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Reward Points:13
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2 points

Evolution isn't really an "unproven theory." To be honest, it's as much a theory as the "theory of gravity," which the world has no problem acknowledging as practically absolute.

Scientifically, it's not proper to take anything as an absolute. We continue to call things like evolution or gravity "theories", but they're just about universally accepted in science; they're the most up-to-date, accurate explanations of how things work in nature. We don't perform experiments with the qualifier of: "Well, assuming the THEORY of evolution is true, this is what we expect to find." We take it as a given, because we all know that evolution is fundamentally true.

I doubt we've discovered anything that violates our theories of gravity with no explanation (i.e. if something appears to disobey gravity, there's other forces that we're forgetting to take into account, like magnetism). Likewise, we haven't really found anything that defies evolution. For example, we've never introduced an antibiotic into a culture of bacteria and found that all the antibiotic-resistant bacteria died (or if by chance we did, there was another selection factor not taken into account).

Still, let's not start by assuming evolution is universally accepted.

Consider the logic behind evolution: if you place a whole variety of organisms in a stressful environment, only the most suited to that environment will survive. If you take a bunch of bacteria and put them in a volcano, only the ones able to tolerate extreme heat will survive (there's always genetic diversity in bacteria. Those able to tolerate heat will have a slightly different genetic code than the others). They'll reproduce, and so the next generation will genetically be able to tolerate heat better. We absolutely know that DNA is the way we inherit our parents' characteristics, and that DNA varies between different members of a species. Those best suited to an environment pass on their DNA to their children. Once you consider this, is there really any way to refute evolution? Evolution isn't a complex theory at all. To be honest, I'm amazed that people think there's anything to learn about evolution; it's intuitive.

So yeah, evolution should be taught in schools. If one holds that Creationism explains the true origin of life, well, that's honestly wrong. It doesn't. But if you are a religious person, and better because of it, there's no reason you can't follow the Bible AND evolution. Bible stories aren't meant to be taken literally.

Consider the history of astronomy; Galileo, Kepler, Tycho Brahe and Copernicus all tried to establish that we live in a heliocentric galaxy. They were trying to prove that the Earth moved with other planets around the Sun (not the other way around, as was believed in those times). We know today that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and that Earth moves. The Sun is (relatively) still.

The Roman Catholic Church did not want to acknowledge that the Earth moved around the Sun (they insisted the Sun moved around Earth). Why? Because Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still in the Scriptures. They thought: why would Joshua command the Sun to stand still, unless it was moving around the Earth? They took the Bible too literally, and that made the Church ban heliocentrism as heresy. They were wrong. Likewise, it would be wrong to take the Creationism story literally, because that's not the actual mechanism for the creation of life.

Evolution is correct. But evolution doesn't explain the origin of the universe; there's not going to be a scientific explanation for that. It's perfectly reasonable to believe that God made the Universe, WITH the laws of evolution and gravity as a given, and that he started from the Big Bang (or whatever we'll discover the beginning of time to be).

Take from your Bible stories moral values. If you can become a better person because of it, the Bible has done its work, and scientific progress will continue.

--RandomX2

2 points

I suppose if someone had knowledge of EVERY atom in the universe at a given point in time, and perfectly understood one atom's interaction with all others in the universe, that person could predict the future. Rather, if you have the knowledge of everything influencing one particular object, you can predict the object's behaviour.

I doubt there is any influence (divine or otherwise) outside of these simple interactions. With that assumption, I guess it can be said that everything will happen in only one way. Thus, there is no free will.

In a literal sense, of course. It's a rather pointless question with an obvious answer. The better question is, "Should the fact that free will doesn't exist influence our lives in any way?" That, too, is a stupid question, but I'd see it as the lesser of two stupids.

In any case, the answer to both questions is still no.

Keep in mind that this depends entirely on what constitutes free will. This argument can be applied to both sides depending on the definition of free will.

2 points

I feel that Western society has caused a lot of people to lose sight of the world; they're a lot more self-centered than they should be. As a result, there's a lot of feelings that aren't (yeah, I'll say it) valid.

And to make things worse, there's entitlement issues (I DESERVE a high paying job and good stuff even though I talk down to people, ignore school and tell off co-workers).

But that's Western society. Western society cares too much about feelings and junk. The world (which is made up of people in non-developed countries, for the majority), not so much.

And of course, this definitely doesn't apply to all people.

1 point

If we can survive without it, then it isn't really necessary. And yes, we can survive without it.

2 points

I'm going to support for an overall well-reasoned argument, although I disagree at several points.

"I will agree that the sentence structure, grammar, and syntax leave a lot to be desired"

I'm going to disagree on that point, although this is purely a matter of opinion. I found that sentence structure/grammar was perfectly acceptable. I think many of the sentences could have been phrased a bit better, but nevertheless...

