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Author Topic:   A Test Of Science And Evolution Knowledge
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 1 of 83 (813976)
07-02-2017 2:02 PM


I promised Percy I would only put topics through the "proposed" section of the site so even though this is clearly a fairly trivial topic belonging obviously to the Coffee House, I shall keep my word;

Basically in a lot of debates the issue comes up of whether the debaters and perhaps in particular, creationists, understand science and evolution. This can of course be taken to a more ad hominem extreme, where a stereotype is created that a creationist is a gormless, stupid, uneducated, religious person and nothing more, and just needs to be educated by Dawkins.

Here are some quizzes/tests, I found. If you can find better quizzes that's fine.

The first quiz/test is population genetics. A difficult test Goku provided (a member from EFF with good education of evolution), I only got 65% on this test and that is probably the best low score I have ever got because my knowledge of this minutia level of science isn't the best;

https://highered.mheducation.com/...r20/multiple_choice.html

This is just a test on evolution I googled;

http://www.gotoquiz.com/evolution_t_f_quiz

I got 88% on that one.

And finally a science and technology quiz, which I got 14 out of 15;

http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/science-knowledge-2013/

(This last one is a good one because when you are finished it shows a statistic of how you compare to people of the same age group and so forth.)

So just gives you a rough idea of your general knowledge of evolution and science.

So then do creationists understand the ToE, but perhaps just don't value it like you do? Is it only because we don't understand evolution that we don't accept it? Or do we understand it but like a joke when you don't laugh, we get it but just don't find it amusing?

I admit my own personal view is that generally speaking creationists would probably score a bit lower on average but I imagine that is because they have no interest in evolution theory, generally, on a deeper level. It can be difficult to take interest in a subject which doesn't interest you. But I don't think it's as black and white as some evolutionists make out. I believe there are many creationists like me, that understand your theory but simply don't accept it is true and believe on logical grounds it runs short of the mark.

My belief is that there is a strong connection between disinterest in a subject and ignorance of it. I believe in all honesty, if the boot was on the other foot, evolutionists would generally score low if there were tests to understand the creationist arguments from creation scientists.


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Message 2 of 83 (813978)
07-03-2017 8:48 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the A Test Of Science And Evolution Knowledge thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1082
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 3 of 83 (813981)
07-03-2017 9:54 AM


EvC
I think the vast majority of Creationists I've met don't believe in evolution in a passive sense, it sounds like daft nonsense they have no real interest in, as you said, and they don't really know much about it due to having no interest in "that kind of thing". I think this is much more common than knowing about it in depth and rejecting it, i.e. "knowing about it, but valuing it less".

There are highly scientifically literate Creationists I've met, but these would be in the minority.

That said though the highly scientifically literate Creationists I've met or debated with online either:

(a) Are ignorant of the field they reject. For example I've met a theoretical physicist who rejects evolution, but he doesn't really know it in depth. I have never, in all my time with this issue, seen a Creationist fully take on modern evolutionary theory scientifically (rather than using rhetorical/showmanship techniques) from a position of decent knowledge.

(b) Engage in some form of "Last Thursday"-ism. The fella I mentioned above acknowledges that the Big Bang matches observational evidence to an incredible degree and that there is no evidence against it, but still thinks this is simply an interesting fact of the mathematics, i.e. the maths just happens to obtain correct facts about the world even though the picture underneath it has no reality. We live in a recently created world, it's just that the model of a 13.7 billion year old relativistic universe manages to produce the correct mathematics for modelling distant star light.

(c) Related to (b), essentially always pull some form of "what-if" or "how do you know".
Discovery of transitional fossils leads to requiring transitions between the transitional fossils
Multiple independent sources of the age of the Earth agreeing is met with "how do we know" they aren't all systematically biased via an unknown mechanism which happens to make them all agree on the same old date.

Another thing is, this may seem ideological to you, some sort of "Evolution vs Creationism", but it isn't. Creationists are just another hold out group, like Indian nationalists who think Indo-European never existed or originated in India (another group I frequently debate). It isn't "Indo-Europeanism" vs "Hindu nativism". It's just the scientifically supported model vs something that supports the "world story" of some ideological group and that something just has no real evidence.


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 10:32 AM Son Goku has responded
 Message 5 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 10:40 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 4 of 83 (813987)
07-03-2017 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Son Goku
07-03-2017 9:54 AM


Re: EvC
Hi Son Goku. (Nice to talk to another Goku)

It seems the problem with your post from my perspective is it categorises creationists into three groups, as a false trichotomy.

