The Cost of Teaching Creationism : Zack Kopplin at TEDxLSU
TEDx Talks | 1.V.2013
- 2:56 - 3:02 "and teaching them that creationism is science will confuse them about the fundamental nature of science
in[and] the scientific method"
Oh, science is supposed to be about atheism?
3:10 science is:
- explaining the world around us
- explanation can be tested
- tests are repeatable
3:19 "there is a specific set of results ... which will prove our theory false and we will have to go back to the drawing board"
And always something new to learn.
3:31 "Creationism meets none of these requirements"
End of specifics, follows a rant on - this "being so" - teaching students creationism will harm them in all their future scientific endeavours.
Analysing criterium by criterium.
Let's first distinguish, on the one hand, the creationist paradigm (comparable to the moyboy paradigm of naturalists) and on the other hand, specific creationist results, like Neanderthals were post-Babel or Neanderthals were pre-Flood, Neanderthals were exact like we, just very old, or Neanderthals were Nephelim, comparable to specific evolutionist results like Neanderthals and Homo sapiens sapiens both evolved from Homo Heidelbergensis, divergence happening 600 000 years ago.
- explaining the world around us
Both paradigm and specific results do that.
Creationist and Evolutionist science is equal on this point. Obviously, both explanations are not true, but both explanations explain, in the sense of making sense of.
- explanation can be tested
Specific results can in both cases be tested against both facts and paradigm.
Paradigm as such is less easy to directly test against facts.
In both, there is a well known and obvious fact which the middle of the road opponent of the paradigm considers a clincher, and in both, the adherents of the paradigm make theories that account for the fact.
Creationist and Evolutionist science is equal on this point.
- tests are repeatable
In fact, the actual explanations about the past as such are NOT repeatable in either case.
God won't make another Flood. Heidelbergians won't make another diverging lineage of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis on the one and Homo sapiens sapiens on the other hand.
Creationist and Evolutionist science is equal on this point. Neither is in the full sense of Popper "science" because both deal with the past not just as another instance of "eternals" or "perpetuals", but they deal with the past as their specific subject matter.
- "there is a specific set of results ... which will prove our theory false and we will have to go back to the drawing board"
For the paradigms, there is equality, since no such set of results exists, or if it does, it is chosen so as to be counterfactual and therefore not to the opponents' point.
For the specific theories, there is also equality. That evolutionist specific theories meet this criterion, I'll for here take on trust from this Louisianan. I'll deal with the Creationist part.
For instance, if we have a theory according to which :
- a) very old materials show as even older than they are in carbon 14 tests because the original carbon 14 content of entire atmosphere was radically lower just a few thousand years ago
- b) the carbon 14 level in the atmosphere rose
- c) this rising obeyed only the present rate of carbon 14 production in atmosphere, and obviously its counterbalancing with "atmospheric sample" having its c14 decay at the same time as its c14 is also replenished by new production, the decay rate having same half life as now ...
There are values according to which this theory breaks down.
For instance, if you accept 5730 years as the half life, if we are only at c. 45 % of the stable level, at which decay balances new production, El Alamein will date as Gettysburg. If we instead accept El Alamein samples as from 1942 and Gettysburg from 1863, we will not get the same half life for both, while it will be shorter than the real one, it will not be same for both. And if we say "we already reached the stable level", as long as the production rate is only the present one, there is really not enough time for that since Creation, let alone since the Flood.
On the other hand, if the carbon 14 production is way too fast, since it is produced by atmosphere receiving incoming radioactivity, there is a level at which the fast carbon 14 production is incompatible with the organic life higher than spiders having actually survived this level of radiation.
- "And always something new to learn."
I was giving the general Creationist theory on why carbon dates are too old a few years ago, I was challenged by someone claiming that this would involve a nuke disaster, so it can't have happened (at least not on the Creationist view, since we descend from Adam and Eve and from Noah's family without interruptions and without going off to space, while radioactivity on earth cools down).
I sat down to do the maths. I made several diverse tables, the first very clumsy ones, on how carbon 14 levels would have succeeded each other along the years.
On the way I learned, partly based on my own creationist theories:
- a) fastest C14 addition was during Göbekli Tepe period : building up 11 times faster than now during the 40 years of Babel which in carbon dates come off as 1000 years
- b) Flood to Babel was nearly as fast, c. 9 times as fast
- c) Babel to Abraham was however slower
- d) Abraham to Joseph in Egypt even slower
- e) there are two levels in Jericho with different conventional dating that have some claim to corresponding to Joshua's conquest
- f) Ebla tablets don't mention Sodom or Gomorrah, because Ebla tablets start out when Joseph was already dead in Egypt
- g) on one Jericho theory, oldest tablet with Sumerian / Akkadian flood myth could be about one century older than Genesis, and Moses could have heard of it because he was at Egyptian court where diplomacy and contacts with Mesopotamia were handled and on the other theory, these tablets would even be after the life of Moses and Joshua
- h) never understimate the capacity of your own side to let you down, if what you are saying is not exactly what they are used to and expect!
- William B
- Hans sez: "Oh, science is supposed to be about atheism?"
No, science is supposed to have explanatory value, and be able to make predictions.
When you invoke miracles, there is no ability to predict..
EVERYTHING can be explained via a "miracle" and something that explains everything explains nothing.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- No, not everything can be explained via a Christian miracle.
Also, my explanation is not miraculous at each point, it does not involve a mere and generalised suspension of natural laws.
