Elaine Howard Ecklund has a confusing post up at HuffPo. It is confusing because it is very unclear what exactly she wants.

There is strong evidence that religion is resurging among students on America’s top university campuses. Yet, a large number of academic scientists firmly feel that they should not discuss religion in their classrooms. I have spent the last five years surveying nearly 1,700 natural and social scientists working at elite U.S. universities — talking with 275 of them in-depth — in an effort to understand their religious beliefs and practices, or lack thereof. As I traveled the country, I asked scientists about the role of religion within the university. Many scientists believe that religion has no legitimate place in the modern American academy; 54 percent mentioned the dangers that religion could bring to universities (and in particular to science) when it goes wrong. About 36 percent of scientists I talked with said they have a model of university life that does not allow any positive role for religious people, institutions and ideas. And they have few models for how scientists (with or without faith) might sustain productive interaction with or respond to religious people and ideas. In their models of the university, such people and ideas exist primarily as a threat to science.


I have no idea what it would mean to bring religion into a science classroom. The whole idea sounds completely inappropriate to me. The fact is that most of what goes on in science classes simply has nothing to do with religion one way or another. There are a few places, especially in the life sciences, where it becomes relevant, but even there I don’t see it as the professor’s job to address the religious concerns of their students.

In my own case, it is no secret that I write about these issues from an atheist’s perspective, and on a handful of occasions I have had students discuss such things with me during office hours. In some cases I’ve even had students openly try to convert me. Usually an interesting and cordial conversation ensues. That seems perfectly appropriate to me. But bringing it into the classroom just seems wrong.

As for the legitimate role for religion in the academy, why is that a difficult question? Many students like to participate in religious activities, and that is why universities routinely have numerous religious student groups. That’s the appropriate place for religion on college campuses. But you leave that behind when you enter the classroom, because that is not the place for addressing spiritual or emotional concerns.

After granting that scientists do have some justification for their antipathy towards religion Ecklund writes:

But religion appears to be advancing on university campuses. There has been a rise in the number of religious studies departments, societies for the scholarly study of religion (in a variety of disciplines), and institutes devoted to dialogue between religion and science. Yet, perhaps because of how busy their research keeps them (the working hours per week for research university professors has steadily increased over the past 40 years) or their inherent lack of interest in religion, many elite scientists do not know about such efforts.

Why should scientists take an interest in the increase in religious studies departments or societies devoted to the scholarly study of religion? As for institutes promoting dialogue between science and religion, a lot of us are aware of them, we just wish they would go away. As far as I can tell most of the output of these institutes is the worst sort of agenda-driven psuedo-scholarship. If they have anything to contribute beyond seething contempt for Andrew Dickson White and John William Draper, a burning desire to recast the Galileo affair as anything other than a conflict between science and religion, and rapt self-admiration for their finding that the science/religion relationship is just so gosh darn complex, then I have never encountered it.

It is important to understand how scientists at the country’s top schools view the place of religion in the academy because these schools form what scholars call an “organizational field” — a group of organizations that influence one another in terms of ideologies, structure and practices. These schools accept and produce similar types of students and knowledge; the way in which scientists at these schools perceive the proper model of the university is consequential for the broader institution of American higher education and the place of science (and religion) within it. If the scientists at elite universities fail to successfully engage with religion on their campuses, other American universities might follow suit. And if the current resurgence of religion on college campuses collides with persistently antireligious models of university life, might a collision or an explosion of some sort be inevitable?

I suppose I’m going to have egg on my face when the explosion occurs, but I have no idea what Ecklund is talking about. Do students have a burning desire to have their science professors discuss religion in class? Usually they’re more concerned with what will be on the next test. I don’t understand where this explosion is supposed to be coming from. I have never met a scientist who objects to students pursuing on their own time whatever religious activities amuse them. Most of us think it’s just fine for religious student groups to organize on campus. We just don’t see what relevance that has for our professional work.

Anyway, there’s a bit more to Eck;und’s essay than I have quoted here, so go have a look.

