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Latest Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution

 
 
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 08:40 am
Despite the lack of in-depth knowledge about the US Constitution, (despite claiming Conatitutional SCholarshiP, ODonnell is catching up in te polls according to the F$M polsters. The very reason that I was claiming that Coons had to be circumspect about how heavily he started leaning on ODonnell. The public feels that hes been "brutally attacking Coons" and so shes picked up a few points . Coons lead is now only in the low teens .
I cant believe how her lack of courtesy to Coons was dismissed as just being "fair" while Coons replies to her attacks and false statements, was considered as heavy handed.

Go figure.

Pa is gonna be a sleeper, with the GOP in firm control (too bad), so Im going to stick by the Delaware race for the Senate.
edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 08:54 am
@farmerman,
To me, that sort of sums up the whole teaparty movement. It's 99% emotionalism.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 09:53 am
NORTH CAROLINA UPDATE
Quote:
Public schools should teach scientific fact, not religious faith
(Editorial, Asheville Citizen-Times, October 30, 2010)

Anyone who wonders why the United States lags behind so many other nations in science literacy would know one reason why had he attended a recent forum of Buncombe County candidates for the state House of Representatives.

When asked whether the General Assembly should be involved in the issue of teaching creationism or evolution in public schools, not one of the five candidates who attended would say flatly that creationism should not be taught. Republican Tim Moffitt did not attend, though he showed up for a meet-and-greet afterward.

Democrat Jane Whilden said “both sides should be taught and discussed.” Democrats Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever said the matter should be left up to the state Board of Education. Republicans Mark Crawford and John Carroll stressed their Christian faith. Crawford said such decisions should be made by local boards.

There are not two sides to the issue; there is only one. Evolution is a scientific theory that has been validated time and again over the century and a half since it was promulgated by Charles Darwin.

Creationism is a religious doctrine based on a literal reading of the first chapter of Genesis.

Are these office-seekers so ignorant they do not know this? Or, and this is more likely, were they dodging the question in order to avoid the wrath of the creationists? In either case, it was a sorry performance.

Falling back on one's Christian faith is no answer. While creationists are Christians, most Christians are not creationists.

Pseudoscience makes inroads because of two common misunderstandings about science. The first is that a theory is nothing more than an idea that popped into someone's head. The second is that science deals in certainties.

The best of the many definitions given for “theory” in Webster's Third New International Dictionary is the coherent set of hypothetical, conceptual and pragmatic principles forming the general frame of reference for a field of inquiry.” That's a lot more than a guess, even an educated guess.

Any field of inquiry is full of uncertainties. A century after he set forth the theory of relativity, Einstein's concept still is subject to testing to see if it works under all circumstances. This is the “normal science” set out by Thomas S. Kuhn in his seminal book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

Results that do not fit the theory may cause a theory to be amended, but they do not automatically disprove the theory. Evolutionary theory has been adjusted constantly in response to such developments as the rediscovery of Mendelian genetics and the unearthing of various fossils, but the core principle that new species arise out of existing species through natural selection — the survival of the fittest — remains unassailable.

The most recent assessment among the 30 nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed the U.S. 17th in science literacy. Margaret Spellings, then the U.S. secretary of education, said the results show the need for “more rigor … additional resources … and stronger math and science education.”

None of that will help if students are not taught the difference between science and religion, and that will not happen as long as our leaders are unable or afraid to speak out.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 01:00 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Falling back on one's Christian faith is no answer. While creationists are Christians, most Christians are not creationists.

There are proportionately more Jews than Christians who believe that the universe is 6,000 years old; many of the strictest jewish sects take that as the literal word of God - exactly as Moslems view the Koran. Christians, for the most part, know they're reading a translation from the original Hebrew!
Quote:
A century after he set forth the theory of relativity, Einstein's concept still is subject to testing to see if it works under all circumstances.

