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Author Topic:   The Geological Timescale is Fiction whose only reality is stacks of rock
Member (Idle past 1787 days)
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From: Colorado, USA
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Message 1246 of 1257 (792123)
10-04-2016 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1245 by dwise1
10-04-2016 9:49 AM

Science isn't in the business of winning hearts and minds. It is in the business of discovering and understanding how the universe works.
Unfortunately, we have left that part up to politicians and we can see where that has gotten us.
Part of that business is communicating with other scientists using clear and concise language, which outsiders call "jargon". Using "non-jargon" in those communications would result in confusion -- witness Faith's wasting and causing the waste of several thousands of messages resulting in ever increasing levels of confusion.
In general, scientists don't care about communicating with the general public.
This is unfortunate, IMHO. I always take my time to try and explain things to the public. The problem is that most discussion is now polarized.
Most scientists couldn't be bothered about "creation science". The closest they come to having to care is when they write their proposals for grants in order to do their research.
Again, truth.
Rather, it is the educators and science popularizers who do care and have to care about communicating with the general public, about winning hearts and minds. But there again, in their efforts to make science more accessible, they have to loosen the language and use "non-jargon" and analogies to explain those concepts. And again, that generates some confusion and misconceptions. Unfortunate, but an occupational hazard that cannot be fully eliminated. They have to offer the public a "royal road" to understanding science where no actual "royal road" exists (borrowed from the famous statement about teaching mathematics to royalty).
Not sure what the solution is, but it may start with education (if we haven't screwed that up too much already). Even at university, this is the case. As an undergrad, I never had a clue as to my professors' politics, but by the time I went grad school, it was all about politics in the classroom. It think this is/was a bad trend.
When I talk to people on both sides about climate change or fracking, etc., they say that they've never heard a reasoned, rational discussion before. It's usually all about scare tactics and political agendas.
Welcome to the future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1245 by dwise1, posted 10-04-2016 9:49 AM dwise1 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1247 by Pressie, posted 10-05-2016 5:26 AM edge has not replied
 Message 1249 by dwise1, posted 10-05-2016 10:30 AM edge has not replied

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From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010

Message 1247 of 1257 (792133)
10-05-2016 5:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1246 by edge
10-04-2016 10:20 AM

edge writes:
When I talk to people on both sides about climate change or fracking, etc., they say that they've never heard a reasoned, rational discussion before. It's usually all about scare tactics and political agendas.
But isn't that the problem? The general public is under the impression that science is done via a few 90 minute debates (uninterrupted by ads) on some tv channel and then voting on who do they think won the debate.
The general public is under the impression that science works the same way, too. That general perception is not going to change.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1246 by edge, posted 10-04-2016 10:20 AM edge has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 1398
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011

Message 1248 of 1257 (792135)
10-05-2016 7:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1247 by Pressie
10-05-2016 5:26 AM

I agree that we have very firmly entered the Age of Stupid - our media, our engagement and public debate, our reading have been near universally dumbed down, to cater to the lowest common denominator, in the drive for exposure and profit. On the Internet, the opinions of the most extreme, most bigoted moron can appear just as valid as those of a wise, well educated and thoughtful commentator. We have Brexit votes by large numbers of people who swallowed whole a raft of obvious lies; we have a Presidential candidate who thinks it's positive to avoid paying taxes; we even have Boris Bloody Johnson as foreign secretary for crying out loud.
But I think that serious people retain a duty to tread into this arena of vacuity. If not, then we cede the ground to the morons, the thugs, the deluded and the bigots. And they all vote.
So I don't think scientists can entirely afford the luxury of handing over to educators the responsibility for promoting science. I think that communication about science to the teeming, swirling, but above all voting masses of non-scientists is going to be increasingly important to the future of science.
I am not saying (and didn't say above either) that science itself should become less precise - of course it shouldn't. But wherever possible, it should seek to avoid barriers to understanding (eg creating yet another new ancient Greek label, when something descriptive and in modern English would have done the job just as well scientifically, but would have aided as well the understanding of non-scientists), and science will need to come to terms with the reality that it will need to reach out to the public, if it doesn't want the public to vote for a majority of pre-enlightenment thinkers, who might think it would be a good idea for schools to teach fairy tales as science, for example.

Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1247 by Pressie, posted 10-05-2016 5:26 AM Pressie has not replied

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Message 1249 of 1257 (792139)
10-05-2016 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1246 by edge
10-04-2016 10:20 AM

