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2005 Scientific Highlights

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the where-we're-at dept.

Biotech 113

Nomad37 writes "The Sydney Morning Herald has a great wrap-up of the great moments in 2005 for science. The story covers everything from evolution to space exploration, the role of genetics in brain disorder to nuclear fusion. The story provides a neat overview for those of us who haven't been checking Slashdot regularly enough!"

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113 comments

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Why check? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332563)


The story provides a neat overview for those of us who haven't been checking Slashdot regularly enough!

The dupes make it so we don't have to check regularly, silly.

Re:Why check? (1)

danzormczor (933867) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332674)

yeah, this was posted yesterday. a few days between, but it hasnt even been 24 hours since this story was last featured.

Re:Why check? (3, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332683)

The dupes make it so we don't have to check regularly, silly.

Yes, since Zonk posted the same story yesterday. That referenced the BBC, this the SMH. A moment's searching brings you to the original story at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science magazine. [sciencemag.org]

2005 isn't finished yet (5, Funny)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332567)

The authors of the article are really going to have egg on their face when the aliens land next week.

Re:2005 isn't finished yet (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333077)

The authors of the article are really going to have egg on their face when the aliens land next week.

Really? What else aren't you telling us???

Re:2005 isn't finished yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333442)

The authors of the article are really going to have egg on their face when the aliens land next week.

Really? What else aren't you telling us???

It's premature to reveal everything, but let's just say that NASA aren't the only ones capable of placing a probe on Uranus.

Re:2005 isn't finished yet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333461)

It's premature to reveal everything, but let's just say that NASA aren't the only ones capable of placing a probe on Uranus.

like the kind of probes with a big satellite dish that cause you to fart fire?

Re: 2005 isn't finished yet (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337454)

Ah, so you saw the trailers for the Dr Who Christmas special, too?

printer friendly version link (0, Redundant)

earthstar (748263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332570)

MOD PARENT DOWN. (3, Informative)

Virak (897071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332621)

It's the exact same fucking link, except this time it points to the top of the page. It's no more 'printer friendly' than the other one.

Hey, fucktard. (1, Interesting)

Virak (897071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332659)

Did you bother to even check the links? Seriously, *flamebait*? Anyways, I took a couple of screen shots to make this easier for you.
This [imageshack.us] is the version originally linked to.
This [imageshack.us] is the 'printer friendly' version he linked to.
If you're noticing a certain similarity right about now, that's because they're the exact same fucking page.

Re:Hey, fucktard. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332760)

umm... you need to get laid.

Re:printer friendly version link (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333365)

Actually, the web team over at SMH don't provide a printer friendly link. The 'print' button in the article will send a specifically formatted version to your printer, but it's not linkable directly. Sorry!

Nice. (4, Insightful)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332589)

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that science is alive, well, and thriving when reading all the ID and creationist nonsense that is circulating throught the media today - it's a nice reminder that while ID is getting some press, REAL science is getting money, time, top-notch researchers, and revealing ever more about how our amazing Universe works. Happy New Year!!!

Re:Nice - oh yeah, I forgot... (2, Funny)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332596)

...from the article: "Not even the US President, George Bush, could ignore the historic hurricane season in the north Atlantic this year." - heh, heh, heh....

[Ducks and applies SPF50 flame-block]

Re: Nice - oh yeah, I forgot... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332829)

> ...from the article: "Not even the US President, George Bush, could ignore the historic hurricane season in the north Atlantic this year." - heh, heh, heh....

Sure he could. He delegated ignoring it to FEMA.

Re:Nice - oh yeah, I forgot... (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333125)

Brian: Mr. President, there been a hurricane in New Oreleans.
George W. Bush:In a treehouse Go away, I'm readin' Superfudge.
Brian: Mr. President, this is a national emergency, you got to come deal with this.
Geroge W. Bush: Don't make me do stuff.

http://www.tv.com/family-guy/fat-guy-strangler/epi sode/553990/trivia.html [tv.com]

Re:Nice. (2, Interesting)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332600)

Well ID is also getting money and research you know.

Or you missed that CNN report where they shot that "ID museum", with Adam and Eve petting their home pets (I think it was an animatronic T-Rex and Raptor: man that's a lot of ... grass to feed such pets).

ID has scientific prove that it all started 6000 years ago.

God bless ignorance. Amen.

Re:Nice. (3, Interesting)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332667)

True - but all the money it gets and the research it does result in the same thing - nothing. There are no new compelling theories of ID (it really *IS* the Flying Spaghetti Monster who did it! Rivers are really the fossilized remains of his noodly apendages, filled up with rainwater! The evidence is the higher than normal quanities of starch found in riverbanks!), no large numbers of Ph.D. grads flocking to the exciting research area of ID, etc. So while ID'ers squawk on about the weaknesses of evolution, the real scientists go on discovering what makes live tick. I guess I find it inspiring and amazing to watch.

But your point is taken - we can't let our guard down either.

Re: Nice. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332843)

> True - but all the money it gets and the research it does result in the same thing - nothing.

Oh, the money produces lots of stuff, such as a continuous stream of new books rehashing the same nonsense and speaking tours where these scientists explain their latest research to church groups.

Re:Nice. (4, Funny)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332687)

It was a T-Rex and a domestic cat, actually.

Eventually, dogs replaced the T-Rex as the most popular non-feline household pet, but the name "Rex" was still kept for the sake of nostalgia.

The cat's name was Tiddles.

Re:Nice. (1)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332694)

Well ID is also getting money and research you know.

Yeah sure, when they are able to put together a scientific theory, which they with impressive consistency fail to do. We all know that we have a reborn former alcoholic in charge of the pushing the Button, and not even the Stalinist was that proficient in lies that the current administration is. Sad to say, Stalin was an amateur......

Re:Nice. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332704)

I'm pretty sure God condemns ignorance. i mean really, if the whole point of existance is so intelligent beings would someday develop, ignorance is the antithesis of that. it's ungodly

Re:Nice. (2, Interesting)

Floody (153869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333025)

I'm pretty sure God condemns ignorance. i mean really, if the whole point of existance is so intelligent beings would someday develop, ignorance is the antithesis of that. it's ungodly


Subjectively, to any being capable of single-handedly designing everything from the fine-scale structure of the universe up to and including mitochondria and T-cells, I'm willing to bet we'd all pretty much be right around the same point at the bottom of the ignorance graph. Sorta like mold. Do you think some mold is ignorant while other mold clearly is really well educated, refined and capable of cherishing its fellow mold?

