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  #21  
Old 03-09-2018, 04:56 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caz View Post
Often they spell it 'dairy' with evidently no irony or self-awareness.
They're milking it for all it's worth.
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  #22  
Old 03-09-2018, 05:27 AM
Robert Robert is offline
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I read that and heartily concurd.
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2018, 10:17 AM
barnflatwyngarde barnflatwyngarde is online now
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I am reading Steven Pinker's new book "Enlightenment Now", and he makes the point that if we can understand even the basic principles of science, we then look at the world and the universe with a sense of awe.

There is a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope which shows galaxies that existed millions of years before the Earth was formed, looking at that picture, you are actually looking back through time.

If that doesn't induce awe in a person, then there really is no hope.

If I was in a position to do so, I would give every child, upon reaching the age of 16, a copy of Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World".

A book that moves me every time I read it.
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  #24  
Old 04-13-2018, 07:36 PM
Magpie Magpie is offline
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The first rule of Dunning-Kruger club is you don't know you're in Dunning-Kruger Club
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  #25  
Old 04-14-2018, 01:39 AM
martin wilson martin wilson is offline
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I suppose technically I'm an atheist. Although that implies I have given the matter due consideration and taken a position.
I haven't. To me the whole thing is ridiculous.
I do have faith. In science. All it requires is time and pretty much everything will be explained.
What mysteries remain are no proof of a divine presence. Merely limitations of the discovery process.
University students seem more well rounded to me. On University Challenge the occasional football question used to completely baffle them. Not so much any more.
I remember dealing with a fairly irate customer, having ordered a built in oven and a dishwasher, he was delighted at our prompt and efficient next day delivery service.
He was perhaps less delighted that neither one was a built in oven or a dishwasher.
One of our legendary storesmen. So often wrong that in the end we simply said that he wasn't wrong but that the answer he gave us was so profound in its wisdom that we couldn't yet hope to understand it.

All the best.
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  #26  
Old 04-14-2018, 07:05 PM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Interesting comments, all. As an academic librarian, I believe in the importance of education. One of my recent tasks is updating the books in our community college library, trying to make sure the science areas are more current than 1999.

I do not disdain religion, nor spirituality, but I don't think the Genesis story can be taken as proof that Darwin was wrong, and vice versa. Why can't science and religion/myth coexist, since both speak to different areas of the human psyche?

Fundamentalism in any religion is dangerous, just as bigotry in any political system is the same. Our hope for the future lies, I think, in educating the young with all viewpoints-- and, of course, the facts.
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  #27  
Old 04-14-2018, 11:36 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadmund Brand View Post
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this point.... when De-Grasse-Tyson and MOST other scientist talk in an authoritative way it is because they are discussing issues that have been tested and gone thru peer review and are scientific facts....I know that upsets people who don't like the answers, but that is how it is...people will argue "well that's only a theory" when they don't know what a scientific theory is... it's not a guess....it's a tested and, for all intensive purposes, fact...

However it is a misused word by "non-scientists" for instance....the "theory of intelligent design" and " the flat earth theory" are NOT theories at all... and people who don't know better hear theory and think that "intelligent design, or Flat Earth, or 6000 year old earth theories" are the same meaning of "theory" as " theory of gravity, or relativity, or the Big Bang theory, or the Theory of Evolution" and it's not..... and it's about time scientist started talking bigger and tougher and louder... they have to silence those who will spread BS claiming to be truth... and having it taught as "science" for they are a danger to society.

Steadmund Brand
A very late response, for which I apologize.

The idea that the earth is flat is so readily disprovable, by so many avenues of approach, as to be ludicrous. So far as "Intelligent Design", I hold a more open mind on that. Darwin's observation that evolution can, through random mutations, produce an organism more fit to survive those conditions that produced it, should be understandable and obvious to anyone. We have examples of it happening all around us. The Salt and Pepper Moth is the classic case, but one reads constantly in the news these days about bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics. That's Darwinian selection at work, and on a humanly observable time scale, since bacteria reproduce so fast.

Can Darwinian selection account for all the results of evolution, though? I don't think that it can. Were Darwinian selection all that shaped us, then we should be eminently suited to survive, but that's ALL that we should be. Factors that did not affect one's likelihood of survival might arise, and breed true among a certain percentage of the population, just as, for instance, some people find aspirin intolerably bitter, and some cannot taste it. The mutation seems to have no effect on survival, so as one might expect from Darwin, it's just out there, neither favoured nor disfavoured. Some people have it, and some don't.

There are, however, some strong traits of humans that don't seem to really be tied to any kind of Darwinian evolutionary pressure. Music, for instance. Humans pretty much universally have an appreciation for music, to the extent that people who can't enjoy music are pitied as a type of cripple. That seems to be a constant in every human culture, however much they may differ otherwise. If there are cultures to whom music is incomprehensible, I have not heard of them. Moreover, some studies seem to show an awareness of, and appreciation for, music among other species. I have a very hard time believing that Darwinian natural selection can account for that.
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2018, 11:48 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
Yes, people who don't know what a theory means in science drive me crazy. Then you have the ones who say well scientists just pull stuff out of their ass. When it is pointed out to them that you have peer reviewed scientific papers they counter that the papers are only reviewed by other scientists in that particular field who are of course biased just like the original author.
That is, IMHO, a serious potential pitfall, and one that we've not really begun to address. Even a hundred years ago, and even up to the Second World War, most scientists had a much broader grounding, and could bring to bear knowledge from outside of their particular speciality. Now, of course, one has to concentrate on a particular field, or even a subset of a field, to be able to fully understand the vast amount of information available. There seems no obvious solution to the problem, but that shouldn't keep us from being aware of it as a problem, potential if not actual.
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  #29  
Old 04-15-2018, 12:38 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnflatwyngarde View Post
There is a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope which shows galaxies that existed millions of years before the Earth was formed, looking at that picture, you are actually looking back through time.
Billions and billions of years before the formation of the Earth, in fact. Awe-inspiring indeed.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2018, 01:33 AM
martin wilson martin wilson is offline
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Music is a fascinating example of apparent evolutionary uselessness.
I saw a documentary on chimpanzees, one was drumming on a tree, part of a mating ritual.
I also saw one on cave art, which suggested its location was by design, linked to the acoustic properties of the cave itself. Thus a form of music, chanting and rhythm, even flute playing accompanied what may have been part of a hunting ritual.
In evolutionary terms, such activities are important as they bind peoples together with common purpose. Cooperation amongst peoples are generally accepted as being crucial to our survival as a species.
Early man would have been surrounded by a form of music. Birdsong. Understood as not really singing, but marking territory, warning of predators and calling for a mate.
It's interesting how often crowds, at concerts (obviously) sports competitions, even protests, find something to sing together, to me, indicating its usefulness as a social binder.

All the best.
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