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Slashback: BlackBerry, Cloning, Smart Hotels

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the a-turn-for-the-worse dept.

Slashback 378

Slashback tonight brings some correction, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including more news from the BlackBerry case, a follow up on the South Korean Cloning pioneer, China promising a strong continuation in space exploration, a behined the scenes look at Smart Hotel technology, a change in direction for the Massachusetts OpenDocument war, and a slightly different approach to the intelligent design in schools question. Read on for the details.

BlackBerry closer to a shutdown. WebHostingGuy writes to tell us MSNBC is reporting that Research in Motion Ltd, the company who makes the BlackBerry is nearer now to a shutdown of their US mobile email service than ever due to the recent ruling handed down. From the article: "U.S. District Judge James Spencer Wednesday ruled invalid a $450 million settlement between RIM and NTP Inc., a small patent holding firm of McLean, Va., that maintains the technology behind the popular BlackBerry infringes on its patents."

Cloning pioneer admits to wrongdoing and resigns. moraes writes "The first research group to clone human embryos ran into some ethical difficulties concerning the source of the eggs - allegations were made indicating that the eggs were taken from junior research assistants. The South Korean pioneer, Hwang Woo Suk, has since resigned his official posts and apologized for lying about the sources of eggs used.."

China on the moon by 2020. IZ Reloaded writes "China will send its astronauts to the moon by 2020 according to the Deputy Commander in Chief of China's manned space flight program. Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."

Behined the scenes with Cisco. molotov writes "Cisco installed the system described in the recent Slashdot article about Smart Hotel Rooms in New York City and has a great video about the technology used in a similar project for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel."

Massachusetts gives Microsoft a second chance. An anonymous reader writes "CNet is reporting that Massachusetts is considering adopting the MS Office XML format as a standard to be used to store the state's documents now that it is under review as an ECMA standard. From the article: 'The commonwealth is very pleased with Microsoft's progress in creating an open document format. If Microsoft follows through as planned, we are optimistic that Office Open XML will meet our new standards for acceptable open formats.' Microsoft still does not intend to support the OpenOffice standard." IBM also took the time to weigh in on the issue with a recent letter to Thomas Trimarco.

University sued for supporting evolution. Hikaru79 writes to tell us that two parents are suing the University of California-Berkeley based on the contents of a website aimed at educating teachers. From the article: "Jeanne and Larry Caldwell, the couple bringing the suit against the site, claim that the site delves improperly into religion. While most debates center around whether or not Intelligent Design is "religion in the classroom," the Caldwells are looking to spin it the other way."

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Fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152210)

Fp numero uno de no. 1? Que?

There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152229)

"Look, we're using a document format that abuses an open standard! That means we're using open standards too!"

Groklaw's dissection of MS's "open format" is a lot more thorough than mine. Go read it.

Re:There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152284)

It appears that politicians and bureaucrats are, after all, mental retards, because they will indeed buy into the notion that if a convicted monopolist puts the word "open" in front of some non-open "standard" (which is itself an abuse of the very notion of a standard), then everything is A-okay. I'm beginning to think that the majority of human beings are sub-standard intellects who deserve to be kicked around by the Napoleon of Redmond and his spooky, violent sidekick Steve "Stinky" Ballmer. I mean, to think that anyone could be some severely mentally challenged that they would buy into this bit of Microsoft's bullshit can only point to mental capacities hovering close to that of brain damaged squid. Such people should be put on display as examples of how retarded the average citizen is that they don't demand and physically force the removal of such an individual should they somehow find themselves in a position of responsibility, even if that position is taking a shit without some help.

Re:There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152437)

Wow, I didn't know Martian has crappy government too. Care to trade some of your officials with ours for target practice^E^E^E^E^E^E^E exchange purpose? I want to strap^E^E^E^E^E send a few certain officials in a rocket and launch them to space^E^E^E^E^E Mars.

Re:There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152494)

That's ^H you insensitive clod!

Re:There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (1)

hacksaw56 (934313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152510)

It appears that politicians and bureaucrats are, after all, mental retards, because they will indeed buy into the notion that if a convicted monopolist puts the word "open" in front of some non-open "standard" (which is itself an abuse of the very notion of a standard), then everything is A-okay.

Good call. Certainly even these politicians have been around long enough to drop off their dry-cleaning at "1-Hour Dry-Kleeners" just to have the person behind the counter tell them "Okay, your clothes will be ready for pick up in two days." You learn quickly in this world that what someone calls something and what it actually is are two very different things. People signing up for AOL in Europe, America's Funniest Home Videos, a company named Microsoft when there's nothing micro about it, "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters" ... Hmmph!

Re:There goes that MS Marketing Lying again. (1)

klaun (236494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152545)

that the majority of human beings are sub-standard intellects who deserve to be kicked around by the Napoleon of Redmond and his spooky, violent

With props to Garrison Keillor, I think at best half of human beings are of sub-standard intellect. (If we assume the standard is set at the median).

-m

Blackberries? (3, Interesting)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152256)

Because clearly, Blackberries only exist so that your bosses boss can send you an email with a sig at the bottom that says "sent from Mr. Big's Blackberry (while rolling down the hgwy in his Z4).

But seriously, the company I work at recently yanked all blackberry devices and replaced them with Treo 600 and treo 650's.

the fact that you dont need any "special" software to access email and has the capability of viewing doc and excel attachments was the death spike for the blackberry here at this company.

and honestly, the treo's have much better sounding audio for phone calls than even the latest blackberry's did.

Re:Blackberries? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152305)

Until the recent news we were considering replacing our Treo's with blackberries. The Treo's have proven to be too fragile for use by the sales and executive staff. Drop it once, and it usually dies. The black berries are more durable in our experience. T-Mobile is our carrier and they have told us then intend to stop selling the Treo's because they get so many broken ones returned that they are losing money!

Re:Blackberries? (1)

bad jerkface (930612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152440)

I got kicked in the blackberries one time. That's what happened to Paris Hilton, right?

Stupid NTP!!! (5, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152258)

I don't have respect for such patent holding companies that don't produce anything but litigation. On the other hand, if RIMM loses, I hope they have the balls to pull the government services too.