Re:Nice. (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335522)

It's my opinion that this alleged God figure condemns ID. They are doing a disservice to the religion by trying to make it jump through hoops to make it science-like to the unbelievers. You could probably use the bible to as a basis for that opinion.

Re:Nice. (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333006)

Yes, the ID folk are getting money, from the same people who sent Oral Roberts money back in the 80's when he said god threatened to kill him if he didn't come up with eight million bucks. Or was it 10?

Did they ever pick up the perp? I've been watching america's most wanted, but it would seem they never picked up the case. My neighbour looks kind of shifty.

Re:Nice. (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333136)

ID has scientific prove that it all started 6000 years ago.

You're confusing ID with Young Earth Creationism. ID accepts an old universe as defined by Cosmology but thinks that a supernatural intelligence guided evolution.

Re:Nice. (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334117)

I know they are officially separate, but this is just a trick for the lawyers... Several prominent ID supporters have slipped the word "creationism" few times during interviews and such.

Also we know that lots of Christian-related foundations and institutions are those that back up ID (and in the long term they'll try to push their complete 'theory' even if they don't attempt it now).

Divide and conquer.

Re:Nice. (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332663)

Except in Kansas, an evolutionist has to travel pretty far to become an underdog. More and more, creationists are becoming the underdogs, ridiculed and chastised for daring to challenge the scientific community.

That's why creationists receive media attention; media obsession with the underdog.

Re:Nice. (2, Insightful)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332686)

That's why creationists receive media attention; media obsession with the underdog.

How about a strong lobby with the party in power, and a well-organized, strongly coherent, and rather vocal voting bloc?

Re:Nice. (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332788)

Touché.

Many folks I know lean towards evolution simply because they feel that scientists are more intelligent folk, though. Rather than having researched and understood the process of evolution, they felt it was scientist's job to do this for them, just as it was once thought a clergyman's job to oversee religious matters. Evolution, as it's taught in the classroom, is as explanatory and does as much service to the subject as a single Sunday sermon can do to the subject of religion.

Also, "Because the clergyman says so" is becoming "Because the scientist says so". Importantly, scientists translate their Latin and must explain their reasoning. However, outside of scientific journals, media coverage of scientific discoveries is dumbed down to a level at which it reads, most literally, "Because the scientist says so."

I agree with your comment, but in my own peers I see a new and hip generation of youths who say they believe in evolution simply because they're told by evolutionists that to believe otherwise is petty and closed-minded. Their faith in evolution is no less blind and uneducated as the average creationists is. And I can't help but wonder, who is petty and closed minded? Everyone, it's starting to seem.

More and more, media is aimed toward the youth. The current youth doesn't represent the vocal voting bloc and seems (even here in the bible belt) strongly opposed to the party in power.

Re:Nice. (4, Insightful)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333389)

I agree with you to a certain extent in that people take knowledge for granted but that is understandable. Knowledge at a certain level does become, for want of a better word, "magic".

I have a PhD in Neuroscience and while I could tell you a load of info on biological sciences and basic science in general, I am no more able to tell you of quantum physics than anyone else. This means that I must take this information on trust from people who I know more than I do: teachers or scientists. On the surface this trust is based on faith, and is the same as listening to the Clergy, but there is a major difference.

Newtons's phrase "standing on the shoulders of giants" was reference to the fact that all science can trace it's roots back to basic experiments that we can all do at home. This is where science differs from religion. The ability to go back to founding principles and show your proof rather than telling people that the answer is "because God said so".

Treating subjects such as evolution as a fact is more a reflection of certainty than being closed minded. As our body of knowledge increases, patterns of data become more and more certain and we start to regard these patterns as absolute facts. It's then only natural to spend our time questioning other areas of knowledge, but in the knowledge that we can go back and re-examine our data and assumptions. This differs hugely from the average creationist where facts are given with no proof (other than "the Bible says so") and to try to question them is heresy.

And as for the media being focused on the youth, will they are the focus of the media, the hands that hold the reins are definitely not youths.

Re:Nice. (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334661)

"I have a PhD in Neuroscience and while I could tell you a load of info on biological sciences and basic science in general, I am no more able to tell you of quantum physics than anyone else. This means that I must take this information on trust from people who I know more than I do: teachers or scientists. On the surface this trust is based on faith, and is the same as listening to the Clergy, but there is a major difference."

I take your point, but it's dangerous (and IMO foolish) to conflate trust with faith. They are not at all the same thing, especially when understood in the way the religious right intends.

I trust certain experts and authorities to provide me with the summaries and synthesis that I need to understand esoteric matters from cosmology to macro-economics, but only because they have demonstrated their accuracy in the past. New evidence to the contrary will affect the level of trust I'm willing to invest.

Faith works in exactly the opposite way; it insists on remaining unchanged no matter what external circumstance may dictate. Faith is antithetical to the kind of common-sense trust described in the previous paragraph.

"Newtons's phrase "standing on the shoulders of giants" was reference to the fact that all science can trace it's roots back to basic experiments that we can all do at home."

You're no doubt right on that point, but the statement too can be traced much further back than Newton. But don't take my word for it - check for yourself [wikipedia.org] . Then check their sources, too. 8^)

Re:Nice. (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332695)

More and more, creationists are becoming the underdogs, ridiculed and chastised for daring to challenge the scientific community.

And thank God for that! Those idiots give Christianity a bad name.

Re:Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333920)

That's why creationists receive media attention; media obsession with the underdog.

Not to mention that it's the latest thing in America to get the public in an enormous argument.

Re:Nice. (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337487)

More and more, creationists are becoming the underdogs, ridiculed and chastised for daring to challenge the scientific community.

Where does the 'daring' come from? Anyone can challenge the scientific community - science thrives on challenge. I don't see why it is daring - after all, challenging science does not lead to persecution, excommunication or physical punishment, in the way that challenges to the 'religious community' did in the past.

Creationists aren't being 'daring', unlike Galileo and Copernicus who suffered for their science. They are simply being ridiculed for either being ignorant or subbornly refusing to accept evidence.

Re:Nice. (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339712)

The word "dare" implies boldness. To "dare" is to face any persecution, including ridicule. Darwin, for example, was a daring man. So, it seems, is a Dr. Richard Sternberg, who tried to do just as you suggested and challenge the scientific community:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sternberg [wikipedia.org]

"The rumor mill became so infected," James McVay, the principal legal adviser in the Office of Special Counsel, wrote to Sternberg, "that one of your colleagues had to circulate [your résumé] simply to dispel the rumor that you were not a scientist."

