Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback Government The Courts Businesses Google Media The Internet News

Slashback: Little Red Hoax, Firefly, Google 508

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the taking-what-isn't-yours dept.
Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including the "Little Red Hoax", a follow up on the Firefly post-mortem, another episode in the Intelligent Design battle, the EU's Galileo project gets off the ground, deconstructing AOL's decision to go with Google over Microsoft, endgame for the Blackberry patent case and more. Read on for details.

A little red hoax. MyNameIsFred writes "In an earlier Slashdot story, it was reported that a student was investigated for requesting Mao's Little Red Book on inter-library loan. It appears that the story was a hoax."

Firefly franchise death greatly exaggerated. Kazzahdrane writes "Joss Whedon has spoken out against the Entertainment Weekly that claimed he has turned his back on the Firefly/Serenity franchise. From his post at Whedonesque: 'All right, now I have to jump in and set the record straight. EW is a fine rag, but they do take things out of context. Obviously when I said I had "closure", what I meant was "I hate Serenity, I hated Firefly, I think my fans are stupid and Nathan Fillion smells like turnips." But EW's always got to put some weird negative spin on it.'"

Intelligent Design tantamount to teaching religion. rcs1000 writes "After much deliberation Judge John Jones has ruled that teaching Intelligent Design is tantamount to teaching religion. The judge was pretty forthright, arguing that 'it is unconstitutional to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.'"

EU launches first Galileo navigation satellite. Xserv writes "The EU launched the first in the series of Galileo Navigation Satellites signifying the start of a lessening of dependency on US Military GPS Systems in Europe. The new Galileo system is touted to be much more accurate and will also be more accessible on higher latitude zones where the US GPS system is known to be less than ideal."

Why AOL chose Google over Microsoft. gambit3 writes to tell us that the Wall Street Journal has a nice article deconstructing AOL's decision to go with Google instead of Microsoft. From the article: "Two weeks ago, when Time Warner Inc. was on the cusp of signing a sweeping online deal with Microsoft Corp., a team of executives from the media company's AOL unit traveled to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to make sure everything was in order. When the executives returned, they reported back to Time Warner's top deal negotiator, Olaf Olafsson, with some less-than-satisfactory findings. They had found some of Microsoft's technology to be clunky, while the contemplated joint venture with the software king contained what they thought were financial pitfalls."

Endgame in Blackberry patent case. waynegoode writes "The New York Times is reporting that a recent decision could spell the end of the NTP vs. RIM Blackberry case. The US Patent Office apparently took the unusual step of telling NTP & RIM it will likely reject all 5 of NTP's patents, meaning the basis for NTP's lawsuit and it's billion dollar claim will most likely disappear. This puts pressure on the judge to not issue an injunction against RIM but to instead delay until the USPTO gets around to actually rejecting the patents."

Katrina aftermath still making waves. An anonymous reader writes "Approximately 50 people have been indicted in relation to a scheme that drained almost $200,000 from a Red Cross fund designed to put money into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims. From the article: 'Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week.'"

More cloning doubts emerge. LukePieStalker writes "The Boston Globe is reporting that the South Korean cloning team whose troubles have recently been chronicled here on Slashdot used "borrowed" photos in their Science journal article that "appear in the journal Molecules and Cells, in a research article by another Korean team, submitted before the Science paper". In the earlier article, the cells in the photo are described as having been created without cloning."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Little Red Hoax, Firefly, Google

Comments Filter:
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:00PM (#14354873)
    I am sure that some Religious fundaments will call this ruling of some crazy liberal judge. I am conservative myself and I personally do believe in inelegant design but I do not believe that it should be tough in schools as science. Intelligent Design is not science it is faith-based assumption. I believed in Inelegant Designed when I was taught Darwinism. I just replaced Random with God. It was not an eureka moment, just about anyone can make the connection without any hoaxing, just an understanding based on my faith that nothing is truly random but work of God, as Einstein said God doesn't roll dice. But that being said teaching science that there is a force that we cannot measure or prove or disprove is not science. Science is not guaranteed to be absolute truth, science is a process of observations and finding a theory that best fits the observation, if a pattern cannot be found it is called random. If God is behind random that is fine but because God cannot be proven or disproved scientifically, it shouldn't be placed in science. Just saying God did it is a shortcut that ends further investigation, but by leaving God out of the equation then it shows that you have more to examine thus growth in understanding.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:01PM (#14354876) Homepage Journal

    Predicted comment breakdown for this Slashback

    "Little Red Hoax" -- 2 comments
    Firefly post-mortem -- 8 comments
    EU's Galileo project -- 7 comments
    Google/AOL 2purchase -- 9 comments
    Blackberry patent case -- 8 comments
    Intelligent Design -- 1436 comments
    I love the ID stories, those are where I can tell rational people from kooks by my "Fans/Foes" changes that day.
  • by Television Viewer (941923) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:06PM (#14354904)
    "Approximately 50 people have been indicted in relation to a scheme that drained almost $200,000 from a Red Cross fund designed to put money into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims. From the article: 'Seventeen of the accused worked at the Red Cross claim center in Bakersfield, Calif., which handled calls from storm victims across the country and authorized cash payments to them. The others were the workers' relatives and friends, prosecutors said last week.'"

    News stories like this make me sad. I am sad for the people of New Orleans who are suffering. They have lost so much, many have lost loved ones. Many have lost homes. But I am also sad that there is a small number of people who could take advantage of others and steal funds which should have helped the people of New Orleans. What kind of deprived life can a person have where they think it is okay to steal from the less fortunate?

    And what is worse is these kinds of actions will make people less likely to donate. They will be wondering "Is my gift really going to help people, or will it be sucked up by greedy people taking advantage of a situation". What can a person do? Give and hope for the best??

  • Ah, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:06PM (#14354906) Homepage
    That particular story ("the Little Red Hoax") may have been fake, but it does illustrate, in a very compelling and inspiring way, the very real civil rights abuses going on every day in this country.

    Abuses that are so thoroughly not in evidence that the people who believe in them are forced to manufacture them.
  • A little red hoax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:09PM (#14354914)
    This hoax has gotten to NPR and other (More liberal) news agencies as well. Which is really sad, I do want to hear both sides of an argument but when both sides jumps to find a story that proves that other side is bad just makes me sick. Ok you don't care of the of Many of Bushes Anti-Terroism laws but making up stories that show how bad it could be will only smear your side when they find out that it was only a hoax.
  • by ZombieWomble (893157) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:09PM (#14354919)
    Einstein said God doesn't roll dice

    You know he was pretty much wrong when he said that, right? Hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics have been pretty thoroughly disproven.

  • by kermyt (99494) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:09PM (#14354925) Homepage
    Just because someone expresses an unpopular viewpoint (in this case that they believe in god perhaps?) does not make them automagically troll. the parent is a well thought out statement of position. NOT A TROLL!
  • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:10PM (#14354931)
    Do we really have to rehash the ID thing yet again? The link is to an article dated December 20, there's nothing new here.
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbochan (827946) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:13PM (#14354948) Homepage
    Yep, the fact that it was a hoax is, of course, one main aspect.

    However, the fact that so many people were neither surprised nor outraged that the original story might have happened in the US... just indifferent... was rather depressing.

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:14PM (#14354953) Homepage Journal

    Intelligent Design stories (no pun intended) get /. a lot more page views and ad hits.
    CmdrTaco: Damn, I need to fill the car.
    ScuttleMonkey: No problem, Chief, I'll run another ID rehash!
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jordang (31620) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:16PM (#14354965)
    It does quite the opposite. Any piece of untruthful paranoid rhetoric like this does nothing but dilute the real abuses going on. It adds a level of suspicion and disbelief to anyone with a legimate claim. Really hope you are being facetious with the forced manufacturing claim

    See Wolf, Boy who Cried
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:24PM (#14355011)
    I just read the decision. Many have expressed concern over judges deciding scientific issues. But the judge in this case has done a truly admirable job of identifying the key scientific issues, and identifying the flaws in ID doctrine.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:27PM (#14355024)
    I am sure that some Religious fundaments will call this ruling of some crazy liberal judge.

