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Question: Fact to fact, face to face supporting science :: Total Votes:83
Poll choices Votes Statistics
I never discuss science v. creationism in public 11  [13.25%]
I occasionally discuss science v. creationism in public 60  [72.29%]
I seem to always discuss science v. creationism in public 12  [14.46%]
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  Topic: Fact to fact, face to face supporting science, in daily life. Creationists do not reply< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2008,22:20   

By "in public" I mean direct face-to-face encounters, and for the poll- not in lectures nor on stage, nor on internet chat/BB.  I wonder how often we engage our family and acquaintances in evo/creato discussion.

I go on a public fishing boat at least one day a week.  There are few of these days that I don't engage someone in discussing science, and fewer that I don't find a creationist or two.  Social research shows that face-to-face encounters are more potent in changing opinion than any other form of communication (including cheap movies).

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,00:38   

I voted never. A decade ago, I would have voted always. Now I will only talk about creation/evolution if I'm dealing with an intelligent person who probably doesn't reject the basic science of evolution. I view conversation now in kind of a rough cost/benefit way, and arguing with creationists about evolution has seldom any benefits and often fairly high costs, as social interactions go.

I often come here and share a laugh with other scientifically literate people about an hysterical thing said by Davetard or FtK or Doug Moron, but I seldom actually talk to those people. I did make an exception earlier and write an open paragraph to Paul Nelson, because he's a smart person choosing to act like an imbecile, and with a little encouragement maybe he could stop wasting years of his life doing that. (But I'm not optimistic)

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,01:18   

Hardly ever but it has happened. Actually, I just reread the OP and I have to say never but with a caveat. I occasionally discuss rational thinking vs. magical thinking.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,03:42   

I'll echo the discernment of SteveStory with a few caveats.

I do talk to people face to face about science (and if the topic is relevant, creationism. I'm afraid I can be more abrasive in real life than online, sorry!) and depending on the situation and person I'll be varying degrees of nice about it. A street preacher is less likely to get my time and effort (and civility) than a valued colleague or friend for example. Each situation is judged on its merits however, there's no use battering someone about intellectually if it's going to destroy a valued friendship or cause stress in the workplace. I'm also loath to watse my time on a total crackpot, but luckily I know few total crackpots in real life. That's what teh Intertubez are for.

The one condition I will and do apply to that though is this: for example I am a vehement anti-racist, an ardent proponent of science and reason, and I suffer fools not even slightly. If I cannot do that at home, I have no right to take it elsewhere. In other words, when mother dearest starts banging on about homeopathy I bring her up short. Nicely but I let it be known that if she's going to spout unsubstantiated drivel at me then I will argue (however nicely). When the father-in-law starts promulgating his incredibly racist ideas I tell him, with evidence and no lack of clarity, that not only are these ideas flawed but they are positively harmful. I've got no right to tell Skeptic (for example) he's a loon if I can't also tell mother! Granted, I'm nicer to mother than I am to Skeptic! ;-)

Louis

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Bye.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,04:28   

I sometimes do, but I still prefer written language over face-to-face. I'm way to impulsive to discuss things like this, I don't have the time to really think about what I want to say. Also, what Louis says, some friends of mine are complete tards if it's about science, but ofcourse I don't want to spoil our friendship over that (although I'm dissapointed when I find out retarted things). The only exception, are my parents. Especially my mum likes pseudo-science stuff, and falls for the bullshit beauty-product commercials (like DNAge) and then I totally burn here. My dad is a douchebag when it's about politics, and he's fun to burn down as well. To illustrate the atmosphear at home: I've been kicked out the house 7 times, and I think I'll move out pretty soon.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,04:46   

I haven't answered the poll but I sometimes discuss this ridiculous subject in public (mostly at work).

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,05:01   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,10:28)
[SNIP]

I've been kicked out the house 7 times, and I think I'll move out pretty soon.

Good work my lad! Now, to be a real christian you have to completely cut yourself off from your family...... oh wait, was that NOT what that verse means? ;-)

Louis

P.S. Kicked out 7 times just for arguing? Excellent effort on your part. I highly recommend a change of sex/sexuality and a profoundly expensive drug habit for the win! I have some people I can put you in contact with....

P.P.S. Does it go without saying that I am joking? I want FTK to quote this as "Darwinist advocates drugs and leaving family shocker", and miss this disclaimer off. It's what she does.

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Bye.

  
philbert



Posts: 20
Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,05:01   

When I lived in Melbourne (where there were a lot more of these things than where I am now), I'd often engage the street preachers. I never thought there was much of a chance to change their minds, of course, but it was usually worthwhile for the other members of the public who'd be listening nearby. And I figured that, if absolutely nothing else, I was tying up the guy's time, and temporarily stopping him from harping at my fellow citizens.

And for similar reasons as Louis, I tend to pipe up if there's some sort of anti-science nonsense being spouted by someone at work (a co-worker saying that another should go get some homeopathic "remedy", what with winter coming on and all), or if they make some serious-faced comment about star signs, etc.. Not often strictly the evolution / Creationism argument here in New Zealand -- but hey, nonsense is nonsense; it's all of a type.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,05:17   

Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,05:01)
P.S. Kicked out 7 times just for arguing? Excellent effort on your part. I highly recommend a change of sex/sexuality and a profoundly expensive drug habit for the win! I have some people I can put you in contact with....

Ooo that's not needed, I'm Dutch, at least pot is alwayse a doorstep away ;-) (although I live in the middle of the Dutch Bible Belt, but it's still Holland; we had a weed 'farm' 1 block from my house)
But yea it's mostly for arguing, but my dad and I don't really get along anyway since character wise, we're WAY to similair. It's not that he's christian, or some other kind of fundie, it's just he's a tard on some area's. And lot's of times, there is a complete lack of logic in his parenting (and even my mum acknowledges that sometimes). And that's a pretty volatile mix.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,05:30   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,11:17)
Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,05:01)
P.S. Kicked out 7 times just for arguing? Excellent effort on your part. I highly recommend a change of sex/sexuality and a profoundly expensive drug habit for the win! I have some people I can put you in contact with....

Ooo that's not needed, I'm Dutch, at least pot is alwayse a doorstep away ;-) (although I live in the middle of the Dutch Bible Belt, but it's still Holland; we had a weed 'farm' 1 block from my house)
But yea it's mostly for arguing, but my dad and I don't really get along anyway since character wise, we're WAY to similair. It's not that he's christian, or some other kind of fundie, it's just he's a tard on some area's. And lot's of times, there is a complete lack of logic in his parenting (and even my mum acknowledges that sometimes). And that's a pretty volatile mix.

Dutch? Did I mention that the Netherlands is one of my most favouritest places in teh world. I've been to Amsterdam several times and a good friend of mine is Dutch. Ahhh the Van Gogh Museum, the Ann Frank House, the canals, the beautiful yet strangely leaning architecture.....ah yes, I remember them very poorly for some reason. Particularly of interest is a little cafe on the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam called "The Greenhouse Effect". Their White Widow is superb...erm someone told me once, apparently. You can't beat Jack Herrer though...allegedly.

Anyway, since the only Dutch I can reliably remember is a few plesantries, "mijn geschlactsorganen doen pijn" and "Ik hab een zwelling"* I'll leave this there.

Louis

*Learned only for comedy purposes I can assure you, Your Honour.

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Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,06:22   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,05:17)
... my dad and I don't really get along anyway since character wise, we're WAY to similair. It's not that he's christian, or some other kind of fundie, it's just he's a tard on some area's. And lot's of times, there is a complete lack of logic in his parenting (and even my mum acknowledges that sometimes). And that's a pretty volatile mix.

Your children will repeat that paragraph dang near verbatim someday.

Thus spake BWE

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,06:42   

Quote (BWE @ April 08 2008,12:22)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,05:17)
... my dad and I don't really get along anyway since character wise, we're WAY to similair. It's not that he's christian, or some other kind of fundie, it's just he's a tard on some area's. And lot's of times, there is a complete lack of logic in his parenting (and even my mum acknowledges that sometimes). And that's a pretty volatile mix.

Your children will repeat that paragraph dang near verbatim someday.

Thus spake BWE

Amen brother.

I swear blind my parents only want me to have kids out of some kind of twisted intergenerational revenge.

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,08:02   

I think my approach works best - Have sex with Fundies.  
Well, only ONE Fundy now... married her.
Use Quidam's Icon Approach:  Do not let them Invoke Big JuJu at any time.

We only talk about  "The Forbidden Subject":

1.) When she brings it up. (Seldom)

2.) If she makes disparaging remark over something I am watching on TV, like NOVA, or Discovery or History Channel

3.) If I do not want any more sex for that week / month / year / ever.  Depending.

My advice to others considering "mixed marriages" - Don't do it!  Too many stumbling blocks!  It takes a special relationship to manage anything this crazy and make it work.  I would never recommend putting anyone else through it, but it works out well-enough for us.  So Far!  

Mrs. J-Dog even went to the Darwin Meet-up last summer with Rich, Kristine and Nomad, which was nice, but she didn't really pay attention.  Good thing she didn't notice the Darwin Leads To Hitler wing of the exhibit, right Kevin?

At work - No can talk about it - Boss is a Fundy, but can and do dis on "Ghost Hunter" fan(s).  Others here at work also laugh at woo-followers and Ghost Hunter fan(s), so that's good, and one of the project managers at lunch last summer was laughing at ID and Dembski, so that was great.  Too bad he left for more money elsewhere.

So, overall, I have to say I'm more the "if someone asks questions, I'll answer it kind of guy", rather than an "in your face" kind, unless, like Louis, it's pretty obvious someone is talking some serious racial bull-shit,  or they are making a blatantly dishonest movie. Then I think it's quite all right to get in their face and make them cry.  Right Kevin?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,09:14   

Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:02)
[SNIP]

So, overall, I have to say I'm more the "if someone asks questions, I'll answer it kind of guy", rather than an "in your face" kind, unless, like Louis, it's pretty obvious someone is talking some serious racial bull-shit,  or they are making a blatantly dishonest movie. Then I think it's quite all right to get in their face and make them cry.  Right Kevin?

[SNIP]

I find that in 90% of cases non-verbal/minmally verbal means of communication are sufficient to illustrate one's displeasure. A rather amused, wry smile and walking away work well. As indeed does a slight titter and an "ooooookay, that's nice". Of course biting the heads of whippets and making swishing motions with a rapidly produced knife helps too.

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,09:56   

Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,09:14)
Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:02)
[SNIP]

So, overall, I have to say I'm more the "if someone asks questions, I'll answer it kind of guy", rather than an "in your face" kind, unless, like Louis, it's pretty obvious someone is talking some serious racial bull-shit,  or they are making a blatantly dishonest movie. Then I think it's quite all right to get in their face and make them cry.  Right Kevin?

[SNIP]

I find that in 90% of cases non-verbal/minmally verbal means of communication are sufficient to illustrate one's displeasure. A rather amused, wry smile and walking away work well. As indeed does a slight titter and an "ooooookay, that's nice". Of course biting the heads of whippets and making swishing motions with a rapidly produced knife helps too.

Louis

Interesting.  

I think that "making swishing motions with a rapidly produced knife " while muttering about "after we're in charge" comments also helps in this type of situation.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,10:28   

Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,03:42)
I'll echo the discernment of SteveStory with a few caveats.

I do talk to people face to face about science (and if the topic is relevant, creationism. I'm afraid I can be more abrasive in real life than online, sorry!) and depending on the situation and person I'll be varying degrees of nice about it. A street preacher is less likely to get my time and effort (and civility) than a valued colleague or friend for example. Each situation is judged on its merits however, there's no use battering someone about intellectually if it's going to destroy a valued friendship or cause stress in the workplace. I'm also loath to watse my time on a total crackpot, but luckily I know few total crackpots in real life. That's what teh Intertubez are for.

The one condition I will and do apply to that though is this: for example I am a vehement anti-racist, an ardent proponent of science and reason, and I suffer fools not even slightly. If I cannot do that at home, I have no right to take it elsewhere. In other words, when mother dearest starts banging on about homeopathy I bring her up short. Nicely but I let it be known that if she's going to spout unsubstantiated drivel at me then I will argue (however nicely). When the father-in-law starts promulgating his incredibly racist ideas I tell him, with evidence and no lack of clarity, that not only are these ideas flawed but they are positively harmful. I've got no right to tell Skeptic (for example) he's a loon if I can't also tell mother! Granted, I'm nicer to mother than I am to Skeptic! ;-)

Louis

YOU LAWRENCE WELK/ ANTONY FLEW TYPE ATHIESTS MAKE ME SICK.  THERE IS MORE FIBER IN THE STOOL OF A SUCKLING BABE THAN IN THE ENTIRE CORPUS OF YOUR FLACCID SWEATING HULK.  WE NEED MORE PAIN EXPERIMENTS ON YOU MATERIALISTS TYPES EXPLAIN THAT AWAY AS ELECTRONS PASSING IN THE NIGHT CHANCEWORSHIPPERS. [/DT]

Most of my family are religious moonbats in varying degrees.  Direct confrontation doesn't help much, it is better to shoot darts from cover.  I had them all in fits with the recipe for baking bread in Ezekiel that says cook it with burning shit.  something like the Lord said "Lo, for I hath given thee cows dung for mans dung, thou shalt cook thy bread therewith" or some such business.  And none of my aunts and uncles believed it, but granny got the Good Book down and dusted hit off, why what do you know.  Ole 'rasmus sho nuff be right bout sumtin.  I then had the floor and said, "Seems to me that if you were really interested in doing what the bible says you'd be out there scooping up patties and dispensin with all this Wonder Bread Bull Shit".  or something like that.

by the way Anti-Bigots are Bigots too.  Embrace your bigotry Louis.  Discriminating palates must choose.  For instance, I am bigoted towards politicians.  That's right.  They're all douchebags by definition.  Just lowered my BP by the same effect as praying for rain and it was for free.    Now I'm free from wondering who I should vote for.  No Body, since I don't vote for douchebags!

It's fun to win debates.  that's why you debate people who you know are wrong.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,10:49   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,April 08 2008,16:28)
by the way Anti-Bigots are Bigots too.  Embrace your bigotry Louis.  Discriminating palates must choose.  For instance, I am bigoted towards politicians.  That's right.  They're all douchebags by definition.  Just lowered my BP by the same effect as praying for rain and it was for free.    Now I'm free from wondering who I should vote for.  No Body, since I don't vote for douchebags!

