A Question of Science

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by S.J. Faerlind, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    For a long while theories of flight and gravity meant that bees couldn't fly.

    Science is based on observation explanation and often requires repeated observations. As a result theories are only based upon a limited set of data that we have; furthermore many times they do not always appear to work in all situations or the conditions change which results in the theory having to adapt. As such it is possible for theories to have areas where they don't work or limitations upon them.

    Anti-science people capitalize upon this because they (more so than scientists) like to spread the belief that theories are perfect working understandings that are not capable of being wrong - that science knows everything and THIS is the theory. They then poke holes in it to disprove the stance and to show that science doesn't know everything.

    They tend to then harp on that the Bible knows everything there is to know.


    This is further aided by the fact that they will only ever get to basic school level theories. They will use those simplified school models to poke holes in, whilst only off-hand mentioning anything more advanced. The key here is that they know most of the audience will have been through a school system thus they can poke holes in that and the audience understands it. They leave the higher level stuff alone for specifics and only generally poke holes at that.
     
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I'm not sure I agree with this. My post-secondary educational background is science (heaviest on biology and to a lesser extent, chemistry) and I don't ever remember any teacher telling me that scientific theories were infallible or ever believing that they were. The basic premise of the scientific method is supposed to be that theories are always evolving and changing and I distinctly remember learning that in school.
    I think the problem lies with the fact that nobody likes their belief systems to be challenged by any other and many will use any means to defend their position and discredit their opponent. Thus we have war between different belief systems: religion vs religion, atheism vs religion, individual vs individual...etc. To my way of thinking it all falls back to the "court of public opinion" I mentioned earlier... the more people you can find (or can convince to) share your belief system, the less likely the rest of the world is to think that you're crazy.
     
  3. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Sorry... I didn't really mean to put you on the spot but your answers intrigued me and they still do. Annnnd then suddenly we were off-topic! :D

    In spite of being off-topic, since you kindly answered my questions, I should answer yours. Yes, I occasionally had very strong "feelings of agreement" from instinctive knowledge as a child. This knowledge was not associated with any conscious or logical thought process and turned up seemingly randomly. Said knowledge actually even saved my life once that I can recall and kept me from harm another time. Given the propensity of these feelings to benefit me, I never discounted or ignored them as a child. I had no words to describe them at that time and I never questioned them until I got older and realized that apparently, not everybody had them. To be honest, discovering that was kind of a shock to me.

    Yes, I do have "feelings of agreement" in my adult life as well, probably more often than I did as a kid. Do I place any value on these random knowledge experiences as an adult? Yes. They rarely disagree with my logical thought processes and I think that makes it easier for me to accept them. (In essence, knowledge often make sense on two levels to me: rationally and instinctively.) That's the best attempt I can make to explain it. The only time the two types of knowledge clashed in jarring disagreement for me was when I didn't realize there was a problem. The disagreement was weird, and felt very foreign, and actually triggered my logical mind to try and figure it why it should be so. In that sense I suppose it was of value to me too.

    As for motherhood, it is awesome :cool:, supremely terrifying :eek:, packed with joy :), and with unimaginable frustration :mad:....
    I can't understand why everyone doesn't sign up for parenthood (sarcastic/kidding). LOL
     
  4. Daughter of Hell

    Daughter of Hell damosel in distress

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    I can't figure out what the Hell you're talking about in the first part of your post... but this last part is correctius maximus.

    My da brainwashes me with evolutionary theory to turn me into a baby-machine, but some of his rhetoric is powerful and undeniable (see, he's good at brainwashing, hey?!) It's also quite hostile towards homosexuals and people who use contraceptives and abortion, but whatever. So, here is today's lesson:

    Da: "Alexandria the Sexy, you're part of a bloodline that stretches back 4 billion years. Every single one of your ancestors over that time managed to successfully reproduce. If you do not do this also, then you will be the first being in all those generations to fail their task, incapable in all your humanity of doing something that not one of your ancestors failed, even the single-celled microscopic ones. You will be the first weak link in a 4 billion year old chain, and you will let that chain break. You don't want to be such an epic failure, do you?"

    Me: "No, daddy."

    Da: "Then what are you going to do?"

    Me: *Bends over*

    Or something like that. I can't remember his exact words. I was pretty stoned. Still, it's eye-opening to realize that every ancestor we have for 4 billion years was a successful reproducer, and the concept of being the first to fail to pass on what they've worked aeons to give us carries a lot of weight. We're very horny and anti-contraceptive in my family. I'll never let a condom in me nor a kill-pill.
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    Well thus I conclude that your family has never ever heard of genes and gene pool. We should be very, very careful when we choose(!) to reproduce and should check our genomes to see if by some random sex we dont make a genetically bad baby. Cmon its 21st century we should think about future. For example if I have a some genetically passive illness (it means it is not active in me, as it is not a dominant gene) and my wife has it too, then the genetically passive illness is DOMINANT in our kid. We should love the people we love, but only reproduce with people most suitable with our genome,

    Da dam hate me now.
     