    That would be delusional. The judge is a rather conservative Bush appointee.

    I am conservative myself and I personally do believe in inelegant design but I do not believe that it should be tough in schools as science.

    Believe whatever you want according to the dictates of your own conscience. So long as you don't try to put it in public school science curricula, that is fine with me.

    Science is not guaranteed to be absolute truth, science is a process of observations and finding a theory that best fits the observation, if a pattern cannot be found it is called random

    Science is a bit more than you give it credit for. There is a pretty well defined set of philisophical principals that extend it well beyond pure empiricism.

    As far as 'random', this is whare I disagree. Self-organization is easy to show on many scales and doesn't require any faith to accept. This argument is an approach used to try obfuscate the fact that there are real ways of dealing with the question of self organization. Unfortunately they require some pretty careful thinking to undersand and are not as easily presented to the general public as Darwinism is.

    Just saying God did it is a shortcut that ends further investigation

    And that is the problem. Progress ends when you stop looking for alternative explanations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:29PM (#14355041)
    Saying "Darwinism" makes it lean toward trolling, in my opinion. You don't hear people referring to Newtonism, Einsteinism, or Hawkingism; it's an attempt to implicitly place science on the same level as religion, which tends to get on the nerves of people who have an understanding of the difference between the two.
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by superchkn (632774) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:30PM (#14355042)
    So, it could have been the government testing the public's reaction to yet more erosion of our civil liberties, right?

    Hey, I'm just kidding...
    * superchkn quietly assembles a tinfoil hat out of his holiday Hershey's Kisses...
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:32PM (#14355051) Journal
    but it does illustrate, in a very compelling and inspiring way, the very real civil rights abuses going on every day in this country.

    You have got to be kidding.

    No, it would seem to prove there are so few cases regarding civil rights abuses that someone had to make one up. Or at least it would lead a logical person to conclude this. I mean, if there are 10s of thousands of real stories, and no one hears about them, and we only hear about this one, and it is fake? Do the math.

    There ARE problems with civil rights in limited circumstances in the US, and these fake stories do nothing but HURT those who really have a legitimate bitch. So, rather than prove your point, it counters it.
  • too bad evolution doesn't equal random.
    And god can be scientifically disproven. In fact, I have ran tests, and in each and every one of them this god fellow failed to show up, deliver lottery numbers, or cure children inflicted with AIDS.
    God doesn't exist, QED.
  • You know he was pretty much wrong when he said that, right? Hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics have been pretty thoroughly disproven.

    How do you prove a negative? Proving that there isn't an underlying pattern to the apparent pseudorandom behavior on a quantum level is like proving there is no God. And in fact, being a firm believer in the "God of the Gaps" theory- that's exactly what you're attempting when you claim there are no possible hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics. At best, you can only say there are no proven hidden variable theories- yet.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:54PM (#14355136) Homepage Journal
    Too bad a higher power IS needed to explain this- the only question is whether that higher power is intelligent (God) or uninteligent (quantum random). Both are basically theological concepts that absolutely require faith to believe in.
  • Myself I am a strong believer in evolution (belief not being the best word) , I consider myself a very observant Jew(and a Tanakh minimalist )
    I find it ridicules that some people can not combine faith and science , the two things do not mix normally (unless science can define the view in question) .

    Science is there to help us understand the world and how things work , faith is there to help us accept the things we can not understand , till the time comes that we may understand those things .

    Science and faith should never be opposed and have no reason to be .

