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Old 05-23-2009, 05:30 AM   #801 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dmead View Post
sorry i've been in training for a while now so i haven't been around, but did this get posted yet?

"MISSING LINK" FOUND: New Fossil Links Humans, Lemurs?
No, it did not. I've been reading about this of course. It's hard not to. It has hit the scientific and general press in a big way. Leading to lots and lots of arguments in the scientific community. In a good way in my opinion. Is it a missing link? It appears to be. Did these guys rush this into publication to make a splash during the OTOOS anniversary? Probably. It is still a compelling finding.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:59 PM   #802 (permalink)
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Well at least this nutjob McLeroy won't be board chairman anymore. Although he'll still be on the board.

Allies: Christian beliefs cost Texas schools chief his post | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:45 PM   #803 (permalink)
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An interesting article by Scientific American earlier this year: The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom: Scientific American; http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...to-creationist

Last edited by Trimix : 05-29-2009 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:07 AM   #804 (permalink)
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Ha Ha! Another tie to our ape cousins.

GMANews.TV - Ha-Ha! Ape study traces evolution of laughter - Lifestyle - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:04 AM   #805 (permalink)
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Fantastic. Sounds like our primate cousins have more of a sense of humor than many people that I know!
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:32 AM   #806 (permalink)
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Cool!

Time Tree :: The Timescale of Life
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:34 AM   #807 (permalink)
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So if this can happen in 10 years, think about what can happen in 1,000 years. Or 100,000 thousand years. Or 10 million years. Natural selection happens.

Evolution can occur within 10 years
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:36 AM   #808 (permalink)
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There's a new survey out on evolution. Pretty interesting reading.

Origins: July 2009 Archives

Darwin and unnatural disbelief : Opinion L.A. : Los Angeles Times

Acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution didn't necessarily correlate with a rejection of creationism. The three countries with the greatest proportion of people (43%) believing that life on Earth was created by a god and has always existed in its current form were the United States, South Africa, and India.

But knowing isn't necessarily loving. Among those who are familiar with the author of "On the Origin of Species," only 41% of Americans agreed with the statement that "Enough scientific evidence exists to support Charles Darwin's theory of evolution." Where were the believers in evolution most likely to live? India, with 77%. And we wonder why that country is renowned for its good education, especially in the sciences--and why this country historically tests in the mediocre realm.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:38 AM   #809 (permalink)
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This story made the general press in a big way. 70 leading paleontologists visited the Creation Museum. Wish I could have been there to see it.

Scientists visit Creation Museum: A culture clash for the 'ages' - Faith & Reason
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:06 AM   #810 (permalink)
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Comments?

The U.S. Daily, all the news, every day.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:06 AM   #811 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mriff View Post
Well, you know my views on this quite well. I will say this about that article -- they do a marvelous job of writing in a fashion that appears logical and rational, thus implying (incorrectly) that scientific thinking underlies the jibberish, when all they are doing is making specious comments that "prove" appear to prove their point. It is skilled writing -- PR mastery in fact -- while absolute BS from a scientific perspective.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:19 AM   #812 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mriff View Post
This story made the general press in a big way. 70 leading paleontologists visited the Creation Museum. Wish I could have been there to see it.

Scientists visit Creation Museum: A culture clash for the 'ages' - Faith & Reason
I went to this museum last year. I agree with the woman who said most mainstream Christians wouldn't agree with everything they saw; I certainly didn't. To me, it came across as more of an "answer" to others (scientists) who've spent years telling fundamentalist Christians that their views can't possibly be correct, than a presentation of information.

I do not agree with whoever said that children shouldn't see it because they might question what they'd been taught. I don't know about you other parents, but I hope all my kids go through life questioning what they've been taught. So many "facts" are later disproved, so much of "history" is solely the conqueror's perspective, language is always changing, etc. You can't mature if you don't ask questions.

The problem with this museum is they only want you asking a certain set of questions. And, to be fair, some scientists are equally prejudiced.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:04 AM   #813 (permalink)
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Well, you know my views on this quite well. I will say this about that article -- they do a marvelous job of writing in a fashion that appears logical and rational, thus implying (incorrectly) that scientific thinking underlies the jibberish, when all they are doing is making specious comments that "prove" appear to prove their point. It is skilled writing -- PR mastery in fact -- while absolute BS from a scientific perspective.
A rather nice rebuttal I'd say.

Pat Buchanan takes on evolution with his usual level of scholarship « Notes from Evil Bender
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:22 AM   #814 (permalink)
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I went to this museum last year. I agree with the woman who said most mainstream Christians wouldn't agree with everything they saw; I certainly didn't. To me, it came across as more of an "answer" to others (scientists) who've spent years telling fundamentalist Christians that their views can't possibly be correct, than a presentation of information.
I guess that's a reasoned response. But to put forth an expensive monument unencumbered by reason or logic only makes the situation worse IMHO.

Quote:
I do not agree with whoever said that children shouldn't see it because they might question what they'd been taught. I don't know about you other parents, but I hope all my kids go through life questioning what they've been taught. So many "facts" are later disproved, so much of "history" is solely the conqueror's perspective, language is always changing, etc. You can't mature if you don't ask questions.
Yes, I agree with this. But I've seen this argument used way too many times to raise and even manufacture 'doubts' about the Theory of Evolution. It seems that creationists, at least lately, focus solely on attempting to cast doubt where no doubt exists within the scientific community.

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The problem with this museum is they only want you asking a certain set of questions. And, to be fair, some scientists are equally prejudiced.
Not sure what you mean by this, but I think I'll stick to the side of reasoned inquiry.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:33 AM   #815 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mriff View Post
Not sure what you mean by this, but I think I'll stick to the side of reasoned inquiry.
I mean that it's OK to most of the Christian scholars I've met to debate issues such as whether a day (in Genesis) meant the same thing back then as it does today, or whether it took the same length of time. It isn't OK to those same folks to debate whether the book of Genesis is allegorical.

Likewise, I've seen debate about whether hypotheses that begin with the assumption that there is a God are as valid as those that don't. I have heard what amounts to, "the minute you say 'God,' any scientific debate ceases to be a real debate."
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:12 AM   #816 (permalink)
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Most of the scientists that I know will allow any underlying assumption as the basis of developing hypotheses, with one caveat. The hypotheses that derive must be testable and they must be falsifiable. All too often -- not uniformly, but typically -- those hypotheses that begin with the assumption of a deity are not falsifiable because circular reasoning gets into the middle of the logical process.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:10 AM   #817 (permalink)
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Interesting new survey. Here's a Times article on it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/sc...=1&ref=science

And the actual survey site:

Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media: Overview - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:56 AM   #818 (permalink)
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It found that at least two-thirds of Americans hold scientists and engineers in high regard, but the feeling is hardly mutual.

The report said 85 percent of science association members surveyed said public ignorance of science was a major problem. And by large margins they deride as only “fair” or “poor” the coverage of science by newspapers and television.

Only 3 percent of the scientists said they “often” spoke to reporters.

In a telephone news conference announcing the survey, Alan I. Leshner, chief executive of the science association, said scientists must find new ways to engage with the public.

“One cannot just exhort ‘we all agree you should agree with us,’ ” Mr. Leshner said. “It’s a much more interactive process that’s involved. It’s time consuming and can be tedious. But it’s very important.”
This goes back to our discussion about scientists and engineers not being known for their personability.

I don't know that the public's ignorance of science is as big a problem as the failure of the scientific community to engage the public on issues that they believe are of vital importance.

Virginia Woolf once wrote: "... to write a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty. ... Generally material circumstances are against it. Dogs will bark; people will interrupt; money must be made; health will break down. Further, accentuating all these difficulties and making them harder to bear is the world's notorious indifference. It does not ask people to write poems and novels and histories..."

Neither does it ask for science, I would argue, unless it is looking for something specific like a cure for cancer. To many people, knowledge acquired but not applied or built upon constitutes a waste of the time it took to collect it. No amount of theoretical "progress" can, by itself, overcome the world's "notorious indifference."

If I were in charge of scientific PR, every discovery of note would be publicized with some sort of "Here's how you can use this information:" blurb. At bottom, people are most interested in themselves and how things apply to themselves. OK, we sent a probe out and it found something... how does that affect my life today? There's pollution in a lake... what am I supposed to do about it? North Korea has nukes... could they hit me with them? etc.

That would improve the public's opinion of our nation's science programs - it would give the impression that scientists are working to better the lives of people, instead of just working to collect information for the sake of collecting information. I honestly don't see any other way, in today's sound bit culture, for scientists to make any headway in public education. The only news people want or have time for is the news they can use.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:46 AM   #819 (permalink)
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An interesting article on dachshunds. We have one and I was laughing about it yesterday that the poor little guy has stubby legs for a reason!

The Origin of Dachshunds and Other Dogs With Short Legs - US News and World Report

P.S. Kathryn, I want to spend a few minutes and comment on your observations in the above post. I will get to that soon. You hit the nail on the head, but as usual, I need to defend the poor downtrodden scientists a little.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:40 PM   #820 (permalink)
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LOL! Duh!

Evolution produces more 'beautiful' womenx| ajc.com
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