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Dogmatic Science


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#31    Arbenol68

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:47 AM

View PostCybele, on 07 December 2012 - 04:14 AM, said:

Most people, including scientists, are biased in their beliefs. The scientific value of evidence, not the personal beliefs of its producers, should be what matters. If a hypothesis isn't falsifiable, as many spiritual and religious beliefs aren't, then it cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny. Scientists have reasons for rejecting ideas like Sheldrakes' which have nothing to do with a lack of philosophical open-mindedness.

I'll finish reading it, but so far I can't say I'm too impressed. He's regurgitating old creationist arguments. ie "it's unfair that science says we can't play with them". As well as a couple of strawmen.

What I would ask him (and anyone else that supports his view) is, if we all came round to your way of thinking and ditched materialism for a more holistic view of the universe, how would this make things different. What research or experiments could you do with your new found freedom of enquiry? How would you assess and evaluate the evidence? What criteria would you use to establish whether a particular finding is significant?

At the moment, all I hear from these arguments is what's wrong with everything else. Never what they would do differently and why this would be better.


#32    Cradle of Fish

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

View PostI believe you, on 04 December 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:

This is the probem with materialist, and as their name connotates they base their view on materialism, the belief that only what is made up of matter is real. So everything else is said to be "fake" just because it falls outside the narrow, strict range that makes science itself a success. Note materialism is not science and materialist are not scientist per se.

Science is just a method. Materialism is a view that degrades other views that do not fall in line, other ways of looking at the world, that are just as valid and in any case must coexist with science, to believe for example one should be able to go in and change laws and force others to stop this practice or adopt this belief in the name of science is not science, that is a materialist dream.

That's a plualistic view, and in a vacuum it's probably true. But if you look at the results it tells a different story. Materialism gave us the technology that defines the modern world. What has spiritualism given us? Nothing but promised yet undelivered hope. Materialism may not be a good philosophy to base one's entire life on, but as a foundation for improving the world nothing surpasses it.

Quote

Noam Chomsky made the point that matter itself might one day be defined differently so science cannot be based on materialism forever.

True, but then the definition will change to fit our better understanding of the universe. A lot of people were upset when Pluto was redefined to a dwarf planet, but the discovery of objects larger than Pluto made it necessary. Scientists are materialistic because everything investigated sufficiently has yielded a material cause, why would something like consciousness be the exception?

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#33    Spiral staircase

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:59 AM

View PostCradle of Fish, on 07 December 2012 - 06:04 AM, said:



That's a plualistic view, and in a vacuum it's probably true. But if you look at the results it tells a different story. Materialism gave us the technology that defines the modern world. What has spiritualism given us? Nothing but promised yet undelivered hope. Materialism may not be a good philosophy to base one's entire life on, but as a foundation for improving the world nothing surpasses it.



True, but then the definition will change to fit our better understanding of the universe. A lot of people were upset when Pluto was redefined to a dwarf planet, but the discovery of objects larger than Pluto made it necessary. Scientists are materialistic because everything investigated sufficiently has yielded a material cause, why would something like consciousness be the exception?

It is not a pluralistic view because Sheldrake does not want all other views to have equal footing with materialism.

Your third and fourth sentences begin to address what is known as dualism: the belief that materialism and spirituality should be equal when it comes to science.

When it comes to science, you are right, spirituality has not contributed because it belongs to another domain altogether.

I agree with the first part of your last sentence of the first paragraph: materialism is not ideal in basing a whole life philosophy on.  The last half of that sentence is too general. Many systems can improve the world and chief among them has been science and materialism has served science well thus far.

Now what some are not understanding is that Sheldrake's position is not dualism. So for all those within the scientific community condemning Sheldrake, are being so commited to the dogma of materialism that they simply cannot see the subtle difference Sheldrake presents.

Sheldrake does not want spirituality to have equal footing with materialism but he does understand materialism itself cannot fully address and investigate consciousness much less the rest of the 96% of what is out there that our senses cannot process.

There is a difference between dualism and simply understanding that science now needs to expand beyond materialism, that does not mean giving spirituality parity with materialism.

I understand this nuanced view is a more sophisticated point than simply materialism vs dualism. It is telling because some are unable to discuss this beyond materialism vs dualism. There can be no conversation that discusses this if some are discussing apples and others oranges.

Thise who act as guard dogs of science to keep it pure with materialism are dogmatic to the point they cannot recognize the difference. Sheldrake does not want to introduce dualism but something slightly different (apples in this analogy) but to Dennet and company they see it all as keeping out dualism (oranges).

