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Let's talk about evolution - Comments

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 1 by Neodarwinian

Sigh! That graph still has the power to massively depress one. Can we get a new graph in here? Perhaps the six year passing of time will have shown some improvement.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 15:57:04 UTC | #894721

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 2 by crookedshoes

SAD

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:36:23 UTC | #894732

MPS's Avatar Comment 3 by MPS

I enjoyed Jeanne Garbarino's remark. "Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is actually an observable phenomenon that is supported by a significant body of evidence."

So a theory, then? If we can not expect people with a PhD in the life sciences to know what a theory is, how can we expect Joe Average to know what a theory is?

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:51:24 UTC | #894740

helena!'s Avatar Comment 4 by helena!

Haha the US and Turkey are tied for last. That speaks volumes.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:53:06 UTC | #894744

Jay G's Avatar Comment 5 by Jay G

WHAT??!!! How dare they put America at the bottom. If not for us, all those countries ahead of us on this graph would be speaking German today. We saved the whole world and you foreigners better show us some gratitude or we'll start bringing American style democracy to YOUR country. (Just ask the Iraqis how it's working out for them)

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:56:52 UTC | #894749

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 6 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Great to see that the United States has managed to climb above Ken Ham in the ratings.

Keep at it, America!

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:01:35 UTC | #894750

Bla's Avatar Comment 7 by Bla

Yay, a second place here! I still find it shocking that there are enough fossilized people to make the red/yellow part significantly visible. I would like to see bars at the top added with the label "Scientists" and "Biologists".

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:02:13 UTC | #894751

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 8 by BanJoIvie

I sigh as well!

this video seems a laudable attempt to take positive action in the face of lamentable ignorance. I support any effort to spread knowledge and further education.

HOWEVER, lying to people in order to educate them is not acceptable, at least to me. The very first words the editors of this video chose to include are those of Holly Bik, Ph.D. opining that "Accepting evolution doesn't mean abandoning your personal beliefs."

If one's personal beliefs are contrary to the established facts of evolution, said person will in fact have to abandon those beliefs (or at least modify them, i.e. abandon those parts which conflict with reality) in order to accept the facts of evolution.

It may be technically possible to accept a largely accurate view of modern evolution and still remain, for example, a Christian of some sort (only by bending the term "Christianity" into a shape which would be foreign to the majority of it's adherents throughout history.) But if one starts out as the sort of Christian (or Muslim, etc.) who currently rejects Evolution for religious reasons, then simple education in evolution is not going to be enough. One will also have to jettison important parts of one's belief system in order to reach "acceptance." This is simply the fact. To pretend otherwise is dishonest.

I understand that this hard truth is seen as a barrier to communication and that some may wish to downplay it for tactical reasons. Fine, then don't raise the subject. But to begin an effort to convince others of important truths by offering a blatant falsehood seems duplicitous in the extreme.

I note with relief, that after this extremely poor beginning, the video abandons this ill-concieved appeasement approach and sticks to a straight-forward presentation of facts. Dr. Bik does not make a second appearance as far as I can see, and Eugenie Scott's contributions do not include any of the more "accommodationist" sentiments which NCSE has sometimes expressed.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:11:41 UTC | #894753

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 9 by ZenDruid

Comment 3 by MPS :

I enjoyed Jeanne Garbarino's remark. "Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is actually an observable phenomenon that is supported by a significant body of evidence."

So a theory, then? If we can not expect people with a PhD in the life sciences to know what a theory is, how can we expect Joe Average to know what a theory is?

I humbly suggest that the term 'principle' be used rather than 'theory'.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 18:26:37 UTC | #894772

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 10 by I'm_not

Comment 5 by Jay G :

WHAT??!!! How dare they put America at the bottom. If not for us, all those countries ahead of us on this graph would be speaking German today. We saved the whole world and you foreigners better show us some gratitude or we'll start bringing American style democracy to YOUR country. (Just ask the Iraqis how it's working out for them)

Hahahahahahaha.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 19:28:30 UTC | #894790

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 11 by Alan4discussion

I think a comparative graph would help with analysis - http://www.kirainet.com/english/the-least-religious-countries/

Comment 7 by Bla

Yay, a second place here! I still find it shocking that there are enough fossilized people to make the red/yellow part significantly visible. I would like to see bars at the top added with the label "Scientists" and "Biologists".

How about bars with atheists? The USA comes 50th out of 50 - BOTTOM on that one!!

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 20:10:07 UTC | #894806

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 12 by MilitantApatheist

The worst part is that most Americans would see this statistic as a positive.

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 20:22:05 UTC | #894814

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 13 by Philoctetes

On the other hand it indicates that 123 million people in the US DO Accept evolution, that is about twice the total population of the UK and by any standards quite a lot of people and it is also probably an underestimate.

Ok, still a lot still needs to be done, but it helps to think positively, who really wants to get depressed about the number of total schmucks in the world?

Thu, 01 Dec 2011 22:25:04 UTC | #894866

Austin K's Avatar Comment 14 by Austin K

Where is Canada on that list?

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 00:12:48 UTC | #894896

dansam's Avatar Comment 15 by dansam

WRONG!!! The "average person's" definition of evolution won't be anything even close to the confused/incorrect but somewhat informed response "the change in the genetic frequency of a population over time". I submit that the average person would (amazingly) say something like "Evolution? Oh! that's a bad anti-god idea that humans are just like animals!".

It makes me sad.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 02:24:31 UTC | #894918

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 16 by prettygoodformonkeys

Comment 9 by ZenDruid

I humbly suggest that the term 'principle' be used rather than 'theory'.

I heartily agree; language is everything. The principle of Evolution.

Comment 13 by /////////////////////////////////////////

123 million people in the US DO Accept evolution, that is about twice the total population of the UK

Excellent point. Thanks for that.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 02:35:26 UTC | #894920

waynelynch69's Avatar Comment 17 by waynelynch69

"Irreducible complexity would wreck evolution" (Richard Dawkins). Is the conversion from non-life to life irreducibly complex? WHAT would motivate C-H-N-O to "adaptively" morph toward perishable, pain sentient, needy, life? WHAT empiricism is Dawkins citing? Please! not eucaryotic cells...NO ONE struggles to imagine 'half a eucaryotic' cell. NO ONE can suggest 'half a life'. Same thing as 'half a consciousness' Anyone remember his rhetorical flourish? "Do they even read their own book?"
WELL!! Do you...?

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 03:50:48 UTC | #894924

BanJoIvie's Avatar Comment 18 by BanJoIvie

Comment 17 by waynelynch69

Abiogenesis is completely separate from evolution. The theory of evolution has absolutely nothing to say about "the conversion from non-life to life." One of the necessary conditions for evolution to occur is self-replication. By definition therefor, non-living matter did not evolve into living matter.

At some point since the big bang, matter at at least one point in our universe must have changed from a state incapable of self-replication to one with that capability. We know this by simple inductive reasoning, but have no empiracle evidence yet to tell us just what sort of circumstances facilitated that change. Whatever process was responsible though, it definitely was not evolution.

Therefore the "quote" which you attribute to Professor Dawkins (without giving any context or even mentioning source) has no relevance to "the conversion from non-life to life." Even if the first self replicating molecule could be definitively proven to be "irreducibly complex" (which I'm not even sure is a coherent concept) such a proof would have zero impact upon the theory of evolution by natural selection, since it only describes how already living matter changes in response to environmental pressures with repeated copying.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 04:33:55 UTC | #894928

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 19 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 17 by waynelynch69

And half a soul, don't forget half a soul, like what a twin gets.

Creationism meets the protocell - Abiogenesis

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 05:35:00 UTC | #894939

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

Comment 17 by waynelynch69

WHAT would motivate C-H-N-O to "adaptively" morph toward perishable, pain sentient, needy, life?

Nuclear fusion, stellar and inter-stellar radiation.

Followed by biochemical processes, abiogenesis and evolution.

NO ONE can suggest 'half a life'. Same thing as 'half a consciousness'

But most people here can recognise half an argument from ignorance"

Anyone remember his rhetorical flourish? "Do they even read their own book?"

Clearly book reading of science is not involved in composing the comment @69!

BTW The actions of atoms and molecules are governed the laws of physics, not "motivation"!

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 11:04:21 UTC | #894990

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 21 by nancynancy

What I find depressing is that there isn't a single country in which at least 90% of the population accepts evolution as a fact.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 18:43:00 UTC | #895094

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 22 by Red Dog

Not that we need to get more depressed but here is a quote from Woodrow Wilson (president of the US 1913 -- 1921)

"Of course, like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised."

    Letter to Winterton C. Curtis (29 August 1922)

Its sad how far we haven't come in almost 100 years.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 20:53:23 UTC | #895127

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 23 by DavidMcC

Comment 18 by BanJoIvie

We know this by simple inductive reasoning, but have no empiracle evidence yet to tell us just what sort of circumstances facilitated that change.

But we've got a pretty good idea from the PNA-RNA-DNA hypothesis discussed in old threads.

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:59:56 UTC | #895818