  6. Daughter of Hell

    Daughter of Hell damosel in distress

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    We're really healthy people. I mean, my da is lean and handsome at 186cm and 80 kilo. I'm not tall because of my mama, but I'm a genetically diverse mongrel and super sexy. And comments on sexiness are reflective of health - humans have evolved to judge cues of healthiness as sexy as a way of instinctively identifying top genes. I'm fine.
     
  7. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    Thats so wrong on so many, many, many levels. As I said individualy if you are heatlthy person you have no apparent genetic problems. But if you make a baby with a person, whos sexy, without checking your and his genome. Your child CAN have dominant genemone from your both passives. Just reread what I wrote and pay a bit more attention please?
     
  8. Daughter of Hell

    Daughter of Hell damosel in distress

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    There's too many "ifs", to be honest. It isn't worth fretting over. 2 normal people give birth to retards all the time, for example. There's never any guarentees, and there's no reason decidedly healthy people ought to fret.
     
  9. Daughter of Hell

    Daughter of Hell damosel in distress

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    I measured myself just now. I think I'm nearly finished growing. 155cm and 45 kilo. Too Asian, but healthy and diverse.
     
  10. anonymous

    anonymous the king

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    45kg is`nt it a bit too low? Well if you think healthy = skinny.
    Im 175 72kg, feel all right myself.

    And to be frank its not too much ifs if its the only way to survive as species :p
     
  11. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    This is where this discussion went wayyyy off topic. I will give this thread a chance to re-rail itself.

    Locks and sanctions for members who try to carry the discussion on biology and/or parenthood forward, though :)

    On a personal note: please try not to go for each others throat all the time. It's never ever lead to anything good. Try to ignore and refrain if you feel the urge to react in untoward manners. Thanks.
     
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  12. Daughter of Hell

    Daughter of Hell damosel in distress

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    It's the Asain thing. Small skeleton frame. I'm not skinny. You can't see my ribs or anything. Thais are just pygmy, though.
     
  13. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Apologies for the off-topic posts. :oops:
     
  14. DITF-Ninja

    DITF-Ninja Chaotic Neutral

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    A large problem that tends to very greatly add to the fire of the fight between science and religion is a matter of pride. A large majority of people for whatever reason do not possess the ability to admit that they are wrong. Usually they end up deflecting and diverting until the argument gets so out of hand people forget what they were arguing about to begin with. What makes this so sad is that because of that line of thinking people tend to avoid correct information or intelligent thought because then that means they have to accept that they made a wrong decision in which information to accept as correct. And unfortunately this sort of thinking is extremely infectious for two reasons. 1) That if person A refuses to accept the sky is blue because of light wave lengths passing through a gas median creates the blue color and instead accepts that because a deity made it so and their friend, person B, also thinks that way but keeps getting told he is wrong A can comfort B and reinforce B's line of thinking. When presented with change a psychological battle takes place between the accepted and the proposed change and something as simple as that can reject that change and then the mind then conjures up reasons to solidify the incorrect or original idea even more. 2) because of the current level of integration that social media has become in our lives it becomes increasingly easier to plaster a video or meme attacking the new idea or solidifying the old one even when it is apparently obvious that the new idea is correct because when you are reaching out to volumes like that its similar to taking someone to court with 25 different charges against them, you are guaranteed that at least one of them is going to stick. Then that turns into a domino effect that only compounds on the original post.

    So not even taking into context the content of what exactly is being argued for or against people inherently have an advantage is spreading or solidifying incorrect information based off of those three advantages, pride, psychological re-affirmation, and social media. Because of that there are still cultures of people in the world that refuse nearly planet wide accepted things like basic math and physics.
     
  15. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, the question is whether it actually matter whether people (consciously or not) choose to accept a flawed view of the world. If anything, I feel people desperately need one to, well, exist. The one friend I have who - for medical reasons - is in constant doubt of the entire world around him can't function in society. At all, actually. He's on permanent welfare, as he can't hold a job.

    One way to describe religion would be the act of believing in your own lies. In that sense, I think everyone is religious.

