Fun talk:Disproving creationism

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This article has been created in the (probably vain) hope that creationists will contribute.--Bob_M (talk) 05:12, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

Even more silence here than on the ID one.--Bob_M (talk) 10:17, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
What if God came down from the sky and told everyone that evolution was true. Would that be enough to disprove creationism to creationists? Or would they say God is lying to test them? ThunderkatzHo! 10:22, 21 July 2007 (CDT)
Interestingly enough, after a long debate with a creationist about whether Creationism is science, that was the only thing he could come up with as something that would disprove creationism. He said he would believe it was false if God told him. I kid you not.--Bob_M (talk) 10:26, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

What if you die and become one with the Tao? Would that disprove creationism? GrandSoviet 20:33, 6 August 2007 (CDT)

The short answer is, "No". Would it disprove something for you? Possibly, but as as being who was " at one with the Tao" you might not be sufficiently self aware to know (or perhaps to care). Would it disprove something scientifically? Not really. Science demands that scientific experiments be repeatable under controlled conditions. If you were able to die repeatedly and then write a paper on your experiences, and if others could then duplicate your experiment then OK - but it's not really possible. Finally (and perhaps most importantly) even if you did all this - what would you have disproved? You still wouldn't really have disproved creationism - although you would thrown doubt on the Christian vision of heaven and hell. I say "thrown doubt on" because the fact that you (or your collaborators) didn't go to either of these places doesn't prove that - for example - devout Christians went there.--Bob_M (talk) 04:04, 7 August 2007 (CDT)


Article Name[edit]

One reason, other than the obvious one, why no creationist is contributing to this article is that the title actually challenges non-creationists. I suggest the title be changed to Falsifying Creationism which puts the ball in the court to which it belongs--those who support the idea to be falsified.--Remarcsd 18:07, 30 August 2007 (CDT)

I agree in general (and with your comment at another "disproving" article). Don't think that's quite the right title, though. Maybe "How xyz could be falsified"? And a similar intro paragraph to all of them, explaining why it matters? humanbe in 20:18, 30 August 2007 (CDT)
Yes, perhaps a more meaningful title would be better. "Arguments proving Creationism to be science."?--Bob_M (talk) 01:42, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
I think you're getting close with that. Keep thinking of it in terms of all the "disproving" articles. We need a brilliant golden phrase, and it might take us a few days to get there. But, as I said, I think you are close. humanbe in 03:21, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
Mmmm. "How to prove x is science." - "Showing x is science" - - "How could we show x is science." Any more ideas?--Bob_M (talk) 04:19, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
"The scientific basis for X"? Again, with an intro emphasizing falsifiability; but can also include the other main tenets (predictions/predictive power, etc.). humanbe in 14:03, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
Could be. Be nice to get some more input. In any event I agree that we should have the common intro you mention on all the articles. There's the homeopathy one as well isn't there? List of Scientifically Controlled Double Blind Studies which have Conclusively Demonstrated the Efficacy of Homeopathy Probably the ugliest title I've ever written. Need to sweep that into the same basket.--Bob_M (talk) 14:08, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
"Demonstrating X is science/scientific"? humanbe in 14:11, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
Yes, that's good. Probably the shorter the better. I played with both "demonstrate" and "prove" in a thesaurus but couldn't find a better word than "demonstrate". Do we want to ask for other opinions? I know palm had some thoughts on the homeopathy one and edited one of the "disproving" ones.--Bob_M (talk) 15:44, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
There's no hurry, so involving a few more people could only be A Good Thing. It will be quite a bit of work changing the names and all the links, so we might as well come up with a really good formulation. Can you leave a note on PalMD's talk page asking him to come read this, and I'll go hassle trent (tmtoulouse) likewise. Anyone else we should make sure to involve? humanbe in 16:39, 31 August 2007 (CDT)
I've left notes on Susan's, Palm's and Tim's pages as they've all had some input in the past. Let's see if they have any ideas.--Bob_M (talk) 05:44, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

I have no strong feelings about this, though unifying the titles would be good. The point seems to be about theory structure and how it fits into a Popperian idea of science vs. metaphysics vs. pseudoscience. So what we are looking for is anything that my distinguish "x" from pseudoscience. Poppers word for it was demarcation so some ideas might be: Demarcating "x" from pseudoscience, Distinguishing "x" from pseudoscience, or something along those lines. tmtoulouse heckle 18:15, 31 August 2007 (CDT)

This structure would obviously work for "Distinguishing Evolution from Pseudoscience.", but I'm not sure about "Distinguishing Homeopathy from Pseudoscience" for example .--Bob_M (talk) 05:16, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
I thought the whole point was to list the evidence that demarcates an idea from psuedoscience, we can do that for evolution...but there is nothing for creationism or homeopathy, hence the crickets. tmtoulouse heckle 13:49, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
I agree. But what "we're" after is a common naming convention which does what you say, but which works for both science and psuedoscience. The real science would have - well - real science, but the psuedoscience would have crickets. Or am I having problems expressing myself? Must the the red wine again. --Bob_M (talk) 14:15, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
I think demarcation/distinguishing works for both..with real science an article that lists what distinguishes it from pseudoscience will have actual information and points. Creationism and homeopathy articles will not have any. tmtoulouse heckle 15:48, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
Hmm, interesting...Let's see, we could have either separate articles, or separate sections in main articles with a "is it science?"--PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 15:51, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

I kind of like the idea of maybe unifying all of these into a single article instead of having a dozen separate articles. tmtoulouse heckle 15:54, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

Or how about consistent sections in their articles? I do like "Distinguishing X from pseudoscience", and I also agree that we don't need the 30-40 articles we would end up with. So, sections in articles or one master "distinguishing science from pseudoscience" (or suchlike) article with links to it? humanbe in 16:03, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
I think it would be more dramatic to have a single master article that would list the various theories and invite evidence, and then of course there really isn't any... tmtoulouse heckle 16:08, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
If we do have a section in the articles, or even a master article, we should use a unifying template or at least outline, for instance "falsifiablity", "level of evidence", etc.--PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 16:09, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
OK, I like the idea of a master template. Something which gives us a consistent way to describe why something is science or pseudoscience. (Who knows we might even challenge ourselves.) But I'm not so convinced that we could put the whole challenge thing in one master article - though having one might be a good idea. Someone who believes in, say, crop circles, might not want to read through a few paragraphs on creationism with they have no interest in. Would there be some way of automatically adding a challenge article subpage (or template) to every pseudoscience article we already have?--Bob_M (talk) 05:19, 2 September 2007 (CDT)
I think we need to brainstorm the idea of bullet points for separating science from "other"; for instance, Popperian falsifiablity, evidence, motivations, etc. We might also want a similar template for conspiracy theory vs legit theory.--PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 08:37, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

New Cat[edit]

How about a new cat: Pros & Cons? & then inividual articles e.g.: Homeopathy, pros & cons? Susan Jayne Garlicktalk 05:10, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

Well, yes. But it moves away from the original concept a bit. What we (I think) are looking for are articles which say "This is what science is - show me that your weird belief fits the definition of Science". And somehow we want to get that into a short punchy title that people will look at. I'm not sure that editing categories will get that result. On the other hand I may have missed your point.  :-( --Bob_M (talk) 05:20, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
It's intended to be non-confrontational - don't frighten the horses. Any title that assumes the negativity of the subject is unlikely to attract its apologists. "Pros & cons" is NPOV & won't obviously put off supporters. Some of the suggestions above presuppose, by their title, that the subject is wrong. Susan Jayne Garlicktalk 05:40, 1 September 2007 (CDT)
The title here is a challenge, so it's not a pro/con article...it's an invitation for people to list possible ways to make creationism disprovable in the philosophical sense. --PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 15:45, 1 September 2007 (CDT)

Where we are now[edit]

I think this is here we are now following the suggestion that our challenge articles titles could be better worded. We seem to have two routes: New titles or Inclusion.

Suggestions A) These are the suggestions for possible new titles for the individual challenge articles. The initial idea was that “X” could be either science (eg evolution) or pseudoscience (eg .Intelligent Design) so whatever title we chose could work equally for both.

(I think that we can take it as read that each would have a similar intro paragraph explaining what the scientific method is.)

