Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

BRAIN WASHING 101: THE MOVIE

From academicbias.com:

"Filmmakers Evan Coyne Maloney, Stuart E. Browning and Blaine Greenberg are currently producing a feature-length documentary film (scheduled for release in 2005) exploring political correctness on college campuses. As an interim offering, the filmmakers have produced a 46-minute documentary film: Brainwashing 101, a provocative look at how universities use tools such as "speech codes" to force political views upon students. The film shines a light on political correctness, academic bias, student censorship--even administrative cover-ups of death threats--at three schools: Bucknell University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)."

http://academicbias.com/bw101.html
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Interesting. Have you watched it yet?
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 24th, 2005
I watched the on-line movie a few weeks ago. While I am certainly not a right-winger, I have to admit that the "totalitarian left" scares the bejeezus out of me. They're worse than the fundamentalist cretins who want Noah's Ark to be taught in biology classes.
Permalink Siddhartha Vicious 
March 24th, 2005
Yes, I watched it. It is scary the way some of these universities went after students because of their political views. So much for universities being the beacons of tolerance, political correctness, open-mindedness and diversity. Left-wingers are tolerant, open-minded, and for the diversity of opinion, but only if they are in conformity with the leftist agenda. The title of the movie probaly should've been "Clueless : How the Left is blinded by it's own bias and hate for anyother view but its own"
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Because the Right never does that...ooookay.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
That's right Aaron; just look at the guy's website.

Not a single case of right wing academic bias, even though there are universities in Kansas where you could do a degree in biology without learning anything about evolution.

And we all know Milton Friedman never, ever suggested put a student down for suggesting the free market was superior to a planned economy.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
Never does what? Have a bias? Sure they do. That is the point, everyone has a bias. The only thing is the left love to hide behind their bias behind words like "diversity", "political correctness", "tolerance", "un-offensiveness", "sensitivity", etc. etc.
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
If you look hard enough, you can find instances of academic bias in any direction you like. The true question is one of prevalence. In the vast majority of US universities, the prevailing bias is strongly directed toward the left and against the right. Things today are probably better than they were a decade ago (remember all those speech codes that were popping up all over the place?), but we still have a long way to go before universities become true marketplaces of ideas.

See also:

http://www.shadowuniv.com/
Permalink Siddhartha Vicious 
March 24th, 2005
I suppose I'm biased against people who insist hard science is wrong simply because observable, verifiable facts conflict with their preestablished belief systems.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
"Not a single case of right wing academic bias, even though there are universities in Kansas where you could do a degree in biology without learning anything about evolution."

Yes, you will probably find this bias in a Christian College. It is called "Christian" for a reason. It presupposes the truth of Christianity, from the outset. It teaches it's classes from a Christian world & life view. There is no "bias" hiding. It doesn't proport to be "tolerant" of all views. 

The point of the documentary was that the "public" institutions have now become overrun by "no-bias here", left wing radical instructors & administrators. If it is supposed to be a "public" institutions, then ALL views should be welcomed. If all views are not welcomed in a "public" school, then by honest of your bias up front and change the name to the Karl Marx University of California or the Lennin School of Political Science.
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
> If it is supposed to be a "public" institutions, then ALL views should be welcomed.

I don't think so: that would be like saying that "if it is supposed to be a 'public' hospital, then ANYone should be allowed to practice medicine there".
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 24th, 2005
"Things today are probably better than they were a decade ago (remember all those speech codes that were popping up all over the place?), but we still have a long way to go before universities become true marketplaces of ideas."

Good point. There really is no marketplace of ideas in today's public university campuses. Those on the left should admit that they have biases/pre-commitments before having any "observable, verifiable, evidence".
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
"I don't think so: that would be like saying that "if it is supposed to be a 'public' hospital, then ANYone should be allowed to practice medicine there"."

Yes, any certified doctor, should be allowed to practice, regardless if they are Athiest, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Heterosexual, Homosexual, Liberal, Conservative etc etc... And likewise any patient wishing to go there... I see you get the point...
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
"...change the name to the Karl Marx University of California or the Lennin School..."

What about colleges that are biased toward actual science? What should they be called?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
School of Science, i.e California PolyTech, MIT,IIT etc  How hard is that. You wouldn't call it School of Poetry, would you?
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
> Yes, any certified doctor ... I see you get the point...

I think so: practicing in the hospital, no witch-doctors, rarely any acupuncturists, no mere faith-healers, and as few con artists as possible.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 24th, 2005
Christopher,

You got it... You're a fast study... 

Were you voted "Most likely to succeed" or "Master of the Obvious" in high school?
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
No I was "the big nipper in the flowery T-shirt" or "homicidal maniac" depending on who you asked.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 24th, 2005
So Indiana University might be a bad choice because the name implies a bias toward the state of Indiana that may or may not be there, and gives no indication of biases toward liberalism that may exist there? Just checking.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
No I was "the big nipper in the flowery T-shirt" or "homicidal maniac" depending on who you asked.

LOL!
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Yup, that's balanced! No bias there!

The classic approach of taking anecdotal evidence to draw general conclusions.

Does this kind of stuff happen? Probably.

Is it unreasonable? Yes.

Is it the general case? WHO THE HELL KNOWS!!

This film certainly wants to imply it but does not, in fact, demonstrate that.

Why do people keep falling for this kind of nonsense?
Permalink somebody else 
March 24th, 2005
I asked myself that of the people who flocked to see Farheit 911..
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
at least it was funny, very very funny.
Permalink zed 
March 24th, 2005
"So Indiana University might be a bad choice because the name implies a bias toward the state of Indiana that may or may not be there, and gives no indication of biases toward liberalism that may exist there? Just checking."

Well lets see, if a school claimed to be open, diverse, non-discrimintory, tolerant, but continually harrassed or sought to suppress the opinions/free speech of students who held to conservitive, political views then I would say it might be a good idea that it would by upfront of their beliefs/biases. Wouldn't you say so? Or do you think it is ok for a "public" institution engage in this kind of dishonesty, because it is aimed at those "nasty, right-wingers"...
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Should it change its name every time the political climate changes?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
As someone more articulate than me once said, the right want to ban burning the flag as a way of expressing left-wing political views, but see nothing wrong with waving it as a way of expressing a right wing political viewpoint.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
Aaron,

Is it right for a public university to supress the opinions/free speech of it's conservative students? Yes or No? It's simple question...
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
And of course the right wing marginal student who annoys his professor so much that it tilts the balance the other way then spends the rest of his life moaning about it and dreaming of lawsuits, whereas his left wing equivalent wears it like a badge of honor and uses it to pull in more chicks.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
It's wrong.

Simple.

Now, is it wrong for people to whine about getting answers wrong on tests and threaten to sue professors over it? I'm talking about tests that are not opinion based, but factual - math, chemistry, physics, even history (*not* how do you feel but what *actually* happened), no opinions required.

Do you think that giving people bad grades based on poor performance in such a situation counts as an attempt to suppress free speech?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
----"Is it right for a public university to supress the opinions/free speech of it's conservative students? Yes or No? It's simple question..."-----

Are you seriously suggesting this is happening? I certainly won't supress your right to persuade me :)
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
Did you watch the video?
http://academicbias.com/bw101.html

Or is this some right-wing conspiracy to tarnish the image of poor, defenseless, profs and admimistrators at public universtities?
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
By the way, Steve-O, those questions in my last post were not rhetorical.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
Aaron,

How did suing over bad grades or poor performance come into the mix? None of the students interviewed in the documentary where in a lawsuit over bad grades given by a proff. I don't understand where you going with this or how this is related?
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
I'm bringing personal experience into this.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
"Do you think that giving people bad grades based on poor performance in such a situation counts as an attempt to suppress free speech?"

No, of course not.
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Good.

I've seen students threaten to sue over bad grades when retaking a class - they got a D the first time, they were getting a D the second time, and they were saying "There's no way I'm going to get a D when I've paid all this money to take the class again."

I've seen a woman threaten to sue a school for trying to kick her kid out when he failed *every single class*. Not one or two, but *all* of them, and when faced with this threat the school buckled and kept the kid.

I also know students who wouldn't answer correctly on tests because it conflicted with their belief systems. They didn't threaten to sue, to the best of my knowledge, but given the other cases where I *did* see students threaten to sue, it won't be far behind.

How is education supposed to proceed when faced with this?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
"I asked myself that of the people who flocked to see Farheit 911." -- Steve 0.

I asked the same question. Why not also ask it of the "brainwash" film?

Again, the film is based on anecdotal evidence. How, does this evidence extrapolate to prove a general characteristic?

In any large population, one can cherry pick examples to "support" a particular view point.
Permalink somebody else 
March 24th, 2005
Steve-O

How do you know the whole story is not commissioned, financed and fabricated by the "right"? They certainly have factored in enough budget to pay media, filmmakers, etc.

By the way, not all liberals think that Moore's F911 was a masterpiece as far as political documentary is concerned.

I personally dispise his work.
Permalink Dan Denman 
March 24th, 2005
A documentary in the opposite direction (left wing students being persecuted) could probably be made as well. Everyone loves to complain. Though the guy from Fire ( http://www.thefire.org/ ) did say the vast majority of his cases involve punishing right wing speech.

The revelation of the movie seems to be these "Speech Codes" that define what can and can't be talked about on campus.

http://www.speechcodes.org/
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 24th, 2005
Such as...

"West Virginia University would instruct incoming students and new faculty that they must "use language that is not gender specific...Instead of referring to anyone's romantic partner as girlfriend' or boyfriend,' use positive generic terms such as friend', lover,' or partner.'" Until recently, WVU enforced "free speech zones" (in reality, "censorship zones") that comprised only one percent of the public campus."
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 24th, 2005
WVU. Morgantown, WV.

Political Correctness for Coal Miners.

Quite useful that.
Permalink hoser 
March 24th, 2005
I would take the left-wing censorship thing a lot more seriously if I didn't read crap like this:

"Lastly, the University of North Dakota has criminalized as harassment anything that intentionally produces "psychological discomfort, embarrassment, or ridicule" (a category of no small scope). "

I really doubt the U of North Dakota is throwing students in jail for causing psychological discomfort, etc... In fact, I bet the U of ND has very little say in who goes to jail at all.

The right-wingers are just upset that they can't run around in KKK hoods anymore.
Permalink NathanJ 
March 24th, 2005
"I really doubt the U of North Dakota is throwing students in jail for causing psychological discomfort, etc... "

Quit reading into the statement. The U of Norht Dakota has no authority to throw anyone in jail.  The only thing they can do is try to penalize a student for such action i.e. expulsion or call the police on a student for violating it's campus policy.
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
The statement says "has CRIMINALIZED as harassment". Last time I checked we throw criminals in jail.
Permalink NathanJ 
March 24th, 2005
----"Though the guy from Fire ( http://www.thefire.org/ ) did say the vast majority of his cases involve punishing right wing speech."----

Of course it did. It's a virulent right-wing site.How posts do you see on Slashdot about how good MS is and how Linux sucks.

-----"The revelation of the movie seems to be these "Speech Codes" that define what can and can't be talked about on campus.

http://www.speechcodes.org/"----

Err, lets look at their "speech code of the month". Here's one of the rules: " "emphasizes the gender or sexual identity of persons in a manner which prevents or impairs their emotional well-being." So I can't call a fellow student a dyke or a fucking queer, and the professor can't tell his female students that their contribution was pretty good "for a woman"? What's so wrong with that. What it certainly doesn't mean is, to quote the site "A discussion of women in the military or whether men are more likely to commit crimes would, therefore, be a risky one to have in an Antioch College classroom, unless of course crude name calling is the only way you know how to carry on discourse -which for some right wingers might well be the case.

"The policy also deems "forms of personal attention which are inappropriate to academic, employment, or residential setting…and which may reasonably be perceived as sexual overtures or denigration," to be harassment," Now that's a real bummer. Stuck with a crappy job teaching at a crappy university and you can't even try to bed the students or slag off the tight-'arsed bitches who won't open their legs. And if you're a student trying to seduce the other boys in the dorm may be out to.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
"Of course it did. It's a virulent right-wing site.How posts do you see on Slashdot about how good MS is and how Linux sucks."

I have nothing to go on other than what he said in the documentary (if you have some supporting evidence for yoru statement, I wouldn't mind seeing it).

In the interview, he said he leans politically left, but most of the cases that are brought to him are suppression of right wing speech. Maybe he was lying, maybe he wasn't. If you have some evidence that he was, like I said, I'm more than open.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 24th, 2005
Stephen, it is called free speech.

I guess you never been called a right wing facist just by being a christian.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 24th, 2005
----" Stephen, it is called free speech."---

Ehat does 'it' refer to?
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 24th, 2005
The right to say something even if to say it would hurt other's 'emotion'.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 24th, 2005
as far as free speech goes, anything thats worth saying is likely able to be said without calling people dykes, queers, niggers and/or trying to sleep with your female colleagues.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 24th, 2005
"emphasizes the gender or sexual identity of persons in a manner which prevents or impairs their emotional well-being."

You don't have to use those words to impair someone emotional well-being.

My Mother had depression. I know this very well.

Almost all of those rules don't cover a person's religion. Talking about bias in higher education.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 24th, 2005
"You don't have to use those words to impair someone emotional well-being."


wtf? thats not the point, the point of those rules *isn't* to make sure that everyone feels good all the time, its to try and control certain specific types of behavior that are entirely anti-social.

for fucks sake, try and engage your brain before opening your mouth...if you weren't so focused on how what you *think* the university is attempting to achieve you might actually be able to see what it really *is* trying to achieve.

christ, nothing pisses me off more than watching right-wing christians attempting to comprehend such advanced ideas as "lets try not to say these few obviously stupid things cause they never improve the conversation"

fucking moronic chinaman.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 24th, 2005
FullName,

Oh I see, engaing in AdHominem's makes you some how intellectually superior?
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
Stephen Jones,

"there are universities in Kansas where you could do a degree in biology without learning anything about evolution"

This is a remarkable claim. Please state the names of two or more of the Kansas universities you are thinking of, so that I may research to see if your claim of fact is true.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 24th, 2005
"Oh I see, engaing in AdHominem's makes you some how intellectually superior?"

LOL. oh, my aching head. talk about missing the point. reread the post you sad little man.

(I have an idea ad hominems is two words, and doesn't require an apostrophe btw)
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 24th, 2005
Aaron,

"people who insist hard science is wrong simply because observable, verifiable facts conflict with their preestablished belief systems"

These people are causing trouble for you? In what way? Who specifically? What specific beliefs do they have that contradict hard science as established by observation and repeatable experiments?
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 24th, 2005
"These people are causing trouble for you? In what way? Who specifically?"

Those people who try and get evolution removed from teaching in high schools (and/or preaching intelligent design as equivalent) are harming all of society.
Permalink Almost Anonymous 
March 24th, 2005
Never said they cause me trouble. Just that I'm biased against them.

I'f you're going to quote me, at least go to the effort of using the whole quote.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
Aaron,

You're admitting your bias... You're making some progress :)
Permalink Steve-O 
March 24th, 2005
I've never claimed otherwise.

Your point?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
Of course, I am not stating a position on left/right there, just scientific vs. unscientific.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
The funny thing is that back in the 1960s, before left-wing radicals took over American universities, the liberal activists used to complain about the fascists who run the schools. Forty years later, the leftists are bigger fascists than the right-wingers _ever_ were.
Permalink Welcome to the machine 
March 24th, 2005
At least in academia they seem to be. Outside the ivory tower the story is perhaps a little different.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 24th, 2005
Perhaps bias is the wrong word. Maybe oversight.

Not include race and religion is bad. So either they think no one is being harassed due to those, or the harrassment are not widespread, or they don't care.

I don't see how not trusting authority -- in this case the school -- is right wing. We write and read the laws of the state very carefully. Same idea.

No one should disrupt the learning in classroom. But I certainly don't want even someone calling me chinaman to get disciplined.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 24th, 2005
Wow, these rightwingers are seriously flirting with Chomsky, agreeing that universities produce commissars.

"Typically you're going to find major efforts made to marginalize the honest and serious intellectuals, the people who are committed to what I would call Englightenment values - values of truth, and freedom, and liberty, and justice. And those efforts will to a large extent succeed." -- Noam Chomsky

I would only be more surprised (and impressed) if they started sporting afros.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 24th, 2005
"Not include race and religion is bad. So either they think no one is being harassed due to those, or the harrassment are not widespread, or they don't care."

..or, just maybe, they think that people are already aware of the importance of tolerance in those areas.

Im fairly sure that in fact the point wasn't to itemise everything that they shouldn't say, but more to attempt to raise awareness about specific areas.

"No one should disrupt the learning in classroom. But I certainly don't want even someone calling me chinaman to get disciplined."

but you can see the point? allowing those kinds of attacks actually does more to decrease the free flow of ideas than simply deciding that everything comes under "free speech"

The entire point of going to university is to learn how to think about and discuss things at a higher level, its no surprise to me that some universities attempt to make it extremely clear that certain types of discussions are entirely stupid.....because they are.

<g> the fact that many types of arguments that universities label 'unworthy' more often than, match how certain 'right wing' nutcases tend to make their arguments is simply an interesting coincidence.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 24th, 2005
"The entire point of going to university is to learn how to think about and discuss things at a higher level"
<g> The left know about this?

Enlightenment values. lol.

Well, I don't think I am right wing at all. You know, I can see both sides.

Perhaps living in Vancouver for 13 years would tame any hard-core right-wing nutcases.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 24th, 2005
I just looked at Steve Hinkle's CalPoly case, one of the things in the documentary, you see claims like he created "complete fabrications" and refused to give them permission to
http://seclists.org/lists/politech/2003/Jul/0066.html

"Steve has failed to provide an additional waiver which would permit Cal Poly to respond directly and more thoroughly to inquiries like your own. In fact I would encourage you to contact Steve and INSIST that he provide you with a full and complete copy of the transcript from his student judicial hearing."
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 24th, 2005
"<g> The left know about this?"

<g> surprisingly enough, yes.


I just finished watching that movie btw, it is the most mindnumbingly bring thing Ive ever seen. two universities are focused on, bucknell; where apparently they are insisting that the students not be able to dictate the content of the classes, and cal poly where one student was (IMO) unfairly reported to the police by another student over some crap poster. and then was also unfairly punished by the polytech.

oh, and some crying over the fact that the universities still teach the theories of marx in economics (like it would actually be an economics class if you *didn't* teach the theories of marx).


that is a really, really, badly done and badly argued movie guys.

it makes mike moores efforts look like real documentaries.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 24th, 2005
Aaron,

Ok you say you are biased against them even though they are not causing you any trouble. So why are you biased against them?
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 25th, 2005
For all it worths, it is one of 10 Best Documentary Films:

http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
Anonymous,

"People who try and get evolution removed from teaching in high schools are harming all of society."

Can we assume that you mean public high schools? For example, is it OK if an Amish or Baptist or Muslim school doesn't teach evolution? If not, would you contend that the curriculum of private schools should be tightly controlled by legislation?

Do you think that evolution should be taught in all classes, or just in biology class?

By 'removed', am I understanding you are saying eliminated from the curriculum. Evolution will simply not be taught in biology classes.

Assuming we just mean public school biology classes, where is any one trying to "get evolution removed from teaching" in biology classes?

Finally, assuming that we can show that there are such public schools where this is happening, in what specific way is it harming all of society?
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 25th, 2005
> For all it worths, it is one of 10 Best Documentary Films:

Should read:

> For all it worths, it is one of 10 Best (Conservative) Documentary Films:

The first thing you find when you hit that page is "hollywood's first conservative film festival" and something about Michael Moore.

Tayssir - good find.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 25th, 2005
Um... The two comments are unrelated, Tayssir said nothing about the film festival.
Permalink MarkTAW 
March 25th, 2005
I provide the link.

I am not spreading misinformation. I swear:)
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
"
Finally, assuming that we can show that there are such public schools where this is happening, in what specific way is it harming all of society"

Easy. If Evolution is true, then not teaching knowledge to student of course harms the society.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
"Assuming we just mean public school biology classes, where is any one trying to "get evolution removed from teaching" in biology classes?"

Kansas Votes to Delete Evolution From State's Science Curriculum
http://www.photius.com/feminocracy/creationism.html

Georgia seeks to remove 'evolution' from schools
http://forums.christianity.com/html/P888947/

High marks on evolution instruction upset Fair
http://greenvilleonline.com/news/2003/04/15/200304154775.htm

This is just what I found in a few minutes of Googling. Who are you trying to kid? Those who are against evolution obviously want it removed from schools -- that's the point!

"Finally, assuming that we can show that there are such public schools where this is happening, in what specific way is it harming all of society?"

We educate children for the good of society. The more they learn and better they learn the better it is for all of society -- that's it's reason for being. If an entire scientific concept is removed from being taught for no good reason then logically society would be harmed.
Permalink Almost Anonymous 
March 25th, 2005
"scientific concept"

Huh?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N.
Permalink spelling it out 
March 25th, 2005
Kansas Votes to Delete Evolution From State's Science Curriculum
http://www.photius.com/feminocracy/creationism.html

OK, I looked at this article. It says "the move does not prevent the teaching of evolution".

Georgia seeks to remove 'evolution' from schools
http://forums.christianity.com/html/P888947/

This news, from a different state, reports that in their state curriculum 'The word "evolution," used nine times in the original document, disappears entirely, and is replaced by the phrase "change over time."' No where in the curriculum does it state that teaching evolution is prohibited.

High marks on evolution instruction upset Fair
http://greenvilleonline.com/news/2003/04/15/200304154775.htm

This article states that a man wants a sticker added to textbeek that says "The cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Therefore, empirical science cannot provide data about the beginning of life."

That's almost true, empirical (ie: data and experiment based) science has not been able yet to create life, nor is there currently any known way to travel back in time to test any hypotheses regarding the origin of life. Unless there's something I'm missing? I would probably edit the sticker to say "Lacking a time machine, the original cause or causes of life are not scientifically verifiable. Also, empirical science has not been able to provide data about the beginning of life."

So, nothing you have shown suggests that anyone is prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Furthermore, your arguments about harm to society don't really make sense. Schools don't teach everything to all kids. Is computer programming taught to all kids? Is Plato? Is calculus?
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 25th, 2005
That used to be called sophistry, however good old plain speaking calls it lying.

I don't understand why all children aren't taught about Plato, but that is by the by. If you undermine a theory by obfuscation and a seeming attitude to be absolutely correct then why are books banned?

Do we place stickers inside History books saying 'We do not have the technology to experience past events therefore what is presented as Historical fact may be only opinion.'.

It might well be true that evolution can be taught but then it has to be taught alongside creationism which is an entirely religious concept with no factual basis.

I have no problem with religious beliefs being taught and examined in schools, I recommend it, but don't give them in science lessons.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 25th, 2005
"Ok you say you are biased against them even though they are not causing you any trouble. So why are you biased against them?"

Because while they don't cause me personally any trouble, they do harm society. Our ability to scientifically understand the world around us has enabled many advancements and benefits, such as decreasing disease and increasing average human lifespan. In a society that devalues science, such advancements are much more unlikely.

The fact that science has predictive value that allows us to successfully manipulate events is what allows us to decrease or eliminate undesirable situations, and also allows us to do things like engineering that actually works. Crackpot inventions such as perpetual motion machines are made by people who lack an innate understanding of science, and whose designs are based on faith. (By faith I do not mean religious faith here - I mean belief in untested hypotheses.) These crackpots harm society directly by selling these inventions to the unwary populace who then depend on the inventions to perform as described. When the bogus inventions inevitably fail, it brings at least economic, if not direct physical, harm to the person who tried to depend on it.

That's just one concrete example of why I am biased toward science and against non-science.

Religion is fine. I have no opposition to people who believe in the supernatural, so long as a) they accept that in the physical realm science wins, and b) they do not try to force their beliefs on others either directly or indirectly.

I hope that suffices.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 25th, 2005
Simon,

"Lying"? Are you calling me a liar then? What am I supposed to have I lied about?

You say that they are requiring that creationism be taught alongside evolution? I did not see any reference to that in the articles and have not read any articles making such a claim. Please provide references of these rather surprising allegations you are making.

I don't understand why you want to bring religion into this discussion. Let's just stick to the facts of the matter and leave people's beliefs out of it. That's why I wanted to make sure we were talking about public schools and not private religious schools.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
March 25th, 2005
I haven't brought religon into it, those that object to evolution being treated in exactly the same way as any other theory seem to be doing that.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 25th, 2005
Rich,

You are either being deliberately obtuse or you are a moron.

Directly from the top of the article:
"the decision is likely to embolden local school boards seeking either to remove evolution from their curriculums, to force teachers to raise questions about its validity or to introduce creationist ideas. Some local boards have already said they will consider adopting creationist textbooks"

Evolution is a valid scientific theory. A scientific theory is not the same as a layman's theory. It is not a hunch, guess, or hypothesis. All of the scientific evidence indicates that evolution is correct. Evolution is accepted by almost any credible scientist.

There is no credibility behind creationism except the bible. Creationism should be taught in mythology classes not biology classes.
Permalink NathanJ 
March 25th, 2005
I am curious how you could prove that all species of life are evolved from single cell organisms. From propaganda sites like talkorigins?

Science changes. Thirty years ago we think we know the process how life came bout. Now we know better.

Teach something useful like how we determine mammals evolved from birds and birds evolved from reptiles. Teach genetics.

Teach how Darwin was wrong about the evolutionary process.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
Science changes. Religion does not. Which one is more open minded?
Permalink somebody else 
March 25th, 2005
Science is.

Next?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
?

One gets the impression, sometimes, that Rick Tsang is channelling muppet but with alot of static.
Permalink somebody else 
March 25th, 2005
Huh?
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
Terse comments. Not much meaning.
Permalink somebody else 
March 25th, 2005
----"Teach how Darwin was wrong about the evolutionary process."------

Perhaps you could start here. I'm interested.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 25th, 2005
At this point, I'd like to quote one of my heroes -- evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins:

"To claim equal time for creation science in biology classes is about as sensible as to claim equal time for the flat-earth theory in astronomy classes. Or, as someone has pointed out, you might as well claim equal time in sex education classes for the stork theory. It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

If that gives you offense, I'm sorry. You are probably not stupid, insane or wicked; and ignorance is no crime in a country with strong local traditions of interference in the freedom of biology educators to teach the central theorem of their subject."

http://www.simonyi.ox.ac.uk/dawkins/WorldOfDawkins-archive/Dawkins/Work/Reviews/1989-04-09review_blueprint.shtml
Permalink Siddhartha Vicious 
March 25th, 2005
Stephen, you would be disappointed.

Darwin was not wrong. Rather, he faced some diffuculties that set back the acceptance of his theory. Namely the mistaken theory at the time that 'genes' of the parents bend together to create new genes and therefore over time populations in a geographic area would converge.

Of course now we know better with Mendel's theory of genetics.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 25th, 2005
How does that affect the Theory of Natural Selection?
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 26th, 2005
Mendel's discovery confirms his original Theory of Natural Selection, instead of Lamarckism.

