Well...it had to be on the web...

um...

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
1,968
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.

Anyone else see the subtle bias there? "Christianity" = "virtue"; "dogma" = "Muslim faith". Sheesh. :roll:
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
3,026
A Native American friend of mine was discussing the merits of a book that went into a lot of detail about the beliefs of various tribes. Her comment was that it was a very good book, extremely well researched, and very respectful, except for one thing. The title was "Native American Mythology". She said she was inclined to to write a book about Judaism, Christianity and Islam and entitle it: The Mythologies of the Peoples of the Middle East". It's a very good and very valid point.
Sharon
 

erich orser

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
1,632
No need to be embarassed up there, Cephkid, the arrow next to "dork" is pointed back at Um...!
 

erich orser

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
1,632
On another note - I LOVE Dinny and Mr. Rex! They're one of our best near-local examples of classic Route 66 roadside attraction kitsch! Whenever we come back from Palm Springs or Arizona, we have always made a point of stopping by the dinosaurs! This time, returning from finally meeting Greg and Shanlyn in early May, we noticed that something was different about the place...

:sad: :roll: :mad:
 

cthulhu77

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Mar 15, 2003
Messages
6,638
Squidman said:
What happened?

"the wind began to swish, the trailer...to unhitch, then suddenly on her broomstick ,went by the wicked witch"
 

erich orser

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
1,632
Squidman said:
What happened?

It has gone from being a loveably dopey way-too-big dinosaur display with a fossil giftshop inside the apatosaur to being a Creationist attraction. Check out the link from the LA Times Sorceress posted above.

I'm a nut about American oddities - particularly the roadside attraction variety. I like eccentric landmarks - it's sacred history to me!

Can't some things be left well-enough alone?

A totally different example: there used to be this roadside attraction outside Redlands, CA called "Bible Land: Sculpted in Sand" that an old guy had built over years on his land. Looked just like a set from The Flinstones. This was one person's oddball labor of love. Now? Mobile home park. Is this what awaits my proposed "Cthulhuland" gas/giftshop/play park out in the desert? :sad:
 

cthulhu77

TONMO Supporter
Registered
Joined
Mar 15, 2003
Messages
6,638
Has anyone out there read the book "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman ???? It answers sooooo many questions.
 

um...

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
1,968
erich orser said:
No need to be embarassed up there, Cephkid, the arrow next to "dork" is pointed back at Um...!

:shock:

Yeah, Cephkid. Or were you being embarassed for me? Because I can handle that just fine on my own, thankyouverymuch.

:oops:
 

Cephkid

Sepia elegans
Registered
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
804
":oops:" for two reasons:
a) I have been trying to learn latin and greek for marine biology puposes, therefore, I would expect to have learned the answer myself already, as it is greek.
b) Not only "a)", but until recently, I was FIRMLY convinced that "kudos" "were"(was, as it is singular) some kind of...of...exotic food... :oops: :oops: :oops:
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
3,026
Intelligent Design in the Science Curriculum? Part One

Sorry about posting the entire article. I couldn't access the original because I'm not a paid subscriber to the publication. It's too long for one post

Intelligent Design Has No Place in the Science Curriculum
By Harold Morowitz, Robert Hazen and James Trefil
The Chronicle of Higher Eduction

02 September 2005 Issue

Volume 52, Issue 2, Page B6

Scientists who teach evolution sometimes feel as if they are trapped in an old horror film - the kind where the monster is killed repeatedly, only to come to life in a nastier form each time. Since the Scopes trial in 1925, the battle between scientists who want to teach mainstream biology in American public schools, and creationists who want to promulgate a more religious view, has gone through several cycles.

In McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education in 1982, a federal court ruled that the introduction of creationism into public-school curricula constituted the establishment of religion, and hence was expressly forbidden by the First Amendment. That decision dealt a serious (though by no means fatal) blow to old-line creationism and its close cousin, so-called creation science. But another variant of creationism, so-called intelligent design, has cropped up. At least 19 states are now debating its use in public education, and President Bush commented in August that he thought both evolution and intelligent design "ought to be properly taught."

Many people fail to understand the subtle but important differences between the new and old forms of creationism, and the different debates those approaches engender. Like the French generals who used tactics from World War I to face the Nazis in 1939, some educators seem intent on fighting the last war.

A word about the authors of this essay: Although our areas of expertise differ, all of us have investigated aspects of life's origin and evolution. In addition, our political views span the spectrum from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican. Thus the essay does not represent any particular ideological or disciplinary viewpoint. We are united in our concern that the science curriculum, from kindergarten through university, should reflect the best and most up-to-date scholarship.

