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Slashback: Retroaction, Breakeven, Kansas 421

Ever more information for you, the loyal photographic memory-blessed reader. That is to say, more on Linux on Macs -- and not just the sexy new ones. Evolving attitudes in Kansas. Misinformation about Survivor. And cheap, cheap boxes for your node-in-every-room home network.

Pardon me sir, are you going to finish that Apple? Marco van de Voort writes: "MkLinux now has official support for these much sold first Nubus based PowerMac generation, that is rotting away in basements. These machines make excellent X-Terms." And the same models can naturally run NetBSD, too. [Updated 6:26GMT by timothy] Reader vkulkarn corrects me here. Mea culpa, you're right -- only some of the old Nubus PowerMac models actually run NetBSD. But I bet someone, somewhere is plotting to change that.

Garage sales can now support Linux.GigsVT writes "Coollogic has released a new set-top box, this one with Linux already installed. Sounds like ripe hacking material to me. Blurb: The Internet Ready 7200 uses a National Semiconductor MediaGX processor, 16MB of flash memory instead of a hard disk, 32MB of RAM and has the ability to connect to the Internet via DSL, Ethernet or a modem. It uses a TV instead of a monitor and comes with Netscape's Web browser." And MrRobahtsu writes "Want a 64MB diskless 200MHz Linux box cheap? Try egghead. With IDE, USB, 10/100 ethernet, and Linux and Netscape in flash ram, it looks pretty cool. Even says "can be upgraded to a pc." Not bad for $129."

Toto, I don't think we're in the Pleistocene anymore! Claudius writes: "This cnn.com article reports that Kansas voters now support the teaching of evolution in their public schools, as evidenced by recent election results. They have voted to remove two incumbents to the Kansas Board of Education who have supported standards diminishing the importance of evolution, and a third, anti-evolution candidate was unable to defeat an opponent who opposes the current standards. The issue is still far from settled, however, since five of the ten seats on the board remain to be filled in November." For a refresher on the sticky state of evolution in Kansas education, see Hemos' story on it from a while ago.

Ha ha fooled ya good. TeacherReviews.com writes "Gervase just got voted off the Survivor island, meaning that RealWorldBlows discussed in a past story produced a false result and the actual winner of Survivor is still unknown." True enough. What was going through the collective CBS head when they failed to follow the directive of their own Web site?!

Still horrifying after all these days. chaidawg writes: "According to this article in the New York Times (free registration req.), author Stephen King's experiment with payment for e-publishing seems to be working. After the first of three promised chapters he has made back all but $10,000 of the more than $100,000 he spent on advertising." This still doesn't mean Jamie is wrong -- yet.

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Slashback: Retro

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  • Your point is well taken. Nevertheless, evolution essentially states that all species on earth came from something, but it doesn't explicitly state what the something is (very well). That "something" is broken into theories like the Big bang theory, which attempt to explain to us that the universe "just happened". I did not explicitly use the "Big Bang" theory, rather, I was refferring to the fact that evolution assumes that we "just are".
  • I, for one am glad to see that the Constitution means something.

    Unfortunately, the constitution is already meaningless and using it to take prayer out of schools is more proof of it. If you think anything of the constitution, then you ought to have some sort of respect for the folks that wrote it: they thought God ruled. :P

    It's time that all this talk of "school prayer" and "equal time" gets taken out of the picture.

    I really have to agree with you here.

    Evolution is a confirmed, Objective fact. Religion, and creation "science" is pure fantasy.

    Evolution is not only not confirmed, it's disproven. Evolution has been repeatedly disproven since it's founding. Evolution's hold on the majority is becoming as embarrassing as the e-mail hoaxes that float around, continually exposing our friends and colleagues as e-mail newbies.

    Personally, I'd like to see someone shut down these religious hoaxsters for good. Take these fundies out of the school system and out of our government. Religion, the crutch that it is, has no place in public life, mine or anyone elses.

    I realize I'm about to crucified for this (blatant pun), and it's always an amazing experience, but people are so electrified by the discussion of evolution "versus" creation that they can't be bothered to think that macro evolution is totally bonkers regardless of what you think about creation.

    In fact, the only thing that seems to keep driving the myth of macro evolution is the short-sighted fear that, if macro evolution is admitted to be wrong, we must all get baptized and follow Jerry Falwell.

    If somebody would kindly escort the Bible Thumpers out of the room for a moment, the rest of us can have a quiet moment and realize that macro evolution is not only completely unscientific, it's also an embarrassing hoax to believe in.

    It would only take a few hours of effort to see that this is the case.

    If you just want to annoy Christians, you can go around pretending to believe in evolution. That's fine. They're supposed to be long-suffering and patient. But belief in evolution is just another long-term version of that classic kiddy book: The Emporer's New Clothes.

    Schnucki

  • A few errors in your biology. There are several types of point mutations...

    A very good summary of different types of mutations, but how does that relate to the argument at hand? Some mutations are beneficial, and some are deleterious. No evolutionary biologist denies that. How does that affect DG's argument? It makes little difference if there are many more deleterious mutations than beneficial ones, since the beneficial ones will tend to be propagated, while the deleterious ones will tend to die out.

    Also, remember that just because you have a particular mutation does NOT mean that your offspring will have that mutation.

    Fair enough, but again, how does that affect DG's argument? No one ever said that every beneficial mutation was guaranteed to be passed on to future generations. DG wrote:

    If a mutation that breeds true and produces a structural change provides the mutated organism with a survival advantage, then that organism is more likely to breed and produce similarly altered offspring.
    Note: "more likely to", not "guaranteed to".

    Then there's the whole eukaryotic-prokaryotic debate: which came first? My intro biochemistry book, Stryer, which btw is used at Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, the top bio schools in teh country, stated that prokaryotes are probably derived from eukaryotes... exactly the opposite of what the A.P. curriculum stated.

    Now that's very interesting, because I was under the impression that it was pretty well established that prokaryotes preceded eukaryotes. I have a copy of Stryer myself (not with me at the moment, unfortunately--it's at home, and I'm not) and I'd be interested to know where in it he says that.

  • (such as the Piltdown man turning out to be a human skull & an orangutang (sp?) jaw.

    Piltdown man was always pretty sketchy, there weren't a whole lot of opportunities to study the specimen, and once it became accessible it was revealed as a hoax. By a bunch of evolutionists, no less.

    why do evolutionists have to revise their theories so much???

    Because scientists, unlike creationists, are quite willing to admit they are wrong when the evidence warrants it.

    Granted, there are sheep on the creation side too, but it goes both ways.

    Yeah, this is true. Most of the Christians I know are sophisticated enough not to take the Bible as word-for-word literal truth, and I can respect that. It's dogma, not religion, that I hate.

  • Basically, our schools are teaching that humans became humans from, effectively from mutations that started from single-celled organisms. So, the same thing that causes cancer in humans today brought about life as we know it?

    Ah, by "the same thing" you meant mutations, not bacteria! For some reason, I thought you meant bacteria by "the same thing" the first several times I read that, which I hope explains my earlier post [slashdot.org]. I just now realized what you meant. My apologies.

    Anyway, why not? You pretty much acknowledge in one of your other posts in this thread (I'm assuming all the AC posts in this thread are by the same AC) that some mutations are beneficial, while others are deleterious. So the fact that some mutations improve a species, while others cause cancer hardly seems to be a problem.

  • grappler, I thought you were dead... maybe a mining accident.
  • Evolution is a confirmed

    I am having trouble deciding whether to be scared or to laugh at your ignorance or close mindedness. For those of us who have had a scientific background at the University level your claim that evolution is correct in every way is moronic. Evolution is far from confirmed, and has many, many flaws. 150 years ago, many things in physics were 'confirmed', now many of these ideas are looked at and laughed at. Even the theory of gravity is undergoing changes at this very time. You are welcome to have your own beliefs, however please think and do the research before you you defend them with ignorance.

    btw, while I don't believe in a literal version of creationism, I am a Christian.(don't moderate me down because of my beliefs.
  • Next they'll probably remove all board members who belong to the flat earth society!

    From the irony dept. the Flat Earth Society announced in 1995 that their membership was global.

    ha!

  • by tilly ( 7530 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @04:52PM (#880877)
    It deals with models of the world at various levels of confirmation.

    The theory of evolution is not "proven fact", philosophers long ago proved that to be an unattainable goal. However an intelligent person today who is familiar with the facts can no more reasonably deny evolution than an educated scientist of the 1700's could deny that the Earth was round.

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • You're missing out on two very important pieces of the puzzle here, plus a drop of statistics.

    Let's do the statistics first: "Any event with a positive probability, no matter how small, when given enough time, must eventually happen"

    So to use your watch example, if one assumes that there is a process by which your analogue watch could be transformed into a digital watch, then, given enough time, that result MUST happen. That's not evolution, just math.

    So it therefore follows that in order for your watch to transform, it must be proven that there is a process that would achieve the transformation with positive probibility.

    In order for the transformation to occur within a reasonable amount of time, the process must have a sufficiently large probability, in order to escape fates with larger-order probabilities. For instance, if left alone for aeons, it is possible that your watch could be discovered by an analogue watch upgrader person, a man who wanders the earth looking for watches to transform. This is a positive-probability postulation, but the probability is a very, very small number, whereas the probability that the watch would simply corrode away is very high.

    So much for math.

    Now, here's the first bit of biology, broken into 4 pieces:

    1) Our biological structure is controlled by bits of information-storing molecules called DNA
    2) DNA is sometimes changed by random chance
    3) Mutated DNA sometimes results in changes to the DNA_controlled physical structure of an organism
    4) Some DNA-based mutations are inheritable

    All four of these little bits of biology are well proven and well established facts. We know that DNA determines structure for a fact. We know that DNA can be made to mutate for a fact. (and, incidently, you don't need gamma rays to mutate DNA. Sex does a perfectly acceptable job sometimes) We know that sometimes mutated DNA changes physical structure for a fact, and we know that sometimes that mutated DNA is inheritable for a fact.

