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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Valka D'Ur, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

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    If you're loose with the definition of a fundamentalist, you could then say craft beer has produced beer fundamentalists.

    There's a big difference between a person being radicalized by a fact that can be observed and a person being radicalized by a book that's only really valuable for making sense of culture and traditions.
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I wouldn't call it harmless. A lot of people who believe that crap want it taught in schools as fact, in science class no less. It damages the school curriculum as well as the children who are forced to sit through it.

    If these people kept to themselves, sort of like the flat earth people do (I think they do, anyway), I would be far more likely to stick the "harmless" sticker on them. As things stand now though, they are actively attempting to push their weird beliefs on the rest of us.
     
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Sure, it did. It asked a question: How old is Earth? and contrasted the methods used by theologians (figure out when Nebuchadnezzar died and count backward using the Old Testament "begats") and by real scientists. Hypothesis, observations, data, conclusions. Those are all part of the scientific method, and nicely illustrated* in the part of the episode about the observations and experiments using lead.



    *(I use "illustrated" in the sense that means "shown"; I still loathe the cartoons)
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I also don't think that the show should have even acknowledged YECs. IMO it made the show appear to be a bit preachy, while at the same time giving credence to the idea that the YEC position is anything but silly. It's non-scientific, they should have left it out. By leaving it in they give the position a nod; they make it appear as though the position is something that's in some way equivalent to a scientific theory or even hypothesis. When writing an essay on ancient Egypt, do you spend any time talking about ancient aliens? No, because they're silly, you leave that stuff out.
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Yes, the radioactive dating and lead dating is science. But contrasting that with the creation myths, and then going on with the science in politics, that's, well, politics. And while informative in it's own right, seems not properly within the overall scope of the series.
     
  6. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    So we agree that any human today with an education can write history how ever they see fit, as long as it is believable as a solid fact based on current observations?
     
  7. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    I really wish we could get some time on how nobody really knew how the sun worked until the 30s. People had all sorts of guesses about how it was just a collapsing gas cloud, heated by the compression, but that capped the age of the Earth on the order of 10,000 years, and by the 1900s everybody knew the Earth was quite a bit older than that.

    I once found an awesome astronomy textbook from 1920 that basically just threw up it's hands and said 'nobody knows, maybe we'll figure it out soon'. Really drives home the idea of how novel our understanding of the universe really is.
     
  8. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Considering that Canada's government is openly muzzling its own climate scientists - at least those who haven't been fired yet - and environmentalists have been openly called terrorists by one of the cabinet ministers, I am glad that this version of Cosmos is bringing the politics of science out into the light.

    How could you possibly get that from what Warpus posted? :confused: There is nothing about YEC beliefs that is scientific. That's why it doesn't belong in science classes. It's not any more scientific than "Chariots of the Gods" or Velikovsky's nonsense.
     
  9. adhuin

    adhuin Chieftain

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    YEC is a widely held misbelief and so has to be dealt with. If Aliens building pyramids or Chariots of the Gods were similarly popular "knowledge", they would also have to be dealt with.
     
  10. Aroddo

    Aroddo Emperor

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    I kinda enjoy how Tyson is trolling the creatonist dimwits ever so slightly in every episode.
    He explains the wonders of the universe, saying "We got this - you got .".

    I honestly understand why the fundamentalists are raving against this show: Not only does it have more answers than that outdated "holy" book - it even has more questions! And it urges the next generation to answer those new questions instead of seeking old answers.

    Keep Cosmos up and follow it up and we might see the death of religion, eventually.
     
  11. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Because writing history is not science either.

    People can believe or not what was written down throughout history, but that does not make everything written down a mere belief. Now if you believe that everything was written down as a belief, then why is that different than believing that a scientist is just observing what they believe to be facts. We trust scientist to leave out personal prejudices, but is that not giving up their humanity when they attempt to distance themselves from themselves?

    One can fight the battle that YEC does not fit, but there will always be people who will accept it at face value, and not just as a belief system, even if modern man believes it to be a lie. One can not prove it is a lie, even if there is evidence that says it is a lie. Evidence today even with dating tests, is still just circumstantial even if it is accepted to be factual.

    The point that every one likes to point out is that when it comes to origins and history, we are leaving the realm of science and entering either history or speculation. But the emphasis is placed on questioning people's belief systems. It does not matter if you want to throw out the Bible as a science text book, but you cannot change history at the same time.

    I am pretty sure that it is easy to use science to make people look stupid. Seems like a waste of science, but if that is the way people are, they will use anything to make other people look bad.
     
  12. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    What aspects of writing history is not science?

    No, we expect scientists to be influenced by personal prejudices. Which is why science needs repeatable and peer-reviewed conclusions.

    When talking about History and Science, it always takes more than one source to make any claim enter the picture. After this more evidence will be sought to try to increase confidence in that claim. When contrasting evidence pops up, the claim needs to be re-evaluated in light of that new evidence.

    Is any of this happening with regard to the history YEC wants us to believe? Do they ever alter their claims? Of course not, that would be blasphemous. Well, that's also a-ok, but it isn't and never will be scientific.
    Pull that bus over to the pedestrian side of the road, and stop and think what you're saying here.

    If you accept anything at face value, it's a belief system. Anything.
    If you visit Creation dot com, you will notice how incredibly easy it is. But it's the Creationists themselves who make themselves look stupid by insisting they are doing science and then come up with their ridiculous and, more damningly, dishonest conclusions based on blatant lies.

    Everyone is free to dismiss the conclusions science draws and not be judged on it, for instance when it goes against a deeply held belief they have. That isn't stupid nor dishonest. But when Creationism steps into the realm of science, they will be held accountable for it, just as every single other person who does so. We're not singling out Creationists in this regard. We're treating them the same as we would treat any scientist publishing a paper. We don't go: well it's your opinion, and you spent a lot of time and effort in it, we'll accept it.

    Answer me this: why would YEC so desperately want their claims to be supported by science? It's all they ever go on about. Why does YEC go out of their way to cherry pick fragments of data, while ignoring mountains of them? Believe you me, the only one who is trying to bring science into the picture is YEC. If it is such a faulty, untrustworthy tool, why would they want to do that?

    Why would they embarrass themselves like that? I'll tell you: to convince other people. And those who provide the content for creation dot com must know they are lying through their teeth and distorting facts when they see fit. I've spent quite a lot of time on that site, and it's inescapable. It even has a section: how to debate evolutionists for well, Christ's sake. Why would that be there? What use could that have besides teaching YECs to muddy the waters and smokescreen the issues? What's wrong with phrasing your own arguments. With asking your own questions? All of it is geared towards lies and dishonesty.

    I though I made "damningly" up, and it appears it's a real word. Ziggy learns every day.
     
  13. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Another interesting fact is, that it took until 2001 until the model how the sun works was experimentally confirmed without doubt. Our understanding of the universe is more recent than most people think.
     
  14. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Writing history is slightly different than guessing what happened and then writing it down if your peers agree with you.

    You expect that, but then change the outcome to agree with the multitude. What ever happened to something being correct, even if the group was wrong? I am not taking away your scientific method and telling you it gives you the wrong outcome. I am attempting to say that there is truth be it scientific discovery or an actual event in history that may be taken the wrong way, if enough people decide it no longer pertains to the human whim.

    I am not defending YEC, history, or science. I am simply pointing out that it is impossible to get to the truth, especially after people accept a lie as the truth. It is easy to rewrite history and if you can get enough people to believe it, it becomes fact. I am not going to prove to you that science is wrong, because science is the method that you have accepted as giving you the truth. Neither can I take you back in time and prove to you what actually happened. I do not understand though, why trusting in science is not also "faith". That it can be observed to work today, does not guarantee that it can be applied to things that happened millions of years ago, much less 2000 years ago. The only reason that a lot of history has been tossed out, is because of it's impossibility not just it's believability. If the next mutation of humans are capable of healing themselves, does not bring back history into the realm of believability, because the past has to be taken at face value, and not just because all people believe in it.

    When you accept something it does add to you belief system, but having something in your belief system does not change the truth value of what was accepted. If you applied that to science, you would box science in and it could never be wrong. The further humans are removed from an event in history the more likely what is true can be changed to false and what is false can be claimed as true. There are no longer any participants who can vouch for what actually happened. Even when something happens, you have different accounts that contradict each other. That is why humans needed to have the tool we call science to at least attempt to come up with a factual account. However factual accounts only work in real time. Unless you want science to become the creator of doctrines that cannot be changed, it has to be free to change. However once an event happens in history, you cannot change it's actuality, but you can change it's believability and the way humans view it 1000's of years later.

    I have to agree with you that lying to people is not the best way to get them to accept the truth.
     
  15. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    It's not about opinion nor guessing. It's about evidence.

    The more there is that points to a certain conclusion, the more solid the science is. Mind you that science merely is the best explanation for our observations. It's not: this is how it happened, end of story.

    Again, you treat it as if it's some sort of vote. It's the amount of evidence, not the amount of people. If 10 scientists can come up with a multitude of evidence against 10.000 scientists who can only come up with a much smaller amount, science favours the conclusion of those 10 people. If you go against a multitude of evidence, then chances are you'll make the wrong conclusion when trying to explain observations. The peer-review isn't: yeah I think so too.

    It's impossible to get to the truth. It's very possible to explain observations. And the world we operate in, what we interact with exists of those observations. So to be able to make conclusions about that world science is the best method by a long shot.

    We may live inside the dream of a giant space octopus, and that would still be true.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Science is the method that we, you as well, have accepted as working best to explain what's going on in our Universe. In about every aspect in life we rely on science. You as well. You need science for your computer, your food, your medicine.

    Science can't be wrong. Because science never states that it's right, or contains truth. All it does is offer explanations.
    That's because you have the wrong idea about science.

    How much faith do I need to have in a concept which admits to me it may be wrong, and has a mechanism to incorporate that at it's very base? How much faith does someone need to have in a concept that states it cannot be wrong?
     
  16. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I disagree. The first Cosmos was quite political, and science is political as well. I am glad they are acknowledging this and not retreating into their pure "science bubbles" which are magically isolated from the rest of the world, and the rest of the world from they.
     
  17. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Evidence does not just materialize out of nothing. It still has to be accepted on the faith of it's validity.

    Relying on science is not a bad thing. It is just not a solid thing. Science involves changing perspectives. One does not have to believe what was written down throughout history. One does not even have to accept it to enjoy life. I have no problem if what was written is rejected. I also am not going to say end of story. End of story would be the last breath a person takes.

    I never said it was a vote. Nor did I say it is a bad idea. I said that it cannot change history, but it can change people's perception of history.

    It works great in real time. I would not trust it to explain the past, or even predict the future. I would not even say it is wrong to trust in science as long as one knows it's limits. Then again that is my opinion. Like I said, I cannot prove that science is right or wrong.

    If one bases truth on science, anything that science says may be their acceptance of the truth. I still see that as a belief system, even if science is the tool used to form that belief system.

    Perhaps science is not a smorgasbord, but it would seem to me that one can take it in pieces and not have to accept all science just because it is science.

    I realize that it is just a tool. That is why just because it is science, does not mean it should be taken as doctrine. It is just a tool and each human incorporates the explanations into their own belief system. Are you saying that some humans do not have a belief system?

    The method we call science is a tool. Unless one uses the tool and incorporates the results of using such a tool into their belief system there is no concept of trust or belief.
     
  18. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    Carbon dating is so scientifically accurate that we have wood from the future. :eek:
    Spoiler large image :


    The result that got into the future said this. T"he calculated is is '+3000' years in the future. Repeated sample and got the same result." Something is wrong when you get a result like, since basically any dating method isn't an exact science as commonly said, otherwise we wouldn't be relying on eyewitnesses to say when we were born, we could simply just do a scientific test to get the proper result. Yes? Actually the reason we rely on eyewitness accounts of when a person is born and their death is that they are far more reliable than any scientific dating method. The reason is that the dating methods are unreliable when dating something we know the age of, how can we trust them when trying to calculate the age of something we don't know? Let's not forget that we get measurable result from things that are supposed to be millions of years old, when a ball the size of earth will have lost all it's carbon14 by 1 million years and any measurable result means the "age" is less than 100,000 years old, since any greater than that and it is below the detection limit and will read as a zero, but so far we haven't got any zero's when testing samples, which puts the limit of the "age" of the earth to less than 100,00 years, clearly not enough time for all what evolution claims to have done. http://www.grisda.org/origins/51006.htm for more on th problems of carbon dating.

    But to get back to the show it has been a real disappointment. It seems like they are playing to a level of audience that is no very well informed and most of what is shown is basic and not really all that exciting.
     
  19. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    Most Americans have doubts about Big Bang theory, says new poll

    Only 4% of Americans doubt that smoking causes cancer.

    And only 6% question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain.

    The vast majority accept that we carry genetic codes inside our cells. Only 8% quibble with that finding.

    Far more people — 15% — question the safety of childhood vaccines, the AP poll revealed.

    About four in 10 Americans are unsure or don’t believe in global warming.

    But the biggest group of doubters — 51% — clustered around the Big Bang theory, the AP found.


    When I was young, there were two theories of the universe - Steady State and Big Bang. And two factions of astronomers who duked-it-out at conferences and in professional publications. Then Penzias and Wilson built their radio telescope and discovered the 3 degree Kelvin background radiation that corroborated Big Bang. Now nobody even remembers Steady State anymore. I suspect that before I die, there'll be yet a new theory...

    There are a lot more examples. The growing belief in Dark Matter has expanded the size of the Universe from a mere 28 billion light years in diameter a couple of decades ago, to as much as 1.5 trillion light years today.

    And just a couple of years ago we had nine planets in our solar system. Then astronomers changed their minds and now there are only eight. I distinctly remember this question on a quiz back in 9th grade Earth Science where only that dorky kid in the first row guessed "eight". I remember thinking, "He's so dumb." Who's laughing now?:hmm:

    My guess is that since scientific conventional wisdom keeps changing, people don't feel the need to take it as seriously as the scientists think they should
     
  20. Aroddo

    Aroddo Emperor

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    Science isn't dogmatic, so of course it changes. Unlike religion.
    Religious fundamentalists believe the same thing on Wednesday as they did on Monday. No matter what happened on Tuesday.
     

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