Astronomy is a fascinating field and one that continues to be of great interest to me. We are always discovering new and fantastic objects and events that test and stretch our theories about the universe. One of the more recent items to get our attention is KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star or Tabby’s Star.

What’s go strange about this particular star? Well, it dims, every so often.

wp-1480424118070.jpg

Yes, I know, this is not that unusual. A star’s light dips when a planet passes in front of it. It’s one of the methods we have of finding planets. What makes Boyajian’s Star unique is how much it dims – by as much as 20%. This is staggering in relation to normal planetary transits.

Naturally, this strange behaviour has led to some outlandish conclusions – the most ambitious being that it’s aliens, building a Dyson Sphere or some other huge contraption around their star. It’s an intriguing and romantic proposal, but not one we can actively pursue – not whilst there may be other explanations.

It’s more like a natural phenomenon, after all, we have barely scratched the surface of what’s out there in the universe. Theories include swarms of comets, disintegrating planets, and dust and gas moving around the star. It’s far more likely to be one of these answers (or even a combination of them) than aliens. Which is a shame.

A short while back I had an interesting discussion with one ‘Darthbards’ over on Big Footy. This discussion related to the idea that the earth is in fact, flat. Needless to say, this idea is sketchy, at best.

The trouble is, after going around in circles for ages, there comes a point where it becomes hard to sustain a reasonable discussion. This is not helped by excessive attacks on science from Darthbards, who I believe deliberately conflates science with religion, to try and suggest the religiously-inspired Flat Earth theory deserves greater consideration as a science. When arguing in such a fashion, it becomes frustrating. Unfortunately, the powers that be who moderate the Conspiracies board on Big Footy have blocked me from posting replies, a decision I feel is unreasonable, but one that doesn’t appear likely to be reversed any time soon.

However, I can still make comments about the ‘discussion’ here. So I’m going to. For anyone who wishes to see the thread in action, it’s here. Let’s start with our old friend Dathbards, whose posts will be in pink.

While on the topic of things in the sky,why can’t I just hover in a helicopter and wait for the earth to spin round rather than having to drive or fly everywhere?
Big game over that one,and how the hell does a plane even land on a planet spinning millions of miles an hour?

This ‘point’ is easily answered via Google. Look up Newton’s First Law of Motion. Also, the earth doesn’t spin at millions of miles per hour. Another user, called Big Cox 88, summed up this point quite nicely (their posts are in dark green):

The reason is inertia, the Earth and you and travelling at the same speed so there is no relative change in velocity, you are geocentrically bound to the Earth with centripetal force.

To which Darthbards replied with the following:

That’s it though,I’m not moving. Going by your logic if I jumped I should feel that I’m whizzing around at a million miles an hour keeping up with the ground.
Their is no centripetal force because the earth is not spinning. The centrifugal force is just a reactionary pseudo force to the motion of whatever I’m in or ons movement.

Have you actually even looked at the science of the flat earth?

Bards does science backward. He starts with his conclusion – that the earth isn’t spinning. Unfortunately this is rather typical of this sort of ‘science’ – take the conclusion, and force the facts to fit it. It requires extraordinary leaps of logic.

Another user, Tants, asked a series of questions aimed at understanding FE theory. His posts are in blue:

Could one of the FEers please concisely post the relevant information about flat earth.

  • Is there an icewall? If so, how high is it?

  • Please post the accepted version of the map of FE.

  • Is there a firmament? If so, what happens to Elon Musk’s rockets?

  • Please use maths to explain UA (or whatever the preferred force that keeps objects returning to earth).

  • The moon and the sun are 3100km away and the same size. True or False? If true, how do solar and lunar eclipses work?

  • Every manmade object ever sent into space is a lie. If there are any that are true, how did they get there?

  • I get that “they” are keeping us from the truth. But who are they? How have they got so many people involved and yet none of those people have broken ranks?

  • Why are all videos confirming a flat earth denied as fake, yet we should believe all videos posted by FEers?

  • What is the maths of a flat earth? Surface area, radius of the flat earth, distance from Sydney to Tokyo, Sydney to Santiago in Chile and Santiago to Tokyo.

  • What evidence would you require to convince you that indeed the earth is roughly spherical?

Instead of attempting to answer these questions, Bards got quite indignant and tried to shut the conversation down…

How dare you once again raise point five as a question :mad::fire:
Not only was this discussed at some length only a matter of pages ago,but I opened my heart and explained how the shadow object is my favorite scientific thing. I expressed how I wished to call my next child Shadow and sent out an invitation to other flat earthers to come and discuss the shadow object with me.

You have no interest in flat earth and your just asking baby questions easily answered in the FAQ section of the website. Your trying to be a smarty pants. Why don’t you piss off back to the science board or something mate. Plenty of ball lovers over there you can chat with,I’ve had a gob full of you blokes constantly bringing your ball love over here and shoving it down people’s throats.
If you cannot show respect for the shadow object you are not welcome for scientific discussion here.

This mythical shadow object is purported to explain the eclipses. The aggression with which Bards responds over this (and indeed, the honest questions from Tants) goes to highlight just how unscientific FE is. Tants asks a series of perfectly fair questions and Bards dismisses them, completely and utterly, and with a fair degree of hostility too. I rather liked Tants’ reply…

OK. So rather than answer the questions you have chosen to deflect. I want the science of flat earth and the generally accepted view from FEers. From your overzealous response, I take it that the shadow object is the accepted scientific reason for eclipses. Thank you. Now if you could address the other answers, without further deflection that would be ideal.

One further question though, does the shadow object exist within the firmament?
How high does the firmament go? I assume 3100km.

I want your answers (or GGs or Negans), I don’t want references to other websites. I want your convincing reasons for flat earth. Your love of the shadow object is the first believe to answer a question(though there is no science to it, I’ll get to that later).

I’m a student of life and happy to learn. But what I get taught needs to make sense with maths (the numbers never lie).

Deflect – and as we shall see later, outright hostility – appear to be ‘go-to’ tactics for Bards.

Another poster – bovs – also challenged the FE nonsense.

167 pages… has anyone reported on their own experimentation yet?

Anyone tried to demonstrate that New Zealand, Antarctica, Mount Everest aren’t obscured by the Earth’s curvature if you try and observe them from Australia?
Anyone tried to demonstrate a ship sailing over the horizon is just an optical illusion?
Anyone demonstrated that measurements of atomic compositions of distant objects by spectroanalysis is fake and/or doesn’t confirm that those objects are what conventional science defines them as being?
Anyone documented a circumnavigation of Antarctica and shown that the distance actually reflects the “outer bounds of the planet” FE model rather than the continental circumference of a round Earth model?
Anyone attempted to fly from Australia to South America by crossing Antarctica and found it wasn’t possible?

For a bunch of people so passionate about FE, it’s a little surprising that that passion doesn’t seem to extend beyond reading and watching what’s on the internet. This is the difference between science and pseudoscience. Science isn’t some sort of global movement or philosophy (although I’ll admit the sorts of people who “defend” science on the internet often act like it is)… science is a process by which a hypothesis is formed, an experiment is then conducted to test the hypothesis, and the results are used to assess the truth of the hypothesis. Science is formalised by creating structure around how that process is then documented and verified by peer-reviewed literature so that the scientific body of knowledge is consistent and open to revision, disproof, repetition or to be built upon.

This process can just as easily be applied to the FE hypothesis, but not without experimentation. So I’ll keep checking in now and then to see if anyone has done any experimenting.

Bards responded with his typical passive-aggressive stance.

Morning bovs,was just enjoying a lovely flat white and noticed your naive post.

We are aware we can’t just endlessly see NZ or Mt Everest because of the angular limits of perception. This can be proven when a ship half vanishes over the horizon but can be pulled back into view with a set of binoculars or a telescope.

Numerous experiments have been carried out to prove the earth is flat. We have what is known as the Bedford Canal experiments,The Kansas experiments the Bishop experiments and if you take the time to read Thomas Winships Zetetic Cosmogony or A Hundred Proofs The Earth Is Not A Globe by William Carpender you will see numerous experiments carried out proving the Earth is flat. I highly recommend these books and highly suggest you read them.

