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The Decline of Science and Technology in America

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-so-good dept.

Editorial 1347

puke76 writes "There's a good article over on the BBC about the decline of science and technology in the U.S.. Vint Cerf and others are going on record to voice their concerns about the current administrations recipe for 'irrelevance and decline.' Scientists are increasingly concerned about the White House's pandering to the religious right at science's expense. From the article: 'radically we have moved away from regulation based on professional analysis of scientific data ...to regulation controlled by the White House and driven by political considerations.'"

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America has a choice.. (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383156)

There's a saying that I hear a lot of religious people say: "You reap what you sow". Ironic then that in this case America gets precisely what it sows. You teach kids that ID is science and you get crappy scientists. You cut the percentage of GDP spent on RND and you get less nobel prize winners. You ignore the science of economics and you end up with a huge current account deficit which will take a decade to repay. You ignore the *fact* that human produced carbon dioxide is warming the earth and you wreck your environment just in time for your grandchildren.

America is at a cross-roads of sorts. It can choose to be the The Christian Republic of America or the United States of America. It seems as time goes on these options are becoming more and more mutually exclusive. The religious fanatics are intent on replacing the textbook with the Bible. The atheist fanatics (yes they do exist) are intent on removing any shred of religion from public life.

The next fifty years are going to be interesting. Will the US continue to train world class scientists and be a home for the creative? Or will the US sink in to irrevelence through placing religious dogma before pragmatism.

The condom policy in Africa makes me think the latter rather than the former.

Simon.

Re:America has a choice.. (5, Insightful)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383211)

The US will be irrelevant. US dominance is based on money, and we are exporting money to the Near and Far East at a record clip.

How long could our high tech army, navy and air force equipment stay operational if the Chinese refused to export any electronics?

Re:America has a choice.. (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383391)

Your second and third sentence contradict eachother.

Well what the fuck is BRITAIN doing about it!?!! (-1, Troll)

zardo (829127) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383424)

There, the BBC can complain about inaction in America all it wants. When are they going to shake up their own country? God damn, ingrates! We'd all be much better off if everyone else made HALF the effort we American capitalists make!

I gotta give a shout out to our capitalist brothers over there in Japan though, we like Japan and Japan likes us, Australia you're cool too.

Re:America has a choice.. (1, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383429)

How long could the Chinese economy stay (relatively) stable, if they didn't sell anything?

We can't live without them, and they can't live without us.

Re:America has a choice.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383433)

Oh for fuck's sake. Learn about the role of the US dollar in international finance. Pick up a fucking econ textbook. Educate yourself. This sort of vaguely xenophobic, reactionary pap is exactly the sort of unscientific thinking we're discussing here.

Re:America has a choice.. (4, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383240)

Parent is insightful, not flamebait. For a good example of what happens when science and enlightenment are replaced by theology and repression, just look at the Middle East. The Arab world was the cornerstone of world civilization in the Middle Ages -- they invented the zero, we still use Arabic digits, they were astronomers and mathematicians, and they initiated the Renaissance by preserving ancient Greek and Roman writings. But they let all that slip and became mostly a bunch of backward theocracies instead. America is next if it continues on this road.

Re:America has a choice.. (5, Interesting)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383369)

Early Christianity had the same effect in Europe...

"It is owing to this long interregnum of science, and to no other cause, that we have now to look back through a vast chasm of many hundred years to the respectable characters we call the Ancients. Had the progression of knowledge gone on proportionably with the stock that before existed, that chasm would have been filled up with characters rising superior in knowledge to each other; and those Ancients we now so much admire would have appeared respectably in the background of the scene. But the christian system laid all waste; and if we take our stand about the beginning of the sixteenth century, we look back through that long chasm, to the times of the Ancients, as over a vast sandy desert, in which not a shrub appears to intercept the vision to the fertile hills beyond."

-Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Re:America has a choice.. (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383388)

...they invented the zero

... and Microsoft patented it.

Re:America has a choice.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383265)

Scientific study is supposed to be objective. Measurements such as quantity of U.S. (citizens? residents? natives?) Nobel Prize winners are subjective. The question "Is religion to blame for our crappy scientists?" is about as fair as "When will you stop beating your wife?" The premise bears a bad assumption. If a question with such an assumption (like "what factors make $skin_color1 people less intelligent than $skin_color2?") were proposed for a scientific graduate study, it would be rightly turned down. However, this sort of assumption generates hundreds of highly moderated comments at the seamy lockerroom that is Slashdot. Admit it, they're just playing on your frustrations that you do not yet possess flying cars. Honestly.

Rise of the new america, not sink to irrelevance (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383267)

Or will the US sink in to irrevelence through placing religious dogma before pragmatism.

States ruled through Religious Dogma do not necessarily sink before pragmatism. History is full of examples where holy wars shaped the world; and religious power over people is just as sure a way of controlling them as technological means such as the threat of nukes (though rest assured that military technology is still being heavily invested in).

For better or worse, I don't see this as America sinking to irrelevance, so much as the Rise of the new Holy American Empire.

Re:America has a choice.. (4, Insightful)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383275)

What I find intersting in your post in that America is at a crossroads to choose which way to go.

What do you think America has been that last 200 years? Christian-Judism has always had a strong influence on America the influence is less and les each year.

Do you think the ten commandants were recently put up in court houses? Do you think pray in school is a recent thing.

Do you the Bibles being taken out of school is a recent thing?

When was the Conressional minister put in place?

And yet somehow over the last 200 years America was at the fore front of science and technology.

Take any shred of religion out of the government, but don't tell me our forefathers or constitution says it should be that way.

Re:America has a choice.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383305)

Sheesh...like this all would have happened in the last 5 years?

I wish slashdotters would get off their silly "soapbox" and address the real problems instead of trying to pin all the blame on Bush.

Re:America has a choice.. (5, Funny)

jjoyce (4103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383310)

As a concerned American, I'm not reading all that.

Christianity versus global warming (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383328)

What you have to realize is that disbelief in climatology does not necessarily have to do with Christianity. Incredulity of science among the extremely religious may be a factor there, I am sure. However, you don't have to be Christian. In fact, all you have to be is someone who believes so strongly in American-style capitalism that anything which implies the actions of capitalists to be imperfect must be untrue. For example, a Libertarian.

To see this in action, compare any "Intelligent Design" related article on Slashdot to any article in some way related to global warming. We don't have a lot of hardline Christians on slashdot, so in the former article will have a very "trust science, evidence and reason over faith" slant in the comments. However we do have a lot of hardline libertarians. So look in the latter article and you will find one of the greatest torrents of anti-intellectual anti-science sentiment imaginable. As soon as it comes up that all available evidence makes it quite clear that human-produced greenhouse gases are causing global climate change with negative effects, suddenly we are presented with people insisting that reality is ephermal, nothing is knowable, and rather than do risky things like attempt to regulate polluting businesses we should just have faith that our actions will not have faith on the world around us. After all, it is not like climatology or chemistry are hard sciences, like the economic science is which Milton Friedman has used to conclude that governmental regulations universally and always cause harm.