Re:Stupid NTP!!! (3, Interesting)

diersing (679767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152417)

Agreed. How can the judicial branch strike something down but allow an exception for the other two branches of government whilst in the process screwing all the other users?

Selective enforcement of a ruling is NOT justice (or so I have been told).

Re:Stupid NTP!!! (2, Informative)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152438)

Don't forget that RIM sued several companies over the years, enough to get the nickname "Lawsuits in Motion" on theregister.co.uk.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Re:Stupid NTP!!! (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152526)

Am I incorrect, or didn't they sue Palm a few years ago over the "thumb keyboards" on the new treo's infringing on RIM's patents? Man, funny how Karma works..

Re:Stupid NTP!!! (2, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152598)

Actually, Funny moderations don't affect Karma, which I think is pretty stupid.

Re:Stupid NTP!!! (1)

MaineCoon (12585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152580)

My understanding of the situation is that the man behind NTP DID try to innovate and bring a product to market, but his product failed in the marketplace (it was a few years ahead of the market's interest or need of such a product).

So RIM comes along a few years later, and makes a device that supposedly uses very similiar technology that the patent covers, and makes big bucks with it.

RIM Fact or RIM FUD? (2, Interesting)

Scoria (264473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152259)

From the relevant Money article [cnn.com] :

RIM said in a statement that it would continue efforts to get the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The company also reiterated that it has prepared a software upgrade that can be used to work around the disputed patents.

Several analysts believe that RIM is likely to avoid an injunction by settling, whatever the cost. At the moment, this all certainly makes me glad that I use a Treo.

Re:RIM Fact or RIM FUD? (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152306)

C'mon, there is not the slightest possibility that RIM is going to commit corporate suicide in the name of anti-patent martyrdom. None.

China on the Moon, people dying on Earth! (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152260)

China on the moon by 2020. IZ Reloaded writes "China will send its astronauts to the moon by 2020 according to the Deputy Commander in Chief of China's manned space flight program. Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."

The Chinese have a huge population and apparently an unknown AIDS victim population that keeps growing. Some estimates are in the 10+ million range.

China is full of amazing scientists that have been making huge advancements. Why are they pushing so hard for the space race and not for eliminating AIDS and opening their *real* numbers of infection to the world?

I'm unimpressed with anything they do until they get their ass in gear and stop w/the human rights issues and the government coverups that go along with it. That includes ANY country, not just them.

Re:China on the Moon, people dying on Earth! (1, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152313)

LOL, mod down the truth to the floor because God forbid we lower the importance of "Geek Science" in favor of humans.

is that a plank in your eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152586)

New Orleans ring any bells ?

still at least there is free wifi [slashdot.org] , that helps when you have (whats left of) a population who lost every single thing they owned

As for human rights, Guantanamo bay ? CIA torture flights ? [hrw.org] Corrupt [google.com] Politicans [google.com] ? Fake [guardian.co.uk] News [wikipedia.org] ?, Poverty [dailyrecord.com] ? Chemical Weapons [bbc.co.uk] ?

sure China has problems, but take that plank out of your eye first

Re:China on the Moon, people dying on Earth! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152604)

Some estimates are in the 10+ million range.

Population control?

Or the belief that advances in one area will carry over into others?

For example, what would happen to medicine today if we were to take out all the advances in materials and microelectronics due to the space race? No more fancy hip replacements, no more CT and MRI scans, etc. Heck, even finding yur records would be a huge drain on resources.

Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist? (-1, Troll)

sj88 (930814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152269)

What's wrong with believing that the "Intelligent Being" *designed* evolution? That the Being designed this whole system we live in and all the laws that govern it.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (0, Offtopic)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152299)

I bet RIM is wishing that being didn't design the patent system. ..maybe his noodly appendage is an antenna

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152300)

There's nothing wrong with that belief, providing you don't try to foist it on school children as being science.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (0)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152449)

Oh please, you present a false dichotomy, one is science and the other isn't? When we design artificial intelligence in the future they will have a theory of ID, so by that measure ID is just as scientific as a non-id theory. It's only historical anti-religious bias that one cannot seperate the design from the religion, they both function as religious worldviews for their adherents irregardless of the evidence as no one was there at the beginning of the earth and watched the development of life on earth.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152503)

Science has a very rigorous definition of the word theory, which is more than "something about life is too complex to have evolved by purely natural mechanisms". So far as any ID advocate has made any particular claim (ie. the infamous flagellum claim), real scientists have answered the challenge, and you'll note that those trying to get ID into schools are being condemned by the vast majority of the scientific community and are, themselves, so incautious in their speech that they pretty much reveal themselves to be Creationists trying to find away around the Establishment Clause.

Science is simply a methodology, a tool for exploring the natural world. If you wish to invoke a designer, it is insufficient to simply try to magnify what amounts to a rather vapid god of the gaps argument. At least open creationists make some sort of positive claims, and don't try to hide behind pseudo-scientific language. Those claims may be laughably absurd, but at least a Creationist is being honest, though that does tend to mean that courts go "sorry, we won't let you force your religious beliefs on public schools".

Now, as to the oft-repeated claim that we can't observe what happened in the past, I'll counter simply that unless you can show me an electron, how can you know it exists? How can you know that your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather existed? Can you demonstrate to me that Italian and German have an ancestral language?

Inference is a perfectly legitimate way to analyze a problem. Plenty of things in many areas of science rest upon evidence gained in ways that we cannot directly observe. So if it's legitimate to talk about electrons and their effects, then surely the same reasoning is fine for discussing the environment of the early Earth. And if it isn't, then perhaps you can tell me how you simply don't slip into solipsism?

Science != Religion (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152544)

Science is things that can be proven or disproven. Religion is things beyond proof. Yes, ID is religion, it is faith based and falls back on that old crap about God moving in mysterious ways.

"Because I said so" is not science. It does not belong in science classes. Maye you place your faith in Prez Bush, and when he says science classes should teach religion, that's good enough for you. Or maybe you are like these CA nuts who says science is religion and therefore religion should be taught alongside its brother evolution.

