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For Texas Textbooks, a Victory For Evolution

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the evolving-attitude dept.

Books 626

An anonymous reader writes "The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC."

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Have to share this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864846)


Re:Have to share this - holy crap! mod parent up (2)

microcars (708223) | about 2 years ago | (#36864974)

I had to shut it off after the fifth one though.... incredibly depressing to watch.

Re:Have to share this - holy crap! mod parent up (1, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865080)

Agreed, mod parent up. On topic, and pertinent. Not an effective sample of the general population but still likely to be indicative of attitudes held by a particular subset.

Re:Have to share this - holy crap! mod parent up (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#36865414)

I had to shut it off after the fifth one though.... incredibly depressing to watch.

Try living here.

Re:Have to share this (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 2 years ago | (#36865280)

Thanks, you've ruined my weekend by bringing that to my attention. The optimist in me wants it be fake, though the video linked was http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=jNGGNomLx_c'>the scariest 127 seconds of my life(not really,but certainly the most excruciating).

Off topic, wtf is going on with the textareas on slashdot? Their performance is horrific on mobile devices - I had to compose this in my email client - as the cursor just doesn't work.

Proof? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864878)

Proof that even Texans have to evolve, eventually. Now on to Kansas...

Re:Proof? (2, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#36865020)

My guess is they may fear becoming irrelevant.

My guess is they lose half the nation (by population) if they approve creationism (with a quarter supporting the change, and a quarter not caring). There is a risk to losing their power by being crazy.

I'd love to see the textbook power shift to CA, as they are supporting open textbooks, which could save the education system billions/year. In both royalties, and the ability to use paperless solutions.


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865202)

Have you looked at population and business trends in California versus Texas?

However, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865060)

Texas has yet to decide on the existeance gravity.

Re:However, (1)

d3matt (864260) | about 2 years ago | (#36865158)

We in Texas know better then to spell "existence of" as "existeance"

Thanks for the laugh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865252)

You mean someone in Texas can spell? Yet, apparently you do not know the difference between 'then' and 'than'. Comprehension is taught along with spelling here in the civilized world.

It's called a 'typo'. Get over yourself, little Southern Man.

And yes, it was my post.

Re:Proof? (2, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#36865118)

This is the second time in two weeks I've had mod points. Apparently NOT visiting slashdot is how you get picked. (shrug)

Back on topic:

Why do people keep posting things like "even texans have to evolve"? Maybe I've spent too much time listening to College PC curricula, but that strikes me as being highly offensive. Imagine replacing "texans" with "women" or "blacks" or "retards" instead.

-1 for Anon. Coward

Re:Proof? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865188)

Congratulations on actually living up to your sig considering the circumstances. Seriously, I'm not trying to be funny. I'm glad you replied rather than down-modding. Seems to be the way on /. now to just abuse mod points.

Re:Proof? (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | about 2 years ago | (#36865190)

It's not the same at all. Texans choose to live in Texas.

Re:Proof? (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#36865284)

Do they? Probably 95% of people living in Texas are Texan by birth, just as I am American by birth. Sure I can move someplace else, but I will always retain my nationality (and state of birth).

It also bothers me when I hear people insulting Utah or France or Japanese citizens. I may not agree with their unusual cultures, but it's THEIR choice how they run themselves (and none of my business).

Re:Proof? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865222)

Imagine replacing texans with women

I've imagined it and I've got to say, I like the idea. Not sure it's terribly practical though.

Re:Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865290)

Woah now...we're better than women, blacks and retards. jk...I couldn't help myself.

People always assume the entire south is filled with hillbillies and inbreeding. The truth is just about everywhere I've ever been is filled with 90% ideologues, idiots, and the close-minded with the remaining 10% being open minded rational thinkers (this includes a major science-focused college in the Northeast). Oddly enough this has little (some but not as much as you'd think) to do with education or IQ. Texas is no different but people hear an accent reminiscent of a past agrarian culture and assume it means uneducated, backwards, and stupid. Oh well it's great when they don't see you coming. ;)

- A Texan who's proud to be among the women, blacks, and retards as long as they're the 10%ers of those groups

Re:Proof? (0)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#36865302)

Why do people keep posting things like "even texans have to evolve"? Maybe I've spent too much time listening to College PC curricula, but that strikes me as being highly offensive.