I think your over selling the old fraudulent science as it is just a global movement and in actual fact is what’s known as a religion.
The peer review process sounds good on paper but with so many dodgy websites out there and the advent of social media I think it’s best we should be very careful what we read or believe in regards to the spinning,orbiting,hurtling,tilted round ball earth.
Having said that you will find that papers written and published by Samual Birley Rowthbottom regarding his flat earth experiments that were peer reviewed by a woman by the name of Lady Blount.

It’s interesting that Bards cites, among other things, the Bedford Canal Experiment. This experiment actually went a long way toward proving the earth is round, but also triggered a spiteful campaign by a fanatical flat earther against one of the participants.

I haven’t been able to discover anything meaningful about the Kansas Experiment, beyond the comparison of that particular US state to a pancake (yes, seriously, and this has been held up as some sort of proof of a flat earth). If you check the link  you will see that the state of Kansas is not in fact, flat, but only appears that way because of the distance. Familiar idea?

The Bishop Experiment is one I’ve having a hard time even finding out about. There are mentions on forums that it’s been debunked (not a surprise), but I’ll provide more info on it as I find it.

Bovs pressed on:

Wasn’t suggesting experiments you’ve read about on the internet. Was suggesting experiments you’ve conducted yourself. Or know someone who has conducted them. Or have seen detailed methodology not just a conclusion that says what you already want to believe.

I would happily through the same comment at those arguing the standard position. I don’t understand how anyone can be so passionate as to argue the point over and over again, but not have actually done anything practically to demonstrate what they believe to be true. 

I’m not convinced by the argument around angular limits of perception… but I guess when the moon or sun dips over the horizon it should be effected in the same way… and if the moon or sun is further away than whatever land-mass object is in the direction of where it dips over the horizon, then with sufficient magnification you should see that object silhouetted in front of the moon or sun.

Again I’m not arguing the point… I’m just pointing out that you could probably actually design an experiment and go and conduct it and produce some evidence that suggests the nature of the Earth one way or the other. It’d be a far more impressive than 167 pages of argument based purely off what people have seen on the internet.

It doesn’t even have to be peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed is a method that served humanity for a long time but I don’t disagree that the modern world presents many challenges for the scientific norm. But peer-reviewed isn’t the definition of scientific, the method of constructing and testing a hypothesis is what makes something scientific. This thread is exhaustive construction of the hypothesis without any testing. Regardless of which side you’ve been arguing.

I’ve done the binoculars experiment.
How’s all you’re experiments going? Been into outer space to view the earth or to prove we can get out of lower orbit? Discovered magik gravity? Dark matter and energy are important for the fraudulent science mythamatics ,how’s all that coming along?
Personally I think there’s big hurdles on both sides. It’s just the FE has the better scientific evidence and round earth sounds the most ridiculous and on top of that they use to many unproven things in their theories.

Have a read of these books I suggested and I’m sure you’ll have your eyes opened.

Also,to suggest the peer review has served us well is a bit rich. The majority of people in this day and age still think the earth is a ball. You can’t have a religious organisation running its own review and expect it to work.
Anyway,if you want to give a long and detailed explanation of what you think old fraudulent science is or stands for as opposed to modern science just go tell your riveting theory on the actual science board.

Bards continues his irritating lie that science operates like religion. Funnily enough, this is exactly what flat earth theory is – an old, long debunked, religious argument, pretending to be a scientific one.

Bovs called Bards out on his shambolic practises…

I’ve made 2 posts… trying in both not to actually argue one way or the other on the actual issue of flat Earth vs round Earth… merely to make the point that 167 pages of “the Earth is flat… no it isn’t… yes it is look at this video… no it isn’t look at this video… etc.” without anyone actually detailing their own experiences or efforts to demonstrate what they believe is a little surprising.

Yet you’ve managed to (quite rudely) argue with a non-argumentative point both times. 

Mathematics isn’t a myth. I can assure you of that much. If you’re going to throw mathematics out the window then you may as well be trying to have a debate on whether humans really need to breathe oxygen (or that oxygen even exists as a real thing I guess).

In terms of peer-reviewed science, whatever you think of it it has been the foundation of pretty much all technology and social advancement achieved in at least the last 100 years… probably the last 300 years… and depending on how you choose to define the concept of scientific literature for as long as humanity. Again, if you believe that scientific endeavour is a myth, conspiracy or Satanic work and all technology has actually been developed by faking it, aliens on being directly supplied by God then that’s fine and you can believe that but there’s not much point trying to engage with anyone else if you’ve taken such an outsider view without any consideration of the alternative. 

It’s pretty clear from your responses so far that you probably don’t even have an interest in the nature of the world as flat or round or anything… you only have an interest in arguing with anyone from the “other team” i.e. “science” which somehow means to you all the people on the internet who like technology or science news or arguing with religious types or something I don’t really know what. Maybe you need to spend more time on the politics board where people choose a side and debate it continuously regardless of whether they actually believe with any conviction what they’re arguing.

Sorry,I just didn’t get the point to your posts and you quite clearly haven’t thought your comments through and are blinded.
Yes,of course we scienctists at the FES would like to be carrying out a whole multitude of further experimentation,but money doesn’t grow on trees. I’ve made my suggestions as to how we could obtain greater funding by closing down LIGO and handing the facility over to the FES, as well as the funding, so we can carry out greater research. Do you think the FES is rolling in money just because the ball lovers are? I told you some of the experiments carried out but it wasn’t enough was it?
Your comments tend to be leaning towards saying the round earth is to be believed or given a go. We at the FES do not believe what we have been told by the old fraudulent,religious science. We think their made up theories are laughable with its made up Dark matter,energy and let’s not forget gravity. We think your math is wrong. I don’t mean to be rude but we don’t want a debate any more. Why do ball lovers think our flat earth thread is a great place to debate round earth but on the other science board flat earth discussion not allowed?
The ball lovers have made their garbage point. It’s the ball lovers who continuously come, spreading their lies and insulting flat earthers.
The FES is growing,old fraudulent religious science is a failure. Instead of saying I don’t have an interest in nature or science you should be pointing the finger at those spreading the lies or those wasting the billions of dollars,the old fraudulent religious science.

We at the FES do listen to other fields of science,but we have no respect for ball lovers. Who would believe that garbage.

Tldr..If you have constructive comments to make feel free,but don’t come here saying the old fraudulent religious science is not a global movement and don’t come here gobbling off about pseudo science like your some sort of a gatekeeper to how we reach our findings.

Emphasis mine. Any discussion of a conspiracy theory (which is what flat earth is, make no mistake) is going to be in the form of a debate at some point. Despite the rules of the Conspiracy board on Big Footy, in real life a conspiracy is not assumed to be true or accurate, nor capable of supplanting an existing theory, without reasonable evidence. When something like flat earth comes along, that pretends to be scientific, yet is in fact rooted in baseless ideas, why should it share the stage with proven, scientific facts?

I remain unconvinced that Bards is not simply trolling.

I wish I didn’t have to write this, but the more time I spend looking at threads like this one (I refer to the Flat Earth nonsense I’ve discussed before), this one (vaccines are all big pharma conspiracies dude!) and all sorts of hastily generalised rubbish like this, the more I feel the need to stand up and lend my own, small voice against this tidal wave of ignorance that seems determined to come crashing down upon us.

Increasingly, we live in a world where anyone can come up with a half-baked idea (I refer once again to the flat earth theory), and with enough big words, it can be taken seriously, not because it should be, but because it sounds clever. If something contradicts a certain narrative (for example, climate change contradicts the aims and goals of big business and their powerful political allies) it gets condemned as fake news (Trump, I’m looking at you).

wp-1480424118070.jpg

Yes, sometimes scientists lie. Sometimes they get things wrong. Scientists are also human, and therefore not perfect, and sometimes the information and evidence will, at first examination, lead to incorrect conclusions. What opponents of science suggest is to throw the baby out with the bathwater – ‘if the theory is not perfect’, they crow, ‘or if scientists are not perfect, we should discount it. Here’s a replacement theory’. It doesn’t matter if the new theory offers up a poorer explanation of the facts. It doesn’t matter if it is full of holes. ‘If theory A isn’t perfect, theory B wins’, even if theory B is a load of bull.

At least the March for Science has shown there are people who are still interested in facts and in learning. I implore everyone to check it out – don’t fall for the ignorance that Trump and his ilk peddle!

On several occasions now, I have sparred with David Tee of Theology Archaeology. This occasion concerns an attack on science – and this is not the first time we have crossed swords on this issue. David has made several statements concerning his disdain for ‘secular science’, and it should come as no surprise that he doesn’t like the Theory of Evolution, nor the scientific methods that support it.

Here he is, responding to a post over on Age of Rocks – his posts will be in pink.

is a blatant and gross distortion of creationists’ views concerning our origins.  The author of that piece assumes far too much. For example he assumes that secular science has been charged with the duty of discovering our origins. It has not. He assumes that secular science has found and maintains the truth about our origins. It has not.He assumes that secular science is infallible when it comes to the information it uncovers. It isn’t.

He assumes that secular science or any science knows more than God does. It doesn’t. He assumes that evil plays no role in the work of secular scientists work, thinking and presentations, as well as those scientists who call themselves Christian. He would be in error. He assumes that secular science is an authority and has the final say on all matters of life. Again he errs.

Secular science is the blind leading the blind and that is the best thing we can say about that field of research. We include all those scientists,like Francis Collins, who claim to be Christian yet contradict God and his word by including evolutionary ideas and models in with God’s creative act.Those people are very misguided and deceived.

Previously David has got into great detail on the evils of science, whilst reaping the benefits of it – for example, he denounces pollution, but he is using a computer and the internet, powered by electricity, to make his posts. If science is so evil, why is he taking advantage of it? The truth is, science is neutral – the application of it can be good or bad. In this instance, no one is assuming science is infallible – but the evidence for our origins isn’t some evil conspiracy, but rather, the result of studying what the evidence is. To date, the Theory of Evolution has not been falsified, despite it being considered a falsifiable theory (namely, that for the theory to stand, it must stand complete, and is potentially vulnerable, yet it has passed every test). Why should we ignore the evidence in front of us, in favour of one interpretation of one religious document?

Nor of course, does science claim to have the final say on all matters of life. David is unfortunately rather fond of this particular Strawman.

The other important aspect that author assumes is that only those who do secular science can do rational and logical thought or are the only people who know anything. I am sure he is one of the group of anti-creationists who will say creationists lie when they disagree with the claims of secular scientists but they have to prove an actual lie has been told willingly.  Disagreeing with the results of secular science is not lying nor is honestly producing information one believes to be the truth. Sometimes people repeat information that they think is the truth because they were taught that information was true. That is not lying.

Anyone can do rational and logical thought. It’s through logic that we arrive at certain conclusions – factual observations about our world and the universe. It’s logical that we test theories and examine evidence. You don’t need to be a scientist to do this. You can in fact be very religious and still do these things.

However, creationists do manipulate evidence. Whether they do so intentionally or not depends on the individual, but it certainly happens. When there is so much evidence, readily available thanks to the internet, and creationists continue to repeat dismantled arguments – at that point, it can be reasonably assumed they are lying.

Then that author thinks that one has to be a scientist to rebut anything secular science declares.That s far from the truth for even an office assistant can know the truth because they listen to the God who did the actual creating over the fallible human who was not even an adviser to the creator of the universe, life and its development. The secular scientist is the one who does not know anything about our origins not the lowly uneducated believer of the Most High God.

In fact, it is smarter to be the latter than the former. It is rational and logical to be a believer in the one who did the actual creating than follow the one who rejects  him and his revelation.Making fun of those who believe God and the Bible is also not an intelligent, rational or logical move. That behavior only exposes the ignorance of the one who rejects God and his word. Science, any variety, is a lowly creation and not greater than the one who created it. Science was created by God so we would understand him more and learn about him. It was not created to usurp authority nor declare that God was or is wrong. Nor was it created to be  the authority or final word on all aspects of life.

Scientists tend to have studied long and hard in order to become scientists in their chosen fields. They have devoted their lives to learning, as the process of study continues long after they have completed their education. It’s the height of arrogance to assume these people know nothing, because they don’t follow one rigid interpretation of one religion.

Sadly, too many people,including those who claim to be Christian, have thrown God out of his own creation and try to do science on their own. All they have done is open the door to evil and let it destroy any truth science could uncover. You cannot throw the God of truth out and expect to come to the truth when you are influenced and led by the father of lies.

Secular science and scientists need to humble themselves and recognize that they are not the supreme being and acknowledge God as above them. Then they need to repent of their sins and get right with God so that science can be used correctly, leading people to the truth and to a greater understanding of God. Currently, science is being used to lead people to lies, to say God did things he did not say he did, and to distort the evidence we have to fit their humanistic views. Science is being misused and abused by those who reject God and that is wrong.

Scientists usually are humble. They don’t proclaim to know and understand everything. They don’t claim God doesn’t exist or that God didn’t create the universe. Who knows what the truth is? Maybe God created the universe billions of years ago? However, that’s an article of faith. If you have that faith, more power to you. Science is following where the evidence leads – if God put that evidence there, and yet it’s supposed to be misleading and we’re supposed to view the Bible as a literal document, why did God put deliberately put evidence in place to suggest otherwise?

The church is not against science especially when science gets things correct– like orbits and other factual members of the universe.It is against the lies of that secular science produces. Lies like Darwin’s theory of evolution, natural selection and other human alternatives to the truth of Genesis 1 and 2. Science does not belong in the affairs of our origins for that is not a mystery. We know where we came from, how it all came about and we do not need secular science meddling in what we already know to be the truth.

Secular science and its human alternatives bring confusion and confusion, as the Bible tells us, is not of God. This fact tells the believer to reject what unbelieving scientists say because they are disagreeing with God and the Bible. Anything that disagrees with God and the Bible are the ones in error. God does not lie and he does not make mistakes so we take God’s word over the word over those who ‘do science’. That is the right and Christian thing to do.

Why does the Bible take supremacy over other religious documents that also proclaim the truth about our origins? What makes the Bible flawless and such a good self-referencing document over the Qur’an for example? Or anything else for that matter? It seems to me that the only neutral, fair way to determine our origins is to turn to science.

 

Recently I posted an excerpt from a conversation on Big Footy about so-called Flat Earth Theory. Up next is the continuation of that discussion, and my take on the wider implications that it represents.

Following on from the original post, which I then shared on Big Footy, I became embroiled in debate with two of the theory’s biggest supporters in the thread, Cannot and Darthbards. Let’s take a look at what they said – for reference, posts by myself are in blue, posts by Cannot are in green, and posts from Darthbards are in pink.

After I shared my article with the board, I received the following reply from Darthbards:

Looks to me like it’s the same people who troll and bash religious people over here to me. If people want to believe a different theory to you,just let them.

And how does any alternate theory effect science. People can study more than one theory at a time until we actually find the one that’s correct.

It looks to me that some are just over sensitive to their theories being questioned while thinking it’s perfectly fine to bash others before they can supply their own facts. Shouldn’t you be busy putting together the pieces to the Big Bang theories. Sounds like your the one being destructive to science wasting your time commenting on things you dont have any interest in.

And your why is the reason being being hidden question has been answered. The answer was no idea. If you don’t like that answer,to bad. Your theories have plenty of unanswered questions also.

Go start a big ball thread if you love it so much. The PE people have answered all the questions asked to the best of their ability. If you choose to not believe,good for you,and I support that. We’re all free to make our own choices in what to believe and what not to.

So what are you trying to do now? Gather up an internet gang to come over here and try and force people to believe what you think everyone should believe? Yep that should work lol.
Or is your little gang hidden behind their little computer screens just going to offer that fearful retort of abuse. You think the FE people havnt heard that before.

If your so confident with your big ball what would you care what someone else thinks?

The chief problem with Darthbards and his arguments will become clear as this post wears on. It can be summed up as automatically assuming a theory to be false if it is not 100% perfect. He will go on to criticise the Big Bang Theory, will make remarks about us only being aware of 4% of the particles that make up the universe (both Red Herring arguments as well), and will also put together a number of Strawman fallacies.

There’s more to this than ‘believing another theory’. This is about undermining scientific endeavour with vague pseudo-science like FE theory. It is a dead-end of a theory, rooted in religious beliefs rather than science, yet it is being insidiously injected as a scientific idea (much like creationism). It’s then presented as an alternative to conventional science, attacking existing theories on the basis that theory A can’t explain everything. Of course, FE explains far less, but that gets overlooked.

Your string of subtle Ad Hominens not withstanding, I invite you to address the actual content of what I wrote, instead of trying to evade it.

Well don’t bother yourself with it then, and pull your finger out and find this dark matter and big bang and leave others to believe whatever the heck they want to.

And where’s this big gang your posting to,I want to tell those bozos to get their noses out of other people’s business and journeys through life as well.

Emphasis mine. Bards got hung up on the idea that I had somehow issued a call to arms – check out my original post and see for yourself if this is remotely true.

You missed the part where I mentioned that pseudo-scientific nonsense like FE is harmful to genuine science. Perhaps you should heed your own advice and not refer to the scientific method as ‘religious’.

And you obviously missed the part I said it doesn’t effect scientific studies in other areas whatsoever. Your just wasting your time sticking your nose in other people’s business.

And so what I think science is a religion,I never said I don’t like religions. Having beliefs and faith in things is great. Don’t tell me your getting your knickers in a knot over a simple word?
The more I see and hear science getting all antsy with the church and bible the more I just think it’s an alternate religion,a different type of religion. It’s just a word,meaning faith, belief,pursuit followed with great devotion. Sounds like a nice word to me.

And this big gang you showed us the post you were sending to, sure are taking their time.

And this vague allusion thing you’ve said in the next post,if you want to think that,good for you. No skin of my nose.
Like I said,I think the chances the earth is round is 30%. My ego couldn’t care less if I’m 70% out. In fact I’d be happy if I am and we finally get some understanding of what’s going on.
4% knowledge of the particles in our universe,I’m not making any wild predictions based on that or this Swiss cheese big bang theory.

The ongoing issue here is Bards’ use of the Alternative Syllogism fallacy (not to mention Red Herrings). The Alternative Syllogism fallacy is where two ideas – A and B – are presented, and if A is not perfect, B wins. It doesn’t matter if theory B is not perfect, in the mind of the person presenting the argument, any blip, error or lack of data on the part of theory A means it gets thrown out in favour of B.

At this point, I replied to each paragraph, I won’t list the argument like that here, as it would mean a lot of repetition.

You completely failed to understand the point. Pseudo-science, of any nature, is harmful to science regardless of the field of study. It encourages a line of reasoning (or anti-reasoning) that if left unchecked, will lead to other pseudo-scientific rubbish getting into the system. This has widespread ramifications for us all, which makes it my business, so I will stick my nose in and if you don’t like it? It’s no skin off my back.

It matters because conflating faith-driven ideas with scientific study is misleading. It’s how the religious right gets ideas like creationism into school science books, despite it having no business being there.

What are you on about? I posted on my site yes – never said anything about anyone else getting involved. If people want to respond to it, they can, if they don’t, so be it.

Yet you can’t present any reasonable alternative ideas that aren’t couched in unscientific notions. You can’t even present a reason for a vast global conspiracy to hide FE from us. It’s therefore a vague allusion. You might have more credibility if you admitted that.

Your totally missing the point,there’s a science board here,go there or stick to your blog. I don’t see how this theory effects science at all. People choose science,people choose this theory. People are free to choose whatever they wish,what business of yours is it. If you think science is so under threat,strive harder and stop calling other people’s interests ‘rubbish’. Or enter parliament and try and have some law passed so your theories are all we must obey.

And I see you took a pot shot at the other religions as soon as you got the chance. Again,prove God doesn’t exist. Not religious personally,probably 50/50,higher than round ball theory though. Who are you to tell other parents what they would like their children to believe or learn in school.Seems like there’s plenty of religious people out there,so why not teach it. At my kids school it’s actually optional so stop complaining about it. If you don’t want your children believing in God, just tell them that. Our children will progress in their journey through life and then make their own call.

How about you worry about yourself,your blog,and stop preaching to me. I’m only explaining FE theory,couldn’t give two hoots whether someone believes or not,why would I,it’s their choice.

30% chance round for me,pretty generous considering everything we don’t know about the universe.

And next time you want to stick something I say on your little blog,how about you have the common courtesy of seeking my permission. I would have said yes anyway most likely.

You’ve made your point here,you don’t like FE theory. I’ve already said your within your rights, so why do you keep commenting about some make believe danger like our flat universe is going to end?

You should go get some Kinesiology or something and relax a bit. :thumbsu:

At this point, I was also having a conversation with Cannot. This is a reply of mine to him when I pressed him to explain why a conspiracy would exist to hide the true nature of the earth from everyone.

You have completely failed to answer the important part of the question. In fact, you have evaded it.

To maintain a global conspiracy involving several space agencies, hundreds of airline companies, communications companies, shipping firms and multiple governments for several years without anyone noticing ‘the truth’ would be an enormously expensive and time-consuming exercise. I have yet to see one satisfactorily explanation for why it would be necessary to conceal a flat earth from the public, especially through such elaborate means. I may not be able to work out why such a conspiracy would exist, but from your non-answer to my comment, it’s clear you cannot do so either.

what a load of pig whallop – i have not evaded the question what so ever, i have made it clear to you

just cause you dont know why TPTB would lie to you on a issue, doesnt mean that there is no lie; it merely means you dont know cause you are probable a pleb. any other conclusions you are worth not much

the Manhattan project along with numerous other historical events prove secrets can be keep relatively easily. you merely departmentalize the information and keep the bigger secrets to the top – the nature of ‘secret soceities’ and various elites groupins that have held power over humanity is to keep the top information in the top ranks as opposed to mouthing off to every rank and file member. this is why i laugh when you run on the mill freemasons just say we play poker and do some charity work

its quite funny you are saying said elite powers would have money problems trying to have such a scheme going. these folks wouldnt be concerned with dollars and cents too much. Almost as funny as saying it would be too… “time consuming”. i dun think there is a rush

to summarize what you consider a “satisfactorily explanation” is laughable and doesnt carry much. ive offered my own version earlier in the discussion but it has some religious overtones and the uber atheists might start crying, again

no doubt if you look into FE theory there will be some explanations

You missed the part where I mentioned that pseudo-scientific nonsense like FE is harmful to genuine science. Perhaps you should heed your own advice and not refer to the scientific method as ‘religious’.

[IMG]

how , is it ‘harmful’ to ‘real’ science?

you’d think in ’17 there would be suffice proof of the super fast, multi direction moving globe earth that FE could be easily debunked and yet nope, the fe is apparently one of the fastest growing movements

I don’t even know what the point was that picture, but Cannot (who has since been suspended from Big Footy for rule violations) did not appear to be interested in fact-driven discussion.
This is where things get a bit complicated, and for the sake of expediency, I would recommend viewing the thread directly. Darthbards and Cannot began chatting, and their chat included repeating Ad Hominen and Strawman arguments:
Careful now,he’s sent a call out to his computer army,linking this very sight and naming those he wants placed under attack for daring to think differently from himself.
Rambling on about throwing balls in the air to prove Gravity while dismissing the experiments already carried out with zero understanding of Universal Acceleration or the possibility of a repulsion force from nearby parallel universe.
Shows how much of the thread he’s actually read before declaring war and attempting to send the fear of God into his blogites by suggesting they are now in the gravest of danger because people are daring to think differently to them.
Well darth_timon has adopted those policies that he has more right to tell a persons child what they should believe,ahead of the very parents who gave birth to,and raising those children.
Funny thing is,I missed the part where they proved God doesn’t exist before their attacks on this bloke,and their ruling that all must cease their own individual journeys through life.
I also never remember religion being mentioned in this thread until the anti brigade recently decided to branch out in telling us what we can or can’t do and believe.

And this computer army from the land of blog sure are taking their time on arriving to where they have been linked to.

