Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Darwin Day! One week away!

Hey Darwin Day is next week-- What are you all doing?

Im gonna be doing this:

SPECIAL DARWIN DAY EVENT AT OU.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT EVOLUTION?

Ask the Experts at the DARWIN DAY Forum, 7PM, Tuesday, February 12, Baird Lounge, Oklahoma Memorial Union on the OU Campus.
What’s the evidence? Isn’t it just a theory? Are there gaps in the fossil record? Did humans come from apes? What about Intelligent Design or Creationism?

Professors and doctoral candidates will answer the tough questions for you. Panel will include Ola Fincke, Richard Broughton, Abbie Smith and perhaps others. Sponsored by Center for Inquiry (CFI) on Campus.
Creationists are free to come and attempt to avenge Dembski.

48 comments:

vhut said...

Abbie: We look forward to the event. But, heh, how about credit for the words posted to the Oklahoma Evolution List Serve (described at http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/oese/)? The post of yours is fine with me. I am just trolling for subscribers, especially from Oklahoma! We will need all the help we can get to defeat the bad creation/religion bills in the Okie Legislature.

ERV said...

No vic youre doing it all wrong!

Youre supposed to say:
"Abbie Smith you have a message on your website that is copyrighted by OESE. I am nice and I am kind. I will not retaliate against you for posting this. I own copyright. Please take down. I volunteer at soup kitchens."

:P

hehehehehehehe!!

Please forgive me-- I recruited an OK high school student earlier today!

vhut said...

Abbie: No offense taken! Don't take it down. In fact, the announcement is mainly from the CFI! They do not claim a copyright nor do I. The CFI On Campus group is relatively new. Led by OU student Brett Sullivan, the group played a big role in countering Dembski's visit last October. They placed chalkings on campus sidewalks to counter every one that the Trinity Baptist Church had made. They handed out anti-Dembski material to those entering Dembski's lecture, etc. I hope there will be a good group to hear you and the other panel members and to support the CFI students who organized this.

After the way you took down Dembski, do you really expect the Trinity group to come and challenge you? Let's all hope they come and ask their ignorant questions!

nadia said...

Good stuff. Although it's ridiculous that "Isn't it just a theory?" etc. have gained so much currency that they are apparently "tough questions" now.
May those who think so have their asses thoroughly kicked on Darwin Day.

Chris Noble said...

Can we try to guess what some of the tough questions will be?

"If humans are descended from apes/monkeys then why are there still apes/monkeys?"

Cormac said...

This looks to me like good, clean fun. If only Dembski and Behe could show up! Maybe Shady Casey Luskin?

J-Dog

Barklikeadog said...

I would be there in a heart beat but I have a 4 hour class that night. UUggghh. My first chance to meet ERV & I can't go.

William said...

"What are you all doing?"
I'll be pondering Darwin's legacy.

By the way, the NAACP might not like Darwin day.

When is Richard Sternberg day?

William Wallace

Lledowyn said...

Wow, both a "Darwin is a racist!" and a plug for a creationist that allowed an ID article to make it into a peer reviewed journal. I'm impressed William, that you managed to get all of that into 4 lines of text. I would even venture to say that it is almost as elegant as a well written C++ computer program.

Oh wait, darn, that peer reviewed article didn't really get, you know, reviewed by peers, and was included in the journal using less than honest methods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sternberg_peer_review_controversy). And to top it off, it was removed, discredited, and generally made the folks at the DI look foolish. Darn!

Oh and the claim that Darwin was a racist... Oh dear... More hogwash (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_1.html).

Curses! The evilutionists win again! I guess I must pray harder.... ;-)

Israel Barrantes said...

I'll do something around, there's nothing planned here at the MPI. Maybe i'll pass some flyers or stuff.

Lledowyn said...

Hey, your blog post referencing creationists avenging Dembski made me search google to see if there was video of that talk. And it turns out that there was! You can watch the entire talk starting here. It's divided into 4 parts and it does include both the plagiarized video (and I *definitely* did not see any credits), as well as the student Q&A. Great stuff!