Re:America has a choice.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383336)

GET REAL!

Your own examples are so full of junk science and political correctness that it is almost a parody.

FACTS:

1) The public school science and math classes are so dumbed down that "graduates" have an inflated view of their capabilities. When they get to University, they find courses in math and physical science way too hard. Thus they immediately runaway to other choices.

2) There is a reward/difficulty issue that has nothing to do with religion. Most that could (with effort) complete a degree in the physical sciences see that lawyers, accountants, marketing specialists, etc. tend to make *more* money with less personal responsibility and greater choice of employers. Therefore they runwaway from more rigorous physical science options.

3) The problem of offshoring/outsourcing. What person in their right mind is going to go for a minimum of 4 years at a respected computer science major at University when after graduation he will be in direct competition with guys in Bangalore that will work for $5/hour and be wealthy on a local basis?

Re:America has a choice.. (4, Insightful)

On Lawn (1073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383373)

Blame Canada, or religion. Which ever your bogeyman of the day is.

You teach kids that ID is science and you get crappy scientists.

Where is ID being taught?

Private Catholic schools (for instance) have higher aptitude scores for math and science. Public schools do not teach ID.

The state of public schools in America can hardly be blamed on religion since religion plays an infinitesimal part of the curriculum. Teaching to the lowest common denominator along with a general malaise in interest in science among kids is a much larger part of the determination of the curriculum.

Re:America has a choice.. (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383381)

America is at a cross-roads of sorts. It can choose to be the The Christian Republic of America or the United States of America.

Oh blah blah blah. People say this every generation, because they don't realize people have said it every generation. America is always at some kind of crossroads. And you know what? It usually comes out pretty okay.

The political pendulum swings back and forth. Always has. But this country has never been particularly liberal, except maybe for a brief period in the late 1960's and early 1970's that was mainly a reaction to the Vietnam War (and the same thing may happen again in a few years). People talk about how even Democrats today are basically conservatives - well, who the hell do you think dropped the atom bomb on Japan? It wasn't a Republican.

The point being, this is a conservative country. Get used to it. It's always been that way, going back to its founding - remember, this country exists because people needed somewhere to go to practice their religion. The freedom to not practice religion was added later.

This is not to say I share this view - on most issues (not all), I'm about as liberal as it gets in this country. But I've been around long enough to see several swings of the pendulum, to live through several wars, and to know that nothing that's going on right now is really all that unusual in the grand scheme of things. Sure, if you take a 10 year view, things aren't so hot right now for us liberals and scientific thinkers. Maybe even with a 50 year view we'd be at or near a low point. But those of us who lived through Vietnam (and I was young, but I do remember it) and the aftermath know how bad things can really get in terms of ideology, the economy, and yes, even science. This that we're in now, this is nothing. A blip on the radar.

So, before you come up with these dramatic proclamations about how America's at a "crossroads" and you predict we'll take the wrong path and eventually fade into irrelevance, remember all the times people before you said those exact same things, and remember how dumb they sounded even five years later.

America is simply doing what it always does, going through the motions of trying to find a balance of values that appeals to its people. Those values may not be your values, but they're really no different than ever. It's a balance that can never truly be attained, though, so you will see things shift back and forth periodically. We are just at the extreme edge of one of those shifts right now, but from a historical viewpoint I really don't see that this is anything unusual.

Re:America has a choice.. (2, Informative)

frinkacheese (790787) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383383)

Christians do not want to replace textbooks with Bibles at all. Christians would like proper credence paid to differing viewpoints and a return to basic ethics and morals the lack of which are destroying a country. Some of the most influential scientists such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, Faraday and Pasteur. I agree however that there are people who are not Christians and they also need to live in this society which is why there is freedom of religion (or lack thereof). Anyhow, what exactly would be wrong with a Christian republic?

Re:America has a choice.. (0, Troll)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383427)

Yes indeed! In Jesusland, intelligent design is science and the jumbotrons in megachurches are technology. In an unrelated note, Jesus apparently wants us to assasinate Hugo Chavez! This will be a third world nation, and a colony of China in ten years.

Re:America has a choice.. (2, Insightful)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383436)

Teaching ID in public schools isn't going to cut down on the number of good scientists. A good scientist is someone who can think for themselves. Anyone who can't see through the ID crap fails that test by definition. Really the only thing that happens is that the dumb get dumber and the intelligent are unaffected. I'd say a more likely outcome would be the income gap getting wider than our scientists getting worse, although honestly this change is so small that it really doesn't matter.

Re:America has a choice.. (1)

adtifyj (868717) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383443)

I doubt America will sink into irrevelence even if they continued in Bush-like fashion for antoher hundred years. America still has a serious slice of the worlds technology, and there is litle chance that will change.

The changes that may eventuate in the next 50 years is that the Research grants and Tax breaks will only be given in politically "safe" area's. Expect faster computers from America, and cybernetics to move offshore.

Brainwashed! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383159)

Our forefathers came to America for freedom of religion, speech, etc and now our own religious citizens are shoving it down everyone else's throat. Christians need to keep their religious beliefs OUT of whitehouse.

The sad thing is many of these christian fanatics are uneducated, Rush Limbaugh/ Bill O'Reilly products (sculpted zombies) who's life doesn't stray further than Wal-Mart.

Re:Brainwashed! (4, Interesting)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383271)

No, what's sad is you had to post your opinion as a anonymous coward, as you would have been modded flamebait for speaking your mind.

I must say you bring up some good points and I tend to agree much of your arguement. A good portion of this country is very uneducated and tends to follow blindly to what its fed from news stations such as Fox News who proclaim themselves to be, "Fair and Balanced." In a lot of ways this country *is* going backwards, as ultra-paranoid religious groups are collectively working to sway votes in the whitehouse. I think what we do need is the same sort of counter-group to thwart their attempts at branding their religious/ personal beliefs on "the rest of us."

Re:Brainwashed! (4, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383346)

The sad thing is many of these christian fanatics are uneducated, Rush Limbaugh/ Bill O'Reilly products (sculpted zombies) who's life doesn't stray further than Wal-Mart.

Or, in fact, into reading the bible any more than selectively. US fundamentalist Christaianity seems to have rather odd ideas about what exactly Christ said. The concepts of loving your neighbour, helping the poor, and forgiveness that seem to crop up a lot on the new testament... well apparently they're not so important. Despite 85% of the population of the US professing to be Christian, the US has ranks second to last among developed nations for foreign aid as a percentage of the economy, rate almost as poorly for private charity, have high rates of poverty for a developed nation, and are the only developed nation that still uses capital punishment (so much for "turn the other cheek"). 75% of Americans thought that "God helps those who help themselves." was a teaching from the bible - look as hard as you like, it isn't there; Ben Franklin said it. Christianity in the US is less Christianty, and more some bizarre American religion with vague Christian roots - I mean hell, most mormons are closer to following the new testament then a great many US Christians.

Jedidiah.

Re:Brainwashed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383408)

And the anti-religion freeks need to allow those that WANT TO PRAY to do so, including in public. Why should a school be sued by the ACLU if they want to have a prayer before a football game? Why should the 10 commandments be forced to be removed from courthouses -- they are the basis for much of Western law. It goes both ways and in the last 20 years IT HAS GONE AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS!


Freedom of religion goes both ways. As does freedom of speech. Rush has his right to free speech. The ACLU has theirs. But to forbid any study of the Bible in a school but to allow the study of witchcraft is WRONG (several published cases, no bible but ...). The Bible is the basis for much of our culture and history. We should be able to study the Bible, Koran, and other very important religious books ON AN EQUAL BASIS.


The President has faith. Yes, he is going overboard in some areas (ID). However, this country was founded by men of faith, who wanted to worship in freedom.


As for fanatics being uneducated.... Well, fanatics of ANY religion are dangerous -- can you say Arab Terrorist?

Oh, this is going to be good. (-1, Troll)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383160)

And I'll start off the first point of contention:

Evolution > Creationism.

Simple solution (3, Funny)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383201)

As a red-blooded American, the only way I'll believe in evolution is if it's in line with the truth...

The cold, hard, undeniable truth about evolution is:

APES EVOLVED FROM HUMANS!

Isn't it obvious?

Re:Oh, this is going to be good. (4, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383206)

That just opened my email reader and created an empty file called creationism.

Re:Oh, this is going to be good. (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383366)

> That just opened my email reader and created an empty file called creationism.

Well, go ahead and close that file. It's already got all the facts and hard science in it that it's going to get.

Re:Oh, this is going to be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383329)

I think you'll find the business attitudes of people like Carly Fiorina et al, the dot com boom and bust, and the overhyping of nanotechnology probably had a lot more to do with it. Research needs cash and after the tech crash, 9/11 or any other tipping point existed for the economy, I think you'd find that research just wasn't a dead cert anymore and people pulled out their cash in droves. Science and research in teh US is more closely linked to the economy than religion.

As far as evolution versus creationism goes, I've never seen any reason why they can't go hand in hand, although I fail to see how you can take either literally unless you were there...

Why Slashdot Fired Michael (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383162)

January 31st, 2005, was the last day that Michael Sims, Nazi editor of Slashdot, ever posted a story or indeed was ever heard from again. But what happened that day to Michael Sims? Did his embroilment in the Censorware.org conspiracy finally catch up with him? Or was he involved in a violent, and ultimately fatal, lovers' spat with his partner Jamie McCarthy? The truth, as we'll see, is much more perverse than fiction.

On New Year's Eve of 2004, the entire Slashdot staff was throwing a party to celebrate another year of Linux propaganda, homosexual recruitment, and the profits that their Microsoft ad banners had raked in for them. Eric Raymond, Emad, Roblimo, Hemos, Taco, Jamie, and Alan Cox all planned to rape Richard Stallman later in the night. Michael had shown up late, however, and was let in on the plans after they were made.

As it turned out, Jamie was to be leading the charge against the Free Software Foundation's founder and would be the first to penetrate Stallman's hairy unwashed ass. Michael, however, was jealous of this and made secret plans to thwart their nefarious venture of homosexual rape. The event was planned for zero hours, right as the ball dropped. But Michael had other ideas.

Michael suggested they all toast their plan with Jägermeister, Eric Raymond's drink of choice that was in heavy supply that night, and the rest of the partygoers followed. While everyone downed their first shot, Michael slipped into the VA Software office's break-room, grabbing the syringe Raymond used to inject Rob Malda's semen with on the way. Michael leered at the case of Jägermeister, needle in hand.

Minutes later, Michael reappeared in the conference room with more Jäger, ready for more shots. Over the next couple of hours they indulged in several drinking and party games, spurred on by Michael, as they drank bottle after bottle of the dark brown herbal liquor. If one were to pay special attention to Michael, however, they would note that Michael drank much less than anyone else and only from his own bottle.

Emad and Roblimo were involved in a powerful sixty-nine cheered on by Hemos and Alan whose bent geek penises throbbed near Emad's head and Roblimo's bloated ass, waiting for an opportunity. Moaning, Emad diverted his wet mouth from Roblimo's butthole and took down Hemos and Alan's cocks in quick succession. Hearing the wet, sloppy commotion behind him, Roblimo lost control and glunked all over Emad's chest.

Across the room near the podium, Eric Raymond was man-handling Rob, jamming a handgun down the back of his pants and asking him if he remembered their special night in Holland. Rob was giggling like a school girl and squirmed with all his might against the cold steel. Eric rained a shower of Jäger over Rob's head which Rob greedily tongued up even as Eric's skinny red penis entered his ass cheeks, probing for the brown prize.

The conference room was awash in gay cum and chaos, Michael noted happily as he surveyed the carnage around him. Emad had now teamed up with Alan and Hemos to rape Roblimo's ass as Rob was being pistol-whipped to orgasm by Eric, all oblivious to the massive amounts of Rohypnol they were ingesting as they drank the Jägermeister Michael had given them. It wouldn't be much longer before the drug took effect.

Another half-hour into the night, Eric paused from raping Taco's mouth and sodomizing his anus with his Glock, short of breath. His head swam and he looked at his bottle of Jägermeister. I can usually down six of these babies, thought Eric, wondering why he was now farting uncontrollably. Rob's nose wrinkled as Eric's rectum expelled another gallon of aerosolized feces into the air. Stooping, Eric held on to the podium for support.

Across the way, Emad pulled his tiny Iranian dick out from between Alan and Hemos's in Roblimo's ass and doubled over. Alan and Hemos continued pounding Roblimo's purple, swollen anus even as Emad began vomiting all over their cocks, thinking it a move on Emad's part to spice things up. Roblimo passed out again for the fourth time that night, but as Hemos slapped him, he failed to wake up.

With Emad vomiting even more violently now, Hemos wondered what was going on. He held a hand to his head as he began forgetting why he was balls-deep in some old man's ass. Alan began hiccuping, which led to uneven strokes and finally a quick orgasm which was quickly washed away by more of Emad's vomit. Nausea rose in Alan's throat as the scents of semen, man-ass, sweat, and vomit overcame him.

