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sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,10:29   

Larry sobbed:

Quote
I will not post again on any of your threads until I have received an assurance from you that you have cleaned up your act.


man, he sounds more and more like JAD with each  post he makes.

makes me think they share a similar pychological malady.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,11:25   

for those wondering about evopeach:

here is the thread where he was banned from PT:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....2;st=10

Quote
Moderator



Posts: 23
Joined: May 2002
 Posted: Oct. 22 2005,12:54    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Read the board rules

Warnings were issued, and ignored. Say goodbye, "evopeach". Others who want to continue to use this BB for playground antics will follow. Is that clear?  


somewhere about a week before that, evo made all of PT a bet that the plaintiffs would lose dover, with the stakes being that the loser would leave PT.

I can't find the original bet he proposed now, but found several references to it.

If anybody finds it, post it here.

it should be somewhere around Oct. 15th, if that helps any.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,11:31   

STJ, I believe you are looking for this thread.  Funny that I read and bumped this thread yesterday, or maybe the day before.

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....14;t=39

But evo peach is still posting on PT.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,14:12   

don't forget that a lot of the comments are transfered from PT (red bolded poster handles), and so if they had quotes in them, you will see angle brackets instead of square.

  
Dean Morrison



Posts: 216
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,14:37   

Crikey - you learn something new every day..

... and you mean Larry's not  'here'?

  
Nyarlathotep

Unregistered



(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,14:42   

"counter-intuitive and contrary to reason" certainly seems to be Larry`s mantra for all facts that run contrary to his preconceived notions.  Leaving aside the fact that a great many of us find the idea of a non-corporeal person that is simultaneously omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent to be both completely meaningless, and useless except as a convention of langage, the concept is very "counter-intuitive and contrary to reason."  Larry, most of modern science, including things that you can in no way pretend to deny are based on theories that are "counter-intuitive and contrary to reason."  It is very bizarre to think that a picture can be broken down into innumerable tiny pieces, transmitted through the air, and reassabled in real time to form a comprehensible image, and yet this happens every time you turn on your television.  Modern science is much more complicated and messy than the science merely as a mental exercise that was practiced by Aristotle and his like.  Like it or not, the mere fact that a theory is not inherently obvious to the most cursory glance is no proof of its invalidity.

sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,15:35   

Quote
... and you mean Larry's not  'here'?


if you see larry's name in black, he posted that here. if  you see it in red, he posted it somewhere else and somebody tossed it in here because it was stupid and offtopic.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4083
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,16:09   

If this thread is now the official successor to The Bathroom Wall (which was left read-only since Aug. 18), maybe the link in the "Information" box of the http://www.pandasthumb.org/ page should be updated to point here?

Oh, and And the parent note of this thread could have a secondary link to its predecessor thread.

Henry

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 18 2006,21:03   

It would be good if this thread became popular to post on.

I used to like the bathroom wall. You could have all sorts of off-topic conversations without trashing a sensible thread.

  
stevestory



Posts: 8956
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,10:37   

Thanks for restarting The Bathroom Wall. It needs to be better integrated with PT, but this is much better than nothing.

   
billgascoyne



Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,10:45   

One of the premier trade papers of the electronics industry posted a letter:

http://www.eetimes.com/news....7100146

to which I have replied, and it looks like they're going to print my reply, which I include here (they will probably edit one or two things):

OK, business is slow and you guys are trying to start an argument here,
aren't you?

Jack G. Atkinson Jr.'s letter is straight Bible-belt creationist tripe.
It's an argument from incredulity ("I have qualifications that have
nothing to do with the issue, and I can't imagine 'X', Q.E.D.") combined
with an argument from authorities (Gitt and Behe) that have been
thoroughly discredited. Go ahead, folks, read Gitt and Behe, then go to
www.talkorigins.org and search for Gitt and Behe.In a nutshell, Gitt
missuses Claude Shannon's founding work in information theory, and Behe
rehashes the 19th century watchmaker analogy of William Paley. On top of
that, Atkinson uses the key creationist phrase "only a theory" which
indicates that he has no idea what the word means in a scientific
context (hint: it's way beyond the word he really means, which is
"hypothesis"). Still more standard creationist ideas can be found in his
inappropriate conflation of cosmology and biology. Creationists
typically get confused here, what with the Big Bang getting us from 13
billion years ago up to 4.5 billion years ago, geology (which Atkinson
ignores) giving us an idea about how long ago the Earth and the solar
system were formed, and biological evolution (which doesn't say anything
at all about the "particles" he complains about) taking us the rest of
the way. When you absolutely know that it all started "In the beginning"
and that was during one week about 6000 years ago, there's not much
difference in your mind between millions of years and billions of years,
or cosmology and biology.

One must admit that the entire "particles to man" flow does indeed have
one huge scientific hole in it, called "abiogenesis," that is, life from
non-life. Yeah, it's true, no one on this planet really knows how it
happened. Atkinson, however, would have all inquiry in this matter
brought to a screeching halt with the words, "God did it." Where would
we be if Ben Franklin had been satisfied with that answer regarding
lightning? The proper scientific answer is not "God did it" but "we
don't know," which is the beginning of wisdom. The bottom line, Mr.
Atkinson, is that what's under attack is not simply evolution, not
simply biology education, but science itself. And that jolly well should
be of concern to future EEs, and present ones.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,10:45   

evopeach:

You may genuinely enjoy this book. Not only does it cover a lot of ground you seem totally unfamiliar with, but it would let others know that your subsequent pronouncements along these lines were lies rather than merely ignorance.

It's pretty easy to understand. Granted, it's an entire book, but outside your religous reservation, knowledge doesn't come packaged in Received Slogans. Sorry about that.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,11:37   

flint:

Evo isn't posting here, he's having his PT posts tossed in here for obvious reasons.

when a person's name is highlighted in red, it means their post originated somewhere else.

fyi.

  
steve s

Unregistered



(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,12:34   

<quote>Oh good lord I just saw the Dr. Brazeau stuff.</quote>

Ghost is an appropriate name, considering he just got hit by a Mack truck.

sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,20:13   

hmm.

I'm working on a theory (like Paley ;) ), and am wondering if our Islander friends can clarify Blair's position on ID for me?

I've read several UK news articles, but all seem to actually deal with his positions kind of indirectly.

Is he voicing 'teach the controversy', open denial of evolutionary theory, or just what exactly?

thanks

  
Tim Hague



Posts: 32
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 19 2006,22:04   

Keiths, Sir_Toejam,

thanks for the responses.  

I'm just having a think about where down the line a heritable mutation might occur, and I'm concentrating on sexual reproduction.  

I'm using the definition of mutation from talk origins - mutation is a change in a gene.  I'm looking at the types of mutation as well and thinking about which types are most likely to result in a heritable mutation.  

If anyone knows of any studies comparing the likelihood of various types of mutation and can point me in that direction I'd be grateful.

   
Raging Bee



Posts: 8
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,05:59   

The PT thread on "Falsifying ID" was closed to comments, so I'm stomping off in a huff and posting my response to Mr. Heddle here.  I am an ARTISTE, and I must EXPRESS myself...   :p

Mr. Heddle: I never said anything about a "gap."  What are you asking me?

If the cosmological constant were not fine tuned then there would be no stars...

I believe what you mean to say is "If the cosmological constant were something other than what it is..."  The difference is important: the mere fact that the constant is to our liking, does not prove it was "fine-tuned" by anyone.  And by the way, if you want to advance a truly scientific hypothesis about "fine-tuning," you'll have to postulate a specific mechanism by which such "fine-tuning" can take place.  Unless of course it's by a supernatural agency, which takes us outside the realm of science...and even astrology...

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,06:09   

Raging Bee:

Quote
The difference is important: the mere fact that the constant is to our liking, does not prove it was "fine-tuned" by anyone.

David Heddle has already addressed this: As he sees it, the purpose of the universe is to produce us. This is, as Heddle himself says, something you simply accept as a given. We are not an arbitrary result of contingent accidents, we are the *purposeful end product* of the universe. Yep, you and me (and especially David).

And Heddle, as I read him, even admits that if you do NOT accept that the universe was crafted expressly to produce us, then in addition to being wrong, you have no particular reason to prefer any set of constants over any other.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,15:46   

Savagemutt:

I think you're on the right track. Heddle is a Believer. There are certain areas that are simply not subject to evaluation. He knows this in an instinctive way. I don't think he's deliberately obscure, I think that his knowledge is doing battle with his, well, brainwashing seems a harsh term but I can't think of anything more descriptive.

So it works out the way it often does against this sort of belief system. We are here because we HAVE to be, doctrine permits nothing less. We must work backwards to determine why this must be so. At some point the *underlying assumptions* are arbitrary, and Heddle realizes that. But he also knows that his underlying assumptions are REQUIRED, his faith tells him so. Therefore they must be "scientific" in the sense that science describes the Real World.

So I don't read him as two-faced at all. He KNOWS God intended him. He knows that evolution is internally consistent, and consistent with the evidence. He basically understands the evidence. He knows God must have intended this. He knows that any interpretation of the evidence that does not *require* his existence must be wrong. He understands that evolution does NOT require his existence, but otherwise it's rock-solid. What to do, what to do?

I really feel kind of sorry for Heddle. He's both intelligent enough and educated enough to understand the relevant aspects of reality, but his mind was turned at too early an age to recover. What got wired into his brain early, can't be 100% reconciled with what got educated into his brain later. Neither can be discarded, but the two cannot possibly be honestly reconciled. It's kind of interesting to watch this play out.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,18:11   

Does anybody know what’s up with the Cobb appeal?

I haven’t seen word one on this in weeks.

has it gone to decision already?

any expected release date if so?

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 1981
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2006,23:05   

Quote
I'm working on a theory (like Paley ;) ), and am wondering if our Islander friends can clarify Blair's position on ID for me?

I've read several UK news articles, but all seem to actually deal with his positions kind of indirectly.

Is he voicing 'teach the controversy', open denial of evolutionary theory, or just what exactly?


Nobody else has answered you, so I'll try.

Blair is a believer in choice, and the creationist stuff got caught up as part of this.  He may well not have a strong opinion on evolution: my guess is that he believes it to be true, but doesn't think about it.  Most Britons are like that.

He wouldn't push any policy on this even if he was a creationist.  Partly because it's not his job: the British system is more diffuse, so it would be the job of the Education Secretary (who's got too many other things to worry about now).  He would also be aware that it's a vote loser: he would look like a fundamentalist and would be attacked from all sides, including from within his party.

In summary: one less thing to worry about.

Bob

--------------
It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4506
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2006,04:58   

Quote

Would it not make sense to alter the link to the Bathroom Wall on PT to bring people here rather than the defunct wall.


Sure it would. I had a look, and did not easily locate where the link information is kept. So I've asked Reed Cartwright to have a shot at it.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2006,04:59   

Quote (Dean Morrison @ Jan. 21 2006,06:32)
...
The general public is opposed to  more  faith schools, especially as it would entail an expansion of Islamic schools. Blair seems genuinely suprised at the furore.
...

Dean,
I don't think many parents would object to their boys going to this faith school.

http://www.etoncollege.com/default.asp

;-)  

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2006,09:49   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 21 2006,15:44)
guthrie,
I would dissagree on the BBC being influenced by the government of the day anymore.

About the article though. I doubt if Tony Blair had any idea whatsoever about what that school taught. I would hazard a guess that he just said any old crap to avoid appearing ignorant.

There is something wrong with the UK political system when a MP can't just say "I do not know, I will find out and report back to you".

Quote
I would dissagree on the BBC being influenced by the government of the day anymore.

HHmm, well, we shall have to agree to disagree.  

Quote
About the article though. I doubt if Tony Blair had any idea whatsoever about what that school taught. I would hazard a guess that he just said any old crap to avoid appearing ignorant.

I agree entirely.

Quote
There is something wrong with the UK political system when a MP can't just say "I do not know, I will find out and report back to you".

Absolutely.  My knowledge of parliamentary preocedure is miniscle, but I do know that they have plenty of researchers who could find things outquickly enough (A few days), but the problem then is that Blair might have to take a stand on the issue, something he is I think desperate to avoid doing.  Its hard to find issues on which he really truly takes a stand, rather than saying something wishy washy and content free.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,06:57   

Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 22 2006,12:38)
...