Comments

  1. #1 Paco
    February 7, 2011

    A.) It’s a HuffPo post, therefore its credibility is shot at the get-go.
    B.) Yet another attempt to create an issue where there is none. Slow news day/week/year/career.
    C.) Who cares?

  2. #2 Glendon Mellow
    February 7, 2011

    Classes on the religious/reason divide would be pretty interesting in a university setting. But it would be social studies, not science.

    Perhaps those students could be called in to defuse the explosion Ecklund is talking about.

    “Everyone calm down! NOMA, people, NOMA!”

    KABLOOEY!

  3. #3 itchy
    February 7, 2011

    It’s not only religion. Several other topics are far more popular among students today than 10-15 years ago. For instance, stuffed-crust pizza, yoga pants and fantasy football.

    There is strong evidence that stuffed-crust pizza is resurging among students on America’s top university campuses. Yet, a large number of academic scientists firmly feel that they should not discuss pizza dough innovations in their classrooms.

    As I traveled the country, I asked scientists about the role of yoga pants within the university. Many scientists believe that women’s athletic apparel has no legitimate place in the modern American academy.

    About 36 percent of scientists I talked with said they have a model of university life that does not allow any positive role for fantasy football, its leagues and ideas. And they have few models for how scientists (with or without interest in sports) might sustain productive interaction with or respond to people pretending to own their own football teams and their ideas.

    Clearly, these out-of-touch scientists who spend all of their class time teaching science are bringing an explosion upon themselves.

  4. #4 Vince whirlwind
    February 8, 2011

    This is what happens when you persecute religious fanatics and force them to flee for their lives to found new communities of like-minded fanatics over the ocean somewhere in the “new world”: bizarre and meaningless conversations about “why won’t science engage with religion”.

  5. #5 SLC
    February 8, 2011

    Prof. Jerry Coyne has a post at his blog eviscerating Ms. Ecklund.

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/ecklunds-still-at-it/

  6. #6 KeithB
    February 8, 2011

    I am reading Knuth’s “Things Computer Scientists rarely talk about.” In it, he mentions that during the last class period he would open it up to general questions. The only topics forbidden where politics, religion and the final.

  7. #7 Fakrudeen
    February 8, 2011

    There is strong evidence that sex is resurging among students on America’s top university campuses. Yet, a large number of academic scientists firmly feel that they should not discuss sex in their classrooms. I have spent the last five years surveying nearly 1,700 natural and social scientists working at elite U.S. universities — talking with 275 of them in-depth — in an effort to understand their sexual beliefs and practices, or lack thereof. As I traveled the country, I asked scientists about the role of sex within the university. Many scientists believe that sex has no legitimate place in the modern American academy; 54 percent mentioned the dangers that sex could bring to universities (and in particular to science) when it goes wrong.

    But sex appears to be advancing on university campuses. There has been a rise in the number of sexual studies departments, societies for the scholarly study of sex (in a variety of disciplines), and institutes devoted to dialogue between sex and science. Yet, perhaps because of how busy their research keeps them (the working hours per week for research university professors has steadily increased over the past 40 years) or their inherent lack of interest in sex, many elite scientists do not know about such efforts.

  8. #8 Evolution Denier
    February 8, 2011

    I find it comical that the professors who know everything feel threatened by religious peasants. It’s about time the youth started getting God back into their ife and movement and start standing up to adacemic nuts who think they know everything.

    Don’t give them an inch. Stand your ground. Evolution is a myth. If we all take a stand we can win this petty battle between religon and nerds.

  9. #9 Jim Harrison
    February 9, 2011

    If I were a traditional Christian, the last thing I’d want to encourage would be academically respectable religious studies departments. The established churches already have a serious problem because improvements in the scholarly level of seminary education tend to produce people who are unbelievers even if they go on to careers in the ministry and dissemble their lack of faith–I gather this trend is a topic of anxious concern especially among evangelicals and the LDS.

    The dilemma is not new. Although it used to be a cliche that if the Jesuits had you for a few years, you’d be a Catholic forever, a remarkable number of skeptics, including some of the most significant philosophes, were Jesuit trained. Since the evidence leads away from dogma, there’s nothing for it but to keep the faithful away from the evidence and that’s even more important when it comes to potential church leaders who simply must be kept in relative ignorance. But the most valuable ignorance is not ignorance of the sciences, but ignorance of religion itself.