Quote

I adopt the apparently dogmatic rule that dualism is to be avoided at all costs. It is not that I think I can give a knock-down proof that dualism, in all its forms, is false or incoherent, but that, given the way that dualism wallows in mystery, accepting dualism is giving up.

—Daniel Dennet; Consciousness Explained

Science will change and it won't be dualism that replaces materialism. When Dennet wrote the above it was a good argument against dualism. That argument does not apply to Sheldrake since he is not proposing dualism even if that is what many mistakenly understand.

It is easy to just criticize Sheldrake  but more advanced to actually understand him. Some sitting with him would not be able to discuss this with him because they can't even understand it.

You, Cradle, seem like the most likeliest person who has posted that can understand the difference between dualism and what Sheldrake proposes and even if you fully understood does not mean you have to agree. Others will continue disagreeing even if they demonstrate they do not know exactly what they are disagreeing with even if they believe they do, apples, oranges.

Edited by I believe you, 07 December 2012 - 08:31 AM.


#34    msi4mahesh

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

For me Science isn't a system. Religion or No religion science is still the way where we are going to have to learn everything from.. however i found this interesting article which explains how Good and Evil relate with Science and explains how it affects Human Condition. please read it and give me your feed backs

http://www.worldtran...hat-is-science/


#35    White Crane Feather

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

View PostCybele, on 07 December 2012 - 04:14 AM, said:



Of course he is. Just look at excerpts from his Wikipedia page:

Sheldrake's work has little support in the mainstream scientific community. Members of the scientific community consider Sheldrake's claims to be currently unfalsifiable and therefore outside the scope of scientific experiment. The "morphic field" concept is believed by many to fall into the realm of pseudoscience.

Sheldrake's ideas have often met with a hostile reception from some scientists, including accusations that he is engaged in pseudoscience,[8][30][31] and at least two respected scientists who have sought to discuss his work, thoroughgoing metaphysical naturalists Lewis Wolpert and Richard Dawkins, reportedly refused to even examine his evidence—a fact cited as illustrating the dogmatic nature of mainstream science alluded to in Sheldrake's book The Science Delusion.[59]

http://en.wikipedia....upert_Sheldrake

Most people, including scientists, are biased in their beliefs. The scientific value of evidence, not the personal beliefs of its producers, should be what matters. If a hypothesis isn't falsifiable, as many spiritual and religious beliefs aren't, then it cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny. Scientists have reasons for rejecting ideas like Sheldrakes' which have nothing to do with a lack of philosophical open-mindedness.
This is rediculouse I have had a conversation with sheldrake himself about his wiki page. Anyone can edit it. Everytime someone changes that crap, there is a group of people that watch it and go back and change it again, he evenchually gave up, and it only proves his point about unfounded ad hominim attacks.

Edited by Seeker79, 07 December 2012 - 11:52 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#36    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:12 AM

Concerning the debate between I believe you and Rlyeh, sorry Rlyeh, I believe you wins. He grasped my point to it's entirety. Just wish I was there to back then to settle it for you two. :lol:

Sorry Rlyeh. I understand what you're saying, but that wasn't what I said. Better luck next time. ;)

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"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#37    Cybele

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:22 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 07 December 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

This is rediculouse I have had a conversation with sheldrake himself about his wiki page. Anyone can edit it. Everytime someone changes that crap, there is a group of people that watch it and go back and change it again, he evenchually gave up, and it only proves his point about unfounded ad hominim attacks.

I saw nothing on the page which would classify as an "ad hominem". Further, there are other online resources anyone can refer to in order to research his work and come to their own conclusions.

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#38    Cradle of Fish

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:30 AM

@I believe you: I am no adherrant to dualism, I was merely using spiritulism as an example. What other philosophies are there when it applies to science? Information theory is one that occurs to me, where the universe can be viewed as an incredibly advanced computer program. As far as I can see it has no yield beyond quantum mechanics and the evidence still points more strongly to materialism.

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#39    FurthurBB

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 05 December 2012 - 05:23 PM, said:

It was a blog that the huffington post decided to publish. As such blogs tend to have a more personal slant than a normal article. How is it flawed? Do you actually have an argument that is more informed than an Oxford educated scientist? or is just against your own personal philosophy?

