Monday, October 15, 2012

Eschaton 2012 Is Coming!

THE WORLD IS PROBABLY NOT ENDING.
NOW STOP WORRYING, AND CELEBRATE REASON!

Come to Ottawa for a weekend gathering of scientists, philosophers, authors, academics, skeptics, rationalists, humanists, atheists, and freethinkers, where you can see presentations and join discussions on science, skepticism, gender issues, theocracy vs secularism, godless ethics, parenting beyond belief. Featured speakers include blogger PZ Myers, author Ophelia Benson, philosopher Chris DiCarlo, science education activist Eugenie Scott, and many others. You can even participate in a live recording of Canada's skeptical podcast, "The Reality Check" (trcpodcast.com).

Saturday evening we present our gala "Night at the Musuem" (held at the Canadian Museum of Nature), which includes a reception, talk by PZ Myers, and late night special events, with exclusive access to the Fossil Gallery and Earth Gallery.

The price of $275 ($225 for CFI members) includes access to the Friday night plenary session, a choice of 2 daytime tracks on Saturday and Sunday, lunches and snacks, plus the Saturday evening gala. (A limited number of volunteer discounts are available - email volunteers@eschaton2012.ca for more information.)

Eschaton 2012
November 30-December 2
Ottawa, Canada
The best event, by far, will be Saturday morning ...

9 AM: Eugenie Scott
10AM: Larry Moran "Science vs IDiots"
11AM: PZ Myers
11:30 AM: Audience Q+A, panel on science education (PZ Myers, Eugenie Scott, Larry Moran)

See you there!


37 comments :

  1. Amazing the 3 stooges all in action, tell me Larry will you be debating Stephens Meyers, William Dembski, David Berlinksi or did you guys screen you pastor Bob?

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    1. I have no idea what the hell you're trying to type. Work on your syntax.

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    2. Stephen Myer is a philosopher, Bill Dembski is a mathematician, philosopher and theologian, and David Berlinksi is a philosopher.

      None of them are experts in biology or evolution. Why should I debate them? I leave that job to philosophers.

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    3. Larry because they know more about evolution than you and pastor Bob who you're setting up. "Science vs IDiots" hahaha. Since your brand of evolution is every bit as religious as ID this is going to be very amusing. Are you going to show people real evidence or will you just call them stupid if they ask you questions your religion does not like?

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    4. I would also add that since Macro evolution is also metaphysical, they might be better to debate with because let's face it macro evolution is pure speculation and based on faith and faith alone.

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    5. Larry because they know more about evolution than you ...

      Sorry, I didn't realize that you were trying to be funny. You should put smileys after statements like that.

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    6. I'm not being funny, I'm still waiting for evidence from any biologist to show that descent with modification over a long time could change any body plan on any animal. I am also waiting for evidence that we somehow have a common ape ancestor. It is all religion just like ID creationists claim that god did it. At least their fairy tale has a mind with a plan in it... Your theory.... "We sure are lucky mud"

      So tell me Larry will there be a pastor for the debate? Who is the poor fool that is going to be roasted?

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    7. Take some responsibility for your own education (if you actually want to learn something, that is; most creationists don't). Start by investigating the HOX genes.

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    8. I am also waiting for evidence that we somehow have a common ape ancestor

      Waiting? Sure, because knowledge will come looking for you. You just sit there. (Ass-hole.)

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    9. I have looked but have found none. There is not 1 piece of irrefutable evidence to even suggest that your great great great granddaddy was some ape. And if you did come from some ape could you trust your mind, as Darwin said so beautifully? There is no evidence for the claim of common ancestry just blind faith like creationists blind faith in god.

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    10. There is no "irrefutable" evidence your great grandfather contributed to your father's genetic makeup either.

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    11. There is no evidence that you're here to have an open minded discussion of this subject. It would certainly be superstitious, if not outright wishful thinking, to start engaging you with that assumption.

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    12. I'm trying so hard to get real proof but where is it, does keeping an open mind that common ancestry is true the same as keep an open mind that god exist? Are these open mindedness the same type?

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    13. There is not 1 piece of irrefutable evidence to even suggest that your great great great granddaddy was some ape

      Well, maybe not your great great great granddaddy. After all, you are a parrot mindlessly repeating some creationist bullshit.

