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Section VI: Philosophy and History of Science Science Hall W1004 E.T. Mcmullen, Presiding.

8:30 COMMON TACTICS USED BY THE PSEUDOSCIENCES INCLUDING CREATIONISM, John V. Aliff, Georgia Perimeter College Online, Auburn. GA 30011. Pseudosciences can be defined with certain propagandistic appeals common to their goal of eliciting belief in certain methods or paradigms, untested or untestable by the scientific method. Most Georgia scientists (as reported in the GAJSCI, 1976) hold a religious faith and are perplexed by the claims made by the pseudosciences. Their tactics include: 1.) Conflation: Conflation is seen by the inference that mistakes or outright mal-appropriations of quotes and conclusions of scientists prove their obverse point that their belief system is correct. 2.) Appeals to persecution assert that scientists are deliberately rejecting their ideas because of political bias. 3.) Particularly applicable to the medical sciences, anecdotal evidence or the labelling of a product as "natural" is offered as "proof" of efficacy. 4.) Pay for service may occur as book authors or charlatans offer their products to selected audiences; e.g., the elderly or conservative churches. All these and other tactics result from a mistaken idea of the general public that science, be it Physics, Astronomy, Paleontology, Archeology, etc.; must confirm events or beliefs in their holy scriptures. Theologically speaking. the demand that science "prove" the Bible can be looked on as a crisis of faith in their supernatural beliefs.

9:00 A UNIVERSAL DEFINTION OF EVOLUTIONARY PRINCIPLES, Eugene R. Mesco, Dalton State College, Dalton, GA 30720. The establishment of biological evolution as a key guiding principle for understanding life on earth has enhanced numerous areas of study. Extension of the principles of evolution into other disciplines has been problematic. Challenges to the use of evolution in other disciplines often center on the issue of the material substrates that serve the role of DNA. In this model, a redefinition of evolutionary principles is based on the recognition of information as a coded pattern of matter of energy. This borrows from previous work in telecommunications, which establishes information as a code neutral entity distinct from the technology of transmission. This model defines evolution as a natural process in any system having the following properties: 1) High fidelity replication of information with survival of replicated information; 2) Information replication uses expendable technology; 3) The replicated in- formation is inert relative to the thermodynamic processes involved in the technology of replication; 4) A quantifiable resistance to entropy; and 5) the system displays intentionality. These cumulative properties will be shown to be applicable to both biological and social systems, allowing a consistent definition of evolution (or negentropy) as a universal property of specific entities.

9:30 A (HEURISTIC) PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS OF DIMINISHING INTEREST IN STEM FIELDS, Charmayne E. Patterson and Ronald E. Mickens, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA 30314. Despite recent attempts to encourage participation in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, there has not been a marked increase in students entering these disciplines. In an attempt to understand why this is so, we are posing the question. "Does one's upbringing and personal beliefs impact their decision to enter the STEM fields?" If there is in fact a correlation between the two, it would indicate that strategies aimed at increasing involvement will not be successful if there is a clash between a priori personal beliefs and the principles and methodologies which form the basis of the natural sciences. The main purpose of this presentation is to examine these issues through the lenses of a "heuristic" philosophical analysis. Our major conclusion is that conflicts between alternative "worldviews" of "methodologies" may be important factors in limiting the numbers of individuals who seek careers involving high level scientific research.

10:00 Section Business Meeting

10:30 AN ACCOUNT OF JOHN AND WILLIAM BARTRAM'S VISIT TO THE ORPHAN HOUSE AND WORMSLOE, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA IN 1765, Elliott 0. Edwards, Jr., Bartram Trail Conference, Savannah, GA 31410. The Explorations of John & William Bartram continue to enthuse natural historians since their first trip to the south in 1765. John Bartram (1699-1777) Botanist to King George III, travelled to Florida on a one-year botanical trip to Georgia and Florida that included a survey at Shell Bluff, Georgia, taking his son William Bartram (1739-1824) to collect seeds and specimens for friends and fellow gardeners. This was William's first botanical expedition and would inspire him to lay the groundwork for his own career as a naturalist. While on their expedition, they stopped off in Savannah on September 25, 1765. They would visit George Whitefield at the Orphan House (Bethesda) and later travel to Wormsloe, the property of Captain Noble Jones, the father of the Revolutionary patriot Noble Wymberly Jones. To commemorate their visit to these historic sites in Savannah, two William Bartram Trail markers are being installed, one at each site. The marker for Wormsloe was installed in the Fall of 2013 and the marker for Bethesda will be installed in the Spring of 2014. This paper will also include a biographical sketch of John and William Bartram and sketches of the sites: Wormsloe and Bethesda. The Bartram Trail Conference, which was established to commemorate the Travels of William Bartram, will be installing the markers, also to be discussed.

11:00 PIMPING "GOD": AN ANALYSIS OF POPULAR WRITINGS ON MODERN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS, Ronald E. Mickens and Charmayne E. Patterson, Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta, GA 30314. The main focus of this presentation is to investigate the use of the word "god" in the title of books and articles written for general audiences on various topics related to modern science and mathematics. In particular, we give a brief history of popular science writings, what were the perceived needs and requirements for such writings, and the conflicts which often arose between the authors and publishers. We also discuss "who is a scientist" and how this issue influences both what is written and how these productions are interpreted. Further, we show that there is, for the authors of these works, a clear distinction between "god" and "God". Our major conclusions are that these writings are created to provide explanations of advanced, sophisticated scientific and mathematical concepts to the general, but educated, public; however, such works are read by few professional scientists, and understood by only a small minority of the general public who purchase them for study.

11:30 THE PATTERN OF HAECKEL'S PICTURES, Torn McMullen, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA :30160. Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was a key advocate and popularizer of evolution, but it was always with his own twist. With no proof, he published the first tree of evolution in 1866. By contrast, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species had pictured only branches. In 1866, Haeckel drew a series of fictional minuscule organisms he called 'Monera.' This would be his pattern, popularizing evolutionary ideas with no scientific proof. The frontispiece of Haeckel's 1868 Naturliche Schopfungsge-schicte, pictured human and animal heads in an evolutionary sequence. In the text, he stated that the "lowest humans' such as the 'Australian Negro' and the 'African Negro,' stood much nearer to the 'highest apes' than to the 'highest human, the 'Inclo-German.' Haeckel had no proof of evolution among humans, but he called it science. Again, he went beyond Darwin who had avoided human evolution in his Origin. Also in Haeckel's book were his 'proofs' of evolution, which were really misrepresented embryonic drawings. First, in three pictures of the very same embryo, he claimed they were each of a dog, a chick and a turtle embryo. Then he doctored other embryo drawings to support his contention that embryonic development recapitulated evolutionary development. Scientists have shown this concept to be false along with his embryo drawings. Overall, we see Haeckel's pattern was to popularize evolution by creating drawings of his speculations and claiming them to be scientific.
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Publication:Georgia Journal of Science
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2014
Words:1285
Previous Article:Section V: Biomedical Sciences Science Hall E1049 Seyed H. Hosseini, Presiding.
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