Heartening news from the heartland

| 60 Comments

Covering the creationism beat is usually an unhappy job, consisting of report after report of yet more stupidity bubbling up. There is hope, though. A Fellow of the Discovery Institute, Paul Nelson, paid a visit to my university (the University of Minnesota Morris) last night to lecture us on problems in macroevolution and the promise of Intelligent Design creationism in explaining them. He had a large crowd show up, and the wonderful thing is how UMM students responded. They didn't sit back passively, they didn't throw rotten fruit…they hammered him with solid, critical questions. The Q&A session went on longer than the talk itself, and with only one exception, the questions and comments were all smart and uniformly anti-pseudoscience.

That is how it is done. That's how we win this battle—with a well-prepared and intelligent generation of students who can recognize BS when they hear it.

(PLUG: Looking for a good liberal arts university? Prefer a school in the public system because it's less expensive? Want a place with access to the resources of a major research university system, but the student/teacher ratios of a small town college? Take a look at the University of Minnesota Morris. Plus, our students are brilliant.)

60 Comments

Glad to hear it.

Any chance of a transcript of this showing up?

Or a tape?

I wish. This was organized by the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the local Evangelical Free Church; I didn’t see any cameras in action, and if there were, I don’t think this is the kind of thing they’d want circulating…at least not without a lot of editing.

The smart and uniformly anti-pseudoscience answers from the student body is not only a testament to them, but to their professors. It is heartening to see that despite the highly abstract and detail-oriented nature of teaching science, all of that knowledge is distilled into healthy skepticism and rational thinking. Without even having any formal eduaction on “tautological arguments” or “methodological naturalism”, the well taught student innately recognises a logical argument when they hear one. I tip my hat to the professors who train responsible, curious and rationally skeptical scientists.

HPLC_Sean Wrote:

I tip my hat to the professors who train responsible, curious and rationally skeptical scientists.

My sentiments exactly, except to note that some students are already that when they arrive, and in those cases, kudos to the teachers who reinforce it in them.

“That’s how we win this battle—with a well-prepared and intelligent generation of students who can recognize BS when they hear it”

not completely. that is just the first step. this battle has already been fought and won on an intellectual platform (hence the student reaction you posted is less abberation than the norm).

the battle now is in the grassroots, economic and political arena.

as distasteful as it may be to a scientist to spend time as an activist, that is what is needed now. students who will take what they have learned, and show their neighbors and local politicians that their faith is not under attack by science, and why.

otherwise, i completely disagree. we will lose this battle if all we do is focus on winning in the islands that are universities.

cheers

Makes me proud to be a Minnesotan.

By the way, I sent a note to the newsroom contact email address yesterday suggesting that they might be interested in doing a piece in which they ask the University of Minnesota President if he would be willing to sign a statement in support of evolution education similar to the one Scientific American editor John Rennie blogged about (http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…]/000940.html). I haven’t heard back–it’s probably not much of a story idea–but the notion appealed to me.

I didn’t realize before that PZ Myers was a Minnesota professor. That makes me especially hopeful, since my son is going to the U of M next year. To study law, but still…we all know that a background in the law can lead to biology theorizing. Good to know he’ll get the straight stuff, with folks like PZ around.

By chance did anyone audio-tape the lecture? Was it considered any type of ‘open’ meeting? Would that have been legal with or without permission?

I float in the sea of high school students that surround those islands of universities. It would be ever so helpful if the university and scientific communities increased their activism for science education. We are under attack from so many directions. Those in my district are fighting the good fight, but I understand why so many high school teachers avoid the topic. We need help.

exactly, debbie!

Is there anyone here who knows of a pre-existing ngo who’s mission it is to send out brave volunteers to help those like debbie who are drowning in the sea of ignorance that seems to be enveloping our country?

Or is it time to create one?

references to online resources, while very useful in their own right, are simply not enough. actual bodies are needed for this fight.

cheers

As a thought, i wondered if there was an organization like the boy/girl scouts called the “science scouts” or similar. I didn’t find one, but i did find this:

http://www.cio.com/archive/061504/t[…]ucation.html

seems the high tech industry has already started trying to get more of our kids interested in science in general.

I wonder if the biotech companies will try something similar to get kids interested in biology?