  10. #10 Aj
    February 9, 2011

    Wow, apparently the evidence of this resurgence is so strong it doesn’t even need any kind of citation.

    Excuse me a moment, my ‘obvious hack whoring their worthless book’ alarm is ringing.

  11. #11 386sx
    February 9, 2011

    They could bring it into the classroom to point out the flaws and laugh at it. Except it won’t work because it doesn’t have any flaws. You can go to Burger King and order up a Whopper with whatever you want, and have a different one on Tuesday than the one from Thursday. Same goes for religion too. You can have whatever you want any day of the week. If you laugh at them on Monday then they will come back on Tuesday with a new Whopper with Cheese.

  12. #12 eric
    February 9, 2011

    I suppose I’m going to have egg on my face when the explosion occurs, but I have no idea what Ecklund is talking about. Do students have a burning desire to have their science professors discuss religion in class?

    That seems to be her implication. But so what? The academy has dealt with new trends in student interest in the past and will do so in the future. There is no reason to think a burgeoning interest in the interaction between religion and science (if such even exists) could not be dealt with the same way that, say, a math department might deal with a sudden interest in the Monty Hall problem. :) Offer an elective class on it. Explosion averted.

  13. #13 SLC
    February 9, 2011

    Re eric @ #12

    It seems to me that such a class belongs in the philosophy department, not a science department. As someone who majored in physics, I can’t imagine what value a discussion of the (non) interaction of religion and physics would have. I can’t believe that the same doesn’t hold true for chemistry, astronomy, or biology.

  14. #14 Evolution Denier
    February 9, 2011

    @ SLC

    Do you know every star in existance by name? Te Bible says God does. You know why? Becuase it’s not hard to name them if you created them. I admit I love looking at Hubble pictures. it proves the majesty and power of God. He knows them by name. Now, if you can find me a profesor with the knowledge of how to create an entire universe from nothing by speaking it into existance and then naming each and everything in that universe and ruling over it and keeping everything in a constant perfect order, then I will congradualte that professor. Until then, they can stop pretending they have all the answers. They have theories and ideas and some of them stupid ones, but they do not know everything. So, if someone in physics or astronomy disagrees with “millions of years” mentality of that professor, then YES they have the right to debate it.

    If the earth is “millions of years” old, how about proving it. How about proving radiometric dating methods. You must take into consideration natural and God made disasters when dating the earth. Fires, floods, lava, erosion, radiation levels before and after the canopy of Noah’s time existed, etc. The plian fact if this. Natural disaster like fire and natural occurrences like radiation give the illusion that things are much older than they really are. Example: I could give you a rock from my driveway and let you carbon date that rock. I could then take it home roast it ina a fire for days, bury it in my freezer for six months, take it out and microwave it for 30 minutes and let you retest the date of it. Guess what. I bet you one trillion dollars the date that you get the second time will be 100 or more times older than the first date you got.

    The point if this: dating methods are squat. These dating methds work if you work in homicide as a detective, but when you start talking about dinosaurs and other animals that died out 4000 years ago, those bones have been through hell and back again and the dating methods used does not work when outside stimuli affects how the material ages.

    I guaruntee you I could take a bone from a recently dead cow and microwave it, freeze it, burn it, etc and do this several hundred times and some dummy in a lab would tell me it was millions of years old when I know it is only a few months old. Try it. Prove me wrong. I dare you.

    Anyone who workd in Biology and cannot see the majestic handicraft of design in animal and plant life is blind as a bat and dumb as a stump. Every organ has a specific purpose. Remove your kidneys and see if you “evolve” more kidneys or something better. Try it and let me know how your evolution turns out.

  15. #15 MacTurk
    February 10, 2011

    Evolution Denier, you are an idiot recycling myths.

    First, no sane person uses carbon dating for rocks. Second, anything older than 50,000 years cannot be carbon dated. After that time(roughly nine half-lives of C14), the amount remaining is insignicant.

