Kentucky religious conservatives cannot wrap their head around theory of evolution

LarryC wrote:

I speak from one of the countries from where America draws its immigrants. May I say that you draw the best and the brightest from us? Brain drain has been a chronic problem with my country, and a fair bulk of our best professionals used to go to the US.

The reason that that doesn't happen as much nowadays isn't because your education systems are shot. It's because your immigration policies are too draconian. Why would I subject myself to the uncertainty and BS of American immigration, when Australia is falling all over itself to woo me?

If you want the smart people to want in on America again, you have to give them economic incentives to do so. The school system for their children is part of that, but it's a small part.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I agree with Larry 100% here. I think it's a worldwide problem, though. If there was a reciprocal agreement where I could freely find work in Asia or Europe I'd do it in a heartbeat. Just for the experience of living in another culture.

This would, in theory, allow immigrants to move as freely inside the US. I've had many amazing Indian, Chinese, etc. co-workers that I would have loved to work longer with but they couldn't stay. I have an Indian friend whose wife is Indian and an architect. She lost her job and under current rules can't get a job outside her field. So now she's a housewife even though she'd rather be working and could be contributing.

Hypatian wrote:

I am skeptical of any suggestion that teachers' unions are a problem while we continue to pay most of our public school teachers a pittance. A good teacher [em]ought[/em] to be making six figures. This is one of the most important jobs there is.

Two things I'll never forget from my time working in the education system are 1- the time the union rep came by with the news that the legislature's approved pay raise did not cover the increase to insurance costs, and 2- when I learned I'd inspired several troubled kids to stay clean simply by existing and being sober enough to come to work each day.

Shut up Larry! You're out of your element.

Seriously? Did I miss a smiley?

Well, he did say he had scotch and a cigar, maybe the smiley was implied?

Robear wrote:
Shut up Larry! You're out of your element.

Seriously? Did I miss a smiley?

I read it with an implied smiley, but that could be a cultural thing.

IMAGE(http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/vv255/twalko1/STFU/stfu-donny-16077-1241818228-12.jpg)

eh, on second thought, conversation has moved on.

The best way to interpret was with implied smiley, so that's how I took it. If KingGorilla wants to offend me, he needs to be more explicit about it.

For some of us, it's harder to get that stuff. Not everyone is good with reading emotion into posts.

I was thinking a bit on this. To clarify my point. Evolution, Newtonian Physics, Newtonian Astronomy, works by Jefferson, Madison, the archaeological and anthropological workings of Steven J Gould are about the critical thinking process.

They took what was before them, and did independent work, research, experimentation, observation countless times to support new theories from that research. These are the greatest illustrations from some of our greatest minds.

To propose to equate Evolution and creation in science class is as inane as;
Teaching of the alien origins of the pyramids in a world history class.
Allowing a segment on holocaust denial or 9-11 denial to be taught in modern history. We need all sides, even when one side is made up, right?
Biology or Anatomy lessons must mention germ theory along side the Demonic and spectral origins of disease, the 4 humors and proper blood letting.
Astronomy courses must teach of genesis and that model for our geological system, never a solar system as the earth is the center.

And no, I do not hate Larry. Unless he was that dick in traffic Thursday in an early model BM.

A poorly written and confusing blurb seems to indicate that the Sun affects radioactive decay through a mechanism we don't yet understand. It's unclear whether the effect is enough to significantly change the dates we get from measuring relative quantities of unstable isotopes, but it's more evidence that we shouldn't use radiocarbon dating as 'fact', by itself, that we need to tie it into other dating systems to make sure it's giving us good results.

Upside, of course: if this pans out, there's new physics to be found.

Probably better just to cite the Slashdot discussion, which has a lot of pointers to papers on the topic. Scroll down a bit to seem interesting references.

This was first noted in 2006, I believe, and it was trumpeted by creationists as evidence that radioactive decay rates are changeable. They use it to attack dating methods. However, the effect is very small, and of course radioactive decay measurements have been repeatedly verified by other methods as well. The charts that I've seen not only show tiny effects, but the error bars are as big as the effects, which means that it's difficult to say whether the effect is real at all.

There's some speculation that this has to do with neutrinos, but right now, no one knows whether it's even real.

