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Why Mainstream Science is a Religion

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posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 03:53 PM
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Barcs – “It CAN be supported that factual knowledge is superior to other kinds of knowledge. It's very simple. Take a piece of modern technology that has been researched and developed via the scientific method. You will notice it was designed to have a specific purpose and unless there were errors in manufacturing or defects in the material, it does its job.”

Your claim that “factual knowledge is superior to other kinds of knowledge” is a normative claim. Supporting such a claim by reference to facts alone is fallacious (that means it doesn’t work). [www.logicalfallacies.info...]

Also, you’re conflating utility with superiority. Noting the usefulness of something for achieving an end (a matter of fact) is quite different from noting its superiority over other things (a value judgment). For example, it could be argued that the penalty of decapitation is useful in deterring drivers from breaking the speed limit (it might even be more useful for this end than other penalties…). But it would not follow from this usefulness alone that decapitation is a *better* means of deterrence than other penalties.

Barcs – “To suggest that there is a better method than science for learning things (or that we may find it in the future) is downright silly. Nothing else has gotten us anywhere near where we are today with helpful inventions and medical science that has a direct noticeable benefit in our lives.”

Nowhere have I claimed that “there is a better method than science for learning things.” Aside from attributing to me claims I have not made (then using those claims as the basis for hurling insults), you appear to be arguing as follows:

1. technology is beneficial
2. technology is only made available by science
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3. therefore, science is the best method for learning

Surely 1 is a bit precarious. If the beneficial results of technology are a reliable indicator of the superiority of the science which makes it possible, wouldn’t the harmful results of technology indicate the inferiority of science? If you are inclined to respond to this by claiming that technology is neutral and can be used for good or bad purposes, then you’d be conceding that technology is not good in itself (that is, it doesn’t automatically indicate the superiority of that which makes it possible).

Moreover, there are other things that are beneficial besides technology, many of which have little or nothing to do with technology and do not depend on science (the nurturing of children, for example, or the skill of reasoning well, or the practice of tactfulness by not calling people silly). What of the means by which we learn these other beneficial things?

Barcs – “So you place no value at all on technology and scientific knowledge that has been improving our lives for hundreds of years? People are talking about value in terms of morality. That doesn't mean science has no value in society. Its value has been proven and demonstrated empirically, hence the fact you are typing your responses on a product of science and it works! Knowledge itself is inherently good and this is proven by the fact that our lives are something like 30%-40% longer than they used to be and our population has tripled in the past hundred years alone.”

Again, nowhere have I made any claims about the value (or lack thereof) of technology.
To say that the value of science “has been proven and demonstrated empirically” is an oxymoron.
Aside from the fallacy mentioned above, empirical evidence is suitable for drawing conclusions inductively. “Proof” requires a deductive (valid) inference.

[While it’s a bit off topic, I have to ask – do you think it is a good thing that the human population has tripled in the last 100 years?]

Greggers – “Science is the ONLY reliable way to study the nature of the PHYSICAL world.”

If this were true, one would be hard pressed to explain how humans survived on this planet for such a long time (prior to the age of science) with NO reliable way to learn about the world. Were we just extraordinarily lucky for tens of thousands of years? Or did we acquire reliable knowledge in a non-scientific way?

Lastly, you [Greggers] are mistaken in characterizing science and philosophy as distinct disciplines.
The study and assessment of inferences, arguments and, more generally, reasoning is situated altogether in the domain of philosophy. Insofar as science must make use of the rational capacity to draw conclusions from available evidence, the scientist must be informed by the philosopher. Like you, however, I make this claim carefully so as not to suggest that one is superior to the other.

This thread has indeed worn itself quite thin. Nice chatting with you!
BOP




posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 07:13 PM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey


If this were true, one would be hard pressed to explain how humans survived on this planet for such a long time (prior to the age of science) with NO reliable way to learn about the world. Were we just extraordinarily lucky for tens of thousands of years? Or did we acquire reliable knowledge in a non-scientific way?

Are you under the impression that man did not learn via science prior to the scientific revolution? Cave men learned about the world in large part through observation. Observation is the way scientific facts are gathered. If a cave man watched his brother eat a particular kind of mushroom and die, he made a mental note: DON'T EAT THAT MUSHROOM. Even if you don't want to call it science (I obviously think the term is fair), you have to admit it's NOT philosophy.

Although it wasn't formalized and didn't have a strict framework, and certainly no modern way to communicate observations to others.