Sounds awfully like persecution [m-w.com] to me.

For more information on Sternberg, here is a link to his site:

http://www.rsternberg.net/ [rsternberg.net]

Re:Nice. (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339851)

The word "dare" implies boldness. To "dare" is to face any persecution, including ridicule.

The true definition of "daring" usually implies that someone is courageous and is facing danger. To equate such ridicule with the true danger that has often been faced by those to truly dare to challenge religious institutions is truly to invite ridicule. ....Sounds awfully like persecution to me.

Your definition of 'persecution' is obviously not mine.

Let me repeat - anyone can challenge the scientific consensus. But in order to do it you have to be prepared to put up a logical and reasoned argument with evidence. Why should ID proponents expect special treatment and expect anything else but ridicule when they fail to do this, any more than someone who was trying to challenge the cosmologist with a theory that God made the moon out of cheese?

The idea that Creationists/IDer are somehow being 'persecuted' by the scientific comunity simply because many are laughing at them and their ideas is very silly indeed, and cheapens whatever debate their might be.

It is not unusual that a strong personality who has had publications rejected will put forward accusations of some sort of 'conspiracy' against them. This happens in all sorts of areas of science.

You may wish to note that there was serious debate about the Steinberg matter; at no time did he risk excommunication, banishment or various forms of execution - punishments for questioning religious institutions that still happen today.

Re:Nice. (1)

maccalvin5 (455879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332977)

science is surely alive, and along with the good you must remember all the bad, like all the wasteful projects being done right now. the projects leading nowhere, the projects with no other purpose than to keep a tenured professor in a nice home, regardless of how relevant or promising his actual research is. science produces good results as often as politics produces good policy.

Actually (5, Interesting)

Hey Pope Felcher . . (921019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332597)

I feel the unmasking of the fake results posted by Woo Suk Hwang could be a blessing for science, and one of the years highlights. It could be portrayed as why science works, although the community requires a basis of trust, eventually frauds will be revealed, hopefully creating more trust in the system.

What science requires are better media relations to portray this way of viewing the discipline.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332642)

What science requires are better media relations

I'd disagree that science needs better, or any, media relations. After all, there wouldn't be a media without science. Or, for that matter, a civilisation.

Re:Actually (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332665)

I'd disagree that science needs better, or any, media relations. After all, there wouldn't be a media without science. Or, for that matter, a civilisation.

Media relations = $. $ = more research. More research = more scientific results. More scientific results = improvements in people's quality of life. Improvements in QOL = better media relations.

What kind of science are you going to do without research funding?

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332705)

If that were truly the case, the only kind of research that would ever get any money would be high profile shiny laser guns and wannabe cures for cancer, which is obviously not the case. There are many sources of funding for research, both the immediately useful kind and research which has no particular application nor is ever likely to have (various branches of pure maths?). Unlike just about everything else, science has the privelege that by its very nature, it is not dependant on public opinion as massaged by the spin doctors. You can't run a quantum physics experiment based on the popular vote.

Re:Actually (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332745)

The public doesn't line-item vote on each science experiment. Science funding lives or dies as a whole. And the public's general attitude towards science influences the politicians who write the budgets. Incremental improvements in, say, microbiology happen because those improvements came from the public's general desire to push towards cancer & AIDS cures. Not because the public wanted one particular genetic structure examined and sequenced.

Or we could talk about private funding - say a private university that receives the funding for a particular research lab from a wealthy alumnus. Same idea here - that alumnus was wooed and wooed heavily by the university (most major universities have pretty scary "alumni relations" departments), and sold on a general concept. Average alum isn't gonna understand or care about a particular esoteric experiment. He's sold on that lab's stated goals in the big picture.

Finally, let's talk about corporate funding - corporate research lab. Don't think I need to say much here - the corporation does research based almost entirely on what avenues they think will produce profitable products in the future. (And yes, plenty of labs do research that won't generate a short-term product, but they still pick those avenues of inquiry strategically).

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332790)

As a general rule in terms of publicly funded research, politicians don't make a great deal of decisions at that level in any case, a bit like the military. Budgets are assigned to universities, and academic leaders assign those budgets as they see fit. If a researcher has a good idea, and the university thinks its a good idea, he or she will get the funding to at least begin to investigate. Should it continue to prove interesting, more funding is assigned, and then one day we have a headline. However the academic leaders might be influenced by the media, they are more likely to be influenced by the researcher with the idea, which might have nothing to do with anything anyone in the general public has even heard of. Again, I offer the example of certain branches of pure maths. I'm sure I could come up with a great many more if I thought about it.

Science has been around long before there was a media, and if the media and public relations industries dried up and died tomorrow, science would still be chugging away merrily. There are not a great deal of human endeavours that can say the same. Science drives media, not the other way around, which is my point.

I'd even go further and say that it would be a very dangerous road to go down. Live by the media, die by the media, and public opinion is a very fickle beast.

Private funding and corporate funding do not imply any involvment by the media (and when I say media, I mean popular media, not by any group that happens to call itself "marketing" or an iteration thereof) and so are not really relevant to this discussion, except to underline my earlier point about science not needing to pander to the media.

Re:Actually (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332913)

Hmmm... I think your point is that certain powerful institutions (such as corporations and universities) implicitly know the value of science and will fund it, regardless of the prevailing public sentiment at the time. You may be correct. On the other hand, Universities were in existence when Bruno was burned at the stake for the heresy of declaring the stars as being distant suns rather than holes in the firmament revealing the light of heaven (admittely, he seemed rather a loudmouth), when Galileo wrote his defense of the Copernican system (again, rather obnoxiously labelling the fall guy in the book, "Simplico"), and the Scopes Monkey Trial that ruined a teacher's teaching career was less than 100 years ago.