The only faith you can find in science is the core idea that things are scientific if they can be proven or disproven. That's the same faith you have in geometry about the core axioms. If you think that is religion, you are truly pathetic. I wonder why you don't expect religion to be taught in math classes.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152525)

There's also nothing wrong with a belief in exclusively naturalistic causes, providing you don't try to foist in on school children as being science.
Science is the search for understanding the universe and how things work. We know how some systems work in some cases, and these things should be taught. We should also teach students the limitations of what we know. The things we cannot currently explain, or that seem to contradict the established models (I'm thinking about things we take for granted like gravity here rather than origins).
Neither camp should offer mere speculation in the class room and present it as an established fact.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152549)

Science isn't simply a search, it is a well-defined set of methodologies. Telling kids the holes in theories is one thing, but trying to argue that nebulous designers of unknown origin and unknown powers can be parked in a problematic part of a theory is, in fact, teaching them something that is counter to science. That all theories have problems is not debatable, but are you willing to put a disclaimer on a physics textbook "The theory of gravity has some problems due to the fact that currently no accepted and verifiable quantum theory exists. Some people believe that angels push balls down to Earth."?

Evolution is one of the best supported theories we have, particularly in light of the major studies of the molecular data in the last twenty years. It cannot explain everything and debate still circles around some areas, but are you actually saying that that is reason to call the theory into question?

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (2, Insightful)

someone300 (891284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152311)

I thought the problem was whether this view should be taught in science classes or not. Personally I believe it should be left for discussion in philosophy classes...

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152329)

sure they can co-exist - one gets taught in science class the other in religion class - very simple.

The issue here is different though - UC has a requirement that for entry you have taken classes in A, B, C and D - in this case one of these is a science class that covers certain topics including the theory of evolution and the religious schools are complaining because they decline offer those classes. UC's not turning people down, just requiring them to take make-up classes (BTW UC doesn't have any religious education requirement)

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152339)

There's nothing wrong with believing in it, but there are several issues.

1) Science does not deal with the metaphysical. Therefore, this is should be taught in a philosophy class and not a science class.

2) Only one being? How do you know there's only one?

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152349)

It's wrong because you're just making up fantasy to try to appease religious fanatics.

Scientists shouldn't try to appease. They should do nothing more than try to understand nature via the devising of theories, and then using observation and experimentation to back up said theories.

Sure, you can concoct some story about some intelligent designer designing evolution. But that doesn't change the fact that there's no basis to such claims.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152376)

There's nothing wrong with believing in an "Intelligent Being", but there is a problem saying in science class that said being is responsible for life without any proof. Yeah thats right there is no evidence for the Intelligent Design which is why its a HYPOTHESIS, while evolution is a THEORY because it has been supported numerous times throughout the decades by evidence.

Therefore, Intelligent Design should not be taught in the schools because no one will ever be able to support it with testable evidence to grant Intelligent Design Theory status

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (2, Insightful)

M0b1u5 (569472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152453)

Sorry, ID is most definitely NOT a hypothesis. A Hypothesis can be falsified - whereas the CONCEPT or IDEA of ID can't be falsified, so it quite definitely does not get the dignity of being called a hypothesis. It's a crackpot belief - nothing more. Please don't get me started about the "I'm entitled to my belief" thing because it gets long... The crux of the statement is that you have an entitlement. Unfortunately, every true entitlement also means a corresponding duty. The right to life for example, has a corresponding duty on everyone else not to kill you. If there is no duty, then there can be no entitlement. So, strictly speaking, you are NOT entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to express your opinion - be it true or false - but you do not have an entitlement to believe in something which is not true.

Check out the constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152553)

Freedom of belief is a cornerstone of this nation. Work it out. The Catholics and the Protestants believe different things. Both can't be right. One (or both) must be wrong. Therefore, the constitution allows people to believe something that is wrong.

Being designing the evolution. (2, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152395)

Yes, and this entity is called "LAWS OF PHYSICS".

Stupid jokes appart : No. It's not possible, because evolution is about understanding the mecanism which made todays deversified life-form (even in your exemple, science is used to understand how the designer did design. In a phylosophical way, modern science is patiently and minutiously dissecting deities). Like everything else in science, it's about finding good models to understand and predict.
And Intelligent design is by defition (by the definition of its proponent) is something that CANNOT be understood and SHOULDN'T be falsifiable (the whole "designer has planted dinosaur fossils to fool us" part and other "noodly appendages"). It's "don't ask questions and just believe, if our explanation doesn't seem understandable it's the designers fault". That's why ID cannot be considered as science.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152399)

I'm a Christian, and that viewpoint makes sense to me. The fact is, the two camps (fanatical Christian, and extreme evolutionist) are both operating under a non-factual system. There has been no concrete explanation for the forming of the universe by evolutionists (i.e. where did the big bang come from, where did the cosmic egg come from, where did the subspace that randomly fluctuated to create the egg come from), and there has been no (and most likely will not be until the end of time) conclusive proof by Christians that evolution absolutely could not have happened. Both camps are religions. Extreme evolutionism is more fanatical than based on science, with many varied beliefs and varied "scientific" explanations for the same things. The same goes for extreme christianity. Rather than say either view is wrong, I'd like to point out that they are both religions, and therefore should not be subsidized by the government as absolute truth to be taught in public schools. Plus, considering the fact that the phrase "separation of church and state" wasn't even in the Constitution, just in a little letter from one of the guys to a church that was scared of getting controlled by the state like they were back in England, the government *shouldn't* be allowed to keep religion out of schools. The teachers could present, say, the top 3 worldwide views on the subject, and allow the students to choose.

</interesting>

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (4, Insightful)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152435)

Bullshit. Show a biologist new evidence, and if the prevailing theory doesn't fit, it changes.

Show a religious person evidence of any kind that contradicts their faith, and the faith doesn't change. After all, virtue from a religious standpoint is believing the unbelievable.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

Ariane 6 (248505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152547)

There has been no concrete explanation for the forming of the universe by evolutionists

No, but that doesn't stop scientists from looking for natural explanations for such. There are, at present, a number of theories awaiting sufficient observational data. The ID folks would just say "it's too complex, so don't bother".

