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Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Posted: 2017-11-09, 15:57
by voron
xBlackHeartx wrote:Scienstists LIE. You want an example? I was reading a page on physics, written by an actual physist, and he revealed something that shocked me: The planetary model of the atom, had actually been discredited in the mid 80s.

It's not "wrong" and it wasn't discredited. It's just less precise than the subsequent models.

It's the way science works. Science doesn't know anything with the 100% accuracy, and never claims that it does. What science does is it suggests a model that attempts to describe the known reality and observations. When new observations are obtained, this model may not work for them, and a more precise model is required, and so on and so on.

An easy example. If a train moves with the speed 30km/h, and you walk inside the train towards its front with the speed 1km/h, the Newtonian model suggests that your total speed (the speed relative to the ground) is 31km/h. However the newer Einsteinian model tells us that it is slightly less: 30.99999914km/h (the formula is here http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hb ... nvel2.html).

Does it mean that the Newtonian model is "wrong"? Of course no. It is still useful for all everyday purposes when we deal with speeds much lower than the speed of light.

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Posted: 2017-11-09, 16:59
by Yasna
md0 wrote:People like Dawkins are doing a huge disservice to both science and secularism, and New Atheism is a reactionary movement plain and simple.

The God Delusion was hugely influential on my life. It awakened my fascination in science and largely put to rest the lingering superstitions I had floating around my mind. The millions of books he sells and the huge crowds he draws suggest that I'm far from the only one.

Saim wrote:The part of the God Delusion that most stuck with me was the bit where he talks about a survey of Israeli Jewish children who justified genocide against the Canaanites but took the side of the Canaanites when the names were changed and the conflict was set in China. But then you see these New Atheists engaging in apologetics for Western imperialism, racism and nationalism and you realise that religion isn't the main driving force of all of that.

I haven't seen any apologetics for racism, but quite a bit of apologetics for imperialism, mainly from Hitchens and Harris. I think I figured out where Hitchens went wrong, especially with regards to his support for the Iraq war. He was deeply committed to the cause of Kurdish self-determination, and thought that freeing the Kurds from the yoke of Saddam justified the Western invasion. I think his devotion to the Kurds blinded him to how dire the unintended consequences of the invasion would be. Even assuming overall good intentions on the part of the invaders (a problematic assumption), a cursory review of historical foreign occupations (and just taking a fucking second to put yourself in the shoes of an occupied people) should have made it clear that the probability of the occupation being successful (smooth democratic transition, no uprising) was extremely low. This fact was probably obscured by how well the occupations of Germany and Japan went, and not recognizing that these occupations were not analogous to what was being attempted in Iraq.

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Posted: 2017-11-09, 17:21
by Saim
Yasna wrote:
md0 wrote:People like Dawkins are doing a huge disservice to both science and secularism, and New Atheism is a reactionary movement plain and simple.

The God Delusion was hugely influential on my life.


Me too, but I don't really agree with Dawkins's social critique any more. Often he'll make a critique of the ethics of religion and such and when people bring up Stalinism or liberation theology or anything that makes this less of a black-and-white issue, and he always backtracks and says "well, I only care about what's true". Which is fine, but then why make the social/ethical critique in the first place?

I haven't seen any apologetics for racism,


I don't mean any of the "intellectuals" in the movement (well, maybe Sam Harris, but we've already made our disagreement on his views clear so I'm not sure how much you'd want to rehash it), but on the internet I do see a bit of an overlap between the alt-right and people who still identify with New Atheism.

He was deeply committed to the cause of Kurdish self-determination, and thought that freeing the Kurds from the yoke of Saddam justified the Western invasion. I think his devotion to the Kurds blinded him to how dire the unintended consequences of the invasion would be.


I agree. I think he was also influenced by 9/11 and his Trotskyist background.

The thing is that after the Iraq War went the way it did he dug in his heels and kept supporting neoconservatism in US foreign policy, and indeed endorsed Obama more the closer his foreign policy got to Bush's. Although I guess we all prefer not to admit to making major mistakes.

Re: Evolution versus Creationism

Posted: 2017-11-09, 19:25
by Lur
Saim wrote:Really all they do is prove is that religion is not the main force behind conservatism and xenophobia, which kind of undermines the social critique aspect of New Atheism.

The part of the God Delusion that most stuck with me was the bit where he talks about a survey of Israeli Jewish children who justified genocide against the Canaanites but took the side of the Canaanites when the names were changed and the conflict was set in China. But then you see these New Atheists engaging in apologetics for Western imperialism, racism and nationalism and you realise that religion isn't the main driving force of all of that.

My point is actually that either some of these people are a kind of Christian or despite the superficial atheism they retain many things internalized from Christianism, like the idea of proselitism and religious control over certain areas being justified because it's special because blablabla

I haven't ever read a book by Dawkins, but I know he's also one of those that maintain this unnecesary idea of "atheist of Christian culture", which is what sometimes goes wrong.


But I dunno. I'm a bit weird on this whole thing. Ive had my fair share of people from vastly different ideologies being either puzzled or angry at me, which is unfortunate.