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 Author Thread: Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
 Rug Doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 35 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/20/2012 8:22:30 AM
Here is a horrible cartoon video from an "educational" site.

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/traits/tour_trait.html


The Genetic Science Learning Center is an internationally acclaimed science education program at the University of Utah.


It asserts that traits are passed on from generation to generation. It says that height is a trait. It says hair colour is a trait which can be changed by bleaching or dyeing, becoming a different trait.
Since they declare that traits are passed on, does this not mean that bleach blondes can have children with an inborn natural bleach blonding ?


I think I'll put together a list of claims and authors, declaring what traits are.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 52 (view)
 
Your Personal Philosophy
Posted: 4/19/2012 11:24:06 PM
This was said

It tends to change from time to time, sometimes drastically, sometimes less so.
Recently...
- It should be every human's prime directive to contribute to a more responsible posterity, so that we can leave our lives without the notion, or perhaps the knowledge, that dying was the best thing we ever did for Earth.

which I take a alternate view on here:
It's a "work in progress" thing. Not the usual concept of working on one's self to betterment, but a progression of the past, something formed, a framework provided through the efforts of the dead. Everything is coloured by their experiences, their thoughts, their inventions, their knowledge even as ritualized, institutionalized, and symbolized , their languages, as we receive the inputs since before birth until death.

In this way, life is working to further the same goals as always.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 34 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/19/2012 1:27:16 PM

Isn't it just awful when you correct someone's spelling and then ... well, you know what happens next ! You do it yourself.



I didn't correct your spelling but have it your way.
My apologies for that. Metaphor in use . Also I apologize for bad editing. I find it all goes to script when I try to edit and it gets complex sometimes. From your response, may I gather that you do not agree that your statement was incoherent ?

Generally, wrt to the topic, I'd like to steer toward finding a pair or set of definitions that are meaningful. Therefore maybe it would be more productive to work from the second part of the title as it offers less challenge.

"Do the basic definitions make sense ?"
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 33 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/19/2012 1:24:04 PM
lyingcheat posted the remainder of the BioOnline definitions I took from. In that there are statements which appear have a little conflict.


Supplement
Traits include physical attributes of an organism such as hair color, leaf shape, size, etc., and behavioral characteristics, such as bird nesting.
and yet this

Trait - A qualitative characteristic; a discrete attribute as contrasted with metrical character. A trait is amenable to segregation rather than quantitative analysis
shows that leaf size, as an item measured, cannot be a trait.


Perhaps one of the critics will be kind enough to post a nice pair of definitions ( trait and characteristic) from one of the hallowed books.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 31 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/19/2012 12:38:14 PM
wrt my thread purpose, lagoda said:


I'm not convinced that this isn't just an exercise in the brandishing of logic given your rigid and formal style of argumentation in response to what isn't clear assertion.
Insisting on much more than a loose discussion and paraphrasing really isn't warranted.


Thank you. I'm sorry to report that what you've written is sensu stricto incoherent to me. The way I understand you here, is that you have me doing brandishing of logic and I do so...in response to my own unclear assertion. : )

Isn't it just awful when you try to offer a correction but ... well, you know what happens ...you're knee deep in the error yourself" : )

Nevertheless, I do not intend to make hay on that slip up of your conscious attention - instead I seek to find your real meaning and profit from it. That's my approach to this. I think that sums up my responses to your replies well enough to be my statement to you. However, I will go on : )


lagoda, your full reply is most interesting, and I really need to devote separate posts to each part, to do it justice. However, this condensed version of the first parts might do OK for starters.

I do not see where I insist on more than loose discussion other than where attacks occur. Correct quotation and showing of the evidence rather than enduring the loose talk in accusations is required, otherwise no cogent response is possible.
Perhaps what you think is my response, is only a reflection of pressure you yourself feel, to be formal and correct reflecting the nature of some of my replies. In fact I am fine with loose discussion of the subject matter. "It's all good", as they say.



I can only say: in your original opening statements, you've mentioned subtle differences between two words used extensively in biology as well as in the common knowledge and you appear to have inferred that these two definitions comprise a substantial basis for the entire field of biological study when it is obvious to the reader that it is so much more.


OK. Let me look into what you say. First, I did not offer the comment on subtle differences, I commented to the opposite, noting the circularity which occurs where no relevant difference between synonyms as used in context, is to be noted. In fact, I appreciated the one difference given in BioOnline - that of traits being non-measured items. I appreciate that difference given whether it's an accurate statement or not. It's SOMETHING you can get your teeth into.

The originator and author of the "subtle differences" argument is you, not me.

wrt to this

you appear to have inferred that these two definitions comprise a substantial basis for the entire field of biological field of biological study when it is obvious to the reader that it is so much more.
I do think it is the most basic foundational definition in biology. Would you say traits have very little to do with the basis for investigation in biology ? A bit ? Lots? Everything ?