Ever met a Texan male, or even female? I have. They're inordinately proud of being tough, surviving heat, hurricanes, insects the size of grapefruit, perhaps all at the same time, then they get drunk(er) and start rambling about the Alamo, glossing over the TX side getting pretty much wiped out, or they get drunk(er) and ramble on about their wimmen being more attractive than any other states wimmen, and their men being the manliest, depending on their sex. If they don't brag about human males or females, note TX doesn't have goats just cows, well, they're uh "proud" of their cows too, in a biblical sense. Anyway their point, which I agree with, is Texans overall meet "evolutionary selection pressure" head on, and are inordinately proud that they mostly thrive. So the pun is a combination of Texans traditional and well known loudly lovin their success (and occasional failure) against evolutionary selection pressure, vs their weird religious views and the obvious topic of this story.

Disagree with me? Find some drunken lout of a Texan football player, and tell him he isn't tough, and his paternal ancestors weren't tough, and they must all reproduce by cloning or something because there's no reproduction of the fittest going on in his family tree. After removing desert cactus from tender area, meet back here and discuss your scientific findings.

Re:Proof? (1, Troll)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#36865344)

Your point is valid - there are reasonable people living here in Texas. Ironically, most of them live in the state capitol, but the willfully ignorant, bible-thumping zealots are a noisy lot. So noisy that they have managed to earn the entire state a reputation that is, perhaps, undeserved. Furthermore, one can not choose the race, or color, I.Q., or even the state in which one is born, but choosing to be stupid, and worse, deliberately inflicting that stupidity on school children as a part of their science curriculum, is a an embarrassment that the entire fucking state should have to deal with until they grow up an learn that it is just plain wrong to bring your religion into law and government.

Re:Proof? (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#36865364)

Why do people keep posting things like "even texans have to evolve"? Maybe I've spent too much time listening to College PC curricula, but that strikes me as being highly offensive. Imagine replacing "texans" with "women" or "blacks" or "retards" instead.

Well, to be fair, the head of the Texas Board of Education did say "If there's evolution, how do you account for the spics and negroes?"

In the actual quote he used a different n-word.

As someone who has spent time in West Texas, I can honestly say that I do not think it's possible to be "too offensive" when evaluating the intellectual capacity of Texans.

In a week or so, the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry is going to enter the presidential race for 2012. At that time, I challenge you to come back here and tell us that you believe he shows any evidence of being a post-homo erectus specimen.

Texas board sides with Science? (5, Funny)

DJ Jones (997846) | about 2 years ago | (#36864882)

Maybe there is a God.

Too Bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864942)

One less meme for the Liberals...sorry, "Progressives" to bitch about.

Re:Too Bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864994)

And one more (of many) for the conservatives to scream and sob about.

Re:Too Bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865122)

Why pay particular attention to what you want to call us? It must piss you teabaggers off that you tried to demonize liberal and couldn't make it work, then tried to demonize progressive and couldn't make that work either - because frankly we don't really give that much of a fuck. Maybe go sign another fucking pledge so you will know what to do next. Surely Grover Norquist probably has some new marching orders for you by now.

Re:Texas board sides with Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865160)

You would think that intelligence could allow ALL possible theories, by chance?

Re:Texas board sides with Science? (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865322)

Wow... in the last hour or so, I've seen the parent post hit +5 funny, 0 funny and almost every combination in between.

Common sense (3, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 2 years ago | (#36864892)

Apparently they had an outbreak of common sense in Texas

Re:Common sense (2)

hansraj (458504) | about 2 years ago | (#36864966)

US still need to work a lot. 51% [cbsnews.com] of americans do not believe in evolution.

Re:Common sense (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#36865032)

US still need to work a lot. 51% [cbsnews.com] of americans do not believe in evolution.

A lot of work has been put into conversational doublespeak such that the same word "believe" is used for both:

1) Irrational brainwashed notions to be assumed unthinkingly as fact; evidence is irrelevant because if in support, duh, if not in support, its just devil testing the viewer.

2) Scientific bets made using this theory haven't been proven wrong yet, despite immense intellectual effort, so its unlikely to be proven completely wrong in the future.

