TED Conversations

Gerald O'brian


This conversation is closed.

Evolution: "just a theory". Scientific caution is sometimes confusing.

The fact that our best available theories are still speculations misleads some people to believe that these ideas are not founded. Hence, some people suppose their uneducated opinion is just as bad, or as good, as the mainstream scientific hypothesis.
This trend is probably led by the way science has been taught, i e as a flawless method that offers facts about reality.
And by pre-scientific philosophy, still strong in our modern societies.

Evolution is "just a theory" the way Notre Dame is "just a pile of rocks", isn't it?



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 17 2013: I think we are all convinced that what we know (from an individual standpoint) is THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH to the exclusion of all others. Even if THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH one believe in is: There is no absolute truth.
    • Jun 17 2013: I lay down a challenge ... If I could spend a week with any theist who is prepared to be genuinely open minded, I would convince him or her that they were wrong and the overwhelming probablity is that there is no god.
      • Jun 17 2013: I'm prepared to accept your challenge, though there are logistical problems with meeting. Assuming that we're not in geographical proximity, of course.

        I'm curious as how you determined any theism in stating the Law of Non-Contradiction applies to undermining principals of all worldviews.
        • Jun 17 2013: Craig,

          Your last sentence is impossible to understand:

          "I'm curious as how you determined any theism in stating the Law of Non-Contradiction applies to undermining principals of all worldviews."

          What are you asking?
      • Jun 17 2013: Apparently replies only go so deep in the message board, unless I'm missing something.

        I should have used the word "discerned" instead of "determined". Sometimes my mind gets ahead of what my fingers are doing.

        What I was asking: How did you connect my post to any sort of theism? Is stating that the philosophical Law of Non-Contradiction applies to worldview statements some means of indicating a theist worldview on behalf of those making said statement?
        • Jun 18 2013: Oh the theism was easy to discern. The moment someone talks about absolute truth, most probably theist. (Most probably.)

          You're sentence is still very hard to parse. But I think I've got it.

          (Yes, replies only go so deep.)
      • thumb
        Jun 17 2013: Dave could I have some of that? I am not a theist, bu I am not willing to say there is no God.
        Is that good enough? Does your offer include room and board?

        I love conversations about absolutes, ever since I heard that there is even motion on the quantum level at absolute zero.
      • thumb
        Jun 17 2013: Dave,

        I like your confidence but I think that you're in for much more then a week. There's a lot of information to present and it takes time for people to digest that information. And the more read up they are on incorrect theories and facts the more you have to first prove that they are wrong and then teach them how it really is...

        If people are truly open-minded they are already agnostic and then you just have to teach them statistics...

        But good luck!
      • thumb
        Jun 20 2013: Yes, good luck to all of us . . .

        Revision 0.06
        These are the 4 Postulates of God:

        1. There will always be more that is unknown than known.

        2. No supernatural phenomena will ever be discovered or validated by science.

        3. The Scientific Theory of Mind + logic, leads to a very 'Agnostic' Theory of God

        4. Religion/God is a “default theory,” with persuasive scientific utility. Science will never replace God as the Default Theory, of absolutely everything.
    • thumb
      Jun 17 2013: you don't know that.....
      • Jun 17 2013: It is not necessary to possess absolute knowledge to know absolute knowledge exists.
        • thumb
          Jun 20 2013: No, it's like Evolution and the revisions that Quantum Mechanics is making to Einstein's theories. If you keep looking. And everywhere you look the theory proves its utility. You are stuck with the theory.

          You have to keep the theory so long as it keeps working w/o exception. When you find the exceptions to your theory -- where the theory breaks down -- that is when you have to go back to work.

          Sometimes you can modify the existing theory to fit the new facts. Sometimes you find yourself in the shoes of Mr. Einstein. He took a lot of heat before the 'Big Players' accepted that Einstein was right and Newton wrong.
    • Jun 17 2013: Is it an absolute truth that there's no absolute truth?
      • Jun 17 2013: Merely pointing out that those who claim there is no absolute truth are false in their absolute claim.

        If one states absolutely: There is no absolute truth. Does the statement apply to itself? If it does, then the statement is false. If the statement does NOT apply to itself, then self-denial is evident and one actually believes there is absolute truth.
    • thumb
      Jun 17 2013: Not so sure, Craig, There are two absolutes I can think of... death and taxes. Of course, death doesn't get worse every time congress is in session.....

      I love that line... Thank You, Will Rogers.
      • Jun 18 2013: Then we're in agreement that absolutes are indeed absolutes. Death and Taxes.
      • Jun 18 2013: I'm glad we are in agreement on some physical constants of the universe as constants (nearly so in the case of C because it's been manipulated in the lab), but I'm afraid this thread is confusing fact with truth.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.