I agree, the present system where the direction of science is chosen by the scientists more than by the politicos is good, but I don't quite trust in its solidity as much as you do. Ultimately, especially in a democracy, the direction that funds go is ultimately determined by the People, perhaps not immediately, but over the course of decades. Look at how the wailing about stem-cell reseach has chased a great deal of the research in that feild overseas (forgive, I'm USAean, so my overseas is different than yours). Now while a great deal of science in the past has been done solo on a shoestring budget, many of the advances presently are coming from Big Science, esp. in Biology - the marriage of computers with the ability to sequence genes has made projects that would have taken millions of man-years to accomplish possible in days, for instance - but for a very large price. Most papers in science today have multiple authors backed by multiple institutions. While "lone ranger" science still proceeds, it may be that we need bigger institutions to make bigger discoveries - only time will tell. But if we do need bigger institutions to advance science, that implies bigger funding, and at some level, public acceptance.

And as for being careful about dancing with the devil of media, you are absolutely correct. One of the problems with some defenses of evolution by well-meaning scientists on TV is that they were not prepared for the WWF style of "debate" (I'm using the word charitably), and appeared to lose to IDers who were well prepared for that style of argument. But while mass media may be a recent invention, I don't think it is going to vanish any time soon (of course, I could be wrong - perhaps in 50 years, we will all have our own newscasts tailored specifically to our exact interests narrowcast to just us), and it is a force in the world, one that is ignored at our peril. Perhaps most people ignore mass media anyway, and I am overestimating its impact on Joe Public. I seem to recall that in a survey in the US, scientists were trusted more than politicans, unions, doctors, lawyers, and priests - that's pretty good, actually.

Well, I seem to have /..ed half my day away - thanks for giving me some new ideas to chew on. Merry Christmas!

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334163)

I don't think it is going to vanish any time soon

With the advent of blogging, maligned as it is, and the essentially cost free mass publishing brought about by the internet, not to mentions slashdot itself, we may be seeing that decline already beginning. I know I get most or all of my news online by this stage. Likewise thanks for the debate, have a happy christmas!

Re:Actually (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332802)

Be careful when you mention branches of pure mathematics as an example of something that will never have any practical application - as has been noted by various high-profile authors, mathematics is unreasonably effective in the sciences. Remeber number theory? It was seen as the "Queen of Mathematics, unsullied by practical applications" - (trying to find the author of the quote, I believe it was Gauss) - until the advent of the computer and the need for encryption.

Perhaps the greatest social advance of science is that the powers-that-be acknowledge that one can never quite tell what branch of research will lead to the next great breakthrough or revolution. So, it is wise to fund many channels, big and small, one step removed from application, and those that seem to live only in a half-dozen researchers' minds.

But I think that ultimately, it is the practical results of science that have encouraged such wholesale encouragement of them - people have been curious about the world for as long as we have written records, and in all probability far before that - playing with nature, trying to tease out her secrets for a long, long time, but mostly on an individual or small club basis. But only as science has resulted in real-world returns have populations and governments actively encouraged it wholesale. Big Physics in the US can be traced directly to the Manhattan Project, and it's spectacular (or horrific, depending on your POV) results - before that, research was something done in (and funded by) those funny universities or by corporations.

So while the results of science may not be dependent on a popular vote, its existence as a modern, well-funded institution ultimately is. A bit of promotion reminding people of why they should fund it I don't think is harmful. The fact is that working scientists do it (because they are curious and love it) for different reasons than people in general (practical results) want it to be done.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332864)

Be careful when you mention branches of pure mathematics as an example of something that will never have any practical application

Well I should point out that I said nor is ever likely to have as it the case with more than a few branches of science currently being researched. Never say never...

You have some interesting points there, but the manhattan project is a case in point. Science drives the media, not the other way around. I have no figures on how many research projects ultimately reach the press, but I'd put it in the single percentages, if that. This goes for modern, well-funded institutions as well.

As I pointed out to another poster, trying to pander to the media is a dangerous road to go down. Public opinion is a fickle thing. And as for informing people that they have modern appliances etcetera only through the efforts of scientists on a regular basis, that might lead to a situation whereby only research with immediate or near-immediate "consumer" value would get funding, also to be avoided. Not to mention going against the idea of science as a whole; science is not something to kowtow to every morning, and say thanks for the toaster. You'd be as well off genuflecting to the mirror.

Re:Actually (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333517)

Sounds like Hardy to me, certainly he had such sentiments. I could of course be wrong.

Re:Actually (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332716)

Indeed - but I do think people need to be reminded of that. We may think it glaringly obvious, but a large number of people just assume internal combustion engines, computers, power grids, antibiotics, plastics, air conditioning, etc. are just manna from heaven or naturally just grow out of the earth or something. An occasional reminder that when you touch a computer, you are touching the result of literally millions of man-years of design, science and research wouldn't hurt.

Cheers!

Re:Actually (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332761)

This is something I bring up to Fundies[1] quite often -- you know, the people who claim that evolution doesn't happen, that pray to be cured from diseases, and whom believe that the moon landing was a hoax.

These people have cell phones, computers, cars; they live in air-conditioned houses with electric lights. I say, if you are going to discount the workings of science, you should be willing to give up its benefits -- no power, no emergency rooms, no iPods. Live as God intended, in a field or in a cave.

Too bad that these people are usually such hipocrites that they'd never even think to take a dose of their own medicine...

[1] Overzealous Christians; the fraction of the population of normal, thinking Christians that give the-dude-on-the-plus-sign a bad name[2].

[2] In 'Nickel and Diming', the author makes an interesting observation that, in her experiences while working in restaurants and the like, that the Visible Christians were almost always the rudest customers and worst tippers; appearently if you wear a T-Shirt that says, 'WWJD', you are free from actually thinking about WWJD.

Re:Actually (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334173)

After all, there wouldn't be a media without science. Or, for that matter, a civilisation.

The scientific method is only a few centuries old.

Civilization is around 9,000 years old; the first examples of writing, if we count the inscriptions on early counting tokens, are about as old, and certainly the medium of oral storytelling long predates that.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334214)

The scientific method is only a few centuries old.

Yes, the official scientific method and philosophy of same are in fact only a few centuries old. Prior to that, there were few appreciable differences (besides obvious cultural ones) between Medieval, ancient Greek, Sumerian, Incan, or Roman lifestyles and technological capabilities. Perhaps I should have qualified that by saying "civilisation as we know it", as in the same civilisation that has put men on the moon and produced computers since the advent of the scientific method. Which merely underlines my point.

Re:Actually (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334248)

Prior to that, there were few appreciable differences (besides obvious cultural ones) between Medieval, ancient Greek, Sumerian, Incan, or Roman lifestyles and technological capabilities.

IIRC the Sumerians and Inca were neolithic. The ancient Greeks were Bronze Age, the Romans and Medieval Europe were Iron Age societies. There were very large differences in technology and lifestyle between the neolithic villages of Sumer, the city-states of Ancient Greece, and the Empire of Rome.

Science is good and great and all, but there were plenty of smart people around having ideas and making stuff happen before we hit on the meta-idea of the scientific method. Those folks deserve props.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334704)

Eh what does any of that have to do with science vs or in conjunction with the media? Stop being pedantic and keep it on topic.

Re:Actually (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14336048)

what does any of that have to do with science vs or in conjunction with the media?

You made the claim that without science there would be neither media nor civilization. Certainly such historically inaccurate claims do nothing to advance the cause of science.

Stop being pedantic and keep it on topic.

There's nothing pedantic about pointing out the fact that mankind actually made progress before the scientific method was discovered.

Stop being defensive and keep it accurate. You made a misstatement, admit it and move on already.

Re:Actually (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14336379)

You made the claim that without science there would be neither media nor civilization

Okay lets get this straight. What you call science is apparently only limited to discoveries made after the widespread use of the scientific method became the de facto standard. That is extremely arrogant and denigrates all the work that lead up to that process. Or do you have visions of iconic figures making leaps and bounds by themselves in a vacuum? Historical inaccuracies ha... Of course the work of Leonardo and Archimedes was nothing to do with science; I mean after all, they didn't wear lab coats. How could they have been scientists?

I'm not going to get into fine grained differences and similarities between the civilisations of the Greeks and the Romans in terms of technology. What was meant was that as compared to the immense technological adnace made in the last century, they are basically exactly similar in their capabilities.

Of course, for most, that would have gone without saying, and indeed it did. I put the odds of running across a pedant at being low enough to justify the use of the generalisation. But once in a while, you do run across the odd aspiring legal secretary that needs help with the long words.

Meh, and I thought the only turkey I would be encountering today would be on the dinner table. I am beginning to see why your sig proclaims your infamity.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332669)

If you have ever read any books about the sociology of science you would know that science is called 'a walled fortress', and that is because science does not care for publicity. They couldnt care less what the common people know or think about science. Moreover, most people do not have the background knowledge to truly understand the cutting edge scientific accomplishments.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332756)

What? I need more info on this... you see, I have a co-worker who is Korean, and he is the most racist bastard I've ever met. Everything and everyone Korean is the best. I'm not just talking nationalism, either. He is honestly convinced that Koreans are genetically superior to the rest of the human race.

He worships this Woo Suk Hwang guy like a god, this'll crush him.

Re: Actually (2, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332805)

> I feel the unmasking of the fake results posted by Woo Suk Hwang could be a blessing for science, and one of the years highlights. It could be portrayed as why science works, although the community requires a basis of trust, eventually frauds will be revealed, hopefully creating more trust in the system.

The response of scientists to the revelation of this liar among their number certainly makes an interesting contrast to the response of proponents of Intelligent Design to the the revelation of liars among their number, which was also big news this week.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333650)

I'm afraid that in the biological sciences, this sort of thing is going to get much worse before it gets better.....

2005 Scientific Highlights (5, Funny)

Forget4it (530598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332628)

2005 Scientific Highlights That's whole lot of highlights!

Wait a minute, wait a minute (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332630)

"...who haven't been checking Slashdot regularly enough!"

What, you mean BSD isn't dead?

Mickey's genetic code (2, Funny)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332643)

I thought the real breakthrough was when they cracked Mickey's genetic code and found out that while man shares 96% DNA with chimps, he also shares 90% DNA with mice, his other cousin. Woman refuses to share DNA.

Just go home if you're going to post dupes (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332645)

This article is from the Sydney Morning Herald, reporting the American Association for the Advancement of Science's "Top 10". Yesterday the Evolution Named Scientific Achievement of 2005 [slashdot.org] story was the BBC reporting the same fucking list. By cleverly putting "evolution" in the title then Zonk got the standard 800 posts you always get when you wave that red flag.

A great but sad evolution achievement this year (3, Insightful)

surfingmarmot (858550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332656)

A federal court ruling quashing the teaching of the religiously-motivated pseudo-science of intelligent design in Pennsylvania schools (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10545387/ [msn.com] ). Its great to have fought off this challenge to science and education in America (yet again), but sad that we are still having these challenges after all science has accomplished since Western mankind threw off the yoke theocracy first put on science in the Middle Ages.

Re:A great but sad evolution achievement this year (2, Interesting)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332751)

#include "IANAL.h"

Sadder yet, an asterisk should be attached to the Dover event. Since the Dover voters have already thrown out the school board that started the issue, and the new board is quite happy with the decision, there will be no appeal. That means it will not go to a higher court, which in turn means the decision will have little or no precedential effect outside its jurisdiction.

rj

Re:A great but sad evolution achievement this year (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332851)

> Sadder yet, an asterisk should be attached to the Dover event. Since the Dover voters have already thrown out the school board that started the issue, and the new board is quite happy with the decision, there will be no appeal. That means it will not go to a higher court, which in turn means the decision will have little or no precedential effect outside its jurisdiction.

But the exhaustive findings of fact will be available to the next court that has to waste time on the subject.

Re:A great but sad evolution achievement this year (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333101)

That means it will not go to a higher court, which in turn means the decision will have little or no precedential effect outside its jurisdiction.

While it does not set a binding legal precedent that other courts are compelled to follow, you can bet your ass that it will be referred to and cited in any similar future cases.

A lot of legwork has been done, and other courts will certainly look at the reasoning and conclusions drawn in this case.

Re:A great but sad evolution achievement this year (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334438)

True, and any other school board inclined to try this stunt will be acutely aware of the judge's "breathtaking inanity" remark...

rj

Re:A great but sad evolution achievement this year (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335554)

It has been proven clearly and thoroughly that high-ranking ID proponents lie. Behe claimed that his work was thoroughly peer-reviewed when it was not, he claimed that there was no scientific progress made when dozens of books and journal articles were written (of which he has read none). All of them try to hide the link to creationism, when ID is clearly just a reformulation. They hide religious motivation when there clearly is one. And so on, and so on. Either they are ignorant and thus not credible or intentionally dishonest.

Now they even have the audacity to claim it was an activist court when everything points to an activist school board (i.e. NOT supported by voters). That's the problem with fighting these people: they resort to lies and tricks to get their points across. Instead of using sound and consistent science (i.e. free of Behe-style fraud), they attempt to sway public opinion, when clearly the majority of the public has no understanding of what constitutes good science.