I'd like to point out that they are both religions

No. Those who are postulating various naturalistic origins for the universe are generating genuine hypotheses that can be disproven. The religious viewpoint never can be.

and therefore should not be subsidized by the government as absolute truth to be taught in public schools.

I think that they both should be taught. One as science, the other as philosophy. Niether of which deal with "absolute truths".

the phrase "separation of church and state" wasn't even in the Constitution

Not in so many words, though Jefferson does so in his writings. Nevertheless, I believe that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion" is pretty clear on that point.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152558)

I'm a Christian, and that viewpoint makes sense to me. The fact is, the two camps (fanatical Christian, and extreme evolutionist) are both operating under a non-factual system. There has been no concrete explanation for the forming of the universe by evolutionists (i.e. where did the big bang come from, where did the cosmic egg come from, where did the subspace that randomly fluctuated to create the egg come from)

You have demonstrated that you don't even know what the hell evolution is. Evolution is not the theory of the Big Bang, and the Big Bang itself only states that the universe was once very dense and very hot. If you start out with a pathetic dichotomy, what does that say about anything else on this subject you have to say?

I think you meant (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152593)

not .

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (4, Insightful)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152600)

Apologies for the angry tone of the following post, it just got my goat somewhat.

There has been no concrete explanation for the forming of the universe by evolutionists

Firstly, there's no such word as "evolutionist". The correct term, if you're talking about someone who studies the scientific discipline in question, is "evolutionary biologist". If you're talking about someone who accepts evolution as the most likely explanation for our being here, the term is atheist or agnostic (depending on details).

And thus to my second point. The theory of evolution and associated bioscience have nothing to do with how the universe started. None. Nada. Zip. They have nothing to do with stellar evolution, despite the name. They have nothing to do with how the Earth was formed. They don't even have anything to do with how life began - the correct term for that is abiogenesis and it's closer to chemistry than biology. The only reason anyone bothers to conflate the scientific discipline of evolutionary biology with this vast range of related subjects is so they can bundle them all together, slap a label saying "ATHEIST" (or, more likely, "ATHIEST") on them and then whine loudly about people teaching this pile of "dogma" in schools. Wonderful straw man there.

Similarly, there is no such thing as Darwinism. The only people who advocate "Darwin: right or wrong?" as a valid ideological choice are those who wish to set up a false dichotomy. Which historically has been proponents of creationism or intelligent design.

Extreme evolutionism is more fanatical than based on science, with many varied beliefs and varied "scientific" explanations for the same things.

On the whole, these "beliefs" are falsifiable. When a conjecture as to how things work/worked is falsifiable (and preferably meets a couple of other standards), we call it a scientific hypothesis. You may have heard the term? It's that thing that Intelligent Design isn't until it demonstrates a method by which it can be falsified. In the same vein, "God did it" can never be a hypothesis if God is assumed to be infinitely powerful, as such a God can do whatever the heck he wants. Now, this may even be the way the universe works. There may be an all-powerful God who takes great pleasure in planting random dinosaur skeletons and tinkering with bacterial flagella. But that conjecture sure as hell isn't scientific and hence shouldn't be taught in a science class.

Incidentally, there's nothing wrong with there being several different explanations for the same data. But until they're falsifiable they're called conjectures, and until we have sufficient examples of them dramatically failing to be falsified they're called hypotheses. Only once they've been through the white-hot flame of detailed scientific enquiry are they referred to as theories.

The teachers could present, say, the top 3 worldwide views on the subject, and allow the students to choose.

I have no problem with that. As long as they do it in a Religious Studies class. If they try to do it in a science class, they've completely misunderstood the nature of science and need to be sacked for the children's sake - it'd be like getting a Holocaust denyer to teach 20th century history. Science isn't about "choosing" what's right. It's about suggesting what might be right, then scrutinising it, poking holes in it, looking high and low for contradictory data (and there must be the potential for contradictory data, otherwise your conjecture is scientifically nihilistic) and then, when you've given up in despair of ever disproving the damn thing, accepting that it might conceivably be an accurate reflection of reality.

Is there a single religion in the world willing to go through that baptism of fire? If it did, and passed, wouldn't that rather destroy the idea of "having faith", anyway? Answers of "No" or "Yes" respectively indicate that religions have no place in the science classroom.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152401)

What's wrong with believing that the "Intelligent Being" *designed* evolution?

That's not the source of contention. Almost everyone believes or can be easily convinced that organisms adapt (microevolution). The primary arguments are centered around macroevolution (monkey to man, etc) and differing timetables between evolution and creation. To make things a little more complicated, you'll also find a large number of Intelligent Design proponents who do not support creation in 6 days.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152511)

To make things a little more complicated, you'll also find a large number of Intelligent Design proponents who do not support creation in 6 days.
Of course, to make things less complicated again, I don't think there's anything that indicates that each of these six days had to be approximately 86400 seconds long (with a second being the time needed for a cesium-133 atom to perform 9,192,631,770 complete oscillations.)

Really, all you have to do is say that `days were longer back then.' That's the great thing about dogma ... you (if you're the church or ruling body) you can always make more.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (0, Flamebait)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152423)

What's wrong with believing that the "Intelligent Being" *designed* evolution? That the Being designed this whole system we live in and all the laws that govern it.

The sooner religious types retreat back to the big bang and say that God did that and set everything else in motion, the sooner they can stop being humiliated by science at every step of the way on this inevitable course. The less publically humiliated they are, the more gullible people they can recruit.

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152461)

What's wrong with believing that the "Intelligent Being" *designed* evolution? That the Being designed this whole system we live in and all the laws that govern it.

It may be valid to assume that the laws were designed, but the more we find out about evolution the more it looks like it basically happens by itself - it does not need a designer. In that case, why go to the bother of assuming one?

Re:Can't Intelligent Design and Evolution co-exist (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152496)

That theory makes no testable predictions so it isn't scientific.

Can you think of some observable aspect of reality that would be different depending on whether the universe was designed vs. not designed?

