Spindizzy in Seattle

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On the blog of the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, John West throws a hissy about my recent dissection of the statement of two members of Bryan Leonard’s dissertation committee published by the DI. Mr. West takes umbrage at several remarks I made.

More below the fold.

What dissertation committee?

First, I noted that the headline on the statement falsely claimed that it was from Leonard’s dissertation committee:

STATEMENT BY BRYAN LEONARD’S DISSERTATION COMMITTEE.

As I noted earlier, the statement is in fact from just two of the members of that committee, and conspicuously does not include Paul Post, Leonard’s supervisor. West’s complaint is that it was not the Discovery Institute’s title but was supplied by the authors of the statement, DiSilvestro and Needham. Fair enough, but it’s inaccurate regardless of who put it on the statement. In fact, that DiSilvestro and Needham label themselves “Leonard’s dissertation committee” raises interesting questions about their perception of Paul Post’s role – if any – in supervising Leonard’s dissertation research.

West correctly pointed out that I erroneously called Dr. Joan Herbers a member of the dissertation committee. Herbers is a member – the Graduate Faculty Representative – of the oral defense committee. But West goes on

It certainly looks as if Dr. Herbers (an evolutionary biologist) was added at the last minute because of political pressures exerted by Darwinists who are determined to prevent Leonard from obtaining his doctorate. If Dr. Herbers was appointed because of Darwinsts political pressure, and if Leonard was subjected to differential treatment simply because of his views about evolution, the university may have violated Leonard’s constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.)

According to the 2004-2005 Ohio State University Graduate School Handbook,

In addition to being a full voting member of the Final Oral Examination Committee, the Graduate Faculty Representative reports a judgement of the quality of the examination, of the dissertation or document, and the student’s performance to the Graduate School. (p. 34)

Now, it’s not necessarily the case that the GFR must be qualified in the candidate’s research area. The assumption is that the other ‘regular’ members of the oral defense committee are so qualified. For Leonard’s defense committee, where his dissertation concerned the teaching of evolutionary biology, that was not the case. None of the ‘regular’ members of Leonard’s committee – Post, DiSilvestro, and Needham – have professional credentials in secondary school science teaching or in evolutionary biology, the joint focus of Leonard’s work according to his testimony in Kansas. The Graduate School appointed a genuinely qualified person, Dr. Joan Herbers, as GFR to the committee, and the next day Leonard’s advisor requested a postponement of the defense. The Graduate School would have let the defense go ahead; Leonard’s advisor bailed out.

Not having a qualified faculty member on Leonard’s committee would have constituted an abandonment of its duty by the University. West’s blathering about “due process” and “equal protection” are just that: empty blather. The University not only has the right, but has the affirmative duty to ensure the academic integrity of the degrees it grants, and requiring that qualified people are on doctoral defense committees is part of that duty.

What creationists?

West complains that

Third, Mr. Hoppe falsely claims that Professors Glen Needham and Robert DiSilvestro are “creationists.” Prof. DiSilvestro (a biochemist) supports intelligent design, and Prof. Needham (an entomologist) has expressed skepticism toward neo-Darwinism on scientific grounds. That doesn’t make them creationists. Hoppe adopts the slimy tactic of labeling anyone who disagrees with Darwinism as a creationist.

West really ought to keep himself better informed about what his troops are saying in public. They do tend to wander off-script when left to their own devices. Consider this from the transcript of DiSilvestro’s testimony at the Kansas Board of Education subcommittee hearings in May:

(Irigonegaray) Q. Do you accept the general principle of common descent, that all of life is biologically related back to the beginning of life?

(DiSilvestro) A. I’m unconvinced of that idea.

Q. Do you accept that human beings are related by common descent to prehominid ancestors?

A. I’m unconvinced by that idea, also.

Q. If you were unconvinced by that idea, do you have an alternative explanation for how the human species came into existence?

A. I think design is a reasonable alternative.

Q. And the design you suggest is by a creator?

A. I would put that in and I would say it’s reasonable, though there’s other blind forces and other things that people might adapt.