It's intentional that conversations are phrased that way... keeps the masses under control and unthinking.

Personally I don't "believe" in evolution either, at least not in the first sense above. I think its about 1e100 times more likely that evolution is correct than any one of the ten thousand mutually incompatible known non-extinct religions is correct.

Re:Common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864972)

Maybe with all their bullshit patent decisions, they thought "let's not make everybody hate us"? After all, it's really hard not to dislike them these days ;)

What the fsycke happened ? (2)

unity100 (970058) | about 2 years ago | (#36864904)

can someone explain

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#36864924)

What happened is this - a bunch of slashdotters who appear to be obsessed with the notion that there are a lot of people who believe in creationist theories (even though they are a tiny minority) are now surprised that there is hardly anyone who thinks teaching creationism is a good idea.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#36864954)

They might be a minority, but there's still enough of them so as to pose a threat to education in the US. Or have you not noticed all the "Intelligent" Design proponents that have been having success watering down the science curriculum.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865074)

Shrill, screeching moron.

I bet you would rather do away with school boards all together and have some imperial science council decide what people should lean. Hell, why not just control what they believe too? That would fit best into your little control freak mind.

yes (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | about 2 years ago | (#36865114)

instead lets allow bigots to teach our kids that they have been created overnight from clay somewhere in middle east.

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865156)

Sounds like a great idea! And don't forget that scary story about the zombie that died on a cross just to pay himself for our "sins".

And let's include stories of drunken rape & in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865306)

Oh, and let's also explain exactly what a virgin is and what that's all about. Since they may ask what that is, and we mustn't lie.

Re:yes (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#36865384)

Well, apparently the sins were not as bad as one would have thought. After all, he just needed three days to pay them off for all humans! Therefore I conclude all those stories about eternal hell must be exaggerated. Even the worst sinners can get no more than a few seconds.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865134)

Shrill, screeching moron.

I bet you would rather insult the poster without knowing enough about his beliefs to do so realistically than consider what he has to say. Hell, why not accuse him of doing what the people he's arguing against are? That would best fit into your little conceded mind.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

lolcutusofbong (2041610) | about 2 years ago | (#36865150)

When it comes to understanding the nature of reality? I absolutely think that's a good idea. That's the entire point of education, you know - to pass on a worldview that will help the students succeed later in life. Trying to turn the clock back to the middle ages isn't a great way to do that.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#36865104)

I have noticed, and it's a microscopic phenomenon blown entirely out out of proportion here.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1, Troll)

Penguinshit (591885) | about 2 years ago | (#36865182)

Seeing as how decisions made in Texas can affect the content of textbooks nationwide, the reaction is entirely in proportion. Already Texas has tried to shift historical education in favor of teabagger fantasy. The line must be drawn immediately lest we corrupt the minds of a generation.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

ShooterMcGavin (2413008) | about 2 years ago | (#36865432)

The most votes = the true theory? I say exhaust the evidence for either case and let the children use their brains a little. What a great opportunity for a child to connect the dots for themselves and reach their own conclusions.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#36864956)

Maybe a tiny minority, but they've made life very hard for people who want to teach facts as opposed to a bunch of fucking horseshit.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865052)

"even though they are a tiny minority"

No, they are NOT a tiny minority. In fact, near 80% of USA population identifies themselves as Christians. To call yourself a Christian, you need to suscribe to these ridiculous beliefs.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (2)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 2 years ago | (#36865214)

To call yourself a Christian, you need to suscribe to these ridiculous beliefs.

No you don't. That is why there are so many different groups in Christianity.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865064)

Don't keep up with reality much do you?

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (2)

iZC (1063372) | about 2 years ago | (#36865128)

A Mathematical Model of Social Group Competition with Application to the Growth of Religious non-Affiliation, is listed at Cornell University Library, and was last revised in January 2011. The study noted that there is a steady increase in the numbers of those who claim to belong to no religious group in nine countries, and its mathematical formula showed religion will be extinct in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland, according to Discover Magazine. The study also commented on the U.S. noting that Americans without religious affiliation comprise the only religious group growing in all 50 states; in 2008 those claiming no religion rose to 15 percent nationwide, with a maximum in Vermont at 34 percent,Ã according to God Discussion. http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.1375 [arxiv.org]

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865164)

40% of people in USA "believe in a strict interpretation of creationism" (Gallup 2010 [gallup.com] ). That includes 47% of people with no more than a high school education and 60% of people who attend church weekly.

