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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by JustAsking, Jan 17, 2009.
Louisiana rolls back The Enlightenment. Discuss.
It's hard to believe, but maybe it'll pass. Still, Louisiana is one of the BIG THREE States where stupidity has traditionally been part of public school curriculum; the other two States being Mississippi and Ewetaw.
I hope this bill becomes a "trend" with all the States in the USA. Otherwise, why bother sending your kids to school at all? Keep 'em home and teach them the world is flat.
What do you expect from a state that has a governor who is an avowed and militant creationist, and who believes that an exorcism he performed on a young woman not only spooked the demon outta her, but cured her skin cancer.
[Pauses and waits to hear the sound of jaws hitting the floor]
Again, if you didn't read that carefully: Bobby Jindal believes an exorcism cured skin cancer.
If you thought Palin's views on science (i.e., evolution, global warming, where babies come from) were whacko, remember that Jindal was on McCain's short list for VP.
A bit amusing when people think they can legislate the real world into an imaginary one.
Wait. I read that but nowhere does it say that creationism or intelligent design are to be taught in classroom. It says that municipalities and parishes may provide materials to teachers for discussion of scientific theories related to evolution, human cloning, etc. I don't see a conflict here because neither creationism nor intelligent design are scientific theories.
What am I missing?
I thought the same thing.
You are missing the knee-jerk, insecure, hypocritical emotional reaction that a lot of people (both sides) exhibit when dealing with anyone who thinks differently than they do.
There's nothing you can do about it. Some people were just born to look at things from both sides. May Jebus have mercy on your soul. :frown1:
Maybe it'll pass? If i'm not mistaken, it was passed back in the summer of 2008. Must be a slow news night.
There was/is a lot of debate about it. Some hold that it was a sneaky way to legislate the teaching of creationism in schools while others feel it's a lot of ado about nothing.
Bobby Jindal is a complete idiot and an apparently a dangerous man.
What makes me crazy is that they manage to use phrases like "critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion" as a code language for "rejection of critical thinking and logical analysis, and tendentious discussion in the service of a theistic agenda."
Now to Jason's observation:
I made the same observations in JustAsking's first thread on this same topic. Read his replies to me, here and here; or just read this (which is the second of those replies):
It is amazing how people think they have the only correct point of view. I believe people on both sides of the issue need to get real. As someone who worked in the field of engineering, I can say that Evolution is a theory. It has a lot of factual support but it still a theory. Nobody has found the missing link. So teach it as Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and just move on. Sheesh. When you find the missing link, you can teach it as flat out truth. Why not go hunt for the link and quit pissing on everybody who disagrees with you?
Do some of you have that little of a life outside of this computer? Do you constantly argue to the point people avoid you or have told you to shut the hell up?
This is just more superstitious idiocy from the delusional masses....
The bill avoids mentioning any "alternate" theory for two reasons...
1- because any mention of intelligent design or Creationism is forbidden by Supreme Court rulings...
2- because there ARE NO ALTERNATE THEORIES regarding the origin of species.
This will be resisted by science teachers, because it singles out evolution and requires the teachers to place doubt in their students minds as to the literal mountians of evidence validating evolution.
It also seeks to make teachers who might mention alternate "theories" in class protected from judicial action by giving them a 'defense'.
But that won't fly. If taken to court... teachers mentioning creationism or intelligent design in public school classrooms will lose their teaching credentials.
The sad fact is that the proper teaching of science ALREADY instructs students to be critical of accepted wisdom and to TEST any and all scientific assertions.
Any scientist who could successfully invalidate evolution would have their careers MADE... famous for life like Einstein.
Every scientist working in fields related to evolution, biology, geology, paleontology, and myriad others is ALREADY TESTING evolution every single day.
That it has passed EVERY ONE of millions of tests is strong evidence supporting the validity of Evolutionary theory.
But the shit ignorant and the delusional will commit any crime, and renounce any morality to further their narrow goals of a narrow minded and mislead populace.
They will lie, misrepresent, and even kill to defend the illusions they ascribe to.
Just more examples of the wonderfully vacuous and amoral effect of religion in undermining the entire foundation of modern civilization.
Time to give up magical sky daddies....
You may have worked in engineering, but you clearly don't even understadn what a theory is.
A theory is a detailed description of how you THINK something works.
We have a theory of gravity... but the fact that how we THINK gravity works is subject to test and revision, that has no effect on the REALITY of gravity.
By the same token, we keep refining how we think evolution operates... but evolution , itself, is as factually proven as is gravity.
In that sense a wiring diagram, or a set of engineered plans are also 'theories' predicated upon formulae that reflect millions of known facts.
the Theory of Evolution is not a fact, because facts are NOTHING... literally useless in and of themselves.
The sky is blue is a fact...
A theory EXPLAINS why the sky is blue... and when applied to other circumstances a valid theory will correctly PREDICT new facts you have not even discovered yet.
Sorry, Hootie... but as theories go, evolution is the most comprehensively proven and tested theory in all human history.
It is actually FAR more reliable and accurate than our theory of Gravity.
