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Latest Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution

 
 
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 03:27 pm
@rosborne979,
It is interesting that Pawlenty said "from an educational AND scientific standpoint," this should be decided at the local level. Since when is science decided at the local level?????
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 03:31 pm
@wandeljw,
He's trying to hide behind "it's a local decision" so he can avoid taking a stance (which he knows is indefensible).

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 03:49 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Greg Laden, an anthropology professor at the University of Minnesota, has this advice for science teachers when the topic is evolution:

The student is talking about C14 dating and how it "has problems."...

Next class, the same student, again mentions something about the Laws of Thermodynamics....

How can a student ask questions about C14 and Thermodynamics unless they've learned about them in Physics class already?

I think an elementary school science teacher can legitimately defer any question in which the student lacks a fundamental understanding of the subject they are challenging with, simply because part of the answer to the challenge comes from understanding something which they have not been taught yet.

It's only natural for science education to make a normal progression through ideas, building one upon the other from a known base. Just because a student can repeat the word Thermodynamic doesn't mean that they are equipped to discuss it.

wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 01:34 pm
TEXAS UPDATE

Quote:
Devolution in Education
(By Laurie Barker James, Fort Worth Weekly, September 3, 2008)

Regularly updating the subject matter taught in public schools would seem such a basic good idea as to be a no-brainer " and noncontroversial. Who would want their kids learning from history textbooks, for example, that end with the Soviet Union still intact or literature classes that cover only the works of dead white guys from Europe who wrote with lots of where-art-thou’s?

The Texas Education Agency reviews each subject matter area, from kindergarten through high school, once a decade. A committee of teachers spends months studying the curriculum, recommending what new material should be added and outmoded information eliminated. Then the proposal goes to the 15-member elected State Board of Education for review, and the public gets to comment.

This summer and fall, the science curriculum comes under scrutiny. But far from being a yawner, the review may turn out to be a key battleground between scientists and science teachers on one hand and the religious right on the other.

The basic fight is expected to be over what kids are taught about evolution " which takes up only about three days of teaching in a 180-day school year. But scientists and teachers argue there are much bigger things at stake: the intimidation of teachers and the possible beginning of biblical beliefs being taught as science in Texas public schools.

Those teachers believe that for the religious right " or any religious group " to be able to dictate what is taught, or how, on any scientific subject undermines science education. They believe the religious right is confusing the debate by talking about how evolution is “only” a theory and that ideas like creationism or “intelligent design” should be given equal weight. While many elected officials in this country, including even Alaska governor and presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, say that a “healthy debate” on creationism is possible, for scientists that’s almost akin to equating rock-solid math principles with a religious debate on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Science teachers like Kevin Fisher say evolution is not a complex idea. “First-graders are capable of understanding evolution,” said the science coordinator for Lewisville public schools, who is a player in the curriculum review process. “It’s descent with modification, or how things change over time.”

Simple it may be, but Texas science teachers report that they’re now unsure what they can say to their classes or how they can say it. Steven Schafersman, president of Texas Citizens for Science, said that the current educational climate “intimidates [science] teachers” to pressure them “to avoid or minimize” the topic of evolution.

The fact that none of the other science teachers interviewed for this article wanted their names used would seem to back up his allegation of fear in the teaching ranks. All but Fisher said they believe that any statement with their names on it could come back to them in the form of a pink slip. And they may be right. Just ask Christine Comer.


Comer, formerly the director of science curriculum for the TEA, alleges that she was forced to resign last October after she sent out an e-mail announcing that renowned author Barbara Forrest was coming to speak in Austin. Forrest, author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, is a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University. The notice went out to a listserv of educators to whom Comer routinely sent information about speakers and resources.

“I sent the e-mail as an ‘fyi,’ not as something formally endorsed by TEA,” Comer said. Because evolution is included in the state’s current science curriculum, she maintains, it was completely proper for her to make her colleagues aware that a nationally known expert on the subject was coming to town.

Roughly two hours later, Comer was called into her supervisor’s office and handed an e-mail written by Lizzette Reynolds, who’d just been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as the TEA’s commissioner for statewide policy and programs. Reynolds had received a copy of Comer’s message and deemed it both “potentially an offense” and contrary to TEA policy of “remaining neutral” on the subject of creationism. She recommended that Comer be reassigned or fired. First, Comer was told to send a second e-mail with a disclaimer. Then, she said, TEA administrators told her to choose between being fired " potentially putting her retirement funds and other benefits into jeopardy " and quitting her job.

TEA officials said that there were legitimate reasons for Comer’s dismissal, unrelated to the events in October, although the timing seems suspicious to many observers. According to TEA officials, Comer’s termination was related to “repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination,” and it was coincidental that the “last straw” coincided with a fairly controversial issue. A Nov. 5 memo from Monica Martinez, then the TEA’s acting curriculum director, recommended the termination, noting that Comer had been “counseled” previously that year about “exercising good judgment … when sharing information regarding science education in Texas.”

Comer filed suit in July against the agency and Education Commissioner Robert Scott, alleging she was illegally fired for “contravening an unconstitutional policy at the TEA.” She charges that the policy requiring employees to be neutral on the biblical interpretation of the origin of humans is illegal, since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal. The Texas attorney general’s office, on behalf of the TEA, has made a motion to dismiss Comer’s lawsuit.

The TEA is being cautious in its public statements about science curriculum, in part, officials said, because the review process is in its early stages. But the issue of what state employees and teachers can and cannot say has deep roots in Texas’ conservative government.


The process of chipping away at the theory of evolution in Texas science curriculum actually began with Texas Proclamation 95 in the mid-1990s. Signed by then-Gov. George Bush, the proclamation requires basic biology textbooks to “formulate, discuss, critique, and review hypotheses, theories, laws, and principles, and their strengths and weaknesses.”

Opponents of the theory of evolution, who are variously called creationists, Young Earth believers, or anti-Neo-Darwinists, have laid the groundwork both nationally and in Texas over the past decade to turn the relatively simple task of curriculum development into a fight over the basic theory of how humans came to be. Whatever you call them, this group of mostly fundamentalist Christians believes in biblical inerrancy. In recent years, many of them have lined up behind the concept of “intelligent design,” which attempts to use scientific terminology to promote the idea that, as it says in Genesis, the world was created in six days. If the Bible is correct, the proponents say, the Earth is very young " less than 7,000 years old.

The Austin-based Texas Freedom Network, which says its members include more than 30,000 religious and community leaders, watches “far-right issues” affecting Texas schools. In the early 1990s, TFN began charting the religious right’s progress in turning what the network calls “a sleepy corner of Texas government” " the State Board of Education " into a battleground over issues such as the theory of evolution.

Dan Quinn, communications director for TFN, said that Texans have “elected a board with a bloc of ideologues who care more about promoting their own personal agendas than educating Texas kids.”

According to TFN, the 2006 elections brought the number of SBOE members with religious right affiliations to seven " one short of a majority. Pat Hardy, who represents Tarrant County on the board, is a relatively conservative Republican and one of the few board members who’s actually a teacher. As a Christian, Hardy believes that God is responsible for the creation of the universe. As an educator who taught for more than 30 years, she sees the danger in pushing religion into the state’s public school science curriculum, a stance that causes considerable heartburn for more conservative Republicans.

In her recent primary battle to keep her education board seat, Hardy had the dubious distinction of being branded a “RINO” by some members of her own party. A “Republican in name only” runs the risk of challenges from more conservative candidates, backed by a mega-church or two. Hardy said that her 2006 opponent, Dr. Barney Maddox, never attacked her personally but used campaign materials that fed the allegation of “weaknesses” in the current science theory.

During the campaign, Maddox refused to talk about his position on evolution. However, his affiliations seem to confirm his ideological leanings. As a doctor, Maddox was tapped more than a decade ago to sit on the state review panel for high school biology textbooks. He condemned one potential textbook (Prentice Hall’s Biology: The Living Science) because, he said, the book “violated state law [Proclamation 95] requiring discussion of scientific weaknesses of evolution.” Maddox also wrote an article for the Institute for Creation Research, in which he is credited as “author of the biological sciences course material for the Creationist Worldview distance education program offered by ICR.”

