Wednesday, August 3

Just for a change of pace . . .

I'm NOT gonna bash Bush for being a moron.

He is, but this time I'm after the press.

So Shrub gets up on his hind legs and tells some TexAss reporters that he believes "the theory of intelligent design" should be taught alongside the theory of evolution in our nation's science classes, because students should be exposed to both sides of the debate.

So he's a moron. As is anyone else who thinks "intelligent design" is science.

I don't have a problem with the argument itself. It may even have some merit. I'm no atheist -- personally, I agree with Stephen Colbert that atheists are merely people who have chosen to abandon the worship of a higher being in favor of worshipping their own sense of smug superiority. [Sorry, Scotty -- but you've gotta admit it's a pretty good line. What do you expect from a guy with a Libertarian moustache?]

I don't even have any problem with Intelligent Design being taught -- but it should be confined to social studies classes, where it belongs. Unless you're in a religious school, in which case they can teach you whatever they want, as long as they're not using my tax dollars to do it.

This is why I'm after the press.

They keep saying "the THEORY of intelligent design" [caps mine, of course], sometimes in the same breath with the theory of evolution.

Let me say this nice and loud, so there is no misunderstanding, here:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A THEORY OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

Not in the scientific sense.

That pisses me off as much as the idiots who keep saying, "Well, Eeevil-ution's just a THEORY . . ."

Which is why I'm gonna take a minute here an explain to the morons -- which include, I'm sad to say, our national press corps -- what a theory is in the scientific sense.

It is, at its most basic form, a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena.

When one moves a theory into the scientific realm, however, one adds the element of testability.

Let me say that again.

TESTABILITY, YOU MORONS.

That is: you can use the theory to generate new hypotheses about as-yet unobserved phenomena, which can then be investigated. If they prove to be consistent with the theory, then the theory stands. If they are not, the theory is changed until it is consistent with ALL OBSERVED FACTS.

With evolution, we can even observe its action in short-lived organisms in a junior-high biology lab. We see it in action every day. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, anyone? Anyone? Mr. Bush? Senator Frist?

THERE IS NO TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

Not one.

We cannot see Intelligent Design in action. It is BY DEFINITION mysterious and unknowable, occurring by the action of a deliberately-undefined supernatural force.

Therefore it is not a theory. It cannot be a theory.

STOP CALLING IT A THEORY, YOU MORONS.

Call it an argument. Call it an explanation. A rationale. Call it a Faith-Based Program -- the Bushitters love those. You're goddamn journalists, aren't you? Isn't it your job to get the facts?

The fact is: it's not a theory. When you call it one, you're engaging in partisan rhetoric, not journalism.

What does it take to get through to these people?

Sure, they don't have science educations -- but neither do I. My college degree was in THEATRE, for shit's sake.

Get it right.

71 comments:

MWS said...

80 motherfucking years after the Scopes Trial.

That's all.

Fuck me like a virgin goat.

Chris said...

Y'know, I thought this very morning as I read some post or the other "what the hell did Stover study at college?". You really are a Jedi...

I'm all for for intelligent design as you probably know, but the way I see it any being powerful enough to sneeze a whole universe into existence (to me, making more sense than a big bang which presumably presumes there was something to bang with in the first place...) is powerful enough to put into place the same evolution and science that hyper-spiritual nutcases tirelessly argue against. Making themselves look stupid.

Oh, one point, there is some 'testable' aspects of divine design though, someone was telling me about them last week. Layers of silt and all that jazz, can't remember details but I still reckon the two things should be kept completely seperate and not considered mutually exclusive. If that's the phrase I'm looking for.

Man. I need to eat some glue.

Shevchyk said...

The argument of what came before the beginning isn't really relevant. What the cosmic past was is really irrelevant. The people arguing for intelligent design aren't concerned with history; they're concerned with the future. William James said as much. Creation stories offer psychological stability; they make us calm. Otherwise we'd sit around all day biting our nails worrying the shit out of which came first: the particle or the cheeseburger.

What you may be referring to as being testable in the divine world may be general and special revelation, though "layers of silt and all that jazz" makes me think less of theology and more of Tori Amos. Is that what you're referring to?

Despite any such argument, Scott (Bakker) has presented cogent arguments such as pessemistic induction as a counter to the arguments made by theologians regarding historical origins, creation, and general tenents of faith.

None of which has any bearing on George II. I'm not sure why anyone listens to him when he opens his mouth and attempts to talk about religion. He's a fundamentalist (and Evangelical?) Protestant with seemingly little to no understanding - historical or theological - of his own faith.

People shouldn't listen to him (I know - they do anyway). But look: He wasn't trained in a seminary school. He has no credibility on the topic of religion. None.

HAWKi102 said...

I hear ya Matt. A lot of times people repeat phrases they've heard over and over again while not really thinking about the actual meaning. Sometimes it's harmless, but that's not so in this case.

FK said...

I can't wait for someone to say, "It's just a word," so I'll head them off. The power of language is profound, and simple matters of diction can make a vast difference. It's not just a word, it is the backing up and legitimizing of doctrine. Shouldn't journalists know that?

Chris said...

Yuh sorry Ilya, I shouldn't even have started that conversation without being able to back up my point, I'll try and dig up the info sometime. As for what came first, if it wasn't the cheeseburger then what did the particles eat?

Y'know questions like "which is the best colour, red or blue?"
Well, it strikes me that sometimes questions that none of us can really answer, like what happened way back when, are as utterly useless as trying to get an answer to the colours! Oh, and yet still I'll probably try and find one...

Shevchyk said...

Y'know questions like "which is the best colour, red or blue?"

I notice you tend to end posts with a joke - maybe to deflate the potential for flame-wars, which is very diplomatic and nice. And I like it.

sometimes questions that none of us can really answer, like what happened way back when, are as utterly useless as trying to get an answer to the colours...

Like I said: what happened in the past doesn't matter. Not in the Christian tradition, which is based on the principle of moving forward, till the Second Coming of Christ.

Tangent:

This is one of the problems with modern day religious politics; the US is run by a head of state who has little to no understanding of what he's saying on matters concerning religion.

And he's backed by a group of literalist minded Fundamentalist Protestant Christians who seem incapable of anything but a literalist reading of the Old and New Testament.

And that can - and does - cause a lot of havoc.