Um, no we haven't found THE missing link... we have found DOZENS of missing links.
SO MANY variants of human lineage, in fact, that the biggest problem is simply trying to figure out WHICH of the myriad Potential ancestors were actually the FEW who led directly to us.
Folks who want to maintain an illusory level of doubt regarding evolution just keep moving the bar as new evidence is uncovered.
But the facts are supported by EVERY field of scientific endeavor.
The SAME sciences that predict how sand, oil, metals, and electricity can be made into the Computer you are using... with the FOREKNOWLEDGE that it WILL WORK... are the very sciences saying that evolution is TRUE.
Your computer works as anticipated... ERGO evolution is proven by science that is proven to accurately predict the material world.
As you point out, both sides think they have the only correct perspective...
But your implication that that symmetry reflects an equal validity to both perspectives is wrong.
One side believes their perspective is correct because it has been tested and proven correct. Their ideas subjected to analysis and any idea NOT reflected in hard test data rejected...
The other side believes in a fairy story with ZERO evidence, NO testing or utterly failed tests... their only support being a STORY BOOK written in ancient times by men whose idea of morality was killing people for gathering wood on a saturday.
All ideas are not equal merely by virtue of being ideas.
Some ideas are stupid, foolish and plainly wrong.
Worse still.. some ideas are simply USELESS.
A universe run by a magical and capricious sky daddy intent on deceiving us is a universe where the natural world can not be understood, can not be predicted and can not be bent to our will.
Its an idea embraced by those who do nothing to further the human condition.
dont forget Oklahoma and Kansas (home to fred 'god hates fags' phelps.
Phil, you have stated yourself that it is a theory. So, teach it as a theory. I've taken too many classes where theories were taught as fact.
If you had your way, everybody would have to believe as you do. However, this would result in great boredom, and your life would have no meaning because you'd have nobody with whom to argue.
Well, fuck me runnin'! I done read that there bill the wrong way. Nope, keep the parishes and the Jesus mommies out of the public school system. Sorry about that. I hadn't had enough coffee before reading it more thoroughly.
I think you missed the point. You are conflating the definition of a scientific theory with the colloquial use of the term theory. Colloquially, we misuse the term 'theory' when we mean a hypothesis. In other words, one person might have a hypothesis that team A will win the game tonight, and another person might have a theory that team B will win. Each person might have good reasons for their hypothesis, but they are just guesses.
There is part of the theory of evolution that is considered as much of a fact as gravitational attraction. The fact of evolution is called 'descent with modification'. This means that any organism is descended from its parent and is genetically different from its parent in one way or another. It is descended from its parents and it is a modified version of its parents.
The theory part of evolution is the explanation of how these modifications come about, and what forces harness those variations generation after generation to produce novel traits and new species.
A scientific theory has a much stronger status than a simple fact. It is an explanation that unifies the observation of millions of facts. A good scientific theory does that so well, that it predicts future observations over and over again with incredible accuracy.
A scientific theory, in order to have that kind of power, must make extremely bold and audacious assertions. The value and power of a theory is in what it forbids, because this allows it to be easily falsified. For example, if I say that some objects are not attracted to the earth, it is a weak theory because it forbids almost nothing. It doesn't actually forbid any particular object from being attracted to the earth, because of the use of the word 'some'. Therefore, it make no predictions on any particular objects attractiveness to the earth. And therefore, it is unfalsifiable. It turns out that in scientific theories, predictive power and falsifiability are two sides of the same coin.
Whereas, if I say that any (this means 'any' with no exception) two masses in the universe are attracted to each other by a force equal to g(M1 * M2)/(R * R), then I have a really good scientific theory. It is a good one because it forbids any object in the universe from violating that formula. Therefore it could easily be falsified by any two objects if it were not true. This theory makes a prediction on every object that has ever existed and every object that will exist. It has massive predictive power, and conversely it is easily falsified.
So if after a couple of hundred years of experimentation no one has been able to falsify it, one can see why the theory of Universal Gravitation is more powerful than a simple fact. You can also see that it predicts future events, such as the future position of planets or the path a rocket should take to get to the moon.
The modern theory of evolution enjoys this same kind of support. It says absolute things like, "any two organisms, living or dead, are related by a common ancestor." So far, this has held up for 150 years of concentrated rigorous reasearch and not only did it survive the discovery of molecular biology and genetics, but it anticipated them and is vindicated by them. The anatomical, molecular, and genetic maps of the evolution of the generations of an organism overlay beautifully and support each other completely.
Intelligent Design, on the other hand has never even been stated as a scientific theory, let alone supported by a shred of evidence. I defy you or anyone to actually find a definition of Intelligent Design that makes a positive assertion. (In other words, not stated as simply a negative statement about evolution).
Since ID has never actually been stated as a theory, it has not yet entered the scientific world. It has no evidence to support it and it has no predictive power. Furthermore, 99.9% of the energy of its proponents go into unsuccessfully refuting evolution.
ID is ultimately a con game. The very fact that an educated person like you still think that there are no transitional fossils is proof of how successful the con game is. I hate to be the one to inform you that since all offspring of a set of parents are genetic variations of each other and their parents, all organisms are transitional organisms and all fossils are transitional fossils.
