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How far will I make it this time?
Half an hour?
The angel thing was quite funny though.
I forgot this was on.
"how far will i make it"
does nobody else see anything vaguely sexual about Stealthy's post?
Please, you're inflaming my sexual ardour...
Now or in an hour or something.
i know of him
with a sideline in being a twat.
I would've characterised it more as a twat with a sideline in evolutionary biology.
and I clicked it all excited
Ive never read any of his stuff, but just the titles of his stuff makes me want to throttle him. Sounds like a smug bastard.
Now hes showing how astrology is bullshit.
WOW! THANKS FOR THAT INSIGHT
That's the interesting thing: Millions of those people who believe some things that are patantly ridiculous - dowsing, lucky shirts, you can cleave an entire sea in two by asking an invisible man who lives in the sky for a favour - are otherwise normal functioning members of society, with completely normal relationships with other people, good jobs and so on.
Exploring what part(s) of the mind/body are responsible for these kinds of behaviour, and why these have manifested themselves in these ways throughout the history of humanity's development would make a good programme...
...but I guess Richard Dawkins doesn't think like that. Or maybe Channel 4 don't. God knows.
It's pretty much what richard feynman said decades in that book "the meaning of it all" but expressed in such a smug and overly antagonistic way.
but a very clever one!
you might not like his tone, but he's pretty much right. And what he's saying may be obvious to a lot of people, but not to everyone. He's hardly claiming to have invented reason or anything.
A programme which scientifically analysed the reasons behind superstitions and how they keep their hold despite the evidence would also be interesting though.
The two nee to work in conjunction. Dawkins harps on about the Enlightenment but forgets it was just as much a literary, artistic and philosophical revolution as a scientific one.
to do with the arts. 'the arts' aren't his problem it's superstition and lack of reason. and the decline of science teaching and interest in it. science and the arts are both massively important but the arts don't need a champion in the same way.
but it's hardly rigorous scientific analysis, same with his most recent book, he's just putting forward possibilities rather than proving anything.
I'm an atheist who believes strongly that science is a very useful thing. I just don't think it can explain everything. Science is still limited and there is inherent mystery in being a human being. Just because science can't register the "rock-ness" of a rock, doesn't necessarily mean that human beings can't perceive it's "rock-ness". It could just as easily mean science can't adequately measure it's spiritual significance and the myriad of ways a human being can appreciate and understand even the simplest of objects.
I hate the idea that science = fact
the element of uncertainty in science is key to understanding why youre studying it in the first place.
Disproving things is more important than proving them.
All explained in the transcript of Feynman's lectures, written ages ago.
He could be saying the most insightful things in the world; he'd still be a smug, arrogant tossbag. And he's forever exalting the role of science and scientific thinking, yet by being so sure of himself, he completely abandons the spirit of it.
I find the title of tonight's programme ironic as well. During the last programme, where he spoke to various religious leaders, reason was the last thing on his mind. He just wanted to belittle and humiliate them. God, I hate him.
Just because water dowsers can't find a bottle of water in a box doesn't mean they can't in the wild. The real world doesn't work to closely controlled variables. It drives me INSANE. He is so fucking close minded in his own way.
both sides have to agree to the methodology of the test. But apart from that you really can't criticise the water dowsing test. "The real world doesn't work to closely controlled variables", what does that even mean?
but that the ability of finding water might not just be solely based on human ability, but might not be guesswork either.
the ability needed to find a spring in the middle of a field isn't necessarily the same ability as being able to find water in a bottle in a box. their ability might be governed by outside, enviromental factors. it doesn't necessarily mean finding water is guesswork on their mind.
And that is exactly my problem with him. Life isn't as simple as the sort of scientific experiments he is showing as proof that 'superstition' is entirely wrong.
and there's a name... the initial R?
A philistine, narrow minded, rude man. There's no excuse. I'm an atheist and ashamed that he is the main spokesman for what something I strongly believe in.
time for psychology, and therefore, is largely worthless
of work in regards to perspectivism mean nothing to him
that the importance of the "answers" a man puts forward pales in comparison to the importance of his methods and his reasoning
Dawkins stands up for reason and he gets it from both sides at once!
1) Everybody already knows that astrology/dowsing/faith healing are bullshit so his pointing the fact out is redundant
2) Science is just a theory so we should respect the fact that astrology/dowsing/faith healing are equally valid if they make me feel warm and fuzzy
People call him insulting because he has the impertinence to say "I think this is right and I can show you why". He also has the impertinence to say "The fact that I can show you why my opinions are rational means that they should be respected more than your opinions, because you can't back yours up".
And he's absolutely right. But still intelligent people knock him for it, it's crazy.
to paraphrase the man himself 'just because two opposing points of view are expressed with equal passion doesn't mean that the truth lies exactly halfway between the two, it's possible one side can just be wrong'.
