1434 Cracker Uncle.

Texas… What is there to say about Texas? I think, on balance, the average Texas is a good person. Much like the average Kansan. There is, however, a minority of motivated individuals Hell bent on making Texans look like assholes by way of their actions. If you want to find a culprit for the gradual retardation of our public schools you don’t need to look much further than Texas. Their board of education has been single mindedly trying to hamper American excellence for many years. Successfully, I would add. Even the digital age has failed to loosen their grip on the purse strings of textbook manufacturers. We will be “teaching the controversy” for a long while still, I shouldn’t wonder. I wonder what it is in the makeup of an asshole that gives them the drive to impose their beliefs on others. My guess would be fear. Fear that what they believe could possibly be wrong. The notion that they’ve been living by arbitrary rules cannot be reconciled in their minds, so they develop an intense need to be proven right through imposing their beliefs on others. A certain level of fluidity in the mind makes change much easier to accept. In science once you are proven wrong, ideally, you accept the new paradigm and move on. Of course scientists are humans too, so sometimes that’s not how things go. The cold reality of data stands regardless of what we decide to believe in. It’s better to govern based on what can be proven rather than what might possibly happen in some post life alternate reality we can’t verify. Which is likely why the constitution was constructed in the manner it was. In order to live freely, as people of different faiths, we can’t ever be allowed to impose our beliefs on the population at large. Your job shouldn’t require you to do something you don’t agree with, but rather than throw a tantrum it might serve the public better if you simply excuse yourself from the proceedings and find someone who can fulfill the abhorrent task in your stead.

If you want to have a Christmas tree on the lawn of the capital building you have to smile and take your medicine when a group of Islamists want to have a display of whatever holiday finery it is they have. Everybody gets to celebrate, or nobody does.

Anyway, lets put that aside for now. I’m going to try and go back to some games I didn’t complete since I’m in one of those times where the new hardware is too expensive for me to have. So I’m going to try and finish all my WiiU games basically. I’ve pretty much completed the xbox library and haven’t really delved into the ps3 catalog, so best to try and avoid piling more on as long as I can. Of course I’m still actively playing Splatoon, so I’ll have to play Mario when I’m sick of cursing at the television…

77 Comments

I’m sure you mean those asshole evangelistic evolutionists who cram their beliefs down the throats of creationists, right?

Or is that being intolerant?

(Actually, both sides claim to have solid science behind them. So you’re still left with articles of faith.)

Thing is Evolution has evidence to support it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a theory.

Right. Evil-ution is a thee-ry. Creation is a Fact. Says so right here in this here Bible I’m thumpin’ (even if I never at-chully read it).

I think you are confusing a Theory with a Hypothesis. The latter is really just a guess, and may be an educated one. The former is based on actual data. Think of it in Pokemon terms. A Hypothesis is a Charmander, a Theory is a Charmeleon, and a Fact is a Charizard. And when the Fact is accepted by the reigning priesthood of the scientific community, it becomes a Mega Evolution of Charizard. Creationism, by comparison, is a metapod. Please keep it in your Pokeball.

Chill, dude. I’m playing the fool, here; a rube isn’t going to know the difference and “high-paw-thee-sis” is not going to be in his vocabulary.

Thing is, as I understand it current evolutionary theory violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a couple laws of genetics and several points of probability theory. Further, evolutionary theory has also been faced with several challenges, over the last couple decades, due to our advancing understanding of cellular biology. In my experience, these challenges have generally been rejected or poo-pooed primarily for philosophical (not scientific) reasons.

On the other hand, the challenges to creationism or intelligent design are often rejected for the same reasons. It looks to me that what we have here isn’t “science” vs. “religion”, but a conflict of religious beliefs. It seems somewhat similar, in that vein, to the competition between Islam vs. Judeo-Christianity.

I don’t even know where to start on this mess of misinformation, so I’m not going to. I will say, however, that whoever explained evolutionary theory to you did a very poor job…

Umm, I don’t know where you learned your science, but you got well and truly lied to. Go learn some actual science and learn just how wrong that statement of yours is.