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      There is no evidence that you're here to have an open minded discussion of this subject. It would certainly be superstitious, if not outright wishful thinking, to start engaging you with that assumption.

      Exactly. This parrot thinks that everything there is to evolution will be found in creationist bullshit. Why would we worry that this particular idiot, who surely can't find his/her own ass, thinks that there's no evidence for evolution.

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    14. What is "real proof" to you? What would convince you?

      What I mean is, creationists will usually insist that they need to see something like one species body plan changing into another(Like dinosaur -> bird). But we know these transitions took millions of years, so you'll never get to see that level of transition in a human lifetime, and the entire field of evolutionary biology hasn't existed for more than 150 years.
      So short of that level of direct demonstration within the lifetime of a human being, what would convince you? Is there really no other way to accumulate evidence from multiple fields of study, to provide a convincing case to you?

      We have the fossils (and their chronological order), we have their geographical distribution. Biogeography (the distribution of species, including which species are found on what islands and contintents). And all of this ties in with and is supported by geology. Then there's many observed instances of speciation in wild and laboratory species, ranging from microoganisms to lizards, birds and mammals. There's the nested hierachical pattern (all the peculiarities of which are predictions of evolution) you get with comparative genetics, and the fact that it fits remarkably well with the phylogenies constructed from fossils and comparative anatomy. There's developmental biology and embryology etc. etc.

      But we can't show you a dog turning into a whale, it takes millions of years(this is both implied in the fossil record and supported by our understanding of genetics). In fact, such a demonstration would actually be a falsification of the theory of evoluition as it is commonly understood, so many changes shouldn't be possible in a human lifetime. But with all the other things, you're still insisting there's not enough evidence?

      You say: "I'm still waiting for evidence from any biologist to show that descent with modification over a long time could change any body plan on any animal."

      So we show you the kind of small-scale change we can expect in a human lifetime and we add the rest of the other lines of evidence, and you respond it's not enough? This is akin to insisting you can have steps but never build a staircase. Or that pennies will never add up to a dollar. It's silly.

      I notice you've constructed a nice little strawman in your earlier posts by asking for "irrefutable" proof. Nothing in science is irrefutable, all conclusions are tentative and subject to revision. But evolution is a very well established science now, it would take quite a lot of extremely solid evidence to kill the whole thing.

      So to sum up, can you even be convinced within the constraints of time and resources allowed to us?

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    15. Rumraket you said "But we know these transitions took millions of years"

      1. How do you know this?

      "We have the fossils (and their chronological order), we have their geographical distribution"

      2. Really? Why are real scientists saying this is incomplete? Are they liars?

      "But we can't show you a dog turning into a whale, it takes millions of years(this is both implied in the fossil record and supported by our understanding of genetics):

      3. Let me undestand this when it implies that it was darwinian evolution it is correct? When it implies design it is incorrect? Implying you're an asshole does not make you one now does it?

      "I notice you've constructed a nice little strawman in your earlier posts by asking for "irrefutable" proof. Nothing in science is irrefutable, all conclusions are tentative and subject to revision."

      4. So science can not really prove evolution but it can prove that god does not exist?

      You really are funny!

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    16. First of all I notice you don't actually deal with the core of my post, which is a question about what it would take to convince you within the constraints we operate under. I guess we'll just have to leave that question unanswered for now.

      Regarding your questions.

      Me: But we know the transitions took millions of years.
      You: 1. How do you know this?
      The time over which the transitions take place in the fossil record are in millions of years, and our knowledge of genetics tells us these kinds of large-scale changes would take millions of years.

      Me: We have the fossils (and their chronological order), we have their geographical distribution".
      You: 2. Really? Why are real scientists saying this is incomplete? Are they liars?

      That the fossil record is incomplete is not an argument that it is useless or impossible to derive useful conclusions or sufficiently accurate approximations from it.
      Of course the fossil record is incomplete, good fossilisation is a rare process. There isn't a fossil representative of every species that ever lived, stacked neatly on top of the one that came before it. But the fossil chronologies we have are very good considering how rare the process is.