Why aren’t we doing something similar to get kids knowledgeable about evolution?

just a thought

this battle has already been fought and won on an intellectual platform (hence the student reaction you posted is less abberation than the norm).

the battle now is in the grassroots, economic and political arena.

as distasteful as it may be to a scientist to spend time as an activist, that is what is needed now. students who will take what they have learned, and show their neighbors and local politicians that their faith is not under attack by science, and why.

otherwise, i completely disagree. we will lose this battle if all we do is focus on winning in the islands that are universities.

Amen, brother.

ID is a *political* movement. It has very little to do with science, and it won’t be beaten with scientific arguments. It will be beaten the same way every OTHER political movement is beaten — by dedicated grassroots activists who organize and mobilize enough political strength to demolish ID as an effective political force.

“Don’t moan – organize !!!!!!” ;>

Is there anyone here who knows of a pre-existing ngo who’s mission it is to send out brave volunteers to help those like debbie who are drowning in the sea of ignorance that seems to be enveloping our country?

Or is it time to create one?

The closest is NCSE, which, alas, focuses largely on the “scientific” area and doesn’t really get its hands dirty with actual grassroots political work.

So yes, it’s time to create one.

Me, I’d prefer attacking the IDers on *every front*; confront them in every way we can, and force them to wear themselves out trying to defend every front. To eliminate ID’s support in local school boards, I propose we find a school that is not teaching evolution out of deference to fundie pressure, and sue the crap out of them. To cut off DI’s funding, I think we should tell the whole world about Ahmanson’s funding of DI and why he does it, and force DI to either publicly repudiate Ahmanson’s extremism AND refuse to accept any more money from him, or lose all credibility. To eliminate the IDers Big Tent, we should exacerbate all their internal doctrinal schisms by asking such questions as “how old IS the earth, anyway?” and “DID humans descend from apelike primates or didn’t they” and “how do your Christian supporters feel about the fact that Wells is a Moonie, and the only external supporters ID has are the Raelian flying saucer nuts?” Provoke ID supporters into doing what, deep down inside, they really WANT to do — hack apart all the heretics. There’s no enemy like the enemy within. DI’s Big Tent won’t be so effective (or attractive) once the blood starts running in the pews.

Focusing narrowly on “science education” to beat the IDers is a sure way to lose, since most people, whether we like it or not, don’t give a flying fig about science or science education. Most people, however, DO care about a bunch of ayatollah-wanna-be’s attempting to “renew our culture” in their own image.

The political program of the IDers is their most fatally vulnerable point. I think we should kick them there as often as we can.

hmm. you have a point that the battle is already being fought. do you think there is any point left then, in trying to diffuse the situation, rather than go on the pure offensive?

Battles can be won, but an ideological “war” cannot be won, imo.

Is the best approach to attack the IDers, or simply diffuse the situation by making it clear that there really isn’t a logical basis for the dispute to begin with? both?

thoughts?

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My basic strategy is always the same ——— kick my opponent, kick him again, kick him till he’s down, kick him in the head as he lies there, then run him over with a truck just to make sure. It ain’t polite, it ain’t pretty. But it certainly gets the job done.

I suggest we do the very same thing to the IDers.

To say the obvious, it depends on whom the IDer is. There are very many creationists and IDers I wouldn’t kick, or whatever. But the social Darwinists feeding off of the sheep for profit and power deserve whatever kicking and running over they might get.

It’s why there’s nothing wrong with writing “Dimski” or “Dumbski”, and mostly we don’t do it only because we know it’s not all that clever (perhaps with the exception of Berlinski–or where’d he get such an incorrect notion that anyone thought it clever?). The IDists are worthy of much worse, and sometimes get it. After all, they depend on subverting the normal judicial and scientific means of investigating causes in order to win, which is to say that they know they can only win by destroying scientific integrity (granted, some don’t know what scientific integrity is, but whatever…).

The perverters of science speaking in the name of science are truly despicable. Even some of them might be reasoned with rather than kicked, however. The others, well, they really don’t have any social right to lie to children, and deserve whatever can be dished out to them (subject to the politics of the situation, certainly).

your energy and enthusiasm is there still, i see. would you have the time to actually banter the idea about and see what we can come up with?

if it can be sufficiently fleshed out, I think we could easily fund a prototype to test the idea.

who’s game?

