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I find it interesting that if someone believes in evolution, by default they don't belive in God.

That's a false assumption; the two have nothing to do with each other, and there are plenty of devout people (of ALL faiths) who accept the validity of evolution.

Likewise, acceptance of evolution does not require rejection of religious faith; evolution says nothing about supernatural or spiritual matters at all, one way or the other.

True, evolution is 100% materialist/naturalist in its methods and descriptions. So is all science. It's no more inherently "hostile" to religion than geometry or chemistry is.

The major concern from the religious side seems to be that "the web of life" was always a primary example of how there MUST be a deity behind our existence, and evolution has disproven that assumption. Genuine faith doesn't need such a crutch, of course, but apparently a lot of people are insecure enough in their beliefs that they want human origins to be mysterious and imply a supernatural creator.

They're missing out on the fact that there is no such requirement in nature. A god can (and possibly does) exist no matter what we discover about how the physical universe operates. Science is no threat to religion as long as religion doesn't insist that it IS science itself.

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Guest TheHeathenAngel
An Atheist was taking a walk through the woods. ..This covered everything-God, Atheist, creation, the "big bang" and the hypocrite.

Cute story.. not really, but I was trying to be nice.

Do you have an actual PROOF of a deity? Or are you just full of unimaginative and silly stories that you THINK (and I use that term loosely) will illustrate your point?

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Guest Guest
Interesting.  It shows one human skull and various monkey and ape skulls. Your point ??

You're supposed to actually read the words, not just look at the pictures. :angry:

Dinisaurs were extinct  a million years before Noah.

65 million years, assuming Noah lived some 4,000 to 6,000 years ago.

Well, he may have been off by about 64 million years, Paul, but I think he somewhat makes one of your initial points, and that is Mr. P's misrepresentation of science mixed in with his preaching in his history class. If dinosaurs were extinct for a very long time before Noah is said to have existed, then they very well couldn't have been around to be on any boat that Noah might have built, as Mr. P. wrongfully claimed.

Paul, while I appreciate you giving people the benefit of the doubt, I don't understand how you can believe anyone's claims that Mr. P. is a good teacher even when he sticks to his subject of history, because I'm sure he isn't giving the true story behind events like the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials. I'm sure you can understand where I'm going with this, with the common denominator between all three, and Mr. P's stance in certain subjects.

I find it interesting that if someone believes in evolution, by default they don't belive in God.

That's absurd, maybe it just means that things didn't happen exactly the way the "Bible" says they did. The "Bible" which has been embellished or certain books removed by mere mortals.

This wouldn't be the first time theists have fought against scientific discovery.

"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."

~ Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo.

And then there was that little dispute over whether the earth was flat or round.

Many sciences have already disproven the literal interpretations of various stories in the Bible. Geology has proven there was no global flood, archaeology has proven there was no one living at Jericho at the time when Joshua supposedly conquered it, and astronomy has proven that, not only does the earth revolve around the sun, but the universe doesn't even evolve around our solar system, much less around out tiny little planet. I'm not sure which science ultimately proved the shape of our planet, but I can tell you, that little bit of information didn't come from the Bible.

Now we have evolution, which shows that Adam didn't look like today's humans. Hey, maybe "God's image" is really a mass of energy, and we all evolved from that. :angry:

I'd like to reiterate something that has already been said in this thread. "Theory" as it pertains to science is not the same as "theory" as it applies in the more common usage. A scientific theory can only become theory after sufficient evidence has already been found to support it, and the Theory of Evolution is just as proven as the Theory of Gravity.

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Guest Guest
I wonder why so many scientifically ignorant folks assume that evolution has something to do with "the origin of the universe"?

Even that jackass, Kent Hovind, confuses the two in his poorly constructed "challenge to evolutionists" (which basically demands that biologists manufacture living, macroscopic organisms and mutate them according to his specifications, from scratch).

Read superwick's posts before you answer you blowhard.

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Guest Paul
Paul, while I appreciate you giving people the benefit of the doubt, I don't understand how you can believe anyone's claims that Mr. P. is a good teacher even when he sticks to his subject of history, because I'm sure he isn't giving the true story behind events like the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials. I'm sure you can understand where I'm going with this, with the common denominator between all three, and Mr. P's stance in certain subjects.

My son Matthew is still in Paszkiewicz's class, and he tells me Paszkiewicz is a good history teacher for the most part. I have no reason to doubt that.

That said, you are entirely correct, in my view, to point out that Paszkiewicz has exhibited serious flaws as a teacher. Whether he can overcome those in the long term remains to be seen.

Many have said "give him a second chance, it's his first offense." While I doubt it is his first offense, or even the first offense the administration knew or had reason to know about, I've said discipline is not our issue. That's not the same as saying he shouldn't be disciplined. Just because I have pointed out this teacher's strengths in addition to his obvious shortcomings does not mean that others are not free to make judgments about the seriousness of those shortcomings and call for discipline. However, because we are so intensely and personally involved, I do not believe we are in an unbiased position, and therefore should refrain from being the ones to call for discipline.

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Guest Dea
What's very interesting is that none of the authors listed above can point to one shred of physical evidence to support evolution.

Have you read any of the material? They use physical evidence - and only physical evidence - to support their arguments.

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One important issue highlighted by the proselytizing teacher episode is the relationship between science and theism.

That's a topic that interests me as well.

For me, the most commonly overlooked point, fundamental to this relationship between science and theism, is that their methods of thought are profoundly different:

1. All scientific truths are provisional, meaning they are always subject to further evidence, examination and change. By contrast, while theistic beliefs change in practice over time, many theists claim their beliefs to be unchanging and eternal.

All truth is eternal, whether religious or scientific. Calling a truth "provisional" simply makes "truth" mean something different than it normally means.

Put simply, a scientific "truth" such as Haeckel's recapitulation idea is the equivalent of a falsehood (unless it surprises everyone by turning out to be true after all).

2. Science begins with a hypothesis, and proceeds through the collection of data toward theory.

Science begins with observation (otherwise there's nothing about which to hypothesize), but I suppose I shouldn't quibble.

By contrast, theism begins with doctrines and dogmas, sometimes looking at evidence along the way but sometimes ignoring the evidence to preserve current belief.

Theism begins with philosophy, otherwise there's no foundation for the doctrines and dogmas.

One should expect theism to differ from science, since theism touches issues that science cannot address. Science itself (as Mr. Paszkiewicz correctly pointed out) rests on a metaphysical foundation that is itself beyond its ability to test. To that extent, science is based on faith.

