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Truth Rears its Ugly Head in Virginia PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Brandon Creasy, a 16-year-old junior student in Franklin County, Virginia, at the Leonard A. Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration, claims that an opinion piece he wrote backing the theory of evolution is being censored by the school's principal, Kevin Bezy. The student believes that Bezy had problems with the piece because the he doesn't believe in evolution. Apparently, the principal felt that there was a potential for community backlash, something that any elected official must fear, regardless of the principles involved - pun fully intended.

This was an opinion piece, not a sermon nor a news article, and young Creasy says that he has no plans to revise what he wrote. He will resubmit it as is. SWIFT offers here the complete article; we'd like to hear from readers what they think of Brandon's effort. It reads:

By Brandon Creasy

Evolution is a genetically based change from generation to generation. If and only if you look exactly the same as both your parents and they look exactly the same as your grandparents and so on back to the beginning of life can you say that evolution has not occurred.

Since I assume you are an organism born on this planet, and that you are a human being, rather than some clone, I assume you do not look exactly like both your parents and that they do not look exactly like their parents, and that the differences are, at least in part, genetically based. Therefore, within your own family, evolution has occurred. You have seen evolution. Evolution is a fact folks, not a theory!

How long evolution has occurred, under what circumstances, and what drives it are theories. Evolution is not the theory. How life has been shaped by evolution is the theory. When a scientist says "the theory of evolution", it's not the "theory that evolution occurred," it's the "theory of how evolution occurred" that's being spoken of.

Even so, a scientific theory is a bit different than "I think the moon is made of cheese." A scientific theory must be 1) falsifiable and 2) not disproved after some investigation.

Falsifiability means that you can disprove it without resorting to supernatural phenomenon. Show me a way to disprove that some god (any god) created the world, that could be done through natural investigation, and I'll say it meets one of the criteria. I haven't seen such a way even offered yet.

So far, the theory of evolution by means of natural selection (which was Charles Darwin's theory) has been shown to be the best explanation for the path evolution has taken life. And much of what Darwin and Wallace wrote about in their early work has been found to be incorrect, but the basic premise that evolution occurs through natural selection has not been disproved.

The theory of natural selection says that organisms which do better in a particular environment will pass that ability to do better on to their offspring, and that those offspring will be more numerous than the offspring of organisms that fared poorly (at its most basic, really all it says is that "under natural conditions" the healthy leave more descendants than the unhealthy). So far, all evidence suggests this is true.

Can the effects of natural selection be seen? YES they can be seen. For instance, look in any major magazine or watch the evening news, and you'll see stories about disease-causing bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. Those disease organisms are undergoing natural selection and evolving toward resistance.

Another rather too common misconception is that evolution and natural selection are random. There is nothing random about either. Once life started down a path, it had to follow that path. You're not going to have children that sprout wings. THAT would be random (and awesome), because you don't have the capability of passing that characteristic on to your children (maybe in a few hundred generations....).

Mutation is somewhat random - but is strongly constrained by the ability to survive (an organism with a random mutation that leaves off the head of an organism, isn't going to live long enough to reproduce, which is a VERY strong constraint) as well as by what genes it has to work with (you CAN'T make feathers from fur in one mutation, too much has to change in physiology and anatomy to make them).

Within those limits, our children have to look something like us. They will be genetically different, but they must be similar. Each generation will be somewhat different than its parents, but it will be different. Add up those changes - not random changes, but small changes, directed by natural selection.

There may be a few errors in here, if you look hard enough, but 16 years of life do not a scientist make, though I think this man has the necessary DNA, genes, and determination, to shape up in that way. We'll see. Meanwhile, the creationists are once more all a-flutter. Truth is, after all, a fearsome thing when you're wrong, and you're faced with it. And I wonder what sort of "Applied Technology" and "Career Exploration" are being taught the students at Brandon's school? Maybe nothing more controversial than making salads and placing a want ad?

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written by inquisitiveraven, December 13, 2008
Not bad for a teenager, but why did he mention Wallace without a word of explanation? Everyone knows about Charles Darwin's contributions, but that Alfred Russell Wallace also came up with the theory is rather more obscure, and I think needs elaboration.
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Not Bad for a 16 Year Old
written by Alencon, December 13, 2008
In some places I would have preferred the word "hypothesis" rather than "theory," but other than that, pretty darn good.

I say good for him that he is willing to stand his ground against those who would hide the truth under the darkness of dogma. You go Brandon, we're with you.
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written by monstrmac1, December 13, 2008
I live in a nearby county in Virginia. Unfortunately, the creationists have a strong foothold here in southwest Virginia, both economically and politically. Don't forget the late Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church is in Lynchburg, just a stone's throw away from Franklin County. Church is big business around these parts, as well as professional wrestling (similar professions). Franklin County is a haven for woo. Really the only good thing about Franklin County is that it is considered a mecca for moonshiners. Moonshine is illegal in Virginia, but in Franklin County its as common as a cold. Maybe there's a connection...
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Scary...
written by ConTester, December 13, 2008
Looks like the school principal could learn a few things from the student – chiefly concerning curiosity about the world, open inquiry and honest reporting. This appalling episode, if true, is a microcosmic illustration of the dangers posed by religious nutjobs, whether directly or by proxy, to the principles of liberal democracy founded on a secular ideology.
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written by wardenclyffe, December 13, 2008
Sadly, we now discover that young Mr. Creasy actually plagiarized much of "his" opinion piece from other sources. This in no way forgives or absolves the rotten behavior of his principal. The whole ethics lesson is now much more convoluted. It sounds like the whole school needs to hit the reset button.