Of course, prior to the scientific revolution, it was not CLEAR to man that the only reliable way to learn about the physical world was via direct observation, so cave men were also likely to mix in superstition, spirituality, and all manner of magical thinking into their understanding of things which rightly could not be understood with these crude tools. As a result, we ended up with man sacrificing virgins to the volcano god, and the virgins volunteering to go.



Lastly, you are mistaken in characterizing science and philosophy as distinct disciplines.
The study and assessment of inferences, arguments and, more generally, reasoning is situated altogether in the domain of philosophy.

I do not believe I am mistaken. What I am saying is a bit like saying the spaghetti sauce is different than spaghetti noodles (which is true) even though we're both looking at a plate where the things are blended together.

My point is not that the scientist and the philosopher don't depend upon one another (they do), but that each tool has a domain where it becomes the primary vehicle for learning. If I want to know how electricity works, science clearly reigns supreme over philosophy. If I want to consider who in a given society deserves to have electricity, philosophy is the primary driver. To know what is worth investigating, the scientist turns to philosophy. To know how to apply science, the scientists turns to philosophy. To know more about a physical entity before making a value judgment, the philosopher turns to science.

Just because they have their fingerprints all over each other doesn't mean they aren't distinctly different. In fact, given that science and philosophy are the two main types of human knowledge, it is INEVITABLE that they will come into contact with each other all the time, as a matter of course. Learning when to switch gears between them is paramount.
edit on 12-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 07:18 PM
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originally posted by: birdxofxprey

This is more than irony, I think, it is duplicity. Science, which cannot ground normative claims, is nonetheless dependent on such non-empirical unscientific claims for its legitimation. At the same time, the main observation about religion (used by some to show that science is superior) is religion’s ultimate dependence on non-empirical unscientific claims.



Refrigeration. Motorized transportation.Telecommunications. Soap. Penicillin and antibiotics. Beer. Architecture. These are a few (out of many) things all developed using science. These are things most of us enjoy on a daily basis. There is no way to scientifically prove that we are better off as a species for all these advancements, but they all work. They perform as advertised. Does that make science superior to religion? You can say no, but take a good look at the toy you are using to communicate on these forums and think about how much it would mean to lose electricity and gas and running water. None of that is a claim. People are living longer, traveling further with greater impunity and communicating more effortlessly than ever before. None of that is a claim. It's statistics. Are we better people? Perhaps not, but science has nothing to do with that and religion can't stop it. Religion has no power that its followers do not give it, and if they didn't use that power before, they won't use it after. It just gives them a more socially acceptable excuse and a therapy group to share it with. Please understand I'm talking about religion and not spirituality. Proponents of creationism and particularly judaism want to challenge the scientific method continually but never have a good reason to do so, just poor sportsmanship. This is a retaliation thread, a virtual middle finger, because intelligent design proponents keep bringing poor arguments to the table. And then you have others sneaking science buffet dishes into the creationist potluck to balance out the scraps. Don't start a debate you can't win if you are going to get mad about losing. It's pretty simple.

edit on 12-6-2016 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 04:44 AM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: birdxofxprey

This is more than irony, I think, it is duplicity. Science, which cannot ground normative claims, is nonetheless dependent on such non-empirical unscientific claims for its legitimation. At the same time, the main observation about religion (used by some to show that science is superior) is religion’s ultimate dependence on non-empirical unscientific claims.



Refrigeration. Motorized transportation.Telecommunications. Soap. Penicillin and antibiotics. Beer. Architecture. These are a few (out of many) things all developed using science. These are things most of us enjoy on a daily basis. There is no way to scientifically prove that we are better off as a species for all these advancements, but they all work. They perform as advertised. Does that make science superior to religion? You can say no, but take a good look at the toy you are using to communicate on these forums and think about how much it would mean to lose electricity and gas and running water. None of that is a claim. People are living longer, traveling further with greater impunity and communicating more effortlessly than ever before. None of that is a claim. It's statistics.


Science causes climate change.



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 08:44 AM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: birdxofxprey

This is more than irony, I think, it is duplicity. Science, which cannot ground normative claims, is nonetheless dependent on such non-empirical unscientific claims for its legitimation. At the same time, the main observation about religion (used by some to show that science is superior) is religion’s ultimate dependence on non-empirical unscientific claims.



