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Balta1701

Administration forces NASA to say Big Bang Theory

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Sometimes, I just thank God that our President is so adamantly supportive of scientific exploration and using technology to go to the future. I can't imagine how this country's research departments are falling gradually behind the rest of the world with his support. Must be those unions. Link.

 

A week after NASA's top climate scientist complained that the space agency's public-affairs office was trying to silence his statements on global warming, the agency's administrator, Michael D. Griffin, issued a sharply worded statement yesterday calling for "scientific openness" throughout the agency.

 

"It is not the job of public-affairs officers," Dr. Griffin wrote in an e-mail message to the agency's 19,000 employees, "to alter, filter or adjust engineering or scientific material produced by NASA's technical staff."

 

The statement came six days after The New York Times quoted the scientist, James E. Hansen, as saying he was threatened with "dire consequences" if he continued to call for prompt action to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases linked to global warming. He and intermediaries in the agency's 350-member public-affairs staff said the warnings came from White House appointees in NASA headquarters.

...

 

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

 

In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

 

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

...

 

Mr. Wild declined to be interviewed; Mr. Deutsch did not respond to e-mail or phone messages. On Friday evening, repeated queries were made to the White House about how a young presidential appointee with no science background came to be supervising Web presentations on cosmology and interview requests to senior NASA scientists.

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I have no problem with anybody that believes in intelligent design, however it is simply a fact that intelligent design is a matter of faith, and not science.

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is is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA.

 

So some 24 year old snot-nosed political appointee with no science background thinks that NASA is supposed to be including religious viewpoints in the information they produce?!!

 

One of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Won't even be a blip in the MSM.

 

I actually don't take issue with the first request of te memo - that "theory" be used in all descriptions of the Big Bang. But a memo to NASA scientists warning them not to discount ID, when NSF, AAAS, and the f***ing Supreme Court has dimissed it is beyond absurd. The follow-on request that NASA's information include aspects of the "religious issue" so as to include "both halfs of the debate" is politicical hackism run completely amock.

 

Somebody here defend this bulls***, because I'm dying to hear the defense.

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QUOTE(FlaSoxxJim @ Feb 5, 2006 -> 07:59 PM)
So some 24 year old snot-nosed political appointee with no science background thinks that NASA is supposed to be including religious viewpoints in the information they produce?!!

 

One of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.  Won't even be a blip in the MSM.

 

I actually don't take issue with the first request of te memo - that "theory" be used in all descriptions of the Big Bang.  But a memo to NASA scientists warning them not to discount ID, when NSF, AAAS, and the f***ing Supreme Court has dimissed it is beyond absurd.  The follow-on request that NASA's information include aspects of the "religious issue" so as to include "both halfs of the debate" is politicical hackism run completely amock.

 

Somebody here defend this bulls***, because I'm dying to hear the defense.

 

Why should somebody try and convince you that something religious should be considered in way, shape or form. You totally discount the possibility that there is anything substantial to it. As far as I'm concerned, it's a waste of time to discuss anything along these lines with you.

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It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

 

But NASA is an institution of science, so why should they bother with the religious implications? If people don't want to believe what NASA says that's fine but NASA shouldn't be forced to alter anything to cater to them.

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QUOTE(G&T @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 08:53 AM)
But NASA is an institution of science, so why should they bother with the religious implications? If people don't want to believe what NASA says that's fine but NASA shouldn't be forced to alter anything to cater to them.

Bingo! You beat me to it.

 

I have very few problems with anyone expressing their religious beliefs. I must admit I get a little queasy when elected officials publically profess their piety, but I don't often question people's motives. But for a government official who has no grounding in science pronuncing that, "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."?

 

That I have a major problem with, and I, like Flaxx, would like to see someone defend it.

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QUOTE(YASNY @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 09:21 AM)
Why should somebody try and convince you that something religious should be considered in way, shape or form.  You totally discount the possibility that there is anything substantial to it.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a waste of time to discuss anything along these lines with you.

 

Does that mean you think a mandate that the NASA agenda include religious viewpoints is valid? Rather than make my beliefs about the metaphysical world the issue, why not either voice your support or lack of support for the above-stated policy.

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NASA is a scientific agency.

 

Meteorology and cosmology are sciences.

 

ID and devine presence are not science - they are religion.

 

Therefore, ID does not belong on NASA's radar.

 

Its pretty damn simple.

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QUOTE(NorthSideSox72 @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 10:17 AM)
NASA is a scientific agency.

 

Meteorology and cosmology are sciences.

 

ID and devine presence are not science - they are religion.

 

Therefore, ID does not belong on NASA's radar.

 

Its pretty damn simple.

One would think so.

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The big bang theory is more than an opinion. It is the prevailing theory amongst those sciences rooted in mathematics as to how the universe began. It is strongly supported by evidence of calculations derived from observations of both planetary & inter-steller telescopes & other scientific tools.

 

While I agree we have too much creationist thinking in the current ID society that does not change the fact that the base question of ID asks a simple question: Which is more probable? A random generator function at the heart of ENS or an intelligent optimizer complete with garbage collection?

