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Old 05-22-2004, 04:43 PM   #1
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So, no one is right.

Iíve noticed that when people argue with certain beliefs/opinions, most of the time it is based off of a popular way of thinking. What we believe is based off of experiences and education that we have been exposed too. But when you think of what we have read and been told, a surprising amount has been conjugated out of predigests or justifications from a certain time. Even when you look at the theory of Darwinism it is hard not to see an alternate means behind his thought. With illustrations that he drew of how we evolved from chimps, he shows the profile shot of a man mutating in stages to the Caucasian man we know today. Although, on closer examination, his drawings of us as a primitive being strike an eerie resemblance of a stereotypical African person of the time. He also juxtaposes a Victorian style person and an African tribesman to an illustration to our early ancestors, explaining that the shape of the Africans personís skull it closer to our primate ancestors then the Europeans. So Darwin is basically saying the African people are undeveloped animals, so there is no difference in using them for forced labor then there would be using a donkey. Darwinism is the justification of slavery.

The point Iím trying to make is so people do not go around saying, ďWell, thatís not correct. Everyone knows that.Ē When our education is based off of the writings of kings, politicians, and prideful men, the whole foundation of our so-called common knowledge is nothing more then fabricated truths.

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Old 05-22-2004, 06:10 PM   #2
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yes... we'd be better off listening to those who have said nothing.
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Old 05-22-2004, 08:47 PM   #3
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Oh, jeez, I forgot what it was like to be 20 and in art school.

Your post provides a nice argument for staying in school, learning how to tell fable from fact (and how to spell) ... and to realize that history can be twisted to suit whatever idiotic notion you desire.

"Darwinism is the justification of slavery"??????????

Are you INSANE?? Where the hell did you come up with this crap?

Biblical justification for slavery was used throughout history to keep its institution intact. If it weren't for secular groups -- in America at least -- who believed that all men were created equal and needed to be treated as such, slavery would still exist, legitimized by God and perpetuated by divine faith.

Hard-fought freedoms, still tragically incomplete and dangerously threatened, are mostly available today through the hard work by those "Darwinists" and freethinkers who were willing to challenge the bible-thumpers who justify all their cruelties and bias based on their interpretations of scripture.

A small list of these include:

Abolition of slavery
Women's right to vote (women's rights to be treated as human at ALL!!)
Child labor protection
Gay rights
Reproductive rights
Freedom of speech
Freedom of self-government

The list goes on and on (and so can my ranting!), but just do me one BIG favor. Don't EVER blame Darwin for slavery!

In fact, if we don't all start standing up for Darwin, this world is going to go back to being a much sorrier-assed place than it is today.
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Old 05-22-2004, 08:53 PM   #4
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The point of reading all you can is so that you can come to your own (educated) conclusions about issues. Certainly not everything recorded is gospel, but it does give you a foundation with which to seek your own "truths."

Philosophically speaking, you're absolutely correct -- nobody is ever "right." Subjectivity and dimension of subject create ambiguities. But that's true for all things in life.
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Old 05-22-2004, 08:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nycwriters
Philosophically speaking, you're absolutely correct -- nobody is ever "right."
well, let's not get carried away. i mean there are a few cosmological constants (like the charge of an electron or the speed of light) that we can be absolutely "right" about. some things can be proven. but i'd agree that there are some realms of human endeavor that are more prone to subjective interpretation.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:01 PM   #6
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Well I'd counter that with saying for a long time it was "fact" that the earth was flat. What we know about electrons could, at some future date, be refuted with further evidence about how it works that's completely different from what we already know. Science changes and grows at a constant rate.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:09 PM   #7
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I'm ashamed of myself for even attempting to address this, but...

NYC, c'mon now! You're a bright woman; do you really not know the difference between the old uninformed theory that the earth was flat, and the later scientific proof that the world is round? Do you think that that particular fact needs further exploration, or can we move on to other theories we might prove as well?

I beg to differ -- while there is a lot more about physics that we can (and will!) discover the truths about, there is a lot of it that we already know with absolute certainty.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:12 PM   #8
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And I'd disagree because nothing is finite. In pure science, most would agree.