Michael was smiling from the corner chair at the table when the telecom beeped. He quickly left the conference room and headed toward the VA Software compound's front doors to let RMS in. As he rounded the last corner, however, Michael almost dropped his bottle of untainted Jäger when he saw that Stallman was not alone. Standing next to him was the CEO of VA Software, Larry Augustin.

His mind racing a thousand miles a minute, Michael feigned a security malfunction when he tried to open the door, leaving Stallman and Augustin stranded outside in the cold. Waving Michael off, Larry Augustin was about to get a slim-jim when he stopped, staring, right behind Michael. There, crawling on the ground, was Rob Malda in his familiar green-and-white plaid shirt, covered in chunks of semen, blood, and feces.

Rob Malda looked up at Augustin and feebly reached out to him before vomiting on the cold tile floor and passing out with a squish in his own sick. Larry and Richard's faces were masks of horror and disgust, and they wasted no time in forcing open the doors. Larry disabled the alarms while Richard checked Rob's pulse. As Richard loosened Rob's collar, Larry turned to Michael.

What the Hell happened here tonight?

The conference room was a mess. Feces covered the wall and in some places even the ceiling. The carpet was soaked with blood, semen, diarrhea, and vomit in a stew so unimaginable that the room was later bulldozed instead of being professionally cleaned. On the dry erase board, someone had gotten creative and drawn erect, ejaculating penises in their own poo. And behind the podium lay Eric Raymond, sleeping fitfully.

At the other end of the room, Emad was curled into fetal position surrounded by a lake of vomit and curdling shit, both trailing from his soiled form -- nothing new to him. Hemos and Alan laid moaning next to one another, limp dicks in one another's slimy hands. Behind them Roblimo's morose form breathed shallowly, ass in the air where he had passed out earlier. He farted in his sleep as Larry Augustin looked on, mouth agape.

Next week, Larry Augustin held a special meeting with the Slashdot staff. Emad, Jamie, Roblimo, Rob, and Hemos all seated themselves and the meeting began. Eric Raymond also showed, though everyone there seemed a little perplexed. Their party had gotten messy but no one remembered how. Eric wanted especially hard to remember, he thought as he patted his stomach, which still gurgled painfully.

Early in the wee hours of January 1st, 2005, Larry watched as sickened paramedics loaded VA employee after VA employee into the backs of ambulances and raced them to the hospital. They were treated for dehydration and were all given stomach pumps, enemas, and several rounds of antibiotics. They were also tested for drugs and the results were more than a little surprising. Michael, however, had been the only one to test negative.

Hour after hour went by in the VA board-room as each one of the partygoer related their experience. Roblimo, now wheelchair-bound, took the mic and shared his experience that mirrored everyone else's: After his first few toasts of Jägermeister, he remembered nothing save waking up a day later in the hospital, tubes and wires trailing from his bruised body. Roblimo was also suffering from a rectal prolapse.

It was decided by a unanimous vote that Michael Sims was to be fired with due haste, as he had drugged the entire Slashdot staff in an attempt to rape them. Unfortunately, due haste took about three-and-a-half weeks so the shareholders could approve the move. Their reaction to the story removed any doubt about Michael's fate and the motion was carried unanimously. Michael was terminated January 31st, 2005.

So now you know why Michael Sims hasn't posted any new stories to Slashdot since January. Let it be a warning to you, gentle reader, of what evil lurks in the hearts of psychotic Linux zealots and Nazi propagandists. Since then the boys at Slashdot have been able to laugh it off, but consider their depraved anus-games. You might not be so lucky were Michael Sims to happen to you. You have been warned.

Thank you.

Seperate them! (1, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383164)

Church........[WALL].........State Not a difficult concept.

Re:Seperate them! (0, Troll)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383173)

Except that it is wrong, at least according to most of the forefathers.

Re:Seperate them! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383279)

Funny, it was Jefferson who coined the term, "wall of separation between church and state." That is the basis of the establishment clause.

http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html [usconstitution.net]

Care to actually provide evidence of your claim or do you just like parroting what your minister and Fox News tells you to?

Re:Seperate them! (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383334)

The seperation between church and state has been more "fuzzy" than either side would have you believe...

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html [loc.gov]

contains a few interesting tidbits. Use Google and find some more :)

Re:Seperate them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383298)

Perhaps you should consult documentation about the guy who wrote the 1st amendment (Thomas Jefferson). He, oddly enough, is the same person who coined the term "Wall of Separation between Church and State."

Re:Seperate them! (4, Interesting)

Requiem Aristos (152789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383306)

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802


Or did you mean to suggest that they did not mean it, simply by virtue of their being "Christian"? Their variety of Christianity was far more enlightened than what is often found in evangelical churches today. Here's another quote:

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

Re:Seperate them! (1)

spurtle15 (899792) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383175)

It's in the Bible:

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar, and give to God what is God's."

Re:Seperate them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383200)

Actually, it does seem to be a difficult concept. Note the "under god" part.

Your average person just doesn't feel as good about kissing up to a mere mortal president as he does someone who thinks he hears voices of Gods.

Re:Seperate them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383348)

Actually, it does seem to be a difficult concept. Note the "under god" part.

Oh, you mean the part that was added in the 1950s when the religious nuts started taking serious hold?

Science's Vitality (5, Insightful)

apsmith (17989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383176)

From the article, on a lab in Britain after WWII:

they were concerned the government did not fully appreciate that science
in peace was as vital as science in war.


I think this is a key point. And not just public support for science and government funding, but the motivation of young people going into the field is critically important to whether or not scientific effort actually makes a difference in the real world. Are there real world problems (like the problems that led to development of
radar and computing in WWII, or the needs of cold war espionage and besting the Soviets post-Sputnik) that captivate people's attention? If the critical needs are there, that ensures both public support, government funding, and highly motivated researchers bringing real advances.

And we do have critical needs for R&D work right now - renewable energy [energybulletin.net] probably most critical. Developing things further in space is a challenge that needs our best efforts now too. But our government and media, and even places reflective of geek opinion like slashdot, spend a lot of effort downplaying the seriousness of problems like oil depletion and
global warming. People can't be motivated to do anything about it if most of the country thinks it's not really a problem at all.

How can it not decline? (4, Insightful)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383183)

First off it's easy to decline when you're the world leader to begin with. Unfortunately in an age where the Internet is taking over, and unlimited possibilities for learning present themselves, the protectionists in the Bush administration are having their way with Americans. What kind of an insane world leader would suggest that we have to fight religious extremists, and then in the next breath insists that he supports Christian ideology being taught in the 21st Century science classroom?

Re:How can it not decline? (2, Interesting)

two.oh (721094) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383335)

First of all, it isn't wrong or necessarily a Bush agenda to put 'ID' into the classrooms as an empirical science. We know it isn't, and so it should be presented that way. Furthermore, I think a lot of people here are starting to blame Bush for a lot of things that have no connection. For example, a decline in R&D in the US blamed entirely on religion? Give me a break! I became an Athiest in High School, and will say that I have never heard of any kind of religious ideologies in school. This does not mean it has not occurred elsewhere. I simply just mean that this doesn't occur everywhere, all the time! Yes, I am a Christian, but I do believe heavily for a separation between the Church and State, and I do not believe it should be in our classrooms, nor should it interfere with any scientific affairs. But the fact that numberous people here are saying Christianity has declined science is fallacious and does not have enough evidence to prove itself.

Corporations (4, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383184)

Corporations are more to blame for the decline of science than the government. Most industrial development is ultimately driven by companies looking to make money on new technologies. Lately, most companies have been gutting research budgets in favor of more short term profits (ie. HP). Look at most job postings, how many both require an advanced degree and are willing to pay enough to hire someone? Most companies aren't interested. Until corporate America can look past next quarter's numbers, R&D will not really exist in the U.S. anymore.

Re:Corporations (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383379)

Corportations don't tend to do basic research. Basic research tends to not pay for itself, so of course companies won't pay people to essentially search in the dark for unique combinations that will mostly waste money. Public research is needed to ensure that the basic, foundational expansion of human understanding occurs regardless of what the market makes profitable.

Re:Corporations (3, Interesting)

antarctican (301636) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383395)

Corporations are more to blame for the decline of science than the government. Most industrial development is ultimately driven by companies looking to make money on new technologies. Lately, most companies have been gutting research budgets in favor of more short term profits (ie. HP). Look at most job postings, how many both require an advanced degree and are willing to pay enough to hire someone? Most companies aren't interested. Until corporate America can look past next quarter's numbers, R&D will not really exist in the U.S. anymore.

You hit the nail on the head. I just got back from visiting my girlfriend's parents in Mainland China, and the change I see there over the past year is mind blowing. In North America we're focused on the short term profit, on how to make a buck in the next quarter, in China they see the big picture and the long term goal. They know where they want to go, and know that some investments are long term.

We've forgotten that, and we're going to pay dearly for it over the next decade. In her home city I saw 4 bridges, multiple express ways, and countless buildings being built all at once. You could see at least 100 cranes at a time from any vantage point. In North America we have crumbling infrastructure, budgets on everything from education to health being slashed, and crumbling cities.

We need to wake up and see that we will become irrelivant unless we start looking at the long term.

Re:Corporations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383400)

I love it when techies bash corporations. Most large corporations are public, which means management reports to a board of directors, which reports to the shareholders.

Who are the shareholders? Look around you... it's all of us.

Short term corporate thinking is just a reflection of the tolerances of the culture within which the corporation exists.

Re:Corporations (1)

jerometremblay (513886) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383413)

Corporations exists in the environment created by governments.

Of course they try to influence the laws and policies of countries, but untimately the government has the final word.

Re:Corporations (1)

litecode (513948) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383435)

I think because of the lack of performance of many IT employees, companies are trying to fill a void at the same time they are trying to expand that very void.

I agree with the obvious. We need more thought, less retoric, less restriction (religion). Religion has no place in science, that's why it's call religion.

Hmmm.... (0)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383194)

Frankly I don't know what to think. All I know about science and Bush is the decision regarding stem cell research. But you can't possibly say science and technology is declining... after all, we constantly hear about new inventions in technology, new processor architectures, etc, etc.

Now, if you mean a RELATIVE decline of science and technology comparing with other countries, well that's a very different story.

No, I didn't read TFA, sorry...

Re:Hmmm.... (1)

tiptone (729456) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383420)

Went for that F.P. two days in a row and didn't get it either time, yesterday was more sneaky.

next in the news (0, Troll)

spudgun (39016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383212)

and this just in:

Galelao Persicuted in America for saying the world is round !

Don't blame the politicians.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383213)

They're just pandering to whoever will get them the most votes. Thats what they've always done.

We've got to get out. While there's still somewhere to go. America has sent us a clear message, that it doesnt want intellectual thought over religist thought.

Republicans, stop covering for your right wing nutjobs, and same goes for democrats and left wing crazies. Its making the country a cesspool.

Again (0, Flamebait)

helix400 (558178) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383227)

It's been a while since Slashdot had an article bashing Bush that included religion and science. Nice to know the bias is still strong.

Re:Again (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383282)

Well, if you want to feel better about yourself when it comes to evolution, you submit an article to slashdot and let the drones agree with you while bashing "everything you hate".

Re:Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383344)

You have an interesting definition of "bias". Misunderstood fetal stem cell debates aside, please explain the Bush Administration's handling of various environmental reports that are known to have been edited after the scientists completed them.

Remember folks, the truth is the truth. There is no bias until people stop telling the whole truth.

Re:Again (4, Insightful)

Manchot (847225) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383439)

I'm not sure that you understand what bias is. Just because Slashdot often paints Bush in a negative light when it comes to science-related issues, it doesn't mean that there's a bias. Face it, there's not much you can say that's positive about this administration's attitude towards science, and if the /. editors were to balance out all of the negative Bush-related science articles with positive ones, that would be extremely biased in Bush's favor. (In fact, that is the essence of what is wrong with Fox News.)

Why Slashdot Fired Michael (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383236)

23rd August 2005

January 31st, 2005, was the last day that Michael Sims, Nazi editor of Slashdot, ever posted a story or indeed was ever heard from again. But what happened that day to Michael Sims? Did his embroilment in the Censorware.org conspiracy finally catch up with him? Or was he involved in a violent, and ultimately fatal, lovers' spat with his partner Jamie McCarthy? The truth, as we'll see, is much more perverse than fiction.

On New Year's Eve of 2004, the entire Slashdot staff was throwing a party to celebrate another year of Linux propaganda, homosexual recruitment, and the profits that their Microsoft ad banners had raked in for them. Eric Raymond, Emad, Roblimo, Hemos, Taco, Jamie, and Alan Cox all planned to rape Richard Stallman later in the night. Michael had shown up late, however, and was let in on the plans after they were made.

As it turned out, Jamie was to be leading the charge against the Free Software Foundation's founder and would be the first to penetrate Stallman's hairy unwashed ass. Michael, however, was jealous of this and made secret plans to thwart their nefarious venture of homosexual rape. The event was planned for zero hours, right as the ball dropped. But Michael had other ideas.

Michael suggested they all toast their plan with Jägermeister, Eric Raymond's drink of choice that was in heavy supply that night, and the rest of the partygoers followed. While everyone downed their first shot, Michael slipped into the VA Software office's break-room, grabbing the syringe Raymond used to inject Rob Malda's semen with on the way. Michael leered at the case of Jägermeister, needle in hand.

Minutes later, Michael reappeared in the conference room with more Jäger, ready for more shots. Over the next couple of hours they indulged in several drinking and party games, spurred on by Michael, as they drank bottle after bottle of the dark brown herbal liquor. If one were to pay special attention to Michael, however, they would note that Michael drank much less than anyone else and only from his own bottle.

Emad and Roblimo were involved in a powerful sixty-nine cheered on by Hemos and Alan whose bent geek penises throbbed near Emad's head and Roblimo's bloated ass, waiting for an opportunity. Moaning, Emad diverted his wet mouth from Roblimo's butthole and took down Hemos and Alan's cocks in quick succession. Hearing the wet, sloppy commotion behind him, Roblimo lost control and glunked all over Emad's chest.

Across the room near the podium, Eric Raymond was man-handling Rob, jamming a handgun down the back of his pants and asking him if he remembered their special night in Holland. Rob was giggling like a school girl and squirmed with all his might against the cold steel. Eric rained a shower of Jäger over Rob's head which Rob greedily tongued up even as Eric's skinny red penis entered his ass cheeks, probing for the brown prize.

The conference room was awash in gay cum and chaos, Michael noted happily as he surveyed the carnage around him. Emad had now teamed up with Alan and Hemos to rape Roblimo's ass as Rob was being pistol-whipped to orgasm by Eric, all oblivious to the massive amounts of Rohypnol they were ingesting as they drank the Jägermeister Michael had given them. It wouldn't be much longer before the drug took effect.

Another half-hour into the night, Eric paused from raping Taco's mouth and sodomizing his anus with his Glock, short of breath. His head swam and he looked at his bottle of Jägermeister. I can usually down six of these babies, thought Eric, wondering why he was now farting uncontrollably. Rob's nose wrinkled as Eric's rectum expelled another gallon of aerosolized feces into the air. Stooping, Eric held on to the podium for support.

Across the way, Emad pulled his tiny Iranian dick out from between Alan and Hemos's in Roblimo's ass and doubled over. Alan and Hemos continued pounding Roblimo's purple, swollen anus even as Emad began vomiting all over their cocks, thinking it a move on Emad's part to spice things up. Roblimo passed out again for the fourth time that night, but as Hemos slapped him, he failed to wake up.

With Emad vomiting even more violently now, Hemos wondered what was going on. He held a hand to his head as he began forgetting why he was balls-deep in some old man's ass. Alan began hiccuping, which led to uneven strokes and finally a quick orgasm which was quickly washed away by more of Emad's vomit. Nausea rose in Alan's throat as the scents of semen, man-ass, sweat, and vomit overcame him.

Michael was smiling from the corner chair at the table when the telecom beeped. He quickly left the conference room and headed toward the VA Software compound's front doors to let RMS in. As he rounded the last corner, however, Michael almost dropped his bottle of untainted Jäger when he saw that Stallman was not alone. Standing next to him was the CEO of VA Software, Larry Augustin.

His mind racing a thousand miles a minute, Michael feigned a security malfunction when he tried to open the door, leaving Stallman and Augustin stranded outside in the cold. Waving Michael off, Larry Augustin was about to get a slim-jim when he stopped, staring, right behind Michael. There, crawling on the ground, was Rob Malda in his familiar green-and-white plaid shirt, covered in chunks of semen, blood, and feces.

Rob Malda looked up at Augustin and feebly reached out to him before vomiting on the cold tile floor and passing out with a squish in his own sick. Larry and Richard's faces were masks of horror and disgust, and they wasted no time in forcing open the doors. Larry disabled the alarms while Richard checked Rob's pulse. As Richard loosened Rob's collar, Larry turned to Michael.

What the Hell happened here tonight?

The conference room was a mess. Feces covered the wall and in some places even the ceiling. The carpet was soaked with blood, semen, diarrhea, and vomit in a stew so unimaginable that the room was later bulldozed instead of being professionally cleaned. On the dry erase board, someone had gotten creative and drawn erect, ejaculating penises in their own poo. And behind the podium lay Eric Raymond, sleeping fitfully.

At the other end of the room, Emad was curled into fetal position surrounded by a lake of vomit and curdling shit, both trailing from his soiled form -- nothing new to him. Hemos and Alan laid moaning next to one another, limp dicks in one another's slimy hands. Behind them Roblimo's morose form breathed shallowly, ass in the air where he had passed out earlier. He farted in his sleep as Larry Augustin looked on, mouth agape.

Next week, Larry Augustin held a special meeting with the Slashdot staff. Emad, Jamie, Roblimo, Rob, and Hemos all seated themselves and the meeting began. Eric Raymond also showed, though everyone there seemed a little perplexed. Their party had gotten messy but no one remembered how. Eric wanted especially hard to remember, he thought as he patted his stomach, which still gurgled painfully.

Early in the wee hours of January 1st, 2005, Larry watched as sickened paramedics loaded VA employee after VA employee into the backs of ambulances and raced them to the hospital. They were treated for dehydration and were all given stomach pumps, enemas, and several rounds of antibiotics. They were also tested for drugs and the results were more than a little surprising. Michael, however, had been the only one to test negative.

Hour after hour went by in the VA board-room as each one of the partygoer related their experience. Roblimo, now wheelchair-bound, took the mic and shared his experience that mirrored everyone else's: After his first few toasts of Jägermeister, he remembered nothing save waking up a day later in the hospital, tubes and wires trailing from his bruised body. Roblimo was also suffering from a rectal prolapse.

It was decided by a unanimous vote that Michael Sims was to be fired with due haste, as he had drugged the entire Slashdot staff in an attempt to rape them. Unfortunately, due haste took about three-and-a-half weeks so the shareholders could approve the move. Their reaction to the story removed any doubt about Michael's fate and the motion was carried unanimously. Michael was terminated January 31st, 2005.

So now you know why Michael Sims hasn't posted any new stories to Slashdot since January. Let it be a warning to you, gentle reader, of what evil lurks in the hearts of psychotic Linux zealots and Nazi propagandists. Since then the boys at Slashdot have been able to laugh it off, but consider their depraved anus-games. You might not be so lucky were Michael Sims to happen to you. You have been warned.

Thank you.

Fix the delusions (4, Insightful)

Bob3141592 (225638) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383242)

Yet Americans continue to think that they are automatically number one in everything. The man on the street still believes that we Americans are the smartest, strongest, and most capable people in the world. Mostly that's a delusion supported by ignorance, as the typical American knows very little about what's going on in the world outside of the US.