Looking upon the graphical plots, and please correct if this is an incomplete assessment, but it seems to be the initial plumbing into a better calculator for radioactive decay? Looking at the plots, I am seeing rather minute variances based on bursts of solar energy. Further, it causes some with a creation agenda to conclude from the initial data, that this proves that the earth is far younger when the opposite is also likely true.

It is as if we are throwing our Greek Mathematics because of innovations in graphing calculators.

I recall that radioactive decay is an area where young earth believers focus on. Have a look at Polonium Halos. Basically the finding of these white circular halos presumably created by alpha particles proves that granite is not formed from pressurized deep earth magma cooling, but rather granite appearing instantly from the hand of god.

Because that is how it works. If a theory is disprove a new theory does not supplant it, we have shown that the biblical description was right. When Kepler disproved Galileo and Coepernicus on their model of circular orbit of planetary bodies in the solar system, that meant that we returned to the biblical model of the system, right?

All I'm saying is that the dating systems we're using are based on assumptions, and that the assumptions are demonstrably not 100% accurate. That's doesn't mean they're 0% accurate... realistically, it probably means something like 99.5%. We just have to tie them into other systems, and realize that the further back we look, the blurrier things get.

And of course, we don't yet know which way the numbers are off, or even if they're off in a consistent direction over time. And no matter how much fan fiction the Christians come up with, the Earth is much older than 6,000 years.

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

Malor wrote:

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

That's fair and I was definitely out of my element. You can probably take those assumptions and turn them into facts with confidence intervals though. You can also simplify things by saying "The earth is older than 6000" years rather than pinpoint an exact date or range. Then it easily becomes fact, despite the assumptions.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Malor wrote:

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

That's fair and I was definitely out of my element. You can probably take those assumptions and turn them into facts with confidence intervals though. You can also simplify things by saying "The earth is older than 6000" years rather than pinpoint an exact date or range. Then it easily becomes fact, despite the assumptions.

The problem is that the Earth is actually 4.54 billion years old (+/- 1%). So while it's technically true that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, it kind of misses the point of just how f*cking wrong creationists are.

It doesn't make any sense to limit yourself to only precise, scientific language when the other side thinks that a scientific theory is the same as a hunch. We can worry about whether or not something is a scientific fact once we stop having morons saying that the Earth is younger than the development of agriculture, the domestication of horses, and several civilizations.

OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Malor wrote:

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

That's fair and I was definitely out of my element. You can probably take those assumptions and turn them into facts with confidence intervals though. You can also simplify things by saying "The earth is older than 6000" years rather than pinpoint an exact date or range. Then it easily becomes fact, despite the assumptions.

The problem is that the Earth is actually 4.54 billion years old (+/- 1%). So while it's technically true that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, it kind of misses the point of just how f*cking wrong creationists are.

It doesn't make any sense to limit yourself to only precise, scientific language when the other side thinks that a scientific theory is the same as a hunch. We can worry about whether or not something is a scientific fact once we stop having morons saying that the Earth is younger than the development of agriculture, the domestication of horses, and several civilizations.

Sure, I agree, that was just an example of how to get around the "That's an estimation, not a fact" argument. There are a variety of approaches: 95% confidence in 4.54 billion years +/ 1% (made up confidence % but you get my point) or 100% confidence in older than 6000 years and many options in between. Just because it's an estimation doesn't mean we can't also have facts.

tl;dr: Mathematicians figured out how to make facts out of estimations a long time ago.

SixteenBlue wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Malor wrote:

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

That's fair and I was definitely out of my element. You can probably take those assumptions and turn them into facts with confidence intervals though. You can also simplify things by saying "The earth is older than 6000" years rather than pinpoint an exact date or range. Then it easily becomes fact, despite the assumptions.

The problem is that the Earth is actually 4.54 billion years old (+/- 1%). So while it's technically true that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, it kind of misses the point of just how f*cking wrong creationists are.

It doesn't make any sense to limit yourself to only precise, scientific language when the other side thinks that a scientific theory is the same as a hunch. We can worry about whether or not something is a scientific fact once we stop having morons saying that the Earth is younger than the development of agriculture, the domestication of horses, and several civilizations.

