Earth orbits sun is “only a theory”

From Slashdot | Correcting Misperceptions About Evolution

Re:Origin of life ?! (Score:5, Insightful)

by Alsee (515537) on Thursday February 28 2008, @05:37AM (#22585908)

why would we need to push this on everyone outside the context of science?

Why would we need to push “earth orbits the sun” on everyone outside the context of science? Science touches upon every area of our lives, and we are generally screwed if we don’t have a population with a reasonable basic general education. A basic overview of biology needs to be covered in highschool just as much as a basic overview of chemistry does. Biology without evolution makes as much sense as chemistry without the periodic table of elements.

Going on to college to get an education as a doctor, or countless other professions, pretty well first requires a foundation learning elements and evolution and more.

There is something seriously wrong if a medical school has to teach fractions and other remedial math. There is something seriously wrong if a medical school has to teach atoms and other remedial chemistry. There is something seriously wrong if a medical school has to teach the evolutionary tree and other remedial biology.

And even then, they don’t need to discount other accountings

What do you mean “discount other accountings”?

Do you mean like “discounting” the sun going around a motionless earth accounting of the solar system? And “discounting” the four element earth-air-fire-water chemistry accounting of chemistry?

If that is what you mean, then yeah, the general public rather should have enough general education to be aware that such “accountings” have been completely discounted.

Lets clear some misconceptions. (Score:5, Insightful)

by tempest69 (572798) on Thursday February 28 2008, @04:04AM (#22585442)

The initial concept was that man was able to change the traits of livestock and pets through selective breeding, or manual selection.. and that the forces of nature may be doing the same, creating multiple species of iguana, as we do dogs.

This has some big consequences.. that recursion would mean that whatever was a common ancestor would need a common ancestor,, all the way down. and perhaps plants and animals are fundamentally different arising from different organisms, and a few trunks might appear for bugs, fungus, and bacteria..

By choosing traits carefully, a phylogeny was developed, which related animals to each-other.. strangely this worked really well.

Anyway, evolution predicts that there is a tree structure, and that endpoints dont cross over.. so mammals dont get 4 chambered lungs like birds, but might still have some egg laying abilities like reptiles. Not should we see the octopus eye structure in humans. or bug armor on birds. Armadillos will have armor from keratin like a rhino horn, or fingernails.

Anyway, once molecular biology and sequencing came out, it solidly backed the theory.. Phylogeny people have been re-mapping the tree, bacteria took some serious adjustment, larger organism less so.

Now there is a push to generate “ancestral genomes” so that we have an idea of what the predecessor organisms were capable of… and where some of the novel enzymes popped into being. So enzymes which appear to be adaptation from our last ice age might be related in some way to survival of the cold, or eating rodents without GI distress. But with some timing, and some idea of the climate, the flora, and fauna some good guesses can be made as to why a subtle change might have happened.

So evolution theory may help in figuring out why humans stopped making vitamin C, and rats never need a vitamin C pill or fruit in their lifetime.

Or it can confirm things that we might already have guessed.. that humans make less stomach acid during pregnancy might be an evolutionary adaption to morning sickness.. because most pregnant women don’t seem to have chronic bulimia problems, ie rotten teeth, esophagus ulcers, which would occur at higher acid concentrations. anyway, once they find the control mechanism I’m betting that it’ll point to roughly the time when we started bipedalism.

Yes evolution is science, it does matter, knowing the history of automobiles lets us understand why tempered glass isnt appropriate for a windshield. Knowing the path that our ancestors evolved with lets us know what we should watch out for when we start tinkering.


Re:Going after the parents is a mistake (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2008, @04:52AM (#22585676)

Hi. I was raised as Roman Catholic. I went to a Catholic elementary and a Catholic high school. I was baptized, had my First Communion, and even was Confirmed (on my own, more or less). I was even an altar boy for many many years. You could say that my education as a Catholic was complete.

In my studies, I read the Bible in Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek (with help of course) and learned that many things that are said in English are either out of context or blatantly wrong due to translation and just plain *HUMAN* error. Yes. The original Christian church showed me all of this in theology classes. The Church didn’t seem to have a problem telling me that “P” and “J” and other sources wrote down the Old Testament and that Moses was looooooong dead by then. Or that the English “7 days” in Hebrew really meant “a long time.” Among other things.

The Roman Catholic Church does not say that Evolution contradicts religion. In fact, the Church even explicitly said it had no argument against Evolution and that science is just fine.

It appears to me that it’s the Fundies/Literalists with their King James translated Bible and absolutely no theological training whatsoever that are coming up with this Religion vs. Science debate. There isn’t one. The writers of the Bible “the Jews” don’t even have a problem with it.

Oh, and I hate to break it to you, but Jesus isn’t coming again. His second coming was his Transfiguration (after he rose from the dead). It’s just that the Fundies/Literalists don’t even bother looking up “Revelation” in a dictionary. Revelations is basically another story about Christ *in the past* but written with a lot of religious symbolism. No prophecies.

What are you going to do with your free time now? Please consider donating your labor to charity groups such as Habitat for Humanity.

Re:Not everyone is a lifelong learner… (Score:5, Interesting)

by mmarlett (520340) on Thursday February 28 2008, @03:04AM (#22585124)

The problem is not that people do not learn, it is that people learn how to reinforce their prejudice. That is, as a species we tend to gather information that reinforces our fears. My mother in law will forever fixate on anything that proves her theory that leaving the house in general is a bad idea. Information to the contrary — statistics about airline safety, for example — will be disregarded. Anecdotes about blonde women raped and murdered in the Caribbean will be referenced on a daily basis.

As soon as we learn a model for the world, we want to actively support that model. We emotionally invest. Few of us have the capacity to re-examine that model constantly. Sometimes, overwhelming evidence will cause a sea change in certain groups’ world view, but generally we like to stick to our own.

Some people have a world view that includes a just and active Christian God with a book that explains the way the world works; any evidence to the contrary is dismissed out of hand and any evidence to support it is grabbed on to no matter how irrational. Some (a few) people are just the opposite: they would dismiss any evidence of a deity and hold fast to any seeming contradiction in dogma, no matter how badly translated. I’m in the later group, and I dismiss out of hand anything anyone says about the existence of any god. I’m prejudiced that way, for better or worse.

But simply trying to explain things to the parents will probably not make any great inroads in society. Perhaps, but probably not. More likely, you’ll get a group of 10 people pissed off and they’ll have nothing better to do than to repeatedly call your boss/underwriter until you are forced to go sell hot dogs on the street for simply suggesting that we should all get along and that no one should be nailed to anything for it. I’m just saying.

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