Ward
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written by latsot, December 13, 2008
I read about this the other day and it's great to see Brandon's article reprinted in full. It is obvious to me that although - as Randi says - there are some errors (perhaps I would call them 'inaccuracies'), Brandon has some great insights into how evolution works and especially into how to think. That a career educator would discourage anyone’s enthusiasm for learning and rational thought is mystifying and enraging in equal parts.

It’s inconceivable to me that ill-judged ‘sensitivity’ to ‘culture’ could trump what is simply and obviously true and I applaud Brandon for not being cowed by other people’s idiocy.

Hopefully, Brandon is finding out that for every intolerant or over-sensitive person - even in these sometimes unenlightened times – there’s a multitude of people who support learning, enquiry and freedom of expression.
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written by latsot, December 13, 2008
Sadly, we now discover that young Mr. Creasy actually plagiarized much of "his" opinion piece from other sources.


That is not entirely surprising. There are some discrepancies in writing style and other slips. I stand by what I said earlier, though: I’m optimist enough to think that maybe Brandon did some research, picked sources that were based on evidence rather than nonsense and from those chose the ones that interested him and made sense to him. It looks to me as though Brandon knew what he was trying to say, whether he nicked other people’s words or not.

Of course, I’m usually wrong when I’m optimistic  and as wardenclyffe says, Brandon’s sources or originality are hardly the main point.

I expect Brandon is reading this, so it would be great to hear from him about how the whole thing went down.
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written by TDjazz, December 14, 2008
With a quick Google search of one sentence in Brandon Creasy's essay, I found this webpage: http://www.interaktv.com/DARWIN/Evolution.html

There you will find the entire content of Creasy's "opinion piece"--but with this copyright: "Original content copyright 1995-2007 Robert B. Hole, Jr. All Rights Reserved." Seems Creasy used a big part of Robert Hole's writing--verbatim. Compare the two pieces and you'll see.

Creasy didn't just plagiarize "much of "his" opinion piece from other sources," he out and out stole it from one source. There's more to this story than a principal censoring a student's opinion piece on evolution.
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written by TDjazz, December 14, 2008
I meant "almost verbatim"--Creasy did change a few words here and there.
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written by latsot, December 14, 2008
There you will find the entire content of Creasy's "opinion piece"


Well there I go again being wrongly optimistic.

In all the stories I read, the principal was quoted citing things like 'community sensitivity' as the reason the article was pulled. Hopefully this has been mis-reported too and it was just a case of copying. I'll see if I can get the principal to comment.
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written by TDjazz, December 14, 2008
I already emailed the writer of the story on the Roanoke Times website and the principal of the school. Waiting to see whether I get any responses.
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 14, 2008
"There is nothing random about either. Once life started down a path, it had to follow that path. You're not going to have children that sprout wings. THAT would be random (and awesome)"

LOL.

As a parent the idea of flying children just freaks me out, alomst as bad as if cats could fly.
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written by MrIncredible, December 14, 2008
I am a high school teacher, and this kid committed academic fraud, plain and simple. Were he my student, not only would this article not be published, being mostly someone else’s work, he would receive a failing grade and possibly suspension. I don’t think this kid is very bright to stand up publicly and tell everyone that he is going to stand on his principles when his principles obviously do not include the idea that work submitted as one’s own should actually be one’s own.

Additionally, while I personally find the school principal’s actions goofy and backward-thinking, this is the reality of high school journalism – and probably professional journalism too. Any article can be censored, altered, or flat-out rejected if the teachers and administrators involved deem it inappropriate. 30 years ago when I wrote for my high school paper it happened to me all the time and I did not go running to the media claiming censorship. Sorry, but this whole thing is silly.
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written by BillyJoe, December 14, 2008
Okay, I feel sorry for this kid.

He has gone public about perceived censorship, and has been caught red-handed plagiarising his entire "opinion piece" from a single source.


Brandon,

If you're reading this, there is a lesson here which you can learn and then you can move on:

Before you want to write an opinion piece, learn about your subject as fully and completely as you can from a multitiude of sources. Then, write in your own words, the understanding of the subject that resides in your own head as a result of all that you have read.

Okay, what's happened here is going to be uncomfortable for you for a while, but all is not lost. You can learn this valuable lesson.

regards,
BillyJoe

PS: His two paragraphs (second and third last paragraphs) about randomness and mutation are confused if not actually wrong. Maybe, in your further research on the subject you might discover why.
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written by Willy K, December 14, 2008
I see two stories here. One is about someone who plagiarized someones else's writing and the other is about censorship. It seems to me as if some of the commenter's here believe the former cancels the latter. I judge each on its' own merits.

About the plagiarizing all I can say is this.... Brandon, you dope! Some people will never forgive you for doing it, but even worse, those same people will never give you a second chance. I don't have any suggestions as to what you can do about it. I hope you can find a way to make amends. smilies/cry.gif

I have read here and on a few other web sites such as the local news media reports about why the principal, a Mr. Kevin Bezy, did what he did. He did not, according to all the news reports I can find, reject Brandon's paper because it was plagiarized. He rejected it because, according to Brandon's teacher David Campbell, Mr. Bezy said "the article sounded angry with the church, it wasn't based on fact and he [Bezy] intimated that the potential for community backlash might be an issue.”
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/187410

Mr. Bezy has overstepped his authority. He has made his own fear and ignorance the limit to which all the students in that school must hold themselves to. smilies/sad.gif

Willy K
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written by BillyJoe, December 15, 2008
Willy,

I see two stories here.One is about someone who plagiarized someones else's writing and the other is about censorship.

Yes, I agree. I sort of implied this, without stating it explicitly, when I said:
He has gone public about perceived censorship, and has been caught red-handed plagiarising his entire "opinion piece"

I also agree that they are separate issues and that one doesn't cancel the other.

I don't have any suggestions as to what you can do about it.

All he can do is come clean as soon as possible and admit the plagiarism. I mean it's obvious he plagiarised the article, but saying nothing will only make things worse for him. He needs to publicly own up to his plagiarism and cop it on the chin. I think he probably meant well but didn't think clearly about what he was doing. His biggest error was in giving an opinion about something he most likely knows very little about (otherwise the plagiarism would not have been necessary)

BJ
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written by cwniles, December 15, 2008
Too bad the principal already made some damning comments or else he could have neatly turned this around and said he suspected the text was lifted and just need time to investigate.

But he has already said the essay "didn't present the theory with a sensitivity for those who hold other theories." as well as "The teacher of the student was asked to take out language that stated his theory is the only theory." so it's clear that plagarism was not why the article was held up and no one can claim so.

So on one hand, we have a cheater audacious enough to claim he was persected when his plagarized writings were rejected but then on the other hand we have a school principal who, regardless of the text being plagarized or not, seems to have actually rejected the text as it contradicted his religious beliefs....sad
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written by Christophe Thill, December 15, 2008
Didn't know it was plagiarized when I first read it. But I don't think it's a very good article. It lacks an introduction and a conclusion. It looks like something cut out from a book...
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written by thebrokencarnage, December 15, 2008
The Roanoke Times has published an editorial followup to this story:
http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/187733
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written by Ian Mason, December 15, 2008
I wish I could have understood that much and written that well when I was 16. Very well expressed and thought out. The young man deserves an A.
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written by Alan3354, December 15, 2008
A simple argument that is difficult for the believers (in god(s)) to refute is the mutation of bacteria and viruses.
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The Truth is really ugly..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by cwniles, December 15, 2008
Some of these comments are hilarious!
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written by mjr, December 15, 2008
This whole thing is an exercise in multi-aspect FAIL.
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written by BillyJoe, December 15, 2008
danieljref,

And the funniest part is that a SIXTEEN year old kid, which judging by his intellectual honesty never saw a fossil or studied anything related to the Theory of Evolution, promptly asserts that Evolution is a FACT with arrogant and sarcastic (and wrong) arguments and people still don't know what is the problem.

Yes, his problems are twofold:
1) He defended something he does not understand
2) He plagiarised in defending it.
And the first naturally leads to the second.

but I think that is what's needed for you to defend the Theory of Evolution: be a parrot, instead of thinking.

But now I'm wondering what your problem is.
(or have I misread you here?)

BJ
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written by Kuroyume, December 15, 2008
...I think that is what's needed for you to defend the Theory of Evolution: be a parrot, instead of thinking


Maybe for a 16-yo who plagiarized the piece. Not for those of us who actually *understand* Evolution (the fact and the scientific theory).

I doubt it much that by the age of 16 he has *never* seen a fossil (in a museum, book, television show, magazine, newspare, online). Do have some evidence that he was raised in some forgotten tribe in the Amazonian forests?

If your insinuation is that 'thinking' would reveal that evolution isn't a fact and that the current scientific theory is even in minor doubt, then you are certainly not doing the aforementioned activity.

You've got my (negative) vote. smilies/wink.gif
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written by Kuroyume, December 15, 2008
Just to go a bit further here. The fallacy of authority (and not solely restricted to the more proper 'appeal to authority') is one problem that entrenches the credulous against reality. To me it seems that having been 'bathed' in the ideology that certain respected people have authoritative knowledge of, if not vast scope, complete scope concerning the subject about which they speak is the defining principle of 'belief' or acceptance of the knowledge. This fallacy colors their overall acceptance of science because science doesn't fit into that 'wise-man' mold. No one person can be 'authoritative' completely on any significant branch of scientific study. Science may place certain great minds upon pedestals (Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, et al) but their sole contributions are not considered authoritative in any absolute sense. Science isn't about one person having vast or complete knowledge but about the accumulation of knowledge over time and by masses of people and the correction of it to more closely resemble the reality that we can measure it against.

So, what I see is that if a person can't 'quote the bible' verbatim from memory, then they can't be accepted to be dispelling 'truth'. Not one person, not one of us can have complete knowledge of, say, Evolutionary Theory. But what we do have in our overwhelming favor is the vast accumulation of knowledge from thousands or tens of thousands of individuals all heaping validity upon the overall concept and shaping it where it has minor flaws and none finding flaws that shake the foundations of the overall concept. That is science - at its best. This is my response to those who require so-called authoritative knowledge in order to speak about or accept scientific concepts or theories. Science isn't a belief system. It is a knowledge system. And the knowledge isn't authoritative, it is scrutinized, freely, over and over and over again by anyone who desires to do so. This is why creationism and ID will fail as long as there are people who understand the difference. Behe came the closest in ID to actually doing science - he scrutinized. Unfortunately, he did it poorly and poked at areas with more integrity than he assumed. Evolution is such a well-founded and well-supported concept that it would take a much more fundamental flaw to undermine its success. That fundamental flaw, in the mind of IDers, is that it isn't authoritative nonsense based upon ancient religious concepts.
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My bad
written by PCB28, December 16, 2008
I didn't know that the article was plagiarized when I sent the link to Mr. Randi. I apologize to everyone here, especially James himself, despite the fact that the issue is not about plagiarism, it's about censorship in the guise of church v. state.
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written by BillyJoe, December 16, 2008
Brandon,

I don't quite understand.
How could you not know the article was plagiarised?
Or are you not Brandon?
If not, who the hell are you?