It's fun to win debates.  that's why you debate people who you know are wrong.

1) Wrong! Anti-bigots are not necessarily bigots too. There is a subset of anti-bigotry which is not like in kind to bigotry.

You keep repeating this. It will not make it true. Opposition to group/idea X does not make one immediately a member/proponent of X, nor does it follow that the only other position to occupy is -X. Not only that, one can actually be correct in some matter of dispute. Holding to a demonstrably correct position, perhaps forcefully, in the face of ignorant opposition to that position does not equate to bigotry.

Mind you, I do cheer for England when we play rugby and I fulsomely engage in international banter during test matches. That ain't bigotry, that's comedy.

2) Vile calumny and slander, I've never won a debate in my life! Well apart from those ones I didn't lose or draw.

Actually debating the perpetually unarmed and clueless is pointless, so I don't bother. Knocking holes in their crap and mocking them is an entirely different matter. Agreement or disagreement is not, and never has been, the issue.

The reasons for engaging in "serious" debate with creationists or whoever (and I am leery that this is even a good idea on occasion) is not because it is easy to win those debates, far from it, it's because creationists or whoever are trying to acheive some political or social goal that it demonstrably destructive. Demonstrating the vacuity of the claims in a public debate format is one way that the message that these chaps are full of shit can be gotten across. Personally, I don't think that in the case of creationists this is a 100% good idea. But other people's mileage may vary, and I am happy to admit that a pluralist approach to tactics is the one I favour. I am also happy to concede that for some people debate works.

From a selfish perspective engaging in debate has caused me to go and re-learn things I thought I knew well, but obviously didn't. It's helped me as a person and as a scientist. From that perspective, it's been a highly productive pastime. Never doubt the potential of debate to cause someone to learn a new thing, even in that someone is you.

3) Don't vote, the government might get in. Alternatively don't vote, it only encourages them. Personally, I don't think ALL politicians are douchebags, no more than I think all people are douchebags or all religious people are douchebags. Some people are undeniably douchebags, and some groups have a higher douchebag quotient than others. That still doesn't mean one can reliably dismiss a whole group as douchebags. Even though I know you were being tongue in cheek.

Take Margaret Thatcher for instance. Best leader any country ever had, the finest Prime Minister of the UK of all time and damn sexy to boot.

{Waits for Ian to go up in flames}

Only kidding.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,11:16   

correct, eh?  Don't make me call Skeptic over here to ask you exactly how you are correct in your question of "Who should I be bigoted against? and your answer of "Bigots".  I'm fairly sure this is the type of question (however you draw it) that we both in other circumstances agree is unanswerable in any meaningful general context (even if you change said question to 'What should I be bigoted against' and the answer is 'bigotry')

Now I know you don't frame pose the questions exactly that way.  But it's not a far cry from arguing that "2*2=4" is not bigotry, therefore "Racism = Bad" is not bigotry either.

Note I am not arguing for racism.  just ordinary old null hypotheses.  

There are many things that make good common sense that are completely immune to empirical verification.

ETA Yes indeed Margaret Thatcher was a fox, and quite the humanitarian as well.  I daresay we shall never have such a genteel lady in such a seat of power again that could carry herself with the wit and manners and lovability of dear old Maggie.  They should have made her Queen!

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,11:33   

My experience is shaped by the fact that two of my four siblings are born-again Christians of the OEC variety. I'm not interested in creating conflicts within my family and stressing my elderly parents (my Dad is about to turn 89), and we generally have an understanding at this point that this topic is off limits.

More generally, I am cautious about such conversations. If I detect that an individual genuinely respects my views and intellectual integrity, and is interested in those views, I may make a simple comment without attempting to instruct or harangue. For example, if someone expresses interest in ID yet seems interested in my views, I may say something like, "You should be aware that it is my opinion that ID is not a science, and is inherently incapable of becoming a science. You should also know that I believe that the people who are telling you otherwise are lying to you. I think you would become quite angry were to you understand the degree to which you are being misled." I don't try to get into further details - it is my feeling that if the weight of their interest/respect in my views isn't sufficient to raise questions for them, no amount of detail or argumentation will.

[edit to add OEC status of sibs]

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,11:33   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ April 08 2008,10:28)
For instance, I am bigoted towards politicians.  That's right.  They're all douchebags by definition.  Just lowered my BP by the same effect as praying for rain and it was for free.    Now I'm free from wondering who I should vote for.  No Body, since I don't vote for douchebags!

You, know it is stereotypes like this that really piss me off.  Not all politicians are douchebags.


Some are turd sandwiches.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,12:35   

Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,10:56)
I think that "making swishing motions with a rapidly produced knife " while muttering about "after we're in charge" comments also helps in this type of situation.

LOL

   
dheddle



Posts: 540
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,13:11   

Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist--so I know if I am allowed to reply.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,13:29   

Quote (dheddle @ April 08 2008,19:11)
Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist--so I know if I am allowed to reply.

I have no idea what others will say, but here's my two penn'orth:

Are you some species of "creationist", well yeah, but so is every theist. Hardly what is normally meant in these circles by, or associated with, "creationist"/"creationism". By that very weak definition most of my family and friends are creationists in that they have some vague notion that a god created the universe. Personally I've got no beef with them or you on that issue, regardless of the fact that I disagree vehemently and have no problems reminding you of the demonstrable falsity of elements of your/their claims.

The only thing I can see that would stick on the "naughty creationist" spectrum somewhere (at the polar opposite end from Ham and Hovind you'll be glad to know) is your advocacy of cosmological IDC. Whether or not this is sufficient for "naughty creationist" status I don't know. Some elements of your creationism do so for me, i.e. your claim that cosmological ID is supported, or at least plausible, scientifically, but that might not do it for others.

I at least have no problem with, and would even welcome, your commenting on this thread, but then I didn't start the thread. It bain't my river, I'm just pissing in it, as the old Cornish saying goes.

Louis

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Bye.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,13:52   

I've only had one conversation about it, with a bloke in his 70's.  It was in a group of castle enthusiasts, in the evening, and I made the mistake of picking up teh paper and commenting that I'd been having letters printed in it against Creationist nutters who were trying to promote ID at the time.
(THis is in Scotland, UK)
This harmless and intelligent old bloke then piped up, saying something like "Of course the universe had to be created".  
I think I managed to point out that he didn't necessarily have any scientific evidence for that, but I cannot recall exactly.  Everyone else there was either indifferent or on the bash the creationist side.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,14:17   

Quote (guthrie @ April 08 2008,13:52)
I've only had one conversation about it, with a bloke in his 70's.  It was in a group of castle enthusiasts, in the evening, and I made the mistake of picking up teh paper and commenting that I'd been having letters printed in it against Creationist nutters who were trying to promote ID at the time.
(THis is in Scotland, UK)
This harmless and intelligent old bloke then piped up, saying something like "Of course the universe had to be created".  
I think I managed to point out that he didn't necessarily have any scientific evidence for that, but I cannot recall exactly.  Everyone else there was either indifferent or on the bash the creationist side.

Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,14:30   

Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:17)
Quote (guthrie @ April 08 2008,13:52)
I've only had one conversation about it, with a bloke in his 70's.  It was in a group of castle enthusiasts, in the evening, and I made the mistake of picking up teh paper and commenting that I'd been having letters printed in it against Creationist nutters who were trying to promote ID at the time.
(THis is in Scotland, UK)
This harmless and intelligent old bloke then piped up, saying something like "Of course the universe had to be created".  
I think I managed to point out that he didn't necessarily have any scientific evidence for that, but I cannot recall exactly.  Everyone else there was either indifferent or on the bash the creationist side.

Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

J-dog, had you ever encountered a believer before you met your wife?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,15:16   

Quote (BWE @ April 08 2008,14:30)
Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:17)
Quote (guthrie @ April 08 2008,13:52)
I've only had one conversation about it, with a bloke in his 70's.  It was in a group of castle enthusiasts, in the evening, and I made the mistake of picking up teh paper and commenting that I'd been having letters printed in it against Creationist nutters who were trying to promote ID at the time.
(THis is in Scotland, UK)
This harmless and intelligent old bloke then piped up, saying something like "Of course the universe had to be created".  
I think I managed to point out that he didn't necessarily have any scientific evidence for that, but I cannot recall exactly.  Everyone else there was either indifferent or on the bash the creationist side.

Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

J-dog, had you ever encountered a believer before you met your wife?

Yeah - I grew up with a whole Entire Catholic Family!

But of course as Catholic's we weren't Creos, and strict bible literalists like YEC's, and it was easy to see where the holes in their story was as I got older and learned to think.

So, when Mrs. J-Dog and I were dating, it never came up, as I didn't really care about religion.  It only became important with kids, and now of course because of the IDists attempts to ally with the YEC's and insert Expelled Believin' and  Bible Thumpin' into school curriculum.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,15:47   

I discovered that Christians really exist, the kind that thump their bibles, only after I went to college. I've only met a handful even still.

It's quite foreign to me.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,16:13   

Quote (dheddle @ April 08 2008,11:11)
Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist--so I know if I am allowed to reply.

Well, if you aren't sure neither am I.  How would you vote?  That seems more interesting than the poll anyway.

My father-in-law is deeply religious, a church elder, and so on.  He was even a member of the same church as Howard Ahmanson Jr.  He periodically askes me for facts and arguments he can use in bible classes, or church meeting regarding the evo/creato conflict.  There is nothing about being Christian that requires you to reject science.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
dheddle



Posts: 540
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,16:41   

OK then. I voted "occasionally," though if there was an "often" option I probably would have picked that. As a scientist and a Christian, I often get asked to talk about the science/faith boundary at churches and other venues. Typically a church will have an open forum--that is they will invite unbelievers. What happens--almost inevitably, is I take more grief from my fellow Christians. That is, when they find out that I am not a YEC they can be downright nasty. On the other hand, when atheists realize that I know my stuff and am not trying to convince them that ID is science, we generally have good dialog.

That is an oversimplification. Some of the Christians seem very pleased that someone is arguing that science and our faith do not have to be in tension. And that is always my goal--to reach that niche audience. I won't have any effect on atheists or YECs, but if I resonate with thinking Christians, I consider it time well spent.

--------------
Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,16:46   

Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:17)
Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

Since I do not recall actually meeting anyone with any Creationist leanings in real life before, I was momentarily a bit shocked that someone I'd regarded as intelligent was so confused.  But then I also realised that he was working off a different map from myself.  He didn't know about ID, was a believer, so of course God created the universe etc, but had no idea of the Creationist modus operandi of lying.  I think that if we had had time to talk for long enough, I coudl have gotten him to see that there is a difference between science and religion etc, and that creationists were people who misused science.  I have no problem with believers who say "I believe god created everything, including us".  I do have a problem with people who say "I believe god created us and everything and science agrees with the bible thus proving me right", or "I believe god created everything and us and you should all worship my god every day", which is effectively what the Cretinists and their ilk are saying.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,17:02   

Yah, I get to be in the majority again!  I occasionally talk to people about evolution/creationism and I have no problem doing it.  Ironically, most of these conversations are with YECs and I gently try to disabuse them of some of their crazier claims in the hopes that they won't sound so ignorant in the future.  I figure you guys might get a chuckle out of that.  But I do tend to be received fairly well and have seen some positive results since I am from within the circle rather than outside of it, so to speak.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,18:12   

Quote (guthrie @ April 08 2008,16:46)
Quote (J-Dog @ April 08 2008,14:17)
Ah yes.  Glad you shared this with us, and this is exactly the type of situation that my experience living with a Creo best prepares me for.

Prior to meeting my wife, I would have called the old bugger an utter and complete moron, totally devoid of any reason to live, and suggested, strongly, that he do something about it.

Now, having had the years of maturation and experience and understanding of living with a "believer", I would simply  smile at him, and tell him to shut up and piss off.

Since I do not recall actually meeting anyone with any Creationist leanings in real life before, I was momentarily a bit shocked that someone I'd regarded as intelligent was so confused.  But then I also realised that he was working off a different map from myself.  He didn't know about ID, was a believer, so of course God created the universe etc, but had no idea of the Creationist modus operandi of lying.  I think that if we had had time to talk for long enough, I coudl have gotten him to see that there is a difference between science and religion etc, and that creationists were people who misused science.  I have no problem with believers who say "I believe god created everything, including us".  I do have a problem with people who say "I believe god created us and everything and science agrees with the bible thus proving me right", or "I believe god created everything and us and you should all worship my god every day", which is effectively what the Cretinists and their ilk are saying.

Guthrie - I am sure you did everything right, and please keep in mind that I was kidding about telling the silly old guy to piss off and shut up.

I would in fact, ignore him, unless it was a one on one situation, then I would talk to him calmly, before telling him that God spoke to me in a vision about him, and he was doomed to spend his eternity in hell.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,18:52   

Quote (BWE @ April 08 2008,06:22)
 
Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,05:17)
... my dad and I don't really get along anyway since character wise, we're WAY to similair. It's not that he's christian, or some other kind of fundie, it's just he's a tard on some area's. And lot's of times, there is a complete lack of logic in his parenting (and even my mum acknowledges that sometimes). And that's a pretty volatile mix.

Your children will repeat that paragraph dang near verbatim someday.

Thus spake BWE

I really can't wait for that moment, because that would mean they would start thinking for themselfs ;-) At least I will try 1 thing my dad lacks right now: dialogue. He thinks I should listen to him just because he's my dad, problem is I simply won't do that (ofcourse, the fact that I'm still a kid and that I sometimes still am a impulsive and rebelling teen plays a part as well, I won't deny that). And although I never hestitate to at least try to discuss with my dad lots of time, I do hestitate to discuss with other family members. My grandma for instance, she's amazing, is a "regular" christian and a creationist (although I doubt she's a YEC). I once started a dialogue about that with her, when I was 10, and never bothered again because it's a way too nice relationship to spoil wich such a debate.
 
Quote (BWE @ April 08 2008,15:47)
I discovered that Christians really exist, the kind that thump their bibles, only after I went to college. I've only met a handful even still.

