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;
(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.
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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Oh well, this is very different to the usual run of the mill stuff, at least for me
Perhaps you should join evolution fairytale forum? You seem like a reasonable person, a bit like the other Goku really.
I am an individualist. All of my arguments come from me, I figure them out mostly myself, I basically create my own arguments from things I discover when I think about those subjects.
I believe some odd things which don't match with usual creationism perhaps. I am not a YEC, but I am open to some miracle to explain distant starlight, yet in a debate with an evolutionist theist (Piasan), it seemed to me his inference light was about 13.8 billion years was more convincing than Lyel's for example. So I can accept light may be that old, it is a possibility to me, because the difference with this issue is that the light can be directly inferred, based on a distance, and mathematically measured, so this seems like a peculiar instance where historical science, contains some operational science.
I admit I can see no way around that problem. It doesn't matter much to me but technically it means I'm not YEC. I also agree with evolutionists on some matters that YECs would disagree with, for example I don't agree creation is science, I just believe that to explain a creation scientifically is inappropriate. (bet you've never heard that one before.)
Then read DeliverUsFromEvolution's Message 41 in which he explains his beliefs. Three earned degrees in biology, studied evolution for years. Became a Christian and accepted their false dichotomy teachings that equate evolution with atheism. He studied creationism and ID, but found them to be full of holes.
I previously said it was sloppy typing. All those phds give him is the ability to understand evolution theory. He himself isn't an expert in what happened in the past, or an expert in what the bible means.
To evaluate whether there are, "holes" in creation really the appropriate expertise isn't evolution, it's critical thinking and logic.
More than happy to take him on in a great debate. Forgive me for not taking an anecdote as prove that slime created itself for no reason then led to some giraffes and trees later on at some stage.
That tells me you might not know what confirmation evidence is.
When we find what you would call a 400 million year old jellyfish, because the bible says jellyfish would be jellyfish, like it said a dove was on the ark, as evidence what can we expect a jellyfish to look like if the rocks were laid down by the flood?
The only evidence you expect to see as direct evidence, is fossil jellyfish. The same can be said if it is an octopus or a crocodile or whatever.
Now if you say, "that isn't evidence for creation" then you've argued a contradiction, that the only expected evidence we could find in that scenario, is "not" evidence of creation.
But think about it, if the bible is true and we assume for the sake of the creation model that the flood laid down the fossils (we won't get into debating that) then as evidence, if the same creatures today, perished then, what else could we expect if they were fossilized, as evidence?
That's the same as asking this, "if I flood your house today, and you owned this model of computer, might we expect to find it buried if it survived?"
Now imagine if you said, "no",
Okay then, what would we expect the laptop to look like, a table?
So then if this isn't evidence for created kinds, then you have to put forward what would qualify as evidence.
It's a rigged dice Ringo - you would only qualify evidence you already know is not there, you would not be intellectually honest and ask yourself the question "but what really would be evidence in regard to those fossils?"
So it's question-begging when you say the "holes in creation" because I don't agree there are holes in creation, nor have you shown any, you have asserted there are holes in it.
So then the other problem is that to say creation is a lack of evidence, when we have a creation in front of us, intelligently designed things, creative things, with symmetry, specified complexity, information, contingency planning, function, viability, etc.....why would creative, intelligently designed things, not count as evidence of creation?
Again you have to argue a contradiction, that the usual evidence of creation and design isn't evidence, and you instead call it an "appearance" of the evidence. Lol, which just happens to appear IDENTICAL to the usual evidence of I.D and creation.
Please now, no more off topic posts, this has already turned into a free for all to just attack creation and creationists.
I am not being baited into addressing more off topic bare assertions. Is the message I get from the evolutionists at EvC that they're not even willing to take the quizzes, they just want to basically jump all over mike?
Friends.....seriously, that's even more pathetic than anything I could have possible hoped for. Here you have a chance to smash a creationist into the dust by proving your propaganda they know squat, by getting 100% in each test.
Only a fool 'keeps their word' when they know they're incorrect. It would be better to acknowledge your previous over-zealous statement then to continue being wrong in order to 'keep your word.'
All I meant by that comment in message one is that if Percy was wondering whether I was just blowing smoke by saying I would post from now on through the proposed section, I would like to show I meant it because I thought a quiz would certainly be something deemed trivial enough for the coffee house.