To give you an example of a true trichotomy, I would say this;

"I believe all living people will be either under 50 years of age, over 50 years of age or 50 years of age."

That's a true trichotomy because of every person alive, of the 100% of living people there would be three percentages for each group adding up to 100%.

The second problem with your argument is that it relies on the fallacy called the Black Swan Fallacy, that because in your experience you haven't met a creationist that understood evolution or had a decent knowledge, you perhaps jump to the conclusion there are none. This strikes me as a very common argument from evolutionists, "I've never met a creationist that understood evolution."

Hmmmm. 1. Do you have telepathy? 2. Is it more likely you are just saying that to have a pop at creationists?

It seems more reasonable to believe that as a human being, you have certain biases. How realistic is it really to say that all of the understanding of evolution will be found only in the group that accepts evolution, and no understanding in the group that doesn't? Originally there were no evolutionists, Darwin himself became one when he wasn't one, so he was a non-evolutionist that understood evolution since he invented it.

That strikes me as similar to reasoning that no people from outside of England can speak English.

Son Goku writes:

Another thing is, this may seem ideological to you, some sort of "Evolution vs Creationism", but it isn't. Creationists are just another hold out group, like Indian nationalists who think Indo-European never existed or originated in India

I have dealt with this type of argument several times. If you are going to play the comparison game the comparison must be equivalent. By saying for example "creation is just like not accepting a round earth", this is begging-the-question, because please note how no evidence or reasoning is required for such a statement, which is really only a bare assertion.

Similarly I could say, "evolutionists are just another outgroup, they're clinging on to Neo-Darwinism when it's clear epigenetics and other factors have now shown it outdated, they are no different from Indian nationalists or flat earthers."

It's not enough to just state that, and it's also illogical to generalise by saying, "creationists are X". There are two fallacies I should mention, the sweeping generalisation fallacy and the Hasty generalisation fallacy.

If you say that because some or most creationists are X then "creationists are X" you have committed hasty generalisation.

If you say that generally creationists are X, and then conclude the individual creationist is X, you commit sweeping generalisation.

Thus I could argue your argument also; "I don't meet any evolutionists that value logical notation or critical thinking, and are aware of fallacious errors in their arguments."

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 9:54 AM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 10:59 AM mike the wiz has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 5 of 83 (813988)
07-03-2017 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Son Goku
07-03-2017 9:54 AM


Re: EvC
I have given an argument against evolution here which is a logically correct deductive argument in message one, but I won't discuss it here, as this isn't the place to discuss these things, so don't attempt some flippant complaint here please;

In my experience I am hard pressed to find an evolutionist that has the intellectual capabilities to understand the logical significance of the argument; The excuses used are always some type of special-pleading, double standard.

http://evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?/topic/6685...

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 9:54 AM Son Goku has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 6 of 83 (813991)
07-03-2017 10:47 AM


Of course this wasn't really meant as a debate topic as such, I thought the quizzes might interest members.
Replies to this message:
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mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 7 of 83 (813992)
07-03-2017 10:56 AM


Another problem with this issue, is that when creationists question evolution or they say something that doesn't favour it, automatically in my experience of debate, it seems to be a tactic to say that the creationist only says those things because of a lack of understanding.

So basically that's akin to saying that you are automatically a defective human mentally if you question evolution in any way, or scrutinise it.

Isn't that basically just an ad hominem tactic to put all of the focus OFF the fact that evolution can be criticised, so that obtuse people will instead think this; "well, if he is right and the creationist doesn't understand evolution, then he must be talking nonsense, so I don't have to listen to the argument from the creationist."

But according to logical rules, an argument is only not sound, if the premises are false or the form is not valid. According to logical rules, an argument's veracity has nothing to do with the arguer. If a vagrant stumbled into a library having come up with E=MC2 in a moment of clarity, rather than Einstein, it would not matter if he was the most indolent, stupidest, unscientific, and immoral person alive, as long as he was correct.


  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1082
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 8 of 83 (813993)
07-03-2017 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by mike the wiz
07-03-2017 10:32 AM


Re: EvC
It seems the problem with your post from my perspective is it categorises creationists into three groups

No, I describe three kinds of behaviours I've encountered, some people do all three. I've never met somebody who doesn't do one, but there probably is. I'm not categorising.

The second problem with your argument is that it relies on the fallacy called the Black Swan Fallacy

This is where, to some degree, we hit a problem.

