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 It's gettin' warmer in Kansas...
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2005 :  00:58:03  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Perhaps some good will blow from this ill wind yet.
quote:
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Alarmed by proposals to change how evolution is taught, scientists and teachers are mobilizing to fight back, asserting that educational standards are being threatened by what they consider a stealth campaign to return creationism to public schools.

This week's battle is focused on Kansas where State Board of Education hearings began Thursday on evolution and intelligent design, a carefully marketed theory that challenges accepted understandings of the Earth's origins in favor of the idea that a creator played a guiding role.

Scientists warn that introducing challenges to evolution in the schools would weaken education, harm the economy and, as one paleontologist put it, open Kansas to ridicule as "the hayseed state." Science organizations are boycotting the hearings, but plan to offer daily critiques.

Teachers and trade groups around the country are working to build e-mail lists, lobby lawmakers and educate the public about the perceived perils of intelligent design. Lawyers are examining prospects for court challenges. Evolution's defenders would love to repeat the success of nuclear physicist Marshall Berman, who led a counterattack after winning a seat on the New Mexico education board.


Might it not be possible that if this hassle gets big enough and loud enough, the general public will begin to pay attention to the dearth of evidence in support of The Wedge, and finally see it for the mendacity that it is? The unbrain-washed and thinking portion, at least.....


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2005 :  01:42:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I just heard an interesting piece on Democracy Now about the take over of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary by this Mohler guy.
WOW! What an eye opener.

Amy Goodman:
quote:
We take a look at the rising power of the evangelical political movement in this country with journalist and author Chris Hedges and the Rev. Joseph Phelps, who led a counter-service to last month's "Justice Sunday: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith."
author Chris Hedges, former foreign correspondent for The New York Times, currently Senior Fellow at the Nation Institute. He is author of War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning and the book Losing Moses on the Freeway. He has a master's degree in theology from Harvard University and an article in the latest Harper's magazine called, “Feeling the Hate with the National Religious Broadcasters.":
quote:
And there was -- you know, it was not accidental. These people in the early 1980s, late 1970s, people like Pat Robertson and others, met to create a political force, to take over religious institutions. They have now deeply divided the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, as well as secular institutions. People would come down for seminars at Regent University and be taught, you know, Robert's Rules of Orders and told to run for local school boards and, of course, take over the Republican Party, which they did. And they have pushed out conservatives, not only conservative republicans, but people we would call conservative Christians, and created an entirely new and different movement.
I know this isn't Kansas evolution trials but if you read the whole interview you'll see that the movement behind a lot of stuff like the "Wedge Strategy" likely comes from this incredible literal Bible group of fanatics. It gets more out of hand by the day.
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trishran
Skeptic Friend

USA
196 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2005 :  17:24:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send trishran a Private Message
Just read the book, The Happy Heretic by Judith Hayes. She has a great point about the creation/evolution debate. She asks, even if evolution were proven false, how would that support creationism? Either we came from one-celled creatures with an unbroken line of descent of DNA molecules, or we were mud clumps that were breathed upon? It's the creationism proponents than framed the debate that way, so maybe we could Hayes' approach...

trish
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sweetmiracle
Skeptic Friend

USA
74 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2005 :  17:53:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sweetmiracle a Private Message
For a non-US take on this, check out http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA910.htm.

"The connection here to the culture surrounding alternative medicine, or those parts of the environmental movement whose distrust of big business and government becomes focused around the idea of a scientific establishment that is covering up the evidence, is clearer than a connection to old-fashioned Christianity."

Remarkable claims require remarkable proof.

-Carl Sagan
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2005 :  18:51:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by trishran

Just read the book, The Happy Heretic by Judith Hayes. She has a great point about the creation/evolution debate. She asks, even if evolution were proven false, how would that support creationism?
That point has been made a bazillion times over the last three decades, yet the creationists and IDists both do nothing but come back with more "problems with evolution" (which are, in reality, the same rehashed arguments over and over). Yes, it's an obvious false dichotomy, but that doesn't matter to them one bit.

