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Thread: Evolution Education Website

  1. #1 Evolution Education Website 
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    Hey, guys. I'm the webmaster at the evolution education website EvoEdu.com. I've been lurking here for a bit, and I thought you folks might be interested. EvoEdu explains evolution in a way that a layman can actually understand. We go over what evolution is and how it works, some of the evidence for it, and whether the arguments against it hold up. We've also got this material available in MP3, and we're doing regular updates. So if you've ever had trouble trying to get someone to understand evolution, or gotten in a debate with a creationist who doesn't understand what he's arguing against, you've got a website you can point them to. Also, if any of you are teachers, the educational material is suitable for use in the classroom. Just thought you might be interested!


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i suggest you test the look of your frontpage in IE
    it looks OK on FF, but all up to cock on IE6


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    It's OK in IE7 though...
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    IE6 has a SEVERE problem with web standards. IE7 does it a bit better, but IE6 is just nuts. Opera, FF, and IE7 all agree here, and MOST people use IE7 (to my knowledge). It's fine.
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    Nice looking site. I'd consider adding a link to it in my sticky research tips thread if you linked to more primary literature - though I understand why you wouldn't if you're trying to appeal to a layman in the subject.

    As a small note, though, I think you should take out the little aside you have about biology text books being shockingly boring - because, your website doesn't read too differently than a lot of biology textbooks on evolution. If your readers can handle what you wrote just fine then they can handle a biology textbook just fine; if they don't like biology textbooks I don't see why they would like what you wrote much better.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Oh god...

    http://www.evoedu.com/arguments.html

    Must stay calm. Must remain professional.


    8)
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    Speaking of which, that specific page could use headers for titles rather than normal paragraph text. I mean come on. You could also use bullet points and a number of other different styles. Alternatively, you should take a gander at talk origins. Their list is far more extensive anyway, with the same information. No need to repeat it.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    I don't like talkorigins. Because they care about creationists and the content is dictated by the demands of creationists.

    They need to make a site dedicated to evolutionary biologists.

    Catch my drift?
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    Actually I find it quite in the middle. A number of times I've had my ignorance drowned out of me by the oceans of biology text. Though, overall, the goal in mind is to prove that Creationists have nothing to stand on.

    If you want a website that's strictly for biology, why not go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/
    Om mani padme hum

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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Oh god...

    http://www.evoedu.com/arguments.html

    Must stay calm. Must remain professional.


    8)
    You have no idea how many times I had to rewrite that. Each time I rewrote, I had to work hard to keep calm and respectful.

    And, yeah, I made this site in response to talkorigins. I mean, they've got some great stuff on there, but it's virtually impossible to find it. And most of it is written in response to creationism. I just wanted there to be a site that's easy to use, simple to understand, and only about educating people, not about fighting creationism. And yes, I realize that the best way to fight creationism is through education, but it's not the main purpose.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Why not ignore it.

    Let evolution speak for itself.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    That's the best idea I've heard in months.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Why not ignore it.

    Let evolution speak for itself.
    Because creationists won't ignore it, and will continue to spread purposeful misinformation. Better to at least have something available as a reference than nothing at all, but saying that I do realize there are lots of references available already.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Why not ignore it.

    Let evolution speak for itself.
    Bad things happen when good people do nothing. Or somesuch.

    Seriously, pseudoscience is mind cancer. It feeds on public ignorance and fear. It won't go away by itself.
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    Prove to us that it's going away because of ANY of these education efforts. People will NOT accept something they weren't already looking for. Those that are given the talkorigins website, for example, won't read it. Or if they do, they just blindly won't accept it. FAITH blocks out REASON and FACT.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Prove to us that it's going away because of ANY of these education efforts.
    Is it really a wild and outstanding claim to suggest that education imparts knowledge? I mean, is there really a burden of evidence on me for that one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    People will NOT accept something they weren't already looking for.
    Some people will not. Some people will. One thing we can be confident of is that your attitude certainly does bugger all to help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Those that are given the talkorigins website, for example, won't read it. Or if they do, they just blindly won't accept it. FAITH blocks out REASON and FACT.
    Generalisation. I have personally convinced a few people of the veracity of evolution, the falseness of homeopathy, the value of the scientific method. That's anecdotal of course.