Hardy won re-election this spring, and the SBOE remains, for the time being, tenuously balanced.

In the curriculum revision process that began earlier this year, some teachers’ groups have accused the SBOE of smokescreening its true agenda, a charge that the SBOE leadership denies. David Bradley, a Republican board member from Beaumont, has been quoted as saying that, during the science curriculum revision process, “the only thing this board is going to do is ask for accuracy.” Conservative board members have denied that there will be any controversy, unless liberal-thinking groups like the Texas Freedom Network bring it.

Schafersman, of Texas Citizens for Science, said Bradley is being disingenuous at best. “The intent of the SBOE creationists is to ask for misrepresentation of science, not for accuracy,” he wrote in an e-mail. “What Bradley and his colleagues actually plan to do is damage evolution instruction by trying to get the new science standards to include [lessons on] alleged but false ‘weaknesses’ of evolution, in order to weaken evolution content, confuse students, and make them think science is less accurate and reliable about biological origins than it really is.”

Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist, is the current State Board of Education chairman. As a medical professional, his credentials for board membership might seem impeccable. However, McLeroy, who was appointed by Perry, is also an evangelical Christian who rejects the theory of evolution. Quoted in The New York Times on June 4, McLeroy said his rejection of evolution " “I just don’t think it’s true or it’s ever happened” " is not based on religious grounds.

“My personal religious beliefs are going to make no difference in how well our students are going to learn science,” he said in the interview.

That may be true. But the decidedly anti-evolution slant of McLeroy and his conservative colleagues on the education board may make that difference.

In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News on May 31, Bradley told a reporter, “Evolution is not fact. Evolution is a theory and, as such, cannot be proven.”

Statements like that " throwing around terms like theory and hypothesis and guess as though they were interchangeable " just illustrate the problem, as far as Lewisville’s Fisher is concerned.

In layperson’s terms, if you say, “It’s just a theory,” that usually means you’re talking about a guess, or something unproven. But Fisher said that, in the precise language of science, a theory is something that has been rigorously tested, reviewed by scientists, modified when new evidence becomes available, verified by repeated experimentation, and has become part of the scientific consensus. A theory differs from a law in that a law governs a single action, like the law of gravity. A theory, on the other hand, explains a whole series of related phenomena, like the theory of relativity. A hypothesis, Fisher said, is a guess that hasn’t been through that scientific process of being tested and proved up. And creationism, which is based on biblical interpretation, isn’t even a guess: It’s a belief, based on faith, he said.

“A theory isn’t a guess,” Fisher said. “Science deals with natural explanations which are testable.” In that context, he said, “evolution can be proven. The evidence is overwhelming.”

Teachers like Fisher, with science backgrounds, and scientists like Schafersman believe that evolution is a concept critical to the understanding of all of the sciences. A former geology professor, Schafersman said his biggest criticism of the state board’s process is that most of the elected officials who will formally approve the curriculum are not educators. And in this case, he said, the fact that most also are not scientists can make a huge " and dangerous " difference for Texas students.

The lack of science background on the part of most state board members means they may not understand that creationism is a belief, not a scientific theory, like evolution, that is subject to being proved.

The idea that divine guidance played a part in the creation of the world " the basis of “intelligent design” " “is a possibility, but we have no way of testing it,” Fisher said.

However, that doesn’t stop “ID” proponents from touting it as a credible scientific theory or, conversely, attempting to discredit evolution with the words, “It’s just a theory.”

Chief among the proponents of intelligent design are the “fellows” at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. According to its web site, the institute’s Center for Science and Culture is run by a group of “more than 40 … biologists, biochemists, chemists, physicists, philosophers and historians of science, and public policy and legal experts.” The web site states that the institute is not a religious organization and also maintains that intelligent design is not the same as creationism.

One of the center’s primary goals is to support research by scientists and other scholars challenging various aspects of Darwinian theory. The CSC’s leaders have advanced degrees " but they aren’t scientists: Director Stephen Meyer has a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science, while Associate Director John G. West holds a doctorate in government.

One of the hallmarks of the institute, according to many scientists, is that the CSC generates pseudo-scientific research, done by researchers with Ph.D. credentials, to bolster claims concerning intelligent design, to build support for that idea as a credible scientific theory. Of course the proponents of intelligent design also include those with legitimate hard-science backgrounds, like McLeroy and Maddox.


The argument at the root of the issue is biblical inerrancy, a doctrine as old as the Christian church itself. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, early scientists and Christians, challenged the Catholic Church’s doctrine on the Earth as the center of the universe.

We can now demonstrate that the Earth moves around the sun, not vice versa. Back before the Protestant Reformation, however, even scientific evidence drew a penalty when it came into conflict with accepted interpretation of what the Judeo-Christian Bible (which had been translated from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek and then Latin at that point) said. Perhaps it’s fittingly ironic that Charles Darwin, who proposed the theory of evolution in the mid-1800s, was first a ministry student before a voyage aboard the Beagle changed the course of his future. Now people of diverse faiths " clergy as well as laypeople " accept the theory of evolution and want to see it taught in schools. The TFN’s Quinn says that many people of faith do not believe evolution to be “anti-God.”

“We can honor the faith of all Texans by teaching sound science in science classrooms and leaving personal views of the creation of the world to families and houses of worship,” he said. “As a person of faith, I find it insulting when it’s implied that those who want their kids to get a sound science education aren’t ‘Christian enough.’ ”

Ralph Mecklenburger, the rabbi at Fort Worth’s Beth-El Congregation, has been paying attention to the debate about Texas’ science curriculum. As an expert in the Torah, or Old Testament, upon which the proponents of intelligent design base their theories, the rabbi is concerned with misinterpretation.

“Has evolution been demonstrated experimentally? Yes, many times,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Intelligent design, on the other hand, may be true, but until someone comes up with a way to test it, it will not be science.”

Many scientists echo Mecklenburger’s statement that, despite challenges, the theory of evolution has held up for more than a century. Those scientists and many teachers believe that intelligent design proponents ignore the proofs and use outdated information to hammer away at accepted science. Historically, Jews found the Bible to be “full of memorable ways to teach values, but we know it is not science,” Mecklenburger said. “We deny that science and religion conflict, but that is because we recognize that the Bible is about religion, not about science.”

***********************************

The Discovery Institute’s policy of promoting intelligent design as secular science was thwarted in Pennsylvania, but it may well reappear in Texas. According to Comer, the issue of intelligent design isn’t problematic just for biologists.

“People who teach astronomy have already been verbally attacked in workshops discussing the Big Bang theory and the idea that the Earth is 14 million years old,” she said. “It’s an area I never would have thought would be controversial.”

Comer also said she thinks that the process of science curriculum review is more “secretive” this year. However, according to Debbie Ratcliffe, TEA’s director of communications, that’s not true.

“We just started [the curriculum review] in January,” she said. “A year is the standard time frame for this kind of review. We’re following the normal process.”

Hardy, the Tarrant County member of SBOE, said the education board is scheduled to take an initial vote on the science curriculum recommendations in January 2009, with the final vote in March.

A lot can happen between then and now. Bradley, one of the SBOE’s most vocal evolution opponents, is up for re-election, and his opponent, Democrat Laura Ewing, is a Pearland educator. Ewing’s campaign slogan is “Special interest groups have derailed Texas education.”

Ratcliffe said that the public will have ample time for comment. Experts are currently composing drafts, according to the TEA’s schedule, and the SBOE will have another “discussion” about the science curricula in November. She said the public can comment now, or at any of the meetings between November 2008 and March 2009, as well as via the agency’s web site. However, as of Tuesday, there was no official link on the TEA’s web site to post public comment about the science curriculum. Science teachers and their advocates are urging interested Texans to write directly to TEA Commissioner Scott or to their local SBOE members now " and not to wait until the official proposal is released in January.