It's quite foreign to me.

I've lived with them my entire, yet short, life and I still do. Although they're pretty friendly in most cases, some are actually pretty scary. 1 Morning I was biking to school pretty early in the morning past 1 of those folks houses, there a mother who looked a bit like that girl from The Ring (a sleeping-gown wich looks Victorian, pale face, long black hair although not hanging infront of her face) kept following me with deep-socketed dark eyes. Scared the crap outa me, but luckely even she is a bit of an excess from that community.
Although that community is pretty damned clear they're fundie's, the fundie's who definatly don't look or sound fundie frighten me the most. I met this really beautiful and friendly girl a while ago, and I was shocked when I found out she was a YEC fundie. It was so wierd, I also attempted dialogue with her but I left that to rest as well because I didn't want to create tension. That's the main reason why I barely discuss controversial things at all with other people, I can't stand tension.
 
Quote (Louis @ April 08 2008,05:30)
Dutch? Did I mention that the Netherlands is one of my most favouritest places in teh world. I've been to Amsterdam several times and a good friend of mine is Dutch. Ahhh the Van Gogh Museum, the Ann Frank House, the canals, the beautiful yet strangely leaning architecture.....ah yes, I remember them very poorly for some reason. Particularly of interest is a little cafe on the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam called "The Greenhouse Effect". Their White Widow is superb...erm someone told me once, apparently. You can't beat Jack Herrer though...allegedly.

Anyway, since the only Dutch I can reliably remember is a few plesantries, "mijn geschlactsorganen doen pijn" and "Ik hab een zwelling"* I'll leave this there.

Louis

*Learned only for comedy purposes I can assure you, Your Honour.

I never really felt the urge to go into Amsterdam, I visited it once on our way to the popu-science museum Nemo, but I wouldn't call that a real visit to Amsterdam. When I watch that city on tv and what I've seen on that 1 trip myself, Amsterdam feels a bit...icky to me. Although I'm definatly not a christian boy, I'm pretty damned prudish on some things ;-)

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,19:15   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 08 2008,18:52)
...He thinks I should listen to him just because he's my dad, problem is I simply won't do that...

You have correctly identified the problem. Now if you could go about identifying a solution I'd help you market it and we could make a killing.
:)

If it helps, half the problem is chemical. IOW, there's not much you can do but remember that dad's are generally good things to have. That and expecting perfection rarely leads to gratification.

More sage words from the BWE. I'm gonna start an advice column.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Falk Macara



Posts: 11
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,21:00   

Depends if I'm carrying my sixteen knives, twelve guns, two chainsaws, and chainsaw-firing-crossbow with underslung rabid attack dog launcher.*

As a general rule, very very rarely -- effectively never since I had some lunatic hug me (!!!) and tell me they'd pray for my soul.  

Falk.

*:  If I am, I'll usually content myself with asking people (fundies or otherwise) to help me out from under this pile of rubbish, but mind the rabid attack dog, he's been a bit ill, Oh well, I'm sure that when it's dry it'll scrape off a beauty.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,21:27   

Quote
Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist -- so I know if I am allowed to reply.


I doubt there is any one definition that would fit all the usages of the term.

An operational definition that might (or might not) work, is somebody who takes seriously arguments that, if true, would imply that hundreds of thousands of scientists have been as a group making it all up as they go, without losing their jobs en masse, and without any evident lack of research results, and without any explanation of why scientists from different nations, religions, cultures, backgrounds, and worldviews, would agree fairly well with each other on the general principles of their branch of science (even if not on all the technical details).

Now as to how often I argue about evolution in person - so far I don't. I don't have much experience in oral debate, and don't think that fast (it's often a few minutes or several later when I figure out what I should have said). For another thing, in this subject I'm an amateur, so most of the technical stuff will be over my head. Plus, somebody who's been arguing from the other side for long is somebody who's chosen to disregard what the experts say about their own subjects (see operational definition above). Also, antievolutionist frequently judge arguments first by how the feel about the conclusion, a habit that can make communication rather difficult.

On-line, otoh, there's time to think bewteen comments, there's time to look up stuff, and other people to jump in with added details. Also there's a record of what the other person said, and there's no actual interrupting of somebody while they're typing something. (Er, I mean from the other participants in the argument, not from others in that person's home. :p )

Henry

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,23:20   

Quote (dheddle @ April 08 2008,13:11)
Please tell me if by your definition (there are so many conflicting definitions) whether or not I am a creationist--so I know if I am allowed to reply.

There are certainly many definitions but two that apply here.  

1) most often referenced by members here is the YEC who takes a literal translation of Genesis, i.e. 7 24 hour days of creation, the "Let there be"s and instantaneous appearance of listed creatures, approximately 6000 years of history dating back to Adam through the generations of man, and so forth.  If you are of this ilk of creationist put on your flak jacket and duck and cover.  The barrage is endless, heavy and coming from all sides.

2) As Louis, pointed out, if you believe in God then he "created" the Universe in same fashion using some method.  From here theology ends and science takes over.  This variety can go without the flak jacket as attacks are much more intermittent but do you keep an eye out because sometimes you can become a victim of collateral damage.

But most importantly, regardless of your variety or lack thereof, always post as no one is barred...at least up until the point that they are barred.  Hey, I'm still posting here so that's gotta say something.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2008,23:22   

skeptic do you wish you had been banned?  I don't.  Hell I didn't even like to see that intemperate liar FtK banned, but it was for the best Im sure.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,00:46   

nah, I think banning is bad in all cases.  No matter the level on discourse there's always something that can be gained or learned even if it's only what not to say.  We're all big boys and girls here so I doubt if anything said is really unbearable and let's face it, we're not gonna be curing cancer here anytime soon so a bit of playful debate is not a complete distraction or waste of time.  I for one have picked up lots of good tidbits here and there even if I do completely disagree with the poster.  Ahh, what do I know!  Just my 2 cents.

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,03:35   

I'm sort of in the middle.  I'll talk about it with people in public, but it's not like I seek out arguments with people I don't know about it.  For example, when I heard a family at a restaurant talking about The Golden Compass I didn't say anything when I heard someone whispering about how she heard that the author was, get this, an "atheist", I did not break in to point out that atheism is no dirty secret that needs to be whispered about.


On the other hand when I used to work with a YEC I did take issue with his denial of relativity.  His exact words were "an hour is an hour, no matter how fast you're going".  Unfortunately I didn't know then what I know now.  I didn't know that GPS satellites have to take time dilation into account to keep their clocks accurate compared to ground based systems.  I also didn't know that the effect had been measured by sending atomic clocks up into airliners.

I really would have liked to see his response when I told him that this effect that he so smugly proclaimed didn't exist had not only been detected, but meant that GPS satellites had to make adjustments in their time keeping in order to work properly.

I also once asked him what happened to the dinosaurs (like I said, he was a full on YEC).  His response, and I want to stress that he said this with a straight face, was that they had all been killed by a warrior king.

He was a nice enough guy, it's not like he appeared to be barking mad if he wasn't discussing science or religion, but that warrior king thing let me know that I was wasting my time and that I'd better let it go in the interests of continuing workplace harmony.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,06:29   

Like most scientists, I tend to like discussing science, and explaining it to folks who don't have a clear understanding of either the facts or the process of science. Unfortunately, in this country (and particularly in this part of the country) those folks tend to be creationists, and their lack of understanding tends to be willful. This means that any discussion about science is, to them, a discussion about religion. And those are routinely futile.

If I think that they are actually just laboring under misconceptions that can be easily addressed scientifically, I'm open to discussing it more. As soon as it becomes clear that discussion of the science is futile, because their real questions are of a religious nature, I'll back off. There is no future in a discussion where my answers don't address their questions, and they are too dishonest to admit that no matter what the science says, their religion holds all the trump cards.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,07:11   

I wanna be the warrior king that killed all the dinosaurs.  That.  is. hilarious.  and a new one on me.  Surely should go into to Top Tard Quotes.  Nomad where does this species of denialist call home?

Most people that are never bothered to think about these sorta things, for whatever reasons i dont understand, they not only have a poor understanding of how science works but also misunderstand how religion works.  The fundamental difference in for lack of better word shall we say epistemologies (although, skeptic, we have never seen any reason to suppose there is such a thing as a religious epistemology) is IMO in large part due to this deep confounding of what have been advertised as two (in many many account, often explicitly exclusive) ways of understanding the world.  There is no way to explain this particular problem to pick your average person in any sort of general social setting any more than there is for Bruce Lee to teach me Mandarin while I swim with a school of anchovies, or for me to do the centipede all the way to the moon, or get Louis to not be gay.  Should there be, is the question.  I think there is a way to communicate this information but it is not teaching*.  This is why arguing details is a failure.

For me, as I am a bit of a contrarian and enjoy the pugilism I find that confronting creationist claims directly can lead to a fine argument that leaves no one satisfied unless you are trying to make some one look stupid in public.  And since that is a rare occasion anywhere but the intarwebzz I find that lighting many small fires with an indirect criticism of epistemology yields much greater heat.  And personal satisfaction.  And if you are into that sorta thing (talkin to a man and larnin' him somethin about what you know) it can be the mostest educationalest.  

So, instead of going into the gritty details of exactly why Cliff Burdick can't admit that he contaminated his sample with pollen, or why we are suspicious of the supposed human-dinsoaur tracks at Paluxy, or just how the fracterial blagella ain't so Irradiodouchably  Complex  or whatever, I find that it helps to ignore those trapping details.  Seriously, they are not interested in the finer points and details anyway.  That is just a game to these douchebags like Kevinty'leven.

If you really want to pwnzorg@#TAG!!!:(666!!!ione a creationist argument, it's best to start with dishonesty and liar-ship from creos.  It's not hard, and as so many have said before, it resonates with honest people.  Exxxxxpelled and the DI** are giving us tons of opportunities to talk about lying creo political thugs.  So have Hovind and Ham and so many others.  It's also good to bring up all the stupid YEC failures and laugh at them (how many times has a gold watch been found in coal strata?  noah's ark has been about to be found a couple of times in each decade for the last 100 years).  Then it is devastating to show how ID follows directly from all that old school Cray-ation Sceince.  

There really is nothing new in all of this IDiocy.  Paley prepared it for sacrifice and Kant and Hume and Darwin and Dobzhansky and Morgan and Fisher and Wright and Haldane and Gould and Mayr pointed out where you could fuck it.  Right in the heart.  Attack their way of knowing.

Caustic bitter acrid burning ridicule of stupid ways of thinking coupled with a clear satisfactory alternative win the day.  The clear satisfactory alternative is difficult to achieve when the discussion hinges around complex and academic issues.  Seriously how can you expect say my grandmaw to understand what is meant by species selection or Fst.  Keep it simple (why don't your local neighborhood geological features look like they're still dripping wet from Duh Flud?).

My eleven cents.  been too busy to actually post about it

*  Even here, I prefer the instant enlightenment model of Eno.  

**  It is very easy to slip back into a quibble over minor details here.  For those who are paying attention to what some call the broader conversation over evolution and education, it may be even easier to demonstrate dishonesty and deception.  But if you are talking to some numbfuck from UD, well....


--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,07:13   

maybe that's where I'm at an advantage being both a scientist and a theist.  I can share how I rationalize both science and faith and maybe show them that there should be no burning at the stake and the two can coexist without conflict.  What a minute, didn't we talk about that once?
:D

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,08:46   

Quote (skeptic @ April 09 2008,13:13)
maybe that's where I'm at an advantage being both a scientist and a theist.  I can share how I rationalize both science and faith and maybe show them that there should be no burning at the stake and the two can coexist without conflict.  What a minute, didn't we talk about that once?
:D

{slaps forehead}

It would seem that you STILL miss the point of that thread.

Oh well.

Louis

P.S. I think it is abundantly obvious that you don't rationalise your faith and science for any useful meaning of the word "rational". The phenomenon you're groping for is "cognitive dissonance".

--------------
Bye.

  
dogdidit



Posts: 315
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,08:49   

Quote (Nomad @ April 09 2008,03:35)
On the other hand when I used to work with a YEC I did take issue with his denial of relativity.  His exact words were "an hour is an hour, no matter how fast you're going".  Unfortunately I didn't know then what I know now.  I didn't know that GPS satellites have to take time dilation into account to keep their clocks accurate compared to ground based systems.  I also didn't know that the effect had been measured by sending atomic clocks up into airliners.

I really would have liked to see his response when I told him that this effect that he so smugly proclaimed didn't exist had not only been detected, but meant that GPS satellites had to make adjustments in their time keeping in order to work properly.

I also once asked him what happened to the dinosaurs (like I said, he was a full on YEC).  His response, and I want to stress that he said this with a straight face, was that they had all been killed by a warrior king.

He was a nice enough guy, it's not like he appeared to be barking mad if he wasn't discussing science or religion, but that warrior king thing let me know that I was wasting my time and that I'd better let it go in the interests of continuing workplace harmony.

Actually that is a pretty good definition of relativity! :)

An hour is an hour in one's own frame of reference. You might have gotten more purchase with your YEC friend had you confirmed his intuition by telling him that insistence on exactly that physical invariance led Einstein to his conclusions about reality: things had to be the way Special Relativity described them in order for that hour to remain an hour.

Flattery gets your further (unless your goal is just to count coup) and to be honest, his intuition was valid. Following that intuition is what led to Einstein's remarkable insights.

Besides, you needed to keep him talking. The warrior king thing? Priceless. Next time take notes; could be a novel or screenplay in there.

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"Humans carry plants and animals all over the globe, thus introducing them to places they could never have reached on their own. That certainly increases biodiversity." - D'OL

  
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,08:58   

Warrior King!~  

I think pontificating about the warrior king theory will even get you tossed from UD!  Anybody still got a puppet that is willing to sacrifice itself for science sheer stupidity?

That sounds so wack, I'm surprised it wasn't in Expelled.  I am positive that all the WK Theorists are being discriminated against too.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
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(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,11:29   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 09 2008,00:52)
[SNIP]

I never really felt the urge to go into Amsterdam, I visited it once on our way to the popu-science museum Nemo, but I wouldn't call that a real visit to Amsterdam. When I watch that city on tv and what I've seen on that 1 trip myself, Amsterdam feels a bit...icky to me. Although I'm definatly not a christian boy, I'm pretty damned prudish on some things ;-)

I've never been to Amsterdam for {ahem} THAT kind of thing. I assure you, despite humourous asides, my interest has only been herbal and cultural. Mainly cultural with occasional herbal thrown in.