Interesting enough, scientists sometimes do that too, but once it is recognized, it is considered a departure from the scientific method.

I remember hearing about a book that described how some of science's greatest achievements came from scientists who ran afoul of the scientific method in that manner.

If only we could have stopped them sooner! :D

Suffice it to say the scientific method isn't so rigid as some believe. It has hardly any rules that cannot be broken. It is recognized that every Popperian criterion has exceptions in real science.

3. Sometimes hard-line theists (not all theists fit this description!) mock people of science because their theories are constantly changing over a broad span of time. What those changes represent is growth.

Well, there's a parallel in theology. Roman Catholic doctrines certainly develop over time, and the Trinitarian dogma developed after the time of Jesus.

There's little to be proud of in never changing. It means there is no growth.

Well, if somebody was right about everything from the start, we should grant, there's not much point in growing.

The hard-line theistic argument assumes that the natural state of affairs is for humans to know the final answers to the greatest of all questions, when the fact is we don't even know what questions to ask or how to ask them.

Is it too much to hope for a specific example of a "hard-line theistic argument" that illustrates your description?

4. Many theists can reconcile their beliefs with science. For example, some have no difficulty accepting evolution of species and still believing in the Bible — they interpret the Bible symbolically and spiritually. Others take a hard-line, literalistic approach to scriptural interpretation. Inevitably they run into major conflicts with science, and inevitably over time, they lose. Copernicus' idea that the earth revolves around the sun is one example. Today, evolution of species is another.

Paul, you've completely ignored about a full century of textual criticism that takes the Bible literally while also taking various aspects of the text such as genre.

Copernicus' idea is unfalsifiable, by the way. Science cannot prove that the relationship is not the reverse. It is the principle of parsimony that encourages us to prefer the simpler explanation. Is that science?

I'd be interested in people's thoughts on evolution of species as it pertains to the relationship between science and theism, or for that matter between science and religion.

For me, the interesting thing is that intelligence is something that cannot be demonstrated by the type of science you affirm, Paul. That's why those such as Dennett end up partial to using causal determinism to explain human thought.

Clarence Darrow grasped that issue firmly and used it very successfully in his defense of accused murderers.

I wonder how you see it in your law practice? :D

Is it silly to prosecute people for doing what cannot help doing? You act like Paszkiewicz has a choice in the way he teaches ... are you sure you wish to recommend Dennett's book?

http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/...cus/Elbows.html

Most people do not realize how thoroughly well established evolutionary theory is, how thoroughly modern biology depends on it, or how many of the recent medical advances that have extended lifespans in the developed world by more than a decade in the past generation or two are based on it. They also do not realize the size or extent of the enormous data base that now supports evolutionary theory, or how many different ways the theory is tied together and proved beyond any reasonable doubt to most knowledgeable scientists all over the world. This is among the most striking points listening to the early sessions in Matt's "history" class this season.

Many people do not bother to distinguish between "evolution" as the reproductive isolation of subspecies and "evolution" as common descent, either.

Finally, that word "theory." The common misconception is that "theory" implies an absence of proof. Just the opposite is true. A hypothesis is an organized explanation of phenomena or events that lacks sufficient supporting evidence to be considered reliable. A theory is an organized explanation that has sufficient supporting evidence to be considered reliable. A theory can also be a fact. A hypothesis can also be a fact. The difference is in the degree and quality of the evidence supporting it.

Most people take "proof" in the hard sense of undeniability rather than in the looser sense of supported by substantial evidence.

Why is there a "science" class that (supposedly) excludes the metaphysical notions not required for science, but no class to discuss the metaphysical notions?

In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism).

Is that a proper education?

Of course, that last sentence will not satisfy those who demand final answers even as we just begin to ask the questions.

So! You admit that evolution could be false!

No?

What the hey! Let's teach it like a dogma anyway!

That last statement is a good illustration of the difference in the scientific and hard-line theistic modes of thought.

But you're not saying that the "hard-line theistic modes of thought" are bad, are you?

Because we should question in what types of circumstances a statement like that could be ethically/morally uttered ... right? :D

It also explains why having a discussion with some of the folks who post here is practically impossible.

It's those religious people, right? Just say it. We know that's what you're thinking. They are so bigoted, aren't they? :)

I read a post earlier today by a self-described atheist who suggested that American Christians should be lobotomized. Probably a Christian pretending to be an atheist, you think?

Seriously, Paul, most lawyers and folks with degrees & such don't have time for discussion boards like this. What exactly do you expect? It's like talk radio. You're not reading the broad scope of opinion here.

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Guest Guest
"All truth is eternal, whether religious or scientific.  Calling a truth 'provisional' simply makes 'truth' mean something different than it normally means."

It defines truth from an epistemological standpoint, which is perfectly appropriate. It is the definition most consistent with the scientific method.

"Science begins with observation (otherwise there's nothing about which to hypothesize), but I suppose I shouldn't quibble."

Perhaps neither of us should. It can begin with either observation or hypothesis.

"Theism begins with philosophy, otherwise there's no foundation for the doctrines and dogmas."

Many argue, with good reason, that theism begins with a wish.

"Science itself (as Mr. Paszkiewicz correctly pointed out) rests on a metaphysical foundation that is itself beyond its ability to test."

There is a grain of truth in this argument, but only a grain as Paszkiewicz presented it. Science has produced a vast body of data and applications, which have created a completely different way of living, including our ability to communicate with each other via this medium. The suggestion that science is limited to metaphysics, as theology is, is just wrong. The problem with what Paszkiewicz did is not that there isn't a grain of truth in it anywhere, but that it is so skewed toward his desired end as to be not only pedagogically valueless, but harmful.

"Is it too much to hope for a specific example of a 'hard-line theistic argument' that illustrates your description?"

I was referring to the entire argument of the hard-line theist. That entire theology is based on a premise of knowing "for sure" the ultimate and definitive answers to questions that reasonable people realize we cannot definitively answer.

"Paul, you've completely ignored about a full century of textual criticism that takes the Bible literally while also taking various aspects of the text such as genre."

We've ignored a lot. How long a post would you like me to write?

"Copernicus' idea is unfalsifiable, by the way.  Science cannot prove that the relationship is not the reverse."

I was taking you seriously until now. You're suggesting that it can't be proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Of course it can, and it has been.

"So!  You admit that evolution could be false! No? What the hey!  Let's teach it like a dogma anyway!"

Good science is not taught as dogma. Good science begins with the underlying premise that science is a constant process of learning, and that even the most widely accepted theories are subject to change as we gain more information. Your ah-ha! moment overlooks the nature of science. Based on the data we have, however, and the many applications of that data in fields like medicine, giving students anything less than a thorough grounding in evolutionary theory would be irresponsible.

