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Author Topic: Religion...and SCIENCE! (Nee - Re: Oh..those people at westboro baptist are at it again! o3o)  (Read 13301 times)

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Offline Brandon

1)  I never said science was in danger solely due to religion, my post was specifically in response to your "science is not endangered" comments.  So I give you a bunch of examples where it is, and you try and cast things back in another direction that wasn't being discussed.  That's a clear example of the moving the goalpost fallacy.

Hold on Jude, the discussion seemed to be about how science was on the decline because of religion. As I read the past posts pretaining to that, I dont see anything wrong with Pumpkin pointing out that while its might be declining that it is not because of religion

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Will – There is a lot that is sort of forced for me to assume regarding the validity of a personal experience.  Making use of science allows me to make an educated guess as to the type of school you did attend since that school was so poorly funded.  Schools that are impoverished do overlook certain topics in certain subjects.  Teachers also tend to teach toward the tests required of them.  Since you had 1 question on the ACT or SAT dealing with evolution, I can assume your teacher was correct.  College acceptance and graduation from college are also less likely for people from poor schools.  Apparently though, your school just defies all expectations.  Which is fine, more than willing to accept my statement as wrong.

Also I have pointed out that the sticker was probably religiously motivated.  Something you seem to want to ignore continually.  My final point was that the sticker, while probably motivated by religion, does nothing to hinder a student from learning evolution from a book which presents that theory.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Noelle – Please take a step back and review what I said the statement pertained to.  Honestly, you really did not read what I wrote but instead found a statement took it out of context and went on a rant about that statement.  I really talked about nothing you are discussing in that opening statement.

In regards to the education of the United States versus much of the world, I do hate to burst anyone’s bubble but we have never been on top.  Our education is notorious for being underfunded, understaffed and last on many people’s budget list.  Only recently many state’s cut their education funding.  The federal government instituted several controversial policies regarding education and have made little effort to improve the quality of education in this country.  I don’t suppose that would have anything to do with our low ranking when compared to other nations.

Also, we’re not shifting our funds to science and math because we’re failing at it.  We are shifting them there because our society demands more of science and math.  All of our areas are low.  The fact that few Americans know the name of a House Representative from their own state or can name a Supreme Court Justice should indicate a problem in multiple areas.  Also I think you can rest assured that there are plenty of doctors and nurses.  An increasing number of nurses working on the floors are holding BSNs and many more are conducting research.

People don’t trust science but there aren’t enough doctors to treat all their patients.  People don’t trust science but are attending science courses in record number.  People don’t trust science but science magazines sales are on the rise.  People don’t trust science but there are how many channels dedicated to science? Yeah, science is in danger.

Noelle, please read my statement before replying.  I did not say that was ok.  I did not say that is how I want children to be taught.  That situation is a simple fact from lack of funding in our school system.  This entire ending is a rant about something I did not even say. 

Offline Jude

Well, if you want to consider the goalpost moved Brandon, it's not hard to give you examples of religion attacking, attempting to discredit, or misuse science.

- Creationist Movement (Christians attacking Evolutionary Biology)
- Young Earth Movement (Christians attacking Geology, Evolutionary Biology, Dinosaur Fossils, etc.)
- Global Warming (Religious people of all faiths refusing to accept that God would let humanity make the earth inhabitable for them.  Granted religion is not solely responsible for this.)
- Anti-Heliocentrism (Remember that bit where Galileo was imprisoned?  Who was that again?  Oldie but a goodie.)
- The Pope and Condom Comments (Supporting bad science in the name of his ideologies)
- The Shroud of Turin and Carbon Dating (Remember when carbon dating showed that parts of the fabric were from the 1200s?  Yet it's still considered a holy relic and the Church won't allow further testing to clear up confusion about whether or not the sample was representative now.)
- Other Paranormal Beliefs (This encompasses some religious tenets and some tenets that are not religious admittedly.)
- This thread?  Watch as the religious try and pull science to the level of subjectivity in trying to make the two comparable while simultaneously being able to engage in the conversation due to the advances in science.

And that's just off the top of my head, zero research.

Anytime science conflicts with religion and religion feels the need to emphasize the conflict to wash away the doubt of believers, they have to denigrate the solidity of science to do it.  Watch the 700 club sometime, you'll see.  Like when Pat whateverhisnameis says that Haiti suffered the Earthquake not because of plate tectonics, but because they made a pact with the devil some years ago.  And yes, that really happened.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Vekseid – I suppose semantics is one way to go with an argument.  Though, as I pointed out, if someone describes dropping a ball on the ground and saying that is gravity then they are discussing a force.  That was what was described to me.  If someone brings up the specific theories you mentioned, then certainly that is something else to speak about.  Yet if someone is going to give me a word, specify one thing and then argue they meant another then the fault does not rest with me.

Once more there is confusion on the part of people arguing with me.  You are saying that the process of evolution is a fact, while someone else states that the process is a theory.  I also do not claim that evolution is not based on observation; I am not even claiming that evolution is not a strong theory.  I even said repeatedly that evolution is what I believe and use in my everyday life.   As someone that practices and deals with science though, I acknowledge that evolution is a theory and is so subject to possibly being false.

Facts are observations, theories are based upon observations but that does not make them facts.  Hypotheses are tested by use of observations and experimentation.  Those that are not disproven may then be used to construct theories.

A bold statement that I believe false.