"But this isn't really "dangerous" for kids to read."

I disagree once again, but you put a valid argument to the contrary for me in the next paragraph. In general, though, I feel that Twilight glorifies the role of the submissive female and dominant male stereotypes. I find that it does so through Bella's reactions; whenever Edward does something that most people would find unnerving (i.e. watching her sleep) she doesn't mind at all. As a result of her consistent acceptance of Edward's strange behaviour, we end up viewing Edward's actions as normal. Thus, I find Twilight "dangerous."

-I agree with your second paragraph-

In terms of the symbolism found in Twilight, your ideas seem valid. I doubt Stephenie Meyer intentionally worked that theme into Twilight though; it's a lot simpler to come up with inferred themes and morals after writing a story. Regardless, the subject of self-control (and its awesomeness) is pretty strongly tied into Twilight.

However, I maintain that there is more negative influence in solidifying men/women stereotypes than positive influence in preaching self-control. Especially considering that the majority of Twilight readers are female; it's not easy placing yourself in the shoes of someone of the opposite gender. Consequently, the take home lesson of self-control-is-good will probably be weaker for female readers as opposed to male readers.

"In the end, though, books aren't 'dangerous', people are."

And if people become more 'dangerous' as a result of books and their respective morals, does it really matter whether or not the books themselves are 'dangerous'? I say no. The effect that a book has on a person should be considered a quality of the book, as only human beings will read them anyway. And most humans are similar.

If you disagree on that, though, look for those that contest Oscar Wilde's famous saying on moral and immoral books. I'm sure they should be able to convince you otherwise.

"Is the series deserving of high acclaim? Probably not. But did I enjoy reading it in spite of how poorly it was written? Yes I did."

Seconded.

"The stories are fun and the Bella/Edward relationship is intense. And to Meyer's credit, she does wait until the two are married before having them have sex."

The stories are fun. The Bella/Edward relationship is perverted, but intense. And yes, kudos to her for the last bit.

1 point

The public has strength. The public is also primarily composed of blue collars.

There's always the possibility that the common citizen won't allow such a lifestyle change to occur. It is to our personal benefits to do our jobs inefficiently with humans as opposed to with technology.

But then again, companies that employ human workers are allowed to do what they will. It seems that technology will continue to replace humans, regardless of whether we want it to or not.

In which case, natural selection among the intelligent and resourceful.

About time, eh?

1 point

The ideologies and general culture of white-skinned people is different for different groups/ locations. I don't think you've interacted with every group of white people. As such, you probably shouldn't discriminate against a white person on the basis of their skin exclusively.

It may be a general indicator of their social upbringing if you can ascertain where they grew up and correlate that to the personalities of white people in a specific area (with a large enough sample). That applies to everyone, of course, but if you've (hypothetically) found that you dislike all white people in a certain area, well... you know. Go nuts.

1 point

"There is nothing wrong with wanting men to be more like Edward."

Hm. I'm not sure whether wanting it is bad in any way (note the emphasis on 'wanting'). You should have the right to want what you want.

"He is indeed perfect."

My argument in my first post (as to why he is not perfect) still stands. Refute that, and if I can't think of a counter then I guess I'll agree with you. An opinion without supporting logic, or even examples, has no weight.

"And now womens standards of men are far to low."

A major generalization. You do not speak for the world, or even modern society. There is simply no way for you to know the experiences of every woman in the world. Even if you did, I question your ability to remain objective when considering the roles of men and women in society (don't take that as an offence. I wouldn't be able to do it either).

On an aside, I am aware that I made my own generalization that Edward has raised standards too high for men (when faced with women that love Edward) without really elaborating. That isn't a fair comment. I'm going to try to rephrase that statement to better capture my intent.

It is unfair of a woman to expect a man to be similar to Edward.

And whatever I said after my original statement still follows.

0 points

It's not really even true for most Americans any more. From what I can see, anyway.

1 point

Its sounding like a tall tale does not mean it 'has' to be false. But that's a given.

As for proof, I regretfully cannot offer you irrefutable evidence (or highly dependable, like an article on a reputable site). I have long since lost the link, although the original was on a Twilight fansite. If you really wish to know, however, a Google search may do it for you. I found this one within 5 seconds:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090719225309AAO5XiU&cp;=2

Of course, the contents of that site may or may not be reliable. That's the downside of the Internet. Finding something that truly satisfies you may take a while. It's out there though, I promise you that.

Ignoring that, was there anything else you were disputing? If not, my original argument still stands.

Ah yes. On an aside, visit the http://www.twilightsucks.com forum (I know its a rather vulgar name, but regardless...) and view the section "fangirl encounters." Take everything with a grain of salt, as the site undoubtedly has a bias against Twilight. However, some of the stories there will make my anecdote look insignificant in comparison.

--RandomX2

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