Count me in.

PZ, how is the history department? My daughter is looking! (and I sure like low costs)

My basic strategy is always the same ——— kick my opponent, kick him again, kick him till he’s down, kick him in the head as he lies there, then run him over with a truck just to make sure. It ain’t polite, it ain’t pretty. But it certainly gets the job done.

I suggest we do the very same thing to the IDers.

To say the obvious, it depends on whom the IDer is. There are very many creationists and IDers I wouldn’t kick, or whatever. But the social Darwinists feeding off of the sheep for profit and power deserve whatever kicking and running over they might get.

Indeed. I have no real animosity towards the “rank and file” Iders/creationists – the simple-minded followers like the ones we see here, whose only crime is being (usually willfully) ignorant. Though I’m happy to tear their ping-pongs off anyway as a political tactic.

My real targets are the “professionals”, the ones like Behe and Dembski and Johnson and their ilk, who KNOW that they are being dishonest, evasive and deceptive. And more particularly, my prime target is the guy whose checkbook allows it all to happen. Without his support, IDers are nothing but a sewing circle.

I don’t want the little minnows. I want all the big fish. I don’t want the low-levels who swab the decks on the creationist/ID fleet. I want the Admirals.

Lenny Flank is right.

There are very few proponents of ID who are deluded enough to actually think that they may change science by debating the facts, mano y mano. This is all about framing the issue in terms customized for the common joe, which is one political skill, I’m afraid, that the conservative movement has perfected over the last thirty years.

More and more, the fight at the grassroots level will be about values, not facts. And this makes scientists understandably squeamish. (Yes, of course facts matter, but only in a context where they are appreciated as such.) There is too much at stake to ignore the raw political dimensions of the challenge that ID presents.

On the bright side, accepting the political dimensions to this debate also means that we don’t have to keep playing the “gopher game” with IDers; you know, you slam your mallet down on one critter, but another one pops up, then another, then another… In contrast, generic strategies for framing progressive values that have worked in the past can work again in this context. I’d like to see some interface between the science education community (orgs like NCSE–thanks Lenny and Ed) and the Rockridge Institute:

http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/aboutus

Here’s our history department. It’s small, like everything here, but good. Bert Ahern’s son is one of them there evilutionists who studies neandertals, so he’s on our side. I suppose their history is also good – i’ve heard them talk at our faculty seminar series. She wouldn’t go wrong looking into our program, at least.

Quite so, Flank and Mihalakos.

I’m with Lenny, mostly, in the strategy department. This is a down and dirty knife fight, and whining about the Marquis of Queensbury rules is a waste of time. Creationists are incompetent, dishonest, arrogant frauds, and I don’t think we gain anything by pulling our punches and being polite about it. They don’t. But they sure whimper about it if anyone calls them on what they are.

That said, though, we also must not neglect our strengths. We hold the high ground. We’re the ones on the side of good science. We also have to emphasize again and again how cool and powerful and exciting science is, and we have to reach out to and avoid antagonizing people who can be receptive to that message.

Anyone affiliated with the DI is not in that group, though. Kick ‘em hard.

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“I don’t want the little minnows. I want all the big fish. I don’t want the low-levels who swab the decks on the creationist/ID fleet. I want the Admirals.”

that’s great but as I’m sure you are aware, politics is all about power. a power base is built on a grass-roots consituency. major political movements can’t start from the top down, they have to have a base to build off of.

It’s not glamorous, and nothing is stopping anyone from going after the “big fish” directly, but if you want to trip a giant, the best way is to pull the rug out from under him.

if you catch a big fish, another will just take their place, and another, and another, until you find all that is left are the small fish.

remember what debbie (Comment #23777) was asking for. I think this is the kind of thing that is really needed right now.

cheers

off topic, I just came back from FLA, Lenny.

spent some time in southern FLA and in the keys. I enjoyed Key West, even if it is a bit touristy. have you been to the Audobon house there?

my overall impression of florida:

flat. lots of trees and water.

my overall impression of floridians:

pleasant, somewhat confused (in a “aren’t mexicans the same as cubans?” kinda way), but amiable enough.

highly recommend NOT asking where the nearest mexican restaurant is.