Okay one trip was mainly herbal with a lot of herbal thrown in. After all, I make drugs for a living, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that I should be curious about trying a few to see what all the fuss is about. ;-)

Louis

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Bye.

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,11:49   

Warrior king? Didn't Xena kill him a while back? :p

  
slpage



Posts: 349
Joined: June 2004

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,14:13   

The student body where I work is generally conservative.  I am developing an evolution class, but only a few of our classes directly touch on the subject.

I've been here 8 years, and only twice had people question me directly about it, and only once have a student make anoffhand comment about it.

One question blew me away - not THAT the question was asked, but when.

I was teaching a comparative anatomy of the vertebrates class.  The first week is all background material - a brief overview of anatomical terms and the historical treatment of the field, then a day or two on why comparative anatomy even makes sense - evolution.  Can't cover much in 2 class periods, so I hit the basics - concepts like homology, cladistics, fossil record, etc.  
So, we are about 10 weeks into the semester, doing dissections in lab one day, and this student, totally out of the blue, says, "Do you really believe in evoluton?"
I was taken aback - why was she asking this NOW?
Several students within earshot started paying attention, so I used it as a teaching opportunity (it was a class, after all).  I explained the difference between 'believing' it and acceoting it, and explained why, from my perspective, I accepted it.  She wasn't convinced, but she did not seem to be in a position to argue about it, at least she let the subject drop.

But I generally only discuss the subject (cre v. evo) with colleagues.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,16:02   

Quote (Louis @ April 09 2008,08:46)
Quote (skeptic @ April 09 2008,13:13)
maybe that's where I'm at an advantage being both a scientist and a theist.  I can share how I rationalize both science and faith and maybe show them that there should be no burning at the stake and the two can coexist without conflict.  What a minute, didn't we talk about that once?
:D

{slaps forehead}

It would seem that you STILL miss the point of that thread.

Oh well.

Louis

P.S. I think it is abundantly obvious that you don't rationalise your faith and science for any useful meaning of the word "rational". The phenomenon you're groping for is "cognitive dissonance".

LOL, your comment leads me to the same conclusion in reverse.  I love the consistency of the Universe!

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
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(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2008,23:25   

Glad to see that the warrior king thing has been received well.

I understand how the "hour is an hour no matter how fast you're moving" could be considered technically right, but at the same time that's not how he meant it.  It was sort of a similar sentiment to the oft uttered "but it's still a dog".  I also do get the point that I could have used that to try to flatter him by telling him how right he is about a complex subject, blah blah blah...  But I don't really see any benefit in heading in that direction.  The most that would have happened was that he'd have heard "you're right" and then would discard all mention of specifics and continue in his firm belief that relativity doesn't happen because it's contrary to his intuition about the world.

The city that this happened in is a suburb of Chicago.  It's a fairly easy place to stereotype.  It's a city full of rich white people.  We're a city of middle management, loads of self important guys and their trophy wives.  The roads are choked with SUVs, and the supermarkets are filled with trophy wives (who drove SUVs to get there).

It's not what I would characterize as a fundamentalist haven.

The religious types that we have are more of the religious elitist grouping.  The ones who already have all the power and money, and are simply interested in retaining it.

The individual I referred to was not one of those types, though.  He was closer to the image of the good American of a bygone era.  A mild mannered man with a firm belief in God, someone happy with his place and doing what he feels he's supposed to be doing.  Perhaps willfully ignorant, but not blatantly dishonest.  I'm sure he was doing and saying what he felt was right.  Which is why I really wish I could have pointed out that GPS satellites have to take relativity into account, I'd have liked to confront him with a bit of contrary evidence to see how he reacted.  I'm not saying I think he might have accepted it and changed altered his world view take it into account, I just wanted to see how he'd have denied it.
In any case he's not really representative of the city.  You won't learn about him by knowing the city, or vice versa.


In retrospect I'm still puzzled over the warrior king thing.  Like I said, this guy did not appear to be barking mad.  I don't know where he came up with this.  I can only guess that he had learned it from some authority figure and, as is the way of the faithful, had never questioned it.
Or perhaps he was just messing with me.  It's not behavior I would normally have attributed to him, but... it's just so out there that it makes as much sense as any explanation.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,00:04   

Actually I've heard a lot of YEC stuff and I never heard the warrior king thing.  The one I hear most often is they were allowed to drown in the flood since God did not command Noah to take them on the big boat.  Maybe he's been watching too many Rock movies.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,03:20   

Quote (skeptic @ April 09 2008,22:02)
Quote (Louis @ April 09 2008,08:46)
Quote (skeptic @ April 09 2008,13:13)
maybe that's where I'm at an advantage being both a scientist and a theist.  I can share how I rationalize both science and faith and maybe show them that there should be no burning at the stake and the two can coexist without conflict.  What a minute, didn't we talk about that once?
:D

{slaps forehead}

It would seem that you STILL miss the point of that thread.

Oh well.

Louis

P.S. I think it is abundantly obvious that you don't rationalise your faith and science for any useful meaning of the word "rational". The phenomenon you're groping for is "cognitive dissonance".

LOL, your comment leads me to the same conclusion in reverse.  I love the consistency of the Universe!

Strange isn't it how, erm, no one agrees with your assessment, Skeptic. Equally strange how you cannot find one thing to support this claim (or indeed any claim) of yours whilst I have repeatedly supported mine. Even stranger is how you still cannot even begin to deal with the substance of the arguments made and instead have to repeat your ignorant caricatures of them.

Louis

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BWE



Posts: 1898
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(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,08:18   

Louis, it doesn't seem strange to me. How is it strange?

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Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,09:26   

Quote (BWE @ April 10 2008,14:18)
Louis, it doesn't seem strange to me. How is it strange?

LOL It's not strange for me, it's strange for Skeptic if his assessment is to be accurate. After all the facts don't seem to match Skeptic's assessment but they seem to match mine. So it's strange that Skeptic's assessment is obviously correct and mine isn't, right? After all, those pesky facts seem to support my assessment but obviously we're not at home to Messers Facts and Evidence now are we?

;-)

Louis

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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,11:56   

sorry, bait not taken.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2008,12:18   

Quote (skeptic @ April 10 2008,17:56)
sorry, bait not taken.

What bait? And if there is bait and you aren't taking it why are you telling us you aren't taking it? Seems like taking bait to me, if bait there is of course.

Just face facts Skeptic, you yet again conclusively demonstrated your utter cluelessness on that thread and no one (least of all me) will let you forget it. Perhaps you should have the simple common sense and humility to erm, well, learn. Stop talking big and failing to back it up.

Louis

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Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,03:15   

Quote (skeptic @ April 10 2008,11:56)
sorry, bait not taken.

Ah, I just cant fool a master baiter.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
huwp



Posts: 172
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,08:16   

Quote
BWE Posted on April 11 2008,03:15
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ah, I just cant fool a master baiter.



But some people do go onan on!

:p


Edit: Because I'm awfully proud of having an edit button and to say that I didn't mean anyone in particular was going on and on, it just seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,08:34   

Quote (huwp @ April 11 2008,14:16)
Quote
BWE Posted on April 11 2008,03:15
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ah, I just cant fool a master baiter.



But some people do go onan on!

:p

I agree. Some things can almost be considered destructive to the point of self abuse.

There was an old tale about a monarch, very pale skinned and limp of nature, who succumbed to such self destructive tendancies. The cautionary tale of the Wan King is something we should all note.

I'll get my coat.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,15:13   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ April 09 2008,00:22)
skeptic do you wish you had been banned?  I don't.  Hell I didn't even like to see that intemperate liar FtK banned, but it was for the best Im sure.

FYI, Ftk is not banned.

Let's get back around to the topic at hand.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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NSFW photography

   
Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,15:25   

Such wit!. Brought tears to my eyes.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
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(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,15:29   

Wow.  I walked right into that.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,17:28   

This is close to the topic but when I read it I thought of the obvious implcations.

From Science, in Stochasticity and Cell Fate (Losick and Desplan), the summary paragraph reads:

"In yet other cases, particular developmental outcomes are imposed on systems that are otherwise instrinsically stochastic.  Nature knows how to make deterministic decisions, but, in contrast to Einstein's view of the universe, she also knows how to leave certain decisions to a roll of the dice when it is to her advantage."

<Bolding Mine>

While I understand the aesthetic attempt by this conclusion, doesn't this kind of personification add an unnecessary degree of controversy to the topic?  Certainly, the intended audience wouldn't see anything amiss but wouldn't others ready this with an agenda latch on to statements such as these?  Am I ready too much into this or does language like this unintentionally muddy the waters?

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
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(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2008,19:17   

Scientists often use simplifications and personifications to (try to) explain certain things, simply because it's handy and it's the easiest way to do it. And yes, some people mix that up. But ofcourse, antromorphisation is nothing new or special. Just look at the climate-change stuff what's all around us, craploads of people seem to suffer from the Bambi Syndrome

when we're talking about nature. Compared to that, those little simplifications for the sake of explanation are nothing, but they can get irritating sometimes but a WHOLE lot less irritating then the Bambi Syndrome.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,08:22   

Bambi?  I'm not sure I'm up to date with that one unless you're referring to the belief that the Earth is this perfect world before we came along and screwed everything up.  I'm not sure if that's the same thing but I hear that sentiment often.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,08:52   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 11 2008,20:17)
Scientists often use simplifications and personifications to (try to) explain certain things, simply because it's handy and it's the easiest way to do it. And yes, some people mix that up. But ofcourse, antromorphisation is nothing new or special. Just look at the climate-change stuff what's all around us, craploads of people seem to suffer from the Bambi Syndrome

when we're talking about nature. Compared to that, those little simplifications for the sake of explanation are nothing, but they can get irritating sometimes but a WHOLE lot less irritating then the Bambi Syndrome.

I gather that Bambi is ultimately a surprisingly dark and existential movie, as Bambi's mother is shot and killed by hunters and Bambi is forced into adulthood.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,10:43   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ April 12 2008,08:52)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 11 2008,20:17)
Scientists often use simplifications and personifications to (try to) explain certain things, simply because it's handy and it's the easiest way to do it. And yes, some people mix that up. But ofcourse, antromorphisation is nothing new or special. Just look at the climate-change stuff what's all around us, craploads of people seem to suffer from the Bambi Syndrome

when we're talking about nature. Compared to that, those little simplifications for the sake of explanation are nothing, but they can get irritating sometimes but a WHOLE lot less irritating then the Bambi Syndrome.

I gather that Bambi is ultimately a surprisingly dark and existential movie, as Bambi's mother is shot and killed by hunters and Bambi is forced into adulthood.

I know, that's what made the movie fun for me (lots of the original Disney movies are actually pretty dark and evil) :P But say that to your regular 9 year old, like my sister (e.a, kids are raised with an antromorphesised version of nature). Like skeptic says, it's a regular heard sentiment and it's increasing with the climate debate. It's pretty dámn irritating, I saw a WWF advertisement in a magazine simply saying "Stop climate change!". It really made me go, "WTF?".

Anyway, it's pretty dumb from myself that I forgot about it. The best example wich fit with skeptic's earlier examples is ofcourse ID. If ány group of people abuses the anthromorphisised examples from scientists to explain things, and the human habit of anthromorpisation in general, it's the ID community.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,11:07   

I've been suspicious of bandwagon movements for longer than i have been following this particular movement.

The 'Stop Global Warming' movement is in my view a successful industry re-spinning of a much more pressing issue.

Stop building houses in my ramp patches.

Stop putting roads into my speckled trout creeks.  

If we don't get the mexicans out of the woods then there will be no galax nor ginseng left around here.

Those are issues worth getting all het up over.

Stop Global Warming is stupid.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,13:55   

The whole idea of "Stop Global Warming/Climate Change" is retarted already, not just stupid. Isn't it just arrogant to think we can or should stop those things?
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^ But yea, you're right, problem is people don't care about what you like. They only care about the money they earn with it, the New World's new god.

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,18:36   

we need a good plague.  

a "good plauge" is one that kills all them other folks and not the ones we need to maintain our lifestyle.

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2008,18:37   

shiite, where be my editory button?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,03:39   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,19:55)
The whole idea of "Stop Global Warming/Climate Change" is retarted already, not just stupid. Isn't it just arrogant to think we can or should stop those things?
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^ But yea, you're right, problem is people don't care about what you like. They only care about the money they earn with it, the New World's new god.

It's bad to think we can or should try to stop climate change?

This from someone in Holland a country with significant areas currently under sea level? Hundreds of thousands/millions of people in poorer countries around the world will disagree with you on this quite strongly I think. I think something else must be going on with this conversation, you must be joking! What have I missed?

Climate change: it's happening, undeniably, and there is a significant (but not exclusive) anthropogenic element to it. The science on that is unambiguous. The effects of human activities on the ozone layer, or on the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere or on deforestation or on extinction of species on an almost unprecedented scale or on a myriad of other environmental isses that lead to rapid change in global climate are based on very sound science.

That said, OF COURSE there's a huge crock of crap talked about the subject by a significant sector of the environmental lobby. The "ain't nature lovely" Bambi-ists are the least amongst them. Some have seized the rhetoric of the environmental movement for political use that it isn't suited for. The wantonly disproportionate and unequally applied tax burdens and the ever increasing authoritarian tricks of the UK government are good cases in point. Sadly, funding for the relevant technologies to solve a huge number of these problems is only now just kicking in in a big way. It's 10 to 20 years before we will even see the results and for some places and people that will be too late. Whether we've "gone over the global knife edge" or not, is perhaps open to more debate.