Sure, I agree, that was just an example of how to get around the "That's an estimation, not a fact" argument. There are a variety of approaches: 95% confidence in 4.54 billion years +/ 1% (made up confidence % but you get my point) or 100% confidence in older than 6000 years and many options in between. Just because it's an estimation doesn't mean we can't also have facts.

tl;dr: Mathematicians figured out how to make facts out of estimations a long time ago.

Then I would counter that the better claim to make is that it is a fact that the earth's age numbers in the billions rather than the thousands. If you simply leave it at "older than 6000 years" then you're playing into the hands of the creationists.

OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Malor wrote:

The only reason I'm posting this is because of SixteenBlue's strong assertion of 'this is fact!', when it's not quite that firm. I still agree with him overall, I just don't think language of absolute certainty can safely be used here.

That's fair and I was definitely out of my element. You can probably take those assumptions and turn them into facts with confidence intervals though. You can also simplify things by saying "The earth is older than 6000" years rather than pinpoint an exact date or range. Then it easily becomes fact, despite the assumptions.

The problem is that the Earth is actually 4.54 billion years old (+/- 1%). So while it's technically true that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, it kind of misses the point of just how f*cking wrong creationists are.

It doesn't make any sense to limit yourself to only precise, scientific language when the other side thinks that a scientific theory is the same as a hunch. We can worry about whether or not something is a scientific fact once we stop having morons saying that the Earth is younger than the development of agriculture, the domestication of horses, and several civilizations.

And this is why I question why any textbook should be allowed to print that the Earth is 10,000 years old. I would consider the above sufficient to disprove the assertion of young earth creationism. So, prohibiting textbooks from teaching that the Earth is 10,000 years old (and just that particular assertion - I'm not saying textbooks should be barred from other related, vaguer assertions about the universe's origin) wouldn't be an attack on religious belief. It would be an attack on scientifically disproven misinformation, no different from disallowing textbooks from teaching that Abraham Lincoln led the Confederacy and died at the ripe old age of 190 years old after he single-handedly defeated the Naxis and landed on the moon. It seems to me that textbooks should be held to a certain standard of truthfulness, regardless of their audience, and that regulation of these books could fall under government authority.

The idea of government-enforced Truth is the most frightening of all possible outcomes.

Malor wrote:

The idea of government-enforced Truth is the most frightening of all possible outcomes.

Why is it frightening for the government to force textbooks to say that the Earth is millions of years old, given that a multitude of evidence from different vantage points definitively shows this to be true?

I'm struggling to understand how, on the one hand, people can be dismayed at the concept of teaching that the Earth is 10,000 years old, and yet, on the other hand, no one wants to do anything about it. If we were talking about having the government remove all mention of God creating the universe, I'd understand the concern. But setting forth textbook standards that force the teaching of accurate scientific evidence, and eliminate the teaching of disproven concepts? I just don't see the problem there.

Malor wrote:

The idea of government-enforced Truth is the most frightening of all possible outcomes.

There's an astronomical gulf between having a national organization with the purpose of establishing basic educational standards (let's call it, oh say, the Department of Education. Has a nice ring to it) versus the government enforcing Truth via employed thugs who go around forcing people to confess they believe what the government says they should.

Malor wrote:

The idea of government-enforced Truth is the most frightening of all possible outcomes.

Isn't that what fraud cases are?

Malor wrote:

The idea of government-enforced Truth is the most frightening of all possible outcomes.

Yep, which we currently have in Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, Kansas. This dystopian view of the national government is 200 years out of date sir. And all I have seen it serve it to allow local tyrrany and bigotry to fester. It is the rationalization of why Virginia can mandate the rape of women by doctors, give homosexuals second class status, it brought war to the west over slaves, and a need for armed escorts for black students.

This Manchurian idea is just a fright exercise to resist change and progress, always has been.

I personally am very curious about the resistance to agreeing to disagree. It is very hard to understand what sort of satisfaction one will get from an idea not seen from all angles possible. So if you disagree with me cool! Please tell me all about it. 8D.

Science to me is the study of ideas. You take one and then pull out a sledge hammer and try to break it as hard as you can. Look at how it breaks and work on figuring out why. Then adjust it and smack it around till it breaks again. When you can no longer break this idea you give it to other people and let them smack it around. Then once you get one that doesn’t break at all, you let people smack the living hell out of it over time with new hammers. Don't stop! never ever stop till the end of time.

