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'[OT] ACLU opposes school children thinking for the'
2004\12\05@075516 by Russell McMahon

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The ACLU are / were promoting a law suit which objects to a sticker with the following text having been inserted in a school biology text book in suburban Atlanta:

   “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
     not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should
     be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

       http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6434725/

__________________________________________

The inclusion of this sticker, without any other teaching or material of any sort, is seen by the ACLU as "unlawful promotion of religion".
If you are a USA-ite, regardless of your views on the broader subjects involved here, you should be concerned that the ACLU are so concerned that your children are not allowed the liberty to think for themselves that they support cases such as this one.

While we may not be certain of the reality of our origins, what is certain is that evolution, as generally taught and promoted, is a false religion by any reasonable understanding of the term. By all means present theories and hold personal views (regardless of how well they may or may not be supported or supportable by experimental evidence) on how good your personally preferred model is - but when a model is so shaky that it can't stand the test that this sticker proposes then it is a very shaky model, and religion, indeed. You do your children and your country a grave disservice if you oppose even the slightest questioning of the "scientific" status quo.



       Russell McMahon
       "All models are wrong. Some models are useful."



___________________________________________

2004\12\05@100911 by Roy J. Gromlich

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Russell:

I do not know if you have ever lived in the US - I certainly have never
lived in NZ - so you may not understand the background this ACLU
action is based on.  As this is a very divisive issue in the US,  I do not
think PICLIST is the place to discuss it.

I will email you off-list with some information for your consideration.

Roy J. Gromlich

{Original Message removed}

2004\12\05@142332 by Bob Axtell

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I agree with Roy, Russell. Its too complicated, because you, being a thinking person,
assume that there is logical reasoning at the core. It just isn't the case.

We Americans have deep potholes on the way to clearheadedness. The ACLU is one
of those potholes.

We have a saying over here in the colonies: "what do you call 1000 lawyers chained together
on the bottom of the ocean?" Answer: "... its a start...".

And that famous line from Shakespeare's "First, we'll kill all of the lawyers."

And... "why do they use lawyers, not white mice, in the research labs?" A: "..because there
are SOME things that white mice just won't do..."

--Bob

Roy J. Gromlich wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2004\12\05@150629 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
> not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material
> should  be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and
> critically considered.”

This whole creation versus evolution thing makes me both laugh and weep.
Science creates theories, not facts. Anyone who doubts that should study
the science of science. What Faith(s) create(s) I'll leave to others,
you would not like my opinion. Of course everything should be studied
with and open mind. If you learn your children that in the first place
no such stickers would be needed at all. I suppose these stickers are
(with slightly changed text) are also put on Bibles, Korans, Laws, and
of course Microchip Datasheets? No, don't put them on anything said or
written by politicians or lawyers, the idea that such texts should be
studied at all makes no sense.

I don't know where to put the weepy in my text, so I put it here :(

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


___________________________________________

2004\12\05@171204 by Roy E. Burrage

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Or...

Why does New Jersey have all of the toxic waste dumps and California all
the lawyers?  New Jersey got to pick first.

What do you call a thousand lawyers buried up to their necks in sand?  
Not enough sand.

What do you call a bus load of lawyers going over the side of a cliff
with an empty seat?  A crying shame.

But to be fair we also have to include Mark Twain's definition of a
banker...a person who will give you an umbrella when the sun is shining
but take it away when the rain begins.

A significant problem with the ACLU is that they attack the core of our
society and then get paid to do it by those whom they attack.  I
understand there will soon be legislation introduced that will eliminate
this ability, though.  The congressman from the US House district that
includes San Diego is a bit up-in-arms about this matter.

REB


Bob Axtell wrote:

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____________________________________________

2004\12\05@180617 by Russell McMahon

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> I do not know if you have ever lived in the US - I certainly have never
> lived in NZ - so you may not understand the background this ACLU
> action is based on.  As this is a very divisive issue in the US,  I do not
> think PICLIST is the place to discuss it.

Anytime I post something like this it's a reasonably safe bet that I'm not just trying to push a religious agenda down people's throats - even though in this case I believe that is what underlies ACLU's objections. I have a reasonable idea of the background. I think that I understand reasonably well what ACLU are trying to prevent here. But there are more important issues at stake than mere quibbling over origins :-). When protagonists *on either side* start playing with the minds of the children (or the masses) for their own ends then all are at risk. We cannot protect by adopting the practices which we despise when others use them.

A key point is that if you panic and attempt to suppress every possible manifestation of the view you wish to combat (in this case it's "creationism") then you risk damaging the minds that you wish to protect.

I understand that the meaning of

>>     “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
>>       not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material
>>      should  be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and
>>      critically considered.”

is to some extent also modified by the mindset of the people who arranged for it to be placed there in the first place. But anyone who does not agree with the basic message conveyed is in grave danger of attempted mind control of the very people that they are trying to protect from mind control.

A salutary lesson can be learned from studying the history of the "Plate Tectonics theory" and the "Geosynclinal theory". As recently as 1960 Clark & Stearn's "Geologic History of North America" was silly enough to state -

"The geosynclinal theory is one of the great unifying principles in geology. In many ways its role in geology is similar to that of the theory of evolution which serves to integrate the many branches of the biological sciences. The geosynclinal theory is of fundamental importance to sedimentation, petrology, geomorphology, ore deposits, structural geology, geophysics, and in fact all branches of geological science. It is a generalization concerning the genetic relationship between the trough like basinal areas of the earth's crust which accumulate great thicknesses of sediment and are called geosynclines, and major mountain ranges. Just as the doctrine of evolution is universally accepted among biologists, so also the geosynclinal origin of the major mountain systems is an established principle in geology."