Of course, if you are reading this or following the thread on Big Footy, you’ll see that Bards is raising arguments against points I didn’t raise, which is the perfect representation of a Strawman.
With the next post of mine, it is once again a reply broken up into chunks, so apologies if it is hard to follow.
When stuff like flat earth theory is paraded around as a valid alternative to something that is based on literally hundreds of years of study, it serves to undermine genuine attempts to understand the world around us. Resources that are better used elsewhere are being wasted on dealing with this sort of insidious idea, that would fill minds with pseudo-scientific rubbish if left unchecked. Your angry rhetoric notwithstanding, I have every right to discuss this here, in this thread, and I have every right to call flat earth theory rubbish. It’s not an ‘interest’ – it’s a symptom of a dumbing down of society. It’s no different to creationism – it’s faux science, that is trying to masquerade as the real thing, why should that be allowed into science lessons?
Strawman fallacy (you’re attacking an argument I didn’t make). I didn’t attack religion – I criticised the injection of religious ideas into science lessons. If you have faith in God, more power to you – if you don’t, again, more power to you – but you’re using a religious mentality and trying to pass it off as science, which is blatantly wrong, and then saying I’m attacking religion? That’s just dishonest of you.
I can say whatever I want in this thread. The discussion is about FE theory, which is what I am discussing. It clearly matters enough for you to keep defending it.
You base this 30% chance on what? A rejection of hundreds of years of observation in favour of…. ?
Here’s the thing. I don’t require your permission. You made public posts on a public forum. I can repost this entire conversation on my site, on other forums, on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter – anywhere I want. Given that you have failed to extend much courtesy to me (by creating strawmen distortions of my position, an act of clear dishonesty), what makes you feel I should extend any to you?

I find it amusing that you feel the need to refer to posting about this on my site as a rallying cry. I don’t recall issuing a call to arms in my post, but I am interested in preserving these discussions for posterity. I have to wonder – why are you so threatened by this that you have to imply a meaning that isn’t there, then attack that? You are far too fond of Strawmen.

Another Strawman. You grossly exaggerate and distort my position. Fe theory relies on non-scientific means, yet its supporters also try to pass it off as a scientific theory. It’s clearly not a scientific theory, so attempts to inject it into the science curriculum are symptomatic of a growing anti-science mindset. Quite how this will affect our progress and our understanding of the universe we don’t yet know.
At this point, I’m going to fast-forward to the challenge I issued to Darthbards.
Darth Timon vs Darth Bards Round 1

Ok Bards, since you are seemingly avoiding my posts (or some of them anyway), I’ve decided to throw the first punch anyway. A series of challenges for you to answer about FE theory.

1. What Replaces Gravity?

Assuming you are not trolling (which is a distinct possibility given your posts, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt), what is the force that keeps us grounded to the earth’s surface, if we go with your idea that gravity isn’t real? Related to this, what powers the sun if there is in fact no gravity crushing the mass and generating nuclear forces in the core?

2. Mechanisms

What is the underlying mechanism behind the force that keeps us grounded?

What is the mechanism behind the tides?

3. Lack of Evidence

How is it possible that a giant ice wall has never been reported by any one of the millions of people who would be required to be ‘in’ on this conspiracy? How is it that there has never been a single photograph of this?

So there you have it. If this becomes a proper debate, I’ll post it here.

Over on Big Footy, I am following and participating in a thread that highlights the extent to which people are prepared to believe wild conspiracy theories. Namely that the world is flat. This would be amusing if it were not a tragic indictment of how damaging pseudo-science is.

The thread is indicative of the same problem that motivates anti-vaxxers – people will believe stuff that sounds vaguely scientific, but will ignore stuff that actually is scientific, because it’s hard. Let’s take a more detailed look at the flat-earth nonsense, and let’s consider a force called gravity.

Gravity is the theory that objects exert a pull on each other. Over time, two rocks in space will be attracted to one another, and will collide. This new object has more mass, and therefore its pull grows stronger. The object grows, gains more mass, its gravitational pull gets stronger, and so on. Gravity works to continue to squeeze the object until it becomes spherical in shape. Through this process, stars and planets form (in fact, gravity is crucial to the formation of stars, as it compresses mass at the star’s centre to the point where fusion begins).

Gravity underpins the orbits of planets around stars and moons around planets. Without it, we would fly off the earth and the stars and planets would come apart.

This is a theory, detractors say, it is not a fact. It is a theory that can be tested – throw a ball into the air, and it comes back down to the ground. The best explanation for this? Gravity.

Lets take this to the extreme. There is evidence for the existence of black holes, including supermassive ones, including one at the heart of the Milky Way. Black holes are the end result of the relationship between mass, density and gravity. They are gravity gone wild. Our best explanations for their formation are due to gravity crushing matter to a single point, where nothing can escape its grip, even light itself.

Without gravity, how do planets form? How are stars powered?

Reasons for Denial

Why would it be necessary to conceal a flat earth from the public? To what end would such a conspiracy exist? I have read of the idea that a giant ice wall exists at the edges of the world, guarded by NASA (right, because NASA is a military organisation, oh wait…). I have read of plane pilots swearing to secrecy. I have read of many ways and means of hiding the ‘truth’ from the public. I have not read of a single explanation as to why. These undertakings would be monstrously expensive, and they would be on-going expenses, and all for what? There isn’t a satisfactory explanation for why this conspiracy exists.

The bottom line here? People speak of not accepting what the ‘establishment’ tells us, but sometimes the most straightforward answer is the correct one. Conspiracies for the sake of conspiracies are utter nonsense, and this is what the Flat Earth Theory is.

Religious Mentality

One of the great ironies of this thread is that the scientific method has come under attack as a ‘religious’ approach. Take for example this post by ‘darthbards’:

I think what we are dealing with here is pure ignorance and the round ball brigade unable to accept they’ve been barking up the wrong tree with this round nonsense.
They seem to have no understanding whatsoever regarding FE theory despite having it explained to them numerous times,often even repeating questions already answered.
Falling over the edge,lol,it’s near impossible,using their terrible human sight as proof,ignoring the lack of human perception. Some even explaining general relativity which has nothing to do with FE theory,while having no grasp of special relativity at all. I very much doubt they have ever studied FE theory themselves, and as we all know,it isn’t taught in school,so they need to do their own research. I very much doubt they have,or taken it beyond their own biased opinions. We have even had an alleged ‘teacher’ admit he forces his own views on our poor children, even admitting he tells them other extremely popular views like religion are myths,again forcing personal views on others. No wonder so many have such a closed mind and viewpoint. What a disgrace.

We are yet to be provided with any proof of gravity,big bangs,dark matter or dark energy. We are yet to see any unedited pictures of this fantastic round wonderment,yet have seen numerous edited versions.

Instead of complaining so much about what isn’t all the time,some need to hit the books,learn more beyond what we think we know. It might be scary that we have no idea what’s going on,but it sure beats the anger that develops through ignorance and brainwashing.

We live in an extremely corrupt world,we need to be careful what we are told to believe. Still not sure what theory is 100% correct,but I’d bet my bottom dollar it sure to hell isnt a big ball spinning round and round,hurtling through space.

Classic ‘let’s attack science’ mentality. Much of science is theory, but it’s theory that fits the facts, based on our observations and experiments. Gravity is the best explanation for the formation of stars and planets. It’s the best explanation for black holes. We have observed moons orbiting other planets and have been doing so for hundreds of years.

Gravity is critical to the formation of stars (as mentioned earlier) and it helps to drive processes that create the elements that make up, among other things, the building blocks of life. We know through spectral analysis what the composition of stars is, and we can infer from this the process that forms the elements within them. The gravity/density/pressure process is the best one we have for explaining supernovae and the spreading of advanced elements across the galaxy.

Religion under Attack?

Another user, ‘BrewSmackerVeiny’, made reference to posts buried within the nearly 90 pages of conversation as to why flat earth conspiracies exist – to deny the existence of God and to create an immoral society. Please note, I am not saying BSV supports this argument:

It’s been covered multiple times earlier in the thread, I realize it’s a long thread with a lot of long videos so It’s not unreasonable to not have found the answer on an older page, I’ll try and summarise what I have gleaned –
The general consensus for the reason would seem to be in order to make it appear as if there is no god, and by extension, no greater purpose for life, thus making people more interested in ‘living for the now'(An ideal consumer), and having no ‘post life consequences’ for actions they may consider otherwise immoral. If the Earth was flat and existed the way the FE theory claims then it would be abundantly clear that it had to have been created, thus people would be more inclined to seek out divine answers and higher meaning, and less inclined to focus on materialism and less willing to act immorally.
There may have been other reasons posited but this seems to be the main one.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. Historically people who challenged established religious doctrine have come under fire. Galileo is but one example of the clash between religion and science, and so the arguments being made by darthbards and another user (who goes by the name ‘cannot’) are merely updated, pseudo-scientific versions of old arguments aimed at weakening science. ‘Think for yourself and don’t be brainwashed’ is their cry – yet their theories and pseudo-science can’t survive any meaningful scrutiny.