Well, you can be hostile all you want, it has nothing to do with any slant or philosophy and who cares if he is an Oxford educated scientist.  Does he know more about child birth than an obsetrician?  Know more about engineering than an engineer?  That statement is meaningless.  I was saying that, not only are his assumptions are false, it has nothing to do with being close minded or bad, it has to do with the fact that any unfalsifiable idea is outside the science and so his very core premise is false.  Then he goes on to make false statements about things such as developmental biology and other things I cannot remember right now.  I was very dissapointed because I had heard a lot about Dr. Sheldrake and was hoping for more.

Edited by FurthurBB, 09 December 2012 - 06:42 PM.


#40    White Crane Feather

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

View PostFurthurBB, on 09 December 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:



Well, you can be hostile all you want, it has nothing to do with any slant or philosophy and who cares if he is an Oxford educated scientist.  Does he know more about child birth than an obsetrician?  Know more about engineering than an engineer?  That statement is meaningless.  I was saying that, not only are his assumptions are false, it has nothing to do with being close minded or bad, it has to do with the fact that any unfalsifiable idea is outside the science and so his very core premise is false.  Then he goes on to make false statements about things such as developmental biology and other things I cannot remember right now.  I was very dissapointed because I had heard a lot about Dr. Sheldrake and was hoping for more.
I'm not being hostile. Just debating. How exactly is it false? Makeing blanket statements like that without offering a reason why, is not very logical either now is it? DR. sheldrake is a biologist. I think he is more than qualified.

How are his premies false?  Why aren't his scientific ideas falsifiable? He has done plenty of experiments on morphic resonance that are repeatable.

Edited by Seeker79, 09 December 2012 - 07:45 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#41    White Crane Feather

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

View PostFurthurBB, on 09 December 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:


I was very dissapointed because I had heard a lot about Dr. Sheldrake and was hoping for more.
Read his books and papers. Just reading a blog isn't going to give you a clue where his ideas and science lead.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#42    FurthurBB

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:46 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 09 December 2012 - 07:43 PM, said:

I'm not being hostile. Just debating. How exactly is it false? Makeing blanket statements like that without offering a reason why, is not very logical either now is it? DR. sheldrake is a biologist. I think he is more than qualified.

How are his premies false?  Why aren't his scientific ideas falsifiable? He has done plenty of experiments on morphic resonance that are repeatable.

Well, being hostile is not a good debate tactic. For one, Dr. Sheldrake is a biochemist who was trained at Cambridge not Oxford.  He has very few peer reviewed publications, and I really doubt if he could get simple things wrong about developmental biology and neurobiology on a blog that I would want to waste my time reading an entire book by him.  Many scientists have tried to repeat his experiments on morphic resonance and found that the experiments actually seemed to disprove the hypothesis.  The morphic resonance hypothesis is falsifiable, but most of his ideas are not.


#43    White Crane Feather

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:28 AM

View PostFurthurBB, on 10 December 2012 - 02:46 AM, said:



Well, being hostile is not a good debate tactic. For one, Dr. Sheldrake is a biochemist who was trained at Cambridge not Oxford.  He has very few peer reviewed publications, and I really doubt if he could get simple things wrong about developmental biology and neurobiology on a blog that I would want to waste my time reading an entire book by him.  Many scientists have tried to repeat his experiments on morphic resonance and found that the experiments actually seemed to disprove the hypothesis.  The morphic resonance hypothesis is falsifiable, but most of his ideas are not.
Nor is being overly sensitive.

What did he get wrong?

You realize that's an illogical reason not to read something.

And still others have statistical significance, bias works both ways.

What exactly is unfalsifiable? Most of his ideas are philosophical. Materialism/physicalism is a philosophy aswell.

Your attitude is precisely what his book is about. Writing off different ideas because it dosnt fit with your philosophy is the very underpinning of dogma.

Edited by Seeker79, 10 December 2012 - 06:29 AM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#44    Copasetic

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:01 PM

This was a cdesign proponentsists shot at using Sheldrake's "morphic fields" to explain developmental biology, thought it might add a little scientific sustenance to the topic--Which neither he nor Sheldrake really seem to have an understanding of:

Quote

But their failure to explain the development of species is only one of the problems for the materialists. They insist that all of heredity is encoded in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in the genes, and that the genes completely control the development of every organism. But genes only carry a code to produce certain proteins, nothing more. That is not quite the same as determining structure. And even that is not well understood; researchers used to claim that human beings have some hundred thousand genes and that each gene codes for one, and only one protein. But the Human Genome Project found that thousands of genes patented by private companies do not even exist, and current estimates for the number of human genes have been downsized to perhaps thirty to thirty five thousand...no one really has a clue. And the human body is now known to contain at least 300,000 proteins; if each gene codes for one, there is a bit of a problem.

