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BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth

Jack the Sailor 07 Oct 12 - 02:48 PM
Q 07 Oct 12 - 02:07 PM
bobad 07 Oct 12 - 01:14 PM
Q 07 Oct 12 - 12:35 PM
bobad 07 Oct 12 - 07:54 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 12 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,saulgoldie 28 Sep 12 - 12:12 PM
Stringsinger 28 Sep 12 - 11:46 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 12 - 11:25 AM
Jack the Sailor 28 Sep 12 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,saulgoldie 28 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 12 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,999 28 Sep 12 - 10:15 AM
EBarnacle 28 Sep 12 - 08:37 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 12 - 08:20 AM
TheSnail 28 Sep 12 - 03:39 AM
EBarnacle 27 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM
frogprince 27 Sep 12 - 04:11 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Sep 12 - 03:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Sep 12 - 01:01 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Sep 12 - 05:14 AM
EBarnacle 26 Sep 12 - 11:50 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 08:21 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Sep 12 - 07:51 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Sep 12 - 07:42 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Sep 12 - 07:27 PM
Donuel 26 Sep 12 - 01:08 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 12:59 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,999 26 Sep 12 - 10:37 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Sep 12 - 10:28 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Sep 12 - 09:58 AM
Jack the Sailor 26 Sep 12 - 09:00 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 08:48 AM
Jack the Sailor 26 Sep 12 - 08:14 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 07:52 AM
Jack the Sailor 26 Sep 12 - 07:32 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Sep 12 - 05:40 AM
Jack the Sailor 25 Sep 12 - 10:13 PM
EBarnacle 25 Sep 12 - 09:12 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 08:25 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 08:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Sep 12 - 07:18 PM
Jack the Sailor 25 Sep 12 - 06:58 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 04:30 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 09:16 AM
bobad 25 Sep 12 - 07:54 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 06:28 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 06:02 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 12 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 02:48 PM

It is a cartoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Q
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 02:07 PM

One may graph almost any two variables and draw comparisons, but they are only fun.
Moreover, the comparison in the graph was selective, leaving out many countries. Muslim belief in evolution?
CIA
Liechtenstein
Qatar
Luxembourg
Bermuda
Monaco
Singapore
Jersey
Falkland Is.
Norway
Brunei

WORLD BANK
Luxembourg
Qatar
Macao
Norway
Singapore
Kuwait
Brunei
Hong Kong
Switzerland
United States
UAE
Netherlands
Austria
Ireland
Sweden
Denmark
Canada
Australia
(20 is Equatorial Guinea)


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: bobad
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 01:14 PM

Nobody's yokin' nuttin' to nuttin' - all the graph shows is a statistically significant correlation - make of it what you will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Q
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 12:35 PM

Some interesting comments in this thread, but yoking national wealth to belief in evolution is nonsense.

(Unfortunately, most people don't give a hang about evolution or what is broadly called natural science. Eye-glaze syndrome sets in when the subject is brought up.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: bobad
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 07:54 AM

Why the US is an outlier:

A Republican who sits on the House of Representatives science committee has dismissed evolution and other theories as "lies straight from the pit of hell"

A Republican congressman who sits on the science committee of the House of Representatives has dismissed evolution, the Big Bang theory and embryology as "lies straight from the pit of hell".

Paul Broun, who is running for re-election as Georgia representative this November unopposed by Democrats, made the comments during a speech at a baptist church last month. A videoclip of the event was posted on YouTube on Friday.

In the clip, Broun, who is a doctor, says that "as a scientist" he has found data that shows the earth is no older than 9,000 years and was created in six days. Mainstream scientific thought holds that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, give or take the odd millennia.

Broun also says that theories regarding the origins of the universe and evolution represent "lies to try and keep me and all the folk that were taught that from understanding that they need a saviour".

In a statement to the Athens Banner-Herald, Meredith Griffanti, a spokeswoman for the Republican congressman, said: "Dr Broun was speaking off the record to a large church group about his personal beliefs regarding religious issues."

But the comments may prove an embarrassment to some of his colleagues on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The congressional body was already subjected to scrutiny over remarks made by another member, the Missouri House representative Todd Akin.

Akin sparked outrage and ridicule this summer, after suggesting that it was "really rare" for rape to result in pregnancy.

"If it is legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down," the Missouri politician said, while trying to mount a defence of his no-exception anti-abortion stance.

That comment saw the Republican receive a severe dressing down from party bigwigs, including the presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and calls for him to step aside in his forthcoming Senate race. Akin declined to do so.