My personal opinion we need to find a lot of technical solutions NOW to some key problems. We need to take this threat to humans (because it IS to humans, life on earth will continue merrily sans H. sapiens) very seriously indeed. That means convenient wars to grasp the last barrells of a windling petrochemical resource costing billions should be replaced by diplomatic and technical effort (in a sensible way, not overnight!), to name one example. The only obvious counter point to that I can think of is if we are really in the shit a lot deeper than we realise and the chaps making war are doing so as a matter of survival (which would actually end up making my point for me). From the little I know, that's not the case, but I can see how it could be. I forget, just how many times could the money spent on the Iraq war (to name one example) have ended global poverty? Just how many scientists are screaming for grants? Just how many nuclear power stations could be built with that cash? I think we've got our priorities arse about face, but then that is merely my opinion. The rest is pretty undeniable. When disagreeing about what we should do when faced with a specific problem, denying the problem exists is a very bad idea.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,08:36   

O no I never denied the "problem" (I don't call it a problem really, climate change is pretty normal, the Sahara wasn't alwayse that desert), I just hate the fact that we're putting all our efforts in trying to stop it instead of learning to deal with a changing earth. Because why on earth to people think we can or should stop climate change? The earth changes every seconde, yes Holland could be flooded in the future (the risk of living in a giant bathtube), but what's wrong with that? Millions of years ago, Holland was just the seafloor and it could become seafloor once again, what's wrong with that? Yea, then we have to move, like animal life does for millions of years, why should we be an exception?
It looks like people can't accept that the earth changes, also in our dissadvantage and instead of learning to deal with it we're trying to stop it without even knowing if we cán or even should, isn't that dumb?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,11:20   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 13 2008,14:36)
O no I never denied the "problem" (I don't call it a problem really, climate change is pretty normal, the Sahara wasn't alwayse that desert), I just hate the fact that we're putting all our efforts in trying to stop it instead of learning to deal with a changing earth. Because why on earth to people think we can or should stop climate change? The earth changes every seconde, yes Holland could be flooded in the future (the risk of living in a giant bathtube), but what's wrong with that? Millions of years ago, Holland was just the seafloor and it could become seafloor once again, what's wrong with that? Yea, then we have to move, like animal life does for millions of years, why should we be an exception?
It looks like people can't accept that the earth changes, also in our dissadvantage and instead of learning to deal with it we're trying to stop it without even knowing if we cán or even should, isn't that dumb?

LOL I think we're talking about two different things. Of course the earth changes, and of course trying to hold back the whole tide like Canute is abjectly stupid.

What ISN'T at all stupid is trying to minimise certain specific changes that result from (or are greatly exacerbated by) certain specific human activities. And of course, learning to live with certain aspects of climate change is one of these things we need to do.

In what you wrote I am reminded of one of the most astounding things I ever heard. I was talking to a chap once who said "I don't understand why these poor starving people in Africa don't just walk out of the famine zone and into somewhere where there is food.". It should be immediately obivous why that is abundantly daft!

Climate change affects people in places less well able to cope with/change because of it than Holland. It affects places with high population densities, in countries where there is little no infrastructure available to help people. You'd be amazed just how many people can die in even a minor natural catastrophe. Look at the death toll and havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. And this was in the richest country with nigh on the best infrastructure in the world (subsequent mismanagement notwithstanding). Think about millions of refugees trying to get to countries that are marginally safer than where they are, think about extreme weather patterns becoming more common, sufficiently common to make certain very densely populated parts of the world uninhabitable, think about where those people are going to go and how they are going to get there.

It's all right saying "well the climate changes so why should be do anything about it", but to be blunt I think you've missed the point. No one is trying to keep the world in some static paradise, no one is even suggesting this. What people are saying is that there are a huge number of things we need from the planet to survive and some of the things we do are jeapordising those vital things. More than that, some of the things we do are having effects on climate that are directly responsible for killing other people in other countries. "Climate change" is a shorthand for "the adverse effects of certain activities of H. sapiens on the environment that result is specific changes in specific aspects of the global climate". Do make the mistake that people are somehow trying to stop the world from ever changing at all. That's a gross misunderstanding of what IS going on.

Louis

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Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,12:19   

Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,11:20)
Think about millions of refugees trying to get to countries that are marginally safer than where they are, think about extreme weather patterns becoming more common, sufficiently common to make certain very densely populated parts of the world uninhabitable, think about where those people are going to go and how they are going to get there.

Think about a country with a million refugees wanting to enter. On a climate blog someone once claimed that global warming was no problem - just turn up the air conditioning a little and if necessary move a few miles inland. I asked if she was willing to accept 10 million Bangladeshis moving to West Virginia and she stopped replying.

Considering extreme weather patterns, a recent New Scientist  has an item about a wheat stem rust race that is spreading out from Ethiopia. It seems that Hurricane Gonu, the first recorded for that part of the world, has hastened the spread of this rust to India and China where it could reduce yields by 40% until resistant varieties are developed. Scary stuff (China's wheat production is about twice that of the US, India's about 50% more).

BTW: There are several species of ginseng (Panax), also called sarsaparilla, found in North America.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,12:26   

I think we indeed talked passed eachother ;-) Because, obviously, I agree on most of what you wrote there.
Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,11:20)
What ISN'T at all stupid is trying to minimise certain specific changes that result from (or are greatly exacerbated by) certain specific human activities. And of course, learning to live with certain aspects of climate change is one of these things we need to do.

What kind of minimisation would you have in mind then? Wich effects? For example, we can easely see we cause massive deforestation and desertification and the damage it causes to loads of people. The problem is as well, that those things are mainly caused by the same people, simply because there are lots and lots of them. Isn't that our main problem, that we're simply with too many?
And, I think we're not focussing enough on learning to live with possible effects. And even if we do, it seems that we're mainly focussing on ourselfs and less on the country's that really need our technical expertise on this subject.
Quote
In what you wrote I am reminded of one of the most astounding things I ever heard. I was talking to a chap once who said "I don't understand why these poor starving people in Africa don't just walk out of the famine zone and into somewhere where there is food.". It should be immediately obivous why that is abundantly daft!

You don't have to be afraid that I think something like that, I fully realise that simply moving away from changing enviroments is FAR as easy as it sounds ;-)
Quote
Climate change affects people in places less well able to cope with/change because of it than Holland. It affects places with high population densities, in countries where there is little no infrastructure available to help people. You'd be amazed just how many people can die in even a minor natural catastrophe. Look at the death toll and havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. And this was in the richest country with nigh on the best infrastructure in the world (subsequent mismanagement notwithstanding). Think about millions of refugees trying to get to countries that are marginally safer than where they are, think about extreme weather patterns becoming more common, sufficiently common to make certain very densely populated parts of the world uninhabitable, think about where those people are going to go and how they are going to get there.

Again, ofcourse I realise that such a worst-case scenario can become reality. The problem is again: can we really do something about it? The liveability (if that word even exists, but I hope that you know what I mean) of area's has changed craploads of time's, the main difference now is that hundreds of millions of people live in area's who are prone to change already (coastal area's). Can we stop those area's from changing? Can we even protect those people? Ofcourse I deeply hope we can, but sometimes I think really really bad things to those people are going to happen wich we can't stop. I don't think we're thinking enough about what can happen to those people and how we can protect them. I see expensive projects to put CO2 in the ground, I see alternative energy's. Do those things (well, at least some of them) help? Yes, they can help with coping with the changes for us in the future, but what direct help do they offer to those millions of people who can be very screwed?
Quote
It's all right saying "well the climate changes so why should be do anything about it", but to be blunt I think you've missed the point. No one is trying to keep the world in some static paradise, no one is even suggesting this. What people are saying is that there are a huge number of things we need from the planet to survive and some of the things we do are jeapordising those vital things. More than that, some of the things we do are having effects on climate that are directly responsible for killing other people in other countries. "Climate change" is a shorthand for "the adverse effects of certain activities of H. sapiens on the environment that result is specific changes in specific aspects of the global climate". Do make the mistake that people are somehow trying to stop the world from ever changing at all. That's a gross misunderstanding of what IS going on.

Ofcourse I agree that we are destroying and depleting lots of things who are vitale for our survival (or at least for our current civilisation), but it seems that those direct things aren't the things who are in the spotlight right now (deforestation, desertification). CO2 is thé subject right now, and although I realise we should definatly decrease polution output wich also means less CO2, I think "Guys, aren't there things who deserve that space in the spotlight more then that?". That's mainly my adversion against the current debate, that we're making the wrong priority's.

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,13:08   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,14:55)
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^

Erm, its native.

--------------
To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,13:30   

Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,03:39)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,19:55)
The whole idea of "Stop Global Warming/Climate Change" is retarted already, not just stupid. Isn't it just arrogant to think we can or should stop those things?
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^ But yea, you're right, problem is people don't care about what you like. They only care about the money they earn with it, the New World's new god.

It's bad to think we can or should try to stop climate change?

This from someone in Holland a country with significant areas currently under sea level? Hundreds of thousands/millions of people in poorer countries around the world will disagree with you on this quite strongly I think. I think something else must be going on with this conversation, you must be joking! What have I missed?

Climate change: it's happening, undeniably, and there is a significant (but not exclusive) anthropogenic element to it. The science on that is unambiguous. The effects of human activities on the ozone layer, or on the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere or on deforestation or on extinction of species on an almost unprecedented scale or on a myriad of other environmental isses that lead to rapid change in global climate are based on very sound science.

That said, OF COURSE there's a huge crock of crap talked about the subject by a significant sector of the environmental lobby. The "ain't nature lovely" Bambi-ists are the least amongst them. Some have seized the rhetoric of the environmental movement for political use that it isn't suited for. The wantonly disproportionate and unequally applied tax burdens and the ever increasing authoritarian tricks of the UK government are good cases in point. Sadly, funding for the relevant technologies to solve a huge number of these problems is only now just kicking in in a big way. It's 10 to 20 years before we will even see the results and for some places and people that will be too late. Whether we've "gone over the global knife edge" or not, is perhaps open to more debate.

My personal opinion we need to find a lot of technical solutions NOW to some key problems. We need to take this threat to humans (because it IS to humans, life on earth will continue merrily sans H. sapiens) very seriously indeed. That means convenient wars to grasp the last barrells of a windling petrochemical resource costing billions should be replaced by diplomatic and technical effort (in a sensible way, not overnight!), to name one example. The only obvious counter point to that I can think of is if we are really in the shit a lot deeper than we realise and the chaps making war are doing so as a matter of survival (which would actually end up making my point for me). From the little I know, that's not the case, but I can see how it could be. I forget, just how many times could the money spent on the Iraq war (to name one example) have ended global poverty? Just how many scientists are screaming for grants? Just how many nuclear power stations could be built with that cash? I think we've got our priorities arse about face, but then that is merely my opinion. The rest is pretty undeniable. When disagreeing about what we should do when faced with a specific problem, denying the problem exists is a very bad idea.

Louis

If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  Life was not exterminated and there was no "global warming tipping point."  The sooner we get past the finger-pointing and fear-mongering (oh yeah, I said it) then the sooner we can start applying real solutions to energy and environmental concerns jointly.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,13:40   

Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,19:30)
Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,03:39)
 
Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,19:55)
The whole idea of "Stop Global Warming/Climate Change" is retarted already, not just stupid. Isn't it just arrogant to think we can or should stop those things?
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^ But yea, you're right, problem is people don't care about what you like. They only care about the money they earn with it, the New World's new god.

It's bad to think we can or should try to stop climate change?

This from someone in Holland a country with significant areas currently under sea level? Hundreds of thousands/millions of people in poorer countries around the world will disagree with you on this quite strongly I think. I think something else must be going on with this conversation, you must be joking! What have I missed?

Climate change: it's happening, undeniably, and there is a significant (but not exclusive) anthropogenic element to it. The science on that is unambiguous. The effects of human activities on the ozone layer, or on the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere or on deforestation or on extinction of species on an almost unprecedented scale or on a myriad of other environmental isses that lead to rapid change in global climate are based on very sound science.

That said, OF COURSE there's a huge crock of crap talked about the subject by a significant sector of the environmental lobby. The "ain't nature lovely" Bambi-ists are the least amongst them. Some have seized the rhetoric of the environmental movement for political use that it isn't suited for. The wantonly disproportionate and unequally applied tax burdens and the ever increasing authoritarian tricks of the UK government are good cases in point. Sadly, funding for the relevant technologies to solve a huge number of these problems is only now just kicking in in a big way. It's 10 to 20 years before we will even see the results and for some places and people that will be too late. Whether we've "gone over the global knife edge" or not, is perhaps open to more debate.

My personal opinion we need to find a lot of technical solutions NOW to some key problems. We need to take this threat to humans (because it IS to humans, life on earth will continue merrily sans H. sapiens) very seriously indeed. That means convenient wars to grasp the last barrells of a windling petrochemical resource costing billions should be replaced by diplomatic and technical effort (in a sensible way, not overnight!), to name one example. The only obvious counter point to that I can think of is if we are really in the shit a lot deeper than we realise and the chaps making war are doing so as a matter of survival (which would actually end up making my point for me). From the little I know, that's not the case, but I can see how it could be. I forget, just how many times could the money spent on the Iraq war (to name one example) have ended global poverty? Just how many scientists are screaming for grants? Just how many nuclear power stations could be built with that cash? I think we've got our priorities arse about face, but then that is merely my opinion. The rest is pretty undeniable. When disagreeing about what we should do when faced with a specific problem, denying the problem exists is a very bad idea.

Louis

If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  Life was not exterminated and there was no "global warming tipping point."  The sooner we get past the finger-pointing and fear-mongering (oh yeah, I said it) then the sooner we can start applying real solutions to energy and environmental concerns jointly.

Please feel free to point by point, with references and referral to the available evidence, refute any and all things I've said there.

Perhaps you have read something into what I've written that isn't there. I don't believe I mentioned anything about the end of the world or the end of life etc, to name but two examples. No finger pointing, no political rhetoric, nothing as exciting as that. Please point out where I foretold the "end of the world" or "the end of life".

Or are you, as usual making evidence free assertions and rendering what someone says, even something as woolly and innocuous as the above (for it was hardly intended to be a rigourous description of my position, or even the scientific consensus, on climate change) as the little "straw liberal" in your head again?

My guess, Obliviot, is that as usual you are trolling for kicks. Sorry chum, no dice. Tell you what, let's debate the science, the proper science using the available literature and evidence. That way when you win because you are so obviously correct (cough splutter) you can take down a big high and mighty PhD and expunge just one tiny portion of that chip on your shoulder. Or are we to be treated, yet again, to your usual diatribe of "waaaaaaaah other people have different opinions" and "waaaaaaah you're mean". What an odious substance free fucknuckle you are Skeptic.