Q. Doesn’t intelligent design mean that human beings and other species were specially created since they weren’t born of parents? A. I would say intelligent design says that.

(Emphasis added)

As Michael Behe helpfully reminded us in his recent NYTimes OpEd,

… if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, then, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we have warrant to conclude it’s a duck.

Let’s see: Denies common descent? Check. Affirms special creation? Check. Yup, DiSilvestro meets the defining criteria for “creationist”. Special creation of humans is the irreducible core of creationism. DiSilvestro’s affirmation of the special creation of other species is a no-charge bonus. (Given his association with Reasons to Believe, it’s probably most accurate to describe DiSilvestro as an old-earth creationist.)

Does anyone want to make a bet on how Needham would respond to those questions? Consider this excerpt from a March 5, 2004, letter to the Columbus Dispatch by one of Needham’s colleagues in entomology at OSU:

Needham’s concept of balance and critical thinking is very strange. The following quote is from his spring 2001 midterm examination in Entomology 102, a course he once described in testimony to the State Board of Education as “bugs for dance majors”:

“When examining the issue of insect diversity, we compared evolution and creation, with the former (evolution) capable of describing the (blank), while the Bible (for example) focuses on the (blank).”

Thus, to earn a grade, students were required to interpret the Bible and specifically to hold it in opposition to evolution.

There’s that creationist duck again.

Not surprisingly, Leonard agreed with DiSilvestro about common descent in the Kansas hearing. While Leonard repeatedly evaded (eight times!) a question about his view of the age of the earth, like DiSilvestro he denied both the common descent of living things in general and the descent of humans from prehominid ancestors in particular, the irreducible core of creationism. In contrast to DiSilvestro’s forthrightness in affirming special creation, though, Leonard (four times) evaded identifying an alternative. Another creationist duck quacks, methinks.

What timing?

West questions the timing of Leonard’s teaching of anti-evolution, writing

Presumably, Leonard’s dissertation research took place after his dissertation proposal was approved. Thus, Leonard’s research for the dissertation occurred after 2002, when the science standards were adopted. The point made by the dissertation committee stands.

But as Leonard testified in Kansas, he has been teaching anti-evolution for years, well before his dissertation research and well before the standards were adopted. That he presumably gathered data only after the research was approved by the IRB in 2003 does not alter the ethical question: is teaching crank pseudo-science to high school students pedagogically appropriate? Mr. West blathers about academic freedom. Does a high school teacher have the academic freedom to teach junk science?

What’s Hoppe doing in this?

West is worried about how I came to be involved and how I know of various events. When Leonard testified at the Kansas Board of Education’s Creationist Kangaroo Court hearings last May, part of his claim to fame was that he was a doctoral student in science education at the Ohio State University. He spent some time in his testimony describing his research and its results. He himself drew attention to the nature and content of his research. In his testimony Leonard tied the Ohio “Critical Analysis” lesson plan, of which he was primary author, to his research. Not amazingly, those of us in Ohio took some interest in his testimony. As it was originally presented in Ohio, well after Leonard says he started teaching that way, that lesson plan had nine “Aspects” of evolution to be “challenged”. Eight of them came straight out of Jonathan Wells’s Icons of Evolution. I myself had testified before the Ohio State Board of Education, calling the draft model lesson plan “trash science”, “a snow job”, and “a bizarre caricature of science”. But Boards of Education are political bodies, not scientific organizations, and the flawed lesson plan, somewhat amended and modified, was in the end adopted by that political body.

Given Leonard’s use of his research to attempt to influence public policy in Kansas, it became of interest to learn more about Leonard’s thesis research. That led to finding that his committee was stacked with intelligent design creationism supporters and lacked any representation at all from the program in which he is seeking a degree. And that led to all else that has followed.

What’s the real issue?