Biologists and geneticists have always been a bit hazy, to put it mildly, about how embryonic cells, all carrying the same genes, differentiate into completely separate tissues and organs in different parts of the body.

Enter Rupert Sheldrake. Fringe researchers and writers theorized that there might be "morphic fields," perhaps transcending time and space, that serve as a data base for mental and physical forms.

For example, a group of quartz crystals would generate such a field, and new crystals would tune into that field and their development would be controlled by it. They would also reinforce the field and add new information to it; this is called "morphic resonance." The "akashic records" mentioned in the ancient Hindu Vedas would be an example of a mental field, as would Jung's collective unconscious, which may be the same thing. Such fields might influence human culture and behavior. Needless to say, there is nothing in conventional physics that allows for any of this.

Rupert Sheldrake, with a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge, is a fellow of the Institute for Noetic Sciences, founded by former astronaut Edgar Mitchell. In his 1981 book A New Science of Life: Hypothesis of Formative Causation  he coined the term "morphogenetic field" for morphic fields that govern the development of living organisms. This would at least begin to explain how different tissues and organs develop in different parts of the body. Sheldrake believed that DNA might actually function like an antenna (the double helix even looks a bit like an antenna) and receive instructions from the field.

Link

This is a deconstruction of those magical "morphic fields"

Quote

Well hold on to your butts, cause (not surprisingly) your developmental biology is about as bad as your regular biology. I am going to bold this section here, because it is important to refuting the base of your argument.

First I would like to point out that we don't currently know how many protein species are contained in the human body. It has been estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000. What I think you fail to realize is not all proteins come straight off the transcriptional press and are ready to go. In fact very few proteins are directly coded for by our genes. The vast majority of them are post-translationally modified (referred to as PTM henceforth).

Let's go over this real fast to make sure you are understanding it. Let's say we have a segment of DNA that reads as follows: (fyi I have broken it down into codons to allow easier reading)

TAC-ATA-GTA-CCG-GTA-AGT-ACT

Thus our mRNA reads;

AUG-UAU-CAU-GGC-CAU-UCA-UGA

Knowing this we know the amino acid sequence looks like this;

START-Tyrosine-Histidine-Glycine-Histidine-Serine-STOP

So we have this short pentapeptide. We can further PTM it.
1. We can add an actyl group at the N-terminus of the protein (actylation)
2. We can add an akyl group at any of the residues (akylation)
3. We can add an amide group at the C-terminus (amidation)
4. We can add lipids
5. We can add carbohydrates
Well this is actually getting boring and I don't really wish to list out the 40 or so types of PTM that we can do. Wikipedia actually has a pretty comprehensive list of PTM for anyone brave enough to look: HERE

Hopefully from just these 5 examples, you can see that this one amino acid sequence can represent literally thousands of proteins (No really, with just these 5). There are many other PTM which can be done as well. Meaning from a single sequence of amino acids, we can create thousands maybe even millions of different proteins.

Well, let me now say I am guilty of extreme simplification. I know, I know *GASP*. I would like to rectify that if you will follow a long with the biology lesson a little more.

In the above example, we go from DNA directly to mRNA. In eukaroytic organisms it is not that simple. Eukaryotic genes are made up of regions we call introns and exons. The introns, or intergenic regions are not actually coded into the protein. In fact, they never make it into the mRNA. From the DNA we first create, through translation, a primary transcript. Which is then modified into our actual mRNA inside the nucleus via spliceosomes. Spliceosomes are another example of functional RNA (meaning the genes that encode for them, don't encode for proteins), which can add great diversity to our genomes. Let me put up a little picture here to help anyone following along who is a little lost.

Posted Image

So let's talk about splicing for a moment because it directly refutes your claim (as well as PTM) that one needs 300,000 genes to have 300,000 species of proteins. Splicing can occur by different spliceosomes in different ways, to yield different mRNA transcripts -Ultimately making many species of proteins from a single gene. We have three basic types of alternative splicing:

1. Acceptor site splicing- A different 5' or 3' site is used for initiation/termination which results in a frame shift (just like the mutation outcome) which alters, of course, the final protein product.
2. Intron retaining- an intron is simply left in the transcript. The average number of introns in a human gene is 8, which means a great variety of proteins can be created from one protein encoding gene (PEG). Which introns are left in can be mixed in matched, we are not limited to leaving in 1 or all.
3. Exon cassette- exons are spliced out of the transcript. On average our a human gene contains 9 exons. Again, as you can see, this leads to a wide variety of protein species from a gene.