Eh, I was banned here in Crazy Florida from the school computer (a TRS-80 – remember those?) for questioning creationism.

It ended up being a good thing because it put me on my path of militant atheism.

So as I see it here, and in related comments below, most of you seem to be saying that it’s OK to be an asshole as long as you know you’re right.

And for the record, I got my evolutionary theory from the likes of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, Richard Leakey and Isaac Asimov. Who, according to your comments, don’t know what they’re talking about. The most egregious example I’ve seen comes from Daniel Dennet’s book Breaking The Spell. He uses the evolution of gondolas in Venice as an example. The problem is, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t realize it, what he actually ended up describing was Intelligent Design. And he stopped the example before getting into the controversial claims of evolution.

If by “evolution” you’re only talking about “change over time” or “variations within a species” then there’s no controversy. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together understands that there are genetic variations within classes and species of plants and animals. Everyone’s in agreement on this. There’s nothing to “cram down your throat.”

When you used that phrase, I assumed you were referring to the use of evolution as an explanation for speciation, or the appearance (creation?) of new species. Natural selection is totally insufficient to explain this phenomenon. This explanation is what violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (when energy changes form it becomes less useable, not more), several laws of genetic inheritance, the principle of Irreducible Complexity and a couple laws of probability.

Anyway, that’s what I was trying to get at. There is good science to support alternate explanations. And the abundant use of ad hominem attacks kind of proved my point to me. When the your defense relies on calling the other person names, it means that you know your position is weak. And it seemed that most everyone was so paranoid that they assumed I was talking about God and religion, even though these were never mentioned.

Evolution doesn’t violate the second law of thermodynamics. Where are you even getting that from?

It’s interesting that you chose that particular point to challenge, and not any of the others.

Anyway, the 2nd law of thermodynamics says that the energy in a closed system (such as a planet or stellar system) will move toward entropy, or Thermodynamic Equilibrium, where all the energy is in the same, unusable form. Energy cannot be destroyed, it only changes form to a less usable state, toward entropy. (I know that you know this, I merely restate it for the benefit of the people watching.)

Darwinian evolution claims that myriads of small improvements in living organisms, brought on through mutation and natural selection over time, lead to the development of higher organisms.

Mutations, by definition, are for the most part deleterious to an organism. Entropy requires it to be so. Thermodynamic equilibrium requires that in nature things can only break down, they can’t get better.

As for those extremely rare non-deleterious mutations (that “for the most part” phrase up there), experiments on plants and insects where mutations were being purposely bred, resulted in wild variations in shape and usefulness. But no matter what they did, the plants and insects remained those particular plants and insects. There was no indication that speciation could even occur. And when the Intelligent Design was removed (the scientists stopped experimenting), the subject populations returned to “normal” within a few generations. Genetic inheritance is geared toward making stable populations, NOT creating evolutionary trees.

So to restate my thesis in one sentence: variation within species is provable, accepted science; evolutionary speciation is an article of faith on the same level as Intelligent Design or Creationism.

I chose that one because it was the only one I didn’t need to research before saying anything about. I knew it was a waste of time to say anything when I made the first comment. Unlike Other science guys I don’t have the time to refute your claims. Even if I did it wouldn’t matter. So I’m done.

As Jackie said earlier: The fact that you talk about evolution as if it’s supposed to violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics shows that you really, really, REALLY have absolutely no idea evolution, nor about the second law of thermodynamics. And I’m not being an asshole here, I’m just stating a rather harsh fact.

Do you know how you come across? I’ll give you an analogy: You come across as someone who doubts the theory of gravity, and the reasoning you’re using for this doubt is that you’re saying that “if the theory of gravity means that things are pulled together, why hasn’t the moon fallen down on earth? ”

And the rest of us are shaking our heads because the whole -point- of the theory of gravity wasn’t indeed to explain why things fall down; it was meant to explain why the moon -doesn’t- fall down. Newton didn’t get inspired by an apple falling on his head; he was inspired by looking at the moon.