"But you're not saying that the 'hard-line theistic modes of thought' are bad, are you?"

Yes I am. They are rigid and are essentially unconcerned with reality. They are essentially grounded in wishes, which are then projected out as ultimate reality. That is a very harmful mode of thinking, and the results of it are demonostrably disastrous.

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One should expect theism to differ from science, since theism touches issues that science cannot address.  Science itself (as Mr. Paszkiewicz correctly pointed out) rests on a metaphysical foundation that is itself beyond its ability to test.  To that extent, science is based on faith.

And what do you think that metaphysical foundation is?

Paul, you've completely ignored about a full century of textual criticism that takes the Bible literally while also taking various aspects of the text such as genre.

This doesn’t make linguistic sense to me. Are you saying the criticisms assume the Bible passages are literally true but colored by the culture in which they were written?

Copernicus' idea is unfalsifiable, by the way.  Science cannot prove that the relationship is not the reverse.  It is the principle of parsimony that encourages us to prefer the simpler explanation.  Is that science?

Bellarmine thought that the earth established a stationary reference frame according to which everything revolved around the earth. Copernicus (and Gallileo and Newton) threw out the idea of the earth as the center of the universe, but kept the objectively verifiable reference frame. Einstein showed that there is no such objectively verifiable frame, so anything could be considered the center of the universe. Copernicus was more correct than Bellarmine, and Einstein was more correct than Copernicus. That’s science, and scientific progress.

For me, the interesting thing is that intelligence is something that cannot be demonstrated by the type of science you affirm, Paul.  That's why those such as Dennett end up partial to using causal determinism to explain human thought.

Clarence Darrow grasped that issue firmly and used it very successfully in his defense of accused murderers.

I wonder how you see it in your law practice?  :D

Is it silly to prosecute people for doing what cannot help doing?  You act like Paszkiewicz has a choice in the way he teaches ... are you sure you wish to recommend Dennett's book?

http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/...cus/Elbows.html

Intelligence can be demonstrated (depending on how it’s defined), it just can’t yet be completely explained. Neither can religion explain it. As for whether Paszkiewicz had a choice, he did to the extent that anyone does. He knew or should have known he was acting illegally and unethically, and he did so anyway. It’s likely his decision was determined, at least in part, by the assumption that he wouldn’t be caught, or that he could lie his way out of it if he were caught, or that nothing would happen to him even if he couldn’t lie his way out. If that asumption is shown to be false, then he and others like him are less likely to have their actions swayed by it in the future.

Many people do not bother to distinguish between "evolution" as the reproductive isolation of subspecies and "evolution" as common descent, either.

True. Many people also don’t bother to distinguish between microgravity (which makes apples fall) and macrogravity (which guides the motions of planets and stars).

Why is there a "science" class that (supposedly) excludes the metaphysical notions not required for science, but no class to discuss the metaphysical notions?

In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism).

Is that a proper education?

Metaphysical naturalism is the idea that everything is governed by natural laws and nothing can be beyond such laws. Methodological naturalism is the idea that science should proceed in its methods by assuming a phenomenon is produced by natural laws, unless there is evidence to the contrary. What makes you think high school science classes teach the former rather than the latter?

But you're not saying that the "hard-line theistic modes of thought" are bad, are you?

Because we should question in what types of circumstances a statement like that could be ethically/morally uttered ... right? ;)

I can’t speak for Paul, but I’d argue that Constitutionally and ethically (under an ethical system based on the Golden Rule) it’s bad for the government to treat some citizens as privileged just because of their religious beliefs. I also think that many with “hard-line theistic modes of thought” often don’t agree with that. Hence the need for discussion.

It's those religious people, right?  Just say it.  We know that's what you're thinking.  They are so bigoted, aren't they?  :)

I read a post earlier today by a self-described atheist who suggested that American Christians should be lobotomized.  Probably a Christian pretending to be an atheist, you think?

Obviously there are problems on both sides of the fence. Discussions such as this can help with that too.

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Guest, on Dec 23 2006, 10:44 AM wrote:

It defines truth from an epistemological standpoint, which is perfectly appropriate.

What does it mean to define truth from an epistemological standpoint, other than to say that truth is spoken of probabilistically rather than as an epistemic certainty?

It is the definition most consistent with the scientific method.

Okay, but why is that significant given that theological truth is perfectly compatible with epistemic certainty or a probabilitistic acceptance of truth?

Paul was trying to establish some sort of contrast, wasn't he?

Is it too much to assume that he has trying to make a point?

Perhaps neither of us should. It can begin with either observation or hypothesis.

Try to offer a hypothesis without any initial observation sometime.

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/.../AppendixE.html

http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Not...000000000000000

Many argue, with good reason, that theism begins with a wish.

And what is that good reason(s)?

I had written:

"Science itself (as Mr. Paszkiewicz correctly pointed out) rests on a metaphysical foundation that is itself beyond its ability to test."

There is a grain of truth in this argument, but only a grain as Paszkiewicz presented it. Science has produced a vast body of data and applications, which have created a completely different way of living, including our ability to communicate with each other via this medium.

Paszkiewicz was talking to high schoolers. In that context he did a nice job, I think. It's not just a grain of truth, either. Naturalistic presupposition is not necessary to the advancement of science and technology. Postmodernists who don't even bother with a firm idea of "truth" will prove adept enough at advancing technology regardless of the presuppositions of traditional science.

The suggestion that science is limited to metaphysics, as theology is, is just wrong.

That observation might be relevant if you could identify who made the claim and how. Science has a metaphysical foundation. That is inarguable (though I'll enjoy it if you try). It might uncover an absolute truth, and then again (in specific instances) it might not.

The problem with what Paszkiewicz did is not that there isn't a grain of truth in it anywhere, but that it is so skewed toward his desired end as to be not only pedagogically valueless, but harmful.

Can you describe the alleged harm?

I was referring to the entire argument of the hard-line theist.

Okay, so you must be Paul posting without having logged in first.

That entire theology is based on a premise of knowing "for sure" the ultimate and definitive answers to questions that reasonable people realize we cannot definitively answer.

I've studied Christianity and religion for years and I've never heard of such a thing (or perhaps I just have an unclear idea of what you're talking about).

Who advocates that theology (quotations or citations would be nice)?

We've ignored a lot. How long a post would you like me to write?

Enough to avoid the appearance of a false dichotomy?

I was taking you seriously until now. You're suggesting that it can't be proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Of course it can, and it has been.

