Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Just Do It... (Reprised)

Compare The Following With The Theocratic Corporatist Party Line. . .
by The Old Hippie Because You Need To When You're Being Lied To


Global Warming "Is A Theory"


Here's Mount Kilimanjaro before global warming, with it's 11,000 year old snowcap.

(oops - 11,000 years is longer than the Earth has existed, according to creationist Evangelicals.)

Mount Kilimanjaro with 11,000 year old snowcap

Here's Mount Kilimanjaro now, after global warming, as it hasn't been seen in 11,000 years.

(oops - Did I mention, President Bush is one of the creationist Evangelicals?  You did know that - Right?)

Mount Kilimanjaro as it hasn't been seen in 11,000 years


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Published on Monday, March 14, 2005 by Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
Mount Kilimanjaro Photo Wake-Up Call for Action Against Global Warming


"LONDON -- A photo of Mount Kilimanjaro stripped of its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years will be used as dramatic testimony for action against global warming as ministers from the world's biggest polluters meet on Tuesday."

Full Article Link Here

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Evolution "Is A Theory"

[ The following is from:  http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-evolutiontheory.htm ]

Myth: Evolution is only a theory.

Fact: The occurrence of evolution is a fact; how it occurred is a theory.



Summary


Evolution is a fact in that scientists know beyond reasonable doubt that it happened.  The exact mechanism of evolution -- that is, exactly how it happened -- is still a theory.



Argument

Evolution is both a fact and a theory.  Mainstream scientists consider it a fact that evolution occurred; how it occurred is still considered a theory.  Stephen J. Gould describes this difference best:

"In the American vernacular, 'theory' often means 'imperfect fact' -- part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess.  Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is 'only' a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory.  If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it?  Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric):  'Well, it is a theory.  It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science -- that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.'

"Well evolution is a theory.  It is also a fact.  And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty.  Facts are the world's data.  Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts.  Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them.  Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome.  And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

"Moreover, 'fact' doesn't mean 'absolute certainty'; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world.  The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are NOT about the empirical world.  Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor).  In science 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent'.  I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

"Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred.  Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory - natural selection -- to explain the mechanism of evolution." (1)


Some nit-pickers might try to argue that nothing can ever be proven 100 percent in science, therefore there is no such thing as a fact, let alone evolution standing as a fact.  H.J. Muller tackles this argument:

"The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing.  Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea.  When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly.  Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact.  For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation...

"So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence.  If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words." (2)


Endnotes:

1. Stephen J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Discover, May 1981. Both quotations have been taken from Larry Moran's FAQ, "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory," which addresses this issue in much greater detail.

2. H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" School Science and Mathematics 59, (1959) pp. 304-305.  Reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg, ed., (ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983).



[ On this subject, from the Progress Report and Washinton Post (front page), Mar.14, 2005. ]

EDUCATION – WHEN RELIGION MEETS SCIENCE:  It seems scientific reasoning is not what it used to be.  After years of crafty strategizing orchestrated by conservatives, policymakers in nearly twenty states are now considering measures "that question the science of evolution."  Though most do not seek to completely disavow the teaching of evolution, an overwhelming number of the proposals attempt to address the "gaps" in Darwinian theory by means of the intelligent design theory, which claims that the vast complexity of nature is evidence of the existence of a great cosmic "designer."  Though many scientists are aghast at what is being called neocreationism, religious activists and anti-evolutionary scientists have long felt "persecuted" by the teaching of evolution and are now simply taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the Bush presidency, as President Bush himself believes the "jury is still out on evolution."


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