The worst argument used against Dawkins is that he's arrogant. When pretty much everyone he comes up against in this program is arrogant too in their own way.
and re: the water dowsing experiment. it wasn't Dawkins conducting the experiment it was a psychologist. It was just a one off for Channel 4 it was part of a string of experiments and aside from the fact that, yes, the conditions in the wild would be different from the experimental ones you would think that if any of the people involved genuinely had the ability they believe they do that it would show up something.
the mysteries of life we perceive as human beings are a result of our own inadequacies, not the result of some mystical utterly undetectable forces. it's so fucking wooly to think there may actually be such a thing as 'rock-ness' this is just metaphor. it appeals to our subconscious intellect linguistically and because it provides an answer to our animal nature it satisfies us.
science doesn't have the answer to everything. not by a long way. but we know exactly which things science does and doesn't have an answer for. and the fact that science doesn't have an answer for XYZ doesn't mean that some spiritualist medium's untestable, entirely subjective postulations are automatically correct by default.
You're dead wrong about Dawkins not being interested in the development of the superstitious instinct in humans. Indeed the programme last night posited evolutionary explanations.
"And he's forever exalting the role of science and scientific thinking, yet by being so sure of himself, he completely abandons the spirit of it."
How so? You think that to be true to the spirit of scientific endeavour you have to think science is just a fad which can't produce meaningful results? Unlike the people he criticises, Dawkins can EXPLAIN why he has confidence in his methods.
You call him a twat, a tossbag and a cunt and still manage to tut-tut over Dawkins wanting to "belittle and humiliate" people.
Honestly, the amount of ignorant shit he gets thrown at him I find it surprising that he manages to remain as calm and soft-spoken as he does.
I'm baffled as to why that dowsing test outrages you so much. All those people agreed to the experiment and went into it with full confidence that they would find the water every time. It was only AFTER the results showed that their water-finding abilities were consistent with guesswork that they complained about the set-up.
Do you think that if another double-blind test was carried out in "the wild" the results wouldn't be exactly the same?
if the results of the test had suggested they did have some ability to find water - even to a slightly significant degree they would have been crowing that 'Science proves dowsing is real'. Do you think they would still have been saying that the experiment was flawed?
AND if they'd found some positive results then there would have been more scientific tests and if they found positive results and so on... until 'dowsing' becomes part of science rather than some quack nonsense. someone probably would win a nobel prize and research could be done into how exactly the dowsing works. it would give us new insight into our own brains. the human knowledge base would be expanded and it would be another wonderful step forward.
rather than some deluded old quacks saying 'I can only find water in the wild'.
Personally speaking I want to scientifically prove my ability to turn invisible. Sadly it only works when no one is looking.
i don't understand Dawkin's obsession with explaining everything rationally. Mystery is good.
there's enough mystery in life from the rich tapestry of human relationships, the genuine puzzles revealed by science, the human tradition of fiction, and the rigours of philosophy without consciously deluding yourself.
If you think someone who may or may not be able to find water underground using two sticks is more wonderous and inspiring than say, quantum physics, then I'd say your stunting your own imagination.
willma and restlessboy.
i have never heard a solid argument against Dawkins, and people seem to descend into calling him arrogant when they can't disagree with him logically on what he is actually saying.
like the astrologer from the observer who refused to submit his predictions to scientific analysis as he claimed dawkin's was attempting to cause 'mischief'.
i don't think he often goes out and attempts to belittle and demean people; the people in question usually bring this on themselves when their line of argument is logically questioned.
also, so what if he humiliates some people? many of the subjects of last night's program were clearly making lots of money off of and manipulating vulnerable people.
The hate mail is RIFE.
I think you have to not be an arrogant tosser.
...the fuck it did.
either way to either disprove or prove the re being inherent mystery in humanity and being alive. as far as i can see existence is still the realm of philosophy rather than science.
If you don't, fair enough.
I think he handled himself well in last night's programme, backing himself up with scientific points and explaining well the human beings need to come up with explanations to the world etc . . .
so it's bizarre he gets accused of being arrogant, when the dowsers, spiritualists and others who failed to deliver results or explain themselves, but still stuck with their original positions, are not accused of being arrogant.
in the politest, most respectful way possible - and speaking as someone who previously held the opinion you just expressed until I investigated further - that you don't know enough about science. I know your interests currently lie elsewhere, ie in literature and art, but there is just as much to inspire you in science if you take the plunge. it's just as rich and magical as any work of the imagination.
philosophy is immensely valuable too. mumbo jumbo is not. dawkins is not attacking philosophy. As he demonstrated, there isn't even a coherent narrative of what, for example, astrology actually does. How it even works. He has short shrift with certain areas of philosophy but that isn't really part of this particular program.