You've been snookered if you believe that. You must not understand the nature of science. Position in the universe is relative, Paul. That means, in practice, you can take any point in the universe and call it the center with all of the movements taking place around that arbitrary point. That includes the planet we're on. As I mentioned previously, we prefer to center the movements around the greater masses (such as the sun) because it is more parsimonious--but no suggested center of movement can be falsified by science.

Bank it.

http://creationwiki.org/Relativity_shows_geocentrism_is_true

Good science is not taught as dogma.

When was the last time you took a science class??

Good science begins with the underlying premise that science is a constant process of learning, and that even the most widely accepted theories are subject to change as we gain more information. Your ah-ha! moment overlooks the nature of science.

Newsflash, Paul: Science instructors routinely overlook the idealized science you've got in mind.

Based on the data we have, however, and the many applications of that data in fields like medicine, giving students anything less than a thorough grounding in evolutionary theory would be irresponsible.

Who has suggested otherwise? Perhaps you should say specifically what you understand "grounding" to mean.

Yes I am. They are rigid and are essentially unconcerned with reality.

That seems like a rigid view for you to take. Does it accord with reality?

They are essentially grounded in wishes, which are then projected out as ultimate reality. That is a very harmful mode of thinking, and the results of it are demonostrably disastrous.

So when do we get the merest shred of demonstration?

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Glen Tarr, on Dec 23 2006, 01:14 PM, wrote:

And what do you think that metaphysical foundation is?

Metaphysical naturalism, as I mentioned in the post to which you replied ("In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism)").

This doesn’t make linguistic sense to me. Are you saying the criticisms assume the Bible passages are literally true but colored by the culture in which they were written?

Not exactly. I'd say that modern criticism provides the tools for more accurate literal interpretation. Bible criticism doesn't go for making broad assumptions, though the principle of according the author the benefit of the doubt might count as a type of assumption.

Bellarmine thought that the earth established a stationary reference frame according to which everything revolved around the earth. Copernicus (and Gallileo and Newton) threw out the idea of the earth as the center of the universe, but kept the objectively verifiable reference frame. Einstein showed that there is no such objectively verifiable frame, so anything could be considered the center of the universe. Copernicus was more correct than Bellarmine, and Einstein was more correct than Copernicus. That’s science, and scientific progress.

You've made a play at answering my question, but it seems you evaded it in favor of making a separate point.

Though you didn't evade it to the extent Paul did, so I guess I should be thankful.

Intelligence can be demonstrated (depending on how it’s defined), it just can’t yet be completely explained.

I'd be completely delighted if you would share at least one instance of intelligence demonstrated scientifically.

Neither can religion explain it.

Why do you say that? Appeal to silence, or appeal to some hitherto unknown principle? If the latter, please share.

As for whether Paszkiewicz had a choice, he did to the extent that anyone does. He knew or should have known he was acting illegally and unethically, and he did so anyway.

Do you realize the absurdity of saying "should have" in a causally determined universe, Glen?

It’s likely his decision was determined, at least in part, by the assumption that he wouldn’t be caught, or that he could lie his way out of it if he were caught, or that nothing would happen to him even if he couldn’t lie his way out. If that asumption is shown to be false, then he and others like him are less likely to have their actions swayed by it in the future.

Death penalty, then?

:D

You've missed the point (perhaps intentionally?) about causal determinism, it seems.

I had written:

"Why is there a "science" class that (supposedly) excludes the metaphysical notions not required for science, but no class to discuss the metaphysical notions?

In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism).

Is that a proper education?"

True. Many people also don’t bother to distinguish between microgravity (which makes apples fall) and macrogravity (which guides the motions of planets and stars).

Metaphysical naturalism is the idea that everything is governed by natural laws and nothing can be beyond such laws. Methodological naturalism is the idea that science should proceed in its methods by assuming a phenomenon is produced by natural laws, unless there is evidence to the contrary. What makes you think high school science classes teach the former rather than the latter?

There can be no evidence to the contrary, Glen. Modern science refuses to countenance contrary evidence. The metaphysical framework doesn't change. If Uri Gellar were to really bend spoons with his mind, science would work to explain the phenomenon using natural law (keeping to a framework of metaphysical naturalism).

Barring an examination of the metaphysical underpinnings of science (and a comparison with the metaphysical alternatives), the teaching of methodological naturalism becomes an implicit indoctrination in metaphysical naturalism.

I can’t speak for Paul, but I’d argue that Constitutionally and ethically (under an ethical system based on the Golden Rule) it’s bad for the government to treat some citizens as privileged just because of their religious beliefs.

1) Is an ethical system based on the Golden Rule a religious belief, or no?

2) Who is being privileged in this case owing to his religious beliefs?

I also think that many with “hard-line theistic modes of thought” often don’t agree with that. Hence the need for discussion.

Should the "Golden Rule" be the government's standard of justice? Isn't that an establishment of religion, disrespecting LaVey Satanists (among others)?

Obviously there are problems on both sides of the fence. Discussions such as this can help with that too.

We can hope.

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Guest Guest
You've been snookered if you believe that.  You must not understand the nature of science.  Position in the universe is relative, Paul.  That means, in practice, you can take any point in the universe and call it the center with all of the movements taking place around that arbitrary point.  That includes the planet we're on.  As I mentioned previously, we prefer to center the movements around the greater masses (such as the sun) because it is more parsimonious--but no suggested center of movement can be falsified by science.

Bank it.

http://creationwiki.org/Relativity_shows_geocentrism_is_true

While you may have spent years studying theology, evidently you haven't spent any time studying science, or you wouldn't have made the statements above.

Position is relative, but non-uniform motion is not. And as long as we're talking about whether the sun is revolving around the earth or not, we are talking about non-uniform motion since acceleration is involved. In this case, science can (and has) absolutely prove by experiments that the earth is moving and is not stationary. And by the way to get more technical, it's not that the Earth is moving around the Sun, it's that both the Sun and the Earth is moving around the center of gravity between the sun and the earth. And of course you'd also need to add into consideration all the other planets and other celestial bodies. It gets very complex very quickly, but the essence is this: scientists did not pick the current view of the universe over the Earth-centric belief out of "parsimony" but becuase it offers the best explanation of the empirical data.

Your quote of an article from something called "Creationwiki" to try to prove a scientific point is laughable. That's like quoting Anne Coulter on Evolution.

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That said, you are entirely correct, in my view, to point out that Paszkiewicz has exhibited serious flaws as a teacher. Whether he can overcome those in the long term remains to be seen.

