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From: Usenet To: All Msg #9, Oct-07-93 07:41AM Subject: Re: Forrest Mims: Setting the record straight on SciAm (Part 1 Organization: MSU Dept. of Physics & Astronomy Subject: Re: Forrest Mims: Setting the record straight on SciAm (Part 1 of 1) From: hatcher@msupa.pa.msu.edu Message-ID: <291dbu$is7@msuinfo.cl.msu.edu> Reply-To: hatcher@msupa.pa.msu.edu Newsgroups: sci.skeptic,talk.origins In article <291a8rINN1t8@barney.cs.city.ac.uk>, lionel@cs.city.ac.uk (Lionel Tun) writes: >>>My beliefs about abortion >>>and Darwinian evolution were strictly personal. >> >>NO. On abortion I'd agree with you. But evolution is a >>scientific theory and if Mims rejects that based on religious >>bias then one must also question what _other_ well supported >>scientific theories he's willing to similarly reject. To >>reject a scientific theory for reasons OTHER than scientific >>evidence is _a_priori_ evidence of being UNscientific and >>thus *not* suitable for a writing position on a scientificly >>oriented magazine. > >But what if he rejects evolution based on scientific evaluation? >Just because the theory of evolution exists does not mean that >every one must accept it as being proven. Then he has the obligation (I use that word because it really ticks Stephen off) to inform the rest of the scientific community about it. Show them where they are wrong and provide supporting evidence. But since that's not the case (Mims -explicitly- states he rejects evolution due to non-scientific reasons (a religion)) then this is a moot point. >Whether the theory of evolution is well-supported or not is >open to (endless) debate. As for "well-supported" I'll direct you to the sci.origins (did I get that right?) FAQ. Pick any number of the supporting pieces of evidence and feel free to debate their validity. Be warned, you *very* likely to loose any such battle. Please don't throw out such insinuations unless you feel like supporting them. It *is* a well-supported theory unless you are willing to reject out-of-hand large chunks of modern science (without replacement). It still comes down to the equivalent of (to put it in terms I'm more comfortable with) a pseudo-physicist who claims that the speed of light is infinite based one a few lines in an ancient text (with disputable origins). It counters all the scientific evidence, it's based upon UNscientific "reasoning" and it has no supporting evidence. It's only claim is based on arguing from authority...and even the theologians can't agree amongst themselves on it's validity. >-- > ________ Lionel Tun, lionel@cs.city.ac.uk ________ > / /_ __/\ Computer Vision Group /\ \__ _\ >/___/_/_/\/ City University, London EC1V 0HB \ \___\_\_\ >\___\_\_\/ 071-477 8000 ext 3889 \/___/_/_/ From: James G. Acker To: All Msg #10, Oct-07-93 07:34AM Subject: Re: Forrest Mims: Setting the record straight on SciAm (Part 1 Organization: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center -- InterNetNews site Subject: Re: Forrest Mims: Setting the record straight on SciAm (Part 1 of 1) From: jgacker@news.gsfc.nasa.gov (James G. Acker) Message-ID: <291cut$eia@skates.gsfc.nasa.gov> Newsgroups: sci.skeptic,talk.origins Mark T. VandeWettering (markv@pixar.com) wrote: : I personally think that C. L. Stong's column Amateur Scientist WAS Scientific : American. Science used to be a respectable way to occupy time between : work and sleep. Stong clearly indicated that amateurs could experiment, : learn and make valuable contribitions about scientific matters. The loss : of the Amateur Scientist (along with Martin Gardner's column) reduce ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ : Scientific American to "reading about science" instead of "experiencing : science and the scientific method". This just struck a chord with me. I believe (those on sci.skeptic can confirm, I'm just on t.o.) that Gardner is one of the founding fathers of t.o. I think he'd object rather vehemently to someone with Mims views' on Darwinian evolution (he doesn't buy it) being admitted to the "inner circle" of SA writers (not just scientists who are contributors, but those who, like Stong and Gardner, are identified with SA). : Mr. Mims' seems to be very sincere in his views, both personal and public. : He claims to have no hidden agenda, and I believe that he does not. Let's : face it, his track record on this is as close to spotless as anyone. : In reading about some of the projects he had planned to present in Scientific : American, I can not help but feel a sense of loss that they will not be : presented in such a widely available forum. : : If I had a bit of advice for Scientific American, it would be to : screw whatever imagined PR problems they think they have, mend the : feud that they seem to have with Mims, and get some fun, serious : articles for us amateur scientists out! If I had a bit for Mr. : Mims, it would be keep up the good work, and keep trying. There : are many of us out here who would love to see some good amateur : scientist articles published. A modest proposal: Every Mims article in SA comes with a disclaimer from SA. Something to this effect: "Scientific American recognizes the technological expertise and credentials of Mr. Forrest Mims, the author of this column, and publishes this column to benefit the community of "amateur scientists". Scientific American in no way endorses the personal opinions of Mr. Mims on issues pertaining to evolution and the origins of the Earth, Solar System, and Universe. Furthermore, Mr. Mims authorship of these columns does not constitute endorsement by Scientific American of his personal opinions and/or religious beliefs. Any group which attempts to connect Mr. Mims authorship of "Amateur Scientist" columns with a editorial position of Scientific American, giving any credence whatsoever to pseudo-scientific practices and beliefs based on religious faith, rather than pure scientific methodology, will be subject to immediate and punitive legal action. While accepted as a writer for SA, no statements in any other forum from Mr. Mims should or will be construed as representing the policies, standards, and practices of this publication. At no time now or in the future will Mr. Mims have an official connection with Scientific American other than as the contributing writer of this column, and if he or other bodies present him as a spokesperson representing this publication, he will be immediately terminated and the organization subjected to legal recourse." Quite a disclaimer, but I tried to cover all bases and arses. So, what do you think? Would Mims be willing to write Amateur Scientist columns each prefaced with this disclaimer? =============================================== | James G. Acker | | REPLY TO: jgacker@neptune.gsfc.nasa.gov | =============================================== All comments are the personal opinion of the writer and do not constitute policy and/or opinion of government or corporate entities.

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