    Taken together, this means that it is possible for a mutation to occur that breeds true - positive probability.

    The second missing piece is "natural selection" which simply states that organisms that are well suited to their environment will be more likely to survive, and so more likely to breed. This is a positive feedback loop - the better you are at surviving, the more you breed, the more well-adapted offspring you have, who will in turn produce well-adapted offspring, and so on. Well proven, well established fact.

    Now couple the two together, and you get "If a mutation that breeds true and produces a structural change provides the mutated organism with a survival advantage, then that organism is more likely to breed and produce similarly altered offspring" Bingo! We have our process! Not to get your watch from analogue to digital, but certainly how to go from single-celled life to Humanity.

    All you need now to make the process a near-certainty is time, lots and lots of time - and guess what? We've had several BILLION years for this process to work.

    There you go, can't get much more logical than that.

    I'm afraid the only failing here is your failing to understand the level of rigour in the logic here - not to mention the physical evidence. Go back and look at your textbooks. Start with the single-celled organisms and work your way up. We all work the same way! We all burn sugar for energy, we all have the same molecule (DNA) that determines our structure, all our cellular biology is nearly identical, and as you progress up the ladder, we all have pretty much the same design in our organs, skeletal structure - even our senses! We all have sex, all our sex organs work pretty much the same, we all breathe, we all pump blood with a single pump.... The evidence is enormous!

    Evolution, my friend, as as factual as it gets. All you have to do to see it is pay attention.

  • Sorry to shout, but some of us actually want the ending to BE A SURPRISE!!! So for god's sake, TELL US IT'S A SPOILER!

    Walt
  • You said: "The Theory of Evolution is not fact. That is why we say theory of evolution" When will people stop spouting this drivel ? The word theory does not mean something is unproven, for example, I spent 2 years at university studying "Number Theory", including large slabs of mathematical proofs that what we were studying was _known_to_be_true_, and you don't get anyone more finicky about 'proof' than a pure mathematician. In fact, when mathematicians want to make it clear that something is unproven, they usually call it a conjecture. In general, most things in science are called theories, including such well established and uncontroversial things as "the earth revolves around the sun" (Copernican Theory). I went to a debate between a Scientist and Creationist on Evolution, and when the Creationist said "evolution is only a theory" the scientist produced a car-battery and set of jumper leads and said "wanna test the theory of electricity ?"


    Hrmmm, if you look at it in the proper light this guy is a religious nut.
    I mean come on, how can you prove to me that 2 + 2 is 4? What the hell is a 2? And what's a 4? Someone told him that 2+2 was 4 and he believed them. Talk about gullible. And if 2/2 = 1, and 0/2 = 0, why does 0/0 = undefined instead of 1? or 0? Math is just as much specious religious raving as any OTHER religion. It's all a matter of perspective. Micro-Evolution can be demonstrated and is obviously factual. However Macro-Evolution has no such proof. No one has yet been able to change one species into another, no one has been able to demonstrate Macro-Evolution in any fashion, hence it's still bullshit.

    Kintanon
  • by The Famous Druid ( 89404 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @05:24PM (#880900)
    You said: "The Theory of Evolution is not fact. That is why we say theory of evolution" When will people stop spouting this drivel ? The word theory does not mean something is unproven, for example, I spent 2 years at university studying "Number Theory", including large slabs of mathematical proofs that what we were studying was _known_to_be_true_, and you don't get anyone more finicky about 'proof' than a pure mathematician. In fact, when mathematicians want to make it clear that something is unproven, they usually call it a conjecture. In general, most things in science are called theories, including such well established and uncontroversial things as "the earth revolves around the sun" (Copernican Theory). I went to a debate between a Scientist and Creationist on Evolution, and when the Creationist said "evolution is only a theory" the scientist produced a car-battery and set of jumper leads and said "wanna test the theory of electricity ?"
  • Imagine the goddamned publicity they got from that Gervase stunt? They were smart to make as big a stink as they did about it, even knowing full well it was the wrong answer anyway.

    Funny how only the CBS affiliates in my area covered the story on TV though.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Quite sure they don't have a fan- I have like six, most of which work, all of which have been merrily taken apart right and left :)

    No X! I was thinking of console Linux that somehow made use of the stuff in the ROM anyway- yes this would be a _totally_ different display subsystem than Linux would normally have, but that's kind of the idea- what could use as much built into the Plus as possible, and still act like the Linux command line with a good amount of available programs like rm, vi or whatever? (Maybe there'd only be room for ed ;) ) X is right out- no way would it fit in the typical Plus. I realise that I'm talking extreme Franken-hacking but I simply don't care because the notion of a Mac Plus cheerfully booting to a white-on-black console Linux prompt is too cool to miss. Three-button mouse? Who needs a mouse? *g* leave it unplugged! The keyboard will suffice! If you _reverse_ the leads on a telephone wire you get a Mac Plus keyboard wire, and can extend it much farther than the little stock wire. (If you don't reverse the wires, the Mac is shorted out into permanent death :) )

  • Bethe's whole argument comes down to this:

    "The basic micro-processes of cellular biology are so complex that there's no way I can believe they're the product of random chance"

    At its very root, the argument depends on Bethe's belief of the suitability of evolution and natural selection to produce complex systems. There's no evidence there to support the position, just Bethe's stubborn refusal to accept what he sees before him.

    Evolution is complexity-neutral - all you need is more time, and you develop more complexity.

    What Bethe really misses is that, thanks to heredity, future organisms don't have to re-invent the wheel. Instead, they build upon the work of what has gone before them. It's a kind of code reuse.

    The evidence is right there in front of you. You and Bethe may choose to deny it, but it doesn't change it being there.

  • by Le douanier ( 24646 ) on Saturday August 05, 2000 @02:55AM (#880924) Homepage
    You are right o quite a lot of things but you forget one thing: We haven't observed macro evolution (the kind that gives birth to new species) so it is still a theory (or rather a collection of theories given the number of schools in this theory). And to help you have another view on science, math and religion you should ponder this saying:

    If a `religion' is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Godel taught us that mathematics is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.
    -- John Barrow
  • Um....it is named for Gutenberg the man, who invented (sort of) the printing press.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It should be noted that the performa support in MkLinux is close but not quite there yet, there's still some issues with slot interrupts that need to be resolved before it can be considered useable.

    David Gatwood and I (Tony Mantler - no slash login) are working on getting it all fixed up, hopefully it should be done very soon. (David is doing all the real work, I'm just providing background and insight into how these oddball machines work - some of it is pretty weird)



    When all is said and done, though, it's pretty damn cool watching the linux boot messages scroll by on my 5200, knowing that it's likely the first 5200 in the world to ever do so. 8)

    Cheers - Tony :)

  • Just as some movies are filmed with more than one ending, not only to fool the previewers but to see which ending gets the best reaction, I wonder if they filmed several different endings. I would offhand guess it unlikely, but by no means impossible.

    --
  • I'm not arguing with you. All I'm saying is, let those who disagree have their vote. "God made it so" does a nice job of explaining all that and more, doesn't it? It answers the questions. not in a manner satisfactory to me, but for some unknown reason it is satisfactory to others. As I pointed out in a response above, and should have said in the original post, the best argument for science (and perhaps the only one that doesn't depend on science) is that it offers everyone, including those who disagree with it, substantial improvements in quality of life, by any measure. But let those who don't want that have their vote.

    ---
  • It's true that by current definitions of science, most religious teachings are pure and unadulterated bullshit. On the other hand, I don't think that taking science as the One True Source(tm) of knowledge about the world is such a good thing either.

    Aside from all the tree-hugging and new-age philosophy, there are things that we will never understand, and things that we will always be in awe of.

    Yet if you define science strictly, as a scientist defines it, then yes, religion must confine itself to being philosophy, and not science.

  • I know this is hard for many people to understand but the confusion and ignorance bugs me:

    Evolutionary theory and Big Bang Theory are not identical!!!

    Everytime the subject of evolution comes up somebody brings up the big bang. Why? They refer to two separate ideas: The idea that the Universe was created about 15 billion years agoThey were were developed separately: Origin of the Species was published in 1859, Big Bang cosmology got started in the 1920's with Edwin Hubble's work but really didn't start to catch on until the 1950's. They are logically separate: One could accept a particular inflationary big bang model but still think that God created each species seperately, or one could think that the universe was divinely created (or partake of an alternate materialistic cosmological theory) but still believe that evolution is the correct explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.

    Thinking the Big bang Theory is incorrect is insufficient grounds for thinking that all extant and extinct species did not evolve from a common
    ancestor. Talking about cosmology is superfluous when discussing evolution. It's like discussing fruit preference and being told that someone doesn't like plums because they think that Francis Bacon was the real author of Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Evolutionary biology and Big Bang Cosmology are two different areas of study,each with its own models, methods, and evidence that should command thoughtful study, not glibly dismissed when you can't even differentiate between the two.

  • Pull your head out of your ass and stop listening to the english department.

    Tell me, the computer you are looking at: does it work by electricity, or by magic? Would this change if some idiot with a book and a PAC came along and said it worked by magic?

    Evolution is correct in the same sense that the moon orbiting the earth is correct. The evidence absolutely, positively cannot be explained via any explaination other than evolution. Evolution has been observed. Speciation has not been observed, but it is in principle impossible to observe unless you are watching for geologic time scales.

    Evolution is true in the same sense that if you are travelling faster, or if the ground is wet, it will take longer to stop. Should we fail to teach this in drivers' ed classes if some wacko with beads and an incense stick says, "believe in me, and the car will stop whenever you want it to"?

    There is no debate as to the fact of evolution among those who are qualified to have an opinion (which does not include me -- I can only evaluate stuff second hand). There are no "significant disagreements" that prophets for profit like to latch on to. There are disagreements along the lines of "is it a shorted wire, or a warn fuel pump", but the creationists are claiming "they can't even agree whether the car is running".

    There are objective facts. Evolution is one of them. The earth being round is one of them. There is better evidence for evolution than there is Julius Caesar being murdered. The latter is taught in schools, why not the former?

    And no, we have no obligation to listen to those who say creationism should be taught. The constitution is a contract between me and the government. The government has an obligation to uphold it. If you don't like separation of church and state, you're always free to move to Iraq.
  • Before this debate goes any further, everyone read the <a href="http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.h tml">talk.origins FAQ</a> again.

    Charles Miller
    --
  • The Theory of Gravity is quite provable every single time. Pick something up. Let it go. It falls to the ground. Every single time.

    You call that proof? 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime. Thus I have proven all uneven numbers are prime.
  • What I am saying is that it isn't likely that all of this arose out of random events, which was my argument from the beginning.

    On the contrary, once you see the logic in the chain of events that forms "evolution" (and I use the word "logic" here in the mathematical sense) it's no longer a question of "likely" - the math demands that all this arise out of random events.

    Yes, the probability that this happen is (as far as we can tell) staggering - but then, the odds on winning a lottery are staggering too. It happens.

    A few errors in your biology.

    [ much technical detail on types of mutation deleted ]

    Not "errors" - simplifications. The physical process by which mutation occurs matters not one whit. It does not matter if 99% of all mutations are destructive, nor does it matter that 99% of the remaining 1% do not breed true. All the process requires is that a finite percentage of all possible mutations be inheritable and confer a survival advantage. Once you have that, all else becomes inevitable - the math demands it.

    All you do by making "good" mutations more rare is extend the time it takes to develop a certain level of organism - and as we both know, Nature has had plenty of time to play.

    I'm not convinced your entire discussion of probability really gives credence to your argument. Sure, given enough time, anything can happen.

    Then I'm afaid you don't understand the math here. The statement is not "given enough time, anything can happen". The statement is "given enough time, any process with a demonstratable positive probibility of occuring must happen"

    Once one can demonstrate a means by which "a" becomes "b", then, eventually, "a" must become "b". So all that is required to "prove" evolution is to demonstrate a means where "a" evolves into "b" with positive probability - and that has been done over and over again with generations of fruit flies in genetics labs. The mechanisms that drive evolution - genetic mutation and natural selection - are WELL proven out.

    Yes, there are a number of missing details, especially in the very early and simple forms of life - but those missing details do not invalidate the process by virtue of being missing. It is not necessary to determine if eukayotic preceeded prokaryotic (for example) in order to "prove" evolution, any more than it is needed to add every number to every other number to prove that addition always works.

    "Evolution" is well beyond the "I do or do not believe it" stage. It's as good a "fact" as science can produce. Choosing to disbelieve evolution is like refusing to believe in calculus.

  • by VoxPoP ( 218397 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @05:51PM (#880989)
    You are totally wrong. The theory of evolution is not a fact, it is just very likely to be true. You are confusing the mathematical, deductive reasoning of Number 'theory' with the inductive reasoning of science. (Event A has always been observed to occur under these conditions, B. Therefore it will always continue to occur under those conditions, regardless when or where those conditions occur. This is the central assumption of science) Go and read Karl Popper. BTW, the Copernican theory is wrong - the Earth does not revolve around the Sun, they both revolve around their common centre of mass.
  • Huh? Do I know you? What are you talking about?

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • by toh ( 64283 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @05:55PM (#880996)

    Is it just me, or was removing the middle-leech supposed to bring down the cost of things like novels?

    Looking over the FAQ [stephenking.com] for this King story, I see that it's $1 a pop (a mere few thousand words each time) for the first three installments, and $2.50 an ep after that, up to seven or eight payments total. That's $13-15.50 US for an approximately 350 page novel (being generous with his wordcount estimates, since King has tended to try and make up for lack of creativity with verbosity in the past, much as I'm doing right now). Plus you have to read the thing in installments (knowing at any point the author might pull the plug), forgo the possession of a nice compact paperback to take on vacation with you, and either bear the costs of printing it yourself (figure $2-10 US more) or make it through an entire novel on Acrobat Reader (meaning you'll probably be buying new corrective lenses later ;).

    I do like the concept of electronic distribution and micropayments, but what's "micro" about these? Seems like the reader is paying a lot, and King makes out like a bandit since he no longer has to pay a publisher. If the cost of advertising is the issue, then the experiment is already a failure, since only this precise sort of mediocre bestseller author could ever afford it (King is surely not hurting for cash), and ending the overpopularity of middle-of-the-road crap is supposed to be one of the main benefits ascribed to direct distribution.

    Even if it were an author I liked and respected, I can't see why anyone would want to pay these rates. I think this one is just capitalising on the brief novelty most people see here.

  • Personally, I'd like to see someone shut down these religious hoaxsters for good. Take these fundies out of the school system and out of our government. Religion, the crutch that it is, has no place in public life, mine or anyone elses.

    While I agree, it won't happen. I used to think that if anyone were given the facts, clearly and simply, they'd 'get it'. I thought that these folks were just not too bright, or just hadn't spent any time thinking about what they actually do 'believe' or better yet what they know.

    For a variety of reasons, I don't think that anymore.

    The book that changed my mind was Why People Believe Weird Things By Michael Shermer [skeptic.com]. He talks about his early life as a not-so-skeptical person, and how that ties into some very whacked out points of view such as the anti-evolutionists. It's not a promising read on the likelyhood that these folks will all the sudden get a clue. It is a very good and entertaining read, though.

    On that note, here's a good quote, I can't remember the source;

    1. Don't expect to reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themseves into.

  • by Windigo The Feral (N ( 6107 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @09:09PM (#880999)

    Canar dun said:

    I also believe in speciation to some degree. If animals have tendencies only to mate with others that look similar to themselves, eventually they'll segregate, and a "species", by definition of the term, will be born. However, this does not explain for the addition of entire chromosomes and these chromosomes actually making sense and so on. Not one mammal descended from the first mammalian species has lost any of the five fingers.

    To be honest, on reading this I'm smelling a furry critter with horns who lives under bridges and has a strange craving for Cuban cabra sandwiches :). If so, good job. You got me. :)

    If this is NOT a troll, though...well, it seems someone has never been to a farm or a livestock show. :)

    There is an entire class of mammals--the Arctiodactylia or "even-hooved" animals--that has lost one, and sometimes three, of the original five toes mammals had. Probably the most common member of the order in the US right now is the common cow; just to to a farm or a petting zoo, and count the number of toes on a cow. (Or deer, or any such critters. It's only the largest order of herbivorous animals on the planet; I'm sure you can find a member or two.)

    For that matter, the second-largest order of herbivorous mammals has a large family that actually has lost two to four toes in its history. (I'm talking about the equines. In fact, we have one of the better fossil records that detail how they've lost toes throughout their evolution--they went from five to three to one toe. In fact, you occasionally have the rare "throwback" horse born with three toes; the loss of the last two toes occured fairly late in horse evolution. At least one "cousin" of the equines, the tapir, has three toes, and rhinos have five. If you want to see examples, just look at a zoo or at a horse-farm or go down to the track. Heck, watch the Kentucky Derby if you want. :)

    For that matter, the entire "felid" branch of the Carnivora (which includes cats, "civet cats" and "genet cats", hyenas, and some older forms like Smilodon) has lost the fifth toe on its hind feet, and their front first toe is reduced to a dewclaw (which is the state of fifth toes in canids such as wolves, dogs and foxes, too; expect them to lose the hind dewclaws in a few million years). The main reason cats still have dewclaws on their front toes is that kitties can use them fairly well as thumbs, especially if not declawed (if you want them to demonstrate, get a can of cat-treats and let kitty fetch her own out). I will leave out the obvious joke about what will happen when cats evolve opposable thumbs and thus no longer need humans as their thralls for world dominance. :)

    For that matter...we'll take it beyond mammals. The other major group besides the synapsids (one of the two great lineages of land animals besides amphibians; synapsids include mammals, theraspids or "proto-mammals", and "mammal-like reptiles" like Dimetrodon) happens to be the same group that reptiles and archosaurs belong to, including birds. They, too, have a fairly extensive history of digit-loss:

    Last toe digit (our equivalent of our pinkies) lost sometime near when archosaurs first evolved; even modern crocs, which are the modern representatives of one of two branches of the archosaurs (the other being the bird/dino branch), only have four toes

    Fourth toe (rough equivalent of ring finger turns non-functional in theropod dinosaurs during early evolution (about the time they separated from hererrasaurs, in the late Triassic)

    Fourth finger lost in most theropod dinosaurs around evolution of the Maniraptora (the subclass of theropods that includes birds, as well as most of the meat-eating cast of the Jurassic Park movies besides dilophosaurs and compys), around early-mid Jurassic

    Third finger (equivalent to the "flip the bird" finger) lost in tyrannosaurs

    Fourth toe lost entirely in ornithomimosaurs

    Sometime during development of powered flight (late Jurassic-early Cretaceous) finger claws lost and second and third fingers fuse while thumb develops as alula

    In surviving theropod dinosaurs (aka birds) all have lost except thumb and first two fingers on front limbs and first two fingers were fused (there may have been a reversal in phorusracoid birds, which largely hunted as large land predators in the Americas until 2 million BC to 100,000 years ago); many, if not most, ground-running birds have lost the fourth toe entirely, in most birds it is a dewclaw, and only a very few birds (perching birds) use the fourth toe at all as a functional digit

    I won't get into snakes. There is recent evidence they evolved from mosasaurs (a type of swimming reptile), and they not only lost digits but limbs altogether (the only snakes with limbs today are boids, which have claws used for mating attached to very tiny legs; early snakes have more substantial limbs, but nothing huge).