Public education no matter what is taught should instil this process. Make very sure that everyone can clearly see that this is a process not a telling of what always was and will be. Present the current unbreakable idea is our “best” idea on this matter and nothing more. Then tell people about the idea with accountable standards.. and if this is what we are trying to do currently.. Owe.. just owe! o.O

…..The following is not really on topic just letting ya know...

1. Life is a property of matter/energy. Its just something matter/energy can do. Seems plausible.. Weird to think about. The universe created itself, became aware of itself, began touching itself, exploring itself, made movies about itself, loves itself.... This does make me think about why is anything really important or not.. its all just matter/energy in different states. Really I feel somethings are important over others. Though thinking about the universe like this leads me down the "why do we care" question a lot. Pretty interesting to self reflect and think about.

2. Life is something created by a being. Seems plausible.. Weird to think about. Personally I have to put myself as well as I can in the head of this being to work on this idea. I could create a lot of little things to really appreciate me, look up and just cheer like.. er well like little robots. Ok that seems about as interesting and fulfilling as a snow globe or screen saver. I could create a sentient beings that think for themselves. Then work on a way to have a relationship with them. But best I can tell I would really have to give them free choice for it to really mean something. It really seems like if I do not do this, I will get closer to that snow globe robot than I would want.
For this example we are making them mortal and limited knowledge of the universe as I have created it. The issue I run into is this. I want them to freely and openly choose to have a relationship with me. Though making them mortal in this example limits how close we can be together till this choice is freely made. Intelligent mortals with the ability to understand, what and who I am before this choice is made would really be affected by my presence. The more affected they are the more snow globe like this is going to be. Really as if E=MC”God”.. as in if they could prove/disprove I exist then we are going to have the same issue. My creation, best I can tell would not want a true relationship with me.. I would just possibly be the best option. I feel like without free choice we really cant have the relationship I would consider worth while.. soo blah. So I am going to need to balance the interaction in a very well thought out way to ensure they can figure out we can have a relationship, against affecting their ability to freely choose. Along with that a balance of life span, emotional range, intelligence, world to interact with etc. At this point I get thinking about how things are and why. Pretty interesting to bounce this idea around.

I wonder if will we ever get a really solid unbreakable idea on how things ended up. One that will stand the test of time. Really be as close as possible to the truth. So far I would have to say that both ideas are plausible. Also that one can not accurately say there is or is not a God, since only God would know this. One can however chose to believe or not believe. Choose to agree to disagree and hammer ideas together till the end of time.

So far I would have to say that both ideas are plausible.

Only if one does not apply the rules of scientific investigation to both propositions. Sigh. Apples and oranges.

Robear wrote:
So far I would have to say that both ideas are plausible.

Only if one does not apply the rules of scientific investigation to both propositions. Sigh. Apples and oranges.

Yup, there is no evidence for the latter. If we consider that as scientifically plausible, then we must also concede that saying my house could have been built by a nomadic race of lizard men from under the sea as being as likely as being built by men in the construction business. Of course it's possible, because even if there was video evidence, those lizard men could be just wearing human skin suits. But it doesn't make it scientifically probable, only philosophically and religiously possible.

Philosophically, yes, religiously no, since I don't know of any religion that features lizard men in suits. The use of the two in this sense is obviously condescending and suggests an anti-religious agenda. This weakens the cause for strict inclusion of pure science in science classes. In fairness, Dawkins is also frequently guilty of doing the same, probably to the detriment of the scientific cause he often says he supports.

LarryC wrote:

Philosophically, yes, religiously no, since I don't know of any religion that features lizard men in suits. The use of the two in this sense is obviously condescending and suggests an anti-religious agenda. This weakens the cause for strict inclusion of pure science in science classes. In fairness, Dawkins is also frequently guilty of doing the same, probably to the detriment of the scientific cause he often says he supports.

You do realize that many many religions believe in gods that take the forms of animals? Christianity is not the only religion.

KrazyTaco[FO]:

As a matter of fact, I'd talked about Shinto Buddhism, and South East Asian animism in these forums before, so yes, I am aware. In fact, I am even aware of religions that feature the weirdest stuff you can think of, since many of my knowledge do not make it to books, or even local publications. I am not aware that any of those religions featured nomadic undersea lizard men in construction companies. If you are, please share.

Wadjet?