    I like to think of it like this , if g-d is all mighty then surely it would have the power to architect a world an existence than can construct itself and follow its own rules , such as the laws of physics . Much as I do as a systems admin to automate my tasks . Science helps me to understand the way things works . Perhaps my views are naive and cowardly and there to help me cope with a short term life , but they do not affect my scientific views as I hope they would not any person who is religious .
    sadly they do as they are too blind sighted to accept anything.

    To them I say this , if g-d is all mighty then perhaps g-d would do as us sysmins do and automate the creation process . Why would the divine waste time on something which us mere mortals would have found a simple solution for .

    These things need not be a dividing line , they are only made so by hatred and fear . Fear to know truth and to understand the workings of the world and if you choose the workings of g-d
  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:58PM (#14355143)
    What is interesting is how the retraction itself has made front page news. Yet when retractions that would be favorable to "liberals" or whatever always get buried on the back page. The Democrats really need to get their PR machine into the frickin game if they ever want to regain their influence.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @07:59PM (#14355151)
    It'd be best for liberals to just step away from this one.

    Why did you have to turn this into a partisan issue? Was it such a stretch to think that ALL defenders of American liberties - liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans, libertarians - could be equally concerned over a (thankfully false) report that the government was investigating people who read Mao's book? Did you honestly think only liberals would raise a stink over such an issue?

    Because if that is what you're saying, then you are tacitly admitting that only liberals are defenders of American liberties.

  • by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:05PM (#14355188) Homepage
    I agree, and to start the ball rolling:

    I don't believe in ID. That said, I don't at all agree that it's unconstitutional, or even improper. Perhaps it *should* be (although I don't think so), but I don't see anything to substantiate the argument that such prohibitions currently exist. The two arguments in favor of separation are as follows: 1) The constitution prevents the establishment of religion in the First Amendment, and 2) Congress has no power except that which is explicitly granted to it, therefore it can neither support nor discourage religion.

    However, in order to say that teaching ID is unconstitutional, the following criteria must be met:

    1) ID is religion
    2) Teaching religion as theory is supporting religion
    3) The classroom is a federal matter

    On the first point, ID might be a pillar of some religions, but I do not believe that it is paramount to religion. A religion is a construct (or divine law, if that's what you believe) which usually centers around a higher power, but not always. It is, at the heart of it, a set of principles, values, and beliefs about how one should live one's life, and possibly why. The theory of ID on its own makes no claim as to whom this being might be, what its motives were, or how we should regard it. It is the dichotomic (is that a word?) opposition of life arising by chance mingling of molecules. Either it happened by chance, or it didn't. Acknowledging an opposing viewpoint is not anti-science; rather it is the very foundation of science. To blindly follow any hypothesis or theory without regard to alternatives is the definition of bad science.

    On the second point, sociology is science, and religion is part of sociology. Sociology is not hard science like chemistry or physics, but it's science nonetheless. Further, no science is an island, regardless of how much each branch may wish it were so. I do believe it's a slippery slope, but sheltering children from various ideas is the opposite of education. Acknowledging that religion exists is not at all the same as supporting it. Teaching politics is as much of a slippery slope, and maintaining an unbiased presentation (inasmuch as that is humanly possible) is obviously important. Because it is difficult does not mean it shouldn't be attempted.

    On the third point, Congress only has powers which are granted to it by the Constitution. All other powers are granted to the state, or the individual. As far as I know, States are in charge of their own curriculum. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Congress is expressly prohibited from making any laws regarding religion, which would mean that such powers are relegated to the states by default. While it's not (to my knowledge) legal for any state to promote or discourage religion, such restrictions would logically be enacted on a state-by-state basis in their own constitutions. That, however, does not make it unconstitutional.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. I don't particularly like the idea of teaching ID, but when I try to think about it objectively, I just can't reconcile its prohibition.
  • by Anti_Climax (447121) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:09PM (#14355202)
    I really think my Freshman biology book got the creationism vs. evolution thing right. In the first chapter, probably within the first few pages, as it was introducing students to biology at large, it mentioned how most, if not all, of modern biology is built on the theory of evolution.
     
