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  1. #621  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    You do realize of course this means somebody's belief system must be destroyed. I trust you are content to seek the destruction of my belief system only through rhetorical means.
    Before I answer, let me tell you the origin of the observation. In 1956 I went to work for a research lab in Poughkeepsie, NY far from my Southern roots. The second new hire of the summer was a seventeen year-old BSEE graduate from the University of Arkansas. I was prepared to overlook the fact that he had attended a hated "Red School" and so we began to look for an apartment to share. My mother was a child of her class and culture; today we would call her a bigot. However, she had failed to teach me that one was supposed to hate all people of color, not just blacks, and was horrified to hear that I was going to share rooms with a 'chink.' I responded that she had no idea how his mother might feel about the arrangement.

    Two generations went by and my mother's first great-grandchild was born. His father was a graduate of the US Military Academy and taught history there. I have never known his genealogy exactly but he was born in Hawaii and had both Chinese and Japanese ancestors.

    The point of the story is that the birth of this child so altered my Mother's attitudes as to make her barely recognizable and I observed that "We would stop hating they when our grandchildren and their grandchildren were the same grandchildren." Since then I have worked against all barriers to inter-group dating, courting, and marriage.

    The direct answer to your question is that I do not believe in the destruction of one belief system by another but the emergence of new belief systems that are better informed than the old. In any case, I am a child of reason and my only weapon is rhetoric. I like to think that it is sharp enough to serve reason well.
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    #622  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    The quote attributed to Irving Kristol is from a survey article by Ronald Bailey that appeared in Reason, July 1997. Incidentally, Bailey did not cite Kristol because he agreed with him so much as because he believed Kristol to be cynical and manipulative. I recommend the article to those who are participating in this thread. While it has a bias, it does an objective job of recapping the criticism of Evolution.

    Among the many interesting observations by Bailey is that, "Ironically, today many modern conservatives fervently agree with Karl Marx that religion is "the opium of the people"; they add a heartfelt, "Thank God!" This is one of several suggestions in the article of an answer to Clulup's question, that the conservative elite believes that, without regard to any truth in the matter, acceptance by the vulgar of God and religion is essential to the preservation of any semblance of civilization. We need the Fear of God to keep the vulgar in line. In the absence of revelation, scripture, and tradition, we would have to invent God out of whole cloth.

    Ten years later, I would argue that not only is this strategy not working but that it is making the problem worse. If civilization fails, it will be the result of the theist's fear of, not to say, hatred for, his theist neighbors.
    Now, you're gettin' it.

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/30329.html
  3. #623  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    ........It would seem that biological life as we know it would soon be severely "disadvantaged"

    Hence, I suppose, the comment that humanity is not the goal of evolution.
    In 1990 or so, Kurzweil predicted when (1997) Deep Blue would defeat Gary Kasparov at chess. He said that it was really trivial. Deep Blue was improving by a constant number of Masters Points a year and Kasparov was hardly improving at all.

    Beginning with the abacus, he has plotted forward in time the amount of computing power that one could buy for $1000-. He predicted that in 2023 that that line would intersect the computing power of the human brain. (I think the time line has advanced that by a couple of years. ) He predicts that in 2050 or so there will be artificial personalities that will assert that they are self-aware and that they pray. We will have replicated in only 10000 years what it took nature 10 billion to do with us.

    You will be happy to know, or perhaps not, that Kurzweil expects us to evolve symbiotically with our artifacts rather than independently.
  4. #624  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    In 1990 or so, Kurzweil predicted when (1997) Deep Blue would defeat Gary Kasparov at chess. He said that it was really trivial. Deep Blue was improving by a constant number of Masters Points a year and Kasparov was hardly improving at all.

    Beginning with the abacus, he has plotted forward in time the amount of computing power that one could buy for $1000-. He predicted that in 2023 that that line would intersect the computing power of the human brain. (I think the time line has advanced that by a couple of years. ) He predicts that in 2050 or so there will be artificial personalities that will assert that they are self-aware and that they pray. We will have replicated in only 10000 years what it took nature 10 billion to do with us.

