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Author Topic:   Undermining long-held paradigms
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3983 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 121 of 124 (346952)
09-06-2006 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 119 by Dr_Tazimus_maximus
09-05-2006 10:48 PM


Re: Paradigms are the Topic
Hi Taz,

I agree that many of these assertions by CINAMOTOGRAPHERS are in error, in fact I tell that to my daughter when she watches them (and now she thinks that her father is a stick-in-the-mud).

I, too, have similar conversations with my daughters - and probably over some of the same programs (I'm thinking of the DC's "Walking with Dinosaurs" and "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" specifically). They are brilliant cinematography, but only tenuously based on science. NJ seems to be convinced that these "re-creations" are representative of what science says about the subject. They quite obviously are not. Behaviors, entegument coloration, vocalizations, etc, are pure speculation. Nonetheless, the pseudodocumentaries are truly a lot of FUN, IMO. One of the ways I've dealt with the "how do they know that?" questions, is to try and guess which modern species the behaviors depicted are designed to represent, for instance. In a lot of cases, the cinematographers are extrapolating based on fossil and paleoecology evidence to "guess" which niche these organisms might have filled. Then they go to the behaviors present in modern organisms filling similar niches, and have their creations manifest on film (or in their computers) the behaviors present in those organisms. Hence, when NJ says:

quote:
...make guesses on what a Dinosaur sounded like, they make assertions on what its temperment was like, what color it was, what it ate, what ate it, etc. They even go so far as to present these reconstructions on whether or not an animal rolls in dung to escape from predators.
he's absolutely correct - that's exactly what they're doing. However, as you noted, the two things he's missing are:

1) Whatever the pseudodocumentary might state or show, it doesn't necessarily reflect our current state of knowledge - and is in fact unscientific extrapolation (based, more or less on real science, however); and

2) Regardless of the sophistication of the representation or even its accuracy, this has absolutely nothing to do with the ToE in any way shape or form.

Which brings me, sort of roundabout, to the OP: The characterization of a scientific discovery in the popular press - even one usually as good as New Scientist, are often filled with both hyperbole and even distortions of fact. The article referenced in the OP is interesting, but as many have pointed out, actually says absolutely nothing whatsoever about evolution. It would be like me proclaiming the discovery of our new anuran (Hemiphractus yachana) overthrew everything we knew about amphibian diversity simply because no one had ever encountered the critter before. After all, current scientific evidence indicated that the species present in our region was Hemiphractus scutatus, therefore everything we know about amphibians is wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by Dr_Tazimus_maximus, posted 09-05-2006 10:48 PM Dr_Tazimus_maximus has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 122 of 124 (346987)
09-06-2006 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Percy
09-05-2006 9:05 PM


Re: Paradigms are the Topic
I'm happy to try to correct your misimpressions, but allow me to comment that if you're determined to hold on to them no matter what then I don't really think anything I can say will help.

The whole attitude of, "I'm right and you're wrong, but I can help you out of your ignorance," from some of the members on this forum is a bit condescending. I think what I've said is perfectly accurate. I said that a fossilized mammal was discovered with a small dinosaur inside the cavity of what was its stomach. I said that the discovery of the mammal in question changed the previous beliefs that mammals during the late Cretaceous period mammals were tiny, shrew-like herbivores. I went on to say that this discovery did not topple the theory of evolution because it doesn't. At most it brings into question the continuous ad hoc explanations that are far from empiricism. What I said was that this discovery, coupled with other discoveries, allude to previously believed facts concerning evolution were obviously false. Now, I've been scolded by numerous people that new evidence is never a problem, to which I wholeheartedly agreed. My point, the only point, was that had I argued in the past that large mammals lived contemporaneously with dinosaurs, I'd be scorned, mocked, and derided for being so ignorant by some of the more colorfully discourteous members of EvC. (You Percy, do not fit in that category. I meant what I said about your candor. It goes along way in here.) I also went on to say that new evidence is a always a good thing and that I never expect the sciences to plateau. Where in my assessment have said anything off-the-wall ridiculous or that I can't grasp what everyone is saying? I think I've ben very clear on the matter.

Just please keep in mind that no one is trying to play tricks on you. Theories do not become accepted through trickery and shell games and semantics. They have to establish a solid record of explaining existing evidence and predicting new evidence.

I don't think anyone is tricking me. I think they have preconcieved notions and are led by those preconcieved notions. I believe that when ever certain evidence appears to contradict a previously held belief, they will try to assimilate that without throwing more crucial apsects into a tizzy. For instance, finding index fossils intermingled within the same strata that should be separate by millions of years by their accounts. As well, I questioned how certain reptiles that are supposed to have been alive during the reign of the dinosaurs managed to stave off total annihilation, such as Komodo Dragon's, Crocodiles, Alligators, amphibians of a wide assortment, etc. The emphatic response that I recieved was that avian-dinosaur were exempt from extinction because they were already evolving endothermic qualities, among other tenuous notions. I recieved the ad hoc explanation that crocodiles, plesiosaur, and ichythosaurs come from avian lineage and that part of their survivability can be attributed to them taking great care of their offsprings eggs. This doesn't quite add up because while crocs and gators make nests for their young to incubate, Ichthyosaurs don't lay eggs at all. We know empirically that they give live births. We don't know about Plesiosaur, but it wouldn't surprise me if certain guesstimates didn't find its way in the textbooks. Its these ad hoc, "it seems plausible so I'll just assert it," explanations that I'm objecting to. This is the heart of my entire argument on this particular thread. I don't object to new evidence, I welcome it. I object ad hoc explanations being presented as fact.