    It went on to say that there are groups which believe that the earth and the creatures as we know them, were created by a higher power. And while this could be possible, it was beyond the scope of a science class as it was not a scientifically testable hypothesis. It finished with suggesting that, should you wish to learn more about the idea of creationism, you should contact the clergy of your church of choice.

    Simple, Factual, not more than a parapgrah. Now if only I could remember who published that text book.
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Belseth (835595) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:10PM (#14355209)
    There ARE problems with civil rights in limited circumstances in the US, and these fake stories do nothing but HURT those who really have a legitimate bitch. So, rather than prove your point, it counters it.

    Got to differ with you are the rariety of civil rights abuses. They are getting out of control in this country. In some cities people are getting shot for disorderly conduct and other crimes that wouldn't nessaccarily involve jail time. Ignoring an officers orders shouldn't be grounds for execution in this country. Can't happen? Hate to break it to you but it's a daily occurance in this country. Just before I left LA a man was shot for disorderly conduct because both officers were under 130lbs and felt they couldn't handle the man. Since when have we gone to the Judge Dred system? Unless there's a serious risk of life there should be no excuse for beating or executing a suspect. I've seen hand cuffed suspects beaten on video tape that weren't even resisting arrest. We used to call it innocent until proven guilty. Add to that the government constantly ignoring the constitution and we have a serious problem. I just read an article about the NSA using visiting the website an excuse to install a thirty year cookie onto your computer to monitor where you browsed. Do we control the government or are they here to control us? The constitution says one thing but the government seems to feel the opposite is true.

  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:11PM (#14355212)
    I don't understand how the quote helps your case. When pressed for clarification, the general simply states: we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

    He said nothing about whether that information was actually useful. It doesn't contradict his initial statement, but it's really more of an obfuscation rather than a clarification.

    I also don't see how the fact that after 2001, 179 FISA requests have been modified illustrates that abuse has lessened. If anything, it tells me that Bush tried to push the envelope on who they're monitoring, and FISA told him "no". After which, in classic fashion, Bush decides to just ignore the FISA.

  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by technos (73414) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:19PM (#14355246) Homepage Journal
    Gen. Hayden: I can say unequivocally, all right, that we have got information through this program that would not otherwise have been available.

    So he got information he didn't already have. So what. It could have been anything from the bust size of a 1930's pinup girl to the fact the wiretap recipient likes to say "unh hun, and then what?" every five seconds while his mother in law is on the phone to piss her off.

    The fact they obtained information doesn't mean it was useful, or legally, or morally correct to collect it.

    Did they get real, actionable information they acted upon to save the United States from another 9/11 disaster? Nope. Or else they'd have trumpeted it all day long.
  • by sigloiv (870394) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:31PM (#14355310)
    That would be delusional. The judge is a rather conservative Bush appointee.

    Technically, judges don't belong to a party. Therefore, he's neutral. Just because Bush appointed him doesn't make him a conservative "nut".

  • by dartarrow (930250) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:35PM (#14355337) Homepage
    "And that is the problem. Progress ends when you stop looking for alternative explanations."

    Even with evolution we are starting to stop to look for anything alternative. I am not for nor agaisnt the theary of evolution. But it remains just that - a theory. Being a better theory does not make it true. Remember the time when the most acclaimed minds in the world thought that the world was flat? Or how the best minds once thought the molecule was the smallest unit before they discovered atoms and electrons and those became the smallest. Then they they spilt THOSE up too. Remember the period table 50 years ago had less elements than they do now.

    Intelligent Design may not be the answer. But that does not mean evolution is. Scientists are supposed to have an open mind. Accept your believes and accept that they may be wrong.
  • Re:About Firefly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jarnin (925269) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:39PM (#14355351)
    I have a feeling that the Serenity dvds will sell like hotcakes. I mean, I got a copy for Christmas, and I didn't even ask for it; my parents knew I liked sci-fi, so they picked it up.