Frankly, the universe looks pretty darn random and chaotic to me. Thrown in some weird stuff like duck billed platypuses and humans all having appendixes for no apparent reason and the most generous conclusion you can come to is that if there was an Intelligent Designer he wasn't very good at it.

space tourism will take off! (4, Funny)

Filthysock (557067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152272)

"Hu Shixiang said that the goal is subject to the government's funding and their ability to build a rocket with 25 tons capacity."
Good news then, finally something that will be able to lift american space tourists :)

Re:space tourism will take off! (1, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152317)

It may not be enough for Lance Bass's ego, however.

Pathetic Moderation (1, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152520)

Wouldn't it be something if before someone was given mod points, they had at least some ability to demonstrate that they knew something about the world around them, including recent history? it seems, sometimes, that mod points are given to some genuinely retarded people, who probably should be beaten with their computer and shouldn't be given anything more complicated that a box with a light and a button on it.

In soviet russia (2, Interesting)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152280)

religion was illegal...
...and people on the whole preferred it that way because it stopped people messing with observable fact. Or lawyers.

On the other hand they had salt mines...

But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...


I shal call the new ideology Communiapitalism, or capitunism.


Crawl before me, ye wealthy, or state funded rather-well-off.

Re:In soviet russia (2, Funny)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152320)

Religion was illegal... ...and people on the whole preferred it that way because it stopped people messing with observable fact. Or lawyers.

On the other hand they had salt mines...

But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...


Sure thing, and If you ever get arrested, call your doctor.

Re:In soviet russia (1)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152420)

Excellent advice, but in most prisons you can get all the medication you will ever care for.

Re:In soviet russia (2, Interesting)

Pembers (250842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152407)

In Soviet Russia, they didn't have God telling them how He'd designed the world and everything in it. Instead they had Comrade Lysenko [wikipedia.org] telling them how to increase agricultural yields through methods that sounded plausible but didn't have a hope of working. It mightn't have been so bad if he didn't have the ears of Uncle Joe and the party machinery...

Re:In soviet russia (1)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152499)

Worked for a while though didn't it?
Failing that there was always the salt mines, or camp Xray... Or whatever the next one will be.

Re:In soviet russia (2, Funny)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152412)

The Intelligent Being chooses YOU!

Re:In soviet russia (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152606)

But then again if we were to send the lawyers to the salt mines, I think it would solve most of our problems...

I disagree. I think that it would just cause more problems.

China on the Moon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152281)


can you imagine what would happen if they found no traces of the US landing
iam really waiting for that one, not that public embarrasment of a nation means much thesedays, with leaders trying to re-define torture to fit their own sick definitions, wide scale corrupture, secret CIA jails, fake news, concentration camps, spying on its own populace, draconian civil rights, treating tourists as criminals (complete with mugshot and prints)
so adding "fake moon landing" to that list probably wouldnt do much, it will still be funny to watch politicans squirm as their idealogical dreams are shattered

Go China !, +1 for the human race

You can't teach what?! (4, Insightful)

sinsofthedove (898187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152323)

The more heated the debates over the teaching of creationism/evolution get, the more I worry that it's actually education itself that's being threatened. The article gave a very snarky summary of the learning process - teachers teach, and hopefully the students learn - and it's that very process that's continually being challenged. If this debate leads to a massive shift in favor of homeschooling among parents who oppose the teaching of scientific theory, there will be serious problems in this country.

Also, their argument is partially based on the fact that the site is government funded. Does this mean that eventually private institutions are going to be the only places allowed to teach without getting hassled? Schools shouldn't operate under fear of suit.

Re:You can't teach what?! (1)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152385)

Wow, it's like people assume that because you're learning something you have to believe it. If I took a religion class, I would learn about religion but that doesn't mean I necessarily believe in religion. I almost get the feeling the family that's suing the University of California would sue someone that posted a website that said, "Nazis weren't fascists because they didn't agree with their methods" and then provided support for their stance for being Nazi-lovers.

Science != Religion (4, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152335)

Oh, for crying out lo--

Look, it's simple. The only thing science and religion have in common with each other is that they're both methods people use to try to make sense of the world around us. Period, full stop, end of the matter.

Science holds most dear that which can be objectively, repeatedly, independently verified. Religion, on the other hand...religion is nothing without faith.

And a person with faith is one who makes conclusions about that which he has concluded is inconclusive, has knowledge about that which she knows is unknowable. Faith is not ``willful ignorance,'' but rather ``willful insanity'' or ``willful idiocy.'' Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.

To equate science with religion in this context in an attempt to force their superstitious mindfuck on people is just about the most reprehensible thing I can think of--especially when you consider that these people would be dead without modern medecine, and that modern medicine wouldn't exist without that oh-so-hated cornerstone of science, the Theory of Evolution.

</rant>

Cheers,

b&

Re:Science != Religion (0, Troll)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152404)

And a person with faith is one who makes conclusions about that which he has concluded is inconclusive, has knowledge about that which she knows is unknowable.

Religion, n.: Absolute faith in things that are clearly false.

Re:Science != Religion (2, Insightful)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152532)

Religion, n.: Absolute faith in things that are clearly false.

Revision 1: Religion, n.: Faith in things that can't be disproven.

As a question for thought, let's examine this situation. Imagine that 66 separate documents, which were written by 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years. Now imagine that there are no conflicts in these documents--that they have the same basic ideas. Here it is: http://www.netbible.com/ [netbible.com]

Re:Science != Religion (0)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152443)

Each theory, evolution and intelligent design, try to predict what we will find in the realm of biology. While evolution predicts similarities between species and a general regression of complexity as one looks further into the past, it also predicts a certain lack of design.

Things like leftover parts, strange and overly complex systems, and imbalances in ecosystems should come along with a system of random mutation culled by natural selection. Anything that appears to have a design just happens to by chance--an exception to the rule. ID states that biological organisms have a design, so there is necessarily a well-engineered purpose for all organs within the body, all microstructures within a cell, all ecosystems, and even all biomolecular structures. Anything that appears to have been not-designed is the exception to the rule.

So ID and Evolution are polar opposites, but only in evolution's underlying philosophy of non-design.

Re:Science != Religion (1)

sinsofthedove (898187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152452)

I don't really think that evolution is the cornerstone of science - knowing that man evolved from apes does not have any bearing on our ability to observe our environment and to examine it using reason (the real basis of scientific investigation). Having that knowledge changes many things about the way we understand ourselves and the world, but it is not the be all and end all of science.