BTW, I do not think that there is nothing more to Biology, or that nothing can be gleaned from Biology because of this. These are extreme interpretations.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 29 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/19/2012 12:23:52 AM
Science Daily offers this:



In biology, a trait or character is a feature of an organism.
The term phenotype is sometimes used as a synonym for trait in common use, but strictly speaking, does not indicate the trait, but the state of that trait (e.g., the trait eye color has the phenotypes blue, brown and hazel).

A trait may be any single feature or quantifiable measurement of an organism.

Now this one might throw a wrench into the BioOnline notion that characteristics are not measured items. Noted, however, that many definitions contain "characteristic" or "character" - seemingly interchangeably.

Here is something a bit more scholarly which opens up the subject of "traits" for us
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2007/08/genetic-vs-heritable-trait/
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 28 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 11:37:41 PM

As the poster referenced, let me elaborate:

Your title for this thread questions the very validity of biological inquiry. For proof, you offered up a couple of definitions you found on a website. Now unless things have changed a lot on the interwebs recently, you don't need a graduate degree in a field to start a website about that field. So you didn't really offer anything at all. I dismissed your thesis with all the effort that it warranted.



Your title for this thread questions the very validity of biological inquiry
No, it does not. You've overstated.

For proof, you offered up a couple of definitions you found on a website.
Incorrect and misleading. Please look again. I did not offer them as proof, I offered them as example. That I offered BioOnline definitions, was just a generic offering of an example. If you find that BioOnline did not do a good job of capturing what the books say, then show it. Otherwise trying to impugn my choice of reference is pointless. If they got it as right as the other sources, then you have no complaint.


Now unless things have changed a lot on the interwebs recently, you don't need a graduate degree in a field to start a website about that field. So you didn't really offer anything at all. I dismissed your thesis with all the effort that it warranted.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 27 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 11:27:16 PM

I'm not convinced that this isn't just an exercise in the brandishing of logic given your rigid and formal style of argumentation in response to what isn't clear assertion.
Insisting on much more than a loose discussion and paraphrasing really isn't warranted.
I do not know what you refer to here
what isn't clear assertion.
and here
Insisting on much more than a loose discussion and paraphrasing really isn't warranted
When false statements are being made about me, I certainly should be requiring exact quotation. If it's regarding other statements, can you show where it is you are seeing this ? thanks !
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 26 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 11:07:28 PM

I don;t think it's a language issue.
This is what he says on his profile for what he would like to do on a date: "talk about something we both hate equally :)"

He just seems a bit cantankerous - trait? Personality...who knows!

Thank you for your research and assessment. You can see, I take it, that wrt to the pathetic "language problem in the foreigner" slur and marginalization attempt offered by Igor, that I have not made huge numbers of outstanding grammatical errors or even spelling errors. I've not terribly misconstrued comments.

Wrt my profile comment, flaneur. If you think twice, you might see that in order to find the same thing we both hate equally, a real hunt would be necessary, most likely. As well, you see, something one hates would tend to bring out the real passion and truth, and be quite revealing.

But that's my mind, not yours. It's just something you might think about - or not. Those women who cannot think it through, those are the ones I don't need calling me. See how it works out nicely for all ?

Now thank you for your comment regarding "trait'. I don't think it will be found to be suitable for use as a definition within biology, for technical reasons. It's very restrictive.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 23 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 10:21:59 PM
Igor said:

The reason for the "pissing contest" aspect, is that people keep asking for clarification so they can try to help, and he keeps telling them that they are being difficult, or are failing to appreciate how concerned he is.
Igor, you've offered an untruthful account.


He doesn't even recognize that he IS fussing at everyone who tries to help. Hence, I'm giving up on this. I have asked, and several others have asked the OP to explain why he is so upset at being told that these words are synonyms, and he isn't responsive.
I would appreciate it if you'd stop making the false accusations and attempts at marginalization. I'll show that statements you're making are false.

1/
...he keeps telling them that they are being difficult
I have not said that even once, never mind repeatedly.
2/
or are failing to appreciate how concerned he is
The accusation ifs false. I'm not at all upset by the usage of synonyms, and the proof is that I already gave my approval and agreement to lyingcheat's point on this issue, as shown here

However, my point, which was that synonyms often (necessarily) reference each other, still stands.
Good point and I am in perfect agreement on that issue.
Igor, will you not admit now that you gave incorrect information ?

2/ I did not attack everybody who tried to help. I attacked no one, in fact. Not a one. My character, however, is your target and is being assailed,

As you admit, the first poster was not being helpful, so he's not in the group you make the claim over.
The second poster was Humor, and I agreed with and replied that I think the situation is quite funny, and it is, whoever it applies to.
The third poster, aries, gave incorrect statements which I disagreed with, and I did so with civility. I showed them incorrect.
The fourth poster, lagoda, I commended in this way
lagoda, your questions are meaningful questions. I like them.
lagoda's questions of me were probing and reasoned.