Within ten years that "great unifying principle in geology" had been utterly surplanted by the until then derided "theory" of Plate Tectonics. Plate Tectonics, which for many decades (literally) was derided and despised, is now holy writ and none may speak against it. This is by no means an indication that the theory of evolution will suffer a similar fate anytime soon, BUT when we seek to stop people thinking lest they think wrongly, then we are in grave error. Even when our view is correct ! :-)

> I will email you off-list with some information for your consideration.

Thanks - all contributions will be studied with interest.



           Russell McMahon
___________________________________________

2004\12\05@190626 by Carey Fisher - NCS

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One thing that needs to be understood...
Whenever someone tries to change textbooks
(or add stickers etc), or ban the bible from
school (or even the Declaration of Independence
as they are doing on the left coast), they are
not concerned about the truth; they are not
concerned about what their own children learn
(for they can teach them as they wish at home).  
They are concerned about what *your* children learn.  
The nerve!  Thinking they know better than me what
to teach my children!!!
:(
Carey Fisher


____________________________________________

2004\12\05@192934 by madscientist

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that would be extremely unfortunate, and a further attack on the bill of
rights!  I happen to be a proud supporter of nearly everything the aclu
does.  they have been the only major group to tell americans how
Ashcroft and the "patriot act" (possibly the single most un-American
piece of legislation ever proposed or passed) are blatantly illegal, how
the justice department has been holding seminars on how to use the
patriot act powers in non terrorist cases (it has NOTHING to do with
terrorism, it has to do with eliminating the checks and balances that
keep us all safe from zealots in the government, a far, far greater
threat than any terrorist group!).  I've given money to the aclu, and
i'm poor.  it's a lot cheaper to fight to keep rights than to win them
back when the moron majority out there finally realizes that they've
been hurt as well and that no one is safe when there are no checks on
arrest, surveillance, or harassment.  GOD BLESS THE ACLU! (and not that
christian god who's clearly a sham, i'm an agnostic in general, and an
absolute atheist when it comes to any form of christianity, the worlds
most corrupt and destructive religion ever conceived and crafted by con artist!).

you also have to realize that the story people are talking about may or
may not be true.  the "conservative" or more accurately neo-conservative
(many conservatives hate bush as much as any liberal!) media machine has
been producing numerous false stories about the aclu and other groups
they oppose lately.

the aclu does not attack the core of our society, unless you think that
nazi's are the core of our society (and they even defend the free speech
rights of those bastards, as do i).  fascism is fascism, no matter which
group is the "allowed" group.  it took hitler 10 years before things
really got out of hand, bush has indeed made excellent progress towards
bringing about his vision of fascist america where only the right wing
christian is safe and any one who dares even question the government and
obvious lies is held without charge indefinitely (as several u.s.
citizens are currently, without any charges or contact with a lawyer,
these are commonly called political prisoners, and it's the type of
thing one expects of south american dictatorships, but bush has brought
it here in defiance of law and common decency!).  the aclu defends those
core american values set down in the constitution and the bill of
rights, if you don't like those values please live somewhere else and
stop screwing with those of us who love freedom and will fight for it if
necessary.  

those who hide behind "the war on terror" are the real terrorist, i.e.
those who seek to use fear to obtain political goals, goals that often
have no relationship with terrorism in even a generous examination.
impeach bush, he is guilty of high treason and deserves to be convicted
and executed along with his entire cabinet.  he is a far, far greater
threat to the country and has done far more damage than any terrorist
group.  just look at the financial state of the country, the one thing
republicans are supposed to be good at, and most of our current economic
woes have nothing to do with 9/11, that's just a convenient smoke screen
and justification for what any rational thinking person would recognize
as fascism and despotism.  george bush has made the united states the
worlds largest terrorist state, i am ashamed of my country and those who
elected him and support him, i'm damn proud of the constitution and the
bill of rights which bush is using to role a giant joint and smoking up
with glee!

"Roy E. Barrage" wrote:
------
but take it away when the rain begins.
>
> A significant problem with the ACLU is that they attack the core of our
> society and then get paid to do it by those whom they attack.  I
> understand there will soon be legislation introduced that will eliminate
> this ability, though.  The congressman from the US House district that
> includes San Diego is a bit up-in-arms about this matter.
---------

--
Just the truth Corporate controlled news is white washing, the real
motives and aims of heir Bush:
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6895.htm
<www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5069215-103677,00.html>
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7369.htm
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7370.htm
____________________________________________

2004\12\05@194853 by madscientist

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exactly!  the sad, sad fact is that for decades school children have
been taught not to think, it has in fact been actively discouraged at
most schools, and those of us who could think critically and
independently were often seen as a discipline problem, rather than
something truly wonderful.  i do not think this is accidental.  cows are
far easier to control than people with a strong will and the capability
to question "the truth".  many teachers, school administrators and
others want class rooms full of smiling cattle who never correct even
the most obvious mistake made by a teacher, i've seen this in action
many times.  part of the problem is also the tragic decline in language
skills, which helps people believe that a fact is a fact when they are
just widely held beliefs and science offers no absolute facts, nor is it
meant to.  
science is meant to offer an ever improving model and understanding of
things, always subject to change and enhancement, always open to
scrutiny and question.  religion is the opposite of this, it can have no
validity if it changes even a little bit.  of course as society learns
it stops tolerating old religious "truths" and the religion is forced to
change eventually, as even the catholic church has.  in the context of
moral absolutes it is difficult to understand how religious teachings
can change.  science avoids this pitfall by being inherently open to
change, and indeed even seeking it and welcoming it (other than those
practitioners who've made a religion our of certain theories and
inevitably hold science back, those who have learned a great deal about
science but never embraced the scientific method).  
yes, evolution is a THEORY, and it's flawed as all theories are, and it
changes over time to become less flawed, this is the beauty of science
and the open mind.  gravity is also a theory to the physicist, but no
one is foolish enough to question the value of that theory (well, they
did for awhile, the church was very unhappy about the early days of
ballistic theory and what it said about the flight of a cannon ball, but
the church lost because science was a lot closer to "right" than the
priest were and armies valued the theory that was actually useful).  
the wonderful thing about a free country is that you are allowed to
passionately insist the world is flat if you happen to believe that for
whatever warped reason.  you are also allowed to believe in creationism
if you are a fool, or evolution if you are somewhat more practical.  i
was always amazed at the incredibly dismissive tone taken by my teachers
when they talked about the old greek "legends", which were in fact the
religion at the time for those folks, every bit as real as christianity
or any other religion is now to it's followers, and yet you don't dare
call christ a legendary god and laugh at how foolish people were to
believe in it.  odd, don't you think?  i do not in general think
christians are fools, nor do i think they are particularly enlightened.

Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--------

-- Just the truth Corporate controlled news is white washing, the real
motives and aims of heir Bush:
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6895.htm
<www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5069215-103677,00.html>
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7369.htm
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7370.htm

___________________________________________

2004\12\05@200955 by Bob Axtell

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Along those theoretical lines, theory about oil & gas deposits has long
been that the origin was the breaking down of dead plants and animals
during the prehistoric era, and with time and pressure, oil and gas was
formed.

So during WWII, vast amounts of oil was extracted from an area of East
Texas named Spindletop. These vast expanses of oil literally fueled the
Allied victory during WWII, and they "played out" in the 1950's and were
sealed up and forgotten.  In 2004, just for fun, a few wells were
uncapped, tested, and found to be full to the brim with sweet Texas
crude! Why? How did dead wells generate oil from a dead field? It
appears that maybe prehistoric animals aren't the source of oil after
all, that the oil is constantly being created by an unknown process
beneath the earth's crust. The
scramble to verify land ownership claims is a quiet secret in East Texas
right now.

Theories are just theories. Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is
quaint and inciteful, yet pretty lame, since after 160 years of research
nothing even remotely supporting it has been found. Even DNA tests of
plants and animals haven't been able to locate a "hidden link".  
Creationism makes no sense either, so kids should be taught that NEITHER
has any meaning.  The only theory that makes sense is gene-splicing by
an intervening
"alien race" about 20,000 years ago. But nobody listens to me. See, I
didn't take a voyage to someplace, draw a lot of pretty, exotic pictures, or
write a book.

{Quote hidden}

Actually, there were "proofs" that pointed to the plate tectonics
theory. Darwin's theory has no proofs whatever. Of course, Creationism
doesn't either.

In our electronic world, it was in my lifetime that lightning was proven
to strike skyward; before that time it was "guessed" that way but no
proof was found.  And places where ohm's law holds no sway... who could
have predicted non-resistance?

Theories that make sense and can be "proven" need to be taught. Not
blatent guesswork.

--Bob

--

Note: Attachments must be sent to
attachspamKILLspamengineer.cotse.net, and
MAY delay replies to this message.
       520-219-2363

____________________________________________

2004\12\05@211643 by Jake Anderson

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there have been proofs of evolution occuring in the lab.
don't have the links off hand but one group "evolved" fruit flies sence of
smell.

is evolution still evolution if man decides the criterion for breeding
say sheep getting finer and finer wool?

however if having finer wool was advantageous in the sheeps natural
environment
and the sheep then tended to get finer wool wouldnt that be "classical"
evolution?

> {Original Message removed}

2004\12\05@212450 by William Chops Westfield

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On Dec 5, 2004, at 2:12 PM, Roy E. Burrage wrote:

> A significant problem with the ACLU is that they attack the
> core of our society...

Shucks, I thought the ACLU defended the core of our society, even when
they defended things I didn't particularly approve of.  Although "core
of
society" seems to change geographically and temporally, and depending on
who is in office.  Sigh.

As for this particular issue, I don't see why the "theory of evolution"
should need a warning sticker when all those other theories (even the
ones
widely held as false at higher levels, such as the Bohr atom) get by
without
one.  Oh right; it seems to offend a particular subset of a couple of
the
religions present in the country.  A relatively SMALL subset.  Hmmph.

BillW

____________________________________________

2004\12\05@215441 by Martin Klingensmith

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Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:

>One thing that needs to be understood...
>Whenever someone tries to change textbooks
>(or add stickers etc), or ban the bible from
>school (or even the Declaration of Independence
>as they are doing on the left coast), they are
>not concerned about the truth;
>
Do you know *the* truth? I believe your "truth" is probably different
than my "truth"

> they are not
>concerned about what their own children learn
>(for they can teach them as they wish at home).  
>They are concerned about what *your* children learn.  
>The nerve!  Thinking they know better than me what
>to teach my children!!!
>:(
>Carey Fisher
>  
>
You contradict yourself. You say they can teach their children however
they wish at home, but when they want religion to be omitted at school,
you get offended, but cannot you teach your children whatever you like
at home?

What if there was a school that wanted to teach Pagan beliefs or *gasp*
Islamic beliefs. Would you be offended? Sure you would. Why can't you
believe that someone else wants to be free from what you want to teach
your kids?
____________________________________________

2004\12\05@220548 by madscientist

picon face
actually, the banning of the declaration of independence thing you refer
to, was a bogus, fake, story made up by certain members of the political
right, there is NO truth to the story, which was widely and falsely
reported.  it would be really nice if people learned some critical
thinking skills, got information from multiply sources and types of
sources, and still asked questions and didn't believe what doesn't make
sense.  it would also be really nice if people who knowingly reported
such lies were revealed as what they are and ignored in the future.
then again if you bother to think, you have to take responsibility, and
that is not very popular these days.

Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:
>
> One thing that needs to be understood...
> Whenever someone tries to change textbooks
> (or add stickers etc), or ban the bible from
> school (or even the Declaration of Independence
> as they are doing on the left coast), they are
> not concerned about the truth; they are not
> concerned about what their own children learn
---------

--
Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not
vote for him. Why is he there?
And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put
him there for a time such
as this: Lt Gen William Boykin, speaking of G. W. Bush, New York Times,
17 October 2003
=
God gave
the savior to the German people. We have faith, deep and unshakeable
faith, that he was sent to us
by God to save Germany. Hermann Goering, speaking of Hitler
____________________________________________

2004\12\05@222503 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
Ok, this has gotten far enough off topic. I don't see a constructive
discussion going on, nor do I see any prospects for one. Take this off
list now. If you keep posting on this thread you run the risk of being
put on moderation or taken off the list completely.

FIRST WARNING

And there is no set number of warnings before consequences occur.

Yes, yes, I'm being "the man". If you feel the need to tell me how I
am a tool of the devil, the republicans, the democrats, Darwin, the
bible thumpers, the pagans, the Muslims, or the king of some small
European country, please tell me off list. Or should that be - tell me
off, off-list? :)

Josh Koffman
PICList Admin #5
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams
____________________________________________

2004\12\05@225901 by Roy Ward

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Russell,

I don't object to the idea of saying that scientific theories are just that, theories, and should be considered with an open mind.

What I think is misleading and objectionable is picking _one_ particular theory to say that about, as far as I can tell because that theory is uncomfortable to people with a certain world view, and teaching the rest as fact.

Perhaps children could really be encouraged to think for themselves if in all school science textbooks there was a sticker:

"This textbook contains scientific theories. These are all theories, not a facts, regarding the way the universe works. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

That way other theories, such as (just to pick a small handful) gravity, the earth being round, the atomic model, relativity, plate tectonics, thermodynamics, global warming, the Krebbs cycle and all other theories, could also be thought about with an open mind, as all theories should.

By just picking one theory out like this and not others, it does indeed look like it is discrediting the science of evolution, and implying that the other theories are somehow facts.

You might regard evolution as a "false religion", but I would hope you are in a small minority if you are really trying to make a religion out of science (or for that matter trying to make science out of religion is just as bad) - that would be doing everyone a real disservice. I think evolution is simply a scientific theory like any other that attempts to best fits the current observations. If another scientific theory is proposed that better describes the observations (possibly with the aid of better observations), that theory will eventually be accepted instead, as so many other scientific theories have been overturned.

In the meantime, let's not give it any special status one way or the other that sets it aside from other theories.

Cheers,
Roy Ward.

and Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

___________________________________________

2004\12\05@230921 by Russell McMahon

face
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> there have been proofs of evolution occuring in the lab.
> don't have the links off hand but one group "evolved" fruit flies sence of
> smell.

*** NB - God does not feature in any of the following (unless you want Him
to) ***
This is a purely "Scence based" response.

Good questions.

This is the subject of much debate. The term "evolution" has become very
blurred in meaning and many people are undersatndably confused when the term
is used. There are two major components to evolution proper and it is
important that the differences be understood.

1. "Natural selection" is the process whereby genetic differences are
selected by natural circumstances. An example is 9or may be :-) 0 "Darwin's
Finches" on ther Galapagos islands. Another example probably isn't the
famous "Peppered Moth" black/white change with  changes in pollution. (There
is reason to think that this example is a fallacious one but that's not
important - the example, even if it was made up by overly keen evolutionists
is a good example of how natural selection works). In this case it was
"noted" that prior to the industrial revolution most peppered moths were
whitish but as tree trunk colours got darket due to pollution that moths got
darker in colour. The argued reason was that predators ate more or the moths
that didn't match the prevailing tree colours. It is completely accepted
that "natural selection" indeed does work this way - attributes which lead
to increased survival will "select" for creatures with relevant genetic
traits.

This is the same effective result as is obtained by traditional selective
breeding. In this case breeders may decide they want a particular coat
colour on an animal and selectively choose offspring with that colour over
many generations until the desired effect is achieved. This is a very
powerful process.

The key point to note is that what is happening is that EXISTING genetic
material is being selected. No new genetic material is created by natural
selection and evolutionists do not clain otherwise. However, many people
think that this constitutes "evolution" per se and that therefore the
process is proven as fact.

