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Are there really people like this?

  1. Jan 7, 2005 #1
    Ok. I don't normally start new threads but I couldn't resist sharing this with you. On the opinion page of my local newspaper a reader wrote in the following:


    Darwin theories

    I am appalled that so-called "scientists' continue to teach dangerous theories to our impressionable children as though these were unchallenged facts. Newton's theory of gravity, not law, says that things should fall down. But clearly, the presence of birds, insects, clouds, etc., show the falseness of this theory.

    Clearly things rise or fall based solely upon divine will. We do not float away because God chooses that we should not.

    I hope everyone who keeps an open mind about Darwin when approaching biology also will keep an open mind about Newton when approaching high ledges.




    I can't really put into words what my opinion of this complete moron is. The writer talks about unchallenged facts and then comes with stupid non-sense about things rising and falling based upon divine will which is obviously lacking in credibility. I just can't put it into words...
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
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  3. Jan 7, 2005 #2

    Evo

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    I'd hope it was just someone making fun of all of the religious fanatics but it's scary to think that this might be for real and not a joke.
     
  4. Jan 7, 2005 #3
    Wow. Do you live in the South by any chance? :biggrin:
     
  5. Jan 7, 2005 #4

    loseyourname

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    Come on. There's no way this person was being serious. Birds can fly why? Because they have more faith than us?
     
  6. Jan 7, 2005 #5
    There are all kinds of 'thinking' in this world, even kinds you likely cannot imagine. Enjoy the diversity because there’s little you can do about it and such is, lol, the spice of life (pass the ammo box, please).
     
  7. Jan 7, 2005 #6
    Well I considered it was a joke, but they signed a name and I looked it up in the phone book and it does exist. So it is not a made up name. It could be a prank someone played on someone who seems quite religious and signed this persons name to it. But there are some REAL strange people out there I can tell you.
     
  8. Jan 7, 2005 #7
    Oh and loseyourname, I think the comment about divine will is that God decided that birds should fly so they do. Not that they have more faith.
     
  9. Jan 7, 2005 #8
    Reminds me off a high school thesis someone wrote to get into my university as an undergraduate. It was hilariously wrong. He made claims that the inverse square law was clearly wrong because the atmosphere didn't follow it, even though he didn't cite any work saying so. Even funnier was when he made up some gravity-electron-space equation and he actually did cite work....FROM A PAPER HE WROTE. He included that paper too and it was equally bad.
     
  10. Jan 7, 2005 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Quoted approximately from one of my physics professors...

    Before Newton came along, since the planets are seen moving across the night sky, many people believed that angels pushed the planets in the direction of motion observed. Then Newton came along and turned the angels by 90 degrees, so that they push the planets towards the sun instead. :biggrin:
     
  11. Jan 7, 2005 #10

    plover

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    Averagesupernova:

    There is probably no theory so strange that someone might not believe it based on some religious justification. There are obviously those who reject Darwinian explanations for reasons of religous dogma – though in general, the ones who yammer about it loudly don't even understand the logic of Darwin's theory well enough to reject it coherently. There are also similar rejections of the Big Bang theory and Einstein's General Relativity, but those with this complaint haven't usually been intrusive enough to get much public attention.

    Wholesale rejection of Newton is (to me anyway) a new one though. My first instinct is that the person might be schizophrenic or have temporal lobe problems, or in other words, there's no reason to believe that this person arrived at these ideas by a rational process – though without knowing more about the person there's no way to be completely sure. (And by a "rational process", I just mean one that isn't mostly a result of mental illness, i.e. even if the person is "rational", that wouldn't preclude them being stupider than dirt.) Also, at least in the bit that was quoted, there's no indication that the person is Christian. There's any amount of New Age type wackiness that could lead someone toward this kind of thinking.

    I just hope someone is keeping this person away from ledges...
     
  12. Jan 7, 2005 #11

    Bystander

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    i.e., jump off a cliff.

    Not the best bit of sarcasm ever submitted to an editorial page (seems to have gone over quite few heads) --- however, you must keep in mind the fact that editors do exercise certain license in tidying/tightening prose submitted to editorial pages --- it may have lost a bit in "translation."
     