So, back to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A planet is -not- a closed system, and isn’t even close to being so; what with getting a massive amount of “outside” energy from the closest star. A stellar system isn’t a closed system for that matter, though it generally receives less energy from “outside”. The only really closed system is the universe, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing about the theory of evolution that makes the overall entropy in the universe decrease.

And that is just one of your claims. Before you respond again, know that your “arguments” are well-known falsehoods in general, and are practically guaranteed to be found on this page: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

I suggest that instead of repeating the falsehoods you’ve been told, you should have a look at what the actual theory of evolution says. The main page of Talk Origins will have lots of good starting points in that regards.

Oh… so you WERE being serious…
Okay.

Well, I think you’ll find that a lot of people will ridicule you because the things you are saying don’t make sense. It’s like trying to argue with someone who insists that 2+2=5 because “Quantum Theory”. Even people that can prove that 2+2=4 are more likely to just laugh at you.

If you presented your arguments in a clearer, more logical manner, perhaps you would get less ad hominem responses.

I thought I was being as clear and logical as I could. Would you please show me where I was being illogical and unclear. Again, I’m being serious here. Granted, a forum where more than two paragraphs will not likely be read is not the best place for this discussion. But the train’s left the station, might as well blow the whistle, right?

The curious thing is that a majority of Texas is actually left-wing, by population. Once county-line-gerrymandering, voter-disenfranchisement (usually racially based), and the fact that a lot of the left-wing residents are ineligible to vote owing to citizenship concerns are factored, though, the state ends up legally bizarre.

Not quite clear about what you mean about “left wing residents are ineligible to vote owing to citizenship concerns.” Do you mean eligible voters are being turned away at the polls because their citzenship is doubted or that they are left-wing but not citizens (and thus not eligible to vote)? If they are citzens then that is very wrong. If they are not citzens then that is very right.

Both, actually, though I would argue the second is wrong too solely because America has no reliable path to citizenship.

Speaking as someone who has lived outside the USA I don’t find our path to citizenship any more difficult than Europe. The path is very reliable – but requires effort. I’d kind of like those who want to be citizens to have some idea of what our country is about. The one thing that makes me sad is that a lot (possibly most) of those who are born citizens can’t pass the exam. If you look back in history, the origins of the electoral college is that the assumption was that the citizens would elect folks who were well informed enough to choose good presidents (be informed). Likewise the state legislatures were supposed to know enough about the candidates to choose good senators (be informed). The point is that as citizens electing folks to government positions, we have an obligation to get informed before we vote. The current state of affairs suggests that most citizens neglect to do so – voting on sound bites and demagoguery.
I respectfully disagree that trying to get citizenship in the U.S. is insane. I truly believe that those coming from another country need to show that they are invested enough in the privilege of citizenship to go through the admittedly difficult process of getting citizenship before they are granted the privilege of voting in our elections. Other countries do not allow US citizens to vote in their elections. The US is not unique in resticting voting privileges to citizens.

I kind of like what our past president Theodore Roosevelt said:

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

He also spoke frequently, and at length of our obligation to those would-be immigrants to succeed in becoming full citizens:

“We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself. If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying. We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join with us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.”

Citizenship is both a privilege and an obligation.

Quotes source: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/troosevelt.asp#H1gzL3QvCpHSyd7I.99

As someone who lives in Texas, I despise our BoE beyond all reason.

I hear that from a lot of Texans.

My girlfriend substitute teaches in Texas, and her full-time teacher friends seem to agree on that one. Granted, the American education system does need some work in general, but I understand that Texas has some particularly troubling issues in that area.

My girlfriend is also concerned about that Ahmed kid being able to find a new school, as his hometown of Irving, Texas isn’t a large town. I’m hoping that there are some decent private schools out there who are interested in him (Perhaps Ahmed’s getting tweeted at by Mark Zuckerberg and the President of the United States has gotten their attention?).

Why don’t you (the collective you) get organized and get those fundies off the board?

That sounds a bit too much like getting a mob with torches and pitchforks, but I have no idea how a BoE in the US would work. Are those elected by the general populace? Is the participation rate very low if so? Is it a less balanced system of nominations that would explain a peculiar dominance of one subgroup?

Don’t talk to me about gerrymandering. My congressional district runs from my east Dallas County suburb to more halfway to Texarkana. That would be like going from Cambridge (outside Boston MA) to somewhere west of Albany to get enough GOP voters to cancel out the Dem voters. It could be worse, there is a suburb of Ft Worth that has a district that runs to the NM border 500+ miles away. That suburb is less than 60 miles from my house. The 6 county DFW urban area (Metromessplex) is about the size of Connecticut with more people, and is solidly blue, but there are only 2 Democrats representing the people here because of all the gerrymandering.

Texas isn’t unique in their extreme Gerrymandering. A lot of other states do similar stuff. NC has its 12th congressional district that was drawn to guarantee that there would be one safe minority seat. It came about because the NAACP sued the state when they drew up the initial map in a way that was more geographically concentrated but made the seat more competitive. I’m sure the state complied in part because it made the remaining seats even safer for the Rep’s. In tuth, when I look at most of the states with lots of districts I notice a lot of districts with shapes demonstrating some significant Gerrymandering. In 2002, the California legislature

I’ve been in a lot of places by now, but born and raised in Texas until after high school. What to say about it…. the laws are boned. And while I’ve seen bigots everywhere, some of the worst I’ve ever had the displeasure to know where from Texas.

Texas: It’s a Whole Other Planet. Seriously, I’ve read articles about people there wanting to secede from the Union now. They wish Sam Austin never accepted joining the USA.

As a Texas resident, I am forced to wonder how we’ll satisfy the border-closer fanatics. Without Federal funding, how will TX keep Mexico from finding a way to take it back? I mean, most of the veterans will leave to keep their access ro benefits, so who’ll be left? I seriously doubt the U.S. military would stick around in that event-

I wish they’d shown a picture of his clock; none of the boards in the photos accompanying the article are clocks. I’ve built several, mostly from kits, and had to wait one morning at work while the Hartford Bomb Disposal Team examined one. They couldn’t find a payload, but the head investigator really liked the power supply I designed.

I’d like to meet Ahmed Mohamed, and then establish a college scholarship for him. Anywhere but Texas.

can you imagine someone doing a potato clock for science project? that actually looks like it could be something dangerous. also the note home that told parents to discuss bringing “prohibited” items to school with their kids. That means ever class room I ever attended had contraband in it. Talk about being part of a corrupted generation.

The picture of him looking so perplexed saddened me. Having a “Mohamed” in his name surely didn’t help, nor his skin complexion. Twitter is already blowing up about this, particularly from the STEM folks.

I read about that this morning, truly baffling. What really surprised and saddened me was that he got suspended for three days by the school. For what? He didn’t do anything.

From what I can have been able to gather, it has to do with violating the section of the student code of conduct regarding personal electronic devices. I wonder why they don’t suspend anyone wearing a watch.

I’m inclined to believe they are trying to CYA after doing something that was foolish. I understand that they may have initially been afraid of a bomb, but once they knew what they had, they should have respectfully explained their concerns and stated that they had an obligation to take any perceive threat seriously – and then probably apologized to the student for the inconvenience, commended him for his skill and creativity and let it go. Suspending him just looks really, really stupid.

The things that bother me, being a former military guy and having worked security with schools:

1. They didn’t evacuate the school like it was a bomb.
2. They didn’t call the bomb squad.
3. They put the kid and the clock in the principal’s office – the heart of the school.
4. The cops picked him up and hauled him and his “bomb” off in a squad car.

Those things don’t happen if you really suspect it’s a bomb. What happened was they thought they could bully a kid originally from the Middle East and look like big shot safety kings. The reality is that they didn’t practice any safety at all. So either they knew it wasn’t a bomb and were just plain racist biggots, or they don’t know how to protect students from a bomb and they’re not worthy of being school administrators and police officers.

The thing that made me want to slap the cops in this case is they said, “You shouldn’t bring stuff like this to school” and “We’re the victims to bad press.” No. You’re telling me that kids shouldn’t do science anymore and you are just an example of the systemic problem we have with cops being insensitive to civilians.

Fuggit. I’d sooner believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world. On a Wednesday.

FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The ingredients of ignorance and the fuel for hate. I suspect that what drives the Texas BoE is partly FUD, partly ignorance and mostly Power. It’s like Gun Control. They don’t give a damn about the guns, they just lust after the control.

As a Texan, I’m not sure whether I should be offended or not XD.

But given the state of a number of people I’ve heard about (but never seen)…

Though then there’s the high school I went to, which is in America’s top 500 schools…

As a Texan, all the assholes are rich, or used to be better off than most. Which… I think that’s everywhere?

Though I guess enough people must be racist/sexist since Greg Abbot’s platform was literally “Fuck Obama” … though judging how black people being murdered by the cops is more common than turning on the TV nowadays, I’d have to say that’s everywhere too.

I dunno, most of the stock jokes about Texas happen in other places, or even all over America, so I dunno what the deal is apart from racist memes the media controls your thoughts shark attacks and muslims are more dangerous than climate change and aristocracy aaaaa

Though it might just be that Texas is so iconic, the shape of our state is cool, it’s a cool name, our national mammal is Leslie the hobo in a bikini, we invented Dr pepper and pushed a whole God damn city off the beach to prevent flooding. Plus we tawk diffrently than everyone else and still dress like cowboys (Well the country boys do) So what’s not to find droll?

Plus is we love Texaning it up BIGGER BETTER YEEHAW HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAI HAI HAI HAAAIIIEEEEEEEE

This basically confirms my long suspicions that Megatainment is in fact the in-universe equivalent of Hastings (also based in Texas and carries the same kinds of stuff).

Hm.
I try not to do stuff that would force, or pressure, people to be: theist, atheist, agnostic, etc., so I’ll try to discuss this idea without being accidentally commanding, or offensive. [ I’ll also try not to be purposefully commanding or offensive, if that makes any sense, here].
So, I apologize if this post is in any way offensive.

The issue of: how straights + gays, and straights + possibly anyone else, can get along in The USA.

Firstly, if a person’s moral rules is based on the Christian religion, then, as I understand it:

the Christian religion is an all volunteer group, and as such- if you meet someone who is not a C, + doesn’t follow your moral rules, you can’t [force] them to follow your rules, since they didn’t promise to Be a C, + then follow the C rules.

The idea of: only a single person can accept Jesus as a God in order to have Jesus as his/her God, and no one can force you to, might be a part of that subject

So, if you, a theoretical you, are a Christian, + think that gay sex is sinful, then you can nicely ask a friend to stop doing gay sex, and…if they agree or disagree to have gay sex, you have to leave it there.

Just as- if you are a C + think that straight sex is morally good, + person asks you not to have straight sex…for their moral rules, you can politely say – [thanks for your concern, but I decide to follow my own moral rules on that issue], and the disagreement should politely end there.

My own view- sort of like the film, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”- morality is a choice. As a U.S. citizen, I don’t feel I have the right to tell someone if they can be gay/ have gay sex, or not, just as they can’t tell, or force, me to be straight/ have straight sex, or not.

In my view – if you are [ in a religion or theistic] or not, ideally, in the USA: you + I give everyone the right to choose their own morality, + their right to have a religion, + their right not to have a religion, + their own views, and everyone gives that right back to us.