Coincidentally Ionus came up with a related query earlier today - read his post. Special relativity just plain works - if it didn't we wouldn't have GPS satellites or advanced avionics - and only general relativity is under attack; that issue, btw, is unrelated to the "many worlds" or "many minds" hypotheses. Wandel - If you know the editor at that Asheville paper you'd be doing him a favor sending him a link to this page. Minor inaccuracies like these - probably not noticed by his local readership - can cast doubt on the principle invoked here, and it's too important a principle to risk fudging it.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 01:27 pm
@High Seas,
I know he stated he was in the hall. But he had previously stated that he was within radio reception distance which I thought an odd thing to say for someone who had been present.

I watched the tape and I didn't hear booing and hooting and laughing "ALL" throughout the gig.

I suggest you re-read the exchanges on the matter HS. And watch the tape.

Then look at the stuff about who wrote what and who was quoted as saying what.

I thought fm must have been three sheets to the wind.

farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 01:29 pm
@High Seas,
The Fundamentalist Jews are more interested in "Attack Zionism". I know several of my colleagues who are Orthodox Jews and their Torah concludes in Genesis that "Dont take this **** as literal, its an allegory".
Now the extreme Ashkenazi , such as the Lubovitch all have their own "Schulle" and are freaa to teach any belief they want.

One of the key cases that started our entire national hyper-focus on literal Creationism was the Daniel v Waters case in 1975. This case grew out of a local series of appeals that originated in E Tennessee. (Very Close to the High Point/Asheville Corridor). ALso the original Scopes case was not too far from Western NC. (where Asheville is located as a quite (and until very recently) a very straight lace FUNDAMENTALIST/NON DRINKIN? BIBLE THUMPIN area of the state of NC

We havent discussed how much we owe this section of the world and all the CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTAL factions that live and preach here.
In the Waters case--the entire issue was that CREATIONISM couldnt be taught in public schools because it was inconsistent with the Establishment Clasue

SO, Creationism got changed to CREATION SCIENCE and (from all our understandings) this grew into a cancer that metasticized from Louisiana , where Creation SCIENCE hasd to be given equal treatment with evolution. SO then we had Edwards v AGuillard where the term CREATION SCIENCE was found to be inconsistent with the Establishment Clause.

SO, thats where the OFFICIAL term of Intelliegent Design was relly born (Fathered by Phillip Johnson who borrowed a phrase from William Paley).
Then we had Dover v KItzmiller and that brings us to today (where the Fundamentalists are still searching for JUST the right term that will let them squeak by constitutional strictures embodied in the Establishment Clause.
Except for a few supportive statements by one Fundamentlist Jewish RAbbi to Scallias dissenting opinion in EDWARDS, the Jews had almost NO dog in that fight. SO Im not sure that your statement that there are a sizeable numerical proportion of Jews who believe in this nonsense.

THe type section epicenter of all the lnguage games that covered the Creationism front were the Holy Roller belts pf the Christian SOuthlands.(FRom Va to Louisiana). So I think that Id support the general accuracy of the authors opinion that this was a motly Christian accomplishment. Im not sure what the HQAssiem and Lubovitch hve to say re" their own creeds on Creationism, but Im not sure that there are that many of these folks to count. Id compre them to (In my own frame of reference to AMISH) the ultra orthodox separatists AMish sect of the "Beilers" and the "Grey 50" to the over 300000 AMish in the states today. The Beileres number lss than 200 and the Greys number around 75. There are , what? 10 million Jews in the US?
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 01:31 pm
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

.. The cat is only alive or dead because of a lack of knowledge, not because of multiple universes.

No, the damn cat is only alive or dead because of a lack of our knowledge in Euclidean space - as extended to 4 or n dimensions. It is most emphatically NOT "alive or dead" at Planck length. There, it really only can be deemed to exist at all in the sense it lives within Schroedinger's wavefunction. No observers need exist - conscious or otherwise - at those unimaginably tiny dimensions. Or, for that matter, at the equally unimaginable gigantic orders of magnitude of the probabilities against us being conscious observers in our incredibly low-entropy universe. There's worse: if Tegmark's "many worlds" can somehow be disproved, an even more horrific hypothesis comes up: "many minds". Mathematically that one works even better than Tegmark's:
Quote:
"The genuine carriers of consciousness ... must not in general be expected to represent memory states, as there do not seem to be permanent contents of consciousness."...."To most of these states, however, the true physical carrier of consciousness somewhere in the brain may still represent an external observer system, with whom they have to interact in order to be perceived. Regardless of whether the ultimate observer systems are quasi-classical or possess essential quantum aspects, consciousness can only be related to factor states .... that appear in branches (robust components) of the global wave function — provided the Schrodinger equation is exact. Environmental decoherence represents entanglement (but not any “distortion” — of the brain, in this case), while ensembles of wave functions, representing various potential (unpredictable) outcomes, would require a dynamical collapse (that has never been observed)."

