In article <4621e032$0$2743$ed362ca5 from nr2.newsreader.com>,
"Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 from yahoo.com> wrote:
> Is creationism "valid"? Is there a life force? Is the wind the breath of
They are tough asks - I guess I would add a third loathing to my list,
which is people who are deliberately ignorant and unwilling to accept
others' views. I think many of the creationists who lobby against
teaching evolution are trying to impose ignorance on school children,
and I despise that. I don't think creationism should be taught in
science classrooms because it's a matter of belief, and thus outside the
corpus of evidence based science - just like I don't think there should
be a theological branch of mathematics, or surveying.
If someone chooses to believe that God made the world as it is, and does
so without pretending that certain facts don't exist, I have no problem
with that. It's not a belief I share but I can understand the emotional
resonance it carries, and how important that can be. And in the cold
light of day I can't stand up on my own certitude and decree it to be
Life force? It's a quaint term, but how exactly DO we characterise the
difference between a complex assembly of interacting biomolecules, and a
living thing? I see it as a kind of a gestalt term for "having the
right kind of complexity". But that's probably a goofy thing to admit.
See, if we're going to talk about "memory" and "recall" as if they were
abilities, or properties, of nervous systems - when in fact we can only
describe experience-dependent reconfiguration of neural assemblies -
then we are OK with using such semi-metaphorical terms in science. To
that list I would add "consciousness", "self", "free will" and "soul" -
but again, this is just my idiosyncratic view.
> What about the cold-fusion guys?
My relatively uninformed take on Pons and Fleischmann is that they
reported what they found and were excoriated for it - I don't think they
were in it for the money or the fame, and I don't think they or anyone
else can explain why they observed what they did. I suspect someone
will figure out what happened one day. If it was fraud, or a stunt, I
have no respect for that.
Nice points you raise, I might have known you wouldn't allow a loose end
to go unexplored!