BillyJoe


BTW, it may interest you to know that Randi plagiarised part of one of his articles a few years ago from something written by a poster on the JREF forum. He said he mixed up some stuff he had collected together for Swift and that the part he plagiarised sounded like what he wanted to write and that he then forgot that someone else had actually written it. Or something like that - it was quite complicated. And a little embarrassing.
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More negative votes for me, please., Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Ian Mason, December 16, 2008
Who cares if the lad half-inched bits? All the great poets have stolen things, including the great revolutionary Milton (400 years old this year) who lifted loads of similes and meatphors from Homer. Sometimes it's even called "research".
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written by TDjazz, December 16, 2008
To Ian Mason:

Creasy didn't just steal "bits" of his piece, he stole the entirety almost verbatim from Robert Hole Jr. Please see Hole's complete essay at http://www.interaktv.com/DARWIN/Evolution.html

Compare the two essays and you'll see that this is a clear case of egregious plagiarism (notwithstanding the principal's gross error in judgment).
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written by Arts Myth, December 16, 2008
Something I came up with myself, and absolutely did not steal from Tom Lehrer: "Let no man's work evade your eyes, / Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, / Don't shade your eyes, / But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize. / Only be sure to call it research."
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 16, 2008
lol @ danieljref for assuming anyone much thinks of him at all.

Daniel, look up and study "argument from personal incredulity" and get back to us.

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written by cwniles, December 16, 2008
Very nice Arts Myth, I too have something I came up with myself and absolutely did not steal from Tom Lehrer.

"I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up."

ha,that guy cracks me up.
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written by BillyJoe, December 16, 2008
daniel,

My problem is with people that do not understand squat about the Theory of Evolution and pretend they are experts on it (and try to lecture everybody else). Never read "The Origin of Species" and loudly say they are darwinists. Never studied anything and go around "parroting" Richard Dawkins like he is the Great Genius on Evolution without even knowing where he stands and don't even acknowledge the existence of other biologists who think differently. And I don't know about you, but I see this a lot. I have other issues, but I guess this sums it up.

I am with you then.smilies/smiley.gif

(I must have misunderstood you previous comments but, if you go back and read them, you will see that they are a little ambiguous.

BJ
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DANIEL!
written by BillyJoe, December 16, 2008
Okay, I just read the rest of your post.

Let's just say that, athough you may have read a lot about evolution, you obviously must have understood very little. Have you tried the forums to try to nut this thing out. There are lots of intelligent folks out there willing to inform, argue, and discuss the issue with you if you are interested.

Please post a link to the thread if you decide to start one.

BJ
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written by Lingua, December 17, 2008
Sure, it was stupid of Brandon to go public with this, knowing that the text was stolen.

But seriously, he's 16. Plagiarism is the key to getting through high school, as is my understanding. You just have to be a bit more clever about it.
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written by rich2741, December 17, 2008
PART 1


Gentlemen, gentlemen,

First, let us remember to stick to the question posed to us by Mr. Randi (...what do we
think of Brandon's effort?). Although the question has multiple extensions, my first
response (not negating ANY information that comes to me in the course of examination)
would be to relay that little Brandon is a cheat at heart (not a good position from
which to open ones mouth). Additionally I would extend there are errors in 'his'
statement of opinion. As to the principal (Bezy) and his position on this matter, I
would tend to concur with him (an assumption, as his comments where not relayed
verbatim) as the piece has an air of condescension and immaturity which saturates the
submission.

I reveal to you that my position on this is generated predominately from two vectors,
one being that I am an agnostic in the realm of religious matters and one being that I
am of very superior intelligence (138 IQ). The latter utimately relays that I dwell in
the arena of logic, the former shows that my logic can not bring me to a definitive
conclusion in the matter of the existence of an ultimate entity. It is this that is the
bane of my logical world; the sole perpetual fence I am stuck on to this 52nd year of
life.

It dawns on me that there tends to be a concentrated focus on just the main vein of
religion (basically the 'Abraham' based ones), when in fact there are over 1,200
religions in the world. If we are to properly address the theory conundrum, should we
not address the actual core of religion (intelligent design) versus evolution?

I understand the 'idiocy' element of faith sprinkled throughout, human control factors,
etc, but yet these are elements of the practitioners, and not within the confines of
scientific scrutiny for 'intelligent design'. The mere title tells the tale; it IS a
quantifiable point of discourse, as ultimately it must be measurable to an end degree.
It is that 'degree' that is the point of contention on and for both sides. Do not take
a stance wherein you propose to be so superior in knowledge that you have strung all the
elements together showing the definative answer and your conclusions can not be
questioned (known as a 'proof' in mathematics).
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written by rich2741, December 17, 2008

PART 2

Here is an interesting point to ponder -

year - Biblical year: 360 days Calendar year: 365 days
Tropical year: 365.2421896698 days Gregorian year: 365.2425 days
Julian year: 365.25 days Sidereal year: 365.256363 days
Calendar leap year: 366 days
note: The Biblical year of 360 days works out properly (365.2425 days over the course of
4,000 years – a generation [100 years] of generations [the span of biblical man unto the
next generation; 40 years]) when it is understood that like most other calendars the
Biblical calendar gets adjusted, inserting a leap month every 6 years (except in the 7th
multiple when it is inserted at the end of 4 years, and ommitting a leap month at the
end of every 4,000 years) and is therefore realigned every 40 years, and which in itself
is a multiple leading to 360. Over the course of 96,000 years it becomes more accurate
still (365.2422 days). Furthermore, the constant use of multiples of 360 years in
keeping with 360 days enforces the biblical concepts that, "a day is as a year," and,
"a thousand years is as a day." The biblical calendar, as a constant, is in fact the
most accurate of all, over the course of time. Taken far enough, the accuracy is greater
than that of an atomic clock, even unto perfection.
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written by rich2741, December 17, 2008
PART 3

