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Next up for Republicans... teaching non-evolution?

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This topic contains 96 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  myliftkk 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #434228
    DavidF
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    groundrules wrote >>
    imma teach you guys to edit quotes.

    Sorry. I’m not good at this.

    #434229
    gramarye
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    groundrules wrote >>
    I’m going to teach you guys to edit quotes.

    FTFY by editing your quote. :-P

    #434230
    DavidF
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    gramarye wrote >>

    groundrules wrote >>
    I’m going to teach you guys to edit quotes.

    FTFY by editing your quote. :-P

    Gotta start somewhere!

    #434231
    hugh59
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    Waht dos this word “edit” mean?

    #434232
    rus
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    Bear wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    I have no idea how the money is purportedly saved. I don’t really think it matters. There are more fundamental problems with private prison operators. It’s problematic having someone have an economic incentive to have more and more people locked away for longer and longer. (Hypothetical for food for thought: Picture the difference between that and a company that was rewarded if actual crime rates went down, rather than for incarceration rates going up.)

    +1

    So, you’re also against public employee unions of prison guards lobbying in favor of harsher sentencing?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111843426

    Voters increased parole sanctions and gave prison time to nonviolent drug offenders. They eliminated indeterminate sentencing, removing any leeway to let inmates out early for good behavior. Then came the “Three Strikes You’re Out” law in 1994. Offenders who had committed even a minor third felony — like shoplifting — got life sentences.

    Voters at the time were inundated with television ads, pamphlets and press conferences from Gov. Pete Wilson. “Three strikes is the most important victory yet in the fight to take back our streets,” Wilson told crowds.

    But behind these efforts to get voters to approve these laws was one major player: the correctional officers union.

    #434233
    DavidF
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    rus wrote >>

    Bear wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    I have no idea how the money is purportedly saved. I don’t really think it matters. There are more fundamental problems with private prison operators. It’s problematic having someone have an economic incentive to have more and more people locked away for longer and longer. (Hypothetical for food for thought: Picture the difference between that and a company that was rewarded if actual crime rates went down, rather than for incarceration rates going up.)

    +1

    So, you’re also against public employee unions of prison guards lobbying in favor of harsher sentencing?
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111843426

    Voters increased parole sanctions and gave prison time to nonviolent drug offenders. They eliminated indeterminate sentencing, removing any leeway to let inmates out early for good behavior. Then came the “Three Strikes You’re Out” law in 1994. Offenders who had committed even a minor third felony — like shoplifting — got life sentences.
    Voters at the time were inundated with television ads, pamphlets and press conferences from Gov. Pete Wilson. “Three strikes is the most important victory yet in the fight to take back our streets,” Wilson told crowds.
    But behind these efforts to get voters to approve these laws was one major player: the correctional officers union.

    I don’t agree with it, but it’s not substantively any different than any other group arguing in their interest.

    #434234
    rus
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    DavidF wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>

    groundrules wrote >>
    I’m going to teach you guys to edit quotes.

    FTFY by editing your quote. :-P

    You are svelte and delightful!

    You mean like that? :-P

    #434235
    rus
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    DavidF wrote >>

    I don’t agree with it, but it’s not substantively any different than any other group arguing in their interest.

    Sure. But that’s saying the danger of lobbying is roughly equivalent between public employee unions and private companies… a wash, basically. I’d expect both groups to fight sentencing reform, drug legalization, etc. for instance.

    Similarly, when it comes to responsiveness of the prison system to citizen concerns, I’m not seeing much difference between citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at an agency or citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at a contractor.

    #434236
    DavidF
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    rus wrote >>

    DavidF wrote >>
    I don’t agree with it, but it’s not substantively any different than any other group arguing in their interest.

    Sure. But that’s saying the danger of lobbying is roughly equivalent between public employee unions and private companies… a wash, basically. I’d expect both groups to fight sentencing reform, drug legalization, etc. for instance.
    Similarly, when it comes to responsiveness of the prison system to citizen concerns, I’m not seeing much difference between citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at an agency or citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at a contractor.

    Profit motive. Shouldn’t be a part of prisons policy any more than it should be a part of police or miitary policy.

    Nice quote edit btw.