    You will be happy to know, or perhaps not, that Kurzweil expects us to evolve symbiotically with our artifacts rather than independently.
    I'm in general a believer in the power of science, but I have seen very little penetration of traditional AI areas like vision and speech recognition in real life. Nothing seems to be escaping the lab, which makes me rather pessimistic that they are mistaking the growth curve of a young technology for an asymptotic curve, when its showing every evidence of being rather more sigmoid shaped

    Surur
  5. #625  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    You do realize of course this means somebody's belief system must be destroyed.
    You say that like it's a bad thing.
    I trust you are content to seek the destruction of my belief system only through rhetorical means.
    It's really the most effective way.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  6. #626  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    It's really the most effective way.
    Now that I think of it, it is really difficult to alter someone's beliefs by force. The Inquisition understood that. They burned you even if you recanted.
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    #627  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Now that I think of it, it is really difficult to alter someone's beliefs by force. The Inquisition understood that. They burned you even if you recanted.
    Well, at least their Apocalyptic scorched-earth philosophy has finally been overtly expressed.
  8. #628  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    .What factors contribute to the better odds? My guess is the likelihood can be higher given that the "control" population would tend to have more things in common with each other than would a randomly selected group of 30 people.
    Surur gave a great link which described the mathematics, and you can see that it applies to a random group of people. To make it more believable, though, you might consider that there are some 435 different choices of two children in a class of 30. Since 435 > 365 this gives you an idea of why the odds are better than even.
  9. #629  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    I'm hesistant to answer with this premise, as it tends to pit me against some of the most intelligent people on the planet. I am not setting my self forward as the champion willing to take on all intellectual challenges.

    I am willing, however, to share the basis of my skepticism--which is what I think is the real question.
    I admire your openness, your intellect, and your willingness to learn, but you I'm afraid you don't qualify as a believer in "everything in the bible is literally true". Therefore, you couldn't really answer my questions.
    From the today view, I don't get why equilibrium seems to have set in amongst the higher complex beings. Within humanity alone we currently have 6 billion uniquely identifable variations virtually of which only .0000000x% are reproductively isolated. And we have been like this for the past 6000 years

    Seriously, given the human population of the earth, why are we so "stable"?

    OK. I think I've provided enough to expose both my ignorance and my bias.

    Thanks to any and all, who will help me wade through.
    Who said equilibrium has set in amongst the higher complex beings? In fact, it hasn't. Our lifespan or even a few hundred years is just too short to witness the changes going on. To say change doesn't take place is like saying a tree doesen't grow just because you cannot see it growing.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10. #630  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    After having addressed many issues here, I have a question to the creationists on the board, both young earth creationists and others, and to all those who think the bible is word by word, literally true:

    As pointed out in this thread, there is no shortage of scientific proof for evolution and for earth being billions of years old, not thousands (note: a one-million-fold difference - not a likely scientific error to start off with). Each year, thousands of biologists, geologists and other scientists graduate from universities in the US and the rest of the world without a trace of doubt, based on what they have studied both in theory in practical experiments, that evolution is what happened on earth, and that earth is billions of years old.

    Since their convictions contradict your beliefs, why do you think they are all wrong?
    Did they not study correctly?
    Are they not intelligent enough?
    Are they brainwashed? Naive?
    Is science a huge conspiracy producing false evidence for evolution?
    Other reasons I didn't think of?