First of all, it's not an argument. The multiple "I met" and "in my experience" are to indicate it's just my experience. There's no large scale study of the Creationist community in the manner your discussing, at least not one I have seen, so I have nothing else. I'm not indicating this is absolutely true nor categorising creationists. Just listing three observed behaviours.

The "problem" I'm alluding to is that evolution is the scientific consensus. Perhaps there is a Creationist who fully understands it and has a solid argument against it. I've never seen them and neither it seems has the scientific community in general, since evolution is still the consensus of the scientific community and no such arguments are presented at serious scientific conferences.

Is it more likely you are just saying that to have a pop at creationists?

No. Creationists to me are an interesting American* movement. I never meet them in day to day life aside from the one guy on a sabbatical (from the US) I mentioned above. Honestly I don't really have a bias against Creationists anymore than you do against Fianna Fáil.

It seems more reasonable to believe that as a human being, you have certain biases

Yes I certainly do, but as above, not about Creationism. I have no biases against Indian nationalists either.

Similarly I could say, "evolutionists are just another outgroup, they're clinging on to Neo-Darwinism when it's clear epigenetics and other factors have now shown it outdated, they are no different from Indian nationalists or flat earthers."

Except the global scientific community's assessment of the evidence is against the latter two and not the former. Just as it is against Creationism, that is the fundamental difference.

Now of course we could go deeper into it and I could begin to present the actual evidence which convinces >99.9% of the biological community, but that's what the entirety of the rest of the forum is about (has been about), I'm not going to rehash it.

The observed fact is that scientific community is not convinced of Creationism and treats it just like flat-Earth and Indian origins for Indo-European. I would like to hear a non-conspiratorial explanation of that fact.

If you want me to go in depth on a topic on which I have read both sides I can. It's specifically Cosmology, where I have read all the major Creationist papers and found them ignorant of modern cosmological evidence and theory, then I can. However I don't know if that is what you want.

*Of course it exists outside America, but I've mostly encountered it as an American issue and the form I've debated most is American.

Edited by Son Goku, : No reason given.

Edited by Son Goku, : Clarifying "American"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 10:32 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 11:31 AM Son Goku has responded

  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1082
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 9 of 83 (813994)
07-03-2017 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by mike the wiz
07-03-2017 10:47 AM


Of course this wasn't really meant as a debate topic as such, I thought the quizzes might interest members.

That's what I thought. Hence I informally discussed my experience related to your questions. As I said we can rigorously discuss cosmology if you want. I'm not well up enough on biology.

I have given an argument against evolution here which is a logically correct deductive argument in message one, but I won't discuss it here, as this isn't the place to discuss these things, so don't attempt some flippant complaint here please;

No problem.

Edited by Son Goku, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 10:47 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13292
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 10 of 83 (813997)
07-03-2017 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
07-02-2017 2:02 PM


I'll just note that quiz on evolution covers a number of misconceptions commonly held by creationists.

http://www.gotoquiz.com/evolution_t_f_quiz


Evolution is a process which involved the origin of life.

Evolution is a totally random process, a series of "accidents."

Evolution was developed in order to destroy or undermine religion.

In order to accept evolution as a valid explanation, you cannot believe in God.

Evolution increases structure and order, but that goes against Newton's second law of thermodynamics.

"Evolution is only a theory."

There is actually very little evidence for evolution.

One indication that evolution has not occurred is the total absence of "transitional (intermediate) fossils."

Fossils reveal many problems which evolution cannot explain.

Evolution has been tested and challenged many times, but has always been supported by the results.

There is considerable observed evidence against evolution

Science can productively study the past, based on evidence, so evolution is a proper subject for science.

The formation of complex structures, like the eye, can be readily explained by evolution.

That is more than half the questions - and many YECs believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, too.

quote:

I believe there are many creationists like me, that understand your theory but simply don't accept it is true and believe on logical grounds it runs short of the mark.

Your understanding might be better than most creationists, Mike but if you really want us to think that you have good reasons for rejecting evolution you need to show us those reasons. Instead of bragging about obviously bad arguments. As you do in Message 5


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mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 11 of 83 (813999)
07-03-2017 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Son Goku
07-03-2017 10:59 AM


Re: EvC
Son Goku writes:

Except the global scientific community's assessment of the evidence is against the latter two and not the former. Just as it is against Creationism, that is the fundamental difference.

This is such an old canard. It's parroted by most evolutionists, and I've heard it for years.

Essentially it's an indirect argument. What does it really mean to say the "scientific community's assessment", Lol. Think it through properly, the ones whose field is evolution, a full understanding of that theory, are the only ones that can fully assess evolution.