    #434237
    rus
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    DavidF wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    DavidF wrote >>
    I don’t agree with it, but it’s not substantively any different than any other group arguing in their interest.

    Sure. But that’s saying the danger of lobbying is roughly equivalent between public employee unions and private companies… a wash, basically. I’d expect both groups to fight sentencing reform, drug legalization, etc. for instance.
    Similarly, when it comes to responsiveness of the prison system to citizen concerns, I’m not seeing much difference between citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at an agency or citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at a contractor.

    Profit motive. Shouldn’t be a part of prisons policy any more than it should be a part of police or miitary policy.
    Nice quote edit btw.

    I’m saying that same profit motive exists in a public system just as much as a private one. Who profits differs of course, but the same corrosive effect on sentencing exists.

    And thanks… was going for something stylish ;-)

    #434238
    DavidF
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    rus wrote >>

    DavidF wrote >>

    rus wrote >>

    DavidF wrote >>
    I don’t agree with it, but it’s not substantively any different than any other group arguing in their interest.

    Sure. But that’s saying the danger of lobbying is roughly equivalent between public employee unions and private companies… a wash, basically. I’d expect both groups to fight sentencing reform, drug legalization, etc. for instance.
    Similarly, when it comes to responsiveness of the prison system to citizen concerns, I’m not seeing much difference between citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at an agency or citizens contacting their elected representative who yells at a contractor.

    Profit motive. Shouldn’t be a part of prisons policy any more than it should be a part of police or miitary policy.
    Nice quote edit btw.

    I’m saying that same profit motive exists in a public system just as much as a private one. Who profits differs of course, but the same corrosive effect on sentencing exists.
    And thanks… was going for something stylish ;-)

    I’m obviously going to disagree. To me it’s just more race to the bottom. Undermine anyone and everyone who makes a decent living outside of the chosen few. Reduce our government to third world levels. Unlimited profit for the the few, unlimited misery for the many.

    #434239
    gramarye
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    Bear wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    As for the teaching of evolution in schools: I’m all for teaching about legitimate scientific holes in the modern understanding of the theory of evolution. However, that isn’t what the creationists in the legislature (and in the regulatory apparatus in other places where the bureaucracy influences the curriculum) want to see, or at least, it isn’t where they want to stop. They want to proceed from there based on a fallacy: that the absence of evidence for A necessarily implies the truth of B. The problem is that one can no more jump from the fact that there are many unknowns in our current understanding of evolutionary biology (absolutely true) to a creationist explanation for life on Earth than you can jump from that fact to the notion that aliens seeded Earth with life as an ecology experiment thousands or millions of years ago.
    One could also say the same thing about the creation of the universe. The Big Bang Theory, like the theory of evolution, likewise has holes, rests on some assumptions that could be open to question or challenge, and so on. We see the visible universe expanding. We really don’t know what started it expanding. We’re reasoning backward from what we see to our best guess as to what happened 13+ billion years ago. Likewise, we don’t know how all that matter got to wherever that starting point was, or what triggered the Big Bang, assuming that that is in fact what happened. None of those unknowns imply the existence of any supernatural entity, however. They merely suggest that we just don’t know all there is to know about physics.
    Likewise, the holes in the theory of evolution, by themselves, do not imply the existence of any supernatural entity. Those holes simply remind us that we still don’t know all there is to know about biology.

    Mmm… I’m not sure I’d stand on that ground, myself. It might be fallacious reasoning in absolute terms, but if you’ve got a limited number of candidate explanations and one of them has to be true, then poking a hole in one necessarily improves the argument for the other. It’s not unlike a murder investigation in which two (and only two) suspects could have committed the crime: evidence that one didn’t do it speaks to the guilt of the other, and vice versa. As Sherlock Holmes put it, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
    The only reason many people don’t apply that logic to evolution and creationism, intuitively, is because of a firm conviction that the prior probability that creationism is right is exactly zero. If that’s the case, no amount of updating will produce a posterior probability that’s any different than zero. But I’d be reluctant to concede a course that only pokes holes in evolutionary theory to people who don’t believe that the prior probability of creationism is zero.

