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Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm a Masochist.

Someone please talk me out of doing this.

I think the last time I heard the "I can't see the wind so why should I believe in it?" argument I was talking to a sixteen year old girl.


Edit:

Oh Brian, you're so typical.


Brian was invited to come to our blog and speak to us. This was his reply:

"Brian said...

Why do I need to go there? I am just asking how you account for them and you start the strawman argument your attacking me and not the argument? I know most my comments there will be blocked thats why I would rather do it here I have to be honest and I will be but I know how atheists are with stuff like they they have no reason to be honest. So you see its best done here I have my morals and I must be honest and post both sides.

And yet today he says:

"Brian said...

Thanks you proved my point I rejected Maragon's last comment for insults as well.

I will not accept anymore insulting posts all it shows is you don't have a good answer to the argument so you attack the person presenting the argument instead.

Rando I will post this insult as a post on my front page to drill my point home about atheists and for future refrence to you and others that leave comments here a little intro to logic.


Logical Fallacies

Ad hominim - Attacking the individual instead of the argument.

Appeal to the popular - the hearer is urged to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it.

Begging the Question - Assuming the thing to be true that you are trying to prove. It is circular.


You'll keep in mind that my insult was to call his 'I can't see the wind argument' childish.

24 comments:

  1. Maragon,

    I hear you...I've been at it with pvblivs for awhile and now Dan over at Debunking Atheists. Discussing science with some people can be really frustrating and it is hard to remain calm and objective. Particularly when they have no experience in it or don't even understand the topic they are rejecting. Arguing with creationists is a form of masochism.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Maragon,

    And if I am a sadist?

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  4. He's pretty impossible to talk to.

    His style of discourse is 100% stream-of-consciousness nonsense. He tries to hit you with three fallacious arguments at once.

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  5. Maragon, I like and respect you too much to see you go down this dark path. Take it from somebody who has a near obsessive nature to convince people to see the error of their ways - you won't get anywhere with this guy. I mean, for Pete's sakes, it takes too much time to even figure out what the heck it is that he's trying to say.

    I mean, normally I don't like to pick on grammar and spelling (makes me feel like I'm working!) but I have freshmen who write better than him - a LOT better than him. Shoot, I think it's safe to say that I wrote better than him when I was in the fifth grade.

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  6. I think some of it is getting through. He's not convinced, but he's less sure of his own arguments or, at least, his ability to argue them. When people start throwing everything at you it's often a sign of desperation.

    I think at least he'll discard some of his more outrageous claims in future debates. Poor thing. It seems he's read all the fundy arguments and has decided to set up shop for himself.

    What you won't get is acknowledgement for refuting his claims. But that doesn't mean it's not having an impact.

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  7. Hell,
    I'm going to join you if you don't mind.

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  8. If you would like to receive the best info. on creation vs. evolution please visit our blog at www.christianskeptics.blogspot.com

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  9. If by "best info" you mean complete bullshit that's been refuted ad nauseum, then yeah.

    Regarding Brian though, is it that he doesn't understand what you mean by "strawman"? Does he think that you're calling him a strawman?

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  10. Clostridiophile:

         You have been neither calm nor objective. The fact is that you apply different standards to the things you believe and the things you do not believe. You rightly demand falsifiability when it comes to things with which you disagree posing as science. But for your favored ideas, you switch to claims of "positive data."
         I understand that you are frustrated. You expected uncritical acceptence. After all, you never questioned the "theory." You never demanded that it be put to the test. You played along when "potential falsifiers" were identified only after investigators could be sure they would not happen. No chances for a negative result were ever taken. It was always arranged so that, when the results were considered possible, they would be regarded as inconclusive.
         Good grief, I haven't even said that your idea is actually wrong, only that you seem to be holding it uncritically. I have asked for an example of an experiment in which your idea was actually tested. One in which a result that could not be ruled out even if your idea was false would be regarded as a falsification. You gave me countless examples in which the unexpected would be regarded as inconclusive ("but you have to look at the 'positive data'" -- counting the hits and ignoring the misses) or where an event that would "falsify the theory" would be expected not to occur even if your idea is wrong.
         You have given me no reason to believe that you are willing to put this idea to the test. You are willing to put certain models to the test, as long as there remains an "escape route" for this idea. I'm sorry you don't like questioning of certain ideas. I was under the mistaken impression that a scientist questions everything.

