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Author Topic:   sophistry and propaganda at TalkOrigins...
randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 1 of 37 (368768)
12-10-2006 3:15 AM


This is an off-shoot of previous threads dealing with the use of the term, evolution, by evos and using TO's articles as an evidentiary example of this practice. Consider the following article titled "Introduction to Evolutionary Biology." It starts with this statement:

Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology. It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

This statement is interesting all on it's own because it asserts "evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology" and that "the majority of biologists" do not have a satisfactory grasp of it with the obvious yet startling implication that the writer of the article and the TalkOrigins site do have the proper understanding and are better judges of "the cornerstone of biology" than most biologists themselves! This is not exactly a promising start, especially if most biologists do not understand evolution one wonders why we ask high school teachers to include it in the curriculum.

Well, let's move on and look a little further at the article. In the 2nd paragraph, we find:

Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.

Ok, evolution is heritable change. It's not universal common descent, genetic relatedness of all organisms, macroevolution, speciation or anything like that, according to this definition, right? I mean the guy spells it out right here.

Now, what I want to know is how heritable change absent all the other aspects of "evolution" such as common descent, claims of universal genetic relatedness, macroevolution, etc,....is the cornerstone of all biology and "unites all the fields of biology." The statement is absolutely ludicrous and imo, it's quite deceptive. Everyone knows evos are not arguing that heritable change alone is the cornerstone of all biology. If that were the case, one could say creationism is the cornerstone of all biology because creationism embraces heritable change. No, the term "evolution" as the umbrella evos try to use to unite all fields in biology is the Theory of Evolution which is far more than simply observing that such a thing as heritable change exists!

So why state "evolution" is this great thing, but not understood even by biologists....just trust us, and we can show it to you.....why it's heritable change! Perhaps it's just that the theory of evolution is actually so clouded by dogma and confusion that such contradictory uses of a word are not apparent to the user. Heck we see not much later this comment:

The word evolution has a variety of meanings.

But then again, let's recall this is only after the opening statements and ground rules are laid out: namely that other biologists and people, for the most part, don't really know what evolution is, and that the writer and presumably TO do, and their definition is that it is "heritable change" and that this is the cornerstone of biology.

Are there no evos here that can't see that this is trying to suggest something more than heritable change being true, but this is an argument saying that heritable change means the larger concept of ToE is true? Isn't the larger concept the real so-called "cornerstone" in evo eyes?

Contrary to their claims and the general claims of neoDarwinists aka as evos, the mere fact that heritable change exists is not the magic bullet, the cornerstone of biology that evos insist. For evos, this is more dogma akin to religion, all good intentions of evos and the writer aside. The simple fact is the vehicle of heritable change is one component of evolutionary theory, and is unproven and untested in terms of whether it (allelic mutations and variation) can create macroevolution or not, but either way, TalkOrigins and everyone knows trying to define down evolution to this alone is a different definition than the Theory of Evolution which is under debate.

The issue is not the point that your kids will probably look like you or your parents (heritable change), but rather the broader ToE, the details of which imo have not been properly tested and substantiated. Just saying heritable change is true does not make genetic relatedness of all organisms true, nor common descent, nor many of the things evos claim as part of the cornerstone of biology. Heritable change is actually just part of the claim of what is the mechanism of evo theory, not the theory itself.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 2 of 37 (374057)
01-03-2007 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
12-10-2006 3:15 AM


unrefuted
It surprises me to see evos do things like blast IDers for not having a formal definition of "information" and yet they offer different formal definitions of "evolution", and use one uncontested definition to insinuate that a broader definition of the same term is true.
This message is a reply to:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 3 of 37 (377706)
01-18-2007 1:39 AM


the silence is deafening....
chirp, chirp....
Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-18-2007 2:03 AM randman has responded

Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12404
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 4 of 37 (377707)
01-18-2007 2:03 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by randman
01-18-2007 1:39 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
is this the thread that I am welcome in? Or do you have a specific one for the rest of us to comment and communicate with you in? :o

Edited by AdminPhat, : No reason given.


