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Author Topic:   Helping a Friend about the Nature of Science
Member (Idle past 2407 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008

Message 3 of 41 (574487)
08-16-2010 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tram law
08-15-2010 12:53 PM

Hello Tram law, and welcome to EvC!
Tram law writes:
But I have a friend who is staunchly against it because he is both religious and anti-authoritarian.
He is anti-authoritarian yet accepts the authority of the bible/god?
I also feel he does not even have a true understanding of how science works.
Step one would be explaining that to him then.
So one thing I want to tell him is that the different breeds of dog and the domesticated banana would not have happened if Evolution were incorrect.
Well, yes. Although they did not happen by "evolution" as a purely natural thing, since humans did the selecting, and not nature (hence, this is mutation and artificial selection, as opposed to natural selection, that happens in nature).
But I'm sure he'll find something wrong with that though.
I'm not sure what, and unless you give an example we can't help you with a response.
Because he feels that the way science works is that you do whatever you can to find something wrong with a scientific fact, and it could be any little thing wrong, then it calls into question the entire body of work. In other words science must be correct the first time and must be one hundred percent correct and if not then the entire body of work is wrong, period.
Which is stupid. Showing that one thing is wrong does not mean another, completely unrelated (or even a related) thing is wrong. For example, 2+2=5 is worng, yet 2+2=4 is right. And these are related, since it's both math. But if he really feels this way, tell him we should release all murderers, since if he doesn;t trust science to come up with reliable info, then they were convicted without evidence, since none of it can be trusted, according to him.
I've tried to tell him science doesn't work that way and have shown him multiple websites that agree. But he refuses to budge.
Well, if he simply refuses, I doubt there is anything you can say that will change his mind, other then just repeating your points time and time again.
I guess that it's because he just wants to be right more than anything else.
Science is the only reliable method to finding out what is "right". Also, tell him that he should not be afraid to be wrong, for every time he finds out he is wrong he will have learned something that is true.
So what do you think? Is my question about the different breeds of dogs and the domesticated banana in relation to evolution correct? If so, how is it correct?
Well, like I said, it's evidence that mutations and selection can lead to a result. In this case the selective pressure was for a nice and edible banana or a certain type of dog. In nature, the selective pressure can be for a certain colour, or a certain other trait.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tram law, posted 08-15-2010 12:53 PM Tram law has not replied

Member (Idle past 2407 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008

Message 6 of 41 (574641)
08-17-2010 3:35 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tram law
08-16-2010 3:06 PM

Tram law writes:
Well, for example, he says that since the entire DNA has been mapped it can't be traced all the way back to the beginning nor does it reveal what the ancestor of humans were, so that calls into question the entire concept of Evolution.
That's weird, because it means we can do exactly that. For instance, because we have mapped the entire genome of humans and chimps, we can see that a human chromosome (chromosome 2) is a fusion of two chimp chromosomes, which is evidence that we share a common ancestor with them.
Well, he had bad experiences with school authorities who claimed he was autistic and wanted to drug him all to hell to control him because he was hyperactive. Because they thought he was autistic, they often put him in the wrong classes and ignored his interests. So I think that's the biggest influence on him wanting to be right so much.
Hmm yes, that kinda sucks.
He does have some intelligence, but he is very myopic when he argues, in that he has a certain set of beliefs and they are very black and white and can't see other side of the coin. For example, he thinks that not allowing children in school to pray only forces atheism in school is a violation of civil rights of the religious students, and I even showed him a video on you tube about girl who was kicked out of school for not participating in prayer.
Also, it is of course not illegal for children to pray in schools, school mandated prayer is what is against the constitution.
The points I was trying to show him was the divisiveness that religion causes, and that it can encourage bullying in school, and that she should sue the school for discrimination and violation of her civil rights.
She certainly should.
But he responds with that's just forcing atheism on the students. (Please note that is meant to show an example of how he pokes holes in anything he can to be right and is not meant to go off topic.)
Except that it doesn't poke a hole in anything, since it is not forcing atheism on anyone, if everyone else wants to pray, they can, just like she can opt out of prayer.
And it's just frustrating to tell him that it's not and how mistaken that he truly is.
Well yes, that's what this usually boils down to.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Tram law, posted 08-16-2010 3:06 PM Tram law has not replied

Member (Idle past 2407 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008

Message 12 of 41 (575341)
08-19-2010 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Fiver
08-19-2010 3:47 PM

Fiver writes:
However, Creationists are quick to point out that both of these examples are simply narrowing the gene pool, rather than producing new alleles.
Well, they'd be wrong (of course). You see, the gene responsible for the dachshund's short legs is a dominant gene, meaning that if any of it's ancestors would've had it, they would've had short legs. Since we know wolves have long legs, and are the ancestors of Dachshunds (as they are of all dogs), this is an example of a new allele being introduced.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Fiver, posted 08-19-2010 3:47 PM Fiver has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Fiver, posted 08-19-2010 7:37 PM Huntard has replied

Member (Idle past 2407 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008

Message 15 of 41 (575440)
08-20-2010 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Fiver
08-19-2010 7:37 PM

Fiver writes:
Yes, really.
Percy was the one who brought that up in the The End of Evolution By Means of Natural Selection thread. He mentioned it in Message 134:
Percy writes:
By the way, mutations do make contributions to breeding. For example, the dachshund's short legs originated through mutation (Scientists discover secret of why dachshunds have short legs).
Then in the same thread, Taq in Message 139 writes:
Taq writes:
Also, this is a dominant allele. You only need one copy of the mutation to produce the phenotype.
So it seems my usage of the word "gene" is not entirely correct (not to say completely wrong), I should use allele from now on.
That's where I got it from (Should've credited it from the start, really).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Fiver, posted 08-19-2010 7:37 PM Fiver has not replied

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