    What exactly has your continuous sniping at any effort to teach people achieved? Other than annoying people who are on the same side of the reason divide as you, I mean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Is it really a wild and outstanding claim to suggest that education imparts knowledge? I mean, is there really a burden of evidence on me for that one?
    Knowledge cannot be imparted on the one clasping his hands over his ears and screaming "LALALALALALALALALA I'M NOT LISTENIIIIIIIIIING"

    Some people will not. Some people will. One thing we can be confident of is that your attitude certainly does bugger all to help.
    I can say with certainty that my "attitude" comes from a wide bredth of experience.

    Generalisation. I have personally convinced a few people of the veracity of evolution, the falseness of homeopathy, the value of the scientific method. That's anecdotal of course.
    And likely bullshit. All you probably did was provide evidence to people that were open minded to begin with. If someone is attached to their idea, they won't let it go even with an ARMY of scientists screaming at them. If you need proof of this, you apparently don't pay attention to THIS FUCKING FORUM.

    What exactly has your continuous sniping at any effort to teach people achieved? Other than annoying people who are on the same side of the reason divide as you, I mean?
    No. We are not on the same side. I exist on the reason side, you exist on the side that PRETENDS to be on the reason side. There are differences between knowledge, wisdom, logic, and reason. There exist only a handful of REASONABLE people on the planet.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Is it really a wild and outstanding claim to suggest that education imparts knowledge? I mean, is there really a burden of evidence on me for that one?
    Knowledge cannot be imparted on the one clasping his hands over his ears and screaming "LALALALALALALALALA I'M NOT LISTENIIIIIIIIIING"

    Some people will not. Some people will. One thing we can be confident of is that your attitude certainly does bugger all to help.
    I can say with certainty that my "attitude" comes from a wide bredth of experience.

    Generalisation. I have personally convinced a few people of the veracity of evolution, the falseness of homeopathy, the value of the scientific method. That's anecdotal of course.
    And likely bullshit. All you probably did was provide evidence to people that were open minded to begin with. If someone is attached to their idea, they won't let it go even with an ARMY of scientists screaming at them. If you need proof of this, you apparently don't pay attention to THIS FUCKING FORUM.

    What exactly has your continuous sniping at any effort to teach people achieved? Other than annoying people who are on the same side of the reason divide as you, I mean?
    No. We are not on the same side. I exist on the reason side, you exist on the side that PRETENDS to be on the reason side.
    If you're so very reasonable then why are you utterly incapable of holding even very short conversations without descending into sarcasm, jeering or impotent swearing? You seem to see differences of opinion as some sort of affront.

    So we're agreed that the open minded can be swayed from pseudoscientific or irrational belief by education. And I'm fully aware that there are those who cannot be swayed by any argument. So my point is that we do our best to convince those we can, so that the influence of irrationality is reduced. We know it does damage, and we know we can sway people. That's all I'm saying. Is that crazy to you? Do you think that say, the MMR scare in the UK is not worth refuting because some people cannot be convinced?
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  20. #19  
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    If you guys want to pursue the autism discussion you should probably make a separate thread for it. Would you like me to split off the relevant posts into a new thread?

    The original topic was an interesting one, and Darius I'm interested to know your answer to what was really Biologista's last question before you followed the autism tangent: do you not agree that, for people who are not utterly blinded by faith but merely have a lack of knowledge on the issue, it is worth providing them with a good education in science and evolution so that a creationist who twists information doesn't convince them differently simply because they don't know better? Biologista's not trying to suggest that we can force feed acceptance to a die hard IDer, but that we can inform and help those who are able to be helped.

    A simpler example than the autism one could be the vaccination against HPV; some people, no matter how informed they are, will refuse to vaccinate their child against it because they think that will somehow give their child permission to have sex and/or they believe the power of their religion will prevent their child from having sex anyway. Is it not worth spreading information about it for those parents who are only refusing the vaccination because they mistakenly think HPV is treatable with antibiotics and they don't want to go through the risks of a vaccine if antibiotics will work fine?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Yes it has gotten rather personal, my apologies. I'm not really interested in throwing about evidence for either of the specific cases here as I'm not sure of their relevance and I think they've just derailed the thread. Darius, you seem to be open to the idea that we can change peoples minds for the better by education. But why do you think that's ultimately in vain?

    Do you think perhaps that educating people about the scientific method itself might help to break that?
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    [...] but that we can inform and help those who are able to be helped.
    They tend to help themselves.

    Is it not worth spreading information about it for those parents who are only refusing the vaccination because they mistakenly think HPV is treatable with antibiotics and they don't want to go through the risks of a vaccine if antibiotics will work fine?
    The information is already there. At best you can inform them of this fact. Anything else is a waste of resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    But why do you think that's ultimately in vain?
    Idiocracy.