And another point -

16 Oldest Humans (Biblical):
Name Aged Note
Methuselah 969 died the year of, but before, the Great Flood
The name Methuselah is Hebrew for “one who was sent”
Jared 962 Great, Great, Great Grandson of Adam
The name Jared is Hebrew for “descending”
Noah 950 died 2 years before Abraham was born
The name Noah is Hebrew for “peaceful”
Adam 930 First man
The name Adam is Hebrew for “man of the red earth”
Seth 912 Son of Adam (Adam beget Seth at 130)
The name Seth is Hebrew for “appointed”
Cainan 910 Great Grandson of Adam
The name Cainan is Hebrew for “possessor”
Enos 905 Grandson of Adam (Seth beget Enos at 105)
The name Enos is Hebrew for “human being”
Mahalaleel 895 Great, Great Grandson of Adam
The name Mahalaleel is Hebrew for “praise of God”
Lamech 777 died 5 years before the Great Flood
The name Lamech is Hebrew for “poor”
Shem 600 Son of Noah (Noah beget Shem at 502)
The name Shem is Hebrew for “fame”
Heber 464 Son of Salah
The name Heber is Hebrew for “partner”
Arphaxad 438 Son of Shem
The name Arphaxad is Hebrew for “healer”
Salah 433 Son of Arphaxad
The name Salah is Hebrew for “mission”
Enoch 365* Son of Jarad; great-grandfather of Noah
The name Enoch is Hebrew for “dedicated”
Japheth 260 Son of Noah (lived at least 260 years)
The name Japheth is Hebrew for “may he expand”
Abraham 175 Son of Terah
The name Abram (Abraham) is Hebrew for “exalted father”
* Enoch didn’t actually die, according to the Bible, God took him.

Now, before you discount the above ages; negating massive injury or poison, longevity is
in the genes. It is simply because certain genes are turned off after birth (through DNA
instruction) and other active genes get damaged through chemical/photonic energy through
the years that longevity is limited. It was hypothesized in the 1990’s that if one were
born in the year 2000 that there could be a great likelihood of that person reaching 150
years in age due to gene therapy advancements along the way. If every function of every
gene were fully known, along with a way to manipulate them all, it should indeed be
possible for humans to reach 1,000 years of age.

And yet one more point for possible "intelligent design" theory -

Being a retired Electromagnetic Spectrum Authority, I find the following absolutely
amazing (speaking from a scientific point of view). Within the electromagnetic spectrum
(which is HUGE!) there are various scales of measurement; the two most notable are the
wavelength (meter) and frequency (Hz) of energy emanations. The 2 scales in question are
reversed against each other; as the frequency measurement rises, the wavelength size
decreases. There ultimately will only be one point across this huge scale that the two
will cross and generate the same number. That spot is at 547.722557505166 nm and
547.722557505166 THz. This spot falls within the visable light spectrum and is a color
reminiscent of 'day-glo green'. Now, the stunning part is that this wavelength/frequency
falls exactly at the 100% mark of human visual acuity. It is not the same for any other
animal or organism; it is strictly centered on the eyes of man and no other lifeform
(due to receptor composition and orb size). It's uniqueness is furthered even more when
you consider roughly 80% of our knowledge comes through our eyesight. BTW, the most
abundant animal on Earth (clearly, I would think, making it the most 'successful'
according to evolution) is not man or some often thought of animal, but the ancient
one-eyed copepod.
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written by rich2741, December 17, 2008
PART 4

The bottom line is that if we are truly seeking truth, let's not take an attitude of
arrogance. Certainly in scientific thinking we can separate the chaff from the wheat.
Go after the answer scientifically, clinically, with no predispositions, We owe it to
ourselves to considering a sound search matrix. Don't be smart, be intelligent.
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 17, 2008
PART 5

STFU!

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written by SomeBloke, December 17, 2008
Dear Rich2741.

Firstly congratulations on your massive IQ - I am suitably awed by your phenomenal intellect. I've not subscribed to the forums here before but your posts have... stimulated me.

Re. your last post; I have no clue what point you are trying to make with the list of ages and names - so I’ll move on to the next and apparently unrelated paragraph. The point I understand you are making here is this: it is a remarkable fact that the two nomenclatures mentioned are of equal numerical value at a point central in the human visual spectrum. Your thesis then extends this to being evidence, if not proof, of some higher intelligence, presumably showing off. I have a problem with this as evidence of anything, other than desperation.

The forms of measurement are not absolute; the metre, from which your wavelength measurement of nanometres is defined, is a figure derived in France, using a fraction of an (inaccurate) value for the earth's circumference. It is to all intents and purposes an arbitrary value of distance. Similarly the second, on which the Hz value is based, has no fundamental value in physics it is an arbitrary fraction of the duration of one rotation of the planet. If either if these figures were chosen differently (e.g. measure the wavelength in feet, yards, inches, cubit, league, light year, fathom... you get the idea) then your amazing fact wouldn't work. If you are implying that the Metre as a unit of measurement is divinely inspired then 1. I think that many US citizens would have a problem with that (it was after all a product of the French republic for heaven’s sake) 2. All you have generated is a circular argument where in order for one part to be accepted as proof the other part must be accepted on faith.

Was there meant to be any significance in the day-glo green colour (giving away my roots now) – do tell!!

BTW, Is there a way that I can I tell whether I am smart or intelligent, right or wrong, other than my own ability to be thorough in my critical analysis of what I am told?
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written by cwniles, December 17, 2008
I may regret challenging an ego err, I mean an intelligence as massive as Rich2471's but you said,

"roughly 80% of our knowledge comes through our eyesight'

I think there are a hundred better ways to express what you so ungracefully attempted to...how about

It is generally excepted that about 80% of what the average person perceives through their senses comes from sight.