Finally, West persists in trying to cast the graduate school’s inquiry into the matter as being focused on Leonard and the content of his dissertation. That’s an egregious misrepresentation. The central issue for OSU is the integrity of the degree-granting process of the University and the academic responsibililty of two of its graduate faculty members who collaborated in the subversion of that process. Rather than spinning Leonard’s dissertation defense, DiSilvestro and Needham might give some honest thought to their own role in the debacle and to its potential consequences for them.

RBH

57 Comments

Anyone who thinks West has a hint of a ghost of a whiff of a remote possibility of a case here, please: go read DiSilvestro’s Kansas testimony, and ask yourself: What is this guy doing on a dissertation committee for a doctorate in education - specifically on teaching evolution???

A couple of highlights:

… there’s a popular statement that nothing in biology makes sense in light of evolution.[sic] I challenge anyone to tell me any single area of biomedical research that one couldn’t do if they didn’t accept Darwin’s current ideas. I– I’m waiting to hear it. I can’t think of a single one. And that question has been asked to some people and they can’t give me an answer, either. […] I’ve read hundreds of biomedical research papers, I’ve been to hundreds of talks, and evolution is only brought up once in a great, great while. For the most part, it’s never even brought up,

(Darwin’s “current” ideas???) I don’t know what parallel universe this guy inhabits, but in my work in medical research, both the concepts of mutation/selection and the relatedness of species are absolutely central

But the overwhelming majority of scientists have never even thought about the question [of “Darwinian ideas”]. My own case, I was an undergrad in biochemistry, I changed some of my spiritual beliefs during college, but I thought the whole idea of evolution was pretty irrelevant.

(Ummm… if this whole anti-evolution exercise is all about education and has nothing to do with religion, what do “spiritual beliefs have to do with anything?) But please… go read the whole thing. I can’t do it justice in the space of a comment.

Again: What is this guy doing on a dissertation committee for a doctorate in education - specifically on teaching evolution???

I don’t get what the big deal is.

I once parked my car on campus to go to the Flying Tomato, and when I came back there was a Ph.D. diploma in Physics stuck nder the windshield wiper.

^^ Meant to say Ph.D. in Education, or, as they say in Ohio, “Edumakayshun”

OK, so we have yet another example of the generic Christian Intelligent Design Persecution Complex. But has OSU made any formal finding in this case? Is the oral defense postponement indefinite? Are there any formal steps OSU can do if a determination is made that DiSilvestro and Needham deliverately subverted normal academic procedures (of their own employer!)? For example, can D&N be removed from the dissertation committee altogether? Can they be prevented from serving on such committees henceforth?

What does RBH or any experienced academic type think is most likely? That the oral defense gets rescheduled including the addition of Herbers, and proceeds normally? If that happens, does Herbers have the authority as GFR to declare the oral defense inadequate (if she should decide that way)?

Does it make any difference to anyone at OSU that a sleaze PhD granted to promote religious doctrine rather than recognize original research is of urgent importance to the religious organization strongly behind the corruption of Ohio’s public school science standards? Might someone at OSU have second thoughts about playing an important and active role in support of this agenda? Does any high mucky-muck at OSU even care that his university is being set up as an academic ratification of creationism for many years to come (since those making this claim will have a genuine PhD in support, and can be guaranteed to pay not the slightest attention to any Official Denials once they have that PhD in hand)?

If I’m reading RBH correctly, the creationists would have succeeded in getting this bogus PhD through a somnolant system, if they hadn’t advertised their activities and intentions in their efforts to corrupt Kansas education as well. It even appears that these committee representation requirements are “followed” only when convenient, and Leonard made some effort to reassure himself that they’d be ignored in his case as well. Already, the publicity calls into question the quality of OSU’s graduate program.

Russell asks: “What is this guy doing on a dissertation committee for a doctorate in education - specifically on teaching evolution???” The answer to that question seems straightforward - he’s on the committee because it served a political agenda and because nobody was minding the store.

Now the question is: What if anything is OSU going to do to tighten up their oversight over this and any other graduate degree? At the very least, the administration at OSU should make some effort to identify creationists on their staff, because creationists cheat and lie. Always.

Poor Bryan Leonard. I’m sure he has seen his peers squeak by unnoticed as they defended against an all too friendly committee. They jumped through those hoops and now they carry those lovely (but sadly meaningless) letters after their names. Boy I’m sure he crapped his pants pretty bad when he realized that a REAL LIVE evolutionary biologist was going to be there to give him grief! The sad fact is that if there was any substance to his thesis, there is no one they could put on that committee that would give him much trouble. How long until Dr. Herbers retires?

Flint -

“Are there any formal steps OSU can do if a determination is made that DiSilvestro and Needham deliverately subverted normal academic procedures (of their own employer!)? For example, can D&N be removed from the dissertation committee altogether? Can they be prevented from serving on such committees henceforth?”

I suppose they’re tenured. Nevertheless, what they seem to have done, judging by the communications on both sides, is the following:

They seem to have conspired with a student to rubber stamp his PhD thesis, with the understanding that almost all other faculty members would find the thesis inadequate. The rest of my post is based on the assumption that this is what happened.

They seem to have done this out of political or religious sympathy, not for money, which does not make it any better.

It is a slap in the face to every student who has ever worked hard on a degree which was judged without bias, to every facutly member who has taken the time and effort to fairly evaluate a thesis, to every alumnus whose degree was potentially dampened in worth, and to the taxpayers of Ohio who benefit from the strong reputation OSU has built with their money, at a minimum.

If it is true that they made it known to a student that they would provide a “special” and secret thesis evaluation, just for him, then any outcome which has them still working at OSU is an injustice. The minimum fair outcome would be a strong suggestion that they both retire immediately.

This is a case of cheating - of attempting to rubber stamp a PhD thesis.

If these actions were being undertaken in a non-creationism-related case, my opinion would be the same. If a couple of professors were trying to rubber stamp a thesis in Sociology because the student paid them, was having an affair with them, or even merely because the student was an advocate of their pet ideas, they would deserve the same fate.

Creationism isn’t exactly irrelevant here. It’s a well-known, politically-motivated pseudoscience, whose advocates implicitly endorse deception. But the issues go beyond that.

harold:

I’m not an academic. I would be rather surprised if there were not some formalized recourse against any professor(s) who attempted to “sell” an advanced degree that had not been earned. I personally find it difficult for any non-creationist to approve a thesis which is basically “How to lie about religion so as to trick the system into teaching it as science.” And I’m sure any such formalized recourse would include the motivations you mention: money, close personal relationship (i.e. child), shared religious doctrine, sexual access, promise of future favors, etc.

I’m also curious about Leonard himself. From what I’ve read, his role has been one of full collaborator. I’d be very surprised if Leonard hadn’t started this collaboration with D&N well before he ever started his OSU program. Starting the program seems itself to be part of the plan. Does anyone at OSU have the administrative authority to expel Leonard, or could he successfully plead that D&N led him around by a ring inserted through his religious faith?

Flint asked

For example, can D&N be removed from the dissertation committee altogether? Can they be prevented from serving on such committees henceforth?

and harold replied

I suppose they’re tenured.

Yes, both are tenured. But at Ohio State, “tenured faculty member” and “member of the Graduate Faculty” are not synonyms.

According to the Graduate Program Handbook, p. 97ff, members of the faculty must be separately and specifically appointed to be members of the Graduate Faculty. There are two “categories” of Graduate Faculty. Category M Graduate Faculty are permitted to advise master’s students and may serve on doctoral examination committees at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee of the degree-granting entity (in Leonard’s case, the School of Teaching and Learning, I presume), which appoints Category M Graduate Faculty.

Category P Graduate Faculty may act as the advisor for master’s and doctoral students, serve on doctoral committees, and may serve as Graduate Faculty Representative to Candidacy and Final Oral Examinations. Category P Graduate Faculty are appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School on the recommendation of the Policy and Standards Committee of the Council on Research and Graduate Studies, which body receives nominations from the Graduate Studies Committee.

There are provisions (on page 99) for review of Graduate Faculty by the Graduate Studies Committee; and for reduction or removal of a member’s category or for conditional probation of a member’s Graduate Faculty status. Those decisions are made by the Dean of the Graduate School on recommendation of the Policy and Standards Committee, which in turn receives recommendations and information from the Graduate Studies Committee.

RBH

Apparently, Darwinist Pressure Groups are pressing creationists into a full retreat: the Dover Debacle, stickers flying OFF biology books, creationist legislation sufficating in committee, Connie Morris on an uncontrolled syntactic rampage in Kansas and left-wing media (bless their nit-picking little bleeding hearts!) firing salvos of grape shot op-ed pieces, shredding creationist sails however blown hard by the Discover Institute blow-hards.

West declares that DiSilvestro is not a creationist, rather he’s an “intelligent design” (creationist) supporter. Rather like not an athlete but an athletic supporter, I suppose. How’s the air inside that Trojan Horse of yours, West, getting a little stuffy?

West seems to be using the Wedge in his own camp: young earth creationists here, old earth creationists there, intelligent design supporters over there, intelligent design advocates right here, intelligent design sympathizers in the middle, Dembski in his own little world, Behe doing the Duck Walk and so on.

Nice job, West, keep up the good work!

Bill -

I’m assuming that “Darwinist Pressure Groups” is a term of sarcasm.

Harold,

Go with your strengths, I always say.

I picked up the term from a Discovery Institute press release.

If the DI says there are Darwinist Pressure Groups, it must be true! I’ve been trying to find out where they hold their keggers, but, so far, I’m drawing blanks.

Any ideas?

Bill -

We could always form a Darwinist Pressure Group. Heck, we could even call it “the Darwinist Pressure Group” (DPG). Beer consumption would probably be a major activity of such a group. I have a hypothesis that regular beer consumption might cure creationism, but unfortunately, it can’t be tested. Exactly who or what such a group would “pressure” is hard to say, but hey, “pressure” is a broad term.

Right now, though, I’m afraid “Darwinist Pressure Groups” are a made-up idea. Not imaginary, but invented to defraud the unwary.

I suspect that N&D won’t be removed from the committee. I do suspect that Leonard will have to add two members from science education to his committee if he want to continue. He will then have to convince the new committee that he is ready to defend and then pass the defense.

I suspect that the DI (or some other organization) will sue on Leonard’s “behalf” if his committee is changed and/or he doesn’t pass.

Reed A. Cartwright -

I’m very cynical, but I do have some hopes that you may be too pessimistic.

This is about cheating. This is about someone trying to get a degree without meeting the standards that everyone else has to meet.

Capital idea, Harold!

You could be President for Life and I could be CIO. (I’ve always wanted to be a CIO.)

We’ll need a company car, too. How about a red BMW M5?

John West notes that OSU yielded to Darwinist political pressure. Dang we’re good! We’re not even formed, yet, and already we’re bending universities to our will.

Just think what we’ll be able to do once we get our company car. The mind boggles.

This IS the University of Ediacara, the supreme UNIVERSITY of the universe, after all. If we can’t bend the will of other universities to our own, what good are we? We need a good fraternity anyway. How does Delta Pi Gamma sound? ;) Paul

^^ Only if we can haze the bejesus out of the pledges

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Darwin’s current ideas

Um … hasn’t Darwin been . . well . . DEAD for an awfully long time now . … .?

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I’ve decided that I don’t want to be CIO of Delta Pi Gamma, I want to be Treasurer. (Gives me more say over the options on our fraternity vehicle.)

My first act as Treasurer is to withhold all future funding to Ohio State University until such time as DiSivestro and Needham issue a public recantation and apology. That includes funding for Harold Stadium and Bill’s Engineering Library, Nail Care and Tire Center.

Meanwhile, I’ve put the red BMW M5 on order and, Harold, if you’d be so kind as to send me your banking details I’ll handle payment and delivery. Thanks, buddy, er, Brother.

