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   Creationism vs Evolution Debates
     Reliance on authority
       Can we or should we check every bit of information?

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wisp

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There's this whole notion of authority.

Religious people in general, and creationists in particular, often argue that we all rely on authority as our source of information. They feel they are allowed to say that to anyone who's not a scientist.

They try to equate their faith in the scripture (and in their minister, and in the random guy who wrote an article in answersingenesis.com) with our trust in the scientific community as a source of data. Basically we have faith in science (and rationality).

(They try to equate us, or make us equate them in many aspects, such as in faith, belief, fundamentalism, close mindednes, reliance on authority, intolerance, bias...)

So, basically, when we tell them that we rely on evidence, they say that we (the ones that are not scientist, and have an indirect access to information) don't.

How do i know that the light travels at 300.000 km/sec? I sure haven't tested it by myself.

I think there's a huge difference. I do rely on evidence.
I have a very strong evidence that scientists know what they're talking about, that they don't want to say wrong things, and that if they made mistakes so obvious as to be spotted by a creationist, other scientists would have spotted them first.


Nevertheless we can find cases where a false scientific datum gets passed as valid information.

Many of us "know" that the nautilus shell grows in a golden spiral, i. e. a logarithmic spiral that grows at a rate of φ = 1.618... per quarter turn (formally, it's the graph of r = φ in polar coordinates). So it's often presented as an example of the Fibonacci sequence in nature.

FAILED!

Turns out it's not true. It was nice, and wasn't vital, so it got spread. Now i stand corrected in my false knowledge.

The difference with creationists is that they have absolutely zero evidence that their ministers (or the random guy who wrote an article at answersingenesis.com) know anything about science, and that they're unbiased, and when they are shown the evidence that they were wrong, they stick to their belief, and will never stand corrected.

As Tim Minchin says: Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
Source: "Storm" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-s )

That 'song' shows me that gluteus just happens to be a christian, but he could have been a new age freak.



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 12:07 PM on April 22, 2009 | IP
derwood

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One of the more annoyingly ironic aspects to creationists claims on this subject is the fact that they LIVE to argue via false authority.

Take note of how they refer to people form whom they get their information - they always make sire to point out their professional status ' "Dr.Behe says this...", "Professor Seelke writes this...", "Dr.Sarfati says this...", and then look at how they refer to non-creationist scientists.

Creationists are also well known for embellishing the credentials and/or relevance of their sources to make their 'authorities' seem more impressive, or they will mention impressive but irrelevant issues to prop them up.

Note how Sarfati's chess skills are often mentioned, or how Wells' won an award for teaching one time.

See how electrical engineer Walter ReMine is referred to as a "serious geneticist" by creto Ted Holden and as "Dr. ReMine" in his amazon reviews.  Note how often one of their soiurces is referred to as 'world renowned' or 'world's leading expert' when in fact nobody outside of YEC circles has even heard of these people in most cases.

YECs do what they accuse others of doing.


-------
Lester:

"I said I have a doctorate and a university background in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, pathology etc. ..."
 


Posts: 1646 | Posted: 2:02 PM on April 22, 2009 | IP
wisp

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Indeed.

They eagerly use the "Dr.", even if he's a dentist. And they may well refer to (professor) Richard Dawkins as "That Dick".

So two of their (many) logical fallacies is appeal to authority and ipse dixit ("himself said", used when they quote mine real scientists).

That may work among themselves (easily impressionable, seemingly). But i wonder if they really go to a debate thinking "I got some juicy quotes that will demonstrate that the Earth is 6k years old!".



-------
Quote from Lester10 at 2:51 PM on September 21, 2010 in the thread
Scientists assert (by Lester):

Ha Ha. (...) I've told you people endlessly about my evidence but you don't want to show me yours - you just assert.
porkchop
Would we see a mammal by the water's edge "suddenly" start breathing underwater(w/camera effect of course)?
Contact me at youdebate.1wr@gishpuppy.com
 


Posts: 3037 | Posted: 2:43 PM on April 22, 2009 | IP
orion

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Quote from derwood at 2:02 PM on April 22, 2009 :
One of the more annoyingly ironic aspects to creationists claims on this subject is the fact that they LIVE to argue via false authority.

Take note of how they refer to people form whom they get their information - they always make sire to point out their professional status ' "Dr.Behe says this...", "Professor Seelke writes this...", "Dr.Sarfati says this...", and then look at how they refer to non-creationist scientists.

Creationists are also well known for embellishing the credentials and/or relevance of their sources to make their 'authorities' seem more impressive, or they will mention impressive but irrelevant issues to prop them up.

Note how Sarfati's chess skills are often mentioned, or how Wells' won an award for teaching one time.

See how electrical engineer Walter ReMine is referred to as a "serious geneticist" by creto Ted Holden and as "Dr. ReMine" in his amazon reviews.  Note how often one of their soiurces is referred to as 'world renowned' or 'world's leading expert' when in fact nobody outside of YEC circles has even heard of these people in most cases.

YECs do what they accuse others of doing.


This is a very good point.  You will notice that in scientific journals (credible scientific journals, mind you) the authors of papers are never printed as 'Dr. So-and-so' or have 'PhD' after their names below the title of the paper.  Look at articles found in Science, Nature, or SciAm.  As far as I can tell, just the author's name is printed, without reference to academic degree.

Not so with Creationist related papers!  Take a look at CRSQ -

CSR Quarterly

In a true scientific journal, which is read by the author's peers, listing your credentials after your name isn't going to impress anyone.  It is the substance of your paper that matters.  

It seems that in papers written by Creationists it is the other way around - your title must be flaunted in order that the reader may be impressed.  Not surprisingly, for I'm sure the substance of the paper will be lacking much in the way of useful information and integrity.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 6:13 PM on April 22, 2009 | IP
derwood

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Indeed - and yet, if you mention that you have a doctorate in an area relevant to evolution, they claim that YOU are 'arguing via authority'!

That actually happened to me on ARN about 8 years ago - I was discussing something with a creationist and he dismissed my claims, indicating that his opinion was as good as mine because I had no credentials, so, I presented my credentials and he accused me of trying to impress him with my credentials!


Oh - sorry for all the typos in my previous post, I was in a hurry...


-------
Lester:

"I said I have a doctorate and a university background in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry, pathology etc. ..."
 


Posts: 1646 | Posted: 6:50 PM on April 22, 2009 | IP
    
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