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Author Topic:   Is there anything up with the "Altenberg 16"?
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3242 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 16 of 47 (469014)
06-02-2008 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Straggler
06-02-2008 7:52 PM


Re: so what is taught is wrong?
I am considering a formal complaint for your needless and baseless insults of charging conspiracy, which has no place here.

Fact is there are other inquiries that work even better than science because they have quicker results sometimes. For example, the decisions one makes in his or her personal life are often shown to be correct or incorrect much faster than the scientific process of consensus which takes time, sometimes a very long time.

I'll give a recent, personal example. A friend of mine was dying of cancer. I found an experimental nutritional product that had anecdotal reports of cancer cells, particularly for her form of cancer being destroyed....almost overnite. Now, we also laid hands on her and prayed. The doctors at Duke gave her 2-3 months at best, maybe just 5-6 weeks. It was pretty grim.

I can't scientifically say why she recovered. Anecdotally, she said she immediately felt relief when she took the product. Of course, we had been praying as well. Maybe God did it without the product's effects. Who knows?

But if we waited for science to tell us the right thing to do, she'd be dead for sure.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 17 of 47 (469034)
06-03-2008 4:55 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by randman
06-02-2008 11:12 PM


Re: so what is taught is wrong?
I am considering a formal complaint for your needless and baseless insults of charging conspiracy, which has no place here.

Well do complain or don't, although I can't see it getting you very far. Just don't make threats. Put up or shut up.

Fact is there are other inquiries that work even better than science because they have quicker results sometimes. For example, the decisions one makes in his or her personal life are often shown to be correct or incorrect much faster than the scientific process of consensus which takes time, sometimes a very long time.

The fact that it is impossible to base most of ones decisions on scientific studies means that you have no means of comparison to say which has quicker or better results. This impossibility makes a point a moot one. Surely you must realise this.

I'll give a recent, personal example. A friend of mine was dying of cancer. I found an experimental nutritional product that had anecdotal reports of cancer cells, particularly for her form of cancer being destroyed....almost overnite. Now, we also laid hands on her and prayed. The doctors at Duke gave her 2-3 months at best, maybe just 5-6 weeks. It was pretty grim.

I can't scientifically say why she recovered. Anecdotally, she said she immediately felt relief when she took the product. Of course, we had been praying as well. Maybe God did it without the product's effects. Who knows?

But if we waited for science to tell us the right thing to do, she'd be dead for sure.

I'm sorry to hear that your friend had to go through that and delighted to hear that she is still around to tell the tale. Nonetheless, you can't say that it was your nutritional product that actually cured her. Maybe it was. Maybe it was the power of prayer, although I doubt it. Maybe it was something else. Maybe her favourite brand of milkshake contains a hitherto unknown sovereign remedy against cancer. Maybe she just got better, for no reason that anyone understands, which can and thankfully does occasionally happen. The point is;

I can't scientifically say why she recovered.

So your following statement;

if we waited for science to tell us the right thing to do, she'd be dead for sure.

is a non-sequitur. For all you know she might have got better anyway. Sorry to burst your bubble. You are employing the same kind of flawed logic that perpetuates homoeopathy, reiki, crystal healing and other such mumbo-jumbo.

This is why empirical evidence is so important in determining objective reality, especially in medicine. Alone, your story is just an anecdote, interesting and perhaps worthy of future study, but ultimately useless to doctors. Actually, I would argue that your experiences do constitute empirical evidence, after all, you are drawing conclusions based on direct observation. It's just that this anecdote constitutes extremely weak evidence, since it involves a sample group of one, with no controlled testing to eliminate other variables.

If you had reliable empirical evidence that your nutrient product was the key factor, that would be a different matter and you would be receiving your Nobel prize any day now. But you don't.

Edited by Granny Magda, : Expanded the two last paragraphs slightly.


Mutate and Survive

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 821 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 18 of 47 (469036)
06-03-2008 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
06-02-2008 1:19 AM


Understanding Journalism
Suzan Mazur writes:

....what happens at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Altenberg, Austria this July promises to be far more transforming for the world than Woodstock.

I read the Mazur article a couple of weeks ago. Journalists are adept at making their pieces sound more interesting and important than they actually are, and the phrase quoted above illustrates this. We see it all the time in relation to science. If there are slightly surprising results to an experiment, the slightly surprised researchers will become "astounded" or "flabbergasted" or "shocked", etc.