      Me: But we can't show you a dog turning into a whale, it takes millions of years(this is both implied in the fossil record and supported by our understanding of genetics).
      You: 3. Let me undestand this when it implies that it was darwinian evolution it is correct? When it implies design it is incorrect? Implying you're an asshole does not make you one now does it?

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    17. You misunderstand me here. I'm talking about the time it takes for the fundamental changes to body plans you want to see evidence of. We don't have enough time to show you such a transition with your own eyes because such a transition takes millions of years.
      The fossil record implies this. The timespan in the fossil record where we go through the transition from fish to tetrapods is over 25 million years long. The timespan over which land-mammal fossils gradually get replaced with ever more whale-like fossils in the younger layers are in the 10-12 million year range. Furthermore, the kinds of genetic changes it would require for such a transition would take a very long time to naturally emerge and achieve fixation in populations. The generation times are too long and too few mutations happen pr. generation for us to be able to demonstrate such a transition in a human lifetime.
      So to sum up: The fossils imply it (that these transitions take a long time), and the genetics support what the fossils imply.

      I don't understand your question about design, you'll have to explain yourself there.

      Me: I notice you've constructed a nice little strawman in your earlier posts by asking for "irrefutable" proof. Nothing in science is irrefutable, all conclusions are tentative and subject to revision.
      You: 4. So science can not really prove evolution but it can prove that god does not exist?

      Of course science can prove evolution, but this doesn't mean it cannot be disproved again. That a conclusion is tentative doesn't mean it's unsubstantiated or weak. All it means is that it's subject to revision if better evidence comes about. But as I also said, there has been so much evidence accumulated in support of evolution, it would take quite a lot to falsify the whole thing. Remember, evolution is several things tied together in a grand theory about the history and relatedness of life and the mechanism by which new species emerge from previous ones. It might be that sometime in the future someone comes up with evidence that changes our understanding of the mechanism responsible for the origin of species and replace it with a better one, but this would not in itself falsify common descend, to pick an example.

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    18. Science hasn't proven a god does not exist, but it certainly has made it very unlikely that some specific gods exist. I'm talking about the kind of god that made the entire universe as-is, 6000 years ago. That god most assuredly does not exist. If you believe in some sort of prime mover, deist-like god, or a god that secretly tweaks mutations into place (and in that respect functions as the randomness we observe in nature), that god can't be proven not to exist. Why you'd believe in such a god is still beyond me however, but this is actually a digression and I wonder why you'd keep insisting on bringing god in to this discussion. I thought you were here to talk about evolution and the evidence for it, was I wrong?

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    19. So science can not really prove evolution but it can prove that god does not exist?

      By this statement, Mr. anomymous shows that he knows nothing about science. Just for his information, never in the history has a hypothesis or theory ever been "proved". Proof is a concept in mathematics and symbolic logic, not science.

      In science, there is only evidence that supports a proposal or evidence that falsifies it.

      Thus far, there have been tons of evidence that support common descent and none that falsify it. For instance, isn't it amazing that, of all the mammals, virtually the only ones that have a broken vitamin C gene are the great apes and humans. If humans and apes didn't evolve from a common ancestor, how come they all have a broken vitamin C gene, which requires them to ingest some 50mg of the vitamin every day. The best explanation is that the gene was disabled in the common ancestor of the apes and humans and was inherited by them. If Mr. anomymous has a better explanation, let's hear it.

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    20. ... of all the mammals, virtually the only ones that have a broken vitamin C gene are the great apes and humans.

      It's even better than that. The pseudogene is found in all simians (humans, apes and monkeys) and tarsiers (but not in lemuriforms), and so it demonstrates the common descent of a still larger group of primates, thought to be closely related also on other grounds.

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  2. @Anonymous: Who cares what you found or didn't find? Your ignorance is your own personal problem. It's painfully obvious that you wouldn't recognise a logical argument if it kicked your arse out of the door. To paraphrase Huxley, I'd rather be related to an ape than to a creationist troll.

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    1. Name calling people is logical and wins an argument? Is that how you reason? Why don't you rather do some research to see for yourself how flawed your belief system is. You make creationists look smart.

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    2. Name calling people is logical and wins an argument?

      No, with your "ape granddaddy" drivel you have already removed yourself from the set of people I would like to discuss anything with. You are a troll, not a discussant.

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    3. Yeah, "some research," consisting on reading creationist propaganda. Because, you know, well-informed scientists who actually do experiments and analyze data are nothing compared to the masterminds of creationism. Masterminds whose research consists on quoting/misquoting from cherry picked literature. The least scientific the better. If scientific, don't look at the data. Abstracts should do. Hey, careful! Not the complete abstract, only the parts where it looks as if the creationists are right. But better go quote-mine from much older books. Recent literature might be too available and the scientists might catch creationists too soon in their lies.

      I do not know about Piotr, but I have no interest in winning arguments against cockroaches like you. You have nothing but that idiotic disdain coming out of your miserable brain addled by indoctrination to the point that you think that you have understood it all. That you think you can come and impress those "ignorant scientists" with your wisdom and deep philosophy.

      Describing you for the crap that you are is much more productive than wasting arguments that you will be happy to ignore. We know that you do not care. We know that you have no intention to learn anything. Now go lick some more crap out of your creationist masters' asses. That should keep you happy.

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    4. Name calling people is logical and wins an argument? Is that how you reason?

      Yeah, we don't want to be like the imbecile whose very first comment started with this:

      Amazing the 3 stooges all in action

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    5. That is interesting Negative Entropy considering that you make yourself guilty of that all the time, name calling people..... Interesting!

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    6. Interesting that you would not know a sarcasm when you see one (nice try though). I have no problem insulting people like the anonymous at the top (probably yourself), who would start a conversation with an insult to then show dismaying ignorance with pride, then would complain about being insulted.

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  3. "See you there!"

    http://canadianatheist.com/2012/10/16/larry-moran-at-eschaton-2012/

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    1. This link just proves evolution is the get out of jail card for atheists its not science is a little fairy tale so people can feel better about their lot one day.....

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    2. Explain to me how that "proof" works. In what way does it follow logically and necessarily from what it says in that link, that evolution is "the get out of jail card for atheists". In what way does it follow logically and necessarily that evolution is "not science is a little fairy tale so people can feel better about their lot one day".

      Give me your logical proof. Construct me the syllogism and derive me that conclusion from it's premises. I can't wait to see it.

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    3. Anonymous

      Is your comment above at 11:28 AM a reply to my post? Get out of jail card? Give me a break! Why don't you buy a ticket, come to the conference and out yourself?

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  4. Why would I want to go to a conference where the speakers are going to spend more time berating and belittling others instead of speaking about the strength of their own theories? Mark my words it will all be about how wrong ID is how stupid creationists are and nothing will be spoken about how Darwinian evolution or even any other type is even possible.

    Will the revival of Lamarck's theory be discussed? Will there be a discussion about the problems with scientific fraud? What about the recent finds that 500 million year old fossils have not even changed compared to their living relatives? How about the new hypothesis that brains have become simpler and not more complex?

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    1. The event is not about biological science, it's about reason. There happens to be plenty of conferences on biology (or whatever) where your subjects are discussed, experts in the relevant fields go to those conferences and discuss the subjects. They're not for laymen.

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    2. "Why would I want to go to a conference where the speakers are going to spend more time berating and belittling others instead of speaking about the strength of their own theories?"

      Anonymous, let's hear you speak about the strength of your "theories" regarding the history and diversity of life.

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  5. Let the record show that I challenged Mr. anomymous to tell us his theory as to why the vitamin C gene is broken in apes and humans but not in virtually any other mammals. So far, a great silence. Crickets chirping, chirping, chirping.

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  6. I don't know why Mr/Ms Anonymous might want to go, but for me, (besides the attraction of the 2nd Track 1 talk on Saturday) I want to see more amazing speakers, and engage those around me in conversations on science, skepticism, philosophy, reason, critical thought, etc. (Not to mention getting private access to the fossil and geology galleries at the museum.)

    And of course, getting to eat Beaver Tails with Larry (http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2012/09/eschaton-2012-is-nigh.html). Though I live in Ottawa, the only time I ever get to eat Beaver Tails is when visitors come (I'll pass on the poutine, though).


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