This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← “Only a theory”???

“Only a theory”??? - Comments

tboulay's Avatar Comment 1 by tboulay

Its just not fair that people who accept facts, study science and make breakthroughs with that hard won knowledge are directly responsible for this woman likely living to the age of 80 as opposed to the 20 or so years of age she would have had back when the reasonable were burned alive for being reasonable.

It's so discouraging. :(

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 00:55:27 UTC | #915753

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 2 by Neodarwinian

“an unproven assumption.”

This is a college student? Is this one of those stripped down courses for non-majors, an ancillary course, or, to be hoped not, an actual biology course. One sees why 47% of college graduates, by objective testing, have learned nothing in four years of college. This young woman may go on to be a politician.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 01:08:39 UTC | #915755

smitemeifudare's Avatar Comment 3 by smitemeifudare

Why in the world do these morons try and put the evidentialy backed theory of evoloution on a level stage with the self agrandising claptrap they have called the theory of inteligent design?More to the point, why does any educated academic allow them to. The simple soloution would be to ask each person who became ill if their faith was in science or god, and send them to be treated by their respective preferences only, might make a few people think criticaly about the "what have you done for me lately" question ,and get rid of the worst pillocks.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 01:37:27 UTC | #915759

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 4 by AtheistEgbert

Education must be in a bad way in America.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 02:05:03 UTC | #915763

Greyman's Avatar Comment 5 by Greyman

Comment 2 by Neodarwinian :

“an unproven assumption.”

This is a college student?

This is a college student who, reportedly, dropped out of the course in the middle of class with a smirk — apparently considering it to be some sort of moral victory.

There's that adage about leading horses and dinking water.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 02:31:29 UTC | #915766

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 6 by prettygoodformonkeys

evolution cannot account for the creation of the human soul

Yes, well, nothing can. You haven't even been able to show it to us.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 02:38:57 UTC | #915768

Juho Joensuu's Avatar Comment 7 by Juho Joensuu

Hello, first time posting here, i've been reading for over a year or two now but the contestant videos finally made me register.

The problem here is that college student never should have passed to the college if her base education failed so completely that she does not grasp the concept of theory and the scientific method.

This is a systemic failure of an educational system that barely deserves the name, the colleges are cranking out some brilliant scientists too but thats despite the system not because of it.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 03:12:16 UTC | #915774

Mike Kemp's Avatar Comment 8 by Mike Kemp

It is certainly ignorant not to know that language can be used with scientific rigour or loosely as in common parlance. Anyone with an effective scientific education will know that there is a difference between "theory" as used in science and "theory" as used loosely so that "it was just a theory" is synonymous with "it was just an idea". It is as bad as confusing, for example, weight with mass: easy when using a language that developed in scientific ignorance.

From what I hear daily, many people do not understand basic scientific method, or even what science is. Politicians and media demand "scientific proof", when the best we can get is "scientific disproof".

It would be instructive to poll students for their understanding of the scientific method. I am betting that few even with university education would be able to come up with a useful answer.

It seems to me there are two explanations for Ms Murphy's article, and many like it. Either ignorance of what science is, or an understanding compounded with a wilful misuse of terms intended to confuse the less educated to lead them to a point of view at variance with reality.

If it is the latter, we can only speculate why. Perhaps she is self deluded. Or perhaps she does it to manipulate others into wrong thinking to gain a personal advantage. That certainly seems a goal of many such writers, and many cults.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 03:52:50 UTC | #915780

kraut's Avatar Comment 9 by kraut

"Technicianonline.com, which appears to be the student newspaper from North Carolina State University,"

If that is the level of education at that University...do they pay the students to attend or have students actually to pay for such crappy education?

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 06:46:50 UTC | #915794

sbooder's Avatar Comment 10 by sbooder

Not only do professors need to be wary of what they’re teaching, but students must also be cautious. Students, never take anything a professor says at face value. I encourage you to research things for yourself and make an informed opinion. You never know when someone could be teaching you theory and not fact.

This paragraph had me in stitches. One can only wonder what constitutes "an informed opinion" in the mind of this person. And if she could only take her own advice and research things for herself, she may be surprised by how much evidence there is to show Evolution as a fact.

It also makes me wonder why people think that Professorships are handed out based on opinion and not hard work and research. I would love one of these titles, do any of you know where I can get a Professorship based on opinion, it would not half make some room on my bookshelf, I could just chuck them all away, Why bother studying when all I need is an opinion.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 07:02:09 UTC | #915797

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 11 by Premiseless

"Since I'm feeling all emotional right now, I need someone to confirm that how I feel is what runs the cosmos. Stuff science, until my body needs antibiotics or worse - it's just a theory that seems to work when my body gets into evolutionary problems, though I feel again this must be some invisible bad guy roaming at will. After all, waay before medicine was here, people were dropping dead from all these ailments which the Bible... er Quran.. er no actually science has evolved knowledge about which really works against this bad guy who sends bad illnesses - the guy in the thousands of myths,, er no just my myth which I FEEL is true - not a theory but real because I feel it. I feel it. I really feel it but not in ways millions of humans did who got the wrong feelings...erm no god, erm no myth. Mine is the only real fact. My feelings. My god. The one someone else told me was fact. But I feel it so it was fact before I was even told it, unlike others who were given the wrong information.. erm god.. erm no, myth. Mine is the ONLY god. All the others are obviously less educated, as they were thousands of years ago, because they didn't have schools or science...erm no the Bible... or as my neighbour says the Quran... which is also not quite true like mine is true. In fact the religion I know is true was even truer when it first started , which is when I wish I'd lived - before science and when millions were dropping dead of things we now have no problem treating. You see , when my religion started I could walk miles to see a random person who had been lucky enough to survive one of these ailments. This was god at work! I could have been even closer to god back in the day. That's when the real beauty of life was in some random location that most of the planet were ignorant of. No T.V, or internet or even transport, but nevertheless, back in the day is where ALL the REAL KNOWLEDGE lay. That's why it trumps todays education everytime. Back in the day when everyone... erm the few who were in gods chosen neighborhood, had access to the real deal . You may wonder why the millions weren't contacted? Simple - the bad guy was causing technical problems. Or there were only a few who deserved to be contacted. Yes that's it. It's true. No theories on my watch! Listen up people!"

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 07:37:05 UTC | #915800

Tony d's Avatar Comment 12 by Tony d

How come the same people who are willing and happy to believe unlikely things with no evidence such as talking snakes, people living inside big fish and zombie's. How come they have such a problem with evolution which has loads and loads of corroborating evidence?

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 08:46:36 UTC | #915813

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 13 by Alan4discussion

Comment 10 by sbooder

Not only do professors need to be wary of what they’re teaching, but students must also be cautious. Students, never take anything a professor says at face value. I encourage you to research things for yourself and make an informed opinion. You never know when someone could be teaching you theory and not fact.

This paragraph had me in stitches. One can only wonder what constitutes "an informed opinion" in the mind of this person. And if she could only take her own advice and research things for herself, she may be surprised by how much evidence there is to show Evolution as a fact.

Like the word "theory", the word "research" is also widely misused. So is the term, "informed opinion".

What we have here is an egotistical religimuppet who has decided that a cobbled together bunch of ideas from dubious internet sources constitutes "research", and does not have any understanding of quality in selecting research sources.

The result is a fudged muddle of creationism, ID and science. - The personal opinion of someone whose education did not included the scientific concepts of :- "research", "theory", "fact" or "informed sources"! - Apparently from the school of "all opinions are equal", but mine is more equal than those of my professors. (Yes I know this may be true in theology classes! - but not in evidenced science)

@ link - This particular professor went on to state that those who don't believe in evolution are wrong. He said that there are so many facts proving it's truth that one would have to be ignorant not to believe it. I found this to be deeply offensive. I am not ignorant simply because I choose to believe one theory over another.

Oh dear! Ignorant and offended by knowledge she chooses not to "believe"! Dumb and dumberer!

@ link - If a student who had never been taught evolution before had been sitting in that class, they would forever think evolution is a fact and those who believe otherwise are nutcases.

No surprises there then! Spoken like a trooo religinut!

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 10:54:06 UTC | #915826

alf1200's Avatar Comment 14 by alf1200

"This process of mutation is called natural selection."

Is this written by a fourteen year old?

" deputy viewpoint editor"?

Is this a joke or is this really what she stated?

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:00:37 UTC | #915829

alf1200's Avatar Comment 15 by alf1200

Jerry's cat Dusty has more brains than this nutcase.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:09:58 UTC | #915830

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 16 by Alan4discussion

Comment 14 by alf1200 - Is this written by a fourteen year old?

It's call creationist ed-junk-cation!

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:15:14 UTC | #915831

alf1200's Avatar Comment 17 by alf1200

Well Tony, I think its because they have been having a discussion with a talking snake...........

Comment 12 by Tony d :

How come the same people who are willing and happy to believe unlikely things with no evidence such as talking snakes, people living inside big fish and zombie's. How come they have such a problem with evolution which has loads and loads of corroborating evidence?

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:17:45 UTC | #915832

UncleJJ2's Avatar Comment 18 by UncleJJ2

This makes me both angry and sad. I feel sorry for this poor young woman who had has her mind addled by this religious nonsense. It has ruined her life and made her a liability for the rest of human kind rather than the asset she could be. Hopefully one day she will see through the lies religion uses to spoil minds and recover to become a fully functioning human.