I did get an obligatory picture of a gator while is was there:

http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/gator.html

cheers

PZ:

This was organized by the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the local Evangelical Free Church; I didn’t see any cameras in action, and if there were, I don’t think this is the kind of thing they’d want circulating … at least not without a lot of editing.

I have notified the UMM chapter of IVCF that you have cast doubts on their integrity when it comes to accurately reporting the event. Let’s see if they respond.

Rev:

I bet I halved the average IQ in PA by moving out, and doubled it in FL by moving in.

Unfriggingbelievable.

your energy and enthusiasm is there still, i see. would you have the time to actually banter the idea about and see what we can come up with?

if it can be sufficiently fleshed out, I think we could easily fund a prototype to test the idea.

Some people are already working that way. Down here we have the Dallas Textbook Coalition, Texas Citizens for Science, an ad hoc collection of Nobel winners, and some other efforts I’d be pleased to discuss more privately.

Networking is important, too.

Pencil my e-mail in.

Mr. Heddle,

Prof. Flank’s comments are too tart for the taste of some of us. On the other hand, one need worry about a population that is uncharacteristically dependent on evolution science for the maintenance of their health, in heart and circulatory diseases, in diabetes, in cancer prevention, treatment and cures, and in agriculture (think citrus and cattle, two of Florida’s big ag areas), which simultaneously kicks the shins of the scientists who and the science that almost literally gives them life.

While you’re nagging the IVCF groups to come clean, go to work on the one in Dallas. We’re still waiting for reports on Behe’s appearance at the University of Texas-Arlington, in 1999, as I recall. Or the notes from the SMU conference of 1991. Good luck.

off topic, I just came back from FLA, Lenny.

spent some time in southern FLA and in the keys. I enjoyed Key West, even if it is a bit touristy. have you been to the Audobon house there?

I live in the Tampa Bay area, and haven’t been to the Keys yet.

my overall impression of florida:

flat. lots of trees and water.

Hot, and rains every day. ;>

my overall impression of floridians:

pleasant, somewhat confused (in a “aren’t mexicans the same as cubans?” kinda way), but amiable enough.

Can’t figure out how to work voting machines. ;>

Perhaps a bit OT, but as this thread is in the general direction “Discussions with IDists”, perhaps not: The Journal of Consumer Research in its current issue has a paper on “How Warnings about False Claims Become Recommendations”

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cg[…]ts?JCR+v31n4

I wonder if that means that the ID-propaganda that evolution is wrongwrongwrong will backfire some day or that in discussions directed to the general public the emphasis should be on the evidence for evolution instead on the critique of ID.

I noticed that your econ department also had a pretty good range of views presented-orthodox and heterodox. All in all, it looks like a good school.

Reading things like this sometimes just makes me painfully aware of the obstacles of teaching at an open admissions University (which I do). As an economist, I have a lot of interest in philosophy of science and I’m teaching an interdisciplinary senior seminar organized loosely around philosophy of science themes. One of the issues we’re looking at it is whether or not evolutionary biology deserves its claim to being “real science”. Off course I think it does but it is important to let students think for themselves and reason to their own conclusions.

But one of the discouraging factors for me is the resistance of students to thinking scientifically and to constraining their thinking. It’s a common characteristic of most of our students: they tend to be fluffy thinkers and really dislike disciplined thinking. Of course, these students aren’t graduate students in science either. So it does make a difference.

I have notified the UMM chapter of IVCF that you have cast doubts on their integrity when it comes to accurately reporting the event. Let’s see if they respond

This is what Heddle does.….….….….….…impressive? Not.

Yet he never has a problem with the lack of integrity shown by the creationist/ID crowd.

Utterly bizarre.

How can something so typical, even commonplace, as illogic on the part of ID advocates and creationists still be called bizarre?  Disappointing, perhaps.  Even depressing.  But no quotidian event should be classified as “bizarre” just because it ought not to be.

I don’t want the little minnows. I want all the big fish. I don’t want the low-levels who swab the decks on the creationist/ID fleet. I want the Admirals.

Always set your goals high, I always say.…

Btw, Rev, are you really a professor, as Ed Darrell’s post mentioned? If so, why not show up in Kansas come May, and test your naval ambitioms for real?

After all, Behe is on the list of scheduled speakers, and you ~did~ say that Behe is among your “real targets.” Don’t you want to show up at the May hearing and take him out single-handed? Of course you do, as fired up as you are.

I mean, any reverend who “halved the average IQ in PA by moving out, and doubled it in FL by moving in” has simply ~got~ to be nothing less than the evolutionist gang’s Nuclear Option. Amen? Amen!

Surely, then, with the planned KCFS-staged boycott effectively leaving a mondo muchisimo noticeable PR-void on the evolutionist-side, the situation is wide open for you to launch a crusade in the name of your patron saint, Mr. Darwin. Therefore.…..It’s time for you to sally forth and conquer, to bravely venture forth out of the safety and comforts of the ole PT, and torpedo these non-Darwinist scientists and scholars and “professionals”, to sink these evil “admirals”, as you put it, in front of the waiting public.

This is ~your~ opportunity to engage them, upfront and personal like a true warrior, and publicly expose them as “dishonest, evasive, and deceptive”, just like you claim they are. Front page, top-slot media coverage for sure. You can’t miss, dude. Get your picture on the cover of Discover magazine, even.

So c’mon over to sunny Kansas for a brief spell, Rev, and “Kick ‘em hard,” just like the man said. Are you game? Of course you are, you Nuclear Option, you.

Eagerly awaiting your arrival,

FL

“This is ~your~ opportunity to engage them, upfront and personal like a true warrior, and publicly expose them as “dishonest, evasive, and deceptive”, just like you claim they are. Front page, top-slot media coverage for sure. You can’t miss, dude. Get your picture on the cover of Discover magazine, even.”

er, the problem is, it has already been done. innumerable times. that’s why nobody is bothering this time.

the intellectual battle for ID was lost a long time ago. Just like “liberals” who can’t accept that GW won re-election, IDer’s simply can’t accept that they already lost this battle.

the real battle is in the grassroots, in the political arena. I’m sure Lenny will see you there, and he will have his *ss kickin’ boots on.

cheers

Debbie

I tried to email you about the discussion group regarding the ngo being discussed here.

please send me your email so i can send you an invitation to join.

cheers

all the tough talk is extremely worrying. there is no need to play nasty when you are so right and they are so wrong. It’s a marvellous experience to devastate somebody’s worldview by patiently and politely chipping away at their arguments.

I just wish people would stop trying to win the intellectual debate … been there done that a hundred years ago. ID only survives as a manifestation of people’s need for creationism to be true, so the issue still is that creationist belief is so resilient. faithful people are not complete idiots - creationism lasts because gullible people are confidently told, by people they trust, that the intellectual debate has been won in their favor. very little is done to inform these people that the evolutionary argument totally kicks ass. I think the need is for a highly publicised forum for the debate which works in a way the public can understand (perhaps a graphical model of the argument structure so people can understand in what way some point is working for or against some branch of the argument), which clearly pits consensus leaders of the opposing sides, and which is ongoing so that it can evolve into an efficient process which demonstrates one side’s overwhelming superiority. If ID agreed it could have more publicity and impact (and better argument) than the Dover trial, and if they refused you could invest a lot of money publicising their refusal. If ID couldn’t decide on a consensus representative in an obviously worthwhile forum, then you could heavily publicise the fact that no unified body of knowledge exists which challenges evolutionism. win win win situation.

I know I’ve gone on, but I speak to lots of fundamentalists, and for the most part I feel sorry for them having never been exposed to an accurate understandable picture of how badly their belief performs at the top level of debate.

“I know I’ve gone on, but I speak to lots of fundamentalists, and for the most part I feel sorry for them having never been exposed to an accurate understandable picture of how badly their belief performs at the top level of debate.”

exactly the reason i see the value in creating an ngo to provide communities with resources; so they CAN be exposed to accurate information.

cheers

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Just a plea from a reader here:

  • Use the Preview to make sure your formatting worked as intended.
  • Open the Kwickcode link in a new tab or window if you need it for reference.

