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Lucifer Box
14th June 2005, 22:13
We haven't had one of these for a few weeks so, helmets on, we're going in...


US scientists launch evolution fight-back

By Lucy Sherriff
Published Monday 13th June 2005 15:41 GMT

Scientists in the US are going on the attack against anti-evolution campaigners. The National Academy of Sciences has set up a website that serves as a kind of portal for people wanting to access research and information on evolutionary theory, and evolution in education.

The NAS said that it has long supported the inclusion of evolution as a central element of any science education programme. But it warned that there was growing pressure to include "non-scientifically based 'alternatives' in science courses", adding that there are now 40 states or local school districts challenging the teaching of evolution.

Bizarre as this seems to us in the UK, in the states, the teaching of one of science's most robust and well-tested theories is a highly controversial matter.

Many religious fundamentalists believe that evolution should not be taught in schools as fact, as it is just a "theory". They want the biblical story of creation to be given equal footing in the class room. The NAS takes a totally opposing view, and has previously stated that creationism has no place on a science curriculum.

Of course, writing off evolution as a 'mere theory' demonstrates a very clear misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "theory" in science. In everyday language, theory is synonymous with conjecture. Not so in science, where is has a very specific meaning: a theory is an explanation of a set of events, based on proven, or at least well-tested hypotheses. It will also have been verified many times by unconnected research groups.

But the controversy extends far beyond the classroom. In March this year, IMax cinemas in some of the southern states reportedly refused to show several scientific films, after test audiences objected to the presentation of evolutionary theory as fact, describing it instead as "blasphemous".

A spokeswoman for a cinema in South Carolina told The New York Times that the nature of the audience was a big factor in choosing whether or not to screen a film. "We have definitely a lot more 'creation' public than 'evolution' public," she said at the time.

You can check out the NAS site here: The National Academies (http://nationalacademies.org/evolution/)

Discuss, abuse Chico and/or Franco, whatever...

OrangeHopper
14th June 2005, 22:37
In the "absence of solid facts" we can all theorise.

We all know slugs can't fly but my Mum always claimed she saw many a hedge hopper when the poisoned dwarf lived next door and I know Xog claims to have a flying variety in his garden.

Once attended a lecture/debate between John Maynard-Smith and some visiting American Creationist back in the early 80s. Guffaws galore. Wonder whether the reaction would be the same if the clash was held in the States today.

Lucifer Box
14th June 2005, 22:44
We all know slugs can't fly
Who knows what they get up to when we're not looking.

xoggoth
14th June 2005, 23:16
I never said slugs could fly. Even in my garden. Of course they can't. That would be really stupid. They have to construct little gliders and launch them from tops of rosebushes.

TommyFlockton
15th June 2005, 08:07
My mate who's a keen gardener makes them fly - into a brick wall after he's hurled them there. He also stalks the garden at night with a torch and secateurs decapitating them - dunno what this will do to the evolution of slugs in the UK.
Bill Oddie and that nice Kate Humble (who advocates looking at her Great Tits) on SpringWatch last night said that big black slugs were harmless as they eat decaying vegetation, and that it's the grey and brown slugs that munch all your plants. I never knew that.
Their control recommendation: let them drown themselves in beer! The short but merry life of the grey brown slug.

SupremeSpod
15th June 2005, 08:27
I advocate the "exploding guts out of the head" method of slug control, black ones are better as the yellow of the guts contrasts nicely with the black of the newly emptied skin.

Spod - In "horrible little boy" mode!

dundeegeorge
15th June 2005, 09:31
racism in previous posts
I would prefer it if you would use the words 'slugs of different ethnic origin',

sasguru
15th June 2005, 09:34
Lucifer , you're a sucker for punishment :lol

hattra
16th June 2005, 01:33
do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do!

Sorry - just warming up while we wait for Chickenbrain to put in an appearance

Lucifer Box
16th June 2005, 07:23
Lucifer , you're a sucker for punishment
Textbook example of a CUK thread. Well done, gentlemen.