    Rocks are dated using radiometric dating(try googling it).

    As for the statement “Do you know every star in existance by name? Te(sic) Bible says God does. You know why? Becuase(sic) it’s not hard to name them if you created them.Te(sic) Bible says God does” Dog’s book/propaganda claims that Dog did it. So he did! Does the phrase “circular logic” mean anything to you? Also, do please try using spell check.

    “Until then, they can stop pretending they have all the answers. They have theories and ideas and some of them stupid ones, but they do not know everything” Scientists and professors do not claim to know everything….if they did, they would be out of a job, because there would be no need for science. “So, if someone in physics or astronomy disagrees with “millions of years” mentality of that professor, then YES they have the right to debate it” First, “millions of years” is not a mentality, it is the accepted age of the Earth, based on the best data available( not “Dog did it”). If someone wants to disagree, they had better be able to produce reproducible evidence that will stand up to logical analysis. Creationism has not produced any such evidence and does not stand up to any logical analysis. Therefore, there is no need to debate such idiocy. It is simply a waste of time. It is like arguing whether water is wet.

    “The point if this: dating methods are squat”. The point is that you don’t know squat. Do please go away, study some geology, with an emphasis on the age of the planet we unfortunately have to share with you, then come back and argur/debate. A series of unsupported assertions, which merely showcase the depths of your ignorance, will not cut it.

    “Prove me wrong. I dare you”. I have done so, and any person who has received a decent high-school science education could equally do so. I would like to claim my ‘..one trillion dollars”, but I am certain you do not have any money to gamble anyway. Prove me wrong. I dare you, cretin!

  16. #16 SLC
    February 10, 2011

    Re Evolution Denier

    1. Would Mr. Denier care to explain how light from galaxies that are well known to be billions of light years away arrived at the position of the earth in less then 6000 years.

    2. Would Mr. Denier care to explain why the Hebrew Scriptures claim that pi = 3?

    3. Would Mr. Denier care to explain why, when Joshua allegedly caused the Sun to stand still in the sky for a day, no other civilizations in existence at that time took note of what would have certainly been a rather interesting phenomena.

    By the way Mr. Denier, my PhD physics thesis adviser was a very conservative born again Christian who had no difficulty accepting the explanations of physics for the age of the earth and the universe.

  17. #17 NJ
    February 10, 2011

    ED @ 14:

    I bet you one trillion dollars the date that you get the second time will be 100 or more times older than the first date you got.

    Fine. Tell me the name of the bank where you have this money and the number of the escrow account the money is deposited in.

    {time passes}

    Oh, you don’t actually have that? You’re just someone who makes up crap because they are too afraid of reality?

    How….novel.

  18. #18 eric
    February 10, 2011

    SLC @13: It seems to me that such a class belongs in the philosophy department, not a science department.

    Sure, whatever. Give it multiple department codes in the catalog but have the most qualified professor teach it, regardless of what building their office is in.

    As someone who majored in physics, I can’t imagine what value a discussion of the (non) interaction of religion and physics would have.

    I wasn’t thinking about classes that discuss specific theological claims. I was thinking more along the lines of a class that discusses the differences between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, and explores what limits (if any) even the former puts on science. Maybe traces how current scientific practices arose historically and how they differ from either its natural philosophy precursors or current practices in philosophy and theology.

    But as you say, even my version of the course could quite logically be placed in the Philosophy department.

  19. #19 rob
    February 10, 2011

    @evolution denier: you obviousl don’t know how carbon dating works if you think burning and freezing the sample will affect the results.

    Here is an excerpt from the paper J. R. Arnold and W. F. Libby wrote about the technique:

    “The measurement technique consisted in the combustion of about 1 ounce of wood, the collection of the carbon dioxide, its reduction to elementary carbon with hot magnesium metal, and the measurement of 8 grams of this carbon spread uniformly over the 400-square-centimeter surface of the sample cylinder in a screen wall counter.”

    to date a sample you BURN it. then react it with hot magnesium.

    your shenanigans of freezing and burning and microwaving will do nothing to degrade the sample. it will still be able to be analyzed and dated.

