Vatican official: Atheist's theories 'absurd'

There are 20 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

#202 Mar 13, 2009
MattJ wrote:
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.
Oh, I definitely agree with that assessment. The educational system is failing in many, many ways. So how do you do mass education and keep that required wonder and curiosity? I do not know. How do you convey the needed basics (and not so basics) to the next generation in time for them to vote intelligently? Again, I do not know. How do we get teachers at the lower levels that know the subjects that they teach and in enough numbers to teach all the kids? Again, I don't know.

I see the results of this failure of our educational system every day in my classes. I have calculus students that can't add fractions, graduate students that don't know calculus, and a nation that can't place Iraq on a map after several years of war there.
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.
And why not? Partly because we spend way too much time worrying about the politics of evolution and of parents that can't imagine their precious kids are ignorant little snots. Because we have an electorate that doesn't want to pay for good teachers and teachers that often shouldn't be paid what they are. Because we, as a society, do not value education as opposed to money making and sports.

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#203 Mar 14, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
I have long believed that people with no stomach for irony do not belong in Topix;)
As someone who would not recognise irony if was personified and hit you in the goolies with a house brick, you are singularly unqualified to make any comments about irony. You serenely make one ironic statement after another, blithely ignorant of the irony inherent in your own words and you have the utter temerity to lecture others about irony. I think you have just broken every irony meter in this entire sector of the galaxy.

Since: Nov 07

Elk River, ID

#204 Mar 14, 2009
More Bluenose...I can read your prose all day long. It seems that we are the only two here with a good grasp of written English. The patience and accuracy of your breviary is appreciated.

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#205 Mar 14, 2009
I do my best...
MattJ

Hayward, CA

#206 Mar 14, 2009
Bluenose wrote:
<quoted text>
As someone who would not recognise irony if was personified and hit you in the goolies with a house brick, you are singularly unqualified to make any comments about irony. You serenely make one ironic statement after another, blithely ignorant of the irony inherent in your own words and you have the utter temerity to lecture others about irony. I think you have just broken every irony meter in this entire sector of the galaxy.
Ah, but how do you know that wasn't my plan all along? Now that your meters are all broken, I can sell my industrial strength meter and charge monopoly prices for it;)

And you who brag about knowing English should have known better than to use 'temerity' that way. Your rash assumption that I don't recognize irony is far greater 'temerity' than anything I posted.

Besides: what was 'serene' about any of my posts? You must have misread them very badly!
MattJ

Hayward, CA

#207 Mar 14, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, I definitely agree with that assessment...Because we, as a society, do not value education as opposed to money making and sports.
Too true, all too true. But WHY do we as a society misplace our values so badly? Because there is NO pressure on the society to do otherwise. And why is there none? I submit to you that a major factor far too long neglected is: nobody is challenging them with philosophy, the way Socrates challenged his 'disciples'.

Now there is no way the school system could step into Socrates' shoes (what shoes?). But they would at least get a little closer to it, if they would teach that ALL the sciences are sciences, not just the empirical ones. For that would open the door to understanding that ontology, epistemology and dialectic are also sciences, that we CAN know the answers to the questions that plague us, that we CAN see through the fallacies our society bombards us with every day.

In the meantime, we would be lucky if the school system didn't do worse than produce imitators of Crito, Critias and Alcibiades, and we have no hope of seeing them produce Platos and Xenophons.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#208 Mar 14, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Too true, all too true. But WHY do we as a society misplace our values so badly? Because there is NO pressure on the society to do otherwise. And why is there none? I submit to you that a major factor far too long neglected is: nobody is challenging them with philosophy, the way Socrates challenged his 'disciples'.
Now there is no way the school system could step into Socrates' shoes (what shoes?). But they would at least get a little closer to it, if they would teach that ALL the sciences are sciences, not just the empirical ones. For that would open the door to understanding that ontology, epistemology and dialectic are also sciences, that we CAN know the answers to the questions that plague us, that we CAN see through the fallacies our society bombards us with every day.
In the meantime, we would be lucky if the school system didn't do worse than produce imitators of Crito, Critias and Alcibiades, and we have no hope of seeing them produce Platos and Xenophons.
Or perhaps a Lucretius?
MattJ

Pleasanton, CA

#209 Mar 14, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Or perhaps a Lucretius?
One Lucretius was one too many;)

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#210 Mar 14, 2009
MattJ wrote:
But they would at least get a little closer to it, if they would teach that ALL the sciences are sciences, not just the empirical ones. For that would open the door to understanding that ontology, epistemology and dialectic are also sciences, that we CAN know the answers to the questions that plague us, that we CAN see through the fallacies our society bombards us with every day.
But that is exactly what I disagree with. They are NOT sciences and we cannot know the answers to such questions. We can merely look at how different assumptions lead to different perspectives. Let's face it, solipsism is perfectly consistent, but few of us really believe it. The best we can do is have models that make predictions that can be verified. Anything more is going beyond the knowable and usually beyond the rational.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#211 Mar 14, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
One Lucretius was one too many;)
Somehow I thought you'd say that. I strongly disagree. His ideas still stand well when Aristotle's fail.
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#212 Mar 14, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
But that is exactly what I disagree with.
I KNOW you disagree with it. What I don't know is how you can live with this inconsistency, since a LOT of what you claim in these forums is NOT proved by the only "scientific method" you admit exists.
Let's face it, solipsism is perfectly consistent, but few of us really believe it.
Yet a shocking number of people really do act as if they did -- for a while.

More important: you cannot disprove solipsism with your "scientific method". You need something more. That something more is supplied by philosophy, which gave perfectly find philosophical proofs that solipsism is wrong long ago.

