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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  05:56:27  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
The Oklamoma textbook disclaimer:


This precious, little piece of utter garbage will soon be defacing science textbooks in OK.
quote:
OKLAHOMA'S PROPOSED TEXTBOOK DISCLAIMER ON EVOLUTION:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory, which some scientists present as scientific explanation for the origin of living things, such as plants and humans.

No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact. The word evolution may refer to many types of change. Evolution describes changes that occur within a species. (White moths, for example, may evolve into gray moths). This process is micro evolution, which can be observed and described as fact. Evolution may also refer to the change of one living thing into another, such as reptiles into birds. This process, called macro evolution, has never been observed and should be considered a theory.

Evolution also refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced a world of living things. There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life, which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: Why did the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record, known as the Cambrian Explosion? Why have no new major groups of living things appeared in the fossil record in a long time? Why do major groups of plants and animals have no transitional forms in the fossil record? How did you and all living things come to possess such a complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body?

Study hard and keep an open mind. Someday you may contribute to the theories of how living things appeared on earth.



John Stear, of NAiG has picked it apart, saving me the trouble, and doing a better job of it as well..
quote:
WHAT'S WRONG WITH
The Oklahoma Evolution Textbook Disclaimer ?
This disclaimer on evolution has no scientific merit whatsoever and its only purpose is political. The anonymous author of this disclaimer has produced a document containing major falsehoods about evolution. A point-by-point analysis of the disclaimer follows:

There is no controversy about evolution in the scientific community. Most major professional scientific societies have issued official statement explicitly supporting the teaching of evolution.

The final fruits of any branch of science, including physics and chemistry, are explanatory hypotheses called theories that always include unobservable elements. Thus theories are well-established explanations supported by a wealth of corroborating empirical evidence. Scientific statements about past events have been tested and just as authoritative as the similar statements made by forensic scientists reconstructing crimes that often lead to persons being jailed and/or executed.

It continues on, neatly debunking this stupidity.

I am convinced that these things are the product of a willful ignorance so vast that it can scarcly be contemplated. These people actually want to be drooling morons and are determined that everyone else should be a drooling moron as well.

Are we to return to the Dark Ages? We will, if these louts have their way.





"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  06:53:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
As a native of Oklahoma, I must say that I'm rather ashamed (but perhaps not surprised!) that this is even being considered. However, by examining the rest of the website in question, it looks like the disclaimer is still in the "proposed" stage, and not yet official. Indeed, in this linked letter to the site, the authors note that
quote:
The statute establishing the Textbook Commission [Okla. Const. Art. 13, 6 (OSCN 1998) Article XIII. Education 6. Textbook system for common schools Official multiple textbook lists] only authorizes the committee "to prepare official multiple textbook lists." It does not empower the Commission to become involved in substantive matters of curriculum determination as expressed in the disclaimer. We believe that the Commission's action goes well beyond that allowed by the statute and fully expect that legal challenges will be made.
Suggesting that nothing's official-- yet. Unfortunately, a search of The Oklahoman-- the Worst Major Daily Newspaper in America-- reveals no new news about this.

I shudder to think what it would have been like to go through middle school, junior high and high school with my science texts bearing this "disclaimer"!!
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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  07:54:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
quote:
This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory,


Around this area (I live in West Texas) and Oklahoma area this is actually a true statement.

quote:
which some scientists present as scientific explanation for the origin of living things, such as plants and humans.


It will be interesting to see how far they take this "origin."

quote:
No one was present when life first appeared on earth.


Which has nothing to do with evolution.

quote:
Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact.


I agree, but again, this has nothing to do with evolution.

quote:
The word evolution may refer to many types of change. Evolution describes changes that occur within a species. (White moths, for example, may evolve into gray moths). This process is micro evolution, which can be observed and described as fact.


Agreed.

quote:
Evolution may also refer to the change of one living thing into another, such as reptiles into birds. This process, called macro evolution, has never been observed and should be considered a theory.


This is completely dependent upon what you define as "observe" and "living thing into another." This sounds like they are using the Creationist term "kind."

quote:
Evolution also refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced a world of living things.


This is a strawman. This would be what mutations are, but Natural Selection is not random.

quote:
There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life,


I agree, but again, what does this have to do with evolution?

quote:
which are not mentioned in your textbook,


Well abiogenesis should have its own section apart from evolution to avoid a mix up of terms.

quote:
including: Why did the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record, known as the Cambrian Explosion?


This falsifies evolution how?

quote:
Why have no new major groups of living things appeared in the fossil record in a long time?


Again, what are they defining as "major groups" and "new."

quote:
Why do major groups of plants and animals have no transitional forms in the fossil record?


Lie.

quote:
How did you and all living things come to possess such a complete and complex set of instructions for building a living body?


Evolution would predict this.

quote:
Study hard and keep an open mind. Someday you may contribute to the theories of how living things appeared on earth.


This is actually a statement I like. Everyone should study hard and keep an open, yet critical mind.

Whoever wrote that doesn't seem to know much about evolution.

tk
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Plyss
Skeptic Friend

Netherlands
231 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  10:50:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Plyss a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tkster
quote:
including: Why did the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record, known as the Cambrian Explosion?


This falsifies evolution how?



I'm not a biologist, but if memory serves flowering plants(140ish Million year ago) and bony fish (400M year ago) both appeared well after the Cambrian explosion (500ish? million year ago).

Not sure if these are considered phyla or subphyla. Could someone fill me in?
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  13:56:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by tkster
quote:
Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact.
I agree, but again, this has nothing to do with evolution.


I don't agree the "therefore" is correct. The fact we did not observe lots of things does not mean we cannot determine law over theory. This might warrant a debate here, but instead, lets just agree to change the reason evolution is a 'theory' isn't because we didn't observe it, it's because the scientific term for a broad encompassing area of scientific process such as evolution is a called a 'theory'. IE, it's nomenclature, stupid. (Not you of course, the stupid is rhetorical)
Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/27/2005 14:02:06
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  14:53:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
This kind of bullshit should be illegal.

Can we hire a lawyer for ToE to defend it against libel and slander?


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  15:25:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
This kind of bullshit should be illegal.



I'm fairly certain it is.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Maverick
Skeptic Friend

Sweden
385 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  16:18:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Maverick a Private Message
It boggles my mind that they want the theory of evolution to be studied more carefully and with a skeptic mind much more than any other theory, and it's also amazing how they keep misusing words such as "theory" and "fact."

Dishonest fools trying to sneak in some sort of idea in the heads of students that the theory of evolution is especially shaky. If the science teachers are doing their job properly, the students will know what science is, what theory and what fact is, and they would understand that all theories must be studied carefully.

I suspect these people, who wrote this sticker, is the result of the educational system, and if so, what in the world are their reasons to destroy it even further? Obviously it was bad enough to begin with, surely they would have a desire to improve it instead? Well, I suppose some people desperately fight for a new Dark Age. At least make sure they don't spread the crap all over the world.

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." -- Carl Sagan
Edited by - Maverick on 01/27/2005 16:21:58
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  19:29:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact.


By this logic, we must go into our prisons and free anyone convicted of an unwitnessed crime.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2005 :  21:02:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:

By this logic, we must go into our prisons and free anyone convicted of an unwitnessed crime.


And those by witnessed crimes because of FMS.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Maverick
Skeptic Friend

Sweden
385 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2005 :  03:22:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Maverick a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

quote:
No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact.


By this logic, we must go into our prisons and free anyone convicted of an unwitnessed crime.

How do you know they were convicted and sent to prison? Were you there!? No, but the Great Prison Overlord was there, and he created all prisoners with an apparent age, in prison. That settles it, I believe it!

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." -- Carl Sagan
Edited by - Maverick on 01/28/2005 03:24:29
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2005 :  00:33:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
If our teachers were well informed about science, the stickers could lead to teachers giving all the reasons why ID and creation hypotheses are not supported by the evidence and then they could go on to teach why there are no contending theories to evolution.

Isn't it time we started using the term hypothesis ourselves where it is appropriate? There really aren't any creation nor ID theories.
Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/29/2005 00:36:01
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2005 :  02:50:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

If our teachers were well informed about science, the stickers could lead to teachers giving all the reasons why ID and creation hypotheses are not supported by the evidence and then they could go on to teach why there are no contending theories to evolution.

Isn't it time we started using the term hypothesis ourselves where it is appropriate? There really aren't any creation nor ID theories.

As there is exactly zero evidence in support of them, and small chance of aquiring any, creation and ID are not even good hypotheses. They are speculations, and uninformed (I did not say 'stupid')layman's speculations at that.

But it's not all bad, no. The kids can have a a little fun defacing the stickers with such as this: A Lesson Plan for Oklahoma
quote:
A lesson plan for Oklahoma

Hi, kids! Today, in our 8th grade life sciences class here in the beautiful state of Oklahoma, we are going to learn all about Evolution. Evolution is a powerful scientific tool to explain the wonders of the world around us, and a famous scientist once said that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. We're going to learn that it is even more powerful than that, and that evolution also helps us understand politics, religion, and economics; the light of evolution will show us the brilliance of our representatives in Oklahoma City, the enlightening faith that guides them, and that you lucky children will have a bright, happy future as Wal-Mart employees.

Everyone, open your science book to the inside front cover. Let's read this nifty little guide to biological science that we can thank Representative Bill Graves for. We will have to correct a few minor errors in it, but otherwise, it's very helpful.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2005 :  14:16:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Well calling ID and creation speculation will not put any feet in the door where as calling them hypotheses might. At least it highlights the difference in an hypothesis and a theory.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2005 :  18:29:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

Well calling ID and creation speculation will not put any feet in the door where as calling them hypotheses might. At least it highlights the difference in an hypothesis and a theory.

Indeed it might do that, although I'm not at all sure that most fundies know what 'hypothesis' means and are not inquisitive enough to find out. Nor do they care about the scientific definition of 'theory.'

"The Bible says it, I believe it, and that's the end of it!"

I no longer much care about getting a foot in the door. All it has gotten me thus far is bruised toes from closed minds. So, these days, "I calls 'em the way I sees 'em." thank you Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy.

Once in a great while, one will actually listen -- show some interest in another viewpoint. These, I am willing to go to some lengths to explain the ToE. I do a fair amount of that here simply because who knows who might be lurking. And thus, I am willing to explain the difference between a speculation and an hypothesis; which is where the whole thing should start, anyway. 'Theory' is a bit advanced in too many cases, including those of some who should know better -- are you getting this, Dembski, you fucking ignoramous?

Speculation: All scientific advances begin here. If there is a little supporting information and perhaps some evidence, the speculation will become an.......

Hypothesis: Here is where the work starts. Supporting evidence must be discovered through observation and experimentation. And here is where most of them fail, although some hang on until shot down by peer review. Those that survive, if enough emperical evidence can be produced, become....

Theories: By the time an hypothesis becomes a theory, it has so much support that it might as well be gospel. A scientific theory is the equivilenent of a layman's stone fact.

The ToE is ponderous with supporting evidence. ID and YEC have none. They are mere speculations and there is no research on-going to garner support -- hear that Sarfati, you jumped-up apothecary?

There. I've done it again, for whatever it might be worth.

Sad is it not, B'gal? That so many minds refuse to see even the least of the world around them except in the context of religious dogma.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2005 :  19:42:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Don't forget, filthy, we are,(or at least I am), not trying to change fundamentalists. There are kids who read those stickers and who have not yet formed opinions. We, (as in skeptics and others of like mind), have been screaming, (rhetorically), what a theory is and is not, with very little progress. It's time to re-evaluate and adjust. Maybe instead of trying to explain why evolutionary theory is not an hypothesis, we should try explaining why creation and ID are.

I'll give you creation as speculation if you give me ID as hypothesis. Mind you I think ID is a failed hypothesis, but I'm going to start calling it an hypothesis from now on to make a point. In fact, now that I have thought of this, I'm going to start a campaign!!!

quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Sad is it not, B'gal? That so many minds refuse to see even the least of the world around them except in the context of religious dogma.



Tell me about it.
Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/29/2005 19:45:38
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