  20. #20 eric
    February 10, 2011

    Evolution denier: I could give you a rock from my driveway and let you carbon date that rock. I could then take it home roast it ina a fire for days, bury it in my freezer for six months, take it out and microwave it for 30 minutes and let you retest the date of it. Guess what. I bet you one trillion dollars the date that you get the second time will be 100 or more times older than the first date you got.

    You would lose that bet. But since it’s science fair season, I’ll throw some extra information out there for parents who may be interested.

    Beta- decay rate is unaffected by chemical processes. ANY chemical process. There’s only two ways to change the apparent radiochemical age of carbonaceous materials; put the sample in a particle accelerator and hit it with a high-energy beam, or mix it with other carbonaceous materials that are significantly younger/older. Obviously, the latter is a lot more likely than the former.

    So, assuming you don’t accidentally or intentionally mix your sample with other materials during your heating, freezing, etc… you should be able to do the following: start your little tykes off with one carbonaceous item. Break it into two pieces, and count them using a detector. Keep one in a box, put the other piece through whatever trials he/she wants (burning! Microwave! Explosions!). Count them at the end of the trials to see that there is no difference.

    This might actually make for a reasonable science fair project for, say, 8th or 9th graders.

    Personally, however, I’d use Potassium-40 for the experiment instead of C-14. Its cheap (buy a small container of salt substitute). It decays the same way as C-14 (beta decay), so you are doing the same test of half-life. But since K-40 isn’t constantly produced in the atmosphere and K your chances of inadvertently mixing in younger/older material is zero. Thus, if you use K-40, the only way you could screw up your experiment would be to accidentally irradiate it. Which is hard to do.

    So, there’s a simple radiochemical science fair experiment for folks who are interested.

    E.Denier, I would take your bet if I thought you were sincere about any aspect of it. But I don’t. First you would refuse to put your money where your mouth is. Secondly, when the results turned out in our favor, you would simply claim us evil scientists rigged the experiment rather than admit the truth.

  21. #21 W. Kevin Vicklund
    February 10, 2011

    Maybe ED heard something about the issues with racemic dating methods. That would affect the tissue being dated. Of course, it only works on organic tissue, as it measures the ratio of isomers in the amino acids of proteins. Rocks generally aren’t proteinaceous. And they’re generally older than a few hundred thousand years.

  22. #22 rob
    February 10, 2011

    @W. Kevin Vicklund: you are soooooooooo wrong about rocks not being proteinaceous. what about The Thing, from the Fantastic Four? eh? how do you explain HIM?
    :)

  23. #23 KeithB
    February 10, 2011

    SLC:
    Number 2 is easy: Round-off error. They were using 1 significant figure.

  24. #24 eric
    February 10, 2011

    @21: Maybe ED heard something about the issues with racemic dating methods.

    I’m sure he’d target those, too, for vilification. But in this case I’m pretty sure he means radiometric dating. Its a standard target of creationist ire. Even his blunder – thinking Carbon-14 dating is used for age-of-earth measurements – is a cookie-cutter blunder you see all the time from creationists.

  25. #25 SLC
    February 10, 2011

    Re KeithB @ #23

    You mean that god could only supply a result with 1 significant figure? Considering that science has measured the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron to 10 significant figures, that doesn’t make her look too good.

  26. #26 Evolution Denier
    February 10, 2011

    @ SLC

    Your “professor” might have belonged to one of those apostate churches.

    “First, “millions of years” is not a mentality, it is the accepted age of the Earth, based on the best data available( not “Dog did it”). ”

    Accepted by you. Not by me or millions of other people. Care to explain how radiometric dating is 100 percent reliable?

    You can go on believing the earth is “millions of years” old if you like. That’s fine. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine as well. In my viewpoint according to geneology the earth has only ben here 6500 years. In your world, the opposite is true. Anyone who claims to bee christian cannot by reason of logic accpet death before sin. It is against the entire religion. Death happened AFTER sin. Like I said before. You place your faith in your man made “science”. I place mine in the infallibale, incorruptable, perfect and Holy word of God. In the end mine will be left standing while yours is left burning. That’s all that matters.