Louis

P.S. I done did an editation, the original wasn't abusive enough.

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Bye.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,14:11   

Well, I agree on 1 thing, that is that we (media, certain groups) use CO2 as a really really big scapegoat to blaim all climate problems on, that it's THE cause of the predicted climate change and current weather changes. Forgive me, but I still doubt we are thé cause of all the changes since it happend before without us. Ofcourse we can't ignore our influence, but again is CO2 worth his spot in the spotlights? Aren't there things who need our attention much more? Like deforestation, like desertification, like the real changing (and not the possible cause) of coastal area's.

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,14:27   

Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,14:30)
If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  Life was not exterminated and there was no "global warming tipping point."  The sooner we get past the finger-pointing and fear-mongering (oh yeah, I said it) then the sooner we can start applying real solutions to energy and environmental concerns jointly.

And the great plains were under a tropical ocean, your point?

--------------
To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,14:30   

Quote (Nerull @ April 13 2008,13:08)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,14:55)
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^

Erm, its native.

That's not what I read on Wikipedia (it says Asia), but I kinda fail at reading.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,14:34   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 13 2008,20:11)
Well, I agree on 1 thing, that is that we (media, certain groups) use CO2 as a really really big scapegoat to blaim all climate problems on, that it's THE cause of the predicted climate change and current weather changes. Forgive me, but I still doubt we are thé cause of all the changes since it happend before without us. Ofcourse we can't ignore our influence, but again is CO2 worth his spot in the spotlights? Aren't there things who need our attention much more? Like deforestation, like desertification, like the real changing (and not the possible cause) of coastal area's.

Assassinator,

Well we all know that reality and the media are not necessarily the best of friends!

And I think we did miss each other above, because as you say we agree on much.

What would I do about it? Not a bloody clue! I certainly don't pretend to have any or all the answer on such a technical geopolitical situation. I do know that denial of the evidence is not a good start! ;-)

I wouldn't go as far as saying CO2 was a scapegoat, implying (to mix my animal metaphors) that it was a complete red herring, but you're right, it's being used as a vastly oversimplified totem for a much more complex problem. The thing with the current "climate change" phenomena is that we know that certain aspects of our climate are changing very fast and in some ways very severely. We know that for some of those changes there are anthropogenic causes/exacerbations. This doesn't suddenly (as Obliviot might wish to believe for example) that we should don sackcloth and cry "Woe is me, aren't we are all bastards". The levels of CO2 are one indicator amongst many of the state of the global climate, although in the past the CO2 levels have been higher, they have changed very rapidly in the last few years and we know for an undeniable fact that increased CO2 behaves as a classic "greenhouse gas", thus causing global warming, or at least being one of several disparate causative factors.

The media oversimplifcation of science of all kinds irritates the arse off of me, and climate change is no exception, in fact it's one that really annoys me because it's so serious. The problem is, for any reasonably intelligent person, seeing behind the media hype is a simple thing. Thus many smart people think it's all a crock of shit based on the transparency of that hype, and don't look beyond it to the data. Sadly, hype doesn't always help, the data are unambiguous about the nature and in many cases the causes, of the current rapid shifts in certain aspects of the global climate. Even more sadly this leands some people who are annoyed by the hype to attempt to deny the facts. Bad move! The causes underlying desertfication, deforestation, coastal erosion/recession are for the most part very well understood. The fields of science studying/underlying them are not by any means vague or unestablished!

My advice is get out there and read more. When such divergent people as Bjorn Lomborg and Al Gore agree on the core elements of the science (even if they differ greatly on tactics/political action etc) it should ring a few warning bells in the minds of the denialists. BTW, although I know a non-zero amount of what he has written is been shown to be in error, I recommend Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist" as a good starting point. Then move on to the refutations of some of Bjorn's more {ahem} "optimistic" claims and maybe read the blog "Real Climate". Pick up the recent IPCC documents. These are as good a starting point as any.

Let me reiterate, this isn't a problem for "nature" or "life" or "gaia" or some such concept, it's a problem for us. Large areas of the earth currently habitable, are being rendered very difficult to sustain HUMAN life in. Even relatively developed areas like Cyprus or Tenerife (I choose islands in hot climes for a reason) are feeling the pinch as more and more water is needed to irrigate less and less viable farm land. It's a more immediate problem than some might think. And of course such "gradual" change on a human scale (a few years/decades) is not very newsworthy, but it is surprisingly "rapid" change on a global/geological time frame.

Try to remember that how the media portray things (i.e. badly and inaccurately more often than not) is emphatically not how the scientific community would portray it.

Also, personally, I am more interested in the science of climate change than I am the politics of it. I am self confessedly not very knowledgeable about politics, I've never had the time to make a decent study of it. The denialist phenomenon interests me though, as it does with Holocaust deniers, creationists, homeopaths etc, they all follow basically the same pattern.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,14:43   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 13 2008,15:30)
Quote (Nerull @ April 13 2008,13:08)
Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,14:55)
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^

Erm, its native.

That's not what I read on Wikipedia (it says Asia), but I kinda fail at reading.

There are several species, one of which is native to north america. This is also the species that is considered the most valuable in asia.

--------------
To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,15:11   

Quote (Assassinator @ April 13 2008,18:26)
I think we indeed talked passed eachother ;-) Because, obviously, I agree on most of what you wrote there.
 
Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,11:20)
What ISN'T at all stupid is trying to minimise certain specific changes that result from (or are greatly exacerbated by) certain specific human activities. And of course, learning to live with certain aspects of climate change is one of these things we need to do.

What kind of minimisation would you have in mind then? Wich effects? For example, we can easely see we cause massive deforestation and desertification and the damage it causes to loads of people. The problem is as well, that those things are mainly caused by the same people, simply because there are lots and lots of them. Isn't that our main problem, that we're simply with too many?
And, I think we're not focussing enough on learning to live with possible effects. And even if we do, it seems that we're mainly focussing on ourselfs and less on the country's that really need our technical expertise on this subject.
 
Quote
In what you wrote I am reminded of one of the most astounding things I ever heard. I was talking to a chap once who said "I don't understand why these poor starving people in Africa don't just walk out of the famine zone and into somewhere where there is food.". It should be immediately obivous why that is abundantly daft!

You don't have to be afraid that I think something like that, I fully realise that simply moving away from changing enviroments is FAR as easy as it sounds ;-)
 
Quote
Climate change affects people in places less well able to cope with/change because of it than Holland. It affects places with high population densities, in countries where there is little no infrastructure available to help people. You'd be amazed just how many people can die in even a minor natural catastrophe. Look at the death toll and havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. And this was in the richest country with nigh on the best infrastructure in the world (subsequent mismanagement notwithstanding). Think about millions of refugees trying to get to countries that are marginally safer than where they are, think about extreme weather patterns becoming more common, sufficiently common to make certain very densely populated parts of the world uninhabitable, think about where those people are going to go and how they are going to get there.

Again, ofcourse I realise that such a worst-case scenario can become reality. The problem is again: can we really do something about it? The liveability (if that word even exists, but I hope that you know what I mean) of area's has changed craploads of time's, the main difference now is that hundreds of millions of people live in area's who are prone to change already (coastal area's). Can we stop those area's from changing? Can we even protect those people? Ofcourse I deeply hope we can, but sometimes I think really really bad things to those people are going to happen wich we can't stop. I don't think we're thinking enough about what can happen to those people and how we can protect them. I see expensive projects to put CO2 in the ground, I see alternative energy's. Do those things (well, at least some of them) help? Yes, they can help with coping with the changes for us in the future, but what direct help do they offer to those millions of people who can be very screwed?
 
Quote
It's all right saying "well the climate changes so why should be do anything about it", but to be blunt I think you've missed the point. No one is trying to keep the world in some static paradise, no one is even suggesting this. What people are saying is that there are a huge number of things we need from the planet to survive and some of the things we do are jeapordising those vital things. More than that, some of the things we do are having effects on climate that are directly responsible for killing other people in other countries. "Climate change" is a shorthand for "the adverse effects of certain activities of H. sapiens on the environment that result is specific changes in specific aspects of the global climate". Do make the mistake that people are somehow trying to stop the world from ever changing at all. That's a gross misunderstanding of what IS going on.

Ofcourse I agree that we are destroying and depleting lots of things who are vitale for our survival (or at least for our current civilisation), but it seems that those direct things aren't the things who are in the spotlight right now (deforestation, desertification). CO2 is thé subject right now, and although I realise we should definatly decrease polution output wich also means less CO2, I think "Guys, aren't there things who deserve that space in the spotlight more then that?". That's mainly my adversion against the current debate, that we're making the wrong priority's.

Sorry I missed this bit the first time around. My bad.

Ok what changes? Well CO2 is a good one. Reducing greehnhouse gas emissions is not a bad idea, look at Venus (just a joke!). Sadly there is no one method. Windfarms do their bit, "breeder" nuclear power does it's bit, interstingly hydroelectric power is a pain in the arse becaue it dams rivers generating methane! You get my drift, we need to make the change from fossil fuels to other sources of energy that are less polluting, or at least pollute in a more manageable manner (because everything pollutes!). It's more complex than this obviously, but moving away from something we KNOW pollutes to a less polluting solution is a good idea. Carbon capture schemes do work, but they are a tiny sticking plaster over a big gaping wound, not the be all and end all.

The basic idea here is we need to diversify. We've been very lucky and relied by and large on one technology for a few hundred years, we need to invest in different technical solutions to the energy problem. A cheap catalytic method for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen might be a good start. Let me know if you come up with anything! ;-)

The population thing is another complicated one. People are going to fuck. A lot! And good on 'em. One thing we need to do for certain is increase life expectancy in the third world by reducing infant mortality (at least). Increase distribution, access to and use of contraception. Condoms are a good choice for a variety of reasons although they are by no means the only one. We need to discourage large families, not quite as drastically as the Chinese method (which causes problems of its own which are abhorrent) but rather by countering a large portion of the need for large families. The desire is never something we can or should try to stop, but we can make it less necessary to have large families. These are just easy starting points. The really tough stuff is cooperation between disparate nations. For all its massive flaws, the UN does a lot of things very well in this regard.

Learning to live with the effects of climate change? We have no choice. This is part and parcel of the technical challenge we need to overcome. If you've been told/got the impression from the media that this research isn't going on, then the media are failing to do their jobs. Surprise surprise. Look at water recapture processes, desert farming and the work of Norman Borlaug for some examples.

The "worst case scenario" I mention is OPTIMISTIC! This migration has already started and it's going to get worse. Look at migration from the Sahara's fringes as desertification increases in rate (for example), or the wars fought over scarce resources in north east Africa. And you're right, millions of people are already suffering and millions more will suffer whatever we do. We're long past the point where nothing can go wrong. That does not mean we should do nothing, or merely look after our own. There is a huge amount we CAN do (some of the examples above ae a part of that). Other technical challenges like reclaiming land, barrier schemes in coastal areas, dare I say it INCREASING the use of certain fertilisers and GM crops to make smaller parcels of land much higher yielding. Again, these are just simple starting points. For more technical stuff I really do recommend Real Climate (google it).

As for what help they offer, easy: what's the price of a human life? What's the price of a few hundred thousand human lives? There's a comedian in the UK called Bill Bailey who made a song about the amount of porn consumed in the USA, and how much money that market is worth and what that money could be used for elsewhere. I stress this was a very funny song, and very self mocking. It's called "I will not look at titties for a year", and it jokingly refers to sending all the money that would go on pron to international aid. Of course it's tongue in cheek, but it does illustrate one very good point: for relatively little individual sacrifice on our part in the first world we can contribute to a small improvement in the third world. One pound from every person in the UK is about £60 million. A tiny drop in the ocean of what is needed but a non-zero drop. Every drop saves lives. It's not perfect, it's not flawless, and it's not easy, but it has undeniable positive results.

Sadly, like I mentioned before there are, and have been, great misuses of this principle. Witness the "green taxes" of the UK govt being used to further military ambitions and to shore up failing financial institutions and the legacy of governmental economic mismanagement. See the corrupt diversion of international aid funds, see the dubious funding of military untas and dictators friendly to western needs. In other words this is far from a simple situtation. But don't fall for the politics of despair because humanitarian, environmental and charitable intervention does have position results in and among the failures. It is better than nothing at all. Take as one exmple the issue of crops and deforested: make one acre of land more productive and less acres need to be deforested, it is actually that simple.

Sure it must go hand in hand with population controls and the usual things but these don't have to be onerous or sinister, they need be no more significant than several thing like driving a more efficient 1.8 litre car as opposed to a 2.0 litre car, or a hybrid as opposed to a full petrol (these allow for the distant generation of energy via diverse means, they are again one tiny part of the solution, not the whole deal). 300 million Americans and 300 million Europeans (comprising ~10% of the global population and consuming the vast majority of the resources and making the vast majority of the anthropogenic pollution) altering several things in a small way adds up to a big difference. And there's no need to wear hair shirts or flagellate oneself. Getting China and India to continue their development with less polluting technologies rather than the ones we used to kick start our development is another cracking good idea. Like I said lots of little efforts all adding up to big things. Is it going to save every life, prevent every catastrophe? No of course it's not. But it will save some lives and it will slow down the changes that are demonstrably causing catastrophes. You're of course correct that it is difficult (and very controversial) to decide which thing to work on first, but the "work on first" mentality is again a media soundbite I'm afraid. There are a lot of people on the planet and there is a lot of money to be used, we can work on multiple things at once if we coordinate our effort. Climate change denialists and advocates of the selfish politics of despair would rather fiddle while Rome burns, and that we cannot afford to do.

Louis

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guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,16:15   

Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,13:30)
If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  

Simple answer- 60 million years ago 6.5 billion humans weren't using something like 40% of the primary productivity of the Earths land surface, building refineries and nuclear stations beside the sea, relying upon crops which require specific growth conditions to flourish, and generally hoping things will carry on regardless.

