Richard B. Hoppe posted Entry 1964 on February 3, 2006 12:05 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1959

Cleveland Plain Dealer Story Update

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the story now, and has a stronger quote from Governor Taft:

“I think we ought to be teaching evolution,” Taft said. “I think intelligent design should not be part of the standards and should not be tested. I want to know what their views are before I decide whether to reappoint them.”

Taft also said he was chagrined by the tone of the January board meeting, which included personal attacks between board members.

In one instance, two board members read the newspaper as members of the public testified about the science standards.

“That’s not a good way to do business,” Taft said.

The money phrase here is “… intelligent design should not be part of the standards …”. It is the “critically analyze” standard that is the gateway through which the intelligent design creationist pseudo-science was wedged into the model curriculum.

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Original Entry

In an exclusive story in the February 3, 2006, Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Governor Bob Taft is reported to have said that he doesn’t think intelligent design should be taught in Ohio schools. According to the story, Taft doesn’t think the standards include intelligent design, but he called for “… a legal review of the companion lesson plan to ensure that Ohio is not vulnerable to a lawsuit”.

Taft also said he would question potential appointees to the Board more closely on the issue.

“There were cases in which I didn’t ask the right questions, in some cases where I supported someone for election or appointment,” Taft said this week when asked about the issue during a meeting with Dispatch editors and reporters.

“I’ll be asking that question now, I can assure you.”

Unfortunately, Taft wouldn’t elaborate on what he would consider a satisfactory answer. Taft will appoint four members to the Ohio State Board of Education before his term expires in early 2007. The four current occupants of those appointments all voted in favor of the ID-originated standard for 10th grade biology and for inclusion of the ID creationist model lesson plan when a motion to delete it was defeated in 2004. One changed his vote in the recent narrow vote (9-8) to retain it.

This is a reversal for a Governor whose chief of staff when the science standards were being considered, Brian Hicks, lobbied the Governor’s appointees on the Ohio Board of Education to support an ID-based science standard, benchmark, and model lesson plan. (Hicks’ emails were made public during another scandal in Ohio, “Coingate“.) In every OBOE vote on the standards, benchmarks and model curriculum, the Governor’s appointees obediently voted as a block to support the ID-based material with the recent exception noted above.

Ohio ID supporters publicly boasted about the Governor’s role in the process of developing tainted standards. In November 2003, Robert Lattimer, a prominent Ohio ID creationist, described the background for Taft’s earlier support

Our Governor is a moderate Republican. He was up for election last fall. He had done a couple of things that angered conservative voters, and he knew he needed conservative voters to win the election.

Lattimer went on to boast of the result the political pressure from ID’s creationist troops had on the Governor’s role:

And finally the Governor responded and the result was that the ‘teach the controversy’ language that we’d [IDists] been proposing was adopted by the State Board of Education by a vote of 18 to nothing. That does not mean that all members of the State Board of Education supported our viewpoint. Actually, only 5 supported our viewpoint.

Most politicians do not care about this issue. They think it’s superfluous, it doesn’t mean anything. But they do react to public opinion because that’s what keeps them in office. So that’s why they got an 18-0 vote. The public opinion was so strong in our favor. And the Governor was twisting some arms. He appoints 8 of those members, but he has pretty much influence on the whole Board. (Taped at Darwin, Design and Democracy IV, Minneapolis, November 15, 2003; tape purchased from Intelligent Design Network, organizer of the ID conference)

Hicks’ email corroborates Lattimer’s version. Hicks, now a member of the Ohio State University Board of Trustees, recently declined to comment on his role in the State Board of Education’s decisions.

The Governor’s office, and therefore the science standards, were subject to intense political pressure from the religious right, pressure orchestrated in part by at least one member of the Ohio State Board of Education. In documents released by the Ohio Department of Education to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, we learned that OBOE member Deborah Owens-Fink, who has close ties to the religious right, threatened to “bring the state down” on the Board and Governor if the ID-based material was not accepted by the board.

And if the strategy wasn’t obvious enough, Lattimer favored us with this remark in his Minneapolis talk

This is the language that we got in the Standards that was approved in December of last year. Again, it’s pretty moderate language. It’s pretty modest. It’s not anything earthshaking, but it gives us that wedge, a foot in the door that enables us to teach origins with more objectivity than we had before.

Wedging Creationism into Ohio

As we know, intelligent design “theory” has no content save the claim that something or other designed something or other sometime, and somehow or other manufactured whatever was designed without leaving any traces of the existence of the designer, the manufacturer, or the manufacturing process. It is no more than recycled creation science relabeled with a few new terms. For example, Behe’s “irreducible complexity” replaced Henry Morris’ “organized complexity”. (Henry wasn’t happy about that.) And the federal courts have taken notice of the constancy of content underlying the changing labels. “Sham” is the word used. One hopes that Governor Taft’s legal advisors know that word.

The “critically evaluate” biology standard and benchmark are grounded in the “teach the controversy” approach conceived as a “compromise” by Stephen C. Meyer and Bruce Chapman of the Discovery Institute. That was announced by Meyer at a public debate before the Ohio Board of Education in 2002. Rather than teach intelligent design (which has no content, of course) Meyer and Chapman conceived the teach the controversy tactic on the eve of a debate before the Ohio Board of Education about whether to teach ID. Having nothing to teach, ID advocates had to come up with something. Essentially, “teach the controversy” repackages old-time creation science – distortions and flawed criticisms of evolutionary theory, singling it out for disparagement – but now calls it “critically evaluate evolution” or “critical analysis of evolution”. It pushes the same canards that have characterized creationism since the 1970s and earlier – our librarian has traced some of the content back into the 1920s. What the Discovery Institute sold in Ohio was old-time creationism repackaged as “critical analysis”. But the new label covers exactly the same old content.

The writing committees that developed the lesson plan that operationally defines the standard was packed with creationists. Referring to the writing committee for the creationist lesson plan, Lattimer boasted

We only got four of our people on that [Writing] Team. However, three of those people are on the critical grade 10 biology subgroup, 3 out of 7. Which has turned out to be enough. These three people are all excellent people. One’s a University professor, a Ph.D. biologist, who’s very influential. He’s the only Ph.D. biologist on that group. The second group is a .. ah .. high school science teacher, and the third is a junior college biology teacher. And they have had great influence on the group.

We know that the Ohio Department of Education knew what was going on. Both internal and external expert advisors told ODE managers about it. ODE advisors told senior managers that the material was filled with lies, over-simplifications, and inaccuracies. To repeat from my earlier post:

    “The sentence … is a lie.” (an ODE scientist referrring to the Fossil Record aspect “Sample Challenging Answer”; the lie is still in the lesson)
    “Not the real scientific world. The real religious world, yes!” (Outside Field Test Reviewer referring to the lesson plan as a whole)
    “As a tool to develop objective scientific critical thinking it is an insult.” (Outside Field Test Reviewer)
    “Not ‘scientific critical thinking’” (Outside Field Test Reviewer)
    “The lesson relies solely on the vacuous pedagogical tool of staged debate. There is no … value placed on intellectual growth or learning; rather, indoctrination is the apparent point of this lesson plan.” (Outside Field Test Reviewer)
    “ODE does not support this kind of teaching strategy.” (ODE Staff Member)
    “This should have been out. Horrible non-scientific citation.” (ODE Staff Member)

Add the phrases “whacky ID” and “crackpot” to the list: they’re also in the boxes of Americans United documents referring to the model lesson plan. I have no doubt that in the event of litigation, discovery will uncover more such juicy bits. Judge Jones’ opinion in Kitzmiller and other judgments in federal courts have clearly held that sham relabeling of creationism does not remove its sectarian taint, and Ohio’s “critically evaluate” standard, operationalized as the “Critical Analysis of Evolution” lesson plan, is a sham plain and simple. Available documents firmly establish that, and further documents obtained in discovery will only cement it more firmly in place. I hope Governor Taft’s legal advisors read for comprehension.

So now Governor Taft believes that intelligent design shouldn’t be taught to Ohio school children, but the benchmark and lesson plan still encourage it. We thank the Governor for (finally) seeing the light. Now it’s up to the Ohio State Board of Education to take action to excise the creationist lesson plan and the “critically evaluate” Benchmark that was its gateway to wedge into Ohio public schools. Somewhere in Ohio there’s a teacher using this glop, and that teacher’s school district is putting its foot (and its taxpayers money) into a Dover trap set by the State Board of Education. Father Michael Cochran of the State Board of Education may be willing to spend state money on a lawsuit, but what local district can afford what Dover is going to pay?

RBH

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Comment #77249

Posted by Heathen Dan on February 3, 2006 6:29 AM (e)

Judge Jones’ opinion in Kitzmiller and other judgements in federal courts have clearly held that sham relabeling of creationism does not remove its secular taint

Shouldn’t secular be sectarian?

Comment #77252

Posted by m arie on February 3, 2006 6:44 AM (e)

I just want to make this point. The voters of Dover VOTED THE SCHOOL BOARD OUT!!! They are the KEY words! They VOTED THEM OUT! Every politian involved in this ID thing is jumping ship to save their political lives!!!! I myself think its too late, they are HISTORY!

Comment #77256

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 3, 2006 7:46 AM (e)

See what happens when you (1) hit IDers with big fat lawsuits expenses and (2) vote the bastards out of office?

ID is dead.

Comment #77265

Posted by RBH on February 3, 2006 8:11 AM (e)

Heathen Dan asked

Shouldn’t secular be sectarian?