    If the dvd does well, then I could see Universal being interested in a direct-to-video sequel, which would be fine by me.
  • by shobadobs (264600) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:40PM (#14355356)
    How do you prove a negative?

    MEEP! BEEP! The bullshit-o-meter just burst!

    Any statement of fact can be written in positive or negative form, so your statement simply says you can't prove anything at all. Positive: "I am going to the park today." Negative: "I am not going to remain outside the boundaries of the park today." Or more simply, "It is not true that it is not true that I am going to the park today."

    And in case you really believe the statement, "You can't prove a negative.": I'd like to see you try to prove it. Oh, I'm sorry, did I ask you to prove a negative?
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @08:46PM (#14355382) Homepage Journal
    Remember the time when the most acclaimed minds in the world thought that the world was flat?

    So you're saying that we should continue looking for alternatives to the current understanding that the world is round?
  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:02PM (#14355450)
    1) The constitution prevents the establishment of religion in the First Amendment, and 2) Congress has no power except that which is explicitly granted to it, therefore it can neither support nor discourage religion.

    You don't consider teaching one particular sect's creation story in a science class support?

    The theory of ID...

    ID is not a theory, at most it is a hypothesis

    ...on its own makes no claim as to whom this being might be, what its motives were, or how we should regard it.

    Except (by your own words) that it must be a being in the first place. That is a pretty specific claim

    Acknowledging an opposing viewpoint is not anti-science; rather it is the very foundation of science. To blindly follow any hypothesis or theory without regard to alternatives is the definition of bad science.

    All opinions are not equally valid in science. Only those opinions that can be tested in some way count. To blindly posit a hypothesis with no way to verify it and call it a theory is the (literal) definition of bad science in that it does not follow the scientific method.

    On the second point, sociology is science, and religion is part of sociology. Sociology is not hard science like chemistry or physics, but it's science nonetheless.

    Sociology class is not Biology class. People would not be nearly so upset it they were suggesting it for the sociology curriculum.

    On the third point, Congress only has powers which are granted to it by the Constitution.

    And converselty cannot wield powers that are specifically denied it. Of course, we are talking about the judiciary branch re: the article. To get to the heart of the matter (FTA): We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion.

    Case closed (thank God).
  • by IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:07PM (#14355482)
    I don't believe in ID. That said, I don't at all agree that it's unconstitutional, or even improper

    Neither does the judge, as far as I understood him. The whole thing was not about whether ID is constitutional or proper, it was about whether ID should be thaught in science classes or not.
  • by JonLatane (750195) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @09:46PM (#14355690)
    The first amendment prevents the government from interfering with established religion. It does NOT, however, prevent the church from meddling with government (AKA public schools).
    Perhaps you should read the first 10 words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It doesn't specifically say that no church can meddle with the government. But if a church meddles with the government, it can pretty much only be through the passage of laws. But hey! Congress can't pass a law respecting an establishment of religion. So, although it doesn't say it explicitly, it does this nicely. And before you say something about the courts being involved in religion, remember that the courts were established by Congress through legislation.

    Now, anything requiring intelligent design to be taught in schools would most certainly be a "law respecting an establishment of religion." And, although the Constitution only specifically mentions Congress, I think it should be agreed that this should apply to the states and municipalities and such as well (because I'm sure we'd be equally upset if these bodies banned free speech).

    I don't think anyone would have a problem with ID being taught in a religious studies class, which most high schools today offer. But that's where it belongs. A science class should teach ideas that have been proven (or at least backed up) through scientific evidence and conceptualized using a scientific method. But hey, religion in a religion class and science in a science class? That's just begging for the wrath of God, isn't it?

  • by juliuspc (837024) <slashdot@underarock.ca> on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:00PM (#14355758) Homepage

    Careful - rightnext to the bsometer is the wasnt-paying-attention-in-junior-high-ometer.

    The g.p. is refering to the scientific principle that you cannot prove an absolute negative. In general, it is a warning not to infer too much from one's own limited perspective of the universe.