Try some facts next time.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | about 2 years ago | (#36865170)

If only that were true. According to this article from Discover magazine and published in 2009 only 35% of Americans [discovermagazine.com] believe that humans evolved from mammals. What's nice about the Discover article is that it breaks the US down by region. New England and the Mid-Atlantic states lead in scientific literacy, and the south (East South Central of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) brings up the rear. That Texas has decided to support scientific literacy in it's schools is a wonderful surprise. Texas is a trend setter when it comes to school districts purchasing new textbooks, so if the Texas Board of Education is lead by a person who thinks the world is 6,000 years old and evolution is garbage such as recent chair of the board Don McLeroy [wikipedia.org] then that can easily reduce the quality of textbooks nationwide.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (5, Interesting)

Troggie87 (1579051) | about 2 years ago | (#36865410)

Not even remotely true. In the area I come from, the creationist strategy is simply changing.

When I was just a child there was a community not far from my home that had maybe ten houses and an ultra-fundamentalist church with 50 or so members. I went to school with some of the members' kids, and it led to some very interesting conversations (and I was raised in a liberal-ish Lutheran congregation, so its not as though I'm at all hostile to Christianity).. Anyway, that congregation has something like quadrupled in size, and is currently adding on a youth center and a gym to "keep the kids out of sin." Presumably there will eventually be an ultraconservative private school there, since the people that attend that church are fed up with not getting their way in our local school districts (although I vividly remember having to watch creationist propaganda in eighth grade science class, though at that time no one said anything.). A friend of mine growing up, from a different church (hes baptist), told me in college he learns the biology textbook to pass the tests, but refuses believe any of it. I imagine that will be the line the private religious school will take too.

I guess the point I'm making is that creationist teaching is just going underground. These people are segregating themselves and becoming more radical, which is providing the illusion that the creationist line of thought is in decline and the attack on science is relenting. It isn't. Segregated communities are indoctrinating kids from day one, then sending them to conservative colleges and law schools where they are trained to enter government and undermine it from within. Representative Bachmann is a prime example, she doesn't even deny that was the mission of the law school she attended.

I'll end with this tidbit: ever wonder why ultraconservatives were pushing so hard for a school voucher system? Could it be that such a system would make it frighteningly easy for this type of behavior to flourish, by essentially subsidizing extremist institutions? Just my take on things of course, but it disturbs me as someone inside the scientific community.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#36865136)

This fight is between people who think that knowledge primarily comes from what is already known, often called common sense, or from new knowledge developed from careful observation of the world or study of historical documents.

In Texas, as in much of the world, many people want to think the former is The Way. It leads to simpler conclusions, does not require one to constantly educate oneself, and in general does not cause disruption of the business cycle. This world view is very seductive and is appealing to even people outside the wacko religious fringe. For instance skeptics, who often claim to be science based, falls under it spell. For instance Mythbusters, if they cannot create a successful experiment, say they have busted a myth instead of saying they simply saying they cannot confirm the myth. The distinction is important. In one they are saying the knowledge exists and they have it so they can say the experiment cannot be done. In the other they are saying using the current state of knowledge the experiment can't be done. Even arguing that our technology is better than previous technology is no defense to those skeptics that would assume total knowledge.

The later though is science. It does not lead to simple facts or immutable conclusions. It is a process in which we understand creation by knowing that if a creator existing, such a entity is greater than us and therefore our understanding at any particular point is fallible, mutable, and limited in scope. We therefore continue to study the creation in hopes of refining the understand. Some interpret this as worship. It is not starting with a conclusion, it is not an attempt to prove someone else wrong, it is not an attempt to undermine faith. It is a process. Many cannot tolerate the process so hide behind common sense.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865230)

Correct in so many ways. Science does not actually *prove* anything. Science merely says that the current theory can not be disproven with current methods and knowledge. It's the reason science grows in knowledge over time, the reason that theories develop and grow more refined over time. It's why science is the better and more rational solution, because it accepts that there are facts that are not presently known or understood. Religions generally and unfortunately don't acknowledge that there are limits to what is known and instead try to fill the gaps with dogma and superstition.

