that you do have to have some trust that the entire system isn't colluding to deceive you. But if you combine a strong personal foundation in the sciences based on self-verified experimentation, with continued willingness to read and study scientific literature, I don't think it's too hard to diminish the requirement on trust.

    Second, I don't think your approach to the sort-of larger philosophical question is too unreasonable. I'm also not really willing to go 'all-in' on the whole 'no-God' thing. I don't call myself an agnostic, because it's taken on a meaning of being a 'fence-sitter.' I'm not a fence-sitter, I definitely lean towards 'no-God' but I'm probably around like, 85% or something. There are a number of things I struggle with, with your idea:
    • I can't find any good reason to believe the Christian genesis story over others
    • the scientific method is useful and is the only reason we have advanced technologically
    • the lack of answers inherent in it
      • Whether God did it or not, that's still not an answer. Since the universe exists, there must be a process by which universes can come into existence. If God didn't do it, how did it happen? If God did do it, how did he do it?

    Ultimately, there either is a God or there is not. Like I said to Odo before, we have different ways of making sense of the world around us. I think science is the best tool for discovering the truth. I assume you think faith in Christ is the way to go. This seems to be the fundamental point of disagreement, in all of these such discussions. I cannot understand how you can disregard science, and I guess you can't understand how I can disregard personal religious experience.
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  4. simplyTravis

    simplyTravis "A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"

    I don't see it as dogmatically as that or that Christianity and science are necessarily mutually exclusive. And I can understand how some disregard personal religious experience. I've had that myself, but I didn't feel bringing those experiences made sense in the scope of our discussions because they would be shot down immediately.

    Christian Genesis is a tough pill to swallow, I'll admit. I think there is a bit of writing in the Bible that references various cultural understandings of the times where the scope of billions/trillions of years may not have been comprehended within their scope of understanding. But, I think that is a topic for another day and one I don't have enough knowledge to get into.
  5. DarkDepths

    DarkDepths Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord

    Well... it depends on what you mean by "abiogenesis can't be proved." If you mean, we can't prove the current life is definitely the product of abiogenesis, then I agree. But, what if we can model what we think the early universe must have looked like, recreate those conditions on a small scale, and demonstrate that abiogensis can occur within them?

    I mean, this is the core of the issue. There is nothing we can do to demonstrate the existence of a God. You can feel it in your bones, but you can't demonstrate to another person that God exists. On the other hand, I can do some calculations, shoot a pool ball, and demonstrate to you that our understanding of momentum is pretty darn good. Similarly, I could theoretically demonstrate to you that abiogensis is possible.

    Science requires falsifiability. In order for something to be a theory, it must be theoretically possible to demonstrate that it is incorrect. We can do this with momentum, for example. Theoretically, you could shoot a fair pool ball and it could simply not move at all. And you would go "wtf... something weird just happened." You'd do it again, and other people would try it and replicate it and the world would collectively say "wtf... what happened to momentum?" Of course, that hasn't happened [yet] and we therefore continue to think that our understand of momentum is a pretty good one.

    You could also theoretically falsify evolution. Evolution expects life to change over generations. If you were to study several generations and not observe adaptations, then you would be on your way to doing so.

    Some people say, well, you can't falsify something that supposedly happened a gagillion years in the past. And that's true to an extent. Imagine a simple experiment: I inspect Mr. Christies kitchen and find half a cookie on the counter. For the next 6 years, I watch his kitchen every morning and, every morning, Mr Christie grabs a cookie, eats half of it, and leaves the remaining half on the counter. I can then be pretty confident about how the first half-cookie I saw got to be that way. I can't be absolutely certain, but what is the probability that out of the ~2000 instances, the only one that was caused by something different was the only one that I didn't directly witness. It is a logical inference.

    Similarly, if we can demonstrate that evolution occurs. If we can demonstrate that abiogenesis is possible in 'early-universe' conditions. If we can demonstrate that planets can form and so on and so forth. If we can demonstrate a natural possibility for how we got to where we are, and it is consistent with all that we know about the universe. Then it is not unreasonable to say "this is our best explanation." And, as science tends to do, when flaws are inevitably found, it will change and the explanation will get better.