2.    Generation of new genetic material. The normally posited means of
generation of new material is by mutation. mutation unquestionably occurs
and some mutations are retained in the genome and passed on over many
generations. Mutations are the cause of many inherited diseases. To date no
known "beneficial mutation" is known. This is not to say that such cannot
occur- just that so far it is not known that any has. An often offered
example of beneficial mutation is sickle cell anaemia. This largely protects
the bearer from malaria. if this was all it did then it would be a truly
wonderful condition to have. Unfortunately, it has an extremely unfortunate
and crippling effect as well. Bllod cells are distorted into a 'sickle"
shape. Their haemoglobin carrying capacity is reduced and the shape of the
cells means that they will not easily transit some very small blood vessels.
There are nasty and painful medical complications and early death and
debillitating illness are often associated. if this is a beneficial mutation
then you don't want one!

For mutations or any other genetic changes to be new or beneficial they need
to contribute new information. The generation of new information is not too
hard - a god random number generator, brownian motion generator (such as a
nice hot cup of tea) will do fine. generating USEFUL or 'meaningful"
information, especially for use in a machines a very very very very complex
as a living organism is anothe mattter. The prospect of this occurring
randomly is extremely small. The prospect of thisoccurring randonmly without
being also self destroying and being accepted and promoted is smaller again.
Serious evolutionists understand the probabilities but hope and or explain
why they can be and have been optimised so as to get the resuslts that we
now see.

Evolution in the strict sense, and this is the only sense that argument
makes sense about, is the combination of generation of new material and its
subsequent selection by natural selection.

Selecting amongst fruit fly genetic material, or even rearranging the
existing material in bizarre ways (eg fruit fly eyes on wings etc) is not
too hard. Generation of new material that is useful and sleected is not,
AFAIK, something that has ever been demonstrated to the satisfaction of a
reasonable cross section of qualified scientists. (It's never too hard to
get a few scientists to believe that they have demonstrated anything
whatsoever).

> is evolution still evolution if man decides the criterion for breeding
> say sheep getting finer and finer wool?

Artificial selection. Works well.

> however if having finer wool was advantageous in the sheeps natural
> environment
> and the sheep then tended to get finer wool wouldnt that be "classical"
> evolution?

Natural selection. No new genetic material needed. Rearranging or culling of
the deck chairs.


       Russell McMahon

____________________________________________

2004\12\05@233615 by Carey Fisher - NCS

face picon face
No it was not a bogus story.  I watched multiple interviews, on different
networks (CBS & ABC as well as FOX), with the teacher whose principal would
not let him use the Declaration of Indpendence in school because it referred
to "The Creator".  What garbage have you been reading/listening to?

  > {Original Message removed}

2004\12\06@001900 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
This response written having seen Josh's warning.
Let's see if I can make this rational, reasoned and scientific enough ...
This is about science and seeking truth.

{Quote hidden}

I'm very happy with all that. My reason for commenting was the appearance of
the aim of stopping thinking childre thinking. I have an engineering degree
or two but also consider myself a scientist. I desire that information be
available and be able to be critically examined by all who would do so. My
concern in the area of biology is that evolution is on many occasions taught
as fact. You can probably google and find many such instances and it
certainly is what happens in many schools and learned institutions in our
country. When scientific theory, no matter how sound it may appear to be to
its protagonists, becomes embedded as holy writ, then truth is not served.
Even the best of working models are at risk of reality breaking through and
to deny this is to attempt to hide truth.

> That way other theories, such as (just to pick a small handful) gravity,
> the earth being round, the atomic model, relativity, plate tectonics,
> thermodynamics, global warming, the Krebbs cycle and all other theories,
> could also be thought about with an open mind, as all theories should.

Huzzah !!! :-)
And you pick an interesting cross section. Ranging from perhaps round earth,
which is essentially as proven as any theory is going to get (but still
depends utterly on our limited personal perceptions of reality) to gravity,
where the best we know about our models is that something better will almost
certainly replace them in due course. As long as evolution is officially
allowed to lie somewhere on that scale, and not *too* close to the round
earth end, then I'm happy. Once a theory is officially just that,
individuals are allowd to think for themselves and the new Newtons can shift
the theory to the point on the scale where it truly belongs. Lock the theory
up as fact and the new Newtons may well go off and do something else
instead.

> By just picking one theory out like this and not others, it does indeed
> look like it is discrediting the science of evolution, and implying that
> the other theories are somehow facts.

As above. The theory is claimed to be fact by a significsnt number of its
protagonists. There will be some who read this, if they get this far, who
will be gnashing their teeth in fury over the concept of anyone suggesting
that evolution is a "theory". This may be hard to believe for anyone who has
not met people who have such a "religious" grasp on their position.

> You might regard evolution as a "false religion",

Only when taught and held as "religion"
And as non-fact when taught as fact.
And as OK theory when taught as theory. May well yet prove to be false, but
it has some predictive power and fits some of the data.

> but I would hope you are in a small minority if you are really trying to
> make a religion out of science (or for that matter trying to make science
> out of religion is just as bad) - that would be doing everyone a real
> disservice.