    For example, "I can see no stars in the sky at this time" is much more easily supported than the statement "There are no stars in the sky." The statement, "I found no fish in this pond" is sensible, but the statement, "This pond has no fish" is close to nonsense.

    Per your example, "I do not intend to go to the park today" is a statement you can support. "I will not go to the park today" is not provable. Of course, that is because it is future-tellings, not because it is negative.

    Which brings us back to...

    Hidden variable theories of quantum mechanics have been pretty thoroughly disproven.

    This is misleading. The theories have not been disproven. They have simply not been proven. The fact that they have not, to date, been proven, does not imply that they are disproven. Actually, the theory of some pattern existing behind pseudorandom quantum phenomena may very well be not-provable and yet still true. (In order to emphatically prove such a theory, one have to discover the pattern... rendering the point moot!)

    Ask any metaphysicist.

  • by carlislematthew (726846) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:00PM (#14355760)
    Scientists are supposed to have an open mind.

    Most of them *do* have an open mind. But they require decent scientific theories do actually consider. Intelligent Design is the weakest theory around, and it's not science. You can't pitch a scientific theory against something that is not a scientific theory.

    ID is better explored in philosophy or theology (where is used to be before it was rebadged as ID).

    Remember the period table 50 years ago had less elements than they do now

    They may be true but it doesn't matter! Good scientists would have assumed that more elements may be found, given that they kept finding them! Intelligent design says, "I don't understand that - it looks way too tricky and complicated - God must have done it! Hooray for God, I was just *looking* for something to credit Him with".

  • by Sfing_ter (99478) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:56PM (#14356005) Homepage Journal
    Just go ask the congress and the senate, they have been doing it for years, and they don't seem to have a problem with it. Insurance companies do this too, so you can ask them... Oh yeah, the 30% loan companies... they do it too... (oh well it's actually 30% + prime) so ask them...
  • by egarland (120202) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @10:59PM (#14356020)
    God IS in the gaps. He always has been. The gaps are just perpetually shrinking as science fills the gaps with explanations that prove things behave deterministically. :)
  • Re:Ah, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by patternjuggler (738978) on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @11:18PM (#14356124) Homepage
    No, it would seem to prove there are so few cases regarding civil rights abuses that someone had to make one up. Or at least it would lead a logical person to conclude this. I mean, if there are 10s of thousands of real stories, and no one hears about them, and we only hear about this one, and it is fake? Do the math.

    Well, it is completely theoretically possible that the government is violating the amendment about unwarranted search and seizure for thousands or millions of people without any of them knowing about it. Not hearing any complaints doesn't mean that rights aren't being violated, not hearing any complaints doesn't mean the abuse is marginal and therefore harmless. Sure, the worst way to violate someone's right is to do it in a way that specifically and immediately hurts them - typically when a crime is committed the victim can show harm, but it is possible to have widespread and secret or subtle violations.

    Not hearing about abuses is no excuse, especially if all you do is read slashdot. There are websites being taken down and censored right now because the our good old nanny government has decided it wants a registry with names and phone numbers every adult entertainer, and plenty of other stuff going on I probably don't know about because I don't pay that much attention to the news (mainly because it's all bad and getting worse, I'd trade creationism-free textbooks for all the erosion of liberty we're seeing right now).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2005 @11:52PM (#14356255)
    > I don't see how you can teach biology while omitting the
    > idea that for the longest time almost every culture assumed
    > life came entirely from a super natural being.

    You missed the distinction. It's okay to mention that some Christians believe in ID. It's not okay to say that ID is an alternate, valid scientific theory.

    It's just like how you can learn in history class that Jesus/Buddha/Mohammed/etc was/is worshiped by Christians/Buddhists/Muslims/etc, but they won't tell you that it is right to worship Jesus/Buddha/Mohammed/etc.
  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @01:49AM (#14356747) Journal
    Dude, if he wants to go fishing for alternatives, let him. Nowhere did he imply that ID should be taught in schools; he merely pointed out that evolution should still be looked at with a healthy bit of skepticism, rather than dogmatic following.