Tyler DiPietro said...

Just check out Willie's blog guys, he's a third-rate ID sycophant regurgitating all the usual nonsense. Nothing new there.

Lledowyn said...

Yeah I noticed that too Tyler, that's why I felt compelled to have a little bit of fun with him (well that, and the fact that his post made two ridiculous statements in 4 lines). Once I read his blog, I just *had* to say something.

Gary said...

Abbie - Are you still going to be on The Infidel Guy tonight?

If so, what time?

J-Dog

Kevin H said...

Here are two propositions:

1). The God of Christian or Classical Theism exists and created all else in existence.

2). There are natural processes in the universe which are worthy of study.


Why are Darwinians so upset? The former is a philosophical consideration based on philosophical and historical evidence. The latter are empirical observations based on empirical evidence.

Leaving the Christian aspects out, I think public schools across the U.S. could offer the following disclaimer in science classes.

"There are two basic views on how the universe and intelligent life came about: from something of the order of matter, or something from the order of mind. The former most informs a Naturalistic worldview. The latter most informs a Theistic Worldview.

Leaving that question to philosophical and cosmological considerations, let's examine the research data for how various physical systems operate."


The propositions that 1). God exists, and 2). cellular mitosis occurs (for example) are not contradictory.

Darwinians of various stripes ought to applaud ID! Unlike Young Earth Creationism, it respects those two propositions and is developing rigorous tests, predictions, definitions, and research.

To answer my own question, people are upset because both views have profound philosophical ramifications personally and culturally.

Kevin H

Kevin H

Tyler DiPietro said...

Kevin, you strike me as a sincere albeit misguided person. Your post is a lot of nonsense.

"Darwinians of various stripes ought to applaud ID! Unlike Young Earth Creationism, it respects those two propositions and is developing rigorous tests, predictions, definitions, and research."

This is all false. Check out the "Wedge Document" of the Discovery Institute. ID is a political stratagem for inserting religion back into science classes and inhibiting the teaching evolution. Does the attempt to "overturn materialism and its cultural legacies" sound like a scientific endeavor to you? ID is not a scientific field, it is not something that is being actively researched and has thus far produced nothing of actual use to any field of science. What they have is a string of popular books and wonkish phraseology that provides a simulacrum of scientific validity. It takes more than that to do science.

"To answer my own question, people are upset because both views have profound philosophical ramifications personally and culturally."

Well, no. People are upset because these represent sleazy and underhanded attempts to interfere with science education and appease the religious sensibilities of those who find reality distasteful. Philosophical content belongs in philosophy or comparative religion classes, which I have no problem with. Science classes are for science.

saveau said...

Here are two proposisitions:

1.) Kevin H has not been paying attention to the antics of the ID movement and so doesn't realize just how slimy, dishonest, manipulative and completely lacking in integrity its practitioners are.

2.) Kevin H knows exactly what the IDers are up to and why people get justifiably upset over that, and therefore is merely trolling.

One proposition is true, the other is false. Which one?

Kevin H said...

Tyler,

You affirmed what I said. People are upset because of the philosophical/cultural ramifications.

Johnson and most of the ID guys despise what materialism, etc. leads to. Any scientific advances against it are icing on the cake. Yet, they also excel in scientific and philosophical fields so they are interested in the progress of both.

Your philosophy is a distaste for "religious sensibilities" influencing science. Problem is, I'm afraid that is inescapable from both sides! Philosophy undergirds the hard sciences.

Kevin H

Kevin H said...

saveau,

I have interviewed the main ID guys for radio, sat on a panel with Dembski, and recently attended their conference at SMU Dallas.

I am impressed with their sincerity, credentials, and work.

Kevin H

Brett said...

Hey Abbie. looking forward to meeting you at the event. I've been putting up flyers for it all day and have run into some people who seemed interested. Hopefully, we'll have a good turnout.

Tyler DiPietro said...

Kevin,

My opinion that you are merely misguided has been overturned. You are either delusional or being deliberately dishonest.