    No, that’s quite true, and if it is assumed as true that there are only two candidate explanations, then yes, poking holes in one is an argument for the other. If you reach a T-junction in a road and you know that your destination is either to the right or the left, and you spot evidence that it isn’t to the left, then you’ve improved the argument for going right.

    However, in most cases, there are multiple possible explanations or options. The fact that someone is not in Cleveland is not evidence that that person is in Cincinnati. It is also not evidence for the nonexistence of Cleveland. I do appreciate that such nuance may be lost on those predisposed to believe in creationism because of their upbringing at home, of course–but I don’t think that we can hold ourselves, schools, or teachers responsible for failing to crack that indoctrination.

    Also, some holes are larger than others. The holes in the theory of evolution mostly suggest that we’re missing subsidiary variables or principles or evidence; they aren’t the kind that call the entire concept into question. Gaps in the fossil record (missing common ancestors, missing layers of expected sedimentary deposits, etc.) remain unexplained (or at least did the last time I bothered to check), for example, but that doesn’t make them inexplicable or somehow materially bolster creationism. It certainly doesn’t completely cancel out the evidence of common ancestors that we have found, for example. (At this point, the kind of evidence that you would need to negate the evidence for evolution at the highest level of abstraction would be evidence that a prodigious amount of the biological studies of the past century were fabricated, a la the recently-discredited vaccine study.)

    Finally (a minor point), I don’t understand your last sentence, though I think I get the gist of it. I’m not sure I’m getting the “concede a course … to people” construction, though.

    #434240
    rus
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    DavidF wrote >>

    I’m obviously going to disagree. To me it’s just more race to the bottom. Undermine anyone and everyone who makes a decent living outside of the chosen few. Reduce our government to third world levels. Unlimited profit for the the few, unlimited misery for the many.

    Of course you are going to disagree. Never expected otherwise.

    The cost savings is the main difference between public and private prisons and that cost savings comes, in part, from salaries. You’ve previously said getting our fiscal house in order is important, but apparently not at the expense of salaries.

    Still, to get that fiscal house in order something has to give. Taxes can only be ratcheted up so much ( see Hugh for a much more detailed answer ) and given things cuts are inevitable.

    #434241
    Bear
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    gramarye wrote >>
    Also, some holes are larger than others. The holes in the theory of evolution mostly suggest that we’re missing subsidiary variables or principles or evidence; they aren’t the kind that call the entire concept into question. Gaps in the fossil record (missing common ancestors, missing layers of expected sedimentary deposits, etc.) remain unexplained (or at least did the last time I bothered to check), for example, but that doesn’t make them inexplicable or somehow materially bolster creationism. It certainly doesn’t completely cancel out the evidence of common ancestors that we have found, for example. (At this point, the kind of evidence that you would need to negate the evidence for evolution at the highest level of abstraction would be evidence that a prodigious amount of the biological studies of the past century were fabricated, a la the recently-discredited vaccine study.)

    All true. But the kind of evidence that you would need to negate the evidence for evolution, in the hands of an objective instructor, is very different than the kind of evidence that you would need to sustain faith in creationism, in the hands of a biased one—even one who believes him- or herself to be unbiased. And the illusion of scientific proof is something I’d rather not have on the table, which is why I’d rather stick to the line that proof denies faith. Period.

    gramarye wrote >>
    Finally (a minor point), I don’t understand your last sentence, though I think I get the gist of it. I’m not sure I’m getting the “concede a course … to people” construction, though.

    Sorry, went back and edited in mid-construction and it came out half-baked. I’d be reluctant to advocate such a course, because my expectation would be that, in the end, given the size of the potential logical loopholes (such as the one that you and I just mentioned—two vs. two-plus alternatives being a subtle nuance for high schoolers), it would end up strengthen preexisting beliefs one way or the other, rather than actually teaching them anything useful about the scientific method.

    That said, I’m actually perversely drawn to advocating a science course that examines evolution, creationism and Lysenkoism, just because everyone can agree that the latter is complete bullshit — but creationists who rely on poking holes in evolutionary theory might find themselves in the position of not being able to use that evidence to adjudicate between creationism and Lysenkoism. And I’d much rather set creationists to squabbling with Stalinists.

    #434242

    Rockmastermike
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    Bear wrote >> I’d much rather set creationists to squabbling with Stalinists.

    now that would be fun

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