Saturday 25 April 2015

Your own opinions, not your own facts

UPDATE: Brean has deleted our comment thread.  I cannot say if this post is one-sided or biased but there is no longer an original record to refer back to.
I followed the link Brean provided and we had a cordial discussion in the comments of the blog post.

 Brean does not believe that there is enough evidence for Evolution.  I disagree but this is not my concern in this blog post.  My concern is the use of facts.

From the main post
  Even if it were possible for a human male to evolve, what are the chances of a female counterpart evolving at the same time in order for them to reproduce? 
The thing is, if Brean understood the theory, Brean would know this is not an issue.  Evolution works (or doesn't in Brean's view) on populations, not individuals.  My main rebuttal to this is at the bottom of the quoted sections.

From our discussion in the comments:
 I may maintain that there is not - and never has been - any observable evidence to support what has only ever been a theory, and a very flimsy one at that.
Brean seems unaware that although 'theory' is used in detective shows as 'guess', in science it is not. Evolution is (or isn't) a theory but it isn't "only" a theory.  To explain by example, let's look at gravity. There is a law of gravity.  There is no theory of gravity.  We know gravity works and understand that it works but we have no consensus on why it works.  The explanation is missing.  The theory is missing.
The same from
Outside of science, the definition of a theory is a thought that may or may not be true. In the science community, a scientific theory is defined as a hypothesis or a group of hypotheses about some phenomena that have been supported through research using the scientific method.
 Another huge reason why I could never accept evolution is that it offers no hope for the future and no means to solve our problems in the here and now.
I do appreciate your taking the time to respond and respect, not only your views but also your right to express them.
Best regards
The theory of evolution offers hope for the future in the exact same way Germ Theory does. The exact same way the Particle Theory of light does. Heliocentric Theory, Cell theory... None of these offer or take hope away.  To offer a cliche, science is a tool and any tool can be used for good or ill. We cannot say that TNT or dynamite doesn't exist because we don't like bombs or missiles. We can't argue against nuclear physics because of the harm radioactivity can cause.
I left the second sentence in the quote to offer evidence that Brean was gracious and polite throughout.  I am frustrated by Brean's views but not by the tone they were given.

All my research an personal observation leads me to the only possible conclusion.
I have discussed the matter with various people, including scientists of many disciplines. None of them know how life began, or how life triggered the tiniest organism into being - and you are no exception.
Brean is a writer and presumably capable of research.  Brean claims to have discussed the subject with many scientists.  Yet, in asking when males vs females evolve we see that Brean doesn't know what evolution actually states.  Brean is unaware of the proper usage of the term 'theory'.  Brean specifically links lack of acceptance of the theory with its consequences.

In our discussion, I made a similar mistake.  In reading the timeworn attacks on evolution, I imagined I was speaking to a follower of Ken Ham's AIG Young Earth Creationism and made an argument based on that assumption.  Brean corrected me on my error and we moved on.  In an article promoting his book Intuition Pumps, Dennett stated that the way to properly argue a point was to do enough research to be able to describe the opponents position so well and clearly the opponent would thank him.  I jumped to an assumption and was corrected.  We see that Brean didn't understand the theory of evolution even while arguing against it.  Weinersmith seems correct when he said:

I don't know if anyone actually reads this blog but I wonder at the etiquette of blog post argument. Brean had posted an opinion on the blog and promoted a link to it on Twitter so I think my decision to respond was not invasive. I am less comfortable about giving the link to the post at the top of my post. We each made three comments (one of mine was long and had to be broken into two. It really wasn't that long and I was surprised that I had to do that) with Brean politely closing the discussion down.  I have chosen not to post further there.  On another of my blogs, I had a blog post with a long comment discussion and stated that it was done.  I did not lock down comments and someone chose to keep commenting. There is breach of etiquette and there is rudeness ( and worse, is online rudeness) and I feel that commenter crossed a weak line in choosing to continue with comments.  I hope I have not.

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