Nick Matzke posted Entry 2135 on March 23, 2006 07:46 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2130

The next time ID movement makes a stink about “censorship” – their word for informed criticism – read this. Almost forty years after the Supreme Court struck down the bans on teaching evolution in public schools, this kind of thing is still shockingly common.

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Comment #88717

Posted by mplavcan on March 23, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

I know Jason personally, and I am an active researcher and University teacher here in Arkansas, actively working with other faculty to help ameliorate the problem. I am delighted to see that he did such a wonderful job with that article.

My take on the situation here (and I am sure that it is true elsewhere) is that we have effectively lost the battle over science teaching in the public schools. Our impression is that science education is horrible in many parts of the state, in spite of heroic efforts on the part of individual teachers and programs that aim to ameliorate the problem. Court decisions are great, and they provide some backing and comfort to our efforts, but the reality is that evolution is not being taught in a large number of high schools. The simplest explanation is that parents and administrators are hostile to the subject. So not only is it not taught, but students are indoctrinated against evolution in the home and church. Even tonight I was noting to my wife over diner that in spite of the whining of the likes of Ken Hamm and the good honest folks at the DI, in fact virtually nothing supporting evolution is shown on TV, in opposition to the regular programming promoting creationism and critiquing evolution (10% of our cable channels are devoted to religious broadcasting).

We see students who know virtually nothing about biology because their teachers have avoided it for fear of their jobs. We had one student who said that her entire high school biology experience consisted of designing web pages. She has subsequently gone on to graduate school, and is doing well, but only by virtue of diligence and hard work on her part to catch up and fill in the gaps in her education.

But the effect is not just on evolution. It is on all science. Many students are being taught that science is an ideological atheistic exercise, and they are overtly hostile to all science that they perceive as challenging their personal faith and even political ideology (I am dealing with such a student who is vocal about it in one of my classes this semester). In fact, we have had numerous independent reports that our classes are listed on the “do not take list” at the large Baptist church just off campus. And we wonder why science education in this country is declining.

I love the Panda’s Thumb, and regularly recommend the Talk Origins archive to students and interested parties. But the DI, AiG, and the IRC people know that the battle is really in the home and churches, and in the public arena. These guys aren’t dumb, and at least in places like Arkansas, they are skillfully winning a battle of rhetoric and propaganda. My only hope is that eventually, the truth will win out simple because you can’t live a lie forever.

Comment #88733

Posted by Fross on March 24, 2006 12:24 AM (e)

My father was a paleontologist in his early college years, but eventually became a biology teacher in TX. (when he found out I was on the way, he had to get a more secure job). Each year when he got to the evolution portion of the lesson plans, he would encounter students wanting to leave the class and angry parents threatening to sue his school. It got so bad for him that he quit teaching biology. Luckily his school district stood behind him and his lesson plans, but he still had to have the countless parent/teacher conferences where he literally had parents yelling in his face about “evilution”.
My highschool teacher in TX spent five minutes on Darwin and it was immediately after he discussed Pasteur disproving spontaneous formation of life from rotting meat.

This was all back during the 80’s and 90’s, so I can’t speak for TX these days.

Comment #88734

Posted by fnxtr on March 24, 2006 12:31 AM (e)

If I was Intelligently Designed, why have I been laid up for two days with a bad back? All I did was get out of a chair…

Comment #88737

Posted by H. Humbert on March 24, 2006 12:44 AM (e)

I just find this so sad. What is happening to America? What will this country look like in 20 years? In 50? I honestly think this cancer of religious fundamentalism may have spread too far and will sink us all in the end.

Comment #88755

Posted by Renier on March 24, 2006 2:58 AM (e)

I just find this so sad. What is happening to America? What will this country look like in 20 years? In 50? I honestly think this cancer of religious fundamentalism may have spread too far and will sink us all in the end.

You might have a point. Just speaking from my perception as a person outside of America, but it would appear as if the science in other countries (Europe, Far East) are becoming more dominant. As a child, my perception was that the USA was the leaders in science and technology. I doubt if this is still the case. NASA of course does a good job, as related to other space agencies (even with recent disasters).

The other thing is that it appears as if most xtian fundie type activities in other countries have their roots in the USA.

South Africa in the old apartheid era used to be heavy fundie and conservative (most xtian country in the world). Since the liberal government came to power in 1994 the religious right support base has been on a steady decline. The new generation of kids are still considered Christian, but are far more liberal than what my generation used to be. Funny thing, we don’t have separation of church and state, and Christianity are still taught in schools.

Could it be (and I am just wondering out loud) that since religion was “banned” from American schools it created a type of “resistance” that will never go away. Let’s face it. Fundies gets really angry when they are not allowed to push their doctrines. As for what the solution is, I really don’t know

Comment #88785

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 4:32 AM (e)

My only hope is that eventually, the truth will win out simple because you can’t live a lie forever.

and how much damage are we willing to suffer while we wait the fires of righteousness to blaze themselves out?

As these creationists throw their states and populace ever father backwards, the economic impact will begin to be overwhelming.

one wonder just how long the feds will put up with it before they realize just how much damage is being done to the US economy in the long term.

If you think the civil war was all about freeing the slaves, think again. It was as at least as much about the economics involved.

I think we have kind of reached the pinnacle of ignorance placation with GW.

It will be quite interesting to see what comes next.

Comment #88882

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 8:08 AM (e)

It will be quite interesting to see what comes next.

The fundies will be in retreat. Under Dubya, they had the best chance they ever WILL have of reaching their goals, and they couldn’t do it. They controlled the White House, the Senate, the House, and the courts — and they STILL couldn’t pass a single portion of their social agenda.

The Democans will nominate Hillary Clinton, who is unelectable. So I think that leaves Republicrat McCain as our best hope — he has no love for the fundies.

Here’s hoping that the McCain-ites will finally be able to marginalize the fundie nuts within the Republicrat Party and reduce them to a screaming gesticulating crowd of ignored whackos.

Comment #88910

Posted by Russell on March 24, 2006 9:00 AM (e)

The Democans will nominate Hillary Clinton, who is unelectable. So I think that leaves Republicrat McCain as our best hope —- he has no love for the fundies.

I find your overall view pretty optimistic. But I hope you’re wrong about this. Hillary - like Bill - is too much of a “triangulator” for my taste, and I suspect that McCain (with his endorsement of ID and nauseating bear-hugs of W, and don’t forget he was way out in front of W on the neo-con Iraq agenda) is not the moderate many people think.

Comment #88916

Posted by wamba on March 24, 2006 9:09 AM (e)

I really feel for these teachers and administrators having to deal with the attitudes of folks who have been taught that scientists are atheists and not to be trusted. A crying shame.

It is indeed a shame that so many people do not feel they can trust atheists.

Comment #88924

Posted by Staffan S on March 24, 2006 9:24 AM (e)

I’m sure that there are parts of the world where people would be thrilled to see the US economy crippled. It’s easy to think that other countries will benefit if the USA falls behind because of the fundamentalist war on science, but it’s a mistake to consider economy a zero-sum game. In today’s global economy whatever happens to the USA will affect every other country, and more so the more important the trade with the USA is to them. And, as Renier pointed out, much of the fundamentalist, anti-science movement around the world draws its power (and its arguments) from groups that are based in the US.
To me, that means that creationism in the US is something that should concern people everywhere. It’s not just something for the Americans to sort out for themselves, because if we who live outside the US do nothing we will find ourselves in the same situation that they are in.

Comment #88925

Posted by King Aardvark on March 24, 2006 9:26 AM (e)

Don’t forget that to a lot of fundies, athiesm is a crime worse than being an axe-murderer, ergo, athiests definitely can’t be trusted. Why science should fall into athiesm is probably just their bizarre worldview.

This is truly one of the most discouraging articles I’ve ever read on PT. I hope all of you in the States can continue fighting the good fight, but if it really gets you down, you’re always welcome up here in Canada, where, last I checked, we still had at least some evolution teaching in highschool.

Comment #88939

Posted by steve s on March 24, 2006 10:07 AM (e)

My only hope is that eventually, the truth will win out simple because you can’t live a lie forever.

Sure you can. There’s plenty of evidence that people can spend their entire lives living a stupid falsehood.

Comment #88945

Posted by Andrew on March 24, 2006 11:20 AM (e)

BTW, has anyone noticed the link on WAD’s blog to a “review” of the Jones decision? The link is to a site called americanvision.org, which appears to be a Christian Reconstruction site!!

Comment #88948

Posted by Tony on March 24, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

But the effect is not just on evolution. It is on all science.

It also translates into other technology-related fields, such as in my field of engineering. I am constantly reading about how this country is not producing enough engineers. And people wonder why there is so much outsourcing of these jobs.

Way too many children are not getting a sound elementary and secondary education in the science and mathematics fields. Then, when they get the cold, hard reality check during their freshman year of college about what science and math is really all about, many can not make the necessary adjustments and simply drop out and/or change majors.

Comment #88949

Posted by Jeremy on March 24, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

Lenny wrote:

So I think that leaves Republicrat McCain as our best hope —- he has no love for the fundies.

The more I learn about McCain’s views, the more I see him as nothing more than a likeable face on a staunch conservative nut. He is fiercely pro-life. I’m very afraid of another religious right administration.

In my opinion, McCain won’t be nominated. Whether there are worse things that could happen is up for grabs.

Comment #88952

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 24, 2006 12:17 PM (e)

My only hope is that eventually, the truth will win out simple[y] because you can’t live a lie forever.

I’ll admit that 2000 years is not forever, but on a human timescale it comes pretty close.

I just find this so sad. What is happening to America? What will this country look like in 20 years? In 50? I honestly think this cancer of religious fundamentalism may have spread too far and will sink us all in the end.

And, as someone else pointed out, perhaps the rest of the world with us. I have been saying for a few years now that I believe future historians will regard the Bush II administration as the beginning of the end of American ascendancy.

“There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.”
RICHARD LEDERER, “ANGUISHED ENGLISH”

Comment #88954

Posted by Leon on March 24, 2006 12:21 PM (e)

UNBELIEVABLE. What are we coming to?

It sure makes me glad to be living on the West Coast, where the religious right is merely a vocal minority and good science teaching is still the norm.

Comment #88956

Posted by Jim Ramsey on March 24, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

I think the next step is obvious, given the current obsession with standardized testing and NCLB.

We need to change the standardized testing in science and especially biology to allow for ID.

Comment #88962

Posted by Kevin on March 24, 2006 12:55 PM (e)

The creationists point to polls showing that a minority of Americans believe in evolution and claim that it’s been taught and rejected. The truth is closer to what’s described in this article: evolution, even when mandated, isn’t necessarily taught.

Comment #88967

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on March 24, 2006 1:07 PM (e)

During the appeals process, Cobb County, GA defended its anti-evolution disclaimer sticker by saying that they used to not teach evolution at all. So in that context their policy of “teaching” evolution with a disclaimer is an improvement.

Comment #88969

Posted by Mike Elzinga on March 24, 2006 1:09 PM (e)

I see over at the York Daily Record (http://www.ydr.com/doverbiology) that Judge Jones has had to use the Marshall Service for protection agains threats. It says something about the mentality of these fundamentalists.

Maybe fundies know themselves better than we do, and are just barely able to hold themselves together. Teach them evolution or deny the literal meaning of their bible, and they know they will become raging killers and endulge in all sorts of evil, destructive bahaviors. Maybe they know in their heart-or-hearts just how dangerous they are.

Comment #88972

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

Maybe they know in their heart-or-hearts just how dangerous they are.

I’ve often said that creationists should willingly submit themselves for psychological evaluation.

Support for your theory comes from Dave Scot over at UD, who screamed at one of the PT contributers to “pack his stuff and get out of my country!”

or Slaveador drooling at the bit to put “darwinists” in front of what amounts to an inquisition, complete with thumbscrews.

yes, these folks ARE violent.

I think it should be pointed out more often, in fact.

Comment #88973

Posted by David Heddle on March 24, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

*Yawn*

Man, PT has become fatally boring. You guys are so 2005. You should bring back Gary Hurd and Great White Wonder to liven things up. Lenny’s black-helicopter theocracy conspiracies are very long in the tooth.

Comment #88974

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 1:43 PM (e)

Man, PT has become fatally boring

there’s that projection again, Heddle.

Comment #88977

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 24, 2006 2:01 PM (e)

Yep, that’s right, David.

But if we’re so “fatally boring,” why is it that you just can’t seem to keep away? Either we’re not that boring after all, or we’re boring only to the extent that you keep showing up to repeat your tired old arguments ad nauseum…

To disentangle these causative factors–and given that you’re the one claiming to be so “fatally bored” (and even I wouldn’t wish that to be literally the case, even in your case!), let’s try an experiment: you will stay away from PT (that is, don’t post under your own name or any psuedonym on any thread, or on any discussion at After the Bar Closes) for, oh, let’s say, the rest of 2006.

Please feel free, should you succeed–which of course you will not, since you’re addicted, but never mind that–to drop by (once, please, will be enough) in early 2007 to tell us how fatally boring we were in 2006.

Since we know you can’t really keep away, however, try this instead: don’t post until you have something genuinely new to say. Not only would that mean that we won’t see you for several years–possibly decades!–but it will also help us with our alleged fatal-boredom problem (in case you’re not quite tracking here: less same-old-David automatically equals less boring–see how easy it is to help when you make a sincere effort?).

Again, if–after conscientiously restraining yourself–you sincerely find that PT has not grown more interesting in your absence, then please feel free to come back and tell us that.

But, again please, only after allowing a truly representative and fair test period to pass.

Deal, head-dull?

Comment #88978

Posted by Rob Kahlke on March 24, 2006 2:07 PM (e)

Seriously, there must be something we can do besides ranting. I like to say that if each pro-science person could convert one anti-science person, then this problem would go away. I don’t think that calling the fundies stupid is going to change their ways. What is a more constructive approach?

Comment #88979

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 2:14 PM (e)

I don’t think that calling the fundies stupid is going to change their ways. What is a more constructive approach?

no, but it’s somehow satisfying nonetheless ;)

as to more constructive…

-write letters to your local newspaper

-spend some time educating folks at your local school board meetings, and get to know who represents you on the school board.

-write your local, state, and national representatives to let them know that placating the religious right is leading to economic disaster, so STOP IT!

-if you know any creationists, spend a day walking them thru the talkorigins archive; explain to them what they are seeing, what the evidence means.

-introduce a creationist to an actual working biologist, so they can see how science actually works.

yes, any of these things are more productive than commenting here on PT.

however, I personally rarely come here to be productive.

Comment #88981

Posted by Shenda on March 24, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote:

“The fundies will be in retreat. Under Dubya, they had the best chance they ever WILL have of reaching their goals, and they couldn’t do it. They controlled the White House, the Senate, the House, and the courts —- and they STILL couldn’t pass a single portion of their social agenda.”

The latter part is true, but the former is, IMO, not true. The wingnuts have succeeded in making many parts of their agenda a part of the national culture, and their destruction of the public education system in many parts of the country will result in many future voters not having a clue about what is going on. This will only further the fundie agenda in the future.

Until the media and mainstream Christian churches start to systematically point out the real agenda of the fundies, and decry their principles and actions as non-Christian, there will always be a chance that the fundies will win.

Comment #88984

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 24, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

A lot more goes on here besides ranting, including staying abreast of the news on this gust-front of the culture wars, discussion of the latest evolutionary research, and meticulous, detailed, and persuasive debunking of the recycled creationist arguments.

Whether any of that will dislodge the entrenched anti-rationalists from their positions is debatable. But, if we believe that there are significant numbers of non-entrenched, “independent,” genuinely-confused or perplexed on-lurkers, who aren’t quite sure about this whole evolution thing, or who have been bamboozled into suspecting there is an actual scientific controversy that is being “suppressed,” and so forth, then following the discussions here–

–and, in particular, watching our favorite collection of trolls do their utmost to demonstrate precisely how vacuous, moronic, boring, repetitive, and resistant to evidence the ID/creationist positions really are! Not to mention humor-impaired!!

–does arguably serve a useful purpose that goes well beyond mere “ranting.”

And, of course, PT (and its allied organizations, like the NCSE and TalkOrigins) has helped mobilize the, um, reality-based portion of the populace on any number of occasions involving media, PR, school district, legislative, or judicial challenges to the Theory-
With-The-Mostest-Evidence.

Sure, we’re not perfect and we could always do better (feel entirely free to suggest something specific), but we’re about a whole lot more than merely reflecting back the ranting of the IDiots.

(Not that we don’t indulge in a certain amount of that, as well, in our own inimitable, genteel, and much-more-humorous manner.)

Comment #88985

Posted by NM on March 24, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

*shudder* *twitch*

From my experiences in public school, Jefferson freed all his slaves (and never had a mistress), our Founding Fathers were staunch Christians, the Puritans who first settled in the US were uptight prudes who somehow got along famously with the ‘noble savage’ Native Americans, the US joined WW2 to get rid of evil Nazis, and the government always looks out for the people.

In private school, I learned Jefferson freed all his slaves except his mistress, our Founding Fathers were staunch Deists and scientists, the Puritans who first settled in the US were intellectuals and believed in restraint and moderation of behavior (the prudes came in the second wave of settlement) appealed to the then-200-year-old democratic tribal government, the US around WW2 were more Nazi-friendly than not, and the government limits both freedom of the press, the original intent of fair-use and copyright stipulations, and legal contracts between consenting individuals.

Whitewashing and language takeover happens everywhere in public schools, even in “liberal” California.

Comment #88987

Posted by King Aardvark on March 24, 2006 2:51 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam wrote:

if you know any creationists, spend a day walking them thru the talkorigins archive; explain to them what they are seeing, what the evidence means.

I agree with you that we should be doing what we can to further science in our communities, but that’s easier said than done. Your typical creationist would rather blind themselves than learn about anything that might shake their faith. My wife, who has ID leanings but isn’t really a YEC per se, wouldn’t even look at it, and at my suggestions that she read it, she accused me of trying to turn her against God, etc. She was quite offended.

Also, have you ever looked at typical religious reading material? Bite-sized, colourful booklets with simple words, usually. Even if they were willing, they might not be able to handle talkorigins.

Comment #88988

Posted by King Aardvark on March 24, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

Sorry if I come off as negative. I’m just frustrated, that’s all.

Comment #88991

Posted by KeithB on March 24, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

maybe we can get these guys, the Kratt Brothers, to do a series on evolution. They keep my kids captivated.

http://www.krattbrothers.com/

Comment #88993

Posted by Shenda on March 24, 2006 3:18 PM (e)

Staffan S wrote:

” To me, that means that creationism in the US is something that should concern people everywhere. It’s not just something for the Americans to sort out for themselves, because if we who live outside the US do nothing we will find ourselves in the same situation that they are in.”

The rest of the world should be very concerned about the fundie movement in the US. What if the U.S. elects a president who is a real fundie and a Reconstructionist, who has control over all of America’s nukes?

Comment #88995

Posted by Monado on March 24, 2006 3:22 PM (e)

OK, I couldn’t resist. I looked up the Governor’s Web site and sent him a note via the handy e-mail contact form. You can read it here:

http://monado2.blogspot.com/2006/03/open-letter-…

Comment #88997

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 24, 2006 3:53 PM (e)

Man, PT has become fatally boring. You guys are so 2005. You should bring back Gary Hurd and Great White Wonder to liven things up. Lenny’s black-helicopter theocracy conspiracies are very long in the tooth.

So sorry to bore you Heddle. Why don’t you quit boring yourself and just toddle along back to your blog? It’ll be no loss, you never made any converts here and you never had any idea what you were talking about with science anyway.

Comment #88998

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2006 3:56 PM (e)

“…virtually nothing supporting evolution is shown on TV…”

I have to differ. It depends on where you look. Places like The History Channel, The Science Channel, PBS, and The National Geographic Channel tend to have lots of programs in support of evolution. Just last week there was a fascinating recently produced hour long show on The History Channel (I think) devoted entirely to the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs/birds.

Yeah, there are also a lot of religous channels to choose from too, and the mainstream channels probably don’t have anything that touches on the subject, so the overall percentages may be low. But you can find some stuff out there.

Comment #89000

Posted by roger on March 24, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

“I like to say that if each pro-science person could convert one anti-science person, then this problem would go away.”

This would be a good idea but it’s completely impossible. Talking to a creationist is no different from talking to a dog. Logic and evidence mean nothing to these people.

Comment #89001

Posted by blackandwhitebear on March 24, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

i just love pandas!!

Comment #89006

Posted by AC on March 24, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

roger wrote:

Talking to a creationist is no different from talking to a dog. Logic and evidence mean nothing to these people.

At least the dog doesn’t understand because its brain is incapable. Creationists just refuse to in order to defend their insecurities.

Comment #89007

Posted by Flint on March 24, 2006 4:54 PM (e)

At least the dog doesn’t understand because its brain is incapable. Creationists just refuse to in order to defend their insecurities.

I think the evidence is fairly compelling that the creationist brain is not capable. Do not underestimate the influence of training on the brain’s physiological structure. Certain concepts have become neurologically disallowed.

Comment #89009

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 4:59 PM (e)

Certain concepts have become neurologically disallowed.

…and when you literally force them to see their own irrationality and tunnel vision, they say things like:

“pack up your stuff and get out of my country!”

if that’s not a classic pyschological defense mechanism, there aren’t any.

Comment #89012

Posted by Alann on March 24, 2006 5:07 PM (e)

I think the issues is a lack of federal standards.
We have testing requirements for Math and English, but not for Science.

I would like to see a government agency like the National Science Foundation add some basic science standards. (We should probably add some geography and history standards as well)

Its not an issue of belief. You can claim that the sky is green and that objects fall up for all I care, so long as you know what the accepted standards are.

That may sound harsh, but I am sick of hearing how evolution is being debated in the scientific community. In reality I would guess that less than 1% of scientists in a relevant field would disagree with the basics evolution or agrue for an earth that is only 6,000 years old.

Oh and as for elections, I actually kind of like McCain he is not as partisan as other republicans; while I despise Hilary she is trying too hard to appear conservative (I’d still take her over someone like Frist).

Comment #89013

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 24, 2006 5:09 PM (e)

blackandwhitebear:

i just love pandas!!

We’re glad, because we love pandas too!