People’s errors in this have muddied attributions and confused quotes and commentary, which the fine authors would never accept in a journal.  Plus, it’s much harder to read than it ought to be.  The best refutation of ID in the world is no good if it’s unintelligible, and every bit of clarity helps!

…the value in creating an ngo to provide communities with resources; so they CAN be exposed to accurate information

Having resources available isn’t enough when those resources effectively aren’t available to people who don’t have the cultural resources (viz clear thinking and wise friends) to use them. This is sounding like a moral argument: “if you don’t choose my side of the argument, then it’s your own fault for not weighing the evidence.” Seems familiar … oh yes, “if you end up in hell, it’s YOUR fault for not accepting all the obvious evidence for God”.

All of this has ALREADY been demonstrated, in the only place that really counts — in court.

Counts for you, but not for them. Don’t you know the courts are full of liberal zealots hellbent on overthrowing the intention of the constitution? Or have you been asleep during foxnews? Certainly the courts are doing a good job of keeping religious bias out of public institutions, but I can’t remember the last time a creationist threw in the towel when I pointed out that they lost in Arkansas. A court decision itself does nothing to change average creationist opinion, it’s the publicity and transparent fairness of the contest which does. You might as well go a step earlier and say that winning in scientific academia is the only win which counts - seems to me like a more rigorous path to the truth than the court system. Arkansas was a whooping but nobody cares; these people will not be rescued by facts they cannot see, and deserve sympathy for being in a trap which is not ultimately of their own making. Popular feeling is as important as legal victory - in a democracy you have few long term guarantees of the current sensible separation between law & government and science & government.

“Having resources available isn’t enough when those resources effectively aren’t available to people who don’t have the cultural resources (viz clear thinking and wise friends) to use them”

i wasn’t talking of written or online resources, but rather living bodies that would go and act as resources to local communities.

we used to give lots of talks to local elementary schools, private and public groups, about the history, evolution, and what is known about the current biology and behavior of sharks with the previous ngo I was the science director of.

these groups found us a valuable resource, and we charged no money for our services.

we also put on “shark day” at the local pier, where we had touch tanks and lectures and whatnot.

also worked out well.

my point being, i don’t disagree with you that just having “information” available is enough any more. It will take warm bodies out in the field. It will take those who have learned and utilized evolutionary theory to give back to their communities.

check out Debbie’s post here:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…].html#c23777

There are lots of folks out there that need assistance in the form of real people to actually come out and help, not just online resources.

As to the courts, there is also need for help there. Congress’ and the adminstration’s involvment in the Terry Schiavo case clearly demonstrate the right’s willigness to use any tactic necessary to weaken the judiciary. One must ask: how can one bolster the Judiciary in the face of such underhanded and vicious attacks? It is obvious that the right no longer believes in the rule of law. The question in my mind is, if they got what they apparently want, no more Judiciary, what happens next?

cheers

Ok, example of situation where huge numbers gave up their religious conviction. Jehovah’s Witnesses generally believed that the world would end in 1975 (without being officially told so - they’d had their fingers burnt before). So for years they danced around like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality … “Jeeeesus is cooooming, he’s soooo going to kick your ass, youuuuu will seee, IIIIII will be proooooooved right”. When ‘75 came and went, half the church left. This is because people got time to talk the talk and place their bets.

A properly organised contest with lots of advance publicity might have the same effect. Remember these people think they are supported by science, and darwinists are all incompetent morons. They will dance around gleefully with “my hero Hovind/Ham/Dembski is going to kick your ass” and “we’re gonna show you” and “I’m so 100% positive I’ll stake the integrity of my religion on it”.

And this only works if the planning is good enough that creationists expect, and see, a fair argument which is prepared to address any crackpot concern which they think is worth bringing up, but somehow retains a structure which can be examined by an ordinary observer.

It will take warm bodies out in the field.

I don’t disagree that lots of wonderful people are rolling up their sleeves and taking their expertise to the people, but I think the numbers are against us. Consider the cost of training someone to spout confusing and hard-to-refute rhetoric from answersingenesis, compared to the cost of training someone to counter this rhetoric. Combatting platitudes which have evolved to survive in a hostile scientific environment requires specialist love for science, truth and philosophy. I’ve seen many competent scientists fair quite poorly in public forums.

well, that’s where individuals like the students the original post was about fit in yes? If they care about their future kids living in a world that might be dominated by non-reason, perhaps they might contribute what they have learned to their community, instead of directing their energies in a university forum, where the battle has already been won.