Your negative interpretation of that totally baffles me.
his is very true. However, even if a group is disinterested and ignorant of an idea, it doesn't make that idea false in any way. An idea would be true or false depending on how it relates to reality.
I didn't argue that disinterest makes something false, which would be disbelief basically, which is the fallacy of an argument from incredulity.
It's funny when evolutionists, "correct" you on things you didn't argue. For example had I said, "yet I can accept it's easier when we just stick to an integer" would you then say, "but that in no way means that 2 add 2 is 5 mike".
Reply; Erm............and bears s*** in the woods also.
I think it would be difficult to find a creationist argument that was equally 'understood by creations scientists' as it was 'true to reality.' Fortunately for evolution theory (and every other theories of science), science is the study of reality. Therefore what's 'understood by science' is always 'true to reality' (as far as we can tell with the available information.)
The fault in this silly argument is that it's a generalisation. For example is a steady state theory reality or monera or spontangeous generation because science is "the study of reality".
Something being classed as science, doesn't mean it is reality, it means the study of the facts is reality, the hypothesis is the argument as to what those facts mean. So basically this is a fallacy of composition, that because science deals with facts/reality, it's theories that address them are facts and reality.
The usual argument that evolution is true because it's science, which is a simplistic understanding of science. if you want a more advanced understanding as to the differences in the various types of science, you may want to read message one of this thread;
Some people argue that all science is of the same value because it is treated with the same rigour. For example, to test a car brakes there may be an objective test, however this won't mean that all brakes are of the same performance.
In the same way people commit a sweeping generalisation when they argue that;
Science is treated with rigour through a method. Evolution is science. Therefore evolution is the same value as other theories because it is put through that rigor/method.
The true nature I would argue of science I shall call, "strong science", is that it has repeatably reproduced, identical results, as an induction (tally).
That is to say, if we put a rat in a sealed dome it will lose consciousness, so we deduce exotic air exists, and that the lungs can't just operate on any type of air. So then we deduce the result but then by induction, we can say that,
"of 500 tests rats lost consciousness, out of all of the rats in the universe given the same conditions."
But we know that under such conditions, even though the term "proof" can be argued pedantically, instead let us just say that our conclusion is strong, so as to avoid that semantics debate. So then we all know that it wouldn't matter if you performed the same test 10 trillion times, the result will always be the same.
This is always the same with strong science. They are pretty much 'proven' because you can deduce the result then repeatably test and create a huge tally showing the same result.
It can be shown with certain things, this is always the same type of science. We can deduce for example, that linear momentum will take over if we travel round a corner at a certain speed in a car, where the force of momentum will exceed the force of the traction and centre of gravity meaning the vehicle will spin out of flip out every time. We would immediately know something was funny if we saw a bus coming down the road at 100mph and then it took a tight corner at 100mph and took the corner nicely like a formula one car.
CONCLUSION: Basically we can't argue with strong science.
ARE SOME TYPES OF SCIENCE INHERENTLY WEAKER?
By their nature yes - historical science was introduced for Darwinism and long ages. By their nature they are usually some type of forensic reconstruction or argued inference which have been proven in the past to potentially be non-sequiturs rather than correct conclusions.
For example it was concluded Rhodocetus had a tail fluke and was ancestral to whales, but the finder of the organism later admitted it probably was a land animal for various anatomical reasons, proving that the type of forensic reconstruction for evolution, can be weak, especially with argued transitions.
There are types of forensic reconstruction which are strong, so again you can't conflate that type with the weak type, or that is unsophisticated thinking, because a strong reconstruction isn't the same as a weak one.
For example if we have many 100% complete skeletons for a species, and we reconstruct a skeleton that is 85% species X, that is a strong reconstruction. We can examine the anatomy and the conclusion is strong. But with transitionals of evolution, nobody can even know if they really were transitional and there are good reasons to believe they weren't, given the 99.9999999% conspicuously absent transitionals.
CONCLUSION; It's not as simplistic as evolutionists want to make out. They like to appeal to, "science" as though every theory and claim within science, because evaluated by scientists, is equally strong, equally proven. No, some things are so strong they basically are proven (angular momentum/ downforce, etc..) but some things are merely stories about the past which are basically propped up by circumstantial evidence, and they are argued as propositional inferences.