Sorry to be such a stickler for what you may consider semantics but I figured you spent so long typing you could have at least tried to be a bit more eloquent.







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written by Kuroyume, December 17, 2008
Well, first he insults our intelligence then he proceeds to spew a bunch of anomalous junk as evidence of ID.

As already pointed out, scientific units (SI) are man-made measurement constructs. There are only a few 'constants' therein which are unitless. Such numerical equivalences have mesmerized both mathematicians and numerologists for millenia. Fortunately, most mathematicians are seeking patterns in statistical forms whereas, unfortunately, numerologists make shit up by datamining and shifty correlations.

To keep this response simple, I accept 'Intelligent Design' as a hypothesis. But as a scientific theory, no. As a hypothesis, it has to have supporting evidence (hard evidence) and pass tests (can it predict anything, repeatedly and independently?). Unfortunately for anti-Evolution Theory people, the theory has past at least several prediction tests and the evidence is mountainous (to say the least).

Why is there no Cold Fusion Generator 1200 in my garage (or yours)? Because the hypothesis didn't agree with reality and the facts. And the supposedly successful test could not be replicated anywhere by anyone else. End of story. Cold fusion goes into the bin of failed hypotheses. Unless ID proponents stop beating on Evolutionary Theory and start providing the model that matches reality and the facts and subsequently the tests that would validate it, it, too, looks ready for the bin.
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written by rich2741, December 17, 2008
Cuddy -
How eloquently articulate. You just confirmed my lack of 'faith' when it comes to the
general population festering in emotion rather than basking in intellect.

Somebloke -
Why the umbrage to my IQ? "Massive"? Hardly. Just to let you know, "very superior" is
actually a category in the IQ spectrum, not a term of boasting. I was just attempting to
introduce (not a thesis in any fashion) the position from which I would speak;
apparently being an agnostic does not offend anyone here. Truth be known, I am frail
compaired to those above me. Here, let me lay it out for you (and the others of like
reprove):

Classification IQ points
profound mental retardation under 25
severe mental retardation 25 to 39
moderate mental retardation 40 to 54
mild mental retardation 55 to 69
borderline mental inadequacy 70 to 79
dull normal 80 to 89
normal 90 to 109
bright normal 110 to 119
superior 120 to 129
very superior 130 to 139
genius 140 to 159
extended genius 160 to 179
critical genius 180 to 199+

The list of ages and names was to reveal what most people consider 'ridiculous' claims
to age without prudent examination of what is possible with scientific examination;
hence the connecting paragraph on genes which followed.

To address the overlay point in the electromagnetic spectrum - Not once did I use the
word "evidence"; please do not inject elements I have not attributed to the argument.
You have failed in your definition of the meter. You speak of it's origins, but not to
its modern day description nor the fact that it is indeed a unit of measure held to the
specificity of an angstrom. Why do you inject emotional chaff ("[God] presumably showing
off")?

The Hertzian scale has no value in physics? Really. Try telling that to a physicst like
myself. Once again, you are oh so incorrect in your description. Well, perhaps we can
just dispense with computer clock speeds altogether. Without the diverse span of cycles
nothing would 'work', both in nature and by man, including the synaptic flow across the
neuron gaps within your hamster brain (sorry, I'm being dragged down to your level). MY
argument is one that speaks to NOT relying on faith (I would never use the term "divinely
inspired"); my argument speaks to a higher level of scientific thinking, and at the same
time does not dismiss that which in pure logic does not have an answer (at least not yet).
That is arrogance; that is an emotional tangent slipping into the higher, purer thinking
that is possible.

Indeed. If you only rely on what is "told" to you you would be a sorry hamster indeed,
just 'some bloke' with inferior intellegence. Am I being redundent?
"Smart" is more accutely defined ("He's smart when it comes to..."), versus "intelligence"
is the broadest of spectrums in the cognitive slot (the whole is being evaluated).

The units of measure ARE chosen; are you attempting to alter the facts to suit your
argument?; a childish position. Even if the numbers did not match (but they do), the
spot at which they pass still winds up at the center of human visual acuity. There is no
significance to my relaying the color as 'day-glo green'; it was just meant to inform
you of its position in the visual spectrum.

cwniles -
Point taken, really. To the matter of 'taking so long to write' (which was not the case);
did you notice your elequant revision was longer than my primative prose? If I had
written in proper verse I would have been accused of being a squatter by you.

Kuroyume -
I did not insult your intelligence, but it is too bad your emotions are now getting in
the way. Never wrote "evidence", never proped up 'ID' with 'anomalous junk', just
interesting (my opinion) elements that should make one pause before coming to conclusions.

The point is that soooooo many people jump to conclusions (example - the "intelligence"
fracas herein) via emotional arrogance (big time offenders in this thread) that it disturbs
me.

Am I perfect? Will I ever be perfect? No, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't strive to be.
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written by Kuroyume, December 17, 2008
You mentioned your IQ. Why? Does it have any bearing here? Nope. I've never mentioned mine. Therefore its underlying purpose was to tout your 'superior intelligence' before making your anomalous argument. QED.

Interesting elements don't provide a reasonable case for ID, especially the ones provided. These are subjective correlations over human information. This is in the same vein as when someone 'sees' a 'spacecraft' in some ancient art. Unless there were schematics and we built the craft from them and it indeed was a 'spacecraft' worthy vehicle, then these interpretations of human representations (artwork, old religious tomes, and whatnot) are all 'flights of fancy'. Or, in other words, projection of expectations.

For instance, I do not think that there is a shred of validity that these people mentioned in the OT lived as long as written. First, there is quite a bit of doubt as to their existence let alone ages. And there is no evidence of a human being living more than 150 years. Just because it is written in a book doesn't make it so.
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written by dr pepper, December 17, 2008
I'm getting a Ted Holden vibe from rich2741
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written by TDjazz, December 18, 2008
zzzzzzzzzz
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written by rich2741, December 18, 2008
Kuroyume-

Yes, it did (and in your presumptivness you asked and answered your own question). I
mentioned my intelligence, in addition to being an agnostic, my age, and that I am a
retired Electromagnetic Spectrum Authority because I wanted the readers to understand
(ever so briefly) what type of person the response was coming from (skilled in mind/
undecided in religious matters/ middle-aged/ authority in energy emanation). Obviously
these few words of input (which have already been explained) are grating on your
self-esteem in some fashion. I don't know why, but I hope you recover soon.

You really should not read more into wording. I never said "case for", in fact I was not
trying to sway your opinion at all; that is a conclusion you alone will have to come to.
I was trying to point out that I believe you (and the others) have strayed from the road;
I'm trying to instill a little insight into the way one should think when it comes to
scientific evaluation (NO predispositions/ clinical). The 'passion' of the responses here
are aligned more with ad hominem (which you and the others have now dragged me into) than
addressing the fundamental message I bring (that there is a better way of thinking).

Correct, just because something is written in a book does not make it so. Conversely, does
that mean books can not be trusted? Do you have proof, REAL proof, that Darwin was ever
aboard the Beagle? The banter now flowing is really beneath us all, and I'm begining to
wish (another dirty word) for my minutes back. I thought a fairly straight point
(examples given, commonly thought to be obscure/ridiculous) on why none should JUMP to
conclusions when it is unknown if the attached baggage contains nitroglycerine, solid
lead, or feathers. There is a difference between the proven (of which we are a great
distance from), the possible (endless), and the plausible (of which the definition is
determined by our own minds). If you have cemented yourself in the 'proven' circle all
the while screaming in deep emotion how stupid all the others are, I can not help you.
Perhaps you already consider yourself to be a all-knowing god; good luck with the battle
against yourself. Perhaps you are just too young, or will never be amoung the intelligentsia,
I don't know. See, that's an admission of not being all-knowing on my part... you should
try it some time.

Dr pepper -

I had know idea who Ted Holden was, I had to actually look it up. Again, emotion apparently
rules here.
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written by cwniles, December 18, 2008
My lord Rich, you must have a lot of spare time......anyways, you said

"did you notice your elequant revision was longer than my primative prose? If I had written in proper verse I would have been accused of being a squatter by you."

Come now, can you really predict what course of action I would have taken had you expressed your thought clearly? Of course not. And no, I would have suggested no such thing, the statement caught my eye for one reason only, it was completely inaccurate, poorly worded and misleading. Which was at odds with the verbosity on display throughout your post. You said "point taken", maybe you should have just left it at that and not tried your hand at a snappy comeback?
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2008

I had know idea....

Who tested your IQ? smilies/grin.gif
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written by rich2741, December 18, 2008
Obviously I've stumbled onto a site filled with children. There should be some sort of
age filter program in place, because your mommy's are not doing a very good job.

Have any of you graduated High School yet? Oh, wait a minute, I'm being presumptive that
any of you would graduate. Well, don't worry, you can always go after a GED later.

Test my "IQ"? No, no, BillyBob, they don't actually test your "IQ"... they administer
an examination to evaluate your intelligence and then inform you of the quotient (in
simple 'BillyBob speak' that means "number").

Look kids, it's been fun but I'm starting to feel guilty that I'm seriously cutting into
your video game and pimple squeezing time.
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written by Kuroyume, December 18, 2008
OMG! LOL! ROFLMAO! smilies/wink.gif

You come in here and insult us twice (once with the IQ and again with these vapid numerological coincidences) and you expect what then? A congenial round-table discussion?

There is no merit to any of these suppositions that you have made. What do they have to do with Evolutionary Theory and how it is being used as a 'wedge' in school systems to introduce religious concepts such as creationism and, yes, intelligent design.

Good day,
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written by SomeBloke, December 18, 2008
Rich2741 Hi again!
I can’t see “hamster brain” on your IQ classification list, am being classified using some other system?
You really do have it bad don’t you, there are a lot of words here, most of which make no sense. Best example: The units of measure ARE chosen; are you attempting to alter the facts to suit your argument?; a childish position. Even if the numbers did not match (but they do), the spot at which they pass still winds up at the center of human visual acuity. I’d like to comment on all of this but I hardly know where to start. They only "pass" at the centre of visual acuity if you use the measurement systems you quote, if you change either they ”pass” at a different point on the (different) scale! If you are a physicist, then I’m the reincarnation of mother Theresa, visiting the Earth in the guise of Donald Duck. You either haven’t read my post, don’t understand it, or don’t care that what you say is nonsense (IMHO it's the latter).

You propose points for intelligent design, yet claim that when this is linked with god by other respondents that they are manipulating what you say! This is obfuscation; ID is a hypothesis developed with the sole intention of teaching christian creationism. But then, you know this don’t you?