I hope that we all have the opportunity to learn and grow from our mistakes.

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Guest (aka Paul LaClair?), on Dec 24 2006, 03:03 AM, wrote:

While you may have spent years studying theology, evidently you haven't spent any time studying science, or you wouldn't have made the statements above.

Non sequitur. I'm precisely right, and the Evo-wiki site link I provided (they're evolutionists) backs me (as did post #135 by Glen Tarr ("anything could be considered the center of the universe").

And I could draw on plenty more. What about you?

"[A]nything" includes supposedly accelerating objects.

Without a non-relative stationary point, your argument is futile (so good luck with that).

Position is relative, but non-uniform motion is not.

Says who? If position is relative, then two objects whose position in relation to one another changes in a non-uniform manner may still be described in terms of either object being the fixed stationary point.

And as long as we're talking about whether the sun is revolving around the earth or not, we are talking about non-uniform motion since acceleration is involved. In this case, science can (and has) absolutely prove by experiments that the earth is moving and is not stationary.

That's utter baloney, and you're wise to post it anonymously (Paul?).

And by the way to get more technical, it's not that the Earth is moving around the Sun, it's that both the Sun and the Earth is moving around the center of gravity between the sun and the earth.

Can you think of any reason why it should have been necessary to tell me that? Sift through my every post and you'll find nothing that says otherwise. I simply correctly noted that the choice between the paradigms of the past (geocentrism v. heliocentrism) was decided according to the principle of parsimony, with the simpler explanation the one preferred.

And of course you'd also need to add into consideration all the other planets and other celestial bodies. It gets very complex very quickly, but the essence is this: scientists did not pick the current view of the universe over the Earth-centric belief out of "parsimony" but becuase it offers the best explanation of the empirical data.

You're nothing if not stubborn.

See page 8.

http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~dla/occam'...final_draft.pdf

Your quote of an article from something called "Creationwiki" to try to prove a scientific point is laughable. That's like quoting Anne Coulter on Evolution.

You didn't bother to notice that they affirmed agreement with Talk.origins on the point, eh? You do not recognize Fred Hoyle as a proper authority on the dynamics of motion?

Granted, I intended to choose a source toward which you would be partial, but that's little excuse for your apparent laziness.

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH910.html

"All local frames of reference are equally valid – there is no way to choose a class of preferred frames of reference with which to formulate the laws of nature."

http://www.physics.smu.edu/~kehoe/1301S06/Ch4Relativity.pdf

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I did. What does that have to do with evolution... blockhead?

The guy commented on both evolution and cosmology seperately. He didn't mix them together or get the two subjects confused. Now stop being an ass.

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The guy commented on both evolution and cosmology seperately.  He didn't mix them together or get the two subjects confused.  Now stop being an ass.

He's not the one trying to mingle the two: posters such as Angel, 2smart, and various "Guests" are.

Now stop being obtuse.

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Non sequitur. I'm precisely right, and the Evo-wiki site link I provided (they're evolutionists) backs me (as did post #135 by Glen Tarr ("anything could be considered the center of the universe").

And I could draw on plenty more. What about you?

You're precisely right? Like you're "right" about creationism and god? Proclamations of rightness without any evidence. Why am I not surprised?

"[A]nything" includes supposedly accelerating objects.

Without a non-relative stationary point, your argument is futile (so good luck with that).

HUH? Do you even know what you're talking about? Or are you just going to spew out pseudoscience nonsense you overheard on the creationism website?

Says who? If position is relative, then two objects whose position in relation to one another changes in a non-uniform manner may still be described in terms of either object being the fixed stationary point.

Says Einistein and any credible physicists. Is that good enough for you? Do yourself a favor, learn something about the theory of relativity (both special and general) before you continue to embarrass yourself. When you've done so, then you'll realize that no, an object in non-uniform motion cannot be considered stationary.

Try this: Acceleration

"If you accelerate away from your friend, you could say (given your frame of reference) that it is your friend who is accelerating away from you, although only you feel any force. This is also the basis for the popular Twin paradox, which asks why only one twin ages when moving away from his sibling at near light-speed and then returning, since the aging twin can say that it is the other twin that was moving. General relativity solved the "why does only one object feel accelerated?" problem."

Only the person undergoing acceleration feels the force. Hence if an object is in non-uniform motion (ie. acceleration), it cannot be considered stationary since it experiences a force that is caused by the acceleration. The stationary object does not experience such force. Is that easy enough for you?

That's utter baloney, and you're wise to post it anonymously (Paul?).

Just saying it's baloney doesn't make it so. Yes your "faith" in your own beliefs is very strong. Unfortunately it is also very misguided.

By the way, no I'm not Paul.

You're nothing if not stubborn.

See page 8.

http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~dla/occam'...final_draft.pdf

HUH? Are you for real? Have you even read the article you linked? It's a paper on plate tectonics (do you know what that is?) What on earth does that have to do with non-uniform motion and relativistic physics???

If I were you I'd stick with theology. Unlike science, no evidence is required there. You'll have a much easier time there.

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Non sequitur.  I'm precisely right, and the Evo-wiki site link I provided (they're evolutionists) backs me (as did post #135 by Glen Tarr ("anything could be considered the center of the universe").

And I could draw on plenty more.  What about you?

You're precisely right? Like you're "right" about creationism and god? Proclamations of rightness without any evidence. Why am I not surprised?

Did you miss the offer of evidence ("I could draw on plenty more")?

Yet you ignored it. Why am I not surprised?

"[A]nything" includes supposedly accelerating objects.

Without a non-relative stationary point, your argument is futile (so good luck with that).

HUH? Do you even know what you're talking about? Or are you just going to spew out pseudoscience nonsense you overheard on the creationism website?

I know what I'm talking about, which is going to S**K for you and your reputation on this board (heh--"Guest").

Says who?  If position is relative, then two objects whose position in relation to one another changes in a non-uniform manner may still be described in terms of either object being the fixed stationary point.

Says Einistein and any credible physicists. Is that good enough for you?

Absolutely. They agree with me.

Apparently you have a reading comprehension problem where you fail to realize that Paul is the one arguing against relativity of motion. He says that acceleration can allow science to fix an objective (absolute) point of reference.

Do yourself a favor, learn something about the theory of relativity (both special and general) before you continue to embarrass yourself. When you've done so, then you'll realize that no, an object in non-uniform motion cannot be considered stationary.

Try this: Acceleration

"If you accelerate away from your friend, you could say (given your frame of reference) that it is your friend who is accelerating away from you, although only you feel any force. This is also the basis for the popular Twin paradox, which asks why only one twin ages when moving away from his sibling at near light-speed and then returning, since the aging twin can say that it is the other twin that was moving. General relativity solved the "why does only one object feel accelerated?" problem."