Brother Thompson demonstrates knowledge far in excess of his years. Such a wise and resourceful person should be Grand Quartermaster.

I so nominate. Second. All in favor? The “ayes” have it. Congratulations Quartermaster Thompson.

When’s the party?

(And on a serious note, since, after all, this is sometimes a serious venue, this “pressure group parody” is in direct response to the Discovery Institute’s direct assertion that such groups exist. The DI is a chartered, funded entity with a physical location, employees and quite possibly a company car, although not as cool as ours. I treat the DI in it’s entirity with as much seriousness as I treat the DPG, which, that is to say, none. With respect to the creationist tripe called “intelligent design” I say bring it on, Discovery. See you in court for Edwards vs Aguilard Part Deux!)

I always find it funny how the propagandists at the DI complain so much about the term “creationist”. The poster scientists, “5-time-Noble-nominee” Fritz Schaefer calls himself a creationist (old-earth/progressive variety).

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Reed A. Cartwright Wrote:

I always find it funny how the propagandists at the DI complain so much about the term “creationist”. The poster scientists, “5-time-Noble-nominee” Fritz Schaefer calls himself a creationist (old-earth/progressive variety).

I take it that Schaefer means that he was almost noble five times. (As opposed to being a “Nobel nominee”.)

Ah, Brother Thompson, that’s the rub. I had to cut a deal with GQ to use the letters.

You’ll have to pose.

But, take this to heart, your posing will be nothing like that done by Behe and Dembsky. At least you’ll have something to show.

Good luck with the Speedo.

Bill

“5-time-Noble-nominee” means that someone is falsely claiming that he almost wan a Nobel Prize.

Here are the facts:

1) Hundreds of people, or more, get officially nominated for a Nobel Prize each year – let alone the “nominations” of those unauthorized to nominate. A nomination here is not like that for an Academy Award where there are only five nominees. Assuming that they guy really is a five time nominee for the Nobel Prize it could very well be that the same one man nominated him five times.

2) The nominations for the Nobel prize are sealed for 50 years. There is simply no way to verify any such nominations. Furthermore those who are allowed to provide nominations have agreed not to disclose who they nominate even to the nominee. So basically someone one must have either outright lied or violated their word if it known that x person nominated y person if it happened less than 50 years ago.

3) One can really tell how desperate the anti-evolutionists are for credible credentials by bringing this up in the first place.

Good luck with the Speedo.

I wouldn’t want to bring any adverse publicity to the University, maybe I should workout some before the photo shoot.

BTW how much is tuition at this place, I never saw a fee schedule.

1) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 2) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 3) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 4) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 5) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 6) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine. 7) I hereby nominate Dr. Eugenie Scott for a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine.

Hey, see how easy that was? Let’s call 7-time Nobel Prize Nominee Dr. Eugenie Scott, and see what level the Steve-O-Meter has reached. Surely the DPG can recruit some more Steves and Stephanies for the cause. As a member of the DPG-affiliate EAC (Evil Atheist Conspiracy - one motto of many being “Our World, Not Yours” - or the Kansas-specific motto: “I’ll get you, my Pretty, and your little god, too!” - take that, Connie “What a world, what a world” M!), I’ll get our membership to track down some more “Evilutionist” Steves, Stephanies, Stephens, etc.

Now, I’m off to find some Kansas Wheat Beer to recover after that rant.

Michael Hopkins wrote

“5-time-Noble-nominee” means that someone is falsely claiming that he almost wan a Nobel Prize.

I once tracked that claim down. It was based on a speculation in a story in U.S. News & World Report. For a while Fritz had the claim on his web site, properly sourced to US N&WR. I haven’t looked lately to see if it’s still there.

RBH

“5-time-Noble-nominee” means that someone is falsely claiming that he almost wan a Nobel Prize.

Hmmmm. Seems reminiscent of the bizarre behavior of some of PT’s own evophobic visitors - posting their IQ’s and scanned Mensa cards.

posting their IQ’s and scanned Mensa cards.

Or their SAT scores!