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  11. Good lord. What a crybaby. I wasn't attacking him. I was attacking his lame "wind" argument, and his claim of having an open mind.

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  12. pvblivs said:

    "Clostridiophile:

    You have been neither calm nor objective. The fact is that you apply different standards to the things you believe and the things you do not believe. You rightly demand falsifiability when it comes to things with which you disagree posing as science. But for your favored ideas, you switch to claims of "positive data.""

    Nope, go back and read what I said over at Dan's blog. I still maintain that falsification is not the measure of a theory; the theory must be testable and in turn will falsify alternative explanations as the positive data accumulates; this is what the positive data for evolutionary theory has done to the YEC and ID arguments. For instance, as we see transitions in the fossil record bridging gaps between for instance fish and amphibs, it is clear that modern amphibs were not created ex nihilo; particularly when we look deeply into their genomes and compare them with all other known genomes or particular genes in the databases. Positive data showing how certain IC structures could form has thrown great doubt into ID; particular Factor XII being pseudogenes in dolphins and whales, just to name one prominant example. So, you are flat wrong on this point. What I said was that creation could not be falsified because by definition ANY observation could be consistent with a supreme all knowing, all powerful being. Darwin's postulates are well-defined, testable, and falsifiable from the micro to the macro level and I have discussed this at length.

    "I understand that you are frustrated. You expected uncritical acceptence. After all, you never questioned the "theory." You never demanded that it be put to the test. You played along when "potential falsifiers" were identified only after investigators could be sure they would not happen. No chances for a negative result were ever taken. It was always arranged so that, when the results were considered possible, they would be regarded as inconclusive."

    Too bad this is wrong, too. Many of Darwin's predictions based on natural selection have been tested long after his death and continue to be tested today. Nothing was "arranged" so that what you perceive as a sacred idea could go unscathed. You never addressed any of my examples, you just repeat the above over and over. All bark, no bite.

    "Good grief, I haven't even said that your idea is actually wrong, only that you seem to be holding it uncritically."

    You actually claimed it was "not even wrong" when you said it was not science.

    "I have asked for an example of an experiment in which your idea was actually tested. One in which a result that could not be ruled out even if your idea was false would be regarded as a falsification. You gave me countless examples in which the unexpected would be regarded as inconclusive ("but you have to look at the 'positive data'" -- counting the hits and ignoring the misses) or where an event that would "falsify the theory" would be expected not to occur even if your idea is wrong."

    pvblivs, I presented the Grant study, for one, in which one of thousands of research groups have tested natural selection in nature...they could have all found that there was no observable differential reproductive success, that populations remain essentially static. They come up with numerous hypotheses about what characters would be under selection and test each of these, if they are not found to change, this falsifies the hypothesis. If enough researchers continue to falsify specific hypotheses...we scientists lose interest in the theory and start looking for alternative constructs. However, when we confirm our hypotheses, this falsifies a number of competing alternatives. If we continue to repeat the observation we have more confidence that it is correct. If multiple investigators working on different phenotypes in different organisms under different environmental pressures continue to confirm the theory and make predictions based on it that can be tested...this is what we go with. You are not going to falsify ANY theory with a single experiment; particularly if others are continuing to confirm it. You falsify individual hypotheses under that theory, and if this happens enough, we go through a paradigm shift. This is what I have been trying to explain to you. You are misunderstanding the nature of science...hence my continual frustration after hours of trying to explain this to you.


    "You have given me no reason to believe that you are willing to put this idea to the test. You are willing to put certain models to the test, as long as there remains an "escape route" for this idea. I'm sorry you don't like questioning of certain ideas. I was under the mistaken impression that a scientist questions everything."