So you've made false statements about me, Igor. I treated your comments with more respect and civility than you had earned by your false accusations. I said
Thank you Igor. I disagree with your characterizations.

Moreover, I thanked and do thank lyingcheat for his work, even though he points toward me as the one confused. He's offering a fairly plain statement of his belief, and so I do not take offense to that statement, He thinks what he thinks and I'm OK with that. I intend to prove that it's not so, but that's beside the point. .

My responses are mild and measured, not false or marginalizing - as yours have been.

You've said that you sympathize because my situation is alike to the situation you had, but you're very mistaken. It's not at all my situation. You're sympathizing inappropriately and projecting. Whereas I'm dead calm, you're still excited by your failure - and maybe that results in your making the false statements about me.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 19 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 3:17:55 PM
lyingcheat said:

... Somehow I got that impression...
...implied the definitions were either unreliable, at variance, or incompatible, or all three, and further implied they were functionally unhelpful if not meaningless.
I implied that they would be meaningless unless meaning was assigned.


I just figured that considering all these imputations were derived from a dictionary entry it suggested you thought there was some kind of meaning or definition conflict going on.
It's an absence of meaning so far. The only distinction offered so far is the mention of it not being "metrical" ( said wrt to "character").


However, my point, which was that synonyms often (necessarily) reference each other, still stands.
Good point and I am in perfect agreement on that issue. However, without further distinctions being made for any of the "1st degree" synonyms, it becomes meaningless - and quickly obviously meaningless, at that.


I also mentioned that, in common with most synonyms, the meanings aren't exactly the same. It depends on context, tense, sentence layout, precise meaning, and many other things, which word might be most appropriate.
These could be characterized as "fudge factors" that are also highly available for misuse.

Let me show an example to illustrate what the terms could mean from what I used in the OP, the mention of metrics, and my questions. My originating definitions simply were not far different from those of other sources, and my arguments are not dependent on questionable sources for definition, as my first critic suggested. I accept any definitions being offered in their stead or as complementary information.

WRT rabbit ears, the long or the short of it:
It could mean that length of the ear as measured in cm or inches, is not a character. Possibly to be arrived at through the syllogisms , is that it's not a trait either.
However, this is a possible key to understanding: When one measures it, it's not a character. When one crudely classifies it, it may be said to be a character.
Possible problems with this interpretation exist. One comes from the condition where overlapping metrics exist between groups "long" and "short"- where some shorties are longer than some longies.


A 'trait' can be a 'characteristic', and vice versa, but not always necessarily.
This is leading to a fully fudge-able state, though it may be true.


Large teeth may be characteristic of (some) top predators but the unfortunate trait of eating people is variable not only amongst that group, but also within species within that group.
This is what I was getting at above. "Large". It's reasonable to take into consideration many relations, as you say. In the case of rabbit ears, we need to take into consideration age of rabbit, relative size etc. Then after all things being equal, or equalized, accounted for, and so on, there are the types "long" and "short" eared rabbits. So maybe what you were getting at wrt micro vs. macro is a bit incorrect ( at least it's in conflict when using some of the synonyms' definitions).


In general, characteristic is macro, while trait is micro.

It's in the definitions -
Trait - A quality. A discrete (individual, single) attribute as contrasted with metrical character.

Characteristic - A distinctive (or defining) mark, feature, attribute, or property of an individual or thing.
lyingcheat, it seems to me that the distinction to be drawn from those quotes is that if it's something we measure, it's not a character. They indicate nothing that steers toward a micro/macro distinction. However, we can proceed as if that is the case and see where it goes.

Thanks.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 7:44:18 AM
Thank you Igor.


I disagree with your characterizations.. For example, this

here I lose my sympathy for you, is where you go on to attack anyone who tries to help by asking clarifying questions
Igor, what you say is simply not true. I did not attack anyone. Nobody was attacked.
Some posters appeared to be attempting to be "gatekeepers", without sufficient expertize to do so. I went through objections and dismissed them without any attack on the persons whatsoever - in fact, not once mentioning or questioning motive.


The question I would ask is, why exactly does it matter whether those two words refer to the same thing or not? If it doesn't matter, then the way past your self-erected blockade, is to continue reading up on the subject, and stop asking about those words.

If these defining words do not matter, then the subject itself is nonsense. I think they matter because the subject itself is NOT nonsense.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 15 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 12:46:33 AM
lying cheat, perhaps one noteworthy thing that has been added is the mention of "metrical" character.



discrete attribute as contrasted with metrical character

Not something we measure ? Something like height or weight ? Not a trait ?

back to this:



Noun:
A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.

"quality" and "characteristic" again.

OK. Long ears and short ears in rabbits, are not traits. Is that correct ?
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 14 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 12:38:04 AM
lyingcheat ,

Thank you for your work.



I don't see the conflict.
I don't think I'd characterize it as a conflict.