You have brought up a whole shed-full of points there.

I agree with just about all you say.

While I think state education is a good thing in principle. It does not seem to be managed with excellence.

State education in the UK sometimes gives the impression that its main purpose is to benefit teachers. Other times to benefit NGO inspectors.

What in principal is wrong with schools setting admission standards? Why have we just about abandoned the grammer school?

Is there a good reason to have a government target of 50% of pupils going to university?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,07:03   

Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 22 2006,12:38)
[/quote]
Quote
I wouldn't agree with that.
It could very well backfire in a big way.

I cant quite see how.  Sure, we still have the CHurch of England as the official church in this country, but in terms of removing religion from school, I really dont see why it shoule be much of a problem if taken along the lines it can be in the USA.  

Sorry. I did intend to adress that in my last post, but forgot.

I was not reffering to state schools with a faith base. Rather the schools actually paid for by the churches. I can imagine these closing if it was ilegal to have a faith requirement.

That is something that I do not consider helpfull.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,11:19   

[quote=Stephen Elliott,Jan. 22 2006,12:57][/quote]
Quote
While I think state education is a good thing in principle. It does not seem to be managed with excellence.

I think you can say that about every single human endeavour that you can think of.  Every single one.  No exceptions.  

I start more from broad observations that mandatory basic education is necessary to further peoples betterment and self fulfillment etc.  This has historically been state provided, and I cannot see how it can be provided any other way.  So, going from this, the question becomes how can we improve things as much as possible given certain constraints like money, time etc etc.  For example, smaller class sizes do help somehat to improve test scores.  Great, lets reduce class sizes from 30 to 20!  But then we need lots more teachers, and more money to spend on them.  

Then, managed excellently.  I have worked full time in 3 different private companies (I have a chemistry degree).  All of them exhibited definite lacks of management excellence.  From reading newspapers, I have gathered that some failing schools show a lack of excellence, but when you put a good headmaster/ mistress in place, change a couple of teachers, wait a year or two, then it improves.  This suggests to me that said excellence depends as much upon the individuals involved as anything to do with the structure of the organisation etc.  

As for benefiting teachers, I know a few teachers, seeing as my mother is a retired primary school teacher.  They would chew you out for suggesting that the main purpose of state education is to benefit the teachers, but then they are good teachers- the problem is the bad ones and the people who aid and abet them.  (And I have a story or two about that, but they can hardly be aried on a public forum.)  

I am too young to rember the grammar school, but the problem with the grammar school system that I recall reading about was that, well apart from being not "practical" enough in the modern sense, it also encouraged elitism.  

As for admission standards, the simple question remains- what do you do with the children who cannot get into any school?  Sure, some of them are obnoxious toe rags; others have a damaging and enervating home background which makes it almost impossible for them to get on in school.  

Universities- I actually agree about the 50% target.  I see it as some weird magic trick.  I can see no reason to have 50% university educated, because a REAL university education is not suitable for everyone.  Sure, i liked some of it, but I'm part intellectual.  I would rather we copied germany, which last i knew had trades colleges and suchlike for pupils whose abilities lay less in essay writing or geekery, and more in woodworking or plumbing or design or suchlike.  

Of course my occaisional rants about the british economy now being a service oriented one where just about any skill greater than paper shuffling or smooth talking salesmanship doesnt seem necessary is nothing more than my own biased opinion and is said somewhat tongue in cheek.  Yet I am sure you know that it sounds good to say that 50% of our youngsters are university educated, even if they never do anything with the degree, and its comparatively worthless compared to old degrees because the modern ones involve much more regurgitation of facts and less actual thinking.

edited to add:
I'll get back to you about the church schools.  Its not something I have really even come across, but your point deserves some consideration.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:02   

guthrie,
You do raise a lot of good points. far too many to answer in a single post. But I will give a few points of view.

The teachers you mentioned you claimed where good. Fine, they would never have been the problem. I can remember a few bad teachers from my school days, 1 maths teacher in particular belonged in gaol rather than school. The unions made it impossible for the head to sack him. That is wrong.