No, this is a big win because it demonstrates that in a neutral court (judge appointed by G. W. Bush!) that ID is rubbish. It provides a lot of material and gems for any future court case. A court case is the worst thing for these people, because it's a more-or-less controlled environment where they can't get away as easily with fallacies and lies.

I don't see it as a win against religion, but rather as a win for both the religious and non-religious among us. It's to everyone's advantage to have deceitful people unmasked.

Mentifex Mind.Forth 2005: AI Has Been Solved (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14332698)

Mind.Forth artificial intelligence [sourceforge.net] came of age in 2005.

How does that song go... (1, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332836)

Dupe dupe dupe dupe of url
dupe dupe dupe of url
dupe dupe dupe of url

As I walk through this world
Nothing can stop the dupe of url
And you, you are my girl
No one can hurt you, oh, no

Funny...explain this... (1, Funny)

Imposter_of_myself (636697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332849)

For all of the "evolutionists" out there... The world of science can't explain the power source for a "permanent" magnet as it hangs on a refrigerator door, YET you can explain the "origin of species". Hubris? (Weekends are good for a little "trolling" ;-)

Re: Funny...explain this... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332870)

> (Weekends are good for a little "trolling" ;-)

But apparently not for a little good trolling.

Re: Funny...explain this... (2, Informative)

Floody (153869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333259)

> (Weekends are good for a little "trolling" ;-)

But apparently not for a little good trolling.


Yeah, I thought he was trolling too. Then I looked at some of his (the GP) previous posts. Not so much.

To the GP, I am not disrespecting your faith, however ... you may wish to reconsider any line of logic which posits that the electromotive force, whether represented as a potential "force" or as a true force in the physics sense, is not understood.

Most simplisticly, the reason your ferromagnet remains attached to the fridge instead of falling is because the potential electromotive force generated by the dipoles in the magnet and the fridge is greater than the potential gravitional force between the magnet and the earth. Note the word potential in both clauses. Until the magnet actually moves, no work has been done and thus no energy has been expended. It does not "cost" anything for the magnet to remain attached. If the magnet were weak enough that potential gravity could overrule it, then there would be a cost (for as long as the magnet continued to change inertially), to both the earth's inertia/angular momentum and the related magnetic domains.

I know it must seem magical, but its really just a simple case of the magnet being in the lowest possible rest-state (energy-wise) for that configuration.

You'll notice that it's not called the "Theory of Thermodynamics".

Re: Funny...explain this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333285)

It may be nit-picking, but friction is a big part in this case. Many refrigerator magnets are not stronge enough to work on the bottom of a vertical surface.

Re: Funny...explain this... (2, Informative)

Floody (153869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333778)

It may be nit-picking, but friction is a big part in this case. Many refrigerator magnets are not stronge enough to work on the bottom of a vertical surface.


Sorta, depending on you how you look at friction. Any time the layperson's concept of "friction" is involved, it usually just means gravity (after all, in a zero-g environment, will two objects directly touching each other stay that way if a force is applied perpendicularly to one of them?)

In this case though, that's not really the type of "friction" in play. Like gravity, electromagnetism follows the inverse square law. And, in your example of a magnet suspended vertically from a horizontal surface, the field effect will rapidly fall off as the magnet's distance from the ferrite increases. In fact, because there is no potential force, other than that created by the magnet, which would balance gravitational potential, any increase in distance between the magnet and the ferrite will cause a drop in magnetomotive effect ("potential electromotive force") as well as true current-potential electromotive force. Thus the only "energy hill" is momentary and equal to that of the magnetomotive effect itself. Like balancing two identically weighted people on a a teeter-totter, as soon as you apply the slighest momentary force to one side, they are on an unstoppable (w/out addl force elsewhere) downward journey.

Not so with a horizontal ferromagnet on a vertical surface. Assuming right angles to the center of gravity, the magnet's distance from the ferrite never increases when gravitional potential becomes true force. The inverse square law has no effect. Now, the gravitional potential must continously meet or beat the non-varying (or very slightly varying) electromotive potential. Because some of the gravitional potential is now actual force (i.e. work is being done), it cannot continously stay "over the hill" as would be required, although if the magnet is weak enough and the two are toe-to-toe, gravity may very well continually "win" but with only enough force to induce minor inertial change and the rest being "consumed" by balancing the non-varying magnetomotive (i.e. the magnet slowly slides down the fridge). Obviously, such a precarious balancing act requires very little change on either side's potential to start a runaway resulting in the magnet either stopping or falling off into inverse-square-law world. This is the facination people have with so-called "permanent magnets"; that it is so easily possible to directly observe and manipulate the equilibrium point between two potentials.

The main cause of magnetism seeming so mysterious to many is that our instinctual inertial and gravitional perception is not what it seems at first glance. We think, instinctively, that we "feel" gravity, but what we're really feeling is a combination of fluid orientation and inertial potential. In other words, rather than perceiving the actual force performing work, we're perceiving potential energy offset by 1g perpendicular to our orientation. When someone "feels" the pull of a magnet, what they're really feeling is the potential for their hand to experience inertial change. If they allow their hand to move, they will mostly cease to notice the real force (they would notice the acceleration, but it's minor in the case of household magnets). Because one must always balance potential in order to prevent it from asserting the lowest possible energy state (i.e. expending itself), people mistakingly perceive this as work-energy when in reality they could balance it equally well with some external non-moving brace which prevented joint movement.

I guess it comes down to this: Effort as "not-work" means there is no real force involved, as you can't actually use it to do a damn thing.

Re: Funny...explain this... (1)

Floody (153869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333884)

And before anyone puts their little pedantic pants on, I fully realize that friction is not just the potential/opposing-potential that holds two objects together; I was glossing it over to get to the good bits. ;)

Re:Funny...explain this... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332988)

For all of the "evolutionists" out there... The world of science can't explain the power source for a "permanent" magnet as it hangs on a refrigerator door, YET you can explain the "origin of species". Hubris?
No.... It just proves how little you know about magnetism.

Power source for post it note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333501)

If a refridgerator magnet needs a power source, what is the power source for the Post-It(tm) note hanging beside it?

Inquiring minds want to knowwwww! :))

Re:Power source for post it note (2, Funny)

Darby (84953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334196)

If a refridgerator magnet needs a power source, what is the power source for the Post-It(tm) note hanging beside it?