[all bold and italics added] source: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9908084

Guys - I don't think I can ponder these equations too much longer before having to ask Spendius to see if some Padre of his acquaintance might look into our thread to throw some holy water over it. The Calvinist church will probably excommunicate me upon this admission, but Schroedinger's cat has that effect on me - hey, all cats have that effect on me! Well, maybe I can ask one of the Halloween spirits why cats are called "spawn of the devil". Ionus - be nice to Farmerman or Spendius will have to call for extra supplies of holy water and Wandel's address is on record as the one for the Vatican to bill Smile
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 01:58 pm
@farmerman,
****, I wanted to edit the typos (so those, unencumbered with measurable IQs wouldnt be given fodder with which to conclude anything about my intelligence as mrely measured by my spelling mistakes).
Quote:
SO, thats where the OFFICIAL term of Intelliegent Design was relly born (Fathered by Phillip Johnson who borrowed a phrase from William Paley).
Then we had Dover v KItzmiller and that brings us to today (where the Fundamentalists are still searching for JUST the right term that will let them squeak by constitutional strictures embodied in the Establishment Clause.
Except for a few supportive statements by one Fundamentlist Jewish RAbbi to Scallias dissenting opinion in EDWARDS, the Jews had almost NO dog in that fight. SO Im not sure that your statement that there are a sizeable numerical proportion of Jews who believe in this nonsense.

The type- section seismic epicenter of all the"Creationism" language games that covered the culture front wasin the Holy Roller belt of the Christian US Southland.( This extends pretty much FRom Va to Louisiana). So I think that Id support the general accuracy of the articles authors opinion that this huggermugger was a mostly Christian accomplishment. Im not sure what the HAssidaem and Lubovitch hve to say regarding their own creeds on Creationism, but Im not sure that there are that many of these folks to even count. Id compre them to (In my own frame of reference )to the ultra orthodox separatist AMish sects like the "Beilers" and the "Grey 50" as comp;ared to the over 300000 AMish in the lower states today. The Beilers number less than 200 and the Greys number around 75. There are , what? 10 million Jews in the US? and how many Lubovitch? how many Hassid?


Thats a little better
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 02:12 pm
@spendius,
Damn it Spendius - my order for an extra pail of holy water is hereby cancelled: I don't think you're capable of carrying out that simple task. FM stated he's within radio distance of the Delaware stations - that doesn't vary on a continuous basis, he's fairly stationary. Not on geostationary orbit either.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 02:13 pm
@farmerman,
I know how you feel FM. I'm having a lot of problems with my spelling as I get older. Frustrating if I can't discover my boo boos too late to edit.

BBB
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 02:19 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
That may be, but FM has often mentioned having computer problems since his portable has a tiny screen and doesn't properly filter viruses and other internet bugs. If it's an age-related problem, it most likely involves the age of the C-drive. Or lack of "ruggedization" - yes, there really is such a word Smile
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 02:59 pm
@High Seas,
I dont know what spendis point is but there were 4 debates. The first one, at U of Del was handled by the WDEL campus radio. I can get that on a BOSE. There were 3 others (2 of which covered the Creationism debate to excess) I was actually at the one at WIdener cause we went to eat at PF CHang's that night and made it an event . (at JEspahs law school Alma Mater). There was hooting and laughing that was toned down by the mikes and the "board-op" doing the radio coverage.

