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Re: Bacteria evolve; Conservapedia demands recount

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  • Charlie Bell
    ... It s well worth reading Lenski s full replies. Utterly brilliant. Charlie. _______________________________________________
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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      On 01/07/2008, at 11:27 AM, William T Goodall wrote:

      >
      > On 1 Jul 2008, at 01:55, William T Goodall wrote:
      >
      >> "By John Timmer | Published: June 29, 2008 - 11:35PM CT
      >> Noises off
      >
      > http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/conservapedias-evolutionary-foibles.ars

      It's well worth reading Lenski's full replies. Utterly brilliant.

      Charlie.
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    • Alberto Monteiro
      I love the Conservapedia. It s an endless source of humor. Maybe I should sign in and create an account. Some articles, like...
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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        I love the Conservapedia. It's an endless source of humor. Maybe
        I should sign in and create an account. Some articles, like...

        http://www.conservapedia.com/Axiom_of_Choice

        ... lack enough "conservatism"; there's no line claiming that
        the Axiom of Choice is atheistic mathematics and the work of Satan.

        Alberto Monteiro

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      • David Hobby
        ... Alberto-- Hi. Thanks for pointing out the status of the Conservapedia. I d say it s a good thing, since I don t really want the authors trying to edit
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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          Alberto Monteiro wrote:
          > I love the Conservapedia. It's an endless source of humor. Maybe
          > I should sign in and create an account. Some articles, like...
          >
          > http://www.conservapedia.com/Axiom_of_Choice
          >
          > ... lack enough "conservatism"; there's no line claiming that
          > the Axiom of Choice is atheistic mathematics and the work of Satan.

          Alberto--

          Hi. Thanks for pointing out the status of the Conservapedia.
          I'd say it's a good thing, since I don't really want the
          authors trying to edit Wikipedia!

          There is an interesting question: Could Conservapedia just
          copy articles on non-controversial subjects from Wikipedia?
          Maybe if they included an attribution in 6-point type?
          (I'm shaky on exactly what the public license for Wikipedia
          content says.)

          There are some thorny problems for religious fundamentalists,
          even in mathematics. The only safe thing to do might be to
          have a completely finitary mathematics, making no assumptions
          about infinite objects whatsoever. One does, however, lose
          lots of mathematics by doing so! You can argue that the
          Infinite is the domain of the Deity, and hence unknowable.
          Or decide that Infinite sets should be "neat and clean",
          since the Great Spaghetti Monster would not tolerate
          "messiness".

          If you go the latter route, I'd recommend assuming the
          Axiom of Constructibility, which states that "the only
          sets that exist are the ones required by the other axioms
          of set theory". There doesn't seem to be an entry on
          Conservapedia, yet:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_constructibility

          (Maybe they'll get around to copying material for it
          eventually.) But this axiom implies the Axiom of Choice.

          ---David

          Large Cardinal Heresy, Maru
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        • Dan M
          ... Being religiously minded, I tend to take a totally different tact with literalists. I agree that scripture is the inspired word of God. But, I then to go
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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            > (Maybe they'll get around to copying material for it
            > eventually.) But this axiom implies the Axiom of Choice.

            Being religiously minded, I tend to take a totally different tact with
            literalists. I agree that scripture is the inspired word of God. But, I
            then to go whether it was intended to be taken literally.

            Good old Tommy Aquinas argued against that about 1000 years ago. But, he's
            Catholic and suspect. Then the question comes to whether the four gospels
            agree on the day Jesus died. They don't. John has him dying on the day
            before Passover, the synoptic gospels have him die on the day of Passover.

            Now, you think that this would have been noticed early: well it was. The
            first apologist we have on record for including the gospel of John in the
            Bible stated that John was not literally true, but spiritually true. So,
            the guy who at least started the push to put John in the Bible said it
            wasn't literally true. So far, that argument has been met with silence.

            Dan M.




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          • Alberto Monteiro
            ... As if there were enough trolls in the Wikipedia... ... I am not a lawier, but I guess Wikipedia s GPL license allows the copy of Wikipedia stuff to any
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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              David Hobby wrote:
              >
              > Hi. Thanks for pointing out the status of the Conservapedia.
              > I'd say it's a good thing, since I don't really want the
              > authors trying to edit Wikipedia!
              >
              As if there were enough trolls in the Wikipedia...

              > There is an interesting question: Could Conservapedia just
              > copy articles on non-controversial subjects from Wikipedia?
              > Maybe if they included an attribution in 6-point type?
              > (I'm shaky on exactly what the public license for Wikipedia
              > content says.)
              >
              I am not a lawier, but I guess Wikipedia's GPL license allows
              the copy of Wikipedia stuff to any other site that has
              similar licenses.

              > There are some thorny problems for religious fundamentalists,
              > even in mathematics. The only safe thing to do might be to
              > have a completely finitary mathematics, making no assumptions
              > about infinite objects whatsoever.
              >
              Maybe a conservative math should ban all things that come
              from Satan, like those evil imaginary numbers or even the
              blasphemous sqrt(2). If the Creator can make sqrt(2) rational,
              who is Man to deny it?

              > If you go the latter route, I'd recommend assuming the
              > Axiom of Constructibility, which states that "the only
              > sets that exist are the ones required by the other axioms
              > of set theory". There doesn't seem to be an entry on
              > Conservapedia, yet:
              > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_of_constructibility
              >
              Conservapedia is quite poor in Math articles.

              > Large Cardinal Heresy, Maru
              >
              OTOH, maybe a conservative math would be comfortable with an
              absolute universal set...

              Alberto Monteiro

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            • Dan M
              ... For a while the Catholic church would only accept Cardinal numbers up to 72. ... Dan M. _______________________________________________
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                > Behalf Of Alberto Monteiro
                > Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:32 AM
                > To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
                > Subject: Re: Bacteria evolve; Conservapedia demands recount
                >
                > OTOH, maybe a conservative math would be comfortable with an
                > absolute universal set...
                >
                > Alberto Monteiro

                For a while the Catholic church would only accept Cardinal numbers up to 72.
                :-)

                Dan M.

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              • David Hobby
                Alberto Monteiro wrote: ... Alberto-- A lot of people don t like imaginary numbers, so that would be popular. I don t think it says in the Bible that sqrt(2)
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                  Alberto Monteiro wrote:
                  ...
                  >> There are some thorny problems for religious fundamentalists,
                  >> even in mathematics. The only safe thing to do might be to
                  >> have a completely finitary mathematics, making no assumptions
                  >> about infinite objects whatsoever.
                  >>
                  > Maybe a conservative math should ban all things that come
                  > from Satan, like those evil imaginary numbers or even the
                  > blasphemous sqrt(2). If the Creator can make sqrt(2) rational,
                  > who is Man to deny it?

                  Alberto--

                  A lot of people don't like imaginary numbers, so that would
                  be popular. I don't think it says in the Bible that sqrt(2)
                  is rational, so they'd probably let it stay irrational. : )

                  > Conservapedia is quite poor in Math articles.

                  Hence the question: How blatantly can they steal content
                  they want from other sources, just slapping it on their
                  site? It seems their best chance of getting comprehensive
                  coverage.

                  > OTOH, maybe a conservative math would be comfortable with an
                  > absolute universal set...

                  Good plan, but this would be "God's Set", where our rules
                  did not apply. You wouldn't want Russell's Paradox, where
                  you have to decide whether or not the "set of all sets
                  which are not members of themselves" is a member of itself.

                  Or would they care? I've never even heard a good answer to
                  "Can God make a rock he cannot lift?"

                  ---David

                  Omnipotent, and Omniscient, and Caring, and... Maru
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                • Nick Arnett
                  ... It would have been rather difficult for him to have been a Protestant. Are there conservative Christians who seriously say they distrust Aquinas on the
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                    On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Dan M <dsummersminet@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > Good old Tommy Aquinas argued against that about 1000 years ago. But, he's
                    > Catholic and suspect.


                    It would have been rather difficult for him to have been a Protestant.

                    Are there conservative Christians who seriously say they distrust Aquinas on
                    the basis that he was Catholic? Or was that just to emphasize their
                    nuttiness?

                    Or, I'm guessing, you meant that his views were very much in line with
                    Catholic teaching?

                    Nick
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                  • Dan M
                    ... Well, he could have been Eastern Orthodox, but he was Western. :-) ... At the time of the reformation, Luther and Calvin, two of the leading figures of the
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                      > Behalf Of Nick Arnett
                      > Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 10:08 AM
                      > To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
                      > Subject: Re: Bacteria evolve; Conservapedia demands recount
                      >
                      > On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Dan M <dsummersminet@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Good old Tommy Aquinas argued against that about 1000 years ago. But,
                      > he's
                      > > Catholic and suspect.
                      >
                      >
                      > It would have been rather difficult for him to have been a Protestant.
                      >

                      Well, he could have been Eastern Orthodox, but he was Western. :-)

                      > Or, I'm guessing, you meant that his views were very much in line with
                      > Catholic teaching?

                      At the time of the reformation, Luther and Calvin, two of the leading
                      figures of the reformation tended to distance themselves from the teachings
                      of Aquinas and favor the teachings of Augustine. Even now, Reformed
                      Seminaries teach Augustine but not Aquinas. I think it has to do with the
                      dependence of the Catholic Church on the arguments of Aquinas and Luther and
                      Calvin wanting to go away from that route.

                      Dan M.

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                    • Alberto Monteiro
                      ... No, if you take God s promise to Abraham, modified by the New Testament interpretation, that the seed of Abraham cannot be counted, then you must accept
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                        Dan M wrote:
                        >
                        >> OTOH, maybe a conservative math would be comfortable with an
                        >> absolute universal set...
                        >
                        > For a while the Catholic church would only accept Cardinal numbers
                        > up to 72. :-)
                        >
                        No, if you take God's promise to Abraham, modified by the New
                        Testament interpretation, that the seed of Abraham cannot be
                        counted, then you must accept uncountable cardinals _and_
                        the many-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics!

                        Alberto Monteiro

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                      • Alberto Monteiro
                        ... I guess the only vaguely math related topic in the Bible is the approximation pi ~ 3. ... If you consider that Wikipedia s math content was stolen from
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                          David Hobby wrote:
                          >
                          > A lot of people don't like imaginary numbers, so that would
                          > be popular. I don't think it says in the Bible that sqrt(2)
                          > is rational, so they'd probably let it stay irrational. : )
                          >
                          I guess the only vaguely math related topic in the Bible
                          is the approximation pi ~ 3.

                          >> Conservapedia is quite poor in Math articles.
                          >
                          > Hence the question: How blatantly can they steal content
                          > they want from other sources, just slapping it on their
                          > site? It seems their best chance of getting comprehensive
                          > coverage.
                          >
                          If you consider that Wikipedia's math content was stolen
                          from Eric W. Weisstein's MathWorld, who, in his turn, also
                          stole from voluntary contributions, then I think it's fine.

                          Alberto Monteiro

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                        • David Hobby
                          Alberto Monteiro wrote: ... But how can we do mathematics without divine guidance!? ... In my experience, the two differ a fair amount. To be fair, there are
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                            Alberto Monteiro wrote:
                            ...
                            > I guess the only vaguely math related topic in the Bible
                            > is the approximation pi ~ 3.

                            But how can we do mathematics without divine guidance!?

                            >>> Conservapedia is quite poor in Math articles.
                            >> Hence the question: How blatantly can they steal content
                            >> they want from other sources, just slapping it on their
                            >> site? It seems their best chance of getting comprehensive
                            >> coverage.
                            >>
                            > If you consider that Wikipedia's math content was stolen
                            > from Eric W. Weisstein's MathWorld, who, in his turn, also
                            > stole from voluntary contributions, then I think it's fine.

                            In my experience, the two differ a fair amount. To be fair,
                            there are only so many ways to write entries on mathematical
                            entities.

                            ---David

                            What about large cardinals, isn't gluttony a sin?
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                          • Alberto Monteiro
                            BTW, it s frustating that the only reference to David Brin in the Conservapedia is in article: http://www.conservapedia.com/Survivalist_retreat Alberto
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                              BTW, it's frustating that the only reference to David Brin in
                              the Conservapedia is in article:

                              http://www.conservapedia.com/Survivalist_retreat

                              Alberto Monteiro

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                            • Alberto Monteiro
                              ... Ok, but it s easier to copy and paste than to research (copy from many) ... Is temperance an arcsin? Alberto Monteiro
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                                David Hobby wrote:
                                >
                                >> If you consider that Wikipedia's math content was stolen
                                >> from Eric W. Weisstein's MathWorld, who, in his turn, also
                                >> stole from voluntary contributions, then I think it's fine.
                                >
                                > In my experience, the two differ a fair amount. To be fair,
                                > there are only so many ways to write entries on mathematical
                                > entities.
                                >
                                Ok, but it's easier to copy and paste than to "research"
                                (copy from many)

                                > What about large cardinals, isn't gluttony a sin?
                                >
                                Is temperance an arcsin?

                                Alberto Monteiro

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                              • David Brin
                                It s not even comprehensive. I could have written a better survivalist entry... bleah. ... _______________________________________________
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                                  It's not even comprehensive. I could have written a
                                  better survivalist entry... bleah.



                                  --- Alberto Monteiro <albmont@...> wrote:

                                  > BTW, it's frustating that the only reference to
                                  > David Brin in
                                  > the Conservapedia is in article:
                                  >
                                  > http://www.conservapedia.com/Survivalist_retreat
                                  >
                                  > Alberto Monteiro
                                  >
                                  > _______________________________________________
                                  > http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
                                  >

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                                • Medievalbk@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 7/1/2008 11:14:03 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time, dbrin@sbcglobal.net writes: It s not even comprehensive. I could have written a better
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jul 1, 2008
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                                    In a message dated 7/1/2008 11:14:03 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
                                    dbrin@... writes:

                                    It's not even comprehensive. I could have written a
                                    better survivalist entry... bleah.





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