Should evolution be taught in high sc...

Should evolution be taught in high school?

There are 180279 comments on the www.scientificblogging.com story from Feb 24, 2008, titled Should evolution be taught in high school?. In it, www.scientificblogging.com reports that:

Microbiologist Carl Woese is well known as an iconoclast. At 79 years of age, Woese is still shaking things up. Most recently, he stated in an interview with Wired that...

"My feeling is that evolution shouldn't be taught at the lower grades. You don't teach quantum mechanics in the grade schools. One has to be quite educated to work with these concepts; what they pass on as evolution in high schools is nothing but repetitious tripe that teachers don't understand."

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.scientificblogging.com.

Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159404 Dec 5, 2013
Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Not fllowing the thread closely but I think it was appleboy who said that since a rock has just as many quanta as a brain, tben if consciousness was at quantum level the rock should be as conscious as we are.
Clearly consciousness exists only in matter arranged in a very particular way. Thus its the molecular arrangement of matter, not its quantum constituents, that seems to count.
But since all our definitions of consciousness are so vague anyway, I am not sure how fruitful this discussion is.
Sure it seems that way but there are too many unknowns. First, and foremost, until we have a working mechanism, it doesn't matter how probable things look, we cannot assume a mechanism without evidence to a mechanism. I see your point though. But it's still only a hypothesis that it is molecular. Hey this is science we have to be "technical" about it.

Second, as I keep saying, everything could have fundamental aspects of consciousness that require molecular networks in order to manifest and become observable to a sentient being. This isn't like introducing ferries, this is possible enough, not that it should matter what other possibilities we can think of when, no matter what, we have to establish a mechanism before we can say it has a molecular mechanism.

The rock may not have the ability to respond to stimulus but can you say we understand all the possible ways that "awareness" could manifest itself?
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159405 Dec 5, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Since that is what science always has (with variable amount of evidence), why are you expecting more?
I'm not, I'm content with that; it was the others that were trying to claim it was an actual theory or that it was actual fact already.

“GOD ALMIGHTY”

Since: Aug 12

Tamworth, UK

#159406 Dec 5, 2013
i am now of the belief that matter isn't real.

i am now holding on to the idea, somewhat transfixed
to the view that life itself is made by mere photons
created by cosmic satellites.

in fact everything we understand as life
in a material sense of the word,
woud therefore be converted by this totem of belief
into something of a machine created universe.

the two oldest species in the cosmos are the Cyborg
and the Zyborg both of these seem to
be a kind of species with which are a combination
of organic man and machine.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159407 Dec 5, 2013
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
And how do we know mice aren't from the moon?
<quoted text>
Actually you forgot I already stated that there are likely quantum effects involved.
<quoted text>
And just like we still don't know precisely what caused (if anything) the Big Bang doesn't prove Goddidit with magic, any unknowns about neurology don't prove that consciousness is magic and exists after death.
Feel free to sign that consent form whenever you want. I have food-blender on standby.
Hey hey I'm not saying anything about God here.
Actually the blender thing sounds like a good retirement plan for me; I might be ready for that soon.

So if you state that quantum effects are likely involved then it sounds like you're content with a hypothesis rather than a theory of consciousness. And I'm content that there is no evidence of transcendent consciousness. Then we really have no argument, but I still might be interested in the blender; it had nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159408 Dec 5, 2013
15th Dalai Lama wrote:
<quoted text>
Ten terabits of dynamically reconfigurable active memory sites subject to positive and negative feedback is a possible 'working mechanism' in a system responsive to minute but measurable changes in electric potential.
Hey DL, yea I just got done singing that song, 999 "terabits of dynamically reconfigurable active memory sites" on the wall.......take one down, pass it around, 998 terabits of.....on the wall. Sounds impressive but could be just storage rather than creation of thought. Could be. Or maybe you're right. That's why it has to remain an hypothesis.

I admit I'm a little high strung on this subject but after years of seeing how most people assume it is fact or even theory, what can you expect? Insisting that it be a theory is pretty high strung in itself wouldn't you think?