BBB-(As far as my spelling. Ive gone throught 3 laptops since the days when one of my DELLs was typing in caps only.( I remember it was several years ago when Deb was giving me a HUUUUGE host of **** when all my words were coming out like I was flaming everyone) I am now using an APPLE (and loving it). My spelling is not laptop related its more of a hand-eye coordination thing. My left hand is missing digits , is all crippled and I have no feeling up to my shoulder. (I used to amaze people at parties by sticking a pin into my elbow ). .

I dont make any excuses because I type pretty fast anyway and(therin lies the problem. My mind is working fatser than my ability to do the "recordkeeping" of proper spelling. Most (although not all) odf my typos are accomplished with my left hand while Im in the full passion of typing as I speak my lines to myself. My left hand dishonors me by hitting two keys at once and I often get an additional letter or I omit a letter all due to typing pressure.

Everyone has given me **** about it and I suppose I should top everything and run through the spell check. But, for some reason I dont.

1I speak kinda fast anyway.SO I like to write that way when Im not doin it for work.

2 I dont think Ive written anything that wasnt done at the speed of a good discussion with a friend.SO Ive never prepared anything for "press". ( I think that HS, is familiar with having to do papers and reports at a high degree of accuracy that, so every once and a while, I just like to involve myself in the "First draft world".

3Arguments are best accomplished at the passion of the moment. ANything else is an ambush.

I also have never allowed myself to be pinned down with only one way to spell things, and for the most part, I think that people get what Im trying to say.

SO, in summary, Im a lousy speller. Im old, Im crippled up, and I really like talking fast (and writing fast). ANYONE who wants to associate that with my training or abilities can kiss my big black ass.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 03:24 pm
@High Seas,
Quote:
You're venturing into general relativity. Better to stick with special relativity,


I think that when you get into those regions you need to bring along with you the concepts of "indeterminacy" and the principle of"complementary".

The relationship between mathematical systems and the world which those systems are applied to, organise to some extent or reflect is a serious bone of contention in modern psychological and philosophical circles. And in some scientific circles quite remote from this thread.

Indeterminancy (not knowing what's going on) and the principle of complementary (relative viewpoints) cause the well known scientific problem of the interference of the observer, by observing, with what he is observing. Or, if you like, that the reality is not as he describes it nor has he an adequate vocabulary to do so. And never will have. It is a problem going back to Fichte in the 1790s in his argument for the impossibility of objectivity which I think Wittgenstein was signed up to. The attempt to eradicate subjectivity has plagued philosophers for a long time and modern science has excacerbated the situation. It began with rose-coloured spectacles and is still at that stage with the goofball anti-IDers I am dealing with here. They have not noticed modern science bring this problem into the cross-wires. Or possibly they have it on Ignore.

Such matters are of the utmost importance in the consideration of aesthetics. Religion being largely in that realm as well as in the realm of practical politics. Religion is an aesthetic experience and in some cases not disimilar to the aesthetic experience of your team scoring the winning touchdown in OT when you have bet your house on them.

This doesn't matter to the scientists in their labs trying to trick new money making gizmos out of the earth's crust but it does matter in relation to aesthetic experience to the arts in which religion participates. We are all happy to let scientists get on with their investigations and applications. With the kit I have around here I could hardly seek to object to that.

But on these matters they have moved onto another level. And their credibilty on the practical level should not be used to assume a credibility on the higher level. If it's not a higher level we are no better than pigs.

And they are so far gone with pride that to even imagine that the reciprocity between "theory" (their theory) and reality is broken down would lead them to think they are losing their wits. As they can't allow themselves to do anything like that they have to maintain that reciprocity: which is a good thing for the investigations and the applications but very questionable for a philosophy of how to teach the next generations to sort themselves out into Nobel prize winners and garbage collectors and pole dancers in the most advantageous proportions for society at large. The labs turn out garbage and need smoothly paved car parks. And somebody to make the brews and clean the bogs.

What matters is the attempt to extend this convenient and subjective "theory" of the reciprocity of the actual and the observer, on the back of its admittedly almost miraculous acheivements, to the aesthetic realm in which the emotions are engaged and the manner in which they create psychological and, possibly--I would say probably-- physiological states which are sought for and which have practical uses.