Certainly any American is capable of being the best, and is more likely to acheive that given good opportunities and education, and a culture that values whatever endeavor they choose. For science and technology, that's just not valued much by our culture. Americans like entertainment and instant gratification, and think the more of that they have the better they will be.

I fear for our future.

Re:Fix the delusions (1)

psyjoniz (909608) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383382)

i, too, fear for our future and realize that the delusion of the US as '#1' is just that - a delusion. the average american is a blithering idiot and quite ignorant of whats really going on. and on top of it you can't tell the majority of them anything because.. well.. they already know everything. its like a big country full of spoiled rotten 13 and 14 year olds.

The political climate & conferences (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383243)

Information sharing is also going downhill with a lot of out-of-country people refusing to attend (or being refused entry visas) conferences which are one of the major ways that scientists share information through the world.
I'll attend conferences in Canada, France, Spain, etc.... but I'll be damned if I'm going to the US

Socialism (1, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383245)

This article seems to be predicated on the notion that Science is the purview of the government.

As I read the constitution the government is 1. only supposed to do things that the constitution explicitly states it is supposed to do and 2. is supposed to encourage useful invention with the patent system.

The article states:

[T]he Bush administration [readily] manipulate[s] and suppress[es] scientific findings - manifestly to appease industrial interests and religious constituencies.


I don't know what sort of warped and unrealistic idea of how politics work would cause a person to be surprised by this.

In summary, nobody likes how the government spends money. Only a person suffering brain damage would imagine that giving them more would improve the situation.

-Peter

PS: Poo poo on the person who wrote this article, and on G.W. Bush. And Mrs. Cartman.

-P

We gots these internets (1, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383246)

click a few buttons and yous got alls ya needs. Who needs larning when ya got...

oh, wait porn!!!

US Technological Leadership (4, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383247)

is now accomplished by outsourcing engineering to India and manufacturing to China. IF the trend continues we'll end up a nation of international brokers and their support laborers (auto mechanics, maids, cooks, home repair, etc).

Of course such trends never continue indefinitely - it's just a leveling of inequalities left over from the WWII and cold war days. The US benefitted from an immigrant brain source once (Einstein, Von Braun, Tesla) - it could easily flow the other way if conditions here become too hostile or the grass looks greener elsewhere.

Get off the political troll.. (5, Insightful)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383250)

"Young Americans are opting for better paid law and medicine over science and engineering and visa restrictions on bright foreign students further dilute the talent pool"

Well, the more we blame this situation on religious/anti-religous bugaboos and other flamefests, and not on THE WAY WE RAISE OUR KIDS nothing will ever change.

How many of you (or your wives for that matter) get on their childs teacher's case for being "too hard on my kid", "they just aren't good at math" etc. and not the other way around?

Why do you think Asians kick so much ass in the sciences and tech fields? Because they believe in hard work and challenge their kids (granted, maybe too much sometimes)



Re:Get off the political troll.. (1)

uighur (818297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383398)

mod parent up!! The religious right is the least of our problems. Terrible schools and terrible parents are much more of a worry. Its easier to blame it on Bush and the Christian right than to get to the heart of the problem.

Religion holding us back as usual (2, Interesting)

grimharvest (724023) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383262)

Don't study Darwin, don't study the Big Bang, no Stem Cell research, stay in the Dark Ages. They don't kill people anymore like they did with Galileo, now they just get a Texan in the White House to make sure as much scientific research as possible is illegal.

Meanwhile they want to teach our kids stuff out of the Bible because if it's in the Bible it MUST be true. What we really need is one country (somewhere else) where Christians can gather and live in whatever primitive manner they choose.

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (1, Insightful)

milesbparty (527555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383326)

I think they should have a country (somewhere else) where Slashdot idiots can gather and live. Maybe you could be the first! (but I'm sure not the last).

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383332)

No offense bro, but Christians were here first. Why should we be the ones to leave?

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383409)

Me Tonto...you fscking leave paleskin!

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (2, Funny)

SecondHand (883047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383337)

Australia, perhaps.

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (1)

Omnieiunium (872399) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383358)

Such as the USA?
-runs away-

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383394)

What we really need is one country (somewhere else) where Christians can gather and live in whatever primitive manner they choose.

Ummmmm. they did a few hundred years back.

http://pilgrims.net/plymouth/history/mayflower.htm l [pilgrims.net]

Re:Religion holding us back as usual (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383419)

I take it, then, that you're not going for Intelligent Falling [theonion.com] ?

Prepare for onslought of inane talking points! (2, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383263)

Someone could make a drinking game out of this.

For example: Everytime a discussion about science on /. leads to someone posting a link to Michael Crichton ranting about junk science, take a drink.

"It is the business of the future to be dangerous, and it is among the merits of science that it prepares the future for its duties."

- Alfred North Whitehead.

Maybe more researchers need to take up golf (4, Insightful)

_am99_ (445916) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383270)

The Bush neoconservatives believe that their destiny is to mold the world as they see fit, and they don't care what they have to do or say to fulfill that goal. If that means lying about WMD, killing civilians, or sacrificing military personnel, then so be it. It is all for the greater good.

So don't expect them to give a crap about the cost to science by doing what the religous right demands, cause they need them to be in power in the first place.

Now if they could find a way to launder money out of R&D, like the defense, pharma, or oil industries, then you might get somewhere.

Maybe some R&D project managers need to take
Jack Abramoff or Tom DeLay [msn.com] out for a few rounds of golf...

Re:Maybe more researchers need to take up golf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383342)

FSM: Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I don't agree. (1)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383283)

I suppose some arears of science are experiencing that decline, but look at our armed forces. We're creating lasers to shoot projectiles out of the air, even in close proximity. We've created a microwave gun attached to a truck. I consider these to be both science and technology.

Re:I don't agree. (0)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383354)

I suppose some arears of science are experiencing that decline, but look at our armed forces. We're creating lasers to shoot projectiles out of the air, even in close proximity. We've created a microwave gun attached to a truck. I consider these to be both science and technology.

I agree, and not trying to start a flame war, it's really only the less credible portions of science that are deteriorating - and it's not because of the "religious right", but rather just bad science. There are plenty of atheists who think evolution is also a far fetched and less than credible theory. Books have been written on the topic. Scientists, professors at prestigious colleges, and plenty of straight thinking individuals take issue with it. It seems as though the only people who are complaining are the ones who want to blame everything on religion rather than simply fess up to bad science.

"Scientists, like everybody else, base most of their opinions on the word of other people. Of the great majority who accept Darwinism, most (though not all) do so based on authority. Also, and unfortunately, too often criticisms have been dismissed by the scientific community for fear of giving ammunition to creationists. It is ironic that in the name of protecting science, trenchant scientific criticism of natural selection has been brushed aside."
- Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University

Bottom line, I think, is that if you can't establish the science behind it, society's not going to be better off by trying to pass [whatever it is] off as truth.

