Re: [asa] A Message from the RTB Scholar Team (fwd)

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 18:29:35 EDT

Quorum systems serve as a basic tool providing a uniform and reliable
way to achieve coordination in a distributed system. They are useful
for distributed and replicated databases, name servers, mutual
exclusion, and distributed access control and signatures. How would a
quorum system process this thread? You have one node called George
that sends a message. Node Rich, node Dave, node Iain, node Scott,
node Don, and node Steve all send positive acknowledgements. Node
Gregory sends a negative acknowledgement. The quorum system concludes
that node Gregory is bad, not node George. In other words,
communication involves a speaker and one or more listeners. When one
listener doesn't "get it" when all the rest do, it is the height of
arrogance to blame the speaker.

I've seen the same dynamics in church politics. A pastor preaches to
the entire congregation. Yet, it doesn't match the particular
idiosyncrasies of an individuals or individuals. Usually this is to
make it more "precise" or "scholarly" all in the name of "meat". That
this might not minister to the majority of the congregation is not
important because the all important "me" is "not fed". For some
inexplicable reason a particular vocabulary is needed. Equivalent
forms of communication are not considered as correct because of the
insistence of a lazily computed orthodoxy. By not considering the
other "nodes" we may not truly know whether we have the truth. Note
that the faith delivered once for all is delivered to the saints
plural and not singular.

Getting back on topic. One the major issues I have with Expelled is
its insistence on its own use of terms. Christians who believe in
evolution are excluded *by definition* of the word Darwinism or neo-
Darwinism all in neat "scare quotes". No wonder the producer finds
interviewing Ken Miller as confusing because it undercuts their
redefinition of standard terms. If there is a standard exposition of
the term it is incumbent on the neologist to justify their new usage
and that bar is quite high. IMHO, in this regard Gregory has failed
miserably. Evolution = biological descent with modification unless
marked otherwise. If you put an adjective in front of evolution then
it may be something completely different. For example, stellar
evolution just means slow change with time. That's the great thing
about standard terms. You can avoid verbal diarrhea and that's what
Dave means by "unnecessary verbiage".

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

On Apr 19, 2008, at 3:26 PM, Gregory Arago wrote:

> You've got to be kidding me!! -) You seriously think it is
> 'unnecessary verbiage' to distinguish between 'human evolution' and
> 'biological evolution of humans'??? That's two words difference (or
> nearly twice the amount of letters, for you statisticians), but a
> major difference in 'category'. Cat-e-gory! It would take such
> little effort and go such a long way. It is a shock to me that no
> will is present to adjust what could be so easily done for the cause
> of communicative clarity.
> Dave Wallace <> wrote:
> Gregory Arago wrote:
> > Yes Don, nail on the head! Why couldn't George have said this in
> the first place, to avoid misunderstanding? Thanks for your clarity!
> - G.
> Because it was unnecessary verbiage ie overabundance or superfluity
> of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity.
> Dave W
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Received on Sat Apr 19 18:30:46 2008

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