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Friday, 25 April 2008

Blink 4: Scientific Theories

Just a quick post for a large topic here, because it's covered well in other places. Critics of evolution (almost entirely made up of religious, anti-rational crazies) have certain mantras they like to repeat often; one of the most common of these is "evolution is just a theory!" ... Apparently this is supposed to discredit it, and portray it as somehow being in serious doubt.

If only they knew what an idea has to go through in order to become a scientific theory. They are actually confusing "theory" with "hypothesis", the latter being a far weaker position prior to testing. There is very little you can say to people who put forward this view - because it is itself ample demonstration that they don't think for themselves in a critical, rational way and are thus unlikely to be swayed by any argument.

You could try showing them some pretty convincing (and very cool) evidence.

But at the end of the day, elegance lies in simplicity - and I normally end up replying "so is gravity".

2 comments:

Asclepius said...

Sir I think I love you. I've had an infuriating few hours and I needed an opportunity like this to vent.

Evolution is just a theory. Their God however isnt even an idea, its just a rationalisation for mass-stupidty and an excuse to get the warm and fuzzies on a sunday morning. Additionally 'God' gives them a loop hole out of rational discussion that science or common sense doesnt 'well it must be true because I believe'.

Now dont get me wrong I have no problem with mainstream christians or any religious groups that allow rational discussion and deliberation. And I've seen how faith can change a life for the better. I have a problem with morons regardless of religious belief.

Ted Goas said...

Good point. This kind of ties back to a major fallacy of Intelligent Design that was conveniently left out in Expelled.

In order for an idea to make it into classroom textbooks, it must endure a rigorous process of review, peer-review, and be voted in. In real life, ID is trying to bypass this process and force its way straight into the classroom.

If only they knew what it takes for an idea to make it into the classroom...