© Guardian News and Media 2012


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 12:21 PM

Good education = giving children the skills which enable them to acquire knowledge, to make them curious and to encourage them to be critical of anything they are told that lacks evidence. Bad education = religious education. Don't call it that. It isn't education unless it's exclusively about the nature, impact and history of world religions. Otherwise it's religious instruction, a very different beast that can be called by even less kind names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: GUEST,saulgoldie
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 12:12 PM

Bad education? I think there is *some* disagreement as to what is "good" education. Some feel strongly that education is about infusing youngsters with what the teachers and their supporters think is "fact." While others feel that good teaching is about encouraging students to think think creatively and ask questions. The problem with the later is that if they are asking questions, then those questions will inevitably turn to religious doctrine, which needs to be supported by faith and not fact or reason. Therein lies the rub.

Teaching "facts" and not thought process may suit some needs. But if all the students accept those "facts" and do not question, then there is no progress, no discovery, no invention, no growth.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Stringsinger
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 11:46 AM

It's reminiscent of Galileo and the Church of Rome. The clergy refused to look into the telescope.

And so it was in those times where the scientists would be burned at the stake for heresy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 11:25 AM

The study may be trying to make some mischievous causation claim for all I know (why was it commissioned in the first place?), but the obstinate bit of science that needs applying here is that, as ever, correlation does not imply or prove causation. The results can form nothing more than the basis of a hypothesis that needs a great deal more investigation. Another point: taking a heterogeneous behemoth such as the US as a single state and sticking it alongside tiny states such as Iceland for comparison is very suspect. It would be interesting to see a similar graph plotting just the 50 states of the US. Even then there would be cavils.

I wonder how a graph of evolution belief versus beer-drinking would look. Or evolution belief versus sunscreen use. I'd like to know what germ of a notion suggested this study to its author. Unfortunately, I ain't paying good money to access the article to find out. By far the most worrying aspect of it all is that less than half of US citizens accept that evolution takes place (watch out - there's a gastropod about...) Seems like there's a lot of very bad education about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:42 AM

I think that the scientific validity of the graph is on a par with the educational value of this cartoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: GUEST,saulgoldie
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM

Since the graph is somewhat inconclusive in showing a relatively consistent correlation between "belief in" (as opposed to "acceptance of") evolution and material wealth, one can conclude that there are many people who don't "believe in" evolution, but happily utilize the outcomes of the scientific process that has produced virtually everything around us, and yes, validates the "theory" of evolution.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:22 AM

I haven't dismissed Rowling. I've said that the writing is dull and the books unchallenging, but that at least they get children reading. Yes, I did say that! That there is no harm in occasional indulgence in stuff of that nature and that the books are hardly going to deprave and corrupt. Your comment on Dahl is spot on and identifies exactly what's lacking in Harry Potter.

Incidentally, there's nothing wrong with well-written books for children that have illustrations. I highly recommend The Magic of Reality: How we know what's really true which is beautifully and compellingly written by Richard Dawkins and stunningly illustrated by Dave McKean. Written for children but gripping for adult children too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:15 AM

"Dotage is what I'm already in, according to the missus, yet I'm far from senile."

You don't know what you're missing. I'm in my dotage AND senile, and I don't know you're missing either.

##################################

The music notation is all over the place and makes little sense.

##################################

Remember: parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 08:37 AM

I find it interesting that you dismiss Rowling, who has helped millions of children want to read and taught them to enjoy nonpicture books. Is this the world's best writing? No. On the other hand, I and many others find Rushdie's work completely unreadable despite the plaudits of the reviewers.

Dahl is fun. The rhythms of poetry appeal to the interest of children and teach them that the written word can be more than just flat words in a row.

By the time a kid reaches 5 or 6, a bright kid is looking for something more than Spot the dog. That's the time to give them Mark Twain and Rowling. The stories are accessible to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 08:20 AM

I have not proclaimed myself anything of the sort! Harry Potter books just happen to have been present in my house and I just happened to sample one. My comments on children's literature have, thus far, been confined to that. At my tender age I doubt whether I'll be reading much more children's literature, though, one day, if I ever have grandchildren, I can see myself reading them The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Adventures Of Spot The Dog. And possibly some Roald Dahl books, a couple of which I read to my kids and which I did quite enjoy. He had a deliciously subversive style of writing, unlike that of the dull Ms Rowling. I recommend The Twits for beginners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 03:39 AM

Steve Shaw

The substantive matter is what people in this thread wish to discuss.

