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Moving From Pseudoscience To Actual Science


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#18 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:53 AM

Perhaps she could start by considering the many inorganic processes in nature by which a locally ordered state is produced from a more disordered one.  

 

Can you think of any, to start her off? 

No, I can't think of any.  All those chemical and physical processes are determined by the laws of physics.  They are preprogrammed to happen in a certain way.  The laws of physics do not change, so the particular process will not change either.  It is inevitable to happen if the materials and conditions are in place.  There is no provision to adapt to different situations.  

 

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#19 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:59 AM

Oh good, so you haven't finished?

 

I'd certainly like to know your views on the explanation of evolution provided by A-Wal and on my own observations on the spontaneous appearance of local order in nature.  

 

Done.  See above.

 

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#20 exchemist

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:36 PM

OK, you decide the quality of my critical skills   Be sure to articulate where they lack judgement.

 

Genetic mutations are limited variations within a species.  Take dogs for instance.  No matter how many different types of dogs turn up at a dog show, they all have the common characteristics of a canine -good sense of smell, high endurance, nice temperament, and compatibility.  No matter how you breed them, you will not change a dog into a donkey.  A fruit fly has a quick lifespan of a few weeks.  No one has be able to breed a fruit fly into anything else other than a fly.  Mutations are not evolution, they are only the limited changes allowed within a species.

 

It is true that mutations can give an advantage to members within a species over those who do not have the mutation.  That happened during the industrial revolution where dark colored moths became predominant over white moths.  The dark moths were harder for the birds to spot in the sooty environment than white moths.  After the pollution was cleaned up, the white moths reappeared. The white moths never completely disappeared.  They just became fewer.  Crab grass will take over your lawn because it can thrive under more difficult conditions than lawn grass.  But lawn grass will not completely disappear.

 

Yes, good traits can be passed on to future generations.  That is proven by horse and dog breeding.  All that means is that the progeny is the best that can be had.  It does not prove evolution changed the species into something fundamentally different.  The horse will still be a horse and a dog is still a dog.  The leopard will have the best looking coat in the jungle, but it still will be a cat.

 

Time will not allow things happen if it is impossible for things to happen in the first place.  The basic premise of evolution is wrong.  You cannot show that things go from a simple to a more complex state.  It takes an intelligence to make that happen. I will address that principle further in the second thread.

 

Evolution cannot happen.  What did happen is a creation.  That can explain everything, without tortuous and unproven reasoning and assumptions. Notice that this is not a religious viewpoint, it is a theist view.  If you believe evolution to be true, then it is up to you to prove it could happen.

 

No matter how many planets in the universe, or how much time has passed.  If evolution cannot happen, it will not happen.

 

Ratch

There seem to be a raft of the usual creationist misunderstandings about science and evolution here. A few points:

 

1) In science, no theory is ever proved. Proof is for maths, logic and law.

 

2) In science a theory is considered good if it accounts for the relevant observations of nature and predicts likely future observations.

 

3) Evolution does this extremely well, even to the point of predicting degrees of relative genetic similarity which have been confirmed by DNA comparisons, using a technique that only became available long after the family trees were proposed.  

 

4) It is not necessary to "change a dog into a donkey" to show that evolution is a good theory, especially since the theory implies that major change requires both the passage of many generations and a lot of selection pressure in the environment. Examples of successful predictions such as the one above amply confirm its credentials.

 

5) Examples of evolution on a human timescale do however abound, among simple organisms which go through successive generations very rapidly. Classic cases, with real medical consequences for us all, are the acquired resistance of bacteria and cancer cells to drugs. 

 

Finally you state, badly, with no supporting evidence, that evolution cannot happen. Present evidence that it is impossible, please, with particular attention to how you account for (5) if it does not. 


Edited by exchemist, 12 January 2017 - 12:38 PM.


#21 exchemist

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:45 PM

No, I can't think of any.  All those chemical and physical processes are determined by the laws of physics.  They are preprogrammed to happen in a certain way.  The laws of physics do not change, so the particular process will not change either.  It is inevitable to happen if the materials and conditions are in place.  There is no provision to adapt to different situations.  