While on the obfuscation issue: The Hertzian scale has no value in physics?( you really don’t understand what I posted do you) The Herzian scale is based on an arbitrary unit, It is of great value to (real) physicists, just not in your argument. But then you know this too, and that is why you misrepresented my point in your response. The accuracy with which a metre can be defined doesn’t change the fact that as a unit it has no absolute relationship to the basic unit of measurement of time. The numerical values of the two measurements are irrelevant to their value to physics. The herzian scale could be based on cycles per minute and the wavelength scale based on the length of a furlong, they would be just as useful in physics but your argument would have to be on how amazing it is that the two values “pass” in an area of the invisible near infrared. ( Don’t bother checking, I made the “near infrared” bit up. Some of us don’t have the time on our hands that you seem to.)

Your witterings on “smart“ versus intelligent have become comical - do illuminate me more on this subject, I'm collating material for a stand-up routine.
Have a good one!
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written by Kuroyume, December 18, 2008
The bottom line is that if we are truly seeking truth, let's not take an attitude of
arrogance. Certainly in scientific thinking we can separate the chaff from the wheat.
Go after the answer scientifically, clinically, with no predispositions, We owe it to
ourselves to considering a sound search matrix. Don't be smart, be intelligent.


Time to pick this epilogue apart. For a child, I sure knows biggie words... ;P

1. 'Truth'. No. Anybody with a truly scientific bent is seeking knowledge and information. Truth is for religions and other woo-woo. Therefore, I take no 'attitude of arrogance'. I take the stance that the merit of a hypothesis is based upon its correlation with reality (it attempts to explain an observed phenomenon) and its success in explaining it (through evidence and predictive power). Note that I keep saying the word 'numerological'. That isn't a child mistaking 'numerical'! Look it up. Here's the definition from Wikipedia (I'll accept that as dictionary quality definition but will include Merriam-Webster's second nonetheless):

"Numerology is any of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things."
"the study of the occult significance of numbers"

Seeking truth through numerical correlations is, take a guess, numerology. Your use of numbers in all three parts is strikingly numerological.

2. 'scientific thinking'. There is more to thinking scientifically then logical arguments. As a matter of real fact, scientific methodology succeeded logical methodology in discovering how the universe and its contents work. It was Aristotle who was the pinnacle of the old logical methodology and we see how far from reality this method was for the most part. Once in a great while, their deductions agreed with reality. Mostly, though, they were incorrect or even antithetical because the steps added by the scientific method were not utilized. That is, after making the deduction (hypothesis), there was no further examination or experimentation to verify that the deduction agreed with reality. To conclude, scientific thinking goes beyond just providing logical arguments or hypotheses.

3. The next two sentences disagree completely with what your preceeding posts postulated. These suppositions are not scientific and there are predispositions (exempli gratia, these old sages in the bible and their ages having any validity or reality). I call this the 'Tipler syndrome'. Time for a limerick.

There once was a man named (Frank J.) Tipler who wrote a book ("The Physics of Immortality") that was a tear-er.
He made one too many presumptions and it showed he had much gumption.
Now noone will get any nearer (to him and his ludicrous hypothesis).

Sorry, bad limerick. But you get the point. Tipler syndrome occurs when one mixes science with a desire to bring god into it. It causes one to go down roads of rationalization that appear probable or logical in order to reconcile the two but in the end have no correlation. The further out Mr. Tipler went into his hypothetical meanderings, the worse the science became. It sounded more like science fiction and, later on, religion.

For me (and others for sure), any scientific argument that begins by using the bible as a reference is doomed from the start. Scientists don't acquire knowledge by perusing ancient tomes looking for validation of their predispositions. They just don't.

Happy winter solstice!
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written by Tristan Noel, December 18, 2008
I can see the school's stance on not wanting to put what could be considered inflammatory out there like this, as no one likes sue-happy parents using the unfortunate other-side of the constitution against logic-driven schools, but at the same time, I can also see that the school could, pardon the expression, Grow A Pair.

Schools have long since been the puppets of whiney parents, who're more than happy to throw outraged fits whenever their precious snowflake is put in time-out for being a general troublemaker, and will scream just as loud when their F-student didn't get as high a grade as the prodigious future-nobel winner. These are the same parents that encourage their children to treat others like trash, to assert their self confidence. The same parents who will put their kids in church every morning, brainwashing them into the rituals of a millenia-old myth, because it's what their parents did to them too.

I say let the kid post his writing, but at the same time, he is hitting a bit hard against those in the school who, frankly, had no choice in their religious background. When you tell a kid the sky is green for ten years, without showing him the sky, when confronted even with the outstanding evidence that the sky is in fact blue, he will still deny it, saying that it is green.
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2008
Tristan,

I say let the kid post his writing,

He didn't do any writing to post.
That is the problem.

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2008
Rich,

Test my "IQ"? No, no, BillyBob, they don't actually test your "IQ"... they administer
an examination to evaluate your intelligence and then inform you of the quotient (in
simple 'BillyBob speak' that means "number").

So they did test your IQ.
Well, now I would like to know who tested your IQ, because I'd like to get mine tested by them.
Einstein, here I come...
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Rich is an idiot
written by monstrmac1, December 18, 2008
I also have a high IQ, I won't post it, but its Mensa worthy. If I go to a gas station for a cup of coffee and tell them I have a high IQ, they still charge me 50 cents. The truth is IQ is not the only measurement of a person's intelligence. Some people have a hard time with test-taking but have a wealth of applicable knowledge. Some people are great at test-taking with absolutely no applicable knowledge. (sound familiar Rich?)

The truth is that "evolutionary theory" has enough fact and evidence supporting it that no one of reasonable intelligence should doubt it's existence. Rich go buy yourself a big mirror for Christmas so you have something to look at while the rest of us are busy thinking critically.
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written by Ian Mason, December 18, 2008
I wouldn't let either of you in my school. Go and sit in the corner until you've learned some manners. Tearing people apart for what they think is an occupation reserved for the God Squad fanatics. smilies/angry.gif
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