Religiously conservative states like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are all facing the same kind of challenge to their science curricula. It could happen in other states as well, but in Texas, a small number of citizens with a particular ideological viewpoint have been elected to positions of power. In addition to the probable threat of lawsuits filed on behalf of parents if any part of the theory of intelligent design makes its way into Texas textbooks, the issue poses other problems, not only for Texas children but for the nation.

“Right now, what the SBOE does will determine whether the next generation of Texas public school students get a 19th-century education in their 21st-century classroom,” said Quinn. “The adoption of the science curriculum will determine whether students will be prepared to succeed in college and jobs of the future, or whether their education is subordinated to the views and beliefs of a fringe group of SBOE members.”

What happens here will also ripple through the textbooks of other states. Texas, the second-largest purchaser of textbooks (behind California) spent more than $25 million in the 2004-2005 school year on high school biology texts alone, which means that publishers create books based on the needs of Texas schools.

Quinn also warned that the science curriculum may go the excruciating way of the language arts curriculum review process, completed earlier this year. Experts in language arts " teachers and volunteers " worked for three years to develop a new curriculum, only to have their work thrown out by the SBOE (Static, May 21, 2008). Asked why the board rejected the recommendations of acknowledged experts, SBOE chair McLeroy told reporters at the time that, “My experts are Winston Churchill and common sense.”

Quinn called the statement “arrogance and willful ignorance.”

“Just like teachers wouldn’t know better than Dr. McLeroy how to fill a cavity, he does not know better than [the educators] how to educate Texas children,” he said.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 05:07 pm
Ill bet that the science faculties at Rice, Texas A&M, and U of Texas are reeaally happy with this turnabout.

Texas-turn your clocks back 150 years.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 05:18 pm
@farmerman,
Heck, in Texas, we don't believe in what we can't see. We don't believe in big bang, evolution or germs, for starters.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 08:02 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Ill bet that the science faculties at Rice, Texas A&M, and U of Texas are reeaally happy with this turnabout.

Then I wish they would step up and start making their feelings known. College is where parents want their kids to go, so if colleges start complaining that Texas high schools are teaching bullshit science, and kids without proper preparation for college will not be accepted, maybe the parents who care about their kids educations will speak up.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 08:55 am
Quote:
Report on the Sixth International Conference on Creationism, Conclusion
(by Jason Rosenhouse, ScienceBlogs.com, August 30, 2008)

Time to wrap this up. So here are a few more interesting moments from the conference.

The one genuinely interesting talk I attended had nothing to do with science at all. It was entitled “A Critique of the Precreation Chaos Gap Theory,” and was delivered by John Zoschke, a pastor from Kansas. Zoschke was keen to refute one particular form of the Gap Theory, which, in an attempt to reconcile Genesis with the long ages revealed by geology, inserts a long gap of time between two of the early verses in Genesis. (Which two depends on the particular version of the Gap Theory under consideration.)

Zoschke's talk was a far cry from the usual “Scientists are wrong about everything!” revival tent atmosphere so typical of creationist presentations. There were no pyrotechnics, no ambitious claims, and no acrimony of any kind. Just sixty minutes of calm Biblical analysis, returning to the original Hebrew and making a serious effort to get at the original meaning of the text. Zoschke also referred to several different translations of the Bible, comparing their different versions of certain key verses. It was a useful counter to those who accuse creationists of being dogmatically attached to the King James version.

Obviously I am in no position to judge whether Zoschke's understanding of ancient Hebrew is up to the task. But I do think a remark is in order. If we are to judge them by their best representatives then creationists take their Biblical analysis very seriously indeed. They endorse the young-Earth position because they genuinely believe (with considerable justice) that this is what was intended by the writer of Genesis. I am sympathetic to this view, as I have written before. The arguments I have seen defending alternatives like the day-age theory, the gap theory, or the framework hypothesis are not convincing.

(Along those lines, can someone explain to me the argument that the days in Genesis could not be twenty-four hour days because the Sun was not created until Day Four? The Earth and light were both created on Day One, and it seems to me that is all you need to talk about a normal day.)

Anyway, we should also note that Noah's Ark was a big topic of discussion. John Woodmorappe, he of the famous treatise Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study (recently out of print, as he sadly informed us before his talk) discussed some new research showing, in his view, that a wooden, ark-size, boat could have been seaworthy for the duration of the great flood. Here's the abstract of his paper: Ark-size wooden ships are not only possible, but were actively contemplated in the early twentieth century. Incomplete composite action, historically a weakness in wooden ships, can be greatly mitigated through the use of a sufficient number of low-tech, high-stiffness dowel connectors. The deflection of the ark could have been held down to no more than 1.75-2.0 times that of a completely composite ark that experienced no shear lag. In addition, the effects of limited lengths of timber, relative to the length of the ark, are not significant when such dowels are used.

Good to know!

Nor was Woodmorappe the only one thinking ark-thoughts. A team of four unleashed this haymaker on us (in a talk entitled “Structural Dynamic Stability of Noah's Ark”): If the Genesis flood was a catastrophic event that induced large-scale wind-driven waves, then the ark that carried Noah and his family needed to be very stable upon large, sometimes random, loads. This particular study has several research components that give greater insight into the structural dynamic stability of the ark: (1) a combined numerical-experimental modal analysis on a 1/200th scale ark structure quantifying the first three fundamental resonance frequencies and associated mode shapes: 528 Hz in pitch bending, 800 Hz in yaw benidng, and 1000 Hz in torsion; (2) a computational modal analysis that links the 1/200th scale ark structure with the full-scale structure of Noah's Ark showing that the first fundamental frequency ranges from 1-4.5 Hz below the range of human resonances that typically range between 5-10 Hz; and (3) a 1/200th scale ark experimental study on turbulent random loads with waves that scaled as high as high as 500 ft (152 m) showing that Noah's Ark would be stable even under these extreme loads. This combined computational-experimental study clearly shows the stability of the ark under extremely large-scale, deleterious conditions.

And here you thought that the whole Noah's Ark story was implausible.

Less heady was the talk “A Review of the Search for Noah's Ark.” Short version: They haven't found it. They're not sure where to look. There's probably little left of it anyway.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 06:21 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Less heady was the talk “A Review of the Search for Noah's Ark.”

I can save them some trouble on this...
Quote:
Short version: They haven't found it.

That's because it doesn't exist.
Quote:
They're not sure where to look.

What a surprise.
Quote:
There's probably little left of it anyway.

Morons.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:21 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Then I wish they would step up and start making their feelings known.


They are Ros. The NCSE crowd from the Texas U contingent is very active. However, as with the law that requires teachers to be "Neutral about evolution and creation" , it casts a shadow over the College and University crowd as well. A&M is a state school and is sort of required to follow that bullshit law, while Rice and texas (and several other private schools) are doing their bits to enlighten the folks.

Texas is becoming very insular wrt this entire issue. They cloak their hypocrisy and small mindedness in these untested laws, thus keeping teachers :in line". A number of teachers could get fired and bring a case to the SUpreme Court (ultimately), but theres no guarantee that the Court would hear the case since theres no dictum from the 1st Amendment thats implicit with teaching . MAybe some issues under the 8th or 14th Amendments could work.
Its a fuggin mess down there.


edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:32 am
@farmerman,
An odd thing about Texas: We've had huge influx of residents from out of state for years, but it hardly shakes the dynamics.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 09:31 am
The "Second Conference on Creation Geology" took place on August 7, 2008. (I didn't even know that there had been a first conference.) A PDF version of the proceedings is now available online:
http://www.cedarville.edu/event/geology/2008_proceedings.pdf
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 03:13 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Its a fuggin mess down there.

I was afraid you would say that.

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 06:13 pm
WAndel--Imagine a Conference with only 4 papers. I attended the last GSA conference in Philly and it was a 5 day event (with field trips and all). There were several hundred papers each day and even these were heavily juried. I imagine the Creationist Conferences are a bit more "Streamlined" what with their conclusions all pre presented. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol19/8417_trivializing_creationist_schol_12_30_1899.asp


The above is a better description of the Coconino bullshit presented by Wise and Elders. These guys are all a bunch of frauds.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 07:48 pm
@farmerman,
Thanks for the link, Farmerman.

(The last Creationist Conference was held in Pittsburgh. Did you attend any of it?)
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 04:55 am
Creationist Conferences have , in the past, been heavily security checked. They always require pre registration and would "uninvite" anyone who didnt pass muster. They can google a persons name to see what their affiliations are. The age of unfettered info has its drawbacks especially in allowing free expression of opinions .
There have been other Creation Conferences at Liberty U or past ones sponsoreed by the Institute for Creation SCience. Its always difficult to find proceedings of these things and many are self published.
The simplistic worldviews of the ICS has always been a source of critique by "real" science. Their views of the Coconino is only one area that makes one wonder how these "scientists" can pursue anything that resembles a career in Creation or Flood Geology. Their entire professional lives would be a waste of time.

Many of these guys have real honest to goodness advanced degrees from real honest to goodness Universities. Theyve published at lest ONE scholarly work (their theses or dissertations) and have had their "Tickets punched" by an advisory committee. After that, like WIse, theyve gone off the reservation and have pursued these whacko areas of inquiry which everyone can see are incorrect and flat fraud. This is all done while someone pays their salaries. Often, like Wise, its a simple matter of "following the money" but others like Enders or Gish, its more difficult to find how they can claim that they are "scientists" , when in reality, they are merely shills for a highly laughable world view.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 07:25 am
@farmerman,
So this is where you're all hiding is it after you couldn't take the ID thread anymore. What a good idea. You can start at the beginning and go over it all over again. Same old pejoratives. Same old stuff all round. As usual, no effort required. The empty vessels making noise again.

It's easy to translate. You know best. All sat in a huddle congratulating each other.

What's the difference between a Creationist conference being heavily checked and you lot putting me on "Ignore". Didn't you "uninvite" me.

You have never been interested in "allowing free expression of opinions" and you never will be.

What are lingerie shops for fm. Who invented the kiss?

wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 07:56 am
@spendius,
spendi,

You were doing so great on the ID thread that I decided to leave it in your hands. There are some people who want to discuss sociological issues with you on the ID thread.
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 08:38 am
@wandeljw,
There are not wande. Sociological issues frightened your little coterie so much they went and buried their faces in Mom's Apron.

0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 08:47 am
A Parody of Creationist Arguments, by Ari Rahikkala, Live Journal:

Quote:
The theory of childhood, also known as child origin, is a damnable, loathsome and indefensible lie. How can any thinking person suppose all humans used to be babies once?

There is no development path from babies to adults, no transitional forms between these two species. Show me even one baby with the head of a grown man on his body. Can you? No? Not even a bearded toddler? No adults with unfused skullbones, outside unfortunate disorders? Not even a tiny little newborn girl suddenly sprouting a respectable bosom? You can’t find them, because they don’t exist. There isn’t a single transitional form between children and adults, and you will never find one because the theory simply is an unscientific lie.

The development of children has been well-researched in our six-month study following a sample of one thousand children and adults of various ages. We have conclusively proven that while there are minor changes in features like height and body fat, and replacement of deciduous teeth with permanent teeth, incontravertibly still every creature in the study that started out as a child had only slightly more adult features at the end of the observation period than at its beginning. Children and adults are separate kinds and there will never be sufficient changes to change one into the other. We reject any evidence from longer-term studies as we believe the laws of physics have changed within the last year.

To claim people come from children is demeaning and morally degrading. We have observed how children behave. If we acted like small children we’d all be demanding and impatient, and we’d be cheating, lying, and stealing from each other all the time. If the theory of childhood were true there would be no morality, and with no morality to build one on, no society. Childhood is a wicked lie used by charlatans to justify evils such as public schools.

There is no consensus on the theory of childhood in the scientific community. We should teach the controversy. Our children will be served well to learn that the prospect of them becoming adults is merely a theoretical idea. Many children come from families that do not subscribe to the theory of childhood, and they could be disturbed if the theory were taught as fact.
 

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