Alas, that was not Wilson.
Oh no. I got a name wrong. The point still stands.
Alas, that was not Wilson.
Oh no. I got a name wrong. The point still stands.
One more thing....
Unless we are trained in biology and the sciences what good does it do an amateur to sift through material way out of our boundries of expertise?
It is hubris to think we are equal to such a task.
As a rough analogy...look how many Kennedy Assassination conspiracy books were written and promoted by amateur sleuths who think they can
play "gotcha" with medical and forensic information outside their paygrade and education level!
I have a good friend who is a Paleontologist who graduated from M.I.T. who told me:
"The first thing I had to learn was that knowledge can be COUNTER-intuitive. The layman reliance on how things ought-to-be is naive and self-defeating.
Strict adherence to facts and methodology is more revealing than any demand that things be the way we expect them to be."
NewChapter: Well, the point of "jumping" on Dawkins ideas is not new. In the research I gathered, I found lots of writers and scientists "jumping" on Dawkins and making all kinds of criticism for the way he employs his deductions. These people are not theists and I believe their aim is to correct an idea and to further a common cause, that of Evolution and Natural Selection.
You seem to be saying to me (and by inference to those other writers and scientist) to lay off poor Dawkins because he has done so much. I had some indication that a few of Dawkins critics are not just fellow scientists but also friends. The scientific discussion or disagreement, in my opinion, needs to be dispassionate. Their personal affection or camaraderie for Dawkins is irrelevant to their interpretation of science. And, they probably won't stop the criticism.
I'm not concern, since I've seen to it to be informed, whether the world will fall apart if one of Dawkins' ideas is proven wrong. I won't come apart if one of them is proven right either. In the former case, life will go on as usual and in the latter, I'll feel glad that my personal understanding has been adjusted to a more accurate interpretation. At least I will know the reasons why.
But, I disagree with you in one respect: Dawkins does have a quasi-apostolic following that borders on religious fervor. I'm not saying that anyone here has displayed that but, on an interview he did with Bill Maher, Dawkins spoke of a "convert" corner on his web site where people post testimonials of their turnaround from religion. His website sells T-shirts and Scarlet-A pendants, among other paraphernalia. Some of Dawkins' appearances resemble protestant revivals. I don't pay attention to much of that because Dawkins has also received the most vilest and heinous wishes and death threats I've ever seen; and from religious people.
Nevertheless, I find him one sided in his assessment that religion is at fault for everything. On thefirst page of the preface to his "Delusion" book he states: "Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian Partitions ...no Northern Ireland troubles...no persecution of Jews...no honour killings..." I would love that and think it possible if I lived on another planet. But what he fails to mention are the other things we can imagine the world without, like the Stalin's, the Pol Pot's of the world and other individuals and governments who killed millions without the benefit of religion. To top it off, he avoids to explain how this killing capability of the human animal is a necessary and discriminate result of Natural Selection as opposed to the effect of a religious delusion, which the atheist killers contradict. All of that is a matter for each of us to explore and really does not have any weight in our discussion.
Jeffro: Your point will continue to stand -- all by itself.
Terry : Sorry for not acknowledging you earlier. " The first thing I had to learn was that knowledge can be COUNTER-intuitive. The layman reliance on how things ought-to-be is naive and self-defeating. Strict adherence to facts and methodology is more revealing than any demand that things be the way we expect them to be. "
I think your friend is mostly right, but I object to the underlined phrase. What is a "layman"? In the context ofthe statement and your description of your friend, it sounds to me like the definition: one who is "not a professional". Given in that frame, I presume that your friend would agree that aside from Paleontology he is as naive and self-defeating in anything that remains. In that case, I would disagree with him. Just because he may not be able to work the intricacies of the financial markets, it doesn't mean he can't come to comprehend them and even use it to his advantage, without an Economics degree. That's a long way from Paleontology. That this is possible is why I like the last sentence of your citation. "Facts and methodology" are of great advantage to your friend and to you and me. They are not there to confirm our expectations. They are there to help us reach an end, whether that end is an answer or just a better question.
While it may have appeared so, I don't think I spoke much of Biology on this thread. I attempted to speak to a failure of process that requires a burden of proof. While I did study Logic and Mathematics, I don't think it was the fact that I studied that affords me any authority. It is the fact that I can think. So can other people, as my own experience shows, having known individuals with little formal education who have brilliant minds.