Only the person undergoing acceleration feels the force. Hence if an object is in non-uniform motion (ie. acceleration), it cannot be considered stationary since it experiences a force that is caused by the acceleration. The stationary object does not experience such force. Is that easy enough for you?

You stopped reading too quickly:

"After defining his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein realized that forces felt by objects undergoing constant acceleration are indistinguishable from those in a gravitational field, and thus defined general relativity that also explained how gravity's effects could be limited by the speed of light.

If you accelerate away from your friend, you could say (given your frame of reference) that it is your friend who is accelerating away from you, although only you feel any force. This is also the basis for the popular Twin paradox, which asks why only one twin ages when moving away from his sibling at near light-speed and then returning, since the aging twin can say that it is the other twin that was moving. General relativity solved the "why does only one object feel accelerated?" problem which had plagued philosophers and scientists since Newton's time (and caused Newton to endorse absolute space). In special relativity, only inertial frames of reference (non-accelerated frames) can be used and are equivalent; general relativity considers all frames, even accelerated ones, to be equivalent. With changing velocity, accelerated objects exist in warped space (as do those that reside in a gravitational field). Therefore, frames of reference must include a description of their local spacetime curvature to qualify as complete."

You lose, and Paul loses.

That's utter baloney, and you're wise to post it anonymously (Paul?).

Just saying it's baloney doesn't make it so. Yes your "faith" in your own beliefs is very strong. Unfortunately it is also very misguided.

By the way, no I'm not Paul.

But you're anonymous, which is still wise of you. You wouldn't want this flub up associated with your real name, I'm sure.

You're nothing if not stubborn.

See page 8.

http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~dla/occam'...final_draft.pdf

HUH? Are you for real? Have you even read the article you linked?

Yes. Did you?

I did recommend the wrong page number, since Adobe has a page number indicator that sometimes misleads. I should have said see page 7.

It's a paper on plate tectonics (do you know what that is?) What on earth does that have to do with non-uniform motion and relativistic physics???

Apparently you didn't read it.

Yes, I know what plate tectonics is. Why do you ask? The paper is not only about plate tectonics. Just look at the URL. It's about Occam's razor. I was showing how Occam's razor served to distinguish between the geocentric view and the heliocentric view.

If I were you I'd stick with theology. Unlike science, no evidence is required there. You'll have a much easier time there.

Uh, yeah. Get back to me after you've read page 7.

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I'd say that modern criticism provides the tools for more accurate literal interpretation. Bible criticism doesn't go for making broad assumptions, though the principle of according the author the benefit of the doubt might count as a type of assumption.

Setting aside for the moment the broad assumption that the Bible was devinely inspired and inerrant, don’t you think the assumption that a given tract was meant to be taken literally is a fairly broad one?

You've made a play at answering my question, but it seems you evaded it in favor of making a separate point. Though you didn't evade it to the extent Paul did, so I guess I should be thankful.

You asked a question (Is it science to prefer the simpler explanation) preceded by a premise (Copernicus’ idea is unfalsifiable). Neither Paul nor I agreed with your premise (though for different reasons), so we each addressed that first. That’s not being evasive, that’s just taking first things first. Since you asked again though, I do think it’s scientific to prefer the simpler of two sufficient and falsifiable explanations. I don’t consider “God did it” to be either sufficient (*How* did He do it?), or falsifiable.

I'd be completely delighted if you would share at least one instance of intelligence demonstrated scientifically.

As I said, demonstrating it depends on how it’s defined. I’d define it as the ability to construct and manipulate mental models for problem-solving. Since we can’t see inside another’s mental processes, we can’t conclusively demonstrate that anything in particular is intelligent, but based on behavior and known underlying mechanisms for that behavior we can often demonstrate it pretty clearly. If something is demonstrating flexible and complex strategies to achieve a goal, and if it has a brain at least superficially similar to our own, chances are it’s demonstrating intelligence.

Why do you say that? [That religion can’t explain intelligence.] Appeal to silence, or appeal to some hitherto unknown principle? If the latter, please share.

I meant that religion can’t as yet explain how intelligence is produced, particularly in human brains. If you’d like to prove me wrong you have only to offer a (sufficient and falsifiable) explanation based on religion.

Do you realize the absurdity of saying "should have" in a causally determined universe, Glen?

“Should have” is a legal term meaning that a reasonable person in the same situation (same but for the differences between the reasonable person’s thought processes and Paszkeiwicz’s) would have known.

Death penalty, then?

You've missed the point (perhaps intentionally?) about causal determinism, it seems.

I had written:

"Why is there a "science" class that (supposedly) excludes the metaphysical notions not required for science, but no class to discuss the metaphysical notions?

In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism).

Is that a proper education?"

The 8th and 14th amendments restrict application of the death penalty to the most serious of criminal offences. This doesn’t qualify. Was your point about causal determinism that no one can be blamed for their actions since those actions could not have been otherwise? If so, my response is that often those actions could not have been otherwise because they were based on presumptions regarding consequences. The imposition of reasonable punishments can prevent such presumptions from developing in the future.

As for your question regarding metaphysics in science class: as far as I can tell there should be none. Science class is for science. Metaphysics is beyond science – by definition. Teaching metaphysical naturalism is as out of place as teaching any other faith-based idea, and I don’t agree that it is typically done. It certainly wasn’t in my high school science classes.

There can be no evidence to the contrary, Glen. Modern science refuses to countenance contrary evidence. The metaphysical framework doesn't change. If Uri Gellar were to really bend spoons with his mind, science would work to explain the phenomenon using natural law (keeping to a framework of metaphysical naturalism).

Barring an examination of the metaphysical underpinnings of science (and a comparison with the metaphysical alternatives), the teaching of methodological naturalism becomes an implicit indoctrination in metaphysical naturalism.

I asked you to support your claim that high school classes teach metaphysical rather than methodological naturalism. Are you now admitting that it doesn’t, but claiming instead that methodological naturalism “indoctrinates” students in metaphysical naturalism? If so how is this indoctrination accomplished specifically? And if metaphysical naturalism is the underlying assumption of science, why are quantum events considered by mainstream scientists to have no natural causes?

1) Is an ethical system based on the Golden Rule a religious belief, or no?

2) Who is being privileged in this case owing to his religious beliefs?

1) Someone might adopt the Golden Rule for either religious or philosophical reasons.

