[Taxacom] Monkey Community greatly relieved

Stephen Gaimari SGaimari at cdfa.ca.gov
Wed Jan 13 15:16:28 CST 2010


Oops - looks like I hit reply instead of reply all (so only Stephen got
my message). In any case, thanks for replying and sticking it back into
the taxacom loop.

My post had said:
Although I would think this is obvious to many here, I guess it needs to
be stated. The difference is that science is testable, falsifiable,
quantifiable, etc., while religion is none of those. Science is not a
closed loop at all - it is wide open.

And just to reply to your (Stephen's) post, you said:
>> it is only any of those things relative to assumptions which must be
held by something akin to "faith"

You are correct, if by "faith" you mean "faith that something is
actually testable" or that there is an assumption that something is
actually testable. And I disagree that this is akin to faith at all.
Things don't need "scientific language" or a scientific mindset to be
testable. We are testing all the time, whether we are scientists or
history teachers. Religion however, has no room for testing, because if
testing appears to falsify some idea it is rejected.

Cheers,
Steve

Dr. Stephen D. Gaimari
Program Supervisor (Entomology)
 
Plant Pest Diagnostics Center
California Department of Food and Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832, USA
 
Tel. 916-262-1131, Fax 916-262-1190
E-mail sgaimari at cdfa.ca.gov
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/ppd/staff/sgaimari.html

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:53 PM
To: Stephen Gaimari
Cc: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Monkey Community greatly relieved

>science is testable, falsifiable, quantifiable, etc.
it is only any of those things relative to assumptions which must be
held by something akin to "faith"
at any rate, the closed loop I refer to has nothing to do with
testability - if we assume testability for the sake of argument, the
point is that only scientific questions in scientific language can be
tested
I'm not arguing for religion by any means, but I hate to see any
blinkered people, be it by religion or science ...

S
________________________________________
From: Stephen Gaimari [SGaimari at cdfa.ca.gov]
Sent: Thursday, 14 January 2010 9:40 a.m.
To: Stephen Thorpe
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Monkey Community greatly relieved

Although I would think this is obvious to many here, I guess it needs to
be stated. The difference is that science is testable, falsifiable,
quantifiable, etc., while religion is none of those. Science is not a
closed loop at all - it is wide open.
Cheers,
Steve

Dr. Stephen D. Gaimari
Program Supervisor (Entomology)

Plant Pest Diagnostics Center
California Department of Food and Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832, USA

Tel. 916-262-1131, Fax 916-262-1190
E-mail sgaimari at cdfa.ca.gov
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/ppd/staff/sgaimari.html

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:30 PM
To: Thomas G. Lammers; TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monkey Community greatly relieved

Funny though, you seem just as uncompromisingly convinced in your
beliefs as they are in theirs! Science is a way of looking at the world:
ask scientific questions, use scientific methods, get scientific answers
in scientific language ... closed loop! Perhaps religion is similar, so
religious and scientific people are talking past each other in different
languages (a kind of Tower of Babel situation!) I have misgivings about
anybody (scientist or religious) who thinks that they couldn't possibly
be wrong in their beliefs ...

________________________________________
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Thomas G. Lammers
[lammers at uwosh.edu]
Sent: Thursday, 14 January 2010 9:19 a.m.
To: TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Monkey Community greatly relieved

>It fell on deaf ears when she tried to explain the difference
>between "a common ancestor" and "monkey ancestors".

Irrelevant to folks of that mindset.  The mere suggestion that our
species
arose by natural processes rather than divine fiat is anathema.  You
have
committed heresy by suggesting that our kinship is with ANY sort of
beast
rather than with the angels.

You may be saying, "The evidence suggests that our human species
diverged
from a common ancestor with chimps and gorillas or orangutans ..."  but
what they HEAR is, "The beliefs you have cherished since childhood are
stupid.  What mother and Reverend Lovejoy and Mrs. Magillicuddy in
Sunday
School told you was a lie.  The Bible is a lie.  You're stupid to have
believed such tripe for so long."

Viewed that way, their rancor is understandable.  That's why efforts
such
as the Clergy Letter Project
(http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/rel_evol_sun.htm) are so important.


Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Curator of the Neil A. Harriman Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
800 Algoma Blvd.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

Webpages:
http://www.uwosh.edu/biology/storage-for-faculty-web-pages/tom-lammers-p
h.d
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=297234
http://www.kewbooks.com/asps/ShowDetails.asp?id=615
http://www.mbgpress.info/index.php?task=id&id=90602
-----------------------------------------------------------
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               --
Anonymous
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