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05 December 2011 @ 11:12 am
To be able to express myself as clearly as this person!  
From http://www.smbc-comics.com/smbcforum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=3603&sid=7022f81e67d7449d2af2ea1c3e4b4254 (Comment by theosib) Emphasis mine.

"Another fallacy is the assumption that someone arguing a particular side of an argument actually firmly believes what they're arguing. Many intelligent people can compartmentalize, hold two contradictory ideas at one time, and argue effectlvely for (or against) an issue they don't (or do) agree with, because they recognize that there are rational things to say in that regard, even if they don't agree (or disagree) upon consideration of ALL of the evidence. I tend to argue against whatever people believe (whatever it is), because I think people should think carefully about whatever it is they believe and should be willing to think about things they find uncomfortable.

One area I am passionate about is science education. Now, I find the creationist and intelligent design arguments very interesting, but they don't belong in the science classroom. Creationism is scientific in the sense that it is easily falsified. Intelligent design is NOT science in the sense that it is impossible to falsify. Evolution is science because it is falsifiable, and every day, we learn about some aspect of the theory that has been falsified and therefore requires adjustment. Recently, I saw a slashdot article that suggested that tool use occurred earlier than we had originally thought, and this requires that we rethink some things. It irks and amuses me that some people decry science because what they were taught in school isn't what we believe now. Yes, we now know that many dinosaurs had feathers! Hey, science moves forward and adapts to new evidence! That's what makes it science. It's about critical thinking and abductive inference. We develop the best explanation we can based on the information we have available, and when that explanation becomes inadequate in light of new evidence, we make a new one! So one might argue that even if "evolution" (which lumps WAY too many things together under one name) is wrong, it's still science, and so it should be taught in science class. There are also lots of TRUE things that are NOT taught in science class, like grammar, which is de facto true because this is simply how we write things. (Unless you're talking Linguistics, which is a science and is descriptive, not prescriptive like what you'd get in an English class.)

In other words, what I guess I'm getting at is that being right or wrong at any instant is less important than having the critical thinking ability necessary to evaluate truth for yourself."

Also, I need to learn how to do the last bit more often. Heh.
 
 
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