Also, you don't need to bash faith in order to argue that it has no place in a science classroom. Faith has shaped history as much as any other force in society, and in some ways is just as important. Slamming it as worthless doesn't make your argument any more correct - it makes you just as short-sighted and intolerant as the people you so despise.

Re:Science != Religion (3, Insightful)

Texodore (56174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152470)

Maybe you should read some M. Scott Peck. He argues that science and religion - well, spirituality - aren't that different. He argues, and correctly I believe, that people that question to the point of being agnostic or athiestic are more advanced spiritually than zombies in a church building, be them fundamentalists or progressives.

Both are a way to make sense of the world. Conclusions from science will come and go just as do religions. A better model of the world will be developed in physics one day, the Big Bang theory may change, just as deism is in its dying throes.

Re:Science != Religion (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152601)

This is a pretty odd claim. The only scientific theories I know of that were actually tossed out were some early views on the geological evolution of the planet. Theories are very rarely ever thrown out. They may be subsumed into another theory (as Newtonian mechanics was subsumed into Relativity), but scientific theories are such rigorous entities, and based solely on the evidence, that it's very unlikely that theories will be outright thrown out. Whatever replaces the Big Bang is still going to have to explain nucleosynthesis, red shift of distant galaxies and the CMBR. Thus whatever comes next won't so much replace Big Bang cosmology as expand it.

In this light, science is very much a different enterprise than spirituality.

Re:Science != Religion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152482)

Science answers 'how'. Religion answers 'why'.

Yes, that's somewhat broad, but I don't see why you need to call those who are religious idiots or insane. Let's not forget there are plenty of scientists out there who also happen to be religious. Just because they have faith doesn't mean they stop searching for the answer to questions.

Re:Science != Religion (0, Flamebait)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152583)

"...but I don't see why you need to call those who are religious idiots or insane."

Because they ARE idiots or lunatics. Living life based on ancient myths, legends, and fairy tales simply because it makes one feel good, is a despicable thing. The greatest advantage humans have over the other animals on this planet is our ability to reason, and religion is a direct rejection of our ability to reason in favor of being lazy and accepting silly stories as the basis of all existance.

Re:Science != Religion (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152486)

I think you are making a Black or White arguement about religion.

One can be religious without faith since a large part of a religion is a social system to which one subscribes, which doesn't have a damned thing to do about Faith.

For example, there are alot of Agnostic Jews in Israel since the Holocaust because they feel that God turned his back on them and so they turn thier back on him. They are still adherants to Judaism, however thier Faith in a higher power is gone. Are they still religious? Yes. Do they have Faith? No.

And the case can be made that anyone in a monogamous relationship, who doesn't murder, etc is following the basic tenents of Judeo-Christian religion, with or without Faith.

As for modern medicine not exsisting without the Theory of Evolution, thats a stretch. All the basics of modern medicine were coming togeather nicely in the late 1700s through 1800s without Theory of Evolution. Chemistry and Anatomy allow modern medicine, not Evolution. My cancer was cured with radiation and poison in measured treatments over four years, not by understanding Evolution.

Re:Science != Religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152493)

"and that modern medicine wouldn't exist without that oh-so-hated cornerstone of science, the Theory of Evolution.

Cheers,"

Yes science does equal religion when it makes authoritative claims or statements it can in no way verify about history. Who's to say today's science is not the new mythology of the 'scientific' generation? How would one build a worldview without story about understanding it's origins. How abou the belief that Cause and effect is an unbreakable chain going back to the beginning of whenever? That's a religious statement if ever there was one. Or that there has been no intelligent interference in life's development? Another religious statement.

I understand what you're getting at but when people get mad, it's not at evolution as much about it is that people in science make authoritative claims about things they are ignorant of to begin with.

Re:Science != Religion (1, Flamebait)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152506)

Personally, my faith is a perosonal choice about certain things that cannot be conclusively proven either way.

You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God.

It's technically falacy to make the assumption either way that he does or does not exist.

Still, I prefer a world where God exists, thus I choose to believe in him.

Call it "willful idiocy" if you want, but if it's a knowing, concious and rational decision... I don't see how you can support such an assertion.

Re:Science != Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152557)

Your problem is this: There are an infinite number of possible supernatural events/beings etc. that have just as much possibility of existing as your favoured view of God. They all tend to contradict eachother.

So how did you decide to follow this one view of a supernatural deity, rather than one from an opposing religion or belief system?

Once you start to look into why you are accepting of one form, but not another, and have to make decisions on which contradictory parts to accept or reject... then you start to realise that to go beyond the default case of non-belief in any supernatural happening is really pointless :)

Re:Science != Religion (1)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152569)

Krach42 wrote:

You can't prove there isn't a God, and I can't prove there is a God.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I almost certainly can prove that your god doesn't exist. I've a rather good track record at proving various deities to be as real as a married bachelor.

Tell me a defining characteristic of your god--something that, if your god didn't have it, it would be nothing--and I'll tell you if your god could even possibly exist outside the realm of fantasy and illogic. For example, is your god omnipotent?

Cheers,

b&

Re:Science != Religion (1, Insightful)

jolande (852630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152543)

Science holds most dear that which can be objectively, repeatedly, independently verified. Religion, on the other hand...religion is nothing without faith.

And a person with faith is one who makes conclusions about that which he has concluded is inconclusive, has knowledge about that which she knows is unknowable. Faith is not ``willful ignorance,'' but rather ``willful insanity'' or ``willful idiocy.'' Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.
As a note, I am an atheist who is majoring in physics.

But the fact that you have been modded +5 insightful scares me. Science has everything to do with faith. In order to accept science, you must take on faith a large amount of assumed 'truths'. How do you know that you can trust measurable observations? How do you know that your experiences and measurements are a valid and accurate representation of reality? You must take it on faith that the world in inherently ruled my reason, and that there are a set of mathematical laws of nature that dictate the functioning of it. Not a single thing I listed can be proved. To accept science, you must, in essence, take on blind faith the scientific method.