Yes indeed, it should be and now is. The penalty for writing this at an ungodly hour of the morning. :)

Thanks.
RBH

Comment #77266

Posted by Bourgeois_rage on February 3, 2006 8:27 AM (e)

Too bad Taft is an idiot and no one is going to listen to him. He’s a lame duck because of his role in all the scandals in Ohio.

Comment #77267

Posted by Russell on February 3, 2006 8:55 AM (e)

I had thought Taft, the “moderate Republican” would be the ultimate barrier between the wing-nuts of his party and the ability to actually implement the creationist agenda. That was before I realized that Taft was an invertebrate. I guess poll numbers in the 15% range are what it takes to get the attention of some politicians.

Comment #77268

Posted by Andy H. on February 3, 2006 9:04 AM (e)

m arie wrote –
I just want to make this point. The voters of Dover VOTED THE SCHOOL BOARD OUT!!! They are the KEY words! They VOTED THEM OUT! Every politian involved in this ID thing is jumping ship to save their political lives!!!! I myself think its too late, they are HISTORY!

Lenny Flank wrote –
See what happens when you (1) hit IDers with big fat lawsuits expenses and (2) vote the bastards out of office?

The Dover decision has not intimidated public officials at the state level. They have continued to introduce proposals to add ID to public-school science classes.

Newspapers reported that one of the reasons for the relatively narrow defeats of the incumbent school board members in the Dover election was voter fear and resentment of the potential costs of the lawsuit. However, though the costs of these big lawsuits are a lot of money for little school districts like Dover’s, these costs are chicken feed for big states like Ohio.

I think that if the Ohio board of education were going to be sued, it would have been sued already (the same goes for the Kansas state school board). The case against the board is just too weak. There is no requirement that the board’s lesson plan for evolution be used in the public schools, and the lesson plan does not mention or include ID or creationism per se.

The Columbus Dispatch article says that the governor still supports critical analysis of evolution theory in the public schools – “The governor has said he supports the teaching of evolution in 10th-grade biology class and also backs critical analysis of the theory as called for in state standards.”

Comment #77273

Posted by Dave Gill on February 3, 2006 9:47 AM (e)

What worries me is what comes next in Ohio. Ken Blackwell seems to be the leading Republican - and he is heavily pandering to the fundagelicals. The other Republican - Jim Petro - seems to be marketing himself as “Blackwell lite” - but he did emphasize his personal faith in one TV ad.

The Dems as usual seem to be in disarray.

Comment #77274

Posted by k.e. on February 3, 2006 9:50 AM (e)

Good luck Larry they are not talking about a literate designer but an obdurate or recalcitrant designer.

In your case though as the leader of a minority group of one you could try for the credulous designer

Comment #77277

Posted by Paige on February 3, 2006 9:57 AM (e)

Your headline is wrong. Taft doesn’t oppose ID now. He simply wants a version of ID that won’t result in lawsuits. That’s where he is going…

Comment #77278

Posted by m arie on February 3, 2006 9:57 AM (e)

I gotta tell ya everyone there is a point were corruption gets so out of control and people get soo fed up I think this ID thing is icing on the “corruption cake” for a lot of people.

Comment #77280

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on February 3, 2006 10:06 AM (e)

Andy H wrote:
I think that if the Ohio board of education were going to be sued, it would have been sued already (the same goes for the Kansas state school board). The case against the board is just too weak. There is no requirement that the board’s lesson plan for evolution be used in the public schools, and the lesson plan does not mention or include ID or creationism per se.

Simply not mentioning ID or creationism per se is not going to cut it, when the “critical analysis of evolution” curriculum in itself consists entirely of well-known Creationist and ID arguments (Dover has clearly shown that word tricks do not really fool anyone in court, where job #1 is to look at and establish the substance of things). As for potential suits, it is my impression that any case would probably be brought not against the OH board per se, but against the first local district/school/teacher to implement the policy.

It should be noted, however, that most of these religious right ideologues couldn’t care less if their public school systems went bankrupt because of repeated legal entanglements. In fact, they probably would be just as happy - failing, underfunded public schools mean more kids available for private “education” where curricula can be tailored to any prevailing ideological preference, regardless of the pedagogical value or even veracity of content.

Basically, it’s a win-win situation for them: they either distort education to their anti-scientific goals and get away with it, or they “starve the beast” of public education by wasting its already limited finances in lawsuits. This is particularly obvious in Kansas, where some BoE members, in addition to undermining science education, seem plainly to be working to cripple the KS public education system as a whole. I am sure a similar dynamics is at play in Ohio.

Comment #77284

Posted by AD on February 3, 2006 10:39 AM (e)

I think that if the Ohio board of education were going to be sued, it would have been sued already (the same goes for the Kansas state school board). The case against the board is just too weak. There is no requirement that the board’s lesson plan for evolution be used in the public schools, and the lesson plan does not mention or include ID or creationism per se.

They have to take action and implement those standards, and then have someone file suit against them to be brought into court.

Having said that, Ohio is going to set itself up to be a laughingstock one way or another. The real impact, however, I do not think will be apparent at first. Universities in Ohio will have trouble recruiting strong students, and students from schools there will be taken less seriously by other states who know they are teaching crap.

I can’t name names, but I already know some admissions personnel at an east coast college who sort of chuckle about applicants from certain places because of this sort of thing. It only really hurts the students.

Comment #77292

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on February 3, 2006 11:27 AM (e)

So now Governor Taft believes that intelligent design shouldn’t be taught to Ohio school children, but the benchmark and lesson plan still encourage it.

I think you are a bit over-generous there. From the Columbia Dispathc article:

The governor has said he supports the teaching of evolution in 10th-grade biology class and also backs critical analysis of the theory as called for in state standards.

Taft is still using ‘teach the controversy’ sort of language. He’s waffling. He’s lying.

Comment #77293

Posted by Mike on February 3, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

Another letter to the Dispatch that won’t be printed:

The headline of the article: “Taft may re-ignite fuss over intelligent design”. “Re-ignite”? Proving, I guess, that there are still plenty of people who are aggressively ignoring the issue. Maybe reading their newspapers? The purpose of Taft’s announcement is the exact opposite of igniting debate. The purpose is to bury the issue until after the elections, if not longer. Taft has given the party platform plank on creationism for candidates who want to duck the issue while simultaneously appealing to the Christian right. “I’m assured that there isn’t any ID in there, but the matter is under legal review. What’s that you say? The reviewer, Jim Petro, is running for governor? What a coincidence. Next question.”

Comment #77312

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 3, 2006 1:27 PM (e)

The Dems as usual seem to be in disarray.

The more things change…

“I belong to no organized party. I’m a Democrat.”
WILL ROGERS (1879-1935)

Comment #77321

Posted by Dave S. on February 3, 2006 2:09 PM (e)

For example, Behe’s “irreducible complexity” replaced Henry Morris’ “organized complexity”. (Henry wasn’t happy about that.)

No, it was Dembski’s “specified complexity” that replaced “organized complexity”. Not that it makes much difference, because doesn’t Dembski tell us that specified complexity in biology is expressed as irreducible complexity? Or some such crap. They really do like that word “complexity”. Sounds all scientific-y.

From the link:

Dembski uses the term “specified complexity” as the main criterion for recognizing design. This has essentially the same meaning as “organized complexity,” which is more meaningful and which I have often used myself.

Comment #77332

Posted by Flint on February 3, 2006 3:12 PM (e)

I agree Taft is trying to play both sides against the middle here. He wants to appease Ohio’s creationist voting bloc, which is considerable. He doesn’t want to get into a bunch of expensive lost-cause lawsuits. He’s hoping for some sort of compromise whereby those high school biology teachers who are so inclined can legally say that “a growing number of scientists now reject evolution.”

I think Taft generally suspects that what’s really going to bite him is some explicit lesson plan promoting creationism, that can act as a legal smoking gun. Much better, politically speaking, to let it be known through less formal channels that while teaching creationism in science class won’t be mandated in any way, nobody at the state level (wink wink) will probably notice if teachers do it anyway.

The whole OBOE issue seems to have arisen through a failure of Believers to fully understand the ramifications of the “you gotta deny god to promote god” strategy the DI has been peddling. I think Larry understands that the best tactics here involve not doing anything explicit. There are amply deniable ways to let high school freshmen know that this evolution stuff is all wrong, without putting up a fixed target for a judge to shoot down.

Comment #77342

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on February 3, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

In the Canton Repository:
Local schools open door to Intelligent design

Local school officials agree it’s an overstatement to say they teach Intelligent Design in the classroom, but they don’t rule it out as a future possibility.

“We are in the process of looking at the academic content standards of science across the district,” said Marilyn Preas, Marlington Local Schools’ curriculum director….

The Louisville Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution about four years ago requiring science teachers to look at the pros and cons of evolution, but not necessarily Intelligent Design, said Ron Rodak, a board member at the time.

“We have a primary focus on evolution, but if and when evolution is taught, we look at other theories,” he said. “We were trying to relay to our staff (that) evolution is also just a theory. Our main intent was to treat it from that standpoint — even devout scientists see there are many, many holes in evolution.”

The late Andy Aljancic, a former Louisville board member, St. Thomas Aquinas High School teacher and Louisville city councilman, was the driving force behind the resolution, and worked with groups to give students access to alternative science textbooks, such as “Of Pandas and People,” which counter evolutionary theory. Aljancic also traveled to Columbus to appeal to the state Board of Education to incorporate alternatives to evolution in the state’s academic content standards….

Does your school talk about Intelligent Design?

Most schools will mention Intelligent Design as a theory or belief if a student asks about it. The Ohio Department of Education says it’s a local decision — the state doesn’t mandate its teaching, nor does it force schools to ignore the topic either. Here’s the breakdown of public school districts in Stark County:

Alliance City No

Canton City Yes

Canton Local Yes

Fairless Local Yes

Jackson Local No

Lake Local Yes

Louisville Local Yes

Marlington Local Yes

Massillon City Yes

Minerva Local Yes

North Canton City Yes

Northwest Local Yes

Osnaburg Local Yes

Plain Local No

Perry Local Yes

Sandy Valley Local Yes

Tuslaw Local Yes

Source: Stark County Schools

Comment #77346

Posted by Henry J on February 3, 2006 3:54 PM (e)

I think the standard phrase here is “plausable deniability”.
(rolls eyes)

Henry

Comment #77352

Posted by Fross on February 3, 2006 4:09 PM (e)

http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/03/wasp_perfor…

This is clearly a case of intelligent design. (wink wink)

Comment #77356

Posted by mr.ed on February 3, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Taft is not and can’t be up for re-election. His party overwhelmingly controls the legislature and state court. He has no threshold for embarassment. So why did he bail? Sure couldn’t be an attack of common sense.

Comment #77358

Posted by Brad on February 3, 2006 4:49 PM (e)

How much did it cost Dover? I thought they got free legal representation.

Comment #77363

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on February 3, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

It should be noted, however, that most of these religious right ideologues couldn’t care less if their public school systems went bankrupt because of repeated legal entanglements. In fact, they probably would be just as happy - failing, underfunded public schools mean more kids available for private “education” where curricula can be tailored to any prevailing ideological preference, regardless of the pedagogical value or even veracity of content.

Until, that is, these same kids apply for college and find that institutes of higher learning don’t have to give credit for courses that aren’t up to snuff.

Comment #77364

Posted by Althea on February 3, 2006 4:56 PM (e)

AD wrote:

Having said that, Ohio is going to set itself up to be a laughingstock one way or another. The real impact, however, I do not think will be apparent at first. Universities in Ohio will have trouble recruiting strong students, and students from schools there will be taken less seriously by other states who know they are teaching crap.

I can’t name names, but I already know some admissions personnel at an east coast college who sort of chuckle about applicants from certain places because of this sort of thing. It only really hurts the students.

Actually it’s not just students that these silly states will have trouble recruiting. The largest University programs in my field are in Kansas and Ohio. I am changing my focus in order to be able to find work teaching at universities in states OTHER than K/O. So not only students, but teachers will avoid states who delve into IDiocy.

Comment #77366

Posted by RBH on February 3, 2006 5:11 PM (e)

Brad asked

How much did it cost Dover? I thought they got free legal representation.

And it was worth every penny.

However, the Dover district is also on the hook for the plaintiffs’ legal expenses – the judge awarded the plaintiffs damages ($1, IIRC) plus costs. The last estimate of costs I saw was on the order of $1 million. So that’s what the Dover district will owe. And their insurer informed them before the trial that there would be no coverage, because the Dover board ignored its own lawyer’s advice in instituting the unconstitutional policy.

RBH

Comment #77371

Posted by Henry J on February 3, 2006 5:22 PM (e)

Re “Sure couldn’t be an attack of common sense.”

Beware common sense! It could attack when one least expects it! Or maybe not.

(Okay, I’m shutting up now.)

Comment #77375

Posted by Laser on February 3, 2006 5:34 PM (e)

Althea wrote:

Actually it’s not just students that these silly states will have trouble recruiting. The largest University programs in my field are in Kansas and Ohio. I am changing my focus in order to be able to find work teaching at universities in states OTHER than K/O. So not only students, but teachers will avoid states who delve into IDiocy.

I left Ohio last year (I’m a college chemistry teacher) and moved to Pennsylvania. No way any of my kids were going to Ohio schools.

Comment #77380

Posted by Flint on February 3, 2006 5:42 PM (e)

And their insurer informed them before the trial that there would be no coverage, because the Dover board ignored its own lawyer’s advice in instituting the unconstitutional policy.

Seriously, I wonder if they expected to win anyway. Maybe they felt they couldn’t lose with god on their side? You really have to wonder…

Comment #77382

Posted by RBH on February 3, 2006 5:55 PM (e)

Dave S wrote

No, it was Dembski’s “specified complexity” that replaced “organized complexity”. Not that it makes much difference, because doesn’t Dembski tell us that specified complexity in biology is expressed as irreducible complexity

Quite right. According to Dembski, specified complexity is a special case of irreducible complexity, and it was the former Morris identified as a version of his “organized complexity”. Given the (fuzzy) definition of Morris’ “organized complexity”, though, it is closer to what Behe apparently means when he uses “irreducible complexity”. (BTW, be aware that in Dembski’s usage, “complexity”” means just “improbability”. No more.)

RBH

Comment #77388

Posted by Andy H. on February 3, 2006 6:22 PM (e)

Comment #77284 posted by AD on February 3, 2006 10:39 AM

Universities in Ohio will have trouble recruiting strong students, and students from schools there will be taken less seriously by other states who know they are teaching crap.

I can’t name names, but I already know some admissions personnel at an east coast college who sort of chuckle about applicants from certain places because of this sort of thing.

Yes, we have heard all this before – of how teaching criticisms of evolution in a state’s public schools is going to lead to boycotts of that state and discrimination against that state’s residents who seek education or work outside the state. I think it is mostly hogwash.

There is an interesting story about some graduates of an evangelical Christian school who are suing the University of California for denying them admission because of the religious orientation of their courses (non-science courses as well as science courses). See

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20060113/ts_usa…

– and –

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0906uc.… However, these graduates are a special case, and one of the articles says that California may be the only state that has taken action against Christian schools. Also, I have seen no evidence that graduates of evangelical Christian schools are inadequately prepared to study science at the college level.

Comment #77398

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 3, 2006 7:00 PM (e)

Posted by Andy H. on February 3, 2006 06:22 PM (e)

Yes, we have heard all this before — of how teaching criticisms of evolution in a state’s public schools is going to lead to boycotts of that state and discrimination against that state’s residents who seek education or work outside the state. I think it is mostly hogwash.

Larry?
Surely it is.

Comment #77410

Posted by steve s on February 3, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

However, these graduates are a special case, and one of the articles says that California may be the only state that has taken action against Christian schools. Also, I have seen no evidence that graduates of evangelical Christian schools are inadequately prepared to study science at the college level.

When I worked at a reference laboratory in Valdosta, Ga, I knew a guy who’d gone to biology grad school at FSU, after having gone to an evangelical school for his bio undergrad. FSU made him take more than a year of undergrad bio classes, so ignorant was he of evolutionary matters. He was so upset, he was considering suing the evangelical school for some form of fraud.

Comment #77438

Posted by AD on February 4, 2006 12:05 AM (e)

Andy,

My point is that nobody is banning these kids. They are just not giving them preference. Versus an equally qualified student from a school that taught bio to proper standards, they get passed over and the kid who actually knows what evolution is gets the nod.

It’s not about a “ban” or decertification. it’s about how you appear to people. The reputation they are getting is that they are brainwashed and/or fools. That’s not a great way to get into colleges.

That’s what I’m saying. When you teach blatant non-science in a science class, people seriously question the value of your education.

Comment #77446

Posted by k.e. on February 4, 2006 2:29 AM (e)

So Larry?Andy why are you promoting creationism ?

Comment #77457

Posted by RBH on February 4, 2006 4:30 AM (e)

I wrote above

Quite right. According to Dembski, specified complexity is a special case of irreducible complexity, and it was the former Morris identified as a version of his “organized complexity”.

A kind correspondent noted that I have them reversed, and he’s right. According to Dembski Irreducible complexity is a soecial case of specified complexity. Dembski doesn’t explain, but merely says “It can be shown …”. I don’t understand, myself, but then I’m not all that sure it’s comprehensible to begin with.

RBH

Comment #77477

Posted by PennyBright on February 4, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD wrote:

In the Canton Repository:
Local schools open door to Intelligent design…

*and here I snip the copied article*

I live in Stark Co. Things like this are why we homeschool. And why I read this blog daily (and occasionally aloud).

PennyBright

Comment #77479

Posted by Andy H. on February 4, 2006 9:58 AM (e)

Comment #77410 posted by steve s on February 3, 2006 08:08 PM

When I worked at a reference laboratory in Valdosta, Ga, I knew a guy who’d gone to biology grad school at FSU, after having gone to an evangelical school for his bio undergrad. FSU made him take more than a year of undergrad bio classes, so ignorant was he of evolutionary matters. He was so upset, he was considering suing the evangelical school for some form of fraud.

That is why many evangelical schools teach evolution theory as well as creationism and/or intelligent design. You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it. It is sort of like using imaginary numbers in the analysis of alternating current circuits — the imaginary numbers have no physical significance but the mathematics of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits ( I got into big trouble here before by claiming that imaginary numbers have no physical significance, but I am sticking with that claim ).

Also, the problem that many people have with evolution theory is not the idea that there were changes over time, but the idea that these changes were driven solely by random mutation and natural selection. To many people, the latter idea seems too far-fetched to believe.

I think that evangelical colleges are relatively less popular than evangelical K-12 schools. Many colleges that were founded by religious denominations are now largely secular.

Comment #77484

Posted by Wislu Plethora, FCD on February 4, 2006 11:08 AM (e)

PennyBright wrote:

I live in Stark Co. Things like this are why we homeschool.

Are you saying that you home-school your kid(s) because you don’t want them exposed to the teaching of ID in the public schools? Wow–we’re really not in Kansas anymore, are we?

Comment #77486

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 4, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

Andy H. wrote:

imaginary numbers have no physical significance

Speaking as a double-E here, we use imaginary numbers specifically because they correspond directly to real physical characteristics.