    But perhaps, well, mere synapsid/reptilian split critters aren't enough. Let's throw amphibians in, too. :)

    At least one sub-branch of amphibians has lost limbs as well (caecilans); there are several branches of frogs that have reduced digits to four per limb, too.

    For that matter...the main reason most animals have five limbs is that five limbs is an incredibly ancient structure--literally coming about before land animals (we are now starting to find fossils of animals at around this time--we now know they evolved as swimmers first and evolved limbs to scoot about on bottom, and early "tetrapods" had varying numbers of digits per limb (some with five, some with seven or even eight digits per limb).

    For more info on this, including some good lineages, you might want to go here [talkorigins.org] or here [arizona.edu].

    As for Pascal's Wager...well, the wager relies on five very big assumptions:

    that such a thing as God exists

    that such a thing as Hell exists

    that a God would be enough of a ratbastard as to throw someone into a place of eternal torment just because the poor sot hadn't ever heard of aforementioned God and/or disagreed with the "official" account based on empirical evidence

    that what folks see as God might not be the processes of Nature, or that God may well have created stuff by evolution

    that people are meant to blindly follow a leader instead of use the brains that God and/or evolution gave them in the first place so as to better understand the mysteries of life :)

    Myself, well...if there is a God (which...if there is one, I think it might be Nature, but that's only my viewpoint) Sie either honestly doesn't give a damn one way or the other (in which case God is basically Nature, and the whole idea of appealing to a God is moot unless you mean something like apologising to cows before you eat them), or isn't enough of a ratbastard to chuck someone into a pit because the fossils pretty much show not only that horses evolved from tapir-like critters but that birds evolved from very close cousins of Deinonychus and we all came eventually from fishy-looking critters. If Sie is such a ratbastard, I'm not afraid to say that not only would I gladly burn in Hell in such a case, but such a ratbastard neither deserves my worship nor my respect. :) (And no, I don't buy the whole "Fossils were there to test us" crap, either...that makes God out not only to be a complete ratbastard, but a troll and a cruel ratbastard who gets his jollies off sending people to Hell for basically his idea of a practical joke. In which case, He can go straight to Hell, if you pardon the expression.)

  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo@@@jaquith...org> on Thursday August 03, 2000 @07:02PM (#881002) Homepage Journal
    Jamie pointed out to me via private e-mail that the crux of his prediction is that King will never have to finish his novel under the terms of his agreement -- 75% of people have to pay for each section. The possible stopping point, as best as I can tell, was the 3rd section. But the site confuses me, to be honest.

    Anyhow, I stand by my comment that that particular portion of Jamie's prediction was wrong. But I was viewing his comment too narrowly. Jamie meant that people simply won't continue to pay over all 10 sections. I agree, I don't think that they will. By that logic, as he produces each section, the average percentage of people paying will go down until, eventually, it may hover around Jamie's predicted 15%-30%. Making Jamie right.

    -Waldo
    -------------------
  • by MortimerK ( 22530 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @03:36PM (#881007)
    I think that Stephen King should have voted for the set-top PowerMac to stay on the island, despite its theological heresay.
  • I don't really understand why people want to get a book online

    Folks may not necessarily want to... however, if King only offers that option, whatcha gonna do? Also, what if you enjoy reading stuff that publishing houses won't touch?

  • by BJH ( 11355 )
    Great - a Slashback that's gonna need another Slashback to correct the mistakes...

    MkLinux has run on the first-generation Power Macs (6100, 7100, 8100) from Day 1. NetBSD, on the other hand, has never run on these; indeed, a quick check of the NetBSD site will show you that they are looking for someone to do the port.
    On top of that, the MkLinux announcement was about the Performa series (6200, 6300, etc.), which came out well after the first generation. What were you guys smoking?!?

  • by Yottabyte84 ( 217942 ) <yottabyte&softhome,net> on Thursday August 03, 2000 @03:41PM (#881020)
    This it wonderful, now i can put a terminal in the kitchen, and use a network drive to store recipies an stuff. then once i get dsl i can run an eggdrop on it, ang setup a totaly 1337 channel!
  • by leighklotz ( 192300 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @03:41PM (#881022) Homepage
    The SCovery looks nice, but it's not $129.
    There's a minimum shipping of $19.95 from Egghead, for UPS ground, so it's $148.95.

    I didn't see the disk option priced.

  • I, for one am glad to see that the Constitution means something. It's time that all this talk of "school prayer" and "equal time" gets taken out of the picture. Do I get equal time on the pulpit at a xitian church to teach evolution? Then why are they invading the minds of children to teach them religious rubbish? Evolution is a confirmed, Objective fact. Religion, and creation "science" is pure fantasy.

    Personally, I'd like to see someone shut down these religious hoaxsters for good. Take these fundies out of the school system and out of our government. Religion, the crutch that it is, has no place in public life, mine or anyone elses.
    -- Floyd
  • As far as I'm concerned, religious institutions can stick to providing the masses with something to look forward to and stop telling people how to live their lives.

    Many religious people, myself included, believe that how you live your life has a very concrete bearing on what you can expect after death. I'm not claiming that being a swell guy will get you into heaven, but the Bible contains several passages that say we will be rewarded according to what we do.

    Jesus Christ offers unmerited salvation for the asking, so please pick up your "Get into Heaven Free" card before checking out. But that's not the end of the story. Be aware that we still answer for our actions in some respects. I'll be happy to push a broom in heaven, but I'd rather get a cushy desk job if I've got the option.

    Some people have used religion purely as thin pretense for their crusades and petty causes. Others truly want the best for everybody, and want to make sure you get the information you need to make an informed decision. Please don't lump us together.

    Since Christians believe that there are immortal souls on the line, you'll have to forgive us (the well-intentioned ones, anyway) for being pushy. You'd do the same for a friend on the railroad tracks who didn't see the train coming, and the stakes are much higher in this game.

    In order to practice what I'm preaching, let me offer the quick-and-not-so-dirty path to salvation here [billygraham.com]. For those of you who will require more convincing (i.e., virtually all of the Slashdot audience that is not already Christian), let me recommend C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. It states the case for Christianity from a self-described "reluctant convert" to the cause. It's your eternal fate we're discussing here, so please take the time to investigate Christ's claims (and the claims of other religions, for that matter). Just don't end up in the smoking section because you were too busy writing code to be troubled with that whole religious debate thing.

    P.S. My tone may seem a bit light, but this really is the most important issue in the world to me. Please give it some thought and do some research instead of rehashing the old bad-things-good-people-no-God argument. That's all I'm asking.

  • It also takes proprietary ram modules, which means that any upgrade will cost you big.
  • National Semiconductor MediaGX
    I used to have a Cyrix MediaGX processor. I hope they haven't done a die shrink, I'd like to get 2 of these set top boxes and make a waffle iron.
    Damn those things put out a lot of heat.
    --Shoeboy
  • You are referring to the action of gravity, not why it happens.

  • I really hate getting into this, but here it goes.



    No, really, I think I'm going to be sick... Evolution is a confirmed, actual, demonstrable, repeatable, falsifiable honest-to-god fact.
    What you, and all the other creationists/guidance-ists/whatever-ists are talking about is... Natural Selection


    I think you are the one that is confused. You are referring to micro-evolution, something which has been proven. I am referring to something quite different than that, something that has not been proven.

    The theory of gravity is undergoing refinements. Saying the theory of gravity is being changed is like saying that by adding another
    digit of significance to pi we are completely negating the validity of 3.14.


    While gravity will continue to pull masses together, the ideas of how it works like much or physics are undergoing fundamental changes. This would be similar to finding that pie as exactly equal to 4.
    Christianity is a 1400 year story of sword-point converstion and persecution of those with different beliefs. You can take a -1, it's not
    like it's the Inquisition or anything...


    Well looking at all the dumb responses to this post, i would have to assume that your point is invalid. The Catholic Church has done many things wrong in its history, mostly due to corruption, but to say that the religion is responsible for this is wrong, just like saying that you support the opinion of the 'you are an idiot even though i have no evidence' posts.

  • Still reeling from the absence of the Ten Commandments in public schools, I reached for my news-paper on Monday and saw that they are teaching evolooshun without having the entire fossil record from the first genetic material to the present.

    I demand the right to a solid platform upon which I can support my dignity. How can I feel good about myself if I am reminded that I share common ancestry with ape-brutes? I've been to the zoo, and I decline to write of the horrid, disgusting things I have seen the creatures do.

    With our sense of self-worth at stake, supporters of science will talk of 'empirical evidence', 'facts', and 'logic'. Take a moment and reflect on the innocence lost the day our world left it's prominent spot at the center of the universe. And now they would have us force feed this, their evil-ution, to our kids.

    Does a man who is doing his utmost to get into heaven benefit from filling his head with theories? Do we want our teachers questioning all that is good and decent, twisting things around with their fancy words? We must shift our focus back to something which is never used in an evil fashion: religion.

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • I don;t want to respond to a troll, but you seem to be mistaking evolution with microevolution.
  • Since I wrote it. I'll take your guess that it was from the Onion as a compliment, since I love their writing (and I haven't read Our Dumb Century, so I wasn't influenced by it)

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • Actually, the key computer I'd like to see Linux running on is a Mac Plus. Why? There are _zillions_ of them out there for the taking, they are diskless (meaning they're totally quiet to use- more quiet than a Cube or modern iMac) and they're really cute :)

    They would make the ideal little dumb terminal or CLI-based unix toystation, and only pull about as much power as a 60 watt lightbulb :) Mac Pluses rule! I have about six, and one day I _will_ run Linux on 'em- or something much like it. The ROM contains much useful stuff like drivers and the Chicago font (I forget if it also contains Geneva 9 and Monaco 9). You can fit a terminal in _MacOS_ onto one on a floppy complete with MacOS itself (like sys6 or earlier)- it has got to be possible to get one working like a linux terminal, if you use the stuff in ROM and don't bother loading MacOS.

    Ideally I'd like to see it run gcc or some ancestor of emacs off a floppy :) however, vi or bash or sh are not to be scorned. The important thing is to get the recognisable environment in there- something that 'speaks Linux'- because it would be ultimately cool, and the cost would be basically nil. There are _so_ _many_ of these little buggers around, most still work fine and the ones that are borken, EVERY failure mode has been mapped out by now and books written on 'em.

    I have to wonder, how fatal is the Mac Plus's flaw of not having an MMU? Did the original PDP that unix was written for have an MMU? How far back would you have to go to get a Unix that expected no more hardware than what a Plus has to offer? It'd be a weird combination of ancient code smallness and crudity, and very non-Unix focus on using the contents of the Plus ROM wherever possible.

  • by gwernol ( 167574 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @03:51PM (#881056)

    I, for one am glad to see that the Constitution means something. It's time that all this talk of "school prayer" and "equal time" gets taken out of the picture. Do I get equal time on the pulpit at a xitian church to teach evolution? Then why are they invading the minds of children to teach them religious rubbish? Evolution is a confirmed, Objective fact. Religion, and creation "science" is pure fantasy.

    I agree that the news from Kansas is good. But its dangerous to overstate the case for Evolution. It isn't accurate to characterise this theory as "confirmed, Objective fact". There is a lot of very good evidence to support Evolution. There is no rival theory that has any signficant evidence. Religious "explainations", especially those of creationists are so riddled with errors and run so counter to all the evidence that they do not deserve serious consideration. So certainly, the intelligent response is to accept Evolution as the best explaination out there, but it isn't proved fact.

  • Too bad nobody killed themselves like in the Belgian version, though, huh?

    Imagine the ratings *that* would've gotten.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • could one get samba on a powermac? Talk about givin wintel the finger while supporting their crap...

    ----

  • Think about it. Basically, our schools are teaching that humans became humans from, effectively from mutations that started from single-celled organisms.

    Do you find that offensive? I think it's awesome. I myself would argue that, while the first form of organic life leading to the development of humans was probably a single celled organism, humans did not come from single celled organisms.

    At the risk of sounding sort of new age, I will argue that organic life is not the only form of life. Inside a seemingly cold, dead rock are swarming atoms. These atoms interact with other atoms outside of the rock. I wouldn't exactly call that dead. One could argue that a rock is alive, and indeed in some religions, everything is considered to have a life. Biological evolution, including human evolution, began long before the single celled organism was created. It started with the interaction of atoms and molecules, and who knows what before that.

    People who unswervingly stick to evolution without conceding the possibility of intelligent design are adhering to their own religion, that is, science without proof. You can be a religious zealot and still be an atheist.

    Sure. But how does that prove you're right? I don't know your exact beliefs, but I know many creationists believe that the world was created in literally six days. Some of the more scientifically minded christians will try to reconcile the theories with what they know of reality and say "well, each of those days is actually a thousand years", referring to a verse in the bible which says that each day is like a thousand years to god (poorly paraphrased).

    But think about it. When you look at the stars, much of the light you see was sent out from its source millions of years ago. You are literally looking back in time. Unless you want to come up with some theory to debunk the known speed of light, you must admit that this universe has been around for many millions of years. Geological evidence pretty overwhelmingly tells us that so has earth. A lot of changes and mutations happen in that time.

    Scientists are not perfect, nor are they unbiased. There are many theories of evolution, and I'm sure many of the teachers in our schools teach misleading information. So you can quite easily find flaws to make your "theories" look better. But to say that evolution didn't happen? Get real.

  • by Grant Elliott ( 132633 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @03:53PM (#881062)
    and I'm leaning toward the latter. They didn't just let everyone get misled by their website (which they went as far as to take down for a few days after the story broke), they also intentionally mislead the public in at least two other ways. Someone leaked that Gervase would win to MSNBC even before the website thing. Furthurmore, a scene in the introduction shows four people sitting at the tribal council, Gervase among them. CBS now claims that was intentional. So either CBS lucked out and had a number of coincidences fall perfectly into place, or they are master con-artists. They fooled us, didn't they?
  • Ahhh, MkLinux. Started with 2.0 and had lots of fun. With various upgrades we had to switch filesystems on the fly, switch to shared libraries, change the numbering convention for scsi devices, etc... Three button mice were a problem. Still it was fun.

    As for the Kansas Board of Education, we had a similar situation in Northern Virginia when a bunch of ppl ran on a creationist platform for my County BoE. They loss big-time. Pleistocene? That's too old. The earth was created on 22nd October, 4004 BC at 6 p.m. (James Ussher, Archibishop of Armagh).

  • Yes, you can run samba on a powermac using linux.
    Actually, you can even run a SMB compatible file server on a PowerMac using MacOS with a utility called DAVE.
    Or alternatively, you can make Windows support Appletalk and Appleshare using PC/MacLan.
    On that note, Linux also can support Appletalk, as a client and a server.
  • Mathematicians will never refer to anything as a law or an "unqualified truth". When you learn "Number Theory" you may get the impression that what you have is "unqualified truth", but in reality, as it is with all mathematical theorums, the result is true if the assumptions you made are also true, and in Mathematics there are a lot of assumptions; assumptions that when you get down to it are nothing more than some Mathematician's best guess as to what is true (It is a lot more complicated than this as some people assume x and prove y, then others assume z and prove x, and yes there are cases where people assume y and prove z (Axiom of Choice et. al. is classic example)).

    A classic example I have always used to illustrate this concept to my friends is that of Euclidean Geometry vs. assorted Non-Euclidean Geometries (Hyperbolic Geometry being a fun example). There are many 'assumptions' of Euclidean Geometry. Change only the assumption about about parallel lines not meeting at 'Infinity' to be that they do meet at infinity and you can come up with results that have just as much mathematical 'truth' as Euclidean Geometry, but which contradict 'truths' of Euclidean Geometry.

    Relevence? The theory of evolution is only true in so far as the assumptions are true. Usually when I see a scientific theory break down, the scientists discover some assumption that was not quite right, they modify the assumption and rebuild. Lather, rinse, repeat ...

  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @11:11PM (#881078) Homepage Journal
    One side-comment, if you will:

    Theism of some kind _can_ be a very useful 'meme' when you have the tendency to behave as though you have to control the world and everything around you. You can call that codependency, you can call it typical of drug addicts, you could call it a very common trait that _creates_ drug addicts, but the fact is there are many people who are neither cowardly or stupid, yet who habitually interact with the world in a controlling, manipulative way that just doesn't produce helpful results.

    There's a hell of a lot of evidence that, for people whose heads are wired that way, developing a faith in some kind of God is a very helpful 'mental judo' that gets them out of their own way- whether or not this faith is at all logical or provable or justifiable. As a result you get into a situation like this:

    • I don't know whether there's a guiding power greater than people (i.e. me)
    • When I act on the basis that I must master my fate, I get hung up and tangled in my own schemes and cause chaos
    • When I act _as_ _if_ there is a 'God', I cause less chaos, and things mysteriously work out better than when I was mucking them up
    • When I do this without belief, it's like walking a razorblade and I'm fighting my instincts to muck things up all the time
    • When I do this with the trick of the mind called 'belief', I likewise avoid mucking things up, but I sleep better and worry less about stuff.
    Just how valuable is your pride, anyhow? It may be that controlling your surroundings with cold rationality works dandy for you. Some people don't have the knack of that, which doesn't mean they're dumb- they might be overly stressed, or too perfectionistic, or kind of obsessive- which aren't always bad traits. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that 'theistic faith' can be quite an advantage in these cases- even the humility of accepting that 'the pattern of life' is too complex for one person to grasp can be a real breakthrough, and once you've accepted that you can no longer 'disprove God' any more than you can disprove space aliens or galactic wormholes or anything else that you wouldn't be expected to understand.

    It always kind of annoys me to see these fervent attacks on any form of theism. Usually I let it pass. This time, though it's 4 AM and I should be heading to bed, I felt like speaking up just a bit. Yeah, I have vague theistic notions. I consider it an intrinsic quality of my relation to this God that I can't possibly understand it- it is by definition (my definition) entirely beyond my ability to comprehend. It is, however, a pretty good reason for me to leave some things to it, and concentrate on just trying to do the best I can with what I have. I know that this works better than my previous need to be the master of my fate- I do _not_ know that this is because there's an old guy with a beard 'up there'. I could be wrong- I could be looking at pure chaos and projecting an order that doesn't exist (on the other hand, look at the scientific definition of chaos....). But the bottom line is, my relation to the world is saner and less dogmatic when I _do_ have faith in whatever the heck my God is.

    If you don't like that, sux to be you ;) because your arguments will not change the fact that when I believed as you did, I was _miserable_ and pretty dysfunctional at life. Sorry- atheism didn't work well for me. It didn't tend to make me good at patience or tolerance- never mind peace. I'd rather not know and quietly expect some higher order in the universe, than convince myself that I'm _it_.

  • SAMBA is pretty platform independent. We run it here for file and print sharing on a pair of IBM RS/6000's running AIX. We don't print anything that doesn't go through one of those.
  • by QuoteMstr ( 55051 ) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Thursday August 03, 2000 @07:53PM (#881084)
    "If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing" --- Bertrand Russel

    Also, to quote from a proof that Hell is exothermic (don't ask):

    "Many religions have a belief that if you do not belong to that religion, you will go to hell. The number of these religions is greater than one, and, as someone cannot belong to more than one religion, all souls go to hell."
  • It's sad but true - the technology does not yet exist so that people will justify reading books online. I mean, think about it - curling up with your laptop in your comfy armchair? The fac that King did well is not the issue - he is Stephen King after all. What is scary is the fact that, even though he is Stephen King, the best he could do was break even.

    Until systems like the Rocket eBook come down in price, and until a wide base of content is available cheaply in a format that can be read by any eBook AND any computer with the correct software, this method of distribution will NOT catch on.

    Sorry Mr. King, but you're moving too fast.

  • Erm... there is no Belgian version of Survivor. In the fall we will get something called 'Big Brother' in which a bunch of people will be locked inside a house for a couple of months under the all-seeing eye of a bunch of cameras, but that's still to be taped so nobody's dead (yet).
    We did have a show called 'De Mol' (the mole) in which ten contestants had to work as a team win challenges to earn money (for the final winner), but one of them was a mole and tried to sabotage them. At the end of each episode everyone had to answer questions about the mole, and whoever knew the least about who it was and what he had done was booted out. In fact that show ended its second season a few months ago. But again, nobody died.

  • How about this:

    When you get a bacterial infection and treat it with antibiotics, there is a chance that a few of these bacteria (the one with greatest resistance to the antibiotic) survive. Those bacteria that have survived reproduce, and their progeny (if you can say that about life forms that reproduce asexually) will also be resistant to the same antibiotics. That bacteria goes on to infect someone else. They take the same antibiotic that was given to you, but it has no effect, so a different class of antibiotics has to be used. Eventually a strain of bacteria remains that is resistant to all known antibiotics, and people infected with it die.

    This has happened in our lifetimes. Its not a theory, it can be demonstrated. This is natural selection.

    This is what Darwin theorized, based significantly on the variety of species of finches found on the Galapagos islands, all aparently 'evolved' from a common ancestor. Darwin didn't know about DNA, and even today we can only work with an incomplete fossil record, but applying the proven fact of natural selection to what we do know from the fossil record and the similarity of DNA from one species to another that seems to correlate with that record, the most reasonable explanation is over hundreds of millions of years the variety of species on earth today evolved from simpler organisms.


    Help [206.253.208.199]
  • The proper answer would have been "test the theory of evolution."

    I talked to professor of genetics of the local Uni here, University of Hohenheim about this and he said he is not very interested in evolution since there is *no way* to prove it scientifically. For that you would have to be able to reproduce the whole thing. He is much more interested in theories that can be proved.

    On the "triumph of reason": "Reason" is not to accept the most popular theory. But that's what many ppl do. They read it in Nature and Scientific American and ./ and boing! it's a fact.

    Anyway I urge ppl to read read and read stuff about this from both sides, only that can enlighten you and lets you make an informed decision. If you jump into discussion make sure your discussion partner understands your semantics.
  • What about documentation? I suppose Novell would be the best operating system in the world, then...

    No, that'd be VMS. Can't beat that good old big grey wall of DEC documentation...

  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @04:00PM (#881110) Homepage
    Kansas voters now support the teaching of evolution in their public schools, as evidenced by recent election results.

    FUCK! i figured if one state, out of all our glorious fifty, could hold on their illusions about life on this planet...it was going to be Kansas!

    damn this rationality! That state is going to burn in hell with all their new fangled scientific idears! Next they'll probably remove all board members who belong to the flat earth society! (yeah right...like the earth is ROUND?!?!) that's when the whores and the crack move in!


    FluX
    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • by kneeo ( 10487 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @04:03PM (#881117)
    you said: "Do I get equal time on the pulpit at a xitian church to teach evolution?"

    A church is a private organization. A school is public. A private organzation sets its own rules without the interference of an outside force..ie..govt.

    A public organization has strict rules it must abide by.

    The theory of Evolution is not fact. That is why we say theory of evolution. It's a theory.
  • Thinking that the process of small changes cannot add up to big ones is a classic mistake of creationists. Sorry, there isn't a line in the sand. You don't want to believe that small changes from population to population cannot add up to a change in species? Well keep your head in the sand if you want, but you are wrong [colorado.edu].

    Regards,
    Ben
  • These people believe these things not because they are sheep, but to the contrary. They are skeptics.

    That's partially the point of Shermer's book. The chapters on the (not invoking Robert's rule here!) the Nazi atrocities in WWII are very interesting.

    He shows that even if the facts you have point clearly to one conclusion, you can still learn something from the dark side that denys everything. They are right about some details. Where they are right, if you are looking for the truth, you'll have to agree with them even if you don't get the same consideration.

    There are some definate parallels between the two groups.

  • The distinction between micro and macro evolution is a line in the sand invented by creationists who realized that micro-evolution was absolutely provably.

    However nobody has ever come up with any decent reason why gradual changes cannot add up to big ones. In fact we have excellent documentation that they can and do. And to top it off, the predicted rates of small changes combined with the independently measured timescales are in agreement with the large scale changes predicted.

    In short claiming that there is a distinction is an intellectually dishonest attempt to redefine the debate in terms where people can be left with the impression that you proved something.

    Regards,
    Ben
  • The 78+% figure includes people who "promise" to pay.

    We don't know how many already paid nor how many people will go back to the site to pay for what they have already downloaded.

  • Evolution is the process of ongoing modification in existing life. We know a fair amount about it.

    Abiogenesis is how the ball got rolling in the first place, and we have large areas of ignorance about that.

    In short I would say that we have good reason for believing that we know the basic cause of the the changes believed to have occurred over the last few hundred million years. Before that we have a lot of basic open questions.

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • This was my point. It would be prohibitively costly and problematic to change the ending, but not impossible.

    I'm leaning towards a creative webhead, but the general rule is to never explain with creativity what can be best mapped by stupidity and bullheadedness. How important to the network was their image of not being ignorant and have the finale of a tv show exposed? Enough to reshoot, say, 5-6 episodes? I doubt it, but...

    I'm sure in a few years (5-10) if it was reshot, some novel will be written and the truth revealed. and the author sued, but hey.
  • Most of the American Indian versions were translated from English. Most of the very rare lanage editions where also translated from English or a closly related langauge.

    The last bozo I meet that did translations didn't have much of a clue about Greek or Hewbrew and he was working for one of the largest bible pushers in Lynchburg VA.

  • all the survivor links are wrong: it should be to http://www.somethingawful.com/jeffk [somethingawful.com].

    smarty man survivor is good

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday August 04, 2000 @02:15AM (#881164)
    > I talked to professor of genetics of the local Uni here, University of Hohenheim about this and he said he is not very interested in evolution since there is *no way* to prove it scientifically. For that you would have to be able to reproduce the whole thing. He is much more interested in theories that can be proved.

    That would be sensible for a mathematician, but it's a rather odd position for a geneticist to take.

    You don't prove scientific theories; all you can do for any scientific theory is show that it is not contradicted by any currently known evidence, and then argue that it is more efficient/elegant than any other theories that pass the same test.

    As another poster has remarked, most of the natural sciences do not work like mathematical logic. You can't use modus ponens or mathematical induction to deal with much of the material the various natural sciences deal with. The grounding is on observations, not axioms, and progress is made by accumulating observations and making and testing hypotheses, not by applying formalized rules of inference to a collection of previously proven theorems. Therefore "proved" is not possible in any literal sense for the natural sciences.

    This fact applies to genetics every bit as much as it does to evolution. If your professor really said what you cited, and thinks otherwise about genetics, please tell him that he is a dumb fuck. Anything he "knows" about genetics is subject to change at the drop of an observation, just as it is for evolution, cosmology, quantum mechanics, chemistry, astrophysics, or any other field of science. When a hypothesis passes many, many tests we take it as a well-established given, but it is never "proved".

    And among the various sciences, evolution is as well-established as atomic theory or the heliocentric solar system is. None are proven in any formal sense, but all are so well supported by the observations that any changes above the level of details would be as shocking as discovering that the earth was flat.

    For those who haven't caught on yet, "science" is about a method of acquiring knowledge, not about a list of proven theorems. You set forth the best theory you can devise, but you change it whenever new evidence so demands.

    And that is what distinguishes the theory of evolution from the claims of creation. Sure, when new evidence comes up you examine it, question it, try to fit it in to the standing theory as best you can rather than throwing away the accepted views. But at some point you've got to admit it when you can't make the new evidence fit. Thus scientific theories have evolved, expanded, and even been discarded over the past 500 years, whereas every generation of creationists goes to the grave believing the same thing, and failing miserably to muster any convincing evidence.

    That's because the creationists are trying to reconcile observations to an unquestionable axiom rather than reconcile them with a malleable theory like the real sciences do. Science works from observations to a theory, and changes the latter when it conflicts with the former. Creationism works toward observations from an axiom (aka revelation), and changes the former when they conflict with the latter. This is not science.

    > Anyway I urge ppl to read read and read stuff about this from both sides, only that can enlighten you and lets you make an informed decision.

    I see stuff from both sides all the time. Alas, I probably hear more from the creationists than I do from real biologists. But their arguments are almost always ludicrous a priori stances, and sometimes outright deceitful. (For a recent example of deceitful misquotations of scientific literature in support of a young earth, visit talk.origins, find the thread "Wow! Reading a Jack Chick tract actually paid off!", find the response by Elmer Bataitis dated July 29, and read away.)

    Sorry 'bout the soapbox; I just have slim patience with pseudoscience masquerading as real science.

    Suggestion: Rob, how 'bout providing a couple of pages on Slashdot, one defining what science is and how it works (since it is so often misunderstood by a largish minority of /. readers), and the other pointing out the most common bad arguments and tricks of internet rhetoric that are encountered here so often (in both scientific and non-scientific topics).

    It might be possible to create the pages by the "slashdotific method", i.e. open a thread, take comments, and hope the moderation does a 90% effective job of separating the jewels from the trash.

    (As for the bad arguments / lame rhetoric page, we could number the items and invoke them by number in the threads under the regular articles.)

    --
  • You're right and wrong.

    That other fellow who replied to you saying that evolution is an incontrovertable fact is full of shit. But then those who purport creation to be the same are more so full of shit.

    This is simple scientific method stuff, folks!!!

    You ARE correct in that evolution should be called a hypothesis and not a theory. But you seem to have no idea what a theory *IS*.

    >Calling it theory implies proven fact,

    Which is absurdly false.

    What a theory implies is that you have a conducted a repeatable (that's VERY important) experiment whose results support your hypothesis.

    Now, what be "proven facts" would be things like:

    "This skeleton (A) I dug out of the ground has X amount of Carbon 14 isotopes in it"

    "This other skeleton (B) I dug out of the ground has a similar bone structure, but a larger braincase and has Y carbon 14 isotopes in it, making it Z million years more recent than the first skeleton"

    Now, a hypothesis is a logical premise that fits all the known facts: "Well, it appears that, given A and B are closely related, B is more advanced than A, and B is Z million years younger than A, A evolved over time to become B"

    For evolution to be a THEORY, someone would have to have conducted an (REPEATABLE!!!) experiment, subject to peer review, that offers support to the hypothesis. This has, to my knowledge, not happened for evolution (tho I COULD be wrong).

    Now, for evolution to be a "proven fact", or a law, there's an entire array of headache inducing proofs, where you'd have to demonstrate mathmetically that there is NO other POSSIBLE explination for the known facts. There are very few scientific LAWS compared to the number of theories.

    Unfortunately for the bible thumping crowd, creationism doesn't even have enough going for it to be considered a hypothesis, much less a theory.

    john
    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    Haiku:
    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • I do like the concept of electronic distribution and micropayments, but what's "micro" about these? I think this one is just capitalising on the brief novelty most people see here.

    Well, but it proves the model, and that is a very important thing. Success breeds success, and with King successful, other writers are going to give it a shot. Yeah, other authors won't have the ready fame to leverage, but they know this, and that makes them realize that they might need to be a bit more creative in how they achieve their aim. King has done the good deed of nailing down the high end. Expect that others are going to be exploring the lower ends. I betcha we see a bunch of different models brought forth over the next year or two. I'm sure people will find the best one.

  • I love kings writing and I'd like to get it in online form.

    I don't really understand why people want to get a book online. After you've downloaded it, you've got two choses, either you print it, or you read it on your computer. Printing it seems like a bit too much work, and sitting there reading 200 A4 sized papers isn't that fun. The other alternative (reading it on your computer) isn't that great either. Reading long texts on a computer is really horrible, and this would really spoil a good "book".

    The only real bonus I see with books online, especially the Gutenberg project, is that it's searchable. If you're looking for a quote from a book, then enter a key word, and you've got it...
  • I think you are the one that is confused. You are referring to micro-evolution, something which has been proven. I am referring to something quite different than that

    ... evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next. (Curtis and Barnes 1989, p974)

    ...'change of gene frequencies in populations' is the 'official' definition of evolution... (Gould 1983, p335)

    Since evolution may be defined as cumulative change in the genetic makeup of a population resulting in increased adaptation to the environment, the fundamental process in evolution is change in allele frequency. (Hartl 1988, p69)

    and so on....

    While gravity will continue to pull masses together, the ideas of how it works like much or physics are undergoing fundamental changes. This would be similar to finding that pie as exactly equal to 4.

    No... gravity continues to work functionally within our defined theory. Evolution continues in the same manner despite debate over increasinly smaller components of the theory. Pi is still functional at 3.14. We refine our theory of gravity, postulate punctuated equilibrium and add digits to Pi. Just because these refinements continue, we don't scrap the theory of gravity, round Pi up to 4 (or down to 3.0 as some claims the Bible says we should...) or scrap the theory of evolution.

    The Catholic Church has done many things wrong in its history

    Well, first, the Catholics are far from the sole transgressors. The ideology of most major world religions are based on the notions of objective truth and the belief that they, as a group, have some exclusive mandate from their diety/ies. When you get such an ideology taking a predominant role in a society, persecution of out groups becomes almost inevitable. " We are right (absolutely) and have (absolute) God/s on our side" means that all others, by default, must be wrong (absolutely) and out of favour with God/s (absolutely). It's pretty easy in situations like that to come up with a Cathar Crusade, Inquisition, 30 years War (half the participants non-Catholic), or Mass. witch hunt (all paricipants non-Catholic, btw).

    Well looking at all the dumb responses to this post, i would have to assume that your point is invalid.

    By the same logic, however, one would have to admit that by finding one good nazi you could absolve the ideology. The totalitarian ideology (an inherent part of christianity) is, in my wacky opinion, something to be wary of. We are distrustful and offended by other totalitarian ideologies, I merely submit we should remember the track record of the Christian faith and apply the same caution to it.

    Having said that, I once again submit that if you are shocked and dismayed that someone would "persecute" you with a -1 for your belief, then take a moment and think what it must be like to not be able to defend youself in court because you refuse to swear on the Bible, as was the case in Canada until 1985.

  • Timothy wrote:
    This still doesn't mean Jamie is wrong -- yet.

    Jamie wrote [slashdot.org]:
    I predict King's return rate will be something like 15%. Maybe it will go as much as twice as high, thanks to his deal with Amazon to let people use credit cards -- much more convenient.

    Looks to me like Jamie *was* wrong. See Monday's news [stephenking.com] on Stephen King's site [stephenking.com], in which he reports 76.38% payment. Now, 19.8% of the 116,200 that he counts as having paid have actually just promised to pay, but haven't actually paid. 80.2% of them paid via credit card. That means that at least 61.3% of downloads have been paid for, which is more than twice Jamie's most optimistic estimate.

    King goes on. In response to the question "Are you go for Part 3 in September?", he replies, simply, "Yes."

    Sorry, Jamie. :)

    -Waldo
    -------------------
  • Yeah, and here I was hoping that all the rest of us would evolve while Kansas residents just stayed the same! I was looking forwarding to laughing at them when we're all energy beings, and they're still running around, two legs, two arms, and NO psuedopods!

    DISCLAIMER: Yes, I do know that evolution would not result in my own self changing.
    ---
  • Calling electricity a theory is a fallacy. A theory (sorry, I don't have websters on me, had to use dictionary.com) is "An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture." http://www.dictionary.com/cgi -bin/dict.pl?term=theory [dictionary.com]

    A theory is a conjecture. Electricity may once have been a theory (back in Ben Franklin's day) but it can't be considered that any longer.

    Evolution is still a theory; still a conjecture.

  • > here is a pretty devastating blow for evlolution. Might I offer for your consideration the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

    For a good answer, visit this FAQ [talkorigins.org] (and take the time to read some other things higher up in the tree while you are there).

    For a great answer, stay tuned, because a /.ing physicist is likely to post a reply.

    For a quickie amateur answer, consider the following notions:
    • If evolution really did violate 2LT, how do you know that it's evolution that's wrong rather than 2LT? Both are based on a myriad observations. If there were a conflict, we would have to go back and review those observations, the interpretations of those observations, and the theories based on those observations/interpretations. If there really were a conflict, one or the other (or both) would indeed have to be modified, but you cannot say in advance which it would be, nor what the nature of the modification would be. It's all conjecture until you demonstrate a conflict and then do the grunt work of pining down what the actual problem is. Such is the nature of scientific progress.
    • Fortunately, there is not any conflict. (Or rather, no one has ever actually demonstrated one.) Gas coalescing into planets is nothing more than a relaxation to a lower energy state. (It puzzles me that you would even suggest that this violates 2LT. Does water pooling in the pothole on your street also violate 2LT? If you can argue that convincingly, there's a Nobel out there waiting for you.) As for the macroscopic species, I propose an argument that they have "fallen" into an energy state that is "low" and "stable" with respect to their environment. That's what environmental niches are all about. [Perhaps I'm stretching the metaphor. If so, visit the link or wait for a physicist to respond.]
    Since you read Slashdot, I assume that with high probability you are a techie. In such a case, you should easily be able to write or download some code for a genetic algorithm. People "evolve" amazingly complex "agents" or "behaviors" with GA, even though all the magic lies in random variation and selection for fitness. The concept of "fitness" is what I refer to metaphorically as a "lower energy state" above; perhaps the metaphor will be clearer after you have played with a GA program for a while. (I.e., mathematically invert the "fitness" function, which you want to maximize, to a "cost" function, which you want to minimize, and think of that function as describing the energy states in the environment. Thereafter, "more fit for this niche" = "in a lower energy state".)

    --
  • by vkulkarn ( 4494 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @04:11PM (#881204) Homepage
    NetBSD does NOT support the 5200/5300/6200/6300 (except for the 6300/160 and the 6360 which used differant motherboards). These are the old school Apple systems that didn't use PCI, or Nubus for that matter... According to http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/macppc/m odels.html [netbsd.org] NetBSD does not support these machines.
  • I count myself both lucky and fortunate to have not seen a second of these "reality" shows (created by putting people in totally unrealistic situations). I have, however, watched a few minutes of Who Wants to be a Media Whore? In which the player was asked how he felt and I quote "I feel like I'm sitting on a toilet and all America is watching me."

    I wonder (seriously) if any of the "actors" involved with these programs will ever see royalties, or are they just "geanea pigs for hire"?
    --
  • All charges were dropped. As an AC points out, the "abuse" was in the form of making his adopted son go on a run, although I thought it was to make the kid lose weight and don't know if was any sort of "punishment".
  • If I am blind how do I read a printed book? I don't, but I could get my PC to read a text file to me, or I can wait until someone releases a recording (I have yet to see ESR reads the Cathedral and the Bazaar, never mind the poerty of Jim Morrision or ...). How pleasurable this is is down to your software, but the real point is that receiving a book in an electronic format is about freedom (speech not beer) because now you have a choice about how you read the book, you are not just stuck with some patchily marked pages.
  • First off they didn't replace evolution with creationism, they gave school districts the right to choose to teach it or not and removed it from state testing standards. I believe they also pulled the terminology too. No, I don't think that's right, in fact I think its very wrong and there is a not-so hidden fundamentalist agenda here but lets not boil this down to the typical hackneyed science vs. religion rhetoric.

    What is going on here is political activism vs. political apathy. These fundamentalists were organized and spent *years* getting into the school board to change policy. The same way any special interest group can gain some power, whether you agree with their politics or not.

    The lesson learned here is that small municipal and state elections serve an important purpose and can have a very powerful effect on society. Its your job to keep an eye on your politicians, see what happens when you don't?

    The CSICOP-style paranoia that the world is under attack by religious people is about as believable as most conspiracy theories. There are people both religious and secular who will do their best to push their agendas when you're not looking. People do it all the time, we just get angry when the resulting legislation isn't to our liking.

    . Religion, the crutch that it is, has no place in public life, mine or anyone elses.

    I strongly disagree with this, we have very public laws and traditions to regulate non-profits like Churches and Mosques. Not to mention put limits on what some brands of religious philosphy dictate (xtian scientists, animal sacrifice etc).

    Personally, I don't like the reactionary tone of your post as I'd rather make my own decisions based on open-discourse and freedom of information than being force fed "facts" from either fundies or hard-core materialists, both calling for the censorship of the other.

    If you want smart kids teach them the history and philosophy of science and religion and let them make decisions on their own, not just reciting whatever party-line you most agree with.

  • But it's chock full of errors, contradictions, and lunacies.

    "Why me, Lord? Where have I gone wrong? I've always been nice to people. I don't drink or dance or swear. I've even kept Kosher just to be on the safe side. I've done everything the bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff."
    -Ned Flanders in The Simpsons episode 4F07
  • then you simply don't understand what the theory of evolution says.

    'nuff said.

    Ben
  • Hey,

    This is flamebait. I personally don't want to get into a big fight of creationist vs evolutionist fight. Such a debate belongs somewhere else, like talk.origins newsgroup. So take this fight elsewhere.

    As far as I am concerned, both creationists and evolutionists can be nerds.

  • Religion may be narrow minded, and a waste of time to teach in schools. However, stating that evolution is confirmed objective fact is just as narrow. What kind of an explanation is "a big boom just HAPPENED from some stuff that came from nowhere". Sorry, I do not recall any scientific theory being confirmed using "something came from nothing" logic. That's not science, it's narrow faith on a popular theory.

    The next time my code breaks I'll just tell my boss, "Well, some bug just GOT there... it just broke". I'm sure that'll go over well.

  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Thursday August 03, 2000 @04:40PM (#881244) Homepage
    Although I agree with your (and many others) posts on the principal that religious teachings have no place in a faith-neutral place like a public school, I do take exception to this statement. I personally do not partake in religion anymore, but it certainly does have a place in public life, to the extent that it does not intrude upon my rights. Kids should have moral guidance, preferably instilled in them by their parents, but religious institutions in general do a good job as well.

    That's a load of crap. Religions instill a system of morals that they approve of, not ones that necessarily society approves of. And who decides what the difference is between moral 'guidance' and 'subversion'. I mean, hell, even on Slashdot, we see the constant battle between people with morals that say, "Be a law-abiding citizen" and people with morals that say, "You must do what you want and if it means breaking the law, so be it." Who's right? Who's wrong?

    It's not even that clear. But what is clear is that the 'moral guidance' of religious institutions has led to more hatred and human suffering than any other factor in history. 'Moral guidance' (and those that tried to counter it) brought us such heavenly moments as the Crusades, forced conversion of Christians to Islam in Spain and south France, the Salem witchhunt, the house-arrest of Galileo, the decimation of American Indian culture, and our current little squabble in the Mideast.

    As far as I'm concerned, religious institutions can stick to providing the masses with something to look forward to and stop telling people how to live their lives.
  • 'Moral guidance' (and those that tried to counter it) brought us such heavenly moments as the Crusades, forced conversion of Christians to Islam in Spain and south France, the Salem witchhunt, the house-arrest of Galileo, the decimation of American Indian culture, and our current little squabble in the Mideast.

    The house arrest of Galileo. An interesting tale. Just in case you have no history of science knowledge at all, Galileo's observations of the planets and his subsequent conclusions arguing for the Copernican view of the world over Ptolemic thinking in his discourse "Dialogues of the Two Chief Systems of the World" lead to his trial by the Catholic Inquisition in 1633.

    Galileo was persecuted even after his death - he was buried without rites, epitaph or marker. But he did eventually have his revenge as I discovered in Florence.

    Galileo was eventually re-buried in a decent memorial. But not all of him. His middle finger bones from one hand were placed vertically in Catholic relic, which can be seen in the Science Museum in Florence, forever raised in salute ...

    Cheers,

    Toby Haynes

  • Now, if you'd bothered to read the post you replied to, chances are you would have seen this:
    • Now, 19.8% of the 116,200 that he counts as having paid have actually just promised to pay, but haven't actually paid. 80.2% of them paid via credit card. That means that at least 61.3% of downloads have been paid for, which is more than twice Jamie's most optimistic estimate.
  • Evolution is far from confirmed, and has many, many flaws.

    No, really, I think I'm going to be sick... Evolution is a confirmed, actual, demonstrable, repeatable, falsifiable honest-to-god fact. What you, and all the other creationists/guidance-ists/whatever-ists are talking about is...

    Natural Selection

    Which is a method by which evolution is driven. Calling natural selection "evolution" is like calling an airplane an "anti-gravity machine". Airplanes fly, but not necessarily by anti-gravity. Okay?

    150 years ago, many things in physics were 'confirmed', now many of these ideas are looked at and laughed at...

    Well, that's because science is a progressive, self-correcting process.

    Even the theory of gravity is undergoing changes

    The theory of gravity is undergoing refinements. Saying the theory of gravity is being changed is like saying that by adding another digit of significance to pi we are completely negating the validity of 3.14.

    however please think and do the research before you you defend them with ignorance.

    fine advice... give it a spin sometime.

    don't moderate me down because of my beliefs

    Christianity is a 1400 year story of sword-point converstion and persecution of those with different beliefs. You can take a -1, it's not like it's the Inquisition or anything...

  • I don't know, I suppose it's good that CBS isn't nearly as stupid as they look, but I have to say that I prefer JeffK's FPS Smarty Man Gaem Surivoar Show [somethingawful.com] MUCH better.

    I mean, really, it's got JOHN ROMERO'S GHOST... IN A BONG.

    I'd like to see CBS try THAT.
    ---
  • "Monitor not included."
    For a cool thin panel monitor picture it's all fake! There's no monitor attached to that 129$ box. Which makes it a 'reasonable', but certainly not a good deal. Keep your money people!
    Joseph Elwell.
  • by tilly ( 7530 )
    And giving people choice is wrong?? A person should not have to have creationism shoved down his or throat, just like a person should not have to the (the theory of) evolution shoved down his or her throat.

    Letting people mistakenly believe that they can pick and choose what to call facts and calling the result still science is wrong. It is a disservice to students to cut science at a politically convenient point.

    Truth is not a matter to be decided in the court of public opinion. The truth is that evolution is part and parcel of the scientific world-view. You can legitimately not teach science, or you can teach science and also teach evolution. But saying that you can validly teach one without the other is a pure and simple lie.

    Regards,
    Ben
  • The only place that religion has in public schools today is history classes. I agree that there should be none of this equal time (even if the Chuch of the Sub-Genius gets to place "Fsck 'em if they can't take a joke" next to the ten commandments) or school prayer.

    Time to play devils advocate.

    Evolution is a confirmed, Objective fact. Religion, and creation "science" is pure fantasy.

    Evolution is only confirmed for as long as there has been written history discussing populations of either humans, animals, plants etc.... Before that it is a logical conclusion though induction that it existed before we recorded the documents need to show that it exists. Proofs through induction are not "objective fact" they are truths for all intensive purposes but we cannot truely PROVE them with the tools we have today.

    Before people start babbling on about how we have the theory of gravity, that is fact up until now. That theory, the inverse square law, may not work at distances smaller than 1cm (generally at those distances the electromagnetic force starts to interfere too much, and there are theories about extra dimentions etc...). Even the strongest theories may have holes in areas that we have not reached.

    creationism, although mathematically and physically highly inprobable, nearly impossible, is still a theory.

    Religion, the crutch that it is, has no place in public life, mine or anyone elses.

    Do I believe religion is a crutch, yes. Do you, yes. Do my friends, yes. I also believe that society today cannot exist without some sort of religious crutch, whether it be Christianity, Islam, Wica, Paganism, etc.... There are too many people out there that I believe do not have the ability to hand existance without belief in some sort of divine influence. The feeble minded and weak willed are two that without some sort of crutch would not be able to stand. Some might argue that society would be better if we just removed them, but at this point it is not our decision to weed from the gene pool unnaturally. It is a defence mechanism to prevent insanity, most people don't like, or unable to handle, the consept of mortality. We have to deal with this crutch until the humanity is able to handle enlightenment (not the window manager).

    Just to pull out a quote that I am sure that everyone has heard (warning I may not have the wording exact). "I may not agree with what you say but I will die defending your right to say it." That is roughly my stance on religion, I don't agree but will support their ability to believe.

    One last thing.
    Religion should not be in school!

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