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(Minneapolis Star Tribune)   Columnist rejects creationism for evolution after becoming familiar with the evidence. Then blames sciences for his former ignorance   (startribune.com) divider line 129
    More: Fail, evolution, innovations  
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4289 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jul 2012 at 11:12 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 03:18:40 PM
Regarding the teaching that the earth spinning creates gravity -- I don't remember ever being taught that nonsense (44 years old, in case that matters), but, between the simulated gravity of a spinning space station and the postulation that, were the earth to suddenly stop spinning, everything not nailed down to the outer core or would be thrown eastwardly into space by inertia, I can see some people mis-remembering or mis-synthesising.

My first thought (beyond "Huh? WTF?) was remembering my similar reaction to something Jack told Gwen and Ianto in the Doctor Who episode, "The Stolen Earth". The Daleks had managed to suddenly relocate the Earth and various other unaffiliated planets to the Medusa Cascade. Jack said that some kind of shield had been put in place to hold in the atmosphere. -- Russell T Davies demonstrating that it's not just Americans who have really cocked up misunderstandings of gravity.
 
i^2
2012-07-24 03:24:18 PM

LooseLips: And then he blames his never-serious-studying on the scientific community for actin like "arrogant materialists". Wat? Understanding science and its major concepts has nothing to do with having stuff. I am by no means living the high life, and never have had the burning desire to aquire the very next iThing...


Protip: He's not talking about economic materialism, but the philosophical position which holds that the only things which exist are matter and energy, and that all observable phenomena (including the consciousness of mind) are explainable by the interactions of matter and energy.
 
2012-07-24 03:35:51 PM

loonatic112358: Dadoo: No, I made sure of that. The whole discussion started because I was talking to my boss, who's an ultra-conservative who doesn't trust scientists. He pointed out that one of the reasons is that he was taught the very same thing. (Don't ask. I'm constantly amazed by some of the things that come out of his mouth.) Again, I couldn't believe it. So I asked my parents. They also said that's what they were taught. I finally asked my sister because she's younger than me, and I thought things would have changed after all that time. Apparently not.

the hell would that work even?

I don't recall specifics about how gravity was taught in my youth, but I sure as hell think teaching that it came from the spinning of the earth would just make things confusing.


That's why I'm so appalled. Even if the students were too shy to speak up to the teacher, the teacher should have thought, "Hey, something about this doesn't sound right..."
 
2012-07-24 03:41:03 PM

i^2: LooseLips: And then he blames his never-serious-studying on the scientific community for actin like "arrogant materialists". Wat? Understanding science and its major concepts has nothing to do with having stuff. I am by no means living the high life, and never have had the burning desire to aquire the very next iThing...

Protip: He's not talking about economic materialism, but the philosophical position which holds that the only things which exist are matter and energy, and that all observable phenomena (including the consciousness of mind) are explainable by the interactions of matter and energy.


Ah, mea culpa. The economic analogy put my mind on that track.
 
2012-07-24 03:51:39 PM

Marine1: My guess is she confused centripetal force with gravity. And actually, were she talking about some space station that spun to keep people walking upright, she'd be right. I wouldn't blame the schools that much on that one. It seems like something she might have misremembered.


The DJ on the radio the other day was throwing out a bunch of "what ifs" and one was: "What if the Earth stopped spinning tomorrow and we all floated away??"

I was dumbfounded.

/not to say that the Earth stopping spinning wouldn't be a bad thing ... but floating away would not be the issue.
 
2012-07-24 04:02:34 PM

Dadoo: Who's to blame for that? I guess I don't know. My initial impulse is, in fact, to blame scientists, but I could be wrong.


You could be and you are very wrong. Blaming scientific illiteracy on scientists is like blaming actual illiteracy on authors.
 
2012-07-24 04:21:30 PM

Farking Canuck: /not to say that the Earth stopping spinning wouldn't be a bad thing ... but floating away would not be the issue.


Not float away, no, but be thrown away eastward at a speed equal to or less than 1,037 MPH.
 
2012-07-24 04:44:14 PM
The the author was an ignorant douchebag who finally grew up and gave up 1/2 of the bullshiate he believed as a child.

Let's reconvene in another 10 years when he finally gives up on that crap called religion.

Then he'll be intelligent enough to have over for tea.
 
2012-07-24 05:09:40 PM
I get the impression the writer went from "God did it with magic," to "God did it with magic but the magic became REAL and that's evolution!"

That pretty much sums up every theistic evolution viewpoint for me.
 
2012-07-24 05:35:32 PM

Marine1: the_vicious_fez: the_geek:

Also with respect to "overthrowing your belief system is not something to be taken likely." That's bupkis. If I ran around saying I could telepathically communicate with the dead that they would grant me wishes I'd be dismissed immediately. I call it praying to Jesus and suddenly I deserve some sort of respect? Sorry, not buying it.

Your psychic necromancy theory may not deserve any sort of intellectual respect, but you as an individual deserve compassion, as does anyone you debate. If you have no respect or compassion or empathy for your opponent, debating him will be a waste of both your times.

This.

Besides, personal beliefs on prayer can vary. That's something a lot of debunkers often forget.


I'm sure you are familiar with the BioLogos foundation. Why this organization doesn't get more attention I have no clue.
 
2012-07-24 05:57:08 PM

Farking Canuck: The DJ on the radio the other day was throwing out a bunch of "what ifs" and one was: "What if the Earth stopped spinning tomorrow and we all floated away??"


We wouldn't float away, but the oceans would relocate to the poles.
 
2012-07-24 06:04:49 PM

HopScotchNSoda: Regarding the teaching that the earth spinning creates gravity -- I don't remember ever being taught that nonsense (44 years old, in case that matters), but, between the simulated gravity of a spinning space station and the postulation that, were the earth to suddenly stop spinning, everything not nailed down to the outer core or would be thrown eastwardly into space by inertia, I can see some people mis-remembering or mis-synthesising.

My first thought (beyond "Huh? WTF?) was remembering my similar reaction to something Jack told Gwen and Ianto in the Doctor Who episode, "The Stolen Earth". The Daleks had managed to suddenly relocate the Earth and various other unaffiliated planets to the Medusa Cascade. Jack said that some kind of shield had been put in place to hold in the atmosphere. -- Russell T Davies demonstrating that it's not just Americans who have really cocked up misunderstandings of gravity.


Correct me if I am wrong here but without the earth spinning and the rotation of the outer core the planet would lose its magnetic field which is what protects us from things like solar winds. So, depending on where the Daleks moved the planet and the force of things like solar winds then the earth very well could have lost its atmosphere without a shield of some type.
 
2012-07-24 06:22:12 PM

IlGreven: qorkfiend: Lanadapter: To be fair the article is right. I can't tell you how many creationists tell me evolution isn't valid because "it's just a theory".


Lern 2 terminology bettr

Yeah, it's the terminology that's the whole problem here.

Actually, the big creationist preachers accept everything that's true about evolution, including the fact that a species can diverge into two or more new species over time, but of course they'll keep saying "Sure, Alaska rabbits and Florida rabbits can't interbreed, but they're still rabbits!" They're also still Leporids (as are hares), Lagomorphs (as are pikas), and Euarchontoglires (as are we). They never stopped being those things. They just developed traits which denote them as rabbits rather than primates.

Basically, creationists accept everything that evolution predicts...except they claim evolution predicts ridiculous things like a crocoduck.


upload.wikimedia.org
You were saying?
 
2012-07-24 06:48:23 PM

factoryconnection: Let's talk a moment about how messages get out and what influences people to accept them. I know a good number of scientists that work in scientific fields and produce research articles and all sorts of good things like that. They're connected to their work, and often they thrive on it. But do you know what they're often VERY BAD at doing? Communicating it to "lay people" such as myself; I'm just an engineer with an interest in science. But you know what? That doesn't bother them because they have enough work on their hands just cracking the next great problem. Perhaps it is a lack of charisma, a lack of motivation, or a lack of communications skill.

But on the other hand, consider what groups have the opposite qualities in spades: politicians and preachers. They have captive audiences, recurring attendance and attention, as well as access to the media... and they SELL IT. It is sad that I know the names of more televangelists than I do mainstream advocates of science from the scientific community. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye (the engineer) can only do so much, but at least they understand the desperate need to engage the common man with their love of scientific understanding and discovery.

So while it may piss you off that Luddites don't feel engaged by the scientific world, remember that the anti-scientific world is actively, constantly, and thoroughly engaging people every day the best way they can figure out how to. Their response isn't "read this impenetrable, 400-page textbook and get a clue moron!" it is singing and lights and sound and beautifully-crafted and delivered homilies about something safe and applicable to their lives.


Lots of scientists are actually very eager to spread their science and try and talk to people about things they think are amazing and awesome. Unfortunately a lot of it can be extremely difficult to break down and explain, guys like DeGrasse Tyson are very good at that but it doesn't mean lots of others don't try. Of course lots of others are pretty good at it, and maintain blogs and twitter feeds. They write in magazines aimed at science enthusiasts or work with good science journalists. But that stuff doesn't make the 6 o'clock news or prime time specials. The Discovery Channel and TLC are full of Ghost Hunter's and Ancient Aliens. I've personally seen scientists give interviews to bad science journalists who then proceded to butcher the story so bad that many of them just give up on ever doing it again.

There is a lot more wrong with trying to get the message out about amazing science then scientists being bad communicators to a lay public. Sure lots are, and it's a stereotype for a reason, but I'm not even sure it is the biggest factor in the problem.
 
2012-07-24 07:07:57 PM

entropic_existence: There is a lot more wrong with trying to get the message out about amazing science then scientists being bad communicators to a lay public. Sure lots are, and it's a stereotype for a reason, but I'm not even sure it is the biggest factor in the problem.


imgs.xkcd.com

The hover: "Anyone who says that they're 'great at communicating but people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works."
 
2012-07-24 08:11:02 PM
That read like a fat chick convincing herself that the footbal team captain would want to marry her.
Good luck with those self delusions, princess.
 
2012-07-24 08:28:34 PM

the_vicious_fez: The hover: "Anyone who says that they're 'great at communicating but people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works."


I didn't say people suck at listening. I said that science/health journalists, "science" channels like The Discovery Channel and TLC often either butcher the message or shift focus from real science to non-scientific garbage which only serves to make matters worse. Many good science communicators, including scientists, are using venues like blogs and twitter that don't always have the same audience as newspapers, the evening news, and cable TV. I think people are perfectly capable of listening, but if they are being fed garbage by the communicators that are supposed to be making things clearer, the "trusted intermediaries" that's a bigger problem.

There has been a long and ongoing debate about science journalism and its degrading quality for quite some time.
 
2012-07-24 08:40:25 PM

entropic_existence: the_vicious_fez: The hover: "Anyone who says that they're 'great at communicating but people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works."

I didn't say people suck at listening. I said that science/health journalists, "science" channels like The Discovery Channel and TLC often either butcher the message or shift focus from real science to non-scientific garbage which only serves to make matters worse. Many good science communicators, including scientists, are using venues like blogs and twitter that don't always have the same audience as newspapers, the evening news, and cable TV. I think people are perfectly capable of listening, but if they are being fed garbage by the communicators that are supposed to be making things clearer, the "trusted intermediaries" that's a bigger problem.

There has been a long and ongoing debate about science journalism and its degrading quality for quite some time.


My argument is that communication problem is not between scientists and the public but scientists and science journalists.
 
2012-07-24 09:47:54 PM

the_vicious_fez: My argument is that communication problem is not between scientists and the public but scientists and science journalists.


I would conjecture from the mounting empirical evidence that what has been dubbed a "Science Journalist" is not much more then a potato powered child's science experiment
 
2012-07-24 10:43:29 PM

Ed Grubermann: Jim_Callahan: As someone who used to teach high school students, let me point out that:

(a) creationism is usually something that happens outside of or even after schooling, the correct information is in fact presented at some point (typically several times) over the course of several bio classes

I went to high school in the early 1980's. While they never taught "creationism", my biology teachers had to bend over backwards to accommodate these willfully ignorant puddenheads every time evolution was mentioned. You'd have thought that it was a viable alternate theory if you weren't paying attention, or were one of these aforementioned puddenheads. What backwater hick state did I go to high school in? California.


I graduated high school in 2007, and we were taught creationism in my biology class. Our teacher was instructed to clearly tell us that creationism is an alternate theory and we were free to leave the class and sit in the library if we didn't want to learn it. Myself and about 10 others excused ourselves to the library. No way I was going to listen to that garbage in a science class.

Of course, this was in Virginia so yeah...
 
2012-07-25 12:10:47 AM

Ginnungagap42: IlGreven: qorkfiend: Lanadapter: To be fair the article is right. I can't tell you how many creationists tell me evolution isn't valid because "it's just a theory".


Lern 2 terminology bettr

Yeah, it's the terminology that's the whole problem here.

Actually, the big creationist preachers accept everything that's true about evolution, including the fact that a species can diverge into two or more new species over time, but of course they'll keep saying "Sure, Alaska rabbits and Florida rabbits can't interbreed, but they're still rabbits!" They're also still Leporids (as are hares), Lagomorphs (as are pikas), and Euarchontoglires (as are we). They never stopped being those things. They just developed traits which denote them as rabbits rather than primates.