 

Ratch

OK fair enough. My point is a thermodynamic one. Nature does allow the development of local order from disorder, which some creationists seem to think violates the laws of thermodynamics. A simple example is the freezing of water into ice crystals. The point is that low temperature heat is dissipated into the environment when this occurs.

 

In a similar way, heat dissipation during biochemical processes allows the small degree of order in the genetic material of an egg to develop into the much higher degree of order in a fully mature multicellular organism. There is nothing in the laws of nature to say this cannot occur - just as well, really, as it is all around us!

 

But if you are not into the faulty entropy argument that some creationists use, so much the better. :) 



#22 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:29 PM

There seem to be a raft of the usual creationist misunderstandings about science and evolution here. A few points:

 

1) In science, no theory is ever proved. Proof is for maths, logic and law.

 

     OK, but when it is shown that something cannot happen the way the theory states it will happen, then it is time to discard the theory and look for an alternate explanation.

 

2) In science a theory is considered good if it accounts for the relevant observations of nature and predicts likely future observations.

 

     Not if it can be shown that things did not happen the way evolution shows it happening.

 

3) Evolution does this extremely well, even to the point of predicting degrees of relative genetic similarity which have been confirmed by DNA comparisons, using a technique that only became available long after the family trees were proposed.  

 

     Evolution does not do it at all.  The similarities are due to things being created by a common creator.  Just as works by artists, architects, and engineers show a similarity, so does the biological creation.

 

4) It is not necessary to "change a dog into a donkey" to show that evolution is a good theory, especially since the theory implies that major change requires both the passage of many generations and a lot of selection pressure in the environment. Examples of successful predictions such as the one above amply confirm its credentials.

 

     Evolutionary theory stops dead in its tracks when it is realized that things do not go from simple to complex by themselves.  Cut and dried reactions like crystallization are preordained to happen in a certain way by the physical laws already in place 

 

5) Examples of evolution on a human timescale do however abound, among simple organisms which go through successive generations very rapidly. Classic cases, with real medical consequences for us all, are the acquired resistance of bacteria and cancer cells to drugs. 

 

     Viruses and bacteria can mutate to resist drugs.  That is not evolution.  They are still viruses and bacteria.

 

 

Finally you state, badly, with no supporting evidence, that evolution cannot happen. Present evidence that it is impossible, please, with particular attention to how you account for (5) if it does not. 

 

     Since you are promoting evolution, it is up to you to show how dead material can arrange and shape itself into life.

 

Ratch

 

 


Edited by Ratch, 12 January 2017 - 01:30 PM.


#23 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:37 PM

OK fair enough. My point is a thermodynamic one. Nature does allow the development of local order from disorder, which some creationists seem to think violates the laws of thermodynamics. A simple example is the freezing of water into ice crystals. The point is that low temperature heat is dissipated into the environment when this occurs.

 

In a similar way, heat dissipation during biochemical processes allows the small degree of order in the genetic material of an egg to develop into the much higher degree of order in a fully mature multicellular organism. There is nothing in the laws of nature to say this cannot occur - just as well, really, as it is all around us!

 

But if you are not into the faulty entropy argument that some creationists use, so much the better. :)

 

I do not understand the link between thermodynamics and genetics the way you described it.  My argument centers around the principle that things cannot go from simple to complex on their own unless their transition is preordained by the physical laws.

 

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#24 exchemist

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 03:51 PM

I do not understand the link between thermodynamics and genetics the way you described it.  My argument centers around the principle that things cannot go from simple to complex on their own unless their transition is preordained by the physical laws.

 

Ratch

Depends what you mean by "preordained by physical laws". In science, all explanations of nature are due to the operation of physical laws and principles. But there is nothing preordained about crystal formation: it takes place only when the right circumstances arise in the environment.

 

The same is true for an evolutionary change. If there is no environmental pressure conferring a selective advantage on a characteristic, it will not be amplified in the population through reproduction.  That is a natural physical process. 



#25 exchemist

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 04:24 PM

 

There seem to be a raft of the usual creationist misunderstandings about science and evolution here. A few points:

 

1) In science, no theory is ever proved. Proof is for maths, logic and law.

 

     OK, but when it is shown that something cannot happen the way the theory states it will happen, then it is time to discard the theory and look for an alternate explanation.

 

2) In science a theory is considered good if it accounts for the relevant observations of nature and predicts likely future observations.

 

     Not if it can be shown that things did not happen the way evolution shows it happening.

 

3) Evolution does this extremely well, even to the point of predicting degrees of relative genetic similarity which have been confirmed by DNA comparisons, using a technique that only became available long after the family trees were proposed.  

 

     Evolution does not do it at all.  The similarities are due to things being created by a common creator.  Just as works by artists, architects, and engineers show a similarity, so does the biological creation.

 

4) It is not necessary to "change a dog into a donkey" to show that evolution is a good theory, especially since the theory implies that major change requires both the passage of many generations and a lot of selection pressure in the environment. Examples of successful predictions such as the one above amply confirm its credentials.

 

     Evolutionary theory stops dead in its tracks when it is realized that things do not go from simple to complex by themselves.  Cut and dried reactions like crystallization are preordained to happen in a certain way by the physical laws already in place 

 

5) Examples of evolution on a human timescale do however abound, among simple organisms which go through successive generations very rapidly. Classic cases, with real medical consequences for us all, are the acquired resistance of bacteria and cancer cells to drugs. 

 

     Viruses and bacteria can mutate to resist drugs.  That is not evolution.  They are still viruses and bacteria.

 

 

Finally you state, badly, with no supporting evidence, that evolution cannot happen. Present evidence that it is impossible, please, with particular attention to how you account for (5) if it does not. 

 

     Since you are promoting evolution, it is up to you to show how dead material can arrange and shape itself into life.

 

Ratch

 

 

 

1) True. But nobody has shown that something cannot happen the way evolution says, nor that life cannot have arisen naturally. All we seem to have is a minor sect of religiously motivated non-scientists expressing incredulity that it could be possible. That is hardly a scientific dismissal.

 

2) Ditto. It would be so, if someone were able to show evolution did not work. People are constantly finding out new things that modify and improve the theory but nobody has come along with something that blows it out of the water. Do you think otherwise and if so can you quote an example of this? 

 

3) You can certainly claim that the similarities predicted by evolution could have arisen due to the design practices of a creator. But that would not detract from the success of evolution in predicting them correctly, without invoking such a creator. That would make the creator an unnecessary hypothesis, as it adds nothing. (Applying Ockham's Razor, we delete unnecessary hypotheses in science.) 

 

(In fact, the hypothesis of a creator is scientifically useless for another, more profound, reason, which is that it does not enable any predictions to be made. As I pointed out in my original (2), prediction is one characteristic of a scientific theory. No creationist theory can make any predictions whatsoever, since the creator is supernatural and can thus do what he likes, making him intrinsically unpredictable.)

 

4) You claim that things do not go from simple to complex by themselves. That is an assertion that does not stand up: they do. Consider the formation of the Earth, with its oceans, seasons and weather, from a cosmic dust cloud. Or consider the growth of a butterfly from a butterfly egg. 

 

5) Drug resistance is certainly evolution. It is the acquisition by natural selection of an advantageous characteristic for survival, by a population of organisms, in response to a challenge in the environment. That is exactly what evolution is.

 

Your last comment shows you, again like most creationists, do not understand the distinction between abiogenesis and evolution. They are different. There is a theory of evolution which is about, in Darwin's famous words, the "origin of species". That is what evolution explains. Note he did not say the "origin of life".  

 

In fact science has no theory yet for the origin of life and does not pretend that it has. It is a very exciting field of study, I think, but all we have are some tantalising hypotheses and possible pieces of the jigsaw.  (One of my favourites is the recent finding that adsorption of molecules on the surface of certain types of crystal induces different reactivity depending on whether the molecule has left-handed or right-handed "chirality", as it is called. It has been known for a century or more that "handedness" in biochemical molecules is important in biology - you may perhaps have heard of "dextrose", for example, which is a right-handed glucose molecule -  but nobody had any idea how handedness in biochemistry could have arisen. Now, perhaps, we have a clue.) Explaining the origin of life is going to be a huge struggle, as there is almost no evidence from that period so early in the Earth's history. Even the rocks have almost all been renewed since that time, through plate tectonic turnover. 

 

So it is emphatically NOT "up to me" to show how non-life can be turned into life, for the simple reason that nobody knows. But science will work away at it, patiently. What science will never do is give up, say it is impossible, and invoke a supernatural creator as a cop-out.  


Edited by exchemist, 12 January 2017 - 04:29 PM.


#26 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:55 PM

Depends what you mean by "preordained by physical laws". In science, all explanations of nature are due to the operation of physical laws and principles. But there is nothing preordained about crystal formation: it takes place only when the right circumstances arise in the environment.

 

     By preordained I mean the change from one form to a apparently more complex form.  Like the evaporation of certain liquids into crystals.  Their transformation is set by the chemical composition of the liquid and the chemical laws that exist.  Because of those laws, crystallization cannot be defined as a step to a higher order.  The change will always be the same and go no further.

 

The same is true for an evolutionary change. If there is no environmental pressure conferring a selective advantage on a characteristic, it will not be amplified in the population through reproduction.  That is a natural physical process. 

 

     As I pointed out before, each species can go only go far to change itself.  No one has ever bred a species that was completely different than what it was before.  Even after breeding hundreds of thousands of generations.  If that cannot be done, then evolution does not exist.

 

Ratch



#27 Ratch

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:16 PM

1) True. But nobody has shown that something cannot happen the way evolution says, nor that life cannot have arisen naturally. All we seem to have is a minor sect of religiously motivated non-scientists expressing incredulity that it could be possible. That is hardly a scientific dismissal.

 

     You are asking to prove a negative.  We both know it cannot be done.  It doesn't matter if idiots point out a flaw in a theory.  The flaw, if valid, is cause for dismissal.

 

2) Ditto. It would be so, if someone were able to show evolution did not work. People are constantly finding out new things that modify and improve the theory but nobody has come along with something that blows it out of the water. Do you think otherwise and if so can you quote an example of this?

 

     I already showed why it does not work.  Any correct thinking person can do it.  Specifically, things left to themselves do not go from simple to complex.  Things go from complex to simple.   The proof is that simple to complex would have to happen many times on a regular basis.  Yet, you and I cannot find any example of it happening once.

 

3) You can certainly claim that the similarities predicted by evolution could have arisen due to the design practices of a creator. But that would not detract from the success of evolution in predicting them correctly, without invoking such a creator. That would make the creator an unnecessary hypothesis, as it adds nothing. (Applying Ockham's Razor, we delete unnecessary hypotheses in science.) 

 

     Where does prediction come from?  I thought evolution tries to explain the way life formed, not what it will be in the future.

 

(In fact, the hypothesis of a creator is scientifically useless for another, more profound, reason, which is that it does not enable any predictions to be made. As I pointed out in my original (2), prediction is one characteristic of a scientific theory. No creationist theory can make any predictions whatsoever, since the creator is supernatural and can thus do what he likes, making him intrinsically unpredictable.)

 

     Creation is beyond science.  You are right with respect not being able to relate science to creation. "Scientific creation" is an oxymoron with respect to how it was done.

 

4) You claim that things do not go from simple to complex by themselves. That is an assertion that does not stand up: they do. Consider the formation of the Earth, with its oceans, seasons and weather, from a cosmic dust cloud. Or consider the growth of a butterfly from a butterfly egg.

 

     It is not beyond belief that the Earth was created.  Certainly it is more believable than thinking it happened by itself.  Same with the butterfly.

 

5) Drug resistance is certainly evolution. It is the acquisition by natural selection of an advantageous characteristic for survival, by a population of organisms, in response to a challenge in the environment. That is exactly what evolution is.

 

     Drug resistance is a mutation, which is the ability to change in a limited fashion.  Mutations happening many times do not make evolution, because the changes stay within limits.

 

Your last comment shows you, again like most creationists, do not understand the distinction between abiogenesis and evolution. They are different. There is a theory of evolution which is about, in Darwin's famous words, the "origin of species". That is what evolution explains. Note he did not say the "origin of life".

 

     Surely you accept the fact that many folks think life arose from evolution.   If not, then how?  I wish I could debate Darwin.  I would point out that each species has limits on what it can become.

 

In fact science has no theory yet for the origin of life and does not pretend that it has. It is a very exciting field of study, I think, but all we have are some tantalising hypotheses and possible pieces of the jigsaw.  (One of my favourites is the recent finding that adsorption of molecules on the surface of certain types of crystal induces different reactivity depending on whether the molecule has left-handed or right-handed "chirality", as it is called. It has been known for a century or more that "handedness" in biochemical molecules is important in biology - you may perhaps have heard of "dextrose", for example, which is a right-handed glucose molecule -  but nobody had any idea how handedness in biochemistry could have arisen. Now, perhaps, we have a clue.) Explaining the origin of life is going to be a huge struggle, as there is almost no evidence from that period so early in the Earth's history. Even the rocks have almost all been renewed since that time, through plate tectonic turnover. 

 

     I agree that science will never truly show that life arose by itself.  Creation and science to not mix well when it comes to explaining how things got done.  The handedness of biochemistry was in place when the physical laws were created and are currently sustained, Handedness did not arise, it was created.  Later it was discovered by scientists. 

 

So it is emphatically NOT "up to me" to show how non-life can be turned into life, for the simple reason that nobody knows. But science will work away at it, patiently. What science will never do is give up, say it is impossible, and invoke a supernatural creator as a cop-out.

 

     You are right in saying it is not up to you to explain the origin of life if you are agnostic about it.  From what I have seen, historical science mostly bumbles along making snail progress, and going down a lot of blind rat holes. Science should accept an ineffable creator and save itself a whole lot of work.

 

Ratch



#28 exchemist

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 02:25 AM

 

1) True. But nobody has shown that something cannot happen the way evolution says, nor that life cannot have arisen naturally. All we seem to have is a minor sect of religiously motivated non-scientists expressing incredulity that it could be possible. That is hardly a scientific dismissal.

 

     You are asking to prove a negative.  We both know it cannot be done.  It doesn't matter if idiots point out a flaw in a theory.  The flaw, if valid, is cause for dismissal.

 

2) Ditto. It would be so, if someone were able to show evolution did not work. People are constantly finding out new things that modify and improve the theory but nobody has come along with something that blows it out of the water. Do you think otherwise and if so can you quote an example of this?

 

     I already showed why it does not work.  Any correct thinking person can do it.  Specifically, things left to themselves do not go from simple to complex.  Things go from complex to simple.   The proof is that simple to complex would have to happen many times on a regular basis.  Yet, you and I cannot find any example of it happening once.

 

3) You can certainly claim that the similarities predicted by evolution could have arisen due to the design practices of a creator. But that would not detract from the success of evolution in predicting them correctly, without invoking such a creator. That would make the creator an unnecessary hypothesis, as it adds nothing. (Applying Ockham's Razor, we delete unnecessary hypotheses in science.) 

 

     Where does prediction come from?  I thought evolution tries to explain the way life formed, not what it will be in the future.

 

(In fact, the hypothesis of a creator is scientifically useless for another, more profound, reason, which is that it does not enable any predictions to be made. As I pointed out in my original (2), prediction is one characteristic of a scientific theory. No creationist theory can make any predictions whatsoever, since the creator is supernatural and can thus do what he likes, making him intrinsically unpredictable.)

 

     Creation is beyond science.  You are right with respect not being able to relate science to creation. "Scientific creation" is an oxymoron with respect to how it was done.

 

4) You claim that things do not go from simple to complex by themselves. That is an assertion that does not stand up: they do. Consider the formation of the Earth, with its oceans, seasons and weather, from a cosmic dust cloud. Or consider the growth of a butterfly from a butterfly egg.

 

     It is not beyond belief that the Earth was created.  Certainly it is more believable than thinking it happened by itself.  Same with the butterfly.

 

5) Drug resistance is certainly evolution. It is the acquisition by natural selection of an advantageous characteristic for survival, by a population of organisms, in response to a challenge in the environment. That is exactly what evolution is.

 

     Drug resistance is a mutation, which is the ability to change in a limited fashion.  Mutations happening many times do not make evolution, because the changes stay within limits.

 

Your last comment shows you, again like most creationists, do not understand the distinction between abiogenesis and evolution. They are different. There is a theory of evolution which is about, in Darwin's famous words, the "origin of species". That is what evolution explains. Note he did not say the "origin of life".

 

     Surely you accept the fact that many folks think life arose from evolution.   If not, then how?  I wish I could debate Darwin.  I would point out that each species has limits on what it can become.

 

In fact science has no theory yet for the origin of life and does not pretend that it has. It is a very exciting field of study, I think, but all we have are some tantalising hypotheses and possible pieces of the jigsaw.  (One of my favourites is the recent finding that adsorption of molecules on the surface of certain types of crystal induces different reactivity depending on whether the molecule has left-handed or right-handed "chirality", as it is called. It has been known for a century or more that "handedness" in biochemical molecules is important in biology - you may perhaps have heard of "dextrose", for example, which is a right-handed glucose molecule -  but nobody had any idea how handedness in biochemistry could have arisen. Now, perhaps, we have a clue.) Explaining the origin of life is going to be a huge struggle, as there is almost no evidence from that period so early in the Earth's history. Even the rocks have almost all been renewed since that time, through plate tectonic turnover. 

 

     I agree that science will never truly show that life arose by itself.  Creation and science to not mix well when it comes to explaining how things got done.  The handedness of biochemistry was in place when the physical laws were created and are currently sustained, Handedness did not arise, it was created.  Later it was discovered by scientists. 

 

So it is emphatically NOT "up to me" to show how non-life can be turned into life, for the simple reason that nobody knows. But science will work away at it, patiently. What science will never do is give up, say it is impossible, and invoke a supernatural creator as a cop-out.

 

     You are right in saying it is not up to you to explain the origin of life if you are agnostic about it.  From what I have seen, historical science mostly bumbles along making snail progress, and going down a lot of blind rat holes. Science should accept an ineffable creator and save itself a whole lot of work.

 

Ratch

 

Oh well, sayonara Ratch, I see you have been banned. It may be for the best. Most creationists appear on science forums like seagulls, do their bit of "witnessing" and then disappear without follow up. You have been better and more coherent than most, but the discussion was probably not going to go anywhere constructive in the end.

 

Creationism is a perniciously stupid anti-science belief that deserves to be taken on wherever it appears, so I do not begrudge the time I have spent on this thread with you. It is one more chance to publicise the arguments against it.    


Edited by exchemist, 13 January 2017 - 02:25 AM.


#29 exchemist

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:01 AM

I've just realised the applicability to this thread of my early remark, on the other thread Ratch took part in, that "creationists use deliberate stupidity as a rhetorical tactic".

 

Quod Erat Demonstrandum?  :)



#30 Super Polymath

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 06:48 PM

Science itself is the admission of a lack of knowledge regarding things spiritual, what we choose to believe, our hope, our soul, our outlook on the unknown.

 

If you religiously adhere to science, dump her. 



#31 fahrquad

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 10:42 AM

For what it is worth, I have dated many womenz who were intellectually equal to myself and every one of those relationships ended badly.   Most were slightly psychotic, but one was completely certifiable.  Her dad had to put her back in the institution after I got tired of her craziness.   I have been happily married to the same woman for almost 18 years now, and I can honestly say she is dumb as a post on most practical matters, but exceptionally smart on other (mostly emotional) matters, so I think we balance each other quite nicely.



#32 exchemist

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 11:28 AM

For what it is worth, I have dated many womenz who were intellectually equal to myself and every one of those relationships ended badly.   Most were slightly psychotic, but one was completely certifiable.  Her dad had to put her back in the institution after I got tired of her craziness.   I have been happily married to the same woman for almost 18 years now, and I can honestly say she is dumb as a post on most practical matters, but exceptionally smart on other (mostly emotional) matters, so I think we balance each other quite nicely.

This sounds as if you are a person who drives anybody with brains nuts.:)