  13. Jan 8, 2005 #12
    Well enlighten me on your view in case it did go over my head. I read it as the writer hoping that those who believe in evolution jump off of a cliff. He is comparing shying away from creationalism (in his eyes considered a crazy idea) with thinking that gravity won't affect people (also a crazy idea).
     
  14. Jan 8, 2005 #13

    plover

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    In my response I was assuming there was more to the letter that made it clear the writer took this stuff seriously, but Bystander is right that for the quote as it stands there is a sarcastic reading that works too.

    Something like this:
    Darwin theories

    I am appalled that so-called "scientists' continue to teach dangerous theories to our impressionable children as though these were unchallenged facts.

    Basically, it rests on assuming the author has a double meaning in this first sentence – the language reflects that used by those who want creationism taught in schools, but as phrased, it could also be an expression of disgust by someone sick of hearing how some "scientists" (i.e. creationists calling themselves scientists) say that children should be taught "dangerous theories" (i.e. creationism).
    Newton's theory of gravity, not law, says that things should fall down.
    This second sentence about Newton is the most ambiguous and badly stated, but taken as a parody of creationist logic about Darwin could be read: "Newton's gravity – which is 'just a theory' [i.e. like Darwinism], not the law of the Creator – says that objects fall".
    But clearly, the presence of birds, insects, clouds, etc., show the falseness of this theory.

    Clearly things rise or fall based solely upon divine will. We do not float away because God chooses that we should not.

    These sentences are then a continuation of the parody set up in the previous sentence.
    I hope everyone who keeps an open mind about Darwin when approaching biology also will keep an open mind about Newton when approaching high ledges.
    In light of the above interpretation, this sentence assumes a double meaning also – as an extension of the parody it cautions against taking Newton seriously, but alongside the double meaning of the first sentence it can be read as an invitation to those who push "dangerous theories" on our children to, as Bystander said, "jump off a cliff".
     
  15. Jan 8, 2005 #14


    must be in jesusland... o:)
     
  16. Jan 8, 2005 #15

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Yes, yes, if you believe evolution and gravity are unfounded facts, please do keep an open mind when approaching ledges. You can get a two-fer lesson if you do so...you'll learn about gravity and natural selection simultaneously! It's really a great suggestion, don't you think? :devil:
     
  17. Jan 8, 2005 #16
    Ok, I do see now that there is more sarcasm intended than what came across to me originally. Usually stuff like that doesn't go over my head, but it looks like this one flew WAY over the top. Other opinions are welcome.
     
  18. Jan 8, 2005 #17

    Moonbear

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    That's okay, I missed it the first read through as well. I wonder if the editors really noticed or not? It's actually very clever, phrased so that if anyone complained to the paper for printing it, the editors could claim ignorance even if they did know what they were printing. :biggrin:
     
  19. Jan 8, 2005 #18
    Hasn't this guy ever heard of a plane or a rocket before? :biggrin:

    He probably doesn't even know why his shotgun shell "flies" when he fires the gun, thus using the above expression, he concludes that it is God's will to kill whatever target is in his sights. :rofl:
     
  20. Jan 8, 2005 #19

    Gokul43201

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    Your reasoning is easily defeated :

    God wanted man to be able to fly around in planes and rockets, so he made them capable of flying (all the time fooling us into thinking it was Bernoulli or momentum conservation that was doing the trick).

    No, it is only God's will to give the shotgun shell the ability to fly. God gives man the choice of pointing his barrel any which way he chooses. Point it at someone who believes in the same God, and you shall be condemned to the burning depths of Hell - unless of course, you repent. Point it at an interior decorator, and you shall be welcomed by angels.

    All of the above is meant in jest...so I hope I'm not making any enemies.

    Have I gone too far ? Is this kind of post allowed ? If not, please delete it and accept my apology....and warn me if you must - I won't forget that.
     
  21. Jan 8, 2005 #20

    Evo

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    I thought it should read "Point it at a mime, and you shall be welcomed by angels". :rofl:

    Sorry, no warning, it's straight to the burning depths of hell for you. :devil: :biggrin:
     
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