    Contrast this with the "Creationist" explanation. It starts with "God is real," and "the bible is literally true." We can't falsify "God is real" because "God is real" isn't testable, because God is a variable that if it exists cannot be controlled. If we attempt to prove the usefulness of prayer, for example, and find that it does not better than random chance, what is the conclusion? It's not that prayer doesn't work - it can't be, because we can't control the conditions under which prayers are answered. Maybe God has off-days and doesn't feel like answering prayers, or more likely the claim, what if the products of Gods work is not obvious? It's the classic story, right? "If you pray for bravery, God won't make you brave, he'll give you an opportunity in which to be brave." Well, how do you measure that? If I get 1000 people together to pray for $14.36 cents each to be delivered to them in a brown envelope in precisely 16 minutes, I can measure the results, but certainly no believers would take the results seriously.

    My running through the various flaws in Creationist arguments earlier may have thrown you off my intention. My point there was to show that the arguments typically used are not scientific in nature. But that's not always necessarily true. The bigger point is that you cannot falsify "creation" to the satisfaction of a believer - it's impossible. Conversely, you can definitely falsify any scientific principle/theory to any reasonable scientist - they might not like it and they may take a long time to accept it, but it acceptance doesn't really matter - logic speaks for itself. But logic is how we describe our universe, and God supposedly exists outside of it, so apparently logic can no longer be trusted.

    Chefs occasionally discuss cars, that doesn't mean a Model T is food.
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  6. DarkDepths

    DarkDepths Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord

    So again, I think this is actually kind of reasonable. I freely admit that I don't have any idea how the universe came to be. It could have been a God, it could have been some natural fluctuations in virtual particles, I don't know. But if there is a God, I'm much more inclined to believe that it was a creator who got things started and then left them alone to evolve and mutate. If such a God exists, then it should be indistinguishable from natural processes, from our perspective, and so whether or not such a God exists isn't really a relevant question, to me.

    That said, I can respect a religious position that still accounts of science. I can't really understand it, but at least I can respect the willingness to at least consider that at least in some cases, observable reality trumps ancient writings.
  7. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    what you are describing is theological evolution NOT creationism

    as I said earlier in this thread there are a lot of christian scientists who believe in evolution and disregard creationism without giving up on their religious doctrine. They just believe that god is at the center of evolution. That doesn't negate evolution at all, the theory of evolution doesn't specify the exact source of our origin, as you said the big bang could have been god's doing... but adding god into the equation does not make it creationism... creationism is the belief that everythign was made with specific purpose... as in, man came into existence from no primitive ancestor
  8. TechnoHobbit

    TechnoHobbit Ash nazg durbatulûk

    Thanks, an interesting read.
    Subjects of this sort are a challenge to talk about in a truly "scientific" sense. Direct evidence is hard to come by and experiments and the testing of hypotheses are are more or less impossible. The theories discussed are forced to rely primarily on indirect circumstantial evidence and conjecture, which does run contrary to science.

    I guess a more accurate wordage would simply be that creationism is a viable theory as opposed to macroevolution. Both are currently lacking direct evidence and are virtually impossible to prove or disprove via the scientific method (or even get close to such), but both have a good degree of indirect and circumstantial evidence. One has to connect the dots and conclude what is most likely.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  9. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    creationism is a theory with no scientific evidence to back it up, should we rule it out entirely as it has not been disproved, of course not, but you can't simply say we should teach it side by side with evolution as their are countless theories that exist or can exist without scientific backing but which cannot be directly disproved

    we should only teach what has scientific merit behind it, and then also teach that science is ever changing and that many other possibilities can exist.... teachign that another theory can exist though, is not fair game to teach a theory with no scientific backing, that makes no sense.

    there is more evidence to be found in elon musk's ridiculous theory that we are in a computer simulation then there is evidence in favor of creationism... and his theory is fun to ponder and consider, but nobody is saying "hey, why aren't we teaching kids the theory that we are all just a computer simulation in schools alongside evolution as equal theories?"

    so I am not saying creationism should not be discussed, but rather that it has no place in schools, atleast not regular schools, it has a place in private religious schools and in Sunday school where it is taught as religious doctrine... but NO religious doctrine should be taught in public schools... or as part of an accredited education in science... (philosophy maybe)

    the second you teach creationism as a legit theory in science you have to then weigh it against every other religious ideology, and every other possible theory that cannot be proven or disproved scientifically, and that is a f'n mess

    I think that the thing that makes creationism laughable (for me) is that most christian scientists don't believe in it either.. they believe in what Travis described, which is NOT creationism, and as such, is something that I DO NOT find laughable....


    as for atheism and agnosticism... neither are religions, they are just words, and their definitions are not mutually exclusive... you can be an agnostic atheist, or a gnostic atheist, or an agnostic theist, or a gnostic theist.... ro countless other word combinations that describe your personal belief structure...

    I would say that Matt is a gnostic theist, travis seems to be somewhere between a gnostic theist and an agnostic theist.... I consider myself an agnostic atheist, and I believe that is where DD seems to land as well... an agnostic atheist does not believe in god, but also does not discount the possibility, they don't believe, but they also don't KNOW... where as a gnostic theist believes in god, and KNOWS their belief is founded.

    I think the confusion about agnosticism and atheism comes from some theists' desire to see each as a religion, ratehr than just as words...

    atheism is not a religion, agnosticism is not a religion, even theism is not a religion.... they are just words, they are like genres.... I am both action and adventure... an action adventure

    christianity is a religion, and all christians are theists, but not all theists are christian

    christianity isn't just a word, it isn't like a genre... it is like a franchise... Matt is The Fast and the Furious.... not just an action drama, now which entry to the franchise he is varies greatly, but he has a franchise that he belongs to... where as I do not

    somebody who sees themselves as "spiritual" but not part fo any religion would be an example of a theist that doesn't have a "franchise"... just a "genre"
  10. Odo

    Odo Well-Known Member

    It's still not a proof. So, it doesn't make it better than intelligent design so far.

    I'm not talking about God or Genesis. I'm talking about intelligent design being as reasonable as abiogenesis. Nobody needs to demonstrate the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before talking about intelligent design.

    "Inferences to design do not require that we have a candidate for the role of designer. We can determine that a system was designed by examining the system itself, and we can hold the conviction of design much more strongly than a conviction about the identity of the designer."
    Michael J. Behe, Professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University​

    Is Intelligent Design Falsifiable?

    Many explanations have been changed or abandoned throughout the history of the science. We can't tell if evolution or abiogenesis will have been discarded in a century or two. I won't abandon one explanation because of a better one and I don't know if abiogenesis is the better one.

    I think we're talking about different things.

    Creationism for me is the general view that life was somehow designed. I've never quoted the Bible here, I've been quoting professors and scientists.

    Maybe an alien from outer space has designed life on Earth. I don't know. Or maybe it was God as the Bible says. As a believer, I believe it was the God.

    I don't have more knowledge than those guys:

    The relevance to intelligent design in biochemistry is plain. Design is evident in the designed system itself, rather than in pre-knowledge of who the designer is. Even if the designer is an entity quite unlike ourselves, we can still reach a conclusion of design if the designed system has distinguishing traits (such as irreducible complexity) that we know require intelligent arrangement. (One formal analysis of how we come to a conclusion of design is presented by William Dembski in his recent monograph, The Design Inference (Dembski 1998).)
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  11. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I would argue that both the theory of evolution and intelligent design fall under the category of "pseudo science", as neither can be directly observed, measured, or otherwise tested. Yet one is held to a completely different standard than the other.
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  12. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

    The essential ingredients and building blocks of the universe, and DNA would indicate that we have in fact tested, and verified many of the things you're outlining. It can hardly be interpreted as pseudo science.

    Intelligent Design is an interesting thing because it seems to imply that the only possible explanation is some incredibly intelligent being or something rather started it. Well, first off, what exactly is intelligence? What do we perceive as intelligent? It's a relative term because what were intelligent beings hundreds of millions of years ago would be considered rather primitive by today's standards. In other words, intelligence itself has evolved over time.
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  13. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    However both of those can be applied to both the theories in question. Yes they exist and we can prove them, but how they came to be and in such an order we can not. We have no way to prove or disprove that either theory can have an exclusive claim on those observations.

    Agreed, although from the perspective of "Intelligent Design" it would be the equivalent to or greater than something even beyond "Super Intelligence". In a general sense however, intelligence is more of a relative question.

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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  14. repomech

    repomech resident remnant robot relic

    [​IMG][/IMG] [​IMG]
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  15. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

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  16. simplyTravis

    simplyTravis "A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"

    HECK YEAH! I'm glad they have to deal with the same crap us peons do. It's about time. I wish they would have had to deal with Obamacare.
  17. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

    Well, if Trumpcare care gets passed, they'd wish they could stick to Obamacare in the end.
  18. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I want to have "universal" health care; but I don't want Obama or Trump care either. Setting aside the whole consumer and business practices that lead to the situation we are in now, I just wish we could fix the entire mess.
  19. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

    I want a National Health Care plan like my European brothers and sisters all have as much as anyone. But as it stands, I'll take Obamacare over whatever the fuck that piece of shit those GOP folks passed in the House. They've had 7 years to pass their version of ACA, and this is the best they can do? Despicable.
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  20. simplyTravis

    simplyTravis "A nice guy, but looks like a f'n Jedi!"

    Time to stir up the hornets nest.

    What do you guys think of the latest Trump/Comey issue? I have my thoughts but I'm curious to see where everyone lies at the moment.
  21. sjmartin79

    sjmartin79 White Phoenix of the Crown

    I'll just say that I'm not shocked. Everyone said "He'll run America like he runs his business". Well, he is. And I'm very interested to see what it goes from here.
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  22. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

    Some will downplay it, but I think it's a much bigger deal than some are willing to admit. Sure, we know the president has the authority to fire the FBI director; this is nothing new. The problem though is the sheer timing of it all, which makes this whole debacle rather suspect. And then on top of it all with the now recent information of Trump giving classified information to the Russians that was supposedly obtained by Israel, that does not bode well for international relations.

    As Steve said, he is trying to run the country like he runs his business, which I assume means he doesn't actually do anything, expects his name to be on it, and screws over everyone in order to 1up himself.
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  23. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I for one am quite sick of the sheer quantity of news outlets that are focusing almost exclusively on Trump. By reporting on (and generally polarizing along one of two groups perspectives) every single thing he does, it has effectively snuffed out any non Trump related news and often confused any important news actually related to Trump. The Left and the Right are all out of their heads at this point (Or rather that is all we see from either of them in the eyes of the media at large) and it is resulting in one of the most worthless era's of journalism that I have ever seen. The World does not revolve around Trump, and although his actions should certainly be heavily monitored and publicized, we have gone far beyond overkill in regards to what we are getting right now; it is a media overload that is smothering news in general.
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  24. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

    Maybe Trump should just shut his fucking mouth once in a while, or not tweet some hypocritical comment before the crack of dawn.
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  25. Shoulder

    Shoulder Shouldy McShoulderface chippin' in

  26. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    If a person is being an ass, it is within anybodies right to slap them; does not matter if they are a man or woman, white or black, red, green, or even purple.
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  27. Juegos

    Juegos All mods go to heaven. Staff Member Moderator

    What I'm getting from this is that we need to add a Slap button to TNE. There are a lot of @FriedShoes posts that can't be liked, loled, or RAPd, and sometimes the smh just isn't enough.
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  28. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I second this notion.
  29. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    So... I think she deserved it... That being said, he only complicated things by doing it, avoiding violence is best, even if it is deserved... I wouldn't say he should face any retribution, or even be seen as wrong, just that things would likely be better if he hadn't
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  30. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    Probably, but at the same time not doing anything would in some ways be worse. Inaction effectively justifies her actions, and paves the way for more disrespectful behavior in the future.
  31. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes Girl Fetishist Staff Member Moderator

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