Re:What the fsycke happened ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865382)

Science in fact provides a *definition* of "proof" that involves hypothesis, experiment, observation, confidence, falsifiability, predictability, repeatability, and so on. Truly "absolute" proof may be impossible to obtain under science, but it beats "it's in a book we say is true".

So it's more accurate to say science is the only thing that's even capable of proving anything at all.

Does it really matter what the students learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864908)

Does it really matter these days what American students learn, with respect to science? I don't think it does.

With Europeans, Indians and the Chinese doing all real science and engineering today, it's just something that Americans don't need to know about. I mean, you don't need to know science when performing typical modern American jobs like preparing coffees, flipping burgers or collecting welfare.

So even if American students today learn about creationism in their science classes, it won't really be harmful to them. They'll never actually have to do anything involving science once they leave school.

Re:Does it really matter what the students learn? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#36865108)

The problem is that these people grow up to be politicians and policy makers. They wreck the economy and go to war [google.es] based on their beliefs then expect the people who learned enough in school to get a proper job to pay the bills for the cleanup.

So... yes. It matters. Religion is NOT a harmless hobby like collecting stamps or arguing Ford vs. Chevy over a beer. Atheists do need to be active/militant against it.

Re:Does it really matter what the students learn? (1)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | about 2 years ago | (#36865130)

With Europeans, Indians and the Chinese doing all real science and engineering today, it's just something that Americans don't need to know about.

That's a nice self-fulfilling prophecy there: "Why should I bother trying to climb out of this well when I'm just going to spend the rest of my life in this well anyway?"

A victory for dogma! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864962)

Woo hoo! The state board of education has come out in favor of science and in opposition to skeptics and free thinkers. Good to see they are going with established scientific practice and vetted theory and understanding instead of giving time to free thinkers unburdened by scientific dogma, who pursue pointless skepticism. A good reminder that learning, even when dogmatic, is about the pursuit of truth, and not pointless wanking from idiots who ignore vetted traditional teachings just to be douche bags.

Re:A victory for dogma! (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36864990)

...in opposition to skeptics and free thinkers.

Yes, because skeptics and free thinkers are frequently associated with creationism and Intelligent design. /sarcasm

Re:A victory for dogma! (3, Informative)

toriver (11308) | about 2 years ago | (#36865092)

A bit on the wrong side, aren't you? Evolutionary theories aren't dogma - like most scientific theories they are constantly being revised as new discoveries are made, and they form a central part of the the basis of modern biology. "Free thinkers" who profess the "religious creationism in a fancy dress" like Intelligent Design are pushing forward conclusions that predate genetics and other discoveries. Are there other conclusions (made thousands of years ago by nomadic tribesmen sitting around a campfire) you also will consider more valid than modern science? Should we perhaps abandon these fancy cars for trusty old camels?

Evolution deniers are skeptics in much the same way Holocaust deniers are skeptics. Should history classes teach historical revisionism? Or what about introducing contra-factual history ("what if" scenarios) at an early age to sow confusion? Should physics classes also teach the element-based world view? How about re-introducing the liquid balance principles in medicine?

Re:A victory for dogma! (1)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 years ago | (#36865270)

Well, to be fair, one of those nomadic tribesmen did nail the statistical upper-bound of lifespan of man for the next few thousands of years, across billions of future people, with one try, with no internet to use for research, and no medical training.

Feel free to apply science to produce a more accurate number, though. Next 4000 years, oldest living man, starting with massive advantage to you in terms of baseline knowledge available to reference to make your prediction.

Oh, yeah, to parallel the situation in terms of the seriousness of falsely speaking "on behalf of science", you in kind agree to be put to death if your prediction is refuted at any point in the future.


P.S. "Which is epistemologically valid to acquire knowledge, science or X?" Is a False Dichotomy Fallacy. Could be both, and more besides.

Re:A victory for dogma! (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865392)

Keep guessing about everything and eventually you may get something right. Even a broken clock etc. In addition, please explain yourself better; exactly WHAT was the prediction and where has it been sourced from... or don't you like your random claims being examined?