  27. #27 KeithB
    February 10, 2011

    SLC:
    No just that the passage supplies two measurements that are correct to 1 sig fig. And we are describing a real object here, there is no guarantee that it is a perfect circle.

  28. #28 Evolution denier
    February 10, 2011

    There is strong evidence that religion is resurging among students on America’s top university campuses.

    That’s a good thing. America needs to return back to God. Our survival depends on it.

  29. #29 NJ
    February 10, 2011

    ED @ 26:

    Care to explain how radiometric dating is 100 percent reliable?

    Care to explain how the measurement of drywall with tape measures is 100% reliable?

    No one claims that all measurements are non-erroneous or do not have precision limits. But it is a fact that radioactive decay is understood both empirically and theoretically. It is a fact that radiometric ages match up with independently determined relative ages.

    You place your faith in your man made “science”. I place mine in my preferred interpretation of my preferred translation of my preferred set of writings that make an unevidenced assertion that they are the infallibale, incorruptable, perfect and Holy word of God.

    FIFY.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion that the Earth is a few thousand years old. You are entitled to an opinion that the Sun rises in the West, that your blood consists mostly of metallic gallium,or that the Jonas Brothers are the second coming of the Beatles.

    Your opinions, however, are not entitled to be correct. For that they must correspond with physical reality. Provide some evidence that they do.

  30. #30 eric
    February 10, 2011

    Evolution Denier: You place your faith in your man made “science”. I place mine in the infallibale, incorruptable, perfect and Holy word of God.

    Smoke detectors work on the principle that half-lives are constant. They would not work if your own beliefs about radiometric detection being unreliable were right. So, whether you know it or not, you are trusting the safety of your family to the reliability of radiometric measurements every day.

    That’s the kicker about science; there are a huge number of interrelations. If radiometric methods are unreliable, that doesn’t just mean dating methods are unreliable. It means a host of other radiometric applications should be equally unreliable too. If we are wrong about radiometrics, you’d also have to disbelieve the reliability of smoke detectors. And nuclear power (which also covers all major U.S. naval vessels). And many satellites. And dental x-rays. And you’d have to get pretty nervous around, well, pretty much any large steel structure, since radiometric equipment is regularly used to check weld integrity. That’s off the top of my head. I’m sure there are other applications of the constancy of half-lives. It all sinks or swims together.

    You’re in the same fix the church was with Galileo. You can reject the notion that the model represents reality all you want. But as long as the model is incredibly useful for doing important work (such as building calendars, navigation…detecting fires, creating electricity…), people are going to act as if the model reflects reality whether you want them to or not.

  31. #31 SLC
    February 10, 2011

    Re ED

    Your “professor” might have belonged to one of those apostate churches.

    ROTFLMAO.

    Accepted by you. Not by me or millions of other people.

    Millions of people believe that the sun revolves around the earth (20% of the US population according to polls). Doesn’t make it so.

    By the way, Mr. ED failed to respond to the questions I posed to him @ #16. Not surprising as, like most creationists, he doesn’t know his posterior orifice from an excavation in tierra firma.

  32. #32 Evolution Denier
    February 11, 2011

    @ SLC

    I could answer you with links, articles, etc. but you still wuld not accept the answer, so why bother?

    Go one believing and worshipping at the altar of darwin. As for me, I worship at the alter of the one who allowed darwin to exist. The one who allowed you to exist and this entire universe to exist. Darwin was a man. A man with flawed beliefs, racist tendencies, and a hatred for religion. Agendas come and go. God remains the same for all eternity.

    radiometric dating methods for welding integrity eh? Hmmm. Never used that one before. They must have skipped that part in school. Must be one of them new fangled idears of you all scierntistses and thangs. You know we hicks just know know anythang about nuthin.

    Anyone who claims to be related to an ape, probably is more related to one more than he wants to be – intellectually that is.