And it’s great that you have learned–maybe from your own thinking or reading, or maybe from having a pretty good science teacher–that bears and pandas are related by descent from a common ancestor.

Keep up the good work, and stop by to say “Hi” to our very own panda, Prof. Steve Steve, anytime!

Comment #89015

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 5:30 PM (e)

Yeah, pandas are great, but do remember they can get pissed off, and do some serious damage too:

http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/PandaAttack.wm…

I wonder if Steve Steve knows this Panda?

Comment #89021

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 24, 2006 5:49 PM (e)

Just because this particular old-stlye iron-barred zoo negligently failed to provide its pandas with the latest in stone-washed denim jackets is no reason to impugn this poor fashionwear-challenged panda as violent.

And, please, don’t try to turn a straightforward case of animal abuse into some sort of unprovoked assault by a wild beast…!

Indeed, I have it on the best of authority that the “injured” party was first politely asked to donate his jacket to the panda. Not only did the recalcitrant jacket-hoarder apparently lack even the most rudimentary understanding of clearly-enunciated Pandaese, but his abject refusal was allegedly couched in highly-objectionable terminology that I simply can’t repeat on a family blog (although there is some evidence, primarily from lip readers, that Carol’s secret name of G*d was somehow involved).

Sheesh!

Comment #89022

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 24, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

This seems like the perfect opportunity for private industry to step in and provide a service to the public sector. In this case helping students reach state mandated bench marks in science. A company geared toward only teaching evolutionary theory at the high school level would contract with local school boards to present topics in evolution that would satisfy the state mandated benchmarks, a traveling road show. The private contractor would get the blame for teaching evolution and would take the heat for local school boards and teachers. The students would get a good foundation in evolutionary theory and someone would make some money. I don’t see the teachers union complaining since they don’t want to teach the subject for fear of reprisals. Administrators don’t like the complaints either, a private contractor is the perfect scapegoat. The only requirements would be a general teaching background of some sort and a firm grounding in evolutionary theory.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #89027

Posted by Scott on March 24, 2006 6:24 PM (e)

Bruce Thompson suggested:

“This seems like the perfect opportunity for private industry to step in and provide a service to the public sector. In this case helping students reach state mandated bench marks in science. A company geared toward only teaching evolutionary theory at the high school level would contract with local school boards to present topics in evolution that would satisfy the state mandated benchmarks, a traveling road show.”

Sounds good, but in Wile’s article, what you describe sounds exactly like the science center where “Bob” works. They cannot economically afford to teach evolution, because no school district in the area will support them if they do.

Comment #89032

Posted by Bruce Thompson GQ on March 24, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

There’s a difference, I’m not proposing a fixed structure with high overhead costs but rather a service. I don’t envision a “science center” where students from surrounding schools visit a central site but a single purpose company which would deliver a single service to the school then leave. The service is focused on the evolution bench marks only. If developed correctly at a national level say with NCSE, it is something a biology graduate student could teach, they could have their own small business on the side. Instead of just TAs they could supplement their income with additional work.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Comment #89036

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

you’re always welcome up here in Canada, where, last I checked, we still had at least some evolution teaching in highschool.

Until the US invades.

Comment #89037

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 7:15 PM (e)

I have been saying for a few years now that I believe future historians will regard the Bush II administration as the beginning of the end of American ascendancy.

I think that began in Vietnam.

But I think history will record Bush II as the beginning of the end of American *democracy*.

Of course, some of here are old enough to remember COINTELPRO, and have seen all this before. But Bush’s innovation is to link suppression of political opposition to a “war” that, quite literally, will not ever end.

Not even Tricky-Dicky Nixon had the balls to attempt to make his political suppression PERMANENT.

Comment #89038

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 7:17 PM (e)

Man, PT has become fatally boring.

Then leave. (shrug)

Bye.

(waving as you ride off into the sunset on your snow-white horse)

Comment #89039

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 7:20 PM (e)

What if the U.S. elects a president who is a real fundie and a Reconstructionist, who has control over all of America’s nukes?

Already done.

Comment #89040

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

The truth is closer to what’s described in this article: evolution, even when mandated, isn’t necessarily taught.

That is, collectively, OUR fault. No one else’s.

The law is crushingly clear – school districts cannot drop evolution simply because it offends people. If they do it anyway, we have the option to SUE THE CRAP OUT OF THEM.

I suggest we take it.

The law is on our side. Having a law and not utilizing it, leaves us no better off than not having it at all.

One lawsuit in Dover put the fear of God (metaphorically) in all the schools that wanted to teach ID. I think one lawsuit against any school that drops evolution out of religious considerations, will also have the desired effect.

In any fight between God and Mammon, Mammon wins every time.

Comment #89046

Posted by BWE on March 24, 2006 8:16 PM (e)

I just find this so sad. What is happening to America? What will this country look like in 20 years? In 50? I honestly think this cancer of religious fundamentalism may have spread too far and will sink us all in the end.

Fight Back. Use ridicule. Logic doesn’t work. Just plain Ad Hominem attacks.
They aren’t going to get it through education but they might get to look just too stupid for folks to go along with them. I’m serious.

Seriously, there must be something we can do besides ranting. I like to say that if each pro-science person could convert one anti-science person, then this problem would go away. I don’t think that calling the fundies stupid is going to change their ways. What is a more constructive approach?

Calling them stupid with better marketing materials would work. Embarrassment is the most important tool we have as a species to keep societies social. Force always caves in to resistance after time but stupid is forever. Write. Put bumper stickers on stop signs. Make web sites. Write letters to the editor tastefully calling fundies stupid. Shop at places that don’t support fundies. Make fun of places that do.

Sure, we’re not perfect and we could always do better (feel entirely free to suggest something specific), but we’re about a whole lot more than merely reflecting back the ranting of the IDiots.

(Not that we don’t indulge in a certain amount of that, as well, in our own inimitable, genteel, and much-more-humorous manner.)

Good point. The ridicule must be of ridiculous things they believe showing, nay proving that they are stupid. Making fun of their arguments does that. (see my blog, I bet you chuckle at least once)

Simple, go for the jugular humor. No one wants to be a laughingstock.

In any fight between God and Mammon, Mammon wins every time.

But the problem is that god goes and kills a bunch of people afterward. Look in the bible and count how many folks kills and then count how many mammon kills.

Comment #89047

Posted by BWE on March 24, 2006 8:18 PM (e)

I just find this so sad. What is happening to America? What will this country look like in 20 years? In 50? I honestly think this cancer of religious fundamentalism may have spread too far and will sink us all in the end.

Fight Back. Use ridicule. Logic doesn’t work. Just plain Ad Hominem attacks.
They aren’t going to get it through education but they might get to look just too stupid for folks to go along with them. I’m serious.

Seriously, there must be something we can do besides ranting. I like to say that if each pro-science person could convert one anti-science person, then this problem would go away. I don’t think that calling the fundies stupid is going to change their ways. What is a more constructive approach?

Calling them stupid with better marketing materials would work. Embarrassment is the most important tool we have as a species to keep societies social. Force always caves in to resistance after time but stupid is forever. Write. Put bumper stickers on stop signs. Make web sites. Write letters to the editor tastefully calling fundies stupid. Shop at places that don’t support fundies. Make fun of places that do.

Sure, we’re not perfect and we could always do better (feel entirely free to suggest something specific), but we’re about a whole lot more than merely reflecting back the ranting of the IDiots.

(Not that we don’t indulge in a certain amount of that, as well, in our own inimitable, genteel, and much-more-humorous manner.)

Good point. The ridicule must be of ridiculous things they believe showing, nay proving that they are stupid. Making fun of their arguments does that. (see my blog, I bet you chuckle at least once)

Simple, go for the jugular humor. No one wants to be a laughingstock.

In any fight between God and Mammon, Mammon wins every time.

But the problem is that god goes and kills a bunch of people afterward. Look in the bible and count how many folks kills and then count how many mammon kills.

Comment #89051

Posted by CJ Croy on March 24, 2006 8:36 PM (e)

Lenny wrote:

The law is crushingly clear — school districts cannot drop evolution simply because it offends people. If they do it anyway, we have the option to SUE THE CRAP OUT OF THEM.

The problem is not our ability to sue if we find it, it’s our ability to find it and deal with the consequences.

Finding proof that evolution was dropped solely because it offended people is HARD. The teacher might chalk up not teaching more than a class day of evolution at the end of the year because “We really have to get our standardized test scores up and evolution isn’t on the tests so it gets squeezed out in favor of more important things”. Maybe the teacher calls in sick the week she’d normally teach evolution and the class does busyweek for a week. Maybe her text book was strangely silent on the subject of evolution. There are a thousand ways to avoid teaching evolution without actually dropping it from the curriculum.

Even if a teacher did explicitly deny evolution or support creationism, how could you prove it unless it came from their classroom notes or have a tape recorder handy? It would be the word of a student(“Obviously, he misunderstood what I was saying.”) vs that of a teacher.

But let’s say you could find clear, unequivical proof that a teacher had taught creationism in the classroom and you decided to sue the school on the childs behalf. What do you think his bible-thumping class mates will do when they find out that he and his dad are the ones that are attacking Jesus, Mom, and apple pie? How do you think the equally-fundamentalist faculty will punish the attackers?

These problems do not mean we shouldn’t at least TRY, just it’s a bit more complex than it seems at first glance once you understand that you’re dealing with juvenile brain-washed thugs.

Comment #89053

Posted by Mark on March 24, 2006 8:40 PM (e)

As frustrating as creationists are, I found recently (to my surprise) that I do have some compassion for them. I was talking to a woman I worked with, and she said if she became a “Darwinist” she would essentially be leaving her entire life behind. She would be, if not disinherited, at least removed as the executor of her parents’ wills, because they would no longer trust her. She couldn’t go back to family reunions, class reunions, etc. No one she grew up with and loved would look at her the same way again.

She grew up in this creationist, biblical literalist subculture, and that sort of immersion isn’t something you can just walk away from because you have followed the logical arguments of evolutionary theory through to their conclusion. What do you do when everyone you love, and everyone who loves you, thinks that evolutionary theory is an affront to God? She’s stuck, and no number of conversations with any “evolutionist” or printouts from talk.origins is going to make any difference.

But then again, she isn’t one of the people trying to take over the school-boards or running a PR campaign. Her presence does serve to swell their numbers, and I’m sure she gives financial support, but I can’t help but feel sorry for her.

Comment #89057

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 24, 2006 9:14 PM (e)

The problem is not our ability to sue if we find it, it’s our ability to find it and deal with the consequences.

Finding proof that evolution was dropped solely because it offended people is HARD.

Nonsense. As the Supreme Court itself noted:

“there can be no valid secular reason for prohibiting the teaching of evolution, a theory historically opposed by some religious denominations.”

Think the school board can offer a valid secular reason for not teaching evolution?

Me neither.

Comment #89070

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 24, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

Look in the bible and count how many folks kills and then count how many mammon kills.

hmm, that sounds like an interesting diversion for a rainy day.

keep a score card as you go book by book, and see who wins in the end.

or do we already know the answer?

do we include the deaths in revelations?

Comment #89085

Posted by ScottN on March 25, 2006 2:12 AM (e)

KeithB wrote

maybe we can get these guys, the Kratt Brothers, to do a series on evolution. They keep my kids captivated.

An interesting idea, but you must know that the ID ‘theorists’ will simply claim that the “Zoboomafoo” lemur puppet from the Kratt Brothers’ show is irreducibly complex…

Comment #89181

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

Wow, ok, anytime that one “theory” is allowed to be studied and another is not, that to me is censorship. To my knowledge, the case in Dover wasn’t even based on evolution being discredited and ID being taught, it was based on a statement that there was a book in the library on another “theory”.

Come guys, are you guys a bunch of bigots, or are you so terrified that someone might actually think for themselves and find their own conclusions on the origins of life? Must you try to monopolize the educational system in the US?

If your evidence is so sound, then it shouldn’t bother you that an alternative “theory” is offered.{not actually taught}

Comment #89187

Posted by Caledonian on March 25, 2006 10:45 AM (e)

Tell me, Bone Saw, would you be upset if your children’s public school library had historical texts written by Holocaust deniers?

Comment #89190

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

Bone Saw, you are obviously confusing the intellectually deficient(ID) definition of a “theory” with the definition that actual scientists use. How hard is it?

Comment #89200

Posted by steve s on March 25, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

BoneSaw demonstrates why I think the DI will at least partly win the socio-religious PR war. They can convince laypeople they have a theory, and their scientific-sounding jargon looks enough like real science-talk that many ordinary people can’t tell the difference. That strategy, on a playing field of 80% religious folk, I think will succeed.

How can they lose? Do you think the 80% of the public BoneSaw represents will ever have the necessary knowledge to reject the specious claims of the ID charlatans?

Comment #89201

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 11:25 AM (e)

Comment #89181: “Must you try to monopolize the educational system in the US?”

Must you try to dumb down the educational system in the US?

Why do you think religion should be taught in a science class?

Comment #89204

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

Come guys, are you guys a bunch of bigots, or are you so terrified that someone might actually think for themselves and find their own conclusions on the origins of life?

We were sort of hoping that *you* would start thinking for yourself. Being compared to sheep is not a good thing…

I used to be a creationist, then I started thinking for myself. So *BANG*, there goes your theory, just like ID in Dover…

Comment #89206

Posted by jonboy on March 25, 2006 11:49 AM (e)

Bone saw,
My friend Lenny I am sure would ask. What alternative theory? Does ID have one,if so would you please show us?(well we’re waiting) no, thought not.

Comment #89208

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 12:00 PM (e)

All the IDiots rave about the ID “theory”. Yet, asking them what it is (scientifically) will get you banned on some pro ID blog/s, or they start spouting the biggest contradicting bullshit you have ever heard.

Comment #89212

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 12:17 PM (e)

Wow, ok, anytime that one “theory” is allowed to be studied and another is not, that to me is censorship.

How dreadful.

What, again, is this scientific theory of ID? What, again, does it say the designer did? What mechanisms, again, does it say the designer used to do whatever the heck you think it did? Where, again, can we see the designer using these mechanisms today to do … well . . anything?

ID is religious apologetics. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

And as Judge Jones rightly concluded, it’s illegal to teach religious apologetics in public schools.

Don’t like that? Tough. (shrug)

Comment #89214

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 12:32 PM (e)

Comparing a book on Intelligent Design to anything related to Holocaust denial is absurd, and it also shows your obvious paranoia. I think all of you know what ID is, even if it doesn’t fall under your definition of what a “theory” is.

I think there is a book on it in the Dover library for those of you who don’t know.

Comment #89215

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 12:37 PM (e)

I think there is a book on it in the Dover library for those of you who don’t know.

You gotta be kidding me. That’s the same book that featured in the Dover court case, the one where it was proved it was a CREATIONIST book. So, you mean ID is really creationism??? Go figure…

Comment #89216

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 12:41 PM (e)

Bonesaw, I though you might have been DaveScot, but even he would not have been stupid enough to mention “the book”. But, since you are here, and know “the book”, could you please tell me what the hell a “cdesign proponentsists” is?

Comment #89217

Posted by Renier on March 25, 2006 12:44 PM (e)

even if it doesn’t fall under your definition of what a “theory” is.

Please, tell us what you think a scientific theory is. Thanks.

Comment #89219

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

“I think all of you know what ID is, even if it doesn’t fall under your definition of what a “theory” is.”

You’re right Bone Saw - everyone knows ID isn’t a theory - is that really so hard to comprehend?

Comment #89222

Posted by Bone Saw is ready! on March 25, 2006 1:07 PM (e)

More paranoia. My definition of a scientific theory is “a hypothesis that is widely accepted by the scientific community”. You probably have a different one. That isn’t my point though. I just don’t agree with not allowing students to explore other scientific ideas, and saying that this particular school{Dover} was teaching religion is absolutely dishonest.

“The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families.” noone was pushing religion on anyone in this case. This to me is censorship.

Comment #89223

Posted by jonboy on March 25, 2006 1:12 PM (e)

Come on Bonesaw, Now tell us who the “Intelligent Designer” really is,you know you want to (well,we’re waiting)

Comment #89224

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 1:23 PM (e)

This case in Dover shows the world how in-trenched the evolution theory is in public schools and how fearfully guarded it is. I think many of the people who are opposed to “ID” or “Creationism” show themselves to be anti-religious bigots. That’s just my opinion.

Comment #89225

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 1:24 PM (e)

Bone Saw, the “dishonesty” is trying to promote an idea that a federal judge concluded “was not science” (after hearing from both sides) in a science class! There is a clue in that statement: science class should only contain science. By default ID is naturally excluded - got that - super!!

Comment #89226

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 1:27 PM (e)

George Carlin. Ok, you got me to say it.

Comment #89227

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 1:29 PM (e)

How is trying to maintain standards (science in science class) anti-religious?

Comment #89228

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 1:34 PM (e)

Bjm, I understand that , but in this case I don’t believe anyone was “trying to promote” anything. There was zero promotion. Many people don’t think evolution is sound science, but it’s not only taught, it’s freakin exalted! I don’t understand why you guys are so afraid.

Comment #89230

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

Once again, there was nothing being taught in or out of science class, therefore the “standard” of which you speak is not in jeopardy. They mentioned that there were other theories or hypothisys or whatever you want to call it on the origins of life. Nothing was being taught in the calss room.

Comment #89231

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 1:41 PM (e)

Once again, there was nothing being taught in or out of science class, therefore the “standard” of which you speak is not in jeopardy. They mentioned that there were other theories or hypothisys or whatever you want to call it on the origins of life. Nothing was being taught in the class room.

Comment #89232

Posted by jonboy on March 25, 2006 1:46 PM (e)

Bone head; George Carlin is an atheist,try again,(come to think of it, so is God)

Comment #89233

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

You seem to have dodged the question. You equated opposition to ID/Creationism to being anti-religious. It’s not, it’s anti-pseudoscience. Contrary to belief there is no opposition to anyone believing in the concepts of ID/C. The problem arises when you try to replace genuine science with something that doesn’t operate on the same principles.

Comment #89235

Posted by B. Spitzer on March 25, 2006 1:58 PM (e)

Bonesaw wrote:
I think many of the people who are opposed to “ID” or “Creationism” show themselves to be anti-religious bigots. That’s just my opinion.

Some of the people who are opposed to ID probably are. On the other hand, pretty much every major scientific organization in the US has come out with clear statements that ID is not science and does not belong in the science classroom. A very large percentage of the scientists in those organizations (about 45% or so, IIRC) are religious individuals. When you consider that, “anti-religious bigotry” falls apart as an explanation for opposition to ID.

The Dover policy may seem innocent on its face– it doesn’t explicitly invoke religion or the Bible, and it sounds like it’s just trying to be fair to all points of view. However, if you start to dig beneath the surface, you’ll find that these innocent appearances are misleading. Judge Jones ruled against the defendants in the Dover case because the courtroom testimony revealed that the defendants had religious motives–and only religious motives– for their policy on ID.

Students have a right to examine any ideas that they want to, and nobody’s stopping them. ID proponents have a right to publicize their ideas, and nobody’s stopping them. But nobody has a right to use taxpayer money to promote a sectarian religious agenda in a public school.

That ain’t “censorship”. That’s the Constitution of the United States.

Promoting a sectarian religious agenda was what the Dover school board was doing, whether or not they admitted it. The fact that they directed students to a book rather than teaching out of it directly, the fact that they talked about “intelligent design” rather than God– these are all just attempts to make an end run around the law.

Bonesaw, I’m sure that you have the best of intentions, but the Discovery Institute doesn’t. I’ve learned not to take what they say at face value, not without doing some homework first. You should look into the details of the Dover case. You’ll find that they haven’t exactly been telling you the truth about it. Judge Jones’ ruling is awfully long, but I think you’ll find that he was careful to address all of the points that you’re bringing up here.

Comment #89237

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 2:06 PM (e)

First, I didn’t dodge your question. I was referring to the particular case in Dover where in my opinion, some of the people involved were being dishonest and anti-religious. I would also make the case again, that no one was trying to “replace” so-called genuine science with anything.

Whether or not something “doesn’t operate on the same principles” can be debated all day long. That is not my point.

Comment #89240

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

B, I respect your post, and I appreciate your civility, but I just disagree with the conclusion that the Dover school board was trying top promote a sectarian religious agenda. You know this as well as I do that there are many who think that taxpayer money should not be spent on promoting the idea of God not existing either.

Many consider evolution a religion. I don’t think that’s true, but that point can be argued. As far as honesty goes, I think both sides of the debate have fallen short in this department.

Comment #89243

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

ID wants to be taken seriously but doesn’t want to be held to the same principles that real scientific theories are held to (research, testability etc). That’s what the Dover trial was about, in part.

I understand you do not accept evolution but it is currently the only scientific explanation that makes sense, despite what the ID/C say. If ID were ever to play by the same rules it would be taken seriously by the scientific community but would also be shown to be totally vacuous as a “science”.

You refer to evolution (though not explicitly) as a “so-called” science but it has stood the test of time. Why is that?

Comment #89245

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 2:36 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “My definition of a scientific theory is “a hypothesis that is widely accepted by the scientific community”. You probably have a different one. That isn’t my point though. I just don’t agree with not allowing students to explore other scientific ideas, and saying that this particular school{Dover} was teaching religion is absolutely dishonest.”

ID is not a scientific idea, it is a religious belief that a designer, also known as God, had something to do with creating life.

ID is widely ridiculed by the scientific community, not widely accepted, not accepted at all.

The only people being dishonest are the ID proponents who deny ID is a religious belief.

Do you have some problem with the wall of separation between government and religion?

Also, why do you think ID is not a bunch of garbage? Why do you think students should be wasting time learning garbage? Do you understand ID was invented only to try to sneak creationism into public schools? Do you understand that Dembski and the others who promote ID are liars?

Comment #89246

Posted by John Marley on March 25, 2006 2:37 PM (e)

This was a pretty good thread for a while. But I always stop reading once it has become clear that the thread has been permanently hijacked by a troll.

Comment #89247

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 2:39 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “taxpayer money should not be spent on promoting the idea of God not existing either.”

What are you talking about? God is never mentioned in science classes. Why would you think teaching science is the same as teaching atheism?

Comment #89248

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 2:41 PM (e)

You speak as though the theory of evolution has been decisively proven. It has not. Many things have stood the test of time, but that doesn’t make them right or good.

Comment #89250

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 2:46 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “You speak as though the theory of evolution has been decisively proven. It has not. “

Again, what are you talking about? Evolution has been proven beyond all doubt.

May I suggest you do some research on the internet but skip the bible/ID/creationism websites.

Comment #89252

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 2:50 PM (e)

Roger, you took that comment out of context. Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture, and would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.

Comment #89253

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 2:52 PM (e)

Roger, you are a disgrace to this site.

later

Comment #89254

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 25, 2006 2:52 PM (e)

Bonesnore:

anyone ever tell you you’re a waste of time?

don’t bother, I already know the answer.

Comment #89255

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “Roger, you took that comment out of context. Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture, and would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.”

What are you suggesting here? Should we stop teaching evolution because some idiots think it opposes their religious beliefs?

Comment #89257

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

Science is never so arrogant as to claim anything is ever decisively proven. It gives a reasonable explanation of what it observes and it subject to re-interpretation and revision in light of new evidence (real, not contrived). ID/C is a concept that is closed to re-interpretation (we know who did it - what else is there to explain? From what I can gather this is the extent of ID “theory”)

Comment #89258

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 2:58 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “Roger, you are a disgrace to this site.”

I going to repeat a previous comment I made just for you: “Talking to a creationist is no different from talking to a dog. Logic and evidence mean nothing to these people.”

Comment #89259

Posted by mplavcan on March 25, 2006 3:05 PM (e)

Just to follow up on this thread, since I posted previously. First off, I agree with one of the comments above that there is some good evolution programming available. However, here in Arkansas, simply channel surfing regularly brings up religious programming, much of which has anti-evolution content (ranging from an off the cuff comment to outright hour long programs devoted to the subject), and virtually never yields pro-evolution stuff.

In support of Jason’s article, my wife and I took our kids over to the Tulsa Aquarium yesterday. The aquarium is on the whole marvelous, and we commend the staff for running a marvelous facility. However, we noticed that information about evolution is studiously avoided throughout the display. There is a large tree of metazoan life in front of one room, but no explanation of what it means. There is another room devoted to adaptation, but it all seems to carefully avoid discussing HOW species come to be adapated. There is no discussion of relationships among animals (even though there is plenty of mention that an organism belongs to a taxonomic group). On the whole, we both found that in terms of visual effect, the display was spectacular, but educationally, it seemed empty.

Comment #89262

Posted by jonboy on March 25, 2006 3:10 PM (e)

bone saw wrote “You speak as though the theory of evolution has been decisively proven. It has not.” Since Intelligent Design theory is severely lacking in positive evidence, the main strategy is to simply discredit evolution. Evolution is, therefore, presented as a “theory in crisis,” in which many scientists are beginning to have doubts. Ironically, most of the negative argumentation creationists’ use against evolution arises from within the scientific community. Evolutionary biologists are quite open about the areas within evolution that are not fully understood. As with all fields of scientific inquiry, some details are simply not yet resolved. Nevertheless, the vast majority of scientists in the field have no doubt evolution has occurred and does occur; the controversy, where it exists, centers on the specific mechanisms. Falsely representing evolution as anything resembling a “theory in crisis” would be a tremendous disservice to the nations youth.
You like many Americans already have an inadequate understanding of what science is and is not. If ID were to become commonplace in science classes throughout the country, the line of distinction between science and pseudoscience would be obliterated.
ID also utterly fails at any attempts to predict and explain natural phenomenon. If the Earth and it’s creatures were designed purposefully, why have most animal species gone extinct? Why do whales have hipbones? Why do humans get goose bumps when they are cold? Why is DNA replication error prone? Why do blind mole rats develop embryonic eyes? Why are geographically isolated species so divergent from other species (consider Australian marsupials as an example)? Evolutionary theory can easily explain all these observations, whereas ID answers each question in exactly the same way, “the designer works in mysterious ways.” Would an understanding of ID lead to the prediction of antibiotic resistant bacteria arising from overuse of antibiotics? No, but an understanding of evolution and natural selection certainly would. The plain fact is Intelligent Design theory is not a science. ID is a theory only in the colloquial sense of the word, as an idea or guess. A scientific theory is something very different. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that, as part of their war on evolution, creationists’ also wish to replace naturalism with their own so-called “theistic science.” They also recognize that only by redefining science, to allow for supernatural causes, is it possible to define ID as scientific.My suggestion would be that you to go away and read some books and come back when you have a better understanding of science

Comment #89263

Posted by bjm on March 25, 2006 3:14 PM (e)

“Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture, and would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.”

I do understand this dilemma but it’s a bit like claiming that wanting to visit a foreign land would make you unpatriotic? It would seem (to me) that any percieved opposition to personal belief is just that - percieved (learned?). There are plenty of scientist for whom science and faith are not incompatible.

Comment #89269

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 4:00 PM (e)

I just don’t agree with not allowing students to explore other scientific ideas

I don’t agree with that either. (shrug)

What “scientific ideas” does ID offer?

WHat does ID theory, whatever the heck it is, propose the designer did, exactly.

What mechanisms does ID propose the designer used to do whatever the heck you think it did.

Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well … anything.

What is your alternative scientific viewpoint, and how can we use it to study the world around us.

, and saying that this particular school{Dover} was teaching religion is absolutely dishonest.

Hmm. Well, first let’s ask the Dover School Board members:

“If the Bible is right, God created us. If God did it, it’s history and also science”. – Dover School Board member John Rowand (Washington Post, Dec 26, 2004, p A01)

“Our country was founded on Christianity and our children should be taught as such.” – Board Member William Buckingham (Washington Post, Dec 26, 2004, p A01)

“Nearly 2000 years ago, someone died on the cross for us. Shouldn’t we have the courage to stand up for him?” – Board Member William Buckingham (New York Times, Jan 16, 2005)

“Our country was founded on Christian beliefs and principles…. You can teach creationism without it being Christianity. It can be presented as a higher power.” – Board Member Heather Geesey (York Daily Record, June 27, 2004)

Hmmmmmm. How about if we ask the IDers themselves whether ID is religion:

“We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” – Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document”

“1. To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies. 2. To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” – Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document”

“What I always say is that it’s not just scientific theory. The question is best understood as: Is God real or imaginary?” Phillip Johnson quoted, The Search for Intelligent Design in the Universe, Silicon Valley Magazine, January 9, 2000.

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” (Phillip Johnson, American Family Radio, Jan 10, 2003 broadcast)

“Intelligent design is the Logos of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” (William Dembski, Jul/Aug 1999, Touchstone, p. 84)

“So the question is: “How to win?” That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the “wedge” strategy: “Stick with the most important thing”—the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, “Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?” and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do.” (Phillip E. Johnson, Touchstone Magazine interview, June 2002.)

“The first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion….This is not to say that the biblical issues are unimportant; the point is rather that the time to address them will be after we have separated materialist prejudice from scientific fact.” (Phillip Johnson, “The Wedge”, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, July/August 1999.)

“Intelligent Design is an intellectual movement, and the Wedge strategy stops working when we are seen as just another way of packaging the Christian evangelical message…. The evangelists do what they do very well, and I hope our work opens up for them some doors that have been closed.” (Phillip Johnson. “Keeping the Darwinists Honest”, an interview with Phillip Johnson, Citizen Magazine, April 1999.)

Hmmmmmm.

Sounds pretty religious to me. How about to you?

Comment #89272

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 4:07 PM (e)

Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture, and would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.

Um, I thought ID was an “alternative scientific viewpoint” and wasn’t religion.

Make up your friggin mind, would you?

Geez.

(To audience) This is why I love fundies so. For years now, Discovery Institute has been waving its arms and shouting that ID is SCIENCE, nothing but SCIENCE, and has NO religious aims, goals, or purpose. Not a one. It’s just them lying atheist darwinists that think so.

And now here’s yet another ID supporter who simply cannot shut his mouth about his religious opinions. Like every other IDer I’ve ever met, he can’t go ten minutes without shouting “Jesus saves!!!!” and thus clearly showing everyone around him that (1) ID is religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it’s not, and (3) Judge Jones was entirely correct when he ruled that it is.

As I’ve always said, all you gotta do is let the fundies talk long enough, and they shoot themselves in the head every single time.

I love them for that.

Comment #89273

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 4:10 PM (e)

I think many of the people who are opposed to “ID” or “Creationism” show themselves to be anti-religious bigots.

Um, I thought all your pals in Dover swore under oath that ID was SCIENCE and was NOT RELIGION.

If ID is SCIENCE and is NOT RELIGION, would you mind explaining to me how opposing ID can be, uh, “anti-religious”?

Could you at least TRY to be consistent in your balderdash?

Geez. No wonder you dolts lost in Dover. (sigh)

Comment #89274

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 4:14 PM (e)

would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.

Well, alas for you, the Supreme Court has already decided that issue:

Thus, the Act is designed either to promote the theory of creation science that embodies a particular religious tenet or to prohibit the teaching of a scientific theory disfavored by certain religious sects. In either case, the Act violates the First Amendment.”

The Court found that there can be no legitimate state interest in protecting particular religions from scientific views “distasteful to them,” and concluded “that the First Amendment does not permit the State to require that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma.

Sorry if you don’t like that. (shrug)

Perhaps you’d be happier in a country where the state actively protects the religious beliefs of its citizens from anything that might be offensive to them. May I suggest Iran?

Comment #89278

Posted by Bone Saw on March 25, 2006 4:27 PM (e)

I never said “Jesus saves” you shmuck. I also said that the school board was not “teaching” religion, and that is correct, so those quotes mean nothing. Get over yourself. You can also take that stupid bigoted label “fundie” and stick it.

Comment #89279

Posted by Staffan S on March 25, 2006 4:30 PM (e)

Bone Saw wrote:

Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture,

Many people are mistaken about this or that concept in science. Do you think that the way to go is to change the science curriculum to accommodate their misconceptions?

Comment #89280

Posted by k.e. on March 25, 2006 4:37 PM (e)

Boner said :
“Many think that when you teach evolution that you automatically take God out of the picture,

Well THAT’s interesting.
So what bone-saw said is; “there are 2 ideas one of which is wrong,” is that right?

And by deduction the people promoting those ideas fall into 2 groups liars and not-liars, is that right ?

So to keep the children from finding out that one group is telling a lie you simply don’t tell them the truth, is that right?

So ultimately the children then become liars and make liars of the their own children.

The parents don’t get to be told by their own children they are liars and everyone is happy, is that right.

Bone-head:- I’ll leave it to you to work out who the liars are.

Just keep in mind an organization or individuals that promote lying can’t be trusted.


and would rather their tax money not go to teaching a theory that opposes their religious beliefs.”

Jesus and the Roman Penny story covers that one nicely don’t you thing? Or is that not part of your lie er religion.

Or do you go for the “Tho shalt not cast pearls before swine” ?
I agree just don’t teach evolution to the er ……swine , that way they can just remain blissfully unaware of their own ignorance. After all when the (war hero) pres. needs more cannon fodder he doesn’t want people who ask questions or are able tell the difference between BS and army breakfast cereal.

Comment #89282

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 5:11 PM (e)

Bone Saw: “you shmuck”.

Bone Saw: “Roger, you are a disgrace to this site.”

Someone spends a long time trying to explain to you why ID is a religious belief and you call him a shmuck. Bone Saw, you are a disgrace to this site.

Comment #89288

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 5:31 PM (e)

I never said “Jesus saves” you shmuck. I also said that the school board was not “teaching” religion, and that is correct, so those quotes mean nothing. Get over yourself. You can also take that stupid bigoted label “fundie” and stick it.

If you’re finished showing everyone what charming loving warm and caring people fundies are, would you mind answering my questions?

Forget them already? No problem. *ahem*

What “scientific ideas” does ID offer?

WHat does ID theory, whatever the heck it is, propose the designer did, exactly.

What mechanisms does ID propose the designer used to do whatever the heck you think it did.

Where can we see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well … anything.

What is your alternative scientific viewpoint, and how can we use it to study the world around us.

Hmmmmmm.

Sounds pretty religious to me. How about to you?

Um, I thought all your pals in Dover swore under oath that ID was SCIENCE and was NOT RELIGION.

If ID is SCIENCE and is NOT RELIGION, would you mind explaining to me how opposing ID can be, uh, “anti-religious”?

Comment #89290

Posted by Edin Najetovic on March 25, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

Quoth Bonetroll:
“I never said “Jesus saves” you shmuck.”

Don’t worry, he was just making fun of you :P

“I also said that the school board was not “teaching” religion, and that is correct, so those quotes mean nothing.”

Quoting ‘teaching’ does not make your point clear in any way… what are you trying to say? That the board didn’t make a ‘religion class’? You’d be right but that point is moot. What Lenny’s quotes show is that at the very least the board was religiously motivated in getting ID into classrooms, then shows they themselves think of ID as religious apologetics.

Whether you agree with this is a question of whether you agree with the constitution. That is really the crux of the matter and whether people are civil about it doesn’t matter much.

Comment #89295

Posted by KL on March 25, 2006 6:46 PM (e)

Bonesaw??!? This person is positively grating. I never thought I would miss Larry….or Carol…At least they attempt (poorly) to address the issues.

“Many people don’t think evolution is sound science, but it’s not only taught, it’s freakin exalted!”

What”people” are you referring to here? If it is the general public, why do you think science cares what the public “thinks” about anything? Perhaps you need to understand what science is and how it works.

Comment #89296

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

Quoting ‘teaching’ does not make your point clear in any way… what are you trying to say?

He’s just parroting the utterly idiotic argument made by the TLMC-ites:

“The attorney for the Dover Area School District said no one will be teaching intelligent design… The entire statement on the subject of intelligent design in next semester’s ninth-grade biology class will take about a minute, said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing the district. And because intelligent design – the concept that life is too complex to have evolved through natural selection, and therefore must have been created by an intelligent designer – is only “mentioned,” Thompson said; it’s not being “taught.”

Our fundie friend, though, is apparently just as pig-ignorant about Constitutional law as he is about… well … everything else. After all, it’s illegal to “teach” religion in public schools. It’s just as illegal to “mention” it, or “hint at” it, or “point to it” or “indicate it” or “sort of nod to it” or anything else.

ID is, as our fundie friend here has already made crushingly apparent, just religious objections to evolution. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Once again we see that (1) ID is religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying to us when they claim it isn’t, and (3) Judge Jones was entirely correct when he ruled that it is.

Comment #89297

Posted by Nobody on March 25, 2006 6:56 PM (e)

In some places, evolutionists may have to choose between the following two alternatives– (1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all. Which of these alternatives do you evolutionists prefer ?

Public opinion polls show that the majority of the public feels that both evolution and criticisms of evolution should be taught in the public schools. A lot of the resistance to the teaching of evolution is the result of prohibitions against the teaching of criticisms of evolution.

The courts might be able to prohibit the teaching of certain criticisms of evolution on the grounds that those criticisms constitute an endorsement of religion, but the courts cannot require that states or school districts require the teaching of evolution, relativity, or any other theory.

I don’t specifically remember evolution being taught in my biology classes in high school in Los Angeles in the early 1960‘s. Evolution was just something that we took for granted.

Though evolution theory has been described as the “foundation“ or the “unifying concept“ of the biological sciences, I feel that the theory is really not essential in the biological sciences. It is possible to describe the relationships between organisms without assuming that evolution actually occurred, and it is certainly not necessary to assume that evolution was driven solely by random mutation and natural selection.

Comment #89299

Posted by KL on March 25, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

“(1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all. Which of these alternatives do you evolutionists prefer ?”

I’d almost prefer the former. To teach non-science “criticisms” of evolution as science is counter-productive; it obscures the true nature of science and weakens the teaching of science. It is also dishonest; lying to students is about the worst thing anyone can do.

Comment #89300

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 7:09 PM (e)

Nobody: “In some places, evolutionists may have to choose between the following two alternatives— (1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all.”

Would teaching science and only science in science classes be ok with you?

Nobody: “I don’t specifically remember evolution being taught in my biology classes in high school in Los Angeles in the early 1960‘s.”

Then you know nothing about evolution?

Nobody: “I feel that the theory is really not essential in the biological sciences.”

I guess you do know nothing about evolution.

Comment #89301

Posted by KL on March 25, 2006 7:09 PM (e)

Sorry-I meant the latter. Long day in the cold…

Comment #89303

Posted by steve s on March 25, 2006 7:13 PM (e)

LOL. What we do without opponents like Bonesaw. They argue science unfairly excludes their supernatural ideas, and then immediately argue that their ideas are purely scientific, and not at all religious, then they call you an atheist when you criticise ID.

“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.” - Voltaire

Comment #89304

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 7:21 PM (e)

“I never said “Jesus saves” you shmuck.”

Don’t worry, he was just making fun of you :P

Perhaps this is one of Carol’s co-religionists. Which would make him a “putz” or a “shlemiel”.

But alas, it seems as if he, too, is not going to answer any of my simple questions. (sigh)

Comment #89305

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 7:23 PM (e)

In some places, evolutionists may have to choose between the following two alternatives— (1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all. Which of these alternatives do you evolutionists prefer ?

Um, Larry, both of your “alternatives” are already, uh, illegal.

Ya know, against the law. Illegal. Can’t do it.

It was in all the papers, Larry. Do try and keep up.

Comment #89306

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 7:25 PM (e)

I feel that the theory is really not essential in the biological sciences.

And we should give a flying fig what you “feel” because … ?

Comment #89307

Posted by Laser on March 25, 2006 7:31 PM (e)

Nobody is Larry. He still thinks science and what is taught as science should be decided by opinion polls.

Comment #89308

Posted by pough on March 25, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

I feel that the theory is really not essential in the biological sciences.

Oh! You’re a biologist?

It is possible to describe the relationships between organisms without assuming that evolution actually occurred…

Is that what you think biology is, describing the relationships between organisms? What about the study of populations that change when their environment changes? Does that need to assume that evolution (“populations of living things can change over time”) actually occurred? When evolution actually occurs, do biologists need to assume that evolution actually occurred?

…it is certainly not necessary to assume that evolution was driven solely by random mutation and natural selection.

Who thinks that evolution was driven solely by random mutations and natural selection, apart from creationists? Who thinks that mutations are purely random? Who thinks that natural selection is the only thing that happens?

Comment #89309

Posted by roger on March 25, 2006 7:42 PM (e)

Nobody: “Public opinion polls show that the majority of the public feels that both evolution and criticisms of evolution should be taught in the public schools.”

Do you think the public (including people who know nothing about science) should vote on every theory that is taught in science classes? Or would it be better to let scientists make these decisions?

Nobody: “A lot of the resistance to the teaching of evolution is the result of prohibitions against the teaching of criticisms of evolution.”

This resistance is coming from people who do not understand evolution and never will understand it. This resistance includes wasting taxpayer money in court, and it includes harassment of teachers. Are you suggesting we let these Christian thugs force the teaching of their ID/Creationism religious beliefs in science classes? Would this end the harassment? Or would the harassment continue until the teachers give up and never mention evolution? Actually this is already happening in Arkansas and other states. Some teachers water down evolution to avoid the harassment, and the best teachers get sick of Christian parents yelling at them and quit their jobs.

Comment #89311

Posted by BWE on March 25, 2006 8:07 PM (e)

jonboy wrote:

Since Intelligent Design theory is severely lacking in positive evidence…

That’s good. I like “ Since people in the Inteligent Design sciences are still in their infancy,…”

OK bone saw. Wait. did I just type in the words “bone saw”? Eeewww.

Anyway,

If the theory of evolution threatens your god then maybe you should get a better god.

Comment #89312

Posted by BWE on March 25, 2006 8:15 PM (e)

I really feel for these teachers and administrators having to deal with the attitudes of folks who have been taught that scientists are atheists and not to be trusted. A crying shame.

I’m glad I live in Portland. We simply don’t have this problem here.

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/34012/
This is cute and Bonesaw, you should read it. Then go get a better god

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/st…

And this, I believe is a direct result of supernatural interference by the FSM.

Comment #89314

Posted by Stevaroni on March 25, 2006 8:41 PM (e)

A lot of the resistance to the teaching of evolution is the result of prohibitions against the teaching of criticisms of evolution.

The problem, of course, is that you can’t ever have an even playing field. Imagine a class that honestly critiqued the rough edges of the TOE, then went on, in depth, to explain how there’s no physical evidence whatsoever of Biblical Creation.

Oops, except for that disputed flagellum. Imagine the poor teacher teacher who puts up a microscope slide, points to that little hair and says “That’s it, That’s all she wrote. Scientifically speaking, that’s all that the ‘proof’ of Special Creation hangs right now, so all likelihood it’s a myth, kiddies.”

Comment #89324

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

Nobody is Larry.

More accurately, Larry is nobody.

Comment #89325

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 1:11 AM (e)

Hey Bone, are you gonna answer my simple questions, or aren’t you.

Comment #89333

Posted by Nobody on March 26, 2006 5:45 AM (e)

Comment #89305 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on March 25, 2006 07:23 PM

In some places, evolutionists may have to choose between the following two alternatives— (1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all. Which of these alternatives do you evolutionists prefer ?

both of your “alternatives” are already, uh, illegal.

Uh, wrong. As for the first alternative above, creationism is the only criticism that is illegal to teach in any public school in the USA, and teaching ID in public schools is right now illegal only in the Dover Area School District (and perhaps other school districts in the area of the Middle District of Pennsylvania federal district court). As for the second alternative above, I don’t know the state evolution education standards of all the states, but there certainly must be some states where teaching evolution is left to the discretion of local school districts. In Epperson v. Arkansas, the Supreme Court only said that the teaching of evolution may not be prohibited – the Supreme Court did not say that the teaching of evolution must be required (and I do not believe that the Supreme Court has the authority to say that).

According to comments in this thread, avoiding teaching evolution in the public schools is not just a possibility – it is actually happening.

Comment #89308 posted by pough on March 25, 2006 07:40 PM

It is possible to describe the relationships between organisms without assuming that evolution actually occurred…

Is that what you think biology is, describing the relationships between organisms? What about the study of populations that change when their environment changes? Does that need to assume that evolution (“populations of living things can change over time”) actually occurred?

Putting words in my mouth again. I never said that biology consists only of describing relationships between organisms. But I feel that the most important applications of evolution theory are in the area of relationships between organisms, e.g., in phylogenetic trees, comparative anatomy, taxonomy, those kinds of things. And “changes over time” is not necessarily the same thing as evolution.

…it is certainly not necessary to assume that evolution was driven solely by random mutation and natural selection.

Who thinks that evolution was driven solely by random mutations and natural selection, apart from creationists?

If creationists do not believe that evolution occurred at all, then how can they believe anything about what supposedly drove it ? Actually, Darwinists believe that evolution was driven solely by random mutation (plus some minor causes of genetic variation, e.g., genetic drift – which is really just a slow random mutation – and gene flow) and natural selection.

Who thinks that mutations are purely random?

Can you name any natural mutation that isn’t?

Who thinks that natural selection is the only thing that happens?

Strangely, when defining evolution many Darwinists mention only natural selection and not random mutation or genetic variation.

Comment #89309 posted by roger on March 25, 2006 07:42 PM

Nobody: “Public opinion polls show that the majority of the public feels that both evolution and criticisms of evolution should be taught in the public schools.“

Do you think the public (including people who know nothing about science) should vote on every theory that is taught in science classes? Or would it be better to let scientists make these decisions?.

It is not what I think – it is the reality. You can argue until you are blue in the face that only scientists should decide what is taught in public-school science classes, but the general public has the final say, subject to the approval of the courts in regard to the establishment clause. Get used to it.

Comment #89335

Posted by PvM on March 26, 2006 8:09 AM (e)

It is not what I think — it is the reality. You can argue until you are blue in the face that only scientists should decide what is taught in public-school science classes, but the general public has the final say, subject to the approval of the courts in regard to the establishment clause. Get used to it.

Thank God we have judges like Jones and others who realize that what is taught or not taught in science classes is so often in violation of the establishment clause.
Too bad that the general public is so often misled by creationist arguments that they have to surpress scientific knowledge.
Will I get use to that? I hope not.

Comment #89346

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 10:46 AM (e)

In some places, evolutionists may have to choose between the following two alternatives— (1) the teaching of both evolution and criticisms of evolution in the public schools, and (2) evolution not being taught in the public schools at all. Which of these alternatives do you evolutionists prefer ?

both of your “alternatives” are already, uh, illegal.

Uh, wrong.

Uh, not wrong. Thanks for demonstrating your pig-ignorance once again, Larry.

Comment #89347

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 10:48 AM (e)

I feel that

Nobody cares what you “feel”, Larry. (shrug)

Comment #89348

Posted by k.e. on March 26, 2006 11:00 AM (e)

Larry (a nobody) said:

It is not what I think — it is the reality. You can argue until you are blue in the face that only scientists should decide what is taught in public-school science classes, but the general public has the final say, subject to the approval of the courts in regard to the establishment clause. Get used to it.

hahhahahhahhahah Larry WHAT do you know about reality ?

Tell us all about ‘imaginary numbers’ you know the ones you can’t imagine (giggle).

Tell us all about David Irvine and how you agree with him.

there, there

deny and project the creationism two step.

It is not what I think — it is not the reality. You I can argue until You are I am blue in the face that only scientists should decide what is taught in public-school science classes, but the general public has the The constitution has final say, subject to the approval of the courts in regard to the establishment clause. I can’tGet used to it.

Comment #89353

Posted by roger on March 26, 2006 11:29 AM (e)

Larry (Nobody) and Bone Saw and any other ID/creationists,

In Arkansas and other states there are Christian thugs who harass science teachers and these thugs are often successful in keeping evolution out of science classes even when they lose in court. In my opinion these Christian thugs need to get their teeth punched down their throats. What do you think should be done with these thugs?

Another question - since you disagree with the almost 100% of biologists about evolution, how do you explain all the life on earth? Did some god make every species of plant and animal that ever lived? Did this god make every species of insect, plant, worm, primate, dinosaur, etc. If this is what you believe, why do you think this god was so stupid that he didn’t let evolution do all this for him?

Comment #89354

Posted by William E Emba on March 26, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

Man, PT has become fatally boring. You guys are so 2005.

This from a man whose thinking is so 1805? Sheesh, what a loser.

Comment #89357

Posted by Renier on March 26, 2006 11:48 AM (e)

Well, Heddle does think a bat is a bird…

Comment #89358

Posted by steve s on March 26, 2006 12:05 PM (e)

Comment #88973

Posted by David Heddle on March 24, 2006 01:41 PM (e)

*Yawn*

Man, PT has become fatally boring. You guys are so 2005. You should bring back Gary Hurd and Great White Wonder to liven things up. Lenny’s black-helicopter theocracy conspiracies are very long in the tooth.

Heddle’s just bored. Nobody visits him at his jesus blog.

Comment #89361

Posted by Renier on March 26, 2006 12:29 PM (e)

Heddle’s just bored. Nobody visits him at his jesus blog.

Not even the One the blog is dedicated to…

You think I should come clean and brighten up his day by admitting that I am the Intelligent Designer?

Comment #89377

Posted by BWE on March 26, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

This from a man whose thinking is so 1805? Sheesh, what a loser.

1105

People visit my jesus blog periodically, maybe that’s because I’m better than you. I think that your boredom is a reflection of your inner turmoil regarding the faith that you invested so heavily in; and now you are selling low just to keep from losing it all..

I said it a little flippantly before but, after careful consideration, you do need a new god- one that won’t hurt your head, one that won’t keep you up all night, or make you feel three feet thick. One that won’t make you nervous, wondering what to do, one that makes you question what you think is true.

Comment #89388

Posted by Keanus on March 26, 2006 6:31 PM (e)

The topic of this entry was apt and relevant, until it got hijacked by closed-minded trolls. So let me comment on the original notion, that in places like Arkansas local administrators and teachers, either willingly or under pressure from parents and preachers, will block the teaching of up-to-date science.

I don’t think we who accept the validity of scientific pursuits should allow ourselves to get so gloomy over the obvious political and social obstructions that block the teaching of science. Despite appearances, the condition differs not one whit from what existed forty years ago. I’m now retired but I spent forty plus years supplying schools with science textbooks (as an editor, writer and publisher) and laboratory equipment and supplies. The current situation in Arkansas is the same that I encountered when I visited schools in that state and elsewhere in the 1960’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s. The schools there, and in many other places in the country don’t care what the Federal courts, the National Academy of Sciences, the AIBS, or the National Biology Teachers Association may have said. They all believe that science is atheistic and contradicts their world-view. And you know something, they’re right about the latter is not the former. They don’t want to live in the 21st (or the 20th) century. They’d much rather live in the past. This nation will move past the debate only when this particular brand of Christian fundamentalism, that objects to the 20th century, begins to die out culturally. The best we can probably do in the meantime is make sure they never again get as close to claiming dominant national political power as they do now. I don’t think the nation will stand for it, but never underestimate the duplicity and conniving of the religious right and its allies. Honesty is not among their strengths. I should know; I grew up amongst them in the Old South.

Comment #89395

Posted by B. Spitzer on March 26, 2006 7:10 PM (e)

In Arkansas and other states there are Christian thugs who harass science teachers and these thugs are often successful in keeping evolution out of science classes even when they lose in court. In my opinion these Christian thugs need to get their teeth punched down their throats.

I’m opposed to creationists intimidating school districts, but IMO this last comment crosses a line that simply shouldn’t be crossed in this debate. Not by anyone, not ever.

Comment #89397

Posted by Renier on March 26, 2006 7:21 PM (e)

I’m opposed to creationists intimidating school districts, but IMO this last comment crosses a line that simply shouldn’t be crossed in this debate. Not by anyone, not ever.

What comment, and what line?

Comment #89399

Posted by roger on March 26, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

B. Spitzer, you are right, my comment was inappropriate and I regret it.

I am still interested if anyone has a suggestion for what to do about Christians who yell at and intimidate science teachers who are just trying to do their jobs. Should we just give up and let these thugs have their way?

Comment #89401

Posted by roger on March 26, 2006 7:31 PM (e)

Renier, “What comment, and what line?” It was #89353. Sorry about my inappropriate comment.

Comment #89405

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 8:29 PM (e)

in places like Arkansas local administrators and teachers, either willingly or under pressure from parents and preachers, will block the teaching of up-to-date science.

We already have the remedy for that — sue the crap out of them. It’s illegal to, as the Supreme Court put it, “prohibit the teaching of a scientific theory disfavored by certain religious sects”.

It’s time we use that remedy.

This nation will move past the debate only when this particular brand of Christian fundamentalism, that objects to the 20th century, begins to die out culturally.

They’ve been here for almost 100 years. I expect they’ll still be a here a good while longer.

The best we can probably do in the meantime is make sure they never again get as close to claiming dominant national political power as they do now. I don’t think the nation will stand for it, but never underestimate the duplicity and conniving of the religious right and its allies.

The fundies have already discovered that the vast majority of the US does not support their political agenda, and they simply cannot win the power they want through democratic means.

They CAN, however, still win it through NON-democratic means.

Comment #89406

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 8:33 PM (e)

I am still interested if anyone has a suggestion for what to do about Christians who yell at and intimidate science teachers who are just trying to do their jobs.

Here is the advice that I give to every teacher who emails me to ask what they should do about the creationsit nutball who is hassling them about teaching evolution:

Look them straight in the eye and tell them that it is illegal to teach creationism or to drop evolution oiut of deference to anyone’s religious beliefs. Illegal. As in “against the law”. As in “can’t do it” As in “try it, and get sued”. Hand them a copy of the Supreme Court’s Aguillard decision and have them read it, twice. And if they don’t like that, then hand them the business card of a local attorney and invite them to take the matter up with the Supreme Court themselves.

Then tell them to go away.

Comment #89413

Posted by mplavcan on March 26, 2006 9:13 PM (e)

It would be nice to sue to get evolution taught in schools, but to do so one would have to have a plaintiff. Very few people are screaming about teaching evolution – that’s the whole point of Jason’s paper. The pressure is subtle, effective, and very difficult to deal with.

For most people that I have spoken with, there really is no grounds for a suit, because there is no evidence. The people applying pressure and making threats are for the most part not yelling and screaming. Rather, they make comments, have little talks, and make things clear without actually saying them. Certainly it would take a rare fool to codify these policies on paper. Most people do not show the “breathtaking inanity” of the Dover school board.

Teachers down here do not have tenure, and as anyone knows there is more than one way to get someone fired. Nobody is going to be dismissed because of teaching evolution. Instead, they’ll get bad evaluations, begin to develop a paper trail of problems and issues, and so on. Harassment alone can make a job so unpleasant that only the most die-hard people can continue with their sanity intact. Furthermore, these folks live in communities, and they have to function outside of the classroom. I have several neighbors who have not spoken to me ever since I publicly spoke out against an attempt to ban sex-education books, and things have not improved since the local cable TV began broadcasting a talk that I gave in on ID. Fortunately, I have tenure, and my own circle of friends. But most public school teachers don’t have my good fortune.

The only thing we can do is keep on educating as best we can, and publicly addressing the fallacies of the anti-science movement.

Comment #89415

Posted by roger on March 26, 2006 9:19 PM (e)

Rev Dr Lenny Flank, comment 89406 - That is excellent advice.

What do you think should be done about the 10% of Arkansas teachers who teach creationism? Should they be warned? I would suggest they be fired. But apparently in Arkansas only teachers that teach evolution are in danger of being fired.

This is from the news article for this thread: “According to his survey, about 20 percent are trying to teach evolution and think they are doing a good job; 10 percent are teaching creationism, even though during the workshop he discusses the legally shaky ground on which they stand. Another 20 percent attempt to teach something but feel they just do not understand evolution. The remaining 50 percent avoid it because of community pressure. On an e-mail to members of a list he keeps of people interested in evolution, Randy reported that the latter 50 percent do not cover evolution because they felt intimidated, saw no need to teach it, or might lose their jobs.”

Comment #89420

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 11:45 PM (e)

It would be nice to sue to get evolution taught in schools, but to do so one would have to have a plaintiff.

Well, they managed to find one in the Maclean case. They managed to find one in the Aguillard case. They managed to find one in the Epperson case. They managed to find one in the Sellman case. They managed to find one in the Kitzmiller case.

So why can’t they find one anywhere else?

Comment #89421

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 11:48 PM (e)

What do you think should be done about the 10% of Arkansas teachers who teach creationism? Should they be warned?

They should be fired. And then they should be sued. And so should the school district that allows it.

Teaching creationism is illegal. Period. End of discussion.

There is simply no legal defense for them. None at all whatsoever.

Comment #89422

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 11:54 PM (e)

For most people that I have spoken with, there really is no grounds for a suit, because there is no evidence.

Well, either the district is teaching evolution, or it’s not.

If it’s not, and evolution is part of the state standards, then they have no defense whatsoever to offer. They have to meet the standards, and they’re not. It doesn’t matter who is doing what to whom.

If evolution is not in the state standards, they still lose — it’s illegal to drop evolution in deference to anyone’s feelings, whatever excuse they offer.

If they think they can produce a valid secular reason why they’re not teaching evolution, I’d sure like to see them try. In front of a judge.

I’d be willing to bet my next month’s pay that they can’t do it.

Comment #89431

Posted by Nobody on March 27, 2006 7:23 AM (e)

Comment #89422 posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on March 26, 2006 11:54 PM

Well, either the district is teaching evolution, or it’s not.

If it’s not, and evolution is part of the state standards, then they have no defense whatsoever to offer. They have to meet the standards, and they’re not.

OK, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a public-school teacher can be required to teach evolution if the education standards require that evolution be taught –

“ In 1994, in Peloza v. Capistrano School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court finding that a teacher’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is not violated by a school district’s requirement that evolution be taught in biology classes. Rejecting plaintiff Peloza’s definition of a ‘religion‘ of ‘evolutionism,‘ the Court found that the district had simply and appropriately required a science teacher to teach a scientific theory in biology class. (John E. Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, (1994) 37 F. 3rd 517) “

Also, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the Supreme Court invalidated laws prohibiting the teaching of evolution –

“In 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. The Court held the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not permit a state to require that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any particular religious sect or doctrine. (Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) 393 U.S. 97, 37 U.S. Law Week 4017, 89 S. Ct. 266, 21 L. Ed 228)“

The above two case summaries are from –

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3747_8…

However, I think that the above two decisions are about as far as the courts are willing to go in regard to promoting evolution education in the public schools.

If evolution is not in the state standards, they still lose —- it’s illegal to drop evolution in deference to anyone’s feelings, whatever excuse they offer.

If they think they can produce a valid secular reason why they’re not teaching evolution, I’d sure like to see them try. In front of a judge.

You have a very strange idea of the power of the courts. Apparently Judge Jones’ activism has gone to your head.

If the courts can require that education standards include evolution, then the courts can require that education standards include anything, including underwater basketweaving. The courts can prohibit certain things from being taught if teaching those things violates the Constitution in some way, but the courts cannot require that education standards include anything. Setting education standards is not the business of the courts.

Comment #89435

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 8:19 AM (e)

Nobody cares what you think, Larry. (shrug)

As I’ve already noted, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to either (1) teach creationism or (2) blot out evolution because it offends someone’s religious beliefs.

The court also ruled that there simply is no valid secular reason for not teaching evolution.

It’s illegal to do. Period.

If teachers/school districts are doing it anyway, that is OUR fault for not using the legal remedies that are available to us.

Sue the crap out of them.

Comment #89443

Posted by Edin Najetovic on March 27, 2006 8:47 AM (e)

Quoth Nobody Fafarman:
“If the courts can require that education standards include evolution, then the courts can require that education standards include anything, including underwater basketweaving.”

To see you dancing on the corpse of logic grieves me greatly. I can’t even begin to fathom what the leap Evolution > Basketweaving is supposed to represent, so I’ll just nod and let you desecrate human reasoning.

Alternatively, you could explain yourself. But I have a feeling I don’t want to know.

Comment #89492

Posted by PvM on March 27, 2006 11:33 AM (e)

Larry wrote:

Apparently Judge Jones’ activism has gone to your head.

Name calling is not going to help your ‘arguments’ Larry. Of course, given the nature of your arguments, I am not surprised that you have to resort to this.

It’s hard to argue these case on its merrits isn’t it? Especially if one has to learn yet so much about law?

Comment #89506

Posted by Alann on March 27, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

I really am tired of rabid evolutionists. The anti-evolutionists on this thread have some reasonable points and it is not fair to simply dismiss them.

Bone Saw wrote:

Wow, ok, anytime that one “theory” is allowed to be studied and another is not, that to me is censorship….

If your evidence is so sound, then it shouldn’t bother you that an alternative “theory” is offered.{not actually taught}

… and later

Comparing a book on Intelligent Design to anything related to Holocaust denial is absurd, and it also shows your obvious paranoia. I think all of you know what ID is, even if it doesn’t fall under your definition of what a “theory” is.

I think there is a book on it in the Dover library for those of you who don’t know.

I feel the need to add my thoughts:
- Evolutionists are paranoid but that doesn’t mean the creationists aren’t out to get us.
- Any attempt to ban an idea for objectionable content is censorship and is inherently wrong; however the Dover case was not about objectionable content, the judge found that the proffered material contained religious content, and was promoted with a clear religious agenda. Under the constitution such material cannot be taught in state funded public schools. The state is not allowed to play favorites.
- I really don’t know what ID is. ID refuses to define itself past a synopsis that there is a designer (how old is the earth? is the designer an influencing force, or the only force? can the designer be studied as part of the natural world, or is the designer supernatural?). Micheal Behe (“Darwin’s Black Box”) seems to support a theistic evolution view, while other interpretations seem very young earth creationist (“Of People and Pandas”)
- Specifically in the case of “Of People and Pandas” the book contains factual errors. Trying to deny all of evolution is ridiculous. We can witness and reproduce evolution in microscopic lifeforms where there are thousands of generations in a year. Evolutions merely offers an explanation for the facts, trying to claim all the facts are made up is crazy. We know that humans are between 95 and 98% genetically similar to monkeys, we can easily reproduce the results, so the question is how do you explain that if you don’t believe in evolution.

On a separate note:

Nobody (Larry?) wrote:

The courts can prohibit certain things from being taught if teaching those things violates the Constitution in some way, but the courts cannot require that education standards include anything. Setting education standards is not the business of the courts.

This is true. The court has no business setting standards. Unfortunately this misses the point in this case, evolution is in the state standards. The question is to what extend should action be taken when the school neglects to teach those standards.
I think the states needs to include those evolution standards in standardized tests in order to objectively measure if the school is doing its job.

Comment #89525

Posted by Moses on March 27, 2006 2:04 PM (e)

Poor Larry:

Comment #89333

Posted by Nobody on March 26, 2006 05:45 AM (e)

Uh, wrong. As for the first alternative above, creationism is the only criticism that is illegal to teach in any public school in the USA….

Hasn’t quite figured out that there are no scientific alternatives to evolution which, in and of itself, is one of the most tested and “proven” scientific theories in existence and has withstood over 150 years of fundie bashing and has grown and expanded from mere “natural selection” to incorporate many scientific discoveries, such as Mendelian heredity, DNA, genetic drift and other mechanisms of evolution. What strikes me the most though is that you’d think that if the fundies might have actually figured out that if they had a case, they might have won their point since Origin of Species was published in 1859. We’re in 2006 and their case gets weaker and weaker every year, not stronger. No matter how much chatter is put up.

And, with the increased availability of information, I foresee that their position will continue to get weaker and weaker. No longer can whole groups of people be kept ignorant by simply withholding information and giving them propaganda. And, while many will chose to not expand their horizons, more will. And as they fall away, they take their children and grandchildren with them.

And we see some of the effects of greater information access today. Already, in America, people who identify themselves as secular non-religious are about 17% of the population or so. (Depending on study and question wording.) Back in the 1960’s, it was just a few percent. But as the information flows, it becomes more and more difficult to remain ignorant of the various flaws of religion and the soundness of evolution. And, as more people go away, it becomes easier for those who have doubts about their religion to leave as well.

To make it worse, the fundies are very counter productive to their own cause. The more they lie, cheat and make fools of themselves, the more their failures and failings become common knowledge. This in turn drives people away. Not all, but it still drives them away. On a personal note, I wouldn’t be surprised (though I can’t prove it) in the slightest for every three or four loyal foot soldiers that rail against the injustice of Dover, someone who was on the fence leaves creationism behind for good seeing the lies and hypocrisy.

Comment #89527

Posted by bjm on March 27, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

Alann

Tempers can get a little flared but at least on this forum issues do get a hearing. Go to Uncommon Descent and ANY comment that deviates from the party-line is deleted - end of discussion. That is paranoia.

The accusation of censorship is also misguided. The ID people insist on calling their ideas science, despite a judge being able to clearly see they are religious constructs (that obviousl doesn’t count though!). I don’t see objections to deception as being censorship. As you stated “ID refuses to define itself….” Until it does why should it be given any time in a school environment, especially in contradiction to a well defined scientific theory such as evolution.

There may be personal objections to evolution but until someone comes up with legitimite contradictory scientific evidence (not the drivel the DI pump out) personal objections will only ever be a matter of opinion. That doesn’t diminish them. To most rational people there is no contradiction between science and religion. You have to ask who is being rational here?

Comment #89531

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 27, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

And we see some of the effects of greater information access today. Already, in America, people who identify themselves as secular non-religious are about 17% of the population or so. (Depending on study and question wording.) Back in the 1960’s, it was just a few percent. But as the information flows, it becomes more and more difficult to remain ignorant of the various flaws of religion and the soundness of evolution. And, as more people go away, it becomes easier for those who have doubts about their religion to leave as well.

Indeed. Despite what the fundies would have us all believe, religious observance in America and Canada is actually declining by almost one percent a year, and has been for at least 25 years.

The details are here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm.

What’s really going on in American Christianity is that the educated moderates are leaving, and the noisy rightwing fanatics are basically taking over. The number of Christians in this country is not increasing.

Comment #89632

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 6:45 PM (e)

The anti-evolutionists on this thread have some reasonable points

No they don’t.

and it is not fair to simply dismiss them.

Yes it is.

They had their chance in Dover to present any evidence that they wanted to present, to make any point that they wanted to make, to point out any flaws or dishonesty in evolution that they thought they could find.

They shot their load, and they lost. After years of handwaving and whining, they turned out to have nothing scientific to present. Nothing at all.

The buzzer has rung. The game is over.

