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   RE: [xml-dev] Is Web 2.0 the new XML?

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At 8/12/2005 07:50 AM, Doug Rudder wrote:
>This is the single most offensive post I've ever read (which is a shame
>since it comes from someone I've always respected).

You don't get out much, do you ;^)

(No offense intended!  It's just that I have seen vast numbers of vastly 
more offensive posts, many of them condemning me to an eternity of agony in 
the name of a benevolent and loving deity in which the poster believes.)

>One can make (and many scientists have made) a solid, logical, and truly
>scientific argument that evolutionary theory itself is more religion than

Yeah, this is the same tired old argument that I hear from the creationists 
all the time.  When the current US administration hauls out its "many 
scientists" who dispute whatever it is that the rich and conservative 
dislike, everybody is supposed to cower and say "oh, there is such dissent 
in the scientific community about this subject that we'd better not make a 
decision about it".  Bull!  Scientific American (not exactly the most 
liberal publication on the planet) recently reported that some very large 
number of scientists (I don't recall the exact number, but I think that it 
was well over 500) whose first name was "Steve" signed a letter stating 
that their research supported the position that human activities were 
greatly aggravating, if not actually causing, global warming.  Since, as 
S.A. reported, some very small percentage of the male population in the USA 
is named "Steve", that suggests that a very, very large number of 
scientists are in agreement with that statement.  While that proves nothing 
in and of itself, it demonstrates that hauling out "many scientists" means 
absolutely nothing.

>Your comments are extremely religious in nature; you've taken
>unproven theory and portrayed it as the One Truth,

I take no position on what Len may or many not have said, but very, very 
few scientists whom I know treat evolution (or for that matter, gravity!) 
as "the One Truth".  That's why "the theory of evolution" and "the theory 
of gravity" are common terms in scientific literature.  Instead, the vast 
majority of scientists not employed by the current US administration (and, 
for that matter, the vast majority of them...they're just not allowed to 
express their opinions--ain't freedom a wonderful thing?) say that "the 
theory of evolution is the best way put forward to explain the observed 
facts about the relationships between living things".  But they are 
virtually all committed to continuing to gather facts, to revise their 
theories to accommodate new observations, etc.

This is in absolute contrast to the Creationists, who say "this one book is 
absolute truth, and I know so because I believe it to be so", therefore all 
of the facts on the ground are unpersuasive.

>condemning all other
>positions as superstitions and its practitioners as mindless, evil,
>"hideously perverse" morons instead of caring parents and intelligent human

Actually, I believe that caring parents and intelligent human beings can be 
incredibly blind to the ignorance they possess and try to inflict on 
others.  Is that evil?  Well, some people call wolves evil, others call 
sharks evil.  Is it mindless?  I think that blind belief in something on 
the sole basis of "I believe it" or "you have to have faith" is, in fact, 

>I guess what is most disappointing is that someone who seems to
>advocate broad thinking could be so narrow minded and spiteful. So much for
>scientific method and objectivity. This is the "I'm right and you're stupid
>so shut up" method of argument.

Did Len actually say that?  I may have missed it, so I cannot refute 
it.  But that is exactly what the Creationists say to the scientists whose 
research supports evolution as the best known description of the 
relationships between living organisms: We are a lot of people, and we 
believe that this one book is absolute truth, and we don't want our kids to 
be exposed to anything that disagrees with it, so shut up (or we'll do harm 
to you).



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