Sunday, June 13, 2010

“Just a theory” does not mean what many people think it does


Jewish date:  1 Tammuz 5770 (Parashath Ḥuqqath).

Today’s holidays:  Ro’sh Ḥodhesh (Judaism), Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Annie Sprinkle (Church of the SubGenius), Feast Day of Ludovicus Rex Bavariae (Thelema).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Tell Boehner: No BP Bailout”, “Take Action: Support ECEA - Hold Big Oil Accountable!”, “A victory for the Clean Air Act... for now.”, “JCRC-NY State Dept Petition:  Urge State Dept to Investigate Flotilla Passengers”, “Make Alzheimer's a National Priority! - The Petition Site”, and “Take Action: Urge your Senators to support the Appalachia Restoration Act | Rainforest Action Network”.

Topic 0:  I have finished Mort (book 4 of the Discworld Series) by Terry Pratchett.  Now I have to get around to writing a review, which is going to be an interesting challenge since I am going to have a busy week…

Topic 1:  Updates on the latest anti-Semitism:  “Yahoo Divides Jerusalem” discusses Yahoo! trying to enforce an artificial distinction between East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem which only exists as part of a jihad tactic.  “Reuters' Double Exposure” discusses propaganda photograph which has little relation to reality.  And then there are two videos:

Your humble blogger also would like to note “Hamas rejects Israel-approved snack foods for Gaza”, which is absurdly petty; these people are very lucky that Israel does not close the border completely and forbid letting anything whatever getting through.

Topic 2:  “Russia Church wants end to Darwin school monopoly”.  The Russian Orthodox Church wants creationism taught in Russian public schools alongside evolution.  Needless to say, this is a bad idea since evolution is correct and creationism is wrong.  Revealing is this rationalization:
"Darwin's theory remains a theory. This means it should be taught to children as one of several theories, but children should know of other theories too."
“Just a theory” is a common misunderstanding often voiced by creationists.  “Theory” colloquially means what “hypothesis” means an explanation, whether or not it has any real support or is particularly coherent.  To scientists, a “theory” is not a mere hypothesis; a “theory” has evidence to back it up, and it is self-consistent.  E.g., the Theory of General Relativity is not a mere hypothesis; it has been backed with multiple lines of evidence and has technological applications, such as GPS.  Likewise the Theory of Evolution, which is also known to be a fact.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor: “good solz go to celing cat”:
Humorous Pictures
Peace and happy new month.

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