    From your link: One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability."--end quote

    Theories are supposed to be treated with skepticism, and the "religious nutcase" you responded to displayed more of it than you have.

    Sometimes I think you slashbots have a religion unto yourselves.

  • by starX (306011) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @02:03AM (#14356791) Homepage
    Because I hadn't heard of the "Little Red Hoax" story, but if I had, I wouldn't have believed it. The department of Homeland Security showing up to harass a colege student for requesting a book through ILL that anyone can go to the local Barnes and Noble and buy right off the shelf? That doesn't make any sense. Misguided and draconian as some of the DHS's policies may seem, I have to believe that really they do have the best of intentions, and besides, if the government did ever think to institute a thought police, any right thinking individual would know that the first place they would go would be those darker corners of the net, not books published by trade paperback publishing companies.

    It's got to mean something that prominent people and news organizations picked this up. At face value, it could very well mean that they're just gullible, but I think there is something more legitimate going on. In the wake of the revelation of the Bush administration using the NSA to spy on citizens without getting wiretap warrants (when they are fairly easy to obtain) we have had a range of official responses from "so what?" to "yes we did it, don't you like freedom?" Sadly, this kind of wavering and uncertainty where the truth is concerned is the hallmark of this administr~~~~~ persons with power. This leaves those without power in a position where they don't know what to believe, but always feel safe in assuming the worse. DHS stormtroopers showed up to implant your new baby with a RFID chip? Page one above the fold!

    Unfortunately the natural paranoia that beaten down feel is only exacerbated by a media all too eager to jump on stories like this. Edward R. Murrough turns in his grave at the concept of this talking head journalism, but it sure does sell papers. Rightwing Extremist Nutcase vs. Leftwing Extremist Nutcase generates the sort of polarizing, us or them, emotional reaction quotes that make headlines. For those of you not paying attention, they make headlines because they sell papers.

    So now we have some college student trying to feel good about himself and justify his own existence. With narry a street protest to find to have his head bashed in by the cops (a clear sign that the system has failed when peaceful protests go uninterrupted), and probably not enough initiative to walk downtown to where the proletariat live to participate in one anyway, this anonymous fellow makes up a story that maybe will score him some points with whatever hippy chick in philosophy 101 that he's had his eye on. Really, this kind of story isn't the sort of thing you tell your professor when you're looking for an extension to a paper, nor is it really the sort of thing one admits during an advising session; this is really the sort of thing you say when you're three sheets to the wind drunk and looking to score (score what, exactly, I'll leave to your imagination). So everyone in this thing winds up with egg on their face. The kid who started it, those who believed him, and the journalists who spread the story because it sells papers. Us sane folk who realize we're not living in a police state yet just kind of shake our heads and wonder which is worse, thought police or freedom of stupidity.
  • by volpe (58112) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:16AM (#14357209)
    Theories are supposed to be treated with skepticism,

    Yes, but for scientific reasons, not religious ones. I wonder if he has the same level of skepticism for the atomic theory of matter, special relativity, and the round-earth theory.
  • Darwinism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sadtrev (61519) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @05:32AM (#14357240) Homepage
    Evolution is a process that is a logical consequence of three observable phenomena :
    1 - random mutation
    2 - suvirval of the fittest
    3 - inheritance of characteristics from parent(s) - including the random mutation
    Darwinism is the theory that all variation in life on Earth has arisen solely as result of this process. Proponents of ID are not the only people that object to Darwinism - there is credible evidence for some mechanisms of non-random mutation.

    Creationists using these subtleties is comparable to a flat-earther (or Velikovsky) using the 46-seconds of arc in the obit of Mercury to deny "Newtonism".

  • by Azghoul (25786) on Thursday December 29, 2005 @09:32AM (#14357899) Homepage
    Um, not to be too pedantic, but yes. It's called Geodesy. And the world isn't "round" at all.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

Working...