Oh and now we know Lamarckism is not wrong after all -- an organism activity can sometimes change the genes that it passes to its offspring.

Basically if you are not a working biologist, you are lost! (like me...)

And textbook writers are somtimes not working biologists.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 26th, 2005
----"Namely the mistaken theory at the time that 'genes' of the parents bend together to create new genes and therefore over time populations in a geographic area would converge."----

Not quite sure what this means.

If it means that a large gene pool will produce convergence and a smaller isolated gene pool will produce divergence, then this is what has been accepted for the whole of the 20th century and classical neo-Darwinism considered the divergence caused by isolated sub-groups to be the prime cause of genetic diversity.

I've been following the theory closely for the last twenty-five years and find nothing to back up your arguments.


----"Oh and now we know Lamarckism is not wrong after all -- an organism activity can sometimes change the genes that it passes to its offspring."----

I would say that is about as true as saying that the theory that the sun goes round the earth is not false at all because we know that the earth also exercises gravitational attraction on the sun.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 26th, 2005
Wow, idiots are actually arguing against evolution? I'd heard the rumors, but I thought surely it was an exaggeration.

BTW, mainstream ID doesn't say evolution doesn't happen, only that at the very least evolution was "helped" in some way by intelligent beings.

Of course I'm against ID, it competes with my LD theory. Thats right, Leprechaun Design theory. Why else is so much green? Plants, lichen, moss, algae, frogs? When you look at the percentage of biomass on the planet, the overwhelming majority is colored green. Surely evolution can't explain that away, I mean what are the odds that so much stuff would be green? It can't be coincidence, just can't. Leprechauns had a hand in it. Not everything was designed by them mind you, but they some hand in it. In no way can this theory be proven wrong.
Permalink ronk! 
March 26th, 2005
Well, intelligent leprechauns fulfill both theories, so they don't necessarily have to compete.

Or are you arguing that your leprechauns are not intelligent?

I'm just (facetiously, I admit) asking for clarification.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
March 26th, 2005
"If it means that a large gene pool will produce convergence and a smaller isolated gene pool will produce divergence, then this is what has been accepted for the whole of the 20th century and classical neo-Darwinism considered the divergence caused by isolated sub-groups to be the prime cause of genetic diversity."

Actually I believe it is pretty basic? (Textbook mistake could happen)

"On this blending inheritance theory, not only are offspring intermediate between their two parents in character and appearance, but the hereditary factors that they pass on to their own children are themselves inextricably merged. It can be shown that, if heredity is of this blending type, it is almost impossible for Darwinian natural selection to work because the available variation is halved in every generation."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/darwin/leghist/dawkins.htm

Suppporting Intelligent Design? Not at all. What's the point? We already know the Earth is much longer than 10000 years. So Genenis is a problem with or without evolution.

Naturul theology is just a hobby of mine.

The different martyr and messiah myths are a bigger problem for me.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 26th, 2005
The link you give doesn't work.

I must admit I have never heard of the 'blending theory' before. I doubt if it had much influence in the acceptance or not of Darwinian theory. There was considerable polarization over the issue, and the main opponents were Protestants, including Anglicans.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 27th, 2005
Fine. Now that's something you could blame the religious right.
Permalink Rick Tsang 
March 27th, 2005
Delete the space at the end of the link and it works.

The quote is about how hereditary was considered in the 19th century, not how Darwin considered it. Hereditary was known about in the sense that characteristics were inherited by offspring since at least the 18th century and the agrarian revolution.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 29th, 2005
Yea. Strange how I've never come across it before. What started my interest in evolution was when I taught Gosse's "Father and Son", where Gosse talks about his father's difficulties in reconciling his religous and his scientific beliefs. His theory that God created the world with the fossils already there like a belly button, was almost completely ignored at the time, basically because ideas were so poloarized.

I suspect this is why the blending theory was not given greater prominence as an objection to natural selection. Darwinism versus Creationism was seen as a struggle between Science and Religion, and neither side saw any point in going into the details.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 29th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: March, 2005 Other topics: March, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics