Should evolution be taught in high school?

Feb 24, 2008 | Posted by: Cash | Full story: www.scientificblogging.com

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."

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“That's just MY opinion...”

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
Oh come on, think a little bit Poly. In
"He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
The clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?"
You have the complete cycle; 1. Cloud, 2. Evaporation, 3. Rain, and 4. Cloud. "He *DRAWS UP THE WATER*(evaporation)....*WHICH DISTILL AS RAIN (condensation) TO THE STREAMS"*
I mean, how much clearer could it be? Or do you just like to be difficult?
It's almost as if your ideology requires you to say, "whatever the Creationists say, take the opposite position, even if it goes counter to all logic, common sense, and truth."
Amazing that they knew about that stuff when your passage was copyrighted in 1960.

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#159314
Dec 3, 2013
 
Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come on, think a little bit Poly. In
"He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
The clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?"
You have the complete cycle; 1. Cloud, 2. Evaporation, 3. Rain, and 4. Cloud. "He *DRAWS UP THE WATER*(evaporation)....*WHICH DISTILL AS RAIN (condensation) TO THE STREAMS"*
I mean, how much clearer could it be? Or do you just like to be difficult?
It's almost as if your ideology requires you to say, "whatever the Creationists say, take the opposite position, even if it goes counter to all logic, common sense, and truth."
Understanding of the water cycle by ancients - something that Aristotle was aware of too - is not proof of the divine origin of the Bible. It might have been even more impressive if the Sun was identified as drawing up the water. Its not a great leap, knowing as they would have, for example, that a pot boils dry and the steam that comes off looks a lot like a cloud.

Evolution would be a trickier insight but Aristotle was even onto that and close to getting there.

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#159315
Dec 3, 2013
 
MADRONE wrote:
<quoted text>
Amazing that they knew about that stuff when your passage was copyrighted in 1960.
I guess before then, they didn't know about plate tectonics in the Bible. At least it doesn't sound like it from the KJV version.

Job 36:27-33
King James Version (KJV)
27 For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:

28 Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.

29 Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?

30 Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea.

31 For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance.

32 With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt.

33 The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour.

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#159316
Dec 3, 2013
 
Urban Cowboy wrote:
The Bible spoke of one large landmass thousands of years before Wegner's Continental Drift Theory:
"And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear: And it was so." Genesis 1:9
And before that one land mass there were many. Pangaea was a temporary phenomenon, a cycle of separation and joining that has been going on repeatedly for the last few billion years. It will happen, and break apart, yet again in the future.

Nobody knows if the original continental formations were fragmented or in one place.

This is just the last 550 million years - 1 eighth of earth's history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch...

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#159317
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Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>Well at least your admitting that it is "ill defined". How then can you guys state with confidence that consciousness is a molecular phenomenon? That's the whole problem. Saying 'consciousness is molecular' is a guess until it isn't. I'll repeat, with gravity you guys don't seem to try defining it beyond what the evidence shows. That's all I can say to all of you and all I can do is keep repeating it if you don't get it. Trouble is you can't accept the truth. Consciousness just has to be limited to a molecular phenomenon doesn't it?
You're stuck, Pokey. The whole idea that we've been trying to get across is that we don't want to define consciousness beyond what the evidence shows. And we know that there's a lot yet to be learned, but nothing so far points to anything other than biochemical origin of consciousness. Any mystical aspect of consciousness is not falsifiable.

At some point you have to be able to figure out that it is you who is stuck.

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Chimney1 wrote:
<quoted text>
And before that one land mass there were many. Pangaea was a temporary phenomenon, a cycle of separation and joining that has been going on repeatedly for the last few billion years. It will happen, and break apart, yet again in the future.
Nobody knows if the original continental formations were fragmented or in one place.
This is just the last 550 million years - 1 eighth of earth's history.
http://www.youtube.com/watch...
Don't you mean the last 6,000 years. All this moving around took place in the last 6,000 years. Europe and North America moved away from each other at about 1.6 kilometers per year. I wonder why they didn't write about it. Seems like they would have. They were writing all that other science stuff in the Bible.

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
The Bible spoke of one large landmass thousands of years before Wegner's Continental Drift Theory:
"And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear: And it was so." Genesis 1:9
That's just because they didn't know about the other continents.

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DanFromSmithville wrote:
<quoted text>Don't you mean the last 6,000 years. All this moving around took place in the last 6,000 years. Europe and North America moved away from each other at about 1.6 kilometers per year. I wonder why they didn't write about it. Seems like they would have. They were writing all that other science stuff in the Bible.
They didn't write much about it because they were busy learning theology--and you know it takes lots and lots of hard work learning lots of theology to be able to come up with good science.