Refrigeration. Motorized transportation.Telecommunications. Soap. Penicillin and antibiotics. Beer. Architecture. These are a few (out of many) things all developed using science. These are things most of us enjoy on a daily basis. There is no way to scientifically prove that we are better off as a species for all these advancements, but they all work. They perform as advertised. Does that make science superior to religion? You can say no, but take a good look at the toy you are using to communicate on these forums and think about how much it would mean to lose electricity and gas and running water. None of that is a claim. People are living longer, traveling further with greater impunity and communicating more effortlessly than ever before. None of that is a claim. It's statistics.


Science causes climate change.


Eh... we cause climate change by being irresponsible with our toys. Science just helps explain how it works and what will happen if we don't take accountability.
edit on 13-6-2016 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: birdxofxprey

Your cited fallacy is not even close to what I argued. The scientific method proves itself to work time and time and time again. End of story.


Noting the usefulness of something for achieving an end (a matter of fact) is quite different from noting its superiority over other things (a value judgment). For example, it could be argued that the penalty of decapitation is useful in deterring drivers from breaking the speed limit (it might even be more useful for this end than other penalties…). But it would not follow from this usefulness alone that decapitation is a *better* means of deterrence than other penalties.


The huge glaring problem here is that value judgments are often relative, so you can't compare them to scientific discoveries. It's apples to oranges. Your example is not even scientific, plus it's completely off the mark. I did not argue that the scientific method is the best method because it's useful. It's the best method for gaining knowledge (NOT regulating morality) because it works.

And what are we even comparing it to when saying it's the best method? Are there other methods? The argument is about science requiring faith not superior methods.

My argument is simple.

The scientific method works, therefor there is no need for faith.

Technology and huge improvements in medicine are both evidence that the method works. It's not about beneficial, useful, superior, or whatever other relative term you want to use. It works and people see it working on a daily basis.



edit on 6 13 16 by Barcs because: (no reason given)

edit on 6 13 16 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 09:19 PM
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originally posted by: Barcs
a reply to: birdxofxprey

Your cited fallacy is not even close to what I argued. The scientific method proves itself to work time and time and time again. End of story.



Ehh.. I had a Penn professor once tell me that a majority of research is just flat out wrong - in the sense that they misconstrue their conclusions or the experiment was corrupt with unseen variables or bias; also a lot of meaningless correlations.

The scientific method is far from perfect, and tends to "prove" things in a bipolar manner:

Everything we eat causes and cures cancer

Of course science has revealed marvelous inventions, but that's erroneous to the fact that the theoretical dogma is not allowed to be questioned by anyone in the field without a termination of their membership from the scientism club (TM).



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 09:39 PM
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originally posted by: cooperton
the theoretical dogma is not allowed to be questioned by anyone in the field without a termination of their membership from the scientism club (TM).


That's not true at all. Scientific theories (which is what I presume you mean by dogma) are intended to be questioned. In fact, all legitimate scientific theories must be falsifiable.

I think perhaps you're confusing "club membership" with the required rigors of the scientific process. For example, the more highly supported a given theory is by facts, the more facts any counter theory would have to explain, which of course increases the burden of proof. For example, a theory counter to evolution would have to explain hundreds of thousands of documented observations at least as well as the current model before it could be taken seriously. In addition, any counter theory would need to be falsifiable, or it doesn't even qualify as science.

Any scientist who can't figure out the framework of his own discipline probably should do something else for a living.

Perhaps he could be a philosopher.


edit on 13-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: birdxofxprey

This is more than irony, I think, it is duplicity. Science, which cannot ground normative claims, is nonetheless dependent on such non-empirical unscientific claims for its legitimation. At the same time, the main observation about religion (used by some to show that science is superior) is religion’s ultimate dependence on non-empirical unscientific claims.



Refrigeration. Motorized transportation.Telecommunications. Soap. Penicillin and antibiotics. Beer. Architecture. These are a few (out of many) things all developed using science. These are things most of us enjoy on a daily basis. There is no way to scientifically prove that we are better off as a species for all these advancements, but they all work. They perform as advertised. Does that make science superior to religion? You can say no, but take a good look at the toy you are using to communicate on these forums and think about how much it would mean to lose electricity and gas and running water. None of that is a claim. People are living longer, traveling further with greater impunity and communicating more effortlessly than ever before. None of that is a claim. It's statistics.


Science causes climate change.


Eh... we cause climate change by being irresponsible with our toys. Science just helps explain how it works and what will happen if we don't take accountability.


The people who invented the internal combustion engine weren't morons. They were scientists. They were scientists in a truer sense of the word than most of our modern day "scientists" who don't have the balls to disagree with consensus for fear they might be blacklisted.



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 10:08 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

The people who invented the internal combustion engine weren't morons. They were scientists.


True. Plus, they didn't cause global warming. Their invention clearly helped enable it, but anthropomorphic global warming is the result of population growth, modern farming practices, urban sprawl, short-sighted energy policies, gluttonous consumerism, and a hundred other things.
edit on 13-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

The people who invented the internal combustion engine weren't morons. They were scientists.


True. Plus, they didn't cause global warming.


If global warming is happening and humans are responsible (and I'm not here to argue whether it is or isn't and I don't really care what happens to this planet anyway) then the internal combustion engine was THE invention that started it all. There would be no one more responsible for what has happened in the time since than the people who were responsible for that single invention.

And if you would like to get onto more steady ground, take the atomic bomb, for instance. Clearly, this invention was pure science and the people who invented it cannot be said to be anything other than scientists. And the most damning part of the whole thing is THEY KNEW PRECISELY WHAT THEY WERE BUILDING! They knew exactly what it was and what it meant and what it would mean to the future. And they did it anyway because scientists believe in playing god.



posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 11:44 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

The people who invented the internal combustion engine weren't morons. They were scientists.


True. Plus, they didn't cause global warming.


If global warming is happening and humans are responsible (and I'm not here to argue whether it is or isn't and I don't really care what happens to this planet anyway) then the internal combustion engine was THE invention that started it all. There would be no one more responsible for what has happened in the time since than the people who were responsible for that single invention.

And if you would like to get onto more steady ground, take the atomic bomb, for instance. Clearly, this invention was pure science and the people who invented it cannot be said to be anything other than scientists. And the most damning part of the whole thing is THEY KNEW PRECISELY WHAT THEY WERE BUILDING! They knew exactly what it was and what it meant and what it would mean to the future. And they did it anyway because scientists believe in playing god.


Since I've already explained the difference between philosophy and science many times over, I'll restrict this post to a simple delineation of the two in the scenario of the atomic bomb.

Science determined how to split the atom.
Science calculated the amount of destructive force.
Science determined the materials necessary, and in what amounts.
Philosophy made the decision the build the bomb.
Philosophy made the decision to fund the research.
Philosophy made the decision to pay the scientists.
Philosophy made the decision to drop the bomb.

Philosophy and science do nothing on their own, of course. They are merely types of knowledge in the minds of men. And it was men responsible for all of the above, as it always is. What the scientists themselves did isn't nearly as interesting to me as the type of knowledge (philosophical vs. scientific) they were wielding at each pivotal juncture.

The bomb is an interesting case from that perspective, as the viewpoints of the scientists have been documented extensively, as well as their petitioning of the military complex to NOT drop what they had created. But that topic really deserves its own thread if it's to be treated fairly. There's a lot to parse there, and I have absolutely no desire either to defend or condemn them.

Science didn't cause global warming. Science didn't drop the bomb.

As has been pointed out multiple times by others in this thread, science is merely a tool for understanding the physical world, a framework for recording material observations and explaining what causes them.
edit on 14-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 12:01 AM
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originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: Greggers

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

The people who invented the internal combustion engine weren't morons. They were scientists.


True. Plus, they didn't cause global warming.


If global warming is happening and humans are responsible (and I'm not here to argue whether it is or isn't and I don't really care what happens to this planet anyway) then the internal combustion engine was THE invention that started it all. There would be no one more responsible for what has happened in the time since than the people who were responsible for that single invention.

And if you would like to get onto more steady ground, take the atomic bomb, for instance. Clearly, this invention was pure science and the people who invented it cannot be said to be anything other than scientists. And the most damning part of the whole thing is THEY KNEW PRECISELY WHAT THEY WERE BUILDING! They knew exactly what it was and what it meant and what it would mean to the future. And they did it anyway because scientists believe in playing god.


Since I've already explained the difference between philosophy and science many times over, I'll restrict this post to a simple delineation of the two in the scenario of the atomic bomb.

Science determined how to split the atom.
Science calculated the amount of destructive force.
Science determined the materials necessary, and in what amounts.
Philosophy made the decision the build the bomb.
Philosophy made the decision to fund the research.
Philosophy made the decision to pay the scientists.
Philosophy made the decision to drop the bomb.

