PZ Myers posted Entry 1568 on October 10, 2005 12:53 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1563

Carl Zimmer examines the situation in Florida, bringing up Yecke and Jeb Bush and the interesting conundrum that while they are trying to pander to the Intelligent Design creationists, they have also enticed the Scripps Institute to open a Florida branch campus.

I don't know how long Florida will be able to go on this way, trying to attract the biotech industry while its leading state officials try to teach its students that creationism is an equally valid way of understanding life. Sooner or later, something's got to give.

You can't encourage ignorance while trying to reap the benefits of knowledge for long. That's the balancing act the creationist-friendly politicians are trying to play, though; I think they're just hoping they can keep wrecking the foundation now, and that everything will collapse after they're safely out of office.

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Comment #51741

Posted by Daniel Kim on October 10, 2005 2:12 PM (e)

Reaping benefits while destroying the source of those benefits is in the familiar story of the goose that laid golden eggs. This parallel is easily extended to rampant deficit spending with tax cuts, controlling fuel prices in the short term, while failing to push new energy strategies, or curtailing civil liberties in the name of protecting freedom. Any pyramid scheme is doomed to collapse; the trick is to reap your dividends and cash out early.

Comment #51757

Posted by Steve S on October 10, 2005 3:39 PM (e)

Having lived in Florida for 20 years, I can tell you there are a lot of very uneducated, very religious people there. Expect school boards at the local or even state level to require Intelligent Design soon.

Comment #51770

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 10, 2005 4:49 PM (e)

It’s pretty clear what the “YEC” in Yecke stands for.

What’s the “KE” part signify?

Comment #51773

Posted by Steven Laskoske on October 10, 2005 4:54 PM (e)

It’s pretty clear what the “YEC” in Yecke stands for.

What’s the “KE” part signify?

Kansas Education board.

Comment #51789

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2005 6:41 PM (e)

Having lived in Florida for 20 years, I can tell you there are a lot of very uneducated, very religious people there.

Indeed. You can’t swing a dead cat by the tail around here without smacking a few fundies. (sigh)

But look on the bright side —- most of them don’t know how to work a voting machine anyway. :>

Comment #51811

Posted by Norman Doering on October 10, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote: “You can’t swing a dead cat by the tail around here without smacking a few fundies.”

Why on earth are you hitting people with dead animals? Isn’t there a law against that? Or at least a law about stealing quotes from H. L. Mencken without proper attribution?

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote: “But look on the bright side —— most of them don’t know how to work a voting machine anyway.”

You wish.

Comment #51812

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2005 8:46 PM (e)

Or at least a law about stealing quotes from H. L. Mencken without proper attribution?

Actually I heard it on an episode of M*A*S*H a long time ago. :>

Comment #51813

Posted by Beaming Visionary on October 10, 2005 8:47 PM (e)

“Governor” Bush wants the Scripps project to continue full speed ahead, but taxpayers in Palm Beach County (where I live) are not as keen on the project as it exists as the “governor,” because unlike him, they have to pay for it. From yesterday’s Palm Beach Post:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/opinion/epaper/2005/10/09/a1e_web_scripps_1009.html

Neither are environmentalists, who are tired of watching waterways such as the St. Lucie River go to hell owing to the blind greed of developers and their all-too-pliable politicians.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/columnists/carl_hiaasen/12845081.htm

So the upshot is that construction on the Mecca Farms site may actually be stopped in a couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, widespread opposition to the biotech giant’s rhetorical counterpart, state-sanctioned creationism, is not likely to be as strong. After all, not only do we have a term-limited idiot with around 50% of the President’s DNA planted in the governor’s seat, but millions of highly visible dollars aren’t at stake – only the minds and education of millions of present and future Florida schoolchildren.

Florida is a hotbed of tomfuckery and cretinism on all fronts and unfortunately it’s beyond redemption. I’m counting down the days until I move.

Comment #51820

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2005 9:01 PM (e)

I’m counting down the days until I move.

Sure, sure. Run away and leave ME with all the mess.

Geez, if you leave, you’ll be reducing the intelligent population of Flori-duhhh by 25% or thereabouts.

Comment #51863

Posted by Hiya'll on October 11, 2005 6:11 AM (e)

“You can’t encourage ignorance while trying to reap the benefits of knowledge for long. That’s the balancing act the creationist-friendly politicians are trying to play, though; I think they’re just hoping they can keep wrecking the foundation now, and that everything will collapse after they’re safely out of office.”

Your ignorning the possibility that these politicians might believe in young earth creationism, have you considered that they probably think they are actually aiding the growth of science by supporting YEC, OEC or ID? Don’t assume everyone shares your beliefs.

Comment #51887

Posted by Kesh on October 11, 2005 9:48 AM (e)

Just because they believe they’re doing the right thing, it doesn’t follow that they are.

ID, YEC and the lot are anti-science. They throw out the most basic scientific principles in favor of blind faith. Despite what these people may or may not believe, it does not change the fact that ID is not science and promoting it is detrimental to science.

Comment #51891

Posted by Flint on October 11, 2005 10:22 AM (e)

You guys abandoning Florida are welcome to join me in Alabama, and maybe double the number of people who will vote against Judge Roy Moore.