They appear to be, not only in biology, but in common use also, somewhat synonymous. Nonetheless, through careful, and/or contextual, use one may still achieve distinct meanings
I do not think so. My question is then "What might those distinct meanings be ?" Or can you give an example ?



I note your supplied definitions from BiologyOnline are incomplete.
Thank you. It is not my aim to disregard information in any way, and those will be dealt with.


a discrete attribute as contrasted with metrical character
"attribute" included and we see "character" again.


Genetics:

Characteristics or attributes of an organism that are expressed by genes and/or influenced by the environment.
Same thing. Either/or on genetic/environmental cause.



Supplement
Traits include physical attributes of an organism such as hair color, leaf shape, size, etc., and behavioral characteristics, such as bird nesting.
Characteristics again.

So you may see that the reason I did not need the more words of definition was because they added nothing.
Now we have "attributes", that's all.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/18/2012 12:19:14 AM
lagoda said:

Rug Doctor, are you looking for a definition of what the study of biology is or definitions of 'trait' and 'characteristic'?

It seems odd that your inquiry would falter at such an elementary level as presenting two words with minor subtleties in their meanings. If you are skeptical of biology as a valid science, what major concepts or principles do you question?
lagoda, your questions are meaningful questions. I like them.


what major concepts or principles do you question


First, to the bad news; obviously anything dependent on these definitions is ... unfortunately, dependent : ) or maybe even orphaned.

I did not stumble upon these definitions. I came to Square One after going full circle and following, tracking theory. Of course High School or earlier had me accept those definitions without thinking a thing about them as they relate to each other and to the subjects themselves.

It's not so simple as it appears on the surface. WRT to "trait", does it apply to individuals, groups, populations, species... genera...da da dum ...kingdoms..life itself ?

Let's get some words down that mean something.

Trait:
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 11:20:22 PM
aries said:




No actually it wasn't loaded but the reality is that this is a dating site
More accurately, aries, this is a science forum on a dating site. Do you prefer and insist on the less accurate for a reason ?




and I find it amusing that sometimes I take it as seriously as I do from this forum point of view. It is a dating site and nothing will change that reality.
Oddly enough, your argument works for me too. Only better. Nothing changes the reality that this is a science forum on a dating site.



It wasn't a loaded question. Actually curious. You are the one that brought the topic up.
No, it was not me. It was you that brought it up. Here:


...compelled you to post it on a dating site :)
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 11:06:12 PM
Rug Doctor, are you looking for a definition of what the study of biology is or definitions of 'trait' and 'characteristic'?

It seems odd that your inquiry would falter at such an elementary level as presenting two words with minor subtleties in their meanings. If you are skeptical of biology as a valid science, what major concepts or principles do you question?


Thank you, lagoda.

I'm interested in the set of definitions used as a basis. It is odd that Square One of any investigation into this matter is stymied at the get-go by what seems to be hopeless websites, eh ?

Someone must have good book definitions that are meaningful, yes ?

lagoda, I think it's more serious or goes deeper than you take it for ( just two words with minor subtleties) .

Tell me. Is having eye colour a trait? Is blue a trait ? Brown ?

How about having two eyes ? A trait ? Having eyes. A trait ?
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 8 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 11:00:49 PM
Aries, your post drifts aimlessly about, trying to poke at this and that. This is how your post is lacking in merit:


It would progress faster if you mentioned what you were looking for.
I'm looking for any interesting discussion you might provide on this subject of the basis for discussion in biological sciences.


Most of us can pick apart your post as being kind of silly for basing it on a web source
Supposing your unsupported assertion regarding what most of you can do, is true - you've not provided support to show that basing something on a web source is necessarily silly.


but you found this paradox interesting for a reason despite the obviousness of the basis.
Which is ? Relating somehow to your previous unsupported statements ?


So, what are you finding so interesting about it that compelled you to post it on a dating site :)
Your question is loaded seemingly to put forward the less accurate notion that I posted on a dating site, rather than the more accurate, which is that I posted it on a science forum on a dating site.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 10:39:20 PM
WE somehow as humans find the need to label everything and then get confused when the labels dont make sense


It's quite funny.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 4 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 10:32:23 PM
"Maybe you shouldn't base your argument on one website's glossary. They've had these things called "books" for a while now."
..." HalftimeDad"


HalftimeDad,
Is there something WRONG with that website ?
I encourage you to give a shot at providing a good Biological Sciences type of definition ! Surely you must have the book. Some book . A book.
 RUG DOCTOR
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Is the basis for inquiry in Biology meaningful ? Do the basic definitions make sense ?
Posted: 4/17/2012 10:13:14 PM
Definition seems to be that "something" that everything else is built on in Genetics and Evolutionary studies.

However,
BiologyOnline says "Trait: A qualitative characteristic".
BiologyOnline says "Characteristic: A distinguishing quality, trait".

That's a bit circular. How to proceed ?
Trait: A qualitative distinguishing quality.
or
Trait: A qualitative distinguishing trait.

 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 29 (view)
 
Does form follow function?
Posted: 11/21/2010 9:05:46 PM
"Potters make pots. You never see a pot making a potter."

The pots he made make him a potter. No pots = no potter made.


******************************************************************************

 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 81 (view)
 
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/13/2010 10:01:46 AM
"So who pays most sciencetist? The company that has the most money and they do as they are told."


'Only those paid by the oil companies to deny AGW.'


Let's not forget the unimaginable profits that are being made possible for people in the carbon trading business and in the IPPC lobby and business.

Indeed, Gore is a terrific liar.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 68 (view)
 
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/10/2010 1:00:42 PM


not a great analogy because your BMW is a known system that you are sending for repair to the dealer who knows exactly what went in there and what it should perform like.
With climate science, the stats methods employed might well be be checked over by stats people, not necessarily scientists.


That makes no sense. If you agree that the BMW dealer has the greater expertise with BMWs, then you are conceding the point that people with greater knowledge in a specific area are the ones that you would trust the most to deal with it. As opposed to someone outside that exact area.
The analogy is poor because the climate was not made by the climate scientists, there is no program that can diagnose what we are asking to be diagnosed and come up with hard facts.

There are better body shops than a car dealer, there are better paint shops too. There are better experts to be had than in your local dealership, as well.

For climate it all comes down to stats . And a statistician is equipped to critique the statistical methods, whereas scientists often are not.


Which is what I'm saying.
no it's not.


Why should people who are not even scientists, let alone versed in that specific field, be given as much credibilty on a scientific subject as the scientists themselves? They shouldn't.
sure they should, if they are qualified. It's really about whether or not the critiques are valid, not really anything to do with trusting these cheating political monkeys. Not for me. You can trust them though. That's up to you.

You can say they have all the credibility, but we already know that they will present totally unscientific fear mongering magazine articles to present to us and claim 99 % certainty. It's not conjecture. It's FACT.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 53 (view)
 
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/9/2010 11:46:28 AM

Because maybe, MAYBE, people who are certified scientists in that field of expertise know the most about it? I dunno, if I have a BMW and I want it fixed, do I take it to a vaccum cleaner repairman or a BMW dealer with a service center? It's all the same, right?
not a great analogy because your BMW is a known system that you are sending for repair to the dealer who knows exactly what went in there and what it should perform like.
With climate science, the stats methods employed might well be be checked over by stats people, not necessarily scientists.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 17 (view)
 
Timothy Ball on Climate Change Denial
Posted: 2/6/2010 5:14:35 AM
The "worst case scenario" for us addressing the AGW issue head on is that we would end up with energy independence, sustainable technology and jobs, become a world leader in new technologies, save billions of acres of habitat and biological diversity, have cleaner air and water, and provide a livable future for posterity. I know...that would be a bummer if we were wrong on AGW.
Your notion is that this wonderful result is the *worst* it can turn out if we address our contributions of greenhouse gases; no matter how we address the issue, it only turns out good, or very good - or even better.

Seems a bit problematic reasoning.

Let's get past the hype in the statement and ask who is going to be the leader with energy independence.

You're talking about the USA 's interests, I presume ? Billions of acres saved habitats, too. Are you talking about U.S. organisations buying or getting control of large portions of the mass of land in other countries, under climate change combat scenarios ? WFF preserves and so on gaining rights over vast portions of what used to be land belonging to smaller countries too ?

Pay them with beads again or what ?



The plan, made public by The New York Times in 1998 (see clip at right), and retold recently by the Union of Concerned Scientists, employed the same strategy and some of the same personnel as the tobacco industry. The memo laid out a plan to "identify, recruit and train" a small team of unknown scientists and declared that: "Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom" for "average citizens" and "the media." Until now, the plan was successful

Funny that they should claim that was the case in the tobacco fight,
RA Fisher was a revered statistician, not a lightweight "Nobody".
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 47 (view)
 
New legal challenge for the Hadron Collider...
Posted: 2/1/2010 8:34:03 PM
very nice handling of the argument, Appreciative.
******************************************************************************
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 284 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/31/2010 11:45:19 PM
sure. "stuff" is selfish in that way, and altruistic too.
electron "donors", are so very generous, don't you know...

sure. a caricature is fine. If that's the way you want to see things, that's fine. and dandy.

magnets are so friggin iron-selfish, it's ironical, eh ? magnets ...ironically selfish...by sheer logical definition ! YAY !

Mag Mom:


Now you leave some of those filings for your other pole, Northy ! There 's only so many to go around.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 282 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/31/2010 7:33:42 PM
odd that a Professor Emeritus of Harvard is characterized in the way he has been .

Here he is on Charlie Rose with James Watson of "Watson and Crick"..you know. their paper showed us the form of DNA ...


http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-6927851714963534233&ei=MklmS4GkIIjCqQL9tpC5Cw&q=eo+wilson&hl=en&view=3#
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 281 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/30/2010 7:35:39 PM
Nova

At age 78, E.O. Wilson is still going through his "little savage" phase of boyhood exploration of the natural world. In "Lord of the Ants," NOVA profiles this soft-spoken Southerner and Harvard professor, who is an acclaimed advocate for ants, biological diversity, and the controversial extension of Darwinian ideas to human society.
Actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford narrates this engaging portrait of a ceaselessly active scientist and eloquent writer, who has accumulated two Pulitzer Prizes among his many other honors. Says fellow naturalist David Attenborough: "He will go down as the man who opened the eyes of millions 'round the world to the glories, the values, the importance of—to use his term—biodiversity."

Discovery Institute Denizen ?

Hardly, CIP

but I think Wilson only brought the term to the public's attention.

to think that you may have used or have listened to people use his actual words in describing things... unbiased by your introduction to him here...and agreed heartily.

 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 280 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/30/2010 4:54:00 PM
The science is getting to the point where they can tell which sect of a religion the person is by looking at the times per day the subject person thinks about being watched by The Flying Spaghetti Monster (we can call him).
The idea is that if the rules of the religion are such that the subject feels he is being watched...you know, if he has already made his supplications to the FSM in the morning, and is waiting for signs , answers, or results, he feels he is being watched over, and he will not break the rules as often as other do.

So they can even guess which sect you might be in, using this method. Distinguishing between Protestant sects like that.

Or maybe fundamentalist FSM-ites vs. liberal FSM-ites. Orthodox FSM ites, I think it stands to reason, would be the strictest and involved with trusts, and be the wealthiest group.

here's one of the scientists involved. not Discovery Institute Man, really. Father of a modern science.

http://www.videosift.com/video/Edward-O-Wilson-on-Death-Free-Will-Evolution-Religion

 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 279 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/30/2010 2:23:10 PM
I'm a fan of his, and I admire his outspoken views, but I certainly don't think mankind is coming to its senses, if anything religious worship around the world is getting worse. I honestly think 99% of the population of the planet is stark raving mad in that they believe in some 'God' or other.
Richard is right when he says they are deluded!
some believe that fear of changes due to rapid evolution in society is prompting return to fundamentalism in some .

something of scientific interest is whether or not the delusion leads to success of the groups that have an enforcing "Big Guy Watching". How often Gig Guy Watching enters the mind of the subject during his normal day seems to correlate well with how much this person is a rule obeying member of a group.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 278 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/30/2010 12:23:30 PM

I think his "speculations" are far fewer in number than his cold hard facts. Everyone speculates--that's part of the scientific process. And how are his seemingly reasonable speculations worse than those of his opponents? Especially those more "sophisticated" opponents who speculate that god had something to do with all of this?

I honestly think this is a very weak point all around rug doctor that you are trying to make. From the holocaust analogy, to the penguins, to Dawkins opposition...It just doesn't add up to much.
It's not surprising to me that you come to that conclusion when you cannot comprehend the significance of religion for Evolutionary change.

For each answer that you received, you had no reply, and then go back to your original position.

I'll go back to show that Dawkins himself recognizes the coherence and thus power religion offers groups. He wishes Atheists had that coherency and so thereby to gain political clout.

How would a power such as the U.S. affect evolutionary change ?

I'll leave a bit to your own imagination there.

So you see, it's not about speculating that God has something to do with it, it's about finding out what BELIEF in a big guy watching you at all times will do to a society.
they find that people are more obedient to group rules if they think the big guy is watching them.
And so the group acts more as a collective than as a bunch of individuals...evolutionary change happens, as it did with the Jews.
allele frequencies change due to successes and failures and extirpations of tribes and populations.

listen to Darwin; he thinks well:

It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. A tribe including many members who, from possessing [a high degree of] the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection (p. 203)



that is pretty darn obvious. Even Dawkins recognizes the power of a cohesive group, and he identifies such a group here:

When you think about how fantastically successful the Jewish lobby has been, though, in fact, they are less numerous I am told - religious Jews anyway - than atheists and [yet they] more or less monopolise American foreign policy as far as many people can see. So if atheists could achieve a small fraction of that influence, the world would be a better place.



and here


Atheists are more numerous than religious Jews, yet they wield a tiny fraction of the political power, apparently because they have never got their act together in the way the Jewish lobby so brilliantly has: the famous 'herding cats' problem again.



it's not about the spaghetti monster...who would be just as good, as God, is's about self policing leading to better conditions for success, whether in food choices and prep cleanliness, or in having better group enforcement of business practices - that's what is being investigated, not whether God exists or not, or any of that stuff.