  33. #33 Lenoxuss
    February 11, 2011

    radiometric dating methods for welding integrity eh? Hmmm. Never used that one before. They must have skipped that part in school. Must be one of them new fangled idears of you all scierntistses and thangs. You know we hicks just know know anythang about nuthin.

    Wow, I’ve never seen this tactic before… Here are three problems.

    To begin with: this seems to argue that if something wasn’t taught to you in school, it must not be true. This is obviously erroneous. Even the best schools in the world can’t present every single connection between the sciences.

    Secondly: you are trying to argue that the presentation of new information (something that, for what it’s worth, I didn’t know before either) is a veiled insult to your intelligence. This is silly; with the possible (if dubious) exception of God, no one can know everything, nor does anyone expect you to be omniscient.

    Thirdly: even if telling you new information does somehow equate to calling you stupid or hurting your feelings, that’s irrelevant to that information’s truth.

    I you wish, feel free to actually dispute that smoke detectors have anything to do with isotope half-lives, or that the science radiometric dating is involved in other areas. Given what you’ve already written, however, it seems doubtful to expect a reasonable answer.

  34. #34 NJ
    February 11, 2011

    ED @ 32:

    I could answer you with links, articles, etc. completely made up crap but you still wuld not accept the answer would require actual evidence, so why bother?

    FIFY

    radiometric dating methods for welding integrity eh?

    Reading comprehension FAIL.

    The same physics that allows us to come up with radiometric ages allows us to use radioactivity to do things like check weld integrity.

    You really aren’t good at….well, anything that requires thought, are you?

    Darwin was a man. A man with flawed beliefs, racist tendencies, and a hatred for religion.

    I’m sure you felt all warm inside when someone told you to think this. Reality is rather different: Darwin was sent by his father to be trained as a clergyman, and argued against slavery with FitzRoy while on the Beagle.

    Go one believing and worshipping at the altar of darwin.

    And perhaps this best illustrates your authoritarian nature and limited ability to think. You reject science because an authority has told you to do so in the name of a deity. Because you cannot conceive of another way to think, you project the same attitude (with opposite sign) upon us.

    It’s sad, really, to see what might have been a productive human reduced to a bot.

  35. #35 SLC
    February 12, 2011

    Re ED @ #32

    Rather interesting that Mr. EDs’ criticism of evolution consists of a personal attack against Charles Darwin. Just for the information of Mr. ED, Darwin and his influential in-laws, the Wedgewood family, had a substantial role in preventing the British Government from intervening on the side of the confederacy in the Civil War.

    However, lets’ suppose that Darwin was a racist. That has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of his scientific proposals. By that standard, we would have to reject the scientific contributions of Johannes Stark and Philip Lenard, Nobel Prize winners in physics, both of whom were Nazis and strident antisemites who were relativity deniers solely because of Albert Einsteins’ ethnic background.

  36. #36 goomass
    February 13, 2011

    Verdiğiniz bilgiler için çok teşekkürler. Çok faydalı bilgiler paylaşmışsınız. thanks… internetten para kazanma yolları. goomass

  37. #37 smee
    March 23, 2011

    to all those who believe in carbon dating and half life of things,go back to school and learn something useful that will help our planet. there is no way to tell the date of things,unless it was documented at the time,you scientists or people who FOLLOW what they are ASSUMING are CONFUSED. there is no such thing as a half life,it is either alive or dead,SIMPLE. i do not need a piece of paper saying i am qualified to tell you these things,your all JUST as bad as politicians in our governments. CLEAR YOUR HEADS AND DO SOMETHING USEFUL FOR MANKIND

  38. #38 NJ
    March 23, 2011

    smee @ 31:

    i do not need a piece of paper saying i am qualified to tell you these things

    But apparently you do need one to figure out how to capitalize, spell and use proper grammar.

    You have a serious question? We’ll try and answer. You just want to prove you are as stupid as a mulch pile? We’ll just make fun of you for all the world to see.

    Try again, sport.

  39. #39 eric
    March 24, 2011

    there is no such thing as a half life,it is either alive or dead,SIMPLE.

    That. Is. Awesome. If its a Poe, I applaud, its a great one.