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Author Topic:   Earth science curriculum tailored to fit wavering fundamentalists
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 11 of 1053 (750335)
02-13-2015 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ThinAirDesigns
02-13-2015 8:31 AM


I think I'd start by talking about what scientists do, how they do it and what has been achieved by it. The basic method of having an idea about something, then trying to test whether it's right or not using hard evidence. Then if you can actually do a few little relevant experiments and match them to biblical beliefs, it might start a few thoughts going.

One obvious one is gathering handfull of dirt, some sand and gravel, stick them in a something like a spaghetti jar, top up with water, shake the whole thing up and leave it overnight to settle. Ask what they think they'll see in the morning and why. Obviously it will settle with the heaviest lumps on the bottom and produce a nice graded result based on particle size. It's likley they'll be able to guess what will happen before the result so will think themselves clever.

You could then show them a section of the grand canyon and ask them how all those sections could have been deposited in a flood.

Excellent project, I wish you luck.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-13-2015 8:31 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 41 of 1053 (750384)
02-15-2015 3:40 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by ThinAirDesigns
02-15-2015 12:39 AM


Re: Lammerts Bristlecone experiments
Seedling experiments don't tell us much about mature trees though, no matter what the result. A mature tree with a diverse root system is in no way comparable to a seedling or a sapling; droughts would have far less, if any affect once the early stages of fast growth have passed - the tree would have either found stable conditions or died.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-15-2015 12:39 AM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 02-15-2015 6:55 AM Tangle has taken no action

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 143 of 1053 (750830)
02-23-2015 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 142 by Percy
02-23-2015 7:24 AM


Re: Uniformitarianism
But we also know - now - that some physical phenomena that appear fixed also change; the obvious example is the earth's magnetic field which reverses apparently randomly every few hundred thousand years. I don't think we can be totally uniformitarian about such things.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Percy, posted 02-23-2015 7:24 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 463 of 1053 (752228)
03-09-2015 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 461 by ThinAirDesigns
03-09-2015 2:11 PM


TAD writes:

Core question: In a general world wide sense, are plants
A: a net user of C02?
B: a net producer of C02?
C: just a reservoir?

It's a complex question, generally plants and trees (and blue-gree algae) have been regarded as a net consumer of CO2. But as the climate warms, that reverses. Apparently 2003 was the first year when they produced more than they absorbed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7620921.stm

But it's also a question of timescales. Plants are Carbon batteries, they fix CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis converting it to sugars used to build cells. The Carbon is released one way or another on their death - often anorobicly producing methane, through rotting or animal digestion.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 461 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-09-2015 2:11 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 465 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-09-2015 3:06 PM Tangle has taken no action

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


(3)
Message 485 of 1053 (752398)
03-11-2015 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 481 by ThinAirDesigns
03-10-2015 9:03 PM


Re: Science history book recommendations
TAD writes:

One of the things I'm up against with fundamentalists is as you know, the position: "Science is often wrong and has been wrong about almost everything at one time or another, so why should be we believe science on anything".. This has been just *drilled* into the young minds for generations and they of course can come up with scores of examples to highlight that position.

Well that is just a lie isn't it? Science has not been wrong about everything. If that was true, none of the things that you mention below - cars, sat navs, computer, modern medicines etc - would exist. If they say such things they need to be quizzed further about it. Specifically what has science been wrong about? Out of the millions of scientific ideas there are few major errors and almost all predate the scientific age proper. Remember, there are more scientists alive today that there have been in the entirety of human history combined.

Here's a list of scientific theories that have been superseded:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/.../Superseded_scientific_theories

Note that many of them preceded the scientific age and are several hundred years old. All have been corrected by the application of the scientific method. None have been helped by any single religious belief system and all of them have been improved by further work and evidence. Science is a process of refinenment.

When they say to me "Turns out science was wrong about X", my first and honest reaction is to grin and say "Yeah, ain't it cool? Science insists on change as new information comes to light."

It's not just new information that changes science, that's an important part of it, but for me what is more important is the process of independent, third party testing of the new discoveries in science. If it was me doing this, I'd research the false claim by science of cold fusion and show how the scientific method both created the false discovery but then very quickly debunked it. The scientific community's reason for existence and designed in motivation is to prove others wrong, this is a powerful counterbalancing force that doesn't exist in any other discipline.