 

Prior to DNA testing & genetic science in general the bulk of the geological evidence supported the random generator function. Now it's not completely random because it does have survival instincts serving as part of it's domain, but it's still a random function to produce it's range of mutation. Well at least that's the theory. But recent geological evidence when put under the scrutiny of DNA testing & genetic science in general is weakening that idea.

 

Whether or not this level of understanding can be taught to high school students is open for debate. It's usually not until senior year of computer science degrees that you focus on modeling & simulation which is of the utmost importance when trying to understand a system or process. It's heavily rooted in math including calculus. There's no way you can expect high school students to understand that & then apply that knowledge to biological systems & processes in nature.

 

The nice thing about the current neo-Darwinian context of ENS is that it is simple to understand. The same will never be said of ID because the course of study involved in turning biological systems into Petri-nets & other state based modeling systems is anything but simple. It's like designing a system that will generate a compiler based on samples of code.

 

So what's a reasonable compromise? Well you can't teach quantum physics without entertaining a discussion of metaphysics when it pertains to explaining observed events. So that seems like a reasonable compromise. Teach an Intro to QP alongside with Biology. Leave out the hard core math, stick to the most general topics, & help the students become more familiar with the general aspects of modeling & simulation of processes & systems.

Edited by JUGGERNAUT

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QUOTE(FlaSoxxJim @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 09:08 AM)
Does that mean you think a mandate that the NASA agenda include religious viewpoints is valid?  Rather than make my beliefs about the metaphysical world the issue, why not either voice your support or lack of support for the above-stated policy.

 

No, I don't think a mandate of NASA is needed. Still, the point remains that it wouldn't matter if it was NASA or whatever, you wouldn't consider a religious POV for one iota. So, why do you ask for a challenge on the matter? It doesn't make sense. If you are totally closed minded to any reigious phlosophy whatsoever, what's the point of debating it?

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QUOTE(JUGGERNAUT @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 11:40 AM)
While I agree we have too much creationist thinking in the current ID society that does not change the fact that the base question of ID asks a simple question:  Which is more probable? A random generator function at the heart of ENS or an intelligent optimizer complete with garbage collection? 

 

Prior to DNA testing & genetic science in general the bulk of the geological evidence supported the random generator function.  Now it's not completely random because it does have survival instincts serving as part of it's domain, but it's still a random function to produce it's range of mutation.  Well at least that's the theory.  But recent geological evidence when put under the scrutiny of DNA testing & genetic science in general is weakening that idea.

Juggs...please, I'm going to chime in on the recent discussion here...WHAT EVIDENCE?

 

The last time we had one of these discussions, I got you to admit your source on how humanity was a "special species" or whatever it was your term was...you pointed to a guy at U of Chicago who's work actually was in direct contradiction with your claim. You claimed his work showed that in human evolution, somehow mutation rates were much faster than in most species and thus humanity showed design through that difference, and this was in fact the opposite of what his papers said. His papers said that random mutation proceded at basically the same rate in human evolution as in most other equally complex species, but that there was a very strong selective pressure towards higher cognitive functions - meaning new genes were not appearing at any sort of accelerated rate, but when they did appear, if beneficial in certain ways, they were adopted very rapidly due to a vastly increased chance of survival. Basically, exactly what Evolution by Natural Selection would predict if there was a strong pressure towards a trait. This was in stark contrast with what you were claiming the writer's worko actually said.

 

Now, you refer to "recent geological evidence when put under the scrutiny of DNA testing & genetic science". I actually am a geologist. I know a fair bit about geobiology. I've been to talks, read papers, and know some pretty damn good geobiologists. Several are on this floor with me. None of them to my knowledge know of any of this evidence that somewhere out there evidence has been provided which suggests against the random generation of mutation as the cause of variation. None of my readings, knowledge, or lectures have proven that either.

 

So, it's time for you to tell us what your sources for this claim are. Specific papers which back up your conclusions. It is totally impossible to evaluate any of your claims without citations, so please provide some.

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QUOTE(YASNY @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 02:47 PM)
No, I don't think a mandate of NASA is needed.  Still, the point remains that it wouldn't matter if it was NASA or whatever, you wouldn't consider a religious POV for one iota.  So, why do you ask for a challenge on the matter?  It doesn't make sense.  If you are totally closed minded to any reigious phlosophy whatsoever, what's the point of debating it?

 

I don't consider myself closed-minded toward religious philosophy, and if I've come off that way it is inadvertent. The fact that I'm an atheist doesn't preclude a willingness to consider the relative merits of spiritual-based philosophy, which is altogether different than sharing a belief in the faith assertions of the religions in question.

 

Where I have come out opposed to the expression of sectarian religious viewpoints, symbols, etc., it has been in science classrooms, in government buildings, in government-funded education, etc. Similarly, here I'm defending NASA's right to pursue its mission without being coerced to work someone's religious agenda into it.

 

I appreciate that a diversity of metaphysical viewpoints exist, and it would be unnatural if that were not the case. So long as those viewpoints do not translate into an abridgement of the rights of others then there is little with which I might take issue.

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To answer your question here's a good site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/

Given your supposed credentials you should be able to find a source or a link to a source that will either confirm or reject any position. If you are open-minded then you should be capable of finding information serving as pro's on both sides of the issue.

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The extent to which you are close-minded to metaphysics & any aspects of spirtual existence is obvious. All any one has to do is add up the number of posts where you have actually argued in favor or presented a pro position for any topic in this realm.

 

My guess is they add up to either zero or very close to it.

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We simply cannot have NASA poking its nose into science any longer.

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QUOTE(YASNY @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 02:47 PM)
No, I don't think a mandate of NASA is needed.  Still, the point remains that it wouldn't matter if it was NASA or whatever, you wouldn't consider a religious POV for one iota.  So, why do you ask for a challenge on the matter?  It doesn't make sense.  If you are totally closed minded to any reigious phlosophy whatsoever, what's the point of debating it?

 

So you're saying Flaxx is wrong for thinking that NASA shouldn't have to consider religious implications in its discussion of science because Flaxx wouldn't consider religious implications elsewhere?

 

I'm honestly confused.

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QUOTE(JUGGERNAUT @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 01:31 PM)
To answer your question here's a good site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/

Given your supposed credentials you should be able to find a source or a link to a source that will either confirm or reject any position.  If you are open-minded then you should be capable of finding information serving as pro's on both sides of the issue.

Not when there's no information on 1 side to find. I could still probably find 1-2 actual Ph.D's in geology who don't believe in plate tectonics. That doesn't mean they're right, and it doesn't mean they're publishing.

 

Sending me to a science news aggregator is one hell of a pass on my challenge to provide your sources. Do you expect me to look through every research article published today? This week? The last 3 months? The last 5 years?

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I beleive the person to which you are referring to is Bruce Lahn.

 

His claims to fame our:

- Humas are a 'privileged" evolutionary lineage

- Human brain evolution was a "special" event

 

Again it's a question of the context in which you frame ENS. If your frame it in a "random" context than words such as "privileged" & "special" weaken that context.

 

As for the work itself he essentially demonstrated characteristics of "strong" selection on magnitudes millions of times greater than other mammals. If it comforts you into believing that was a random hapistance resulting from man's history of survival then so be it.

 

For a mathematican it's not comforting. Because the probability of such events happening in conjunction with a random generating function are astronomical.

 

In discussions about the context of ENS that's why true ID science is 1 part math, 1 part physics (including QP), & 1 part genetics with a bunch of metaphysics used to bind the 3 parts.

 

It is apparent to me that context is everything in this debate. FSJ actually believes that we are simply at the top of the evolutionary chain now & that say a million years from now something else most likely will take our place.

 

I don't believe that for a second. Why? Because computer science has changed everything. If we do not kill ourselves or fall victim to a LEE we will create viable & intelligent synthetic life. There is no question of this path. And if we can create such life to mirror a human being than we can do so for all lesser lifeforms.

 

We are living in the computer age. Next comes the cyborg age. Then after that comes the synthetic life age. Selection isn't at work there. We are.

Edited by JUGGERNAUT

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QUOTE(JUGGERNAUT @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 02:18 PM)
We are living in the computer age.  Next comes the cyborg age.  Then after that comes the synthetic life age.  Selection isn't at work there.  We are.

:lolhitting

 

Please share your time machine with me when it's available for a moment. I'd love to check on a few stocks next week.

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QUOTE(JUGGERNAUT @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 05:18 PM)
It is apparent to me that context is everything in this debate.  FSJ actually believes that we are simply at the top of the evolutionary chain now & that say a million years from now something else most likely will take our place.

 

I don't believe that for a second.  Why?  Because computer science has changed everything.  If we do not kill ourselves or fall victim to a LEE we will create viable & intelligent synthetic life.  There is no question of this path.  And if we can create such life to mirror a human being than we can do so for all lesser lifeforms. 

 

We are living in the computer age.  Next comes the cyborg age.  Then after that comes the synthetic life age.  Selection isn't at work there.  We are.

 

 

film-twilight-zone_thumb.jpg

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It's good to know you are a skeptic as to believing we will enter the cyborg age before the 22nd century & the synthetic life age before the 23rd century. You are clearly in for a rude awakening as we are beginning to take our first steps into the cyborg age in the 21st century.

 

Just 20 yrs from now the well-to-do will have augmented minds. You can bet on it.

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QUOTE(JUGGERNAUT @ Feb 6, 2006 -> 05:33 PM)
It's good to know you are a skeptic as to believing we will enter the cyborg age before the 22nd century & the synthetic life age before the 23rd century.  You are clearly in for a rude awakening as we are beginning to take our first steps into the cyborg age in the 21st century.

 

Just 20 yrs from now the well-to-do will have augmented minds.  You can bet on it.

 

 

The current administration in this country can't even see clear to approve stem-cell research, and you think people will have brain modifcations in two decades, eh?

 

Maybe it will happen in Japan. Go there at once and report back your findings.

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