The Brits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383292)

They are just jealous.

America past (1)

pyro101 (564166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383293)

We need to go back to the past when America seperated religion from government like in the 1800's when they put "In God we trust" on money or like in the 1900's when we put "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. The beauty of America unlike socialized nations is that the government doesn't need to be sculpting everthing for it to work. Involving politics into science is as good of a thing as involving politics into religion. You end up with a bunch of blow hards from Washington telling you what to believe.

To summerize the sky is not falling and good science will march on as usual.

NO JOBS (0, Flamebait)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383296)

I am surprised that slashdot is essentially running an anti-christian/bush article, when the truth of the matter is that the USA is losing it's edge in science and technology because kids today do not have the patience to become scientists/engineers.

  Also, there was just an article on slashdot about how the nobody is going into engineering fields anymore since their jobs are getting outsourced and the Chinese are threatening to take over the lead in the scientific and engineering fields, because they don't care about low pay and go to schools paid for by the state.

The average student loan bill is what, $50,000?

Patents (3, Insightful)

Potatomasher (798018) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383308)

And while science is suffering from religious activists and the whim of politicians, innovations in engineering and technology as a whole are suffering from an outdated patent system, whose sole purpose seems to be rewarding large monopolies rather than promoting innovation.

LiberalConservative Cycle (4, Funny)

birge (866103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383313)

Funny how liberal statists want the central government to control everything, except when the government is run by people they disagree with, elected by people they detest. You can't have your government schools and not expect the government to control the teaching as per majority desire, can you?

Here's the cycle of America:

1) Democrats gain power, expand government control over X, Y and Z.
2) Republicans gain power, use government control to fuck up X, Y and Z.
3) Goto (1)

Irony (5, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383314)

It continues to amuse me that the people who complain most about how few Americans are going into science and engineering are the ones who went into management, law, and politics.

If not that, they ended up running universities where their business depends on having more science students to

  • provide cash to keep the gravy train rolling, and
  • work as grad students teaching the others so that the faculty doesn't have to

Then they get stressed out that my kids look around at their father and his cow-orkers stressing over whose job is the next to vanish. They look at the management, lawyers, and politicians getting wealthier and more powerful every year, and shock! they decide not to go into tech.

Here's the paradox: they want the best and brightest to make life decisions that they themselves saw as foolish.

It's funny what they consider "science" (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383317)

This is not just on global warming and stem cells, currently in the news, but on a whole range of issues - lead and mercury poisoning in children, women's health, birth control, safety standards for drinking water, forest management, air pollution and on and on.


All of these "sciences" were politically manipulated for years by "the other side" to fit their agenda. Is it not suprising, then that the tables have turned? Even slashdot's own articles have pointed out the fact that governmental science labs have been manipulated almost from day one to give the results the politicians want.

Current admin punishes criticism, different ideas (4, Interesting)

Cerdic (904049) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383324)

That's one of the themes of the BBC article, and it's so true on a variety of levels. I recall that, recently, the DC Metro (WMATA) had a big chunk of its budget cut because they allowed pro-marijuana ads on trains and buses.

The real stupid part? The metro serves a large number of people and is always in need of more money. So, in reality, they punished the people. Look for lots of punishment from an angry God, er, government because scientists feel differently about religion, environment, and politics in general.

Proponents of "Global Warming" complaining... (0, Flamebait)

stankulp (69949) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383331)

...about junk science.

Priceless.

Thanks Uncle Sam (1)

Dak_Peoples (591544) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383333)

"Young Americans are opting for better paid law and medicine over science and engineering and visa restrictions on bright foreign students further dilute the talent pool"
Unfortunately there is more $$$ to make in Law (Look at all the frivilous laws to get rich on) and Medicine (Baby Boomers are dying off and have money to spend on longevidy 'products') A good majority of the once high paying research and development jobs are going overseas, where the labor is cheaper.

california secession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383338)

Why are we allowing the rest of the country hold us back? They act like we are a bunch of nuts, yet they need us more than we need them.

:Frist psot (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383350)

Decline of the Roman Empire ... the sequel ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13383368)

Face it, America is making the same mistakes Rome made. And the plebians are not allowed to complain. If they do, they are labeled "xenophobes" or "anti-freedom".

The only thing Americans can build is McMansions and even then, that's debatable: the wood is from Canada and the labor is from Mexico.

Distraction is a serious problem. (4, Interesting)

hellomynameisclinton (796928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383396)

"The Bush administration does not take kindly to anyone who has drawn a federal dollar being critical."

I feel sorry for Joseph Wilson and his wife every day. They experienced this first hand - object and be retaliated against.

It's not my idea - I heard it originally from a journalist for the SF Chronicle - but one of the biggest tools the White House is using is distraction. Attention is being drawn to social issues (such as gay rights, and vegetable rights - Schiavo), while significant detrimental policies are being waged against science (like barring publication of papers about global warming) and civil rights.

The true crimes involve Writ of Habeus Corpus (Jose Padilla), and intentional endangerment (Valerie Plame), not stem-cells and Hubble.

Science is hard... (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383405)

Science is not easy. It's also very new in the history of Mankind.

Priests and whatnot, on the other hand, has a 100,000 year headstart over science when it comes to manipulate minds and suck-up to the people.

So it's no wonder that undisciplined simple minds will flock to religion en masse, as believing bullshit is far easier than UNDERSTANDING science.

It's Not Government's Job. (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383411)

If they think it's government is the answer, they got the wrong question. I know, it pains the liberal left that inhabit /., but if you worked a few days with me, you would clearly see what I am saying is the truth. Government does a few things right, and the rest is Dilbert zone on steroids.

Dammy

What do they expect with the DMCA? Thriving tech? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383431)

When you make technology impossible to develop without getting on your knees and begging your mortal enemies and your competitors, this is what happens.

I'm sure there would have been a lot less automobiles today if car manufacturers back in the 10's and 20's had to beg both their competitors and the buggy whip makers for permission to make automobiles.

You reap what you plant here..

SSC (1)

nilram (32622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13383442)


Every time I hear this tired gripe, "Republicans are hostile to science." I think of the Super Conducting Super Collider which would have been the worlds largest particle accelerator (20 TeV) and would have at least shed some insight on the Higgs boson and the origins of the Universe.

The project was approved by the Reagan administration in 1987. During the first congress of Clintons first term in 1993 the project was summarily killed. I might point out that at the time both Houses of congress were under Democratic control. So I find it difficult to blame those ludite Republicans.
 
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