They are guilty of the Alternative Syllogism Fallacy – Theory A or Theory B – if not A, then B must win by default. It hardly matters to them if B is actually worse for explaining facts than A – if A is not perfect, we are, for some inexplicable reason, to proceed with B.

This sort of attitude is ultimately harmful to scientific progress. It is the sort of mentality that gives rise to anti-vaxxers and young earth creationists. It’s bad for our understanding of the world around us, and should always be opposed.

Back to What I Think

Occasionally I visit a site called Debate.org. It’s exactly what it says it is – a site where people can start and take part in debates. These have a set structure and can take place in written or video form. The site could be better, and a lot of people treat it as a vehicle to start debates in order to boost their stats (they stack the deck in their favour with the question they ask and the rules of the debate), but there is room to grow.

I am in fact engaged in a debate as I type. I’m posting it here, for posterity. My posts are in blue, ViceRegent’s are in purple. The debate header is ‘how do atheists know fact from fiction?’

IF YOU ARE UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO READ THIS WHOLE POST AND THEN RESPOND TO THE SINGLE QUESTION IT ASKS, GO AWAY. I FIND IT HILARIOUS THAT THESE ATHEISTS KEEP VOMITING WORDS AND YET NOT ONE HAS ANSWERED MY Q.

Atheists love to live under the delusion that they are the guardians of rationality. But how can they hold this title when they cannot even articulate a rational way to know truth from fiction. If they cannot do this, they are literally ignorant and the ignorant cannot guard anything. SO, BY WHAT METHOD DOES ANY ATHEIST CLAIM TO RATIONALLY KNOW TRUTH FROM FICTION?

Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. I have even put it in capital letters for those to dense to get it. If you are unable or unwilling to answer this question, do not respond to this debate. Likewise, if you do not believe in reality, believe you make it up or deny it is objective or knowable, or if you do not know how to rationally know truth from fiction, do not respond to this debate. If you are terrified of cross-examination or madly in love with red herrings, do not respond to this debate. If you have responded before, do not respond to this debate. After all, if you had nothing rational to say then, you will having nothing rational to say now.

If all you have is “science”, do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.

if you respond in violation of these rules, you automatically lose the debate.

This is what I mean by stacking the deck. ViceRegent doesn’t want the scientific explanation – he wants to turn to metaphysics, and is therefore trying to squeeze the debate down a specific direction.

I’ve also highlighted what I consider to be a verrrry interesting sentence. As the discussion wears on, we shall see why I noted it.

I’ll bite on this one. Your question is how atheists know truth from fiction – firstly, I would seek clarification here – when you refer to ‘truth’, in what context do you apply the term? Is it in the sense of ‘fact from fiction’, in respect of our existence and the world around us? And what is the counter-point to this? Are you addressing your side of this debate from a religious perspective?

Your opening argument tells people to not use science, as science is based on senses. What would you use to judge the world around us, other than our senses? Observation of the world we live in has been central to our progress throughout human history. If not for applying principles of observation and deduction, how would we have ever developed the wheel, much less anything else?

How do I know my senses are valid? I know my sense of touch is valid by the simple observation that if I touch a flame, it burns and hurts. I know my sense of hearing is valid because I can hear my daughter singing, even though she’s supposed to be asleep.

The manner in which you have set up your question is deliberately designed to remove the most straight-forward and best means of addressing it. I would have to ask why? What would you replace observation and study with, when determining what is fact and what is fiction about our universe?

This dude is confused. He pretends he does not understand my question, but answers it anyway, proving anything are delusional.

He then says he knows his senses are valid because they provide him valid sensory input. Really? Man, I love the smell of cognitive dissonance and question begging in the morning. Dude, how do you know that what you perceive as a candle that burns is not really your daughter singing? And try not to argue irrationally this time.

I’m not really sure how questioning his false dilemma is being irrational, but sadly this appears to be the route ViceRegent wishes to take. His use of ad hominems isn’t exactly adding to his argument either.

With all due respect, from the increase in the rhetoric (which was also present in your first post), I have to draw into question why you posed this question, in the manner you did. You failed to address my point about what you would replace study and observation with, and failed to explain why you need to remove this principle from the equation.

It seems to me you need to remove science from the equation because you are arguing (however subtly) that the key reason we perceive anything is because God or a deity of some description is the driving force behind how we separate fact from fiction. This is why you are keen to remove anything that can threaten this notion – and why you are attempting to reject argument framed from a scientific perspective. You cannot argue against principles such as nerve impulses firing signals to our brains that tell us we have heard a sound or experienced a physical sensation, so you seek to remove them from the discussion entirely.

That is intellectually dishonest. You are trying to stack the deck so you can get only one possible answer.

How do I separate the fact that 1+1 = 2 from the fiction that 1+1 = 3? Because we have built complex machines from such facts, and if they were in fact, not true and not demonstrable, these machines should cease to function. They are built upon our observed understanding of the universe, and this is not fiction, otherwise we not be able to use this understanding to help us create things like microwave ovens and computers.

I wonder if you will now attempt to address my rebuttal, or will you ramp up your rhetoric again?

This fool continues to beg the question. He continues to say his senses are valid because of what his senses perceive. I will ask him one more time: how does he know that the candle that he perceives to burn his fingers is not really his daughter singing? I will put this more simply with the hope he will get it this time: the world is full of delusional people. How does he know he is not one of them.

Nothing here but more insults and a further attempt to justify why he needs to remove science in order to make his point. He cannot form this question without taking science out of the equation, because he knows it invalidates his (poorly defined) position.

From your increasing hostility I have to call into question whether you want a rational discussion, or merely a platform from which to spout anti-scientific propaganda. I will ask YOU once again – why do you feel the need to remove science from the equation? Why are you afraid of rational explanations for why we experience the world in the fashion that we do?

How do I know when I have burned myself? Because the nerve endings in my finger process the sensation and send it to my brain. What alternative suggestion do you have for how I know I’ve burned myself? What is YOUR answer to the question? Or will you continue to fail to address the arguments presented, in favour of your bizarre insistence that we cannot use logic and observation to reach conclusions?

Now he has run from the Q I actually asked substituting it for one I did not. Amazingly, what this fool does not get is that I am denying he has any way of knowing he has burned himself given his worldview. He proves this by not even understanding what I am asking him let alone having an answer. He loses the debate.

Your declaration of victory is premature. 

Your question is dishonest. Since you cannot argue against scientific means of measurement you seek to remove them entirely. You have asked this question multiple times within the past few days or so, and I suspect you will get similar answers. They won’t be the answers you’re looking for, but that’s because won’t play your game.

Let me ask you – how YOU know you have burned yourself? Because God told you? Are you capable of answering your own question in a logical fashion, or would you shirk from this, using insults to cover the weakness in your position? 

This debate, and some additional thoughts, can be viewed here, if anyone wants to take a look. 

So there you have the complete article, as it were. I invite readers to make up their own minds. 

By now you’re probably aware that I’m a meerkat of science. Facts and theories backed up with evidence are sexy. Ahem.

Now, there is a good deal of evidence out there to support the effectiveness of vaccination. Prior to the development of vaccines, we were as a species ravaged by diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox and measles. The tuberculosis vaccine is effective in 70-80% of cases, particular in younger people. Rates of this disease, and other diseases where vaccination is available, have been slashed over the years. Smallpox, once considered a very deadly disease, is now virtually gone – a concerted and determined campaign of vaccination has eradicated it.

There’s a wealth of evidence out there for the effectiveness of this measure. I’ve written at length about this before and pointed out this evidence to others. Unfortunately, there are always those who choose to believe conspiracy theories and those who nitpick from sources in order to spin their narrative. A great case in point of this, in respect of vaccination, would be a poster by the name of Little Graham from the Big Footy forums. There is a thread about anti-vaxxers on the forum, and LG is one of the proponents of the anti-vaxxer idea in the thread.

I’d like to share what he said the other day:

Thats the very issue of many who question current vaccination policy. Most people only find out after the fact, that they’re allergic to them. Most of the numpties in here abusing those who question, have no idea about this. Are not listening. Are using violence to enforce thier beliefs. Really pathetic. There should be no reason to behave this way, the science should speak for itself.