Basically, creationists accept everything that evolution predicts...except they claim evolution predicts ridiculous things like a crocoduck.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x334]
You were saying?


That is not a duck ancestor. Try again.
 
2012-07-25 12:56:29 AM

the_vicious_fez:
Your psychic necromancy theory may not deserve any sort of intellectual respect, but you as an individual deserve compassion, as does anyone you debate. If you have no respect or compassion or empathy for your opponent, debating him will be a waste of both your times.


I really like this. Thanks.
 
2012-07-25 02:41:10 AM

I alone am best: Correct me if I am wrong here but without the earth spinning and the rotation of the outer core the planet would lose its magnetic field which is what protects us from things like solar winds. So, depending on where the Daleks moved the planet and the force of things like solar winds then the earth very well could have lost its atmosphere without a shield of some type.


No, no, no, no, and no.

The magnetic field is caused by the electric currents in the liquid outer core, not the earth's rotation. The absence of the magnetic field could allow the upper atmosphere to be depleted of ozone, but would not blow the atmosphere away; even the loss of ozone would take time. That's all moot, anyway, because the Earth is not implied to have stopped rotating when relocated, and the whole crust and magma weren't thrown into space eastwardly by inertia. All of that is also moot with respect to the solar winds you referred to were not present, since the Daleks moved neither the Sun nor another star to the Medusa Cascade (and night time fell across the globe).
 
2012-07-25 08:11:23 AM

the_vicious_fez: My argument is that communication problem is not between scientists and the public but scientists and science journalists.


Except there are plenty of really good science journalists that don't do this. Ben Goldacre and Ed Young are two of the best for instance and even they are saying there is a real problem in science journalism. Much of it stems from the same problems that plague journalism in general. Corporate interests and a "Jersey Shore" attitude that pushes for sensationalism and drama above facts and context. And besides, a science journalists job is to translate science for the lay public, that is there whole reason for being employed. They are supposed to be the expert communicators.

Look how this push for infotainment and ratings at all costs has gutted cable channels that used to be dedicated to this sort of thing, that isn't the fault of scientists. I also didn't say that many scientists being bad communicators to the lay public isn't also an issue, it is. But that was true 100 years ago and 50 years ago too. 50 years ago the public was interested in scientific advances. I don't think scientists have become worse communicators in that time, if anything there has been an increasing focus within the community towards doing outreach with the public.
 
2012-07-25 09:07:20 AM
I'll just leave this here...

img840.imageshack.us

// And yes, the answer is yes.
 
2012-07-25 09:14:34 AM

Leeds: I'll just leave this here...

[img840.imageshack.us image 576x433]

// And yes, the answer is yes.


Beeeeelions and beeeelions of yeses...
 
i^2
2012-07-25 09:44:47 AM

the_vicious_fez: My argument is that communication problem is not between scientists and the public but scientists and science journalists.


If sports journalists knew as little about sports as science journalists know about science, they'd all be replaced by tomorrow morning.
 
2012-07-25 12:23:59 PM

i^2: the_vicious_fez: My argument is that communication problem is not between scientists and the public but scientists and science journalists.

If sports journalists knew as little about sports as science journalists know about science, they'd all be replaced by tomorrow morning.


Did you see that game where Steve Kerr scored 5 3 point touchdowns in the first inning? And they said black people can't play hockey!
 
2012-07-25 02:55:29 PM

HopScotchNSoda: I alone am best: Correct me if I am wrong here but without the earth spinning and the rotation of the outer core the planet would lose its magnetic field which is what protects us from things like solar winds. So, depending on where the Daleks moved the planet and the force of things like solar winds then the earth very well could have lost its atmosphere without a shield of some type.

No, no, no, no, and no.

The magnetic field is caused by the electric currents in the liquid outer core, not the earth's rotation. The absence of the magnetic field could allow the upper atmosphere to be depleted of ozone, but would not blow the atmosphere away; even the loss of ozone would take time. That's all moot, anyway, because the Earth is not implied to have stopped rotating when relocated, and the whole crust and magma weren't thrown into space eastwardly by inertia. All of that is also moot with respect to the solar winds you referred to were not present, since the Daleks moved neither the Sun nor another star to the Medusa Cascade (and night time fell across the globe).


Please see Link for an explanation of the dynamo theory. If the earth was not spinning there wouldn't be enough energy (electric current) to produce the magnetic field. As for the doctor who episode I didn't remember the night falling across the globe part though, so there isn't really any reason the atmosphere would be under assault from an outside force so I guess thats just a silly thing to throw in there.
 
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