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Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Ed. -- aka the "Panda Trial" - Page 7

post #241 of 576
Thread Starter 
When meddling in science classes just isn't quite enough...
Quote:
From http://aclupa.blogspot.com/:

A "Living Word driven" district

So it wasn't just biology that the Dover board had in their sights. Social studies was Public Enemy Number Two!

This morning's proceedings at CR2 (courtroom 2) featured two Dover Area School District employees. Assistant Superintendent Michael Baksa continued his testimony, and later the defense called biology teacher Robert Linker to the stand.

Baksa talked about his involvement in the curriculum change. After the board passed the curriculum change in October 2004, Baksa received an e-mail from social studies teacher Brad Neal in which Mr. Neal sarcastically asked if the school was changing from a "standards-driven district" to a "Living Word driven" district and went on to speculate that his teaching of judicial history might be in jeopardy. Baksa responded, "Be careful what you wish for," and referred to a book called The Myth of Separation by David Barton that Baksa had received from Superintendent Richard Nilsen, which Nilsen had received from board member Alan Bonsell.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #242 of 576
Meanwhile Kansas today once again took the opportunity today to prove that it is the flatest place on our flat little planet. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...a135430S45.DTL

When will the Kansas board of eductaion learn that the sun doesn't revolve around them?

Ramen friends!
post #243 of 576
They changed the definition of science. Just like this thread predicted.
post #244 of 576
Thread Starter 
Besides the big election news (both gubernatorial races, NJ and VA, went to the Dems, BTW ), the Dover, PA Board of Ed was also up for reelection.

Unofficial results so far...

http://ydr.com/page/politics/dover/?...34bd18bef07562

...show the Dover CARES candidates (all anti-ID) solidly defeating the incumbent ID-pushing school board.

So, whether the old board wins the court case or not, they aren't going to be getting their way in the classroom.

What I'm not sure about is this... if the court case is lost by the ID side (as I'm betting it will be), can pro ID-ers who hope to make a point still keep pushing the case in an appeal, or would it be soley up to the new school board to decide whether or not to appeal? Obviously, if it's up to the new board, their will be no appeal.
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post #245 of 576
Fantastic news.
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post #246 of 576
Were an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while youre studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - well act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and thats how things will sort out. Were historys actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.
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post #247 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
What I'm not sure about is this... if the court case is lost by the ID side (as I'm betting it will be), can pro ID-ers who hope to make a point still keep pushing the case in an appeal, or would it be soley up to the new school board to decide whether or not to appeal? Obviously, if it's up to the new board, their will be no appeal.

Good question. If the ID front can keep this case going they may want to let it die anyway since it really doesn't look like the optimal case for their cause. Afterall, they still have Kansas.
post #248 of 576
The early Darwinian evolution was falsified (among other things?) by the observation that many organisms constantly behave altruistically. Most bees never reproduce. If an elephant puts itself into a dangerous situation to protect other elephants' young, that is counter to its own survival and reproduction. If evolution really had been centered on the individual, in the long term it would have wiped out this behavior.

If someone were now able to show consistent altruist behavior in genes, that would falsify the gene-based evolution theory.

There you have it, evolution is falsifiable.

Personally I think the judicious application of evidence, deduction and Occam's Razor (as in all of medicine, economics, forensics, etc) qualifies as science too. Certainly the *common* definition of science includes these.
post #249 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Were an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while youre studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - well act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and thats how things will sort out. Were historys actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

That doesn't sound like something you would say midwinter. It sounds like something, I don't know, the Bush administration would say.
post #250 of 576
It is, it's a direct quote.
post #251 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
If evolution really had been centered on the individual, in the long term it would have wiped out this behavior.

You are assuming a larger gap between what an animal would perceive as "individual" and what an animal would perceive as "family". When we look at our offspring do we see our genes or a face we associate with ourselves? Are loving adoptive parents markedly less devoted than loving biological parents?

Darwin himself discussed altruism in Descent of Man.

Quote:
"a tribe including many members who...were always ready to give aid to each other and sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection"

This notion of altruism is not in any way incompatable with evolutionary theory, even Darwin's most primitive version of evolutionary theory.

Quote:
If someone were now able to show consistent altruist behavior in genes, that would falsify the gene-based evolution theory.

Since when do genes "behave" in any way at all?

Genes are not the microscopic working model of the individual, they are chemical chunks of information, completely incapable of behavior of any sort.
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post #252 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat


Genes are not the microscopic working model of the individual, they are chemical chunks of information, completely incapable of behavior of any sort.

I doubt that there is any behavior with gens, at least not in the human way. As far as my knowledge go, there is two kinds of genes : data genes, who are to produce hardware (protein ...) and regulating ones. These last ones, are involved in very complex mechanisms, and enable or not the data genes to be expressed.
post #253 of 576
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
This notion of altruism is not in any way incompatable with evolutionary theory, even Darwin's most primitive version of evolutionary theory.

I vaguely recall a study where the results indicated that the likelyhood for altruistic behavior in at least some social animals (dolphins and/or apes? like I said, vaguely recall) decreased with distance along the family tree between a potential hero and a fellow creature in distress. The less of its own genetic heritage an animal might be saving through risky behavior, the less likely it was to engage in that behavior.

When it comes to bees... hell, most of them are sterile and can't pass on any genetic material in a direct manner no matter what they do. The behavior and evolution of bees and other social insects is best understood by thinking about hives and colonies as collective organisms -- the hive or colony is to its individual constituent organisms something like what a multicellular organism is to its individual cells.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #254 of 576
That's great that they were thrown off of the school board. But now apparently the Kansas board of ed. has passed a similar, though even further watered-down, version of what Dover did.
Quote:
The standards state that high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that some concepts have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology.

The challenged concepts cited include the basic Darwinian theory that all life had a common origin and the theory that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life.

In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena.

[oops I just saw that this was already referenced earlier on this page]
post #255 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
That's great that they were thrown off of the school board. But now apparently the Kansas board of ed. has passed a similar, though even further watered-down, version of what Dover did.

Yeah, but remember that KS did this same thing a while back, was made a laughingstock, and then reversed itself.
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post #256 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
The early Darwinian evolution was falsified (among other things?) by the observation that many organisms constantly behave altruistically. Most bees never reproduce. If an elephant puts itself into a dangerous situation to protect other elephants' young, that is counter to its own survival and reproduction. If evolution really had been centered on the individual, in the long term it would have wiped out this behavior.

If someone were now able to show consistent altruist behavior in genes, that would falsify the gene-based evolution theory.

There you have it, evolution is falsifiable.

Personally I think the judicious application of evidence, deduction and Occam's Razor (as in all of medicine, economics, forensics, etc) qualifies as science too. Certainly the *common* definition of science includes these.

Groverat gave an excellent response, just wanted to add that humans are an excellent example of why your thinking is incorrect. Humans are arguably among the most altruistic of animals and our population is exploding. Any species with some level of social interaction enters the realm were selfish vs altruistic interactions have tradeoffs.
post #257 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Groverat gave an excellent response, just wanted to add that humans are an excellent example of why your thinking is incorrect. Humans are arguably among the most altruistic of animals and our population is exploding. Any species with some level of social interaction enters the realm were selfish vs altruistic interactions have tradeoffs.

Altruistic behaviour in animals is supposed to ensure the survival of the gene line, more important than the survival of the individual. Or something.
post #258 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah
Altruistic behaviour in animals is supposed to ensure the survival of the gene line, more important than the survival of the individual. Or something.

Yes yes. In Darwin's view, the individual doesn't matter. Only the species. Our altruistic behavior has nothing to do with individuals; it's about perpetuating the species.
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post #259 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
You are assuming a larger gap between what an animal would perceive as "individual" and what an animal would perceive as "family". When we look at our offspring do we see our genes or a face we associate with ourselves?

Both.
Quote:
Are loving adoptive parents markedly less devoted than loving biological parents?

If adoptions were carried out by random to both willing and unwilling families, then hell yes the adoptive parents would be markedly less devoted on the average. But this is not the case, is it?
Quote:
Darwin himself discussed altruism in Descent of Man.

This notion of altruism is not in any way incompatable with evolutionary theory, even Darwin's most primitive version of evolutionary theory.

It takes genes to explain and predict altruistic behavior, and Darwin did not have knowledge of them. Darwin's theory was necessarily incomplete. The quote just shows that Darwin was aware of this.
Quote:
Since when do genes "behave" in any way at all?

Genes are not the microscopic working model of the individual, they are chemical chunks of information, completely incapable of behavior of any sort.

True, the word "behavior" is inappropriate. I was thinking an analogy can be formulated for genes.
post #260 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Groverat gave an excellent response, just wanted to add that humans are an excellent example of why your thinking is incorrect. Humans are arguably among the most altruistic of animals and our population is exploding. Any species with some level of social interaction enters the realm were selfish vs altruistic interactions have tradeoffs.

What of my thinking do you think is "made incorrect" by humans?

We are not operating on autopilot anymore. Cultural evolution dominates genetic evolution. In the genetic sense, most of our altruism misfires because it is geared for interaction with small communities and groups, not the modern world.
post #261 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by GonIf adoptions were carried out by random to both willing and unwilling families, then hell yes the adoptive parents would be markedly less devoted on the average. But this is not the case, is it?

As far as I know, that is not the case at all.
People choose to devote themselves to children that are not their genetic offspring with the same intensity that others devote themselves to their genetic offspring.

Same parental feelings without the gene connection.

Quote:
It takes genes to explain and predict altruistic behavior, and Darwin did not have knowledge of them. Darwin's theory was necessarily incomplete. The quote just shows that Darwin was aware of this.

Yes, Darwin didn't know of genes as we know of genes now, but he knew enough about human/animal behavior to see this "altruism" phenomenon and explain it within his theory.

Your assertion that altruism would be phased out if the Darwinian model were true was completely untrue.

Quote:
We are not operating on autopilot anymore.

When were we ever?

Quote:
Cultural evolution dominates genetic evolution. In the genetic sense, most of our altruism misfires because it is geared for interaction with small communities and groups, not the modern world.

It is simply a matter of expanding the realm of what one would consider one's family of genetic similars.

I don't see how "cultural evolution" and "genetic evolution" are separate enough concepts for one to "dominate" the other. Perhaps you could explain the difference and how they are not inter-related.
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post #262 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
As far as I know, that is not the case at all.
People choose to devote themselves to children that are not their genetic offspring with the same intensity that others devote themselves to their genetic offspring.

Exactly my point. A few people among many choose to. If the massive majority of people who do not adopt kids were tossed a kid for caretaking without compensation, many of them would do a very poor job at it.
Quote:
Yes, Darwin didn't know of genes as we know of genes now, but he knew enough about human/animal behavior to see this "altruism" phenomenon and explain it within his theory.

Your assertion that altruism would be phased out if the Darwinian model were true was completely untrue.

Okay. What's the explanation? If I see an unknown guy in danger and would have to seriously risk my life to save him, why is an instinct to do it effective from the viewpoint of the original theory?
Quote:
When were we ever?

Well.. Homo sapiens wasn't. Go far enough back and you'll find biological automatons.
Quote:
It is simply a matter of expanding the realm of what one would consider one's family of genetic similars.

In a way that's true - the process does not break down, it just becomes less effective - but it doesn't change the fact that it does become less effective. Our genetic makeup has approximations for decisionmaking which are far from optimal in the new world. Let's say that for a couple hundred thousand years, when our ancestors spotted another human, if they were not hostile, they were likely to be related to you. Now as a result of that we are hardwired to be inclined to help them to some degree. If we see them often (part of the same tribe) they are even more likely to be related. Fast-forward to a world where we see many, many people per day, and the genetic relationship to most of them is very distant. We still carry the same approximation inside us. Ergo, from the viewpoint of the genes, we are too eager to help strangers, and non-relatives we see often such as our friends at the workplace.
Quote:
I don't see how "cultural evolution" and "genetic evolution" are separate enough concepts for one to "dominate" the other. Perhaps you could explain the difference and how they are not inter-related.

They are interrelated, of course, but the obvious difference is that genetics works too slow to do a great deal on the timeframe the mankind has evolved from primitive farmers to driving rovers on Mars.
post #263 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Groverat gave an excellent response, just wanted to add that humans are an excellent example of why your thinking is incorrect. Humans are arguably among the most altruistic of animals and our population is exploding. Any species with some level of social interaction enters the realm were selfish vs altruistic interactions have tradeoffs.

I answered this already, but it wasn't a good answer. Here goes.

That is totally wrong. We might be one of the most altruistic mammals. Probably less so than some species of apes, because most of them are not as warlike. In some human populations up to 60% of males die in intraspecies warfare. Like chimpanzees, we are a bloodthirsty bunch.
In the large perspective, insects living in hives are so altruistic that we are not in the same ballpark.

You are also apparently fighting a strawman. I never said altruism on organism level wouldn't be an efficient evolutionary strategy according to our current conception of how evolution works. What I said was it is unexplicable without genes.
post #264 of 576
hey a thread on evolution.....

im gone....

hello Segovius (will be in touch soon), dmz, fellows, hassan....

(I should be back after Sol Invictus ) - If a nice mod (Powerdoc???) could unban MarcUK before then, i would be grateful... I think I've done my time...Actually I only get a few minutes a week in my lunchbreak to browse the net these days,

until next year.....

MarcUK
post #265 of 576
We have been discussing evolution at Lonestartimes

http://www.lonestartimes.com/2005/11...lution-theory/

(Moe is unable to comment here because he is still serving a self-imposed ban)
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post #266 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
If the massive majority of people who do not adopt kids were tossed a kid for caretaking without compensation, many of them would do a very poor job at it.

Just like the many who have a kid unexpectedly or for dumb reasons and do a very poor job at it.

Quote:
Okay. What's the explanation? If I see an unknown guy in danger and would have to seriously risk my life to save him, why is an instinct to do it effective from the viewpoint of the original theory?

I guess I'll quote it again:
"a tribe including many members who...were always ready to give aid to each other and sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection"

I bolded the answer for you.
You save him because you think it creates a better situation for your tribe (which is a non-specific term for a reason), not just right but in the future as well because you are taking part in the social learning (creating an example to be followed and in the case of someone trying to kill someone else, you are punishing the killing behavior by saving the target).

Quote:
Well.. Homo sapiens wasn't. Go far enough back and you'll find biological automatons.

I don't know what you mean by "biological automatons".

Quote:
Ergo, from the viewpoint of the genes, we are too eager to help strangers, and non-relatives we see often such as our friends at the workplace.

Where do you get "too eager"? And what negative effect is this having?
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post #267 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
What of my thinking do you think is "made incorrect" by humans?

We are not operating on autopilot anymore. Cultural evolution dominates genetic evolution. In the genetic sense, most of our altruism misfires because it is geared for interaction with small communities and groups, not the modern world.

Answered by Hassan and midwinter just above your post.

Taking care of your own speicies can be a survival advantage for the group as a whole. However, this doesn't prevent competition within a species.

I agree humans are a complicated example, but clearly altuism exists in our species and I hope you can see how that helps to keep us alive and reproductive.

edit: I read the rest of the posts and see I should have done that before posting.
post #268 of 576
[warning] The following is based on my limited knowledge from undergraduate level evolutionary biology. [/warning]

Altruism & Genetics

Altruistic behavior is not just helping others, but helping relatives in a way that harms one's own reproductive success and possible furthers theirs. e.g. a monkey in the trees may alert family that a predator is coming; the family is able to hide but the monkey on watch is eaten.

How does altruism spread throughout a species then? Suppose a member of a species has genes that promote altruism. That means some of those genes came from the mother, and some from the father. Further, for the parents to have these genes, they must have come from their parents. Also, this individual will share half of their genes (on average) with any of their siblings. (that's all just basic genetics)

So if an individual's altruistic behavior allows their relatives to live, they have further allowed the spread of altruistic genes, because their relatives likely share at least some of these genes.
post #269 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Just like the many who have a kid unexpectedly or for dumb reasons and do a very poor job at it.

I was talking about the average, not saying that every biological parent does a better job.
post #270 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
I guess I'll quote it again:
"a tribe including many members who...were always ready to give aid to each other and sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection"

I bolded the answer for you.
You save him because you think it creates a better situation for your tribe (which is a non-specific term for a reason), not just right but in the future as well because you are taking part in the social learning (creating an example to be followed and in the case of someone trying to kill someone else, you are punishing the killing behavior by saving the target).

I don't know what you mean by "biological automatons".

By biological automatons I meant creatures that have most of their behavior hard-coded in their genes. Creatures that lack the facilities to consider what would be best for their tribe, learn and be consciously reciprocal. With these creatures, when you have a tribe with all altruists, and introduce individuals that are not, the altruists will occasionally sacrifice themselves for the non-altruists, while the opposite does not happen. It might take time, but in the end all in the tribe are non-altruist. In the snippet you quoted Darwin only notes the phenomenon exists, and gives an explanation for creatures that have a degree of consciousness. It doesn't explain how stupid animals can be altruist.
post #271 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Where do you get "too eager"? And what negative effect is this having?

I already wrote exactly where. It's the part you didn't quote.
Negative from the viewpoint of whom?
post #272 of 576
Thread Starter 
Damn those wretches in Dover, PA for rejecting God!

Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God's wrath
Quote:
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

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Peter came out and gave us medals
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #273 of 576
But wait, I thought ID had absolutely nothing to do with God or religion.
post #274 of 576
Wow, Robertson's God must be a vindictive S.O.B.

And this is why people reject ID being taught in science classes. I applaud Robertson for being so overtly upset by what transpired, because it exposes what the motives are. It is ENTIRELY about inserting theology, namely Christian theology, where it does not belong.

It's not about a search for knowledge.

It's about hammering home one group's "truth" while trying to undercut a perceived threat to said truth. Plain and simple.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

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Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. - Albert Einstein

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post #275 of 576
Maybe we could get the non-ID people to identify themselves somehow? Maybe with a symbol of some kind? Maybe something worn around the arm on a band or sewn into their clothing? Something classy, you know. Gold or yellow, since that's in fashion now. And something hopeful, something optimistic, like a star.
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post #276 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Maybe we could get the non-ID people to identify themselves somehow? Maybe with a symbol of some kind? Maybe something worn around the arm on a band or sewn into their clothing? Something classy, you know. Gold or yellow, since that's in fashion now. And something hopeful, something optimistic, like a star.

It might also be helpful to allow them to congregate in their own, I don't know, neighborhoods or districts or something.

Maybe we could designate an area.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #277 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
It might also be helpful to allow them to congregate in their own, I don't know, neighborhoods or districts or something.

Maybe we could designate an area.

Oooh! And we could get Randy Newman to write a song about it!
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post #278 of 576
Left foot right foot left foot right foot.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #279 of 576
BR, you're one away from the big 3-triple 0!

Posts, I mean.

Oh yeah, so intelligent design is a Christian thing, then? I'm confused.
post #280 of 576
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
By biological automatons I meant creatures that have most of their behavior hard-coded in their genes. Creatures that lack the facilities to consider what would be best for their tribe, learn and be consciously reciprocal. With these creatures, when you have a tribe with all altruists, and introduce individuals that are not, the altruists will occasionally sacrifice themselves for the non-altruists, while the opposite does not happen. It might take time, but in the end all in the tribe are non-altruist. In the snippet you quoted Darwin only notes the phenomenon exists, and gives an explanation for creatures that have a degree of consciousness. It doesn't explain how stupid animals can be altruist.

You mean Republicans?
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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