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Chimney1 wrote:
Not only that but there are more than the 2 possibilities you mentioned.
3. the universe or its precursors have always existed.
4. the whole concept of "origin" and cause/effect is flawed once time is understood to be a plastic variable. We may not have even been able to conceive of a system that completely sidesteps this. You say that is a cop out but your claim that God is eternal and /or self created is no different.
No, your logic is flawed. Your (3) and (4) are the same as It all came from "Something". So I repeat, you have only two options to choose from: 1. Something or 2. Nothing. We don't know is not an option, it's a copout.

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appleboy wrote:
<quoted text>
That's just because they didn't know about the other continents.
That's ridiculous. First of all, the Creator knows how the world was made. Second of all, Moses certainly was aware of large bodies of water and other land masses. Thirdly, even if he didn't, why would he state it clearly one way vs. the other? Why would he say that? Never, mind. I forgot. Non-believers are unable to understand the Bible.

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I could go on for a long time with scientific facts know from the Bible long before we figured out that it was correct. Here's another:

Ezekiel 5:5

"This is what the Soverign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the CENTER of the nations, with countries all around her."

Also, Ezekiel 38:12, "Living at the Center of the land."

Well guess what, Dr. Andrew J. Woods found from an extensive study that spot to be mathematically as the geographical center of all landmasses on the earth! Computers were used to make this calculation, since it involves not only continental land but also all the islands and is very complicated.

In 1973, Andrew J. Woods, a physicist with Gulf Energy & Environmental Systems in San Diego, used a digital global map and calculated the coordinates on a mainframe system as

"39°00&#8242;N 34°00&#8242;E, 1000 km north of Giza and 150 km southeast of Ankara, Turkey."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_cen...

“Think&Care”

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#159324
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Who Knows wrote:
<quoted text>Well at least your admitting that it is "ill defined". How then can you guys state with confidence that consciousness is a molecular phenomenon? That's the whole problem. Saying 'consciousness is molecular' is a guess until it isn't. I'll repeat, with gravity you guys don't seem to try defining it beyond what the evidence shows. That's all I can say to all of you and all I can do is keep repeating it if you don't get it. Trouble is you can't accept the truth. Consciousness just has to be limited to a molecular phenomenon doesn't it?
And my point is that we need to agree ahead of time what types of things we are considering and what types of things we are not considering. The term 'consciousness' isn't just ill-defined: it is ambiguous: different people have very different intuitions about it. I think that is because there is more than one phenomenon going on and that it is important to distinguish them.

Let me be clear: in no way of interest to me is an atom or a rock conscious. The 'consciousness' I am interested in primarily simply isn't active in such objects. Instead, it is active in animals with complex nervous systems.

We also seem to have a problem with terminology. To be a quantum process means that to explain the phenomenon requires the use of quantum mechanical ideas such as wave functions, entanglement, and the uncertainty principle. I very strongly doubt that consciousness is a quantum phenomenon in this sense. The scale is just too large for consciousness and the relevant temperatures too high: the quantum effects would get immediately washed out. Of course *all* phenomena are ultimately reducible to quantum phenomena, but this is frequently not the best way to understand them.

Next, to be a molecular phenomenon means that the to explain the phenomenon requires understanding the particular chemistry of the materials involved. This is one step up from a quantum phenomenon, but the molecules are generally treated classically or as 'black boxes'. Again, I doubt that consciousness is a molecular phenomenon. While the activities of the different molecules will determine whether they are stimulants or depressants on various parts of the nervous system, my intuition is the particular molecular properties are not as relevant as their effects on the whole. So, while serotonin and norepinephrine have very different effects, I think the specific mechanism for those effects is less relevant to consciousness than the effects themselves.

It was also suggested that consciousness is an electro-chemical phenomenon. I see this as being approximately the same level as molecular, but with the acknowledgement that electrical forces are important for conductivity of the neurons. Again, the neurotransmitters are at this level.

The next level up would be the cellular level. This is the level concerned with how cells signal each other, how they grow and reproduce, etc. This is the level of the nerve cells, synapses, and conduction along axons. Even here, I find the level to be below that required to understand consciousness. It seems to me that an understanding at this level is important, but it is somewhat like understanding a computer operating system by looking at transistors.

I would suggest that consciousness is a phenomenon of connection between signaling and processing units (such as neurons) and is closer to being software than it is to being hardware. The difference is that the brain is not a stored program computer: the neural connections and their changes provide the continuing substrate on which the program of consciousness runs.

Now, this leads me to the intuition that it is possible computers or some other machine will be conscious in the future. I am much less certain about the prospects of transferring consciousness from a brain to a computer: the architectures are just too different. But imagine the speed-up if it is every accomplished!

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
No, your logic is flawed. Your (3) and (4) are the same as It all came from "Something". So I repeat, you have only two options to choose from: 1. Something or 2. Nothing. We don't know is not an option, it's a copout.
No, if (3) the universe has always existed, then it did not 'come from' anything. It simply always was. You can certainly understand the concept because you believe the same thing about your deity: it always was and didn't come from anything. So it is a *possibility* that the universe has this property and 'God' is an irrelevant addition to the hypothesis.