Sorry, but I have no opinions on the substantive matter if it's the quality of children's literature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: EBarnacle
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM

Steve, I am asking you to do a linear qualitative analysis, not to do it myself. You have proclaimed yourself a judge of children's literature, so do it, meeting normal standards of criticism and comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: frogprince
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 04:11 PM

I sure might have saved a bunch of spit and fuss if this had been titled "Acceptance of the evidence for evolution vs. national wealth"


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:27 PM

You do appear to be a rather bitter fellow, Don.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 01:01 PM

Careful EB!

You'll be surprised at the number of pejorative labels you will attract, if you question any of the resident genius's pronouncements.

He uses words like "dotage" knowing full well the common, colloquial, meaning, then when challenged, hides behind a somewhat outdated strict dictionary definition.

Ad Hominem with a "get out" clause.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 05:14 AM

Fire away. I doubt whether I'd be inclined to go down that road, but be my guest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 11:50 PM

OK, Steve, how about a real comparison with, let's say, Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 08:21 PM

Don, please don't be silly. Dotage is what I'm already in, according to the missus, yet I'm far from senile. A dictionary might come in handy. You DO give a shit about whether Harry Potter is great literature or dross, otherwise why would you persist in this emotional ranting of yours! The point I made about the litany of Harry Potter books is that one is diminishing oneself if one indulges in the passive absorption thereof. The books simply lack the literary and life-enhancing merits of the best of literature, music, painting or sculpture. They are mass-produced pulp for the passive, grateful masses, in the same way that EastEnders, Corrie, Casualtitty and Holby Citytitty are. I'm not saying that occasional indulgence in such unchallenging, low-brow stuff is a bad thing. Even I watch University Challenge, fer chrissake! (Well, gotta support Imperial College, me alma mater, innit!) But there's too much of it about. We condemn kids for playing computer games for interminable hours, yet they are at least interacting with them, which is more than can be said for spending hour after sedentary hour reading the aimless adventures of an unreal boy-toff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:51 PM

""wtf

really what is this really about?
Don
""

Since you ask Donuel,....

Steve made a comment that reading Harry Potter diminishes us in some way.

I politely asked him to explain HOW.

His first response was to accuse me of being senile if I liked kids books.

I took exception to that! Wouldn't you?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:42 PM

""The trouble is, Don, that you don't listen to what people are actually saying when you don't want to, once you've taken against them. It goes all black and white. It makes it so that there isn't enough ground for us to have any sort of conversation. Too bad.""

What did I miss about your immediate response below, with its obvious suggestion that I must be senile if I read "Harry Potter" (an unjustified assumption and as it happens, untrue. I've never read Harry Potter books).

""[Jeez, if I really must...] Good for you if a poorly-written kids' book entertains you. Perhaps you've gone round full-circle or something.""

It seems to me very clearly an ad hominem argument, suggesting that your opinion on any subject is not to be challenged without the challenger being subjected to your own particular brand of snide, dismissive ill manners.

I don't give a shit about whether Harry Potter is great literature or pure dross. I just don't think that you are the fount of all knowledge and your opinion is the last word as you seem to believe.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:27 PM

""But I can honestly say that I've been very lucky, having never before had to deal with such an ill mannered, opinionated, arrogant boor as you.""

Not ad hominem argument at all Steve. I'm surprised you don't know the difference.

It is an honest assessment of your methods of dealing with the rest of the human race, and the accuracy of that assessment is right here in this thread, for anyone who cares to examine the sequence, starting with your response to a polite request for clarification.

If you don't like it,............

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 01:08 PM

wtf

really what is this really about?
Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 12:59 PM

BTW, I did follow that Wiki link, and read the whole article.

You obviously either read only the criticisms in the first section, or read and then ignored the number of positive comments in the later sections, from people like Steven King.

It seems that positive and negative comments were about evenly divided, and there was a suggestion that the criticisms were based in intellectual snobbery, something in which you seem rather well versed.


I posted the link unadorned, in the full knowledge that it contained some favourable references to the Harry Potter books as well as some remarks agreeing with me. Credit me with having the honesty and straightforwardness to do that instead of selecting just the bits that concurred with my opinion. When I posted the link I didn't say, or imply, that the whole world agreed with my take on the series: I said, simply, I'm not alone, far from it.

The trouble is, Don, that you don't listen to what people are actually saying when you don't want to, once you've taken against them. It goes all black and white. It makes it so that there isn't enough ground for us to have any sort of conversation. Too bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 12:49 PM

Interesting that you should spend all that energy accusing me of ad hominem attacks, then, like Jacko, intriguingly free of irony, you say this:
But I can honestly say that I've been very lucky, having never before had to deal with such an ill mannered, opinionated, arrogant boor as you.