Gluons, duh.

Haahaa (2, Interesting)

BlackShirt (690851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333261)

I guess this is the best metaphor that has ever been used in a science article.

>>Neutron stars are the *city-sized*, collapsed cores of massive stars.

will evolution ever escape from design? (1)

Bigos (857389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333750)

Have a look at quote below:

Some of the most startling achievements in the use of computers to automate design are being accomplished by the use of evolutionary search algorithms to evolve designs. http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/P.Bentley/evdes.html [ucl.ac.uk]

The page describes a book about Evolutionary Design which covers such subjects as:
  • design optimization
  • creative design
  • the creation of art
  • artificial life forms

There's design and creation all over the place.

What about a theory of Automated Design?
Would it cause so much stir as Intelligent Design?

How can you tell the difference between things that were designed and those that evolved using some kind of evolutionary process? Just google for references to evolution of software or have a look at example below to see what I mean

http://www.martinfowler.com/articles/designDead.ht ml [martinfowler.com]

What about the beginning? In computers as in biology it is impossible to explain the beginings of the hardware to run the automated design process without either expecting design by a supreme being (it is us in case of computers) or some impossible series of events.

Re:will evolution ever escape from design? (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333796)

How can you tell the difference between things that were designed and those that evolved using some kind of evolutionary process?


Exactly. There is no way to tell the difference. That makes the idea unfalsifable (unable to be disproven). Because it is impossible to even test the idea, it is completely unscientific. That doesn't mean false, just outside the boundry of scientific inquiry. Given two possible explainations that are completely indistinguishable, one that requires a supernatural designer for which there is no evidence whatsoever and another explaination that does not, Occam's razor clearly favors the simpler explaination.

Call it religion, call it philosophy, just don't pretend that it is science.

highlight #11 (1)

mitchskin (226035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333821)

Went to Slashdot, for transporting stories out of the past onto the front page.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334622)

Gaining insights into evolution and global warming by noting new patterns and data ... you call that science?

A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

brado77 (686260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334711)

People can choose what they want to believe. But at least everyone should be honest with themselves that none of this is about science at its core.

Scientists will gather their test tubes, telescopes, microscopes, computers, and all their other measuring tools and deliver a proud announcement that the hint of a single water molecule thousands of miles from Earth indicates life. Yet the same scientists will say that a beating heart and a well formed unborn child here on Earth is not life.

Likewise, scientists will declare that there must be a "scientific" explanation for the universe coming to be, then attribute the root source to nothing, due to "time" (which is also nothing -- time is not an active force). Yet the same scientists will reject the notion that an active force (God), created at a point in time. (And what's worse, they'll do it on scientific means, which makes absolutely no sense, because if God does exist, then He cannot be disproven by physics and the confines of creation which supernatural power is not limited by).

Starting the thought process about origins does not start with science. Regardless of whether you are an evolutionist, creationist, or subscribe to intelligent design (which by the way is not Creationism, and in probably the most important way is more like evolution than creation), the root cause of the universe (initial matter and initial action -- and the explanation for their existence) lies outside the bounds of the laws of science, it can never be explained by science -- it is an article of faith. Anyone that makes any assertion about origins has asserted their article of faith. Some choose God. Others reject God, and put something else in His place.

Regardless which side of the debate anyone falls on, these issues have never been, nor will ever be, about so-called "science" (nor could it ever be -- disproving the supernatural via that which is potentially created by the supernatural is a logical impossibility). These matters come down to one thing for each person:

"Choose this day whom you will serve."

A real leap forward for everyone in such discussions would be to dispense with the facade of having an opinion based on the consequential periphery, and be honest that the consequential periphery stems from what article of faith a person chooses to place their faith in.

Brad

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

ponxx (193567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335458)

"Religios people" say that the world was created by god and jesus was his son, yet religious people say that jesus was only a prophet. Religious people also say that Brahma created the universe. Religious people say that you go to heaven when you die, religious people say that you are reborn in another shape.

That is approximately the quality of your argument about "scientists" saying that a water moleculs is life and an unborn child isn't.

What I'm trying to illustrate is that you are lumping together concepts from a number of disparate fields that have little or nothing in common with each other and use certain words very differently. I would be very surprised for example if a xeno-biologists would make a scientific contribution to the debate about abortion in the first place.

A micro-biologist will call any living cell life. Yet a moral philosopher won't accuse you of murder for taking antibiotics or other medicines (which destroy bacteria/viruses or even human cells). The debate about abortion is not about whether something is "alive" in a biological sense, but whether in a moral sense it is a person you are killing or not, which is a totally different debate, led by totally different poeple.

While I would agree with you that the "origin" of the universe might be unknowable in principle, the difference between religious faith and scientific explanations is that religious faith often precludes further investigations and/or changes to the best current explanation. Religious faith was happy to stop with the earth as the centre of the universe created 6000 years ago...

Scientists are never totally "happy" with their theories, they are developed and refined. Even theories that were once seen as absolute, such as Newton's laws, were shown to be limiting cases of broader, more unified concept.

Once you get to a point where someone says "this is it, this is the answer, I wrote it in a book, no need for further questions, don't bother checking it yourself" then you get yourself into a situation that is a quite similar to religion. While this happens at times in science (i.e. we "knew" all about the atom at one point before people started finding more exotic subatomic particled), it is never an absolute.

For me, that is the one major difference between science and religion: science is built on the premise that theories are imperfect and must be continually developed, while religion is built on the idea that someone knows "the truth" which is absolute and should not be questioned.

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335598)

Sorry, but you're really using a big strawman here regarding scientists, as if they are the ones who uncritically and ignorantly make blind non-falsifiable assumptions. I guess you've never witnessed a real scientific debate. The existence or non-existence of a deity falls outside the scope of science as it cannot be proven nor disproven. It can be said that no falsifiable claims exist by which to measure whether the deity exists (or interacts with) the physical world. Emperical evidence shows that this deity prefers a very constant and consistent universe.

or subscribe to intelligent design (which by the way is not Creationism, and in probably the most important way is more like evolution than creation)

Nope, it has been proven in court that ID == Creationism == religion. Feel free to read the testimony of the leading ID proponents and authors.

