Vatican official: Atheist's theories ...

Vatican official: Atheist's theories 'absurd'

There are 234 comments on the MSNBC story from Mar 3, 2009, titled Vatican official: Atheist's theories 'absurd'. In it, MSNBC reports that:

Vatican official calls atheist's theories 'absurd' Cardinal Levada: No conflict between evolution science and faith in God A A How we worship A A Judaism Jews pray at the Mount of Olives, matzoh is baked in ...

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“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#182 Mar 12, 2009
MattJ wrote:
The answer is that it does not end education in biology for the same reason that the current systems has not ended physics education by omitting teaching symplectic geometry in high school.
Lagrangian dynamics requires at least differential equations as a prerequisite. Symplectic geometry requires that and differential geometry. Neither of these is possible at the high school level. What prerequisites do you think evolutionary biology requires that are impossible at that level?
After all: symplectic geometry is the great unifying principle behind Lagrangian mechanics, which in turn is the great unifying principle behind ALL of kinematics and dynamics, whether classical, quantum or relativistic. Yet they don't even teach Lagrangian mechanics in high school, much less symplectic geometry.
You are right, the fact that a topic is a great unifying principle does not, alone, dictate that it should be taught in high school. It should be taught at the lowest level for which the prerequisites allow, however. For evolution and natural selection, that *is* the high school level. For symplectic geometry (which, by the way, does NOT apply to the Lagrangian formulation of quantum mechanics-it applies to the classical theory), the prerequisites only allow it to be taught at the upper levels.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#183 Mar 12, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
No, it is because I already have refuted it, but a horde of nattering nabobs tries to hide this fact by burying it under denials.
Or perhaps your refutation was inadequate.
Bob

Hinsdale, IL

#184 Mar 12, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Or perhaps your refutation was inadequate.
C-Ham,is this you?
"manymath"?
The Dude

UK

#185 Mar 12, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Or perhaps your refutation was inadequate.
cough(big yeah)cough cough

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#186 Mar 12, 2009
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
C-Ham,is this you?
"manymath"?
Look up the definition. No, CHam is my girlfriend.

Level 1

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#187 Mar 12, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
It is dishonest to ask for the answer to a question that has already been answered. And I HAVE already answered this question. Many times, even.
Open your eyes and READ before answering.
You haven't answered it. And you still haven't, even in this post.
Here: I will even put in different terms now, answering by analogy, since you FAILED to understand the discursive answer.
The answer is that it does not end education in biology for the same reason that the current systems has not ended physics education by omitting teaching symplectic geometry in high school.
I am not talking about physics class. I am talking about biology class. Try again.
It was called 'humerus' in Man and animals LONG before they knew about evolution.
And it is due to evolutionary mechanisms that there exists homology, right? So why shouldn't the teacher be able to teach this? How can anyone make any sense out of the pattern of homology found in the fossil record and extant species without the theory of evolution?
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#188 Mar 12, 2009
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
Philosophy? Sorry, I thought we were talking about science education.(shrug)
You can't do one without doing the other.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#189 Mar 12, 2009
Erasmus05 wrote:
I am not talking about physics class. I am talking about biology class. Try again.
Irrelevant. I already TOLD you it was an analogy. But you are refusing to recognize it as one.
And it is due to evolutionary mechanisms that there exists homology, right?
You are missing my point. Biologists understood homology BEFORE they understood evolution.

Sure, they understand it even better now, but you do not NEED that level of understanding in high school. If we needed it, we would also need it in physics, so we would also teach symplectic geometry.

But we don't do the one, so we don't need the other.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#190 Mar 12, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Lagrangian dynamics requires at least differential equations as a prerequisite. Symplectic geometry requires that and differential geometry. Neither of these is possible at the high school level. What prerequisites do you think evolutionary biology requires that are impossible at that level?
Have you read the article about Woese on this issue? What didn't you like about his answer?
You are right, the fact that a topic is a great unifying principle does not, alone, dictate that it should be taught in high school.
Finally, the long overdue admission! Now can you get "the Dude" to admit this, too?
It should be taught at the lowest level for which the prerequisites allow, however.
No, that does not follow.
For evolution and natural selection, that *is* the high school level.
Woese and I disagree.

Now I can almost excuse your slighting dismissal of my opinion, but I cannot excuse your slighting dismissal of his. He is a better known scientist than you are, and even in the more relevant specialty.
BullDance

Chicago, IL

#191 Mar 12, 2009
I just love friendly people

Level 1

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#192 Mar 12, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Have you read the article about Woese on this issue? What didn't you like about his answer?
Removing knowledge does not increase one's education. I think that should be quite obvious. We should be striving to give kids the best education they can get instead of settling for the path of least political resistance.

Level 1

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#193 Mar 12, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Irrelevant.
Perhaps it is irrelevant to you, but not to me.

I already TOLD you it was an analogy. But you are refusing to recognize it as one.
It is not analogous.
Biologists understood homology BEFORE they understood evolution.
But they couldn't explain the pattern of homology, the nested hierarchy. Evolution did allow them to do this. This is the reason we continue to call a specific bone a humerus across divergent species. If not for evolution there would be no reason to keep calling them by the same name.
Sure, they understand it even better now, but you do not NEED that level of understanding in high school.
In biology, yes we do.

If we needed it, we would also need it in physics, so we would also teach symplectic geometry.
I will let physicists decide what is important in their field. As a biologist, I know how important the theory of evolution is. You also ignored my analogy. The theory of biology is to biology what the theory of atoms is to chemistry. It is that important.
But we don't do the one, so we don't need the other.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#194 Mar 12, 2009
Erasmus05 wrote:
<quoted text>
Removing knowledge does not increase one's education. I think that should be quite obvious. We should be striving to give kids the best education they can get instead of settling for the path of least political resistance.
But this is a false dichotomy. Since running the schools IS a political problem, you CANNOT "giv kids the best education" without grasping with the political problem.

And oh, BTW: your OWN resistance shows that the path I am proposing is NOT "the path of least political resistance".

Besides: to give our kids the BEST education, we cannot afford to continue to give them this degenerate version of the positivist perversion of the scientific method. But that IS what you and so many others here are insisting on.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#195 Mar 12, 2009
Erasmus05 wrote:
You also ignored my analogy. The theory of biology is to biology what the theory of atoms is to chemistry. It is that important.
<quoted text>
No, I did not ignore it. I gave it MORE attention than you gave my analogy. But I don't believe your analogy is accurate. The earlier analogy of the periodic table was much more accurate.

If it were as important as the atomic theory to chemistry, Linnaeus, Hooke and Redi would not have been able to achieve their accomplishments in biology.

Atomic theory is far more basic to chemistry than evolution to biology.

BTW: your failure to see and admit that you gave my analogy less attention is a PERFECT example of your own failure to understand the scientific method, which depends not only on the experimental method, but also on the discursive reasoning you just FAILED at.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#196 Mar 12, 2009
Erasmus05 wrote:
<quoted text>
Removing knowledge does not increase one's education. I think that should be quite obvious. We should be striving to give kids the best education they can get instead of settling for the path of least political resistance.
Read Feynmann's critique of the way we now teach "The scientific method" in the early grades at http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science...