Comment #89637

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

This will now be my standard response to all the ID nutters who want to whine and weep about Judge Jones’ decision:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #89658

Posted by Pistol Pete on March 27, 2006 7:37 PM (e)

One judge’s ruling does not a victory make. That buzzer you heard was just the one after the time-out. We’re still in the first quarter. Game on!

Comment #89666

Posted by KiwiInOz on March 27, 2006 7:51 PM (e)

So Pistol Pete, does that mean that there are three more quarters before the predicted demise of “Darwinism”? By my calculation that means about 450 years of listening to creationist/ID drivel. Can we call game over then?

Comment #89672

Posted by J. Biggs on March 27, 2006 7:59 PM (e)

Larry wrote:

According to comments in this thread, avoiding teaching evolution in the public schools is not just a possibility — it is actually happening.

Do you actually agree that bullying teachers into avoiding a subject using harassment or termination is appropriate? I really hope that you are not that pusillanimous. Not only is it unethical to go about pushing your agenda this way it is completely illegal. At least we “Darwinists” use the law when we disagree rather than resorting to these methods. I definitely think we have the moral high ground here.

Putting words in my mouth again. I never said that biology consists only of describing relationships between organisms. But I feel that the most important applications of evolution theory are in the area of relationships between organisms, e.g., in phylogenetic trees, comparative anatomy, taxonomy, those kinds of things. And “changes over time” is not necessarily the same thing as evolution.

If evolution is not “changes” in the frequency of alleles “over time” then what is it? How do you explain comparative anatomy and the fact that so many organisms have analogous parts and that our anatomy is so very similar, and that evolution predicts that that organisms with more recent common ancestors will have more in common anatomically. Have you ever dissected a cat or a human. I have and guess what most of muscular system, circulatory system, nervous system, endocrine system, etc… were very much the same. How does ID, or your favorite IC, contribute anything to comparative anatomy. I would also like to know how you would accomplish cladistics without evolution. And taxonomy would mean very little with-out common descent as a guide. Indeed biology without evolutionary theory would make very little sense. But if you have an alternative theory that explains everything ToE explains and is more predictive, lets have it.

If creationists do not believe that evolution occurred at all, then how can they believe anything about what supposedly drove it ? Actually, Darwinists believe that evolution was driven solely by random mutation (plus some minor causes of genetic variation, e.g., genetic drift — which is really just a slow random mutation — and gene flow) and natural selection.

I have read a few creationist books and the author’s I read indeed believe in “micro” evolution but not “macro” evolution. Of course macro-evolution is just a whole lot of micro-evolution. It has been my experience that “random mutations” is what seems to offend creationists, because they see it as an “unguided” process that does not require God. IMO, nobody can really know if mutations are random or that evolution is unguided. If there is a teacher pushing an atheistic agenda in science class, then they are just as reprehensible as any teacher pushing creationism or ID. And Larry, who are you to call scientists that know common descent and ToE to be a scientific fact “Darwinists” and then go on to tell us what we believe.

However, I think that the above two decisions are about as far as the courts are willing to go in regard to promoting evolution education in the public schools.

That remains to be seen, unless you designed some kind of time machine with your mechanical engineering skills.

You have a very strange idea of the power of the courts. Apparently Judge Jones’ activism has gone to your head.

If the courts can require that education standards include evolution, then the courts can require that education standards include anything, including underwater basketweaving. The courts can prohibit certain things from being taught if teaching those things violates the Constitution in some way, but the courts cannot require that education standards include anything. Setting education standards is not the business of the courts.

You are right, setting standards is up to the state or the school boards. The court can step in if a religious agenda is being pushed because there is a Constitutional separation of church and state.

Comment #89673

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 27, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

One judge’s ruling does not a victory make. That buzzer you heard was just the one after the time-out. We’re still in the first quarter. Game on!

Since you fancy sports metaphors, here’s an appropriate one: ID is basically a boxer who got knocked out and was left lying on the floor of the arena unconscious with his teeth knocked out and scattered around him, while everyone else left. Now the boxer has gotten up, is looking around confusedly, and who has decided to get the international boxing federation to declare that he actually won.

PS: ID has not lost just one judge’s ruling.

Comment #89674

Posted by Piston Pete on March 27, 2006 8:06 PM (e)

What it means is that if you think you have triumphed from one silly court decision “the buzzer has rung”, “game over” then you folks are in for a big disappointment.

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

Comment #89679

Posted by Moses on March 27, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

Comment #89658

Posted by Pistol Pete on March 27, 2006 07:37 PM (e)

One judge’s ruling does not a victory make. That buzzer you heard was just the one after the time-out. We’re still in the first quarter. Game on!

Funny you should say that after about 150 years of losing… But to put a spoke in your little analogy, aren’t there 4 quarters in a game…

1st Quarter - Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)
2nd Quarter - McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982)
3rd Quarter - Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)
4th Quarter - Kitzmiller vs Dover and/or Segraves v. State of California and/or Webster v. New Lenox School District and/or Peloza v. Capistrano School District and/or Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education and/or Rodney LeVake v Independent School District 656, et al. and/or Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District (in appeals) and/or Hurst v. Newman.

Notice a theme here? You lose.

Comment #89680

Posted by Moses on March 27, 2006 8:09 PM (e)

Comment #89674

Posted by Piston Pete on March 27, 2006 08:06 PM (e)

What it means is that if you think you have triumphed from one silly court decision “the buzzer has rung”, “game over” then you folks are in for a big disappointment.

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

As he says from his back on the mat…

Comment #89681

Posted by B. Spitzer on March 27, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

In light of the pattern of intimidation faced by teachers who want to explain evolution in a science classroom, a quote from this brochure recently released by the Kansas BOE in defense of their hijacking of the state standards is especially breathtaking:

Q: Are the changes educationally appropriate? It has been argued that many biology teachers will disregard them.

A: Yes. They seek objective discussions of origins that are less stressful for students and teachers. Teachers testified that they are afraid to teach origins objectively because of pressure from institutions of science and education.

How terrible that institutions of science and education are pressuring teachers to teach science! What is this world coming to?

Comment #89690

Posted by Stephen Elliott on March 27, 2006 8:32 PM (e)

Posted by Piston Pete on March 27, 2006 08:06 PM (e)

What it means is that if you think you have triumphed from one silly court decision “the buzzer has rung”, “game over” then you folks are in for a big disappointment.

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

Do you have a point? If so, what is it?

What is ID theory?

Comment #89713

Posted by J Simes on March 27, 2006 9:37 PM (e)

Comment #89435 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 08:19 AM

Nobody cares what you think, Larry. (shrug)

Loony Flake, your above statement got old a long time ago. Can‘t you think of something new?

As I’ve already noted, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to either (1) teach creationism or (2) blot out evolution because it offends someone’s religious beliefs.

Quote one court ruling that says that evolution must be included in education standards. You can‘t do it. Here are eight major decisions concerning the teaching of evolution and criticisms of evolution – http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3747_8…

That is just about all there is. If it were possible to sue a government entity for failure to require the teaching of evolution in the public schools, do you think that it would not have been done by now?

Comment #89506 posted by Alann on March 27, 2006 12:50 PM

This is true. The court has no business setting standards. Unfortunately this misses the point in this case, evolution is in the state standards. The question is to what extend should action be taken when the school neglects to teach those standards.

One state – Iowa – has no state science education standards at all (I think that Iowans have the right idea). I presume that in some other states the state evolution education standards are just advisory, and local school districts, schools, and/or teachers may have discretion as to how or whether to teach evolution.

The Fordham Institute (not affiliated with Fordham Univ.) has issued a recent report on the state science education standards in the individual states, and this report pays great attention to the evolution standards – see http://www.edexcellence.net/institute/publicatio… A map showing grades assigned to state evolution education standards is in the “Executive Summary“ – the lowest grades are “failed“ and “not even failed“ (Kansas – LOL). The state evolution education standards also received numerical scores of 0 to 3 points. Evolution is the only scientific subject with its own individual score. Many of the individual state reports discuss the state evolution education standards. For the non-pdf versions of the different sections of the report, scroll down below the report‘s main page, which re-appears above all of the different sections after you call them up individually by clicking on the section title in the table of contents.

I think the states needs to include those evolution standards in standardized tests in order to objectively measure if the school is doing its job.

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests – after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences. If a state test includes evolution and some state schools don‘t teach evolution, students can improve their chances of passing the state test by studying evolution on their own. I think that including evolution in state tests is unfair to students who have not learned evolution because they transferred from out-of-state schools that do not teach evolution. Actually, I am against the whole idea of state education standards and I feel that if we are going to have any education standards at all, they should be national standards.

The latest twist is that Georgia is considering requiring that Bible study courses be available to all public-school students in the state – see http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…

Comment #89753

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 27, 2006 10:58 PM (e)

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

Very scary. The wingnut reign of terror. I’m quite frightened.

But underestimating? Let’s see whether anyone’s ‘underestimating’ you guys.

a) you have no theory of intelligent design (think so? name it.)
b) you have no peer reviewed literature
c) you have no research
d) you have utterly failed to convince more than the tiniest fraction of scientists of the correctness of ID
e) you have lost every court ruling concerning the teaching of Creationism and ID.

I don’t think we’re ‘misunderestimating’ you guys at all. We know ID is driven by persistent, dishonest religious zealots. We’ve figured that out. It wasn’t hard.

If your ‘threat’ is that of a court ruling in your favor, I don’t think many people here think that’s impossible – that some corrupt judge will come along and rule in favor of ID because of political and religious bias, ignoring the separation of church and state. We all know that’s a risk.

But it ain’t happened yet. And you have failed everything else you have attempted to do, and there is no reason to believe that any of A-D above will ever change.

Comment #89757

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on March 27, 2006 11:07 PM (e)

The latest twist is that Georgia is considering requiring that Bible study courses be available to all public-school students in the state

This last statement is, of course, a complete non-sequitor, since the evolution/ID debate has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Right?

Comment #89764

Posted by roger on March 27, 2006 11:22 PM (e)

J Simes comment 89713: “evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part)”

I don’t think so. Biology without evolution would be boring. Many teachers don’t want to be harassed by Christian parents so they don’t teach evolution. The students of these teachers become bored and are then likely to hate science in my opinion.

This is from http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/pda/A673319

The theory of evolution is a staggeringly beautiful and rather clever concept that aims to describe how animals, plants, bacteria and all other living things have adapted, and continue to adapt, to their surroundings. The theory allows mankind to perceive life’s history down the eons and understand how and why all living things came to be.

Evolution is the grand unifying theory of biology. It is a solid core running through all modern research from molecular biology to genomics to ecology. Where once biology was a disjointed group of subjects whose main role seemed to be just to classify life into neat categories, it is now at the forefront of scientific research. Indeed, the study of heredity - genetics - is said to be leading mankind into a biotechnological golden age with ever-more potent pharmaceuticals, cleaner fuels and improved crops.

Comment #89774

Posted by gwangung on March 27, 2006 11:39 PM (e)

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests — after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part)

Well, sir, you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

After all, what biologists say is that evolution is the backbone organizing principle of biology (and at the very least, as important to biology as plate tectonics is to geology).

I think a BIG part of the problem is that evolution is NOT an important part of statewide standardized tests.

Comment #89782

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 11:55 PM (e)

One judge’s ruling does not a victory make.

Nope. But the fact that ID/creationists have lost every single Federal court case they have ever been involved with – around a dozen in the past 30 years —– means that the score is a gazillion to zero. (shrug)

Comment #89783

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 11:57 PM (e)

Loony Flake

Wow, that was clever beyond measure.

Comment #89784

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 27, 2006 11:59 PM (e)

The latest twist is that Georgia is considering requiring that Bible study courses be available to all public-school students in the state

As I recall, they tried that in Florida too — and quickly withdrew it when they, uh, didn’t like the results.

Comment #89785

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 12:02 AM (e)

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

Glad to.

Keep losing in court. (shrug)

Comment #89786

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 12:05 AM (e)

Nobody cares what you think, Larry. (shrug)

Loony Flake, your above statement got old a long time ago. Can‘t you think of somethin

Hey, looks like Larry has finally found himself a friend. Great. Larry is a lonely old coot, and maybe having a friend will make him a little less cranky.

Unless, of course, this guy is just another one of Larry’s sockpuppets.

Comment #89787

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 12:07 AM (e)

Here are eight major decisions concerning the teaching of evolution and criticisms of evolution — http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3747_8…

That is just about all there is.

By any chance, did you notice who, uh, lost all those decisions? Every single one of them? Without exception?

Comment #89789

Posted by k.e. on March 28, 2006 12:18 AM (e)

IMO J.Simes is ‘nobody’…all the classic Loony Fafarman markers are there.

Gee Larry getting sick of being nobody ?

Or are you going to treat us with an arguement with yourself ?

Oh wait….the designer is bi-polar …heck I thought he was just gay.

Comment #89811

Posted by BWE on March 28, 2006 12:56 AM (e)

Comment #89674
Posted by Piston Pete on March 27, 2006 08:06 PM (e)

What it means is that if you think you have triumphed from one silly court decision “the buzzer has rung”, “game over” then you folks are in for a big disappointment.

That’s ok though, keep underestimating your opponent.

I will never underestimate fundies. Fundies are just like any other violent fearful creature trapped in a corner with nowhere to go. I am fully aware that fundies are viscious, dangerous and should be handled with full knowledge that violent self-defense will probably be necessary. But I will not back down. I’m pissed off because I can’t stand being told to believe in the face of absurdity. There is not a single redeaming value to a fundie when you are discussing their fundementalism. Lies are the norm. Obfustcation and agression are the methods of debate. Ignorance is currancy and violence is commonplace. I don’t want them in my world. I don’t have moral tolerance for them. It has nothing to do with religious tolerance.

Comment #89952

Posted by KL on March 28, 2006 7:36 AM (e)

“evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences.”

Not in secondary education, it isn’t. To get a diploma in most states Biology is required, one of usually two courses required in science.

Besides, I’d rather hear what BIOLOGISTS think is relevant to their field, not the general public.

Comment #89957

Posted by Red Mann on March 28, 2006 7:49 AM (e)

Another “Soap” to go with “As The Wingnut Turns”: “All My Aliases”.

Comment #89964

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 8:01 AM (e)

IMO J.Simes is ‘nobody’…all the classic Loony Fafarman markers are there.

Yes, I think so too.

Here’s something for Larry to look at:

http://hnn.us/articles/23113.html

Some excerpts:

Wilson is attempting to mimic true academic inquiry solely in order to baffle it and thus advance his “biblical” conclusions. The initial foolishness of his approach has given way to an increasingly sophisticated assault on the foundations of academic scholarship, made possible by Genovese’s tutelage. Perhaps in ten years time, Wilson, Wilkins, or others inspired by them will have mastered the historical data and the scholarly literature sufficiently to cause genuine confusion among sincere students of southern history. It will mark an important step forward for Neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and white supremacist activists, whether Pastor Wilson (or Genovese) consciously intends to advance these specific causes or not, and will open new legislative possibilities for them at both the state and national levels.

There is more at stake, then, in efforts to challenge Neo-Confederate historical misinformation than the surface features of the portrait of southern slavery presented in private Christian academies and home schools. The very definition of evidence itself is under attack along with academic methods of analyzing evidence. This quarter of the rightwing assault on academia therefore shares a common ideological foundation with broader Fundamentalist campaigns to advance Creationist and Intelligent Design claims at the expense of legitimate scientific findings with respect to evolution.

Comment #90005

Posted by k.e. on March 28, 2006 9:27 AM (e)

Yes (Yes Yes) Lenny,
They can’t help themselves, the pro-dominionist, manifest destiny, loony right wing wankers all fall into the same basket.
Holocaust,evolution,slavery,global warming,southern bigotry deniers.
And yet with a TOTAL FANATICAL social Darwinist agenda, death penalty support on the one hand and anti abortion on the other …..is that what Christ meant when he said “don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing”?.

Its almost as thought they hate their mothers and grandmothers…that may explain the high divorce numbers and the homosexual neighbor in “American Beauty”.

It’s so simple its stupid.

Comment #90052

Posted by Alann on March 28, 2006 10:39 AM (e)

J Simes wrote:

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests — after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences. If a state test includes evolution and some state schools don‘t teach evolution, students can improve their chances of passing the state test by studying evolution on their own. I think that including evolution in state tests is unfair to students who have not learned evolution because they transferred from out-of-state schools that do not teach evolution. Actually, I am against the whole idea of state education standards and I feel that if we are going to have any education standards at all, they should be national standards.

A federal standard may be better; however, I think it is more practical to implement state standards based on federal recommendations, with some financial incentives to back it up.

I am not as concerned about the fairness of the test. The principle purpose of these tests is to grade the school not the student.

Also you are correct that evolution would only represent a small portion of the test. My hope is that such tests would quickly exposes any school which fails to teach the basics in any important field.

Its not just biology which suffers, to my knowledge the only significantly measured standards are English and Math. According to a study (I believe in 2002-2003) about 10% of Americans could not find the US on a globe (about 80% could not find Iraq); A separate study indicated that bout 25% believe the sun rotates around the earth.

Comment #90078

Posted by J. Biggs on March 28, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

That is just about all there is. If it were possible to sue a government entity for failure to require the teaching of evolution in the public schools, do you think that it would not have been done by now?

Anyone can sue anyone else for any reason. Many frivolous law suits are filed every day. As Dr. Lenny said, failing to require the teaching evolution because it offends certain religious sects is against the law, meaning a law suit in this case is far from frivolous. Just because a case like this has not made it to court yet does not exclude the future possibility. In fact it is highly probable that such a suit will be filed in the future and judging from all the decisions you previously mentioned it is not too hard to guess which side would win.

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests — after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences. If a state test includes evolution and some state schools don‘t teach evolution, students can improve their chances of passing the state test by studying evolution on their own. I think that including evolution in state tests is unfair to students who have not learned evolution because they transferred from out-of-state schools that do not teach evolution. Actually, I am against the whole idea of state education standards and I feel that if we are going to have any education standards at all, they should be national standards.

Evolution is neither a small nor an unimportant part of Biology. If you knew anything about biology, which you don’t, you would know that. And it seems strange to me that you spend such an inordinate amount of time arguing against something you think small and unimportant. Biology is no less a part of the sciences than physics or chemistry. The fact that you are ignorant in most aspects of the biologic sciences has no bearing on how important it really is.

How is testing on evolution unfair to students who have not learned about evolution considering that the test is more a grade of their school and how well it is doing educating students? Students coming in from other states will not affect the outcome very much considering most states require the teaching of evolution. If you knew anything about being an educator or education standards, which you don’t, then you wouldn’t have used such a pedicular argument.

I agree with your last statement. National education standards are far more likely to be fair in regards to science and the teaching of evolution, than state education standards.

Comment #90079

Posted by J. Biggs on March 28, 2006 12:13 PM (e)

A federal standard may be better; however, I think it is more practical to implement state standards based on federal recommendations, with some financial incentives to back it up.

This is probably a more likely scenario than a federal education standard.

Comment #90168

Posted by Up Yours on March 28, 2006 3:40 PM (e)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with unalienable Rights…”

John {freakin} Hancock

Comment #90179

Posted by ben on March 28, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

Actually it was mostly written by Thomas Freakin Jefferson and not at all by Hancock. He merely signed it first because he was president of the Continental Freakin Congress.

Comment #90186

Posted by Up Yours on March 28, 2006 4:15 PM (e)

Well, he freakin helped with it.

Comment #90196

Posted by J. Biggs on March 28, 2006 4:29 PM (e)

Well, he freakin helped with it.

He also freakin helped with the establishment clause of the first amendment that states.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

This is also referred to as separation of church and state. How freakin clear is that. Also if you want to be taken seriously you should change your handle to something less infantile.

Comment #90214

Posted by J. Biggs on March 28, 2006 5:02 PM (e)

Upyours writes:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with unalienable Rights…”

I would like to point out that when the constitution was drafted (yes I realize you are quoting the Declaration of Independance), all men were not considered equal. Rich white male property owners had all the power. White male non-property owners and women could not even vote, hence were not represented. And there were entire sections of the Constitution dealing with slave ownership (the Three-fifths compromise comes to mind). The authors of the constitutions obviously felt some men where more equal than others.

Jefferson himself owned many slaves and carried on an illicit affair with one of them. However, for all his faults, I still consider him a great man.

Also by most accounts Jefferson was a deist and I doubt you would find his religious views very compatible with yours.

“First, that the Christianity of the churches was unreasonable, therefore unbelievable, but that stripped of priestly mystery, ritual, and dogma, reinterpreted in the light of historical evidence and human experience, and substituting the Newtonian cosmology for the discredited Biblical one, Christianity could be conformed to reason. Second, morality required no divine sanction or inspiration, no appeal beyond reason and nature, perhaps not even the hope of heaven or the fear of hell; and so the whole edifice of Christian revelation came tumbling to the ground. “

Peterson; Merrill D. Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (1975), a standard biography (pgs 50-51)

Comment #90216

Posted by ben on March 28, 2006 5:04 PM (e)

Well, he freakin helped with it.

No. It was drafted by Jefferson at the behest of a committee consisting of him, John Freakin Adams, Benjamin Freakin Franklin, Robert R. Freakin Livingston, and Roger Freakin Sherman.

Which brings us to, what’s your point?

Comment #90237

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 28, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

In particular, what’s your freakin’ point?

Comment #90249

Posted by AC on March 28, 2006 6:13 PM (e)

Up Your Pavement wrote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with unalienable Rights…”

John {freakin} Hancock

So, because TJ and the Undersigned held man to be created, we can safely ignore the actual rights they held self-evident and unalienable?

How ‘bout let’s not.

Comment #90269

Posted by J Simes on March 28, 2006 7:49 PM (e)

Comment #90078 posted by J. Biggs on March 28, 2006 12:06 PM

If it were possible to sue a government entity for failure to require the teaching of evolution in the public schools, do you think that it would not have been done by now?

Anyone can sue anyone else for any reason. Many frivolous law suits are filed every day. As Dr. Lenny said, failing to require the teaching evolution because it offends certain religious sects is against the law, meaning a law suit in this case is far from frivolous.

By “possible,“ I obviously meant a lawsuit that has a reasonable chance of succeeding. The ACLU and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State would just love to file a lawsuit against non-teaching of evolution if they thought that they had a chance of winning, and finding “mascots“ (free-riding plaintiffs who could claim injury) for such a suit would not be a problem. The sued government entity could claim that there are valid secular reasons for not teaching evolution, e.g., that evolution is only a theory and not a fact, that teaching evolution is a waste of time, or that there are other priorities. And ironically, the government entity could even argue that teaching evolution would violate the establishment clause by appearing to be an endorsement of atheism and those religious beliefs that find evolution acceptable. LOL

Also, even if the courts could require that evolution be taught, the courts could not dictate how it is taught – i.e., how much time is spent on it (maybe just a few seconds or a few minutes of class time, or even just a reading assignment) and whether it is taught as a fact or just a theory.

Also, teaching the Bible as literature in public schools is now permitted, so according to your line of reasoning, a lawsuit against a policy or practice of not teaching the Bible as literature could be filed on the grounds that such a policy or practice is based on a desire to avoid offending non-Christians. http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id… says, “ The Bible is already being used as a course study in as many as 1,000 American high schools, according to the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools in Greensboro, N.C. The US Supreme Court allows it as long as it‘s presented objectively, and not taught as fact.“

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests — after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences.

Evolution is neither a small nor an unimportant part of Biology.

What I meant was that knowledge of evolution is not likely to be a critical factor in the students‘ ability to pass the test.

Students coming in from other states will not affect the outcome very much considering most states require the teaching of evolution.

It has been pointed out here that teaching evolution in public schools is often avoided even where it is required or recommended by the state education standards.

Comment #89964 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 08:01 AM

http://hnn.us/articles/23113.html

Some excerpts:

“It will mark an important step forward for Neo-Confederate, Christian Reconstructionist, and white supremacist activists …… This quarter of the rightwing assault on academia therefore shares a common ideological foundation with broader Fundamentalist campaigns to advance Creationist and Intelligent Design claims at the expense of legitimate scientific findings with respect to evolution.“

This effort to link the intelligent design movement to other, often completely unrelated movements shows the growing desperation of the Darwinists. I will concede that a lot of intelligent design proponents are “fundies,“ but trying to link ID to white supremacists and “neo-Confederates“ (a catch-all term covering everyone from Southern secessionists to opponents of censorship of Confederate mementos) is a little far-fetched. I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

Comment #89658 posted by Pistol Pete on March 27, 2006 07:37 PM

One judge’s ruling does not a victory make. That buzzer you heard was just the one after the time-out. We’re still in the first quarter. Game on!

Exactly. The Dover decision is just an unappealed and unappealable decision of a single federal district court judge. In the 9th circuit federal court of appeals (the largest circuit, not counting the Federal Circuit based in Washington DC ) in particular, district court opinions are regarded as little more than outhouse substitutes for corn cobs and Sears catalogs.

BTW, I wonder what happened to the appeal of the Selman v. Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case. Oral arguments in the appeal were held over three months ago, and I have heard nothing about the case since around that time. Though delays like this are common in many federal appeals, I thought that this case was a priority.

Comment #90275

Posted by Steviepinhead on March 28, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

Shut up, Larry, you moron.

No, I take that back. My apologies to morons everywhere for comparing you to someone as genuinely and completely clueless as Larry.

Comment #90286

Posted by Arden Chatfield on March 28, 2006 8:38 PM (e)

Actually it was mostly written by Thomas Freakin Jefferson and not at all by Hancock. He merely signed it first because he was president of the Continental Freakin Congress.

John Hancock couldn’t have written the Declaration of Independence. He was too busy with his freakin insurance business.

Comment #90304

Posted by John Marley on March 28, 2006 9:46 PM (e)

Nobody cares what you think, Larry. (shrug)

Loony Flake, your above statement got old a long time ago. Can‘t you think of something new?

Why should anyone waste the effort to come up with a new response to Larry’s same old drivel?

Comment #90321

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

The sued government entity could claim that there are valid secular reasons for not teaching evolution, e.g., that evolution is only a theory and not a fact, that teaching evolution is a waste of time, or that there are other priorities. And ironically, the government entity could even argue that teaching evolution would violate the establishment clause by appearing to be an endorsement of atheism and those religious beliefs that find evolution acceptable. LOL

Please go ahead and make those arguments in court, Larry. Please. Pretty please. I’d even help pay for the filing fees.

This effort to link the intelligent design movement to other, often completely unrelated movements shows the growing desperation of the Darwinists.

A little embarrassed at being a Holocaust Denier and a Confederate Apologist, are you, Larry?

By the way, Larry, did you ever wonder how many white supremacists are creationists? Here’s a project for you in your spare time, Larry. Go to some white supremacist websites (I assume you already know where they all are). Count how many times any of htme mentions the words “darwin” or “evolution”. Then count how many times they mention “God”, “Jesus” or “The Creator”.

Let us know what you find.

Comment #90322

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 28, 2006 10:47 PM (e)

Exactly. The Dover decision is just an unappealed and unappealable decision of a single federal district court judge. In the 9th circuit federal court of appeals (the largest circuit, not counting the Federal Circuit based in Washington DC ) in particular, district court opinions are regarded as little more than outhouse substitutes for corn cobs and Sears catalogs.

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #90406

Posted by J. Biggs on March 29, 2006 10:55 AM (e)

The Patron Saint of Circular Reasoning said:

The sued government entity could claim that there are valid secular reasons for not teaching evolution, e.g., that evolution is only a theory and not a fact, that teaching evolution is a waste of time, or that there are other priorities. And ironically, the government entity could even argue that teaching evolution would violate the establishment clause by appearing to be an endorsement of atheism and those religious beliefs that find evolution acceptable. LOL

For all practical purposes scientific “theory” and scientific “fact” are synonymous. That argument also has a clear relationship to past creationist arguments. I would love it if some teacher teaching the subject of biology said that teaching a major biological concept was a “waste of time” in court. And if there were other concepts in biology that take precedence over evolution the teacher will have to explain why they consider those other concepts more important. Good luck doing that. Where in ToE does it ever say it endorses atheism; it doesn’t. It may contradict certain religious texts if they are taken literally, however, scientific discoveries and explanations do not often agree with the pseudoscientific explanations given in religious texts.

Also, even if the courts could require that evolution be taught, the courts could not dictate how it is taught — i.e., how much time is spent on it (maybe just a few seconds or a few minutes of class time, or even just a reading assignment) and whether it is taught as a fact or just a theory.

The courts can say that evolution can’t be taught in certain ways; i.e. when it comes to “teaching the controversy” by leveling unscientific criticisms on ToE that have been refuted. And again if it can be shown that ToE is being taught in a limited matter because it offends certain religious sects the law is on the side of science. Do me a favor and look up the definition of scientific theory and compare it to scientific fact. You are conflating conjectural theory with scientific theory in your statements, and that just makes you look foolish.

Also, teaching the Bible as literature in public schools is now permitted, so according to your line of reasoning, a lawsuit against a policy or practice of not teaching the Bible as literature could be filed on the grounds that such a policy or practice is based on a desire to avoid offending non-Christians. http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id…… says, “ The Bible is already being used as a course study in as many as 1,000 American high schools, according to the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools in Greensboro, N.C. The US Supreme Court allows it as long as it‘s presented objectively, and not taught as fact.“

I don’t totally understand your argument here. I have no problem with “electives” such as bible study or a philosophy of religion class. As long as its a choice and not mandatory I think it could be allowed. Biology on the other hand is not a religion nor is it an elective. As I stated before, ToE is not an endorsement of any religion, it is a scientific theory that has not been disproved by any scientific means over the last 150 years (give or take). I would like to add that the material taught in those elective philosophy classes should not in anyway try to undermine what is taught in any science class. I think you can come up with at least one case in which that was done and the school district was taken to court as a result.

What I meant was that knowledge of evolution is not likely to be a critical factor in the students‘ ability to pass the test.

That is not what you originally said, Larry. I actually agree with the above statement somewhat where as I completely disagree with your previous statement. Considering that knowledge of science isn’t weighted as heavily as other subjects on these tests, it is hard to imagine students’ poor knowledge of ToE would cause the school an overall failing grade. It might, however, hurt the school when considering science standards by themselves.

Comment #90414

Posted by J. Biggs on March 29, 2006 12:01 PM (e)

Larry states:

And ironically, the government entity could even argue that teaching evolution would violate the establishment clause by appearing to be an endorsement of atheism and those religious beliefs that find evolution acceptable. LOL

and in the same post states

I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

Come on Larry, which is it? If you “never” use that argument then why do you say a government entity could use that argument?

Comment #90558

Posted by roger on March 29, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

Here is another news article about the problem in Arkansas:

http://www.arktimes.com/Articles/ArticleViewer.a…

Comment #91016

Posted by J Simes on March 30, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

Comment #90406 posted by J. Biggs on March 29, 2006 10:55 AM

For all practical purposes scientific “theory” and scientific “fact” are synonymous.

Wrong. Scientific “facts“ are called scientific “laws,“ not scientific “theories.“

I would love it if some teacher teaching the subject of biology said that teaching a major biological concept was a “waste of time” in court. And if there were other concepts in biology that take precedence over evolution the teacher will have to explain why they consider those other concepts more important.

It is not the business of the courts to fine-tune public-school courses. Anyway, it is possible to teach a good course in biology without ever mentioning the e-word.

Courts have ruled that education standards can require teachers to teach evolution, but the courts have never ruled that education standards must require teachers to teach evolution, and I trust that the courts will never make such a ruling (indeed, one state, Iowa, does not even have state science education standards).

The courts can say that evolution can’t be taught in certain ways; i.e. when it comes to “teaching the controversy” by leveling unscientific criticisms on ToE that have been refuted.

The courts have no authority to ban bad science from public-school classrooms, because there is no constitutional separation of bad science and state. Also, some of the “refutations“ that are presented, such as “exaptation “( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exaptation ), are highly questionable. The concept of exaptation does not change the fact that all of the parts of an irreducible system must simultaneously come together in their final forms to create the complete system, and that is doubtful; also, some of the changes required in the parts are quite far-fetched, such as jawbones evolving into middle-ear bones.

Also, teaching the Bible as literature in public schools is now permitted, so according to your line of reasoning, a lawsuit against a policy or practice of not teaching the Bible as literature could be filed on the grounds that such a policy or practice is based on a desire to avoid offending non-Christians.

I don’t totally understand your argument here. I have no problem with “electives” such as bible study or a philosophy of religion class.

I only said that using your line of reasoning, a lawsuit could be filed because a course in religion is not offered, or even because a course in religion is not required.

What I meant was that knowledge of evolution is not likely to be a critical factor in the students‘ ability to pass the test.

That is not what you originally said

Well, that is what I meant when I said that evolution is not likely to be a very important part of a statewide science test. How else could that statement be interpreted?

Comment #90414

I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

If you “never” use that argument then why do you say a government entity could use that argument?

– because I was discussing a situation where the government entity is being sued.

Comment #91030

Posted by Raging Bee on March 30, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

J Larry Simes Different Name Same Transparently Stupid Dishonesty Feebleman wrote, for the umpteenth time:

The courts have no authority to ban bad science from public-school classrooms…

Having explicitly admitted that the “science” you want taught is indeed “bad,” shouldn’t you also be admitting that the alleged “controversy” over same doesn’t really exist outside your imaginiation?

Such an admission would help restore your credibility here. Well, not a lot, but some…

Comment #91047

Posted by roger on March 30, 2006 11:57 AM (e)

Comment 91016 by J Simes (Larry, Nobody): “(indeed, one state, Iowa, does not even have state science education standards)”

Iowa uses the National Science Education Standards:

http://www.state.ia.us/educate/ecese/tqt/tc/prod…

“Iowa school districts’ science standards are aligned with the National Science Education Standards.”

Here are the National Science Education Standards:

http://newton.nap.edu/html/nses/

The National Science Education Standards of course include the teaching of evolution:

Students have difficulty with the fundamental concepts of evolution. For example, students often do not understand natural selection because they fail to make a conceptual connection between the occurrence of new variations in a population and the potential effect of those variations on the long-term survival of the species. One misconception that teachers may encounter involves students attributing new variations to an organism’s need, environmental conditions, or use. With some help, students can understand that, in general, mutations occur randomly and are selected because they help some organisms survive and produce more offspring. Other misconceptions center on a lack of understanding of how a population changes as a result of differential reproduction (some individuals producing more offspring), as opposed to all individuals in a population changing. Many misconceptions about the process of natural selection can be changed through instruction.

Here’s some more National Science Education Standards that Iowa uses:

BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION
Species evolve over time. Evolution is the consequence of the interactions of (1) the potential for a species to increase its numbers, (2) the genetic variability of offspring due to mutation and recombination of genes, (3) a finite supply of the resources required for life, and (4) the ensuing selection by the environment of those offspring better able to survive and leave offspring. [See Unifying Concepts and Processes]
The great diversity of organisms is the result of more than 3.5 billion years of evolution that has filled every available niche with life forms.
Natural selection and its evolutionary consequences provide a scientific explanation for the fossil record of ancient life forms, as well as for the striking molecular similarities observed among the diverse species of living organisms.
The millions of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that live on earth today are related by descent from common ancestors.
Biological classifications are based on how organisms are related. Organisms are classified into a hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on similarities which reflect their evolutionary relationships. Species is the most fundamental unit of classification.

Comment #91052

Posted by k.e. on March 30, 2006 12:03 PM (e)

Larry If the courts were to accept “bad science” as science then the cigarette companies would be over the moon don’t you think?

Are you really that stupid that you think any Judge would risk his life’s work to promote a personal agenda, in fact to be an “activist Judge”, to promote bad science?

What you are proposing is not actually “bad science” it is science without facts or for that matter not even the tiniest shred of evidence and therefore not science at all, no court in the land will agree with you.

But then you already know that don’t you….how did your Supreme Court application go ?

So do us all a favor, drop it, your just making a fool of yourself

Comment #91463

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 30, 2006 8:17 PM (e)

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #91467

Posted by J. Biggs on March 30, 2006 8:29 PM (e)

Larry Farflung Dung wrote:

Comment #90406 posted by J. Biggs on March 29, 2006 10:55 AM

For all practical purposes scientific “theory” and scientific “fact” are synonymous.

Wrong. Scientific “facts“ are called scientific “laws,“ not scientific “theories”.

You seem to like Wikipedia a lot Larry, lets see what they have to say.

“Theory has a number of distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on the context and their methodologies. In common usage, people use the word “theory” to signify “conjecture”, “speculation”, or “opinion.” In this sense, “theories” are opposed to “facts” — parts of the world, or claims about the world, that are real or true regardless of what people think. In scientific terminology however, a theory is a model of the world (or some portion of it) from which falsifiable predictions can be generated and tested through controlled experiments, or be verified through empirical observation. In this scientific sense, “facts” exist only as parts of theories – they are things, or relationships between things, that theories must take for granted in order to make predictions, or that theories predict. In other words, for scientists “theory” and “fact” do not stand in opposition, but rather exist in a reciprocal relationship – for example, it is a “fact” that every apple ever dropped on earth (under normal, controlled conditions) has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet in a straight line, and the “theory” which explains these observations is the current theory of gravitation.”

Gosh Larry, I guess they disagree with you also. Is there anyone who does agree with you?

It is not the business of the courts to fine-tune public-school courses. Anyway, it is possible to teach a good course in biology without ever mentioning the e-word.

It is when school districts are taken to court because their schools are breaking the law.

The courts have no authority to ban bad science from public-school classrooms, because there is no constitutional separation of bad science and state. Also, some of the “refutations“ that are presented, such as “exaptation “ ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exaptation ), are highly questionable. The concept of exaptation does not change the fact that all of the parts of an irreducible system must simultaneously come together in their final forms to create the complete system, and that is doubtful; also, some of the changes required in the parts are quite far-fetched, such as jawbones evolving into middle-ear bones.

ID is creationism plain and simple, you can’t observe, test, disprove a designer (God). If a designer does exist he/she/it made it look as if evolution occurred. Maybe there is a reason for that, but assuming there is a designer adds nothing to science and its usefulness. IC is not proof of ID and does not disprove evolution in the least. IC is an argument from ignorance, “I can’t imagine that it happened so it’s impossible.” IC systems such as the jawbones evolving into ear bones have been demonstrated and proponents of ID even admit that IC systems could evolve. Just because you “think” exaptation is far fetched doesn’t mean it is. Go disprove that it happens using actual science rather than lame arguments about what you think. Anyone wanting to see what Larry is talking about visit this site and judge for yourself whether or not the ear bones are derived from reptilian jawbones. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1…

I only said that using your line of reasoning, a lawsuit could be filed because a course in religion is not offered, or even because a course in religion is not required.

Then you need a lesson in reading comprehension because I never said or implied that at all.

Well, that is what I meant when I said that evolution is not likely to be a very important part of a statewide science test. How else could that statement be interpreted?

That wasn’t really the part I was objecting to, it was the stupid things your said about biology and evolution being small. Don’t you remember saying that.

I doubt that evolution is ever going to be a very important part of statewide standardized science tests — after all, evolution is just a relatively small part of biology (and IMO not a very important part) and biology is a relatively small part of the sciences. If a state test includes evolution and some state schools don‘t teach evolution, students can improve their chances of passing the state test by studying evolution on their own. I think that including evolution in state tests is unfair to students who have not learned evolution because they transferred from out-of-state schools that do not teach evolution. Actually, I am against the whole idea of state education standards and I feel that if we are going to have any education standards at all, they should be national standards.

The the part in bold was what I was objecting to originally or don’t you remember.

I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

If you “never” use that argument then why do you say a government entity could use that argument?

— because I was discussing a situation where the government entity is being sued.

That is such a cop out Larry. Just admit you use that argument and quit being passive aggressive.

Comment #91504

Posted by J Simes on March 30, 2006 9:52 PM (e)

Comment #91047 posted by roger on March 30, 2006 11:57 AM

Comment 91016 – “(indeed, one state, Iowa, does not even have state science education standards)”

Iowa uses the National Science Education Standards:

Well, that‘s news! The Executive Summary of the 2005 Ford Institute Report on state science education standards says, “Iowa is not included because it does not publish science standards.“ – from http://www.edexcellence.net/institute/publicatio… I wonder why more states don‘t just use the national science standards – they could spare themselves a lot of expense and aggravation that way.

It appears that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) contributed directly or indirectly to the national science standards. In revenge for the new Kansas evolution education standards (rated “not even failed“ in the executive summary of the Fordham Institute report), the NAS and the National Science Teachers Assn. denied Kansas the right to use their “copyrighted“ material in the state science standards ( http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/oct/27/group_d… ). The NAS is a governmental or semi-governmental organization (it was established by the US government and I suspect that it gets a lot of its funding from the US government), so I wonder how the NAS can “copyright“ anything. Anyway, the NAS appears to be cutting off its nose to spite its face by denying Kansas the right to use any of the NAS copyrighted material just because of a dispute over the evolution standards.

Comment #91030 posted by Raging Bee on March 30, 2006 11:32 AM

The courts have no authority to ban bad science from public-school classrooms…

Having explicitly admitted that the “science” you want taught is indeed “bad,” shouldn’t you also be admitting that the alleged “controversy” over same doesn’t really exist outside your imaginiation?

I have “explicitly admitted“ nothing. All I said was that since there is no constitutional separation of bad science and state, the courts should avoid judging scientific merits unless it is absolutely essential to decide a case. Irreducible complexity mentions nothing about religion and hence should not appear to an objective observer to be an endorsement of religion, and hence it should not be necessary to determine whether IC has any scientific merit that would give a valid secular purpose to teaching it in public-school science classes. Determining whether there is a valid secular purpose is necessary only for things that appear to be endorsements of religion. A lot of people think that Darwinism is bad science, but because it mentions nothing about religion, it is not necessary for the courts to judge its scientific merits.

Comment #91052 posted by k.e. on March 30, 2006 12:03 PM

If the courts were to accept “bad science” as science then the cigarette companies would be over the moon don’t you think?

In the lawsuits against the cigarette companies, it is necessary to judge the scientific merits of scientific findings that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases. However, because – as noted above – irreducible complexity appears to be non-religious, it is not necessary to judge its scientific merits.

Are you really that stupid that you think any Judge would risk his life’s work to promote a personal agenda, in fact to be an “activist Judge”, to promote bad science?

And are you really that stupid that you think any judge would risk his life‘s work by ruling on something that he has no authority to rule on ?

Comment #91511

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 30, 2006 10:07 PM (e)

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #91634

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 2:34 AM (e)

Comment #91047 posted by roger on March 30, 2006 11:57 AM

Comment 91016 – “(indeed, one state, Iowa, does not even have state science education standards)”

Iowa uses the National Science Education Standards:

Well, that‘s news! The Executive Summary of the 2005 Ford Institute Report on state science education standards says, “Iowa is not included because it does not publish science standards.“ – from http://www.edexcellence.net/institute/publicatio… I wonder why more states don‘t just use the national science standards – they could spare themselves a lot of expense and aggravation that way.

It appears that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) contributed directly or indirectly to the national science standards. In revenge for the new Kansas evolution education standards (rated “not even failed“ in the executive summary of the Fordham Institute report), the NAS and the National Science Teachers Assn. denied Kansas the right to use their “copyrighted“ material in the state science standards ( http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/oct/27/group_d… ). The NAS is a governmental or semi-governmental organization (it was established by the US government and I suspect that it gets a lot of its funding from the US government), so I wonder how the NAS can “copyright“ anything. Anyway, the NAS appears to be cutting off its nose to spite its face by denying Kansas the right to use any of the NAS copyrighted material just because of a dispute over the evolution standards.

Comment #91030 posted by Raging Bee on March 30, 2006 11:32 AM

The courts have no authority to ban bad science from public-school classrooms…

Having explicitly admitted that the “science” you want taught is indeed “bad,” shouldn’t you also be admitting that the alleged “controversy” over same doesn’t really exist outside your imaginiation?

I have “explicitly admitted“ nothing. All I said was that since there is no constitutional separation of bad science and state, the courts should avoid judging scientific merits unless it is absolutely essential to decide a case. Irreducible complexity mentions nothing about religion and hence should not appear to an objective observer to be an endorsement of religion, and hence it should not be necessary to determine whether IC has any scientific merit that would give a valid secular purpose to teaching it in public-school science classes. Determining whether there is a valid secular purpose is necessary only for things that appear to be endorsements of religion. A lot of people think that Darwinism is bad science, but because it mentions nothing about religion, it is not necessary for the courts to judge its scientific merits.