I think I deserve a medal for getting through all that.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Will – Teachers have so much time to get through so much material.  A question on your ACT does tell me that she made a choice to teach what she thought you might be tested upon.  If funding was not an issue for teaching, then our school systems would not have a problem.  Yet funding is a factor and your school had little of that funding to go around.  I suppose that makes me obtuse for disagreeing with you in a civil manner. 

By the way, saying someone is obtuse because they don’t agree with you is an insult.  Thanks admins for picking up on that.

Trieste- I’ll lump this response with Will’s sense not much was said.  In fact nothing was actually offered into the debate.  Something I have seen administrator tell people to cease doing in other threads.  One would almost consider her statement antagonizing.  I suppose almost is the keyword there.  Once again, thank you admins for making note of that situation.

Offline Brandon

*sighs* Jude I said before that I didnt want to get into it. I was only hanging around so that I could quell the religion bashing that runs rampant in these threads. This time I got into it when you claimed Pumpkin was making a logical fallacy and I said that was bull and explained why.

However here we go again with the same flipping argument we had the last time. Yeah if you can tell Im getting pissed youre right I am because the last time I proved that your interpetation of the Popes comments about condom use in africa was not what it appeared to be but here we are with those conclusions being forgotten. Do I really have to do this dance again? I mean really? Even after I proved yours, Silks, Wills, and probably some other peoples interpretations were incorrect?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 02:30:02 AM by Brandon »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Valerian – I have actually beginning with a statement by Lithos that my religion should be rooted out of society.  That statement was not addressed.  I also called for a breather because I felt that Brandon and Will were getting heated.  As I said before, in my experience when someone calls for a breather between two people an administrator steps in to at least give warning.  Three people have complained about feeling insulted and put upon by people in this thread, but I suppose that is alright.  I have added a couple more items beginning with being called obtuse for my position and having a non-admin interject to tell me admins were not needed.  Also I might add that I was told Jude was frustrated because I was not addressing his issues to his liking and that Will felt we were stonewalling him.  Sounds like a couple of happy debaters.

I suppose we can say different school districts and styles.  Then we would have to argue about which of our studies is to be trusted over the other and whose teachers have more credibility.  An act I think we can agree is pointless and would lead to nothing useful or interesting.

On the ending of your post, please read that I was talking about a critique by Hairheretic that I felt unfair.  Somehow when I made this critique earlier, nobody misinterpreted the statement but now there are rants being said over something I did not say.

Offline Brandon

Actually pumpkin I was fine with Will, I mean hypocrisy annoys me as much as I enjoy pointing it out but if I was pissed at anyone for the moment it was Lithos for his "rooting out religion" comment. A comment that IMO was and still is at the very least something designed to discriminate against people with strong beliefs and at worst hate speech.

Although right now Im getting a little more annoyed by being dragged back into the conversation, especially with a point that I disproved in a previous thread

Offline Jude

Brandon, you didn't disprove the point.  At least I don't recall everyone on the thread pausing and saying, OH BRANDON YOU WERE SO RIGHT WHY DIDN'T WE SEE IT YOUR WAY.  But I do respect your request not to argue on that point again, and I can easily concede it as... well, that's one point of many and hardly the strongest of the batch I put together in a few minutes.  So that aside... what about the rest?

Also, it was a fallacy because in my post she was responding to religion was no where mentioned; I was arguing about science being endangered, not endangered specifically by religion.  When you make a claim about x and someone says "well what about y" (which is a condition beyond x) that is moving the goalpost fallacy.

Offline Brandon

Sorry Jude but if you read everything I posted last time, specfically studied the interview with Cardinal Tgrillo, then you would know that his statements are not what they appear to be. What you want to do is up to you but yeah I really just dont want to do that dance again.

I find myself a little confused on your points though. At first you agrue that science is endangered (just general endangerment if I understand you right) now you want to argue that religion is either the sole or major threat to it? Do I understand that right?

I've said from the start that science and relgion are, to me, more like brothers. They dabble in similar things but they have different means of coming to their conclusions. Science deals with the observable and proof of the world while religion deals with the cultural and philosophical aspects of life and the world around us. Each one has a place in our culture and I think we need both to be a successful culture. I think that discussion about one over the other or one versus the other is meaningless. This is my official stance on the topic

Offline Jude

I don't think religion is the main danger to science as much as magical thinking in general (which encompasses a lot more than religion).  Religion has a potential, I think, to make peace with science in a way that a lot of other types of magical thinking do not.

In truth I'm not even sure what's being debated anymore...

1)  Most everyone seems to agree that religion should not be rooted out of society with a few exceptions
2)  I think people are still trying to figure out whether science is picking a fight with religion, religion is picking a fight with science, or people with both ideologies are creating a controversy.
3)  Brandon we should seriously think about going on that motorcycle tour, you can read in the sidecar.

Offline Noelle

Noelle – Please take a step back and review what I said the statement pertained to.  Honestly, you really did not read what I wrote but instead found a statement took it out of context and went on a rant about that statement.  I really talked about nothing you are discussing in that opening statement.

This is the story of most of your replies. I kind of want to go back and count how many times the word 'theory' has been explained and re-explained by various other posters. I've read your replies, I have attempted to understand them and have even asked you to clarify things I don't understand, but I'm beginning to wonder if you're doing the same.

Yes, you, too, could benefit from some reading:
Quote from: Noelle
If that isn't what you're trying to say, I'm curious as to what you mean

That would be me telling you that my reply was only my interpretation of what you meant and that if I was off, I was (and still am) curious to know what you intended. Text is a medium in which all I have to go on is the exact words you put down and the way they become interpreted in my own mind. That's why when I assume things, I try to leave space for the original speaker to correct me and admit that my perspective may not be right. I hope that's clear now.

Quote
In regards to the education of the United States versus much of the world, I do hate to burst anyone’s bubble but we have never been on top.  Our education is notorious for being underfunded, understaffed and last on many people’s budget list.  Only recently many state’s cut their education funding.  The federal government instituted several controversial policies regarding education and have made little effort to improve the quality of education in this country.  I don’t suppose that would have anything to do with our low ranking when compared to other nations.

You're not really bursting anyone's bubble because statistics have clearly told us for years and years that we're not on top. For a world leader, ranking underneath Lithuania and Singapore is kind of really bad. embarrassing. really poor standards for the "best country in the world.

But admittedly, I'm still not sure what your point on this is -- education is usually at the forefront of budget cuts, you are agreeing with me on this point it seems, but then you flip and say this:

Quote
Also, we’re not shifting our funds to science and math because we’re failing at it.  We are shifting them there because our society demands more of science and math.

What? No.

You're making it sound as if failing at a subject is completely irrelevant. You admit that the reason we're failing at math and science is a failure by our government to adequately support our education system, but now you're saying that's not a reason to give it more attention? If our country were succeeding at it, it would mean we had a good balance of focus on those particular subjects and that we had little to fear in the way of not having adequately-prepared students -- not to mention no fear that we would have an ample amount of students who would go into math and science-related fields. It actually sounds to me like if society demanded less of math and science, it wouldn't matter that we're failing -- at least by what you're saying. Again, what you're saying is unclear to me, so if you meant it another way, I invite you to make a correction.

Really, though, it's a combination of the two -- our society demands more of math and science because those are the areas that provide us with our modern conveniences, keep up and heighten our standard of living, extend our lives, improve the quality of our health, cures ailments, the list goes on and on. By failing at math and science, students fail our society later by being unable to maintain those high standards previously set. That means the quality of research and innovation we later receive from said students is also lower. It makes sense to rank higher. It's not a negative thing to have a population of the best. It's better for everyone that we rank higher. It's not a complicated thing to grasp. It makes sense to place a greater focus on subjects deemed more vital to the success of our country in order to sustain ourselves. Art, I am sad to say, is not a vital priority to the success of our country -- at least not in the way math/science is, not to mention that we are in no danger of shortage on talented artists. :P Philosophy majors don't save lives. Musicians don't keep you alive when you're dying of cancer.

Quote
Also I think you can rest assured that there are plenty of doctors and nurses.  An increasing number of nurses working on the floors are holding BSNs and many more are conducting research.

This is not even close to being correct. I would really love to know where you're getting your information, because it's pretty blatantly not right. Having an overabundance of nurses with no doctors is...kind of useless. Nurses are not qualified to act as doctors. Nurses certainly won't be performing surgery on you. You know, unless they become surgeons.

Quote
People don’t trust science but there aren’t enough doctors to treat all their patients.
This doesn't even make sense coming from you, given your above statement. Unless you typo'd and meant to say that there ARE enough doctors to treat everyone. In which case...refer to the above + their links. And this link, too. Toss in a Google search for "shortage of doctors in US" and I think I've made my case pretty clear.

Quote
People don’t trust science but are attending science courses in record number.

Your source on this, please, if you have any? I found a few of my own that beg to differ.
Physics grapples with its image problem
Hm, what's this? Even the Christian Science Monitor agrees?

I don't disagree that students are shifting to math/science courses in larger numbers than in previous years -- but this does not mean that there are enough to cover the needs of the job market, nor does this mean that they will graduate with a math/science degree -- or graduate at all.  It's all pretty relative. An upward swing does not mean an abundance or even foretells success. Besides, what do you think is to thank for the numbers taking an upward shift in recent years? The government taking a greater interest in funding math/science programs. Voila. Like magic.

I really can't figure out if you're for or against the notion of the government funding math/science programs to begin with, but you mostly sound disdainful towards the concept.

Quote
People don’t trust science but science magazines sales are on the rise.  People don’t trust science but there are how many channels dedicated to science? Yeah, science is in danger.

...Sources? For any of this? Anything? Do you research what you're saying at all? I am genuinely curious to know if you do or not.

Even without them, let's just analyze your claims. Do I even need to start by pointing out how ridiculous an indicator television is? Nevermind, I will anyway.

Here is a list of something like ~250 TV channels that are available through a standard satellite TV service (Dish TV, to be exact). I have taken the liberty of bolding the names of channels that may be "sciencey" in some way. Bear with me here.

Quote
    * America's Top 120
    * America's Top 200
    * America's Top 250
    * Everything
    * 4 Decades of Music
    * 40's on 4-40's Hits
    * 5StarMax HD
    * 90's ON 9-90's HITS
    * A&E HD
    * ABC FAMILY HD
    * AC/DC RADIO
    * ALMA VISION HISPANIC NETWORK
    * Altitude Sports & Entertainment HD
    * AMC
    * AMERICA LIVE
    * ANGEL ONE
    * ANGEL TWO
    * ANIMAL PLANET
    * ActionMAX HD
    * BBC AMERICA HD
    * BET HD
    * BIG TEN NETWORK
    * BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL
    * BLOOMBERG TELEVISION
    * BOOMERANG
    * BRAVO HD
    * BYUTV
    * CARTOON NETWORK EAST HD
    * CARTOON NETWORK WEST
    * CBS COLLEGE SPORTS HD
    * CCTV-9
    * CCTV-E
    * CHILLER
    * CHRISTIAN TV NETWORK
    * CINEMAX EAST
    * CINEMAX WEST
    * CINEMAX HD WEST
    * CINEMAX HD
    * CLASSIC ARTS SHOWCASE
    * CMT HD
    * CNBC HD
    * CNBC WORLD
    * CNN HD
    * COLOURS TV
    * COMEDY CENTRAL HD
    * Cooking Channel HD
    * C-SPAN
    * C-SPAN2
    * Cox Sports TV New Orleans
    * CURRENT TV
    * DAYSTAR
    * THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL HD
    * DishHome Interactive TV
    * DISCOVERY HEALTH
    * DISCOVERY KIDS
    * DISH MUSIC - OVER 18 MUSIC CHANNELS
    * DishCD - OVER 30 MUSIC CHANNELS
    * DISNEY CHANNEL (EAST) HD
    * DISNEY CHANNEL (WEST)
    * DISNEY XD
    * DIY HD
    * DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL
    * E! Entertainment Channel HD
    * ENCORE ACTION
    * ENCORE DRAMA
    * ENCORE EAST HD only
    * ENCORE LOVE
    * ENCORE MYSTERY
    * ENCORE WAM
    * ENCORE WEST
    * ENCORE WESTERNS
    * ESPN
    * ESPN Alternate
    * ESPN2 Alternate
    * ESPN CLASSIC
    * ESPN2 HD
    * ESPNEWS HD
    * ESPNU
    * ETERNAL WORD TELEVISION
    * FLIX
    * FLN
    * FLORIDA EDUCATION CHANNEL
    * FOOD NETWORK HD
    * FOX BUSINESS NEWS HD
    * FOX MOVIE CHANNEL
    * FOX NEWS CHANNEL HD
    * FOX SOCCER CHANNEL HD
    * FREE SPEECH TV
    * FUEL TV
    * FUSE
    * FX HD
    * G4 HD
    * GALAVISION
    * Game Show Network
    * Gems and Jewelry
    * GemsTV
    * GOLF CHANNEL
    * GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY
    * GSN
    * HALLMARK CHANNEL HD
    * HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL HD
    * HDNet HD Only
    * HBO2 East HD
    * HBO Comedy HD
    * HBO Family HD
    * HBO Latino HD
    * HBO Signature HD
    * HBO West HD
    * HBO ZONE HD
    * HBO EAST
    * HBO HDTV
    * HBO WEST
    * HBO2 EAST
    * HBO2 WEST
    * HBO COMEDY
    * HBO FAMILY
    * HBO LATINO
    * HBO SIGNATURE
    * HEADLINE NEWS
    * Health & Human Services
    * HGTV HD
    * HISTORY HD
    * HISTORY INTERNATIONAL
    * HITN
    * HLN
    * HORSERACING TV
    * HSN
    * In Country TV
    * IFC
    * Inspiration Networks
    * INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY HD
    * ION EAST
    * ION WEST
    * JEWELRY TELEVISION
    * KBS WORLD
    * KIDS & TEENS TV
    * LIFETIME
    * LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK HD
    * LINK TV
    * Live Shopping
    * LOCAL SPORTS NETWORKS
    * Mid-Atlantic Sports Network
    * Mid-Atlantic Sports Network Alternate
    * Mercury Channel
    * MILITARY CHANNEL
    * MoreMAX
    * THE MOVIE CHANNEL EAST
    * The MOVIE CHANNEL WEST
    * TMC XTRA
    * TMC XTRA WEST
    * The MOVIE CHANNEL HD
    * MSG PLUS
    * MSG
    * MSNBC HD
    * MUN2
    * MTV HD
    * MTV2
    * NASA
    * NATIONAL GEO. WILD HD
    * NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HD
    * NBA TV HD
    * NESN
    * NFL NETWORK HD
    * NHL NETWORK HD
    * NICK JR
    * NICKTOONS NETWORK
    * NICKELODEON/NICK AT NITE (EAST) HD
    * NICKELODEON/NICK AT NITE (WEST)
    * Outdoor Channel
    * Ovation
    * OXYGEN
    * PAEC
    * PENTAGON CHANNEL
    * PLANET GREEN HD
    * QVC
    * REELZCHANNEL
    * RESEARCHCHANNEL
    * RFD-TV
    * SATELLITE RESPONSE INT
    * SATELLITE RESPONSE NETWORK
    * SCIENCE CHANNEL HD
    * SHOPNBC
    * SHOP
    * SHOWCASE HD
    * SHOWTIME EAST HDTV
    * SHOWTIME EAST
    * SHOWTIME WEST
    * SHOWTIME BEYOND
    * SHOWTIME EXTREME
    * SHOWTIME SHOWCASE
    * SHOWTIME 2 HD
    * SHOWTIME 2
    * SHOWTIME
    * SIRIUS - OVER 60 MUSIC CHANNELS
    * SiTV
    * SLEUTH
    * SOAPNET
    * SPEED HD
    * SPIKE TV HD
    * Sports Alternate
    * Sportsman Channel HD
    * SportsNet New York
    * SportsSouth HD
    * SportsTime Ohio
    * STARZ EAST
    * STARZ WEST HD
    * STARZ CINEMA EAST
    * STARZ COMEDY HD
    * STARZ HDTV
    * STARZ EDGE
    * STARZ in Black
    * STARZ KIDS & FAMILY EAST HD
    * STYLE HD
    * SUNDANCE CHANNEL
    * SUN SPORTS
    * SYFY HD
    * TBN
    * TBS HD
    * TEENNICK
    * TELEFUTURA EAST
    * TELEFUTURA WEST HD
    * TENNIS CHANNEL HD
    * The Weather Cast
    * THREE ANGELS BROADCASTING
    * TLC HD
    * TNT HD
    * TRAVEL CHANNEL HD
    * truTV HD
    * TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES HD
    * TV GAMES NETWORK
    * TV Guide Network
    * TV LAND
    * UNIVERSITY HOUSE
    * UNIVERSITY OF CA
    * UNIVISION WEST
    * UNIVISION EAST HD
    * USA HD
    * V-ME
    * VERIA
    * VERSUS HD
    * VH1 HD
    * VH1 CLASSIC
    * WE: WOMEN'S ENTERTAINMENT
    * WEATHER CHANNEL
    * WGN America

Animal Planet - Do they have informative, science-based programming or is it more nature-based documentary? How informative/serious is this channel in bringing current, relevant, and accurate science news? The last time I watched this channel (and it's been awhile), it really had nothing of real substance for a viewer with higher education in a science or math-related field.

The Discovery Channel (+2 others) - I watch Discovery while I'm at work, for lack of any other channels to choose from. I can say with the utmost confidence that Discovery has gone the way of MTV -- watching reality shows on crab-fishing and how a bunch of muscly dudes build their "choppers" is not what I'd consider adequate science. Mythbusters is the closest I can even conceive to being relevant.

National Geographic (+1) - Again, I don't watch this channel, but if it's anything like the magazine, I'd take a leap to say that there is nothing to be found on this channel that pertains to a person looking for serious science news/facts/etc.

Planet Green - Promotes organic food. Enough said about its lack of science.

Research Channel - What's this?! A channel based out of an actual university? I've never watched this channel, and I might even put money on the fact that most people don't even know this channel exists, but we'll count it as one.

Science Channel - Discovery's landfill for all of their ACTUAL science. This would be number two.

Out of 250 channels, two of them could be considered legitimate science. That is .008%, or .024% if I care to count the channels that only sound like they're relevant. I think these numbers should speak for themselves.

Indeed, there are more ESPN channels alone within the behemoth industry that is sports television than there are even if I combined the outcasts of the science channel selection. There are more movie channels, more cartoon channels, more daytime television, more pay-per-view pornography than science channels combined. And you're saying that television is "proof" that science is thriving. And you know what else is telling about those numbers? That percentage only shrinks as you add every other TV channel available out there (because I'm going to make a guess and say that there aren't too many other science channels out there to be had) which doesn't even take into account the actual viewership those channels receive to begin with.

I think I've proven my point enough about TV alone that I don't even need to touch magazines, but if you are still convinced there might be something there, I'd be more than happy to dig up the research if you're not going to.

Quote
Noelle, please read my statement before replying.  I did not say that was ok.  I did not say that is how I want children to be taught.  That situation is a simple fact from lack of funding in our school system.  This entire ending is a rant about something I did not even say.

You're right, you didn't say it was okay. But I will say that I think the statements you're making are being willfully negligent of some basic things. A school does not fail to teach curriculum that is already in their hands because of budget cuts. If your biology class is not cut from the school's course offerings, if evolution is printed in the books they already possess, then the school is not saving money by not teaching it, and if you could please explain to me how they would if I'm wrong about this, then I'm open to hearing something rational. But as far as I'm concerned, you know just as well as I do why schools choose not to teach evolution, and it's an elephant in the room called "controversy", which is essentially what this thread has boiled down to, and has been speaking of for pages on end. To deny that fact any longer is to be actively ignorant.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 05:05:29 AM by Noelle »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Noelle – First I will go with the bit on doctors.  Mainly because I think this is pretty funny.  I will admit that my statement was a typo and meant to say plenty of people are going to school to be doctors and nurses.  Will have to forgive me as I was at work when writing these and responding to quite a few statements.  Though I will be more than happy to look at my lack of research as compared to the research you so diligently read through.

The first article you posted indeed deals with an upcoming shortage of doctors.  Mainly, as the article addresses, this is due to the Obama Healthcare Plan depositing a few million new patients into the system.  Kind of hard to prepare for a few million more people without much advance notice.  Also take note that the shortage mainly consists of Primary-Care Physicians who are paid far less than specialty doctors.  Note the article does touch on a shortage all around but focuses on the need for primary-care physicians.  Part of the problem, as stated in the article, is that specialty doctors are lobbying for primary-care physicians to not receive more compensation.  So not really seeing the problem of a lack of interest in medicine or lack of qualified applicants.

Second article actually states right at the beginning how more spots in medical school are opening and more people are entering.  Did you read two paragraphs in cause that is pretty damaging to your case?  Oh neat, reading a few more paragraphs down there is apparently a bottle neck to form because there will be doctors with no residency programs.  This means that there will be doctors with no jobs!  Why no jobs someone might ask and then conclude that religion is somehow to blame.  Sadly no, that reason lies with the government cutting medical residency programs which doctors need to earn the ability to actually practice medicine.  At the end of the article they talk and talk more about increasing admissions size for medical schools and for graduates to get more clinical training, in essence to give them something to do while waiting for a residency spot to open.

Third article is more of the same.  Focus on shortage of primary-care physicians due to less pay. 

I guess these three were made in response to my typo, but I am not really seeing that you put much effort or reading into this research.  So mind if I ask if you actually read what you put up?  Doesn’t seem like your articles are actually saying what you claim they are stating. 

