lundi 27 février 2012

AronRa, did I mention you are worthless on history?

In 15th Foundational Falsehood*, you did it again. By the way, some links to the series:

            The Series:A Man not at all prejudiced against God is criticising Creationism (not me, we'll get back to who it is)
Further to the Geoscience Major at Texas University
Lost In Translation
AronRa linked to someone actually trying to prove evolution.
AronRa, did I mention you are worthless on history?
My Motivation for Arguing Against FFoCr Series
Verifiable Does Not Equal Material and Natural
I Like "Miacis Cognita."
A Letter Arrived from AronRa
Here beginneth our essay:

The mission of religion is to make followers believe. Subjective assumptions unsupported by evidence will almost certainly be wrong at the onset regardless of the source, and without any means of regulation, will only get wronger over time. Sacred dogma once written is forbidden to be changed, so it can’t be rectified either. But science must be amenable to change because its objective is to add to the sum of knowledge and to improve understanding continually. So whatever explanations we ever propose are not to believed, but to be tested and corrected, even rejected if necessary, and our explanations must be refined accordingly.

Now that is a gigantic unchecked assumption about the history of Scripture. Because, your following example so far from being supporting evidence is repetition of a lie. I say repetition of a lie, I do not say you are lying.

For example, once upon a time, all the religions of the near east believed the earth was a flat disk divided into four quadraints, and enveloped by a giant crystal dome, which was their sky. The earliest actual scientists described the earth as a sphere and even calculated its size with surprising accuracy. But a hundred years later, the authors of scripture still wrote of a disk-shaped world. As the centuries wore on, some dogmatic believers refused the wisdom of scholars who knew better and even suppressed or destroyed their knowledge, and held to belief in a flat earth even until Columbus provided the final disproof.

Name one "dogmatic believer" who did so. That is destroyed the knowledge. If you mean Inquisition, it never opposed the earth as a globe. It did on exactly three occasions - Bruno and twice on Galileo - oppose Heliocentrism. And on middle one, one Inquisitor from Portugal refuted Galileo on tides, and St Robert knew about Tycho Brahe.

Unlike the Walt Disney version of History with Goofy featuring Columbus, Galileo, Leonardo and whatnot, the real Columbus was not up against "you are nuts, the earth is flat, the ships would fall off the edge", he was up against scientific assumptions about why noone had sailed forth and back across the sea outside the Pillars of Hercules. He was up against "equator is too hot for men to survive, and the west includes somewhere where it is too windy not to founder."

This is so because St Augustine said he conceded to the scientists - he called them philosophers - that the earth is a globe - there is one Church Father on record who took opposite stance - but refused to believe in Antipodes (people whose feet are up against ours across the middle of the earth). Then he reasoned: if one had sailed to opposite parts of the earth, one would have sailed back too, but since no such sailors had come back, they had not set forth either.

This argument was finally answered by the Ra expedition of Thor Heyerdahl, it is possibly to cross the Atlantic from the Azores to the Americas on the NOrth Equatorial Current, but unless you found the Gulf Stream, a boat of reeds could no way sail back.

But between somewhere after St Augustine and Columbus, the learned - who in Christian lands were usually Christians - assumed that the Western Ocean was not crossable.

So, if Saint Augustine found the passages in Scripture related to supposed disc shape quite compatible with earth being a globe, where does that leave you argument?

Authors of non-real religions believeing the earth to be a disc might tend to invent or get revealed or whatever stories in which discshape becomes relevant scenario - as is the case with Northern Mythology, Outgard of the Thursar being a broader disc placed lower on Yggdrasil and with Hell as the shadow of Earth falling down on Outgard. While Asgard, inversely, is a smaller disc, placed higher up. This is featured in the Icelander Snorri's description of ancient beliefs and also in the story how Thorr with two companions visited Outgard-Loki.

Funny, that as Near East had only - if that is true - religions believing earth to be flat, that this belief found no more any expression in the Bible than expressions like "The Four Corners of the Earth", which fit pretty well with the four corners of Old World: Europe-Britain-Ireland-Iceland for NW, Cape of Good Hope for the SW, Singapore-Australia for the SE and Sachalin with Japan (which possibly did not yet exist) for NE. No Thorr going to Outgard-Loki and driving over any rainbow bridges to get down to the nether floor. No Sun-God navigating a river above the sky at day and getting to another river, opposite direction by night. Just that expression. Or such as could apply to tectonic continental plates.

Modern creationists oppose evolution and sometimes cosmology the same way flat earthers reject the theory of geosphericity, the same way geocentrists deny the theory of heliocentricity!

I am, as can be seen, no flat earther. I do however consider that the "Eratosthenes" type of argument for heliocentricity is considerably weaker than for earth being a globe, and the Columbus type of practical proof is lacking as long as we have not seen Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. For Luke Skywalker unlike Chrispher Columbus happens to be fiction. When I was born noone heard of him, I saw part one (Tusken Raider and delivering Princess Leia et c.) in US, while learning English. Similarily, we have no time Machine set for 60 million years before present in which one got back and saw the fauna comprised T Rex but no men except the time travellers. And the "Eratosthenes" for the dating has been challenged by the scientist who is also an Evangelical, who wrote From Nothing to Nature.

Aristotle once proposed that everything was made of earth, air, water, and fire, -here represented by the perfect solids once associated with them- and a fifth element considered to be the substance of life. Based on these long-held yet obviously delusive beliefs, ...

If by earth you mean soil, you can say it is delusive. If by earth you mean solid - well, where are we now?

... Georg Stahl and other 17th century scientists composed two theories; the theory of vitalism, (which held that life was animated by an infusion with an elemental spirit) and the theory of phlogiston. For decades, European scientists imagined that a nigh-undetectable sort of fiery air called phlogiston was present in everything flammable. A series of experiments ensued and these men began to rationalize how phlogiston could still somehow account for all the inconsistent data. Finally more accurate measurements and more critical thinking eventually challenged the status quo and brought chemical theory out of the realms of alchemy. Neither of Stahl’s theories are valid theories anymore. Phlogiston theory was disproved in 1777. His theory of vitalism was disproved fifty years later. But after a hundred and fifty years, Darwin’s theory is still going stronger than ever.

I do not think Vitalism has at all been validly disproven. Proving presence of carbon based compounds and of water in all life, is not tantamount to disproving "life" as an element added to it. Unless you presuppose that it should be able to be weighed, have what physicists call a mass.

As for phlogiston, when I was a young creationist in high school that was one of my favourite examples against a recently acquired theory being the finally right answer: what if phlogiston - a scientific theory, not a religious dogma - was no more ephemeral than evolution? Well, one of Darwin's arguments for evolution is that common traits argue common ancestry. Yet, evolutionists today do not argue that armadillos and other scaly mammals therefore inherited these scales from reptilian times. Of course, presupposing evolution itself to be possible, the scenario currently given is possible too - but the argument for it being actually true becomes so much less convincing.

I also think that 1999 was to evolution what - did you say 1777 was the year - was to phlogiston. When I began my Karyogrammata series, I erroneusly believed that Mammalian Chromosomes were never Telocentric. But even after correcting that, I think part of my argument - and sufficienly - still stands. See the link a bit earlier in this series of replies to you to where my letter to Nature Genetics (still not published?) links to three earlier essays. And to a debate on the pharyngula blog of P Z Myers, where he tried to answer what I had argued even if he did not mention me (nor did he mention any other creationist by name).

You don’t have to prove something before it can be disproved. Nor should we both prove and disprove the same thing. Science doesn’t permit anything to be proven positively. Instead, every hypothesis must be potentially falsifiable in order to count as science. That means there has to be a way to identify errors, to find out what’s wrong with it –and fix it. It’s still possible to falsify evolution too, though it’s now so well-supported it will take more than an unsubstantiated anomoly to do it. So your inability to distinguish dinosaurs from barnyard animals will be insufficient to disprove evolution.

Know what? I totally agree. On that one. And I say that: Evolution, at least of Placental Mammals from Common Ancestor having obviously one number of Chromosomes different from many of its presumed posterity, is disproven, unless either the earliest Placental Mammal had the highest number of Chromosomes of all Placental Mammals - 48 is more likely, since it occurs in different clades, like apes 48 and men closely related 46, like horses and Przewalski horses (forget which had which number), like Okapis (44-45-OR-46, I think) - and on top of that highest number found in any clade is the number of its ancestor or lower OR the immunity system rejecting foeti with highly exaggerated chromosome numbers developed independently (as said about scales it is a possible scenario, but lowers credibility of Darwin's argument) OR all karyotypes above 2n=48 can be accounted for as telocentric products of chromosome splits.

I also think heliocentrism could be possibly disproven in either of two different ways, by observing parallax from Mars. It has - or had in 2006 - not been done yet. For more on that one, see my essay Creationism and Geocentrism ...** more precisely comments (essay corpus is about social disabilities about being either geocentric or creationist and one way in which they arise).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
La Clairière, Paris
27 II 2012

*The 15th foundational falsehood of creationism:
“Evolution has never been proved.
It’s still just a theory, not a fact.”

**Creationism and Geocentrism are sometimes used as metaphors for "outdated because disproven inexact science"

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