    I don't care about the questioning, but when you continue to reject the answer, what do you want from me? If I keep telling someone that 2+2=4 and they continue to disagree, what would be expected of me...of course this is much more difficult a problem and more subtle, but again, I think you are missing the way science works. Go back and read the post on the Grant's that I did. I lay out each of the postulates and what they found. Again, if they didn't find anything, and no one else does, what good is the theory? You can falsify whether beak size and shape have any effect on fitness during seasons of drought, you can test and falsify whether male behavior and feather patterns influence reproductive success, etc. Sure, there are "outs" and much of what we do is "inconclusive" until others repeat the results, or do similar experiments in slightly different angles. Perhaps we missed something, set up the experiment incorrectly, did the wrong statistical analysis, asked the wrong question(s), etc. This is part of science; it is a continual process. I hope this helps.

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  13. Clos & Pvblivs,

    Will one of you please sum up this running argument in, say, a short paragraph so I can choose a side?

    One from each of you would be better.

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  14. Or... you could say, shut up and butt out, dale........

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  15. Dale:

         As a summary, I believe that large-scale evolution is a sacred belief, not really testable, and that the things are tests are set up so that whatever data they get will be regarded as positive or neutral ("confirm or inconclusive.") It is my contention that no possible observation has been determined to be a "potential falsifier for the theory" until after it has determined that the observation will not occur whether evolution is true or not. (Particulars, like DNA being the medium, are subjected to possible falsification. Only the overarching concept is shielded) If the scientific community similarly came to believe in ESP (as a rare phonomenon) they might similarly herald the positive results while ignoring the negative ones as "inconclusive." When the scientific community holds an idea as sacred, they are blind to it and peer-review only serves to protect the idea -- nothing surprising here, just human nature.
         Well, that's a summary of my thoughts on the matter. I should note that I consider evolution plausible, just not testable.

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  16. Maragon, I'm enjoying this very much.

    I posted something, but I don't know if it will be approved. I will reproduce it here, from memory:

    Brian said:

    Did bill gates have a degree? A person can be smart and not have a degree I won't let a college brain wash me.

    I can relate. A college brain once tried to wash me, but I was all, "NO WAY! HANDS OFF YOU DISGUSTING COLLEGE BRAIN!"

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  17. pvblivs said, "As a summary, I believe that large-scale evolution is a sacred belief, not really testable, and that the things are tests are set up so that whatever data they get will be regarded as positive or neutral ("confirm or inconclusive.")"

    So when Darwin hypothesized that whales decended from bears, this is not testable?? We had no way to figure out that it was really ungulates and thereby falsify Darwin's hypothesis?? See, positive data in that case verified a different hypothesis (ungulates being the predecessor) and falsified another (bears). You are correct, in ANY science, if we find an observation that doesn't obviously fit the theory, it is viewed as inconclusive until further investigation can be done to confirm it, to add to it, etc. That is how ANY branch of science works. However, we continue to "confirm" particular hypotheses generated from the larger theory, and thereby falsify competing theories.

    "It is my contention that no possible observation has been determined to be a "potential falsifier for the theory" until after it has determined that the observation will not occur whether evolution is true or not."

    Sorry, pvblivs, the theory was articulated over 150 years ago....before current data was generated. The theory makes specific predictions that have been confirmed. Along the way, many hypotheses have been falsified and continued confirmation of thousands of other hypotheses makes the theory very strong. Otherwise, how could we have predicted fossil intermediates such as Tiktaalik? True, if we didn't find one it would not falsify the theory...but as I keep trying to explain a theory is only accepted once its predictions have been confirmed with positive data.

    "(Particulars, like DNA being the medium, are subjected to possible falsification. Only the overarching concept is shielded) If the scientific community similarly came to believe in ESP (as a rare phonomenon) they might similarly herald the positive results while ignoring the negative ones as "inconclusive.""

    If under controlled conditions, ESP was found in numerous cases to be statistically significant and brainscans showed that certain people with this ability had various patterns differing from ones without...and then a mechanism came into play, we would accept it provisionally. What "negative" data are you speaking of in terms of evolution? You keep claiming there are "misses"...please elaborate.

    "When the scientific community holds an idea as sacred, they are blind to it and peer-review only serves to protect the idea -- nothing surprising here, just human nature."