Over the course of the last seven years or so (since the writing of the Wedge Document), this has ceased to be a "debate" (if it ever was one) between science and religion, or between logic and irrationality, or any other sort of "battle of opposites." The IDists, through the Wedge, have made their campaign entirely political, and they're pretty good at the game.

For one thing, they've got the biggest tent in the universe. The leaders of the ID movement know the game so well that, when asked how old the universe is, they refuse to answer. Doing so, after all, would alienate either the Young-Earth Creationists or the Old-Earth Creationists, whereas right now, both groups are sitting comfortably together under the ID tent.

The tent is beginning to fray a little bit, here and there, though. Journalists are slowly becoming wise to what questions to ask. The pro-ID crowd in Dover, PA, made some tactical mistakes which made the folks at the Discovery Institute cringe. And when the big guns like Dembski get caught in a blatant lie, and dismiss it as an "irrelevant detail" (as happened recently), some of the morally-upright are going to start fleeing.

Over the last couple months, I've actually begun to get a good feeling about this particular part of the current "culture war." I'm thinking the conflict has actually reached its zenith, and in another seven years (or so), we'll hear as much about ID as we did in 1997. It'll never be silent, of course (creationism in its current form is over 80 years old, now), but there won't be court cases about it or school boards dumb enough to try the same stunts.

I hope.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2005 :  00:40:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
It can't go on forever. Just as 'the Church' put heretics in jail or worse in Galileo's day, you can only pretend you don't see sunspots for so long.

DNA research has already made this stupid argument obsolete. I think the scientific community may have been right to boycott the 'debate'.

But I still get very annoyed every time I hear the claim, "Why not teach the alternatives?", without the counterclaim, "We do, you idiot. What do you think science is all about?"

Like the doctor in the Schiavo case that called the reporter an idiot when she asked why there were no CAT scans, why can't we stop pussyfooting around?

Hmmm....guess I'm in a mood tonight.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2005 :  01:37:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by sweetmiracle

For a non-US take on this, check out http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA910.htm.

"The connection here to the culture surrounding alternative medicine, or those parts of the environmental movement whose distrust of big business and government becomes focused around the idea of a scientific establishment that is covering up the evidence, is clearer than a connection to old-fashioned Christianity."

I responded to this here since it took me off topic a bit.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  06:49:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

quote:
Originally posted by sweetmiracle

For a non-US take on this, check out http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA910.htm.

"The connection here to the culture surrounding alternative medicine, or those parts of the environmental movement whose distrust of big business and government becomes focused around the idea of a scientific establishment that is covering up the evidence, is clearer than a connection to old-fashioned Christianity."

I responded to this here since it took me off topic a bit.

Found this:
quote:
What a triumphant journey awaits Mustafa Akyol.

Kansas taxpayers are footing the bill to bring the Istanbul resident to Topeka as one of 23 witnesses scheduled to testify this week before a subcommittee of the Kansas State School Board in its unorthodox "trial" over science teaching standards. (Fortunately, Akyol happens to be in Washington, D.C., on other business, so Kansans are paying only to bring him across the country, not all the way from Turkey.)

Born in 1972, Akyol has a master's degree in history and writes a column for a newspaper in Istanbul. He also has identified himself as a spokesman for the murky Bilim Arastirma Vakfi, a group with an innocuous-sounding name -- it means "Science Research Foundation" -- but a nasty reputation.

Said to have started as a religious cult that preyed on wealthy members of Turkish society, the Bilim Arastirma Vakfi has appeared in lurid media tales about sex rings, a blackmail prosecution and speculation about its charismatic leader, a man named Adnan Oktar. But if BAV's notoriety has been burnished by a sensationalist Turkish media, the secretive group has earned its reputation as a prodigious publisher of inexpensive ideological paperbacks. BAV has put out hundreds of titles written by "Harun Yahya" (a pseudonym) on various topics, but most of them are Islamic-based attacks on the theory of evolution.

Over all, it's a good article. I'm impressed that they thought to bring in a Muslim creationist.

Further reading elsewhere shows that the ID woo-woos are taking a beating, but I think that the outcome will still be a change in science standards, as mentioned in this piece and others. The school board will get the whole lesson this time, and in the long run, ID will suffer for it.