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#159409 Dec 5, 2013
Pokay wrote:
<quoted text> Well why the heck didn't you tell me that a long time ago, ya foodus?
:)
What have I said previously that is at odds with my last post?
Pokay wrote:
Thanks for the well-wishes btw. I'm goin down in a few days, so, very soon I'll have to knock this off for awhile.
Best wishes.
Pokay wrote:
Anyway I don't believe that we can even call it a theory yet. I'll accept hypothesis but not theory. What 'facts that exclude quantum possibilities as well' do you base that "theory" on?
If you like. But if you Google or Wiki "brain theory" you certainly get a lot of hits back.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159410 Dec 5, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Because of the general nature of quantum phenomena and the temperatures and size of brains, it is very unlikely that quantum phenomena are at the heart of consciousness. The coherence over the required distances would evaporate in times much smaller than are present in consciousness. So by the very nature of quantum processes, it is unlikely that they are the crucial aspect of consciousness.
You're free to believe that. I believe there are too many unknowns and too much that is beyond the ability to observe and too many possible quantum realities that could be beyond our reach, to disqualify it based on improbability of that part of it which we *can* observe.

I believe that time is eternal because I believe that motion cannot come into existence from non-motion. To me that sounds like a most probable hypothesis because when there is non-motion (a state which we know nothing about or that may not even exist) one would assume there can be no potential for movement because that would require movement itself. That coupled with the fact that we do not have a working mechanism for consciousness makes me inclined to believe that some aspect of it is also eternal as I cannot begin to speculate on what could occur the moment a developing fetus assumes the ability to create a thought. Maybe creation of thought is a hybrid of quantum and molecular?

I can believe the neural networks are necessary for thought but what change occurs at the moment they go from unconscious to conscious in a developing fetus? We cannot even begin to speculate on that which is why the word "probable" doesn't hold much weight here. Here's what we know. We can sense when that developing fetus has the ability to respond to stimulus but not when or if it is self aware. A rock could be "aware" in some obscure way. So, "probably" doesn't work to promote something from hypothesis to theory.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159411 Dec 5, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
The problem is one of scale: the conscious processes we have seen happen at the level of neural connections and not at the much smaller level of atoms. There are good reasons, based on how quantum processes work, to say that it is highly unlikely that consciousness is related to those quantum processes (as opposed to the larger scale processes of neurons).
Simply saying that 'there can be many things we could never know about' means you have given up on a scientific approach and anything like actual understanding. At this point, that is far from being a reasonable course of action.
I want answer as much as anyone else; I certainly wouldn't want to give up on science. You guys agree that saying "God did it" doesn't help in any way, that it doesn't bring us any closer to an answer. So assuming a molecular mechanism to be fact or theory is like saying 'science did it' which is the same thing in effect, it doesn't help us any to say it; so until we know it is best to leave it alone.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159412 Dec 5, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
Except that we know some processes of learning are related to changes in the sensitivity of neurons to each other. There is NO evidence of anything at the quantum level being directly involved. In fact, for such to be involved, there has to be a mechanism for extending coherence to macroscopic sizes. Given the conditions, that is incredibly unlikely.
<quoted text>
But we can sense the hardware as it is running the software and understand what the software is doing.
Computer programs can "learn" too. Learning could be purely molecular. I'll give you that it is likely that everything but the sense of being is likely molecular. I think our sense of being is actually different from the five senses. That to me is more fundamental than even a thought process. I venture to guess that if there is an aspect of consciousness that transcends it will be the sense of being and that is all; no ability to think, since a brain is likely required for that.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159413 Dec 5, 2013
Cmon you guys have to be happy with that. I'm giving you that thought processes are molecular and 'awareness of self' or 'sense of being' is quantum. I'm not asking for it to be an hypothesis or anything, just as an obstacle to any claim to fact that consciousness is entirely molecular, since after all we just don't know.

“Wear white at night.”

Since: Jun 09

Albuquerque

#159414 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>Hey DL, yea I just got done singing that song, 999 "terabits of dynamically reconfigurable active memory sites" on the wall.......take one down, pass it around, 998 terabits of.....on the wall. Sounds impressive but could be just storage rather than creation of thought. Could be. Or maybe you're right. That's why it has to remain an hypothesis.
I admit I'm a little high strung on this subject but after years of seeing how most people assume it is fact or even theory, what can you expect? Insisting that it be a theory is pretty high strung in itself wouldn't you think?
That's my working hypothesis. What's yours?

