homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Rants, Raves, Rumors!   » Speculation: Are we experiencing the emergence of a new 'dark age' (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!  
This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4 
 
Author Topic: Speculation: Are we experiencing the emergence of a new 'dark age'
Cap'n Vic

Member # 1477

Icon 1 posted November 09, 2004 19:21      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Added Bush: "God bless America's backwards hicks, lunchpail-toting blockheads, doddering elderly, and bumpity-car-driving Spanish-speakers."
Hehehe

--------------------
(!) (T) = 8-D

Posts: 5471 | From: One of the drones from sector 7G | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
sosumi
Uber Geek
Member # 1106

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 09, 2004 19:23      Profile for sosumi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
The fact that, in the US at least, "intellectual" has become a dirty word

Ah yes, the dumbing down of America. brings to mind a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
"Harrison Bergeron"

Posts: 845 | From: Boston | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cap'n Vic

Member # 1477

Icon 1 posted November 09, 2004 19:35      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Priceless story [thumbsup]

A bit scary that it was written in '61 though.

--------------------
(!) (T) = 8-D

Posts: 5471 | From: One of the drones from sector 7G | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 09, 2004 20:13      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
Priceless story [thumbsup]

A bit scary that it was written in '61 though.

The more things change, the more they stay the same [Frown]

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

Member # 2950

Member Rated:
4
Icon 5 posted November 10, 2004 03:12      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Anyone else read the SF short

"The Marching Morons"?

--------------------
"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
smallerdemon
Geek
Member # 635

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted November 10, 2004 21:45      Profile for smallerdemon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
whoops! [Smile] Kind of double posted. Perhaps I'll figure out how to nix this one soon enough.

--------------------
That's using your brainium!

Posts: 214 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
smallerdemon
Geek
Member # 635

Rate Member
Icon 1 posted November 10, 2004 21:59      Profile for smallerdemon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like the idea of keeping what you earn.

I've also been fond of the religious ideologies of the founding fathers.

Admittedly, I am the kind of person that believes in working through one's problems as opposed to finding short term solutions that are popular where I grew up.

Speaking of where I gew up, there were many reason I left, even though this was not explicitly one of them it's certainly a added benefit.

In general, I would say I am in favor of a common sense approach to health care, such as seeking it when it is obviously necessary.

Although, it seems this guy is making some of the same points as my, he does seem a bit more angry.

I suppose these are cheap shots. Sometimes the facts come across like that. Lately it does seem that a philosophical approach to problems is not particularly popular everywhere.

--------------------
That's using your brainium!

Posts: 214 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
GameMaster
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1173

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 06:56      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Groggle:
With regards to Bush and science, I was referring to much more than just Stem Cell research. I was also referring to the serious amount of 'spin-abuse' that is being applied to science for political agenda reasons. ( most notable are some of the Bush administration's utter misrepresentations of climate data - which have been contradicted in enough journals to make me very suspicious) The point being that there are political forces at play that do not appear to be making full use of the information at their disposal, but instead are morphing that information inappropriately.
The Climate data is not enough to rule out a lot of things. A lot of people seem to equate corralation and causality. As we learned with the football (I think it was) games and the elections, corralation does not causality make. There has been a warming trend in recent years, and my Great Grandfather has had an increase in wrinkles in in recent years... That doesn't mean that my Great Grandfather's wrinkles cause the warming trend. I can find a great many things that happen to have correlations with the warming trend, but that doesn't mean that any that I find are neededly the cause.

As regards to your over-generalization about Liberal Arts programs being filled with "unreformed Communists, socialists, and other leftists" - all I can say is that it's time to lose the McArthy era phrasebook.
Not neededly... the only word that made me flinch was "unreformed"... There are people who belong to the Socialist and Communist parties teaching English, Philosophy, Art and the like at my University. That doesn't mean that they are "evil people" or that they are "part of the conspricy" it just means that professors in certian fields seem to be more "left" than professors of other fields.