But wait, it gets worse for your argument. We also now know, that in many cases (probably a vast number of them) complex splicing occurs -That is a varied combination of the above alternative splicing methods. So we may start with 3 down on the 5' end (that's five prime in case you were curious), leave in 2 introns and remove an exon. As you can see the possible combinations then- Become a rather stupidly high number. Remember also, that all of these protein species created in alternative splicing methods can be PTM as well. So there is no doubt that 25,000 genes can encode for 300,000 proteins. To be honest, I would not be surprised if the actual number were much closer or even over a half million protein species.

Well now that we got that first part out of the way, let's look at your claim that DNA is not capable of producing structure. Because ultimately, that is untrue. In order to do this we will need to take a trip down developmental biology lane.

I am going to assume by structure you are referring to macro scale structures -Like limbs and body parts (since that seems conceptually the hardest to envision DNA creating). What we have learned is that during development, one has specialized cells which reside in your different tissues responsible for directing anatomical development (this is really neat stuff here). These cells create gradients of morphogens, which are small signaling molecules (directed by DNA!).

It is important to note here, that the great difference between us all (animals) is not that our genes are very different -because they are not. It is the timing and expression of those genes during development that drastically alters appearances.

Anyway, so these specialized cells create gradients of morphogens. Where the gradient is steep, that is a greater amount of morphogens, then the neighboring cells react more drastically. This maybe best explained with an example -I think examples always help people visualize things better.

So lets say we have a small wing bud in a developing chicken embryo. Cells on the wing bud, excrete morphogens for very specific periods. Morphogens work by regulating gene expression -In turn, the cells that produce them do so by gene regulation and expression. The morphogen gradient created cause the local cells to grow and respond such that the chicken's wing develops.

But how do we know morphogens are actually controlling this growth? (Now it gets fun  ;) )

Let's say we were to take a piece of the polarization zone (think morphogen expressing cell area) and flip it around. If morphogens (controlled by that lil'ol DNA) really do what we think, then we should get a mirror image created -

Posted Image

And behold! We do!

In fact, everything in your developing body is controlled by similar gradients -From establishing limbs/organs to figuring out your dorsal and ventral sides. And it is all done through the wonderful magic of your DNA -Specifically a large set of genes which plays a huge role, the HOX genes

You can read the whole post here

To the best of my knowledge he's never attempted to address anything from what has been learned through Evo/Devo since his ideas inception in the 80's--Granted I stopped reading his works a while ago, because rather than address any real scientific concerns he seemed more interested in pony shows. He has simply moved the goal posts and pushed his ideas further into mythology. Nor to my knowledge does make any attempt to stay current in the relative fields which his "theories" purport to address.......Funny, seems like we've seen behavior from people like that before. Where, oh where could we have seen it? Hmmm, hmmmm. Oh yeah the likes of people like Mike Behe and the other stooges of the DI. If it looks like pseudoscience, smells like pseudoscience and is argued like pseudoscience---It probably is a duck.

Edited by Copasetic, 10 December 2012 - 03:12 PM.


#45    White Crane Feather

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

View PostCopasetic, on 10 December 2012 - 03:01 PM, said:

This was a cdesign proponentsists shot at using Sheldrake's "morphic fields" to explain developmental biology, thought it might add a little scientific sustenance to the topic--Which neither he nor Sheldrake really seem to have an understanding of:



Link

This is a deconstruction of those magical "morphic fields"



You can read the whole post here

To the best of my knowledge he's never attempted to address anything from what has been learned through Evo/Devo since his ideas inception in the 80's--Granted I stopped reading his works a while ago, because rather than address any real scientific concerns he seemed more interested in pony shows. He has simply moved the goal posts and pushed his ideas further into mythology. Nor to my knowledge does make any attempt to stay current in the relative fields which his "theories" purport to address.......Funny, seems like we've seen behavior from people like that before. Where, oh where could we have seen it? Hmmm, hmmmm. Oh yeah the likes of people like Mike Behe and the other stooges of the DI. If it looks like pseudoscience, smells like pseudoscience and is argued like pseudoscience---It probably is a duck.
In all the material I have read even in speaking with him, he does not deni good science only questions it. Simply from historical presidenc we know that most likely what we think we know  will change... Possibly drastically.Then people like yourself get crazy about it throwing out insults. Hmmmmm.... If it looks like church, and ostracizes like a priest ....it probably is dogma.

Yet again the myriad of mud slinginging and ad hominims.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-




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