Your point will continue to stand -- all by itself.
This comment seems to be intended sarcastically, as if the actual point I conveyed is somehow novel or that it is meaningless without the unintentionally misattributed quote. However, it's a fairly simple concept that does indeed stand on its own merits:
Instead of accepting that some things are not yet known while continuing to learn and gradually fill in the gaps, many creationists are much happier to sit back and conclude that their conveniently unexplainable magic friend 'just did it'.
You seem to be saying to me (and by inference to those other writers and scientist) to lay off poor Dawkins because he has done so much
Not at all. Criticize him all you want. I'm saying it doesn't really matter. Disproving anything that Dawkins might say does nothing to disprove evolution or other scientific advancements. He put forth an idea. It is an interesting idea, and makes for provacative conversation, but it is being put through the crucible. Very good. All is at it should be. Deciding to criticize his ideas is not bold or shocking or even enlightening. You can jump on his idea of memetics, and you could make some valid points, but that won't lead me to say "HEY, maybe Evolution doesn't really happen!"
So I don't know where you are going with it. Is your goal simply to discredit Dawkins, or is it to make a larger point? Take on the larger point.
Jeffro: Sorry, but I thought that I had addressed your point subsquently. The statement "still stands", is not very conducive for a discussion. I would have expected that you'd address my arguments. Perhaps I'm confused, but your mention of "creationists" seemed to be addressing me somehow (by then it was a limited conversation) and I'm not one of those. Neither is Wilson. So......
NewChapter: " Disproving anything that Dawkins might say does nothing to disprove evolution or other scientific advancements. " I guess this is where our conversation derailed. I don't think I ever said anything to remotely indicate that Evolution is something to be disproved. I repeat -- the issue, at least the one I thought we were discussing, had nothing to do with the veracity of Evolution. The issue, from my perspective is with the reasoning and conjectures Dawkins uses to suggest a process that might be responsible for something he has indentified, namely the delusion of God in humans as a consequence of Natural Selection, carried in memes and via extended phenotypes, blah, blah, blah, and the fact that other scientists are challenging his proposals.
Where am I going with this? I'm attempting to evaluate Dawkins' postulates in terms of other reasoning from scientists, yes evolutionists, who take great pains to point out poor conclusions from Dawkins as they criticize him. I just don't understand why to you that is not significant. It is significant if you're going to decide which scientist you're going to believe. It's not enough to believe in Evolution. You also need to know that there's a trustworthy consensus of scientis who agree as to HOW it happened. Otherwise, one is left with a credulous attitude similar to that of theists. You'll believe evolution regardless of explanations. That is not why I believe in it.
With all due respect, I suppose that if you read all of those scientists that propose different approaches to support Evolution, you'd exhibit the same attitude: " It is an interesting idea, and makes for provacative conversation " for each and every one of them. Where does that leave you? The point of searching is to sift through the all the manure and find the pony buried in that pile. Otherwise, let's just kick back, turn on the TV and tune in to another episode of "Jersey Shore".
Sorry, but I thought that I had addressed your point subsquently. The statement "still stands", is not very conducive for a discussion. I would have expected that you'd address my arguments. Perhaps I'm confused, but your mention of "creationists" seemed to be addressing me somehow (by then it was a limited conversation) and I'm not one of those. Neither is Wilson. So......
Well, not really. You dismissed my statement by means of a strawman attack on an unintended misattribution that was actually quite incidental to the point I actually made. In any case, I didn't really expect you to provide any actual rebuttal.
Yes there IS a third option that makes far more sense...(to me)
IT DOES NOT MATTER!
We are here, more time and effort should be spent working out far more complex and important social issues than arguing about how we got here and when.
new chapter: thank you for taken this on, but I think the idea of elephants with smaller task is not cause driven. How would an elephant sense that the poachers are after the ivory, yeah, perhaps only the less than alpha, the ivory challenged gamma males left by poachers breed. I notized my grass too, where I mowe it, seedstalks are very short, in the cedar hedge the same grass is 3 feet high. adaptation working is way through, well discribed by dawkins darloose. whether we call it pinnacle or present stage of developmen, the aerodynamics of birds our minds many example show the succes of the creative process however it was initiated, and it is succes story because it drives toward excellence. the present pinnacle if you will. toward further improvement. Even I am being helped here.