    I'd honestly like to know.
    Where are all the believers in the bible being literally, word-by-word true? Why are my questions above not being answered by some of the numerous creationists? Musicman247, anybody? Come forward!
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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    #631  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    Where are all the believers in the bible being literally, word-by-word true? Why are my questions above not being answered by some of the numerous creationists? Musicman247, anybody? Come forward!
    Could it be their spine has yet to evolve?
  12. #632  
  13. #633  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    Where are all the believers in the bible being literally, word-by-word true? Why are my questions above not being answered by some of the numerous creationists? Musicman247, anybody? Come forward!
    Clulup, are you dealing with people who ask questions out of curiosity and a willingness to learn, or are you dealing with people who are only interested in perpetuating a fascade of controversy? If its the latter, then why waste your efforts?
  14. #634  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
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    #635  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    Clulup, are you dealing with people who ask questions out of curiosity and a willingness to learn, or are you dealing with people who are only interested in perpetuating a fascade of controversy? If its the latter, then why waste your efforts?
    This could be asked of any other their pet topics.
  16. #636  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    Clulup, are you dealing with people who ask questions out of curiosity and a willingness to learn, or are you dealing with people who are only interested in perpetuating a facade of controversy? If its the latter, then why waste your efforts?
    Considering one of them may become the future president of the US, I'd like to know what they think makes scientists be so TOTALLY wrong, based on their studies and experiments. 60% of US citizens believe the Noah story in the bible to be word by word true. At least some of them should be on this board and willing/capable of answering my questions above?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  17. #637  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    Considering one of them may become the future president of the US, I'd like to know what they think makes scientists be so TOTALLY wrong, based on their studies and experiments. 60% of US citizens believe the Noah story in the bible to be word by word true. At least some of them should be on this board and willing/capable of answering my questions above?


    I do not mean to discourage you clulup in trying to provide information here, but for me, I cannot perpetuate an argument with someone who chooses not to listen.

    As far as evolution theory is concerned, as you know (and as I have said before here), a great many medical advances have sprung from evolution theory. From the idea of survival of the fittest through genetic adaptation. Not the least being our understanding how to make antibiotics to fight genetically adapting bacteria, parasites, and other organisms. Or how to make new cancer therapies to fight cancer cells which genetically adapt to our current therapies. In fact, almost the entire fields of infectious disease and oncology are directed along this process which is the cornerstone of the theory of evolution - the concept of survival of the fittest through genetic adaptation.

    How someone can deny evolution but enjoy all of the medical benefits the theory has led to, and not consider themselves a complete hypocrite is beyond me.

    And personal beliefs aside, I really do not understand the motivation behind those who want to circumvent the teaching or application of this theory, which has literally led to the saving of millions of lives. Its downright dangerous when you look at it.

    As far as those presidential candidates who deny evolution, for someone with that degree of denial as to how biomedical research operates, I shudder to think how the National Institutes of Health, and other federal biomedical research programs would suffer and how we would all suffer as a consequence.

    People can either be happy that scientists and doctors are saving lives through application of the theory of evolution or they can be bitter about it, I do not care. I will just keep doing what I am doing trying to make a difference the best I can.
  18. #638  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    As far as those presidential candidates who deny evolution, for someone with that degree of denial as to how biomedical research operates, I shudder to think how the National Institutes of Health, and other federal biomedical research programs would suffer and how we would all suffer as a consequence.

    People can either be happy that scientists and doctors are saving lives through application of the theory of evolution or they can be bitter about it, I do not care. I will just keep doing what I am doing trying to make a difference the best I can.
    Europe will be a safe haven for the brightest US scientists who are tired of fighting the medieval windmills of anti-evolutionism. Luckily creationism is strictly a US thing and lacks any significance e.g. in Europe, also among Christians.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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    #639  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    Europe will be a safe haven for the brightest US scientists who are tired of fighting the medieval windmills of anti-evolutionism. Luckily creationism is strictly a US thing and lacks any significance e.g. in Europe, also among Christians.
    The American christian cult must be so fearful that if they were to remain true to their religion's founder's principles equally that their military-industrial economy would collapse. Why else would they bastardize their religion into something in which it is not?
  20. #640  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    Europe will be a safe haven for the brightest US scientists who are tired of fighting the medieval windmills of anti-evolutionism. Luckily creationism is strictly a US thing and lacks any significance e.g. in Europe, also among Christians.
    It is nice to be welcome. We tried to welcome some European intellectuals in the 1930s. Of course, the theists resisted that too.

    While the pond is now geographically narrow, if it is still too far, we can find refuge in Canada. The Canadians seem able to resist our extremes and find a more solid center.

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