Comment #91052 posted by k.e. on March 30, 2006 12:03 PM

If the courts were to accept “bad science” as science then the cigarette companies would be over the moon don’t you think?

In the lawsuits against the cigarette companies, it is necessary to judge the scientific merits of scientific findings that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases. However, because – as noted above – irreducible complexity appears to be non-religious, it is not necessary to judge its scientific merits.

Are you really that stupid that you think any Judge would risk his life’s work to promote a personal agenda, in fact to be an “activist Judge”, to promote bad science?

And are you really that stupid that you think any judge would risk his life‘s work by ruling on something that he has no authority to rule on ?

Comment #91711

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 6:13 AM (e)

Comment #91467

J Biggs the bigot wrote –

You seem to like Wikipedia a lot, lets see what they have to say.

I don‘t like Wikipedia all the time – this is one time I don‘t like it. Anyone can edit most Wikipedia articles, so it is inevitable that these articles will sometimes get screwed up. It is remarkable that they are usually as good as they are. Anyway, Wikipedia is also a nice source of references.

from Wikipedia –

“it is a ‘fact‘ that every apple ever dropped on earth (under normal, controlled conditions) has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet in a straight line, and the ‘theory‘ which explains these observations is the current theory of gravitation.”

There are theories of gravitation, but there is also a law of gravitation – Newton‘s law of gravitation.

Scientific laws are a distinct scientific category – Wikipedia has a good list of them.

It is not the business of the courts to fine-tune public-school courses. Anyway, it is possible to teach a good course in biology without ever mentioning the e-word.

It is when school districts are taken to court because their schools are breaking the law.

Teachers are not necessarily breaking the law when they don‘t teach evolution in biology classes. The education standards might not require that evolution be taught.

ID is creationism plain and simple, you can’t observe, test, disprove a designer (God).

I don‘t like the term “intelligent design“ because it implies the existence of a supernatural “designer“; I prefer the term “irreducible complexity“ because the term and the concept make no mention of a “designer“ or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious in nature.

IC is not proof of ID and does not disprove evolution in the least.

IC raises serious doubts about the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

Just because you “think” exaptation is far fetched doesn’t mean it is. Go disprove that it happens using actual science rather than lame arguments about what you think.

Why don‘t you go prove that it happens? Exaptation can be neither proven nor disproven. What we do know is that in many cases exaptation would be extremely unlikely to occur by what we normally consider to be “natural“ means.

That wasn’t really the part I was objecting to, it was the stupid things your said about biology and evolution being small.

I didn‘t say they are small – I only said that they are relatively small. Anyway, I said those things only because I was trying to make the point that knowledge of evolution will probably never be a very important factor in the ability to pass a statewide science test. Sorry that I did not make that point clearer in the beginning.

I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

If you “never” use that argument then why do you say a government entity could use that argument?

— because I was discussing a situation where the government entity is being sued.

That is such a cop out. Just admit you use that argument and quit being passive aggressive.

No, I don‘t use that argument. My saying that I don‘t use that argument does not mean that I use it. Judge Jones is not necessarily an activist judge just because he said that he isn‘t (I think he is an activist judge, but not just because he said that he isn‘t). However, I know that a lot of people use the argument that all or most ID proponents are fundies. For example, because I am not a fundy, Lenny Flank won‘t even accept the idea that I am an ID proponent.

Comment #91757

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 8:27 AM (e)

Larry:

Sorry that you don’t like the judge’s ruling. Please feel free to whine, weep, moan, groan, jump up and down, and throw as many hissy fits as you want to over it. After all, it simply DOES NOT MATTER whether you like the decision or not. All that matters is that you FOLLOW it. If you don’t, then we’ll sue the crap out of you. (shrug)

Comment #91774

Posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 9:32 AM (e)

Larry said:

In the lawsuits against the cigarette companies, it is necessary to judge the scientific merits of scientific findings that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases.

Nice of you to agree with me that ID “bad science” is on par with cigarette company “bad science” and that the courts MUST decide what is bad science.

So you can’t call Judge Jones an activist Judge because he has in the light of evidence made the only decision he could what with the future implications for ….oh cancer sufferers.

Not to do so would have been the same as a Judge letting the cigarette companies off because it would have run the risk of upsetting the cigarette companies and being called an “activist Judge” by their supporters.

and again you said:

However, because — as noted above — irreducible complexity appears to be non-religious, it is not necessary to judge its scientific merits.

Well as you pointed out in one of your earlier posts because Behe coined the private term
“irreducible complexity” to hide his religious disparagement of modern biological empirical science as he was kind enough to point out on the witness stand at Dover you did not think he had done his own subjective term justice.

He simply stated that he did not need to update his knowledge on what he thought might be not explained by current peer reviewed papers because he had reached the conclusion that his religious belief explained the observed phenomenon. Much to his surprise, there was literally a mountain of published material on the subject that he simply (and conveniently) had ignored, and reduced his ignorance and his personal definition “irreducible complexity” to “bad science”

But if there is such a thing as “irreducible complexity” the opposite must be “reducible simplicity” that is to say a basic descriptive term for “Behe didn’t find an answer(because of laziness?)”… and because Behe has already made his decision as to the cause, he had no need to pursue further scientific investigation; that is to say he decided he had no need to perform any further science and let his religious convictions dictate his conclusion”

How would that work for Bird Flu, Larry?

It’s all in Behe’s testimony which I’m sure you are familiar with.

Face it Larry you were beaten by a better, smarter, much more capable side, just like you were a 140 odd years ago, it just takes a little longer for some people to wake up to the fact that they are bad losers

Comment #91793

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 10:15 AM (e)

Comment #91467

J Biggs the bigot wrote –

You seem to like Wikipedia a lot, lets see what they have to say.

I don‘t like Wikipedia all the time – this is one time I don‘t like it. Anyone can edit most Wikipedia articles, so it is inevitable that these articles will sometimes get screwed up. It is remarkable that they are usually as good as they are. Anyway, Wikipedia is also a nice source of references.

from Wikipedia –

“it is a ‘fact‘ that every apple ever dropped on earth (under normal, controlled conditions) has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet in a straight line, and the ‘theory‘ which explains these observations is the current theory of gravitation.”

There are theories of gravitation, but there is also a law of gravitation – Newton‘s law of gravitation.

Scientific laws are a distinct scientific category – Wikipedia has a good list of them.

It is not the business of the courts to fine-tune public-school courses. Anyway, it is possible to teach a good course in biology without ever mentioning the e-word.

It is when school districts are taken to court because their schools are breaking the law.

Teachers are not necessarily breaking the law when they don‘t teach evolution in biology classes. The education standards might not require that evolution be taught.

ID is creationism plain and simple, you can’t observe, test, disprove a designer (God).

I don‘t like the term “intelligent design“ because it implies the existence of a supernatural “designer“; I prefer the term “irreducible complexity“ because the term and the concept make no mention of a “designer“ or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious in nature.

IC is not proof of ID and does not disprove evolution in the least.

IC raises serious doubts about the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

Just because you “think” exaptation is far fetched doesn’t mean it is. Go disprove that it happens using actual science rather than lame arguments about what you think.

Why don‘t you go prove that it happens? Exaptation can be neither proven nor disproven. What we do know is that in many cases exaptation would be extremely unlikely to occur by what we normally consider to be “natural“ means.

That wasn’t really the part I was objecting to, it was the stupid things your said about biology and evolution being small.

I didn‘t say they are small – I only said that they are relatively small. Anyway, I said those things only because I was trying to make the point that knowledge of evolution will probably never be a very important factor in the ability to pass a statewide science test. Sorry that I did not make that point clearer in the beginning.

I know that some Darwinists are atheists, but I never use that as an argument against Darwinism.

If you “never” use that argument then why do you say a government entity could use that argument?

— because I was discussing a situation where the government entity is being sued.

That is such a cop out. Just admit you use that argument and quit being passive aggressive.

No, I don‘t use that argument. My saying that I don‘t use that argument does not mean that I use it. Judge Jones is not necessarily an activist judge just because he said that he isn‘t (I think he is an activist judge, but not just because he said that he isn‘t). However, I know that a lot of people use the argument that all or most ID proponents are fundies. For example, because I am not a fundy, Lenny Flank won‘t even accept the idea that I am an ID proponent.

Comment #91864

Posted by J. Biggs on March 31, 2006 12:42 PM (e)

Larry said:

I don‘t like Wikipedia all the time — this is one time I don‘t like it. Anyone can edit most Wikipedia articles, so it is inevitable that these articles will sometimes get screwed up. It is remarkable that they are usually as good as they are. Anyway, Wikipedia is also a nice source of references.

Sorry you don’t like it. You should get used to it since you seem to always take the loosing side of every argument. Oh, and do tell me is Einstein’s theory of relativity more predictive in a broader since than Newton’s Laws? I thought Law’s trumped Theories.

I don‘t like the term “intelligent design“ because it implies the existence of a supernatural “designer“; I prefer the term “irreducible complexity“ because the term and the concept make no mention of a “designer“ or anything else that might be interpreted as being religious in nature.

ID is what they went with so your stuck with the implication of a “supernatural designer.” Although, I am not sure what other kind of designer it could possibly be. Again IC is just an argument from ignorance. I mean you can take the liver out of any mammal and it will no longer be able to sustain life but their is a clear history how the liver as well as other vital organs evolved. Just because you can’t imagine it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. IC in no way makes ID true or evolution untrue.

Why don‘t you go prove that it happens? Exaptation can be neither proven nor disproved. What we do know is that in many cases exaptation would be extremely unlikely to occur by what we normally consider to be “natural“ means.

Science can only prove that an idea is wrong. It is about coming up with a hypothesis about some observable phenomenon, testing it, revising it. Once you and others have tested it numerous times and your hypothesis has not been disproved it becomes useful for predicting said phenomenon and becomes theory. That doesn’t mean that some future test could not disprove it, however, it is doubtful that it will ever be proven completely wrong if it has undergone say, 150 yrs of testing. Exaptation is certainly disprovable which is what IC attempts to do. IC is definitely testable, it just isn’t very useful. Exaptation on the other hand is testable and also useful in predicting that every structure had a predecessor that functioned in a different way. And that new structures that serve a new function are only co-adapted parts (old structures that came together to function differently). IC exploits the fact that we don’t know the evolutionary history of every single part of every single organism. That is why it is useless. All someone need do to disprove exaptation is find an IC structure in an organism for which there is an incomplete history, research all of the evolutionary history for that organism, and show that there is no possible way that it could have evolved. Then that scientist would have to publish the results for peer review. After many such tests and verified results, exaptation would be disproved and IC would become possibly a more likely scenario. Get to work Larry.

I didn‘t say they are small — I only said that they are relatively small

They are not even “relatively” small, unless you consider all aspects of science in and of themselves small.

Comment #91976

Posted by Stevaroni on March 31, 2006 5:27 PM (e)

Wrong. Scientific “facts“ are called scientific “laws,“ not scientific “theories.“

There are theories of gravitation, but there is also a law of gravitation — Newton‘s law of gravitation.

Actually, you’re kind of misrepresenting these terms.

As used in science, “theories” are a much higher, more powerful level of abstraction than laws.

Laws in general tend to be simple predictive rules; “a dropped apple will move thusly…”

This is good stuff, and very useful, but it only answers the how part of science, not the more important why.

Newton derived his Laws of Motion by empirical observation without ever understanding the deeper questions of what gravity was and how it did what it did. That had to wait for others who offered a deeper explanation - a theory - of gravity, what it was, why it works, and where it came from.

A well verified theory is about as close to a fact as you can get - till someone finds a still deeper foundation to build on.

Regardless, there are many “laws” associated with evolution, and many have been known for a long time.

Selective breeding, commonly practiced on every big farm in Victorian England, made it abundantly clear that you could change plants and animals dramatically with the right techniques, the rules of which were widely disseminated.

Scientists of the time understood full well that given enough time, you could extrapolate this process to the point that you’d get a new species.

This was all widely studied, understood and used in the everyday world, but it was all how. All rules and laws, if you will.

“All” Darwin did was take the leap to why. His Theory of Natural Selection finally explained the mechanism by which this happened all by itself.

Since a Theory has to encompass, without conflict, all the laws that support it, often in a mutually interlocking fashion, once verified it’s a level of abstraction, understanding, and I daresay, truth, far more impressive than a mere law.

Comment #91981

Posted by J. Biggs on March 31, 2006 5:39 PM (e)

Thank you Stevaroni you put that very concisely and you are much more diplomatic than I am. It is disheartening to me that we have to explain such basic scientific terms to Larry.

Comment #91993

Posted by J Simes on March 31, 2006 6:11 PM (e)

Comment #91774 posted by k.e. on March 31, 2006 09:32 AM

In the lawsuits against the cigarette companies, it is necessary to judge the scientific merits of scientific findings that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases.

Nice of you to agree with me that ID “bad science“ is on par with cigarette company “bad science“ and that the courts MUST decide what is bad science.

It does not take any talent to quote out of context and put words in someone‘s mouth. You are only making yourself look stupid.

Well as you pointed out in one of your earlier posts because Behe coined the private term
“irreducible complexity” to hide his religious disparagement of modern biological empirical science as he was kind enough to point out on the witness stand at Dover you did not think he had done his own subjective term justice.

No, I did not point that out, and IC is not a “private“ term – Behe has no copyright on it.

In many of these discussions of irreducible complexity, all I hear is Behe, Behe, Behe. Behe said this and Behe said that. Maybe the name of irreducible complexity should be changed to “Beheism.“ But many IC proponents disagree with Behe, so maybe we should also create another term, “neo-Beheism,“ that is analogous to “neo-Darwinism.“

Comment #92033

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

Lenny Flank won‘t even accept the idea that I am an ID proponent.

Don’t flatter yourself, Larry. You’d care a lot less what I thought about you if you really understood how rarely I *do*. (shrug)

But I am still mildly curious to know if, back in the 60’s, you were one of those nutjobs who thought Martin Luther King was a Commie and that the civil rights movement was an anti-American plot. And if, in the 80’s, you supported apartheid in South Africa because otherwise that Commie Mandela and the ANC would take over.

Given your Holocaust “revisionism” and your Confederate sympathies, I think both of those are pretty good probabilitites.

But really I just want to know how nutty you truly are.

Comment #92078

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 31, 2006 9:30 PM (e)

…You are only making yourself look stupid.

You should listen to Larry when he says this, as he is a grand expert in making himself look stupid.

In fact, it’s just about the only thing he seems to have garnered any significant knowledge of in his entire lifetime of experience, based on his posts over the last several months.

Comment #92089

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on March 31, 2006 9:52 PM (e)

In many of these discussions of irreducible complexity, all I hear is Behe, Behe, Behe. Behe said this and Behe said that

Um, who do you recommend instead.

Comment #92111

Posted by Sir_Toejam on March 31, 2006 10:26 PM (e)

Um, who do you recommend instead.

why, himself, of course!

Comment #92206

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 2:31 AM (e)

Comment #92033 posted by ‘Rev Dr‘ Loony Flake on March 31, 2006 07:45 PM

Loony Flake won‘t even accept the idea that I am an ID proponent.

Don’t flatter yourself, Larry. You’d care a lot less what I thought about you if you really understood how rarely I *do*. (shrug)

How could I flatter myself by supposing that you spend a lot of time thinking about me? I was just putting two and two together. You have said many times that ID‘ers can hardly say anything without revealing that they are fundies. You have also said many times that you think that I am just a crank and not a real ID‘er. So I assumed that your reason for believing that I am not a real ID‘er is that you believe I am not a fundy.

But really I just want to know how nutty you truly are.

First you told me, “You’d care a lot less what I thought about you if you really understood how rarely I *do* (shrug),“ and now you are telling me that you want to know more about me. Strange.

Comment #92430

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 9:16 AM (e)

Larry said:

Why don‘t you go prove that it happens? Exaptation can be neither proven nor disproved. What we do know is that in many cases exaptation would be extremely unlikely to occur by what we normally consider to be “natural“ means.

I didn’t catch your use of “natural” means before. If you think exaptation is the explanation using “natural” means, this can only mean that Irreducible Complexity is the explanation using “sooper-dooper natural” means. If you don’t like ID for implying a “super-natural” designer, why do you yourself subtly imply one for IC which you say you like. Most likely because IDers think that if they disprove ToE they automatically prove ID creationism. Even if ToE were disproved, ID would have to rise or fall on its own merits or lack there of. Even if IC were successfully used to disprove exaptation and co-adapted parts, there are still hypotheses, other than ID, that could explain IC structures. That’s what is great about science. People can come up with all kinds of explanations, most of which turn out to be incorrect, and science will root out the useful from the useless.

Comment #92456

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 9:49 AM (e)

In many of these discussions of irreducible complexity, all I hear is Behe, Behe, Behe. Behe said this and Behe said that

Um, who do you recommend instead.

Well …. . ?

Comment #92458

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 9:52 AM (e)

First you told me, “You’d care a lot less what I thought about you if you really understood how rarely I *do* (shrug),“ and now you are telling me that you want to know more about me. Strange.

How dreadful.

I notice you didn’t answer my questions, though, so I’ll ask again:

I am still mildly curious to know if, back in the 60’s, you were one of those nutjobs who thought Martin Luther King was a Commie and that the civil rights movement was an anti-American plot. And if, in the 80’s, you supported apartheid in South Africa because otherwise that Commie Mandela and the ANC would take over.

Given your Holocaust “revisionism” and your Confederate sympathies, I think both of those are pretty good probabilitites.

But really I just want to know how nutty you truly are.

I think your reluctance to answer those questions, is a quite eloquent answer. After all, I imagine you really don’t want people to know just how nutty you truly are. Right?

Comment #92461

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 9:57 AM (e)

Tell us about your “meteor theory”, Larry. Does it have anything to do with flying saucers?

Just how nutty ARE you, Larry?

Comment #92467

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 10:03 AM (e)

Comment #91976 posted by Stevaroni on March 31, 2006 05:27 PM

As used in science, ‘theories‘ are a much higher, more powerful level of abstraction than laws.

Laws in general tend to be simple predictive rules; ‘a dropped apple will move thusly…‘

This is good stuff, and very useful, but it only answers the how part of science, not the more important why.

That all depends on what you are trying to do. For most practical purposes, scientific laws are fine. I am a degreed mechanical engineer and the only scientific theories that I ever studied were atomic theory and some theories of stress failure.

Comment #91981 posted by J. Biggs on March 31, 2006 05:39 PM

Thank you Stevaroni you put that very concisely and you are much more diplomatic than I am. It is disheartening to me that we have to explain such basic scientific terms to Larry.

It is disheartening to me that you do not recognize that what Stevaroni said was quite a bit different from what you originally said in Comment #90406: “For all practical purposes scientific ‘theory‘ and scientific ‘fact‘ are synonymous.“

Comment #92479

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 10:19 AM (e)

So I assumed that your reason for believing that I am not a real ID‘er is that you believe I am not a fundy.

I see, so you ARE a fundy, and your support for ID/IC is religfious in nature.

So (1) ID/IC is religious apologetics, (2) IDers are just lying ot us when they say it isn’t, and (3) Judge Jones was correct when he con cluded that it is.

After all, Larry, if ID/IC isn’t based on religion, then what goddamn difference does it make if you’re a fundie or not.

But now I’m even more puzzled, Larry. If you agree with Judge Jones that ID/IC is based on being a fundie, and since it’s illegal to teach fundie religion in sciecne class, then, uh, why the hell do you keep bitching about Judge Jones’s decision?

Or are you just being a crank. Again.

Comment #92614

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 2:03 PM (e)

It is disheartening to me that you do not recognize that what Stevaroni said was quite a bit different from what you originally said in Comment #90406: “For all practical purposes scientific ‘theory‘ and scientific ‘fact‘ are synonymous.“

Yes, but his comment was directed towards you and your inept understanding of the way science views facts, laws and theories. And furthermore, scientific definitions or facts, laws and theories are far different than the way you present them.

Comment #92680

Posted by Jedidiah Palosaari on April 1, 2006 4:27 PM (e)

I can relate to this censorship. While I haven’t been forced to not teach evolution, this past year it was mandated that ID be taught in mandatory Saturday classes at my school. (My school is a private school, although ostensibly nonreligious, so they can do this.) Furthermore, if they didn’t pass these 4 4-hour sessions, they were required to return a 2nd time to pass it. The final mark on their transcript was “Science Paradaigms”. I’ve got a problem with the use of the first word, as well as the plural there.

I have found the students repeatedly coming into class confused as to what to believe, as the director of the school is teaching them ID, and their science teacher (me) is not. After I spent a long time teaching them what a theory and a hypothesis is, they are coming back in to my classroom repeating the classic common definition that they learned in the Saturday school. They are saying nothing can be certain in science because it is only opinions, and they can’t trust it. My only recourse has been to declare my intent not to return next year, for I find the environment here does not allow for science instruction.

Comment #92695

Posted by J. Biggs on April 1, 2006 5:01 PM (e)

I have found the students repeatedly coming into class confused as to what to believe, as the director of the school is teaching them ID, and their science teacher (me) is not. After I spent a long time teaching them what a theory and a hypothesis is, they are coming back in to my classroom repeating the classic common definition that they learned in the Saturday school. They are saying nothing can be certain in science because it is only opinions, and they can’t trust it. My only recourse has been to declare my intent not to return next year, for I find the environment here does not allow for science instruction.

What happened at your school is exactly why we are fighting all the IDiots trying to push this stuff into public education science standards. It is hard for kids to learn what science is if they are given mixed messages about what it is. Most people make decisions based on their emotions and this is especially true of teenagers. ID appeals to their feelings about God where as science is a logical process used to find predictive explanations. It’s no wonder that kids are getting really confused. Sorry to hear about your situation, it really is a shame.

Comment #92697

Posted by Loren Petrich on April 1, 2006 5:09 PM (e)

Creationists’ pressure-group tactics remind me of the supporters of Hanns Hoerbiger’s Welteislehre (WEL or Cosmic Ice Theory).

