Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (8960 total)
31 online now:
DrJones*, dwise1, jar (3 members, 28 visitors)
Newest Member: Mikee
Post Volume: Total: 869,166 Year: 914/23,288 Month: 914/1,851 Week: 37/321 Day: 37/48 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Does an atheist have to believe in evolution?
DrFrost
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 64 (310525)
05-09-2006 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by crashfrog
05-09-2006 1:39 PM


Re: Poisoning the well...
quote:
No, I don't see any poisoning of the well. There are some positions that are not consistent with a reasonable state of mind; there are some things that reasonable people by definition cannot disagree on.

The basic accuracy of the theory of evolution is one of them. Obviously, the specific details are a manner under debate. But the evidence as it stands cannot simply be dismissed by a reasonable person.

That's all Jar conveyed.


Ok, this is my last post on this thread today. This has rapidly deviated from the original post and is, for the most part, pointless. I find this comment by you interesting though. To me, and I assure you I'm the expert when it comes to my opinions, it conveys an obvious bias. I could have the professor who teaches the class on logic review this if you like, but I assure you he would classify it an example of poisoning the well. I even gave a reference for this particular logical fallacy. If you still contend that it's not, then we'll have to agree to disagree.

Also, while it would still be a logical fallacy to simply state "No reasonable person would reject the ToE.", jars took it to another level by using phrases like "stupid", "mentally handicapped" and "willfully ignorant." I take your comments as supporting his use of this language and I find that disappointing.

EDIT: I pasted the wrong quote the first time... doh!

This message has been edited by DrFrost, 05-09-2006 01:59 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 1:39 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 4:57 PM DrFrost has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4252 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 32 of 64 (310529)
05-09-2006 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by EZscience
05-09-2006 1:44 PM


Re: ToE incomplete
Hey EZ,

Some area sufficiently significant to warrant doubting the overall theory?

I'm not sure, rereading DrFrost's post 19 that everyone seems to be up in arms about, that s/he "doubts the overall theory". S/He makes the quite reasonable point that not everything about the ToE has the same evidential basis. I think s/he was essentially agreeing with you (or you with him/her) when you say:

The corrections and modifications are all concerned with clarifying its precise application in highly specific contexts, not with modifying its general mode of action.

That looks pretty much like what s/he was saying. I especially liked the part where s/he said:

quote:
As for the original post, if you don't have a reason to disagree with science then why do so?

That doesn't sound like someone disagreeing fundamentally with the most important principle in biology to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by EZscience, posted 05-09-2006 1:44 PM EZscience has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by SR71, posted 05-09-2006 3:35 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
SR71
Member (Idle past 4596 days)
Posts: 38
Joined: 05-07-2006


Message 33 of 64 (310545)
05-09-2006 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Quetzal
05-09-2006 2:02 PM


Re: ToE incomplete
This really has moved in a different direction than the original post... I don't have anything to say about the later posts but I can say that the issue was resolved about atheists and what they HAVE to believe.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Quetzal, posted 05-09-2006 2:02 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 64 (310567)
05-09-2006 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by DrFrost
05-09-2006 1:53 PM


Re: Poisoning the well...
I could have the professor who teaches the class on logic review this if you like, but I assure you he would classify it an example of poisoning the well. I even gave a reference for this particular logical fallacy. If you still contend that it's not, then we'll have to agree to disagree.

I'm a person who believes that words have meanings. One such word is "reasonable."

It simply isn't reasonable, for instance, to believe that one is Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French leader and strategist. It's an unreasonable position, under any circumstances. There's no way that reasonable people can hold that position. (Living people, anyway. There was of course one person who could have reasonably believed he was Napoleon Bonaparte, but that man is long dead.)

Also, while it would still be a logical fallacy to simply state "No reasonable person would reject the ToE.", jars took it to another level by using phrases like "stupid", "mentally handicapped" and "willfully ignorant." I take your comments as supporting his use of this language and I find that disappointing.

Those are also words that have meanings. It's appropriate to use them when they are applicable. If Jar showed up here with the sincere belief he was Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French strategist, would you object to characterizing him as "unreasonable"? Or even "suffering from delusions or psychosis"? Would you find that to be "poisoning the well"?

In fact isn't the very charge of "poisoning the well" itself an act of poisoning the well?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by DrFrost, posted 05-09-2006 1:53 PM DrFrost has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by DrFrost, posted 05-09-2006 7:23 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6856
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 35 of 64 (310582)
05-09-2006 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by DrFrost
05-09-2006 1:20 PM


Undemonstrated parts?
Hi, Frost.

quote:
My biggest problems with evolution are some of the unanswered questions, some of the undemonstrated parts of the theory.

