Evidence of Evolution

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by king_alvarez, Apr 24, 2008.

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  1. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    I don't think the teaching of evolution and the teaching of math are analogous, as one concept completely upsets the worldview parents might want to pass on to their children, and the other one doesn't.
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Wow, I had no idea people's day to day decisions hinged on whether or not they accepted evolution as the explanation for modern biological life. Clearly your logic is flawless, wannasee.
  3. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    It's not the business of science teachers to worry about the religious or political worldviews of the parents of students. Only to teach facts. The absurdity of questioning scientific facts on the basis of "worldview" is illuminated by a parody in which mathematical facts are questioned on the basis of "worldview."
  4. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    If researchers discovered that blacks were inferior to whites, would you want your children to be taught that?

    I wouldn't, because I would wish to teach my children that all people are equal.

    The point is, one diminishes the importance of worldview with respect to scientific fact if and only if the scientific fact fits in nicely with one's worldview.
  5. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Hey, fun fact - my parents believe it's important to teach teenagers about safe sex. The Texas school board? Not so much. So you know what we did? Sucked it up and talked about it at home. Which is exactly what creationists could do, but apparently they'd prefer to have their cake, eat it too, and then **** all over the cake that's required to actually learn goddamn biology.

    But no, let's invoke ridiculous slippery slope arguments! That's much more fun!
  6. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    Meaningless question. "Inferior" is a word with little value in a scientific context. You're asking a social/values question and that's got nothing to do with the teaching of science, any more than it does with the teaching of mathematics.

    If researchers were to discover that there were distinct and verifiable differences between people of African vs. European descent -- which there are, by the way; aside from the melanin levels contributing to differential skin coloration, those of African descent are more prone to sickle-cell anemia, for example -- then I see no reason that those facts shouldn't be taught.

    That such differences make one line of descent "inferior" to another is a value judgment -- an opinion, not a fact -- and therefore has no place in science curriculum.
  7. wannasee Force Ghost

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    The point of the question wasn't "is the word "inferior" meaningful in a scientific context"? The point of the question was "what happens when science conflicts with your worldview?"

    So, ignoring the fact that you feel "inferiority" isn't measurable, would you want your children taught that one race was inferior to another?

    And if you do want them taught that, can you at least understand why some people would not their children taught that?

  8. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Oh, I know this one -

    If I say that I don't want my children taught that, I'm a huge hypocrite.

    If I say that I do want my children taught that, I'm a huge racist.

    Cool trap, bro. You must really be a sensation over in /b/ with your revolutionary tactics. I also couldn't help but notice you ignored my example, presumably because it's slightly harder to troll with.
  9. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    Then you should come up with a better example of that, because as the word "inferior" is not meaningful in a scientific context, it is not meaningful to ask a hypothetical about science declaring one race or another "inferior."

    My answer to the latter question, by the way, is "I change my worldview, assuming the scientific case has been fairly well-established and isn't simply in the stage of preliminary findings."

    I'm sorry, I'm not going to ignore the fact that you're asking a meaningless question, because you're asking me to respond to a straw-man, emotionally-loaded "have you stopped beating your wife yet" style argument, and I'm not going to dignify it by doing so.

    Either give a concrete (if hypothetical) example of what "inferior" might mean in a scientific context -- how it might be measurable -- or come up with a different, actually relevant example of how science might conflict with my worldview if you want my response to such a situation.
  10. wannasee Force Ghost

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    I ignored your post because it seemed unrelated to mine.

    You gave an anecdote about your family not making a fuss over differences they had with the educational system. Then you said creationists should do the same. Both of those things have nothing to do with my post.

    Then you categorized my analogy as a "slippery slope argument," which I don't think it is, but I didn't want to sidetrack the discussion with what is the definition of a slippery slope argument.

    So that's why I ignored you. It's not because your logic is unassailable. It's just unrelated to what I'm talking about.
  11. wannasee Force Ghost

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    I wanted to give an example where, in a hypothetical world, there was a scientific fact that contradicted the way you wanted to look at the world. Since you don't like my example, and want me to construct a more elaborate analogy, I will say here that the actual example doesn't matter.

    The point is, there is a fact that you vehemently disagree with, and, if taught to your children, would have ramifications for what kind of person they would turn out to be.

    Would you want your children taught that fact? And if you would want them taught it, can you understand why some people would not?


  12. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 22, 2001
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    When your worldview requires the moon to be made of green cheese, the problem isn't with the moon, wannasee.
  13. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    There are no facts that I vehemently disagree with. You can't disagree with facts. They are what they are. If it is a demonstrated fact then I accept it. To do otherwise is deliberate self-delusion.

    Now, there could be certain social opinions drawn from facts that I may disagree with, but as I stated already I don't believe that social opinions ought to be taught in science curriculum.

    The only ramification teaching facts can have is to make people more informed.

    Yes, because I would want them to be informed.

    Yes, because they're uninformed.

    EDIT:
    Oh my god. I'm adding this to my signature.
  14. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

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    Go for it. I use it in my classes all the time.
  15. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    It is, in fact, completely related to your whole argument, which is that the education system needs to be cognizant of contradicting the worldviews of others. The difference is, instead of making a hyper-extended fantasy scenario that ignores the possibility of, oh, I dunno, ideological gradients, I used an example from real life.

    As in, something that I didn't just make up to try and put someone in a corner.

    As for you assertions that your analogy is not a slippery slope, I contend that it is, at least at its essence. Your logic requires an ideological consistency from "Valuing science over beliefs with regards to something that does not affect day to day activities" to "valuing science over beliefs with regards to racial attitudes" and will eventually, if certain internet laws are to be believed, result in "valuing science over beliefs with regards to the ****ing Holocaust."

    You then quickly rectified to a statement stating that "the actual example doesn't matter." Fair enough, but I contend that whether or not you agree with evolution does not affect who you are as a person. You will not decide whether or not to buy a house based on your agreement with evolution. You will not decide whether or not to help an injured man based on your agreement with evolution. Evolution will perhaps be used as an excuse, but it is not the root cause. Your example is always flawed because teaching evolution does not in and of itself affect who the person ends up being. If you think that it does, then I have nothing further to discuss with you.
  16. wannasee Force Ghost

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    I have not said one word about what the educational system should do.

    I chose the example of inequality of races because I thought everyone would agree that they wouldn't want their children taught that, fact or not.

    It wasn't to put people in a corner. It was just give an easy (or what I thought was an easy) example of a fact conflicting with our worldview that everyone could relate to.

    I disagree that because you feel an argument will eventually become a slippery slope argument that that makes the current argument a slippery slope argument.

    I think that a person losing their religious faith as a result of being taught evolution is profoundly affected.

  17. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    Plenty of people are capable of accepting evolution and believing in religion.

    And to riff off what Quix said, it's not the facts' fault that religion doesn't align with them.
  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    I'd disagree. You seem to be arguing significantly that educational systems should consider not educating students if people are distressed about them being educated about verifiable parts of science because some people view educating on reality to be a negative thing.
  19. wannasee Force Ghost

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  20. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    You said:

    Emphasis mine. By stating that you would not want your children to be taught X by the educational system because of your worldview, and by claiming that teaching evolution might upset students whose worldview figures creationism prominently, you are making an argument -- if not that you think the educational system should avoid teaching facts which are potentially upsetting, then at the very least that you sympathize with those who would want it to work that way.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    I'll clarify, I say consider, not necessarily that they should choose not to educate. Largely as you are taking the stance that objections to the educational system (which as an element of government is tied to the public) teaching based on reality can rationally be objected to.

    The only relevancy of parents being worked up about evolution being taught is if one feels that the educational system should take that into account on any level.
  22. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    I suppose my argument could be used in an argument that the school system should take into account parents' preferences.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that I am making that argument.

    Trust me, guys. If anybody knows what I am saying, it's me.
  23. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    That's always seemed like a bigger if than it ought to be.
  24. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    May 11, 2009
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    Back in the day, the Catholic Church opposed the concept of zero because nothing could not possibly be something. Just saying.
  25. wannasee Force Ghost

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    How does that relate to the discussion at hand?
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