As for (4), that causality isn't relevant, this is clear: causality is part of the time structure of the universe. If there isn't time, there isn't causality and so no 'coming from'.

You are the one jumping to conclusions, which is the actual 'cop-out'.

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
I could go on for a long time with scientific facts know from the Bible long before we figured out that it was correct. Here's another:
Ezekiel 5:5
"This is what the Soverign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the CENTER of the nations, with countries all around her."
Also, Ezekiel 38:12, "Living at the Center of the land."
Well guess what, Dr. Andrew J. Woods found from an extensive study that spot to be mathematically as the geographical center of all landmasses on the earth! Computers were used to make this calculation, since it involves not only continental land but also all the islands and is very complicated.
In 1973, Andrew J. Woods, a physicist with Gulf Energy & Environmental Systems in San Diego, used a digital global map and calculated the coordinates on a mainframe system as
"39°00&#8242;N 34°00&#8242;E, 1000 km north of Giza and 150 km southeast of Ankara, Turkey."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_cen...
I notice you dishonestly left out the next sentence:

"In 2003, a revised calculation using the higher resolution ETOPO2[6] global digital elevation model (DEM) with data points every 2'(3.7 km near equator) led to a more precise result of 40°52&#8242;N 34°34&#8242;E (180 km northeast of Ankara) and thereby validated Woods' calculation."

Neither is anywhere close to Jerusalem.

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come on, think a little bit Poly. In
"He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
The clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?"
You have the complete cycle; 1. Cloud, 2. Evaporation, 3. Rain, and 4. Cloud. "He *DRAWS UP THE WATER*(evaporation)....*WHICH DISTILL AS RAIN (condensation) TO THE STREAMS"*
I mean, how much clearer could it be? Or do you just like to be difficult?
It's almost as if your ideology requires you to say, "whatever the Creationists say, take the opposite position, even if it goes counter to all logic, common sense, and truth."
Again Urb, your quote is a modern adaptation. The Torah does not state what you claim.
Don't you remember being told that when you start with a false premise you will reach a false conclusion?

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
The Bible spoke of one large landmass thousands of years before Wegner's Continental Drift Theory:
"And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear: And it was so." Genesis 1:9
The writers of Genesis also said that the Earth was created prior to every other observable celestial body. Do you really find it so amazing that they were ignorant of all but the one large land mass they lived on?

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
I could go on for a long time with scientific facts know from the Bible long before we figured out that it was correct. Here's another:
Ezekiel 5:5
"This is what the Soverign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the CENTER of the nations, with countries all around her."
Also, Ezekiel 38:12, "Living at the Center of the land."
Well guess what, Dr. Andrew J. Woods found from an extensive study that spot to be mathematically as the geographical center of all landmasses on the earth! Computers were used to make this calculation, since it involves not only continental land but also all the islands and is very complicated.
In 1973, Andrew J. Woods, a physicist with Gulf Energy & Environmental Systems in San Diego, used a digital global map and calculated the coordinates on a mainframe system as
"39°00&#8242;N 34°00&#8242;E, 1000 km north of Giza and 150 km southeast of Ankara, Turkey."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_cen...
"The exact center of the earth, insofar as Mr. Woods’ calculations could determine, was found to be near Ankara, the present capital of Turkey, at latitude 39° and longitude 34°, on the same latitude as Mount Ararat and essentially the same longitude as Jerusalem."
http://www.icr.org/article/50/

Talk about grabbing at straws! Hilarious!

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#159330
Dec 4, 2013
 
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
I notice you dishonestly left out the next sentence:
"In 2003, a revised calculation using the higher resolution ETOPO2[6] global digital elevation model (DEM) with data points every 2'(3.7 km near equator) led to a more precise result of 40°52&#8242;N 34°34&#8242;E (180 km northeast of Ankara) and thereby validated Woods' calculation."
Neither is anywhere close to Jerusalem.
Exactly!

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Urban Cowboy wrote:
<quoted text>
That's ridiculous. First of all, the Creator knows how the world was made. Second of all, Moses certainly was aware of large bodies of water and other land masses. Thirdly, even if he didn't, why would he state it clearly one way vs. the other? Why would he say that? Never, mind. I forgot. Non-believers are unable to understand the Bible.
"Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them..."

Matthew 4:8

So, either the world was flat -- in order to see 'all the kingdoms of the world', OR, "The World" consisted ONLY of their little corner of the planet upon which they lived.

Or the whole damn story is just that: A story.

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To weigh in on the "conscious" end of this thread, here's an interesting article from a couple of weeks back:

A neuroscientist's radical theory of how networks become conscious.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-11/1...

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