To put it in a more meaningful context, the chances of downforce existing have to be 99.999999%, and the chance of linear momentum existing must be 99.9999999% but really we all know they do exist, we have a reasonable knowledge they do so I only refrain from saying 100% because of technical pedantics, but to say the chances of evolving from slime, after an abiogenesis from mud, is an equal chance, because they are both science, is incredibly naive, and exceedingly poor reasoning based on generalisation fallacy. The chances for that, by any reasonable standard, would be closer to 0.0000000001%
If someone said that modern car engines run on steam instead of gasoline, what would you think of their opinions on how race cars should be designed? That's kind of how we view creationists. When a creationist says that macroevolution is a cat evolving into a dog, that is the equivalent of saying that a 2017 Ford Mustang runs on steam.
In context the point of my analogy was that the things I come across from amateur evolutionists online tend to be disparate from the things I hear scientists actually argue. One popular claim seems to be that macro evolution is a fact which tells me they think the "hypothesis" part of science contains facts. In fact confirmation evidence in inductive reasoning provides a tool to collect confirmation evidence not affirmation evidence.
You can confirm a theory, you can't affirm a theory. So I am not sure a qualified scientist that knows how science functions, would ever argue macro evolution as factually proven. I am sure atheists on forums like this, will.
That is to say, some of the popular arguments you argue for evolution, aren't even necessarily argued by the scientists themselves. There is some agreement, yes, but this is just amateurs parroting scientists so as they can associate themselves with science.
You should also know the basic concepts of phylogenies, genetics, and anatomy. What we see over and over are creationists that can't read primary papers and get the basics of biology wrong
You haven't demonstrated that here. As far as I know not many creationists have taken the quiz. It's easy to just go back to personally attacking creationists and saying "creationists are X" but if you are a person of science you should know that actually showing some evidence your claim is true, is better than just SAYING THINGS.
"What we see over and over".
What does that even mean as a statement? "We" who, a few amateur debaters on EvC forum?
So far in this thread it seems people misunderstand. If they re-read message one they will see some disclaimers I made. I wasn't saying this is a perfect test of knowledge of biology and I did say you can provide a better one if you want.
The population genetics test was given to me by an evolutionist, he himself is educated in that area and got IIRC, about 93%.
Mike wants us to think that he is informed and has sound reasons for rejecting evolution. He has to use indirect means because when he tries to present his arguments it becomes obvious that it isn't true. Typical creationist egotism I'm afraid.
Basically I regard you as a troll a lot of the time. Mainly all you do is attempt personal attacks.
So then do you complain when I try to provide evidence I do understand evolution? That raises the question; "is this only a rhetorical tactic by evolutionists, to forever say creationist doesn't understand but to never qualify what would count as understanding?"
If I have misunderstood evolution then where have I misunderstood? Once that specific thing is then known, I will then have a better understanding, but I would wager that because I didn't agree evolution was true, the propaganda that I don't understand, would continue.
So you imply I don't understand. Which part of evolution don't I understand then? (In other words, is there evidence I have misunderstood it, specifically in some area, rather than just propaganda that I don't understand?)
(what, you have no specific example? Then why the assumption I don't understand? Because I don't believe macro evolution occurred perhaps?)
It's true I am fairly informed about evolution, I score highly on the tests I didn't include in this thread. The only lower score so far is the population genetics at 65% which isn't very far off the evolutionists so far, that score 70s percentile.
So yes, I can see the advantage in continuing with the propaganda that I don't understand, as it's a very useful tactic. Tactically speaking, even though it is mendacious, it is quite smart to spread the propaganda that creationists don't understand because then readers won't take their criticisms of evolution seriously. That is the point in the ad hominem, to argue the arguer rather than the argument presented.
But If I wanted you to think I was informed and since you imply my behaviour poor (egotism) and you seem to constantly think creationists liars, then I would have surely lied and said I scored 95% on the more difficult test, rather than admitting to 65%.
Because I am not insecure, I can accept I have areas I could do with swatting up on.
Having said that I am pretty informed about evolution and certainly understand the hypothetics of how macro evolution purportedly occurs.
So I am not quite sure where all these attacks come from. As an example of poor reasoning for example, showing you aren't qualified to assess my claims, you said, "typical creationist egotism", as though egotism is something that comes from "creationism" or is typical of creationists. Egotism doesn't come from a belief/subject people hold. That would be like saying, "typical Caucasian egotism".
It's also a bare assertion.
So to expect me to value your rather mediocre standard seems to me, highly optimistic given your posts put you generally in the, "negative bare assertion troll" category.