Fundamentalists Set Sights on New Target: Gravity

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
Fundamentalists Set Sights on New Target: Gravity

Unsatisfied with now being able to read a disclaimer on evolution in their high school biology classes, parents of students in Dover, Pennsylvania are now attempting to reach farther into the public school curriculum:


DOVER, PA—It is a staple of high-school physics classes: the story of Isaac Newton's encounter with a certain apple. As scientific wisdom would have it, Sir Isaac was sitting beneath a tree one afternoon when the offending apple dropped down upon his head, leading him to coin an explanation of one of the universe's greatest mysteries: why do things fall out of the sky? ...

This small Pennsylvania town south of Harrisburg is at the center of the movement to force high school physics teachers to introduce alternative explanations of the force of gravitation. But parents here reject the claim that they're trying to ban teachers from mentioning gravity, or the increasingly controversial Sir Isaac Newton. Rather, they say, their goal is to supplement the existing physics curriculum.

It's just not fair to the young men and women who attend physics classes in Dover that they learn about one theory over and over," says curriculum improvement advocate Lorraine Dittie. "What we'd like to see is a more a balanced presentation."

Just a theory
If parents and advocates for change like Dittie get their way, physics teachers may be required to read a statement to their classes as early as next fall, acknowledging that Newton's explanation of gravity is a theory, not a law as it has often been described in the past. "If it's a law, that means that there are penalties for breaking it," explains Dittie. "Newton obviously came up with one theory of how gravity works, but there are others as well."

God's will
One such theory holds that Isaac Newton was chosen by God, who signaled his interest in the British physicist and mathematician by dropping an apple on his head. While students would still be exposed to Newton's ideas, they would largely bypass his influential work on physics, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, focusing instead upon his deeply-held religious beliefs and his later work in which he attempted to date the events in the Bible.

Physicists gravitate to secularism
But not everybody is happy about the new plan. Dover Senior High School physics teacher and golf coach Lou DeGregorio says that he's already got enough to teach, and that adding new explanations of gravity may force him to cut other subject areas from his curriculum, including force and equilibrium, static electricity or simple harmonic motion.

Mr. DeGregorio also questions why the parents have chosen to single out Newton's law of gravity for their efforts, noting that the 17th century mathematical formulation has largely been replaced by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. "I don't want to say that these people are idiots but they obviously don't know a whole hell of a lot about physics."

Next up: the theory of relativism

For her part, Mrs. Dittie says that she's all too familiar with Einstein's theory—and that her curriculum improvement group is already contemplating launching a charge against the German physicist ...
Swift Report

Fundamentalists ... doncha luv 'em? :rolleyes:
 
I think it's great. We should go after evaporation next. Rain happens because it's God's will, none of this nonsense about invisible particles of water somehow floating up into the sky and falling back down again! We'd drown if that were the case! Water in the air? Preposterous!

Down with reason!
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
You do know that this is satire right, llad? The Dover, PA school board decided last October to teach Intelligent Design as an 'alternative' theory to evolution.
 
I think the fact that so many of us didn't blink at it and assumed that it was real without question says something about our nation today...

If in fact it is satire. Because I still wouldn't be too shocked to open my Washington Post tomorrow morning and see a story on it.
 

llad12

Diabloii.Net Member
maccool said:
You do know that this is satire right, llad? The Dover, PA school board decided last October to teach Intelligent Design as an 'alternative' theory to evolution.

Oh, you took all the fun out of it!

All one had to do was read on down in the article.

;)
 

bigD72

Diabloii.Net Member
llad12 said:
Oh, you took all the fun out of it!

All one had to do was read on down in the article.

;)
Why would we ever read the whole article and not trust you to not quote it out of context?
 

Matt

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
"I don't want to say that these people are idiots but they obviously don't know a whole hell of a lot about physics."

Says it all. And while this is satire, I for one would not be surprised to see things like this popping up in the near future :eek:

-Matt
 

plasmo

Diabloii.Net Member
The related stories are even better. "You descended from apes, sucka!"

Although the truth is much scarier:

An ABC News poll released Sunday found that 61 percent of Americans believe the account of creation in the Bible's book of Genesis is "literally true" rather than a story meant as a "lesson."
Um, hello? The creation myths in Genesis are based on Egyptian creation myths (The J author follows ideas from Heliopolis; the P author ideas from Thebes, which accounts for many of the variations/contradictions in the Biblical creation myth). It's scientific fact. Now we are getting into the "believe your priest over Biblical scholars on the Bible" / "believe the weatherman over a physicist on special relativity" territory. And "believe the Pope over biologists on evolution" / "believe nut-case-Holocaust-denying websites over historians on Jews during WWII."
 

Omikron8

Diabloii.Net Member
DrunkCajun said:
I think it's great. We should go after evaporation next. Rain happens because it's God's will, none of this nonsense about invisible particles of water somehow floating up into the sky and falling back down again! We'd drown if that were the case! Water in the air? Preposterous!

Down with reason!
I agree!

Who needs cause and effect!

Nothing should be attempted to be explained/proven, we should just point at the sky and say "It is God's work".
 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
Are these people from the same church that tried to expel 5 worshipers for not voting for Bush in the last elections?
 

axeil

Diabloii.Net Member
*Moves Philly, Allentown, and Pittsburgh out of PA*

Okay guys nuke away.

I'm ashamed to be from the same state as these morons.
 

piff

Diabloii.Net Member
axeil said:
*Moves Philly, Allentown, and Pittsburgh out of PA*

Okay guys nuke away.

I'm ashamed to be from the same state as these morons.
*drags Scranton with us*


Newton never got his ideas on gravity from an apple falling on his head, anyway. It's a story just like Washington and the cherry trees. And, if I'm not mistaken, the Universal Law of Gravity is a law, it is a broad statement true for every instance known to man. Sure, there are theories that say it's false, but not one of the theories has been proven yet. I say we test the law of gravity on the morons' heads with cinder blocks...may knock some sense into them.
 

axeil

Diabloii.Net Member
Nope, I've just always wanted an excuse for the big PA cities to seperate from the state. It'll be the War of Northern Agression all over. Only instead of northern agression it'll be "everyone agression." Sounds like a fun time. Whose up for it?
 

Stevinator

Diabloii.Net Member
axeil said:
Nope, I've just always wanted an excuse for the big PA cities to seperate from the state. It'll be the War of Northern Agression all over. Only instead of northern agression it'll be "everyone agression." Sounds like a fun time. Whose up for it?
um, I'm pretty busy this week, how's next thursday?


oh, and that was a good read. you actually had me going for a little bit.
 

myleftfoot

Diabloii.Net Member
llad12 said:
Unsatisfied with now being able to read a disclaimer on evolution in their high school biology classes, parents of students in Dover, Pennsylvania are now attempting to reach farther into the public school curriculum:




Swift Report

Fundamentalists ... doncha luv 'em? :rolleyes:
Why the hell not? We'll just have to let them do what they want to because they'll keep on saying God had a part to play in it. Who can argue with that? No one really cause God is built on faith (and there in the beauty lies).
 
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