Anyway, I think we've beat this argument into oblivion. We are just beginning to repeat ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to write it. You are a good writer and I appreciate the time you've taken in which to respond.


"There is not in all America a more dangerous trait than the deification of mere smartness unaccompanied by any sense of moral responsibility." -Theodore Roosevelt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Percy, posted 09-05-2006 9:05 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by Percy, posted 09-06-2006 3:00 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded
 Message 124 by Archer Opteryx, posted 09-06-2006 5:05 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18378
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 123 of 124 (347000)
09-06-2006 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Hyroglyphx
09-06-2006 2:08 PM


Re: Paradigms are the Topic
nemesis_juggernaut writes:

The whole attitude of, "I'm right and you're wrong, but I can help you out of your ignorance," from some of the members on this forum is a bit condescending.

It would be had it not been accompanied by much explanation, but you've chosen to reject it. The information is there should you ever decide to avail yourself of it, just ask.

This isn't a case of "I'm right and you're wrong." It's a case of "We're right and you're wrong." All the evolutionists here are telling you the same thing. If the theory of evolution were not based upon cold, hard fact, then each evolutionist would be free to accept whatever viewpoint he liked. But evolution *is* based upon cold, hard fact, and so evolutionists are not free to accept whatever viewpoint appeals to them. We have to expound the view of evolution that is connected to the observational and experimental data, of which there is a great, great deal. That's why we speak with one voice, and that's why we're right.

It's important to be clear about what we're telling you you're wrong about. Sure, you're wrong about the theory of evolution being undermined, but that's not what we're trying to tell you right now. We're trying to tell you that you're criticizing evolution for things it doesn't actually say. You've somehow picked up a large number of misimpressions about evolution, and you're using these misimpressions to criticize evolution for things it doesn't say. That's why the theory of evolution isn't particularly threatened by what you're saying.

How do you think a skinny person would feel if you called him fat? He might question your sanity, but he wouldn't feel particularly insulted. In the same way, when you claim that changes in views of mammalian evolution in the Mesozoic mean that evolutionary theory is foundering, we might question your understanding, but we wouldn't feel particularly threatened or alarmed.

So it isn't that you're wrong about evolutionary theory being undermined. It's that you haven't even approached the issue yet because you don't understand evolution well enough at this point to make meaningful criticisms. It's a "Know thine enemy" kind of thing. Knowing your enemy doesn't mean accepting him, but you have to know him to do battle with him. You don't know your enemy yet.

I think I've ben very clear on the matter.

I agree, and I think we've been able to understand much of what you've said. But I don't think the reverse is true, because very little of what we've said seems to have had any impact.

Anyway, I hope my main point is clear. I'm not telling you at this point that you're wrong about evolution being undermined. I'm telling you that you're criticisms are aimed only at your own false impression of what evolution says. The suggestion is to correct your misimpressions before proceeding.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-06-2006 2:08 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1709 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 124 of 124 (347036)
09-06-2006 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Hyroglyphx
09-06-2006 2:08 PM


Re: Paradigms are the Topic
NJ writes:

I think what I've said is perfectly accurate. I said that a fossilized mammal was discovered with a small dinosaur inside the cavity of what was its stomach. I said that the discovery of the mammal in question changed the previous beliefs that mammals during the late Cretaceous period mammals were tiny, shrew-like herbivores. I went on to say that this discovery did not topple the theory of evolution because it doesn't. At most it brings into question the continuous ad hoc explanations that are far from empiricism. What I said was that this discovery, coupled with other discoveries, allude to previously believed facts concerning evolution were obviously false.

What you say here is, except for the wayward last sentence, much closer to the mark.

But this summary is not what you've always said. You're doing some revising of your own, though you don't admit it.

To begin with, you have here declined to repeat the numerous gaffes you made about recent discoveries.

And in your earlier posts you did not 'at most' say that 'ad hoc explanations are far from empiricism.' You said 'at most' a great deal more than that. Go back to your first posts and look. You spoke in terms of the entire unifying ToE. See how often you used the word 'undermined'--a word that never appears in this new formulation of what you have supposedly always said. Your first statements were far more extravagant than you acknowledge here.

As you've toned down your claims you've also changed your subject. Instead of seeking to undermine paradigms you now ask us to consider whether people on message boards always mind their manners. A sizable shift in focus.

The emphatic response that I recieved was that avian-dinosaur were exempt from extinction because they were already evolving endothermic qualities, among other tenuous notions. I recieved the ad hoc explanation that crocodiles, plesiosaur, and ichythosaurs come from avian lineage and that part of their survivability can be attributed to them taking great care of their offsprings eggs. This doesn't quite add up because while crocs and gators make nests for their young to incubate, Ichthyosaurs don't lay eggs at all. We know empirically that they give live births.

Except for your use of present tense, you state the science on the point of ichthyosaur live births. Congratulations.

But I find it hard to believe the mess you describe represents the content of any 'emphatic response' you received on a science board. It's nonsense. Science has long known that ichthyosaurs gave birth to live young. And why is anyone arguing for the K-T 'survivability' of plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs when these groups went extinct?

Something got garbled in the retelling, I'm sure. Can you provide a link?

Where in my assessment have said anything off-the-wall ridiculous or that I can't grasp what everyone is saying?

See the above. See also the title of this thread.

On my monitor the heading reads 'undermining long-held paradigms.' It does not read 'questioning continuous ad hoc explanations that are far from empiricism.'

I think I've ben very clear on the matter.

_

Edited by Archer Opterix, : Typo.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : Brevity.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : Typo.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-06-2006 2:08 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
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