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Textbook revisions and the new world order

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  • The Cosmic Balance
    This thread

    Doc about correctness: you need to do your homework. I have read a lot of texts from the 1800s and the same issues are being discussed. Schopenhauer, Goethe, and Nietzsche talked about almost all the things that we talk about today. Tacitus talked about the clash between cultural values and blah, blah, blah. What’s a current issue? Frankly, I think that the info is in, now what? Well there will never be a “now what� because that is not part of the machine.

    Doc I would love to know what the bar is in the humanities? Is it to publish more and more papers that no one will read in order to keep a position? The superiority and elitist attitude lives at universities! If I said Yale would your association be McDonald’s? If I said community college would your association be private jets? Hi I’m a fellow at Harvard have you seen the toy that comes with my Happy Meal. I bet this sentence has never been said before.
    This thread is locked due to personal attack.

    This thread is not deleted due to community action: all denouncements of personal attacks are to be preserved.

    The account from which the post originated will have it's access to the forum limited in the event of a reoccurance.


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  • Mikey_C
    More Godly pseudo-science (on the public purse)...

    Can Prayers Heal? Critics Say Studies Go Past Science's Reach
    Published: October 10, 2004

    In 2001, two researchers and a Columbia University fertility expert published a startling finding in a respected medical journal: women undergoing fertility treatment who had been prayed for by Christian groups were twice as likely to have a successful pregnancy as those who had not.

    Three years later, after one of the researchers pleaded guilty to conspiracy in an unrelated business fraud, Columbia is investigating the study and the journal reportedly pulled the paper from its Web site.

    No evidence of manipulation has yet surfaced, and the study's authors stand behind their data.

    But the doubts about the study have added to the debate over a deeply controversial area of research: whether prayer can heal illness.

    Critics express outrage that the federal government, which has contributed $2.3 million in financing over the last four years for prayer research, would spend taxpayer money to study something they say has nothing to do with science.

    "Intercessory prayer presupposes some supernatural intervention that is by definition beyond the reach of science," said Dr. Richard J. McNally, a psychologist at Harvard. "It is just a nonstarter, in my opinion, a total waste of time and money."

    Matt. 4:7 " And Jesus said, "it is also written; "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

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  • Jerico
    It's bureaucrats that decide school policies, so to the highest bidder goes the decisions :?:

    Teachers? They carry out the policies, no input allowed!

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  • Kitsune
    You shouldn't be surprised. I've never expressed an oppinion one way or the other when it comes to evolution. It's a a common mistake to try to assume that a person who is conservative on certian issues believes in everything a party or candidate does. I even voted against the stupid anti gay marrige amendment.
    Originally posted by Jerico
    Wow, Kit! I am pleased to hear such a thing from you

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  • Jerico
    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg

    Jerico is a noble idealist. Why am I not surprised. Good luck, pal. I wish you success and
    no disappointment. Your goal is a tough one.


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  • Jerico
    Wow, Kit! I am pleased to hear such a thing from you

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  • Kitsune
    The problem with people trying to disprove evolution, is that in most cases, they don't even really understand what evolution is. What they normally do, is disprove a form of evolution where there is a set path that says old creatures must die off and be replace by new ones. The funny thing is, their version of evolution is actually a hybrid of evolition and creationism. Real evolution is not disproved by the existance of animals once thought extinct. Actually, the evidence that evolution does happen is so overwhelming, that creationist should not be arguing that it doesn't happen, but that it's not responsible for the creation of all the species on Earth.

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  • A_Non_Ymous
    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    I don’t want to keep going back and forth but the idea of gravity is a theory. No one knows what it is. Is it a way or an emission from particles or what? You can see its effects but you can’t say what causes it.
    I take it you find the geometry of space-time argument as adumbrated in GTR
    insufficent? Asking waves versus particles begs the question of why you think
    there's a difference. Why not set up a matter-energy dichotomy? It makes about
    as much sense. :roll:

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    Atoms and their particles are theories as well.
    With all due respect, this is getting sillier the farther you stray from your areas of expertise,
    and is starting to sound like a troll. I don't think you intend it that way, but there are
    better, more efficent ways to get educated on a subject than arguing outside one's
    knowledge base.

    Your depiction of the subject is overly simplistic. It's reminscent of setting up a strawman
    and knocking it down.

    From the way you portray the physics of gravity, I suspect you've never had a lot of
    physics, because your reduction of the argument sounds rather like the things I
    read in popular science books from around 1970.