I agree there are mysteries yet to be solved and if this ever ceases to be the case perhaps all human endeavour will grind to a halt. But once things are discovered and explained they become science. They're not less fascinating because they're understood.
is rubbish. I meant to point out that philosophy has coherent internalised structures. Most philosophical assertions can be backed up by reason even if there is not always evidence. Astrology is backed up by assertion and gut feeling alone. Not that gut feeling is worthless, but it's entirely subjective and as such should be viewed with more scepticism than something which can be scientifically tested.
If I said 'i've got a gut feeling that it's going to rain' and then it did, would you automatically conclude that I had mystical rain predicting powers for fear of being closed minded? Or would you expect further demonstrations?
and in the example you described the 'gut feeling' has been explained scientifically and therefore has merit. If astrologers' gut feelings could be explained and proven to be consistent in their predictions then you could start to believe there was something there. eventually there might be a 'science' of astrology. It would be immeasurably useful - to know that the planets held the secrets of the future? Ace.
at the moment there's nothing to suggest it is true. So it makes more sense not to believe it.
testing these gut feelings and paranormal phenomena is partly what the program was about. People have been investigating these scientifically for decades and thus far come up with effectively zilch.
that apparently means nothing to some people.
and say "While we cannot be absolutely certain that this is a pseudoscience with no merit, the complete lack of real evidence produced over 2000 years means that the rational course is to reject it."
Would you have a modicum of respect for someone who advocated trepanning on the NHS? I certainly wouldn't. Because it's dangerous bollocks.
I know you're just trying to be fair but the point Dawkins makes (again and again) is that some beliefs deserve more respect than others.
Comparing him to a dowser is fatuous and insulting.
between rejecting a belief and persecuting it. Dawkins would never support making astrology columns illegal and neither would his average supporter.
The only way to have a truly open mind about a scientific theory is to follow the evidence available at this moment in time. The evidence against astrology is so overwhelming that it's simply not worth wasting our time on it.
If you agree that some beliefs are worth more respect than others then sooner or later you have to put that into practice. Otherwise science would never move forward.
You say astrology is bollocks and then say you'd hate for people to stop investigating it.
The fact is we only investigate it as much as we do because we have to debunk the unfounded claims of cranks.
You seem torn between attacking Dawkins' arguments and agreeing with his arguments but attacking his methods. (I disagree with you here as well.)
you can call the Daily Express astrologer or whoever a peddler of crap then Dawkins, who is an eminent scientist, can extend this judgment to the entire pseudoscience of fortune-telling based on the movement of the stars.
Until anyone in the astrological community can come to the table with some real evidence, your distinction is muddle-headed. All astrologers, no matter how many wordy books they've written, are just sifting through crap and telling the deluded they've found something valuable.
In the current climate it's just not the done thing to point out that crap is crap. That's why we need Dawkins.
He really, really doesn't want to be a pitbull. The man is a bookish Oxford professor. But someone needs to slap us out of this stifling intellectual relativism and I reckon he's doing just fine.
you advocate a healthy skepticism and an open mind? ace. so do i. so does dawkins. saying 'I think what you believe in wrong because there is no evidence it is true' shouldn't count as arrogance. If you're not allowed to make that assertion then we're getting into dangerous territory.
i don't really want to get onto faith again because it's been done to death on this board. But most right-thinking believers will accept every single disproof of things previously attributed to their god right up to the point where you ask why they still believe and then it boils down to 'i just do' which in most cases equates to saying 'i believe because someone (probably my parents) told me it's true'. Which means they're open to being indoctrinated.
I believe religion appeals to our inherent sense of wonder and sense of place in nature. I think without language we would not see any conflict between this (what some would call our 'animal nature') and our perception of the 'real world'. But because there are no good words and explanations for this feeling people think it must be something greater than what it is. something supernatural. I believe it's just our pre-linguistic core, our subconscious, the bit of us we've yet to understand.
'God' as a metaphorical explanation for this is immensely satisfying but I don't conclude from this that he actually exists. This is just the einsteinian notion of God as 'Everything' or 'the answer to the mysteries of the universe'. Which Dawkins very much believes in but hates using the word 'god' to describe because of the confusion it causes.
the truth vs untruth argument might seem like the most important question in the universe, but it isnt the real focus in dawkin's case, and isnt the source of my hatred for the man. firstly, dawkins believes in completely objective reality. true and false. these are the only two opposites he operates under. he has no conception of perspectivism. his ideas lie within a "vacuum", the vacuum apparently being the world that we live in. he refuses to acknowledge the scientific drive as a force, rather he sees his role as that of "objective observer", just wandering around in the wilderness DISCOVERING the truth. he refuses to acknowledge that one MAKES the truth themselves by their actions. Science is the harnessing of the natural world for gain right? It is the creation of rules and systems, that we as humans utilise in order to exploit nature. I am not trying to denigrate science at all, but it is certainly not the neutral, inert force Dawkins seems to think it is. The scientific instinct, the quest and will to truth are power DRIVES and have a coherent position comparable to that of religion. He ignores the perspective in the world, the position, from which he is coming with his answers.
I dont subscribe to the wishy washy "oh but there should be more mystery in life because its fun" line, because thats crap and a weak argument. As humans, many of us just live on fundamentally different planes of existence where notions of logical possibility simply do not matter. People have such a simplistic view of religion nowadays and take the worst to represent the whole. I do not believe in God, lol though I would not say that I'm "devoutly" atheist, because I do not "believe" in atheism in the same way that I do not "believe" in God.
Also, despite the fact that I agree with many of Dawkins answers, it is his approach to life and its questions that I find most difficult to swallow, the obvious zealotry, and as mentioned above, his refusal to acknowledge the position of the human and the will to power/truth as embodied in himself. On the same token, I can read a theist, like Dostoevsky, who believes that Christ is the world's salvation (a point on which I completely disagree), yet feel that his evocation of the human and his mind, are worth Dawkins "truths" tenfold, have contributed more to my understanding of the world and other human beings, and yet would be dismissed by a person so obsessed by the will to truth, because of the banner or the answer that comes with it. I feel that atheists that disagree with Dawkins, and do not blindly follow a leader because they agree with parts of what he says, do themselves a great service.
on Christ/theism, I hope its noticed that this attack on Dawkins has nothing whatsoever to do with mystery and does not constitute an defense of religion itself
I just noticed what you said about a different tack earlier, and yes, youre quite right
because I see nothing of the criticisms in your first paragraph in his work. we could be reading two different people.
He's evangelical about science but he always makes a point of acknowledging its failings.
And the 'objective observer' thing is a fallacy. Science is trying to find out whether or not their is objective reality. It's under constant discussion and there is no strong consensus. BUT if there is I'd say it errs on the side of reality as subjective/pluralistic.
Dawkins doesn't touch on this much because he's a biologist not a physicist. He knows the truth of evolution and that's his main battle ground. There's no level on which the origin of life on earth is a subjective conclusion, unless your some desperate creationist still clinging to the Bible as literal truth.
The fact that science allegedly relies on some dualistic model of reality with echoes in the god/man duality doesn't mean that it's conclusions can't be described as 'true'. There's a given value of true above which we can't reasonably expect to hit, though that's where we should aim.
In conclusion, I think because Dawkins aims to make his arguments as accesible to non-scientists he gets accused of over simplifying things. But it all boils down to personal criticisms which he obviously doens't give a shit about and in some cases appear to come out of desperation of anything more pertinent to say against his arguments.
I have read The Selfish Gene and Unweaving the Rainbow, what about you? And what I am questioning is his approach to and view of how science finds its place in the world. I hardly think my argument is borne out of some desperate desire to refute his arguments, considering, as I stated, I agree with a great deal of what he writes.
Again, read my post and ask yourself whether I seem to be a literal creationist, so again, your typing was for nought (really, a lot of your points seem utterly irrelevant to anything that I questioned in my post) . I am not arguing against evolution, but merely his misplaced sense of conflict. I will not deny that such a dogged self-publicist (please, the literary style and confrontational nature of his presentation are present for all to see) makes me feel ill at ease, however that is not the core of my problem with Dawkins, again, as I noted in my previous post.
Also, you say that he dilutes his argument to make things more palatable to non-scientists, well I find a lot of his writings not just "simplified" (your use of the word seems out of place, it is not like his is presenting a beginners guide to mainstream scientific theories, he is using misplaced allegories and metaphors which skew the ideas that he wishes to present (theories that I agree with)) utterly bone-headed. Eg "Keats would have been better if..."etc. Some of it made me, quite literally, laugh out loud. I think few rational people would disagree with the theory of evolution, yet it is his proposed logical conclusions and desires (i.e his desire for the complete eradication of religion) that I find hard to stomach, and strike me as overtly simplistic and needlessly derisive (because it makes him look foolish, not because I have sensitivities when it comes to religion)
you say that his main battleground is evolution, but you know well that particular battleground stretches far and wide once thought through. And no, Dawkins does not acknowledge the failings of science, well he does, but only insofar as he feels that it cant explain everything RIGHT NOW. Thats not a critique of science, thats a short way from asserting that everything is knowable, which again, is another point that I'd have to move away from Dawkins in regards to.
but I've already had it several times. Please refer to my last argument on the subject with restlessboy for my view/the right answer.