This math article you really didn’t read.  I know this because at the end of the article it discusses how there are more people enrolling in advanced math, an indicator for more advanced degrees coming.  Also the article makes note that the declining degrees in “pure math” are misleading because students that would major in math are going into other quantified fields such as computer science.  One of the people interviewed even says they were not surprised by the decline because other fields utilize math.  So promising math students move off into other fields that interest them and still utilize their math skills.  Sorry, this article essentially says that math is boring and students take their math skills elsewhere.

So, did you read these articles or just google them until you found a sensational title with a reputable source?  Not seeing the danger to science here.  Oh, the article did state that enrollment in math courses is up by 9%.  Oh and the quote is a little misleading.  What the quote doesn’t say is that people are enrolling in physics programs across the United States at higher rates, but not finishing.  Why?  The article says that students feel physics is not cool.  An example of a more cool study, biological science.  Lesson learned, read before you link.

For my backing I will use a link as well with data from the National Center for Education Statistics which is derived from the U.S Department of Education. (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37).  Since the title isn’t as flashy or catchy, I will highlight a couple of areas of interest.  These are for the years 07-08.  Biology up 30 percent, Physical sciences up 22 percent, health professions up 56 percent (go me!), and engineering up 8 percent.

Alright, onto the television bit.  I will start by saying that television reflects a distinct interest in the population and culture.  Television shows and channels are funded by ratings, which is based on the amount of people viewing the channel or program which can be a reflection of the interest of a population.  Television is part of popular culture and so is a very good indicator for what the population is interested in seeing.  Learned that by getting a degree in a social science.  So let’s look at the list shall we?

I’ll use the ones you highlighted and then disregarded.
Animal Planet – You don’t watch but disregarded.  Guess Jane Goodall was just sitting in a jungle staring at chimps for nothing.  What science could there possible be in watching animals?
Discovery Channel – A good amount of reality shows about crab fishermen and building stuff.  I think Myth Busters is on there too along with some other programming that seems to look at engineering and nature.  No science there either I guess.
Discovery Health – A show dedicated to health sciences and the people working in those fields.  Complete with news segments and shows about revolutions in medicine.  You highlighted this one but didn’t talk about or count.
Discovery Kids – This one was highlighted too but you failed to mentioned it later.  While I guess this wouldn’t hold interest for adults but certainly for children.  Influencing them to enjoy science with cartoons and children shows.  This isn’t “sciencey” enough?
National Geographic – Wow, thanks for the slap in the face to social sciences.  Note at the beginning you used the word sciencey and now are looking for “serious science news.” 
Planet Green – I guess the interest in green technologies, alternative energy and learning to live with the environment aren’t much for science either. 
Discovery Science – Glad to see something lived up to your “sciencey” desires.
Research Channel – I guess this one just can’t be denied.
NASA – left this out too, but I can see why after looking at the programming list.  Though a channel dedicated to watching shuttle take off….
National Geographic Wild – Left that off too.

I think you are being a little over eager to think that any show type would beat out sports and movie channels.  Though I do think that is a nice amount of shows for science.  Since this conversation is about religion and science, let me see how well religion is doing.  Hey, got one there, Christian Television Network. 

I am going to address this part at the end because this also applies to the top portion.  Nice of you to admit that you put words in my mouth and went off about something I did not say.  Been better if you had not done that, but I will take what points I can.  Also, I would think it fairly obvious why schools that are not funded well might begin to skip forward in chapters and spend less time on some material over others.  Especially, as I pointed out, that material is not tested for extensively by standardized tests to get into college.  I also pointed out that if a school simply needed a textbook and a teacher, no matter how many students she had in the classroom or how little education she was given or updated on or assisted in class, but the textbook had everything in it then funding really wouldn’t be a problem.  I mean, gah its in the textbook why shouldn’t the kids just figure it out if only the teacher would just talk about the subject.  Also, you can infer my contempt for that funding but since we aren’t discussing education as the primary topic I suggest you don’t.  Thus far your inferring has been real bad.

Once more, what is with this strategy of stating “agree with this or you are this.”  Civil discourse has taken on new meaning.  Thanks admins!

Alright, as for my statement about math and science failing not being the reason for budget movement.  That line you quoted sounds just like you said doesn’t it?  Sounds like I am saying failing is not a big deal and that are kids are doing fine.  Except, I didn’t say that nor anything similar.  I simply stated that the reason more money is being moved into the sciences is because more science and math are needed in our society.  Which, you even pointed out later about increased government funding cause of need.  So wait a minute, the government is funding something cause it needs it instead of because the scores are low?  Well, I mean if the government is moving funds from one school area to another because of failing grades than it stands to reason that the others are alright.  Except, they aren’t. 

I could go into the narrow minded view you seem to have about education and its need to focus solely on math and science.  How subjects like philosophy encourage critical thinking and abstract thought, how creative writing teaches better use of words and expression along with communication of ideas, about how music teachers children discipline and focus along with instilling pride, and how language is of growing importance the world over as we become a closer knit global society.  Math and science are getting more money and yet still we are falling lower.  We might want to look a little deeper than shifting money around.  That would be off topic though, much like your rant here.

Offline Trieste

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... yeah, so speaking of tolerance (which is where this thread started out in the first place) and putting aside the incredible sarcasm that seems to have, much to my dismay, invaded this thread...

The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide. ~Ralph W. Emerson

As I mentioned earlier, there's a pretty hefty pressure inside the science community to eschew the belief in God or the afterlife. We can't prove there is one. Now, we can't prove there isn't one, either. However, since there is no real evidence of an afterlife existing, that makes it a scientific non-entity as far as scientific method is concerned. Bigfoot has better science cred than the Big Guy upstairs.

I don't know why many scientists would rather believe in Nessy the Plesiosaur than God. However, I don't think the personal views of scientists should be taken with such heft. When you have Nobel prizewinners who deny that HIV causes AIDS, of course it's nonsense. Don't even get me started on eugenics. Scientists have done things in the name of Science that are as bad as things religion has done in the name of God.

I don't know if there is the same pressure to keep religious believers away from science careers. I never noticed any negative pressure when I went to parochial school; in fact, there was really no difference in pressure between parochial and public schools I attended, and since I went to some very good public schools, both places put a lot of emphasis on college and higher education in general.

So it mostly seems to be pressure going from one side to the other, like a violent chemical reaction. It really seems unprofessional to me, and I seldom discuss my spiritual beliefs with my peers. To be completely honest, I would be much happier if religion were to stay out of my science, but not because I would like to root religion out. More because it's none of my business, and it's not relevant to discussion. If you're studying gravity, or planar forces, or black holes, or dark matter, or amino acids, or DNA, God is not relevant to any of it, not at the moment. If you want to debate the intricacy of DNA being due to intelligent design, go to church and do it. What you discuss in the lab is the polarity of the molecules and the structural components of the bases that hold them together. If you want, you can talk about how molecules that are completely flat can slide their way into the DNA sequence and cause a mutation, or you can talk about how UV light catalyzes a reaction that turns what's supposed to be a single strand into a double strand, which also causes mutations... God doesn't factor into that, any more than God factors into whether your office stapler actually holds together the pages because of the amazing properties of friction.

It just doesn't matter. Not professionally. It's the scientific equivalent of office gossip (not that there isn't a lot of gossip in labs, also).

This seems to me to be a big part of tolerance; learning to respect boundaries and stop trying to push one into the other.

Offline Will

I am going to address this part at the end because this also applies to the top portion.  Nice of you to admit that you put words in my mouth and went off about something I did not say.  Been better if you had not done that, but I will take what points I can.  Also, I would think it fairly obvious why schools that are not funded well might begin to skip forward in chapters and spend less time on some material over others.  Especially, as I pointed out, that material is not tested for extensively by standardized tests to get into college.  I also pointed out that if a school simply needed a textbook and a teacher, no matter how many students she had in the classroom or how little education she was given or updated on or assisted in class, but the textbook had everything in it then funding really wouldn’t be a problem.  I mean, gah its in the textbook why shouldn’t the kids just figure it out if only the teacher would just talk about the subject.  Also, you can infer my contempt for that funding but since we aren’t discussing education as the primary topic I suggest you don’t.  Thus far your inferring has been real bad.

I'm still not really following.  The teacher gets paid the same regardless of what he or she does or doesn't teach.  It costs the same to run the AC and keep the lights on in the classroom no matter what they discuss.  I don't understand why, in a lecture format, skipping portions of study that are readily available saves money.

Offline Brandon

I'm still not really following.  The teacher gets paid the same regardless of what he or she does or doesn't teach.  It costs the same to run the AC and keep the lights on in the classroom no matter what they discuss.  I don't understand why, in a lecture format, skipping portions of study that are readily available saves money.

I think her point was that since teachers have limited time throughout each semester to cover a large variety of topics sometimes a teacher has to prioritize topics that are more likely to be used in a students life.

Offline Will

That has nothing to do with funding.

Offline Brandon

Acctually it can effect funding, or rather funding can effect what topics are covered. Lets say your job as a teacher is to cover 5 different topics over the semester. Each topic is very detailed, meaning a great deal of time needs to be devoted to each one. Now what happens if you get to topic 1 and the students have a hard time understanding it? More questions get asked, more discussion happens, more studying has to happen before they get it. This cuts into your schedule for the rest of the semester meaning less time to cover other topics (remember your only getting paid and running the place for that semester). The consequence is you have to give less time to topics 2, 3, 4, and 5

Now even more likely the boss wants you to fit everything into an impossible to achieve time frame. You know you have to either cover everything less or cover 1 thing but pretty much scratch the surface of it. In both these cases the student has the opportunity to do some studying of their own by using a textbook, the internet, or other intellectual mediums.

This doesnt account for the tools (or lack there of) needed to learn about topics.

I hope that makes sense

Offline Jude

I think the reason there's such a pressure to abandon theology in scientific circles is because of a very rudimentary us vs. them mentality.  Just like how the researchers at East Anglia's emails show incredible hostility (which is really a breach of the spirit of science in my opinion) towards skeptics, if a group feels beleaguered by another group, there's social pressure for differentiation (not that this justifies it--it doesn't).
So it mostly seems to be pressure going from one side to the other, like a violent chemical reaction. It really seems unprofessional to me, and I seldom discuss my spiritual beliefs with my peers. To be completely honest, I would be much happier if religion were to stay out of my science, but not because I would like to root religion out. More because it's none of my business, and it's not relevant to discussion. If you're studying gravity, or planar forces, or black holes, or dark matter, or amino acids, or DNA, God is not relevant to any of it, not at the moment. If you want to debate the intricacy of DNA being due to intelligent design, go to church and do it. What you discuss in the lab is the polarity of the molecules and the structural components of the bases that hold them together. If you want, you can talk about how molecules that are completely flat can slide their way into the DNA sequence and cause a mutation, or you can talk about how UV light catalyzes a reaction that turns what's supposed to be a single strand into a double strand, which also causes mutations... God doesn't factor into that, any more than God factors into whether your office stapler actually holds together the pages because of the amazing properties of friction.

It just doesn't matter. Not professionally. It's the scientific equivalent of office gossip (not that there isn't a lot of gossip in labs, also).

This seems to me to be a big part of tolerance; learning to respect boundaries and stop trying to push one into the other.
Agreed.  If we could just give science its due and theology its own place and not worry about where the two conflict each other (realizing that spirituality is more of an emotional, faith-based experience than a reason-driven one and so the contradictions aren't important) while simultaneously not using religious beliefs as justification for public policy, then there would be no contradiction between religion and science.  Unfortunately, I think this might be hard to swallow, especially the latter part (I don't see it happening anytime soon).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 01:04:47 PM by Jude »

Offline Will

Then it's a time issue.  I still don't see how funding has anything to do with that.

Besides, even if you blame it on running out of time, you're simply trying to avoid the "elephant in the room," the fact that they do not want to teach evolution.  It's painfully obvious why there were stickers in the books, and it's painfully obvious why that material was skipped.  It's a case of religion successfully displacing science.

I used it as an example to show that the conflict of religion vs. science is real, first of all.  I also used it to show that it isn't as one-sided as Pumpkin implied in her much earlier post. 

Offline Brandon

Public policy should be shaped by what the majority of the culture wants, end of story. If thsoe policies are religiously influenced then Im fine with that, as long as all the facts (religious and scientific) are presented to the culture in question as well.

Remember that sometimes science isnt qualified to answer questions like whether something is right or wrong but at the same time religion isnt qualified to answer other questions like how to build an irrigation system. In these cases I agree that one or the other should be removed from public policy as they arent designed to deal with it

@Will: Youre not seeing it because you're not trying to see it. Lets try to reword it. Lets say it takes $5000 to run a school program for a semester but the above happens and you have two choices. You shorten aspects of certain topics to save on time and not spend more money. Or you extend the semester costing you more money. However what if extending the semester puts you over budget? See what Im talking about now? Before you take on the same tone with me again understand that I have no intention or interest in discussing why anyone does or doesnt want something taught

Offline Trieste

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Public policy should be shaped by what the majority of the culture wants, end of story. If thsoe policies are religiously influenced then Im fine with that, as long as all the facts (religious and scientific) are presented to the culture in question as well.

Remember that sometimes science isnt qualified to answer questions like whether something is right or wrong but at the same time religion isnt qualified to answer other questions like how to build an irrigation system. In these cases I agree that one or the other should be removed from public policy as they arent designed to deal with it

Religion is not the only source of ethics, and has shown itself in the past to be a flawed vehicle for ethics. I know you 'don't want to get into it' so I won't bring up the mistakes you so hate to hear about. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away, however.

The majority of the culture is not what is important in ethics and what is right or wrong. It's the minorities in the culture (not necessarily the racial element that 'minority' has come to stand for in modern politics, either) that matter. It's been said before that a culture should not be judged for how it treats its wealthy, its affluent and its comfortable citizens. A culture should be judged on how it treats the least fortunate of its population: the poor, the criminal, the insane. How do we treat ours? Not very well. How ethical is that?

Religion should not shape social policy, at all. Ever.

I think the reason there's such a pressure to abandon theology in scientific circles is because of a very rudimentary us vs. them mentality.  Just like how the researchers at East Anglia's emails show incredible hostility (which is really a breach of the spirit of science in my opinion) towards skeptics, if a group feels beleaguered by another group, there's social pressure for differentiation (not that this justifies it--it doesn't).

Possibly. If that's the case, I'd say it's somewhat of a leftover (unless you're an evolutionary biologist) since science hasn't had the upper hand against scientific progress for a century or more. It can be frustrating when someone is so skeptical of your work that they seem to refuse to understand the underlying stuff, though, and it can be easy to get hostile toward that. Many newbie scientists miss the fact that someone taking an interest in what you're doing enough to be healthily skeptical is a good thing. It demands more rigor, and promotes discussion about your work.

Offline Will

Public policy should be shaped by what the majority of the culture wants, end of story. If thsoe policies are religiously influenced then Im fine with that, as long as all the facts (religious and scientific) are presented to the culture in question as well.

Remember that sometimes science isnt qualified to answer questions like whether something is right or wrong but at the same time religion isnt qualified to answer other questions like how to build an irrigation system. In these cases I agree that one or the other should be removed from public policy as they arent designed to deal with it

@Will: Youre not seeing it because you're not trying to see it. Lets try to reword it. Lets say it takes $5000 to run a school program for a semester but the above happens and you have two choices. You shorten aspects of certain topics to save on time and not spend more money. Or you extend the semester costing you more money. However what if extending the semester puts you over budget? See what Im talking about now? Before you take on the same tone with me again understand that I have no intention or interest in discussing why anyone does or doesnt want something taught

Tone? Really? -_-

No one is going to lengthen the school year while it's in progress.  Decisions like that take a lot of time and debate to be ironed out.  School schedules are worked out well ahead of time; the only time they're fiddled with is when there are too many snow days through the year, and even then there are set guidelines for what will happen.  What you're talking about has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with time.

And as I said, blaming the skipped material on a lack of time is an exercise in avoidance.

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There are also ways to get around insufficient lecture time.  Anyone remember getting assigned research papers in high school?