This was a crackpot theory to the effect that much of the Solar System, including the Moon, is covered by ice, and that the Earth has had several previous moons, which have all spiraled in. The most recent moon’s final days are remembered in end-of-the-world myths like Ragnarok and the Book of Revelation, while the capture of the Earth’s current moon had sunk Atlantis.

Hoerbiger was convinced that his theories were rejected only because he was not a recognized astrophysicist. Counterevidence he dismissed as having been “faked” by “reactionary” astronomers, and this mining engineer would declare about some numbers not working out that “calculation can only lead you astray.”

After World War I, the WEL’s advocates used pressure-group tactics to get their theory accepted; they would heckle astronomers’ meetings with “Out with astronomical orthodoxy! Give us Hoerbiger!” Who once wrote to a critic that “either you believe in me and learn, or you will be treated as the enemy.” And as the Nazis became prominent, the Hoerbigerites attached themselves to Nazism, saying that Hoerbiger was like Hitler, an Austrian “amateur” who got those pesky Jews out of the way.

Some leading Nazis became supporters of the WEL, and Nazi officialdom eventually had to state that one could be a good Nazi without believing in that theory.

Some WEL supporters stayed in business after World War II, though they have no Internet presence known to me as far as I’ve been able to discover.

Comment #92701

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 1, 2006 5:13 PM (e)

I have found the students repeatedly coming into class confused as to what to believe, as the director of the school is teaching them ID, and their science teacher (me) is not. After I spent a long time teaching them what a theory and a hypothesis is, they are coming back in to my classroom repeating the classic common definition that they learned in the Saturday school. They are saying nothing can be certain in science because it is only opinions, and they can’t trust it. My only recourse has been to declare my intent not to return next year, for I find the environment here does not allow for science instruction.

this is EXACTLY why we fight this battle, and EXACTLY why so many of us are adamant against letting folks teach this crap in schools.

Please take an exact copy of your letter, and mail it to:

any newspaper you can find

your local, state, and federal representatives

your local and state public school board representatives (even though your’s was a private school issue)

this is the precise message these folks need to hear;

the freaking damage this drivel causes when taught to young people that don’t already have a firm grasp of what science is yet.

believe me when i say that your message isn’t the first time we have heard of the confusion teaching creationsim in schools causes.

that said, it would be helpful if you would post the actual lesson plan you were forced to use to teach ID.

how does one even go about “teaching” it??

there is no theory, not hypotheses, no predictions and no data…

what’s left, as far as i can tell, is just dogma.

Comment #92710

Posted by President Jefferson Davis on April 1, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

The twentytwo lawsuits which I have brought against the Federal Government have given me an expertise in the American legal system surely surpassing that of any lawyer, and I can confidently tell you without reading it that Judge Jones’ ruling is completely illegitimate and will be shortly overturned. If you do a global search, you will see that Judge Jones’ ruling contained the word ‘the’ over 1,200 times – the same number as found in Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, a book about communism, and the same number as found in the closing arguments of murderer OJ Simpson’s fourteen lawyers, who, by the way, probably demanded inexcusably high hourly fees throughout the trial, a fact which Judge Jones failed to address even once in his supposedly exhaustive indictment of Intelligent Design. (So much for Judge Jones being a responsible pulic servant.) And all this was done on the taxpayers’ dime. The good people of Pennsylvania surely deserve better.

I am also disturbed by the shameful cowardice of the Ohio Board of Education. I heard something to the effect that the government hired well over a hundred attorneys, all of them probably charging inexcusably large hourly fees. Why was this necessary? The forces of the Darwinists should certainly have needed no more than one lawyer, preferably working voir dire, which I’m pretty sure is a real legal term that real (overpaid) lawyers use, meaning ‘to work for free’. Why were the Darwinists lawyers not willing to work voir dire in Ohio? Didn’t they think their cause was important enough? This is something none of the evolutionists will talk about, no matter how much they may crow about their so-called victory in Pennsylvania. I find this hypocrisy appalling.

Ever since their little ‘victory’ against ID in Dover, Darwinists have been trying to give the false impression that all criticisms of Darwinism are ID. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many criticisms of Darwinism in fact are Creationist, and since Intelligent Design and Creationism have nothing in common, this proves that criticism of the standard totalitarian Darwinist orthodoxy comes from all corners of scientific endeavor.

Another piece of evidence why the Dover ruling was completely illegitimate was the number of lawyers involved. I think I read somewhere that the evolutionists hired upwards of 28 attorneys, while the school district probably hired far fewer, let’s say 8 just for the sake of argument. However, a cold hard revisionist analysis of the facts will surely show that 28 attorneys were certainly not enough to defeat the 8 attorneys dedicated to the promulgation of free speech. How would the Darwinist attorneys be able to recognize the attorneys for the school district? How would they know where to find them, in order to round them up? How would they know where they lived? The logistics clearly could not be made to work, as any unbiased observer would have to agree. So therefore it is inescapable that in fact the defeat of intelligent design was in fact far smaller than Darwinists like to claim, or indeed, I daresay it is entirely possible that the Dover trial in fact did not take place at all.

Comment #92721

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 1, 2006 5:45 PM (e)

yup, that about sums up my name is legion’s arguments alrighty.

lol.

Comment #92756

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

Comment #92680 posted by Jedidiah Palosaari on April 1, 2006 04:27 PM

I have found the students repeatedly coming into class confused as to what to believe, as the director of the school is teaching them ID, and their science teacher (me) is not……. My only recourse has been to declare my intent not to return next year, for I find the environment here does not allow for science instruction.

If you find this “problem“ to be intolerable, you probably will not be able to escape this problem by switching to another school, because students all over are starting to question evolution theory. The Los Angeles Times recently had an article titled, “Testing Darwin‘s Teachers – Sometimes disruptive but often sophisticated questioning of evolution by students has educators increasingly on the defensive.“ This is a three-page article on the Internet, so don‘t miss pages 2-3. See http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-e…

If you have this problem only with evolution theory, you might be able to get around the problem. You could point out to the students that even if all or part of evolution theory is untrue, it is still something that they should know just for their own information and because evolution theory is useful in some scientific fields. You could use AC circuit analysis as an analogy. You could point out to the students that electrical engineers use complex-plane vectors (impedance vectors and rotating phasors) in the analysis of AC circuits, even though the engineers know that these vectors bear no direct physical relationship to the AC circuits.

Comment #92758

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 1, 2006 6:46 PM (e)

there you go again larry, proving to us that you are the master of making yourself look stupid.

congrats on finally making something of yourself.

Comment #92775

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 1, 2006 7:26 PM (e)

students all over are starting to question evolution theory.

Waterloo !!!! Waterloo !!!!! Waterloo !!!!!!

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #92796

Posted by Lee's Lieutenant on April 1, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

Larry FarFromKnowingHisName

I am a degreed mechanical engineer and the only scientific theories that I ever studied were atomic theory and some theories of stress failure.

Oh, cut the crap, Larry. Your daddy had to hook you up to AOL. You couldn’t mechanically engineer your way out of a wet paper bag.
But at least you’re admitting that you’ve never studied evolutionary biology…not that there has ever been much mystery about that, since you’ve endlessly advertised your own cluelessness about ToE, the law, the court system, the legislative system, and on and on…!
Why not return to a subject where your general cluelessness might actually work to your advantage: you know, something like Holocaust “revisionism” or Confederate apologetics.

Comment #92804

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

Comment #92680 posted by Jedidiah Palosaari on April 1, 2006 04:27 PM

I have found the students repeatedly coming into class confused as to what to believe, as the director of the school is teaching them ID, and their science teacher (me) is not……. My only recourse has been to declare my intent not to return next year, for I find the environment here does not allow for science instruction.

If you find this “problem“ to be intolerable, you probably will not be able to escape this problem by switching to another school, because students all over are starting to question evolution theory. The Los Angeles Times recently had an article titled, “Testing Darwin‘s Teachers – Sometimes disruptive but often sophisticated questioning of evolution by students has educators increasingly on the defensive.“ This is a three-page article on the Internet, so don‘t miss pages 2-3. See http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-na-e…

If you have this problem only with evolution theory, you might be able to get around the problem. You could point out to the students that even if all or part of evolution theory is untrue, it is still something that they should know just for their own information and because evolution theory is useful in some scientific fields. You could use AC circuit analysis as an analogy. You could point out to the students that electrical engineers use complex-plane vectors (impedance vectors and rotating phasors) in the analysis of AC circuits, even though the engineers know that these vectors bear no direct physical relationship to the AC circuits.

Comment #92814

Posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 8:42 PM (e)

Hey, ‘Jubal’, you’re repeating yourself. You posted that same message twice.

Comment #92825

Posted by J Simes on April 1, 2006 9:08 PM (e)

Comment #92814 posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 08:42 PM

Hey, ‘Jubal’, you’re repeating yourself. You posted that same message twice.

That was extra insurance because you asked the staff to delete my posts.

April Fools. No, it was just an accident – I don‘t know how it happened. Sorry about that.

Seriously, though, stop asking people to delete my posts. That is very rude. You would not like it if someone did it to you.

Comment #92832

Posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

Seriously, though, stop asking people to delete my posts. That is very rude. You would not like it if someone did it to you.

Larry, they are not deleting your messages because we tell them to, they are deleting them because you have been banned from here, remember???

And threatening to post under my name is not going to get you sympathy points, genius.

Comment #92833

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 1, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

larry desperately pleaded (like a true troll does):

Seriously, though, stop asking people to delete my posts. That is very rude. You would not like it if someone did it to you.

feel free super larry.

let’s see whose posts get deleted first.

you could always STOP being a troll, and thereby not risk your tenuous tenure here on PT.

really, the only reason you aren’t continually shuffled off to the BW is simply because the contributors are too lazy to do so.

every time they start monitoring threads, lo and behold, your posts go *poof*, appropriate for their content.

Comment #92995

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 4:00 AM (e)

Comment #92832 posted by Arden Chatfield on April 1, 2006 09:17 PM

Seriously, though, stop asking people to delete my posts. That is very rude. You would not like it if someone did it to you.

Larry, they are not deleting your messages because we tell them to, they are deleting them because you have been banned from here, remember???

You‘re lying. Don‘t bullshit me. When a PT staffer deleted my posts on another thread, you invited him to come here and delete my posts on this thread (which ironically is a thread that condemns censorship).

And threatening to post under my name is not going to get you sympathy points, genius.

I am not seeking sympathy. I am just seeking relief from all this damn banning and deleting.

PT should either stop persecuting anti-Darwinist commenters or turn in its Scientific American magazine web award. That is all there is to it.

Comment #93022

Posted by Stephen Elliott on April 2, 2006 5:30 AM (e)

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 04:00 AM (e)

I am not seeking sympathy. I am just seeking relief from all this damn banning and deleting.

PT should either stop persecuting anti-Darwinist commenters or turn in its Scientific American magazine web award. That is all there is to it.

I am curious. Do you think your posts get moved/deleted because you are making too good an argument and the only way to stop you winning is to censor you?

Comment #93158

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 2, 2006 11:18 AM (e)

I am just seeking relief from all this damn banning and deleting.

You brought it upon yourself by knowingly and purposely violating Rule 6 (do not post under multiple names), after you had been warned of the consequences of violating Rule 6. In fact, the administrators let you go at least two whole months while violating Rule 6, even as the denizens (myself including) requested and even begged you to return to posting as Larry to avoid the violation. It wasn’t until you used someone else’s username (I believe it was sir_toejam you posted as, but I could be misremembering) that the owner of the site publicly announced the enforcement of your ban.

You were banned not for the contents of your posts, but because of your conduct. Had you continued to post as Larry, you would not be under a ban. And every time anyone responds to you, we run the risk of being banned, which is why we ask that the ban be universally enforced, so that the lies and distortions you post aren’t left undisputed to potentially influence a lurker.

Oh, and for old time’s sake:

You could use AC circuit analysis as an analogy. You could point out to the students that electrical engineers use complex-plane vectors (impedance vectors and rotating phasors) in the analysis of AC circuits, even though the engineers know that these vectors bear no direct physical relationship to the AC circuits.

I am one of those electrical engineers who uses complex-plane vectors on a daily basis in designing AC circuits (specifically, for large manufacturing plants and municipal power distribution), and the vectors do indeed bear a direct physical relationship to the AC circuit response. Rotating machinery theory (this is a senior or graduate level course) even explains why the phasors are directly related to the AC response. Let me guess - you’re basing your knowledge on a class you took 30 years ago entitled something like “Basic Circuit Theory for Non-Majors”. I’ve written a paper on this which was cited by at least three PhD dissertations, two major utility companies, and became required reading in a college course for at least 4 years. (No, it was not peer-reviewed, but the professor published it on the course website).

Comment #93170

Posted by Arden Chatfield on April 2, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

Don‘t bullshit me. When a PT staffer deleted my posts on another thread, you invited him to come here and delete my posts on this thread (which ironically is a thread that condemns censorship).

You’re not very bright, ‘Jubal’, so I’ll explain this with short words. What you wrote there does not contradict what I said. Here’s the deal. When it got to the point when everyone here started yelling at you as soon as you popped up, you started coming back under all these ludicrous pseudonyms. (A violation of PT rules.) You once bragged that if we banned you, you would just start coming back under different names and IP addresses, which you have done. That’s an even bigger violation of the rules. You get deleted from time to time BECAUSE OF THAT. People here want you out because you’re an irritating moron who has no idea what he’s talking about and who derails threads. Then yesterday you threaten to start posting under my name. Remarkably, you seem not to understand this either, so let me tell you: that is a BIG violation. The only reason your posts are not more consistently deleted is because the people running this board are sadly too busy to maintain their threads properly.

If you think you’re being censored here because of your ideas, that’s a sign of your delusions of grandeur. We’re deleting you because you’re an irritating dimwit who shits all over PT’s rules.

What’s ironic is I think you actually KNOW all this, and view this all as a game.

My suggestion is if you think you’re ‘unloved’ here, would simply be to go away. There’s nothing stopping you. But I know you won’t do that, since you appear not to have a life beyond posting trollish nonsense at websites where you’re not wanted.

In the meantime, we will try to do our best to get your posts deleted when they appear, since, after all you’ve been banned. Remember?

Comment #93180

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 2, 2006 12:06 PM (e)

PT should either stop persecuting anti-Darwinist commenters or turn in its Scientific American magazine web award. That is all there is to it.

(sniffle) (sob) Boo hoo hoo.

Sucks to be you, doesn’t it.

Are Holocaust-deniers and Confederate apologists “persecuted” too, Larry?

Maybe you ARE really an IDer, Larry. After all, they are all whiny crybabies, too.

Comment #93205

Posted by k.e. on April 2, 2006 1:25 PM (e)

Larry Blathers again

You could use AC circuit analysis as an analogy. You could point out to the students that electrical engineers use complex-plane vectors (impedance vectors and rotating phasors) in the analysis of AC circuits, even though the engineers know that these vectors bear no direct physical relationship to the AC circuits.

As Kevin pointed out the mathematical model described with the aid of “imaginary numbers” (complex numbers) that Larry has such difficulty with indicates the disjunct in his thought patterns and the real world.

I would suggest that this is the problem.
For someone who only views the world in an objectivist manner (the idea that all acceptable knowledge must take the form of exact, impersonal, context-neutral ‘facts’) and for whom a relative interpretation(no knowledge claims of the objectivist kind can be found, there is no true knowledge and rival knowledge claims are incommensurable) fall into the trap of a non dualistic cognitive dissonance.

When supernatural/metaphysical ideas are taken literally as fact then “reality” for them actually becomes a form of “magical realism” or a form of (mild?)schizophrenia, where thoughts are not moderated by normal adult behavior.

The problem Larry has is with the world “imaginary”, he conflates the world imaginary; as used in normal conversation to mean ‘not existing’ except in ones mind, with the the mathematical use of the 2 words “imaginary numbers” which are by an accident of history used to counterpoise a type of number that is not a “real number” (NB. people who understand this just hold on…. all will become clear) .

Because Larry’s (Fundy) brain is so locked by his literalism he simply thinks “imaginary numbers” are *actually imaginary* ,that is to say not real, they do not exist.

Even the word “exists” for a Fundy is fraught with danger, the very word conjures up the thought that “god exists” (in exactly the same manner that Santa Claus exists for a child but much more concrete for an un-disabused adult) therefore existence itself DOES NOT EXIST in the normal use of the term. (BTW Larry will not understand that sentence…think about it)

The literal Fundy brain is extremely rational despite the incongruence of that statement, for them the mythology and imagined history of the various holy books are FACT promoting a form of ‘rapture’ … a sort of eternal adolescence.

They have been freed from the normal child to adult transition of constructing a metaphysical dualism (for western religions at least) that must be adopted for any of reality and existence to make sense.
To understand how that dualism is constructed look at Dr Ken Miller’s comments on how he sees ‘creation’. His world view allows him to hold the idea that if there is a G_d that exists then it is not an actual biblical literal existence in a Fundy sense which they piously point out because some Xtians do not believe in a biblical literal existence gives them a (rational in their mind) excuse to disparage those beliefs.

The crazy thing about the Fundy mindset is that for them the world appears to be crazy because the rest of the world does not agree with what they perceive as FACT’s which to them are as real as their own noses.

Comment #93271

Posted by J Simes on April 2, 2006 4:41 PM (e)

Comment #93158 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 2, 2006 11:18 AM

I am one of those electrical engineers who uses complex-plane vectors on a daily basis in designing AC circuits (specifically, for large manufacturing plants and municipal power distribution), and the vectors do indeed bear a direct physical relationship to the AC circuit response. Rotating machinery theory (this is a senior or graduate level course) even explains why the phasors are directly related to the AC response.

The use of complex-number mathematics in AC circuit analysis is basic – not senior or graduate level – EE material. I completely understand such usage, so our differences on this subject are just a matter of opinion. The voltages and currents in the circuit are just the real components of the rotating phasor vectors. The impedance vector‘s physical relationship to the circuit is even more remote – the reactance component of the impedance vector ( i.e., the impedance vector‘s “imaginary-number“ component in the complex-number plane ) is a computed number based on the capacitances, inductances, and the AC frequency. It is not at all obvious that complex-number math is useful in the analysis of AC circuits. I used this example of complex-number AC circuit analysis just to illustrate the fact that things that may be perceived as having little or no apparent connection to reality – another example is evolution theory – can still be useful in science and technology.

Comment #93293

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on April 2, 2006 5:50 PM (e)

Because Larry’s (Fundy) brain

I still don’t think Larry is a fundie, just a crank.

No fundie could have gone one tenth as long as Larry has without dragging his religious opinions into the discussion. They are, after all, the only thing that matters to them.

Comment #93299

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 2, 2006 6:02 PM (e)

The voltages and currents in the circuit are just the real components of the rotating phasor vectors.

That is a false statement. The voltages and currents in the circuits are the magnitudes and phase angles of the rotating phasor vectors, as is the complex power. It is the “real” power (power available to do work) that is the real component of the resultant phasors, and the reactive power is the imaginary component of the resultant phasors. You are out of your league on this topic. Your opinion is in fact wrong, not merely different from mine.

Almost anyone who has had to work with AC circuits will immediately see the advantage of using complex math in the analysis. Almost anyone who has had to work with rotating machinery will immediately understand why phasors do in fact bear a direct physical relationship with the AC circuits being described. To some people, either or both of those never do become obvious. They may be able to do the rote work, but they will never truly understand what is going on, nor will they be able to effectively troubleshoot a problem they have not previously encountered.

When I took AP Physics in high school, I only memorized a couple basic formulas. At the beginning of every test, I would derive all the remaining formulas from those basic formulas. Because I understood the theory, rather than merely memorizing laws derived from the theory, I had by far the best grade in the class.

The lesson: rote memorization without understanding merely makes a person a technician.

Comment #93448

Posted by J Simes on April 3, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

Comment #93299 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on April 2, 2006 06:02 PM

The voltages and currents in the circuit are just the real components of the rotating phasor vectors.

That is a false statement. The voltages and currents in the circuits are the magnitudes and phase angles of the rotating phasor vectors, as is the complex power. It is the “real” power (power available to do work) that is the real component of the resultant phasors, and the reactive power is the imaginary component of the resultant phasors. You are out of your league on this topic. Your opinion is in fact wrong, not merely different from mine.

No, it is not a false statement, and I am not “out of my league.“ By “voltages and currents,“ I meant the instantaneous values of the voltages and currents, and not the peak values (amplitudes) of the voltage and current waveforms, these peak values being the “magnitudes“ of the phasors. The angle between the voltage and current phasors is the “phase angle“ between the sinusoidal waveforms of the voltage and current. I was not talking about complex power but was only talking about voltages and currents. BTW, some references might say that the instantaneous voltages and currents are the imaginary components rather than the real components of the phasors, but this change just shifts both the voltage and current waveforms by the same 90 degrees. http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/AC.html has some nice diagrams showing phasors and their corresponding sinusoidal voltage and current waveforms, and the diagrams can be animated by clicking on the buttons marked “play“ just to the right of the voltage waveforms. This webpage also discusses complex impedance at the bottom.

Almost anyone who has had to work with AC circuits will immediately see the advantage of using complex math in the analysis.

On the contrary, complex-number math and AC circuits seem so unrelated that seeing the relationship was virtually a stroke of genius.

Almost anyone who has had to work with rotating machinery will immediately understand why phasors do in fact bear a direct physical relationship with the AC circuits being described.

Rotating AC generators are just a means of generating AC voltages and do not give any clues about the complex-number analysis of AC circuits.

Comment #94818

Posted by J. Biggs on April 5, 2006 9:00 AM (e)

Larry simply can not help himself. He even insists on arguing with people who are experts in their respective fields, telling them they are wrong about esoteric research they have done. Well, being that I also have a degree in EE, I must concur with W. Kevin Vicklund. I took courses called Advanced Circuit Analysis I and II, the second course dealt specifically with A.C circuits. We also had labs where we designed, built and tested A.C. circuitry and guess what; one could observe the relationships Larry says don’t exist using an oscilloscope and other circuit testing equipment. A requirement of the course was that the student recognize the relationship between theory and what he/she observed. I had the second highest grade in this class (A.C.A II) and was one of two people who got an A. While my knowledge of E.E. is certainly not up to Mr. Vicklund’s, I can recognize who is right and who is wrong. Larry is a dilettante who thinks he knows about these things but he doesn’t. Goodbye Larry, I hope to never hear from you again.