Joined: June 2006
>> you've got to try to understand that many of the people who post here have post graduate experience in biology, and some even ARE practicing evolutionary biologists.>>
None have identified themselves as such...so I have no idea how much of the abuse is being hurled from the heights of academia or from main st. usa.
>> What happens is that those of us who are in that boat have seen the evidence for the ToE up close and personal. We've either read thousands of studies that test some aspect of the theory in the lab or the field, or we actually do these experiments ourselves.>>
So what is the response when someone who meets that same critiera disputes their view of the evidence? Trying hard to put my finger on it, but it seems like the problem is that there is a bit of circular logic going on:
- Sci #1 says A = B
- Sci #2 says A <> B
- Sci #1 says Sci #2 is a quack pseudoscientist
Because Sci #2 says A <> B
> To us, based on the evidence we have seen and the experiments we've participated in, the bulk of the current ToE IS as obvious as the Apollo 11 mission.>
Yeah, but there are people in the field who don't agree. I see terms like "no legitimate scientist disagrees". E.g. if you disagree you are not a legitimate science, whatever your degree. I'm just trying to understand how you can justify the smears of any scientist who fails to reach the same conclusion?
> Say you've been a building contractor for 40 years. You've done or seen just about everything regarding construction. Then car salesman walk up to you on a build site and tries to tell you that you're doing it all wrong.>
Perhaps. But what if another building contractor who builds houses across town walks up and says you're doing it all wrong. Do you say "well, no legitimate contractor disagrees with me, therefore you have nothing to say about it and your a rube"
It just seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong), that the first line of attack is "no scientist doubts the ToE", and if a scientist is brought forward who may have won a Nobel prize, or even just be a degreed and qualified researcher, you say "okay, no LEGITIMATE scientist doubts the ToE". Instead of a debate, it's a smear. You "win" the debate simply by tarring the opponent personally and everything they've ever done.
As an aside, I will add something else...
I see a fair amount of handwringing on your side of the fence to the effect that, "how sad it is that these guys are good at sound bites and in sucking in the illiterate, stupid nonscientists out there into believing their crap - that's why their books sell so well."
Someone remarked that only a minority of people in this country believe in evolution.
Might I suggest, that history has shown that you cannot browbeat people into accepting your ideas when you clearly hold those people in contempt? Rather than attempting to persuade from the ivory tower, I see a lot of rocks being hurled down on people, calling them every name in the book, calling them religious fanatics, etc. People aren't persuaded by contempt. They can't be mocked into submission. And certainly you won't dislodge people's deeply held faith by insulting the intelligence of anyone who steps forward and says they disagree. Perhaps if science has all the answers, it needs to learn to evangelize, pardon the term.
I see the constant fighting about what should be taught in school, and our kids are caught in the crossfire. The evolutionary side argues it's the 'thin end of the wedge' to get Creation taught in school again. And therefore, every possible means must be made to ensure that not even the tiniest sliver of doubt or questioning be allowed in the public school system. The issue with the 'evolution is a theory, be open minded and critical' (or words to that effect) sticker on the textbooks was a good example of that. By itself, there was no mention of ID or creaiton there, but there was a lawsuit to get those stickers removed. It's behavior like that that makes me wonder why the evolutionary side is so insecure? It's the slippery slope argument I guess ("If today we let them question, tomorrow they'll be thumpin' bibles"). So, there's no room for doubt, no room for questioning, no room for personal decision making after weighing evidence. There's just...dogma. The sheer insistence that every child be forced to attend public school and every child be taught evolution as fact is what, I think, drives the wedge deeper. Instead of persuading, you're antagonizing. Instead of leaving room for a healthy debate, you're squashing it.
Many of my comments made about 'darwinism being religion' come from these kinds of incidents, where I seem to be seeing many forms of coercion, retaliation, and retribution aimed at FORCING My child to swallow something they can't avoid being exposed to (unless I have the $ for private school, of course, and sometimes not even then).
Far from wanting creation to be taught in the class room, I want my child to learn how to think, not WHAT to think. If the case for evolution is so open and shut, this should not be a problem. There are many parents in the same boat as me. But rather than engage us, you antagonize us. You attempt to humiliate and condescend towards us. And I'm not an idiot. As I mentioned somewhere before, I took a lot of physics and chemistry (emphasizing organic chemistry). I've forgotten a lot of it, of course, but I DID learn it, and got good grades in it, so I dare say I don't believe I'm a backward scientifically ignorant hick the way I've been portrayed.
But the bottom line is, you'll never get #1 best sellers on amazon or persuade the vast majority of Americans to rally to your side until you adopt the art of persuasion, not condescension.
That's my 2 cents worth on the public debate issue. I've tried hard to be thoughtful and honest in this post. I wonder what kind of reaction it will provoke.