And if you believe otherwise, let’s see you switch a 200 megawatt alternator on-line with the voltage correct but the phase 180° out of whack.  You won’t believe your i’s.

Comment #77487

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on February 4, 2006 11:40 AM (e)

…Irreducible complexity is a special case of specified complexity. Dembski doesn’t explain, but merely says “It can be shown …”.

It’s all based on the explanatory filter (EF).

1: IC could not result from a natural regularity (evolution). Why not? Because Behe so argues, by the standard method of ignoring how evolution happens.

2: IC is improbable as a purely random aggregation of particles (what isn’t?).

By 1 and 2, IC is improbable, period. This makes it complex, because Demb’s complexity is improbability (as improperly estimated by creo methods).

3: We still need a specification. No problem - for biology, the biological function of something, or rather the description of said function (the function as dimly perceived and poorly described by a creationist observer) is its specification. (Why does function = specification? Because that’s a rule. Dembski makes this stuff up, so he gets to make the rules).

By 1, 2, and 3 the Designer did it. (That’s another rule, the fundamental rule of the EF, also known as the false dichotomy).

In short, specified complexity is virtually automatic after the key step of denying evolution. Behe does that, so IC is an instance of SC. QED

Comment #77488

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 4, 2006 11:42 AM (e)

Andy H wrote:

That is why many evangelical schools teach evolution theory as well as creationism and/or intelligent design. You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it. It is sort of like using imaginary numbers in the analysis of alternating current circuits —- the imaginary numbers have no physical significance but the mathematics of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits ( I got into big trouble here before by claiming that imaginary numbers have no physical significance, but I am sticking with that claim ).

Didn’t Larry Farfarman get banned or have his stuff go to the bathroom wall or something? I mean, this is an admission that a) he’s Larry and b) that he’s using another name.

Not cricket, old bean.

Comment #77489

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 4, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

Oh, and Larry - your claim that imaginary numbers have no physical significance is just as ill-informed, ignorant, and wrong as it was the last time.

You really should try to educate yourself before posting - you’d look a lot less foolish that way and somebody might take you seriously.

Comment #77490

Posted by PennyBright on February 4, 2006 12:01 PM (e)

Wislu Plethora, FCD wrote:

Are you saying that you home-school your kid(s) because you don’t want them exposed to the teaching of ID in the public schools? Wow—we’re really not in Kansas anymore, are we?

Among other things. Like the principle at the grade school where my mother-in-law works banning “vampires, witches and monsters” from the Halloween decorations that teachers and staff were allowed to put up, because it would “let in Satan”. Even my fundie MIL thought that it was a bit much. This community is predominately fundamentalist Christian, and the schools reflect that.

In addition, I’ve found that Ohio’s school system over all is pretty poor, unless you live in certain (very expensive) communities. Since we can’t afford to live in the places where we trust the system, or to send our child to one of the several excellent private schools in the state, home schooling was it.

Comment #77491

Posted by ben on February 4, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

Comment #72784

Posted by Larry Fafarman on January 17, 2006 09:46 AM (e)

…biologists can use evolution theory without believing it to be true. They can just pretend that it is true, in the same way that imaginary numbers are used in the analysis of alternating current circuits.

Comment #77479

Posted by “Andy H.” on February 4, 2006 09:58 AM (e)

Comment #77410 posted by steve s on February 3, 2006 08:08 PM

…You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it. It is sort of like using imaginary numbers in the analysis of alternating current circuits…

When is Larry Fafarman going to admit that he’s posting his same tired BS under a new identity or identities (John B.?), in violation of PT’s Comment Integrity Policy item #6, and explain why he’s doing it?

What an artless hack, to come back under a new identity to try to escape the idiot reputation he’d already gained, but to be unable to avoid making it baldly obvious exactly who he is and what he is doing.

Comment #77494

Posted by k.e. on February 4, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

Andy AKA Larry FafafafafafafafaffafafafafaOUTman a rabid supporter of creationism and its wedging into the minds of other people has an imagination problem. (Creationism and the wedge strategy have been thoroughly debunked and discredited as religious “identity politics”. Ideas that serve no use in medicine or understanding the natural world but very useful to certain conservative political groups.

Andy AKA Larry Says:

That is why many evangelical schools teach evolution theory as well as creationism and/or intelligent design. You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it.

Note to FarOUTman:
1.The TOE conflicts directly with a literal reading of Genesis.

2.The TOE is a description of the history of life on this planet that is useful for the future development of real items for the benefit of all regardless of religious belief.

3.Creationism is a literal reading of a book that was never meant to be read as fact and most mainstream religions that are based on the Bible do not read Genesis as one would read a manual to fix ones car but as an allegorical tale on the origin of the father of Abraham.

4 Supporters of creationism (including Andy AKA Larry) are trying to establish as fact the literal reading of Genesis on the same basis as the objective and factual history of life on this planet as described by science for the purpose of increasing their support base at the expense of more moderate religions by bypassing private religion classes and going direct into public science classes effectively having the state preach a particular sect of Christianity as objective fact.

4.Creationists actually believe that the one of the three descriptions on the beginning of life in Genesis, written somewhere in the middle east and based on a mixture of creation stories from earlier cultures in the same region, is as objective and factual as the descriptions provided by modern science. Some actually believe that the earth was created in 7 days. Those stories were changed slightly over a period of several thousand years prior to the writing of Genesis but the motifs and symbols from the earlier stories are recognizable.

5.Non literal readers of Genesis teach evolution as objective fact that is real and useful and Genesis as a literary genre that must be interpreted to find subjective meaning.
Larry would like to have it the other way.

Larry further reveals a conceptual learning difficulty

It is sort of like using imaginary numbers in the analysis of alternating current circuits —- the imaginary numbers have no physical significance but the mathematics of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits ( I got into big trouble here before by claiming that imaginary numbers have no physical significance, but I am sticking with that claim ).

Now we are reaching the nub of Larry’s problem.
Note the use of the word “imaginary”

To Larry and most people the word imaginary connotes something like a dream or a child’s imaginary friend or imagining winning the lottery.

In mathematics the words “imaginary number” is a technical term for one part of something called a “complex number” that is used to describe a separate class of numbers that can be used to describe real world processes.
Mobile phones or electrical power systems could not be developed without understanding complex numbers. There’s is nothing imaginary about them. Just as the average family has 2.5 children everyone knows that you cannot have 1/2 a child but if you knew how many families there were you would get a meaning number of children.

Further Larry your “imaginary numbers” do not “mimic the behavior” of AC circuits. Numbers themselves are symbols language, nothing more. Try this. Dream up any number and try to get it to do something.
You are confusing an idea with a physical quantity.

The greater the understanding you have of the physical world and how it can be measured in purely physical/material terms the greater will be your ability to understand what ideas are and how to identify what are imaginary ideas and what are real world ideas.

Larry shifts glacially
Also, the problem that many people have with evolution theory is not the idea that there were changes over time, but the idea that these changes were driven solely by random mutation and natural selection. To many people, the latter idea seems too far-fetched to believe.

You are not being asked to understand evolution by imagining the unimaginable in your case.

I’ll bet you have no trouble with accepting the “Big bang” or how the statues on Easter Island got there or a weather forecast. But you have difficulty with the “complexity” of life. You do realize that is due to a lack of education possibly due to religious ideas promoted as fact don’t you ?

changes were driven solely by random mutation and natural selection.To many people, the latter idea seems too far-fetched to believe.

Well “random mutation and natural selection” are technical terms for sex and death, amour and morte you have been to an Opera haven’t you?

Comment #77499

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 4, 2006 2:08 PM (e)

the imaginary numbers have no physical significance but the mathematics of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits ( I got into big trouble here before by claiming that imaginary numbers have no physical significance, but I am sticking with that claim ).

Beautiful. So much for Larry’s attempts at secrecy.

Is there some kind of disciplinary policy at PT for Larry dropping out and coming back as a sock puppet, or is the SOP just that we continue to riducule him until he disappears and comes back under a new name?

Comment #77500

Posted by steve s on February 4, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

Rule 6 that beotch.

Comment #77503

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 4, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

yes they tryed once to ban lalalarry but someone pointed out it was an aol main server that the ip belonged to

they might as well just ban aol

Comment #77505

Posted by ben on February 4, 2006 2:56 PM (e)

Andy AKA Larry FafafafafafafafaffafafafafaOUTman a rabid supporter of creationism and its wedging into the minds of other people has an imagination problem.

Evidenced also by his inability to even superficially reinvent himself as he attempts to slither back to PT under his clever new ID(s). Which is what I said back when he was representin’ that his 1337 H4Xx0r skillz would allowhim to return under a new name if banned:

Comment #69388

Posted by ben on January 9, 2006 09:45 PM (e)

…What Larry predictably doesn’t get is that, yes, he (and most 9-year olds) could circumvent whetever banning mechanism PT or any other public blog might use to eliminate trolls like himself from their midst, and post under another name. But whatever he calls himself, his unmistakably vacuous yet narcissistic style of blather would be instantly recognizable…

Comment #77507

Posted by Paul Flocken on February 4, 2006 3:04 PM (e)

Comment #77494 Posted by k.e. on February 4, 2006 12:51 PM

1.The TOE conflicts directly with a literal reading of Genesis.

Be careful k.e. Do you want carolwholoveslanda to shut down this thread too? ;-)

Comment #77509

Posted by David on February 4, 2006 3:30 PM (e)

I teach in one of the better school systems in Ohio. It’s not Lakeview or Dublin, but still a repectable system that routinely sends graduates to selective schools. We have three at Dartmouth right now and others at Columbia, Case and the like. Even so, it is a touchy matter to bring up evolution, especially if it involves human origins. Until recently we had a biology teacher flatly denying “macroevolution.” A member of my department is proud of his YEC beliefs. At open house I sometimes get parents worried whether I touch on evolution. Fortunately, as many are afraid it is being neglected as would want it ignored. Most of my eleventh grade students are hopelessly ignorant on the subject and will just spout what they have been taught at home or church.
I guess the point to all this is that science education in Ohio is woeful, but that I have little reason to beleive that it is much worse than in any other area with comparable demographics.

Comment #77514

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 4, 2006 4:22 PM (e)

It’s all based on the explanatory filter (EF).

Oh, goodie — here’s a chance for me to get some free “peer review”.

:)

From an essay I’m working on regarding EF and CSI:

Perhaps the most celebrated of the Intelligent Design “theorists” is William Dembski, a mathematician and theologian. A prolific author, Dembski has written a number of books defending Intelligent Design.

The best-known of his arguments is the “Explanatory Filter”, which is, he claims, a mathematical method of detecting whether or not a particular thing is the product of design. As Dembski himself describes it:

“The key step in formulating Intelligent Design as a scientific theory is to delineate a method for detecting design. Such a method exists, and in fact, we use it implicitly all the time. The method takes the form of a three-stage Explanatory Filter. Given something we think might be designed, we refer it to the filter. If it successfully passes all three stages of the filter, then we are warranted asserting it is designed. Roughly speaking the filter asks three questions and in the following order: (1) Does a law explain it? (2) Does chance explain it? (3) Does design explain it? …. …. I argue that the explantory filter is a reliable criterion for detecting design. Alternatively, I argue that the Explanatory Filter successfully avoids false positives. Thus whenever the Explanatory Filter attributes design, it does so correctly.”

The most detailed presentation of the Explanatory Filter is in Dembski’s book No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence. In the course of 380 pages, heavily loaded with complex-looking mathematics, Dembski spells out his “explanatory filter”, along with such concepts as “complex specified information” and “the law of conservation of information”. ID enthusiasts lauded Dembski for his “groundbreaking” work; one reviewer hailed Dembski as “The Isaac Newton of Information Theory”, another declared Dembski to be “God’s Mathematician”.

Stripped of all its mathematical gloss, though, Dembski’s “filter” boils down to: “If not law, if not chance, then design.” Unfortunately for IDers, every one of these three steps presents insurmountable problems for the “explanatory filter” and “design theory”.

According to Dembski, the first step of applying his “filter” is:

“At the first stage, the filter determines whether a law can explain the thing in question. Law thrives on replicability, yielding the same result whenever the same antecedent conditions are fulfilled. Clearly, if something can be explained by a law, it better not be attributed to design. Things explainable by a law are therefore eliminated at the first stage of the Explanatory Filter.”

Right away, the filter runs into problems. When Dembski refers to laws that explain the thing in question, does he mean all current explanations that refer to natural laws, or does he mean all possible explanations using natural law? If he means all current explanations, and if ruling out all current explanations therefore means that Intelligent Design is a possibility, then Dembski is simply invoking the centuries-old “god of the gaps” argument — “if we can’t currently explain it, then the designer diddit”.

On the other hand, if Dembski’s filter requires that we rule out all possible explanations that refer to natural laws, then it is difficult to see how anyone could ever get beyond the first step of the filter. How exactly does Dembski propose we be able to rule out, not only all current scientific explanations, but all of the possible ones that might be found in the future? How does Dembski propose to rule out scientific explanations that no one has even thought of yet – ones that can’t be made until more data and evidence is discovered at some time in the future?

Science, of course, is perfectly content to say “we don’t know, we don’t currently have an explanation for this”. Science then moves on to find possible ways to answer the question and uncover an explanation for it. ID, on the other hand, simply declares “Aha!! you don’t know, therefore my hypothesis must be correct! Praise God! – uh, I mean The Unknown Intelligent Designer!” ID then does nothing – nothing at all whatsoever in any way shape or form – to go on and find a way to answer the question and find an explanation for it.

Let’s assume that there is something, call it A, that science can’t currently explain using natural law. Suppose, ten years later, we do find an explanation. Does this mean: (1) The Intelligent Designer was producing A up until the time we discovered a natural mechanism for it, then stoppped doing it at that point? Or (2) The Intelligent Designer was doing it all along using the very mechanism we later discovered, or (3) the newly discovered natural mechanism was doing it all along and The Intelligent Designer was never actually doing anything at all?

Dembski’s filter, however, completely sidesteps the whole matter of possible explanations that we don’t yet know about, and simply asserts that if we can’t give an explanation now, then we must go on to the second step of the filter:

“Suppose, however, that something we think might be designed cannot be explained by any law. We then proceed to the second stage of the filter. At this stage the filter determines whether the thing in question might not reasonably be expected to occur by chance. What we do is posit a probability distribution, and then find that our observations can reasonably be expected on the basis of that probability distribution. Accordingly, we are warranted attributing the thing in question to chance. And clearly, if something can be explained by reference to chance, it better not be attributed to design. Things explainable by chance are therefore eliminated at the second stage of the Explanatory Filter.”

This is, of course, nothing more than the standard creationist “X is too improbable to have evolved” argument, and it falls victim to the same weaknesses. But, Dembski concludes, if we rule out law and then rule out chance, then we must go to the third step of the “filter”:

“Suppose finally that no law is able to account for the thing in question, and that any plausible probability distribution that might account for it does not render it very likely. Indeed, suppose that any plausible probability distribution that might account for it renders it exceedingly unlikely. In this case we bypass the first two stages of the Explanatory Filter and arrive at the third and final stage. It needs to be stressed that this third and final stage does not automatically yield design – there is still some work to do. Vast improbability only purchases design if, in addition, the thing we are trying to explain is specified. The third stage of the Explanatory Filter therefore presents us with a binary choice: attribute the thing we are trying to explain to design if it is specified; otherwise, attribute it to chance. In the first case, the thing we are trying to explain not only has small probability, but is also specified. In the other, it has small probability, but is unspecified. It is this category of specified things having small probability that reliably signals design. Unspecified things having small probability, on the other hand, are properly attributed to chance.”

In No Free Lunch, Dembski describes what a designer does:

(1) A designer conceives a purpose. (2) To accomplish that purpose, the designer forms a plan. (3) To execute the plan, the designer specifies building materials and assembly instructions. (4) Finally, the designer or some surrogate applies the assembly instructions to the building materials. (Dembski, No Free Lunch, p xi)

But Dembski and the rest of the IDers are completely unable (or unwilling) to give us any objective way to measure “complex specified information”, or how to differentiate “specified” things from nonspecified. He is also unable to tell us who specifies it, when it is specified, where this specified information is stored before it is embodied in a thing, or how the specified design information is turned into an actual thing.

Dembski’s inability to give any sort of objective method of measuring Complex Specified Information does not prevent him, however, from declaring a grand “Law of Conservation of Information”, which states that no natural or chance process can increase the amount of Complex Specified Information in a system. It can only be produced, Dembski says, by an intelligence. Once again, this is just a rehashed version of the decades-old creationist “genetic information can’t increase” argument.

With the Explanatory Filter, Dembski and other IDers are using a tactic that I like to call “The Texas Marksman”. The Texas Marksman walks over to the side of the barn, blasts away randomly, then draws bullseyes around each bullet hole and declares how wonderful it is that he was able to hit every single bullseye. Of course, if his shots had fallen in different places, he would then be declaring how wonderful it is that he hit those marks, instead.

Dembski’s filter does the same thing. It draws a bullseye around the bullet hole after it has already appeared, and then declares how remarkable it is that “the designer” hit the target. If the bullseye had been somewhere else, though, Dembski would be declaring with equal intensity how remarkably improbable it was that that bullseye was hit. If ID “theory” really wanted to impress me, it would predict where the bullet hole will be before it is fired. But, ID does not make testible predictions of any sort.

Dembski, it seems, simply wants to assume his conclusion. His “filter”, it seems, is nothing more than “god of the gaps” (if we can’t explain it, then the Designer must have done it), written with nice fancy impressive-looking mathematical formulas. That suspicion is strengthened when we consider the carefully specified order of the three steps in Dembski’s filter. Why is the sequence of Dembski’s Filter, “rule out law, rule out chance, therefore design”? Why isn’t it “rule out design, rule out law, therefore chance”? Or “rule out law, rule out design, therefore chance”? If Dembski has an objective way to detect or rule out “design”, then why doesn’t he just apply it from the outset? The answer is simple – Dembski has no more way to calculate the “probability” of design than he does the “probability” of law, and therefore simply has no way, none at all whatsoever, to tell what is “designed” and what isn’t. So he wants to dump the burden onto others. Since he can’t demonstrate that any thing was designed, he wants to relieve himself of that responsibility, by simply declaring, with suitably impressive mathematics, that the rest of us should just assume that something is designed unless someone can show otherwise. Dembski has conveniently adopted the one sequence of steps in his “filter”, out of all the possible ones, that relieves “design theory” of any need to either propose anything, test anything, or demonstrate anything

I suspect that isn’t a coincidence.

Comment #77515

Posted by burredbrain on February 4, 2006 5:35 PM (e)

WRT Lenny’s essay, Dembski’s first filter application means that we already know everything there is to know. The Rev already addressed that issue, but not in exactly those terms.

Dembski’s second application of the filter assumes that the probability distribution is static; i.e., it is not a function of time or environment. But transpose the probability distribution for snake functionality to South America in the Permian period, and the shape of the curve will look entirely different.

Great essay; when & where will it be published?

Comment #77517

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 4, 2006 6:33 PM (e)

Great essay; when & where will it be published?

I’m working on that. ;>

Comment #77520

Posted by Andy H. on February 4, 2006 7:01 PM (e)

Comment #77477 posted by PennyBright on February 4, 2006 09:28 AM

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD wrote:

In the Canton Repository:
Local schools open door to Intelligent design…

I live in Stark Co. Things like this are why we homeschool. And why I read this blog daily (and occasionally aloud).

I think that home-schooling is stupid where free public education is available. My reasoning is as follows –

(1) How many parents can spend several hours per day teaching their kids? How many parents would want to ? Public education is much more efficient – you have one teacher with maybe 30 students.

(2) At the high school level, it is often necessary or desirable for the teachers to be specialists in the subjects that they teach. No parent could possibly be well-qualified to teach all the subjects of a high school curriculum.

(3) Teachers are specially trained in teaching methods. Parents generally are not.

(4) There are too many distractions at home – it is just not a good learning environment.

Religion is often cited as one of the reasons for home-schooling. But to me, the establishment clause is the least important of the protections in the Bill of Rights – I see it as part of the right to not be offended, which is not even in the Bill of Rights.

Evolution theory is only a very small part of education. I think it is especially foolish to home-school just because of a disagreement over how evolution is taught.

Comment #77521

Posted by Flint on February 4, 2006 7:33 PM (e)

I distinctly recall reading somewhere that home-schooled students tend to exceed the performance of public-schooled students in multiple ways, from standardized tests to science fairs. I’m sure many people here are a lot more familiar with home schooling than I am. But if Larry says it’s stupid and doesn’t work, I admit I’m a LOT more prepared to expect exactly the opposite.

Comment #77522

Posted by Flint on February 4, 2006 7:37 PM (e)

Matter of fact, here’s an interesting chart comparing ACT performances. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Comment #77524

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 4, 2006 9:09 PM (e)

Larry’s sock puppet said:

Evolution theory is only a very small part of education. I think it is especially foolish to home-school just because of a disagreement over how evolution is taught.

In fact, it is far more common for parents to home-school their children in order to avoid having them hear about evolution. I assume that when that’s the motive, you approve?

Bonehead.

Comment #77525

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 4, 2006 9:10 PM (e)

Matter of fact, here’s an interesting chart comparing ACT performances. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Flint, that link doesn’t work.

Comment #77526

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 4, 2006 9:16 PM (e)

I distinctly recall reading somewhere that home-schooled students tend to exceed the performance of public-schooled students in multiple ways, from standardized tests to science fairs.

That might actually be what the statistics reveal, but in my completely unscientific, anecdotal, perhaps unrepresentative experience, when I’ve come across people who were home schooled, I’m not usually real impressed. Often I see one of two things; either certain glaring gaps, like horrible spelling or writing, or bizarre indoctrination, like little science but a massive dose of the bible. So maybe lots of them perform really well on whatever real-world thing their parents were best at, but less well or incompletely elsewhere.

Comment #77535

Posted by Engineer-Poet, FCD, ΔΠΓ on February 4, 2006 11:56 PM (e)

Arden, first go to http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/ and then paste http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/graphics/ACT… into the address bar.  That will give the site the referrer it likes.

Comment #77586

Posted by Andy H. on February 5, 2006 7:42 AM (e)

Comment #77280 posted by Andrea Bottaro on February 3, 2006 10:06 AM

Andy H wrote:
I think that if the Ohio board of education were going to be sued, it would have been sued already (the same goes for the Kansas state school board). The case against the board is just too weak. There is no requirement that the board’s lesson plan for evolution be used in the public schools, and the lesson plan does not mention or include ID or creationism per se.

Simply not mentioning ID or creationism per se is not going to cut it, when the “critical analysis of evolution” curriculum in itself consists entirely of well-known Creationist and ID arguments….……As for potential suits, it is my impression that any case would probably be brought not against the OH board per se, but against the first local district/school/teacher to implement the policy.

These arguments in the “critical analysis of evolution” lesson plan may be “well-known Creationist and ID arguments” to some people, but can the courts be persuaded that an “objective” (or “reasonable”) observer would view these arguments as being “Creationist and ID arguments” ?

In Edwards v. Aguillard, the Supreme Court said,

“We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught….…… teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction. But because the primary purpose of the Creationism Act is to endorse a particular religious doctrine, the Act furthers religion in violation of the Establishment Clause.”

Information about the Ohio lesson plan for evolution is at http://science2.marion.ohio-state.edu/ohioscienc… For the following reasons, I think that this lesson plan is a bad idea –

(1) It may confuse students to introduce supplemental material that may conflict with what is in their textbooks. Textbooks usually have their own questions for students, suggestions for projects, and sometimes teachers’ guides for using the textbook.

(2) Some of the lesson plan material, the student research required, and the long list of references are well beyond the level or scope of appropriate 10th grade coverage of evolution.

(3) I feel that it is wrong to spoonfeed supporting and challenging “sample answers” to students.

Fortunately, use of the lesson plan is not required.

According to the preceding website, some creationist references have been removed from the lesson plan. Also, there is nothing in the lesson plan that is obviously “creationist-inspired” or “ID-inspired.” The lesson plan may have “bad science,” but I do not see anything in the lesson plan that I think would appear to an objective observer to be a government endorsement of religion. The imaginary objective observer is not supposed to be an expert but is just supposed to be a well-informed citizen.

It should be noted, however, that most of these religious right ideologues couldn’t care less if their public school systems went bankrupt because of repeated legal entanglements

It is obvious that financial blackmail is a major part of the strategy of the opponents of the teaching of ID in the public schools. Large numbers of attorneys of record are used to drive up potential awards of attorney fees — 9-10 attorneys in the Dover lawsuit and 6 attorneys in the El Tejon (Lebec), Calif. lawsuit. Even O.J. Simpson, a celebrity defendant on trial for a double first-degree murder, had only 4 attorneys of record. However, public education is a multi-billion dollar enterprise and is not going to go bankrupt as a whole because of a few lawsuits.

A bill has been introduced in Congress to bar the award of attorney fees in establishment clause lawsuits – see http://www.legion.org/?section=pub_relations&… Many of these establishment clause lawsuits are sort of “right-to-not-be-offended” lawsuits, and there is no such specific right in the Bill of Rights.

Comment #77606

Posted by Moses on February 5, 2006 9:06 AM (e)

These arguments in the “critical analysis of evolution” lesson plan may be “well-known Creationist and ID arguments” to some people, but can the courts be persuaded that an “objective” (or “reasonable”) observer would view these arguments as being “Creationist and ID arguments” ?

There is nothing in there about “being pig ignorant.” Which is an important point. Despite what many may argue, “ignorant” is not presupposed into the “objective” or “reasonable” observer’s qualifications to make this rational decision.

Rather, it is how an “objective” and “reasonable” person in possession of the facts would view these arguments.

Comment #77607

Posted by ben on February 5, 2006 9:11 AM (e)

Larry, you covered all this ground as Larry Fafarman. Please tell us why you think the same arguments will be more persuasive when posted under “Andy H.”

Comment #77611

Posted by GT(N)T on February 5, 2006 9:33 AM (e)

Does anyone else find the parallel between Larry F/Andy H and Creationism/ID amusing?

I know that many of you find the C/ID rants annoying, but one of the reasons I read their silliness is that I don’t want to be surprised by anything when I speak with their brethren in person. That, and because I really enjoy the absurdity of their arguments. The world would be a duller, albeit more rational, place sans the DaveScots and Larry Fs of the internet.

Comment #77616

Posted by KL on February 5, 2006 9:40 AM (e)

Good point, GT(N)T- I myself am not in a good position to sort through these claims on my own. It is so helpful to see the responses of far more knowledgeable people to posts by those who would try to present the smoke and mirrors of this movement. I have learned so much.

Comment #77639

Posted by Andy H. on February 5, 2006 12:38 PM (e)

Comment #77606 posted by Moses on February 5, 2006 09:06 AM

These arguments in the “critical analysis of evolution” lesson plan may be “well-known Creationist and ID arguments” to some people, but can the courts be persuaded that an “objective” (or “reasonable”) observer would view these arguments as being “Creationist and ID arguments” ?

There is nothing in there about “being pig ignorant.” Which is an important point. Despite what many may argue, “ignorant” is not presupposed into the “objective” or “reasonable” observer’s qualifications to make this rational decision.

Rather, it is how an “objective” and “reasonable” person in possession of the facts would view these arguments.

There is nothing in there about being “pig ignorant,” but there is also nothing in there about being an expert, either. In discussing the level of qualifications of the objective observer, the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion only says that the objective observer is supposed to be “more knowledgeable than the average passerby” —

“The test [i.e., the endorsement test]consists of the reviewing court determining what message a challenged governmental policy or enactment conveys to a reasonable, objective observer who knows the policy’s language, origins, and legislative history, as well as the history of the community and the broader social context in which the policy arose.” pages 15-16

– and —

“In elaborating upon this ‘reasonable observer,’ the Third Circuit explained ……that ‘the reasonable observer is an informed citizen who is more knowledgeable than the average passerby. ‘ “ page 16

For example, in regard to whether a Christmas tree or Santa Claus is a religious symbol, I think that an objective observer would be expected only to be aware of the current meanings and usages of these symbols, and not these symbols’ historical religious origins.

Also, some of the issues in the Ohio lesson plan for evolution might still be controversial among scientists. There are many “holes” in evolution theory that are widely recognized in the scientific community. The only thing the courts could do would be to just ban all criticism of evolution theory, but that would be contrary to Edwards v. Aguillard, which said, “We do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught.”