Also, if a group has some kind of altruistic ( welfare ) system that helps the weak survive or reproduce....is that beneficial, or detrimental, in evolutionary terms...it's an interesting sociological question.
religions offer big populations to check, with differing local customs intertwined...so that we can get information from that.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 276 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 1:19:27 PM
the subject I raised was that Dawkins is into speculations, and not that much into hard evidence, eh? Wasn't that what I was showing ? Hard evidence for Selfish Penguins as part of premise for Selfish Organism ? Compare Dawkins' penguin-related Anonymous anecdote and Dawkins' crafting a story - compare with this kind of work, or achievement in offering other insights, from those he paints with the same brush as he does religious zealots
Wiki



David Sloan Wilson, the developer of Multilevel Selection Theory (MLS) compares the many layers of competition and evolution to the “Russian Matryoska Dolls” within one another.[14] The lowest level is the genes, next come the cells, and then the organism level and finally the groups. The different levels function cohesively to maximize fitness, or reproductive success. After establishing these levels, MLS goes further by saying that selection for the group level, which is competition between groups, must outweigh the individual level, which is individuals competing within a group, for a group-beneficiating trait to spread. [15] MLS theory focuses on the phenotype this way because it looks at the levels that selection directly acts upon
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 274 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 12:35:22 PM
Polly Penhale with NSF Antarctic Station Biological projects, this found on NASA site




QUESTION: Do penguins find out about danger by pushing one of
their own into the water?

ANSWER: On January 14, 1995, Polly Penhale answered:
It is hard to find an objective answer for this question because
scientists cannot set up experiments to find out the answer. The idea of
penguins "testing the water" by pushing in others was based on
observations. When penguins are near the ice edge and in a position to
go into the water, they are often in a large groups of 100 to 1000 birds.
The birds are very active and are always milling around, and the birds
in the back can't see what's going on in the front. So, I believe that this
situation of crowding and moving and pushing causes the front birds
on occasion to be accidentally pushed into the water.


but check out the approach whereby Dawkins sells you his ideas on pg 5 Selfish Gene.



Perhaps we can sympathize more directly with the reported cowardly behavior of emporer penguins in the Antarctic. They have been seen standing on the brink of the water, hesitating before diving in, because of the danger of being eaten by seals. If only one of them would dive in, the rest would know whether there was a seal there or not. Naturally nobody wants to be the guinea pig, so they wait, and sometimes even try to push each other in.


 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 272 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 12:17:40 PM
And from Darwin on, we can look to such religious groups who police themselves strictly and see them emerge as the gemstone dealers money traders ...of course, including the religious Jewish people, whom Dawkins admires/fears, for their domination of Foreign Affiars in the U.S of A.

A tiny tiny silly tribal ritual bound group, he essentially says, has evolved into what controls the USA.

Interesting to some. some attach an Evolutionary significance to control of powers such as the USA.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 271 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 11:55:28 AM

nd how does studying a bunch of goofy religions that are based on ancient fairy tales make you a sophisticate?

Well, we have a prime example before us. It does not make you a sophisticate to study religion, it means you are not very sophisticated if you do not realize that religion has enormous evolutionary effects on human populations. We should find out how the religions work and why.
Tribes get wiped out, others form trust bonds and succeed, on and on...that kind of genetics shifting event that alters populations is very interesting to some.

but Dawkins knows the teleos...and abhors it.

and although we have just seen that Dakwins declares himself holder of Darwin's Individual centered ground against the Jesuitically sophisticated neo reargaurd...

we have Charles himself to check with !

It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. A tribe including many members who, from possessing [a high degree of] the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection (p. 203)


 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 270 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 11:50:12 AM
I mean, he presented The Selfish Penguins using test subject in testing for predators...in his premise for The Selfish Organism.

baloney.

real researchers say it's never been observed in the Antarctic.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 268 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 11:30:24 AM
What he's comparing is the mental state of the people who can deny such things in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Not the issues they are denying.


I don't think that you have properly assessed what he is doing. We treat Holocaust Deniers with social stigmas....corporations are very leery of hiring someone with those views to expound.
why are the other bona fide researchers, atheists, evolutionary study proponents, being painted as religious-like Enemies of Reason, promoters of confusion, like Holocaust Deniers , when these people are not denying Evolution...only Evolution on Dawkins' terms.
they're generally more sophisicated than Dawkins, some look into research on religion, rather than dismissing it as a bad hangover.

In other words, these are not people denying something that has overwhelming evidence.
Dawkins is into speculation a lot, not hard evidence so much.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 266 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 11:04:59 AM
The intervening years since Darwin have seen an astonishing retreat from his individual-centered stand, a lapse into sloppily unconscious group-selectionism … We painfully struggled back, harassed by sniping from a Jesuitically sophisticated and dedicated neo-group-selectionist rearguard, until we finally regained Darwin’s ground, the position that I am characterizing by the label ‘the selfish organism…



Here he is painting fellows who oppose him in the scientific field, as religious zealots -again.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 265 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 10:58:51 AM
Here are some of the countries that have hate speech laws.