2) I mentioned the Golden Rule because that seems to be the ethical system held (at least to some extent) by most Americans, so for those people the idea of equality under the law would have added importance. For the others, there is still the Constitution to consider. Also, I don’t think you can credibly argue that we are privileging certain people by treating everyone equally.

Should the "Golden Rule" be the government's standard of justice? Isn't that an establishment of religion, disrespecting LaVey Satanists (among others)?

The Golden Rule is a philosophical position that can be reached through either religious or philosophical precepts. I think it does tend to underlie and inform many Amercan’s basic sense of right and wrong, but I also think it is summarized too inconsistently, and in it’s most common forms is not comprehensive enough, to serve as the government’s sole standard of justice. Also, laws may have to apply to situations that aren’t unethical under the Rule, such as when someone is fined for running a red light when there were no other cars on the road.

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Only the person undergoing acceleration feels the force. Hence if an object is in non-uniform motion (ie. acceleration), it cannot be considered stationary since it experiences a force that is caused by the acceleration. The stationary object does not experience such force. Is that easy enough for you?

The problem is that we could easily envision a situation in which a stationary object sitting on a stationary planet nevertheless experienced such a force. General relativity showed that acceleration is indistinguishable from gravity. So if you're in a small room and suddenly feel a force pushing you down, you don't know if it's because you're in an elevator accelerating up, or because the effective mass below you has increased.

The gist is that if you take the earth as your reference frame and consider everything else to be revolving around it, you have to introduce a general gravitic force coming from somewhere beyond our range of detection to account for the erratic motions of the stars and planets. The old geocentric model didn't do that, and it assumed an objectively correct reference frame, so it was doubly wrong. Copernicus' heliocentric model still assumed an objectively correct reference frame, so it was still wrong to that extent. We can put the earth at the center of the universe under Einstein's general relativity model, but that's not the same thing as the original geocentric model.

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I've participated in evolution vs. creationism discussion fora on the internet for a number of years. My background is in primate evolution. One recognition that is all too often missing among the creationists who confuse religion with science: faith stands alone, and cannot invoke scientific support. All efforts at inserting creationism into science undermine real faith. The intelligent design proponents are destroying faith, and it is only those who are truly thoughtful who recognize how spiritually dangerous the ID movement is. If they teach people to rely upon empirical evidence for God, then where does that leave pure faith?

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Did you miss the offer of evidence ("I could draw on plenty more")?

Yet you ignored it. Why am I not surprised?

I didn't miss the so-called "evidence" and didn't ignore it. I pointed out how irrelevant your plate tectonic paper was. The problem was you didn't read the paper you linked.

I know what I'm talking about, which is going to S**K for you and your reputation on this board (heh--"Guest").

The intellectual level of your posts was never high to begin wtith. But now it actually look like it comes from a grade school student. "S**K"? Attempt to make fun of me cause I'm using a guest login? What's next? Screaming "YOU LOSE AND I WIN" perhaps?

Absolutely. They agree with me.

And you'd be delusional.

Apparently you have a reading comprehension problem where you fail to realize that Paul is the one arguing against relativity of motion. He says that acceleration can allow science to fix an objective (absolute) point of reference.

Obviously you have a reading comprehension problem. My arguments were never directed at Paul. You are the one who argued, and I quoted, that "If position is relative, then two objects whose position in relation to one another changes in a non-uniform manner may still be described in terms of either object being the fixed stationary point." All I did was to correct your nonsense.

You stopped reading too quickly:

"After defining his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein realized that forces felt by objects undergoing constant acceleration are indistinguishable from those in a gravitational field, and thus defined general relativity that also explained how gravity's effects could be limited by the speed of light.

Hence an accelerating object experiences a force that will require an additional gravitational force to cancel out. While a stationary object does not. Therefore, your orginal statement "If position is relative, then two objects whose position in relation to one another changes in a non-uniform manner may still be described in terms of either object being the fixed stationary point." is nonsense. And your contention that the geocentric model is equivalent to a heliocentric one is also wrong because the geocentric model never incorporated a compensating gravitational force component.

You lose, and Paul loses.

I was right. I am wasting my time with a grade school kid.

But you're anonymous, which is still wise of you. You wouldn't want this flub up associated with your real name, I'm sure.

If I were you, I'd be more worried about having to have your name associated with the nonsenses you've been spewing out so far.

Yes. Did you?

I did recommend the wrong page number, since Adobe has a page number indicator that sometimes misleads. I should have said see page 7.

Apparently you didn't read it.

Yes, I know what plate tectonics is. Why do you ask? The paper is not only about plate tectonics. Just look at the URL. It's about Occam's razor. I was showing how Occam's razor served to distinguish between the geocentric view and the heliocentric view.

Uh, yeah. Get back to me after you've read page 7.

Yes I did read the paper. Page 7 quoted the opinion of William Derham who died in 1735, long before the development of general relativity and modern physics. How is that relevant?

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Glen Tarr, on Dec 27 2006, 02:05 PM, wrote:

Setting aside for the moment the broad assumption that the Bible was devinely inspired and inerrant, don’t you think the assumption that a given tract was meant to be taken literally is a fairly broad one?

That's a safely non-specific question.

I don't know. I primarily see it from seriously fundamentalist Christians and the least sophisticated skeptics. I'm not sure how each stacks up compared to the population in general.

You asked a question (Is it science to prefer the simpler explanation) preceded by a premise (Copernicus’ idea is unfalsifiable). Neither Paul nor I agreed with your premise (though for different reasons), so we each addressed that first.

I failed to detect either answer to the question regarding Ockham's razor as science.

You answered a different question, AFAICT.

That’s not being evasive, that’s just taking first things first. Since you asked again though, I do think it’s scientific to prefer the simpler of two sufficient and falsifiable explanations. I don’t consider “God did it” to be either sufficient (*How* did He do it?), or falsifiable.

I'd still say you're fudging, since the more complex explanation hasn't been falsified.

The principle of parsimony certainly has utility within the scientific method, but that's not the question. The question is whether is it science per se.

As I said, demonstrating it depends on how it’s defined. I’d define it as the ability to construct and manipulate mental models for problem-solving. Since we can’t see inside another’s mental processes, we can’t conclusively demonstrate that anything in particular is intelligent, but based on behavior and known underlying mechanisms for that behavior we can often demonstrate it pretty clearly.

(The Turing test, in effect--Is it science?)

If something is demonstrating flexible and complex strategies to achieve a goal, and if it has a brain at least superficially similar to our own, chances are it’s demonstrating intelligence.