Comment #51893

Posted by qetzal on October 11, 2005 10:35 AM (e)

Hiya'll wrote:

Your ignorning the possibility that these politicians might believe in young earth creationism,…

I’m quite sure many of them do.

…have you considered that they probably think they are actually aiding the growth of science by supporting YEC, OEC or ID?

I highly doubt they care about aiding the growth of science. Their interest is in aiding the spread of Truth. Their truth, of course.

Comment #51899

Posted by Frank J on October 11, 2005 11:17 AM (e)

Hiya’ll wrote:

Your ignoring the possibility that these politicians might believe in young earth creationism, have you considered that they probably think they are actually aiding the growth of science by supporting YEC, OEC or ID? Don’t assume everyone shares your beliefs.

On the contrary, it’s too often implied that they are YECs when they do the “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing. What is too often ignored is the possibility that these politicians know that YEC and OEC are nonsense, but that anti-evolution in general sells anyway. ID leaders certainly seem to know that YEC and OEC are nonsense.

qetzal wrote:

I highly doubt they care about aiding the growth of science. Their interest is in aiding the spread of Truth. Their truth, of course.

The simple fact that they discourage vigorous debates among YEC, OEC and ID without any reference to evolution suggests that they don’t care about science or truth. If they had any confidence in YEC or OEC, there would be no need for the evasive ID strategy.

Comment #51949

Posted by rdog29 on October 11, 2005 3:53 PM (e)

Hiya’ll -

Even though these guys may indeed believe they’re advancing science (which I doubt, since time and again Creatinists and IDiots have shown that science and honesty are irrelevent factors in their activities), the fact is that YEC, OEC and ID have no scientific value and are indeed anti-science.

Sincerity is unimportant, because their misguided zeal has potentially disastrous effects. Other nincompoops throughout history have been “sincere”. I’m sure Hitler thought he was doing the world a favor, to cite an extreme example.

Comment #51967

Posted by the pro from dover on October 11, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

in your haste to leave Florida dont get injured by any exploding alligator eating pythons.

Comment #51973

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2005 6:50 PM (e)

in your haste to leave Florida dont get injured by any exploding alligator eating pythons.

As an aside, I think that story is utterly bogus. Constricting snakes kill their prey BEFORE they swallow it. And they are so sensitive to vibrations that they know whether or not the prey’s heart is still beating – and they don’t try to swallow it until it’s not. Anacondas in the Amazon routinely polish off and eat caimans, with no trouble at all. Heck, they routinely polish off and eat JAGUARS, too. Any self-respecting python in Florida can make a mid-day snack out of any but the largest gators. About the only thing in Florida that a big python can’t eat is an adult human – our shoulders are too wide for the snake to get its jaws over.

I think that if the incident isn’t simply a complete fake (how many fake “snake eating man” photos have appeared on the Net?), then what happened was roughly; snake eats gator, snake later dies, body blows up in tropical Florida heat, exposing mostly intact gator (snake digestion is quite slow).

For those here who don’t know what we’re referring to, there was a newspaper story on the wire services a couple days ago about a Burmese python in Florida allegedly trying to eat a live gator and being killed when the gator allegedly ripped the snake open from the inside.

Comment #52007

Posted by Hi'yall on October 11, 2005 11:00 PM (e)

The reason their beliefs are relevant is because the author of the post said

“You can’t encourage ignorance while trying to reap the benefits of knowledge for long. That’s the balancing act the creationist-friendly politicians are trying to play, though; I think they’re just hoping they can keep wrecking the foundation now, and that everything will collapse after they’re safely out of office.”

I was trying to point out that these politicans probably aren’t playing a balancing game, they probably believe that by encouraging ID they are encouraging science. To say that they are trying to reap the benefits now, and let florida suffer later, is I feel too cynical; I think the politicians think that science will be richer once they leave office for their actions, I think they see themselves as friends of science. However, if they are encouraging full on YEC, then of course, one can only quote lord Byron.

“This is the patent age of new inventions for killing bodies, and for saving souls.
All propagated with the best intentions.”

Comment #52522

Posted by sir_toejam on October 18, 2005 6:56 PM (e)

For those here who don’t know what we’re referring to, there was a newspaper story on the wire services a couple days ago about a Burmese python in Florida allegedly trying to eat a live gator and being killed when the gator allegedly ripped the snake open from the inside

serves that damn foreign snake right, ayup! damn illegal immigrants :p

Comment #52591

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 19, 2005 7:24 AM (e)

serves that damn foreign snake right, ayup! damn illegal immigrants :p

In all seriousness, Florida does have a VERY large problem with introduced species taking over many of our local ecosystems.

And, just to make this ontopic for this blog, we may be able to learn a lot about how ecosystems evolve from this. After all, we now have a hodge-podge mix of species from all over the world here, none of which has ever co-evolved with any of the others. And yet here, they are already forming local ecosystems that are dominated by introduced species that have already adapted not only to the local environmental conditions, but also to each other. How plastic are ecosystems? How closely must the pieces fit in order for them to function with each other? How quickly can they co-adapt to each other? How long does it take for new ecosystems to appear after a disruption?

Interesting questions. Alas, answering them will also mean the destruction of much of our native wildlife and ecosystems. :