“A carpenter is a person who practices a highly skilled trade, carpentry, to create new and useful and lovely things out of wood. It is a non-trivial occupation, there’s both art and technology involved, and it’s a productive talent that contributes to people’s well-being. It makes the world a better place. And it involves wood.
A pyromaniac is a person with a destructive mental illness, in which they obsess over setting things on fire. Most pyromaniacs have no skill with carpentry, but some do; many of them have their own sets of skills outside of the focus of their illness. Pyromania is destructive and dangerous, contributes nothing to people’s well-being, and makes the world a worse place. And yes, it involves wood, which is a wonderful substance for burning.
Calling a creationist a scientist is as offensive as praising a pyromaniac for their skill at carpentry, when all they’ve shown is a talent for destroying things, and typically have a complete absence of any knowledge of wood-working. Producing charcoal and ash is not comparable to building a house or crafting furniture or, for that matter, creating anything.
You can’t call any creationist a scientist, because what they’re actively promoting is a destructive act of tearing down every beautiful scrap of knowledge the real scientists have acquired.”
— The carpenter and the pyromaniac
5:59 am • 14 July 2012 • 121 notes
“[…] people are not blank slates, eager to assimilate the latest experiments into their world view. Rather, we come equipped with all sorts of naïve intuitions about the world, many of which are untrue […]
This means that science education is not simply a matter of learning new theories. Rather, it also requires that students unlearn their instincts, shedding false beliefs the way a snake sheds its old skin.”
Why we don’t believe in science
46% of American adults believe that: “God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years." and only 15% agree with the notion of evolution without divine guidance. Also, these percentages have remained almost unchanged at least for the last 30 years.
The article explores a couple of studies about how our brains store intuitions that contrast with scientific facts: for instance people pause before agreeing that air is composed of matter, or that the earth revolves around the sun. The delay shows that something in those statements push against our instincts.
That’s true, but let’s just not blame our brain, again. The problem here is education.
12:01 am • 9 June 2012 • 132 notes
“I do not mean capitulating to misconceptions but rather finding a seductive way to demonstrate to people that these are indeed misconceptions. Let me give you one example. I have, on occasion, debated both creationists and alien abduction zealots. Both groups have similar misconceptions about the nature of explanation: they feel that unless you understand everything, you understand nothing. In debates, they pick some obscure claim, say, that in 1962 some set of people in Outer Mongolia all saw a flying saucer hovering above a church. Then they ask if I am familiar with this particular episode, and if I say no, they invariably say, “If you have not studied every such episode, then you cannot argue that alien abduction is unlikely to be happening.”
I have found that I can get each group to think about what they are saying by using the other group as a foil. Namely, of the creationists I ask, “Do you believe in flying saucers?” They inevitably say “no.” Then I ask, “Why? Have you studied all of the claims?” Similarly, to the alien abduction people I ask, “Do you be- lieve in Young Earth Creationism?” and they say “no,” wanting to appear scientific. Then I ask, “Why? Have you studied every single counterclaim?” The point I try to make for each group is that it is quite sensible to base theoretical expectations on a huge quantity of existing evidence, without having studied absolutely every single obscure counterclaim. This “teaching” technique has worked in most cases, except those rare times when it has turned out that I was debating an alien abduction believer who was also a creationist!”
— Lawrence M. Krauss in ‘Should science speack to faith?’ by Lawrence M. Krauss & Richard Dawkins.
5:42 pm • 17 March 2011 • 11 notes
“I once wrote in a New York Times book review, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” That sentence has been quoted again and again in support of the view that I am a bigoted, intolerant, closed-minded, intemperate ranter. But just look at my sentence. It may not be crafted to seduce, but you, Lawrence, know in your heart that it is a simple and sober statement of fact.
Ignorance is no crime. To call somebody ignorant is no insult. All of us are ignorant of most of what there is to know. I am completely ignorant of baseball, and I dare say that you are as completely ignorant of cricket. If I tell somebody who believes the world is 6,000 years old that he is ignorant, I am paying him the compliment of assuming that he is not stupid, insane or wicked.”
— Richard Dawkins in 'Should science speak to faith?' by Lawrence M. Krauss & Richard Dawkins
5:24 pm • 17 March 2011 • 36 notes
BS Science – Creationism
Here are some of the most common talking points creationists use.
1) No one has seen evolution in action. This theory is based on speculation.
As a microbiologist, I find this offensive. I witness evolution all the time when bacteria gain antibiotic resistance. This is small but very easy to see if you look at Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bug that arose due to evolution and the overuse of antibiotics selecting for specific traits.
2) There are no transitional fossils (intermedeary fossils that show evolutionary transition).
There are. A lot of them actually. My favorites are whales. The Fossils we have have put their evolution as so: the land mammal Indohyus, returns to the water and transitions into Ambulocetus, then after two more known transitions (Protocetid and Basilosaurus), finally ends as Cetaceans – modern whales. Besides, evolution itself is a fluid transitional process. All living species are currently in a state of “transition”.
3) Evolution can’t explain how life started.
Well, it’s not supposed to. The process in which life started that so many creationists talk about is something else all together called “abiogenesis.” This branch of science has many theories (I’m particular to the RNA world hypothesis) but has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution explains how species change over time through natural selection.
Having creationism (or its dressed-up inbred cousin, “intelligent design”) taught in any science class is detrimental to children’s cognitive development. If we teach kids that the earth is 6,000 years old, we’re teaching them that it’s okay to ignore empirical evidence. Being able to shape your beliefs on things that are testable and falsifiable is one of the most important skills anyone can learn.
To continue with my so called "anti-religion remarks".
11:01 pm • 8 February 2011 • 18 notes
DSC_5887 (by doug steley)
[…] from the Andy Riley book “Loads More Lies to tell Small Kids”
4:33 pm • 31 August 2010 • 96 notes