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Education United States Science

Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design 813

An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on new legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives which is seeking equal time in the classroom for Intelligent Design, and to redefine science itself. You can read the text of the bill online. It uses over 600 words to describe Intelligent Design. Scientific theory, the bill says, is 'an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.' It would require that 'If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught.' The legislation's references to 'scientific theory' and 'scientific law' make it clear the writers don't have the slightest idea how science actually works. It also has this odd line near the end: 'If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.'"
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Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design

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  • Re:Treason (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:36PM (#42877919)

    "This sort of behavior from elected officials should be considered treason."

    He said that it should be. Treason has other meanings besides the legal one, you know.

  • by VAElynx ( 2001046 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:37PM (#42877923)
    Sadly, there are nutcases like that. Called "Christian Scientists"
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:51PM (#42878057)

    Rest in peace, oh great America. You had a nice run leading the world in science and technology.

    Pretty soon now you will be just another religious state, just like the ones you are fighting right now, but with a different religion.

    That is not true.

    One-in-Five Adults and One-in-Three Under Age 30 Have No Religious Affiliation []. This kind of stuff are the death-throes of religious conservatism. As the more normal people leave formalized religion, the crazies are left behind. Without a moderating influence, they get even crazier than before.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:57PM (#42878107) Homepage

    Well, up to a point. As Neil deGrasse Tyson [] points out, from the Principia Mathematica:
    "But is it not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions."
    - Isaac Newton

    Newton, that crazy alchemist who revolutionized physics just for fun and invented calculus more-or-less on a lark, also invoked intelligent design. Ridiculously smart guy, and even he was hampered by his own religious beliefs.

  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:11PM (#42878237) Homepage
    I strongly believe there is no god. I also believe that the evidence for evolution is a very strong argument for the non-existence of god, and that is why I think so many believers have a problem with it.

    However, those who are believers and think evolution is real too, well, that's just an example of cognitive dissonance.

    But I mainly take issue with your last paragraph (after all, you can believe whatever you like, I don't care). "Faith used correctly". What on earth does that mean? People can do good things, and people can do bad things. These acts may be driven by their beliefs, but invariably the belief is used to justify the act, not the other way around. I see many people of faith committing atrocities in the name of that faith, in fact I would say on balance they are the majority. People do good for many reasons, and faith does not need to come into it, but a truly bad act is usually aided and abetted by faith. Yes, it's a perversion of what "faith" means to the majority of believers, but that's the reality of it: suicide bombers would almost certainly not commit those acts just because they felt like it.

    I see next to no good in zealotry of any kind. Do good if you want to - it's easy to see that doing good has benefits that have nothing to do with religion - but don't do bad because your holy book tells you it's OK. That's just using a very shaky belief system to justify and reinforce a decision you alone took.
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:16PM (#42878297)

    It's a bill not a law.
    Hearings not scheduled, not on the house calendar. You've been had ARS... this is a publicity stunt by 2 conservative politicians to garner attention for their next election by introducing a bill popular with their tiny constituencies, guaranteed never to even get voted on, but sure to bring in gullible leftist reporters who are all too eager to snap up any tidbit of info that might portray their political opponents in a negative light. And you guys are flooding ARS with traffic because you're also so eager to believe it.

    Sponsor: Brattin, Rick (055)
    Co-Sponsor: Koenig, Andrew (099) ... et al.
    Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2013
    LR Number: 506L.01I
    Last Action: 1/31/2013 - Referred: Elementary and Secondary Education(H)
    Bill String: HB 291
    Next Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
    Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar []

    As if there were nothing in the world actually worth reporting on, they've got to spoon feed you this horseshit. How many people die in Africa from AIDs per day? Oh wait, you can't blame that on republicans so it's uninteresting. Fuck you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:20PM (#42878331)

    Intelligent design was invented by a PR company in the 1990's, a lobby group names Discovery Institute invented it, as a way of using religion against the religious.

    The strategy is known as a Wedge Strategy:

    Make evolution a test of faith, then get them to deny evolution, so God created everything EXCEPT evolution, and to accept that you have to ignore the lack of puppie fossils, and all the other stuff in front of your eyes and deny science.

    Once you've got them ignoring things as a test of faith, everything from Global Warming to Oil depletion suddenly becomes deniable. Remember 'God promised not to destroy the earth again hence Global Warming cannot exist'?. That's a sucker whose fallen for Wedge Strategy.

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:24PM (#42878355)

    Also a fact was that the Scopes trials in which John Scopes allegedly broke the law by teaching evolution in a public school occurred in 1925. Well before the US "had its good run". Shenanigans by evangelicals on this topic have been ongoing for a very long time and have been mostly irrelevant to anything except making noise and grabbing headlines. The smart people in the USA would not have even had to turn in their graves, they proceeded unabashed while quite alive and vigorous.

    We're going to survive this one. Science and Technology has many things going against it in the US right now, but this doesn't rate.

  • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:34PM (#42878455)

    It's only sad that they force this on the children.

    I think this is the problem. Christian parents don't want their children being taught something that goes against their beliefs. This isn't all that different from the argument at hand, that believers of evolution don't want religion being taught to their kids.

    Perhaps the solution is to not require kids to learn things against their parents' will (which could be argued to be a violation of the first amendment establishment clause).

  • Re:Entropy (Score:4, Informative)

    by germansausage ( 682057 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:46PM (#42878537)
    The entropy of the solar system has been increasing since it was formed. What makes you think it hasn't? The existence of life on earth may have decreased entropy in some places but the solar system overall has increased in entropy. You can't look at the earth in isolation when the sun is adding energy to the earth, you have to consider the entire system.
  • Re:It's a race... (Score:4, Informative)

    by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:50PM (#42878563)

    It both makes it oh so obviously more legitimate and less pseudo science and also suggests we were created by aliens instead of god/gods/pigdemons/whateverotherrandombullshitpeoplearegullibleenoughtoswallow at the same time.

    How could you forget The Flying Spaghetti Monster! []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:54PM (#42878591)

    Pick a translation where the words haven't changed meanings in the last 5 centuries or so, and you might have a shot at actually understanding it. Let's try one, using that same passage (2 Corinthians 12:5-10):

    Over such a man I will boast, but I will not boast over myself, except as respects [my] weaknesses. For if I ever do want to boast, I shall not be unreasonable, for I shall say the truth. But I abstain, in order that no one should put to my credit more than what he sees I am or he hears from me, just because of the excess of the revelations.
    Therefore, that I might not feel overly exalted, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan, to keep slapping me, that I might not be overly exalted. In this behalf I three times entreated the Lord that it might depart from me; and yet he really said to me: âoeMy undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for [my] power is being made perfect in weakness.â Most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast as respects my weaknesses, that the power of the Christ may like a tent remain over me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in cases of need, in persecutions and difficulties, for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am powerful.

    So Paul is using himself as an example for others.

    - He had a "weakness" and he described it as a "thorn in the flesh". But he didn't talk about working through his problem because he didn't want to seem boastful or like he was stronger than everyone else because he could accomplish his ministry in spite of a physical infirmity.

    - He requested, in prayer, that he be cured of this infirmity. It was made clear to him that it would not be miraculously cured. It wasn't preventing him from doing his work, and his endurance would prove to be a source of encouragement to others.

    - Keep in mind that Paul was one of 6 people in the Bible to have performed a resurrection. (The others are Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, God, and Peter, in that order. Paul was the last one to perform this type of miracle.) He also was given the holy spirit to perform many curative miracles. This request for a cure would have been something he knew could happen. Just like going to a doctor for treatment, except the doctor told him to live with it because it wasn't life-threatening and Paul was going to serve as a positive example of endurance to others. And God was not unrighteous to do that, since he is not the source of the infirmity. Sin is. (Romans 5:12) And God had already provided the ultimate answer for that sin. It just hadn't been put to use yet.

    - Paul got the point. He states that when he is weak, then he is powerful. His weakness and his endurance through that weakness or infirmity provide a powerful example to those that don't have the immediate benefit of an immediate cure. Remember, those gifts of healing were not given to everyone, and they were to go away once evidence had been given that this small, new group (Christians) had God's backing. (1 Corinthians 12:29, 30; 13:8) Those in future times would have to endure, just as Paul did.

    Sorry, but your application of scripture needs work. Do not mock the Bible.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:55PM (#42878605) Homepage Journal

    Intelligent design is not an oxymoron, it is a tautology; design by definition is intelligent. To qualify as an oxymoron the words themselves would have to be contradictory, like in the classic example "military intelligence," where it is to be assumed that the military is unintelligent. Living dead. Guest host. Deafening silence. The word itself means "sharp dull."

    Unfortunately, there isn't a term for "a euphemism that reveals the speaker is a bag of arses," so we will have to settle for calling it unintentional irony. The Greeks and Romans didn't live in a relativistic enough world for the abuse of language by the unimaginative to be a problem worth talking about.

  • Re:Treason (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:58PM (#42878621)

    Why are you naming the Republican party?

    Obama failed to close Gitmo, called it a success. Obama failed to stop warentless wire tapping, called it a success. Obama raised the deficit $5 Trillion, called it deficit reduction. Obama doubled unemployment, called it a success. Obama said waterboarding is torture and is illegal, started killing US citizens without trial via drones. Obama proposed the upcoming mandatory spending cuts, said the Republicans created it. Romney said Mali was full of AlQuaida, was called a liar, they attacked and held an oil refinery. Romney said Obama refused to call Bengazi attack terrorism, was called a liar, Candy Crawley had to apologize later for calling Romney a liar when he told the truth.

    Not sure what you are trying to prove, unless you are so stupid you just assume the DNC lies are true and refuse to look things up yourself.

    Me thinks you have a memory problem, and a current events problem. The oil refinery attack was in Algeria, Obama lowered the unemployment rate and inherited a $5 trillion debt after Clinton handed The Shrub a $300 billion surplus. The other items I'm not touching as they are either in process or are unsupportable and not worth arguing about with a half wit. STOP WATCHING FOX NEWS!!! Mostly because it's not.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:04PM (#42878665)

    Between 40 and 50 percent of everyone believes in the Genesis story as literal truth depending on the poll. It's been that way for 50 years. The last Gallup survey had it somewhere around 46-48 percent.

    What is striking is that over the decades, this number has not budged much.

    1 in 5 adults and 1 in 3 under 30 aren't enough to stem the tide of derp. []

    Although the mean score on the Index of Genetic Literacy was slightly higher in the United States than the nine European countries combined, results from another 2005 U.S. study show that substantial numbers of American adults are confused about some of the core ideas related to 20th- and 21stcentury biology. When presented with a description of natural selection that omits the word evolution, 78% of adults agreed to a description of the evolution of plants and animals (see table S2 in SOM). But, 62% of adults in the same study believed that God created humans as whole persons without any evolutionary development.

    Death throes of religious conservatism? I think not.


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