Notices
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: PhD's and creationists

  1. #1 PhD's and creationists 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    How did creationists like Wells end up with PhD's? Bad education system? They're not as dumb as they sound (in which case they're probably just lying)? Somehow it's possible to reconcile just enough biology with creationism to get a PhD? etc. etc. What do you think?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    821
    It simply adds further credence to the idea that title means nothing.


    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: PhD's and creationists 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    How did creationists like Wells end up with PhD's? Bad education system?
    Most likely, they were converted to a fundamentalist sort of Christianity after they had already acquired their PhD. I know this is true in a number of cases. Fundamentalist anti-science Christians do not pursue careers in the sciences.


    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    They're not as dumb as they sound (in which case they're probably just lying)?
    Nobody is as dumb as an ideologue pretends their opponents to be. The question is how did the ideologues get to be so dumb? I suppose some were born that way, some had this dumbness pounded into their skull as children, and I guess other lobotomized themselves of their own free will.


    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Somehow it's possible to reconcile just enough biology with creationism to get a PhD? etc. etc. What do you think?
    Quite possibly. I have learned that people can and will believe just about anything.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,760
    never mind Wells, look at Kurt Wise - PhD in paleontology from Harvard, studied under Steve J Gould, and gave it all up because it clashed with a literal reading of the bible

    not stupid in the sense of unintelligent, but stupid in the sense of letting preconceptions get the better of you
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore Gods servant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    never mind Wells, look at Kurt Wise - PhD in paleontology from Harvard, studied under Steve J Gould, and gave it all up because it clashed with a literal reading of the bible

    not stupid in the sense of unintelligent, but stupid in the sense of letting preconceptions get the better of you

    perhabs you are stupid?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 Re: PhD's and creationists 
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,659
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    How did creationists like Wells end up with PhD's? Bad education system? They're not as dumb as they sound (in which case they're probably just lying)? Somehow it's possible to reconcile just enough biology with creationism to get a PhD? etc. etc. What do you think?
    $$$ can buy anything.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree samcdkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    640
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR

    not stupid in the sense of unintelligent, but stupid in the sense of letting preconceptions get the better of you
    Don't work much with scientists, do you? :P
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    The Kurt Wise thing is very strange, since he thinks some science can be reconciled with a literal interpretation of the Bible. All or most of science does contradict it (physics:speed of light; biology:evolution; earth sciences/geology:radiometric dating) but you could squeeze a little bit by (physics:Newton's laws) but his own discipline, paleontology probably would not have existed had the Bible been true in a literal sense.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9 Re: PhD's and creationists 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    How did creationists like Wells end up with PhD's? Bad education system? They're not as dumb as they sound (in which case they're probably just lying)? Somehow it's possible to reconcile just enough biology with creationism to get a PhD? etc. etc. What do you think?
    $$$ can buy anything.
    ah! Good point! There is that too. I don't think there is any shortage of politicians who have jumped on the bandwagon with issues that appeal to the religious right just because of all the capital to be found there, of both the monetary and political kind.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,114
    T o All

    PHD's that believe in the bible are stupid.

    But PHD's that believe in the BBT are also stupid.

    But scientists that refute the existence of SPIRIT are also stupid.

    So this is the ONLY truth about the OT that I agree with. But it is an evil spirit that I refute. So does our US Constitution with ALL its Amensments .

    Cosmo
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    There are lots of creationists with unaccredited PhD's from so-called Christian universities. Even the nitwit "Dr Dino" Kent Hovind has one. You don't even have to attend classes in some cases.
    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There are lots of creationists with unaccredited PhD's from so-called Christian universities. Even the nitwit "Dr Dino" Kent Hovind has one. You don't even have to attend classes in some cases.
    Taking classes doesn't have anything to do with getting a PHD at most universities. It is all about peer review. You get a PHD because a group of professors agree that you deserve one. Usually this is because you have done some work that contributes to the field of study you are in.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There are lots of creationists with unaccredited PhD's from so-called Christian universities. Even the nitwit "Dr Dino" Kent Hovind has one. You don't even have to attend classes in some cases.
    Taking classes doesn't have anything to do with getting a PHD at most universities. It is all about peer review. You get a PHD because a group of professors agree that you deserve one. Usually this is because you have done some work that contributes to the field of study you are in.
    And that’s the thing. You still need a prior education in order to qualify for consideration though, no? I mean, can I go present my research for consideration even without having any tertiary education? Even if your answer is yes, that still requires the panel that judges your contributions to have some credibility themselves. I would venture to say that most of those Christian universities are not accredited for a good reason.
    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    And thatís the thing. You still need a prior education in order to qualify for consideration though, no? I mean, can I go present my research for consideration even without having any tertiary education? Even if your answer is yes, that still requires the panel that judges your contributions to have some credibility themselves. I would venture to say that most of those Christian universities are not accredited for a good reason.
    The answer IS yes. It is the merit of the work you do to contribute to the field. You have to prove that you are the origin of that work by showing your ability to elaborate the reasoning behind it. But sometimes work does speak for itself and having any formal education really isn't a part of it. It is just so unlikely that you can make such a contribution without that education, because a vast proportion of the science is being able to speak the lingo, and if you cannot communicate what you contribute then it will not be a contribution.