Miracles mean an input over and above what natural agencies normally provide and over and above what God normally provides to them as well.
This is very different from, for instance, every or any natural law working backwards any time for no reason at all.
And since miracles have a maker, they have a reason, and since they have a reason, some things are incompatible with that reason. Hence, the explanation is incompatible with some things and it explains a state of things excluding those.
Conversely, even without miracles, you don't live in a predictable world. Any man who is smashed in a car accident should remind you of that.
- William B
- Hans sez: "you don't live in a predictable world."
Of course we live in a predictable world. That's how science works.. If the natural world was unpredictable, then science couldn't exist.
For example, if someone drops an object in a vacuum, it will always fall based on the predictability of gravity. Now, It will not matter if you conduct that test in Europe, or if i conduct that test in the USA of if astronauts conduct that test on the moon.. the outcome will ALWAYS be predictable.
My ability to test and recreated your experimental results, results are the cornorstone of the predictability of the natural world.
hans then sez: "Any man who is smashed in a car accident should remind you of that."
How does someone being smashed in their car change natural laws..?
If i said, "everyone who smashes their car and becomes decapitated in that accident will die from it".
that's no longer unpredictable.. The results of that are quite predictable when the conditions are uniform.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- "For example, if someone drops an object in a vacuum, it will always fall based on the predictability of gravity."
Big if, and you cannot predict who will drop an object in vacuum.
Your lab assistant has planned to do so tomorrow? There could be an unforeseen circumstance.
"Now, It will not matter if you conduct that test in Europe, or if i conduct that test in the USA of if astronauts conduct that test on the moon.. the outcome will ALWAYS be predictable."
If it's done at all. And nothing interferes.
A miracle is about something interfering with results - from outside material and physical factors.
"My ability to test and recreated your experimental results, results are the cornorstone of the predictability of the natural world."
Which is only one of the abstractions we can carve out from the world we live in.
"How does someone being smashed in their car change natural laws..?"
How does a miracle change natural laws?
"If i said, "everyone who smashes their car and becomes decapitated in that accident will die from it". that's no longer unpredictable.."
True, and if I said "every killed man who God decides to resuscitate revives", that also is no longer unpredictable.
It is just unpredictable if He will so decide, as it is unpredictable if a man will have his head cut off in a car accident.
"The results of that are quite predictable when the conditions are uniform."
And that is true of God's miracles too.
Also, that "when" is what you leave out or take for granted when pretending we live in a predictable world. At least the interaction of factors is definitely not uniform. Therefore, the world we live in is not predictable.
- 3:45 Louisiana students will not be the ones ... I am sorry, but this is futurology - and that is definitely NOT a science.
- 5:36 As a Swede I know something of the Nobel prize.
- 1) Nobel committee is a committee of Swedes, about as brainwashed in Evolution as the Soviets
- 2) Nobel prize winners are accordingly likely to be Evolutionist (I think there was a case when three contributed to a discovery and the prize went to two of them, bc the third was outspoken Creationist)
- 3) they are not the builders of the foundation we live on today.
You owe vastly more to Ancients and Medievals and even probably twice or three times or ten times as much simply to people like Thomas Alva Edison (who, to be fair, would have been on the Nobel committee in his time, so he couldn't get the prize), Wright brothers, companies like Siemens or Decca or Twentieth Century Fox paying inventors ... than to these 78 men.
5:50 American Association for the Advancement of Science happens to be as heavily evolutionist as your brand of civil servants.
Does Margaret Mead ring a bell?
- 6:22 Fighting Creationism will not bring you to the Moon regardless of whether Kennedy's steps brought Armstrong there (which some dispute).
Btw, you have an opponent here. My battle may (apart from Lousiana, where I don't live) be even more uphill than yours, or has been so far.
Here is a blog where I'll put these comments:
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere
And here is a blog where I write on creationism without reference to youtubes I comment on or with others under:
Creation vs. Evolution
- 7:14 "living space and clean water is shrinking"
You mean "still available as yet unused living space" - but some space becomes agriculturally useful only just before people go there.
If you mean Sahara is increasing, well, there was a proposal to make it shrink, back when Ghadaffi ruled one of the countries in its northern parts. Make a lake, using water from the Mediterranean, and see how the lake evaporates and produces rain on Sahara.
Since the difference between dirty water and clean water is a cycle of evaporation, this proposal is also for increasing clean water.
And neither has anything to do with denying a recent creation.
Here is a tip from a creationist (who is also a medical doctor):
CMI : Superbugs not super after all
by Carl Wieland
- 8:03 Sorry, your two futures is futurology.
God's prophets can do that, they live on revelation by a God to Whom the time we call future is not so to Him, but as familiar to Him as any other time He created.
You pretend to do the same without God?
8:37 "a future where we teach Evolution, not Creationism, radiocarbon dating, not Noah's Flood"
If you had any clue what creationist materials actually say, you would know that creationists are dealing with BOTH Noah's Flood AND radiocarbon.
But you are of course babbling around about your opponents along with other public servants, and not actually reading them, I suppose.
As to your proposal on teaching, it is a vision for a totalitarian school system, in which schools overall are public service decided, without parents having any say.
The worst thing I can say about Swedish Democratic party is, they are about as Liberal as you are.
- the peroratio. He seems as excited as Cicero in Third Catilinarian Oration. I prefer arguing about facts and about principles.