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 Message 3 by randman, posted 01-18-2007 1:39 AM randman has responded

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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 5 of 37 (377709)
01-18-2007 2:07 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
01-18-2007 2:03 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
you are welcome to comment here...
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-18-2007 2:03 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-18-2007 2:08 AM randman has responded

Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12404
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 6 of 37 (377710)
01-18-2007 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by randman
01-18-2007 2:07 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
so how does it feel to have your own forum? Is it boring always talking to the other guys in here?

What is your passion and preferred topics that you like to discuss these days?

Edited by AdminPhat, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by randman, posted 01-18-2007 2:07 AM randman has responded

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 Message 7 by randman, posted 01-18-2007 2:10 AM Thugpreacha has responded

randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 7 of 37 (377711)
01-18-2007 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Thugpreacha
01-18-2007 2:08 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
Well, I don't usually post a lot here these days, but if you want to talk about the thread topic, maybe we could do that.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-18-2007 2:08 AM Thugpreacha has responded

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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12404
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 8 of 37 (377712)
01-18-2007 2:14 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by randman
01-18-2007 2:10 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
I just read over it. You put a lot into your posts, but I'm at a loss as to how the majority of our EvC science minded folk differentiate your theories and beliefs about evolution from their own. Can you clue me in as to the basic dividing line and points of contention?

As to the merits of this topic.... Im also a bit vapid. I have never hung out much at Talk Origins. Whats with them? :confused:

AbE: Also...do you and Herepton agree on many things? (Just call me curious)

Edited by AdminPhat, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 9 of 37 (377715)
01-18-2007 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Thugpreacha
01-18-2007 2:14 AM


Re: the silence is deafening....
Look at a few of the topics here at Showcase or other topics in my posts and I think it's fairly clear what distinquishes my thoughts from the ideas of evos.

1. First and foremost, I believe the data should be looked at for itself instead of the usual evo practice of twisting the data to fit the theory.

2. One of the ways this occurs involves evos creating a fallacy of circular reasoning. In short, they reason all analysis that includes the possibility of Intelligent Design is erroneous a priori, and that any consideration of a God or Creator or spiritual forces within reality or affecting reality must be excluded a priori, and so despite some believers assenting to evo models, they essentially resort to an atheistic philosophy they erroneously call science.

3. I prefer not to use deceptive tactics to propagandize and indoctrinate people into beleiving a myth, which traditional Darwinism does, as the OP in this topid discusses.

I could go on.

Hopefully the OP speaks for itself. The purpose of bringing up TO is that it is often cited here by evos as good web-site explaining their views, and I think it is fairly representative of evo thinking.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by AdminPhat, posted 01-18-2007 2:39 AM randman has responded

AdminPhat
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Posts: 1911
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 10 of 37 (377717)
01-18-2007 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by randman
01-18-2007 2:21 AM


Definitions and Clarifications
Can I start a new topic to stimulate a bit of discussion in Showcase?

I wanted to start a definitions and clarifications thread.

Specifically..... can anyone give me the working definitions of the following:

1) What is a Darwinist?

2) What is an Evo?

3) What is your definition of Science?

I will formally ask your permission to start this topic in Showcase for Showcase members and invited guests only. I wanted this thread to be limited to explaining the definitions of terms used by the members of Showcase.


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 Message 9 by randman, posted 01-18-2007 2:21 AM randman has responded

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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 11 of 37 (377718)
01-18-2007 2:42 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by AdminPhat
01-18-2007 2:39 AM


Re: Definitions and Clarifications
You are welcome as far as I am concerned to start a new thread here in Showcase....but keep in mind I don't control the Showcase forum.

As a quickie response to the new thread;

evo: short for evolutionist

Darwinist: basically the same thing, but there are evolutionist models that break from the mainstream, probably should be considered more Intelligent Design models, that are anti-Darwinian or neo-Darwianian in rejecting gradualistic evolution or the formula of random mutations and natural selection as the agents of macro-evolution.

Science?: maybe better leave this to the new thread.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


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AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1911
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 12 of 37 (377720)
01-18-2007 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by randman
01-18-2007 2:42 AM


sophistry and propaganda at TalkOrigins...
done...but you will have to repost your answer in the new thread.