Nice one yet again, Don!

And I have answered your question, as it happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 10:37 AM

Someone else's review of a book has never stopped me from reading it. At day's end, it's a parent's responsibility to vet books that children are going to read. IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 10:28 AM

BTW, I did follow that Wiki link, and read the whole article.

You obviously either read only the criticisms in the first section, or read and then ignored the number of positive comments in the later sections, from people like Steven King.

It seems that positive and negative comments were about evenly divided, and there was a suggestion that the criticisms were based in intellectual snobbery, something in which you seem rather well versed.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 09:58 AM

""He may be right about there being no easy answers, but you sure as hell won't find any answers by straying down the path of delusion.""

Obviously true, since you cannot even answer the question I asked days ago.

You made an entirely unequivocal statement that Harry Potter books would in some way diminise the reader.

You must have had some idea of exactly how, else what was the point of the comment.

Yet your response to being asked to explain is first to simply dismiss the question as me simply disagreeing with you, which is a straightforward lie.

When I pointed this out, your response was ""[Jeez, if I really must...] Good for you if a poorly-written kids' book entertains you. Perhaps you've gone round full-circle or something. A brief perusal of one of 'em revealed dull writing and characterisation that only got away with it because the characters were so unreal. The books are popular because they are so unchallenging. I'm not saying they'll turn anyone's brain to mush but I do think you're championing something that lacks any kind of quality of the kind that will really last.""

Thanks for the suggestion of senility, though I would point out it is entire untrue.
You also seem to be labouring under the delusion that your unsupported opinion is the definitive last word on the subject, while at the same time, apparently, admitting that you don't in fact believe your original claim, which leads me to think that it isn't my senility we should be worrying about.

Your next post consists entirely of a diatribe expressing, quite offensively, your opinion, without any attempt to address the question.

When I suggested that when you post what is pure opinion, you might present it as such, and not as fact, your response was purely offensive, with yet another ad hominem attack.

""Well, Don, I won't bother to qualify with "in my opinion" every time I type something that is my opinion. There are people here who type stuff that requires far more mental processing than that, yet I don't see you going for their jugulars.

You may be feeling miffed that I've had a crack at the children's books you so enjoy in your dotage, but I'm not alone, far from it:
""

Finally this from you:

""Neither hot air nor dodgy italics, Don. I gave you some food for thought in the wiki link, quite a lot, actually, but Don thinks that disagreeing with Don equals no logical response, lack of understanding, hot air, don't know what I'm talking about. As you've referred to your advanced years in the past, I hardly think that a gentle reference to them is ad hominem.""

You have no idea what Don thinks, so I'll do my best to enlighten you. I happily discuss many subjects with many people, here and elsewhere, who disagree with me. But I can honestly say that I've been very lucky, having never before had to deal with such an ill mannered, opinionated, arrogant boor as you.

And, for your information, there is no such thing as a gentle ad hominem, and no justification for it either. You started that in answer to a simple polite question and if you got some of the same in response, it's your own fault.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 09:00 AM

Inaccurate, shrill and frantic, ad hominem attacking, irony lack admiring, thinks that repeating one's own words is parroting, evangelical, fundamentalist atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 08:48 AM

I admire, with amusement, your apparent lack of irony.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 08:14 AM

Inaccurate, shrill and frantic, ad hominem attacking, thinks that repeating one's own words is parroting, evangelical, fundamentalist atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:52 AM

I didn't parrot a thing.

Oh yeah?


Evangelical, fundamentalist atheist.


:-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:32 AM

I didn't parrot a thing.

I said that he made some good points.

Inaccurate, shrill and frantic, ad hominem attacking, Evangelical, fundamentalist atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 05:40 AM

Yer man says this, Jacko:

They were searching through their lived experience of their spiritual traditions for an understanding of what was sacred in their lives. I found that dedication refreshing and exciting. They understood that there were no easy answers in life.

Acknowledging that truth, in both science and religion, could be one way to raise the discussion to a plane where we might all learn something.


You think that's good advice? You think that truth in science is equivalent to truth in religion? You think that what believers see as "sacred" in their lives makes living by mythology somehow more valid? He may be right about there being no easy answers, but you sure as hell won't find any answers by straying down the path of delusion.

Anyway, keep parroting it, Jacko. You might just make it sound more true, like Don does!


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 10:13 PM

"
A not-so-preachy atheist.

He makes some good points.

He's seriously misguided. He's praising people who start from the totally unjustified standpoint of belief and who take it from there. They are constrained, ringfenced. He should be telling them to start from what we know to be true. It's wonderful enough and contains more potential for spirituality than anyone needs. "

Evangelical, fundamentalist atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:12 PM

"HOWEVER, if you are a scientist dependent of taxpayer-funded grants, you are going to have to make the taxpayers believe in whatever it is you're doing. No belief, no funding. And don't count on the taxpayers accepting scientific arguments."

As Lady Hillary and I were driving home from Western Pennsylvania yesterday, we saw two signs relevant to this argument: "The Theory of Evolution is a fairy tale for adults." The other was a billboard inviting us to go to the Creationist museum, showing man and the dinosaurs together. My initial reaction to the first was "Belief in God is a fairy tale for children."

The point is not that people are idiots but that they are taught to take the easy route, and avoiding any thinking which requires effort. They are taught to believe authority and not to think for themselves. As long as this is so, people who try to tell the truth will have to beg for funding. The ignorant also have a tendency to follow the crowd around them. It's comfortable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 08:25 PM

Neither hot air nor dodgy italics, Don. I gave you some food for thought in the wiki link, quite a lot, actually, but Don thinks that disagreeing with Don equals no logical response, lack of understanding, hot air, don't know what I'm talking about. As you've referred to your advanced years in the past, I hardly think that a gentle reference to them is ad hominem. Certainly, in any case, far less of an ad hominem than your telling me I'm illogical, bereft of understanding, spouting hot air or not knowing what I'm talking about, all simply because you don't agree with me, and all unsupported by any sensible counter-argument. It's fantasy, Don, but not as we know it. Harry Potter might, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 08:15 PM

A not-so-preachy atheist.

He makes some good points.


He's seriously misguided. He's praising people who start from the totally unjustified standpoint of belief and who take it from there. They are constrained, ringfenced. He should be telling them to start from what we know to be true. It's wonderful enough and contains more potential for spirituality than anyone needs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 07:18 PM

""You may be feeling miffed that I've had a crack at the children's books you so enjoy in your dotage""

Thank you for your ad hominem comment, Steve, which proves that you have no logical response to make, and therefore don't know what you are talking about.

I am grateful for the clarification of your lack of understanding, especially as I was just about convinced that you might have a point about Atheism.

Hot air and opinion presented as fact do nothing to draw people toward your POV. Quite the reverse. in fact.

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 06:58 PM

A not-so-preachy atheist.

He makes some good points.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 04:30 PM

Actually, this is rather good. Says it better than I did. Lifted just now from wiki:

In his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris wrote:

In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 09:16 AM

I like it!


Or I might like it if I got it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: bobad
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 07:54 AM

The gastropod makes a good point about defining oneself by what you are not. Ignosticism has some merit but it is defined as a theological position concerned with the existence of God. I prefer Paul Kurtz's philosophy; eupraxsophy (originally eupraxophy) which refers to philosophies or lifestances such as secular humanism and Confucianism that do not rely on belief in the transcendent or supernatural. A eupraxsophy is a nonreligious lifestance or worldview emphasizing the importance of living an ethical and exuberant life, and relying on rational methods such as logic, observation and science (rather than faith, mysticism or revelation) toward that end. The word is based on the Greek words for "good", "practice", and "wisdom". Eupraxsophies, like religions, are cosmic in their outlook, but eschew the supernatural component of religion, avoiding the "transcendental temptation," as Kurtz puts it. Although critical of supernatural religion, he has attempted to develop affirmative ethical values of naturalistic humanism.

Definition from Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 06:28 AM

I've always had a problem with atheism. Defining yourself as not believing in something seems an odd position to take.

Not only odd, but wrong. You're immediately putting yourself into believer territory by defining yourself that way. Considering that the notion of God defies all the laws of nature and lacks all evidence, they should be on our territory and forced to define themselves, not the other way round. I suppose we're stuck with a word, "atheist", spawned on their territory, but hey ho. I don't say "I don't believe in God." I prefer to say "That's an interesting notion you have there. What evidence have you got to support it?" And one thing that no self-respecting atheist will say is that there is no God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 06:02 AM

Well, Don, I won't bother to qualify with "in my opinion" every time I type something that is my opinion. There are people here who type stuff that requires far more mental processing than that, yet I don't see you going for their jugulars.

You may be feeling miffed that I've had a crack at the children's books you so enjoy in your dotage, but I'm not alone, far from it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter#Literary_criticism


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Subject: RE: BS: Belief in Evolution vs. National Wealth
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 12 - 05:57 AM

Believing you and "believing" evolution are not the same thing.


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