    Do you think perhaps that educating people about the scientific method itself might help to break that?
    Maybe if parents did it from birth. If you aren't given a framework for this sort of thing it's unlikely you'll change later in life. Why? Neuroplasticity. Also indoctrination. Also other human abominations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    But why do you think that's ultimately in vain?
    Idiocracy.
    Can you elaborate on that? Back it up with evidence? I certainly agree that there are elements of society which reinforce irrational thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Do you think perhaps that educating people about the scientific method itself might help to break that?
    Maybe if parents did it from birth. If you aren't given a framework for this sort of thing it's unlikely you'll change later in life. Why? Neuroplasticity. Also indoctrination. Also other human abominations.
    Unlikely maybe, but is it impossible? I agree that there are a great many people who cannot practically be educated into that way of thinking. I'm not convinced that this means there is no point in trying to engaged the public with science. However I do wonder if efforts to date have been sufficient or properly focused.
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    Neither was I. Then I got older. I'm basically implying that your optimism means you haven't met half as much stupid unconvincable people as I have (selecion bias?). Regardless, it's a never ending cycle of degredation. Unless we actually implemented eugenics, there's nothing we can do.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Neither was I. Then I got older.
    Well plenty of people of all ages seem to think there's a point to trying to engage with the public. Why do you think they're wrong?
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    The information is already there. At best you can inform them of this fact. Anything else is a waste of resources.
    I don't think we're suggesting anything much beyond that. In cases like these you can't always trust that the people will inform themselves - after all, they think they know how it works, and without anyone telling them to the contrary, it may not enter their minds to check it out. The Gardisil commercials are actually very misleading about many of the facts concerning HPV and the immunization as well, so unless someone comes out and actively clarifies this misinformation, those people will remain unknowingly ignorant.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I'm basically implying that your optimism means you haven't met half as much stupid unconvincable people as I have (selecion bias?). Regardless, it's a never ending cycle of degredation.
    Yeah, but take someone like Richard Dawkins, a guy who like him or not, has encountered his share of really dumb people. Now, he refuses to directly engage with creationists (and despite what you think of my experience I certainly empathise with that), but he still seems to believe in public engagement and indeed he makes a good living from that (though I wouldn't claim that this is evidence of effectiveness). But he's not alone, plenty of very experienced scientists seems to really believe in this sort of outreach, for profit and not.

    A lot of them aren't all that good at it, but that's the trouble with a population composed mostly of nerds. We're not always the best or most charismatic communicators.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I don't think we're suggesting anything much beyond that. In cases like these you can't always trust that the people will inform themselves - after all, they think they know how it works, and without anyone telling them to the contrary, it may not enter their minds to check it out. The Gardisil commercials are actually very misleading about many of the facts concerning HPV and the immunization as well, so unless someone comes out and actively clarifies this misinformation, those people will remain unknowingly ignorant.
    I always inform myself, and so does anyone I've ever convinced of anything. Of course, in those cases, I just informed them of information they missed. Problem solves itself. It's like trying to convince Africans that you can't cure AIDS by raping a 3 year old baby. Not going to work. Only the people that would have eventually found it themselves will listen.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Yeah, but take someone like Richard Dawkins, a guy who like him or not, has encountered his share of really dumb people. Now, he refuses to directly engage with creationists (and despite what you think of my experience I certainly empathise with that), but he still seems to believe in public engagement and indeed he makes a good living from that (though I wouldn't claim that this is evidence of effectiveness). But he's not alone, plenty of very experienced scientists seems to really believe in this sort of outreach, for profit and not.
    Richard Dawkins can be considered one of those really dumb people, if not really really REALLY REALLY boring. The fact he believes in it suggests nothing. Most people believe in God, does that mean they're right?

    A lot of them aren't all that good at it, but that's the trouble with a population composed mostly of nerds. We're not always the best or most charismatic communicators.
    I could convince you that the sky is red. I choose not to.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Richard Dawkins can be considered one of those really dumb people, if not really really REALLY REALLY boring. The fact he believes in it suggests nothing. Most people believe in God, does that mean they're right?
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make an argument from authority here. I fully get that the majority rule has no sway over objective fact. But I'm trying to understand what makes you so pessimistic, or I guess you'd say realistic, about how well we can expect this sort of outreach or engagement to work. We've all faced those irrecoverably dumb people, but there are those who can come to understand how science works, how evidence works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    A lot of them aren't all that good at it, but that's the trouble with a population composed mostly of nerds. We're not always the best or most charismatic communicators.
    I could convince you that the sky is red. I choose not to.
    Maybe if you tell me it definitely isn't red :wink:

    I'm not talking about you specifically.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I don't think we're suggesting anything much beyond that. In cases like these you can't always trust that the people will inform themselves - after all, they think they know how it works, and without anyone telling them to the contrary, it may not enter their minds to check it out. The Gardisil commercials are actually very misleading about many of the facts concerning HPV and the immunization as well, so unless someone comes out and actively clarifies this misinformation, those people will remain unknowingly ignorant.
    I always inform myself, and so does anyone I've ever convinced of anything. Of course, in those cases, I just informed them of information they missed. Problem solves itself. It's like trying to convince Africans that you can't cure AIDS by raping a 3 year old baby. Not going to work. Only the people that would have eventually found it themselves will listen.
    No, I don't think the example I'm using is like trying to convince people that something they firmly believe to be true is false. I'm just talking about people who don't know any better and because they don't know any better don't know that they need to be informed. Thus they're not going to go out and inform themselves without some outside impetus. Just like the people you speak of went out and looked things up after you made some effort to inform them.

    It kind of sounds like you're saying teaching in general is worthless - that people will only accept what they teach themselves. So do you extend this philosophy to thinking that schools don't need to exist and every child should just inform themselves?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Why do you try and trap me? What people teach themselves they will never unlearn, but what they have not taught themselves they can unlearn. It produces an ironic twist where someone refuses to believe in evolution and yet is a biologist! Schools are useful, though current ones are flawed, but you can never sway someone that has convinced themself of something. This is why I believe arguing with a creationist, and indeed many other types of people, is a waste of time.
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  32. #31  
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    Creationists fail on so many educational levels I cannot see the importance of going into a debate with them on a specific topic such as evolution.

    A folly.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Creationists fail on so many educational levels I cannot see the importance of going into a debate with them on a specific topic such as evolution.

    A folly.
    Well I think that the creation and evolution debate isn't meant to sway creationists themselves. It's meant show their arguments for what they are. For the hardcores convincing them would probably require a passage in the bible saying "all life evolved from a common ancestor so knock it off". Their ideas will only die when they do, essentially. But a debate isn't really meant to sway the opposition, at least it's not the priority. It's more about winning the undecided. And there are a lot of them I think.
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    I don't want the undecided on board either.

    If they need someone else to form an opinion for them then they are just ballast.

    All science needs are thinkers.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I don't want the undecided on board either.

    If they need someone else to form an opinion for them then they are just ballast.

    All science needs are thinkers.
    Unfortunately their taxes pay for our work. So whether you care about the harm that pseudoscience does to the public, there is that as a motive too. The religious right in the US already bullied their way to restricting federal funding for science that they find immoral. If science disengages from the public entirely, stops fighting that fight, what do you think will happen?

    You work with animal models, a contentious point for some. Do you think the word of animal rights activists should go utterly unchallenged by the scientific community?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Why do you try and trap me? What people teach themselves they will never unlearn, but what they have not taught themselves they can unlearn. It produces an ironic twist where someone refuses to believe in evolution and yet is a biologist! Schools are useful, though current ones are flawed, but you can never sway someone that has convinced themself of something. This is why I believe arguing with a creationist, and indeed many other types of people, is a waste of time.
    I'm not trying to trap you, I'm trying to understand your point of view clearly by asking questions where I am unsure (trying to inform myself about it, as it were), and I think you still don't understand mine and Biologista's clearly. We are not advocating arguing with a die hard creationist. We are not advocating trying to sway someone who has thoroughly convinced themselves of something. You keep coming back to points like that when we have said multiple times that's not what we mean.

    I think it's interesting that you say, "what people teach themselves they will never unlearn." I do not know what evidence you base this assertion on, but let's assume for the moment that this it is true. I notice you use it both ways - that if a person first teaches themselves that creation is true and/or evolution is not true, they may even go on to get a biological education and still not accept evolution. So what if, through school or a tv documentary or a website or even reaching out to a kid on forums like this, that person was first exposed to the ideas of evolution and taught themselves evolution instead, so that they would never thence be swayed by the religious ideas of their parents/family etc. If that is true and possible, wouldn't that make it worth going to extra effort to spread knowledge and make available learning materials about evolution?