Bruce Thompson GQ Wrote:

BTW how much is tuition at this place, I never saw a fee schedule.

If you have to ask…

Check out the graduate student section at the University of Ediacara. If it were cheap, we’d only encourage more of them.

Wesley “Chris” Elsberry

Steven Laskoske Wrote:

I take it that Schaefer means that he was almost noble five times. (As opposed to being a “Nobel nominee”.)

Damn it! I check it and still managed to switch the letters.

RBH Wrote:

I once tracked that claim down. It was based on a speculation in a story in U.S. News & World Report. For a while Fritz had the claim on his web site, properly sourced to US N&WR. I haven’t looked lately to see if it’s still there.

I dispatched the urban ledgend on PT last year.

Now that I’ve thought about it, has anyone made a proposal yet to hook up some sort of energy collector to the discovery institute? With the amount of spinning they are doing they must be generating a lot more energy than even ole Sal manages to with his appearances here. They could power most of the world from what I’ve gleaned…

Exactly who or what such a group would “pressure” is hard to say, but hey, “pressure” is a broad term.

Well, the kegs would be pressurized…

Mr. O’Donnell:  You might very well, but the capacity factor would probably be disappointing.  You’d wind up having to pay large backup charges for other power sources when the DI were not spinning.

What you need is a complementary source which generates when the DI’s spin is not.  I suggest generators coupled to the corpses of the Founding Fathers; should the DI achieve enough success to stop spinning for a breather, the FF’s would be spinning in their graves and fill in nicely.  Combine those and I think you’d handle a nice chunk of the base load.

“5-time-Noble-nominee”

In Chemistry, the noble gases are those (helium, argon, neon, etc.) that are chemically inert. Whatever gases emanate from the DI, I doubt they are noble in any sense of the term.

Bruce Thompson Wrote:

I accept. I get letters after my name, GQ, just like the magazine.

If’n it’s initials in your signature you’re after, it’s hard to beat FCD. I invite you to join the Friends of Charles Darwin. The cost is quite reasonable (free).

The cost is quite reasonable (free).

Excellent. I hereby nominate you for the Nobel Prize. Congratulations on your distinguished Nobel Prize nomination laureate.

Excellent. I hereby nominate you for the Nobel Prize. Congratulations on your distinguished Nobel Prize nomination laureate.

Thank you. I will update my CV immediately.

Those Nobel guys are too stuck up. I want to be nominated for the People’s Choice Award for physics. Please advise.

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“Throws a hissy”? Now, that’s professional language. Impressive.

Now, that’s professional language. Impressive.

So, after reading this story about subverting the academic process or defending academic freedom (depending on your viewpoint), that’s the extent of your thoughts on the matter? You must be a real substantial guy, TomG.

Hey, when and where is ΔΠΓ’s rush party?  I want to join!

(Actually I’m only interested in the be… er, brotherhood!)

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Omnis homo enim sui which roughly translates “every man for himself”.

I suggest a remedial Latin course for the brothers.

I suggest a remedial Latin course for the brothers.

Well you know Frats. What’s the correct translation? I quizzed a Roman Catholic Priest and received a noncommittal answer.

I just heard on the radio that the Danes are putting out open-source beer.

http://www.voresoel.dk/main.php?id=70

What could be more appropriate than a beer that mutates in response to pressures from its environment?

So, after reading this story about subverting the academic process or defending academic freedom (depending on your viewpoint), that’s the extent of your thoughts on the matter? You must be a real substantial guy, TomG.

Well, ya know, most creationists aren’t terribly bright.

1. We need a catchy Latin motto. If I might suggest Omnis homo enim sui which roughly translates “every man for himself”. Not very brotherly, but applicable with respect to various forms of selection.

How about Scientia et Fermentum?

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We’re not as big in oz with these collegiate clubs. I’m guessing they’ve special days, festivals, ect… Why don’t you start with a ‘festival of irregularities:’ HAMFISTED!!! Come celebrate the fist-of-ham.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 19, 2005 9:11 AM.

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