For example a scientist proving the theory of evolution wrong, would win the Nobel prize. That is an amazing thing - you get the highest accolade in science by knocking over the biggest 'belief' in the natural sciences. That's a powerful motivator to try to do it. This is utterly contrary to what religionists believe about science, so it should be explained over and over.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 481 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-10-2015 9:03 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 493 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 03-11-2015 11:31 AM Tangle has taken no action

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 496 of 1053 (752434)
03-11-2015 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 494 by Stile
03-11-2015 11:31 AM


Re: Science history book recommendations
I often puzzle over structures that are common place in our anthropomorphic world that would be equally useful in a biological one but don't exist - tripods and wheels are obviois examples (although some wheel-like structures seem to appear in bacterai.)

A tri-limbed organism would have to have a totally different skeletal, joint and muscular structure to anything we've so far found and would have to have a very divergent evolutionary history. I think we can confidently say that it doesn't exist. it's not a black swan, 'no bird', kind of idea - it *can't* exist.

So if we came across a 3 foot tripaedal or wheelbarrow animal in a remote place it would junk the ToE overnight.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 494 by Stile, posted 03-11-2015 11:31 AM Stile has seen this message

Replies to this message:
 Message 497 by Coyote, posted 03-11-2015 12:16 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 502 by RAZD, posted 03-11-2015 2:58 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 500 of 1053 (752448)
03-11-2015 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 497 by Coyote
03-11-2015 12:16 PM


Re: Science history book recommendations
Coyote writes:

Not necessarily.

Given our knowledge of the natural world, I think it would be an exception to the concept of common decent - a rabbit in the Cambrian. There are no precedents - it would be an alien lifeform. (if it literally was, it would not threaten the ToE of course.) That's why I say it's impossible, the ToE predicts that such a beast can't exist.

If it required changing or even scrapping the theory of evolution, a new theory would have to be developed that would take into account both the new and all of the existing data.

Sure, but can you imagine the turmoil.....it would be fantastic to witness.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 497 by Coyote, posted 03-11-2015 12:16 PM Coyote has seen this message

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 504 of 1053 (752469)
03-11-2015 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 502 by RAZD
03-11-2015 2:58 PM


Re: Science history book recommendations
RAZD writes:

Consider a whale like animal (re)emerging on land, with no hind limbs left but a strong tail.

I suppose the nearest we actually have is a monkey's prehensile tail.

But my point was not that a tripod is an impossible structure for evolution to develop, it was that suddenly finding a 3 foot (sic) one now would impossible. There'd have to be millions of years of other critters with similar structures to get to that point of development and they'd be everywhere or close to exinction - in which case there'd be a rich fossil record. It would have developed from something and and there would have to be a large pre-history of development - it couldn't go unnoticed.

Dung beetles would be a good starting point

Nah, their 'wheel' isn't part of their anatomy.

A wheel would be a difficult biological structure to integrate into a body - it's hard to imagine how musculature necessary to power the thing could be dislocated from the circular motion so that it doesn't just wrap around itself.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 502 by RAZD, posted 03-11-2015 2:58 PM RAZD has seen this message

Replies to this message:
 Message 505 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-11-2015 4:02 PM Tangle has taken no action

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8486
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 704 of 1053 (758939)
06-06-2015 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 700 by ThinAirDesigns
06-05-2015 5:49 PM


Re: Theories or other?
I think it's perfectly reasonable to be confused about the absolute meanings of the terms because in practice they DO mean different slightly things to different sectors of the sciences. They're also used almost interchangeably outside science - and sometime within it. For example, in 'big physics' the scientists have multiple 'theories' for explanations of the so far unknown - they're not theories in my book - they're all hypothesises. And will stay that way until empirical evidence can support them - such as finding the once theoretical Higgs Boson.

Sociology is almost worse, it has hundreds of so called theories which are often no more than untestable beliefs - in my book anyway.

ToE is the best example of a 'proper' theory because it has dozens of testable and tested hypothesises and deals both with both the what of what happens - speciation and common descent - and the how of what happened - natural selection. It also has mountains of evidence and contains the necessary clauses to disprove itself. Not every situation can be as clear as that.

You obviously know the various definitions, I think it more important to apply them to each situation in the meanings they take there and be suspicious of their uses at all times.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 700 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 06-05-2015 5:49 PM ThinAirDesigns has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 707 by ThinAirDesigns, posted 06-06-2015 5:41 PM Tangle has taken no action

  
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