Lets take one of my favourite examples- American wheat.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6200114.stm

Look at the bottom of this page.  The wheat belt over the next 50 years will probably (assuming things continue roughly the same) move north into Canada.  This means that less wheat will be grown, because Canada has very little soil suitable for growing wheat.  In fact it has little soil suitable for farming at all, at least not compared to the USA.  So, you therefore have to invest in new plants and farming methods, and probably farming equipment, plus re-educate your farmers, assuming that enough rain does actually fall to continue farming something in America, even if it isn't wheat.  
Meanwhile wheat based bread becomes rather scarce.

Or read this:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet....ome

It re-iterates the point, except all across the world.  For example, rice will not pollinate well when the temperature gets too high, and it is already being grown in many places at the top end of its ability to grow.

So, again, more restricted food supply and adaptation necessary.  In fact we will have to do some adapting for certain, but the question is, how much can we reduce the adaptation and anyway, we have to stop emitting so much CO2 for another reason, oceanic acidification.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,16:19   

We have plenty of solutions to energy problems- the issue seems to be ensuring that they get used.  Here in the UK, the cowardly government has avoided mandating higher housing efficiency standards, which would in the long run save large amounts of fossil fuels.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,17:08   

Quote (guthrie @ April 13 2008,22:19)
We have plenty of solutions to energy problems- the issue seems to be ensuring that they get used.  Here in the UK, the cowardly government has avoided mandating higher housing efficiency standards, which would in the long run save large amounts of fossil fuels.

This and the post above:

Several good points, well made.

Louis

P.S. No sarcasm intended or implied, they were genuinely good points, credit where credit is due and all that. You might have known that already though! ;-)

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guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,17:28   

Cheers.
This is a topic I've been reading and following for a while.  I keep meaning to get more into ecology, but the evolution wars drag me back for entertainment.

The two things are related, insofar as both are science communication issues, and both have some implications.  The implications of Evolution are more religious than practical, to my mind.  But the implications of climate change are, well, huge, and directly important to everyone no matter what their religion.  

And the worst thing is, that if we screw it up, lots of people will get hurt.  And there is a possibility thatthings won't get quite as bad as they have been predicted.  BUt the technology exists right now to make major changes in our lives to reduce CO2 output, and the foreseeable technological changes in the next decade will really make it much easier.  
(I'm not making any predictions beyond the next decade)

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,17:41   

Quote (guthrie @ April 13 2008,23:28)
Cheers.
This is a topic I've been reading and following for a while.  I keep meaning to get more into ecology, but the evolution wars drag me back for entertainment.

The two things are related, insofar as both are science communication issues, and both have some implications.  The implications of Evolution are more religious than practical, to my mind.  But the implications of climate change are, well, huge, and directly important to everyone no matter what their religion.  

And the worst thing is, that if we screw it up, lots of people will get hurt.  And there is a possibility thatthings won't get quite as bad as they have been predicted.  BUt the technology exists right now to make major changes in our lives to reduce CO2 output, and the foreseeable technological changes in the next decade will really make it much easier.  
(I'm not making any predictions beyond the next decade)

LOL Yeah: "evolution wars" for show, "climate change" for a pro!

Sorry, drinking on a school night. Tsk tsk, I'm off to bed!

Denialists, whatever they are denyng, are strikingly similar the world over. Although I think the evolution issue is a pretty important one, for reasons nothing to do with religion. Epidemiology (think MRSA etc) is just one reason. There are of course others that a good deal of 23 year old rum has temporarily caused to slip my erm, ummm, you know, grey thingy, between the ears.

Oh well!

Louis

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Erasmus, FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,22:18   

Quote
And the worst thing is, that if we screw it up, lots of people will get hurt.

I don't see how it can be any other way.  This is the malthusian imperative.

i resist the temptation to proclaim what is good for humanity or good for all etc.  bollocks, that is.  i am not interested in solutions that work for all people, for those solutions have led to the predicament we are in.

and that is why we say Eat The Rich.  Post S.H.F. I intend to dine very well thank you.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
BWE



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(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2008,23:22   

Erasmus, you've been on a roll lately.

Duck, cover, gorge.

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Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,03:11   

Quote (guthrie @ April 13 2008,17:28)
Cheers.
This is a topic I've been reading and following for a while.  I keep meaning to get more into ecology, but the evolution wars drag me back for entertainment.

The two things are related, insofar as both are science communication issues, and both have some implications.  The implications of Evolution are more religious than practical, to my mind.  But the implications of climate change are, well, huge, and directly important to everyone no matter what their religion.  

And the worst thing is, that if we screw it up, lots of people will get hurt.  And there is a possibility thatthings won't get quite as bad as they have been predicted.  BUt the technology exists right now to make major changes in our lives to reduce CO2 output, and the foreseeable technological changes in the next decade will really make it much easier.  
(I'm not making any predictions beyond the next decade)

I consider the evolution "debate" to be far more important than just religious implications. I reckon it is quite important in medical practice/research for one.

Anywho. Global warming/climate change. Wether human activity is affecting climate or not (and I think it is) aint the whole point. We are living on a planet with finite resources and growing a population damn near exponentially. At some point we (humans [and no doubt lots of other species{ in fact other species have already paid the price}]) are in for a world of hurt and I doubt that science/technology will be able to prevent this.

  
George



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,07:53   

Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,13:30)
If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  Life was not exterminated and there was no "global warming tipping point."  The sooner we get past the finger-pointing and fear-mongering (oh yeah, I said it) then the sooner we can start applying real solutions to energy and environmental concerns jointly.

For skeptic and others who might doubt the existence of tipping points and other climate thresholds, consider the hurricane.  Hurricanes need water temperatures of greater than 26.5 deg to form.  Imagine we lived in a cooler world than we currently do, but climate change then increased ocean temperatures beyond this point.  All of a sudden, we would be experiencing these monster storms that no one had ever experienced and no one anticipated (or at least took seriously).

Makes me wonder if there are similar surprises around the climatic corner.

  
George



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,07:56   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ April 12 2008,11:07)
I've been suspicious of bandwagon movements for longer than i have been following this particular movement.

The 'Stop Global Warming' movement is in my view a successful industry re-spinning of a much more pressing issue.

Stop building houses in my ramp patches.

Stop putting roads into my speckled trout creeks.  

If we don't get the mexicans out of the woods then there will be no galax nor ginseng left around here.

Those are issues worth getting all het up over.

Stop Global Warming is stupid.

I'm familiar with 'sang poaching, but I hadn't heard there was a problem with Galax.  Is it a big problem?  What's it used for?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,11:41   

Since I have a moment let's look at a few of the points you made and let others decide what is science and what is politics.

- in 10-20 years we will see the results but for some it will be too late

- wars need to be replaced by diplomacy concerning limited resources

- money spent in Iraq could end global poverty (My personal favorite)

- money spent in Iraq should be used to build nuclear power plants (funny, money has never been an issue there)

- finally, some of this is opinion but the rest is undeniable...huh?

So, again, what is the problem?  What is being denied and what needs to be addresses?

Is it CO2, ozone depletion, deforestation and extinction or poverty, war or nuclear power?

Seems like a political discussion to me and not one about the science of climate change.

George, I think the actual contribution of short term temperature change and long term climate effects is largely in dispute.  Just over the last two years we've seen multiple opinions as to what impact GW has had in hurricane formation.  Funny thing is those discussions came in the wake of Katrina which screams of opportunism and not science.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,12:14   

Quote (skeptic @ April 14 2008,17:41)
Since I have a moment let's look at a few of the points you made and let others decide what is science and what is politics.

- in 10-20 years we will see the results but for some it will be too late

- wars need to be replaced by diplomacy concerning limited resources

- money spent in Iraq could end global poverty (My personal favorite)

- money spent in Iraq should be used to build nuclear power plants (funny, money has never been an issue there)

- finally, some of this is opinion but the rest is undeniable...huh?

So, again, what is the problem?  What is being denied and what needs to be addresses?

Is it CO2, ozone depletion, deforestation and extinction or poverty, war or nuclear power?

Seems like a political discussion to me and not one about the science of climate change.

George, I think the actual contribution of short term temperature change and long term climate effects is largely in dispute.  Just over the last two years we've seen multiple opinions as to what impact GW has had in hurricane formation.  Funny thing is those discussions came in the wake of Katrina which screams of opportunism and not science.

I think you need to first look at your original, extremely ignorant, strawman version of what I wrote. I equally don't remember saying any of that post was science. It is, statedly merely a fairly woolly response to Assassinator's fairly wooly questions. Try reading for basic comprehension.

What I offered you was a debate on the science of climate change. See how that is a seperate topic from my post and your misrepresentation of it as "end of the world is nigh" hysteria? Forgive me if I doubt you are capable of making so basic a distinction.

Louis

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Erasmus, FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,12:47   

george are you also Serious George at WOW?  just wondering.

I've got a great pic that I cannot get to at the moment but will be adding shortly of a galax poaching story from a few years ago.  galax has long been harvested by poor old mountain folk for christmas decorations but now that that kind of bullshit has caught on in fancier circles then it has become a problem.  and illegals don't always have a lot of options and they will go poach things because they don't know or don't care about the laws (often a lot of the first and some of the second).  and being transient it doesn't make a damn to them.

i could go on and on about that. i might let someone else do it and i'll let you know.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
George



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,15:35   

Quote (skeptic @ April 14 2008,11:41)
George, I think the actual contribution of short term temperature change and long term climate effects is largely in dispute.  Just over the last two years we've seen multiple opinions as to what impact GW has had in hurricane formation.  Funny thing is those discussions came in the wake of Katrina which screams of opportunism and not science.

You're missing my point.  My point is that climate change can result in thresholds being crossed that can have sudden, extreme effects.  You scoffed earlier at "tipping points".  Hurricane formation is an example of one of those thresholds.  I'm not saying there's a long-term trend of increasing hurricanes.  There may be - we don't have the data yet.  But when we do have all of the data, will it be too late.

That's where the politics comes in.  I prefer to apply the precautionary priniciple.  If a lot of experts think it's likely we could be seriously fucked in the future, but maybe not, then I reckon we should try to avert the long term fucking and take the short term pain.

I heard the hurricane increase discussions at least a couple of years before Katrina.  Maybe you just weren't paying attention?

Erasmus:  I'm definitely not Serious George.  Maybe Querelous George.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,15:46   

But is hurricane formation actually an example of one of those tipping points or just a coincidental incident?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,15:52   

Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,13:40)
Quote (skeptic @ April 13 2008,19:30)
 
Quote (Louis @ April 13 2008,03:39)
   
Quote (Assassinator @ April 12 2008,19:55)
The whole idea of "Stop Global Warming/Climate Change" is retarted already, not just stupid. Isn't it just arrogant to think we can or should stop those things?
By the way, since when does ginseng grow in the US ^^ But yea, you're right, problem is people don't care about what you like. They only care about the money they earn with it, the New World's new god.

It's bad to think we can or should try to stop climate change?

This from someone in Holland a country with significant areas currently under sea level? Hundreds of thousands/millions of people in poorer countries around the world will disagree with you on this quite strongly I think. I think something else must be going on with this conversation, you must be joking! What have I missed?

Climate change: it's happening, undeniably, and there is a significant (but not exclusive) anthropogenic element to it. The science on that is unambiguous. The effects of human activities on the ozone layer, or on the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere or on deforestation or on extinction of species on an almost unprecedented scale or on a myriad of other environmental isses that lead to rapid change in global climate are based on very sound science.

That said, OF COURSE there's a huge crock of crap talked about the subject by a significant sector of the environmental lobby. The "ain't nature lovely" Bambi-ists are the least amongst them. Some have seized the rhetoric of the environmental movement for political use that it isn't suited for. The wantonly disproportionate and unequally applied tax burdens and the ever increasing authoritarian tricks of the UK government are good cases in point. Sadly, funding for the relevant technologies to solve a huge number of these problems is only now just kicking in in a big way. It's 10 to 20 years before we will even see the results and for some places and people that will be too late. Whether we've "gone over the global knife edge" or not, is perhaps open to more debate.

My personal opinion we need to find a lot of technical solutions NOW to some key problems. We need to take this threat to humans (because it IS to humans, life on earth will continue merrily sans H. sapiens) very seriously indeed. That means convenient wars to grasp the last barrells of a windling petrochemical resource costing billions should be replaced by diplomatic and technical effort (in a sensible way, not overnight!), to name one example. The only obvious counter point to that I can think of is if we are really in the shit a lot deeper than we realise and the chaps making war are doing so as a matter of survival (which would actually end up making my point for me). From the little I know, that's not the case, but I can see how it could be. I forget, just how many times could the money spent on the Iraq war (to name one example) have ended global poverty? Just how many scientists are screaming for grants? Just how many nuclear power stations could be built with that cash? I think we've got our priorities arse about face, but then that is merely my opinion. The rest is pretty undeniable. When disagreeing about what we should do when faced with a specific problem, denying the problem exists is a very bad idea.

Louis

If that's not the biggest load of "political" crap I've ever heard then I don't know what is.  There's one simple fact that is lost on almost everyone spewing this end-of-the-world rhetoric and is that sixty millions years ago the CO2 content of the atmosphere was 3 times what it is now and, surprisingly enough the world did not end.  Life was not exterminated and there was no "global warming tipping point."  The sooner we get past the finger-pointing and fear-mongering (oh yeah, I said it) then the sooner we can start applying real solutions to energy and environmental concerns jointly.

Please feel free to point by point, with references and referral to the available evidence, refute any and all things I've said there.

Perhaps you have read something into what I've written that isn't there. I don't believe I mentioned anything about the end of the world or the end of life etc, to name but two examples. No finger pointing, no political rhetoric, nothing as exciting as that. Please point out where I foretold the "end of the world" or "the end of life".

Or are you, as usual making evidence free assertions and rendering what someone says, even something as woolly and innocuous as the above (for it was hardly intended to be a rigourous description of my position, or even the scientific consensus, on climate change) as the little "straw liberal" in your head again?

My guess, Obliviot, is that as usual you are trolling for kicks. Sorry chum, no dice. Tell you what, let's debate the science, the proper science using the available literature and evidence. That way when you win because you are so obviously correct (cough splutter) you can take down a big high and mighty PhD and expunge just one tiny portion of that chip on your shoulder. Or are we to be treated, yet again, to your usual diatribe of "waaaaaaaah other people have different opinions" and "waaaaaaah you're mean". What an odious substance free fucknuckle you are Skeptic.

