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Author Topic: Speculation: Are we experiencing the emergence of a new 'dark age'
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted November 17, 2004 21:37      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Groggle,

It ain't that bad when they quit teaching liberal arts.

It's when they start teaching conservative arts that you gotta start developing deep concerns about your future.

You haven't enrolled in fuzzy math 201 yet, have you?

CP

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 05:46      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
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?"


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.

"Electricity" isn't really a theory. You have two laws (Gauss and Coulomb) that describe how charges do their deeds. Gravity is also defined by laws (Newton). They can all be demonstrated in a lab, and the results are always as predicted.

In reply to a poster's comments about theorems, a theorem does not equal a theory.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 05:55      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not really, old chum. By that token Newton's Laws of motion would be immutable as well.

Close, but no cigar. [Wink]

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Groggle
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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 05:56      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Says Colonel Panic:
quote:
Hey Groggle,

It ain't that bad when they quit teaching liberal arts.

It's when they start teaching conservative arts that you gotta start developing deep concerns about your future.

You haven't enrolled in fuzzy math 201 yet, have you?

CP

Hmmm - Fuzzy Math 201 - wasn't that Econ 433 at one time?
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 09:54      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Given that that Academic Bill of Rights passed in CO (in order to save young minds from teh horrors of unrepetantly liberal and intellectual faculty) I'd say Fuzzy Math is right around the corner...

As far as theories go, well, most of the rules the world and universe work by are just theories. A theory is just the glue that puts the facts together into something we can understand. If there's a fact that doesn't fit the theory, the theory crumbles. That's what happened to spontaneous generation, that's what happened to a geocentric solar system, and that's what happened to phlogiston.

Science is so poorly taught in schools. [Frown]

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davor
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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 11:40      Profile for davor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
sure is

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Groggle
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Icon 1 posted November 18, 2004 12:19      Profile for Groggle     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The fact that topics such as science (and many other subjects in school) are being badly mangled by either teachers or the curriculum is one of the warning signs for me. (Along with the fact that little seems to be done to improve the situation.)

The implication is that society is beginning to treat education as less important to our success, and it is "acceptable" to make the trade-off to a lower standard of educational achievement.

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Callipygous
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Icon 11 posted November 19, 2004 06:24      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here is another [Eek!] scary link [Eek!] to back up your theory.

By my reckoning we are more than half way there, as I can put a definite tick against 10 out of the 14, and some of the remaining ones are (to say the least) arguable.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 07:17      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as theories go, well, most of the rules the world and universe work by are just theories. A theory is just the glue that puts the facts together into something we can understand.
A theory is a theorm that hasn't been proven or disproven yet, period. That doesn't mean it is true, or that it is false. It would just as misleading to refer to the Creation Theory as a theory without mentioning that Evolution is a theory. Laws can be made into laws before they are proven...

If there's a fact that doesn't fit the theory, the theory crumbles. That's what happened to spontaneous generation, that's what happened to a geocentric solar system, and that's what happened to phlogiston.
Proof by counter example or by contradiction both use this method.

The part that is sad is that people are able to be mislead by calling something what it is, and not that there is a group of people who want to call a duck a duck for personal reasons. After all, neither creation or evolution has been proven or disproven, they are both theories. If people are mislead by what a "theory" is and isn't, it is because science is being taught well in school ( [Wink] perhaps because they are taking too many liberal arts courses? [Razz] ). It'd be the same as publishing a poll that says 100% of the people polled loved brand XYZ, and then have the sample size be only 2 people -- most news polls gloss over a lot important information involved in the study to make the populace believe the poll means something different than it does. I've seen this from both the conservative news outlets and the liberal ones. If we're going to talk about being misslead, I think the news orginizations are a better place to start. What about all the objective news orginizations that supported canidates -- seems I must not know the meaning of the word objective and unbiased.

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 08:09      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
By my reckoning we are more than half way there, as I can put a definite tick against 10 out of the 14, and some of the remaining ones are (to say the least) arguable.

I'd say 14 out of 14 here. I'd say Condi rice is a token female in the Bush admin.
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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 11:21            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
I'd say Condi rice is a token female in the Bush admin.

I wouldn't be too sure. It seems likely she's being groomed for a spot on the 2008 ticket. That would be great, if only to see the cognitive dissonance that would bring to the Democratic side and the mainstream media, and likely to the really racist right-wingnuts as well. "YOUR HEAD A SPLODE," indeed! [Big Grin]

ESR has more on this possibility.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 12:31      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
I'd say Condi rice is a token female in the Bush admin.

I wouldn't be too sure. It seems likely she's being groomed for a spot on the 2008 ticket. That would be great, if only to see the cognitive dissonance that would bring to the Democratic side and the mainstream media, and likely to the really racist right-wingnuts as well. "YOUR HEAD A SPLODE," indeed! [Big Grin]

ESR has more on this possibility.

If you are right Erbo, I think 2008 will be a really interesting election year. This is because I see Hillary Clintion running on the Democratic ticket as a distinct possibility. Both parties should really go for broke and run them both as Presidential candidates, that would really cause a political stir.

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SpikeSpiegel
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 12:34      Profile for SpikeSpiegel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
america isnt enlightened and/or liberal enough to have a woman as president(i think condi might be a man anyways) regardless of who it is.
I don't see this as her being groomed for power. She kinda ran the whole secretary of state thing during the first term.. it was clear that colin powell wasnt that crazy in his foreign policy ideas from the get go. she is just merely being given the title to the job shes been doing for the past 4 years.

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its been a while

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 13:12      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Janet Reno is more of a man than condi.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 13:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
After all, neither creation or evolution has been proven or disproven, they are both theories.

Wrong.

There's (literally) mountains of proof that the story from Genesis is wrong. As Xanthine pointed out, it only takes one fact to disprove a theory.

Creation Theory says the world is ~6000 years old.
We have hard evidence proving that the world is substantially older.

Creation theory disproved.
QED

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 14:13      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally, I think most people misinterpret the creation story in Genesis...

/my $0.02

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 16:03      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't understand why people can't accept that even if the the Bible is the Word of God, that divine inspiration is necessarily filtered through the culture and world view of those that actually wrote it down. I have no problem with Genesis as a meditation on the mystery of creation in that sense. Increased scientific knowledge since that time means the details might show their age, but the essential mystery of whether or not something lies behind the physical universe remains whether you think it started with a big bang or in the Garden of Eden.

But then religious fundamentalists of any faith are just nuts.

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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 16:41      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
Personally, I think most people misinterpret the creation story in Genesis...

/my $0.02

Have you wondered why it's called "King James bible"?

I spent 9 years k-8 in a christian school. Now I'm an athiest. Why I went on to public high school I felt lied to and betrayed. They taught just about every class out of the same book. Nothing at all about evolution or actual history. I will never believe in any religion. After I entered high school I reasearch every major religion and some not so major and came to the conclusion that they where all wrong. I believe in Science.

But to get back to my point is that the bible has been translated and rewrighten so many times by kigns wanting to use it to justify their own ideas that I couldn't put any stock in it anyway.

But I think every one should make the dissision of what they want to take it as. Maybe I'm wrong and will end up in an eternity in hell (Or worse Wisconsin).

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 17:03      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Er, speaking as a PhD student in biochem here, I get very nervous when people say they believe in Science. Science is not a religion, it's merely a thought process. There are things that science really can't be applied to, and those things are usually questions that start with "why". Science will tell you how the world works and how it came to be this way, but it will not tell you why. It can't tell you why. The only answer to why I've ever found in science is "because it can". Kinda nihilistic, and also leaves you wondering why it could. :/

That's why you really need more than just science, and why I regret not taking more humanities classes in college. A thorough education is hard and time-consuming. Maybe that's why it's so unpopular in the US.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 17:07      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Be careful MacD,

Be aware that your devotion to science is *really* just another religion (well, OK, not exactly but I hope you get the point...)

At least you HAVE studied religions, but don't just cast them aside - are you sure you can't find some enlightenment in them? I'm not talking the "Big Dude" parts, more the moral/ethical bits. Did you not notice how, at the heart of all of them, they tend to come down to a couple of central tenets?

"Be nice to each other" is usually a big one in there (which is niiicccee) and "respect authority" is usually another (which is the bit that gets turned into despotic religious zealotry (which is usually baaaddd...)

PS this also tends to apply to "pagan" religions such as celtic and norse, you just have to look a bit deeper (oh and respect authority is normally substituted by respect nature/the world"

[Wink]

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csk

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 17:23      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mac D, your information on bible translation is a little out of date, too. Have a read up on the translation process of something like the NIV (New International Version). And there are new translations done from the original text(s) on a regular basis. I'd be fairly confident that the translation side of it is pretty well covered by now (in English, anyway)

As for creation stuff, I'm with Peebs. A lot of people on both sides of the fence misunderstand what Genesis 1 is about. The important theological truths therein can happily coexist with evolution.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 18:29      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have always taken Genesis as an allegory.

Interestingly, as I recall, the order of creation isn't that far from the evolutionist order of species, plants, fishes, beasts etc ending with man...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 18:39      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
I'd be fairly confident that the translation side of it is pretty well covered by now (in English, anyway)

There's a document floating around on the internet "100 Contradictions in the bible" (or somesuch). It's pretty-much a nit-pickers guide to the bible, many of the contradictions are to do with ages, dates, and sizes of armies (was so-and-so 21 when he became king, or 26 ?)

So, as you'd expect, someone produced another document 'clarifying' the contradictions. Most of these 'clarifications' basically boiled down to "It's not a contradiction, it's a transcription error" or "It's not a contradiction, it's a translation error".

Hardly surprising in collection of documents that were written >2K years ago, and weren't brought together into a single collection until centuries later.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 20:57            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CrawGator:
If you are right Erbo, I think 2008 will be a really interesting election year. This is because I see Hillary Clintion running on the Democratic ticket as a distinct possibility. Both parties should really go for broke and run them both as Presidential candidates, that would really cause a political stir.

Well, seeing as how one of the first things Lady Hildemort (She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) did the day after the election was to call up the printer and start them cranking out "HILLARY 2008" buttons (well, figuratively, anyway), I view this as a distinct possibility. The Republican ticket will likely either have Dr. Rice at the top, or her as VP for Rudy Giuliani. Unless something drastic changes...

If the Dems lose in 2008, that could be the end of them as a viable political party, and they'll probably split up. There's several ways this situation could work out, if it happens.

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted November 19, 2004 22:40      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
After all, neither creation or evolution has been proven or disproven, they are both theories.

Wrong.

There's (literally) mountains of proof that the story from Genesis is wrong. As Xanthine pointed out, it only takes one fact to disprove a theory.

Creation Theory says the world is ~6000 years old.
We have hard evidence proving that the world is substantially older.

Creation theory disproved.
QED

A single creation theory, yes... But prior to Newton the thoughts about gravity were that things wanted to go to their "natural place" and thus things return to the ground. Well, things do return to the ground, so the whole of the theory isn't wrong -- just the majority of it... And thus it was revised by Newton, and then by Einstien revised the laws of motion...

Personally, I think creationalism and evolution are needed mutually exclusive.... It is concevible that a diety would know what would come of the speicies that evolved in a universe with where X, Y and Z are true.

Much like the Big Bang theory there are lots of varients about both evolution and creation. So the one perscribed in the bible can't be true as written literally, it doesn't discount other variants.

I'm not arguing for creationalism at all, mind you -- just trying to point out that everyone is jumping the gun on closing the books in regards to a lot of issues that are far from settled.

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