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#197 Mar 13, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
But this is a false dichotomy. Since running the schools IS a political problem, you CANNOT "giv kids the best education" without grasping with the political problem.
While true in many ways, that argument is also the basis for not educating girls in Afghanistan. I think it is far more important to advocate good education against those wanting to dumb it down for ideological reasons. The creationists in America and the Taliban in Pakistan have the same objective: theocracy and limitation of education to what they approve.
Besides: to give our kids the BEST education, we cannot afford to continue to give them this degenerate version of the positivist perversion of the scientific method. But that IS what you and so many others here are insisting on.
On the contrary, to give them the BEST *science* education, we have to emphasize the fact that *science* subjects its theories to observational testing and that anything immune to such testing is NOT science. Yes, that is the modern definition and not Aristotle's. The difference is useful and significant. The meaning of the word has changed and it's important to use the new meaning.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#198 Mar 13, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Read Feynmann's critique of the way we now teach "The scientific method" in the early grades at http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science...
Oh, the ironies of you pointing to an article of Feynman (one n by the way). First, the basis of science is observation, speculating about underlying principles, and then testing to see if the conclusions of the hypotheses correspond to new observations. This is Feynman's message: that the wonder and awe in the world we see around us is fundamental, That testing conclusions by observation is fundamental, and that having no ideas immune to critique is fundamental. Feynman was especially critical of philosophers (in other essays) because they almost always are ignorant of the subjects they criticize and get stuck in outmoded ways of thinking. You would have driven him up the wall.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#199 Mar 13, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
While true in many ways, that argument is also the basis for not educating girls in Afghanistan.
What nonsense is this? That isn't just a "jump to conclusion", it is a flying leap!
I think it is far more important to advocate good education against those wanting to dumb it down for ideological reasons. The creationists in America and the Taliban in Pakistan have the same objective: theocracy and limitation of education to what they approve.
By that kind of thinking we would have to condemn your party too, since what YOU want is anti-theocracy and limitation of education to what YOU approve.

That kind of thinking isn't very convincing, is it?
On the contrary, to give them the BEST *science* education,
No, you do not, because you insist on the Positivist definition of 'science'. That is not 'best'.

Besides: you really are out of touch with education in America today if you believe ANYONE is "giving them the best science education". Even if I were to accept your positivist definition of 'science', it is just too obvious that the system is failing even that.

Didn't you read the Feynman piece? Did you READ their failure to teach 'energy' in the lower grades? Do you REALLY think it is any better today than then? It isn't.
we have to emphasize the fact that *science* subjects its theories to observational testing and that anything immune to such testing is NOT science.
And that is your error. You keep them from recognizing that economics and political science are sciences, too.
Yes, that is the modern definition and not Aristotle's. The difference is useful and significant
Significant yes. But that significance is very much a mixed bag. It is NOT all good, as you claim.
The meaning of the word has changed and it's important to use the new meaning.
Oh, so if a linguistic movement manages to overthrow YOUR favored meaning of the word, then we will have to use the new meaning, and discard the "useful and significant" meaning you like?

You REALLY are not thinking! There is NOTHING scientific about such radical 'pragmatic' relativism.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#200 Mar 13, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, the ironies of you pointing to an article of Feynman (one n by the way).
I have long believed that people with no stomach for irony do not belong in Topix;)
First, the basis of science is observation, speculating about underlying principles, and then testing to see if the conclusions of the hypotheses correspond to new observations. This is Feynman's message: that the wonder and awe in the world we see around us is fundamental, That testing conclusions by observation is fundamental, and that having no ideas immune to critique is fundamental.
No, he didn't go that far. That is a logical impossibility: in order to have "no ideas immune to critique", you must at LEAST have that one idea immune to critique!
Feynman was especially critical of philosophers (in other essays) because they almost always are ignorant of the subjects they criticize and get stuck in outmoded ways of thinking. You would have driven him up the wall.
So you say, but I actually met him at Caltech. And no, I didn't drive him up the wall. His confrontation with stomach cancer had already mellowed him out a LOT.

Besides: yet again, you are being very unscientific both in your blanket criticism of all philosophers, AND in ascribing this viewpoint to Feynman. The 'philosophers' he was so critical of were not even real philosophers, they were Gary Zukav's ilk: people whose understanding of Relativity was "everything is relative" or whose understanding of QM was "nothing is certain".

But REAL philosophers knew better than to fall into those traps. Popper and Maritain did not make these mistakes.
The Dude

UK

#201 Mar 13, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
You would have driven him up the wall.
He has that talent.

;-)

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