You might want to check out my opening post in the Evolution Simplified thread. I pretty much list the basic facts, most of which have been demostrated; evolution then becomes a pretty straightforward conclusion, at least in my opinion. I'm not sure what kinds of unanswered questions or undemonstrated parts could be a problem in regards to the acceptance of the Theory of Evolution.


"Religion is the best business to be in. It's the only one where the customers blame themselves for product failure."
-- Ellis Weiner (quoted on the NAiG message board)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by DrFrost, posted 05-09-2006 1:20 PM DrFrost has not yet responded

  
DrFrost
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 64 (310597)
05-09-2006 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by crashfrog
05-09-2006 4:57 PM


Re: Poisoning the well...
quote:

quote:
I could have the professor who teaches the class on logic review this if you like, but I assure you he would classify it an example of poisoning the well. I even gave a reference for this particular logical fallacy. If you still contend that it's not, then we'll have to agree to disagree.

I'm a person who believes that words have meanings. One such word is "reasonable."

It simply isn't reasonable, for instance, to believe that one is Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French leader and strategist. It's an unreasonable position, under any circumstances. There's no way that reasonable people can hold that position. (Living people, anyway. There was of course one person who could have reasonably believed he was Napoleon Bonaparte, but that man is long dead.)

quote:
Also, while it would still be a logical fallacy to simply state "No reasonable person would reject the ToE.", jars took it to another level by using phrases like "stupid", "mentally handicapped" and "willfully ignorant." I take your comments as supporting his use of this language and I find that disappointing.

Those are also words that have meanings. It's appropriate to use them when they are applicable. If Jar showed up here with the sincere belief he was Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French strategist, would you object to characterizing him as "unreasonable"? Or even "suffering from delusions or psychosis"? Would you find that to be "poisoning the well"?

In fact isn't the very charge of "poisoning the well" itself an act of poisoning the well?


Words do have meanings. So do phrases. This one has a very specific meaning. Please see the post I included earlier which gives a very good description of poisoning the well and how to specifically identify it from other ad hominem logical fallacies. I welcome other readers to do the same and simply give your opinion of whether or not Jars' original post was a good example of such (but post it in another thread).

As human beings we have the capacity to be utterly convinced of something that is wrong. If you think you are immune to such shortcomings let me assure you, you're not. If you can't start a debate by admitting that there is some, albeit small in your opinion, chance that you are wrong then you're likely too invested in the argument and, quite possibly, shouldn't participate. Science is often held back by dogmatic beliefs and bullying FROM WITHIN IT'S OWN RANKS. I assure you such things are not isolated to non-scientific realms. Unfortunate, but true. Neils Bohr is a prime example in my opinion. In my opinion, you also seem to be an example. Can you admit that you might be wrong? Can you admit that the ToE might be invalid? I could cite many examples of long held scientific beliefs (some quite recent) that have been completely overturned (some practically overnight). Still sure you couldn't possibly be wrong???? Not even remotely????

I can say with utter confidence (though I admit I could be wrong) that parts of ToE are right and parts of ToE will be found to be faulty. Again, it's simply the nature of theories based on limited knowledge.

To get back to your post, if you'll read the definition of poisoning the well then you can answer a lot of your own questions. (The fact that you haven't suggests that while you care about the meaning of words, or so you say, you may not have the same enthusiasm for phrases.)

1: Stating that a person's assertions are unreasonable (it would be polite to add "in your opinion" or "based on the evidence you've seen" but it's not necessary... sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't but I generally try to be polite and phrase my words in the "nicest" way) is not poisoning the well. Primarily because it's not pre-emptive... they have to make those assertions before you claim that they've commited a logical fallacy (please see previous link).

2: My assertion that jars was poisoning the well cannot be an example of poisoning the well (or ad hominem in general) for several reasons. First, it wasn't pre-emptive. Second, it was based on an analysis of his post, not an attack primarily aimed at him as an individual. (Actual evidence! I even supplied references!) Ad hominem fallacies IN GENERAL (in my experience anyway) contain no real content, no references to the terms used, no actual data, etc. Again, it's not always the case, but a good rule of thumb.

Now, if I had been the first to reply to this post and said something like "Don't listen to that -fill_in_the_blank- fellow, he's obviously biased and lacking in anything remotely resembling logical reasoning." THAT would have been poisoning the well. (For the record, I do a pretty good job of avoiding statements like that but I'm not completely immune to frustration.)

It's often not what you say but how you say it that makes the biggest impression. The fact that jars committed a logical fallacy is not what disturbed me the most. If he had simply said "Any athiest, or any person in general, who doesn't believe in ToE is being unreasonable and anyone who disagrees with this opinion falls under the same classification." I would not have replied to his post. I would have noted the logical fallacy and moved on. It's how it was stated that motivated my reply. Whether I agreed with him or not. (And parts of ToE have overwhelming amounts of evidence. It doesn't matter. His statements were still fallacious and, more importantly, abusive.)