“GOD ALMIGHTY”

Since: Aug 12

Tamworth, UK

#159415 Dec 5, 2013
so there is no real takers for real science:
what you guys need is some kid of dynamic
to your understanding of science.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159416 Dec 5, 2013
MikeF wrote:
What have I said previously that is at odds with my last post?
What you are responding to here did not mean anything, I was just looking for a reason to call you something back.
Best wishes.
Thanks, really.
If you like. But if you Google or Wiki "brain theory" you certainly get a lot of hits back.
That doesn't mean it is correct. No wonder I'm high strung about it; there's too much misrepresentation going on whether intentional or not. Hey, same with Frank Tipler's Omega theory. You really think that should be called a theory? I'm sure there are tons of them out there.

I know there are bigger problems in the world but still.
Who Knows

Medina, OH

#159417 Dec 5, 2013
15th Dalai Lama wrote:
<quoted text>
That's my working hypothesis. What's yours?
Looks like I posted the answer at the same time you asked it. Look just before your post, yours is 414, look for #413

Actually in the post I wasn't even claiming it as a hypothesis, but that is my personal belief.

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#159418 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
I couldn't give a rat's @$$ who believes what I believe.
Good thing.
Who Knows wrote:
I just don't like when people like you guys claim something without evidence and neither do you guys like it but when it suits you then it's ok.
Saz the guy who thinks there is something beyond a biological system responsible for consciousness - without evidence!

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#159419 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not, I'm content with that; it was the others that were trying to claim it was an actual theory or that it was actual fact already.
No one has claimed it to be a FACT so stop the crap. It is the current reasoning - which may change in the future - based upon observation. There is no evidence whatsoever that consciousness has another underlying cause, quantum or otherwise.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_neuros...

“Pissing people off since 1949”

Level 8

Since: Apr 08

Seffner, FL

#159420 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
That doesn't mean it is correct. No wonder I'm high strung about it; there's too much misrepresentation going on whether intentional or not.
Agreed. That is why any subject needs to be carefully researched before drawing any conclusions.
Who Knows wrote:
Hey, same with Frank Tipler's Omega theory. You really think that should be called a theory?
Nope. But a great example of mental masturbation.

“Wear white at night.”

Since: Jun 09

Albuquerque

#159421 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>Looks like I posted the answer at the same time you asked it. Look just before your post, yours is 414, look for #413
Actually in the post I wasn't even claiming it as a hypothesis, but that is my personal belief.
The facility with which young folks learn multiple languages and the difficulty most older folks have supports the hypothesis mentioned.

Your hypothesis proposes neither a mechanism nor evidence so the competing hypotheses do not stand on equal footing.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#159422 Dec 5, 2013
Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>Sure it seems that way but there are too many unknowns. First, and foremost, until we have a working mechanism, it doesn't matter how probable things look, we cannot assume a mechanism without evidence to a mechanism. I see your point though. But it's still only a hypothesis that it is molecular. Hey this is science we have to be "technical" about it.
Second, as I keep saying, everything could have fundamental aspects of consciousness that require molecular networks in order to manifest and become observable to a sentient being. This isn't like introducing ferries, this is possible enough, not that it should matter what other possibilities we can think of when, no matter what, we have to establish a mechanism before we can say it has a molecular mechanism.
The rock may not have the ability to respond to stimulus but can you say we understand all the possible ways that "awareness" could manifest itself?
I agree its a hypothesis. However I would say a prediction of the "molecular hypothesis" would be that consciousness is very sensitive to molecular changes.

In that case, changes such as anaesthetics or cellular breakdown as in Alzheimers would be predicted to have significant effects.

Also, its directly observable that molecular changes in electrical activity etc are closely associated with particular thinking patterns as we can see now in brain scans.

Given all that, I would say the molecular hypothesis is on pretty strong ground.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#159423 Dec 5, 2013
the dark lord wrote:
so there is no real takers for real science:
what you guys need is some kid of dynamic
to your understanding of science.
The scientific method will do just fine, thanks.

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