Admission standards. If you are for them it means seperating students of ability/determination from others. If you are against, it means lumping "bad" students in with "good" ones.

Out of that choice I would opt for school standards and removing disruptive pupils. Give everyone the same oportunity, but remove those that would abuse it and drag others down.

As you have a Chemistry degree you are one of the elite, like it or not. You have a degree that is difficult to obtain and actually is usefull in real work.

A target of 50% University education is pointless though. Especially as most of those degrees will be pretty pointless. How many people with degrees in media studies do we need?

I cynically believe that the government wants the 50% target just to keep employment figures looking better.

A tiered school system is something I would like to consider. Not every pupil is suited to accademic life. Why waste their time and have them disrupt classes? Some students would be better off learning more practical things from an earlier age.

Don't get me wrong here. They should still be taught a broad education and should they decide (later on) they wish for more accademic studies, then it ought to be available.

Testing right now seems to be taking away a lot of teachers freedom to teach. But I suppose it employs a few people in NGOs.

Church schools: In Wigan a lot of the best schools are run by various churches. My sister moved house and started to atend church in order to get her daughter into one. It insists that parents play an active part in their childrens education. Apearances are that this alone improves standards. They do not require a child to pass tests, rather the parents have to do this. Not written exams, but a willingness to assist the school and play a part in the childrens education.

Historically education only relatively recently became a matter of state. All the really old schools were either paid for by parents (public/UK...private/USA) or established by churches.

Oxford University IIRC started as a theological teaching establishment.

Anyway I have rambled on for long enough. This is a very large topic with an awful lot of facets.

  
Dean Morrison



Posts: 216
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,13:06   

Steve wrote:

"What in principal is wrong with schools setting admission standards? Why have we just about abandoned the grammer school?"

It take it that you didn't go to a Grammar school then Steve??? :p

-- actually Larry got me looking for stuff on this.

Faith schools aren't funded by the church any more Steve - the reason we have them is that when education was nationalised here, charitable faith schools were brought into the system.

Faith schools often perform 'well' in the sense that they have better performing students - but then they have informal forms of selection which pick out more kids wiith more supportive parents. Children in care don't get a look in for example. Emmanuel College in Gateshead - which is one of Blairs 'City Acadamies' takes an unusually low number of children with 'special learning needs' - and then doesn't look after them well - go check their Ofsted report. These 'Acadamies' also get extra state funding that other schools don't get - the Audit Commision doesn't think they offer value for money even when they perform 'well'.

Blair takes a simplistic view of this and wants to expand the number of state supported faith schools. This will mean dividing kids by religion at a young age - putting schools in the hands of all sorts of faith groups and private individuals and 'charities' - and leaving the 'leftovers' and the children that need the most help to be taught in underfunded 'bog standard' schools.

I think he's going to come a cropper with this one.

The best resources I have found are on the British Humanist Society site here:

http://www.humanism.org.uk/site....le=1915

Lord May - the retiring Chair of the Royal Society has had something to say on the matter:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,1653748,00.html


... anyone else think that this subject deserves a thread of it's own?

  
Julie Stahlhut



Posts: 46
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2006,14:08   

Stephen wrote:

Quote
Before I started primary school my mother had taught me to read. The result? I ended up being sent to the back of the class with a book, while the other kids were being taught to read.


This happened to me too (in the U.S.), minus the book.  I was briefly put into the slow readers group in first grade (age 6), despite already reading at at least fourth grade level.  Since I'd had little contact with children my age when I started school, I was somewhat quiet around other kids at that age, and I think my teacher considered me slow.  (I was already helping cousins three or four years older with their reading and vocabulary!)  It took several months for my teacher to realize that I could read and to remedy the situation.

We didn't have the equivalent of the eleven plus in the U.S., but there was still a considerable amount of "tracking" here in the 1960s and 1970s.  By that time, I was benefiting from being placed in an advanced track, but years later, I recall a very intelligent friend saying, "I lost the chance to take high school calculus in the seventh grade."

(For those outside the U.S.; Calculus, at least at the time, was usually taken by academic-track high school seniors, at roughly age 17.  My friend had been tracked into a slightly slower math class at 12, and there was no way at all to catch up.  None.)

  
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