Saturday, January 29, 2011

PZ Myers on TVOntario


PZ Myers gave a talk at the Atheist Alliance International meeting in Montreal last October. It was taped for TVOntario's "Big Ideas" show and it will air tomorrow (Sunday, January 30, 2011) at 5:30 pm.

Or, you can watch it right now on the TVO website at PZ Myers on Science and Atheism: Natural Allies. Even better, here's the YouTube version for your immediate viewing pleasure.

WARNING: PZ Myers is one of those Gnu Atheists and some people may find it offensive to have their cherished beliefs questioned.1



1. As Ricky Gervais said recently, "Just because you're offended doesn't mean you are right."

18 comments :

  1. PZ "I look at dead babies and see meat" Meyers? What exactly is his big idea? He really does disservice to science by claiming that evolution cannot be falsified. What a remarkably stupid thing to say. Many, many things can falsify current evolutionary theory.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just checked the TVO schedule, and at least here in Toronto, the show is at 5pm, not 5:30pm

    ReplyDelete
  3. science does not support atheism because you have to define god before you can do that

    the

    great

    weakness

    of

    the

    skeptic

    bandwagon

    is

    the

    way

    they

    say

    god

    is

    nonexistant

    without

    understanding

    that

    non

    existant

    is

    a

    category

    of

    existance !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Likewise, just because you are offensive doesn't mean you're right, either. Nor does questioning "cherished beliefs" (except atheism, of course) make you right.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I checked my listings and the show starts at 5:00 here. So, make sure you check the time in your area so as to not be disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just checked the time and Big Ideas starts at 5:00pm on TVO. I think PZ will be on for the whole hour since his talk is 55 minutes in length.

    ReplyDelete
  7. LM, your name's similarity to "Moron" never occured to me. Which is nicely contrasted by how I immediately spoke of the "Church of Moron" when two "Elders" tried proselytizing me.

    @DK: It is not remarkably stupid. It is an informed argument of quantity (sadly not expressed as such). Ie given the body of phenomena X explained by the Theory E, any significantly smaller body Y of contradictory phenomena will not disprove E (unless there is a superior theory Y explaining X' > X).

    This follows trivially from minimum description length or maximum likelihood estimation. It can also be shown by bayesian model comparison.

    Regarding "I look at dead babies and see meat", that's exactly what he means when he says "truth matters". Dead babies are "meat". Humans are animals. We will all die and then decompose. Using euphemisms won't change reality.

    Finally outside biology PZ is mostly known for his blogging. Envy won't get you anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The lecture is also posted to the video and audio podcast feeds of "Big Ideas" under the title "PZ Myers on Science and Atheism: Natural Allies".

    ReplyDelete
  9. @DK: He didn't say current evolutionary theory, he said evolutionary theory. He said that current evolutionary theory WOULD change, but that evolution itself wouldn't. The same way that general relativity will change, but gravity won't be disproved. What things can falsify it, exactly?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think PZ is saying that evolution is unfalsifiable because it is evolution. But instead, perhaps, since evolution is such a robust science and has so many millions of data points in its favor, one counter argument or discrepancy wouldn't crack the nut. You would have to refute all of the millions of observations in favor of evolution in order to falsify it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. by
    which
    logic
    nothing
    is
    non-existent
    including
    leprechauns

    Wow.
    good
    theory.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I see that many people don't distinguish between a fact of falsification and an acceptance of that fact by majority of scientists.

    ReplyDelete
  13. leprechauns

    are not non-existant
    they exist as stories

    gratuitous insults

    show

    inferior minds !

    gracious is
    open
    to

    being

    wrong !

    ReplyDelete
  14. @DK: How could you miss that we wrote about facts and not opinions?

    I don't get it. We talk quantities, mathematics and logic - and you see an argumentum ad populum? How can a person able to write coherent sentences fail so embarrassingly at basic reading?

    ReplyDelete
  15. god and gods are nonexistent
    they exist in stories

    superior minds
    realize when
    they have already
    been proven wrong

    they also do not
    write in free verse
    when it is not
    necessary

    ReplyDelete
  16. sally i am sad you never read stories to your children

    since these stories are non existant

    this

    drop

    down

    style

    is

    to

    slow

    those

    who

    would

    pass

    over

    it

    without

    taking

    in

    it's

    meaning

    which

    might

    be

    you

    i

    guess !

    ReplyDelete
  17. @DK
    It's easy to say that there's a way to falsify it, but why you don't give an example. So just saying "well... I can't think of any!" is pretty pathetic.
    No new information could erase the robust research that provides evidence for evolution, so essentially the closest we could come to a paradigm shift is a peripheral addition to evolutionary theory. Which, at best, would probably be really tiny. Though there probably won't be any such addition...

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Andrew:
    You seem to be equating the idea of an entity with the entity itself. Leprechauns do not exist; the IDEA of leprechauns does exist, in the form of stories.
    Were I to tell a story about pink snells who produce gold from their noses, that does not effect the existence of snells as more than an idea, and certainly does not effect the amount of gold in the world.

    ReplyDelete