The thing is, the science does speak for itself. Diseases that were one widespread and lethal have been dramatically reduced in their frequency. On-going vaccination ensures the on-going control of these diseases. Not vaccinating carries consequences not only for the person who isn’t vaccinated, but also for anyone who for whatever reason cannot be vaccinated, and there can even be a knock-on effect on the rest of the population. Not vaccinating is irresponsible and dangerous.

http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/healthy-people-who-were-vaccinated-for-the-flu-continue-to-die/

His link, far from helping his cause, actually hurt LG’s argument quite spectacularly, as another poster, Long Live HFC, pointed out:

you can always spot someone who has no schooling in statistics :straining:

and while we’re on the topic of lack of education, you never did come back and provide evidence for your claim that $200/student could educate every primary and secondary student in the US?

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/stuxnet-hawkings-ai-and-the-next-hundred-years.1143439/

what went on there, simple simon? still doing your sums? :D

but, let’s get back to your quote. your source:

so, 2 deaths (for the flu) in that three-month period.

now, being the lazy scholar i am i’m just gonna multiply that figure by 4, to get an easy 12-month figure. 8. i accept it might be slightly higher or lower in reality. if you want me to explain my math in more detail, feel free to ask. i accept that primary school education is a luxury which unfortunately not everyone can partake in.

how many people got shots in the US’ 14-15 flu season? approximately 150-160 million.
www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccinesupply-2014.htm

now, obviously i’m not saying every single dose got used that season. but let’s go ******* crazy and say only 10% of doses were used. i’ll even round it down to 15 million.

so, THE MOST DANGEROUS VACCINE is killing 0.000533333% of people who got shots each flu season.

****, imagine what the percentage would be @ 150-160 million doses! oh the humanity. how does big pharma live with itself? o_O

and, deaths re influenza? admittedly it’s hard to find data ranges that fit the exact US flu season months, so again i’ll just go lazy and use calendar years (2014):

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#019

So as you can see from the numbers, if we assume a particular low take-up rate of the flu vaccine of just 10%, that’s still 0.000533333% of patients killed by the vaccine (assuming nothing else was a factor). This hardly serves as proof that the vaccine is dangerous. In fact, it serves as an ample demonstration that it is not.

LG then posted this, quoting from the link:
https://www.sott.net/article/293105…mps-rational-discussion-in-the-vaccine-debate

The irony… The post above yours completely exploded your ‘dangerous’ notion, and you’ve completely ignored it to launch an ad hominiem.
LG hit back:
you’ve just admitted that people without the flu are being killed by the flu shot and you think its perfectly ok.

you should not have the right to bear children.

Wow. He decided to repeat his use of an ad hominiem argument with another one.
Another ad hominiem. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest the flu vaccine killed…. What was it? 0.000533333% of the people who had it (and that’s a generous assumption to YOU, for if, as is likely, more people were in fact vaccinated, the percentage drops)? Do you care to address this? Or will you spout another ill-conceived ad hominiem?

BTW, I am a father, and I’ve had my little girl vaccinated. I wouldn’t be irresponsible like you and risk her contracting diseases like measles.

That’s where the discussion ends for now. I might expand upon it, but I don’t imagine it will move forward in any kind of meaningful way. LG won’t let facts get in the way of his imagination.

Having declined to post my final comment (which as mentioned in prior posts, is his right) TA has written a page ‘answering’ some of the points I raised. He has stated I am free to reply, but from previous experience I doubt my replies will get by unless they meet his rigid criteria.

If you are following this, you may wish to check out the comment train. I should point out that TA has since published my most recent comment, so in fairness he has opted to tackle it head on.

You might also want to look at my original rebuttal to some of his claims, and my follow-up too. The direct links to his articles are within those pages.

That being said, let us address what he said in what can be considered an ‘open reply’ by him. His comments will be in pink, and where he has quoted me, my comments will be in blue.

Darthtimon has provided us with a couple lengthy comments under the Secular Science & the Believer post so we have decided to reply in a post to make things a bit easier. We will skip duplicate comments by him.

#1. I urge you to take a look at your first sentence and consider that it is in fact, you who is distorting science.

We took another look at our first statement and we did not distort anything. Science is responsible for a lot of evil that takes place in the world and we only have to go as far bask as the angel of death, to see that medical science is not as pure as Dart. makes it out to be. As you will see in his comments, people distort what secular science does for many reasons and they choose not to include the negative items that field of research produces.

I will simply refer people to my previous posts. I believe it is clear that TA has repeatedly distorted science and what it aims to do. He also (as I put it in a comment to him) ‘throws the baby out with the bathwater’ when it comes to what we’ve accomplished thanks to scientific research. He accuses me of considering medical science as being ‘pure’. I never claimed anything of the kind. The human element of how our knowledge is applied defines whether something is ‘good’ or ‘evil’. The raw science itself is neither. Science is neutral. The application… That varies.

Having talked with many scientists over the years and many science supporters their thinking is that technology and medical research/application is science only when it benefits their arguments and as soon as you point out the negatives they get all upset and start crying foul. They do not like the reality that comes with secular science.

I wonder if TA understands both the irony and hypocrisy in his position. He has been quick to dismiss the benefits of scientific achievements, in favour of the negative implications. When it was pointed out that thanks to science, we have medicines that have saved literally millions of lives, he retorted with a strawman about the costs of procedures and the ethical dilemma of keeping someone alive via a machine. These issues are not to the scientific processes that led to the development of these machines and the development of medicines. It’s an attempt to conflate the issue. 

Likewise with the issue of pollution. TA claims science is responsible for this, and for the depletion of natural resources. Once again I must point out that it’s not science itself, but rather it’s application, and once again TA ignores the benefits of our pursuit of knowledge. I am at a loss to understand how he can call science evil, and yet simultaneously use a computer and the internet, which we wouldn’t have if not for research into computing. I don’t know whether TA drives or uses public transport, but cars and trains are the result of the development of technologies we wouldn’t have without study. 

#2.In the original post, you adopted examples that have nothing to do with science and tried to use those examples to disprove the scientific method. This demonstrates horrible ignorance of the scientific method. You are also ‘painting a partial picture’ of science (I imagine this means you too are lying, no?). Plus, once AGAIN you conflate science with other fields.

This is a good example of what I was just talking about. In one of his original replies Dart mentions the following items

Also, we wouldn’t have cars, trains, planes, the Internet, refrigerators, advanced farming, or power for our homes without science

Cars, trains, planes pollute so pollution is from secular science. Advanced farming also includes pesticides, products like Round-up DDT etc., as well as tractors which use up natural resources like gas and oil. The internet helps ISIS so science has contributed to that tragedy as well. I could go on but what is the point, Dart is going to close his eyes and just say that is not true. I will only say that medical science produces medicine with side effects that are sometimes worse than the disease.

Where I referred to him conflating scientific methods with other ideas, I was pointing his erroneous example of a couple seen leaving a hotel room when he discussed the principle of observation, and his injection of criminal investigations into a discussion of prediction. The examples and the manner in which they were given were misleading. TA doesn’t acknowledge this, and instead attacks my arguments for presenting only a partial picture of science, whilst going on to do exactly the same.

Nowhere is this more true than in his paragraph above. Pollution is a byproduct that wasn’t understood when cars, trains and planes were first developed. Since then, the rapid proliferation of these products and their impact upon our environment has far more to do with consumerism than science. In his rush to refer to pesticides and such, he ignores our ability to feed people far more easily than we could before. In his haste to criticise medicine for side effects, he completely overlooks how many lives have been saved by it. To declare that science has contributed to IS is a stretch beyond belief, not only straining for credibility but completely snapping the elastic. Once again – science is neutral – it is the application of it can be defined as good or bad.

Notice he uses the words ‘scientific method’ but no one was talking about the scientific method just science. He tries to change the subject in order to defend his position even though his position was shown to be erroneous. Oh and those same scientists I have talked to include all the fields of research as part of science. Dart. changes the scope of science to ensure he is not exposed as wrong.

I’m not even sure what he’s talking about here. It was TA whose first article started out by breaking down the scientific method! In any event, this is a meaningless paragraph – it doesn’t change the fact that science is neither good nor bad – it’s how that knowledge is used that defines it – and TA himself is happy to take full advantage of it, regularly, when using the internet, driving his car, using electricity, and buying frozen food from supermarkets. He doesn’t realise just how it influences his own life, and actually makes it better.