Consider, then, several different theories of life's origin and evolution. The main theories are those of miraculous creation and of sequential origins. Within the theories of sequential origins are the theories of intelligent design and of emergent complexity, and the latter can in turn be divided into the theories of frozen accident and of deterministic origins. The debate surrounding each pair focuses on a different aspect of the nature of science.

Miraculous creation versus sequential origins. Was the origin of life a miracle, or did it conform to natural law - and how can we tell? Many different versions of the doctrine of miraculous creation exist, but the one that is most at odds with modern science is called "young Earth creationism" and is based on a literal reading of the Bible. According to the supporters of that theory, our planet and its life-forms were created more or less in their present forms in a miraculous act about 10,000 years ago.

Young Earth creationism is in direct conflict with scientific measurements of the age of rocks, the thickness of polar ice sheets, the expansion of the universe, and numerous other indicators of our planet's great antiquity.

One unusual solution to that disparity was proposed in a book by Philip Gosse, called Omphalos, which was published two years before Darwin's On the Origin of Species. The word "omphalos" means navel in Greek, and Gosse argued that Adam was created with a navel, even though he had never been inside a womb. From that insight has flowed the so-called doctrine of created antiquity (Gosse actually called it Pre-Chronism), which states that although Earth was created 10,000 years ago, it was created to look as if it were much older. Are some stars more than 10,000 light-years away? The universe was created with light from those stars already on its way to Earth. And what about those apparently ancient rocks? The universe was created with just the right mixtures of potassium-40 and argon to make the rocks appear much older than they really are.

It is impossible to conceive of any experiment or observation that could prove the doctrine of created antiquity wrong. Any result, no matter what it was, could be explained by saying "the universe was just created that way."

In fact, that property of young Earth creationism proved to be its Achilles' heel. Every scientific theory must be testable by observation or experiment - or it cannot be considered science. In principle, it must be possible to imagine outcomes that would prove the theory wrong. In the words of Karl Popper, scientific theories must be falsifiable, even if they are not false. Popper said that a theory that cannot be overturned by experimental data is not a part of experimental science.

Created antiquity is not falsifiable. The teaching of young Earth creationism, along with any other doctrine based on a miraculous creation of life, was prohibited in public schools not because the theory was proved wrong but because it simply is not science. It is, as the court in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education recognized, a religious doctrine, untestable by the techniques of science.

Once we discard the theories of miraculous creation, we are left with the theories of sequential origins.
 

um...

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
1,968
Kudos, eh? I stand corrected.

Here's an article from the NYT about the investigation of scientific literacy in America. My expectations are pretty low, but I was still surprised to learn that, allegedly:

American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.

Especially that last part. Maybe people should be forced to pass a test before anyone listens to their opinion on what should and should not be taught in science class. If fewer than 1/3 can identify DNA as a key to heredity, how in the name of :cthulhu: can anyone seriously suggest that democracy should dictate the validity of evolution? Cripes.

There's also this:

...Dr. Miller's surveys regularly ask people whether they agree that science and technology make life change too fast (for years, about half of Americans have answered yes) or whether Americans depend too much on science and not enough on faith (ditto).

OK, I can sympathise a little with the first position. I don't see life changing too fast, but I do understand that it can be hard to keep up with the pace of scientific discovery and speculation. But that second part drives me nuts, especially since the first quote implies that fewer than 50% of Americans are even qualified to answer that question. Did faith make America great? I'm pretty sure that, when push came to shove, we turned to science to produce electricity, build automobiles, purify drinking water, treat sewage, increase agricultural yields, win WWII, and broadcast NFL games and evangelicals into our living rooms on Sundays. Does faith alone really make anyone's life better, or does it just make misery more comfortable?
 

Cephkid

Sepia elegans
Registered
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
804
:thumbsup: Excellent post sorseress!

And Excellent point Um...! (I knew there was a kudo...though I have to admit, I though it was a asian roll....)
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
3,026
Intelligent Design.....part two

Intelligent design versus emergent complexity. The theory of intelligent design, or ID, is a theory of sequential origins, but it is also the latest attack on the idea that the origin and evolution of life follow natural laws. Like created antiquity, ID has a long intellectual pedigree. The English philosopher William Paley first espoused it in 1802, arguing that if you found a watch in a field, you would conclude that it had been designed by some intelligence rather than assembled by chance. In the same way, the argument goes, the intricate universe in which we live reflects the mind of an intelligent maker.

