[permaculture] was Ormus- now Toby's insulting rant

wenshidi at yahoo.co.uk wenshidi at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 1 21:07:46 EST 2011


Toby,

If you disagree fine, but there is no need to insult your fellow listers with words like 'nonsense', 'loony-bird', 'idiocy' and 'numbskull.'
Using these creationist type tactics to force your opinions down other peoples throats, is not the way to get you ideas across.  I hope that you do not try to spread your ideas about permaculture in the same way or you will be doing us all a dis-service.

Chris

--- On Tue, 3/1/11, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com> wrote:

> From: Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Ormus- ORMES
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 12:33 PM
> 
> On Feb 28, 2011, at 7:41 PM, wenshidi at yahoo.co.uk
> wrote:
> > 
> > Toby,
> > I do not mean to argue with you, especially when I
> consider you to be one of the most valuable contributors to
> this list, but I must point out that plate tectonics, just
> like Darwin's evolution, the Big Bang etc are all just
> theories.
> 
> I used the phrase "plate tectonics" as shorthand for the
> movement of continental plates and the consequent uplift,
> which are observed facts, not a theory. The relevant
> observed fact here is that large areas of the continents are
> rising and have been for tens or hundreds of millions of
> years, with no sign of slowing down. There is no evidence to
> dispute it. None. There is not one shred of evidence to
> suggest that the continents will disappear "in a few million
> years." The people who wrote that remain inexcusable
> ignoramuses who damage what might be useful work  by
> bolstering their words with nonsensical pseudoscience.
> 
> I don't think you understand what "theory" means to a
> scientist or philosopher of science. You are using it in the
> same way that the creationists do (I understand that you are
> not a creationist), as in "evolution is just a theory," as
> if there is some doubt about it. Theory does not mean in
> doubt or tentative. To a scientist, a theory is a profoundly
> powerful explanation that is consistent with, and accounts
> for, observed facts. It it a very different use from the lay
> person's, "well, here's my theory." Einstein's theory of
> relativity, Newton's theory of gravity, Darwin's theory of
> evolution by natural selection etc, are "just theories" but
> they explain observed facts in such a coherent manner that
> the likelihood of their being discarded is vanishingly
> small. There is no more powerful word in science for an
> explanation than "theory." We could call the above theories,
> and plate tectonics, "facts," and I do hear scientists speak
> of the fact of evolution because we have seen it 
>  and measured it. But formally, they are explanations that
> make facts coherent, and not facts themselves, so we don't
> call them facts. Of course, some theories cover facts that
> seem contradictory or don't explain every phenomenon, but
> the overthrowing of a theory as established, and as
> consistent with observation, as plate tectonics just isn't
> going to happen. Geology makes no sense without it, just as
> all of biology and medicine are made coherent only by
> evolution. Those theories may get tweaked, but I am willing
> to bet a large sum that they will never be discarded. (I am
> a student of the philosophy of science, so I appreciate the
> change to rant about this confusion a bit!.  It is a
> confusion used as a smokescreen by numbskulls to ignore
> facts that conflict with their religion's stories.)
> > 
> > "Textbooks frequently extol plate tectonics theory
> without questioning what might be wrong with the theory or
> without discussing a competitive theory. How can students be
> taught to challenge popular ideas when they are only
> presented a one-sided view?"
> 
> 
> Nonsense and untrue. We should teach that one plus one
> might make three, just so we give other views? Gimme a
> break. Science is not a democracy where every loony-bird
> gets heard;  "God did it" is not science. Besides, all
> the textbooks I've seen describe the steps we went through
> to arrive at plate tectonics, and the flaws, just as every
> evolution explanation I've seen mentions what it fails to
> account for. The author of that quote is simply lying. Most
> textbooks have been forced to include creationism and other
> idiocy because that particular lobby is so powerful. It is
> the facts that are in danger, not the religious myths.
> 
> Toby
> http://patternliteracy.com
> 
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