    There's been a lot of advance in the topic since then, not the least being the project
    at CalTech on measuring and detecting gravity waves.

    There's too much material evidence here that needs to be recapitulated to make this a
    fruitful line of discussion. I don't think you want to read a mini-lecture by me on the
    subject. Unlike the case with genetics and biology, I'm academically qualifed to provide
    one here.

    So perhaps you should go back to your original thread of argument, because this
    byway weakens your debating position quite a bit.


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  • A_Non_Ymous
    Originally posted by Jerico
    That article is much less complex a read than what is found in actual scientific journals like JAMA or PNAS.
    That article was just a summary of the Nature article, which is in turn more complex.
    Still, it's not as heavyweight science as a lot of articles in the subject area. I can follow
    the details, having fortunately taken enough biology + molyboly at the undergraduate
    level, but I'm not an expert by any means.

    I'd like to encourage those interested in reading the "real thing" (as Henry James
    might have put it) to go to the journals Jerico mentioned.

    Originally posted by Jerico
    It is written for "the layman," but I'm willing to bet that 4 or more of any 10 random people you pull off the street will have difficulty reading it and understanding it.
    Absolutely it's for "the layman." As for your bet, no takers here. My suspicion is that
    your estimate of 40% is too high.

    Originally posted by Jerico
    It is no wonder to me that it's much more likely for people to say "God created the earth and all it's beauty," rather than "It's interesting how all the volcanic activity in the Ring of Fire is created by subduction zones."

    I like to think that it's because we are a young country and our k-12 schooling is sub par and has much room for improvement rather than thinking people are resistant to learning about science.
    My daughter attends a Catholic prep school. The Benedictine father who teaches her
    AP Biology class is a nice study in religion+science as a balancing act. He's got a Ph.D.
    in Biology. I spoke to him at length, and asked whether teaching this subject caused him
    any inner conflicts. He took it in stride, and said that he accepted the principles
    of evolution as they've been discovered by science. He thinks they're literally true.
    He finds no conflict, because he thinks the truth of Scripture is metaphorical, and in
    his opinion his supreme being used evolution as the tool for developing life on Earth.

    I spoke to him in greater detail, and he seemed a man of sense and perspective. I'm
    an ex-Catholic, but I wouldn't dream of questioning the basis of this man's belief.
    Whether I find it logically defensible or not is irrelevant. He's made his choices on
    what to believe and what to accept and it creates for him no inner contradiction.

    Originally posted by Jerico
    My thinking is not that of an intellectual elitist. At least I don't think so.
    I plan on becoming a highschool science teacher someday in the near future.
    If I could teach science in a way that every student will get something valuable out of it, I would love that.
    Jerico is a noble idealist. Why am I not surprised. Good luck, pal. I wish you success and
    no disappointment. Your goal is a tough one.


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  • Doc
    At the risk of responding to what may really be baiting...

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    Firstly, one cannot prove causation from correlation. Where humans are concerned there will never be anything other than correlational evidence supporting evolution, so it will always remain a theory. I was playing the Devil’s advocate and taking the side of how a creationist might confront the THEORY of evolution. Saying that it’s not a theory plays directly into their hands, as the language of the scientific method demands that it is a theory.
    First of all, you cannot prove anything with correlational evidence, but you can certainly suggest something relative to the strength, direction, and magnitude of a relationship. This is part of the logic of statistics. There is very little in the world, physical or social, that operates on a purely causal relationship, but things can have different degrees of significance. I won't die every time I jump off of a 20 floor building, but I know enough about probability to keep me from jumping.

    Second, no one suggested that evolution wasn't a theory. Most people who commented said that people didn't understand what a theory actually was. Most importantly, a theory is not a hypothetical.

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    Frankly Doc you are wrong about academia not being a self feeding system. For instance, could the huge amount of papers that are out there survive in a free market. They could not, because most studies are pretty redundant as they ask and answer the same questions over and over and over. It has also been my experience that most social services operate out of a theory rather than a collection of studies. There is no market for the vast majority of stuff that the social sciences produce. Additionally, many of the stalwarts that you mention are fairly insignificant as the average person could not name them and it seems that people tend to revert to type. What is more important feminism or looking sexy? Few of these people have actually studied what people are. Mostly, they comment on what people should be, which is editorializing.
    I suggest you look at the logic of your own argument. The academic publishing market is, in fact, a free market, and it supports itself very well. I include social science journals, books, and textbooks in that market. Does that mean it has a wide popular market like a Dan Brown novel? Of course not. Few areas do.

    As for social science being redundant, you're simply not current. Spend one day on any social science index and you'll see how wrong you are. For that matter, look in any decent sized bookstore, college or not, and you'll see how wrong you are. I might see some of your point, however. Do I ask questions that are similar to other sociologists? Of course. Most academic questions are rooted in common disciplinary concerns. Finding parsimony with what others have already established is one way that knowledge grows. Admittedly there are some people who spend a lifetime researching the nuances of one particular issue, but that detail is part of the job of academia.

    Theory-based practice--
    Who do you think developed and verified these theories that people put into practice?

    Most importantly, to suggest that feminists and the "other stalwarts" I mentioned were relatively insignificant because most people don't know who they are demeans their contributions, including those of the person to whom this site is dedicated. To use an analogy from a different discipline, most people probably don't know Linus Pauling, but he is arguably the most influential scientist of the last 75 years. Moreover, to say that these people have not studied how people are, but instead deal with how people should be demonstrates your complete lack of familiarity with the work. First and foremost, these people have investigated the world as it is so they can even suggest how it could or should be.

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    Although you singled out one phrase that I used to negate my argument, the secular study of religion would be a very valid pursuit. A simple question would be what is a connection between religious belief and violence. Also, a simple factor analysis could be done regard the general beliefs of the religious. My original point was that religious people are commenting on what academia has been afraid to comment on, so it�s time to address them and what they are concerned about.
    You can find all of this in most introduction to religious studies textbooks or any textbook on the sociology or anthropology of religion. Academia has addressed this head-on for years. In fact, my discipline has been addressing those very issues for well over a hundred years.

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    Anyway, after years of college I can see that even the best colleges have turned into diploma mills or at best provide a grade getting game for anal students. There is a branch of Harvard at the local mall in Boston next to the GAP! Also, I know only a hand full of students that remember what they studied and that implies to me that they weren’t very interested in it to begin with. Academia is a self feeding business that provides the middle class with some position and sense of superiority.
    I won't disagree with all of this. Education has been increasingly linked to occupational structures, and many students and colleges are commodifying it. However, I say shame on you to the students who don't remember the general lessons that they learned. You wasted years of your own time. Also shame on their professors for passing them when they didn't learn.

    As for the last statement, academia can't be self-feeding if society keeps demanding college degrees. In that case society is feeding academia. As for the superiority, if people are trying to find superiority through degrees, I think they have broader issues, and should really check themselves. If that was a dig at those, like me, in academia, I'll respectfully say you obviously have no idea what academic life is really like. You must constantly prove you can surpass an increasingly rising bar. There's no room for feelings of superiority there. Also, the idea that some people have of professors who condescend to teach the masses from on high is, at best, an antiquated stereotype. Of course there are academics who are like that, but the state of the academy is far, far removed from that. The larger movement is for engagement, not seperation.

    Originally posted by TheAdlerian
    I have noticed a trend in these posts that you guys don’t want to admit that evolution is just a theory. This is like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Let’s pretend that the passionate religious people aren’t real and their opinions aren’t valid. Well, they don’t seem to mind commenting and challenging rational thought and politically correct positions, so who do you think will win?
    I'll say again- "just a theory" suggest real ignorance of what a theory is. Again-- Gravity is just a theory, but I'm not going to jump off of a building.

    No one is pretending that passionate religious people aren't real, nor that their opinions, though clearly disputed by the scientific community, are invalid. They are indeed mounting an assault on rational thought (I won't dignify "politically correct"). However, reason and rationality has the trump card in higher education. As long as those same people need degrees to do what they want in life, they need what we in higher education offer. They can change public schools and public school textbooks, but higher education is, at present, still a privlege, not a right. Who then wins? You underestimate the power of pragmatism.

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  • Jerico
    Originally posted by Doc
    A few things...
    On a much more optimistic note, it makes me very happy to know that a fighter like Jer may soon be one that is helping public education fight back. I would certainly support him in the trenches of public school science. :D
    Thanks, Doc!

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  • Jerico
    Evolution is just a theory derived from years of diligent work by scientists of various disciplines around the world using the scientific method to the best of their abilities.