From your replies on this thread, and lack of denial since I've already suggested this, you seem to approve of not only his meaning but his methods as well. Why? It gains you absolutely nothing. It tends to degenerate the discussion in general. It turns interesting threads in utter drivel (much like this one). Who wants to spend three pages reading what has mostly turned into our personal disagreement? (If you like that sort of thing I can point you to a thread with several replies from relative.)

Now, I said I wasn't going to post to this thread anymore today and I did. Shame on me.

And I really need to apologize to the original poster. It was not my intention to hijack your thread this way. I'm afraid I must admit to a personal bias myself. I find the use of abusive language as was used in Jars' post to be especially irksome. I find it entirely too tempting to point out such a post's logical shortcoming. It's something I see all too often within scientific circles in general. Might I suggest, crashfrog, if you have any further replies that you start a new thread and provide a link here. You can call it "poisoning the well discussion" or whatever you like. If you are done with this discussion then I hope you at least consider the possiblity that the use of some of the words and phrases that were in Jars' post really have no place in polite conversation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 4:57 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 7:39 PM DrFrost has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 64 (310600)
05-09-2006 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by DrFrost
05-09-2006 7:23 PM


Re: Poisoning the well...
In my opinion, you also seem to be an example. Can you admit that you might be wrong? Can you admit that the ToE might be invalid?

I think I have not only admitted that, but celebrated it, in this thread and repeatedly in other threads. If you're under the impression that my support for the theory of evolution is dogmatic, you're quite mistaken.

But, at this point in time and with what evidence we have, no reasonable person can call into question the theory of evolution. That's not to say that it can't be proven wrong. But no reasonable person can come to the conclusion that it has been.

First, it wasn't pre-emptive.

Neither was Jar. His statements were a reply to the OP, if you hadn't noticed.

Who wants to spend three pages reading what has mostly turned into our personal disagreement?

I don't see what's personal about it. Are you a person who believes that the theory of evolution is wrong? No? Then it what was did Jar's remarks refer to you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by DrFrost, posted 05-09-2006 7:23 PM DrFrost has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by DrFrost, posted 05-10-2006 1:14 AM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 299 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 38 of 64 (310638)
05-09-2006 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by jar
05-07-2006 7:01 PM


but the Atheist could also believe that things just happened without evolution or Goddit.

Athiest don't "believe" in anything, that is why they are athiest, come on now.

They only go by the observable world around them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by jar, posted 05-07-2006 7:01 PM jar has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by ohnhai, posted 05-10-2006 1:34 AM riVeRraT has responded

  
DrFrost
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 64 (310654)
05-10-2006 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by crashfrog
05-09-2006 7:39 PM


Re: Poisoning the well...
quote:
Neither was Jar. His statements were a reply to the OP, if you hadn't noticed.

His reply was to the OP. His statements suggested that anyone who didn't believe in the ToP was... I'll use the word unreasonable. A pre-emptive suggestion that anyone who was to post to the thread and disagree with him must, therefore, also be... "unreasonable."

He was not poisoning the well in regard to the orignal poster, he was poisoning the well against anyone else who might post after him with any opinion other than the one he subscribed to. Perhaps not the canonical example of poisoning the well, but sufficient in my opinion. And certainly pre-emptive in regard to coming posts. If you don't see that then we'll have to agree to disagree. It seems obvious to me (more obvious than natural selection to give a scale in certainty... and I find natural selection extremely obvious given the mountains of supporting evidence).

quote:
But, at this point in time and with what evidence we have, no reasonable person can call into question the theory of evolution. That's not to say that it can't be proven wrong. But no reasonable person can come to the conclusion that it has been.

That depends very much on which part of ToE you're referring to. There are parts of ToE that even the scientists who wholeheartedly support ToE can't agree on. So which side of those arguments are you putting yourself on and declaring that any reasonable person must obviously see you're correct? ToE is incomplete. Parts of ToE are only beginning to be answered and leading scientists don't necessarily agree which answer is best at the moment. Unfortunately some scientist are very "quiet" on these issues because they don't want to add any fire to their opponents debate (even though questioning/researching part of ToE is, of course, not equivalent to overthrowing... natural selection say, a prime component of the theory). This is a travesty really.

quote:
I don't see what's personal about it. Are you a person who believes that the theory of evolution is wrong? No? Then it what was did Jar's remarks refer to you?

