Monday, October 19, 2009

They're All a Bunch of Nazi Conformist Cheerleaders

Not sure what to make of this. Researchers were interested in whether suicides of famous people resulted in copy-cat suicides. So they created a computer simulation:
By studying the behaviour of 1000 computer 'people', pre-programmed with the rules that govern how people learn from one another, (the researcher) investigated the problem of copycat suicides to see whether suicidal behaviour in the population really does fit with sociologists' assumptions (of copy-cat suicides being common).
Evidently, the computer people were all goth and copy-catty. The researcher concluded:
The findings of the computer simulations strongly support the proposed link between the mass reporting of a prestigious celebrity's suicide and an increase in national suicide figures.
Know what? Sure, this is pretty cool. But here's where I get pissy. Based on the computer people cyber-killing themselves, the researcher proposes real social regulation:
This highlights the need for media guidelines that restrict the dissemination and glorification of suicides, as already introduced in many countries, such as Austria, Switzerland and Australia
I guess that if you believe you can "pre-program (computer people) with the rules that govern how people learn from one another" then I suppose you'd also believe you can regulate "the rules that govern how (real) people learn from one another." I, on the other hand, am less willing to generalize from computer people to real people that absolutely. But I have a suggestion - develop a computer program that governs how people pay taxes. Then tax the cyber-people to fund the regulations. I would support that.

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Posted at Reverse Sickology

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Counting Doubts on Broken Fingers

This article is titled "Creationists Say Science and Bible Disprove 'Ardi' Fossil Is Evidence of Evolution." It discusses the recently published research regarding "an upright walking ape named Ardipithecus ramidus, or "Ardi" for short, who made Ethiopia her home nearly 5 million years ago." The article is about:
(A) group of researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science...unimpressed by Ardi, who...believe (she) cannot be an ancestor of modern man for a range of reasons, including one of singular importance: God created man in one day, and evolution is a fallacy.
According to Gary Bates, CEO of Creation Ministries International, for example, they "have a different interpretation of the facts, and that is that Genesis is the real view of the creation of man." The main scientist interviewed, David Menton, an anatomist, says, "What creationists believe about human origins we get from the Bible." Ultimately he says:
Evolution is supposedly based on science, but the science does not prove what they want it to. Creationism is not based on scientific observation but on God's word. God created everything in six days, and that's it.
Listen, I've no doubt that the Bible "disproves" the scientific conclusions drawn about Ardi. If one accepts that Biblical claims trump scientific claims, that is a no-brainer. But show me one piece of information in the article, or elsewhere, regarding evidence that science "disproves" the scientific conclusions drawn from Ardi about evolution.

What bothers me a bit about the article, then, is that it is presented to somehow be about science, with worthwhile scientific commentary by "researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science"...but there is no scientific commentary at all. Look, the unabomber was a researcher with an advanced degree in science (techincally his degree was in Math, but he held a NSF fellowship during his career). That doesn't mean that whatever he says is somehow scientic in nature.

Hell, even the anti-Evolution Family Research Council ("Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom") is all hot-and-bothered that, in their view, Ardi also was anti-gay marriage.

So let me get this straight. Ardi proves evolution is wrong. Or maybe not, but at least the Bible proves evolution is wrong. And even if that ain't quite right, God still hates fags.

Jesus titty fucking Christ.

Title from here:

Posted at Reverse Sickology