    Anyone who understands genetics well can pretty much accept the theory of evolution as being true. The driving factors are genetic mutation and natural selection.

    In fact natural selection has been directly observed in our lifetimes. Consider the industrial revolution when the smoke and soot from factories colored the surrounding trees darker. Lighter colored moths got picked off readily by birds whereas the darker colored moths survived. A great example of directly observable natural selection. Simply one phenotype being more adapted for the changed environment than the other. Over time, it would make sense that dark moths in that area will outnumber the light moths, if the light ones aren't consumed into extinction.

    Considering something more complex:
    The dark skinned people native to the African Savannah are better suited to that environment than pale skinned Scandanavians. Obviously, dark skin offers better protection from the sun than light skin. But the theory of natural selection can go on to logically explain how it came to be that people endogenous to a certain terrain have a certain skin color.

    It's pretty logical really.

    What does creationism say about that? God first put all the black people in Africa and all the white people in Europe?
    Perhaps it doesn't address such things at all. That wouldn't surprise me.

    If people actually understood science, I'm bold enough to say they would toss creationism out the window.

    I am a product of academic programs in biology and psychology at UCSD and I'm proud of it! :)

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  • A_Non_Ymous
    The testimonials from the so-called creation science people are an amusing
    example of what Bertrand Russell once termed "meaningless noise," and are
    roughly on a par in value with the rantings of right-wing talk show callers.

    It's difficult to recall examples that exhibited less semantic, not to say scientific

    It's also difficult to imagine what sort of arm-waving they'd use to explain the
    presence of "junk DNA" in the human genotype. This is another interesting
    case of evolutionary processes, and it occurs in virtually every complex
    animal or plant.

    The notion of "intelligent design" is logically indefensible. I suggest you take
    a look at Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason for starters on the
    notion of first causes and such.


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  • LoE
    Valerie from Grand Terrace, CA wrote..

    I cannot understand HOW anyone who claims to educate themselves on every possible level before making a conclusion can say Creationism has not been scientifically proven!

    It HAS! There are MANY books out there, If one cares to look into the other side of the story and recognise scientific facts!

    Free, I agree with one thing you said, that evolution is more religion than science!

    If you really care to see some SCIENTIFIC proof that evolution is the stupid theory...

    Here are some good books:

    "BONES Of Contention" By Marvin L Lubenow

    "The Creator Beyond Time & Space" By Mark Eastman, M. D.

    and Cuck Missler.

    "In The Beginning" By Walt Brown

    Like I said there are many, very interesting to read and informative!

    Also, How anyone understanding the complexities of DNA can assume it possibly formed from some random blob..... idiotic.



    Oh boy!! :roll:

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  • LoE
    Words from Rafael (Silver Springs, MD)...

    We were created for a purpose

    The bible talks about creation in the light who God is and what we are to Him.

    We are a product of an intelligent design. In fact, in the article, it says: ...But there is a wealth of science that would support intelligent design, and that is not taught," she said.

    Which brings me to a second important point - our accountability to a God who created us. If you read closely, God makes clear what his purpose was two fold:

    Gen 1 (accountability to the earth)

    28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

    Gen 2 (accountability to God our creator)

    16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

    So what does this all mean? It means that we came into being for a purpose, we were designed for a reason. If we deviate from that plan or purpose, we sin. We don’t just sin against ourselves, or our environment, we also sin against God.

    The introduction of the theory of evolution takes God out of the entire subject. Taken out of that subject also was the accountability to God and the refusal to acknowledge the consequences of sin.

    I cant make arguments like how Anon Amos makes because I don’t quite think as intelligently as she does, but I do know from a practical viewpoint, having a God in my life, and being aware that I am accountable for all my actions keeps me in place with the rest of society and the world around me.

    There are consequences for sin. Whether you believe in it or not, there is always a penalty that one gets when they sin. From a small instance of taking candy from a candy store, to robbing somebody’s identity, to taking somebody’s virginity - there will be people who will be hurt.

    Lives are now being affected by the destruction of our environment, and sad to say there are also species of plants and animals we may never know have existed because of men who ravaged the landscape to hunt for valuable minerals and natural resources.

    Do you see my point? And if we allow God to be removed from the thinking of our young children, they will not know how to be responsible for themselves and for others and our future responsibility to our creator. Keeping the subject of God in schools is what will make this world a better place, because in the end of it all, our judgment awaits.


    Gee. I wonder who he voted for? :)

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