Wednesday 17th of April 2024

educating junior....

educating  junior...

At the coal-face of educating Gustaphian with porkies...

in Oklahoma

Senate Bill 320 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate and scheduled for a first reading on February 2, 2009, is apparently the first antievolution bill of 2009. Entitled the "Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act," SB 320 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to "assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies" and permit teachers to "help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught." The only topics specifically mentioned as controversial are "biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning."

Unsurprisingly, SB 320 is a further instance of the "academic freedom" strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution; as NCSE's Glenn Branch and Eugenie C. Scott recently wrote in their article "The Latest Face of Creationism," published in the January 2009 issue of Scientific American, "'Academic freedom' was the creationist catchphrase of choice in 2008: the Louisiana Science Education Act was in fact born as the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, and bills invoking the idea were introduced in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and South Carolina ..." Of these, only the Louisiana bill was passed and enacted, over protests from the scientific, educational, and civil liberties communities.

Meanwhile at the rabid-right microphone and in the streets of Guncity:

The US is facing a surge in anti-government extremist groups and armed militias, driven by deepening hostility on the right to Barack Obama, anger over the economy, and the increasing propagation of conspiracy theories by parts of the mass media such as Fox News.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, the US's most prominent civil rights group focused on hate organisations, said in a report that extremist "patriot" groups "came roaring back to life" last year as their number jumped nearly 250% to more than 500 with deepening ties to conservative mainstream politics.

The SPLC report, called Rage on the Right, said the rise in extremist groups was "a cause for grave concern" given their propensity to use violence during their heyday in the 90s, most notably with the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. It added that the issues driving support for such groups were increasingly populist and that "signs of growing radicalisation are everywhere".

"Patriot groups have been fuelled by anger over the changing demographics of the country, the soaring public debt, the troubled economy and an array of initiatives by President Obama that have been branded "socialist" or even "fascist" by his political opponents," the report said.

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50 per cent moronic...

Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets
By LESLIE KAUFMAN

Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.

In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”

The bill, which has yet to be voted on, is patterned on even more aggressive efforts in other states to fuse such issues. In Louisiana, a law passed in 2008 says the state board of education may assist teachers in promoting “critical thinking” on all of those subjects.

Last year, the Texas Board of Education adopted language requiring that teachers present all sides of the evidence on evolution and global warming.

Oklahoma introduced a bill with similar goals in 2009, although it was not enacted.

The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.

Yet they are also capitalizing on rising public resistance in some quarters to accepting the science of global warming, particularly among political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.

In South Dakota, a resolution calling for the “balanced teaching of global warming in public schools” passed the Legislature this week.

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant,” the resolution said, “but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life.”

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"Balance" is going to confuse issues and retard our necessary actions to slow down the ravages of human created global warming.

No science can disprove the theory of evolution. No science can disprove the theory of human induced global warming. Only pseudo-sciencific porkies wrapped up in archaic mumbo-jumbo can be used to demonise these serious issues.

"Balance" for these issues is idiotic and dangerous. Some idiot could say for the sake of "balance" concepts that the earth is flat or that the universe is flat. Anti-evolution and anti-global warming are flat-earth creationist idiots.

the biblical tide of porkies...

Debunking Noah...

THE scientist, author and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins started his talk to a packed Opera House audience yesterday with a challenge – don't dare take your life for granted.

sub-tasking...

An inability to deal with more than two things at a time may be "hard-wired" into our brain, research suggests.

When we try to do two things at once, each half of the brain focuses on a separate task, French scientists say.

This division of labour could explain why we find it so difficult to multi-task, they report in the journal Science.

It might also explain why people are prone to make irrational decisions when choosing from a long list of items.

Lead author Dr Etienne Koechlin told the BBC: "You can cook and at the same time talk on the phone but you cannot really do a third task such as trying to read a newspaper.

Our result is likely to provide an explanation for why people are good in binary choice but not multiple choice

Dr Etienne Koechlin
"If you have three or more tasks you lose track of one task."

The French team used an imaging technique to monitor brain activity in 32 volunteers asked to perform a letter-matching test.

The scans looked at the frontal cortex, the part of the human brain associated with impulse control.

When the volunteers completed one task at a time, one side of a certain area of the frontal lobes lit up.

But, when they completed two tasks at the same time, the lobes divided the tasks between them.


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About 20 years ago, I tackled the concept of multi-tasking in regard to depression. The point which I was making was in regard to our ability to have a sub-surface, subconscious activity which, if "trained",  can actually solve some problems (including depression) while we consciously act on other activities. The point too is that at any one time, our mind is dealing with thousand of concepts and ideas all at once, but at different stages of resolution or non-resolution. Multi-tasking physically can lead to conflicts of action and a division of general reactivity, but not necessarily so. With computers and telephones, we've learned how different sets of information can be dealt with, on a linear continuum. We encode the sets of information in discreet packets that can be differentiated, then reconstituted as several sets at the other end "simultaneously" (the delay is measured in tenth of nanosecond). Most people can learn to do two different tasks with different hands. Some can learn to also perform with one foot at the same time. As an artist, I often multi-task, with several ideas running at the same time (or in super-fast successive "packets") while trying to minimise conflicts. Even when performing "one" task, several muscles are involved, some on "automatic" some not, demanding a certain form of multi-tasking. This is a short extract of what I wrote then:

Multi-tasking
As a creative mind, we are able to perform several tasks at the same time—performing on automatic with a high degree of precision on a few fronts. We can’t be too faint-hearted, as decisions have to be made in much shorter time than we could be used to.
    Multi-tasking drains great amount of physical and mental energy —energy which we do not possess as we come out of a depressed state—yet can enhance general performance. Apart from possible failure should we not achieve much, high-speed multi-tasking promotes production of adrenaline which can induce muscular fever and stronger emotional shifts if unmanaged.
    The complexity of goals, our management of aggressiveness and receptivity, our tendencies to slack off or goof when approaching a goal can induce mind blocks. In multi-tasking, we switch to another problem of various degree of difficulty. During this new activity, having already faced the earlier problem in a conscious mode, the subconscious processes it. Many important ideas are created thus, when suddenly in the middle of achieving something else, or even waking up in the middle of the night, the solution to insurmountable problems appears crystal clear.
    A complex task may demand several days, or several attempts to be completed satisfactorily, but having turned our attention to another simple task on the planning board between these attempts, we did not panic about what to do next, nor felt frustrated by the non-achievement and the feeling that we were wasting time. This provides  a timeframe usually filled with success, reinforcing our confidence in problem solving.
    Most activities are compatible to multi-tasking but not every one wishes to indulge in the process or enjoy the stresses this can creates. Some of us prefer concentrating on one problem at a time and this method can be very effective too.
    Multi-tasking lets problems find their own way through our mind rather than impose progressive logical processes toward a solution.
    We can use multi-tasking to steer us away from a depressed mode, by imposing upon ourselves the task to consciously involve ourselves in unrelated activities. This is achieved through the creation of small focuses and their successes. Our depressed state slowly eliminates itself as we continue processing activities towards contentment, by first allocating the task, then succeeding and repeating the process until we are able to juggle tasks with dazzling dexterity and confidence.
    Multi-tasking is not always efficient or appropriate, such as when, as part of a team, we cannot delay a task necessary for teamwork to proceed. In this case we have to pull our socks up, no matter what, and seek help if necessary. There is no shame is being helped when we are unable to perform. There is a problem though, when our ability to perform becomes chronic. In this case we need once again to reassess the factors which have reduced our ability to perform including our fixations.
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May be I should have called this sub-tasking...

of religions...

of religion