    Claim not backed up by ANY evidence. You have done nothing BUT claim this over and over...please provide some specific examples of how the idea is held as a "sacred belief" in which we are "blind". I don't want to hear the same line about "potential falsifiers". As I have explained, we do falsify hypotheses all the time in regard to the theory. You are making this claim, so let's hear your research into it.

    "Well, that's a summary of my thoughts on the matter. I should note that I consider evolution plausible, just not testable."

    Go to my blog and show how the Grant's study is not a test of the theory. While your at it, explain why comparative analysis of genomes, which contains significant historical data, cannot be used to test the theory.

    The Grant study post can be found here

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  18. Dale,

    I think to sum up, I will simply ask pvblivs to demonstrate that there are "misses" that I am not accounting for, since he claimed we are only taking the hits. Secondly, I want him to show that in terms of evolutionary biology, that peer-review has fallen apart or never really worked, but it is fine for other sciences, and third, I want him to rebut the evidence I provided and show that these examples do not really test the theory. I think that anyone reading this will notice that he never actually addresses any points I have made other than to simply repeat his claims. Thanks.

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  19.      Oh, Clostridiphile "account for" all misses to explain why they should not be regarded as negative data. (Believers in prayer also "account for" all misses.) My point is that no conceivable observation, under any circumstance, is allowed to be considered negative data. It is only after an observation can be safely determined not going to occur that they say that such an observation would "falsify evolution." When a fossil dig turns up a fossil for which they are looking (a hit) they herald the discovery. When it turns up nothing (a miss) it doesn't matter because fossilization is rare. There is no "null hypothesis" to determine a "chance expectation of hits," so misses are ignored (i.e. not regarded as negative data.)

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  20. @pvblivs

    What you have there is a false dichotomy. There is at least 1 more option.

    1)Find fossil in the strata that it is expected
    2)Find no fossil
    3)Find fossil in strata with characteristics that aren't expected in that time frame.

    #1 is the prediction. #2 is a risk but we are getting better at predicting where we will find what we are looking for. BUT 3# is what would provide an opportunity to falsify the ToE, AND one of the possible tests that make the ToE a scientific theory with support and not a religion.

    Please read the Book Evolution for Everyone by David Sloan Wilson and listen to the Evolution 101 podcast if you would like to understand this better, but for all means if you would like to stay ignorant of the facts, please, continue on as you are.

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  21. pvblivs,

    "When a fossil dig turns up a fossil for which they are looking (a hit) they herald the discovery. When it turns up nothing (a miss) it doesn't matter because fossilization is rare. There is no "null hypothesis" to determine a "chance expectation of hits," so misses are ignored (i.e. not regarded as negative data.)"

    So when we have a hypothesis that bears gave rise to a population that took to the waters, and then we find data from several independent lines that suggest it was ungulates and not bears...this doesn't falsify the bear hypothesis? Something that doesn't fit the theory is not "ignored" as you state....people in the field publish inconsistencies and holes in parts of the theory all the time, ever heard of a review article? These problems are left for all time in the peer reviewed literature for all to see. We aren't ignoring anything. Turning up nothing is not a "miss", that is, it wouldn't falsify. Finding a human in 3.5 billion year old rock would. Finding the intermediate predicted to occur between finned fish and pre-tetropod amphibs before finned fish would falsify the hypothesis that it should be between the two. The "hits" confirm a given hypothesis and lead us to reject alternatives. Ya catching on yet?

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  22. Macguyver jr:

         Fraud! "Find fossil in strata with characteristics that aren't expected in that time frame." The characteristics expected for a time frame are based on the fossils previously found. You can rule out such an event by statistical analysis of prior data. Number 3 does not provide the opportunity to falsify the "theory" because we can be sure it will not happen even if evolution is false.

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  23. " Fraud! "Find fossil in strata with characteristics that aren't expected in that time frame." The characteristics expected for a time frame are based on the fossils previously found. You can rule out such an event by statistical analysis of prior data. Number 3 does not provide the opportunity to falsify the "theory" because we can be sure it will not happen even if evolution is false."

    pvblivs,

    Are you saying that even if these organisms didn't evolve, we should still expect to find fossil intermediates based on the trends we see in other forms???? If so, what other explanation would you offer? Further, when other data is coupled with this observation, the conclusion screams out.

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