Not sure what the solution is, but it may start with education (if we haven't screwed that up too much already).
There are indeed serious problems for science education which need to be solved.
The obvious problem is with the textbooks. Creationist battles over science curricula and textbooks continue -- the NCSE regularly posts news about such activity. Creationists have been pressuring textbook publishers since the 1920's to keep evolution out; even though they've been less successful since 1969, the pressure is still there.
Another part of that problem is the writers' scientific incompetence. Most textbooks are written by professional textbook writers, not by scientists. As a result, many falsehoods and misconceptions are included, causing the quality of the science in those textbooks to be appalling. Since the 1980's, scientists have become more involved in textbook selection (eg, California science textbook selection in the 1980's in which the state ended up approving a minimally-corrected textbook behind the scientists' backs -- I need to write a webpage about that). Also, scientists have taken to writing some of the textbooks themselves -- in the 1960's, it was the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) textbooks written scientists which placed Susan Epperson in violation of Arkansas' "monkey law" which led to the striking down of those laws in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968).
The second problem is that many secondary-grade science teachers lack competence in the subject matter and, as a result, end up teaching their own misconceptions to their students.
Many school districts cannot afford to hire teachers trained in science and instead press other teachers into service with the philosophy of "They know how to teach so they don't need to understand the subject matter." My younger son's first middle school science teacher was the home-ec teacher; he knew more than she did and was able to explain it better, so his fellow students kept coming to him for help. In the early 1990's, John Peloza was a high-school biology teacher who sued his school district for not allowing him to proselytize between classes (Peloza v. Capistrano School District). In his own schooling, he had taken the bare minimum number of biology classes. His bachelor degree was in Physical Education and his MS was in Education in which his thesis was about coaching softball. While teaching in a small school district (on Santa Catalina Island, as I recall), that PE teacher was assigned to teach biology.
Interesting historical note: John Scopes was a PE teacher whose appearance in the biology classroom was in order to serve as a test case for the ACLU. That attempt to get the "monkey laws" before the US Supreme Court failed when Scopes' conviction was overturned in the appeals court because of a legal technicality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1246 by edge, posted 10-04-2016 10:20 AM edge has not replied

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Message 1250 of 1257 (792151)
10-05-2016 6:21 PM

Closing time
The conversation has gone totally off topic, albeit in a worthy manner.
I think I'm going to spin-off dwise1's most recent message as a new topic, with a link back to this topic.
New topic is here.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Add link to new topic.

Or something like that.

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Message 1251 of 1257 (792313)
10-08-2016 8:40 AM

Reopening for Summations
Thread has been placed in summation mode.

EvC Forum Director

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Message 1252 of 1257 (792379)
10-08-2016 9:34 AM

The topic was "The Geological Timescale is Fiction whose only reality is stacks of rock " which is simply an absurdity from every possible angle.
First, there is no such thing as a "Geological Timescale". There is TIME. There is Geology. They are two entirely different things. Time seems to be one of the properties of space itself.
Second, reality is far more than just stacks of rocks. The rocks themselves have unique properties and characteristics that are in turn evidence of the actual processes and materials that produced them. Those processes and materials are in evidence today.
Third, many rock samples are made from a conglomerate of materials that must have existed as rocks that were over time weathered and eroded into smaller particles before being incorporated in the current format.
Fourth, there are also biological samples included within the rocks themselves. Those samples had to have been incorporated into the rock BEFORE it became a rock. Since they are examples of once living critters those critters must have been living at or near the surface or in the water at a time BEFORE the the rock became a rock.
Fifth, the biological samples are found in ordered vertical states; humans and dinosaurs are never found together in the same rocks.
Sixth, the concept of biological evolution over long periods of time with the same geological processes seen and known today adequately explains the evidence found in reality.
Seventh, no other explanation has ever adequately explained the evidence found in reality.

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Message 1253 of 1257 (792395)
10-08-2016 3:15 PM

From start:
Faith writes:
No, what I'm saying is that what is actually seen is stacks of rocks that make it impossible for there ever to have been any such landscape as is inferred from the contents and qualities of those rocks
To finish:
Faith writes:
"How it looks to me" may not be Grade A evidence but it IS evidence.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson
Seems to me if its clear that certain things that require ancient dates couldn't possibly be true, we are on our way to throwing out all those ancient dates on the basis of the actual evidence. -- Faith

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 365 days)
Posts: 16113
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Message 1254 of 1257 (792402)
10-08-2016 11:33 PM

Faith writes:
Oh but I do know what Geology entails ...
Faith writes:
Sorry, I still don't get what you are trying to say. I also don't care.

Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
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Message 1255 of 1257 (792413)
10-09-2016 8:17 AM

Thanks for the Answers
As this thread goes through the summary phase I want to express my thanks to those who answered my questions about oil formation. I found it helpful and very interesting. Even the most basic of information was new to me, for instance that oil gathers in traps. I greatly appreciated being given enough information to gain a sense of how complicated it can be without being flooded with an incomprehensible amount of information.

EvC Forum Director

Member (Idle past 1787 days)
Posts: 4696
From: Colorado, USA
Joined: 01-09-2002

Message 1256 of 1257 (793008)
10-18-2016 1:04 PM

There was a lot of information exchanged which should be the point I would hope. And yes, it can get a lot more complex, which makes it difficult to distill down to a discussion format for the general population.

Member (Idle past 124 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004

Message 1257 of 1257 (793048)
10-19-2016 11:28 AM

My wee example that turned into something not so wee
I attempted to lay out a full example of how a simple, basic rock column could be formed and what the scientific view of rock formation actually entails while a living-landscape thrives at the surface the entire time.
Faith seemed to be accepting individual, specific concepts; which is why I tried to break everything down into individual, specific concepts.
Faith's last message to me indicated a willingness to continue, but just being in need of a break.
Would we have been able to put everything together by the end of the example?
Was there an individual, specific concept just around the corner that Faith wouldn't accept?
We didn't get to find out in this thread.
Faith is free to take a break for as long as she'd like, even forever if need be.
If interest is ever generated again, I'm willing to continue the example with Faith (or anyone else who found it necessary) at any time. Even in a Great Debate format if that would be more comfortable.
I certainly learned a few things going over the basic details in a simple example, anyway (I don't study such things). So I don't find the effort wasted regardless of what may or may not happen next.

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