Pyrrhus just deliberately IGNORED the proofs.
The best we can do is have models that make predictions that can be verified. Anything more is going beyond the knowable and usually beyond the rational.
Not at all: how, for example, do you verify the principle of non-contradiction? What model's prediction can you use to do this?
MattJ

San Jose, CA

#213 Mar 14, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Somehow I thought you'd say that. I strongly disagree. His ideas still stand well when Aristotle's fail.
So says the man who didn't know Aristotle proved the principle of the lever!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#214 Mar 15, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
I KNOW you disagree with it. What I don't know is how you can live with this inconsistency, since a LOT of what you claim in these forums is NOT proved by the only "scientific method" you admit exists.
First, I clearly pointed out that mathematics, for example, is not based on the scientific method. As such, it is a form of knowledge that is not so based. However, it alone gives no knowledge about the external world. THAT is what the scientific method is required for. Also, the conjectures that the scientific method needs to operate are not derived through either logic or through observation. But these conjectures are not knowledge until they are tested through observation.
More important: you cannot disprove solipsism with your "scientific method". You need something more. That something more is supplied by philosophy, which gave perfectly find philosophical proofs that solipsism is wrong long ago.
Actually, solipsism is nicely disproved through the scientific method since it cannot give *predictive* models for observations.'Just so' stories are not science. Science requires testable, predictive hypotheses.
Not at all: how, for example, do you verify the principle of non-contradiction? What model's prediction can you use to do this?
Most of our models are based on propositional logic. It isn't a requirement, but it has been useful so far. Since, in propositional logic, a false implies anything, a false statement is not useful for testable models. But, I have seen proposals for using different logic systems for quantum mechanics. I can easily imagine that other formulations of rules of deduction might be useful. Similar statements can be made about mathematics. It has been found quite useful for building predictive models, but I can certainly imagine different rules for mathematics that might give better models in the future.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#215 Mar 15, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
So says the man who didn't know Aristotle proved the principle of the lever!
Proved? No. Stated? No, I didn't know that. Proof requires testing through observation. Thanks for pointing it out, by the way.

Since: Nov 07

Hayden, ID

#216 Mar 15, 2009
No one has ever called MattJ an ashole and he would never identify with it if they did.
MattJ

Hayward, CA

#217 Mar 15, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Proved? No. Stated? No, I didn't know that. Proof requires testing through observation. Thanks for pointing it out, by the way.
And why are you convinced it did NOT use testing through observation? How did you THINK he came up with the parallegram law of vector addition or the idea of "virtual velocities"? Don't you see how it was tested whenever the lever was used in building?

Like so much other research done by the Lyceum, that testing would not have been written down in the Mechanica. Neither did Archimedes write down his testing in his restatement of the principle based on statics.

Such details were considered scaffolding to be removed before the finished work was displayed -- quite a ocntrast to the modern attitude!

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#218 Mar 15, 2009
MattJ wrote:
<quoted text>
And why are you convinced it did NOT use testing through observation? How did you THINK he came up with the parallegram law of vector addition or the idea of "virtual velocities"? Don't you see how it was tested whenever the lever was used in building?
Like so much other research done by the Lyceum, that testing would not have been written down in the Mechanica. Neither did Archimedes write down his testing in his restatement of the principle based on statics.
Such details were considered scaffolding to be removed before the finished work was displayed -- quite a ocntrast to the modern attitude!
And that is one reason why the modern attitude is superior on this point. The testing is crucial and the methods of testing have to be considered in part of the argument. Also, since testing always has error bars, there is always the possibility that another decimal place will show the rule to be false (as it is in this case if you consider a long enough level since the gravitational field of the earth isn't uniform).

And, of course, the paralellogram law of vector addition of velocities is also wrong in detail, although a very good approximation for low velocities. This is part of the difficulty for philosophy: the assumptions in any argument may be wrong or only approximate, which leads to conclusions that are suspect. That's fine, except when people claim the have absolutely proved their claims. For example, Kant was wrong about the a priori nature of geometry. Aristotle was wrong about forces being proportional to velocities. This is not a criticism of them, but of those who take everything they say as Truth (TM).
MattJ

Oakland, CA

#219 Mar 15, 2009
polymath257 wrote:
For example, Kant was wrong about the a priori nature of geometry.
Didn't you notice? He was wrong about the a priori nature of ANYTHING. His entire program of searching for a priori truths was a failure.

And why did he spend so much time on it, not seeing how it was doomed to fail? Because he did not understand Aristotle's theory of self-evident truths (not the same as a priori), nor the improvements on it made the the Scholastics.

Kant -- like certain people in this forum -- simply did not take enough time to understand what he was criticizing before criticizing it.
Aristotle was wrong about forces being proportional to velocities. This is not a criticism of them, but of those who take everything they say as Truth (TM).
Then that is an empty criticism, since neither I nor any of my cited sources "take everything they say as Truth (TM)".

You don't HAVE to "take everything they say as truth" in order to understand what valuable contributions they made to all logic, epistemology and ontology.

BTW: the Lyceum had already noticed that the principle "velocity is proportional to force" was flawed in The Mechanica, but the Medievals didn't translate it until 1247!

So you are making a mountain out of a molehill. That is like calling Newton's whole physics flawed simply because he believed in light as 'corpuscles'(dismissing the wave theory) and tried to compute the speed of sound assuming sound waves were isothermal expansion.
joe

Schaumburg, IL

#220 May 14, 2009
wow people we can all be who we are fook off
Economist

Buffalo, NY

#221 Sep 18, 2012
&fe ature=plcp

This is the Redneck take on evolutionists.

Evolution is a fact.

Gravity is not as well understood as is evolution.

Evolution is the basis for all modern biology.

..

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