This topic can resume its path......


This message is a reply to:
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mick
Member (Idle past 3148 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 13 of 37 (377721)
01-18-2007 2:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
12-10-2006 3:15 AM


randman writes:

Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology. It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

This statement is interesting all on it's own because it asserts "evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology" and that "the majority of biologists" do not have a satisfactory grasp of it with the obvious yet startling implication that the writer of the article and the TalkOrigins site do have the proper understanding and are better judges of "the cornerstone of biology" than most biologists themselves! This is not exactly a promising start, especially if most biologists do not understand evolution one wonders why we ask high school teachers to include it in the curriculum.

I am inclined to agree with you that this is a bizarre statement.

randman writes:

Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.

Ok, evolution is heritable change. It's not universal common descent, genetic relatedness of all organisms, macroevolution, speciation or anything like that, according to this definition, right? I mean the guy spells it out right here.

Now, what I want to know is how heritable change absent all the other aspects of "evolution" such as common descent, claims of universal genetic relatedness, macroevolution, etc,....is the cornerstone of all biology and "unites all the fields of biology." The statement is absolutely ludicrous and imo, it's quite deceptive. Everyone knows evos are not arguing that heritable change alone is the cornerstone of all biology.

Yes, the definition of evolution given here is in my view extremely inadequate, and in your view deceptive. I might even agree with you that it's deceptive, if you were to expand your argument a little.

This seems to be such an uncontroversial definition of evolution that it sinks to banality. One worse definition of evolution I have seen is "change over time" which is often used by creationist groups as well as "pro-evolution groups" and is equally dull, uninspiring and uninformative.

For me, a basic definition of evolution must describe a process consisting of mutation, selection and drift. Using THOSE terms.

randman writes:

Are there no evos here that can't see that this is trying to suggest something more than heritable change being true, but this is an argument saying that heritable change means the larger concept of ToE is true? Isn't the larger concept the real so-called "cornerstone" in evo eyes?

I see the problem.

Weird. I agree with you pretty much completely!

I must say I've never liked talk origins that much. They have some excellent information on the site, and I appreciate the effort it must have taken to build up such a repository of information, but much of it is so obviously reduced to a simplistic form for either the mode of pedagogy or of rhetoric, that it is often difficult to see where one mode ends and the next begins.

Mick

Edited by mick, : corrected my grandma


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by randman, posted 12-10-2006 3:15 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3061 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 14 of 37 (377723)
01-18-2007 3:08 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by mick
01-18-2007 2:54 AM


Did Hades freeze over?
Dang Mick, you and I perhaps could have had or still have some good discussions.....this is really the sort of stuff that bothers me about "evolution." I don't think it educates but rather indoctrinates, and so harms the ability of those so indoctrinated to weigh data objectively.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by mick, posted 01-18-2007 2:54 AM mick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by mick, posted 01-18-2007 3:24 AM randman has responded

mick
Member (Idle past 3148 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 15 of 37 (377729)
01-18-2007 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by randman
01-18-2007 3:08 AM


Re: Did Hades freeze over?
Dang Mick, you and I perhaps could have had or still have some good discussions

There's time yet!

I mean, if we were just to take the first quote you gave from the site, we have:

talk.origins writes:

A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations.

Now in my opinion that is a very poor description of a gene. It's just ridiculously imprecise. If I was marking an exam and found that an undergrad biologist had given that as a definition for a gene, I would give him a low mark.

By that definition, my great-grandmother's wedding ring is a gene!

If a creationist used that definition on this forum I have no doubt it would be torn to pieces in a few minutes.

Mick

AbE: To me, it seems that this was written by one of the following:

a) somebody who isn't well informed about biology
b) somebody who knows about biology but is keeping things simple for the stupid folk
c) somebody who knows about biology but is giving a delibaretly inadequate definition so that he can defend his position using this vague defintion later on
d) somebody who is writing in a lazy and thoughtless manner

I guess from your opening post that you think it's c) (which means the author is being purposefully deceitful). Honestly, I don't know what to think. it could be any of the above.

Edited by mick, : No reason given.

Edited by mick, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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