But if you want dramatic fish with gills and lungs, or reptiles with feathers and wings, or 17 steps in the evolution of the elephant or the modern horse, or a train car full of very different hominid fossils, they all exist and can be easily seen by anyone who is not in a state of denial.
The reason why ID and Creationism do not represent anything like "the other side of the argument" is because they don't actually have any substance to them. They have not entered the world of science and should not be taught in science class. They are no more scientific than astrology. In fact, one of the chief proponents of ID, while questioned under oath in Dover, PA admitted that the definition of science would have to change in order for ID to be admissable, and also admitted that such a change would allow astrology to be considered a science.
Science is a special and powerful way of knowing, that is more powerful than observing a fact. The theory of evolution has been confirmed for so long in so many different ways that we might be more certain about it than any other scientific theory. ID, on the other hand has not even been stated yet as any kind of scientific assertion, so it cannot even enter the courtroom of scientific inquiry. Being unfalsifiable (like my 'some objects are not attracted to the earth' hypothesis), it is not testable, therefore it is not science.
There has never been anything that has been shown to be Intelligently Designed instead of evolved. There are no active research programs anywhere on Intelligent Design, despite the fact that The Discovery Institute (the chief and only proponent of ID) is funded in the $millions every year. They spend none of it on research, since it is nothing but a PR firm focused on lobbying for changes in public policy regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools.
By the way, I happen to be a devout Christian and believe that ultimately God created the universe and is responsible for life. But I don't confuse that with the denial that in the process God created a universe full of natural processes.
I remember once reading, when I was a boy, a chronology of "future history" in a science-fiction novel by Robert Heinlein in which it is dryly recorded that a certain state legislature (unfortunately, I don't remember which state it was) at a certain date (and I don't remember what date either; it may be in the past by now) passes a law making pi equal to 3. I've long regretted that I can't remember the details, as it was a wonderful little bit of satire on American hickdom. These people start with a fantastically obtuse and ignorant view of Biblical interpretation, and then, when they find that it leads to conclusions that fly in the face of well-established scientific knowledge, rather than rethink their assumptions they resort to subterfuge to make public education accommodate their dumb-ass ideas.
I am not sure exactly what Devron and Hootie mean by these statements, but they seem to me to suggest the assumption that the mere fact that there are people on two sides (to say nothing of other possible sides) of an issue means that the two parties must have equal legitimacy. From that way of thinking -- as I said, I am not sure that it is what Devron and Hootie actually believe, but their statements suggest it -- it follows that public-school curricula should not teach, e.g., the theory that viruses and bacteria cause illnesses without also teaching the theory that diseases are caused solely by the consumption of cooked foods, or the theory that the earth is round without also teaching the theory that the earth is flat, or the theory that Nazi Germany put millions of Jews to death without also teaching the theory that the Holocaust is a Zionist fraud, and so on. The fact is, there are theories, or ways of thinking, that are founded on nothing but error, confusion, superstition, and just plain falsehood. The "intelligent design" movement is one such.
Immensely well said, JustAsking.
Theories are never proven to be true; they are only proven to be not false. With increasing discoveries and deeper understandings about the fossil record and geological and archeological evidence and connections within those topics, evolution becomes that much harder to falsify. No theory can prove to be 100% true, but well-substantiated theories approach that benchmark without a hitch. There's a theory of gravity that isn't 100% proven, but why split hairs over a ten-thousandth of a point being off? (See here for an explanation of scientific method as "truth and fact.")
I don't have a problem with Intelligent Design or creationist theories being taught, but I do have a problem with those supporters heralding it as scientific truth or even supposing that its propositions are propped up with the same kind of scientific rigor as everything else. In the very first instance of anything being called science, the method only applies to observable data. As compelling as it is to wonder how big a rock God would need to create to crush Himself under its own weight or how He managed to create women out of the ribs of men, we could only rely on faith-based explanations. We weren't there to observe any of it, nor could we feasibly create an experimental setup to test that generation process. You could do that speculation in a religion class, a philosophy class, or some other elective, but it can't take place in a laboratory.
Some religious speaker came on campus last semester and he said that his proof for thinking God created the planet in its entirety as is came from the marvel at the human eye. That we have an organ of such size that functions in its complexity is somehow "proof" that an omnipotent Designer created it. Human engineers, technologists, and electricians can make marvelous equipment that we could verify has a creation process. The eye does too with the adaptive changes needed for it to function as it does.
The one thing that makes evolution a bit complicated regarding scientific rigor is that Homo sapiens sapiens has yet to undergo a significant evolutionary change. Our environment has been relatively stable for, what, tens of thousands of years now. Environmental changes have yet to be so drastic that it would depend physiological adaption. What we do know and can see and could replicate in the laboratory are the much smaller genetic adaptations (see Wikipedia). Even as scientists concede that we still have much progress to make toward evolution, nothing rigorous or scientific about Intelligent Design could fill those gaps, and to claim that it can is far-fetched at the least.
In science, as in politics and economics, reality bats last.