Philosophy and science do nothing on their own, of course. They are merely types of knowledge in the minds of men. And it was men responsible for all of the above, as it always is. What the scientists themselves did isn't nearly as interesting to me as the type of knowledge (philosophical vs. scientific) they were wielding at each pivotal juncture.

The bomb is an interesting case from that perspective, as the viewpoints of the scientists have been documented extensively, as well as their petitioning of the military complex to NOT drop what they had created. But that topic really deserves its own thread if it's to be treated fairly. There's a lot to parse there.

Science didn't cause global warming. Science didn't drop the bomb.

As has been pointed out multiple times by others in this thread, science is merely a tool for understanding the physical world, a framework for recording material observations and explaining what causes them.


And I'm still chalking it all up to people using science to play god. Thanks for playing.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

And I'm still chalking it all up to people using science to play god.


People use the products of science for all kinds of things.



Thanks for playing.


You're welcome.
edit on 14-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 02:50 AM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

If someone hit you around the head with a wrench, would you blame the wrench?



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:57 AM
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originally posted by: Greggers

For example, a theory counter to evolution would have to explain hundreds of thousands of documented observations at least as well as the current model before it could be taken seriously. In addition, any counter theory would need to be falsifiable, or it doesn't even qualify as science.



But there's really no observations in biology that rely on the theory of evolution. Genetic similarities among phenotypically similar organisms doesn't require descent with modification. Adaptation mechanisms don't require descent with modification. In fact, all that would be needed to falsify evolution would be a clear demonstration of a not-so-old earth, or a demonstration of irreducible complexity (making it impossible to have sequential addition of traits [i.e. descent with modification]).

in the not-so-old earth category we have soft tissue being found in dinosaurs, carbon-dating showing an age of 4,000-40,000 years old for dinosaur specimens, and the consistent depictions of dinosaurs in human history. If these are true, then the evolutionary time table is impossible. all it takes is one achilles' heel to dismantle the theory, but scientismists refuse to acknowledge these clear contradictions. Simply for showing this evidence I will be called scientifically illiterate. It's sad - you can't even question the contemporary dogma; such negligence is an obvious impediment to true scientific progress. This is the zeal that is being addressed by the OP.

for anyone willing to address contemporary dogma without bias

edit on 14-6-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:17 AM
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Sure it is, tell that to my Hindu doctor who works in science but practices Hindi beliefs. Give it up. Science is not a religion, it is a discipline



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:26 AM
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originally posted by: cooperton
Simply for showing this evidence I will be called scientifically illiterate.


There's a reason those arguments are not accepted by scientists. Would you like me to go through each of them? I mean, it's tiring to do so, especially when young earth creationists never, ever learn anything from the conversation, since theirs is an ideological fixation uninterested in facts. So really. What would be the point?
edit on 14-6-2016 by Greggers because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: cooperton


But there's really no observations in biology that rely on the theory of evolution.


Except in such fields as epidemology and ecology.


Genetic similarities among phenotypically similar organisms doesn't require descent with modification.


Nor does that rule it out.


Adaptation mechanisms don't require descent with modification.


But it is an effective theory.


In fact, all that would be needed to falsify evolution would be a clear demonstration of a not-so-old earth,


For which there is absolutely no evidence.


or a demonstration of irreducible complexity (making it impossible to have sequential addition of traits [i.e. descent with modification]).


That's simply wrong. What do you mean by "irreducible complexity" anyway?


in the not-so-old earth category we have soft tissue being found in dinosaurs, carbon-dating showing an age of 4,000-40,000 years old for dinosaur specimens,


The "soft tissue" found in association with dinosaur fossils are not evidence of anything other than methodological malfeasance.


and the consistent depictions of dinosaurs in human history.


Snakes, crocodiles, and dragons are not dinosaurs.


If these are true, then the evolutionary time table is impossible.


But then, since none of them are true....


Simply for showing this evidence I will be called scientifically illiterate.


No, it is the fact that you think these random claims, bad science, and outright hoaxes are evidence that is going to get you called "scientifically illiterate." Just how long do you think it took to carve the Grand Canyon? Why are there fossil seashells in mountains? Given that mountains only grow a centimeter or two over a century, how old do you think they are?



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:36 AM
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a reply to: DJW001

You're wasting your time. Every single one of cooperton's "talking points" he has already brought up in this very thread, to which each has been debunked with solid evidence (often by his very own sources) in this very thread. Such refusal to concede to evidence makes his claims of no bias look even more silly.



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