    Spurious, I'm with Biologista on this one. For those who participate in science research and teaching, yes, I want thinkers who are motivated to learn for themselves. But those people are not the only people science needs. Science needs money and the people who are going to give us money need to feel justified in giving it to us, and they are not going to feel justified in giving it to us if they do not understand or do not like what we do. This is why giving kids a proper science education, even if they don't go on to do science themselves, is important, and why swaying the swayable is important.

    Otherwise, brother - you n me are out of a job.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I'm not trying to trap you, I'm trying to understand your point of view clearly by asking questions where I am unsure (trying to inform myself about it, as it were), and I think you still don't understand mine and Biologista's clearly. We are not advocating arguing with a die hard creationist. We are not advocating trying to sway someone who has thoroughly convinced themselves of something. You keep coming back to points like that when we have said multiple times that's not what we mean.
    Almost nobody isn't thoroughly convinced of something. Modern society makes certain of that (with our "stances" on the "issues" and all other associated buzzword bullshit). The rest are basically people that will change their minds eventually.

    If that is true and possible, wouldn't that make it worth going to extra effort to spread knowledge and make available learning materials about evolution?
    Then what if evolution has a major flaw? "LIES! THIS ISN'T TRUE!", etc, etc. Dogma is dogma. Idoctrination is indoctrination. Science does not progress by reason, science progresses when the opposition dies out.

    What if the conspiracy theorists about 911 are right? "LIES! LIES! This isn't true!" etc, etc. Just assuming "what if".
    Om mani padme hum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Science progresses when the opposition dies out.
    I think that's only partly true. Since most new scientific ideas originate from one person or a handful of people, how does the proposition get off the ground at all if it requires the death of the opposition? Most of the advocacy of evolution was driven by the likes of Huxley and Wallace rather than Darwin himself. His work convinced those people and many others. The revolution lasted perhaps 20 years. Long enough for the hardline opposition to die, sure. But what percentage of the scientific community dies over a 20 year period? A new idea can't really become consensus by death alone within that space of time. There has to be an element of new acceptance, as well as the influence of new blood (who may be "indoctrinated").

    And if the hardline opposition don't represent a large enough proportion of the community, a consensus can certainly be reached without their deaths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I think that's only partly true. Since most new scientific ideas originate from one person or a handful of people, how does the proposition get off the ground at all if it requires the death of the opposition?
    Jesus mother of all that is satanic I'm losing patience! My statement implies opposition. The OPPOSITION won't stop until they die out. If you introduce a new idea you'll sway those that didn't have much of an opinion either way, or those that held one "just because". It doesn't take much THOUGHT to understand th--oh, sorry, I assumed you were thinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I don't want the undecided on board either.

    If they need someone else to form an opinion for them then they are just ballast.

    All science needs are thinkers.
    Unfortunately their taxes pay for our work.
    That's ok. It is not as if these people decide what happens with their money.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I'm not trying to trap you, I'm trying to understand your point of view clearly by asking questions where I am unsure (trying to inform myself about it, as it were), and I think you still don't understand mine and Biologista's clearly. We are not advocating arguing with a die hard creationist. We are not advocating trying to sway someone who has thoroughly convinced themselves of something. You keep coming back to points like that when we have said multiple times that's not what we mean.
    Almost nobody isn't thoroughly convinced of something. Modern society makes certain of that (with our "stances" on the "issues" and all other associated buzzword bullshit). The rest are basically people that will change their minds eventually.
    I'm not disagreeing with that. Of course everyone has their opinions about things and we hold some of those opinions much strongly than others. But that doesn't mean that ALL people are thoroughly convinced of either evolution or creation. Maybe they're thoroughly convinced that animal cruelty is wrong, yet are undecided on the evolution/creation issue, and could be reachable by education.

    If that is true and possible, wouldn't that make it worth going to extra effort to spread knowledge and make available learning materials about evolution?
    Then what if evolution has a major flaw? "LIES! THIS ISN'T TRUE!", etc, etc. Dogma is dogma. Idoctrination is indoctrination. Science does not progress by reason, science progresses when the opposition dies out.

    What if the conspiracy theorists about 911 are right? "LIES! LIES! This isn't true!" etc, etc. Just assuming "what if".
    lol, are you going to pull the "all scientists are dogmatic establishment bigots!" view now? If evolution had a major flaw then scientists would seek to understand it, incorporate the new information, and change the theory as necessary to more accurately represent reality. And in fact such changes have already been made when greater knowledge of genetics was incorporated into Darwin's original ideas, since he had no idea what the molecular basis of inheritance was.