Now, back to a brief hiatus -- got a couple of interesting things going.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  08:50:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
It's hard to argue with these guys when they just keep repeating, "ID is a science and members of the scientific community support that assertion". When rebutted that the only scientists on their side are from the fringe, they just deny it and toss out a few names like that supposed geneticist who backs ID. That guy just had some religious conversion that short circuited his brain in my opinion.

How is a science teacher supposed to teach non-science that some ignorant folks believe is science? sigh.....
Edited by - beskeptigal on 05/09/2005 08:52:11
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  17:24:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal:

How is a science teacher supposed to teach non-science that some ignorant folks believe is science?


"Today, students, we are going to study a steaming pile of ridiculous pseudoscientific crap mandated by the mouth breathing morons on your state Bored of Education. This will help enable you to recognize some of the features of utter nonsense dressed up in ludicrous scientific sounding jargon while actually having no scientific value whatsoever."

Then proceed to dismantle the asinine ID arguments.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  17:40:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Have to agree with you there R.Wreck. I was thinking about ways to deal with the whole ID thing if it becomes mandated into school lesson plans.

You teach it. Simple.

Then, as the IDists have demanded with evolution, you teach the weaknesses of ID. Break it down and destroy it.

Just hope that the kids have enough thinking skills to follow you.

Just glad that I don't have kids, or live in Kansas... heh.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  19:23:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
I was only able to scan the first couple of threads on Panda's Thumb regarding the Kansas "Kangaroo Court," but what's showing up, clear as day, is that the "science" lawyer is doing a damn fine job, and the ID witnesses are stumbling all over themselves.

The hearings are about what's called the "minority draft" which claims that the science standards in Kansas need to be changed from what's written up in the "majority draft." Turns out, though, that the "science" lawyer managed to get a bunch of the witnesses to admit that they haven't even read the majority draft. Worse yet, one of the school board members, and one of the ones to set up these special hearings, admitted that she hadn't read the majority draft carefully, either (and that bit of news went to AP within minutes of its utterance).

The obvious question is: how do they know the majority draft needs to be changed if they haven't read it?

Also, it seems that every one of the witnesses questioned believes that common descent is bunk, and that humans and apes do not share a common ancestor. One of them even said on the witness stand that he/she believes that all species were specially created by God. A chemist was asked how old he thinks the Earth is, and he replied that he didn't know, but suspected that it is really, really old.

But ID isn't about religion. Not at all. Which is why - at Kansas taxpayer expense - a Muslim fundamentalist is being flown in to testify against the teaching of evolution, too.

This thing is absolutely fascinating entertainment, if nothing else.

Oh, and my list of questions from the other thread? Turns out I was mistaken in thinking these people want ID taught. They just want to "problems" with evolution taught. So the questions about ID being science would be largely irrelevant to the proceedings. But it would have been nice, anyway. There's more about the testimony I haven't yet read, and there will be more testimony on Thursday (at least), so there's a chance some of those questions got asked or will get asked.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Randy
SFN Regular

USA
1990 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  20:28:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Randy a Private Message

Just to pass along this rather interesting comment from a atheist email list I subscribe to. The topic is the same as here, on the Kansas Intelligent Design crapola....

>snip:
I really think that we can also call
it (I.D.) the worship of ignorance. If God only exists in the gaps in our
knowledge, why not make lots of room for him by staying as ignorant as
possible?

"We are all connected; to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically."

"So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?"
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2005 :  20:33:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
In the same line of thinking, a frequent Panda's Thumb poster is planning on making "Stupid for Jesus" T-Shirts.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  13:31:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
The author of this Panda's Thumb item doesn't warn a person soon enough: before clicking that link, turn your irony meters off to save their circuitry.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2005 :  16:17:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
There was a segment on Lou Dobbs tonight, he gave 20 min of his show to interview 3 people. 1 IDst, 1 creationist, and one actual scientist. Talking about the Kansas thing, and about evolution and ID in general.

It was pretty pathetic.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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