We have to ask some questions then, about those people. Are they necessarily experts in critical thinking and logic? Is the truth-veracity/value of a claim, and it's proof-status, something science deals with for historical theories which began with evolution and long ages?

If you asked the scientists themselves, they would tell you that historical hypotheses can't affirm the consequent. That is to say, they themselves assess evolution to see if it counts as a well explained or best scientific explanation of the facts, they themselves aren't assessing it's truth-value.

They are not sitting down then saying, "yes, macro evolution truly did happen it is proven."

That isn't how a theory operates. It operates by inductive reasoning, a tally of confirmation evidence means that as long as the evidence is collected without falsification evidence, the hypothesis is regarded as viable, or unchallenged in a scientific context.

What about critical thinking and logical expertise? Those areas DO play a role in determining truth value and even proof, because deductively we can prove things.

So what does this eternally parroted, old canard, REALLY mean, when we skin it?

Ultimately it comes down to a more diluted statement if you want to remain accurate and honest; evolutionary experts agree evolution is true, believe it is true, don't offer proof it is but would likely argue personally that it is. Like everyone else, chances are they aren't expert logicians and are riddle with biases the same as any other human.

It's basically a tautology.

Why would someone become a scientist, specifically an evolutionary scientist? Because they are passionate about answering the questions about the universe scientifically. What stands the only chance scientifically of answering the question of life in a scientific context? Evolution.

So then what are the chances evolutionary biologists will argue for evolution, given it is the only scientific offering for an explanation of life, and they study that field out of a passion for scientific explanation?

Roughly 100% I would say.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 10:59 AM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 11:39 AM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 14 by Coyote, posted 07-03-2017 11:58 AM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 21 by dwise1, posted 07-03-2017 12:16 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1082
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 12 of 83 (814000)
07-03-2017 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by mike the wiz
07-03-2017 11:31 AM


Re: EvC
What stands the only chance scientifically of answering the question of life in a scientific context? Evolution.

?

I'm genuinely confused here. You acknowledge evolution is the only thing that stands a chance of scientifically explaining life on Earth?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 11:31 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 11:45 AM Son Goku has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 13 of 83 (814003)
07-03-2017 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Son Goku
07-03-2017 11:39 AM


Re: EvC
Son Goku writes:

I'm genuinely confused here. You acknowledge evolution is the only thing that stands a chance of scientifically explaining life on Earth?

Yes, I myself have always regarded creation as apologetics, that contains elements of theology, science in that it must discuss features of the earth, like say with the flood models. But it also includes faith that our God is God, which is faith and belief.

I would say realistically evolution theory is the offering of science to explain life on earth, well, scientifically, according to methodological naturalism.

Because creation contains inferences and a conclusion God is there, the recent agreement among scientists is that it doesn't count because God, a transcendant being of supernature, cannot be scientifically tested.

But my thoughts on that would take some typing and I would end up boring you perhaps. haha.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 11:39 AM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Son Goku, posted 07-03-2017 12:08 PM mike the wiz has responded

  
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6025
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


(2)
Message 14 of 83 (814007)
07-03-2017 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by mike the wiz
07-03-2017 11:31 AM


Re: EvC
Think it through properly, the ones whose field is evolution, a full understanding of that theory, are the only ones that can fully assess evolution.

Ummmmm. This would seem to disqualify creationists, wouldn't it?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other points of view--William F. Buckley Jr.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 11:31 AM mike the wiz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by mike the wiz, posted 07-03-2017 12:06 PM Coyote has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 40 days)
Posts: 4600
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 15 of 83 (814009)
07-03-2017 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Coyote
07-03-2017 11:58 AM


Re: EvC
Disqualify creationists from what? What I mean by "fully assess evolution" is a bit of sloppy typing. I should have really said the only ones who understand the full hypothetics of evolution theory to an expert level.

But then all of the evolutionists on this forum are also not qualified under that logic, unless they have a phd in evolutionary biology. Which might explain the great GAP between what amateur evolutionists argue online, and parrot commonly and widely, and what you hear an actual scientist argue, if you directly listen to him/her, or read their papers.

Funny how they don't seem to be arguing all of the things the amateur evolutionists seem to think they argue. Perhaps that's because they really do understand science rather than just using "science" as something to associate yourself with, as though by always agreeing with, "science" this makes you some kind of science-person with phds.

That is like saying that being a fan of motor sport makes you a race driver. But take my advice - don't listen to the fan if you want to be instructed on how to race a car.

So really if only biologists can fully say things about evolution, meaning creationists can't then you can't either.


This message is a reply to:
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