The United Kingdom, some of her ex-colonies like Canada and Australia, and many counties in Europe: These countries place some restrictions on freedom of speech. For example, Canada's Criminal Code has two sections covering what it calls "hate propaganda." The first is Section 318 that criminalizes the promotion and advocacy of genocide. The second is Section 319 that covers general hate speech. The latter has two clauses exempting persons who deliver hate sermons, give hate speeches, write hate material, etc. from a religious perspective. The list of protected groups was increased in 2004 from four (color, race, religion and ethnic origin) to five by adding sexual orientation. This gave equal protections to heterosexuals, bisexuals and gays/lesbians.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 263 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 10:49:17 AM
I can offer a citation for you . Dawkins on D.S. Wilson concerning the dispute with E.O. Wilson , D.S.Wilson.


<div class='quote'>Genes Still Central: David Sloan Wilson's lifelong quest to redefine "group selection" in such a way as to sow maximum confusion--and even to confuse the normally wise and sensible Edward O. Wilson into joining him

and we can bring other Dawkins quotations showing him casting these people, other evolutionary biologists, as Enemies of Reason.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 261 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 10:40:03 AM
Let me guess.

Surely. Bad guess. Have another go ?




Also, what do you mean by this?



But when you compare Evolution Denial with Holocaust Denial, we enter into the problem that this comparison is with something that is a crime in most of the countries he is addressing.

I mean that Holocaust Denial is an offense that is deemed prison sentence worthy hate speech, in many of the countries that Dawkins has most audience in.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 259 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/29/2010 9:25:36 AM
Dawkins restates the obvious when he attempts to influence people.

"the Jewish Ben Stein".

laa laa laa :)

** && %%%.. XXX..... plop

I agree with 60/70 there.

and I find it odd, that the word "Jewish" seems forever on Richard's mind.

Classifying people as oddballs is not that bad, i.e. Flat Earthers with Young Earthers.

But when you compare Evolution Denial with Holocaust Denial, we enter into the problem that this comparison is with something that is a crime in most of the countries he is addressing.

Unfortunately, for those defending Dawkins' ( Dawkins being represented as a well-reasoning individual), fellow scientists who disagree on mechanisms of Evolution are also cast into this category by Dawkins, as Enemies of Reason.

This is political maneuvering against his opponents. Smart but not presenting us with well reasoned writings.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 253 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/27/2010 7:42:59 PM
Actually, the analogy is accurate since both holocaust deniers and evolution deniers use the same tactic. Deny the evidence no matter what.
It is a poor analogy, because Holocaust Denial is considered hate speech and is a punishable offense in some countires.

It also offends those who suffered, offends against the memory of those who died.

Many things are denied, and so denial of a thing, alone, does not make a good analogy.
Especially when the presentation of evidence is so badly screwed with, by the likes of the poster quoted, and indeed, by Dawkins too.


 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 161 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/19/2010 10:02:07 AM
I think the underlying question he is after is this: if there is no purpose, then why does a Dawkins behave as though he believes there is purpose ?
He says that Life is no more than collections of particles without purpose, but his "missionary" zeal puts the lie to that.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 160 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/19/2010 10:01:37 AM
I think the underlying question he is after is this: if there is no purpose, then why does a Dawkins behave as though he believes there is purpose ?
He says that Life is no more than collections of particles without purpose, but his "missionary" zeal puts the lie to that.
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 21 (view)
 
Evolution is Favoring Shorter, Heavier Women, Study Says
Posted: 1/18/2010 1:39:55 PM
I've already answered that, then.



Unfortunately, you are confusing gene mutations with amputations as being one and the same, exacltly the same as you are with traits and genes. How you use that mutation is the trait.
I am not confusing them. And a trait is NOT "how you use a mutation".
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 154 (view)
 
Richard Dawkins fans?
Posted: 1/18/2010 6:20:14 AM

Evolution would guarantee that you would not need to breathe, if the need to do so disappeared.


funcuz:
No it wouldn't. You'd die. Unless you can think of any person in existence who has no need
He did say that the need was removed...and that takes care of your argument. "No need" is a "given" for his argument here.

also, the logic you are using, that leads you to say that his death could be prevented by his thinking of a person....
 rug doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 20 (view)
 
Evolution is Favoring Shorter, Heavier Women, Study Says
Posted: 1/18/2010 5:58:34 AM
I hope not the way you have already said 3 times.



Afraid so...
I've already answered that, then. Whatever it is you say environment dictates, that is fine. Whatever we might imagine. But how the population comes to suit it's environment....that's the question we are trying to answer.

You 're offering responses that are like asserting "Pedaling makes bicycle wheels turn, and NOTHING ELSE WILL And pedals do not move because of wheels turning, wheels only turn because of pedals moving."

While the sentences contain some truth, they are false
 
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