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God's Debris is now a free PDF!!
http://zoo.nightstar.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14034
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Author:  BBlalock [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  God's Debris is now a free PDF!!

Get God's Debris here.

I must admit I haven't read it yet but wih that title it probably belongs here.

Why the heck am I plugging something I haven't read? Because every other Scott Adams book (not just the Dilbert collections) is good reading.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:15 pm ]
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Judging from what I've heard about Scott's views on science, he should stick to engineer and office jokes.

Author:  BBlalock [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:19 pm ]
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If this rant against both evolution and ID is what you're refering to it seems to indicate he's an average cynic.

I hadn't heard about this before thanks for prompting me to Google it.

Author:  Jeremiah Smith [ Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:00 pm ]
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In one of his non-comic Dilbert books, he suggested that gravity could be explained by everything constantly doubling in size at once, which only works near Earth, but Adams doesn't care. He also said the theory of evolution would be disproved in our lifetimes.

His post about ID was criticized by biologists, most notably PZ Myers, a developmental biologist who runs the Pharyngula blog, who responded here, then here, here, and here.

When people in Scott Adams' comments section pointed out that he should read books on evolution, such as those by Stephen Jay Gould or Richard Dawkins, he refused on the grounds that because Gould and Dawkins got paid to write those books, they were biased and couldn't be trusted to talk about biology. (Given that Scott Adams has been paid to write books on things like management, I sense hypocrisy.) Adams apparently claims to find both sides bankrupt, while refusing to learn about evolution and parroting creationist arguments. He presents both evolution and ID as being on equal scientific footing, which is nowhere near the case, and when he was called on it, he claims he is being misinterpreted and/or that he is a humorist and shouldn't be taken seriously. He claims that evolutionists (particularly the quite popular Talkorigins Archive) misrepresent and straw-man the ID arguments, while never actually giving any examples of this happening.

Scott Adams is a post-modernist, claiming that science is no good at finding the answers, or at least that every other method is as good as science.

Ron Zeno wrote:
Adams is lost in his own distrust of expertise and possible bias. If only there was a way to learn things that was very good at identifying and elminating bias and error in all their forms (error, fraud, unconscious cheating, self-deception, etc.) What we need is a process for gathering and analysing knowledge based upon standards of logic and ethics that is self correcting over time, a process where all the data, rationale, and methodology is required to be available to anyone who's interested in learning or evaluating what others have done and concluded. Maybe this process couldn't answer all of life's questions, but at least it should provide immense benefit to all mankind. I wonder what such a process would be like...

Oh, wait! There's science. Nevermind.


He should stick to the office jokes.

Author:  Pi [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:22 pm ]
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Jeremiah Smith wrote:
... he claims ... that he is a humorist and shouldn't be taken seriously


This is all you had to say, Jer.

YHBT.

Author:  BBlalock [ Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:20 pm ]
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Pi wrote:
Jeremiah Smith wrote:
... he claims ... that he is a humorist and shouldn't be taken seriously


This is all you had to say, Jer.

YHBT.


Uh, I wasn't trolling.

My biggest mistake here was forgetting there was a forum specifically for books. (Would a moderator please move this to The Library? Thanks!)

Author:  sun tzu [ Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:37 am ]
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Quote:
He also said the theory of evolution would be disproved in our lifetimes.

Then he proceeded to explain that, at any age, people assume their time's theories are correct...Then, some new theory comes and replace it. He thus assumed that every scientific theory of our time - including evolution - would be debunked eventually.

Quote:
n one of his non-comic Dilbert books, he suggested that gravity could be explained by everything constantly doubling in size at once

To quote him: "I'm not suggesting the theory is correct, only that it's a good mental exercise[...]".

Author:  Pi [ Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:26 pm ]
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BBlalock wrote:
Pi wrote:
Jeremiah Smith wrote:
... he claims ... that he is a humorist and shouldn't be taken seriously


This is all you had to say, Jer.

YHBT.


Uh, I wasn't trolling.

You weren't. Jer got trolled by Scott Adams.

Author:  Schol-R-LEA [ Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

sun tzu wrote:
Quote:
He also said the theory of evolution would be disproved in our lifetimes.

Then he proceeded to explain that, at any age, people assume their time's theories are correct...Then, some new theory comes and replace it. He thus assumed that every scientific theory of our time - including evolution - would be debunked eventually.


Well, technically, he's correct; what he's ignoring is that models don't as a rule get thrown away wholesale, but are instead refined. This is a common misunderstanding: many people think that Einstein disproved Newton's mechanics, for example. He didn't - he added to it. The fact that what he contributed was so strange - as strange as Newton's must have been in his day - makes it sound like something completely new, but it isn't. Without classical as it's basis, relativity (and quantum mechanics) would have been impossible to formulate.

Another common misunderstanding is that 'science' lays claim to absolute, final authority on the truth, which is preposterous. Modern science doesn't even have a concept of absolute truth - only greater or lesser validity - and the idea of a 'final' truth is meaningless (and impossible to achieve even in principle, given the Catastrophe of Infinite Regess). Furthermore, science can only apply to a very specific area - physical events with observable causation or consequences - so ID, by invoking an unknown and undetectable force (it doesn't matter if that force is YHWH, ancient astronauts or the Flying Spaghetti Monster), steps outside of the bounds. Even if it were true, science cannot discuss it, because it is outside of the 'vocabulary' of the field, so to speak.

One of the posters on Adams' site made an interesting point: if scientific inquiry cannot detect the influence of such an intelligent force - that is, if it cannot recognize when the rules have been broken, even if it can't discuss the nature of the violation - then does that mean that 'intelligence' cannot be detected? Setting aside the meta-knowledge fallacy involved in the question, it does bring up an important point: there is no univerally accepted definition of intelligence. The poster specifically asked if it meant that IQ tests were invalid; he would probably be surprised to learn that most researchers in the field think exactly that - or at best, that they only measure certain limited aspects of the phenomenon.

Author:  BBlalock [ Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:10 pm ]
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Hawkin's Theory of Progress wrote:
Progress does not consist of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is right. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong.


"Catastrophe of Infinite Regress" would make a truly fantastic warship name.

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