"Johnson and most of the ID guys despise what materialism, etc. leads to. Any scientific advances against it are icing on the cake."

The fact that they "despise" it isn't in dispute. The problem is that they persue a dishonest PR campaign to undermine science because of their contempt. They are not actively persuing research and have precisely zero scientific advances to boast. The movement is purely religious and political, not scientific.

"Yet, they also excel in scientific and philosophical fields so they are interested in the progress of both."

This is a joke. They've contributed nothing to the progress of any field of science. What they have is phraseology that places a sciencey gloss on the standard laundry list of creationist arguments. It's not science that is discussed among academics and professionals in the relevant fields, it's anti-scientific sound-byte peddling.

"Your philosophy is a distaste for "religious sensibilities" influencing science. Problem is, I'm afraid that is inescapable from both sides! Philosophy undergirds the hard sciences."

Not, it isn't. I'm afraid alignment with reality and evidence only counts of "philosophy" in the most convoluted and irrelevant post-modern universe of discourse. Everywhere else, it's not a problem.

saveau said...

I have interviewed the main ID guys for radio, sat on a panel with Dembski, and recently attended their conference at SMU Dallas.

I am impressed with their sincerity, credentials, and work.


Their sincerity is demonstrably lacking. Their credentials are misleading. Their work has been deception, manipulation, strong-arm political thuggery, the promotion of willful ignorance, censorship, and a smug hatred of and for the Enlightenment ideals upon which this nation was founded - and all the while accusing those who call them on their BS of the same.

That you are impressed by all this tells me everything I will ever need to know about you.

Tracy P. Hamilton said...

"When is Richard Sternberg day?"

Same as William Wallace Day - April 1.

Torbjörn Larsson said...

What are you all doing?

Nothing related - I missed that. But I'm making up for it by going to the local Celsius and Linné (Linneaus) seminars two days later. Perhaps the science pantheon will look kindly upon my obeisance despite the memory lapse.

@ Kevin:

People are upset because of the philosophical/cultural ramifications.

Read again - people are upset because science, which is a useful method of getting to knowledge and found technology on, is interfered with. Replacing science with religion is the same effect as if you are stealing a students hammer when he is supposed to do carpentry. The effects aren't mainly philosophical or cultural but scientific, technological and ultimately economical.

You can't lift the Space Shuttle on prayers.

William said...

Lledowyn,

Do your professors let you cite Wikipedia?

For a list of better sources on the Sternberg harassment case, see the sources section of
Uncommon dissent @ Coincidence Theories

William

Kevin H said...

Tyler,

The thrust of my post was the "disclaimer" - which I have tweaked a little:

"There are two basic views on how the universe and intelligent life came about: from something of the order of matter, or from something of the order of mind. The former most informs a Naturalistic worldview. The latter most informs a Theistic Worldview.

Leaving that question to philosophical, historical, and cosmological considerations, let's examine the research data for how various physical systems operate."

Your comments?

KevinH

Tyler DiPietro said...

Here we go again with the Sternberg bullshit. For anyone who is even slightly impressed by Williams' sources, I'd reccommend checking out Ed Brayton's thorough evisceration of the whole brouhaha. Of course, it's instructive to view his subsequent evisceration of a poor ID who assented to a wholly underwhelming critique.

Kevin,

My opinion on such a disclaimer doesn't differ much from anything I've said above. Evolution is an observed reality, whether students particularly like to hear it or not. All the talk of "philosophy" and "worldviews" is nothing but a storm of red herrings. One might as well say that the idea that two planes flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11 relies on a particular axiomatization of the natural numbers. Hey, if you use arithmetic mod 2, that means ZERO planes hit the World Trade Center! We now need to provide a disclaimer for the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. It's all an annoying and blatant attempt to muddy the waters.

William said...

LOL.

This is science blog, right?

First Lledowyn offers up wikipedia as a source. And then Tyler DiPietro offers up a disgruntled blogger.

These sources might be adequate for the usual readers of this science blog, but they probably would not pass muster anywhere else.