Our personal disagreement in the sense that most of the posts are an ongoing disagreement between us and very few others. From my first post on there have been 20 posts. 10 of those have been posted by you or me. Most of that text has been directed at the other. That's all I meant to imply. (It will be 11/21 after I finish this post.)

As far as Jars' remarks referring to me, it doesn't matter if they did or didn't. If he made similar remarks about the fundamental theorem of arithmetic I would have been offended because of the abusive language. And I assure you that I wholeheartedly endorse that entire theorem.

If you reply to this post I would like you to answer one question: Was jars use of the words "stupid" and "mentally handicapped" appropriate or not. It's a simple question. If you want to continue this discussion with me, I'd like an answer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by crashfrog, posted 05-09-2006 7:39 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by SuperNintendo Chalmers, posted 05-10-2006 1:20 AM DrFrost has responded

  
SuperNintendo Chalmers
Member (Idle past 4214 days)
Posts: 772
From: Bartlett, IL, USA
Joined: 12-27-2005


Message 40 of 64 (310655)
05-10-2006 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by DrFrost
05-10-2006 1:14 AM


Re: Poisoning the well...
Dr Frost,

Quick clarification. I believe Jar was referring to the fact of Evolution (that life has changed over time; which really is pretty much indisputable) and not the Theory of Evolution (the mechanism by which this change occurred).

I could be wrong, but I think that is what he was saying.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by DrFrost, posted 05-10-2006 1:14 AM DrFrost has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by DrFrost, posted 05-10-2006 7:54 PM SuperNintendo Chalmers has not yet responded

  
ohnhai
Member (Idle past 3542 days)
Posts: 649
From: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2004


Message 41 of 64 (310656)
05-10-2006 1:34 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by riVeRraT
05-09-2006 11:21 PM


RR writes:

Athiest don't "believe" in anything, that is why they are athiest, come on now.

Wrong. Atheism only refers to a lack of belief in the divine. It has NO bearing on belief in anything else. I could believe in punk unicorns but that does not change my lack of belief in the existence of god.

That atheists ‘don’t believe in anything’ is a fallacy created to try and undermine their credibility.

Edit- changed 'discredit' for 'undermine'. Reads better. Also removed the double neg in the opening paragraph...

This message has been edited by ohnhai, 11-05-2006 04:10 PM

Edited by ohnhai, : Fixed The quote atribution. Appologies to Ratty and Faith.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by riVeRraT, posted 05-09-2006 11:21 PM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by riVeRraT, posted 05-10-2006 6:44 AM ohnhai has responded

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 299 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 42 of 64 (310668)
05-10-2006 6:44 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by ohnhai
05-10-2006 1:34 AM


That atheists ‘don’t believe in anything’ is a fallacy created to try and discredit their credibility.

OK fine, by definition you are correct. But 19 times out of 20 (or whatever #)you ask an atheist why they don't believe, you know what answer you'll get.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by ohnhai, posted 05-10-2006 1:34 AM ohnhai has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Quetzal, posted 05-10-2006 8:10 AM riVeRraT has responded
 Message 45 by nator, posted 05-10-2006 8:03 PM riVeRraT has responded
 Message 47 by ohnhai, posted 05-10-2006 10:14 PM riVeRraT has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4252 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 43 of 64 (310682)
05-10-2006 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by riVeRraT
05-10-2006 6:44 AM


To Believe or Not Believe - That is the Question
OK fine, by definition you are correct. But 19 times out of 20 (or whatever #)you ask an atheist why they don't believe, you know what answer you'll get.

Really? I'm curious: what answer is that?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by riVeRraT, posted 05-10-2006 6:44 AM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by riVeRraT, posted 05-11-2006 8:02 AM Quetzal has responded

  
DrFrost
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 64 (310875)
05-10-2006 7:54 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by SuperNintendo Chalmers
05-10-2006 1:20 AM


Re: Poisoning the well...
If his statement had been about the sky being blue, it would still qualify as poisoning the well and would still be abusive.

Commiting a logical fallacy doesn't make your statement wrong and your statment being correct doesn't mean you aren't commiting a logical fallacy.

The main point is jars was being abusive and, despite his air of superiority, commiting an easily recognized logical fallacy.

This message has been edited by DrFrost, 05-10-2006 07:58 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by SuperNintendo Chalmers, posted 05-10-2006 1:20 AM SuperNintendo Chalmers has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 550 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 45 of 64 (310879)
05-10-2006 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by riVeRraT
05-10-2006 6:44 AM


quote:
OK fine, by definition you are correct. But 19 times out of 20 (or whatever #)you ask an atheist why they don't believe, you know what answer you'll get.

Why they don't believe in what?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by riVeRraT, posted 05-10-2006 6:44 AM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by riVeRraT, posted 05-11-2006 8:04 AM nator has responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020