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Tuesday, August 2, 2005 - 10:24pmSanction this postReply
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They already teach "Intelligent Design" in Saudi Arabia. They even skip any science that might contradict "Intelligent Design," like genetic algorithms. Make it algorithms, period. That's why Saudi kids can't manage engineering school. All their engineers are either from outside the Arab world, or Palestinians educated in Israeli or Lebanese universities. If Bush has his way and our schools teach religious fantasies instead of science - we can always hire engineers and scientists from elsewhere. After all, that is good enough for Bush's Saudi friends...

Post 1

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 - 11:41pmSanction this postReply
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Ug ... an uninspiring, gladhanding Supreme Court nominee, bloated transportation and energy bills, and now this. I knew I was in for a long summer when Raich v. Gonzalez was handed down, but goddamn!


Post 2

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 2:46amSanction this postReply
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On a positive note, Bush's newly appointed ambassador to the UN, hates the UN ;-)


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Post 3

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 6:38amSanction this postReply
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I've always thought, at school board meetings where the teaching of intelligent design is being considered, that the following should be proposed.

"In science classes that teach the solar system, our kids our being taught the earth goes around the sun. We should also teach that the sun and planets go around the earth, because:

"1) It contradicts the Bible
2) The idea that the Earth goes around the sun is just a theory. No one has actually witnessed the Earth going around the sun.
3) We should teach both and let the kids decide for themselves."

The idea, of course, would be to show that the same standards that are being used to introduce intelligent design are so lax, they can be used to introduce almost any idea.

Post 4

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 6:52amSanction this postReply
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"You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."

This doesn't seem unreasonable to me.  If nothing else it teaches students how to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Science is trial and error, live with it.

 

If the contention is that there is not enough time in the school day for 'silly' questions, I reject it categorically.  What is taught in the first 12 years of schooling could easily be taught in 6.

 

Except for those who argue for a hierarchy of relevance, there is no discernable difference between those who today deem themselves prescient and infallible enough to reject, out of hand, lines of inquiry they do not favor and the Catholic Church in the 17th Century. 

 

All who fuss about these things would be defending blood letting against the know nothings who argued against it if they lived in the 18th Century.   




Post 5

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 7:03amSanction this postReply
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Yes, but the theory of Creation design has no level of validity in science classes. You could take it into religious classes and display it as an alternative theory there, but not in science classes.

Especially when it comes to biology, the subject is not as knowingly funded in people as let's say Gravity (although this is also a very difficult topic ;)) on Earth. So, when it comes to theories that show almost incredible randomness and the results are very complex and useful, humans tend to think of a Creator of some sort. It is just natural to assume that all complex systems are made by a superior being. However, that nature ( a system of simple constants) can construct something that complex, without being a sentient being itself, seems unbelievable.
But isn't it also unbelievable that humans can construct a tool that is on some level even superior to themselves (computer f.e.)?
So, there must not be a creator that is causing something more complex, but a system of environmental constants and variables can cause something more intelligent than itself. I know the example human-computer might lack on some levels, but it shows that complexity must not derive from something with even more complexity, but even with simplicity.
So, the concept of a system (nature or universe or reality) can set the circumstances without being sentient for other things to develop sentience.
But this is a concept that isn't acceptable for most people at one glance.
Therefore they more easily succumb to the Creationist idea and see it as a valid scientific theory (even if it has no direct proof).


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Post 6

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 7:20amSanction this postReply
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"This doesn't seem unreasonable to me.  If nothing else it teaches students how to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Science is trial and error, live with it."

Yeah lets not teach kids anything then, lets just stick them on the playground at the age of 2 and say "Good luck, hope you can re-invent calculus."


Post 7

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 7:49amSanction this postReply
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Adam:

 

They even skip any science that might contradict "Intelligent Design," like genetic algorithms.

 

Finance-Based Scheduling: Tool to Maximize Project Profit Using Improved Genetic Algorithms
by Ashraf M. Elazouni, (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction Engineering and Management, King Fahd Univ. of Petroleum and Minerals, P.O. Box 346, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia; formerly, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig Univ. E-mail: aelazouni@hotmail.com) and Fikry Gomaa Metwally, (Lecturer, Dept. of Construction Engineering and Management, King Fahd Univ. of Petroleum and Minerals, P.O. Box 346, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: alaaandarwa@yahoo.com)
http://www.pubs.asce.org/WWWdisplay.cgi?0510813

 

The larger question:  What they (any they of your choice) skip is stupid, but what you would skip would be appropriate.  No, skipping anything is inappropriate, by the idiot them or the genius you.  Get it?

 

That's why Saudi kids can't manage engineering school.

 

 

Really.  There is logic for you; no Saudi kid can manage engineering school. 

 

All their engineers are either from outside the Arab world, or Palestinians educated in Israeli or Lebanese universities

 

The Saudis who graduate from MIT are illusionary.

 

 

MIT alumni in Saudi Arabia number about 80; the majority of them (90%) are Saudis. Those alumni have MIT degrees in diverse disciplines and work in a variety of professions within Saudi Arabia many in high-ranking positions in the government and private sector. http://www.mitsaudi.org/pr_dinner_2004.htm

 

 

If Bush has his way and our schools teach religious fantasies instead of science - we can always hire engineers and scientists from elsewhere. After all, that is good enough for Bush's Saudi friends...

 

King George is a paranoid delusion, but a lot of aged hippies, who took too much acid in the 60s and 70s, share it.


Post 8

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 7:53amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

Yeah lets not teach kids anything then, lets just stick them on the playground at the age of 2 and say "Good luck, hope you can re-invent calculus."
Isn't that what government schools do?


Post 9

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 7:55amSanction this postReply
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Max,

It's you, the German max.  The picture threw me off.  Good point, not news.

(Edited by Robert Davison on 8/03, 8:46am)


Post 10

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 8:13amSanction this postReply
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Scott,

Finally someone with a sense of humor whose hair is not on fire over this issue.


Post 11

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 9:39amSanction this postReply
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I think that "thinking straight" (epistemology) ought to be taught before tackling science and its religious alternatives. If this were done, then individual students could apply correct thinking tools to both the notions of ID, and to the reasoned developments of science.

Teach 'em how ta' think straight, then let'm each decide fer' themselves.

Ed

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Post 12

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 11:13amSanction this postReply
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Robert,

Yes, I had Saudi classmates at MIT. They were graduates of British or Swiss residential schools, members or relatives of the royal family. They make exceptions for themselves, but their numbers are too small to make a difference over-all.

And I have spoken about effect of pre-college deficiencies with faculty members from Saudi Arabia, at several international conferences including one last June. They do have severe difficulties finding students with enough science to do engineering. The faculty, if Arab, tend to be Palestinians or Lebanese. The few students who qualify for the study of engineering in their universities have had the advantage of studying in the West, or with private tutors. The faculty themselves send their kids to their home countries for secondary school.

Unfortunately, many school districts in the United States already follow similar policies, de-emphasizing those aspects of science that they have religious problems with. Even at the university where I teach, the students with the best preparation in math and science tend to be immigrants from Hindu India or Atheist China, or come from scattered secular school districts that do not censor their science curricula.

The key principle that tends to be censored in many districts, is the principle that all knowledge comes from induction, and from testing hypotheses against the evidence of the senses. Without that principle there is no possibility of objective epistemology, nor of science. Without that principle it becomes easy to claim that "intelligent design" and similar supernatural bullshit is as good as actual knowledge. Objective knowledge is the foundation of Western Enlightenment and of the Human civilization built on the Enlightenment. To make it possible to teach "intelligent design" as though it were science, the foundation of our civilization is being destroyed, by religious troglodytes, as we speak.

Post 13

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
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Bush's quote makes sense to me... to introduce ID... just so that kids know whats out there. The sickening thing would be if a teacher tells the students that evolution is incomplete, and that ID completes it.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores
on 8/03, 11:38am)


Post 14

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 11:45amSanction this postReply
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Ed wrote "I think that "thinking straight" (epistemology) ought to be taught before tackling science and its religious alternatives. "

I presume that you are referring to training someone to think logically. If so, where does intuition fit in?

Sanjay

Post 15

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
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Sanjay,

Long time no interact with. Intuition is best explained by unconceived-of parallel -- but interactional -- processing. In other words, intuition is nothing other than several lines of linear logic, interactionally synthesizing a grand, unforeseen solution.

A entails B
B entails C
------------
A entails C

[multiplied by, and mixed with, a couple other lines of reasoning]

Ed


Post 16

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 3:21pmSanction this postReply
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Ed,

Point set and match.

If you can't trust students to decide themselves because they can't focus or reason then, decisions must be made for them.  By whom?  A government appointed committee headed by Adam Reed?


Post 17

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 3:22pmSanction this postReply
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Scott your take kind of reminds me of Penn Jillette's.

He said teaching the two side by side would be a great way to teach kids the difference between good science and NON-science.

---Landon


Post 18

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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Dean,

Bush's quote makes sense to me... to introduce ID... just so that kids know whats out there.

You make the salient point unlike Adam's paranoid delusion that anyone, with the power to make a decision, recommends teaching ""intelligent design" as though it were science".


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Post 19

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 6:40pmSanction this postReply
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Robert,

But if "Intelligent Design" were taught about in a social anthropology course on the beliefs of pre-enlightenment savages, then I would not have anything to object to!

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