If we give them a structure to use, like an ngo, and a place to go, like debbie’s classroom. How could that not be a good thing?

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FL said:

Btw, Rev, are you really a professor, as Ed Darrell’s post mentioned? If so, why not show up in Kansas come May, and test your naval ambitioms for real?

Because there is no need for a rematch. This debate was held in front of a federal judge in 1981, and “intelligent design” and all other forms of creationism lost. (Here I define creationism as the faith-based assumption that science is wrong, and specifically that Darwin is wrong.)

It’s good case law. If intelligent design has anything to say scientifically, say it. It will show up in the next editions of the textbooks.

The Kansas State Board seems populated by a group of sore losers.

Anyone who reads Judge Overton’s decision in McLean v. Arkansas, and its succeeding case, Edwards vs. Aguillard, can read the writing on the wall: To get into public school curricula, all creationists need do is some research, and write it up for publication, and get it published. The court also determined that there is no bias against creationism in science publishing houses – there can’t be bias against research articles that do not exist.

So why does the Kansas state school bunch think they and Kansas are exempt from real science and federal law? Are they proposing to secede or something?

(You can read the McLean decision and ancillary materials here: http://mclean_project.home.att.net/

Here’s the Louisiana decision as ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Findlaw.com version: http://laws.findlaw.com/us/482/578.html)

The relevant movement is the early Jewish and Roman persecution of pre-Constantine christianity

Ooo ooo oooh! I’d really like to discuss this. But this is probably not the place. Any better venues?

you could always set up a discussion board on google.

Russell, I don’t have the book with me now, I lent it to someone a year ago and I can’t remember the title. But yeah we can take this to the “after the bar closes” antievolution.org forum later. I’ll get that book back and see if there are others in my bookstore on the same subject. I also owe Michael Finley a conversation there too, so I ought to get off my butt and move on over, but I have to do my taxes tonight and I have procrastinated long enough. Don’t want Hovind as a cellmate after all. Paul

If we give them a structure to use, like an ngo, and a place to go, like debbie’s classroom. How could that not be a good thing?

it IS a good thing. I spend a lot of time participating at the bottom level myself, and I at least feel I do good from a moral perspective of “doing my bit”. However, everyone knows who won the world series and nobody knows who won Arkansas. I have a lot of hope that the culture is slowly shifting towards sensibility, but it could also be bifurcating into the christian species and other. It would be a surer thing to have the contest once, carefully and very noisily in a manner which will stimulate talk around the water coolers.

If we give them a structure to use, like an ngo, and a place to go, like debbie’s classroom. How could that not be a good thing?

it IS a good thing. I spend a lot of time participating at the bottom level myself, and I at least feel I do good from a moral perspective of “doing my bit”. However, everyone knows who won the world series and nobody knows who won Arkansas. I have a lot of hope that the culture is slowly shifting towards sensibility, but it could also be bifurcating into the christian species and other. It would be a surer thing to have the contest once, carefully and very noisily in a manner which will stimulate talk around the water coolers.

oops

uh, yeah, oops.

:)

” It would be a surer thing to have the contest once, carefully and very noisily in a manner which will stimulate talk around the water coolers”

that was the “oops” i was referring to, in case it wasn’t clear.

It’s already been done. many times. it never ends up resolving the issue because those who insist that their faith is challenged by science simply cannot, because of their mindset, admit that it is NOT.

it is always apples and oranges. emotional vs. intellectual arguments. there can be no resolution that will end this debate, as it is not even a legitimate debate to begin with.

cheers

heyall.

I posted a rough proposal for forming a new ngo dedicated to meeting the needs expressed by Debbie: http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…].html#c23777

It is located on a discussion board i formed on google. It is public, so anyone can join in.

I not only welcome commentary, I plead for it. From previous experience, I know that an ngo can’t get off the ground without a dedicated group of individuals. One person just can’t do it alone.

go here:

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/evolution-ngo

thanks for your interest

cheers

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 7, 2005 10:35 AM.

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