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Comment: The Real Story (Score 4, Informative) 286

The real story is not nearly as sensational, all that was being discussed for removal from the textbook where a couple of incorrect diagrams. http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2012/07/no-evolution-in-korea.html

What STR did manage to pull off with three textbook publishers was this: STR convinced those publishers that two diagrams in their books -- one about the evolution of horses, and the other about archeopteryx -- and the text accompanying them were scientifically incorrect. Notice the claim here: the claim was not that the diagrams were against creationism. The claim was that the diagrams were _scientifically_ incorrect. And you know what? Technically, they were right! The diagram above showing the evolution of horses is horribly outdated, and the pictures no longer comport with the current scientific consensus.

Earth

+ - Russian City Ever Watchful Against Being Sucked Into Earth->

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York City — the $88 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West — did much for local real estate values. But in Berezniki, the mining city where he made his fortune, properties have literally been plunging. "Imagine putting a sugar cube in a cup of tea," Mikhail A. Permyakov, the chief land surveyor for Uralkali, the company that owns the mine. "That is what happened under Berezniki." Berezniki is afflicted by sinkholes, hundreds of feet deep that can open at a moment's notice. So grave is the danger that the entire city is under 24-hour video surveillance. In 2008 a government commission cleared Mr. Rybolovlev of wrongdoing, blaming past unsafe practices for the sinkholes. A senior official close to Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin says that Mr. Rybolovlev bears some responsibility, even though he sold the mine after the occurrence of the first great openings."
Link to Original Source
Japan

+ - JAXA Creates Camera That Can See Radiation->

Submitted by Ben_R_R
Ben_R_R (1177533) writes "The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has created a camera that can "see" radioactive contamination by detecting gamma rays emitted by radioactive cesium and other substances. The camera has been tested in the disaster evacuation zone around Fukushima. The image captures levels of radiation in six different colors and overlays the result over an image captured with a wide angle lens."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Why Math Lectures Are Useless (Score 4, Insightful) 212

by Ben_R_R (#38578508) Attached to: When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense
As a college senior, I've taken my share of lectures in various disciplines. One thing I've noticed with lectures, especially math lectures, is that when you are sitting there watching the professor walk you through the problem steps, it is very easy to overestimate your grasp of the subject. You follow all the lectures and do well on the homework, so you figure your good to go for the final. Then there comes the exam, and you find out all you really knew how to do was some textbook assisted string manipulation, and you are screwed on the questions that would be easy if you understood the intuition better. It's difficult to teach the intuition behind things to a room full of students, because each one will have a different "Ah-Ha!" conceptual explanation. For example Partial Differentiation. I got it when it was explained as a cross section of a higher dimensional shape. My friend, when working with gradients and vector fields in physics. (It boils down to the same thing, but it's the way you start to attack the problem that matters) There is no way to give a room full of students individual intuitions, so most professors default to proofs. (Which are probably intuitive enough for the professor anyway...) But since you can get the proofs from the book, there is not really a good reason to go to proof lectures, unless you like things read to you. (Which is probably helpful to some, but useless for me)
Space

+ - Voyager Probes Give Us ET's View->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "For the first time, scientists have been able to measure a type of radiation streaming out from the Milky Way that in other galaxies has been linked to the birthplaces of young, hot stars. There was no way to make our own galaxy's measurement of the radiation, known as Lyman-alpha, until the Voyager probes were about 40 times as far away from the sun as Earth — any closer and the solar system's own emissions drowned out the fainter glow from the galaxy."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Are we Talking College or High School Here? (Score 1) 415

by Ben_R_R (#36961008) Attached to: Missouri Law Says Students, Teachers Can't Be Facebook Friends
TFA is not clear if this bans college professors and stud nets from being friends on Facebook et al. There are no high school teachers I am still in contact with, but I do have a few college professors as Facebook friends. And no waiting until after the class either, the law bans friending current and former students.
Privacy

+ - House Bill Will Force ISPs to Log User Data->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "A controversial bill that would force ISPs to retain records for up to 12 months that would allow them to identify users by IP address has cleared a key hurdle and passed the House Judiciary Committee by a wide margin, setting it up for passage by the full House.

The bill, which is supposed to deter child pornography and exploitation, is drawing the wrath of privacy advocates.

"Such a scheme would be as objectionable to our Founders as the requiring of licenses for printing presses or the banning of anonymous pamphlets. We hope that bipartisan opposition will grow as the bill makes its way to the House floor and more lawmakers are educated about this anti-privacy, anti-free speech, anti-innovation proposal," Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney at the EFF said."

Link to Original Source

Comment: A Christian Against Y.E.C. (Score 1) 626

by Ben_R_R (#36867292) Attached to: For Texas Textbooks, a Victory For Evolution
The largest problem in this debate is that somehow, in the minds of many Christians, believing in Young Earth Creationism has become equivalent to believing in the Bible as the Word of God. It has been pounded into their heads that you reject God if you believe in evolution. Until this changes, you will continue to see stupid stuff like this. YEC is not only very bad science, but poor biblical scholarship as well. A careful reading of the third chapter of Genesis will reveal that the laws of physics changed due the fall of man (Somewhere between verses 14 and 19. Of course, God being God, he can do this at his pleasure). For example, the fundamental laws regarding increasing entropy could not have existed before the fall (At least, it could not have existed as we know them today). My personal theory is that the change to the natural laws took place gradually, finishing at the Tower of Babel, with time sort-of "collapsing" in both directions. (Fits the gradually decreasing life expectancies up to the flood, and the fact that it is about the period in history when the archeological evidence and the Bible start to match up, though not perfectly I admit) The biblical bit of this is, of course, mostly useless from a scientific standpoint. But from a religious standpoint, neatly severs, as should be the case, The Science of Really Old Things, and Religion.

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_

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