There's no way to calculate those odds. The epistemic difficulty of determining self-awareness in others is a very tall order for science. It comes down to conferring the benefit of the doubt when a machine mimics human behavior, and for humans it's essentially an argument from analogy (He/she is like me in terms of X, therefore he/she is probably self-aware like me).

I meant that religion can’t as yet explain how intelligence is produced, particularly in human brains. If you’d like to prove me wrong you have only to offer a (sufficient and falsifiable) explanation based on religion.

In my experience, skeptics have only naturalistic explanations in mind when they ask for explanations. Are you different?

“Should have” is a legal term meaning that a reasonable person in the same situation (same but for the differences between the reasonable person’s thought processes and Paszkeiwicz’s) would have known.

The legal system presumes personal responsibility, otherwise there's little sense in offering punishment.

That brings up the issue of personal responsibility given determinism. I see the compatibilist argument as very difficult to make.

I've mentioned Clarence Darrow. Darrow made much of his fame by defending accused murderers. He defended them by claiming that they were causally determined to act as they did under the circumstances--and he established a remarkable record of success with that tactic (and he was quite proud of himself, allegedly, which seems a trifle odd if he was causally determined to use that defense).

The 8th and 14th amendments restrict application of the death penalty to the most serious of criminal offences. This doesn’t qualify. Was your point about causal determinism that no one can be blamed for their actions since those actions could not have been otherwise? If so, my response is that often those actions could not have been otherwise because they were based on presumptions regarding consequences. The imposition of reasonable punishments can prevent such presumptions from developing in the future.

Was that discovered through experimentation? How was the key variable isolated? If you listen to Dennett (as Paul recommended), wouldn't he tell you that the brain determines the thoughts in advance of the thinking? Doesn't that suggest to you the irrelevancy of conscious thought in determining action (consciousness just along for the ride!)?

Is it right to punish somebody for what he cannot help doing just so that somebody else won't do the same thing in the future?

Let's say that we've got a child in school with Tourette's syndrome. Every time he lets out a curse word, the teacher raps him on the knuckles with a ruler so that the other kids will see that cursing is not a rewarded behavior.

Under the assumption that the punishment is reasonable (for the sake of argument), is this an acceptable paradigm?

As for your question regarding metaphysics in science class: as far as I can tell there should be none.

I strongly disagree with you. You can't have science at all without its metaphysical foundation, and students should be well aware of the metaphysical model that modern science insists upon in relation to competing models. To proceed otherwise is to indoctrinate students in metaphysical naturalism by default.

This shouldn't be a controversial point, by the way. Philosophy of Science is a huge field ever since Karl Popper. PoS's muddle about in the metaphysics routinely. Science should not be exempt from having its presuppositions examined.

Science class is for science. Metaphysics is beyond science – by definition.

Metaphysics is also the foundation for science, by definition.

To quickly illustrate: Science cannot confirm intelligence, but the goal of science is to increase knowledge.

Science can't confirm the legitimacy of its own goals. It needs a metaphysical foundation.

Teaching metaphysical naturalism is as out of place as teaching any other faith-based idea, and I don’t agree that it is typically done. It certainly wasn’t in my high school science classes.

I mean to say that it is common; not necessarily most of the time.

Teaching methodological naturalism without any teaching about metaphysics in general is a de facto indoctrination in metaphysical naturalism.

I asked you to support your claim that high school classes teach metaphysical rather than methodological naturalism. Are you now admitting that it doesn’t, but claiming instead that methodological naturalism “indoctrinates” students in metaphysical naturalism?

Glen, you're a decent debater, but don't put claims into my mouth for me. I'm way too experienced to fall for that garbage. I'd like to hope you did so accidentally.

Here's what I said originally:

"In practice the metaphysics get discussed in science class, but to the exclusion of everything that does not contribute to science (that is, metaphysical naturalism).

Is that a proper education?"

And you replied (bold emphasis added):

"Metaphysical naturalism is the idea that everything is governed by natural laws and nothing can be beyond such laws. Methodological naturalism is the idea that science should proceed in its methods by assuming a phenomenon is produced by natural laws, unless there is evidence to the contrary. What makes you think high school science classes teach the former rather than the latter?"

In short, I never made the claim you're ascribing to me. You employed the fallacy of the complex question (question containing dubious assumption that is affirmed by any direct answer). I suppose I should have called you on it from the first, but I thought I'd simply clarify (under the assumption that you weren't trying to be deliberately tricky).

They teach the former by teaching the latter in an effective vacuum.

If so how is this indoctrination accomplished specifically?

See above.

And if metaphysical naturalism is the underlying assumption of science, why are quantum events considered by mainstream scientists to have no natural causes?

That's a great question. I often use (random) quantum particle formation as an example of the supernatural in my discussions with skeptics. It tends to make their eyes cross.

The usual response is to claim that science simply hasn't found the answer yet.

I wouldn't be at all surprise if a guest contributed such a comment to this thread.

I think most likely scientists who are not directly involved in quantum physics and the like don't trouble themselves over the fly in the ointment represented by quantum particle formation. Some of the folks I've debated, IIRC, claim to be scientists, and they resist the idea that quantum particles form randomly without cause.

1) Someone might adopt the Golden Rule for either religious or philosophical reasons.

Is there an important difference between philosophy and religion in terms of the establishment clause? Could we indoctrinate children into Stoicism in government schools?

2) I mentioned the Golden Rule because that seems to be the ethical system held (at least to some extent) by most Americans, so for those people the idea of equality under the law would have added importance. For the others, there is still the Constitution to consider. Also, I don’t think you can credibly argue that we are privileging certain people by treating everyone equally.

Those who believe that everyone should not be treated equally are obviously under pressure to conform. Take a Hindu, for example. There's this Untouchable class, and this "treating everyone equally" stuff very obviously militates against his religious beliefs.

Is that credible?

The Golden Rule is a philosophical position that can be reached through either religious or philosophical precepts.

See above.

I doubt that philosophical positions are any less exempt from the establishment clause than religious ones.

I think it does tend to underlie and inform many Amercan’s basic sense of right and wrong, but I also think it is summarized too inconsistently, and in it’s most common forms is not comprehensive enough, to serve as the government’s sole standard of justice. Also, laws may have to apply to situations that aren’t unethical under the Rule, such as when someone is fined for running a red light when there were no other cars on the road.

Well, I was trying to drive at the notion that ethical systems are inherently religious (based on some type of faith commitment or metaphysical alignment), but you're not going there so far.

:)

Thanks, Glen--I enjoy debating a good opponent. Knock off the straw man stuff and you'll be a friend with whom I disagree.

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