  • Falsifying X
  • How X could be falsified
  • Arguments proving X to be science.
  • How to prove X is science.
  • Showing X is science
  • How could we show X is science
  • The scientific basis for X
  • Demonstrating X is science/scientific
  • Demarcating X from pseudoscience
  • Distinguishing X from pseudoscience


Suggestions B) However, the discussion later moved on to more general questions. The implication of this part of the discussion is (I think) that we would eliminate separate challenge articles entirely and merge the challenge into the body of each individual pseudoscience - or science - article. The non-exclusive suggestions are: (If I have missed, or misrepresented, any please feel free to add or amend)

  • What about consistent sections in each pseudoscience articles?
  • One master article "distinguishing science from pseudoscience" (or suchlike) with links from the pseudoscience articles to it.
  • A single master article that would list the various theories and invite evidence – and show that there wasn’t.
  • Insert a unifying template in both the science and pseudoscience articles with some kind of check list, or series of bullet points showing why it is, or is not, science.
  • (Carry out the same exercise in respect of conspiracy theory vs legit theory.)


The question then is[edit]

Do we want to go with the renaming proposal, A, and of so what titles do we prefer?

Or

Do we want to go with merging proposal, B, and if so which elements do we prefer? --Bobbing up and down 03:34, 3 September 2007 (CDT)

I vote for merging, since the "disproving" files were basically a response to a troll. A simple consistent format could be at the bottom of any appropriate article like this:

==Is X scientific or not?==

===What makes something science===

boilerplate paragraph explaining points

===point one===

blah blah text

===point two===

crickets

===point three===

more crickets

The "points" would be things like refutability, predictive power, accordance with evidence, etc. This coould be readily copied from article to article (and maybe partly a template for the boilerplate), creating a consistent look and feel. By templating the boilerplate, it could easily be improved across the board. humanbe in 19:24, 3 September 2007 (CDT)
Hi Human. OK. Though it looks like we may have a consensus of two on this then. :-) I do feel that we should also have an explicit challenge in there somewhere though - "If you think this fits the definition of science tell us why on the talk page" or something of that nature. I've added some items to the pseudoscience article though it's still a list of points more than anything else. Still - makes it easier to read. could you have a look? Do you think they are valid? Which are the most important? Which should we include?--Bobbing up and down 11:28, 4 September 2007 (CDT)

Apologies for not responding after opening this can of worms, I forgot that I had actually done so. I actually prefer the idea of the stand alone challenge article, as it highlights the emptiness of the case. If the challenge is on a page that already has a lot of explanatory text on it, then the lack of response to the challenge is not as noticeable. If someone does respond to the challenge, then any points they make can be mirrored on the main article and refuted there. And just to complete my 2c worth, a title suggestion is Challenge: Reasons why X is science/scientific.--Remarcsd 17:54, 4 September 2007 (CDT)

The thing is I agree with you - at least in respect of the ones we have. They're such a clear challenge - if we can word them better. Equally though, I do like the idea of a single box saying not only "This is pseudoscience" but with a common format box saying explicitly why it is pseudoscience in this case. One of the arguments against the challenge articles was that we would need a lot of them, and it's true it might be unwieldy. But the ones we have now include the three classics - ID, creationism and homeopathy and perhaps we could make a special case for them. It would be nice to get a few more opinions (he said plaintively)--Bobbing up and down 14:39, 5 September 2007 (CDT)
I agree with a "mixed" approach. A few articles explicitly for crickets on the most visible PS topics, most other PS articles pretty much demolish their science-hood without lifting a finger. As far as some giant format template, it probably isn't that important, although a good article about what makes things science should probably be linked from the PS template we use as an article header. Thus making the only work required a good renaming of a few articles, altering links, and deleting the redirects. Another title idea: "Why X is scientific". Invites the credulous, but contains only crickets, and a link to the what makes something science article. humanbe in 15:32, 5 September 2007 (CDT)

Teilhard de Chardin[edit]

Teilhard de Chardin - a Jesuit scientist - suggested that if God created the World/Universe in 6 days, He would nonetheless have provided it with a ready-made history, complete with fossils, strata etc. This is of course unfalsifiable, but also poses the question "If God has created so much evidence for evolution and an old Earth, why would he seek to deceive us ?" Given that He has sought to deceive us, is it not presumptious of the Creationists to claim to have seen through it ?

Dreadnought 05:18, 16 December 2007 (EST)

The question to ask[edit]

'Do you agree that God creating a world with sufficient detail for the more self-aware/intelligent inhabitants to create a backstory in which God is not actually necessary is "slightly odd" - as is punishing people who then fall for the same alternative view #because there is no clear evidence that Goddidit#?' Anna Livia (talk) 09:05, 17 September 2017 (UTC)