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Meson (3/13)



  1. You'll note that [imath]m_0 = \left((\frac{E}{c^2})^2 - (\frac{p}{c})^2\right)^\frac{1}{2}[/imath] is invariant.
  2. I didn't say it was. I specifically and consistently characterized his hypothesis as 'students exposed to a religious view of the life sciences would underperform students exposed to the secular view.' I've pointed out that we should find some evidence of this in datasets breaking down student academic performance, graduation rates and college attendance by their affiliate schools. At first glance Christian schools should be more likely to instruct against evolution's consequences for life ancestry; therefore, students enrolled there underperform their public school peers. This is clearly not the case; in a country where three quarters of private school students are enrolled in some religious program. Next step would be either to break out Catholic and Jewish schools--which may or may not corrupt our sample--or focus as closely as possible on sectarian schools with known programs that instruct against evolution. I have not found that dataset. Neither has Severian, or Moleke, or silkworm. Until somebody does, all this is logic chopping mixed with a whole lot of faith.
  3. This is a non sequitur, and a woefully inaccurate one at that. Public policy and education science are actual sciences. That's why schools like MIT and NYU have such degree programs that culminate in Bachelors and Masters of Science Truth is a philosophical question. The scientific merits of particular model in biology is, unsurprisingly, a question for biological sciences. The question raised by Severian, whether students exposed to religious views of the life sciences versus those exposed to secular views are at a disadvantage academically (and presumably professionally) is a question for the managerial and education sciences. These folks have as studied and nuanced as you. Tell me why I should take your contempt for the social sciences as theirs for biology? Really? Maybe its leveling out. Maybe its turning a corner. Maybe you have the trend line handy and would like to share it with us. Is it your argument that geology is the study of geologically active systems? If it were fundamental, we would apply it to any geological system. We don't. And do you have a data set to back that up? I think you think too highly of yourself and probably a bit too resentfully of your peers. Beyond the your contemtptuous article of faith, what else do we have to uphold this claim that physicians are incompetent biologists? Based on your comments, I'd figure you for a socially stunted and prone to focus your anger in misdirected rants about your perceived superior intelligence to those in respectable professions. I'm sure that's not the case, but since we're all apparantly in the business of measuring one another's character by their mostly anonymous comments, then that's the way you come across. I assume you mean to say that consistency demands we apply the model to life ancestry. But who really cares if somebody asserts that supernatural events 6,000 years ago gave rise to life, rather than the story we can extrapolate from the theory and consistent evidence in the fossil record, between clades, and whatnot? I understand you hold your own intelligence vis a vis that of others in extreme high regard. I'm not so sure that's a healthy way to approach this conversation. As I see it, the education provides me with the skills and tools necessary to make my best possible shot at what I consider to be a good life. If that's different for you, then so be it. Unless you can show the motive for study has empirically testable consequences for competence and characterize the trend, you're just taking it on faith. How do you answer that? You can help us all out by defining "strength" and showing us the data that bears out your hypothesis. This brings us right back to Severian's very hard, testable claim; students exposed to secular life sciences are more likely to go to college than students who miss out. My God. You mean that for you it all boils down to a "I know something you don't know" game? Really? A healthy sex life? Financial security? Family? Good friends? Booze? A religious calling is a noble enterprise. But I'm a victim of a popular American mem--academic obsession to the detriment of other pursuits of happiness is just plain sad. I condone not caring what people believe insofar as concerns matters of the distant past and there is no tangible consequence in their everyday lives. The end result of your reasoning is the moral condemnation of ignorance regardless of its cause; whether due to lack of exposure, priority or the decision to believe something else. Perhaps this has something to do with your contempt for people who think its beneath them or that its inconsistent with their religious beliefs for man to have evolved from the same ancestor as a chimp. It's pretty unhealthy when a loose cannon traditionalist starts railing against the evils of evolution. I don't see the difference between that and your own disdain for religious people who've never harmed you. I'm quite sure you're making this up, but I'll bite. Who, when, where? And do you have the tapes? Or if we're just going to delve into personal experience, I've met plenty of Joe Schmos who wouldn't give two cents if man evolved from ape or if ape evolved from Charlton Heston; and would probably grow quickly bored with a random, unsolicited conversation on the subject. And how would it have helped him in life? Sure I can. I pointed this out before, truth is an epistemological question. Maybe you can point to a single post where I denied "the fact of evolution."
  4. Agnostic asked what is his obligation to believe that evolution is true. That has nothing to do with the scientific method; it is an epistemological question that is as validly addressed through a legal lens as it is through any other principle method of divining truth. If you care more about whether you should believe that a man and ape have a common ancestor rather than the coherence of a model predicting one way or another, then a legal approach is probably more interesting than a scientific one. For those of us not terribly interested in biology on a whole, this is definitely an appropriate outlet for entering the discussion. It's definitely in the right forum.
  5. Because its presently evident in all of its active features. Allele frequencies do tend to change from generation to generation. This is easily verified and its easy to search the forums for any number of references substantiating this. If you're asking why we should believe the phylogenic implications of evolution, the only thing I can say is that I don't care enough to worry that I accept it almost entirely on the basis of its sexiness. If you believe the world was created de novo 6000 years ago, more power to you. Nearly a century and a half of experimental and observational evidence. Combined with its elegance and explanatory power when applied to the question of the ancestry of modern species, its a pretty convincing point of view. That is, of course, unless you subscribe to some different cosmology and origins perspective and care enough about what happened 6,000 or more years ago. In which case all the discoveries consistent with evolutionary, geological and cosmological models of the distant past may or may not be enough to interest you. I think a far more interesting question attaches to education policy; is an unscientific view of the distant past incompatible with the aims of a free, technically proficient, and scientifically curious society that wishes to stay that way? In short, can you be a good scientist and believe the good Lord created the universe and everything in it in six days? That's the debate that gets me excited, and for that reason among others I definitely prefer the company of IDiots to their critics.
  6. I think in this case its useful, and slightly less misleading, to actually think about content (say a volume of dust or an area of specks) rather than space. The rubber sheet analogy captures the idea that we can see content receding in expansion, but at the cost of leaving laymen with the impression that content is just lying on some material thing that is pushing it apart. If you... 1) think about content growing increasingly diffuse or concentrated due to some interaction with itself, as you would with a volume of gas or dust in your everyday spatial experience. 2) then observe that the idea of distance between points in that content changes with the distribution of that content ...then I think that pretty much captures how general relativity, describing the behavior of geometry and topology due to some distribution of mass-energy, and astronomy, which characterizes that distribution empirically, knock boots to give us an extremely elegant cosmological model. I think a better analogy would fall along these lines, getting away from a material notion of space and space-time and getting people to think about dust clouds. But I'm quite sure somebody else can explain it better than I can
  7. Aw hell, its not worth it. This is your area of expertise.
  8. Never said it did. On the other hand, the thread discussion involved a deposition transcript specifically dealing with ID. Sev observed that lawyers gum up the works in so far as science education policy because they're not knowledgable of the issue. He then went on to argue that sustained exposure "this rubbish"--presumably ID--would hurt students attempting to get into college. I pointed out that I've seen no scientific evidence to date that this is the case. Just as I've seen no scientific evidence to date regarding any of your claims about the quality and character of life science education in high school or political pressure faced by public school teachers. How so? Sev's hypothesis is plain and simple. "The schools would pretty soon learn that if they teach the kids this rubbish that the kids won't get places at college or get jobs, and the parents won't send them there." My guess is we'd look for data sets breaking down private schools by religious affiliation and take a look at their student performance as well as their matriculation and college attendance rates. Mine. I have a stronger math, public policy and education science background than you do. Please hold your applause until the end of the post. Which is you saying that 35 percent of Protestant and 43 percent of Muslim physicians have learned nothing. [1] I can assume that 18 percent of them are. Which is why I pointed out that the crux of the debate is over the theory of evolution's consequences in terms of the evolution of life in the distant past. Like I said, there's not much uproar against the idea that genes change. If you're done snowing the audience, why don't you explain how this has anything to do with whether or not humans came as they were 6000 years ago de novo? I don't recall you being given the authority to manufacture absurd positions for people not here to defend themselves in order to belittle them. You didn't answer my question. How is a physician hampered by holding the additional, unscientific belief that life began 6000 years ago as the product of some divine power? You're logic chopping. Severian has a hypothesis with no empirical support. You have nothing additional to provide. So next question, what besides contempt drives you to that belief? Then I'm sure you have the data to back that up. You really need to read more carefully. I pointed out that CS majors do not require an extensive background in EE. I don't recall anyone appointing you to a Court, granting you a law degree, or otherwise giving you any authority to declare as simple assertion that the establishment clause is enough to keep creationism out of schools. Surely you have a compelling and insurmountable argument to back that up. If you say so. Not my area. So how is plate tectonics as fundamental as the laws of motion?
  9. Quick question. Isn't there something wrong with the stretchy string, rubber sheet, balloon analogy if the idea we're trying to convey is that its a definition of distance, with a scale factor slapped on, not some tangible thing an 8 year old can bite on, that's expanding? There's gotta be a better way to explain this stuff.
  10. There's a word for that. Prosyletization. Seriously, don't you think its more important that a student finds something genuinely exciting and personally lucrative to excel at instead of worrying about whether or not he or she believes man evolved from apes? If so, who cares if biology doesn't gets their blood flowing? Biology and chemistry were very valuable. It was a necessary 24 credits to complete to get a very valuable degree. I don't think there's much of a constituency out there for the "physics/engineering/mathematics are evil" mode of education. We're talking about a pretty narrow set of objections--particularly when it comes to the life sciences and almost entirely as it pertains to evolution's consequences for Earth's history on geological timescales. I think there's a lot more to nerds that make them creepy than pathological obsessions for the obscure. That said, there are many perfectly well adjusted people in engineering and the sciences who could give a crap about whether Kansas teaches intelligent design or evolution to high schoolers. They live fulfilling, productive lives, are competent in their professions, and are otherwise nice people to hang around. So what's so great about being a nerd? Strange, I thought the mode of most primary and secondary education in the United States only promises to provide students with some perceived minimum set of skills necessary to live and work in society. How are evolution and plate tectonics as 'fundamental' as the laws of motion? I'd say we've failed as a nation if we can't get kids out of high school who can read at the appropriate level, handle math problems expected of high school graduates, and work with concepts of distance and time in meaningful, productive ways. I don't care if Joe Schmo the Electrician knows where the continents were hundreds of millions of years ago or that we can a phylogenetic tree detailing human and ape evolution from common ancestors. I doubt he cares either.
  11. You might want to read the decision. Those words are Justice Hugo Black, who wrote a 5-4 decision determining that Ewing's reimbursement of costs for busing to religious private and parochiel schools did not rise to an "establishment of religion." Since 1947, the legal debate has been over the meaning of the word 'participation,' and the hottest venue for that is in Lemon test cases. Which is one view of Everson's ban against open or covert state 'participation.' And like any term that finds itself in legal space, participation--eventually endorsement--will be revisited by new lawyers before new judges appointed by new Presidents. On a side note, law is a fun and interesting area of study. Instead of just, as Moleke puts it, 'googling and vomiting,' take some time to get a basic understanding of how law comes to be, is applied and reconsidered. Everything about it is exciting, from something seemingly as mundane as subject matter jurisdiction all the way to the "sexier" constitutional sticking points.
  12. Which is why I said "getting back to Severian's point." Sorry. I meant to say grade school, middle school *and* high school. Roughly half of students enrolled in private schools are in Catholic ones. Another third affiliate with other religions and Christian denominations. [1] You can also play with the NAEP data explorer to get the science scores for 12th graders in 2000 in public and non-public schools. Short story: Catholics, 161 -- secular public schools, 145. [2]. Either way, it doesn't answer my question. My guess is we should find some pretty hard evidence that students at religious schools fare worse academically and attend college at a lower rate than public school students. At least that's the kernel of Severian's hypothesis. I don't know. Probably. I personally have little interest or use for it, so it was just another requirement for me. I don't have much use for Hamlet either, and lit classes weren't required. I'd say it was probably one of the best undergrad intro bio courses in the United States. I guess we have to agree to disagree. , and not even worth calling an education. You're a cheap version of google I don't think I've posted in the biology forums. Like I said, I'm not interested in the life sciences or chemistry. Something to do with mucas, I guess. As far as the discussion strays into matters of public policy--that's what interests and excites me. I said I took the requirements because I had to. I didn't say I learned nothing. Possibly, although that view apparantly hasn't occurred to 55 percent of Protestant and 73 percent of Muslim physicians. [3]. I imagine they believe they're employing biology to some purpose and with some effect. That is, insofar as we're narrowly discussing the theory's consequence towards explaining the course of life over geological periods of time. I'm quite sure few people are offended by the modest notion that allele frequency changes over time; I wouldn't be surprised if most people don't care. No argument from me here. Although I fail to see how a physician significantly hampered by the additional, unscientific belief that evolution has not and does not give rise to new species. After all, what does it matter professionally to a doctor if life started its course to the present de novo as 6000 years ago? I guess understanding allows someone trained in one field to come onto boards like these and issue dicta to those trained in others--like education and public policy. After all, this began with a simple question: why does Severian predict that children educated in (presumably) religious institutions are less likely to meet the academic challege of college than those who attend secular schools. Computer science is interesting enough without an extensive background in electrical engineering; enough that it has its own field. An even sharper distinction can be made between electrical engineers and astrophysicists. I even hear they let mathematicians do all sorts of crazy topology and diff geometry without studying cosmology.
  13. Which would be one point of view. There are definitely others, and there's a whole gang of lawyers, judges, senators and even a President or two who get a say in how the 'final' point of law plays out.
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