In my view-
If we teach kids in grade school, now, that all gay couples, straight couples, + etc. couples are OK, most USA people will learn to accept all gay couples + families with two same-gender parents, maybe in [ hopefully 5 years], or 10 yrs., 10+ years, or in some nearby time.

To look at similar idea-
in 1900 in the USA: a lot of people would [ forbid ] their kids to marry a [ white + Irish] man or woman.
Now, [my words]- when you get married, no one cares if you are Irish or not. that’s how it is.
Once again, I apologize if my above post + thoughts were offensive.

The disconnect comes from the idea that Christians feel the need to “save” others, with the logic being that everyone who does not share their beliefs is doomed to Hell. My mother used that logic, when I was a teenager, combined with the house law of “My house, my rules” to violate my rights to my personal choice of religion.

Also, I get that there is a pattern here in regards to what is acceptable over long periods of time. Conservative Christians and the like have been all up in arms about the nationwide law on Gay Marriage, citing the pattern, saying it sets a precedent for all kinds of other non-mainstream behavior and activities to enter the mainstream by law and become acceptable as protected by national law. I’ve heard them mention things like beastiality and pedophiila in this light, but there is a vast sea of subculture/subversive activity that could be used for examples here. The argument is that all of these acts will become normal, accceptable, and protected under the law. Not too many decades ago, pedophilia and homosexuality were treated by authorities as equally immoral. Things that you would never dream of seeing in the media in the 1950’s are not only accepted, but are even considered not extreme enough to gain ratings. So we get more deviant, and then more as decades progress. When I am 90(I hope I live that long) I suspect that a lot of traditionally XXX rated media by today’s standards will be acceptable for children’s television networks, normal adult level media will be like the full spectrum of japanese porn, and the new XXX standard will be raised to levels praised in the Hellraiser series of movies. If you think all of that is a bit extreme, consider an R rated movie right now with an R rated level movie in the 1920’s. People’s rights should be protected, and the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. However, I find this trend and pattern disturbing. Where once a french kiss was too steamy for theaters, eventually you will have public executions and murder-based fetishes in popular media. Again. Hellraiser. Pinhead. The movie sums up my point.

Of course. I agree with most of the things that you’ve said.
I also agree that it’s a good idea to mark X rated violence + X rated sexual scenes as adults-only media.

The problem with that is that censors usually will cut out sexual content in favor of equally graphic violence. They would rather have a scene where two people chop each other’s heads off at the same time than one where 2 men kiss.

As an evangelical Christian, I agree with what you’re saying. It’s not up to me to “save” anyone, that’s God’s purview. All I have to do is make sure you have the information — stated in Love — that you’re going to Hell when you die (and isn’t THAT an oxymoron). It’s up to you what you do with that knowledge. If you choose to live an immoral lifestyle, that’s your business. (When you try to get my kids to do the same, then it becomes my business, but that’s a different discussion.) Contrary to the popular belief of many, actions have consequences.

Actions certainly do have consequences. For one, you need to die in battle to gain access to Valhalla (Be sure to tip your valkyries), or Fólkvangr if you are part of that other, perhaps less lucky half. Otherwise, being sent to Hel is a very real possibility. You might manage to trick Hel by injuring yourself with a weapon, but results have varied. Either way, do not tarry, Ragnarok is right around the corner.

Crud. My previous comment is probably TLDR, but the subject is kind of big, + probably involves many more subjects.

Cheers.

Jess is ignorant, and narrow minded. She probably doesn’t understand she is doing the exact same thing she is accusing others of.

Hate begets hate. If more people made an effort to be tolerant, or at least mind their own business, their targets wouldn’t feel the need to lash out in return. It doesn’t make it right, but ‘You’re doing it too’ is not a good counterpoint.

I understand your frustration with the Splatoon thing, Jackie. Trying to grind xp/monies to level up/buy gear to then turn around and grind for stats is infuriating if you can’t catch a break in ranked. And I never seem to unless I am blessed with splat zones for the game mode. Rainmaker can go fuck itself.

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