Regardless which side of the debate anyone falls on, these issues have never been, nor will ever be, about so-called "science"

The same can be said about Astrology vs. Science or a Witch Doctor vs. Surgeon. One side has non-falsifiable theories, the other has. Just because there is disagreement doesn't mean both sides are equally right. The crux of ID arguments is ignorance and by rigging the angles through which something can have happened. Behe has clearly shown his own ignorance by being unaware of dozens of articles being written on the flagellum, yet claiming for a fact they did not exist (prior to having them plopped down in front of him).

The issue with ID is not that they present a theory which is unpleasant (lots of scientists are religious), but that they are intellectually and politically dishonest. Now they are openly making political threats against the judge. So much for neutrality...

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

brado77 (686260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339828)

Nope, it has been proven in court that ID == Creationism == religion

Legal decisions mean absolutely nothing vs. Truth. ID is most like evolution in what is critical to the issue of origins: it attempts to start with science as its base. All the facts and figures and supposed scientific discoveries, etc. etc. etc. are secondary, after-the-fact periphery and distraction to the fact that no matter what belief you possess (evolution, creation, ID, or other), that an article of faith has been chosen first. I'll say it again: if there is a God, because he is supernatural, and created all things, the universe, physics, and all laws of the universe, He cannot be disproven by observations/experiments/etc. The supernatural (God) would sit outside the confines of the law of the universe, so using these created things as some sort of a proof, or probability (which also only exists inside the laws of our universe) against God is a logical impossibility.

Regardless of your persuasion, what underpins *everything* else, at the root core, is the decision to accept a God, or reject a God. Everything that follows is secondary to this issue. Evolution is based on an article of faith. Creation is based on an article of faith. ID is based on an article of faith. Atheism is based on an article of faith. Arguments about the periphery, this fossil and that fossil, this magnetic field and that magnetic field, the distance of this star and that star, as a means for deciding orgins are completely useless -- wasted cycles, and really are just discussions of the lenses each person wears to interpret the observation. An evolutionist will try to fit it into his evolutionary theory. A Creationist will see it as harmonizing with God's creation. An ID person will see it another way. Arguing about the view through those lenses is relatively futile. All persuasions are built upon an article of faith -- it can never be anything other.

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335904)

I though this post looked familiar.

So if this [slashdot.org] post is a troll, does the addition of a paragraph to an otherwise identical post make this one not a troll?

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14336080)

As has been shown in court, ID proponents are typically prone to rehashing the same old refuted material in the hope that if they rehash it enough, in the public opinion it'll be truthlike.

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

brado77 (686260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339756)

As has been shown in court, ID proponents are typically prone to rehashing the same old refuted material in the hope that if they rehash it enough, in the public opinion it'll be truthlike.

...except for the fact that I'm not a proponent of ID.

Re:A great accomplishment of 2006 would be honesty (1)

brado77 (686260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339782)

I though this post looked familiar. Same issue, same answer.

So if this post is a troll, does the addition of a paragraph to an otherwise identical post make this one not a troll? Call it whatever you want. I'm surprised you saw it anyway. Regardless of all the other blatantly rude and vitriolic posts that are not only allowed, but modded up, the post was modded down soon after posting it so most never even saw it. The "karma" system is just another form of discriminatory censorship, allowing a moderator to simply rate out of view (based on settings) or label as worthless something that someone posts.

Its was actually fairly apropos for the thread. Its basically the same tactic being used in the courts to silence alternative theories to evolution. Essentially what the courts have done is "modded down" in the legal and public eye an alternative theory, and prevented people from hearing about it. (And no, I'm not an ID proponent).

In a way, the scientists *have* been more honest (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338077)

2005 has been characterised by more blown sub-theories (e.g. string cosmology) and raise-eyebrows-and-shrug data (e.g. the Fountains of Enceladus) than any other year I can remember.

At long last, it's becoming socially acceptable to admit that a popular theory is more or less complete bollocks. It's difficult to overstate how valuable that is to the progress of science.

ID has brought this about in a way that Creationism couldn't, because ID is more "moderate" and reasonable, less polarised. Careless detractors can easily winding up looking like ranting idiots (many have and continue to). This was Dr Johnson's original plan, he made no bones about it then or now, and despite all of the kicking and screaming it's actually working. Its latest score has been a judge willing to overreact in a convincing fashion.

Now... here lies a dilemmma... trilemma, really: Naturalistic (with the implied "Atheistic") science needs to let approaches like ID get a foot in the door even if they're completely wrong. ID in turn needs Evolution to keep it honest as much as it keeps the Evolution team on their toes... and ID in turn needs Creationism. If nothing else, it needs something to be less extreme than. Creationism needs ID -- again, if for no other reason than to have a moderate cousin for the timid to stop at.

And so on. You can't pull up the weeds -- regardless of which you regard as weeds -- without also damaging the crop.

Re:In a way, the scientists *have* been more hones (1)

brado77 (686260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339873)

Creationism needs ID

Regardless of what any secular court says, ID is not a belief in Creation. It may appear like that, but there is a big difference. Creation is a belief in the Biblical account of Creation. ID is not. ID suggests a god who created, and/or started off a chain of events, and its proponents suggest other things that are in contradiction to the Bible. ID is more agnostic than anything, acknowledging the possibility of a god, but not much more than that.

Any theory that proposes the Bible is inaccurate, or contains error (ID included) is no friend to the Bible, or to God, or to Biblical Christianity, or to Creationism. Despite any similarities, they differ at the heart of the matter: one is a belief in Christ, the other is anti-Christ. It is impossible to call God a liar, and His Word a lie, without calling Christ a liar, and a fraud, and not who He claimed to be. Either He is who He claimed to be (God), and His Word is perfect, or He is the biggest liar and fraud the world has ever seen. There is no "good teacher" or "prophet" label that can be attached to someone who is either a total liar or God Himself. Its one or the other.

So much energy is sunk into debating facts and figures, and none of it is really the heart of a matter. Its like two doctors debating the effectiveness of aspirin for a headache when the patient actually has a brain tumor. The facts and figures are subordinate to the article of faith a person adopts as their lenses through which they interpret everything. Its their world view, and all else emanates from that world view. An evolutionist can keep heaping on their supposed data, but never ever will they be able to get past the fact that they have no explanation (and never will) about where time, space, initial matter, and initial active force came from. Every belief, no matter what it is, sits on an article of faith.

Scanned it. (1)

sunnyflorida (913256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335862)

Scanned it. Page one had conventional false hood. The polar ice caps are not at a record low. Only 50-100 million years ago they were completely gone.
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