One wouldn't think of allowing the skill of a Grand Prix motor mechanic to spill over into accepting his judgement of a Beethoven sonata which would be unique to him anyway.

The attempt to parley scientific credibility into judgements affecting these matters is either a self-flattering delusion or a usage, a misappropriation, of science itself for a power grab. Blinding us with science as the saying goes. And promoting blinding 50 million kids with it which is what a few are doing. They do seem a few. Maybe they are those who are not engaged, for one reason or another, in investigations and applications as most scientists are.

These ideas subvert the logical-positivist's idea of empirical verification and the scientific method as a philosophical ground on which to rest, comforting though it is, and are of great importance in the psychosomatic realms.

0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 03:27 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
. It's 99% emotionalism.


Yes it is ed. Or seems to be. Which is why the scientific methodologists are non-plussed by it and can find nothing to say about it beyond crude insults.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 07:21 pm
@High Seas,
I was headed there...now I have nothing to post...so I will take up space with a little song I wrote....just kidding, didnt mean to frighten all 2 people who dont have me on ignore....

I try to write posts that the average person can read and understand. That post of yours was a little too techo.

Lets list what are the TRUE dimensions as opposed to a dimension being a method of measuring, we need to talk about what is the real construct. The first is separation, the second is area, the third is volume...the first has time and distance as measuring yard sticks. The fourth dimension I suggest is energy/matter. The fifth would be life. Under this system I see no reason why life's contact with the other dimensions would not be intermittent in much the same way energy/matter interacts within volume.

We call the push behind the life dimension God.....George Lucas called it the force. Most of God is in our brain, the part that knows everything and when it is not controlled produces autism...the complete knowledge and memory of our lives to the point of decision making and interaction being severely handicapped. We live beside this all-knowing seemingly all-powerful creature. It tries to exert influence and we can keep it in check by meditating and prayer. This gets it on side. Without it, things like alien hand syndrome occur.

Gotta go...more to follow on return.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 08:14 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
ANYONE who wants to associate that with my training or abilities can kiss my big black ass.
Thank you for the generic offer...I for one only complained about your spelling when it was totally incomprehensible...this amounts to about 3 occasions that I recall.

Anyone who can only spell a word one way is obviously lacking in imagination.

I have to have this policy as I am dyslexic and will return the last spelling viewed, be it correct or not, and this only in instances where it is not a word I get stuck on anyway.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2010 08:21 pm
@Ionus,
Came back and forgot I was in mid-post.....

Reality is not dictated by mathematical modelling. Reality is obvious. If modelling produces different results to what we experience, it is wrong. I see no evidence for alternate universes, infinite in number, but I do see something to a belief in God, especially as the universe had a beginning.

The alternate realities I do accept are at the sub-atomic and galaxy levels.

To be dismissive of religious people as lacking a science education is to dismiss a bird because it cant swim. Why dont we just dismiss geology because it does not involve psychology ?
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 08:42 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
.....
I try to write posts that the average person can read and understand. That post of yours was a little too techo.....We call the push behind the life dimension God....

So do I, and I apologize for the technical part - it's just that I couldn't find a non-mathematical explanation for either the "many worlds" or the "many minds" theories. As posted earlier, since nobody knows if any of those theories can even be subjected to experimental testing, let alone how to specify and conduct the test, it's just as easy to believe in God as in any of these theories. Nature speaks in mathematics - and slowly we're learning that language.

But - and that's the most important point in this whole debate - teaching in science classes must be limited to scientific theories. Non-scientific, metaphysical theories of course have their place in religion, or philosophy, or history classes - or anywhere, really, except in any math and science class.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 08:49 am
@spendius,
The solution to your confusion has been staring you in the face for the longest time: never let the study of science overlap with those other domains!
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 08:52 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

To be dismissive of religious people as lacking a science education ....

Nobody here has done that - to my knowledge at any rate. Generally: pls refer to answer I just posted ref. confusion noted by Edgar and Spendius.
 

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