So before you go around bashing anything that is taken on faith, step back and think about everything that you have taken on faith. To believe in anything requires faith.

Evolution != Technology (1)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152546)

modern medicine wouldn't exist without that oh-so-hated cornerstone of science, the Theory of Evolution.

What is this argument based on? The fact that both modern medicine and evolution are both "modern", and must therefore be intimitely interrelated? What, exactly, about anaesthetics, or surgery, or germ theory, or gene theory, or antibiotics, or you-name-it related to modern medicine depends on the idea that all life is descended from a common ancestor? And if it wasn't the "common ancestry" part of evolution to which you were referring as vital, then what makes you think that whatever-it-is is unique to the theory of evolution?

Do tell, please. I'm beyond fed up with people blandly asserting this, as though it were self-evident that belief in evolution is synonymous with being pro-technology, and vice versa. Hasn't anyone noticed that many great scientists and contributors to technology were creationists, or non-evolutionists at the very least? Some of you people make it sound like Darwin singlehandedly invented modern science. The hero-worship is conspicuous.

Re:Science != Religion (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152575)

Faith is not ``willful ignorance,'' but rather ``willful insanity'' or ``willful idiocy.'' Faith is a thing deserving not praise and respect, but pity and scorn.

And how much faith do you have in evolution being true?

Re:Science != Religion (5, Insightful)

fade-in (839519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152579)

Kind of funny how the comments that are pro-faith ( or at least tolerant to faith ) don't get modded up like the anti-faith comments. I thought the beef was as much about people being bigots as it was about who's "theories" stand up best in a lab... but I digress

To me, the funniest thing about this whole debate is how nobody seems to see that science and religion don't need to be stepping on each other's toes. They provide answers to two completely different questions. Science asks "how" and religion asks "why"? What's the problem with that?

Being a believer myself, I can understand the need some folks feel for having faith in their life. It gives us hope, resilience, and teaches us how to find happiness and peace.

But believing doesn't mean that I can't see the value of science - I know that my life is quantifiably better because of medicine and other technologies, and I'm very thankful for those as well.

I guess the bottom line for me is that science doesn't try to tell me how I should live my life, and relgion doesn't tell me all of the nuts and bolts of how I came to be alive. They both have their own domains, and they are both very important within their own bounds.

Fundies trying to teach religion in a science class is just as shameful as a scientist saying that I'm deluding myself by believing in something that he/she hasn't experienced.

Re:Science != Religion (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152611)

Science holds most dear that which can be objectively, repeatedly, independently verified. Religion, on the other hand...religion is nothing without faith.

Yes that's true.

And the reason evolution is often categorised into the latter is due to evolution so far standing up to none of the former.

Religion is Evolution in Action (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152612)

We are apes. We exhibit a degree of dimorphism between the sexes in that males tend to be larger. Other than sexual dimorphism there is little in the male's repertoire to court females as is seen in the bright plumage of birds and other species. One thing that distinguishes us from other speicies is our relatively big brain and, as an outgrowth of our big brain, language. Our brain uses huge amounts of resources and, it's been suggested, is co-evolutionary with growth of our complex social organization.

It follows from our development of language and complex social organizations that our brains are a resource we would default to in striving for the best mates to propogate our genes. We compete between individuals and for mates by language, by telling stories. Religion is the greatest story ever told by each and every tribe.

Religion is an evolutionary adaptational gambit. As an adaptational ploy, religion decrees if you want to get along go along. And if you make for a good tribal fit in terms of the archetypes projected by the story that is religion you will get a mate, maybe a prime mate.

In terms of complex tribal structures religion is evolution in action.

whats so good abt blackberry (1, Informative)

vasanth (908280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152340)

whats so good about blackberry when you have generic mobile devices which can access email though a browser and supports most trivial tasks you already do on a desktop...

Re:whats so good abt blackberry (1)

HiRoll3r (918730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152392)

Sure, you can access email on just about any mobile phone these days. I just find it a lot easier to have an email delivered as soon as it hits my mailbox (and being notified that it's arrived) rather than logging into web mail or manually checking my mailbox every few hours.

Someone needs to go to the moon (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152357)

Why not China? It is an awesome adventure and everyone would learn from it.

NASA would rather spend their money on a space station, I think they should go back to the moon instead. Send an unmanned mission first maybe, then they could learn from this probe and send another manned mission.

I think there is still much more to learn from the moon. It seems to be a better use of money rather than simply orbiting Earth, which many satellites already do very well.

Re:Someone needs to go to the moon (2, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152415)

Someone needs to go to the moon, eh? Why? That's the question NASA couldn't answer in 1973, and that's the question they can't answer now. I'd rather see my tax money go into something that had some chance of being usefull, like the space elevator or solar power satellites.

Re:Someone needs to go to the moon (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152427)

How is the space elevator more useful than exploring the moon?

Re:Someone needs to go to the moon (2, Funny)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152446)

For crying out loud... we've already been to the moon!

Re:Someone needs to go to the moon (1)

Ariane 6 (248505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152584)

I think they should go back to the moon instead.

Have you looked [nasa.gov] at the NASA webpage lately?

Send an unmanned mission first maybe

You mean like the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter [nasa.gov] ?

Hwang Woo Suk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152379)

Not a single joke about Hwang Suk?

Re:Hwang Woo Suk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152603)

No, because those jokes would woowy suk?

Sensational journalism... maybe? (1)

thanq (321486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152455)

From TFA:

(...)RIM repeated that it will implement a software "workaround" if the court issues an injunction to shut down its U.S. service(...)
(...)Some analysts and industry observers expect RIM could be backed into a corner and forced to settle for a sum as high as $1 billion.(...)


It sounds more like the company is closer to a $1 bil settlement rather than it is to being shut down. Now, that's still news, but not as close as 3.6 million people losing service permantently.

It was a nice dream while it lasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152476)

It looked for a moment that perhaps someone who mattered would stand up to microsoft and push through the adoption of open document standards. It's a damned shame that Mass lacked both the balls and the brains and have caved in to microsoft's pressure.

ANY idiot can see that time and time again MS has created "open" standards and then made them moot by creating documents which use 'extentions' to said standards -in effect, making them closed.

