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walking starfish

Next job: stop things like this

Posted on 2009.01.21 at 10:29
Current Music: MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio) - 01-20-2009-193902
OK, we have gotten Obama elected and in office. Now we have to stop things like this proposed evolution disclaimer for textbooks.
Among other silly things, the disclaimer says "No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory"
Mkay.

Comments:


niyabinghi
niyabinghi at 2009-01-21 15:48 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, brother!!!
Rev. Michael Foley-Röhm, 16th Baron of Xternetsa
mlfoley at 2009-01-21 16:34 (UTC) (Link)
Well, that means that creationism is just a theory, too, and going by the definition fundies have for theory - 'something you came up with last night while coked out of your mind' - we can safely ignore it as well and get back on with the truth of Ymir.
Chevalier St. Odhran, Abbot Saint of Waterford
weishaupt at 2009-01-21 21:29 (UTC) (Link)
That doesn't sound silly to me. Any statement about life's origins IS a theory.

So are most scientific statements about just about anything else.

Religious ones, however, are entirely scientifically unsubstantiated and they ought to add that too for good measure.
(Anonymous) at 2009-01-22 03:56 (UTC) (Link)
(can't sign in again... it's balissa)
holy crap. i hardly know where to start, except that i know i'm preaching to the choir. let's take another "theory" as an example. gravity is a theory- a set of explanations that we cannot yet prove beyond doubt, but believe to be one way to explain observations. that it is just a theory doesn't change my prediction of what will happen when i drop something. because i believe in science, i know that it's possible that the theory of gravity is not fact. i could wake up one morning, and drop something that didn't fall. at that point, the whole scientific community would have to decide how we could alter our explanations to fit the new facts.

if you'll go with me for a moment, stephen jay gould says things much better than me, basically saying that in science books, we should teach science. if we decide it's offensive, perhaps we just shouldn't teach science, but we can't pass off beliefs as being the same as scientific theories:

"Science works with testable proposals. If, after much compilation and scrutiny of data, new information continues to affirm a hypothesis, we may accept it provisionally... We may never be completely sure that a hypothesis is right, though we may be able to show with confidence that it is wrong. The best scientific hypotheses are... generous and expansive...
Useless speculation, on the other hand, is restrictive. It generates no testable hypothesis, and offers no way to obtain potentially refuting evidence. Please note that I am not speaking of truth or falsity. The speculation may well be true; still, if it provides, in principle, no material for affirmation or rejection, we can make nothing of it. It must simply stand forever as an intriguing idea."
- from The Flamingo's Smile, one of the best books ever.
Thank you Mr. Gould, for explaining why we have two sets of books, science books and theological texts, both of which might be true, but are valuable for different reasons.
(longest comment EVER- sorry)
metalclarinet
metalclarinet at 2009-01-22 05:40 (UTC) (Link)

With Microsoft

we must fear other types of revisionist history.


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