The modern theory of intelligent design is more sophisticated than Paley's argument, although it derives from much the same kind of reasoning. It is anchored in a concept called "irreducible complexity" - the idea that organisms possess many complicated structures, which are essential to the organism's survival but which are useless unless all the structures are present. The chance of Darwinian evolution's producing so many such structures and of their existing simultaneously, according to the theory, is so small that they must have been produced by an intelligent designer.

Intelligent design challenges the conventional wisdom in origin-of-life research that life is a prime example of so-called emergent complexity. All around us are complex systems that arise when energy flows through a collection of particles, like living cells or grains of sand. Ant colonies, slime molds, sand dunes, spiral galaxies, traffic jams, and human consciousness are examples of such systems. Although scientists have yet to produce a living system in the laboratory, most origin-of-life researchers are optimistic that one day we will be able to do so, or at least to understand how life first emerged from inorganic materials.

The supporters of intelligent design resort to the same kind of argument that creationists have used for decades, identifying some biological structure and claiming that it is irreducibly complex. Then supporters of emergent complexity have to analyze that structure and show that its complexity arises naturally. For example, 20 years ago, the predecessors of ID advocates pointed to the modern whale as an example of what would be called irreducible complexity today (that term wasn't used then). The whale, they argued, is a form so specialized that it could not possibly have been produced by Darwinian evolution.

Alan Haywood, author of Creation and Evolution, put it this way: "Darwinists rarely mention the whale because it presents them with one of their most insoluble problems. They believe that somehow a whale must have evolved from an ordinary land-dwelling animal, which took to the sea and lost its legs. ... A land mammal that was in the process of becoming a whale would fall between two stools - it would not be fitted for life on land or at sea, and would have no hope for survival."

The power of science is that, faced with such a challenge, one can test the relevant theory. The theory of evolution predicts that whales with atrophied hind legs must have once swum in the seas. If Darwin is correct, then those whales' fossils must lie buried somewhere. Furthermore, those strange creatures must have arisen during a relatively narrow interval of geological time, after the evolution of the earliest known marine mammals (about 60 million years ago) and before the appearance of the streamlined whales of the present era (which show up in the fossil record during the past 30 million years). Armed with those conclusions, paleontologists searched shallow marine formations from 35 million to 55 million years in age. Sure enough, in the past decade the scientists have excavated dozens of those "missing links" in the development of the whale - curious creatures that sport combinations of anatomical features characteristic of land and sea mammals.

But there's always another challenge to evolution, always another supposed example of irreducible complexity. At the present time the poster child of intelligent design is the flagellum of a bacterium. That complex structure in bacterial walls features a corkscrew-shaped fiber that rotates, propelling the bacterium through the water. Obviously, a completely functioning flagellum is very useful, but it is also obvious that all its parts have to be present for it to function. A nonmoving corkscrew, for example, would be useless and would confer no evolutionary advantage on its own. Roughly 50 molecules are involved in constructing the flagellum, so the probability of all the parts' coming together by chance seems infinitesimally small.

However, that intelligent-design argument contains a hidden assumption: that all parts of a complex structure must have had the same function throughout the history of the development of the organism. In fact, it is quite common for structures to have one function at one time and be adapted for quite another use later on. A land animal's legs become a whale's flippers. An insect may develop bumps on the side of its body to help it get rid of internal heat, but when the bumps get big enough, they may help the insect glide or fly, thus opening up an entirely new ecological niche for exploitation. That process is so common that evolutionary scientists have given it a name: exaptation.

No evolutionary theorist would suggest that something as complex as the flagellum appeared ab initio. Instead, it was assembled from parts that had developed for other uses. For example, some molecules produce energy by rotating, a normal procedure within cells. Other molecules have a shape that makes them ideal for moving materials across cell membranes. The flagellum's building blocks include both types of molecules. Instead of being assembled from scratch, then, the flagellum is put together from a stock of already existing parts, each of which evolved to carry out a completely different task. The flagellum may be complicated, but it is not irreducibly complex.

An important distinction between the theories of intelligent design and miraculous creation is that the former makes predictions that can be tested. The problem with ID, at least so far, is that when statements like the one claiming irreducible complexity for the flagellum are put to the test, they turn out to be wrong.

That distinction means that we should use different methods to counter intelligent design than those that defeated young Earth creationism. The more thoughtful advocates of intelligent design accept many of the tenets of Darwinism - the idea that living things have changed over time, for example. Although the motive of some ID proponents may be to re-introduce God into the debate about the origin of life, their arguments can be met with scientific, not legal, rebuttals. That is good news: They are playing on our field.
 
Top