If idiots can see that, the decision makers in Mass can too. it's a fucking shame that they've caved; we all lose out because of their lack of integrity.

WTF? (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152478)

OMG!!!  RIM can't do that to me!  I'm Mr. Big Sho#$%14$

** NO CARRIER **
________
Sent from my BlackBerry(tm) wireless handheld.

1+1=2 (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152483)

Most teach that 1+1=2, that phenomem require a cause, and that even if the cause is unknown, the cause is natural origin, not the arbitrary whim of supernatural being. There is a matter of faith in all this. We have faith that the laws of physics have been in effect since the t=0 that some would call the big bang, and will be in effect until such a time the universe might disintegrate. We also have faith that the laws of physics work uniformly throughout the universe. The articles of faiths are called assumptions, and are as often ubiquitous as 1+1=2.

Science may someday become a religion. Science may sometimes hunker down behind it assumptions, basking in the booty that it's greed and prejudice has gained, arguing that others are profiting immorally while it'w own priests are sitting in palaces, wearing funny hats, eating scrumptious meals, handing down edicts, while the rest of world starves and die becuase protective devices and medicines are prohibited due to vague holy sciprt, but that has not happened yet.

What has happened is that science has the metacognition to understand that the dangers lie in the assumptions. Scientists dare each other to prove that the constants are constant. They dare each other to come up with wilder hypothosis, and then destroy each other in the process of proving it.The holy wars are bloodless fueds posited through the journals, not barbaric spats on involving noose, or fire, or rape. The vested interests can be unseated with a simple allegation of impropriety. All work is open to public, not hidden behind doors that never see an opposing opinion.

Now, i am not implying that all is perfect, but sciences subversion of religion is deeper than religion. if one believes in natural cause and effect, then one cannot believe that god destroyed new orleans for being a city of sin. One cannot believe that god sent AIDS to kill the infidels of sub saharan africa. One cannot believe that one or two or a few people have a holy authority to dominate the rest of the world. One cannot believe that killing people who look different of believe different from you will result in your ascent to the promised land.

So, all this is not about evolution. Evolution is applied science, biololgy. Useful, and part of cause and effect, but only important as a stepping stone. This is about various groups of people ability to say I am better because I believe in this piece of writing or this creed. This is about someone saying I have the right to impose my will on other people and damage other people, or discriminate against other people, because I believe that god has given me that right. And if I have to kill people, then god has given me that right as well.

Church, unfortuntaly in many cases, has become the last holdout to a civilized society. Nowhere else can one legally hire on the basis of color or belief, caste out on the basis of belief, and get away with hate speech. The evolution debate is one of the last gasps in a long war perpetuated by those who profit off discrimination and hate. Many more will be hurt because those who are willing to kill for profit are vanquished.

Unfair (1)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152484)

From the BBC story, this sounds grossly unfair to Dr. Hwang.

According to the BBC, Dr. Hwang did not attempt to violate the policy, he did not even know about the fact that the women donated, and it is clear that he wasn't trying to circumvent the policy either. It sounds to me like he did nothing wrong.

Yes, he did lie to Nature about it, but I find his justification acceptable. While there are some ethical considerations that go into publishing a journal, Nature has no business conducting ethics investigations, and this particular aspect of the experiment had no bearing on the scientific validity of the results.

To me, this story mostly reflects poorly on Nature--attempting to pry into areas that really are none of their business--and the Korean research establishment.

Hats off to Dr. Hwang for being willing to take the blame for something he didn't do. I suspect that his motivation is to keep human cloning research going, and he knows that the media and politicans would continue a feeding frenzy over this as long as he stays in his job.

Re:Unfair (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152587)

Its never the original crime that gets you, it's the coverup.

If he had come right out from the beginning and explained exactly what happened, he would not have had to quit.

Once he got caught in a lie, he did the honorable thing and resigned.

I'm not saying that everyone is always going to tell the truth, just that some of the biggest scandals of our day have revolved around coverups.

We need science in the schools. (0)

rootedgimp (523254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14152565)

I don't know about you guys, but I think we should be teaching science in science class.. NOT religion, guess what, I bet everyone agrees with me on that one -- so why is there such a controversy over this? why is everyone up in arms disputing one another?
This is why:
People do not want their children being taught a religion that is contrary to their own while spending their own tax dollars to pay for their childrens indoctrination.

Ok, well lets dig a bit deeper into this. There are a few different definitions for evolution, but that is because they apply to particular areas of it, let's look at each area.
The overall complete theory of evolution (please someone, anyone, correct me if I am wrong -- I wasn't indoctrinated by our public school system, I learned on my own.) goes something like this.
1. Cosmic evolution - how time and space came into existance, the origins of our universe (big bang)
2. Chemical evolution - how we have all these different elements, even though the big bang was only thought to produce hydrogen, helium, and maybe lithium.
3. Stellar/planetary evolution - how the stars and planets were formed.
4. Organic evolution - how non living material came to life. spontaneous generation from years of raining on a rock to produce a 'life soup'.
5. Macro evolution - all the life on earth having a common ancestor, the process of one type of animal producing another type of animal due to a wide array of different variables.


and last but surely not least

6. micro evolution - the variations and differences that exist within 2 animals of the same type.

You know the odd part? They're going to show your kids 5000 different examples of micro evolution, why? because it happens, it's *science*. no creationist in their right mind would say that microevolution does not happen. everyone knows it does. however, the school doesn't want to sell it on its own, it's a package deal with the rest of the theory -- which is NOT science. Science is an array of phonomena that we can test, observe, and recreate. There is *NO* proof for any of the items listed above, 1-5, and there is NO way to observe test or prove them. That isn't science, folks.. it's religion.

Now think about it a second. You don't want to pay for the far right christian whacko's teaching your children that in the beginning, GOD created everything, including us, although we have no proof for this -- however, you do want your tax dollars teaching your children that a ROCK created us, although you have no proof for it.

You want something that will make you sick? Read this. http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html [cantrip.org] The truth of public school teaching, from a teacher that taught public school 35+ years.

Cisco VoIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14152589)

This [smh.com.au] is also a Cisco implementation... YMMV
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