Free thinkers? (1)

Oh Gawwd Peak Oil (1000227) | about 2 years ago | (#36865094)

By your definition, someone who believes that 1+1=3 is a free thinker. He's not oppressed by the dogma in the scientific community, that suppresses and stifles any dissent!

And by God, if he's not allowed to teach the children that 1+1=3, then the socialist lobby with their Godless, homosexual, communist agenda has won!!1!!1

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36864982)

Thank God for these intelligently designed supplements!

Need better terminology (-1)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 years ago | (#36865014)

FTFA: "A creationist member of the review panel released a list of Holt's supposed errors involving evolution and common descent."

Thing is, common descent is provably scientifically false at this point.

Fluorescent cats: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/photogalleries/wip-week59/ [nationalgeographic.com] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316592,00.html [foxnews.com]

Are we stating that only events in the far past can be included to apply to common descent based on, well, what the words simply mean? Because there's no question there's been Design of living creatures, the only question is whether Design has occurred only recently.

No, really. Absolute proof common descent is false, and Design (in the abstract) is true. Just click on any of the jpg's. It's right there.

Now, the question is, what more nuanced terminology is necessary to describe the principle of "common descent" in this age of genetic engineering? Because it being false on the face of it, if unqualified as terminology, isn't ever going away.

Re:Need better terminology (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865140)

Riiiiight... because genetic engineering is what ID proponents are REALLY talking about. You're crazy, foolish or an expert troll. Oh yes, and altering certain gene sequences is obviously proof that common descent is false... really it is... keep telling yourself that.

Re:Need better terminology (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 2 years ago | (#36865338)

It's semantics and philosophy. What he's suggesting is akin to digging a hole on the beach and then citing that as evidence for completely revising our understanding of how moon craters are formed.

Re:Need better terminology (0)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 years ago | (#36865354)

Right... and your concern is for the integrity of scientific pursuit, and not blatantly redefining basic words to whatever you need to in order to tell yourself you can exclude things your bias says you don't like...

Seriously, "creationism" aside, stop damaging science and basic valid usage of terms. No, you aren't championing science against "creationism", you are simply harming science and accomplishing nothing.

gratis online maffia game (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865040)

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You mean... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865046)

They came down on the side of the scientifically bull-shit evolution. See there is no more proof of evolution than there is of creationism. And far more proof of a generic Intelligent Design theory than either of the others straight up.

Re:You mean... (-1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 2 years ago | (#36865152)

True enough. The words used in the article, "scientifically accurate" is highly over-rated. There is no proof, it's only a THEORY.

Of course, this is /. so I see you were modded down for your dissenting opinion. Consider this a +1.

For the record, the Catholic Church doesn't subscribe to "creationism" as most people understand it. While the Church rightly believes that God created everything there is, the Church recognized that it probably didn't happen in 6 days as explained in Genesis. Something people must understand is that Genesis was written over 2500 years ago when scientific understanding what nothing compared to what we have today. The literary styles used back then were also quite different.

One question I'd like to ask Darwin, if he were still alive, is this: If man evolved from apes, then why do we still have apes? Why didn't all species evolve like man supposedly did?

Re:You mean... (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | about 2 years ago | (#36865254)

Do either of you understand what a "scientific theory" is?

One question I'd like to ask Darwin, if he were still alive, is this: If man evolved from apes, then why do we still have apes? Why didn't all species evolve like man supposedly did?

I'd say "unbelievable", but it is not, it is just sad.

Re:You mean... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#36865292)

And you are one of the many who don't even bother to learn enough about evolution to criticise it properly. Here's an idea for you, maybe some niches are filled by primates that were successful enough that there was no evolutionary pressure to evolve further? Maybe the existence of a particular species doesn't preclude similar species from existing? Idiot.

Re:You mean... (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#36865348)

You don't need to ask Darwin; any literate 10th grader can explain the basics of evolution, and explain why your last paragraph is ignorant nonsense.

Re:You mean... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865394)

If man evolved from apes, then why do we still have apes?

If a white cat has a litter of black and tabby kittens, why do we still have a white cat?

Re:You mean... (1)

vadim_t (324782) | about 2 years ago | (#36865428)

True enough. The words used in the article, "scientifically accurate" is highly over-rated. There is no proof, it's only a THEORY.