    Another way, by the way, which I hold entirely valid, is that people fall short of understanding reality as it exists. To make sense of it all, we will have to make short cuts at some places - in reasoning and knowledge. There might be a full and complete truth, but it's beyond the grasp of a (single) human being. Where Western society comes in, is that we hold the individual's right and development in such high regards, that every last one of us tries regardless. And the very fierce discussions we are seeing are the reflections of the shortcuts, which are direct result of our shortcomings as humans. However, since the individual is so important to us - chief among which ourselves - it's rather hard to admit to that :)
     
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  16. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I tend to look at this problem in another way. That is, that instead of one person being "wrong" and another person being "right", the problem is that they just can't seem to discuss it and "agree to disagree" if they can't resolve it.

    I'm well aware this has both good and bad implications for concepts outside of what is "real" and what isn't. It could also be applied to concepts such as morality, and adopting such a view could potentially cause all sorts of havoc. For example: in Western culture, we generally consider violent murder to be "wrong" in most cases. We couldn't, as a society, simply say to a murderer, "Oh well, I just have to disagree with you that it was OK to murder that person." Civilization would crumble into chaos! Still, there are also benefits to regarding the reality and beliefs of others in this way. The main one being that it is respectful of another's personal experiences and beliefs which leads to unity/harmony even though there is division. I can think of only one way of keeping the benefits while getting around the difficulties of this idea, and since Tur's response ties into it, I'll post it below his quote.

    I think the key word here is function. Personally, I tend to divide realities into functional and dysfunctional ones. I define functional realities as those which allow an individual to function adequately in both a personal and societal context. These are adults who can look after themselves without too much help from anybody. In Western society, it means they can provide for themselves (and their families if they have them) and they have functional relationships within their communities.

    I define dysfunctional realities as those that prevent a person from providing for themselves in a personal and societal context. People suffering from dysfunctional realities might have a mental illness or hold beliefs that damage their lives for example. These are adults that can't live without the help of others, or cause such damage to themselves or others that they can't be allowed to roam free in society.

    To my way of thinking, this makes a lot of sense. It doesn't label anyone's beliefs as "delusional" or "crazy" and by extension, imply that their experiences "aren't real" for them. I'm convinced that even the most dysfunctional realities are "real" to the people who experience them. To be honest, I think it's disrespectful to tell anyone that they can't trust themselves to determine what is "real" and what isn't. It's also why I don't get too excited when my friend tells me she remembers her past lives even when I don't. She functions quite fine, thank you very much, so why would I label her as "crazy"?

    The concept of dysfunctional realities is a way of getting around the problems that come with respecting everyone's beliefs as equally valid. Society can't function without rules and to my way of thinking, anything that harms oneself and/or others is dysfunctional. In this way, I can accept that things like violence are dysfunctional, but that differing viewpoints that do not cause harm are not. This is why it seems so ridiculous to me that different belief systems go to war with each other. War is dysfunctional, while "agreeing to disagree" is not.

    I can't agree with you on this one. I think religion is believing in someone else's ideals, while true faith is believing in your own.

    I agree that everyone desperately needs a version of reality to exist but I think everyone constructs their own version. Given all the differences between versions of reality on the planet, that's the only way I can make sense of it.
     
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  17. DITF-Ninja

    DITF-Ninja Chaotic Neutral

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    I wasn't really meaning to touch on the concept of defined realities to individuals, just merely talk about some of the psychological factors that come into play when people are pressed with contradictory basic information in relation to the fight of science and religion. Either way this conversation has gotten much more interesting. Now as far as I can see with the last part about religion both of you are actually saying the same thing. S.J. you had said that religion is believing in someone else's ideals. To believe in something is to accept if from another into yourself would you both not agree? Turambar stated that one way to describe religion would be the act of believing in your own lies. So then he says believing he is merely bypassing the part referencing the fact that the information or ideals are from an outside source. And as you had said before S.J. that you view it more as a comparison between functional and dysfunctional realities, not necessarily a comparison of right to wrong. Now that is not to say the plane of right and wrong no longer exists because it is a very common thing for people to supplement voids in their belief or system of understanding with things that they label beyond their understanding, I.E. religions. So alignment of moral values, understanding of cosmic functions, and even interpreting reason of life usually become derived from religious sanctions until people find tangible proof otherwise. That sort of accepting just to fill the void can be interpreted as a lie because again even though we are considering it on the plane of functional verses dysfunction the plane of correct versus incorrect still exists.

    At least that is the way I am interpreting it.
     
  18. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, in this particular case, Joost - let's call him Joost, since he is called Joost - is incapable of forming a coherent narrative based on the information his senses provide. I wouldn't call such a reality dysfunctional, for the simple reason there isn't really one to begin with. He, by the way, doesn't take interest in Religion. Whether that is because of cultural influence; or whether he feels religion is a needless over-complication; - or, rather, whether there's some other, deeper reason, I don't know. But it's interesting nonetheless.

