Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children. In other news, neither are the stories of Noah, Samson, Jonah and Jesus


 

Best quote from the above video:

And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.

Thanks, Tina!

 

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Sweet! The Half-life of Facts! Jesus gets immunity.


Kottke posted that there’s a new book by Samuel Arbesman called, “The Half-Life of Facts.

The book talks about how “facts” change and evolve. There’s a common misconception that we supposed science lovers repeat over and over when talking to non-skeptical, un-thinking folks.

There’s a honk in there somewhere.

But we say, “Science doesn’t claim a dogma or solid truth. While we appear to be assholes about evolution, science is open to change.”

It makes it different from, say, religion or Playboy magazine, which is always, ALWAYS representative of the pinnacle of quality, reality and brilliance.

It’s like the evolution of pubic hair maintenance over the years. The way you trim, wax or laser may be different, but what’s underneath always stays the same.

Honk.

But science’s claim to fame is its beautiful ability to change with the information and data.

Once it’s proven that men and women don’t walk on water, it becomes questionable that anyone ever did.

Does that make sense, or do I need to get out the chalk board and do some diagrams?

More about the book:

Facts change all the time. The age at which women should get a mammogram has increased. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly while the healthiness of carbs and fat seems to be in constant flux. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe, that Pluto was a planet, and that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. What we know about the world is constantly changing.

Samuel Arbesman is an expert in scientometrics, literally the science of science—how we know what we know. It turns out that knowledge in most fields evolves in systematic and predictable ways, and understanding that evolution can be enormously powerful. For instance, knowing how different branches of medicine overturn their bodies of knowledge can improve the way we train (and retrain) physicians.

The Half-Life of Facts features fascinating examples from fields as diverse as technology and literature. It will help us find new ways to measure the world while accepting the limits of how much we can know with certainty.

Dawkins and Krauss pompously discuss “Something from Nothing”


This video of biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss discussing the topic of “Something from Nothing” was published while I was out of town.

I’ve been meaning to post it, but haven’t personally had the time to watch it. I’ve got it running in the background today as I’m photo editing.

If I were someone who doubted evolution and physics regarding this topic, I would hope I would watch something like this. The issue is that (especially) Dawkins is demonized and hated by believers. So if you were a believer watching this video, you might find yourself grinding your teeth while watching.

If that’s the case, I hope you can get past that.

I put “pompous” in the header, because (1) I’m snarky and (2) that’s the way it can be construed. However, it’s well worth a watch (or listen).

I find believers who accept evolution admirable. But the great majority of believers — especially in America — don’t accept evolution or the Big Bang. But I have hope.

Whether you accept it or not, I hope you give this video a whirl.

Via

I get email … from ZDENNY!!!


You’ll never believe what one of the major memories was from our trip to Bali.

No, it wasn’t having a monkey sit on my back for almost three minutes.

No, it wasn’t staring into an active volcano.

No, it wasn’t walking through a Hindu temple built in 1,000 A.D.

Nor was it not seeing any Hindu mega-temples with big jumbo-tron screens and technology that seemed to point at the local poor people and laugh uncontrollably.

The major memory from Bali was … dum(b)! dum(b)! dum(b)! … getting a random, out-of-the-blue email from ZDENNY THUNDER!!!

All the ZDENNY and even more of the THUNDER!!!

ZDENNY was a Christian troll and blogger that almost everyone knew back during his short stint as master Christian responder on the Internets. He had a blog, a twitter account and an almost cult unfollowing of atheist bloggers — like yours truly.

I say “was” because he was so often defeated and beat down that he retired. He waved the white flag of surrender and closed his blog and twitter to “spend more time with his family.”

He was the mosquito that you swat at but never hit.

At some point, I embraced him, and let him jag off as much as he wanted on this blog.

Predictability was his specialty

ZDENNY wrote predictable things that I was taught to tell people when I was a Christian, like, “Without Jesus, you don’t know love.” “You have no morality without Jesus.”

ZDENNY was an extreme advocate for young earth creationism and reviled by evolution — also things I was taught in high school.

The email I received while in Bali was long and bold. Of course he includes a confidentiality statement on his emails, which is a complete waste of time, as it’s on a Yahoo account. Someone forgot to tell Zdenny that Yahoo accounts renders confidentiality statements, well, yahoo.

This post has become too long. I’m going to throw Zdenny’s email below the fold with my notes in red. Bon appetit! Continue reading

NPR: Why Do So Many Have Trouble Believing In Evolution?


English: Charles Darwin (1809-1882) in his lat...

Image via Wikipedia

I have found the emboldened line below (my emphasis) to be very true:

The evidence is clear, as in a February 2009 Gallup Poll, taken on the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, that reported only 39 percent of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36 percent don’t have an opinion either way.

The same poll correlated belief in evolution with educational level: 21 percent of people with a high school education or less believed in evolution. That number rose to 41 percent for people with some college attendance, 53 percent for college graduates, and 74 percent for people with a postgraduate education.

Clearly, the level of education has an impact on how people feel about evolution.

Read on

Lined leaf-tail gecko: evolution will blow your mind


Take a look at that beautiful gecko, would you?

You’d think it was a carving of a gecko, but it’s not. It’s a:

Lined leaf-tail gecko / gestreepte bladstaartgekko (Uroplatus lineatus) – Exotic Reserve Peyrieras, Madagascar

There are many reasons why evolution is true. And this is no exception.

Do you see these in your backyard?

Well, do you?

No, you don’t.

Do you know why you don’t see these beautiful creatures in your backyard? Because evolution secludes itself to local environments. And when animals lives on islands for millions of years, they gradually change and adapt. And creatures that emerge from predecessors on say, Madagascar, do not emerge elsewhere.

That’s why evolution is so cool. It specializes in making animals and plants change and adapt to their local environments.

Original image found here. I saw it posted at TYWKIWDBI. Wiki here.

Your jaw … on the floor.