Sunday, June 24, 2018

CH 212-3001--University of Nevada, Reno//Summer 2018--RUMINATION 007--EVOLUTION & 5 QUESTIONS

CH 212-3001
University of Nevada, Reno
Prof A Thibault
Summer 2018  25 June 18
James C Langelle

Rumination 007:  Evolution

What do you think the role of scientific controversy is?
The question is not whether there is a role for controversy in science, but can it be constructively presented in the academic community. That is, without obstruction from the US Constitution or the Supreme Court as in the case of intelligent design.

Darwin's theories, perhaps more than any other in the past two centuries, have evoked strong camps in the US-- where is the line between debate of new ideas and ethical/moral repercussions and the type of entrenchment that Darwinian theory has seen?  
Intelligent design (ID) has been challenged in court due primarily to its failure to offer any scientific proof of its validity. If credibility of a theory in science is based on observation and experimentation, then other claims, such as the origin of man, need to be addressed using the same parameters.

How does scientific discovery then intersect with issues of freedom of speech or religion?
If the discovery becomes a paradigm that would infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, then it needs to be challenged in a court of law; not just by bloggers on the internet or ignorant twitter trolls who have no desire to separate facts from fiction.

To that extent, is this knowledge "necessary" or could it be black-boxed to reduce controversy?
Do not take anything for granted without thorough understanding of the motives and the facts behind a controversy.

Furthermore, how does scientific "fact" shape or create worldview?
More so, the lack of scientific fact can greatly impede progress. This has been seen time and again in recurring epidemics such as ebola in Africa where, following an outbreak, certain procedures are followed, only to be ignored once the epidemic subsides.

From an anthropological perspective, this is just one worldview of a particular culture- a scientific culture. Anthropology would then argue for relativism. Do you think that the belief in scientific fact is relative?
Reduction of natural phenomena to an ethnocentric bias leads to confrontation when a crisis emerges, especially in underdeveloped countries where disease and epidemic occur. Anthropologists might prefer to see the witch doctor come up with a life saving elixir but the World Health Organization has other ideas. Often times, the WHO doctors and nurses are put at risk due to the very bias of the locals in an environment associated with anthropology.

Or, do you think that its enforcement is a type of scientific imperialism?
The reason there are such laws such as quarantine of an epidemic outbreak is to prevent it from spreading. There are always any number of so-called community groups that, for personal, religious or political motives, use means at their disposal to criticize what may be for the benefit of all.

Five Questions:

What evidence best supports evolution (Ex: geological, paleontological, anthropological)?

Is the geologic-fossil record adequate to explain gaps in evolution that have been placed into the “missing link” file?

Which geologic theory best supports evolution, young-earth or old-earth?

Is there any evidence in earth science to support spontaneous generation of a species?

How do you account for prehistoric remains of man appearing in various remote locations around the globe?