    Whilst you wouldn't write him off at first sight, the fact that Joost desperately tries to cling to a reality which almost invariably crumbles in his hands, tires him out mentally all the time. And this is the reason he has a hard time fitting in. He could be fine, until you launch him an existential question like: "How are you doing?".

    Of course, I am overstating matters a bit (although he will get mad at me for asking him how is, when I do it at the wrong moment). But, it's still interesting to me how he is the only person I know who doesn't appear to live in his own bubble of realities. As it turns out, for him at least, that's rather untoward - suggesting to me that such a reality, fictional as it might very well be, is actually very important.

    A whale's vagina. It's a reference. Look it up :cool:

    To be honest, you might be right - in part at least. Maybe religion is merely the label we seek to attach to ourselves, based on the those assumptions we have found necessary to carve out the reality we feel confident with. However, it doesn't require me to agree with anyone else within that religion. I might read a Qu'ran tomorrow, be enamored with its ideas, and call myself a Muslim. Doesn't mean there's a single Muslim in the world who agrees with what I take away from that book - but they can't stop me being a Muslim. I might be a Christian, without believing the man died for anyone's sins but his own. Can't be a Catholic that way - but Rome certainly can't stop me from calling myself a Christian.

    But, for some reason, I do understand religion to principally be entirely personal. Ask five people why they adhere to a certain congregation, and they will give you five entirely different reasons. People take away different things. I will readily admit that this might be different with a religion that has been so strongly interwoven with a society that there isn't one without the other. However, maybe the question of reality wouldn't come up as often in such a society. And even then, I think people will apply their own mental gymnastics to make it stick to the reality they find themselves in.

    Ow well.
     
  19. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I would answer both yes and no to your question. I would accept someone else's idea or belief and incorporate it into my version of reality if it made sense to me, but that isn't the only information I use to construct my beliefs. I also observe the world and think about those observations. Those observations and the conclusions drawn from them become part of my beliefs, and they come from me, not from anyone else.

    I don't at all doubt that the concepts of "correct" and "incorrect" / "right" and "wrong" still exist. It has been my observation that people fight about them all the time and I have to account for that observation. I'm merely proposing a different way of regarding other people's beliefs. Would it lead to fewer fights if people were to look at beliefs as functional or dysfunctional instead of as "right/true" or "delusional"/"wrong"? I have no idea. Probably, people would just move on to trying to convince the majority that beliefs they don't hold personally are dysfunctional. :rolleyes:

    I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to convey here. Are you saying that your friend cannot construct any sort of reality at all from his observations or that he grasps any kind of reality only intermittently?


    At least Ron and Veronica agreed to disagree....lol

    I agree completely. Still, I observe that one of the biggest criticisms levelled at "religious people" (for lack of a better word) is that they have to adhere to a set of rigid beliefs and can't choose which ideals or beliefs to adopt as their own and just disregard the rest. So many people seem to imply that religion is an "all or nothing" belief system. If one part of it is judged to be unworthy, a person should throw the whole mess away as garbage (the proverbial "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" approach). Along the same line of thinking, if one part of it is judged to be worthy of keeping, so too should the rest of it. I don't know many people who follow a religion that actually do that. In my experience, most people keep the baby and throw out the bathwater. This is an observation that seems to escape a lot of critics. Now that isn't to say that there aren't differences of opinion as to what constitutes "baby" and what constitutes "bathwater", but that goes back to your statement that people take away different things from the same experience.

    I love your choice of words here: "mental gymnastics" :)
    I honestly can't think of a more apt term for describing how anyone manages to construct their reality in the complex universe we live in.
     
  20. DITF-Ninja

    DITF-Ninja Chaotic Neutral

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    I should have chosen my words a little better. When I mean another I mentally am not limiting it to another human being as being the source of ideals being brought into oneself. I should have clarified more in say that any outside source other than oneself.

    You are very correct in your line of thinking that it would lead to fewer fights if we simply set aside the viewpoint of correct vs incorrect and allowed an agree to disagree idea based off of it is functional or not to the individuals in relation to their viewpoint on their reality however there are other dangers that come into play. Take for instance the constant arguing between religion and science on the subject of vaccinations or medical procedures like blood transfusions. The religious individuals still fall under the functional side in the sense that not accepting this bit of science over their religion still allows them to function as normal individuals however now they pose a risk to themselves and others that they surround. Would those then be fights worth having in the sense of correct vs incorrect over that of functional vs dysfunctional?