    Still, you're kind of side stepping my question. If we have a chance to reach a child who is open either to evolution or creationism and show them how to teach themselves about science, the scientific method, assess the evidence on their own and come to a reasonable conclusion, is that not worth the extra effort?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    We're done here. I'm done going in circles.
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    I'd like to add something. People are generally MUCH more open to change their opinion if they read it for themselves as opposed to it being dictated to them, like on this forum. It is even more effective if the information is presented in a dispassionate way and not presented as a direct refutation of the source of their beliefs. So almost no creationist will respond favourably to Dawkins or Darius, but might respond to a simple laying out of current understandings and the methods used to reach them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I don't want the undecided on board either.

    If they need someone else to form an opinion for them then they are just ballast.

    All science needs are thinkers.
    Unfortunately their taxes pay for our work.
    That's ok. It is not as if these people decide what happens with their money.
    Somebody has to decide, and whoever decides we want them to understand why science is important.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    I don't want the undecided on board either.

    If they need someone else to form an opinion for them then they are just ballast.

    All science needs are thinkers.
    Unfortunately their taxes pay for our work.
    That's ok. It is not as if these people decide what happens with their money.
    But in a way they do. The religious right successfully lobbied for the withdrawal of taxpayers money from embryonic stem cell research. The unconvince-able hardliners alone can't actually wield that sort of clout. No more so than the pitifully small number of handline creationists could sway the scientific community (another reason that they're not worth our time). It's their credible influence over the moderates, the unconvinced masses, that really matters. The weight of those votes votes matters to governments and colours how funding is ultimately awarded and even how it can be prohibited.
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    You don't have to worry about that either. Most senior scientists are political monsters.

    Especially in molecular biology, or medical orientated research.

    They all get much more money than that they deserve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You don't have to worry about that either. Most senior scientists are political monsters.

    Especially in molecular biology, or medical orientated research.

    They all get much more money than that they deserve.
    That's not good either, if those who ARE in charge of the money are so easily swayed by people in molecular or medical research to bias their decisions in favor of short-changing other disciplines.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    You don't have to worry about that either. Most senior scientists are political monsters.

    Especially in molecular biology, or medical orientated research.

    They all get much more money than that they deserve.
    If true, that still does not mean that the people do not have influence, or that pseudoscience cannot harm then. And in the case of things like vaccination scares, it's not as if we can even leave people to harm themselves with their ignorance. The harm threatens the people we've convinced, and us too.
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    Creationists can't hurt them because they are not in the business of evolution. Just things like 'curing cancer'. Stem cells. Epigenetics.

    Besides the stem cells it is politically/religious all very risk free.
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  50. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Creationists can't hurt them because they are not in the business of evolution. Just things like 'curing cancer'. Stem cells. Epigenetics.

    Besides the stem cells it is politically/religious all very risk free.
    But the boundaries between creationism and the culture of general mistrust in the "scientific establishment" are not well defined. Creationists are actively pushing for a world where information is accepted on a combination of authority and popularity regardless of it's relation to the evidence. In a way that world is halfway there.

    Take the school syllabi for various subjects. The history syllabus is ideally defined by the experts. Fringe theories are given coverage appropriate to the expert consensus, not a polling of popular consensus. Yet in life sciences, the creationists would have us base the syllabus on the consensus of everyone from binmen to rockstars. All opinions are equally valid in that world. And when those opinions turn on medicine, as they did MMR, then suddenly a scientific issue with no scientific support is real and killing people.

    They're a driving force behind a cultural movement. Not a well-unified one, but they're supporting each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I'd like to add something. People are generally MUCH more open to change their opinion if they read it for themselves as opposed to it being dictated to them, like on this forum. It is even more effective if the information is presented in a dispassionate way and not presented as a direct refutation of the source of their beliefs. So almost no creationist will respond favourably to Dawkins or Darius, but might respond to a simple laying out of current understandings and the methods used to reach them.
    Which is one of the biggest motivations I had for making EvoEdu.com the way I did.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvoEdu
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I'd like to add something. People are generally MUCH more open to change their opinion if they read it for themselves as opposed to it being dictated to them, like on this forum. It is even more effective if the information is presented in a dispassionate way and not presented as a direct refutation of the source of their beliefs. So almost no creationist will respond favourably to Dawkins or Darius, but might respond to a simple laying out of current understandings and the methods used to reach them.
    Which is one of the biggest motivations I had for making EvoEdu.com the way I did.
    Which is why I like your site. :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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