The research related to evolutionary biology done and published this year will have far more influence on its future than all the conferences held this year, including this one, and I think that the sixteen "biologists and philosophers of rock star stature" :laugh: would agree with me on that.


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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 19 of 47 (469039)
06-03-2008 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by bluegenes
06-03-2008 5:50 AM


Re: Understanding Journalism
"biologists and philosophers of rock star stature"

Yeah, I was amused by that sentence as well. I would love to know who these scientific superstars are. Perhaps Altenberg will be beset with philosophy groupies, eager for a glimpse of their heroes! Will there be enough merchandise for the legion of fans?

In all seriousness, if anyone wants to get an insight into how science journalism really works, I can't recommend Dr. Ben Goldacre's site www.badscience.net and the accompanying column in The Guardian, highly enough. Much of the material there touches on the tendency of journalists (most of whom know sod-all about science, even those who are ostensibly science-journalists) to "sex-up" any story that comes their way.

A good example is the recent story about the regenerating finger, which was reported across most media in breathless tones of excitement. Most doctors were underwhelmed, being well aware that fingers are already quite good at regenerating missing finger-tips, but that doesn't make an interesting story. The link above goes into more detail, including an entertaining mention of the noble English tradition of hitting people over the head with an inflated pig's bladder. Makes you proud to be British. :)


Mutate and Survive

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Percy
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Posts: 19111
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 20 of 47 (469040)
06-03-2008 7:50 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by bluegenes
06-03-2008 5:50 AM


Re: Understanding Journalism
bluegenes writes:

The research related to evolutionary biology done and published this year will have far more influence on its future than all the conferences held this year, including this one, and I think that the sixteen "biologists and philosophers of rock star stature" :laugh: would agree with me on that.

While I don't exactly disagree, I prefer a slightly different take on this. We probably all agree that in keeping with the scientific goal of making theory coincide as closely to reality as possible, science should always be prepared to modify or even discard theory in light of new evidence or improved insight. Should new evidence or improved insight emerge from this meeting, I assume that scientists will adjust theory in whatever ways necessary to keep it congruent with our new understanding of reality.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 821 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 21 of 47 (469063)
06-03-2008 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
06-03-2008 7:50 AM


Percy writes:

Should new evidence or improved insight emerge from this meeting, I assume that scientists will adjust theory in whatever ways necessary to keep it congruent with our new understanding of reality.

Sure. But how often does new evidence emerge from people meeting, rather than research? "Improved insight" is more likely, but I wonder if physical meetings are as important as they used to be.

The sixteen can all exchange ideas easily and instantly whenever they choose to in this age of electronic communication, after all.

It's possible that this meeting will be widely remembered as long as Woodstock, but I still think the suggestion is probably journalese.


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2438 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 22 of 47 (469079)
06-03-2008 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by bluegenes
06-03-2008 1:42 PM


The benefit of real meetings.
I wonder if physical meetings are as important as they used to be.

I think the main benefit of real meetings nowadays is not the papers presented but the socialising afterwards. Not so much the formalised scientific discussion as the freeflowing informal exchange of ideas. So maybe Altenberg isn't significant as far as round table discussions of evolutionary theory goes but maybe something productive will come out of their late night boozing sessions.

TTFN,

WK


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 821 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 23 of 47 (469089)
06-03-2008 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Wounded King
06-03-2008 5:14 PM


Re: The benefit of real meetings.
Wounded King writes:

...but maybe something productive will come out of their late night boozing sessions.

That's certainly possible. I used to drink a lot, and when criticized for it, would come out with a pseudo-theory that western civilization, both the arts and sciences, would not exist without alcohol to stimulate great minds and to drive it forward. Prohibition was why the Islamic world slipped behind us etc.

In vino veritas and in vino cognoscere.:o


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Percy
Member
Posts: 19111
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 24 of 47 (469100)
06-03-2008 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by bluegenes
06-03-2008 1:42 PM


I maybe didn't focus my comment well enough, because I agree with everything else that's been said. The cited article was way overblown about the potential for new science, and I agree that new science doesn't usually emerge from these types of meetings. It isn't like (for example) international monetary systems where there can be a Bretton Woods agreement that establishes an international gold standard, or international politics where there can be a Potsdam Conference that redraws the map of Europe.

--Percy


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Copasetic
Junior Member (Idle past 4114 days)
Posts: 4
From: Ohio
Joined: 02-07-2008


Message 25 of 47 (470094)
06-09-2008 11:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
06-02-2008 1:19 AM


randman writes:

Richard Lewontin is mentioned in the article. From reading the wiki-link, he makes an interesting point I have often considered in discussions here, particularly on the lack of new phyla emerging, which is the idea that niches are not somehow a limited set but rather a dynamic creation, assuming common descent of course (which I do not but for sake of discussion).

This is pure nonsense. Lewontin does not claim problems with evolution because of lack new phyla emerging. This was explained to you months ago.

The article (along with the debate between science) talks about what degree evolutionary processes play in evolution.

randman writes:

Personally, I don't object to some aspects of evolution on religious grounds but simply because it's not factual.

You are clearly unqualified to object to any aspects of evolution as you can't seem to even wrap your head around why "new phyla aren't emerging". Let's face it, you have no idea what you are talking about and your rejection of evolution is clearly not on scientific grounds.

Edited by Copasetic, : No reason given.


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Copasetic
Junior Member (Idle past 4114 days)
Posts: 4
From: Ohio
Joined: 02-07-2008


Message 26 of 47 (470096)
06-09-2008 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
06-03-2008 7:50 AM


Re: Understanding Journalism
Percy writes:

Should new evidence or improved insight emerge from this meeting, I assume that scientists will adjust theory in whatever ways necessary to keep it congruent with our new understanding of reality.

None of the evidences talked about in the article are new. I think the possible restructuring of evolutionary theory is not to incorporate new ideas as it is so much to reorder the role played by already known ideas.


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3242 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 27 of 47 (470273)
06-10-2008 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Copasetic
06-09-2008 11:09 AM


Saying something doesn't make it so. I understand your arguments perfectly well. Heck, I could probably argue your position much better than you can. But the fact is your arguments are weak. The reality is you never seemed to grasp the phyla argument, nor understand why it is repeated here.

It's an interesting phenomena among evos that they will strenously object to even admitting basic facts if someone that is a critic brings them up but when one of their own discusses the same fact in reevaluating or modifying evo models, then somehow the same fact or argument has become magically true.


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3242 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 28 of 47 (470275)
06-10-2008 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Granny Magda
06-03-2008 4:55 AM


Re: so what is taught is wrong?
The fact that it is impossible to base most of ones decisions on scientific studies means that you have no means of comparison to say which has quicker or better results.

If we were in court, you'd have just lost your case by admitting my argument is correct since you admit that the scientific process is unsuitable for "most of one's decisions" and yet you somehow contradict yourself by claiming there is no way to say which one has quicker or better results.

Ahem......if one cannot even work at all, then regardless of the track record of the other, unless absolute 0, it is superiour to the first.

On the subject of cancer being cured, you are simply dodging the issue. Medical opinion from Duke was she had no chance to live. We tried something and it worked. There is always a chance it was something else, sure, but the most reasonable explanation is she would be dead had we not done something else. Now, if you want to say there is a chance it was something else, fine. There is a chance too you are simply dreaming right now and will wake up to find none of this is real.


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Coyote
Member (Idle past 449 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 29 of 47 (470283)
06-10-2008 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by randman
06-10-2008 1:00 PM


It's an interesting phenomena among evos that they will strenously object to even admitting basic facts if someone that is a critic brings them up but when one of their own discusses the same fact in reevaluating or modifying evo models, then somehow the same fact or argument has become magically true.

Perhaps the reason is that creationists are known neither for accuracy nor veracity when making claims about science.

Doubt me? Just look at AnswersInGenesis or any of dozens of other creationist websites. Here is a sample article from AnswersInGenesis on radiocarbon dating:

Carbon-14 dating - explained in everyday terms

Care to defend its accuracy? If so, set up a new thread and we'll have at it.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3242 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 30 of 47 (470285)
06-10-2008 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Coyote
06-10-2008 2:21 PM


Perhaps the reason is that creationists are known neither for accuracy nor veracity when making claims about science.

Just gotta laugh at that one. In my experience, creationists have been far more accurate and reliable in their factual claims than evos.


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