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 12 Feb, 200 years since the birth of Darwin
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2009 :  18:45:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Yeah; I also like the application that most people that make it to College has never been to church.
Obviously going to church make you dumb and/or uneducated!
These people live in bizarro world, where up is down, black is white, and brimming with bullshit is better than being truly educated. A commenter are Uncommonly Dense actually wrote:
This survey confirms a suspicion I've had for a while: going to church regularly makes you smarter than taking an advanced degree.
If that's true, then this guy must be the Albert Einstein of not-going-to-college.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 02/13/2009 18:47:20
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dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  02:23:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The fledgling Freethought and Skeptics groups in Saskatoon combined to hold a Darwin Day celebration at a local library. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. A speaker gave us a biography of Darwin, and we had a short film with an question and discussion period. I don't celebrate holidays, so this was a novel event for me. Given how new these groups are the attendance was pretty strong, especially given that many of the people there were not members of the groups.

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- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
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The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  09:18:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Darwin. Not only is work is the backbone of biological sciences, not only does it annoy fundamentalist fuckers but the man had great human qualities, he was a great, methodical and rigorous scientist, he was also kind and gentle, implicated in the education of his children and respectful of his wife (this was the 19th hundred)...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  09:53:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

Originally posted by Simon

Yeah; I also like the application that most people that make it to College has never been to church.
Obviously going to church make you dumb and/or uneducated!
These people live in bizarro world, where up is down, black is white, and brimming with bullshit is better than being truly educated. A commenter are Uncommonly Dense actually wrote:
This survey confirms a suspicion I've had for a while: going to church regularly makes you smarter than taking an advanced degree.
If that's true, then this guy must be the Albert Einstein of not-going-to-college.


I remind once again: esoteric letters following a name do not a scientist make. There are those around who not only missed college, but barely started highschool before dropping out. And they tend to be better educated than most of the dim-bulbs at UD.




"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,

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  10:09:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Definitively and I hope you didn't understand my point as being that.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  10:42:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Definitively and I hope you didn't understand my point as being that.
Nah. I know where you're coming from. The shot was aimed at those dolts who would turn everything into a generalization. As a general, heh, rule, generalizations tend to be so inaccurate that they are seldom worth reading except for entertainment. Details count, eh?

Did you know that Prof. Jack Horner, one of the country's foremost and acclaimed paleontologists has no PhD? Just a factoid....




"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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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  10:42:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy
I remind once again: esoteric letters following a name do not a scientist make. There are those around who not only missed college, but barely started highschool before dropping out. And they tend to be better educated than most of the dim-bulbs at UD.

Very true, and I apologize if I implied otherwise. Simply attending college is not a guarantee of education, but it helps point a person in the right direction. It gives them legitimate material to study and access to prevailing academic viewpoints.

People who educated themselves outside of institutes of higher learning, and there are many, tend to be highly-motivated, possessing not only a passion for knowledge but the character to follow it through. Still, most of those people, if given the means and opportunity, would probably have thrived in academia.

But that's a long way from these clowns saying that college makes a person less educated.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 02/14/2009 10:43:52
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  13:10:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Education is certainly no indicator of intelligence, let alone the only indicator of intelligence. But it does means that a person has studied the subject he is talking about (provided, of course, that he is talking about the subject his degree is about) and that he convinced a number of people knowledgeable in the field that he did, indeed, understand the material.


As for Prof. Jack Homer, I am not familiar with him. But certainly, you can achieve a high degree of knowledge outside of the academia. I am surprised, though, that nobody ever gave him an honorary degree or that he took some time on top of his research to validate it by a degree. Being already involved in research and, certainly, having already taken academic classes, it would not have been such an amount of extraneous work...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  14:37:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Education is certainly no indicator of intelligence, let alone the only indicator of intelligence. But it does means that a person has studied the subject he is talking about (provided, of course, that he is talking about the subject his degree is about) and that he convinced a number of people knowledgeable in the field that he did, indeed, understand the material.


As for Prof. Jack Homer, I am not familiar with him. But certainly, you can achieve a high degree of knowledge outside of the academia. I am surprised, though, that nobody ever gave him an honorary degree or that he took some time on top of his research to validate it by a degree. Being already involved in research and, certainly, having already taken academic classes, it would not have been such an amount of extraneous work...
Jack Horner. He does indeed have an honorary, but no college. He earned his the hard 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!

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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  15:33:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He does suffer from dyslexia which probably does go a long way to explain his unusual situation.

Normally, most people, especially among the younger generations, got offered an arrangement at some point in their career: basically, they take a few classes and get to write up their thesis on the work that they are already doing anyway.
This is very common at it allows people to get a PhD without ever stop working.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  15:47:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Happyfreakin'DarwinDay from a Republican mook in Virgina who needs to get his facts straight.
Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday
By Josh | February 13, 2009 - 12:15pm
Yesterday was the birthday of Lincoln and Darwin, and Virginia GOP chairman Jeff Frederick couldn't pass up the opportunity to go all Cro-Magnon on the father of modern biology.

Frederick obviously put a lot of thought into his assault on evolution and created a foolproof (or so it seemed) plan -- put Darwin up alongside Lincoln and let the people see Darwin for the monster he was.

First he talked about Lincoln; it went haltingly but we got his point:

"Abraham Lincoln is best know (sic), as you all well know, for freeing the slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation affirming in his Gettyburg (sic) Address in 19, I'm sorry, 1863..."

Then on to that bad, bad man:

"Darwin however is best known for the theory of evolution, arguing that men are not only, quote, are only, not, not created, but they are not equal, as some are more evolved... Darwin's theory was used by atheists to explain away the belief in God."
This would be hilarous if it weren't so pathetically easy to refute. These creationist maroons make it so easy, it's not much fun.




"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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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  21:31:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was in Seattle on February 12th, and went to the Pacific Science Center to see Lucy. The only special stuff that had been done for Darwin's birthday were some helium balloons and some cheesy laser-jet-printed signs:


Click see full-sized image
Now, the Pacific Science Center spent a lot of money on the "Lucy's Legacy" exhibit, on top of the half-a-million they had to give the Ethiopian government just to display Lucy's bones. I can say, without hesitation, that it wasn't worth it. The $20-plus admission fee was worth it, for me, just to get up-close to Lucy herself, but the Science Center is facing a loss on the exhibit, and I'm not surprised.

About the first two-thirds of the exhibit is a text-dense, hard-to-follow display of Ethiopian history and culture. Mostly Christian. And (very disappointingly) with mostly 20th century artifacts. Many recreations of older items. One display I remember in particular was on book-making. Everything in the case was of recent origin, and a nearby sign said something like, "some people in Ethiopia today still make books like they did centuries ago." I would have much preferred to see actual ancient book-making implements. It was sort of like seeing blemish-free modern recreations of medieval arms and armor with a sign, "some people still fight with sword-and-shield."

After the Ethiopian hodge-podge, one is rather unceremoniously dumped into a primer on paleontology. Lots of interactive displays, aimed mostly at kids, it seemed to me. Turn the cranks to see what uplift and compression do to rock strata. Can you identify the fossils among the rocks? How to sift gravel for fossils. What is radio-isotope dating? Can you put the plastic bones in the right places in the outline of a human skeleton? None of this has much of anything specific to do with Ethiopia, but it all leads up to presentations of the evidence in favor of Lucy being a part of our family tree (and not, say, the Chimpanzee family tree). They offer jaw and skull comparisons, and a write-up on how we know Lucy was female. Lots and lots more text, unfortunately (one can get books on this stuff at the library, for free).

(One thing I learned, that I did not know before, is that someone from another dig walked about five feet from Lucy's bones shortly before the big discovery was made.)

And then a long ramp leading up. Six very old skulls dot the center of the ramp, getting progressively younger as one walks up. Halfway, the ramp does a U-turn, and on the wall are two diagrams - what we knew about the human family tree at the time of Lucy's discovery (1974) and what we know now. Another four or five skulls dot the remainder of the ramp, with modern Homo sapiens at the top. All pretty good stuff, even if it'd be quite a jog (or quite a feat of memory) to for one person to place all the skulls on the family-tree diagrams halfway up, and thus really make the connection.

At the top of the ramp, a nice dark room with Lucy smack in the middle, a 3D replica of her skeleton (all bones about where they should have been), and a life-sized model of how she might have looked alive. The room is circular, and a huge chunk of the wall is taken up by a giant, lit-from-behind mural depicting human evolution, from our last common ancestor with chimps all the way to Lucy's discovery.

I'll admit it: while looking down at Lucy's real bones, I teared up a bit. She wouldn't have made much sense without evolution, and there I was, looking right at what time had left of her, on Darwin's 200th birthday. Way cool.

Next was the gift shop. Lots of Ethiopian swag and foods, and even a rack of Indiana Jones-style fedoras. A couple pretend-to-be-an-archeologist kits. No plush Lucy, though. I even asked about that. And then a hallway leading to the outside, with local (Seattle) Ethiopian artists' works on one side, and a couple of huge displays on the other. One was how the Lucy-in-life model was created, the other on how the big human-evolution mural was made.

Again, most of the exhibit was a disappointment. Lucy's "Legacy" is wrapped up in Ethiopian culture and known history about as much as her legacy is involved in Scandinavian culture and history. Three-plus million years is an awfully long time to have passed to claim a "connection" when the whole of human history in the Americas has taken place in less than 1% of that time. Shall we also consider Starbucks to be part of the "Inuit Legacy?"

While I would have ponied up the $20 to see just Lucy, I doubt many others would have. The paleontological stuff was neat, but too spread-out and too wordy. The Ethiopian exhibit would have been better on its own.

Now here's the real kick-in-the-pants. The Pacific Science Center's main exhibits would have cost me another $16 and change. That's what really did in the Lucy show: you can't just stroll from the Center's normal exhibits - of which there are many - over to see Lucy on the same ticket. If you'd come to the Center for something else, you'd have to more than double your ticket cost to also go see Lucy. And if I hadn't already been through the Experience Music Project and Sci-Fi Museum and the Space Needle earlier that day, I might have wanted to see the rest of the Center. From the outside, it looked a lot more vibrant and exciting, with lots of blinking lights and whirlybobs, than most of what I'd just seen about Ethiopia.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  22:06:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess Ethiopian culture came as part of the deal with Ethiopia to get Lucy. Still, I would have happily paid to see her.

Edited.

Hmmmm.. I should have clicked the link. I guess it was the museum's idea to do the cultural exhibit. Odd.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26014 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  22:16:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

I guess Ethiopian culture came as part of the deal with Ethiopia to get Lucy.
I don't think so, because I don't think the culture bit was a part of Houston's exhibit of Lucy (the previous - and first - stop on the planned U.S. tour).
Still, I would have happily paid to see her.
You've got three weeks left to hitchhike up there.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2009 :  22:24:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
Lots of interactive displays, aimed mostly at kids, it seemed to me.
Or creationists.

I'll admit it: while looking down at Lucy's real bones, I teared up a bit. She wouldn't have made much sense without evolution, and there I was, looking right at what time had left of her, on Darwin's 200th birthday. Way cool.
The genuine knowledge that science uncovers often inspires genuine emotion. Glad you shared, and glad to see back, Dave.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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