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Penny Arcade - Comic - Dropping Science

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Posts

  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    Alright that's enough of that.

    Geth, kick @Translucia from the thread.

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  • GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    Affirmative Tube. @Translucia banned from this thread.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    EDIT: nothing to see here!

    Solar on
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Anyway I liked this comic, made me laugh!

    Gabe's art is definitely more to my taste these days though, I like that he emphasises the distinct elements of the people he draws

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    I think a resource that is extremely useful and informative for people who may have questions about or problems with evolution (or are trying to talk to people who have questions/problems about/with evolution) is the TalkOrigins Archive, specifically the Must Read-Files page, which addresses many common misconceptions about what evolution is and is not, debunks many of the common (and not-so-common) claims about "proofs against evolution," and generally just breaks down a very complicated and vast topic in a way that is very accessible to folks who aren't immersed in science as a career or hobby.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    I hate that this comic is even remotely controversial

    Love the comic itself, though

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  • Virgil_Leads_YouVirgil_Leads_You Not on Any Podcast or Affliated Don't Even Own a MikeRegistered User regular
    My public school science teachers were pretty dope.
    Despite living in KY, no one ever pretended that the science was something you could opt out of learning.

    That said, every year I read about the state legislature doing horrific stuff with classrooms.
    I think in a lot of cases, there is even the specter on teachers, that this attitude is legislated.
    If they don't pretend there is an opt out, they have the very unfortunately realistic fear of getting in serious drama.
    (Can't speak for Washington or other states though)

    So go out and vote in your state elections, so you at least don't end up like KY.

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  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    The literal interpretation of the Bible died out before people started writing the year with three digits. It was pretty well buried by St. Augustine of Hippo's On The Literal Interpretation Of Genesis in the fifth century, which was an attempt to get Christians to stop looking like know-nothing idiots by insisting there must be water beyond the dome of the sky, which is studded with stars, when astronomy had advanced far enough to say things about orbits that put lie to that.

    Martin Luther did a little spadework around the grave with the idea of sola scriptura, that all you needed was the Bible and not anybody else's commentaries on it, but you know what it really took to unearth it?

    People ran out of ways to justify holding other people in slavery in perpetuity, and their children, and their children's children. And then they dug, and the people who would eventually call themselves Southern Baptists said that slavery must be right because look, it's mentioned in the Bible! (Accounts of this process are documented in many places including Garret Ryland's The Baptists Of Virginia.) Anyone who wants you to "literally interpret" the Bible, by which they mean agree that they must be right about what God said, is either lying to justify slavery, or parroting the lies fed to them by someone who was. Gotta get that sweet, sweet made-with-no-pay-on-pain-of-death cheddar.

    Would it surprise you to learn that the evangelical community at large didn't really define itself in opposition to, oh, abortion, evolution, feminism, gay marriage, or environmentalism until Bob Jones university banned interracial dating in the 70s and lost its tax-exempt status? Gotta keep that sweet, sweet cheddar away from Uncle Sam. And hey, we've got all this wrongly-literal analysis laying around from the time we tried to justify owning entire classes of people forever, let's build on that!

    And you can go "oh, but this one paper says" and "oh, but Time magazine had this one cover in the 1970s" all you want. You know oh, but what else? Somebody made up every word that there ever was. Grammar and spelling go by majority rules. Numbers don't actually exist. Language in general and math in specific are all just common conventions people have adopted to relate ideas to themselves and communicate with each other, but nobody suggests starting teaching kids to read from Linear B. The people who write the books and the people who teach need a picture of the whole story, but what you teach kids starts from how you can relate these common conventions to the things they already see in the world around them.

    And it may turn out that, like the big glossy poster from my childhood about the planets and moons of the solar system that includes Pluto and its single moon, Charon, even some of the things that you thought were fundamental turn out to be wrong, which is why a decent part of any education is learning how to question, learning how to prove, and learning how to stop believing and start knowing.

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  • d.TFFoSd.TFFoS Registered User regular
    @joshofalltrades To me the idea of "making kids believe it" is slightly iffy, because you can't really force someone to think something, and it's better to explain to them why they should think so.

    And for all we know, in 20 years Neanderthals might get the Pluto treatment and be demoted to a subspecies of Homo Sapiens, so the idea of believing it because it is science instead of the overwhelming evidence behind it is wrongheaded. As others have pointed out, science is a process.

    However, it is completely a Mike way of expressing anger at their indifference towards anti-intellectualism and how silly it is that teachers have to tiptoe around basic things that in a sane world, they wouldn't need to.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    I love the beard dude in panels 2&3

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  • JortalusJortalus Registered User regular
    My perspective on this issue is that schools and teachers should provide information and perspective on issues, but they should not attempt to enforce belief in those issues. If a student chooses not to believe in evolution, for one reason or another, it should be his/her own choice--all I ask if that they're given enough information to make an informed choice.

    That goes for anything--evolution, global warming, democracy, capitalism, communism, etc.

    Just the facts. No propaganda.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Ok, but evolution is a fact.

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  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited September 2017
    As is anthropogenic global climate change.

    H3Knuckles on
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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Fuck me; this comic is my giant flashing weak spot.

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  • GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    Cooperation furthers mutual goals @Translucia.
    Warned @Translucia (0 points for 1 week) for "Kicked from thread: Not welcome"

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  • Twenty SidedTwenty Sided Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    .

    Twenty Sided on
  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Ok, but evolution is a fact.

    No. Evolution is a theory. That's better than a fact. It's a way to predict facts.

    When you see somebody in, like, a detective show say, "well, I have a theory" it means they haven't gone out and tested any of their predictions yet, and neither has anyone else they know. When science textbooks talk about theories, they're talking about pretty much the opposite of that.

    Because the two words the textbooks don't put before "theory" are "verified scientific", which, as a phrase, means that somebody else who knows nothing about what you did can get your results.

    So let's nail down some terms. Verified scientific fact: a single observation about the past that other people can confirm. If you have a flask full of gas, then the ambient temperature, the volume of the flask, the pressure of the gas, and the mass of the gas in the flask are all facts.

    Verified scientific law: A relation between facts that other people can confirm. As you heat the flask, its volume and the mass of the gas remain the same, but the pressure of the gas increases linearly with temperature. Nothing is in the law about the cause of the relation or the points at which it might break down; for example, what happens to the pressure as you cool a flask of water vapor. Laws can tend to have ancillary maths bolted onto them to improve their relational power, but at some point somebody's got to start with the...

    Verified scientific hypothesis: a single prediction about the future that other people can confirm comes true. Water vapor's going to stop acting weird after you break the boiling point.

    Verified scientific theory: a system for making predictions about the future that other people can confirm makes true ones. Blah blah blah vapor pressure blah blah blah enthalpy of melting blah blah blah phase diagram. Theories tend to get ancillary bits bolted on to improve their predictive power, but if they start becoming too unwieldy or encounter corner cases where they're not useful at all, they also tend to get descoped or outright replaced by theories that are easier to understand or more useful.

    But, for all that quantum mechanics saved Wolfgang Pauli from taking up a career as a movie comedian, no grade-schooler is going to be able to command forces fine-grained enough that the fundamental resolution of reality starts to show up as jaggies, so we start with the idea that atoms have electrons and hold off talking about orbitals. And for all that relativistic physics makes the GPS in your smartphone work, no grade-schooler is going to be able to give anything meaningful relativistic speed in Earth's frame of reference, so we start with the Newtonian stuff. Laws have their edge cases, and theories have their unknown extents, but both are taught as though they were single units of knowledge as part of the whole "relate the common consensus to the world around them" thing.

    Glazius on
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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Memdump: buffer overflow.
    Closing debate process - I have work to do I need the cycles; I don't need to revisit this topic and suck all my time down this particular rabbit hole.
    Will catch up on thread later and see if anything here is worth reading.
    This comic.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I wish the strip was about Battleborn bring abandoned. I'd take those nutters over what we got going on here.

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    You can even mount some non-animals...

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I wish the strip was about Battleborn bring abandoned. I'd take those nutters over what we got going on here.

    A comic about five people who play battleborn is a limited audience.

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  • MarcinMNMarcinMN Registered User regular
    Heh, I knew this one would have at least 100 comments. Sometimes it almost feels like they are trolling the forum. (I'm sure they aren't though.) :)

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Jortalus wrote: »
    My perspective on this issue is that schools and teachers should provide information and perspective on issues, but they should not attempt to enforce belief in those issues. If a student chooses not to believe in evolution, for one reason or another, it should be his/her own choice--all I ask if that they're given enough information to make an informed choice.

    That goes for anything--evolution, global warming, democracy, capitalism, communism, etc.

    Just the facts. No propaganda.

    The implication here is that there is some sort of "evolution propaganda" that is being taught in schools. Which I would be interested in hearing about.

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  • McFodderMcFodder 'SploringRegistered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    But, for all that quantum mechanics saved Wolfgang Pauli from taking up a career as a movie comedian, no grade-schooler is going to be able to command forces fine-grained enough that the fundamental resolution of reality starts to show up as jaggies, so we start with the idea that atoms have electrons and hold off talking about orbitals. And for all that relativistic physics makes the GPS in your smartphone work, no grade-schooler is going to be able to give anything meaningful relativistic speed in Earth's frame of reference, so we start with the Newtonian stuff. Laws have their edge cases, and theories have their unknown extents, but both are taught as though they were single units of knowledge as part of the whole "relate the common consensus to the world around them" thing.

    I love the way this kind of thing was discussed by Terry Pratchett in the 'Science of Discworld' books.

    We start off with 'lies to children' - things we tell kids that may not be true, or the full truth, but are to protect them from things when the more accurate story is something they are not equipped to grasp.

    Then eventually, in a lot of areas of study, the basics we are taught are part of an outdated, incorrect or incomplete model, just because it's 'good enough' for the level of the course and much easier to understand.

    As you specialise more, you get told that no, that wasn't quite right, this is how things really are now.

    So at some point you end up with 'lies to people that aren't qualified engineers with this level of knowledge', which for what most people need are perfectly fine.

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  • JortalusJortalus Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Jortalus wrote: »
    My perspective on this issue is that schools and teachers should provide information and perspective on issues, but they should not attempt to enforce belief in those issues. If a student chooses not to believe in evolution, for one reason or another, it should be his/her own choice--all I ask if that they're given enough information to make an informed choice.

    That goes for anything--evolution, global warming, democracy, capitalism, communism, etc.

    Just the facts. No propaganda.

    The implication here is that there is some sort of "evolution propaganda" that is being taught in schools. Which I would be interested in hearing about.

    That's not the implication at all. I'm only saying that a student should be given the information to make their own decision, rather than just told by a teacher what to believe. For example, "Evolution" is not a fact--the concept of evolution is supported by numerous pieces of proof that are facts, but evolution itself is not a fact.

    My point is that I'd rather not have teachers acting as the gatekeepers for what is "okay" to believe. If they're good enough at conveying facts, their students will come to the conclusion on their own.

    I personally believe in evolution, full stop. I also believe in giving children the tools to form their own perspective rather than simply being told what the 'correct answer' is. Especially when it comes to controversial/disputed topics.

  • StericaSterica Rapscallion Registered User, Moderator mod
    Except that's a standard no other theory has to be subjected to. Nobody is demanding kids "come to their own conclusions" on germ theory, cell theory, atomic theory, and so forth. For some reason only evolution is the scary thing that we can't just friggin' tell kids.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Jortalus wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Jortalus wrote: »
    My perspective on this issue is that schools and teachers should provide information and perspective on issues, but they should not attempt to enforce belief in those issues. If a student chooses not to believe in evolution, for one reason or another, it should be his/her own choice--all I ask if that they're given enough information to make an informed choice.

    That goes for anything--evolution, global warming, democracy, capitalism, communism, etc.

    Just the facts. No propaganda.

    The implication here is that there is some sort of "evolution propaganda" that is being taught in schools. Which I would be interested in hearing about.

    That's not the implication at all. I'm only saying that a student should be given the information to make their own decision, rather than just told by a teacher what to believe. For example, "Evolution" is not a fact--the concept of evolution is supported by numerous pieces of proof that are facts, but evolution itself is not a fact.

    My point is that I'd rather not have teachers acting as the gatekeepers for what is "okay" to believe. If they're good enough at conveying facts, their students will come to the conclusion on their own.

    I personally believe in evolution, full stop. I also believe in giving children the tools to form their own perspective rather than simply being told what the 'correct answer' is. Especially when it comes to controversial/disputed topics.

    But evolution is not a controversial or disputed topic in the scientific community.

    Evolution itself is a fact. How evolution occurs, that's the theory.

    This is no different than gravity.

    It is a fact that gravity exists, but the theories on how gravity behaves and interacts with other forces have changed over time. That gravitational theories have changed over time only reflects an increased understanding of it.

    Another example: While still operating under a geocentric model of the universe, a number of celestial bodies were discovered and carefully observed. The fact that these celestial bodies were observed to exist and move in predictable patterns were in no way invalidated when the theory of the geocentric universe was dis-proven, and replaced with a heliocentric model.

    Further consultation: TalkOrigins' page on evolution being both a theory and a fact.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The PIT, level 26Registered User regular
    Oh man, there's a lot of comments really fast on this comic, oh geez!

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  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Realtor Santa ClaritaRegistered User regular
    Something a friend of mine recently said is there are too many Morties on this world and not enough Ricks. Every Morty needs a Rick, but we're running out of Ricks.

    A huge portion of people don't understand the word "theory" has a completely different meaning in the scientific community than it does in the standard dictionary for regular people. And for whatever reason, they don't care when that is explained to them. It truly fucking boggles my mind, and I'm here to tell you, I'm way closer to a Morty than a Rick.

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  • FlorgimiteFlorgimite Registered User new member
    edited September 2017
    Florgimite was warned for this.
    Jerry- " I live and let live as right until the point at which you start teaching children that we get to choose our facts."
    I wonder, then, what his opinion is on this 'new fad' of choosing one's own gender....?

    Florgimite on
  • BucketmanBucketman Dyslexic Puppy Skraggle RockRegistered User regular
    Florgimite wrote: »
    Jerry- " I live and let live as right until the point at which you start teaching children that we get to choose our facts."
    I wonder, then, what his opinion is on this 'new fad' of choosing one's own gender....?

    I believe they have spoken about this, maybe that was a podcast? Maybe I'm mixed up but they both seem for it.

    Because gender identity is fluid. Physical sex is one thing, and can be changed after birth, but gender is a construct with many options. Its an evolving (no pun intended) theory of how humans interact with gender and sex. We are gaining knowledge as we go along.

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Florgimite wrote: »
    Jerry- " I live and let live as right until the point at which you start teaching children that we get to choose our facts."
    I wonder, then, what his opinion is on this 'new fad' of choosing one's own gender....?

    To you, it is somebody "choosing their own gender". To them, they have always been whichever gender and are simply being who they really are. The concept of trans people engaging in a "fad" comes from a place of immense privilege, but even if it were simply some cosmetic choice one was making (holy shit it is not), it is their body and their identity. They get to be who they want to be, but more than that, they get to be who they are.

    In the case of the newspost, "facts" refers to teaching science in a science class. I don't find this to be a controversial position to take. Sexual identity is a much more complex issue, but it is also a much simpler issue, because more important than the complexity is where you fall on the spectrum of compassion -> cruelty. In areas dealing with personal liberty, I err on the side of compassion.

    TL;DR: trans people are not engaging in a fad and their choosing to be who they are is not analogous to teaching evolution as a fact in schools.

    joshofalltrades on
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  • GDT1985GDT1985 Registered User regular
    Florgimite wrote: »
    Jerry- " I live and let live as right until the point at which you start teaching children that we get to choose our facts."
    I wonder, then, what his opinion is on this 'new fad' of choosing one's own gender....?

    To you, it is somebody "choosing their own gender". To them, they have always been whichever gender and are simply being who they really are. The concept of trans people engaging in a "fad" comes from a place of immense privilege, but even if it were simply some cosmetic choice one was making (holy shit it is not), it is their body and their identity. They get to be who they want to be, but more than that, they get to be who they are.

    In the case of the newspost, "facts" refers to teaching science in a science class. I don't find this to be a controversial position to take. Sexual identity is a much more complex issue, but it is also a much simpler issue, because more important than the complexity is where you fall on the spectrum of compassion -> cruelty. In areas dealing with personal liberty, I err on the side of compassion.

    TL;DR: trans people are not engaging in a fad and their choosing to be who they are is not analogous to teaching evolution as a fact in schools.

    Well said. It is no different than those that claim that people are choosing to be LBGT. They don't and I will never understand why people can't understand that.

    And making facts controversial seems to be the goal of certain groups in power. That little line by a teacher in a (middle?) school is a symptom of a much more frightening trend in US society.

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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    This thread is not about gender.

    Zilla360
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Except that's a standard no other theory has to be subjected to. Nobody is demanding kids "come to their own conclusions" on germ theory, cell theory, atomic theory, and so forth. For some reason only evolution is the scary thing that we can't just friggin' tell kids.

    "Theory" also doesn't mean theory like it does in common vernacular.

    Scientific theories are facts, for all intents and purposes. Just that they are always up for revision and that. They are well understood and have a solid compendium of knowledge and experiments to back them up. They're not "this is how we think things works" so much as "this is how things work as much as we understand at this point in time."

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  • TaskmanTaskman Registered User regular
    Hello! I enjoyed this comic and I enjoyed eating popcorn (well, tomato and lentil dahl) while reading this slow motion car crash of a thread. I have literally nothing else to say.

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  • dennisdennis Registered User regular
    Please don't drop the science; you might break it.

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  • StericaSterica Rapscallion Registered User, Moderator mod
    bowen wrote: »
    Except that's a standard no other theory has to be subjected to. Nobody is demanding kids "come to their own conclusions" on germ theory, cell theory, atomic theory, and so forth. For some reason only evolution is the scary thing that we can't just friggin' tell kids.
    "Theory" also doesn't mean theory like it does in common vernacular.

    Scientific theories are facts, for all intents and purposes. Just that they are always up for revision and that. They are well understood and have a solid compendium of knowledge and experiments to back them up. They're not "this is how we think things works" so much as "this is how things work as much as we understand at this point in time."
    They are frameworks to explain things.

    Germ theory explains the cause of disease, atomic theory explains what stuff is made of, and evolutionary theory explains the diversity of life. These frameworks can change, but it takes a lot of evidence to do so (one example being how quantum physics has really shaken up our thinking of classical or Newtonian physics).

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    If nothing else, the last several pages have made me agree with comic Gabe even more.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Jortalus wrote: »
    My perspective on this issue is that schools and teachers should provide information and perspective on issues, but they should not attempt to enforce belief in those issues. If a student chooses not to believe in evolution, for one reason or another, it should be his/her own choice--all I ask if that they're given enough information to make an informed choice.

    That goes for anything--evolution, global warming, democracy, capitalism, communism, etc.

    Just the facts. No propaganda.

    Another thing to consider:

    Evolution and global warming are not at all equatable to democracy, capitalism, or communism.

    Scientific facts and theories are not the same as political systems, philosophies and ideologies. Science is based around exploring and explaining the natural world using techniques and technology in ways defined by strict methodologies, and so the conclusions taught in class have mountains of evidence behind them - they are not "theories" in the popular sense of the word, up for debate about whether they are true or not.

    Things like democracy or communism, etc., these are political systems based around philosophies, that often coalesce into ideologies. The difference is that philosophies and ideologies are intangible concepts, not observable phenomenon. The effects of people following/implementing these things, sure, that's tangible and observable, but not the concepts themselves. This is why the field of philosophy is full of infinite potential for debate: because while the effects of a philosophy may be objectively observed and recorded, the core philosophy itself is beyond such things. While philosophers may utilize methods of logic, they are not constrained by physical observation, repeatable testing, etc. in the same way as scientists are. This is not to try and disparage philosophers (political and otherwise), merely making a point about the difference between the disciplines.

    Now that this distinction has been made, let us return to evolution.

    Evolution is a scientific theory (and a fact).

    Creationism, intelligent design, however you want to label it, is not a scientific theory. It is an ideology, rooted in religion and religious morality, that has far-reaching goals beyond just opposing evolution education. The organizations that opposed evolutionary education in schools have beliefs about other things that are "immoral" to teach children in schools, and opposing evolution is a way for them to get their ideology's foot into the school's door. Asking that they only "teach the controversy" does nothing but further this ideological agenda. As I once put it, "It's never just about evolution."

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    I really wonder how people who don't think evolution is true can explain the existence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. I mean, there's a reason why doctors tell patients to complete their antibiotic regimen even after they're feeling better, and it's not just because the illness 'can come back'.

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