Let's recap. Who should I believe?
NPR , The Wall Street Journal, The United States Office of Special Counsel, and Staff report for U.S. representative Mark Sounder (read: journalists and investigators who have professional reputations, editors, and/or the office of professional responsibility or similar to worry about).
-or--
some disgruntled blogger who claims to have some inside scoop on the truth™.

Hmn. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs. This is tough. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs.

I think I'll wait to watch interviews in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed before making up my mind once and for all.

William Wallace

Torbjörn Larsson said...

Who should I believe?

Wikipedia should give you a fairly reviewed description. (And references to check on.)

Tyler mentioned some blog posts to give perspective to your dubious sources. And by your own later argument we shouldn't believe such, so I don't see why you mentioned them in the first place.

Torbjörn Larsson said...

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Oh, and this; if you are suspicious about some blogs (in particular one easily checked to be held in high regard concerning descriptions and analysis of the antiscientific movement known as ID), why would you consider watching a crank movie and then make up your mind?

But you can do what you will - you will have very few followers however.

Tyler DiPietro said...

Obviously Willie has nothing to dispute in Ed's post (since among other things he seems to have missed the fact that Ed's post is a debunking to Sounder report). I'll assume that is a concession on his part. Sometimes dealing with intellectual featherweights gets boring.

But one last thing:

"Hmn. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs. This is tough. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs. Mainstream accounts, or crank blogs."

You must be psychotically determined to destroy every irony meter on the face of the planet.

William said...

Hey, I have to admit, Tyler DiPietro is witty, which counts for something.

William Wallace

Lledowyn said...

Hi William,

Since you're so obviously impressed by references, I'm going to write this with many references to back up my claims. First, let's look at what my arguments were:

1) The article was not properly peer reviewed
2) The article was included in the journal using less than honest methods (i.e. conflict of interest as a result of the editor being an ID proponent)
3) The claim that Darwin was a racist is hogwash

Now let's look at your argument:
1) You used Wikipedia, you should read my posting on Richard Steinberg instead.

Given that your argument doesn't even address my arguments, nor does it refute my arguments, I'm going to assume that you either do not dispute them, or that you yourself do not have proper sources to refute them.

Now, given that you did not like my using Wikipedia (and you are correct, my professors do not allow its use in college level papers, and I agree in why it should not be used), I'm going to cover my arguments in this post with other sources as needed. Since you said that I should use your blog posting as a valid source, let's first look at what constitutes a valid internet source.

Three ways of judging the validity of an internet source is to look at its Suitability (which is broken down to Scope, Audience, and Timeliness), its Authority, and Other Indicators such as documentation and objectivity.[1] Let's take a look at your post, and see how well it meets that criteria.

First, we will look at the Suitability of your posting. The Scope of your posting is actually very narrow. This is because it only covers two supposed instances of the kind of "discrimination" that creationists get. The article is extremely general, and it only provides "support" for your arguments without looking or presenting evidence for other explanations. This makes it obvious that your article is an opinion piece, and thus the conclusions reached are your own opinion and subject to interpretation had all the facts been weighed.

Also, while reading your article, as well as the Inaugural Post of your blog, it is obvious that your intended audience is christian folk with similar beliefs to yours.[3] This is also supported by your later post about your views on abortion[4], as well as your review of the student article, "I.D. Rakes it in and Gets Rake in Face."[5]

Lastly, your article does pass the timeliness guideline. It was posted only a few days ago and the sources for the article are reasonably recent.

Now let's quickly look at the Authority of the author of the article. Going by the Inagural Posting, all I can gather is that you're a christian.[3] While this might mean a lot to you, it does not give you any kind of professional or expert authority on the subjects you are covering in your post. This does not mean that you are not entitled to your opinion, but it does mean that your opinion is as valid as that of someone off the street, or even my own opinion on a subject in which I am not an expert, and should be weighed as such.

However, looking at the documentation of your article, it was very well done. While I question your decisions on some of your sources (e.g The Discovery Institute), it’s obvious that you both read, and properly documented all of your sources. I will however, point out that you should pay close attention to the spelling of the sources. I’m referring to the following citation, “Souder, Mark (12-11-2006), Intolerance And The Politicization Of Science At The Smithsonian Staff Report prepared for U.S. Representative Mark Sounder[sic]”[2]. Note that the last name of the Representative is Souder, not Sounder. I’m pointing that out because that would have cost me points if I had committed the same error (and yes I have done that before, to my own detriment).

Looking at the article’s objectivity, as I stated before, this is an opinion piece. This means that the arguments presented need to be weighed as such, and thus the Authority of the author becomes more relevant. Again, the issue in this case is if I were to use your article for a paper, your opinion is no different than my own opinion, and thus it doesn’t help to strengthen my arguments.

Adding all of those factors in, I would say that your article is not much different than using Wikipedia as a source. Although the article was well sourced and had proper citations, it does not include sources that present the other side; however this is to be expected in an opinion piece. Therefore, to use your article as my main source for either support or for my research would be inappropriate, just as it would be inappropriate for me to use Wikipedia as you previously stated. So if you want me to do further research into Richard Steinberg, I’d suggest you provide a more unbiased source that presents both sides along with the proper citations and links to primary documents.

References:
1. Critical Evaluation Of Resources, The Regents of the University of California, February 4, 2008. Retrieved on February 8, 2008.
2. Uncommon dissent, Wallace, W., February 4, 2008. Retrieved on February 9, 2008.
3. Inaugural post, Wallace, W., February 2, 2008. Retreived on February 9, 2008.
4. Presidential race, and abortion, Wallace, W., February 8, 2008. Retreived on February 9, 2008.
5. Blogging against film promotion, Wallace, W., February 6, 2008. Retreived on February 9, 2008.

And with that, I’m going to play some GH3, and see if I can FC Knights of Cydonia on Expert. :p

William Wallace said...

Thanks Lledowyn, I corrected the spelling of Mark Souder's name.

To return the favor, some corrections....I wrote:

For a list of better sources on the Sternberg harassment case, see the sources section of
Uncommon dissent @ Coincidence Theories


The link to the Stephen Meyer paper, which was central to the Sternberg harassment case, does in fact point to the discovery institutes's website, where a copy of the the paper is hosted.

If you have other mainstream primary or secondary sources that I or others should consider, please do share. Meanwhile, I will sit back, relax, and enjoy the sound of crickets.

William Wallace

Lledowyn said...

Hi William,

Note the line in my conclusion that "Therefore, to use your article as my main source for either support or for my research would be inappropriate..."

Using the links of an opinion piece as my primary research is not a good idea because there lies a risk of visiting biased sources and/or only seeing one particular side. For example, would it make sense that I only use the links of an opinion piece posted in a site like MoveOn.org or only using the links of an opinion piece by Focus on the Family? Of course not, because they both have certain agendas that they are trying to promote, and thus they are inherently biased.

Another example, is how your article does not include a link to the council statement by the Biological Society of Washington. This statement states in part, "... the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process." This is a primary source document straight from the organization involved in the controversy itself, and thus it's the kind of thing that I should be using for any kind of valid research. Now you can make arguments against that statement, but to do so would involve accusing the organization of lying, and you would definitely have to provide evidence on that. For example, one way to do that would be for Richard Sternberg to reveal the peer reviewers to an unbiased third party that would also keep their identity secret. This would be to allow the reviewers to still remain anonymous, and would also allow an opportunity to judge whether they were suitable reviewers. To my knowledge, this has not happened.

Another example is your argument about Dr. Dini. It’s funny that you started your argument by stating, “A professor of physics would never demand a Ph.D. candidate affirm a belief in the theory of relativity…” The reason I think it is funny is because this is somewhat related to what I do for a living. You see, I write software for hyper-accurate inertial guidance systems that use laser gyros to determine roll, pitch, and yaw. Given the nature of the gyros that we use, we have to both understand and accept the Theory of Relativity, because if we don’t, none of what we do would work. If I were to walk up to my boss and tell him that I don’t “believe” in the Theory of Relativity, and that I instead “believe” in luminiferous aether, I would be fired on the spot. And you know what, that would be a proper course of action, because if I wrote software that didn’t follow the principles of relativity, I would be putting the lives of countless people, which depend on that guidance system, at risk. No such argument is made in your paper either due to simply not knowing of such situations, or because it would have gone against your main thesis. If the latter, that’s still ok, because given that you are presenting your opinion, it would be kind of silly to present something that goes against your main thesis, but it would still make your article unsuitable as a primary source, or a primary research point.

This is why I said that it would be a bad idea to use your article as primary source or primary research point. There’s the potential for bias, and the only sources listed are those that support your arguments and none that are against your argument. This is an inherent property of opinion pieces, and this is why they shouldn’t be used as primary sources or primary research points.

William Wallace said...

It's funny that you claim "If I were to walk up to my boss and tell him that I don't "believe" in the Theory of Relativity, and that I instead "believe" in luminiferous aether, I would be fired on the spot."

I think its funny because either it is a fabrication, or your boss is an idiot, or the assertion of such a belief would be a straw that broke the camel's back, and would not be the reason you were fired. (E.g., it would be like the Smithsonian's interest in Sternberg's overdue library books).

You don't need to believe the theory of relativity to write your software. You only need to be able to write software that meets specified requirements, such as "rotation is a function of detected interference according to this equation". If you also do testing, you need to be able to demonstrate that your software meets those requirements. You're not a systems engineer, you're a code monkey.

And, even if you're also a systems engineer, you still don't need to believe in the theory of relativity to write good requirements. You need to be able to identify, capture, and communicate all necessary and sufficient requirements. Belief doesn't even enter the picture. You could believe that you lived in the Matrix™ but took the bluepill, it wouldn't matter.

In your line of work, all that matters is if you can demonstrate that you have met requirements in the required time frame within budget. You could be a complete schizophrenic à la John Nash and you would not loose your job as long as you did your job. And your job is not to believe.

But thanks, I'll add a link to the Council statment.

http://blog.coincidencetheories.com/

William Wallace said...

It's funny that you claim "If I were to walk up to my boss and tell him that I don't "believe" in the Theory of Relativity, and that I instead "believe" in luminiferous aether, I would be fired on the spot."

I think its funny because either it is a fabrication, or your boss is an idiot, or the assertion of such a belief would be a straw that broke the camel's back, and would not be the reason you were fired. (E.g., it would be like the Smithsonian's interest in Sternberg's overdue library books).

You don't need to believe the theory of relativity to write your software. You only need to be able to write software that meets specified requirements, such as "rotation is a function of detected interference according to this equation". If you also do testing, you need to be able to demonstrate that your software meets those requirements. You're not a systems engineer, you're a code monkey.

And, even if you're also a systems engineer, you still don't need to believe in the theory of relativity to write good requirements. You need to be able to identify, capture, and communicate all necessary and sufficient requirements. Belief doesn't even enter the picture. You could believe that you lived in the Matrix™ but took the bluepill, it wouldn't matter.

In your line of work, all that matters is if you can demonstrate that you have met requirements in the required time frame within budget. You could be a complete Schizophrenic à la John Nash and you would not loose your job as long as you did that job. And your job is not to believe.

But thanks, I'll add a link to the Council statment.

William Wallace

Lledowyn said...

Well since you're obviously so well learned in physics and programming, pray tell do tell us how you can write such firmware without implementing relativity. While you're at it, tell me how a laser can be used to determine an aircraft's pitch, yaw, and roll. Also explain how this can be applied in the development of an inertial guidance system.

Guess what William, the Theory of Relativity *has* to be part of the requirements of the software. Why? Well since you're just such an expert in this field, I'll let you explain that to everyone. Of course if you can come up with a way to do it without the Theory of Relativity, please tell us, I'm sure my company would love to hire you and give you all kinds of money. It probably would be cheaper to implement these things without using lasers, and properly implementing physics, since it would cut down on development time.

This isn't your run of the mill kind of code work. This work requires a team of engineers to both design and then write the software. Not only that, but we also have to work closely with the team that designs the hardware so that we can develop a design that meets the specific requirements of the accuracy of the unit, which also requires understanding and acceptance of the Theory of Relativity. Why? Again, I'll provide you an opportunity to explain how it should apply, or if you know of a way that doesn't require it, please do illuminate us.

If you can't answer these basic questions, then your comment is a collection of words that are uttered by someone who has no understanding of what he is talking about. And as we all know, an argument made from ignorance doesn't quite work well around here.

Tyler DiPietro said...

Lledowyn,

I think that what Wallace is saying is that while you must assuredly understand, assume the truth of and be able to implement the concepts of relativity theory, you could on the periphery believe you were in the Matrix or something and none of it is real. In that case, remember: there is no Wallace.

Lledowyn said...

Upon reflection, I probably wasn't clear enough in my original comment. It's not enough to not "believe" in the Theory of Relativity, but you also would have to refuse to implement it as it applies to inertial guidance systems. If I were to state my "belief" in luminiferous aether, and say that I would implement that instead of relativity, I would get fired. However, you're right in that it probably wouldn't be on the spot (although technically he can because of the nature of labor laws in this state), in that he would give me an opportunity to change my mind as it were. If I were to then continue to refuse, I would definitely be fired.

I still doubt you have any understanding of my field though, or how I really *do* need to both understand and accept the Theory of Relativity (notice how I don't say believe, you get bonus points if you can understand why I don't "believe" things, and why that's not a bad thing), but I will concede that I didn't word my original comment well enough to convey what would be required in order to get fired.

Lledowyn said...

LOL Tyler! Shhhhh! You'll give up my secret... ;-) You *do* know that I'm really one of the developers and maintainers of the matrix and serve our robotic overlords in the constant updating of the matrix. ;-) I'm just sayin'.

ERV said...

*shrug* Lledowyn isnt lying-- sitemeter says his ISP is 'outside the matrix.'

This has been kinda a fun demonstration of how Creationists *hate* Wikipedia. Wikipedia sees all and cant be controlled by the DI, hence, DI hates it.

Lledowyn said...

MWAHAHAHAHA! I have been confirmed by ERV! As a reward, your next assay will work just the way you want it to work. ;-) I'll be sure to send you my address so that you can send me proper offerings of gratitude and adoration. :p

Seriously though, it really says I'm "outside the matrix?" *boggles*

William Wallace said...

It's not enough to not "believe" in the Theory of Relativity, but you also would have to refuse to implement it as it applies to inertial guidance systems.

Translation: William Wallace was right that belief in relativity is irrelevant both to a Ph.D. in physics and in the realm of RLG firmware development.

Shoot me an email Lledowyn if you want to continue a discussion on RLGs. wwallace67 [at] gmail [dot] com

Meanwhile, I do appreciate some of your suggestions, and that you can admit when you were wrong.

And erv, keep your sitemeter covered.

Lledowyn said...

I see it and I don't believe it... A creationist in NASA of all places. Wow... just wow... It's been fun William, but I might actually have to work with you at some point, so I'm just going to stop here.

Torbjörn Larsson said...


Translation: William Wallace was right that belief in relativity is irrelevant both to a Ph.D. in physics and in the realm of RLG firmware development.


Modulo the definition of "belief", it is amply demonstrated by the Ross case that a scientist is obligated to support the science process. Many or most employers will use the same practice for easily understood reasons.

In other words, you were wrong.

Tyler DiPietro said...

I notice that Wallace has abandoned his wailing on the Sternberg case.

Gary said...

So, would it be too snarky for me to suggest that if people at NASA had relied more on better engineering, and relied less on the power of prayer, they might have avoided a couple of boo-boos in the past, and a lot of astronauts might still be alive today?

Or were the shuttles getting too close to heaven, so Big Sky Monkey had to swat them?

J-Dog