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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Wednesday November 09, 2005
01:12 PM

'With all due respect'

[ #27525 ]

I wish I had a better memory to record all the ridiculous doublespeak and euphemisms I hear and read every day. "With all due respect" is one of those nonsense phrases that sound like the speaker is giving the subject a fair shake but really isn't -- you probably wouldn't say this to someone you actually respect, even less likely if you respect the idea you're reacting to.

So I've now registered an internal filter -- every time I hear "with all due respect" (or similar variation) I substitute: "you're an asshole." (Sometimes the filter forgets to work because my event notification API is a little buggy, but that's wetware for you.)

A great example with a little setup: This morning on NPR they ran a story about yet another vote by the Kansas Board of Education to water down evolution. Not content with fiddling with definitions of "evolution" and "theory", this time they're changing the definition of "science" by "removing wording that referred to it as a discipline that looks for 'natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us'."

The chairman (Steve Abrams) harrumphed and said, "You keep saying it's supernatural. It is not supernatural. There's no word that is mentioned, and consequently that's not the case."

To which another board member (Sue Gamble) replied: "Mr. Chairman, in all due respect, if it is other logical explanations for natural phenomenon, if they are not natural explanations what other kinds are there?"

Now, run that through the filter -- much clearer, eh?

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  • It has only be in the last 30 years or so that people think that religion and science are mutually exclusive. If you look back, you will see a lot of scientist that were religious as well. Evolution doesn't need anyone to water it down, it has so many holes that it is leaking water by itself.

    That said, I do not think ID should be taught. What should be taught is that the theory of evolution has problems, explain those problems and let students reason it out for themselves. The problem I have is that evolu

    • There are a lot of holes in a lot of science. That doesn’t mean we reject it all as flatly wrong and look for supernatural explanations instead. I wonder why people insist on doing just that where evolution is concerned. Our incomplete understanding hardly invalidates evolution as a whole, any more than it invalidates gravity or relativity. That we can’t explain everything plainly means that we can’t explain everything, not a whiff more – nor any less.

      In any case, you might want to

    • If the "theory of evolution" is taught as a theory, then it isn't being taught as a fact. I didn't continue with science much after 16, but even I remember from my scientific education that theories can be disproven and not proven, and that the current theory is only the best possible explanation currently available, and susceptible to modification or wholesale paradigm shift.

      Where have you seen evolution taught as a fact, rather than a scientific theory?


      • ...I remember from my scientific education that theories can be disproven and not proven, and that the current theory is only the best possible explanation currently available, and susceptible to modification or wholesale paradigm shift.

        This is right on.

        If the "theory of evolution" is taught as a theory, then it isn't being taught as a fact.

        This isn't, but your definition of theory points us back in the right direction. Theories explain one or more facts, so it's correct to refer to many scientif

      • You are right that probably wasn't the right word to use. It isn't taught that way but when you discuss it with people it sure comes across that way that somehow "evolution" is sacrosanct.

        However, like I said, ID should not be taught in science class. That much I do agree with.

        • Precisely -- it should be taught alongside every other BS* that gets taught in, oh, I think it's Social Studies or History or whatever. I don't remember HS very well. :\
          * Belief System

          You are what you think.
    • I didn't particularly want to get into this because I feel it's been discussed to death and people just wind up shouting at one another from their corners, but...

      First, it's certainly not in the last 30 years this has been an issue, or that there's been a tension between religion and science. Just look back at Darwin himself, all the discussion around his work, the Scopes trial in the US -- and that's just around evolution.

      I don't believe people who think ID should not be taught believe religion and sci

      • I didn't think we shouted on use.perl? :)

        Anyway I agree that ID shouldn't be taught.

        • I count myself among the people shouting even though it happens very rarely, but I do try to keep an open mind. (Being married to someone who thinks differently than you is helpful for that :-) People often complain that nobody really listens to points of view different than their own, that people on different sides of an issue are just talking past one another. But it takes two to have a conversation and if one person isn't listening the other isn't either...

          This is not directed at anyone in particular,

    • Maybe that's because it took a long time to figure out. :D

      Seriously, though -- it's not so much that religion and science are mutually exclusive. It's that they have nothing to do with each other. One is a salad, and one is a steak, and if someone doesn't want either one they're welcome to eat something else. If someone wants a salad and nothing else, fine. If someone wants a steak and nothing else, fine.

      If someone wants to walk up to me at a restaurant and tell me that I should be having salad, or


      You are what you think.
  • It's not always that the phrase "all due respect" is meant nastily. Like in the Roberts hearing, Ted Kennedy said something, and Roberts responded back essentially, "with all due respect Senator, the law actually says this ...". There was no malice, but he felt the need to correct the Senator, and didn't want it to look like he was smacking him around, and there's really no other way to say it.
    • This is true, and much better than the passive-agressive "Ummmm, yeab" that so many geeks utilize. I think all blog entries should be surrounded with '<as-I-can-think-of-right-now>' tags....