Courts are unpredictable. In two simultaneous rulings on ten commandments displays, the Supreme Court banned a particular indoor display but allowed a particular outdoor display.

Also, as I pointed out, a bill has been introduced In Congress to bar awards of attorney fees to plaintiffs in establishment clause lawsuits.

Comment #77643

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 5, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

Larry, you covered all this ground as Larry Fafarman. Please tell us why you think the same arguments will be more persuasive when posted under “Andy H.”

Maybe he thinks if he posts the same stuff under a couple dozen different aliases, this will demonstrate that there’s ‘broad support’ for his ideas out there.

Does anyone else find the parallel between Larry F/Andy H and Creationism/ID amusing?

Yeah, maybe Larry’s just rebranding himself, like the Fundies did when they switched from Creationism to ‘Intelligent Design’.

So, larry, whenabouts can we expect your next name change? Maybe pick a funnier name next time, okay?

Comment #77660

Posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 2:12 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #77663

Posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Larry:

There are many “holes” in evolution theory that are widely recognized in the scientific community.

You blew your chance to become the very first creationist EVER to parrot this phrase and supply an *actual hole* recognized by the scientific community. We’re all aware that every scientific discipline has a cutting edge, where researchers disagree about the fine details, about matters of emphasis, etc. But an actual hole? Can anyone here name even one? It doesn’t need to be ‘widely recognized’ (which I think we can agree Larry added because it sounded good when he copied it and he did no research). I’d be really curious.

Comment #77666

Posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 2:33 PM (e)

Arden Chatfield:

That might actually be what the statistics reveal, but in my completely unscientific, anecdotal, perhaps unrepresentative experience, when I’ve come across people who were home schooled, I’m not usually real impressed. Often I see one of two things; either certain glaring gaps, like horrible spelling or writing, or bizarre indoctrination, like little science but a massive dose of the bible. So maybe lots of them perform really well on whatever real-world thing their parents were best at, but less well or incompletely elsewhere.

As with Larry, your gut feelings are almost surely misleading, because (as far as I can tell, and I’ve done some looking into this for other reasons), the standard deviation for homeschooled kids is disturbingly wide.

Now, I can speculate why this is along with you. Some homeschool environments are really excellent, better than any union-infested hidebound public school can hope for. At the other extreme are environments little different from daycare centers, or (as you say) indoctrination camps into extremist whacko views of various persuasions. State overview of homeschools varies both according to the formal requirements for measuring achievement, and the practical enforcement (or lack) of these. Some homeschools are motivated by religious (or some other) nutballism, but some are motivated by the undoubted inadequacy of the public school system in that locality.

(It should probably go without saying that Larry’s objections don’t typically apply to an enterprise he knows nothing about. Larry terms his guesses “reason”, which he considers superior to facts.)

In general, parents who try to go it alone, teaching every subject to their own children and not pooling resources with other homeschoolers, tend to produce spotty educations. But I think this is less common. I do know that homeschooling parents *really care* about their childrens’ educations. WHY they care does matter, of course. But a homeschooled child can’t hide in the crowd. What Larry calls “efficiency” really translates to “OK, this kid is good enough, others need more attention, let his problems slide, time presses.”

Comment #77673

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 5, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Andy H, you are currently in violation of Panda’s Thumb Commentary Policy:

Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the management.

You demonstrate here a clear lack of integrity; perhaps you could explain why you’re now pretending to be someone else, rather than Larry Fa….….. despite having claimed that you don’t do such things?

Just curious. After all, if we can’t trust you to be honest about your own posting name, why should we trust anything else you say?

Comment #77675

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 5, 2006 3:11 PM (e)

Posted by Rilke’s Granddaughter on February 5, 2006 03:05 PM (e)

Andy H, you are currently in violation of Panda’s Thumb Commentary Policy:

Posting under multiple identities or falsely posting as someone else may lead to removal of affected comments and blocking of the IP address from which those comments were posted, at the discretion of the management.

You demonstrate here a clear lack of integrity; perhaps you could explain why you’re now pretending to be someone else, rather than Larry Fa….….. despite having claimed that you don’t do such things?

Just curious. After all, if we can’t trust you to be honest about your own posting name, why should we trust anything else you say?

Surely you don’t trust anything Larry says anyway.
If Larry told me it was darker during night than it is at daytime, I would want to check.

Comment #77680

Posted by Andy H. on February 5, 2006 3:43 PM (e)

Comment #77524 posted by Arden Chatfield on February 4, 2006 09:09 PM

Evolution theory is only a very small part of education. I think it is especially foolish to home-school just because of a disagreement over how evolution is taught.

In fact, it is far more common for parents to home-school their children in order to avoid having them hear about evolution. I assume that when that’s the motive, you approve?

Bonehead.

Is somebody hassling you ? Why can’t you make a point without flaming somebody?

My above statement addressed a specific case of home-schooling that is for the purpose of avoiding the way that evolution is taught in the public school.

Now let me ask you the same kind of question that you asked me – do you approve of parents’ home-schooling their kids just to avoid having them hear criticism of evolution ?

You are probably right that home-schooling may be the only way to avoid evolution altogether. It probably would not do any good even to send the kids to an evangelical Christian school — the most popular Christian school biology text has a section on evolution (though not exactly an approving section, I believe). Anyway, that shows that the Christian schools are more tolerant of evolution than many evolutionists are of anti-evolution.

Flint says –

I distinctly recall reading somewhere that home-schooled students tend to exceed the performance of public-schooled students in multiple ways, from standardized tests to science fairs.

Matter of fact, here’s an interesting chart comparing ACT performances. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Can’t say I am surprised, either. But in comparing home-schooled and public-schooled kids, we are comparing apples and oranges. In this age of two-earner families, families that use home-schooling tend to be comparatively well-off because they can afford to have one well-educated parent stay home to teach the kids or these families can even hire tutors, and kids from well-off families tend to do better on standardized tests than kids from poor families.

Also, this chart just shows averages – it does not show distributions. An average score is just a mediocre score. How well are home-schooled students represented among the highest scorers ? I think that to be a top scorer, it helps to have been educated by teachers who were specialists in the subjects they taught. Think of all the different subjects that you studied in high school and try to imagine that you are well-qualified to teach each one. Home-schooled students of high-school age must be almost self-taught in a lot of subjects. Public schools would have to suck pretty bad to be worse than home-schooling.

Comment #77683

Posted by Arden Chatfield on February 5, 2006 3:56 PM (e)

Is somebody hassling you ? Why can’t you make a point without flaming somebody?

A reminder, Larry, EVERYONE here flames you.

Now let me ask you the same kind of question that you asked me — do you approve of parents’ home-schooling their kids just to avoid having them hear criticism of evolution ?

It would depend on how it was presented, Larry. If the school had an obvious religious motive, and presented the ‘criticisms’ as tho they had a scientific basis, then yes, I wouldn’t want my child present for that. I wouldn’t want to support that kind of nonsense. The problem is, Larry, I’m not aware of any ‘criticisms of evolution’, not the kind you’re talking about, anyway, that truly lack a religious motivation.

You are probably right that home-schooling may be the only way to avoid evolution altogether.

Wrong again, Larry. Many public schools in rural or small town areas throw out evolution altogether just to avoid antagonizing fundie parents. In some areas that are totally under the radar, they teach outright creationism.

It probably would not do any good even to send the kids to an evangelical Christian school —- the most popular Christian school biology text has a section on evolution (though not exactly an approving section, I believe).

I would bet such textbooks are extremely biased against evolution.

Anyway, that shows that the Christian schools are more tolerant of evolution than many evolutionists are of anti-evolution.

Pull your head out of your ass, Larry. Christian schools are more tolerant of evolution because evolution is REAL SCIENCE, and they know it. ‘Evolutionists’ are intolerant of anti-evolution because ‘anti-evolution’ is junk science, lies, and religious apologetics. The two can’t be compared.

Comment #77696

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 5, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

Stephen Elliot wrote:

Surely you don’t trust anything Larry says anyway.
If Larry told me it was darker during night than it is at daytime, I would want to check.

Of course I don’t. So far as I can see, Larry (Andy H) is even more ignorant than ‘Ed’ who posts on IIDB - and that’s saying a lot.

No, what I’m curious about is whether he is going to acknowledge that a) he’s in violation of Panda board policy, and b) posting under a pseudonym in violation of his own stated principles.

It is a general issue, and one that I find most interesting about the current debates. Is it even remotely possible that the various ‘idiot’ posters (e.g. Dave Scott; Bill Dembki, Larry/Andy) are not aware of how they damage their own cause?

Comment #77697

Posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 5:09 PM (e)

I have to laugh. First Larry writes:

I think that home-schooling is stupid where free public education is available. My reasoning is as follows —

(1) How many parents can spend several hours per day teaching their kids? How many parents would want to ? Public education is much more efficient — you have one teacher with maybe 30 students.

(2) At the high school level, it is often necessary or desirable for the teachers to be specialists in the subjects that they teach. No parent could possibly be well-qualified to teach all the subjects of a high school curriculum.

(3) Teachers are specially trained in teaching methods. Parents generally are not.

(4) There are too many distractions at home — it is just not a good learning environment.

Sadly, the actual facts refute Larry’s conclusions. So what does he say?

families that use home-schooling tend to be comparatively well-off because they can afford to have one well-educated parent stay home to teach the kids or these families can even hire tutors, and kids from well-off families tend to do better on standardized tests than kids from poor families…Public schools would have to suck pretty bad to be worse than home-schooling.

But Larry! You said it was a poor learning environment. NOW you are saying it’s a GOOD learning environment. Are you admitting you were wrong? Or are you now take the NEW position that stupid as home schooling is, public schooling is even stupider?

As for your next claim:

Also, this chart just shows averages — it does not show distributions. An average score is just a mediocre score. How well are home-schooled students represented among the highest scorers ? I think that to be a top scorer, it helps to have been educated by teachers who were specialists in the subjects they taught. Think of all the different subjects that you studied in high school and try to imagine that you are well-qualified to teach each one. Home-schooled students of high-school age must be almost self-taught in a lot of subjects.

And once again, it so happens that home-schooled students are quite solidly overrepresented among the most outstanding winners of you-name-it (spelling bees, science fairs, scholarship winners, science prize winners, etc.) So the average home-schooled student is above average, and the BEST home schooled students are the best period.

Well, as we’ve all learned by chasing Larry around in circles for a while, he’s not bothered in the least by facts, logic, or consistency. First something is stupid, then it somehow becomes superior.

And I’m not particularly surprised that Larry is cheating on this forum. After all, this is the same method he uses to construct his arguments. He probably can’t help himself.

Comment #77704

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 5, 2006 6:03 PM (e)

Flnt wrote:

And I’m not particularly surprised that Larry is cheating on this forum. After all, this is the same method he uses to construct his arguments. He probably can’t help himself.

Yes, but is he aware of it? Is he even conscious of the fact that he’s cheating? Or does his brain somehow cancel it out? Like his blatant contradictions: is he even capable of recognizing that they exist? Was Orwell onto something when he coined ‘doublethink’?

Comment #77716

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 5, 2006 7:15 PM (e)

It is a general issue, and one that I find most interesting about the current debates. Is it even remotely possible that the various ‘idiot’ posters (e.g. Dave Scott; Bill Dembki, Larry/Andy) are not aware of how they damage their own cause?

Yes and no. They know full well that it makes it easier to defeat them. They just can’t help themselves.

As the owner of the DebunkCreation email list, I have seen this time and time and time again. The list has a strict policy of “no religious discussions”. The reason for that is simple: both IDers and creationists insist (and have testified in court, under oath) that their crap is SCIENCE and is NOT religion. Of course, we ALL know they are just lying to us when they make that claim, but in DebunkCreation, if nowhere else, they are forced to live up to those words. If their crap is really SCIENCE, then they simply have no reason at all whatsoever to talk about God or the Bible or any of their religious opinions. By doing so, they simply demonstrate that (1) creationist/IDers are flat-out lying to us when they deny that religion is their goal, and (2) all those Federal judges were indeed correct when they ruled that ID/creationism is religious apologetics and not science (indeed, the Dover judge even cited all the “godly” letters to the editor of the local newspapers as evidence of this).

Nevertheless, of the 400-odd ID/creationists who have visited the DC list over the past years, not a single one of them offered a scientific theory of ID or creation that could be tested using the scientific method – even after repeated requests. ALL of them , however, every single one of them without exception, wanted to tell us all about their religious opinions.

As I have always said, ID/creationism has, at its very core, a fatal and unresolvable contradiction. On the one hand, all they want to do is preach. On the other hand, preaching is illegal in a science classroom, and they KNOW without a doubt that preaching will get their “science” kicked out of the courtroom. So what do they do …? They preach anyway. None of them can go ten minutes without shouting “Jesus saves!!!!” and giving the whole ballgame away.

As a legal strategy, any anti-evolution movement depends absolutely on the ability of its supporters to simply shut their mouths about their religious aims and motives. Alas, they can’t do it. They don’t WANT to do it. Let them talk long enough, and they happily shoot themselves in the head, every time. It’s why they lost in Dover. It’s why they will lose in Kansas and Ohio. It’s why they will never win, anywhere.

It’s like asking a dog not to bark. They simply can’t do it.

An aside here; this is why I have concluded that Larry is not an IDer — no IDer could ever have gone as long as Larry has without dragging his religious opinions into it. As Larry’s other Internet pet projects (meteor showers, Holocaust denial and Confederate-apologism) show, Larry is just a crank who gets off on the attention that he receives by spouting idiotic things on the Net and in letters to the editor of national newspapers.

That’s why I ignore him.

Comment #77729

Posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

no IDer could ever have gone as long as Larry has without dragging his religious opinions into it.

Yet Larry does a credible job of *sounding* like the very concept of evolution turns his brain to mush, and no other explanation for this phenomenon has ever been suggested. So if he’s just a generic crank, his emulation of the genuine brain-switched-off creationist is remarkable.

Comment #77737

Posted by Moses on February 5, 2006 8:31 PM (e)

So Andy H is Larry. Well, that’ll save a lot a time.

Comment #77756

Posted by PennyBright on February 5, 2006 10:04 PM (e)

Andy aka Larry wrote:

Home-schooled students of high-school age must be almost self-taught in a lot of subjects.

I just had to comment on this, even though it’s non-topical, because (however inadvertantly) Andy aka Larry has hit upon a key feature of good (or what I consider to be good) homeschooling.

Ideally homeschooled students are passionate autodidacts, encouraged and enabled by their parents to vigorously pursue their interests and develop the innate curiosity and experimental mind that all kids are born with.

“Education is not a pail to be filled, but a fire to be lit.” WB Yeats.

And that being said, I apologize for the degree to which my passing comment about this in the first place has derailed the thread - I’m now going back to my regularly scheduled lurking.

Comment #77787

Posted by Andy H. on February 6, 2006 1:28 AM (e)

Comment #77697 posted by Flint on February 5, 2006 05:09 PM

“families that use home-schooling tend to be comparatively well-off because they can afford to have one well-educated parent stay home to teach the kids or these families can even hire tutors, and kids from well-off families tend to do better on standardized tests than kids from poor families……..”

You said it was a poor learning environment. NOW you are saying it’s a GOOD learning environment.

It is obvious that my above statement says nothing of the kind — you are putting words in my mouth. That was not even just a misinterpretation.

And once again, it so happens that home-schooled students are quite solidly overrepresented among the most outstanding winners of you-name-it (spelling bees, science fairs, scholarship winners, science prize winners, etc.)

All this could mean is that home-schooled students are overrrepresented among idiot savants. I want to see some evidence that home-schooled students are well-represented among well-rounded students.

BTW, one commenter thinks that home-schooling is off-topic, but I disagree. Extreme dissatisfaction with the Ohio evolution lesson plan led into a discussion of home-schooling. A real off-topic subject is the use of imaginary numbers in AC circuit analysis – I wanted to defend my position on that subject but I did not because it is off-topic.

Comment #77814

Posted by Eugene Lai on February 6, 2006 5:44 AM (e)

What happened to Larry Fafarman?

Comment #77817

Posted by Stephen Elliott on February 6, 2006 5:59 AM (e)

Posted by Eugene Lai on February 6, 2006 05:44 AM (e)

What happened to Larry Fafarman?

He started posting as Andy H. Maybe a couple of other names as well.

Comment #77830

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 6, 2006 7:48 AM (e)

What happened to Larry Fafarman?

He mutated into Andy H and John B.

Comment #77839

Posted by Raging Bee on February 6, 2006 9:10 AM (e)

Hi, Larry/Andy, I see your pretense of being a movement, rather than just one person, crumbled rather quickly here. Whatever you call yourself, you’re still the same underneath, and you’re still bogus…sort of a metaphor for your assertions.

You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it.

And you don’t have to believe the Earth is round in order to fly a space shuttle around the Earth and land it safely in one piece, right?

It is sort of like using imaginary numbers in the analysis of alternating current circuits —- the imaginary numbers have no physical significance but the mathematics of complex numbers mimics the behavior of AC circuits.

All numbers, both real and imaginary – and even zero – have “physical significance” precisely because, as you admit, their behavior “mimics” that of soemthing or other in the physical world. That’s what “physical significance” IS. Once again, the Long-Debunked Creationist of Many Names admits the vapidity of his own arguments.

Comment #77840

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on February 6, 2006 9:14 AM (e)

Andy H (Larry F, etc.) I note that you continue to avoid commenting on your violation of Panda ethical guideline number six: posting under multiple names.

Are you somehow under the impression that the rules don’t apply to you? Are you convinced that what you have to say it so terribly important that ethical violations are trivial? Do you somehow believe that no one knows that you are actually Larry F?

Just curious.

Comment #77843

Posted by Moses on February 6, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on February 6, 2006 07:48 AM (e)

What happened to Larry Fafarman?

He mutated into Andy H and John B.

Well, I ain’t never seen no dog turn into a cat, but I’ve seen a Larry turn into an Andy and a John… Evilution is now “gud enuff fer me!”

Comment #77936

Posted by AC on February 6, 2006 5:57 PM (e)

Raging Bee wrote:

[Larry]You don’t have to believe evolution theory in order to use it.

And you don’t have to believe the Earth is round in order to fly a space shuttle around the Earth and land it safely in one piece, right?

Actually, I think that’s a large part of the problem. To make it happen, somebody at some point has to believe it (and back up the belief with some pretty precise measurements/calculations), but henceforth anyone trained to go through the proper motions could conceivably make the flight while believing anything.

I can just see the pilot of Shuttle Larry now: “This simulation sure is realistic, and so useful!”

Comment #77937

Posted by Eugene Lai on February 6, 2006 6:01 PM (e)

He mutated into Andy H and John B.

What is he trying achieve? So he can have an Andy praising a Larry and vice versa?? He really needs to get a life.

Comment #77945

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on February 6, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

What is he trying achieve?

Who knows? Who cares? He’s just a crank. (shrug)

Comment #82434

Posted by marie on February 27, 2006 8:30 AM (e)

what party do u belong