I am in a VERY small minority (just ask James Newton ;-) ) BUT I'm not
guilty of either of the above. I'm interested in knowing reality and truth,
inasmuch as they may be known. Science does have to take some care in
special areas, and many who practice science don't have a good grasp of
this. The rule is "Science does not deal with those areas that it's methods
cannot manage" (eg religious ones). BUT A large number of people
misunderstand this rule to state "Science does not recognise that it is
possible for any areas to exist that its methods cannot manage". What then
happens is that we get the argument "We know it happened, or exists or ...
so it MUSt have a scientific explanation". This changes science's viewpoint
from not dabbling in religion to necessarily denying religion can possibly
exist. Science becomes the font not only of all known truth but of all
knowable truth. This untenable and unscientific position is the cause of
many problems. But I should stop about there on that point :-).
(Incidentally, Quantum Mechanics violates science's rules and places limits
on knowability but science accomodates it quite happily. Breaking the rules
can be OK on some occasions, but not on others :-).)

> I think evolution is simply a scientific theory like any other that
> attempts to best fits the current observations. If another scientific
> theory is proposed that better describes the observations (possibly with
> the aid of better observations), that theory will eventually be accepted
> instead, as so many other scientific theories have been overturned.

Agree! (Many don't alas)

> In the meantime, let's not give it any special status one way or the other
> that sets it aside from other theories.

Agree.



       Russell McMahon

____________________________________________

2004\12\06@101449 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Sun, 5 Dec 2004, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
>> not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material
>> should  be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and
>> critically considered.
>
> This whole creation versus evolution thing makes me both laugh and weep.
> Science creates theories, not facts. Anyone who doubts that should study
> the science of science. What Faith(s) create(s) I'll leave to others,

Just *try* to answer an exam question about 2+2=? with something like 'it
might be 4, but it depends on the conditions'. Apprently one gets to study
the 'theory' part of science after taking it for a fact for a few years
and getting a PhD. By that time most people are broken in well enough that
they only dare to doubt small issues.

> you would not like my opinion. Of course everything should be studied
> with and open mind. If you learn your children that in the first place
> no such stickers would be needed at all. I suppose these stickers are
> (with slightly changed text) are also put on Bibles, Korans, Laws, and
> of course Microchip Datasheets? No, don't put them on anything said or
> written by politicians or lawyers, the idea that such texts should be
> studied at all makes no sense.

At least the datasheet version is concise. It says 'Preliminary' in grey
across the background, and 'untested parameter' or 'statistically tested
by sampling' in small black print under tables of figures.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\12\06@132916 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Just *try* to answer an exam question about 2+2=? with
> something like 'it might be 4, but it depends on the conditions'.

Bad example, math is not a science in the strict sense. But of course
every exam is in a certain context, the english (or another) language
being the most common and almost unavoidable. The problem is that a
context separation seems to run right through the USA population. Mind
you, I think from your perspective I (and nearly all my countrymen) are
on the wrong side of the barrier. As an acid test to your opinion (acid
is not friendly stuff): when you tell your children about your faith, do
you give equal weigth to other faiths (and non-faiths)?

> At least the datasheet version is concise. It says
> 'Preliminary' in grey
> across the background, and 'untested parameter' or
> 'statistically tested
> by sampling' in small black print under tables of figures.

Yeah, and those disclaimers never disappear! So no falisfyable claims
there, hence no science :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


____________________________________________

2004\12\06@160627 by Win Wiencke

flavicon
face
> Why does New Jersey have all of the toxic waste dumps and California all
> the lawyers?  New Jersey got to pick first.

I just came back from the US Supreme Court (Miller-El v. Texas).  The black
jury candidates came in for some tough questioning and most were not seated
on the jury.  Fat people and men with beards were also challenged.  What
resulted was hardly a "jury of peers" for the black man accused of a really
nasty crime.

The Court was trying to figure out if this was coincidence, prejudicial or
just good lawyering by the prosecutor -- and what, if any, guidance it could
give to prevent race or religion from becoming a jury selection criteria in
future cases.

My point is that this legal stuff gets complicated pretty fast.  To the
casual observer and comedian it may seem trivial.  Yet an awful lot of
intellect and thought goes into these cases and decisions.

How many times have you busted your chops on a design only to have some
clown give it a glance and announce that his dullard brother-in-law has a
basement workshop and could do that in an evening?

Just a thought...

Aza D. Oberman

____________________________________________

2004\12\06@164125 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> and what, if any, guidance it could
> give to prevent race or religion from becoming a jury
> selection criteria in future cases.

Do you know that the other (non-UK derived) half of the western world
has a simple answer to that problem?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



____________________________________________

2004\12\06@165546 by Philip Pemberton

face picon face
In message <003501c4dbd7$58f6aff0$9a7ba8c0@Information>
         "Win Wiencke" <.....WinKILLspamspam.....slycurves.com> wrote:

> How many times have you busted your chops on a design only to have some
> clown give it a glance and announce that his dullard brother-in-law has a
> basement workshop and could do that in an evening?

Hehehe.. Usually I just say "Here's a copy of the instructions, go right
ahead :)"

Later.
--
Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
EraseMEphilpemspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTphilpem.me.uk              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.me.uk/          | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
... "Bother", said Pooh, as his bungie cord broke.
____________________________________________

2004\12\06@182220 by Denny Esterline

picon face
I don't want to get all tied up in the religious or legal aspects of
the ACLU or the school system in general, but shouldn't all science
textbooks come with the disclaimer? Something like "This book contains
the best known explanations and the current theory and the reader is
encouraged to challenge it at every opportunity."

Even getting away from the hot button of evolution, what about
astronomy? Do we really know what goes on in a black hole? Or planets
circling other stars? Or gravity? We have good theories - and every
test we've been able to put them to has proved the theories correct,
but that doesn't prove them conclusively.

As someone else's sig line reads - all models are flawed, some models
are useful.

-Denny
____________________________________________

2004\12\06@193904 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Just *try* to answer an exam question about 2+2=? with
>> something like 'it might be 4, but it depends on the conditions'.
>
> Bad example, math is not a science in the strict sense. But of course
> every exam is in a certain context, the english (or another) language
> being the most common and almost unavoidable. The problem is that a
> context separation seems to run right through the USA population. Mind
> you, I think from your perspective I (and nearly all my countrymen) are
> on the wrong side of the barrier. As an acid test to your opinion (acid
> is not friendly stuff): when you tell your children about your faith, do
> you give equal weigth to other faiths (and non-faiths)?

I am not in/from the usa. I was referring to the 'taken for granted'
conditions for an exam, and any testing situation in general, etc. F.ex.
in a quiz where answers are rated for quality and completeness one should
point out that 2+2 can be 4 (in any base larger than 4) or 1 (in base 3),
as well as 3.(9), the symbol associated with the cardinal 4, etc. Anyone
who would elaborate on this would likely not be thanked for his efforts by
the examiner. Similar things happen in real life, where overqualified
people need to learn to shut up from time to time. And the math example is
to the point since it's a 'precise science'. Still, it takes a good half
page of verbose description to formulate the 2+2 problem explicitly but
that would be out of context for the exam where such a question would be
administered, even if the preparer would know this. So how 'precise' is
that science, exactly, and who is boss ape to set the framework and the
standards at any one moment (and why do they change them all the time
since they are so well researched, or aren't they now) ?

>> At least the datasheet version is concise. It says
>> 'Preliminary' in grey
>> across the background, and 'untested parameter' or
>> 'statistically tested
>> by sampling' in small black print under tables of figures.
>
> Yeah, and those disclaimers never disappear! So no falisfyable claims
> there, hence no science :)

Well, they also have the long version of disclaimer. I mean the 'not
suitable for life threatening situations yada yada' paragraph some
datasheets used to carry (but not anymore ?).

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\12\06@203717 by madscientist

picon face
no garbage at all, you have listened to garbage.  it is well known to
those who are paying attention that the networks have picked up and run
bogus stories before, and that people are willing to be available for
interviews after making up their fecal matter.  i don't watch network
news any more, they don't report any news.  besides, if it did happen at
one school it's wrong but it has nothing to do with any rational
interpretation of the law or anything else and is far more likely a
deliberate attempt to get air time after taking a position opposed by
those involved simply to make it an issue when it isn't.  fox news in
particular is extremely full of it and frankly any one who allows their
drivel into their' mind is not doing themselves any kind of favor, nor
are they doing reality or the truth any kind of favor.  as for cbs and
abc they have certainly run some bogus garbage before as well.  the aclu
in any case the ACLU certainly DOES NOT OPPOSE SCHOOL CHILDREN THINKING
FOR THEMSELVES OR READING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!  any
assertion that that is their position is clearly made by people who have
never even visited the aclu website.  on the other hand, the
neo-conservatives (who have no proper relationship to the republican or
any other political party) certainly don't want any one to think for
themselves, or even have the raw data available to them.  you are
quoting the same networks who are failing to report the fact that we are
involved in widespread use of torture in afghanistan and iraq, that
we've cut off water and electricity to hundreds of thousands of innocent
people in winter, that we regularly shoot at already wounded civilians
simply because they are trying to get away, that we refuse to let the
red crescent offer aid to the injured as required by international law
and any kind of human morality, that the whole invasion of iraq was
based on deliberately falsified information and illegal and immoral and
motivated solely by the desire to control the middle east by military
force regardless of whether an informed populace would believe it or
not. bush is in fact being brought up on war crimes charges in both
germany and canada, and deserves to be hung, short drop, he is the
greatest international terrorist ever known to man, if you don't realize
that you are sadly deluded which is a tragic thing.  do you honestly
think that bogus stories aren't reported all the time?

Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:
>
> No it was not a bogus story.  I watched multiple interviews, on different
> networks (CBS & ABC as well as FOX), with the teacher whose principal would
> not let him use the Declaration of Indpendence in school because it referred
> to "The Creator".  What garbage have you been reading/listening to?
----------

--
Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not
vote for him. Why is he there?
And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put
him there for a time such
as this: Lt Gen William Boykin, speaking of G. W. Bush, New York Times,
17 October 2003
=
God gave
the savior to the German people. We have faith, deep and unshakeable
faith, that he was sent to us
by God to save Germany. Hermann Goering, speaking of Hitler
____________________________________________

2004\12\06@205949 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> ... but shouldn't all science
> textbooks come with the disclaimer? Something like "This book contains
> the best known explanations and the current theory and the reader is
> encouraged to challenge it at every opportunity."

That is the (or a ) point I was making.

> As someone else's sig line reads - all models are flawed, some models
> are useful.

That's me. Add that to the textbook stiocker while you are at it :-)


       RM

____________________________________________

2004\12\06@225136 by Roy J. Gromlich

picon face
Russell McMahon and other PIClisters:

I intended to follow my own advice and not comment on this subject
on-list, but I think this article on MSN (from Newsweek) paints a
much better picture than I could of the background against which the
ACLU's action was taken. Please read the following:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6650997/site/newsweek/?GT1=5936

Please realize that the groups and individuals requesting these labels
be applied would never, under any circumstances, allow those same
school children to apply the recommended procedure to the religion
they have been taught from infancy.

Quoting from the proposed book sticker:

           "This material should  be approached with an open
             mind, studied carefully and  critically considered."

Roy J. Gromlich

____________________________________________

2004\12\06@235857 by Martin Baker

picon face


I have two favorite sayings, both which I have stolen from sources long
forgotten.

" No two men have the same faith, religion or gods, even if they think they
do."

" The plural of religion is War"

I am staunchly anti-war and feel that there are more venues than we need
already for this sort of divisive discussion.

Could we talk about over-engineering the mechanisms of the real world,
instead? It's much more fun and far less likely to drive one to violence or
drink.

|0.02 $|

martin

____________________________________________

2004\12\07@095340 by Thomas C. Sefranek

face picon face

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
Roy J. Gromlich
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 10:50 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT] ACLU opposes school children thinking for themselves.

>Please realize that the groups and individuals requesting these labels
>be applied would never, under any circumstances, allow those same
>school children to apply the recommended procedure to the religion
>they have been taught from infancy.

Of course you Roy have enough of a research base to make such broad brush
pronouncements.  You personally know ALL of "the groups and individuals..."
to assert "never, under any circumstances..."  You have been a very busy
body indeed!

>Roy J. Gromlich


 *
 |  __O    Thomas C. Sefranek  KILLspamtcsKILLspamspamcmcorp.com
 |_-\<,_   Amateur Radio Operator: WA1RHP
 (*)/ (*)  Bicycle mobile on 145.41MHz PL74.4

ARRL Instructor, Technical Specialist, VE Contact.
hamradio.cmcorp.com/inventory/Inventory.html
http://www.harvardrepeater.org


____________________________________________

2004\12\07@104839 by Ian Smith-Heisters

flavicon
face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

There's something amusing about this whole topic. The thought that
putting a sticker on a book (any book) constitutes "children thinking
for themselves." A sticker will not make children think for themselves,
thus the opposition of said sticker does not oppose children thinking
for themselves.

Also, that putting a sticker on a book is deemed necessary and
worthwhile. If you want your child to believe something, and raise them
with that belief, a simple book will not brainwash them unless, A)
You've been a lousy parent, or B) Your child is intelligent enough to
make their own decisions and buck the family tradition based on their
own conclusions, which some might call "children thinking for themselves."

This is a politcal issue, nothing more. Seen in that light the sticker
is a politcal attempt to reintroduce religion into USA schools--you
cannot look at the sticker alone, which is harmless, but must rather
look at it within the greater context of the political agendas of those
who have implemented the sticker. They are the same people that want the
10 commandments and Lord knows what else in schools because they (I
think, correct me if I'm wrong) believe that it is the duty of a
Christian to spread The Word, "Therefore go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded
you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:19 If this was not their aim, rather that their aim is to
simply have their own children taught these things, they could use the
usual methods of Sunday school, home tutoring, and, if necessary,
private school. I know my parents raised me with many beliefs that our
school systems actively discourage, needless to say without putting
stickers on all the other kids' books.

The ACLU is simply arguing that the Constitution of the USA prohibits
such actions on the part of a state run institution.

chow,
Ian

Thomas C. Sefranek wrote:
| {Original Message removed}

2004\12\07@115041 by Aza D. Oberman

flavicon
face
> > and what, if any, guidance it could
> > give to prevent race or religion from becoming a jury
> > selection criteria in future cases.

<Wouter van Ooijen comments>
> Do you know that the other (non-UK derived) half of the western world
> has a simple answer to that problem?

There are lots of simple answers within English common law too.  Most lie
outside the boundaries of the US Constitution and legislation.

As a rule, the legal system has to stay within the boundaries and craft an
interpretation able to withstand withering intellectual scrutiny.

In theory at least, only the legislature can extend the boundaries and
effect a compromise with new law.

Alas, both are subject to the higher law of unintended consequences.

Aza D. Oberman

____________________________________________

2004\12\07@121411 by Mike Hord

picon face
> B) Your child is intelligent enough to
> make their own decisions and buck the family tradition based on their
> own conclusions, which some might call "children thinking for themselves."

I want my kids to think for themselves, just like I do! ;-)

Mike H.
____________________________________________

2004\12\08@155731 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Tue, 7 Dec 2004, Mike Hord wrote:

>> B) Your child is intelligent enough to
>> make their own decisions and buck the family tradition based on their
>> own conclusions, which some might call "children thinking for themselves."
>
> I want my kids to think for themselves, just like I do! ;-)

They likely will, by the time they're 40 and have made all the necessary
mistakes.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\12\12@215047 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Wouter,

(continuing my habit of replying to messages well after they were posted... :-)

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 22:43:26 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> > and what, if any, guidance it could
> > give to prevent race or religion from becoming a jury
> > selection criteria in future cases.
>
> Do you know that the other (non-UK derived) half of the western world
> has a simple answer to that problem?

The UK too - somehow as it crossed the pond, the Jury system changed, and that change seems to have spawned
the problem above (and others).

"In the UK, when the jury takes its seats, the trial starts.  In the US, it's all but over!"

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


____________________________________________

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