Religion poisons everything

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:19:54 UTC | #915833

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 19 by drumdaddy

She's just a student. Students need teaching. She'll get it eventually, unless she lives in one of the bubbles.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:44:37 UTC | #915835

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 20 by Tyler Durden

This process of mutation is called natural selection. Eventually, these mutations build up until a complex creature is the result.

This sounds like it was written by Stan Lee.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 12:28:46 UTC | #915837

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 21 by Tyler Durden

There are opposing theories to evolution, however, and they are also some of the most controversial theories to ever be discussed in science, politics, religion and education. These opposing theories are creationism and intelligent design. Some people lump these two together, but they are slightly different.

Creationism and intelligent design are not even theories, let alone opposing theories to evolution.

The theory of intelligent design states that the creation of a complex being could not have happened randomly or by chance. There had to have been a higher power that created this complexity. However, according to intelligent design, this “designer” could have been anyone.

But is usually deemed to be the Christian god. How convenient.

The theory of creationism, on the other hand, states the designer was God. The extremes of creationism vary as well. Some people believe in what is strictly stated in the Bible in Genesis without any room for other possibilities. Others, such as Catholics, believe evolution could have occurred the way Darwin describes, but by the power of God. This belief also says evolution cannot account for the creation of the human soul.

Utter garbage

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 12:35:26 UTC | #915838

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 22 by Alan4discussion

Comment 15 by alf1200

Jerry's cat Dusty has more brains than this nutcase.

Cat's study evolution, but they usually specialise in the field of "the natural selection of birds and small mammals".

Comment 21 by Tyler Durden

Let's keep the definitions simple:-

  • creationism is the preservation of ignorance.

  • I. D. is the invention of ignorance!

  • Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:13:27 UTC | #915849

    Gallifrey1966's Avatar Comment 23 by Gallifrey1966

    I went through many of the letters to the editor the college newspaper received related to this article, and the vast majority are very heartening. They made many/most of the same points this response did. Several expressed embarrassment at having this voice of ignorance represent their school. So the Viewpoint article is pretty awful, but the students seem to have taken a stand against it!

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 15:04:56 UTC | #915872

    Gallifrey1966's Avatar Comment 24 by Gallifrey1966

    Hey, now, let's not drag Stan Lee into it! He's no scientist and plays fast and loose with scientific terms, but he's not in the business of science, but selling story! :-)

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 15:12:15 UTC | #915876

    No-Turn-Unstoned's Avatar Comment 25 by No-Turn-Unstoned

    Comment 12 by Tony d :

    How come the same people who are willing and happy to believe unlikely things with no evidence such as talking snakes, people living inside big fish and zombie's. How come they have such a problem with evolution which has loads and loads of corroborating evidence?

    My thoughts exactly. They believe what they're told to believe and nothing else matters. I've often wondered what response a religious nut gives when presented with a fossil or dinosaur bone? Do they have a special sector in their brains that has an ability to overlook anything which resembles facts, or at least a willingness to maybe look at other 'theory's' and then form an opinion based on what they learn. It's depressing. If somebody told me the sky was bright pink, I'd look up before I dismissed them.

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 16:29:17 UTC | #915899

    ChuanZiZen's Avatar Comment 26 by ChuanZiZen

    I have come to accept with conviction that:

    1 Everyone is NOT entitled to an (weighted) opinion (thanks, Sam). 2 There is indeed such a thing as a stupid question (thanks, Richard). 3 Nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity (thanks, Dr. King).

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 16:53:41 UTC | #915908

    paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 27 by paulmcuk

    One shouldn't leap to conclusions but whenever I hear the name "Madison" I immediately categorise the owner as a rabid Republican.

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:25:42 UTC | #915918

    Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 28 by Tyler Durden

    Comment 27 by paulmcuk :

    One shouldn't leap to conclusions but whenever I hear the name "Madison" I immediately categorise the owner as a rabid Republican.

    I think mermaid.

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 17:44:43 UTC | #915928

    Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 29 by Mr DArcy

    Seeing as this young lady believes in the Bible, and not science or its methods, perhaps she can explain the lack of vocal cords in modern snakes, and the the remains of vestigal legs. Presumably the snake in the Garden of Eden had legs, because God's punishment for the snake was for it to forever crawl upon its belly! (-)

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 18:13:04 UTC | #915936

    Misfire's Avatar Comment 30 by Misfire

    Students are taught a lot of terminology in science classes--you'd think a fundamental word like "theory" could find space in there somewhere.

    Thu, 09 Feb 2012 18:19:27 UTC | #915941