#3.The cost implications of medical treatment have nothing to do with the science behind those treatments. You are using the strawman argument (yet again). The cost (or lack thereof) of medical treatments varies from one country to the next, and is based on a variety of factors, none of which are to do with the actual procedure itself. Trying to mislead with false statements about ‘science ruining lives’ is a deliberate and wilful misrepresentation of what we’re discussing.

If the cost factor has nothing to do with science then why are not the pharmaceutical companies offering their products for free or at a drastically reduced cost? I am not using a straw man argument because the cost of those scientific advances do ruin people and science is responsible for their existence. But like I said in the previous point, we do not have to worry about the cost factor for the medicine Dart so proudly touts is not as healthy as he claims.

TA denies using a strawman then repeats the same strawman. The development of life-saving drugs through research has nothing to do with the policies that businesses enact when it comes to charging for these products. The cost of medical treatment varies around the world and depends on a variety of factors from country to country. TA has not addressed this, he has ignored it.

In Korea doctors routinely prescribe medicines to go with the medication you need for your ailment just to counter the side effects the drugs you need bring. Science ha snot provided people with good medicine and they cannot even cure the common cold, cancer, TB, malaria, and a host of other diseases.

If TA wishes to understand the beneficial impact of the development into medicine, he can take a look at the following:

The World Health Organisation’s evaluation of vaccination.

The PRB’s article on the same.

He will also want to look at how improvements to medical care have saved lives and helped prolong lives.

Finally, he can take a look at another, similar article.

Medical science, like all sciences, is a process that continues to develop – we may not have the cure for cancer yet, but we’ve advanced our treatments to the point where less people are dying from it. I’d call that a good thing.

#4.Likewise your comment about the Hippocratic oath. You do know what this oath is don’t you? It’s first rule is to do no harm. Letting someone die might be considered the ultimate harm – but obviously letting people suffer in pain is doing harm as well. It’s an ethical dilemma, but it’s NOT a scientific dilemma. This is once again a wilful and misleading statement from you.

we will give him that this is an ethical dilemma but the oath doe snot allow for harm to be done and when harm is done no matter what you do then you cannot keep your oath. You need to find a better one that guides doctors in their care of others and keep the quacks and evil medical practitioners at bay. When a doctor prescribes treatment he knows the patient and his/her family cannot afford then they are doing harm and I mad no misleading statements.

A doctor doesn’t control the economic or political circumstances that lead to some countries have private healthcare which can be costly. A doctor also doesn’t prescribe treatment on the basis of cost, but on the basis of how likely it is to do the job and save someone. This is also still not a scientific problem, but a social and political one, so yes TA, your statement was misleading, and so is your new statement.

The oath is part of medical field thus it is a scientific dilemma for they are not providing doctors with medicine or treatment that will not allow the doctors to uphold their oaths. if secular science is as good as Dart claims then they should be producing perfect medicine for the patients.

The Hippocratic oath has nothing to do with the development of treatments and procedures. It is about ethics. TA also keeps putting words in my mouth – I don’t claim science is perfect.

#5.Science has not actually produced directly anything of the things you claim science has produced. The manner in which scientific knowledge is used is a different question, but you’re trying (yet again) to confuse the two. Torture techniques… seriously?

This is just flat-out head in the sand denial and not even worthy of any rebuttal for his train comment does the rebutting for us. Dart seems to think that when he mentions an item it is produced by science but when I point out the negative products of science then they are not of science. Double standard and just absurd as well.

I don’t claim ‘science produced the train’, but it’s true we wouldn’t have trains, or cars, or electricity in our homes, without research into these things. Once again, I am forced to remind to remind TA that science is neutral – it certainly isn’t ‘evil’ – that’s how the knowledge can be used, but it can also be used for great benefit, something TA seems determined to ignore.

#6.Science is neither good nor evil. It is how that knowledge is USED that is key, and you would throw the baby out with the bathwater in your haste to dismiss all the good that knowledge has managed. Millions of people survive illnesses and injuries that just a century earlier would have been fatal. People have heat and light in their properties, we have the means to stay in touch with people who are all the way around the world, developed the means to protect crops and grow more, hardier crops, and generally moved on from the Dark Ages that you would have us live in.

We put in bold the words that convey the same message we were told by all those scientists we have discussed with over the years. They said ‘all science is good science’ and that is a crock for if all science is good then no one can complain about the Nazi angel of death or his experiments, nor can they find fault with eugenics and other scientific programs that ended the lives or reproductive abilities of human beings too vulnerable to protect themselves.

Nor can they claim ideas like Piltdown man are hoaxes or anything they do not accept as faulty science or pseudoscience. All science is good so the field must be infallible, holy, sinless, incorruptible or God. Sorry dart but science is sinful, led by sin and evil influenced by evil and very corruptible as so many police DNA labs would not be producing false results in order to get convictions. Secular science is far from perfect and it can be wrong which puts it on the evil side of things not the good side.

It increasingly sounds to me like TA does want the Dark Ages back. Nor does he understand what neutral means.

I say that science is neutral. To which TA replies with scientists saying ‘all science is good science’. I’ve never heard a scientist claim this. At any rate, it’s certainly not the argument I’m making, so what exactly is TA replying to, the points I’m making, or an argument that he’s inventing to distort my own?

Perhaps we should do away with hospitals, and irrigation, and electricity, and refridgeration, and so on. After all, science is sinful and evil and has unduly influenced the development of these things. Does it matter if disease would become rife and people would starve? Well, it would be holy and sinless and therefore ok, right?

Here he repeats his mantra of all the good things science has done and ignores the fact that groups like ISIS communicate around the world in hopes of killing others but repeating his mantra does not support his point but shows that he has no argument. I hate to break it to him but we do not need science to grow better crops. Coming from farming stock, we were better off when science minded its own business and stayed out of the food-producing industry.

Hypocrisy at its finest. TA ignores all the good our pursuit of knowledge has done, and continues to do so. Shall we take a look at how agriculture has developed? Quoted from here:

Farmers use technology to make advances in producing more food for a growing world. Through the use of technology, each farmer is able to feed 155 people today, compared to 1940, when one farmer could feed only 19 people (Prax, 2010). Farmers use technologies such as motorized equipment, modified housing for animals and biotechnology, which allow for improvement in agriculture. Better technology has allowed farmers to feed more people and requires fewer people to work on farms to feed their families.

Keep in mind that the arguments proposed by Dart come from a person who feels like a woman and dresses like one even though his precious science has told him he is not a woman. So his position on science is based upon whatever benefits him and not the truth. Oh and we do not need science to determine what gender a person really is, we just have to use our eyes and look between the legs.

I don’t even know what TA is on about here. He thinks I’m transgender? If I were, what difference would that make to fact-based arguments? Precisely none, so it would be an ad hominen fallacy. It’s also an attempt to poison the well, so in fact it’s two fallacies for the price of one!

#7.As I am not certain I pressed ‘reply’ when I typed out a response last time, this is my latest: What evil is that? Treat everyone fairly without judgement based upon my religious beliefs? A refusal to impose my beliefs upon others?

We saw his responses but we are tired of his tired, old, repetitive arguments that distort secular science and come from hypocritical positions.  If science treated everyone without judgment then evolutionists would not be fighting for a monopoly on the science classroom, it would not be seeking to ruin people’s careers because they happen to mention ID or creation and they would not attack those who disagree with them. Yes Dart has blinders on concerning his favorite field.

Let’s not forget other things that science does like lie to people, brings false theories and conclusions promoting them for decades even though they have been shown to be false and impossible. I am sorry but secular science is not as wonderful as Dart maintains.

Well the comments in his second post were mostly duplicates so we will end with the one above. Suffice it to say those who argue for secular science do so without a real foundation, without truth and without any rational or logical thought. he ignores facts and evidence to paint a picture of secular science that is not only idealistic but unrealistic.

Dart is free to respond in the comment section but we may not answer him because we are tired of those arguments that do nothing but lie to people.

A string of self-justification for distorting evidence, and tremendous hypocrisy. I don’t think TA understands just how much of the tools at his disposal during the course of any given day are available to him because of our development of technologies based on scientific study. Are there bad applications to some of these studies? Yes, I never denied that. TA however, denies the good applications out of blind faith, dismissing reason. I have made him aware of this rebuttal, and even gone so far as to post it as a comment, but I am not confident he will share the link, or indeed post the comment. We shall see.