Chris said...

True dat. I am guilty of the Dawson-esque of internet posting, mostly because I don't even argue with a bad attitude if I can help it. Ask any of the Dead Citizens I've had drinks with! I like differing opinions, they make life and debate more interesting.

I have very little to say about the 'Christians' that form the far right of US politics. I'll point you at one quote which, in this head-strong, opinionated and arrogant fool's mind at least, define them as anything but Christian:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.
And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I dole out all my goods, and if I deliver my body that I may boast but have not love, nothing I am profited."

... hope that's allowed in posting. Don't take it as a preach, anyone.

Scott Lynch said...

Sorry, Scotty -- but you've gotta admit it's a pretty good line. What do you expect from a guy with a Libertarian moustache

Yeah, it applies to a certain segment of the atheist/freethinker community. Always sad to see people self-righteously parading the dogma of how free from dogma they are. As for your mustache, I thought you fuckers had secret handshakes.

Chris, whoever sold you the "layers of silt" line was pushing a bill of goods.

Mike Horn said...

My 2 cents, just for the fun of it:

Uber-Spiritualists aside, there are a fraction of us ID people that want both to be taught in schools for no other reason than this: The THEORY of Evoloution, for the most part, is not being taught as a theory in schools, but as fact. That's not to say they come out and say that it's how it is, but they sure as hell lean in that direction. That wouldn't be a problem if most of these kids could think for themselves, but they leave school without a proper understanding of what the actual theory states and without all the facts or lack thereof.

I personally don't care if they call ID a theory, belief, what have you, but it should still be taught as an alternate viewpoint, and it doesn't even have to be overtly religious in theme. "The belief that some higher intelligence..." God, aliens, whatever, you don't have to go into specifics. However, by simply giving predominantly a single viewpoint, even if you don't come out and say "this is how it is" that's pretty much the way people take it.

I work with kids ages 3-18 on a daily basis. A majority think that the THEORY of evoloution is not theory but actual fact. They think that because of the way it's presented in schools. I've asked them. Now, I don't mind that they teach the theory of evoloution in schools. I would just prefer that they give all the facts that we have, present all the viewpoints as unbiased as possible, and just let people think for themselves for a change.

Mike Horn said...

Damn, I spelled evolution wrong every fuggin time in that last post. Sorry, a combination of typing too fast and being half asleep.

Joe Crow said...

Mike, old son, you seem to have some difficulty telling the difference between the words "theory" and "wild-ass guess". Evolution is a theory, a conjecture based on actual evidence and extrapolation therefrom, said extrapolation occurring in a fairly rational, organized, and (most importantly, to my mind) falsifiable process. Intelligent design is a wild-ass guess, a conjecture based on faith and the desire to reject all the uncomfortable questions that the Enlightenment raised a priori, so we can all go back to doing what our divinely appointed masters tell us. (Full Disclosure: The previous example may not be as impartial a viewpoint as some folks might prefer. Suck it up.)

Stover-san, do you remember what the folks in the Journalism major were like? Chowderheads, mostly, at least at my school they were. The only ones lower than them on the IQ-meter were the Poli-Sci types in student government. And you're surprised that none of them could recognize the scientific method if it ran up their leg and gave them an Antarean Anal Probe?

RobB said...

In this day and age, it isn't surprising that the majority of the press doesn't fact finding and find support for what they are spouting, and not just grab the hot-button words and run with them. Unfortunately, it seems more the norm than the exception any more.

As for Colbert, he is great. Love "This week in God."

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me that intelligent people can take their archetypal stories literally. Creation "stories" are important from a spiritual standpoint, but are not literal...never were. "Fundies" will kill each other over whose ridiculous story is "true", which to me is the definition of insanity.

Having said that, I believe in a consciousness created Universe in the Yogic/Vedanta vein. We are all part of the consciousness...I think where people get hung up is they have had this view of God as this guy with a beard that hates everyone, shoved down their throats for so long that they can't see anything else. From a Yogic standpoint, "GOD" is simply the emptiness from which all comes and all returns. It is pure potentiality and humans, ants, plants and rocks come from that emptiness.

The Bushies are not stupid...they're playing to the fears of the masses and after 911 it's easy. As ridulous as all of the fundimentalist beliefs are, they are handy to feed upon from a political standpoint. You want to motivate a lot of people to kill each other, tell them God is on their side.

Peace.
Scott.

MWS said...

Never said the Bushitters are stupid. It's Bush personally. The people who are using him know alll too well what they're about. Living in paranoid power-fantasies? Yes. Stupid? No. It's not the same thing.

As for your Yogic/Vedantic view of creation, we're not that far apart . . . My personal metaphysic is pretty well laid out in BLADE OF TYSHALLE.

Fuck peace. Peace is for dead people.

Kick ass.

Anonymous said...

Fuck peace. Peace is for dead people.

Kick ass.


Isn't this the mindset that led us to Iraq?

How ironic.

Anonymous said...

I see Bush as an image, a talking head that essentially just repeats what the real power elite want him to say.

The depressing part for me is how incredibly Sheep-like so many people can be. The Republicans feed on people that are afraid of being killed by terrorists. You're about a million times more likely to die in your bathtub and know one wants a "Patriot" (hate that term) Act to ensure that you don't die in the tub. Dems aren't any better, they feed off the fear that you can't take care of yourself.

Republicans want you to have your money but not be able to do what you want with your dick, Democrats don't care what you do with your dick, but they sure as hell don't think that any dime you earn has anything to do with talent and hard work...they want it all. It's a joke that we think that we really have a choice when we vote.

It is seriously fucking time for some more viable party options. I've voted Libertarian since the Reagan years in hopes that it would make a difference. Alas most of the United States sheep are too afraid to take care of themselves to even consider shrinking the size of government.

Peace (sorry...peace is for the dead)...rather: Best regards.

Scott.

Chris said...

Do you ever wonder if the Rebel Alliance overthrew Palpatine in America whether 51% of the population would vote him back in for a second term?

Angela said...

They would, people like smooth talkers, as we have witnessed. I'm just so glad Bush can't get elected a third term.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of people will stay with the status quo...even if they are unhappy.

During the US revolutionary war most of Red coats were Colonists. More than half of the people of the original 13 colonies were loyalsts. They were overtaxed, unhappy,(sound familiar) but still felt safer with what they knew rather than what was new.

Scott.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was Ben Franklin that said: "Those that give up their freedom for security, get neither."

Kinda where we're at now I think.

Scott.

MWS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MWS said...

Fuck peace. Peace is for dead people.

Kick ass.

Isn't this the mindset that led us to Iraq?


No, in fact, it isn't.

How ironic.

Nor would it be ironic. Look up the word, pinhead.

Further, those who lack the metaphoric testicles to even make up a name under which to post are not welcome on this blog.

Choose an identity, or fuck off.

Mastadge said...

Atheist here. As it happens, I disagree with Stephen Colbert in this instance.

MWS said...

Jews are ENCOURAGED to be atheists.

The alternative is too horrible to contemplate . . .

MWS said...

And before everybody and their grandmother jumps down my fucking throat for that joke, let me simply remind one and all that I have no quarrel with Jews.

It's that bloodthirsty tyrant of a murdering god of theirs I can't stand . . .

Yahweh and I do NOT get along.

On the other hand, Jesus -- he's my brother.


And I don't even like that stupid song.

Mike Horn said...

"Mike, old son, you seem to have some difficulty telling the difference between the words "theory" and "wild-ass guess"."

Actually, no, I don't. In fact, I even said, though not in these exact words "I don't care what you call it, just show it as an alternative viewpoint." I don't give a shit how you lable it, but show some other viewpoint to counteract the single one being taught. If more backs up Evolution, fine. I'm just saying giving only a sinlge viewpoint for people to consider is almost like just saying it's fact.

Plus it's not just a bunch of BS. There are a lot of things to consider that actually support ID, and the theory of evolution, as stated, takes just as much faith for it to work as ID does. It's all based on chance things happening, all at the same time, for a SINGLE life form, not to mention ALL life. The odds are astounding, and I'm sure someone here who has more time and isn't as lazy as I am could give you the actual statistical quotes.

I'm not talking about evolution in general. We know that takes place every day on a smaller scale. I'm talking about the theory itself about the creation of all life that gets misquoted and misrepresented far too often.

The fact is, it's just a theory. we don't know what the hell happened, and odds are we may never know for sure. That's not a copout, it's just how it is. If there was a ton of evidence that supported Evolution, it wouldn't still be a theory after all these years. So offering up alternative VIEWPOINTS, with at least some credibility even if you don't personally agree, isn't a bad thing. At least it would give people a chance to look at things from all angles and think for themselves for change.

Chris said...

>> How ironic...

... about as ironic as the things that happen in the song by Alanis Morissette. The only thing mildly ironic I could find about that song is the complete lack of irony in a song of it's name.

I wonder if your blog just attracts random anonymous internet whores Matt, or if you have actual fans who visit and disagree with your political standing but lack the balls to just say so under a name. Either is a bit lame. Here's an open call: if anyone objects strenuously to anything I say, come see me in Store Street, London. I'm probably bigger than you, and I'm sure as hell quicker.

Mastadge said...

I went to a Jewish school, but most of my science teachers were Catholic -- and now that I think of it, the *beginning* of life was *never* discussed in those classes. We learned evolution, and I don't think I ever learned the term "Intelligent Design," but the teachers never said that life started through evolution, but started their discussions after the first life had come about. In Bible classes -- taught by Jews of various denominations -- we discussed the Biblical accounts of creation the beginning of life. And I never recall a single person, no matter how devout, getting upset that they were learning evolution in once class and the Bible in another, let alone that there was no attempt anywhere to reconcile the two (except for one crazy Jewish Studies teacher, but I won't get into her viewpoint now. . .).

As for what I think about ID itself . . . that'll have to wait until after dinner.

Chris: I object strenuously to your offer.

Gbill said...

Fuck peace. Peace is for dead people.

Kick ass.

Isn't this the mindset that led us to Iraq?

No, in fact, it isn't.
==================

Hey Matt, long time blog lurker, first time post on the blog...

I will start out by saying I enjoy your books, but I do disagree with some of your political viewpoints...but that's cool...doesn't mean you can't write an awsome story.

anyways....i was kinda thinking the same thing as the AP, but didn't want to post anything....until I saw your response to the AP.

Could you explain what the difference is? From your blog postings, to the comments you leave, i'm under the impression you think the current administration doesn't give a flip about the little people and doesn't care what it has to do to accomplish its goals....whether those goals are noble or not is a matter for debate.

So what's the difference between your comments and what I infer you believe about the current administration?

I'm not intending to start an arguement. If you have some time, I'm just wanting some clarification on the issue that is more than a couple of one syllable words starting with F and O.

Let me just say that I am a Bush supporter, but I am not really thrilled with how things have gone in Iraq....and I have no idea what we can do at this point that either won't make the situation over there worse for the civilians, or cost more US lives.

Sorry for the threadjack.

Mastadge said...

Oh, heck, I'll just quote Steven Pinker, from his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, one of the best nonfics I've read yet this year:

Today evolution is being challenged by some of the most cerebral theorists in the formerly secular neoconservative movement. They are embracing a hypothesis called Intelligent Design, originated by the biochemist Michael Behe. The molecular machinery of cells cannot function in a simpler form, Behe argues, and therefore it could not have evolved piecemeal by natural selection. Instead it must have been conceived as a working invention by an intelligent designer. The designer could, in theory, have been an advanced alien from outer space, but everyone knows that the subtext of the theory is that it must have been God.

Biologists reject Behe's argument for a number of reasons. His specific claims about the "irreducible complexity" of biochemistry are unproven or just wrong. He takes every phenomenon whose evolutionary history has not yet been figured out and chalks it up to design by default. When it comes to the intelligent designer, Behe suddenly jettisons all scientific scruples and does not question where the designer came from or how the designer works. And he ignores the overwhelming evidence that the process of evolution, far from being intelligent and purposeful, is wasteful and cruel.

Nonetheless, Intelligent Design has been embraced by leading neoconservatives, including Irving Kristol, Robert Bork, Roger Kimball, and Gertrude Himmelfarb. Other conservative intellectuals have also sympathized with creationism for moral reasons, such as the law professor Philip Johnson, the writer William F. Buckley, the columnist Tom Bethell, and, disconcertingly, the bioethicist Leon Kass -- chair of George W. Bush's new Council on Biothecs and thus a shaper of the nation's policies on biology and medicine. A story entitled "The Deniable Darwin" appeared, astonishingly, on the cover of Commentary, which means that a magazine that was once a leading forum for secular Jewish intellectuals is now more skeptical of evolution than is the Pope!

It is not clear whether these worldly thinkers are really convinced that Darwinism is false or whether they think it is important for other people to believe it is false. In a scene from Inherit the Wind, the play about the Scopes Monkey Trial, the prosecuter and defense attorney . . . are relaxing together after a day in court. The prosecutor says of the Tennessee locals:

They're simple people, Henry; poor people. They work hard and they need to believe in something, something beautiful. Why do you want to take it away from them. It's all they have.

This is not far from the attitude of the neocons. Kristol has written:

If there is one indisputable fact aout the human condition it is that no community can survive if it is persuaded -- or even if it suspects -- that its members are leading meaningless lives in a meaningless universe.

He spells out the moral corollary:

There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.

As the science writer Ronald Bailey observes, "Ironically, today many modern conservatives fervently agree with Karl Marx that religion is 'the opium of the people'; they add a heartfelt, 'Thank God!'"

---

Heh. Didn't mean to go on that long. Got a little carried away. . .

Mike Horn said...

To clarify: My position is that alternative viewpoints should be given in schools, along with evolution. No one is saying (at least I'm not) that evolution shouldn't be taught in schools. What I am saying is it shouldn't be the only thing taught in schools. This isn't even meant from a religious standpoint, I'm just saying in general. Teaching only the theory of evolution in schools, as far as creation goes, would be like teaching only about Christianity or Islam during a lesson on world religions because they are the most popular (numbers wise) ones.

My whole deal isn't about peeing for distance over which theory, or belief, viewpoint, what have you, is better. It's just about giving alternative viewpoints (and making sure they understand that they are just ideas, not theories in the technical sense) on the subject without giving kids the wrong idea. Believe in evolution or not, it's still a theory. It still has a lot of holes and crap that just doesn't work. If it didn't then it would no longer be a theory.

That's not to say that ID and every other idea on the subject doesn't have more holes, but to teach evolution as a sole viewpoint on this particular subject is giving kids the wrong idea. As I said before, a majority of them leave school believing that the theory of evolution is fact.

As far as comparing weaknesses and such: "Arguing about this subject is like participating in the special olympics. Even if you win, it's still retarded." :-P

The fact is they all have major problems, and while evolution may have more going for it than the others, that doesn't mean a whole lot when statistics are still against it pretty badly in a lot of areas. For every quote you come up with to bash one view, someone can come up with something else to counteract yours; so it's pretty pointless to argue about stuff like this because there's no definative proof and you'll hardly ever, if never, change anyone's mind. Just like with religion. But thats just my opinion.

Mastadge said...

I have no problem with creationism being taught. My problem would be with creationism being taught as an alternative to evolution in a science class. I don't really know a whole lot about all this, but I'm quite sure there are several theories of evolution, and if there are other working theories, by all means, teach them in science classes as well. But "Some greater and more advanced being of which we have no evidence other than the very fact of our existence created life" does not seem -- to me -- to be a point of view that belongs in a science class (although I do seem to recall it being suggested in a Star Trek episode. . .). It may be an alternative to the idea of life starting by evolution. It is not a scientific alternative. ID seems, more than anything, to be a compromise: You guys seem to be right, but our beliefs aren't quite compatible with that, so . . . okay, you're right, but instead of this incredibly unlikely genesis event occuring by chance, it occured at the hand of God.

To me, it just doesn't make a difference. I have faith that no God was involved; other people are free to have faith that God was involved. Either way, the process has been the same ever since, and why should God (excuse me, Intelligent Designer) be involved in a science course?

Mike Horn said...

Why shouldn't it be in a science class as a "possibility"? Why does God always have to be involved? You don't have to have it phrased in a religious context. Just phrase it as an "advanced intelligence" without going into specifics and you're good to go. It's not as though it's completely rediculous, considering the complexity of life and how statistically it's less than zero for it to have all happened by complete chance.

We don't have any real evidence that intelligent life exists beyond Earth, but they still mention it as a "possibility" in science class when studying the planets and those that support life. Scientists are still trying to contact life outside our own solar system. That's taught in schools too. So why can't we mention that it's a possibility, however remote, that due to the complexity of life some scientists conjecture that it may have been created, or at least helped along, by an outside source- though we have no definative evidence to support that viewpoint at this time? We throw out crackpot ideas all the time. Hell, give me a science book and I'll show you a few that's mentioned. They're never called theories and they're never given a whole lot of time or space, but they are occassionally mentioned as asides. "Scientist believe that so and so may occur and are currently seeking evidence to back up...blah blah."

It seems to me the problem is you have religious people pushing for it one way, which pisses off everyone else because they arn't religious. Why can't we just take the religous tones out of it and shut the hell up?

Note: I do understand where you're coming from Mastadge. Most of what I'm saying is purely for discussion just to hear peoples points of view.

Shevchyk said...

If you want to learn about Creationism and Religious Theory, go attend CCD*, JCC, a Jesuit school, etc etc.

Part of the function they serve with their existence is to teach theories such as that.

Teaching only the theory of evolution in schools, as far as creation goes, would be like teaching only about Christianity or Islam during a lesson on world religions because they are the most popular (numbers wise) ones.

That's a false analogy. Islam, Judaism, the myraid strands of Christianity, Buddhism, etc, all exist.

Creationism is an idea about the way in which the universe and our dear Mother Earth was formed.

They are not the same thing.

As I said before, a majority of them leave school believing that the theory of evolution is fact.

Oh, how dreadfully unfortunate. How absolutely dreadful.

You fail to realise that the problem with evolution is not that it is a theory - not a hypothesis, which means there is a fair amount of agreement within the scientific community about the legitimacy of evolution.

Also, it merits pointing out: One of the problems with evolution is that we do not know where Zero Point is. And only now, in recent years, with the development of fantastically shiny technology, has that light been dawning unto our eyes.

*None of which threatens religious belief in the least.* Unless you happen to read the Bible literally. In which case - sucks to be you.



* I was kindly asked not to return after attending a mate's CCD class after having inquired into the existence of Lilith.

Shevchyk said...

Erm.

I can't correct spelling mistakes in Blogger. Dammit all.

This sentence makes no sense:

You fail to realise that the problem with evolution is not that it is a theory not a hypothesis, which means there is a fair amount of agreement within the scientific community about the legitimacy of evolution.

What it should have said is:

You must realise: evolution is not a hypothesis - it is a theory. This means there is a fair amount of agreement within the scientific community about the legitimacy of evolution.

David Welch said...

There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.


wow, you guys really go on and on. The fact of the matter is no one really knows the truth, do they? Do you know the truth, mws? No you don't. Not that I have been pleased with Bush on too many things either: Border control, using the military within the confines of a "politically correct war" because everbody knows you can't win a politically correct war, and not calling most democrats what they really are, "well intentioned blood-sucking socialist who want everybody to wallow in equal misery, just as long as the misery is equal" etc. etc. etc. It scares the shit out of amoral people that a man of conviction says what he means, and does what he says. All we people have is the history before us. That's real irony, knowing that most of the time people tend to repeat it, good bad and all. Reads to me your an intelligant guy, just lacking a bit of common sense. What is your suggestion? an immoral, GODless, society? Why do you people even try to define God? God needs no definition, people do, because with out it, we are doomed to repeat everything people as common beings have gone through. Man is inherently lazy, so what is wrong with some sort of moral code? If laws are not based on certain inalienable rights given by God, then what is our basis for law? Forgive me, but in a "court of law", with an athiest that swears to tell the truth? where is my ability to escape that irony? But on the other hand, were I an athiest in court, I would sure wish the guy that swore on the Bible to testify for me was a believer. I guess I should espouse to be as lucky your hero Bill Clinton, and get a hummer in the oval office while teaching the youth of today that kind of behavior is fashionable, but only if your lucky enough to get a hummer in the oval office. All you other little people can fuck off while I sell out America to the UN and Red China. Oh yea, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman", only she wasn't a woman, she was a little girl, a token. In my little opinion, you seem to be a writer of fiction living in a fictitious world and moral resposibility is something too frightning to bear. Not to be ugly, really man, but just like your belief system (red diaper doper baby), just like Islam's belief system, people with an absence of beliefs, and all the other ones in between, the world is only soooo big. Everybody has a right to be free and believe what they want to, or not, just dont try to be something your not. I put my pants on in the morning just like everbody else in this primordial soup, and I dont want to be robbed of my life, my liberty, or my persuit of happiness because some deginerate, adopted product of some transexual, same-sex marriage gone bad, got mad at me because I represent what it is not. Your not the only one with an opinion, but then you know what they say about opinions.

clew said...

What-F*KING-ever. Evolution is no more founded than creationism and vice versa. SCIENTIFIC SENSE or not. Darwin didnt know shit whether you like it or not and one bullcrap argument deserves as much time as all the other bullcrap arguments.

Thanks for listening :)

Mike Horn said...

"You must realise: evolution is not a hypothesis - it is a theory. This means there is a fair amount of agreement within the scientific community about the legitimacy of evolution."

I do understand that. I'm just saying it shouldn't be the only point of view taught. ID, Creationism, whatever tends to be the one(s) that seems to be the most popular when the subject comes up, but there are others out there as has been already mentioned by other people. I really don't care, I just think they should teach more than one point of view. Although I do think that an idea like ID, but worded more carefully and better thought out, would be perfectly acceptable for schools.

The religion analogy wasn't a false one. There is more than one religion just like there is more than one point of view on where we come from, not just evolution. The point is when you just give just one of those views then you are skewing kid's perceptions. I'm not saying that it should be skewed the other way in retaliation, I'm just saying it would be better, not worse, to offer up several different points of view, carefully explain each one, and let the kids think for themselves. Yes, Evolution has more going for it scientifically, hence it being a theory as Shev just pointed out, and we should certainly teach it that way. But also offer up other alternatives- and not just ID.

Yes, it is a bad thing that kids leave thinking Evolution is a fact, because it isn't. They should leave with an understanding of just what the theory is- it's positives and negatives. Matt and a few others have mentioned how stupid people are for not being able to tell a theory from whatever. Well, this is all a part of the problem. The school system is meant to educate, not indoctrinate- and that goes for both the evolutionists and the creationists.

Welp, it's been fun but I think I've rambled enough for one subject. ;-)

Shevchyk said...

I'm just saying it shouldn't be the only point of view taught.

It's not the only point of view. It is, however, the point of view taught in public schools. And if you don't like that, as I suggested, send your kid to CCD if you're Catholic, or JCC if you're Jewish. Or...I don't know...Nepal if your kid feels like living on the edge.

The religion analogy wasn't a false one. There is more than one religion just like there is more than one point of view on where we come from, not just evolution.

No Mike, it is a false analogy by the laws of rhetoric. It's an informal fallacy called Faulty Analogy. I'm not insulting you. I'm just telling you that your analogy really sucked. It's like asking Why is a raven like a writing desk? Poe wrote on both.

And you can seriously score some points around here by making lewd analogies to cigars, ducks in heat, and fellatio. Seriously. We love that kind of thing around here.

The school system is meant to educate, not indoctrinate - and that goes for both the evolutionists and the creationists.

Thus we have religious schools for parents who want to offer their children a religious up-bringing. And that includes being taught the many different interpretations of the Book of Genesis.

The point is when you just give just one of those views then you are skewing kid's perceptions.

Yes, because a primary schooler has complex notions on the manifestation of 3rd century A.D. Christian heresies.

A suggestion: Don't tell teachers what to do. Your tax money goes towards paying them, which reminds some of them as to why they go to work every morning. Unless of course, you'd like to have your childrens' teachers telling you how to do your job at any given moment of the day.

And I think we can all agree that we hate being told what to do when we're the ones who are trained to do a particular job, and the person telling us what to do isn't.

And if you don't like it, as I said: send your demonic little energizer bunnies who will spend their entire days screaming and yelling before they become embittered 14 year olds who like to smoke cigarettes in the parking lot while taking hits of absynthe to any number of alternative schools. The system provides you with options for reasons that go beyond some great cosmic joke that will eventually conclude with a pie in the face.

Mastadge said...

I just had a rant typed up, but, not having slept for four or five days now, decided it would be best to refrain from posting it until having rectified that situation, lest I say anything particularly petty or stupid. I'll be back when I'm healthy, awake and able to think straight again!

Joe Crow said...

The fact is, it's just a theory. we don't know what the hell happened, and odds are we may never know for sure. That's not a copout, it's just how it is. If there was a ton of evidence that supported Evolution, it wouldn't still be a theory after all these years.

Dude, seriously. You really do not understand what you're talking about. Theory is where it stops. Nothing ever gets beyond theory in actual science, because there's always the potential for new information to emerge and change the way science looks at a given question. That's what the fucking word means.

Also, there's a qualitative difference between an "alternative viewpoint" and an "alternate scientific theory". The Great Green Arkleseizure theory of creation is an alternative viewpoint on the beginning of existence. It's also a joke, ideally one not meant to be mistaken for science by the unusually credulous. Intelligent design is the "A Wizard Did It" theory of creation. It's a bad joke, one deliberately designed to be mistaken for actual science.

Cyclopatra said...

Mike: Not to resurrect a hoary old chestnut, but gravity is also "just a theory". Care to hypothesize that we're actually held down on the ground by some hyperintelligent race of beings using telekinesis?

Or better yet, care to advocate that HI-B-TK theory (hyperintelligent being telekinesis theory) be taught in physics alongside the "theory" of gravity? I mean, it's a theory like any other, right? Who's to say whether it's gravity holding us down, or God, or aliens, or some unspecified being that just somehow does it?

Evolution can and has been witnessed, in real time, on the small scale of time we as humans have experienced. There is evidence for it on the larger scale of geological time, even if all the holes haven't yet been filled in. Where is the evidence for ID, beyond reasoning from ignorance (ie, "we can't explain this (yet), so something smarter than us must have made it")?

And how is ID different from saying that Thor is throwing his hammer every time we hear thunder?

Chris said...

Science and mathematics use some different (usually more literal) definitions of words than some of us do in every day conversation. It's confusins, I guess. Just look at M-'theory', String 'theory', the 'theory' of Evolution. Many have a lot of evidence, like someone above said though they don't just stop being theories.

About evolution, it's certainly backable in some areas, less so in others. The fact is (I sound like a broken record) is that we're demanding that the answer be black or the answer be white, why the hell can't it be grey? A God that can make intelligent design could use whatever means he wanted, including evolution. The two don't cancel out each other.

Back to the question at hand, Shev you normally argue and talk with a decent attitude and a certain amount of sense. I don't know what it is that you hate about religion, but your arguments are weak. If we can't prove one way or the other then why the hell shouldn't both be taught as possibilities in schools? For sure say "this one seems far more likely, but many people aren't convinced and this is an alternative." I know plenty of intelligent people on both sides of the argument that seem to be able to accept different viewpoints but just some don't seem to be able to. It's a weakness, to be honest, and a pretty pathetic one. Move on.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it has to be one or the other. How come God (or whomever) could not have intelligently designed evolution? If God is omnipotent (as many people believe), I would think he could easily create little amoebas, knowing that they would one day evolve into the homo sapiens we know and love today.

And just as an aside, String Theory has a lot less evidence supporting it than, say, the Theory of Evolution. String Theory is pretty much all theoretically derived from super complex math equations that boggle the minds of even us Physics majors. It requires either 10 or 26 dimensions for the math to even work out, and most of it is not able to be empirically tested at this point in time, and some are unsure as to whether it can ever be tested.

PLease forgive my Physics Geek tangent. :-P

--Colin

Scott said...

Hi,
Let me start by saying that although I posted as anonymous, I did sign my name at the bottom (scott.). Having said that, I don't want to be accused of lacking "metaphoric testicles", so I made up a name...okay, it's my real name, so I guess the lack of metaphoric testes is probably true.

Colin mentioned the idea that both evolution and creationism could be true. The Biblical creation story IMHO is a metaphor. Adam and Eve eating the apple etc. is a great metaphor for becoming conscious of the self...of the 'I AM'.

The problem lies, as Matt said, in teaching Creation as science. Creation myths are properly taught in a philosophy class or even in a literature or English class. After all, it is a story.

Intelligent Design, or consciousness created Universe, however could be discussed in a Science class along side Evolution or in my opinion, a better word is Adaptation. Essentially, Evolution is life adapting to ever changing situations, climates and survival needs. Intelligent Design supports the laws of the Universe... Consiousness is the only way to explain that there are "laws" within the Universe that we can count on and codify. Without some sort of Universal intention, the Universe "should" be chaos. There should be no order. Consiousness is the glue that gives structure to that which should be structureless.

Scott.

Chris said...

My closest mate wrote this paper and I can guarentee he would strongly disagree with it being just a theory! Parts of it, maybe, but it's based on fact as much as certain aspects of evolution is. Mind you we've also discussed the whole idea of parrallel dimensions so... bah. Who knows? Aside he is a genious (obviously, look at the article!) in all things science and maths, and has no problem believing in both God and science.

Mastadge said...

"We don't have any real evidence that intelligent life exists beyond Earth, but they still mention it as a "possibility" in science class when studying the planets and those that support life. Scientists are still trying to contact life outside our own solar system. That's taught in schools too. So why can't we mention that it's a possibility, however remote, that due to the complexity of life some scientists conjecture that it may have been created, or at least helped along, by an outside source- though we have no definative evidence to support that viewpoint at this time?"

So, keeping God out of it, as you say, your suggestion is that, because the chances of life coming to pass spontaneously are "less than zero," it's more reasonable that it was helped along by an "outside source"? Where did this "outside source" come from? How does it help matters at all to bring some "outside source" of which we have no evidence into the equation? If this "outside source" is itself an advanced form of life -- how did it come into being? With the help of some other advanced form of life, some other "outside source"?

Robyn (Matt's better half, well 2/3) said...

I have to weigh in here . . . though not on the whole "Theory of Intelligent Design" thing (Matt and I have cohabitated for 16 years and no one has been killed or even maimed in that time, so you can guess my stance on that subject).


In response to the question of which is better, red or blue?

It's blue.

If you're not sure which color to to use in an area of a painting, paint it red. You know that's wrong.

MWS said...

Gbill --

First difference?

I speak the truth.

Second difference?

I do my own dirty work.

Third difference?

I'm not a coward.

Fourth difference?

I can stand up like a man and admit a mistake.

Fifth difference?

Kids don't pay with their lives (and legs and arms and eyes and face) for my stupidity.

Sixth difference?

I'm not robbing the nation to enrich my family's cronies, domestic and foreign.


How many more do you want?

Anonymous said...

It is a fact that evolution (change in species over time) took/takes place and we, along with all other complex forms of life, originated from simpler forms. The theory of evolution is our explanation for the mechanism by which these changes take place, such as the concept of punctuated equilibrium. Intelligent design is not science, and should not be taught in a science class. Period. It derives its "evidence" solely from already debunked criticisms of evolution. That is all I have to say on the matter.

-Zach

MWS said...

Zach --

Thank you.

Shevchyk said...

I don't know what it is that you hate about religion...

Is an argumentative fallacy called an "Argumentum ad Hominem" and has no place here. You should know better than that.

If we can't prove one way or the other then why the hell shouldn't both be taught as possibilities in schools?

Because one choice happens to have a greater level of verifiability, Chris. Direct your attention-span to those posts which discuss this.

My closest mate wrote this paper

...and this has no bearing on the argument at hand. You don't even explain what he's disagreeing with.

I know plenty of intelligent people on both sides of the argument that seem to be able to accept different viewpoints.

Hey Chris, if you're going to insult me, come right out and say it. Don't hide your argument behind fallacious alternative syllogisms as a means to throw around ad hominems.

MWS said...

Shev:

No hyperventilating on my blog. The air's bad enough around here as is.

Chris:

He has a point.



Take it easy. Both of you.

Please.

Shevchyk said...

I was hyperventilating?

Well shit.

My apologies, Matt.

Chris said...

>> this has no bearing on the argument at hand. You don't even explain what he's disagreeing with.

Shev if you'd read and understood the post above about String Theory then you would know that I was backing up my argument that evolution being described as a theory doesn't mean it's unproven. FFS I was arguing your point but just 'cos I've mentioned the G word here you're acting like I've got a gun to your head.

>> if you're going to insult me, come right out and say it. Don't hide your argument behind fallacious alternative syllogisms as a means to throw around ad hominems.

If I was going to insult you I would do it blatently and if I thought that words like those were a disguise to someone with your mind then I would be stupid. I was talking facts, and if you don't believe in the people I was referring to I can give you a list of names and addresses.

>>because one choice happens to have a greater level of verifiability, Chris. Direct your attention-span to those posts which discuss this.

I see posts with people putting across their opinion. So far the only reasonable and un-bias, non-knee jerk opinion I can pick out is Colin's and, to a lesser extent, Mike's. The rest of us are hitting each other with clubs and yelling "RED!" "NO! BLUE!"

Chris said...

Oh, and Matt, I'm not trying to stir up a shitstorm I assure you, I'm just sticking up for my ideas. I hope you can respect that, they're not the same as yours but I never came into this argument kicking and screaming and don't expect people that I otherwise can have a decent conversation with suddenly rounding on me 'cos I refuse to jump in their sidecar on this. It's fucking childish.

And I hate swearing.

Shevchyk said...

and understood the post above about String Theory

You didn't state it in a way that made sense to me. Which is why I brought it up.

you're acting like I've got a gun to your head.

Where's this hasty conclusion coming from?

I was talking facts, and if you don't believe in the people I was referring to I can give you a list of names and addresses.

This has no bearing on the conversation. I'm uninterested in who your friends are and what their fields of occupation are, because that doesn't matter in the context of this discussion.

if I thought that words like those were a disguise..

I don't think you meant them to be, but it's quite easy to infer more than one meaning in the context of what you said.

So far the only reasonable and un-bias...

Everyone has a bias and limited point of view. You get used to it, filter out the irrelevant material, and focus on the relevant material.

Dave said...

DNC Leader Dean Addresses Texas Hispanics
August 05, 2005 9:51 PM EDT
EDINBURG, Texas - Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean argued on Friday that Republicans will try to make immigrants the "scapegoats" in the next election.

At a rally, Dean garnered the loudest applause when he said Republicans would make immigration a pivotal issue during upcoming elections, as they did gay marriage and affirmative action in previous elections.

"Do you know who the scapegoats are going to be? Immigrants," he said. "In Colorado, the chairman of the Republican Party endorsed Tom Tancredo for re-election. That is morally reprehensible. The governor of California, a supposed moderate Republican, invited the Minutemen to visit California. We do not need vigilante justice."

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has drawn the ire of Hispanic groups in calling for tougher immigration enforcement and a proposal to tax some of the money immigrants send home. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a radio interview in April, said the civilian border patrols known as the Minutemen "have done a terrific job."

Dean spoke at a rally on the eve of the Democratic National Committee's Hispanic Summit in San Antonio. Edinburg is located just a few miles north of the Mexican border and is more than 80 percent Mexican-American.

Dean also criticized President Bush, contending that the president rebuffed Mexican President Vicente Fox because of divisions over the Iraq war.

"A strong Mexico means a strong America, and our ties must not be based on the petulance of the president of the United States," Dean said. Real fuckin smart talk from a one more America hater-

Howard Dean-Talk about a moron "missed out on the evolution train" monkey. Is he your idea of a role model? We TEXASS folk would take alikin to whoopin his monkey ass! Oh yea, don't miss Discovery channels upcomming special on evolution.

Shevchyk said...

Real fuckin smart talk from a one more America hater

*amused*

Really? He hates the US?

Where?

Show me.

Dave said...

yea, it was late. Kind of diminishes the point when words are typed backwards. Sorry for that. But If you ask me, and you did, Republicans and Democrats have both sold us down the river. Simply stated we are as a nation being diluted and bankrupt by a FLOW of illegal aliens, not immigrants. "Immigrants"? that would imply that they came here legally. And any one who would use this dreadful situaion as a political punch line for their own gain must hate America, or they're really out of touch with the ideals of this nation. You see, whatever has happened in our past, is just that, our past. One can't blame one's self for the situation one is born into. And that is precisly what democrats use as political ammunition. It's like they blame people in the now for what has happened in the past. Although we are not perfect, problems in our nation are correctable by the means in our system, well more so than any other nation in this world. So it really is a work in progress, not to used by either side to "nail" the other. That is seriously unproductive. Now back to this latest attack meant to play on people's compassions and to confuse the real issue at hand. These aliens are bankrupting our system. And for Howard Dean (you have to admit the guy is a little obtuse), to use the fact that people don't like this illegal activity and call the so called "victims" scapegoats for an election? Come on- really. I guess you may summise that I am on of those TEXASS hicks, so eloquently stated by MWS. But you see I live here, you don't. Do you know how many hospitals have CLOSED in Texas due to this problem? And let me tell the problem is with the corruption in Mexico, not our lack of compassion. Mexico hasn't changed in 100 years. It is incumbant for the people in Mexico to change their system, not us. It is a real problem, and when "progressives" are hippocrits and call those that care about a real problem vigilante, that tends to make us feel like they are really detached from the fabric that makes up this country. It is also a slap in the face to our fallen heroes who died to protect our freedoms. Look at (research) how Mexico guards their southern border and witness the hippocrits at work. And all Howard "dickhead" Dean did was use a bad situation to confuse people.

Dave said...

surmise, excuse me.

MWS said...

Dave --

What the hell are you babbling about?

What does Howard Dean have to do with any of this?

Sleep is good, as is sobriety. Give them both a try.

And if you want to start talking about historical relations between Texas and Mexico . . . well, historically, Texas WAS Mexico. Until English-speaking whites stole it from Spanish-speaking whites who'd stolen it from . . .

Well, you get the picture.

Feel free to return to your regularly-scheduled rant.

But take your meds, man. Really.

Shevchyk said...

Nothing of what you just said made sense. I suggest the following:

A) Learn to use paragraphs. Reading one giant block of text hurts and makes the Baby Jesus cry.
B) Learn to spell. Or at least insert a scatalogical reference somewhere in your post.
C) Thirdly, there is an American Poetess, by the name of Emma Lazarus. Do you know what Emma Lazarus wrote? She wrote a poem called The New Colossus. Here's an excerpt you might recognise:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Historically - having set yourself up as a haven for people seeking a better life, and who can come from anywhere, this is the reality of your country's history.

So either accept it, make the best of it, and be truly excellent, or become angry, and sound like the spittle-raining xenophobe you currently sound like.

Dave said...

My point exactly. I nor anyone can change the past, I am just trying to do the best I can, It certainly is not my fault that the west was conquered. Should we just give it back? Is that the basis of your rebuttal? Just enforce the law. Return to a constitutional republic. And by the way, you started it with the TEXASS thing. I will remian cordial if you will reciprocate.

Shevchyk said...

Should we just give it back? Is that the basis of your rebuttal?

Do you have an attention span? We're not talking about returning property.

Just enforce the law. Return to a constitutional republic.

And this is where we get to from Howard Dean.

Howard Dean. -> Immigrants. -> Constitutional Republic.

I know I may have problems paying attention, but even I don't know what the hell you're talking about anymore.

Shevchyk said...

And here's the million dollar question, Dave:

What exactly makes Howard Dean un-American?

Shevchyk said...

*looks*

Well, guess we're never going to find out why Howard Dean is Un-American. Are we Dave?

rob said...

Just spent a while reading this.

I think, like a lot of you have said, that the non-scientific theory of ID has *some* merit. I think it could be very possible that we had a helping hand along by an advanced race of some sort. It's not something I lose sleep over, but it could explain some of the oddities of human evolution anyway...

As I see it, the major problem with ID, besides no scientific evidence, is that it often becomes less an argument for ID and more for the existence of a god by its adherents.

In other words all of the unknowns in evolutionary theory are readily explained by creationists and ID'ists as 'proof' of a Creator being, and proof that evolution is wrong, or sometimes graciously, incomplete. This is referred to as the God of the Gaps.

The problem with that pov is that the gaps keep shrinking. What happens when the 'gaps' are gone? Does God no longer exist? And, btw, Something can spontaneously manifest out of Nothing, we know this now through quantum physics.

My belief falls more in line with what Scott and Matt alluded to. There may be some sort of interconnected, Creative force/flow/potential from which we derived and are a part thereof. Whether this is directed, sentient, or semi-sentient, I don't know--the jury's still out on that one. I do have the benefit, however, of my 'theory' nicely bridging much of modern quantum theory and the eastern philosophies and mind-science traditions I study/practice.

BUT, I would never lobby for my personal insights to be taught as scientific theory. That is sheer vanity. And it is just as vain for religionists of any group to try to legislate the teaching of their creation myths in any public school science class.

And, as an aside, I think very little of Bush, but a strong border patrol along the mexican line is important. That border is one of the most likely to be used by terrorists--particularly arabic terrorists--to get into our country.

sciborg2 said...

I put my pants on in the morning just like everbody else in this primordial soup, and I dont want to be robbed of my life, my liberty, or my persuit of happiness because some deginerate, adopted product of some transexual, same-sex marriage gone bad, got mad at me because I represent what it is not. Your not the only one with an opinion, but then you know what they say about opinions.

I think children raised by gays, based on history, are going to be better than those raised by followers of Yaweh, especially if they haven't heard of the invention of paragraphs. Let's do a tally:

Gays gave us:

1. Philosophy --Greeks
2. Modern Computing --Alan Turing
3. Western Government and Law --Greeks
4. Virgin Birth --Greeks
5. Democracy --Greeks

Yaweh gave us:

1. Child Molesters--Catholic Church
2. 9/11--Islam
3. Higher rate of abortion in US than France due to lack of birth control eduction --Protestant Fundies
4. Holocaust--Centuries of Christian hatred toward Jews.

Shevchyk said...

Well, there's a rather frightening number of oversimplifications in one post....

In any event.

The Greeks didn't give us gay thinkers. Because gay and the ideas it embodies *now* are not condusive to understanding the Athenian, if not Greek society as a whole as it existed *then.* The proper word to use in this particular context is "pederastemy" not "gay."

And modern computing likewise owes it origins to more than just Charles Turing. Vladimir Zworykin, Lewis Fry Richardson, John von Neumann all contributed to the development of modern computing in ways and means of equal important (if such a thing can even be measured, much less quantified) to that of Turing.

Your thoughts are nice - which is what matters here. But your conclusions are another matter entirely.