Louis

P.S. I done did an editation, the original wasn't abusive enough.

and again in plainer English, as the first attempt wasn't basic enough for you, just what are you asserting?

CO2, deforestation, ozone depletion and extinction - OR - poverty, war and nuclear power as a function of global warming?

It's difficult to see where your "science" ends and political tirades begin.  Maybe you could clarify that for me?  Oh and please continue to do Marx proud in the process with your have and have-nots "science"; such arguments are critical to the science of climate change.

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,18:23   

We're beginning to stray far from home here.

Perhaps there's a global warming thread in the archives where this side conversation can be continued?

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,21:05   

Actually, I was thinking how the use of language in the global warming issue can in some ways hamper communication with the lay public in two ways.  One by turning them off with the dire implications and also the sometimes unscientific extrapolations that confuse or mislead activists who then perpetuate them.  This came to mind in light of a recent poll that asked Americans to name some current scientists and the two leading vote getters were Al Gore and Bill Gates.  

This is somewhat on target, isn't it?

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,21:26   

I'll buy that.

Rage on, y'all.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Dr.GH



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(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2008,22:43   

My interest was how often the proscience folks on the intertubes actually are willing to ingage in face-to-face interactions pro-science and contra-creationism.  F2F is the most effective, the most influential form of human communication.  

Any other discussion has not been relevant.

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L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2008,03:09   

Quote (skeptic @ April 14 2008,21:52)
and again in plainer English, as the first attempt wasn't basic enough for you, just what are you asserting?

CO2, deforestation, ozone depletion and extinction - OR - poverty, war and nuclear power as a function of global warming?

It's difficult to see where your "science" ends and political tirades begin.  Maybe you could clarify that for me?  Oh and please continue to do Marx proud in the process with your have and have-nots "science"; such arguments are critical to the science of climate change.

I understood it Skeptic, it's still obvious you don't.

Which of those things you list are science and which are more geopolitics? Surely even one so dull as you can make that distinction.

Marx? Reading in your own prejudices again? As usual.

I'll clarify it for you further:

1) The post you whined about is not an exposition of purest science. As stated. It is a woolly response to woolly questions/issues.

2) There ARE scientific issues pertinent to the "climate change debate", as opposed to the politics of the "climate change debate", some of which you appear (although this is by no means clear, you never actually state a position just whine about other's positions) to deny (climate tipping points/the effects of atmospheric CO2 pp might be two of them). Clarify your position on the SCIENCE.

3) Pick some relevant scientific topic, for example the effects of atmospheric CO2 pp on climate if you deny its effects or some specific effect, and we'll discuss the relevant science. This requires you to clarify what YOU think about climate change. This is a very different thing from whining about what other people think.

4) As a seperate, but related issue, you owe me an apology for LYING about what I wrote and my position on climate change. Nowhere did I mention (or even insinuate) "end of life" etc or other such cataclysmic pronouncements. You deliberately distorted my comments based on your own prejudices. Justify this or retract it please.

Understand yet?

Louis

ETA P.S. Dr GH, Lou: Skeptic is a pernicious liar and coward. You might not like my blunt exposition of this fact but it is undeiable. Evidence can and will be provided on request. He continually snipes at the comments of others without advancing anything of his own with even basic support. He is the very definition of a message board troll and offers nothing of substance. He lacks the education and the intellect to do so. I'm more than happy to take any debate to another thread, but Skeptic has sniped HERE so HERE I respond. Let him advance and defend a position on a scientific issue that has cropped up (not at my instigation) in this thread. WHERE he advances and defends his position is irrelevant, it makes no difference to the simple issue that he owes everyone a defense of his position as opposed to pathetic sniping at those with the merest basic intellectual courage to stand by their own positions.

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Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2008,03:20   

@Louis regarding his reactions to my posts:
Well, can't say much else then that I agree with you ;) Tha faulty portret the media paints of science may be one of the reasons I want to get a bachelor in Journalism.
Quote (skeptic @ Posted on April 14 2008,21:05)
Actually, I was thinking how the use of language in the global warming issue can in some ways hamper communication with the lay public in two ways.  One by turning them off with the dire implications and also the sometimes unscientific extrapolations that confuse or mislead activists who then perpetuate them.  This came to mind in light of a recent poll that asked Americans to name some current scientists and the two leading vote getters were Al Gore and Bill Gates.  

This is somewhat on target, isn't it?

O yes indeed, as Louis sad earlier, the main source from people's knowledge about science is the mainstream media. And the media is portrating science and scientific knowledge, data and theories very, VERY bad. And it's not just with global warming, ID may find it's foundation in these matters.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2008,03:49   

Louis, I'm going to move on from here because it's obvious that you're confused.  It's ok, it happens to the best of us.  If you're so inclined go back and read your post and then my observation of your post.  I think you'll see what you're missing but in any event that is somewhat off topic unless you want to explore the broader issue of how politicization of science impedes not only communication but action as well.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2008,12:40   

Quote (skeptic @ April 16 2008,09:49)
Louis, I'm going to move on from here because it's obvious that you're confused.  It's ok, it happens to the best of us.  If you're so inclined go back and read your post and then my observation of your post.  I think you'll see what you're missing but in any event that is somewhat off topic unless you want to explore the broader issue of how politicization of science impedes not only communication but action as well.

So your claims about what I say are more accurate than my understanding and clarification of it? I've heard about arrogance but you are exhibiting a decidedly unhealthy quantity of it, perhaps some kind of professional help for you might be in order. I suggest a good vet and a KCl injection.

You're trolling for kicks again aren't you. (note lack of question mark) A troll, an unintellectual kook AND a coward, Skeptic. Well done, you are demonstrating a positive trifecta of odiousness.

Now, are you going to keep piling on the excuses as to why you can't state your viewpoint and defend it or are you going to put your obviously rather limited money where your obviously vastly too large mouth is?

Dare I quote GoP by saying "put up or shut up"?

Louis

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George



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(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2008,13:31   

Politicisation of science is inevitable where the topic under scientific research affects a large number of people, economically, religiously or otherwise.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing - otherwise, how can science influence public policy?  When science is discussed by non-specialists in the media, in committees and in the pub, it's inevitable that things will be misunderstood.  Or purposely twisted by those with agendas.  It's up to the scientists and scientifically literate to engage with the process, provide accurate information and provide rational recommendations to policy makers.  

Which perhaps brings us back to the topic of how best to do this.  I'm a professional ecologist and I work in a big office surrounded by engineers.  They don't give a rat's arse, really, about ecology.  So when I try to explain why it's not a good idea to build a road over that wetland or that we need to stump up more money for a snail survey, the best argument is the law.  It's a habitat or protected species at the European level, so it's illegal to drive your diggers there.  Where this doesn't apply, or for the rare engineer who's genuinely curious (or indignant) and wants more info, I've found the ecosystem function argument is best.  I explain what species and ecosystems do for us: water purification, flood control, pest control, tourism revenue, whatever.

In the evocreo arena, the best positive argument may be what evolutionary theory does for us.  Spinoffs for medical research, agricultural innovations, that sort of thing.  Better and more fun to point out where the creos are lying, but that's a negative argument against creationism, and sometimes positive support for evolutionary science is what's needed in a given situation.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2008,19:11   

George, I'm not that it is up to the scientists to advance these positions.  I tend to lean to the side that scientists should do science and policy makers should do policy.  One of the dangers when scientists attempt policy then their science can fall under bias.  To be sure, it is impossible to completely minimize or eliminate this bias but methods of reducing could be observed.  Obviously, policy makers can not be expected to accurately interpret science without the help of scientists but I would support a level of abstraction between the ones doing the actual research and those advising those making policy.  Ultimately, George you may be right and politicization is inevitable but then again maybe not.

P.S. Louis, I already did, you just continue to miss it.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2008,00:19   

skeptic how is this
Quote
you may be right and politicization is inevitable but then again maybe not.


not empirically equivalent to this
Quote
sdghsdkbh:DSbhvDSXj bDSbg EO;FU238TYEW98GHAWEG


just wondering.  zen dumbassedness is a strange tactic. not that it is wrong of course of course.  maybe it is but on the other hand maybe it is not.  i don't know you tell me?

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2008,03:45   

Skeptic,

It's not me who's confused. If you go back and read my original reply to Assassinator, for all its woolliness (as previosuly mentioned) the distiction between the scientific matters and the political ones is made very clearly. They are even in different paragraphs and identified as such. (phrases like: "merely my opinion" for example appear throughout the non-science segments)

This once again comes down to two very simple issues: 1) you cannot read for comprehension, 2) you are so amazingly prejudiced/stupid/dishonest/all of the above (I prefer the latter combination option) that you cannot parse a simple comment for basic content and are compelled by your gross lack of intellectual gifts and honesty to misrepresent the detail and tone of what someone says.

Try again.

We've been through this umpteen times before Skeptic. There simply is no point discussing anything with you, or anyone bothering to respond to you as anything other than the troll you regularly demonstrate you are, unless you can work out one tiny thing: perhaps, just perhaps you've fucked up, again. Go back and READ WHAT I WROTE. It's not the same thing as what you think it is. I am a) far from the only person to point out your regular misunderstandings out and b) far from the only person who's posts seem to confuse you beyond all reason and c) far from the only person who has noticed both of these things. Like I said, try again, pick a SCIENTFIC topic you wish to discuss and we'll discuss it, as per my original offer. I even made it very clear (using examples) what sort of topic you might want to pick. This requires you to go back and READ FOR COMPREHENSION.

I know, I know, it's an impossibility. But when people start mocking you for your incomprehensibility and logically fallcious drivel, take it as a warning sign that it isn't anyone else who's fucked up.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2008,03:48   

Now that Skeptic's nonsense has its own thread, allow me to get the thread moving back in the right direction.

I originally answered the poll with "sometimes", on the basis of the fact that I just don't get out and interact with the general public much anymore, as a consequence of circumstance.

However, I have been informed that I am mistaken.

Apparently, I bring up creationism and education frequently, the entire universe knows where I stand, and I'm rather "in-your-face" about it.  "Confrontational" was used more than once, although it was noted that it was uncharacteristic of me in general.

I'm apparently also capable of turning several lovely shades of purple.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2008,07:59   

Eramus, it's a statement of conflicting optimism and pessimism.  I would hope that things could change but ultimately I'm afraid that they never really will...there's an obvious zinger here but I'm going to let it pass.

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2008,08:19   



Quote
PRETTY, by Leo Reynolds


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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2009,05:16   

I'd have preferred more options -- I don't *always* discuss creationism,  but it's more than "occasionally"  

At any rate, I opted for "occasionally," but frequently seems more appropriate

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
k.e..



Posts: 3746
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2009,10:32   

Shouldn't Creationism et al be just called a conservative reactionary political anti-fact identity movement.

Sort of a turd on the doorstep of reason.

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"I get a strong breeze from my monitor every time k.e. puts on his clown DaveTard suit" dogdidit
"ID is deader than Lenny Flanks granmaws dildo batteries" Erasmus
"I'm busy studying scientist level science papers" Galloping Gary Gaulin

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2009,10:53   

Quote (k.e.. @ April 12 2009,10:32)
Shouldn't Creationism et al be just called a conservative reactionary political anti-fact identity movement.

Sort of a turd on the doorstep of reason.

You are correct of course, BUT....

You would have been on your way to glory and fame, if you would have adapted your thought to a Sig-Worthy phrase:

Creationism: A turd on the doorstop of reason.

k.e. 04/14/09

ps:  Your welcome! :)

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1692
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2009,12:22   

He could have done even more:

Conservative
Reactionary
Anti-fact
Political

identity movement

I'm just saying...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
FrankH



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2009,13:24   

I have them all the time.

There are quite a few Creationists where I work and we almost always have some sort of conversation about politics, evolution, societal ills but they almost always come back to religion.

They know I'm agnostic and more than once I'll told someone that there very well could be a god or multiple gods but that I place little if any "faith" in their particular god.

One thing that has helped me is the little fact that many of the so called "literalists" themselves aren't literal about everything.  I was able to get the conversation away from Darwin and "scientists disagreeing with each other" and helped expand upon the differences between the Holy Rollers, Fundie Baptists, Evangelical Church of Christ and so forth.

By the time the dust settled, they were angrier at each other than me.  It seems that being "literal" is not as easy as they expected.  Each of them can't convince the other that their way is the "one true literal way".

Something else that has helped me is that most of them are pretty darn smart and if I give them information of where to find stuff on evolution like eyes, etc, they can read it and understand that there may be more than what they were told about the depth of study that goes into evolution.

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Marriage is not a lifetime commitment, it's a life sentence!

  
Peter Henderson



Posts: 298
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 19 2009,13:42   

Frank: You've had more success than I've had.

I worked in science for over thirty years (chemistry). Although I live in Norn Iron (the creo capital of the UK) I actually only ever worked with Atheists, Agnostics, nominal Christians, and one Baptist whose lifestyle left a lot to be desired. Confusius say " man with many girls on string soon get into tangle" springs to mind  ! So we never discussed creationism in work.

However, despite considering myself scientifically literate, I mistakingly joined in with the various discussion threads over on Premier Christian Radio's discussion forum. (I know, I'll have to get out of the house a bit more):

http://www.premiercommunity.org.uk/forum/topics/a-reply-to-creationist

It has all become very tedious and I feel I'm banging my head against a brick wall. However, a few things re-occur throughout the discussions;

(1) Christians who accept millions of years/evolution (i.e. mainstream science) aren't really Christians at all. In their heart of hearts this is what they really believe. They can't come out and say this because they know it's heresy.

(2) The evidence for YECism is exactly the same as mainstream science. it's just the interpretation that's different (i.e.biblical glasses and all that crap)

(3) The peer review process is nothing less than biast against creationists. The Royal Society, the Royal Institution etc. are nothing more than Atheistic organisations, blatently anti-Chrtistian.

(4) Science is entransigent against any new ideas. They (the YECs) consider themselves just like Galileo. Eventually YEC science will be mainstream science.

Anyway, here's were I worked until I retired a few years ago:

http://www.premier-power.co.uk/

You can see the laboratory in some of the photos.

  
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