So is gravity. Yet you don't expect to start suddenly levitating, do you?

Evolution is well tested by this point, all that's left to argue about is small details

One question I'd like to ask Darwin, if he were still alive, is this: If man evolved from apes, then why do we still have apes? Why didn't all species evolve like man supposedly did?

Because evolution is about adapting to the environment, not the silly scifi idea of there being some "next step" to it. Suppose a group of monkeys make it to the other side of a large river, during an unusual time of severe drought. On one side trees are plentiful, on the other they aren't. Later the river refills, and they can't interbreed anymore. They're going to adapt differently to the conditions on both sides. On one side, jumping from tree to tree will be optimal. On the other, doing well on land will be more important. Over time they'll end up looking quite differently.

Why didn't all species evolve? Same reason. Most species are very well adapted. We don't have man sized cockroaches because cockroaches are extremely well suited to their environment. If they started say, getting much larger, they'd have a hard time hiding. Thus, there's evolutionary pressure against larger cockroaches.

I am so glad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865120)

I am so glad that Slashdot readers have evolved from talking shit about the entire population of the Great State of Texas because a few wacko's live there....

Oh wait a minute, never mind.

another victory for the antichrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865138)

i'm starting to think 2012 really will be the end of the world, but it won't be the mayans that will be coming back.

Idiots. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#36865178)

This thread is great and all..

Except... there hasn't been any actual physical hands on evidence of one species turning into another..

Soo.. there's much behind it as far as actual _Science_ goes.

Censoring Information (1, Offtopic)

hackus (159037) | about 2 years ago | (#36865366)

Whatever you feel about Creationism or Evolution ala Darwin, having a handful of people decide such issues about what will and what will not be known, I would like to point out has historically been a very bad thing.

I mean what is next? Only books that further a given view of science that doesn't contradict or threaten a communities NSF grants are permitted?

I also think that CERN censoring information is also a bad thing. Contrary to what the people at CERN think, not everyone outside their sphere are stupid and cannot interpret the results of the experiments they perform.

This all points to a scientific dark age, which I think we are already in personally.

For example, take climate change. We all know climate change could kill us. But what does the leadership think we should do? Well, so far they hold climate conferences and half of the idiots invited are just super wealthy. If there are any scientists that go to these conferences, they are sucking at the teet of these wealthy for some sort of agenda. Year after year I read the solution that comes out of these conferences is, a world tax on carbon to be paid to, you guessed it, the super wealthy or climate change will kill us all if the super wealthy don't get their tax money. Oh, and lets not forget the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation out there pushing vaccines to "help cure disease in the third world" wink wink (sterlize them or kill them outright those dirty brown/black people also known as useless eaters by the royal family House of Windsor)

So, instead of taking the logical approach which is to liberate the human potential and combine it with the limitless potential of our solar systems resource base, you would think we would begin in earnest to massively hire huge numbers of engineers, jump start whole industries and develop our local area of space.


Apparently 27 TRILLION dollars of US Tax payers money went to the Rothchild family, the Dark Nobility of Europe and various banking families throughout the world. Money that exchanged hands of about 80,000 people. 27 Trillion dollars.

We could solve any engineering problem in space and near earth orbit with that sort of cash inflow. New technologies, new medicines. Even access to the mineral wealth of the Asteroid belt, which is probably incalculable how much industrial and economic wealth is there.

Nope, never going to happen. Not now, not 100 years from now, not even probably 1,000 years from now. Technology to protect and stabilize the human condition, to insure our future children have a better future. A future where they do not have to look up at the sky in fear if they see a new comet and wonder. Is this the big one?

Nope. Instead we kill any and all space research and continue to listen to our leaders about how the world is, that you have to do with less so we can have more. Tyranny grips the globe like a IRON vice and there is no place to flee. Tyranny now in the hands of globalist bankers who control the worlds most powerful military on earth and threaten us every day, that if you don't submit more of your freedoms, a nuclear bomb is going to go off in your city.

So you better bend over for that TSA agent, or we will nuke your city, pull your social security checks.

Meanwhile, people are just happy to sit around and argue about how they are going to restrict knowledge and freedom on slashdot to get their Score 5.



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