I used the "world is flat" analogy to make an extreme point. I'm surprised you used that as a means to question my intelligence.

It's arrogance of culture to assume we know all there is to know in any subject matter, including science. This was the attitude of those who believed, ironically, the world was flat.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:14 PM   #9
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actually, isaac asimov, were he still alive would take up the argument with you better than i could... his book "the relativity of wrong" is a fairly good series of essays on this very subject. In it he points out that while our knowledge has increased through the application of the scientific method, there have been relatively few cases where we have overthrown proven fact with dramatically, radically new facts. once we developed the scientific method, pretty much everything we've pointed it at has yielded information that fits fairly neatly into the framework of previously established discoveries. certainly new techniques of measurement and calculation have allowed us to refine some values, but for the most part there are damned few cases of new science completely overturning old science. newton said it best... "we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. though they may be giants we can see farther than they."
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:15 PM   #10
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But on a purely intellectual level, surely you can agree that everything, including old scientific discoveries, could be subject to change? That everything is fluid?
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:22 PM   #11
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to some extent... but there are also some comological constants that, if they were changed ever so slightly, would produce a universe where life as we know it couldn't exist... in fact matter and energy couldn't exist. there are web sites devoted to this... extremely nerdy math sites... that take the charge of an electron and allow you to vary it slightly and see the result of the change. it doesn't take much of a change before atoms become impossible to maintain. without atoms it's pretty hard to have a reality. so there are fields of science where there are, and will continue to be new frontiers. but there are also some that have been pretty well nailed down.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:29 PM   #12
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I gotta side with MoN on this one.

NYC, your argument is the kind I've heard from people who are just not willing to accept proven scientific fact and are waiting -- because it's too scary to think we have to figure out our existence for ourselves, by ourselves -- for some messiah to come and embrace us and explain how it all works and what it all means.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:30 PM   #13
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I'm no scientist (farthest thing from it), but I still feel that if we close our minds to possibilities because of "known truths" we might overlook (and I'm going to be extreme here) a cure for Cancer or something like it because of known "truths", ya know?

Old methodologies should be constantly questioned and tested, even if they are determined as "fact."
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Smartypants
I gotta side with MoN on this one.

NYC, your argument is the kind I've heard from people who are just not willing to accept proven scientific fact and are waiting -- because it's too scary to think we have to figure out our existence for ourselves, by ourselves -- for some messiah to come and embrace us and explain how it all works and what it all means.
Ha! It's like you've read my mind!!!!!

Dude. Cut me some slack. The way I'm looking at it is quite the opposite of what you've suggested here.

Would you like me to continue the insult exchange you started? Your way is close minded -- it's the absolute truth! IT CANNOT BE CHALLENGED!!!

Mine is open minded; that there are more possibilities for absolutely everything in existence. It has absolutely nothing to do with God or a Messiah or anything remotely religious and I'm kind of insulted with that kind of mudslinging, considering I've never lead anyone to believe that's my platform in anything I've ever posted.

I'm suggesting that known truths should be questioned so that we can continually grow and change. When we settle into things and accept them as "fact" that's when we fall asleep at the proverbial wheel.
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Old 05-22-2004, 09:46 PM   #15
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actually i think we have a fairly robust system for questioning known facts. it's called the academic system and it's ideally suited to offer just the kind of challenge to established doctrine that nyc is proposing. every year hundreds of thousands of fresh minds, eager to prove themselves on par with newton and planck and hawking, enter university. while they are there to learn they are also providing the world with the best and brightest critical minds to test and poke and prod the status quo. because of this there are new frontiers and from time to time new ways of looking at old data. but along with the scientific method those wise old greeks gave us another concept... the law of diminishing returns. when someone posits a new idea or a new finding, it is subject to challenge by any observers. if the idea or finding can be defended against these challenges it survives. over time the number of challenges diminshes if the idea is worthy. or, conversely, if the idea is crap it is shown to be crap through the same crucible. this is what our academic scientific rigor is based on. it's the reason i personally have faith that at least a few of the facts obtained by science will stand the test of time as universal truths.

it's not blind faith in science per se.
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