Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Science Ed in trouble -Forget blue skies, we're under a cloud right now

Penny Hackett (CSIRO chief ) presumably doesn't disagree that science is increasingly politicized;  its just that she isn't the person to say so,     nor is she the person to prescribe the way out .
Ticky did a good job with some good questions but no answers came
" I don't know of any dissent,  except we do whatever we do to a very high standard " might just go down as political not scientific.
More on the dilemma of science education here
Penny Sackett was completely out of her depth on the critical question of why kids don't want to do science...  and lets not do a U turn  to Jeff and think its just about money .  As one who had a great career in science , I know that MOST of the great careers of independance in applied env science are just plainly no longer on offer.

Yes Ticky,  in areas i know these dull edged attempts by CRC and quangos  to FOCUS  but they often only  add to the confusion , they duplicate and their role is dubiuos because they interfere with good information flow .( questions and answers ).
 Great to see the ABC taking the issue seriously.
 Realistically,  the debate needs an ongoing forum to be effective.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh dear we are not sure what we are anymore

Conservatives or progressives . The discussion on qanda tonight pushed the limits in a good way . For too long the left have characterized the right and the right ,the left and w'eve all gone home happy with old prejudices. What emerged from the welcome honesty was a recognition that we ignore the areas of  agreement with members of each others congregations at the peril of the power for good; at the peril of powerlessness . More ere 

I am not fanatical - but You are !

ABC news SUNDAY of the world conference of Atheists in Melbourne this week made for lively controversy in the news . We want this . We are concerned about that ; about them!. What though are we to make of the media correction attempt dominating the report( "I'm not vehement, am I?" ) Paraphrasing Richard Hawkins .Looked more like a talk about others than about AFA; looked more like denial too.

More too of this ABC disease about quoting " what scientists say " to say what you as a non scientist want to say?
To believe too much in tying up the loose ends of scientific study is to risk ignoring too many loose ends.
To paraphrase again "Why do we have to use symbols and metaphors ,Why can't we just be long winded and completely greek - believing only in what we can see from , dare I mention it - mere rhetoric .We know you used the word "science" but if you want to talk "philosophy of science",  talk some more about the range of scientific studies ( including psychology ) to be credible .
Take Dawkins denial of  "aggression". Does he not have adrenalin flowing in his veins ? Sound sustainability scientists accept the role of aggression, and are not in simple denial about it.
Richard Dawkins is less convincing than he thinks because he doesn't appear to be aware of what he's doing . Sure you can make money like Dan Brown questioning everything and "having a go" . React to a trend . We rebels ALL agree that words are powerful , but never let us stop using them, carefully to stop mere predjudice and panic ( more the basis for real concern in the public mind about "religions',say with regard to Islam )
If you going just destroy the temple you are only half doing the job .Whats the point of trying to kill all those people - all the elephants in the room . More effective it is to try to remember whose actually in there and why , and then you won't just end up with a lot of splinters and offending the scientists in there by wearing their badge so carelessly ( Are you promoting the science of evolution(ANS) or the philosophy of evolutionary determinism (ED)- viva la difference) Who really is being reactive here ? Whose the worry -the radicals or the moderates?
Most of us observing rebels share AFA's concern about the dangers of "institutional religion" BUT are asking " are you in denial about being religious yourself" .( science of the mind rather suggests we all are" religious") \Its easier to deal with a problem, if you admit you are part of it .
On the convincing stakes, having Peter Singer as second fiddle is not very convincing.; Surely the man has spent more time chasing reactionary trams than any old greeks we know .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Giving the "primitive" Christians a sporting chance

Qandas lineup on Monday night reminded me of the scene at some coluseum in the 2nd century.

Emperor Julian, to this day, would be wondering why he couldn't kill em all- and their wacky ideas.

Not sure that our modern ABCTV program setup supported the suggestion that this program was somehow a evolutionary improvement on that old theatre( why always the polys and spin mercahnts when we are trying to talk a bit deeper- its dumb!)

However I have got to hand to Tony . He asked a good question. They say the traditional world view of the west means democracy is possible because of the good in some ABC jounos,BUT neccesary because its not always so when they are in control of the gate. Do we allow the truth to pass unhindered. Applies to all of us .
Jones made the simple but important point that " sacrifice" is noble - isn't it?
Tony Jones tried to reign in the diatribe of verbosity that came forth as a response to a quite reasonable intellectual question. When the grand promoter of reasonableness refused to answer the Muslims big and sound question about the value of words without a sense of God in the picture , many of could see him playing politics or religion on the question of reasonableness.
Never were , or will The elephants in the room agree that Dawkins can so easily dismiss the people who sit in the pews and clap at congregations of atheists (egtake just the atheistic worldview leaders in our century)
To say that aetheists believe in nothing in particular and that gives them freedom to believe in whatever they choose, means thay may rank lower than Flanders in the woosy and unthinking stakes .
"My nasty word is bigger and more nasty than your nasty word!"
The struggle indeed is about evil, but are we really talking to it, or around it .