    And you are absolutely correct about accreditation.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,232
    Ok, cool. That is actually very cool. Are there any good universities that allow you to write the exams without attending classes? I mean, can I study on my own and eventually get a recognised degree?
    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.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    510
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There are lots of creationists with unaccredited PhD's from so-called Christian universities. Even the nitwit "Dr Dino" Kent Hovind has one. You don't even have to attend classes in some cases.
    This is what got me thinking about this. Remembering that Hovind was probably a fraud I looked at other creationists and thought they should be to, but I doubt all of them are (Wells went to Berkley, if his PhD was a fraud we'd probably know it by now).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Ok, cool. That is actually very cool. Are there any good universities that allow you to write the exams without attending classes? I mean, can I study on my own and eventually get a recognised degree?
    Well it is true that there is a departmental comprehensive exam that is usually taken as part of the process of getting into their PHD program, and I am not even really so sure about the details of the policy of the University of Utah (where I went to school) about that exam (where it was called the "common exam"). But remember I was talking about the requirement (IN PRINCIPLE) for getting a PHD itself and not the requirements for entering a PHD program which are two different things. Of course, schools may very well have different policies in regards to these things in order to maintain whatever standards they might believe in.

    For the PHD itself I don't think there is, in principle, any WRITTEN exam requirement. There is your (public) dissertation presentation which is like an oral exam. But the first challenge would be getting the required number of professors to agree to be on your PHD committee (who will be your examiners at your dissertation presentation), which might be difficult if they don't know you. And the most difficult will be the chairman of that committee since he will be the one doing most of the work. Obviously they are not going to agree if they don't even think you know what you are talking about.

    IF you already have something which you think is a substantial contribution to the field then most likely what you will do is find a professor who would be interested in what you have done to look over your work and see if he thinks that it would earn you a PHD and then he could advise you about where to go from there. It may very well be that many professors will not consider getting behind you if you haven't take certain classes or the comprehensive exam.

    Frankly the truth of the matter is that the classes and exams are all trivial compared to the basic essential requirement of contributing to the field. BUT it very much depends on the particular professors of the particular department you are trying to get a PHD from. I know someone who got a PHD for writing a computer program that was quite a bit easier than my relativity program. And I know another person who busted their butt for 10 years or more as practically the slave of a professor and got nothing to show for it. That's the breaks. There are no guarantees when it comes to a PHD. Which is why if you really want to see the real value of someone's PHD you really need to look at their doctoral disertation.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    mitchell has already said about as much, but really you do need to check with the particulars of the school you want to receive a PhD from. My program will not allow you to be a PhD candidate without first passing the comprehensive exams, and they require certain coursework to be completed before you take the exams. I know some people come into the program and take the exams earlier than usual, but from what I understand that's usually because they've taken equivalent courses previously at other schools.

    And unless you plan to fund your dissertation research yourself, there is a required writing component: the proposal. A grant application, effectively, to get your research funded so you can actually do it. At my school you must also publicly defend your dissertation proposal to your committee.

    But, as everyone has been saying, PhD programs do not have universal standards of quality to which they must hold before they can give out degrees. I have seen pure scientific incompetence come out of many PhD holders, completely unrelated to creationism or ID, so anyone who knows better knows to take the title with a grain of salt. I'm also under the impression that it's your post-doctoral work, where you demonstrate your ability to design, lead, complete, and publish legitimate research, that really sets your scientific career.
    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.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Edge
    Posts
    189
    As "Darius" said: titles mean nothing.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    As "Darius" said: titles mean nothing.
    Which is a pity, because some people work their asses off to get their degree.
    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.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    603
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Vexer
    As "Darius" said: titles mean nothing.
    Which is a pity, because some people work their asses off to get their degree.
    To build on this, I went to school for 5 years doing labs, 8-12 hour days of schooling and hard studying for my degree. My cousin convocated a day earlier than me (so same graduating class) with a degree in Recreation, leisure and travel. I was insulted to find out that he took this degree because he failed a final in phys ed that included dodgeball and kayaking...but still ended up with a degree.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    821
    Effort only means something if the results are worth something. Title is only incidental.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •