Archive for August, 2005

Two-thirds of Americans Want Creation Taught in School

Church of Darwin, Religious, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 31 2005

Evolution, too: Respondents in a Pew poll favor giving equal time to the theories of life
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times

In a finding that is likely to intensify the debate over what to teach students about the origins of life, a poll released Tuesday found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.

The poll found that 42 percent of respondents hold strict creationist views, agreeing that ”living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

In contrast, 48 percent said they believed that humans had evolved over time; but of those, 18 percent said that evolution was ”guided by a supreme being,” and 26 percent said that evolution occurred through natural selection. In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism.

The poll was conducted July 7 to 17 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The questions about evolution were asked of 2,000 people, and the margin of error is 2.5 percentage points.

John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum, said he was surprised to see that teaching both evolution and creationism was favored not only by conservative Christians, but also by majorities of secular respondents, liberal Democrats and those who accept the theory of natural selection. Green called it a reflection of ”American pragmatism.”

”It’s like they’re saying, ‘Some people see it this way, some see it that way, so just teach it all and let the kids figure it out.’ It seems like a nice compromise, but it infuriates both the creationists and the scientists,” said Green, who is also a professor at the University of Akron in Ohio.

Eugenie C. Scott, the director of the National Center for Science Education and a prominent defender of evolution, said the findings were not surprising because ”Americans react very positively to the fairness or equal-time kind of argument.”

”In fact, it’s the strongest thing that creationists have got going for them because their science is dismal,” Scott said. ”But they do have American culture on their side.”

This year, the National Center for Science Education has tracked 70 new controversies over evolution in 26 states, some in school districts, others in the state legislatures.

President Bush joined the debate Aug. 2, telling reporters that both evolution and the theory of intelligent design should be taught in schools ”so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Republican leader, took the same position a few weeks later.
Intelligent design, a descendant of creationism, is the belief that life is so intricate that only a supreme being could have designed it.

The poll showed 41 percent of Americans want parents to have the primary say over how evolution is taught, compared with 28 percent who say teachers and scientists should decide and 21 percent who say school boards should.

More of those who believe in creationism said they were ”very certain” of their views (63 percent), compared to those who believe in evolution (32 percent). Only 29 percent of respondents said they viewed Democrats as being ”friendly toward religion,” down from 40 percent in August of 2004. Meanwhile, 55 percent said the Republican Party was friendly toward religion.

Survey respondents agreed in nearly equal numbers that nonreligious liberals have ”too much control” over the Democratic Party (44 percent agreed), and that religious conservatives have too much control over the Republican Party (45 percent agreed).

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 30 2005

John P. A. Ioannidis

Summary
There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

John P. A. Ioannidis is in the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece, and Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Department of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. E-mail: jioannid@cc.uoi.gr

Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

Published: August 30, 2005

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Science Ponders Gap in Evolution

Church of Darwin, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 26 2005

Crucial steps leading to life unknown

By Robert S. Boyd Washington Bureau
1/83/8
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.

Scientists who are trying to figure out the origin of life on Earth are getting nearer to their goal, but they concede that they might never solve this profound mystery.

A crucial gap remains between the time when nothing was alive and the arrival of the first living creature….

At some point in between, lifeless molecules – combinations of atoms – learned to eat, breathe and reproduce.

No one is certain when and how they did it, however. “There are a lot of theories, but no solid explanation,” said Tom McCollom, a geochemist at the University of Colorado in Boulder. “We may never have one.”

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Cute Little Bloodsucking Chupacabra?

Crypto, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 26 2005

Okay, once again its going to come back after investigation that this blue, hairless, ratfaced dog with hind legs significantly longer than the front legs is just a mangy fox but do any canines have back legs significantly longer than the front ones?…..

“A Texas farmer may have found what some would call a “chupacabra,” a legendary animal known for sucking the blood out of goats.

Reggie Lagow set a trap last week after a number of his chickens and turkeys were killed.

What he found in his trap was a mix between a hairless dog, a rat and a kangaroo The mystery animal has been sent to Texas Parks and Wildlife in hopes of determining what it is. ”

Source: Click2Houston

Pterosaur, Mothman or Fermented Potato?: Superman Spotted in Serbia

Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 24 2005

Ananova:

Serbian authorities are investigating reports of a real-life Superman after people claimed to have seen a cloaked figure flying over their houses.

Hundreds of residents in Ljubovija described seeing a cloaked person flying above buildings “as if he had an invisible engine on his back” and changing directions while in mid-air, local daily Blic reported.

One local said: “It was like something out of Superman or Batman. No one has any rational explanation for what we all saw.”

Police in the town have refused to comment.

“Ancient” Tiled Floor Declared Nature-Not Nurture. You sure?

Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 16 2005

It began in 1937, when rancher Tom Kenney decided to build an outhouse and started digging into the soft earth of Battlement Mesa. Kenney changed goals when he struck an impermeable layer of rock, which, on closer inspection, looked like a tiled floor buried under 10 feet of boulders and clay. Instead of an outhouse, Kenney decided he would have a tiled root cellar.

His curiosity aroused, though, Kenney summoned some Grand Valley experts to look at his tiled floor. A delegation examined the floor and decided, according to The Daily Sentinel of May 3, 1937, that there was “not the slightest doubt but that the work is of some prehistoric civilization.”

So compelling was the floor that Denver archaeologists went to visit. They concluded the tiles were laid somewhere between 25,000 and 80,000 years earlier.

To learn more, the Denver archaeologists approached the Archaeological Society of London, which sent an Egyptologist, who pronounced the floor a geological phenomenon.

And there, for the next seven decades, the matter stood, with adherents on both sides, until the Western Investigations Team took on the mystery.

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Scientists’ Belief in God Varies Starkly by Discipline

Religious, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 16 2005


By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Staff Writer

About two-thirds of scientists believe in God, according to a new survey that uncovered stark differences based on the type of research they do.

The study, along with another one released in June, would appear to debunk the oft-held notion that science is incompatible with religion.

Those in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than researchers in the natural sciences, the study found.

The opposite had been expected.

Nearly 38 percent of natural scientists — people in disciplines like physics, chemistry and biology — said they do not believe in God. Only 31 percent of the social scientists do not believe. (Is this really a “stark” difference?..s8int.com)

In the new study, Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund surveyed 1,646 faculty members at elite research universities, asking 36 questions about belief and spiritual practices.

“Based on previous research, we thought that social scientists would be less likely to practice religion than natural scientists are, but our data showed just the opposite,” Ecklund said.

Some stand-out stats: 41 percent of the biologists don’t believe, while that figure is just 27 percent among political scientists.

In separate work at the University of Chicago, released in June, 76 percent of doctors said they believed in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife.

“Now we must examine the nature of these differences,” Ecklund said today. “Many scientists see themselves as having a spirituality not attached to a particular religious tradition. Some scientists who don’t believe in God see themselves as very spiritual people. They have a way outside of themselves that they use to understand the meaning of life.”

Ecklund and colleagues are now conducting longer interviews with some of the participants to try and figure it all out.

The Problem of Bones in “300,000,000 Year Old” Slate

Science, The Flood of Noah, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 15 2005


Presented is a random sampling of photos of petrified bones
discovered by Ed Conrad in Pennsylvania’s anthracite region.
All are embedded in slate (or shale), which means they had existed
before the hardening of the slushy material in which they are embedded.

Perhaps the most golden rule of geology is that coal is of Carboniferous age, having solidified
a minimum of 280 million years ago. Established science also has long contended that
anthracite is the oldest of the coals, a minimum of 300 million years old.

Whatever animal bones are shown here petrified in anthracite, rest assured that it lived and breathed before this slab of rock was formed.

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Dragons in the Tibet Sky?

Crypto, Science, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 10 2005

The Epoch Times Aug 07, 2005

A photo of two peculiar dragon-shaped objects taken from a plane flying over Tibet’s Himalayas piqued many users’ interest when displayed on a Chinese website. The photographer is an amateur.

On June 22, 2004, the photographer went to Tibet’s Amdo region to attend the Qinghai-to-Xizang Railroad laying ceremony, and then took a plane from Lhasa to fly back inland.

When flying over the Himalaya’s, he accidentally caught these two “dragons” in a picture that he took. He called these two objects “the Tibet dragons.”

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Biblical Pool Uncovered in Jerusalem

Religious, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 09 2005

By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the Old City of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John.

“Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit” to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. “Now we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.”

A gospel that was thought to be “pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history,” he said.

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