My point was that the Liberal Arts are those areas of human knowledge and endeavor that often bring a great deal of value to an advanced education. (certainly, that was my experience, and others I know have echoed the same sentiment). With colleges and universities focusing on degrees that are directly "employable" (Engineering, Comp Sci. to name two),
With college costing so much, I want to make sure that I have a job when I get out. Many here feel the same, and there are very few Philosophy majors compared to Engineering majors or Bussiness Majors. The college in responce drops more money in the pockets of the School of Engineering and School of Bussiness than in the School of Philosphy... Seems perfectly reasonably to me.

And with the Brain Drain being from other countries to the US for these "employable" fields like Engineering and Computer Science... And the fact that we still have a great lead in the Tech race... I'd say that isn't neededly a bad thing. And liberal arts are still part of the General Education Requirements at most (all?) Universities.

To these ends, our English class (basic GER class that all students must take) was used as sounding post for the lecturer's enviromental beliefs -- while decent was possbile without being penalized for your opinion, it was obvious what "answers" she was looking for... Most of the class just wrote what she wanted to hear, and then complained about the class being her personal sound board behind her back.

these other areas of study seem to be getting the short shrift. Pattern wise, this reminds me of how Western European civilization lost touch with Greek thinkers such as Aristotle for over 1000 years, until the rediscovery in the Renaissance.
How so? Aristotle is still being taught, and discussed... As are all the major historical philophers from over the decade.

My assertion, in part, is that if the patterns that are emerging today are persistent, then a more serious problem may emerge in the latter part of this century. (Note that Rome crumbled very slowly - over a period of 300-400 years) It is not this generation, or even our grandchildren that I am thinking of, but their descendants.
It's just 2% of the population make the world work... Those 2% are Computer scientists, Civil Engineers, Machanical Engineers and Electrical Engineers... Without them, the world would be back in the dark ages. Building the buildings, bridges, computers, machines, networks, infrastructures that makes this modern world of our work. That isn't to say that losing Tolstoy or Descartes writing to the ether of time wouldn't be a travesty -- but making sure that we have engineers, scientists and doctors seems a more important endevor to me.

--------------------
My Site

Posts: 3038 | From: State of insanity | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Groggle
Mini Geek
Member # 2360

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 14:01      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Climate data is not enough to rule out a lot of things. A lot of people seem to equate corralation and causality.
I agree - however, I was looking at the impact of political policy on the presentation of research data.

Check out the following report from the House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/reform/min/politicsandscience/pdfs/pdf_politics_and_science_rep.pdf

It speaks much more clearly to my concerns than I can put into a space like this.

quote:
How so? Aristotle is still being taught, and discussed... As are all the major historical philophers from over the decade.
Err - perhaps you missed my point. There is a period of approximately a full millenium during which "thinkers" in Western European society did not have access to the works of Aristotle. These were "rediscovered" in the early stages of what we now call the Renaissance - and yes, I recognize that they are still taught today. What I was driving at is the fact that there was a substantial period of time where those works were literally unknown.

My belief is that if we lose touch with the Liberal Arts disciplines - whether consciously or unconsciously - in our headlong rush to make education "efficient" or "practical", we do ourselves an enormous disservice as a society. A similar loss at the end of the Roman Empire contributed greatly to the depth of the dark ages that followed that collapse.

It may seem as though the 2% of the population that are engineers, computer scientists etc. keep the world going. However, intellectual thought - such as that of Galileo, or Newton was not "practical" (economically) in their era either. Yet their work today is indispensible to a working understanding of the world.

Whether it is Galileo, Descartes or Ptolemy, they all engaged in significant works of intellect that contributed enormously to our knowledge as a people and in areas far outside of the narrow realms of "scientific" endeavor. (I strongly suggest you try reading a bit of Galileo, or Copernicus in "On The Shoulders of Giants" - their writing is far from the "purely" disciplined science that we often imagine.

Posts: 77 | From: Calgary | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 14:42      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
A lot of people seem to equate corralation and causality. As we learned with the football (I think it was) games and the elections, corralation does not causality make. There has been a warming trend in recent years, and my Great Grandfather has had an increase in wrinkles in in recent years... That doesn't mean that my Great Grandfather's wrinkles cause the warming trend. I can find a great many things that happen to have correlations with the warming trend, but that doesn't mean that any that I find are neededly the cause.

You've been taking pointers from the tobacco industry here GM.

Sure, correlation doesn't prove causality, every high-school science student should know that. BUT... when there's a load of other evidence to back the theory, there's no excuse for putting your hands over your ears and going La la la - I can't hear you"

The 'greenhouse' properties of CO2 are easily demonstrated in the laboratory, the increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been proven by ice-core samples and radioisotope studies of trees, I could go on and on...

In light of all this supporting evidence, anyone who wants to challenge the prevailing theory had better have a pretty good explanation of how substantial rises in atmospheric CO2 can not cause climate change. "Correlation doesn't prove causality" is just a cop-out.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 11, 2004 14:50      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've talked to some geologists and atmospheric science people (got a lot of those in Boulder), and they've all told me that while teh Earth naturally cycles between warm and cold, the excess CO2 being added to the atmosphere is greatly accelerating the process. The debate among scientists with regards to global warming is more or less over. To deny the evidence in policy-making, or carry the debate further, is purely political and has no bearing on science whatsoever.

You want an example of how lawmakers are throwing science out on its ass? There's a law recently passed in Texas requiring Texas doctors to advise their patients of a possible link between abortions and breast cancer. The problem is, no such link has been shown to exist. The American Medical Association has disavowed such claims, as have the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. The abortion-cancer link exists only in the minds of anti-abortion activists and their lobbyists, and yet by playing cheap tricks with people's emotions they're getting their bullshit written into law.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

Member # 2950

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 16:00      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just a few general comments regarding the topics here

Correlation and causuality:
Won't bore you all with stuff we've all seen umpteen times but I will give you the best (paraphrased from memory) comment I've heard from a researcher/statistician - On the BBC some time ago this researcher was interviewed regarding a study of people's fruit/veg intake and their longer term health (esp regarding cancers) - roughly it came to this:

*statistically poeple who eat more fruit/veg have better health and less risk of cancer*

Interviewer: So we should all endeavour to eat more fresh fruit and veg in order to help protect against cancer?

*Our study has shown a STATISTICAL correlation to that effect, however it will probably take at least a decade to refine the data through further studies and find the statistically relevant facts because (for example) people who eat most fruit and veg are also usually the most health aware. They are less likely to smoke, more likely to take regular exercise and so on, so the the correlation - although pronounced may have no direct bearing on the CAUSUALITY of cancer. On the other hand the eating of more fresh fruit and veg can be statistically proven to be beneficial in a general sense.*

The "Dark Ages" and later and their "loss" of classical wisdom/learning:
The Mediaeval period is one of my minor hobby areas of interest, do not be too eager to dismiss their level of understanding/access to "classical" learning.

The "Renaissance" (like the Victorian Empire centuries later) regarded itself as the pinnacle of human civilisation - therefore everything that went previously must have been worse than they were then. However, Mediaeval towns and cities were generally less overcrowded and much better sanitation-wise than the "Renaissance" ones they developed into - public baths and lavatories were common in the "high" middle ages and almost unknown by the Renaissance (due mostly to the influence of the Catholic Church)

The Mediaeval Machine by Jean Gimpel (ISBN 0-7126-5484-4) is an interesting (and easily accessible to the non historian) look at what he refers to as "Europe’s first industrial revolution" - ignore the rather febrile political speculations/correlations in the appendix - they're dated and IMHO assinine.

Modern scholars of the period are begining to agree that although much "classical" knowledge was *mislaid* it wasn't all lost - some of it just didn't fit with the Mediaeval view of the world, and it gradually re-emerged as society moved to a socio-economic position where it was either relevant or at least of enough interest to merit some discussion.

(A man who must fight for survival every day has little time for the niceties of fine art and music - Serenak c. 1985)

And apropos nothing at all -
"A statistician is someone who can put their feet in the freezer and their head in the oven and still say they are averageably comfortable!!!"

Just my 2p worth for tonight...

--------------------
"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
FatGnome
Highlie
Member # 1068

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 16:51      Profile for FatGnome     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ok, Conservative coming through


1) Misleading data on weather impacts... we have been gathering this data for a maximum of 200 years and most geologists and long term scientists will say that the earth heats up and cools down on cycles that last millenia. So we have only a small fraction of one single fluxuation to measure. I see no scientific proof that the world is actualy heating up or cooling down anymore than any other millial heating patterns. And all it would take is one huge Volcano to spit ash into the air and we would cool the entire earth down by 2 degrees in a single year and it would undo all of the global warming that has occurredin the US since the 60's. (If you disagree go read your science texts again. or I can post again with supporting evidence.) Stem cells, This could be seen as obstructing research, by not giving them money.

2) I have not seen much supporting this. True there are more people graduating from Tech Schools and such, but there are more people graduating too aren't there? Then again I go to a liberal arts institution.

3) Tuition is rising much faster than inflation in the US for sure. I go to a school that costs over $20,000 a year and I get most of it paid for by the government and schollarships cause I work my arse off. (more from schollarships than government.)

4) This isn't new. We have always done this. It's a big part of the reason Japan had to do more in the pacific in WWII. This has been a fight since time began.

5) Well I am not sure what you mean by this statement. Do you have a specific example? As far as I can see SnD still works just fine.

6) This is what they were made for. Corporations exist for one reason only. That is not to benefit anyone except for its owners. Ask any business major.

7) This is a keynsian view of how to pull a country out of recession. It has worked on numerous occasions. (Late 40s, 80s) So it is tried and true practice that catches hell every time it is used and then looked back on by historians as the right thing to do at the time.

8) OK I hate more laws at any time. I would rather be more vulnerable than to have more liberties taken away. But I am in what seems to be a shrinking minority. Heck (I know I will catch hell for this) I think everyone should be allowed to carry around whatever weapons they want. If you want to carry an APC on your back go ahead. Anyway that is just me

9) he he yeah just like every other "War" ever waged. Duno why that would supprise you. It has been stated that there is a relatively free press out there. It doesn't like Bush and bashes him at all times, So then why can't it just show us what is happening and let us decide?

I apologise for the atrocious spelling here. I have about a case of Mt. Dew running through my system and I can hardly even type much less think about my spelling. (But dang my WPM must be amazing right now)

--------------------
What a complete and utter waste of time to read my Signature don't you think?

Posts: 559 | From: Idaho | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
Member # 2603

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 20:52      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think the primary argument that environmentalist use is not so much a "we are the only cause of global warming" as much as it is "the earth is getting warmer." There is plenty of evidence to support the argument that global warming is bad, and there's a fair amount of evidence to even say it's very bad. It's obvious that we as a race have the ability to change the environment. Why can't we change it in such a way that doesn't contribute to global warming?

--------------------
"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 12, 2004 21:16      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There's geologic evidence of warming periods, and that evidence also shows that those warming periods took much longer to kick in than the one we are experiencing. This is why scientists have pretty much reached the consensus that human intervention is speeding up the warming process, and we have no idea what the consequences will be, though earth history suggests it won't be pretty.

It's not that hard to imagine that all the CO2 we're dumping into the air is having an impact on the atmosphere, especially when you realize that CO2 molecules absorb in the IR range at the same frequency the Earth emits at. This absorbed energy goes to heat.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Super Flippy

SuperFan!
Member # 1101

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted November 15, 2004 12:25      Profile for Super Flippy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The more things change, the more they stay the same
Right you are, Druid.

I don't think we're entering an entire "Dark Age," but according to the cyclical theory of history we have just recently entered a crisis period which should last until 2020 or so. In other words, things are going to get worse before they get better, but they should get better within most of our lifetimes.

Assuming the U.S. successfully negotiates the crisis (i.e. we don't lose a major war), it will be followed by a period of peace and prosperity lasting approximately 20 years, which will be followed by a period of social unrest, which will be followed by a period of societal breakdown, followed by another crisis, and so on. (The 20 years figure is about the length of a generation, which is where that number comes from.)

Oh, and if we come out on the losing side of the crisis, we get to skip the peace and prosperity and go directly to the social unrest.

Posts: 337 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Groggle
Mini Geek
Member # 2360

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 06:33      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sayeth Flippy:
quote:
I don't think we're entering an entire "Dark Age," but according to the cyclical theory of history we have just recently entered a crisis period which should last until 2020 or so.
Cyclical Theory of History works moderately well for describing the "normal" ups and downs of the world. I would tend to agree that the current 'down cycle' is likely to last for 10-20 years (which means it will be "lightening up" just around the time that I decide to start thinking about retirement - argh!)

The question that follows is whether the overall trend will be "forward moving", or will the rise of "Social Conservatism" to political power become a self-perpetuating force that takes longer to dismantle.

Consider this case currently before a state court:

Textbooks Tagged with "Evolution is theory not a fact"

One of many in the annals of education to be sure, but somewhat disturbing when you consider the roots of the debate in the first place. The labels can be construed as a cynical attempt to discredit the notion of evolution by implication rather than cogent argument.

That, combined with many other things that are being done lately in the name of "Family Values" (whatever that really means), suggest to me a growing regime of fear and intolerance rather than acceptance and exploration. One of the key things that happened in the last dark ages was a hoarding and distortion of knowledge by those that "held it" (at the time - the clergy) That was used very effectively to discourage open thought and exploration. (Alchemy, for example, was seen by many as witchcraft, and therefore could get you burned at the stake - or worse)

Also, bear in mind that the "Social Conservatives" in both Canada and the US have been persistently organizing themselves for close to 40 years - sometimes very quietly in the background.

The optimist in me hopes that you are correct, and we are just seeing a short term 'down cycle'; but I can't help but feel that there is a bigger pattern emerging that is much more far reaching. (One that reaches far beyond the current bunch of political leadership)

Posts: 77 | From: Calgary | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
Member # 2603

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 07:12      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Groggle:
Sayeth Flippy:
(Alchemy, for example, was seen by many as witchcraft, and therefore could get you burned at the stake - or worse)


Only if you weighed the same as a duck.

*Edited out the glaring "[QUOTE]".

--------------------
"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
GameMaster
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1173

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 08:14      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cyclical Theory of History works moderately well for describing the "normal" ups and downs of the world. I would tend to agree that the current 'down cycle' is likely to last for 10-20 years (which means it will be "lightening up" just around the time that I decide to start thinking about retirement - argh!)

The question that follows is whether the overall trend will be "forward moving", or will the rise of "Social Conservatism" to political power become a self-perpetuating force that takes longer to dismantle.

Consider this case currently before a state court:

Textbooks Tagged with "Evolution is theory not a fact"

One of many in the annals of education to be sure, but somewhat disturbing when you consider the roots of the debate in the first place.

Roots aside... Theory is theory. Personally, I perscribe to the Theory of Evolution -- but until it is proven to be the method of the onset of man, a theory it shall remain. Just like
1 + 1 = 2 isn't a thoerom, it's an axiom. We assume that it is true in order to do useful math, but until the proof is done we cannot call it a thoerom.

The labels can be construed as a cynical attempt to discredit the notion of evolution by implication rather than cogent argument.
Or as a statment of fact. Evolution is a theory, not neededly fact.

That, combined with many other things that are being done lately in the name of "Family Values" (whatever that really means), suggest to me a growing regime of fear and intolerance rather than acceptance and exploration.
I agree. I am against Bush on a lot of his social policy... At the same time I don't see why my cousin needed to take a class about tolerance when he could have (and wanted to) take drafting (because he wants to be an engineer).

One of the key things that happened in the last dark ages was a hoarding and distortion of knowledge by those that "held it" (at the time - the clergy) That was used very effectively to discourage open thought and exploration. (Alchemy, for example, was seen by many as witchcraft, and therefore could get you burned at the stake - or worse)


Also, bear in mind that the "Social Conservatives" in both Canada and the US have been persistently organizing themselves for close to 40 years - sometimes very quietly in the background.
Errr? Conservatives -- nay, republicans -- are more orginized and cohesive a group because the party stand is very clear on each element they think is important, and it's remained the same for so long. The Democrates are a more diverse group with a lot of issues they are split on. So, Democrates have to play a little bit to both sides on a lot of issues either by taking a compromise position (Clinton) or by taking both sides of an issue (Kerry).

There are extreamists on both sides. I'd never want Moore to be presdent, nor would I want Pat Robertson...

Posts: 3038 | From: State of insanity | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 12:32      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:

The labels can be construed as a cynical attempt to discredit the notion of evolution by implication rather than cogent argument.
Or as a statment of fact. Evolution is a theory, not neededly fact.


I went to a debate on Evolution/Creationism at my university. The creationist trotted out the old "It's called the Theory of evolution, because it's only a theory, not a fact" line, so the 'Evolution' guy produced a car battery and a set of jumper leads, which he brandished menacingly at the creationist "Wanna test the 'theory' of electricity?"

Laugh?
I nearly shat !

But seriously, the "It's only a theory" line is designed to mislead non-science types into thinking there's some doubt on the matter. There isn't.

If I proposed a law that all science text books have a sticker proclaiming "Gravity is just a theory, not a fact" people would laugh at me, but that's exactly what the creationists are doing with their silly little stickers.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
spungo
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1089

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 12:38      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Creationists think the world is only 6000 years old because that's the furthest they can trace their family twig back.

--------------------
Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 12:40      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Creationists think the world is only 6000 years old because that's the furthest they can trace their family twig back.

I thought it was because that's as high as they can count on their fingers and toes.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cap'n Vic

Member # 1477

Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 13:01      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Creationists think the world is only 6000 years old because that's the furthest they can trace their family twig back.

I thought it was because that's as high as they can count on their fingers and toes.
Which also explains why Taco thinks the world is 3 years old.

--------------------
(!) (T) = 8-D

Posts: 5471 | From: One of the drones from sector 7G | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 18:56      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
Errr? Conservatives -- nay, republicans -- are more orginized and cohesive a group because the party stand is very clear on each element they think is important, and it's remained the same for so long. The Democrates are a more diverse group with a lot of issues they are split on. So, Democrates have to play a little bit to both sides on a lot of issues either by taking a compromise position (Clinton) or by taking both sides of an issue (Kerry).

Actually, conservatives tend to be a more cohesive group than liberals because liberals genuinely value tolerance and respect for diversity of opinion, while conservatives tend to see that as 'weakness'.

When conservative leaders act like ruthless head-kickers a-la Margaret Thatcher (may-she-burn-in-hell-forever) conservatives bow down in awe, and congratulate themselves on having found such a 'strong leader'. Liberals would be horrified if one of their leaders behaved so badly.

If liberals were as intolerant of difference as many conservatives, they'd be putting silly little stickers on the back of bibles "Genesis is a theory, not a fact".

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Groggle
Mini Geek
Member # 2360

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 20:03      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Says The Druid:
quote:
But seriously, the "It's only a theory" line is designed to mislead non-science types into thinking there's some doubt on the matter. There isn't.
That's exactly my point. Thank you, you said it far more elegantly than I was able to.

It is not the question of evolution as a complete and provable model at this time that is the point, it is the insistence on adding a label to make this statement to a book.

Such demands are designed not to open the intellectual discussion of the merits of the theory, but rather to imply that it is somehow fundamentally flawed. If the point was raised as a matter of discourse, I would find it far less disturbing if it wasn't rooted in the irrationality of religious politics. (I don't mind the debate itself, I mind the unstated implications of a closed debate)

Posts: 77 | From: Calgary | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time
This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4 
 
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

© 2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam