Alas, Texas

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Kansans will be relieved to learn that their big buddy to the South, Texas, is going to take some of the heat off of them. We have a new target for ridicule:

Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who has made outreach to Christian conservatives a theme of his gubernatorial portfolio, thinks Texas public school students should be taught intelligent design along with evolutionary theory, his office said Thursday.

Perry “supports the teaching of the theory of intelligent design,” spokeswoman Kathy Walt said. “Texas schools teach the theory of evolution; intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, and he believes it should be taught as well.”

The article does go on to mention that the chairperson of the State Board of Education, in a how-the-hell-did-this-kook-get-to-be-my-boss moment, pointed out that the educators of the state have had no intention of introducing a non-issue like ID into the curriculum.

I look forward to hearing the Discovery Institute’s reaction. Will they repudiate their current strategy of pretending they don’t want to teach ID in schools and embrace the propaganda opportunity, or will they let Perry twist in the wind? Will the Thomas More Law Center, fresh off their masochistic adventure in Dover, step forward with joy in their hearts and beg, “yes, whip me again, please”? Will the voters of Texas finally realize that even idiots can wear a cowboy hat and boots?

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Rick Perry's on board! And no postmodern vagueness for him. He's here to tell us that intelligent design is a "valid scientific theory." That's right, governor. Just check out all the work on intelligent design going on in the biology... Read More

Seems the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree here in my state of Texas. First it was George W saying that "Both sides [evolution and intelligent design] ought to be properly taught so people can understand what the debate is all about." Read More

82 Comments

Why does the wind blow north to south in Oklahoma?

Kansas blows & Texas sucks.

… taking into regard that Gov. Perry holds a degree in zoology, he ought know it better…

I’m not sure where to post this, so here goes. Today’s Patriot News has a very interesting article. on the current legal fee situation in Dover. I found the background information especially interesting. As we’d guessed earlier, the board’s regular attorney strongly warned them against taking this case to court.

In related news, the district formally discharged the law firm that represented it in the intelligent design trial and will refer all legal issues on the matter to its solicitor – who warned the school board more than a year ago against adopting the intelligent design policy.

And, of course, Thompson is whining about not being able to appeal the ruling.

“We’re officially done,” said Richard Thompson, president of the law center. “This case cried out for an appeal, and it was developed for an appeal. But basically, there are no options at this point.”

I still maintain that Thompson should man up and foot the bill for this fiasco. I hold the TMLC primarily responsible for this case going to trial. They sacrificed this school district in the hopes of going to the supreme court. The district should not have to suffer financially for the TMLC’s crusade.

I suspect that Gov. Perry has made a politically-sensitive assessment of what policy position on this subject will net him the most votes, and taken it. I think he’s taken careful note of the number of fundamentalists whose minds were changed by the Dover court’s focus on actual facts, and extrapolated how many of his potential voters’ minds might also change if he were to focus on facts.

I’d actually like to thank Gov. Perry and all of the other conservative politicians for speaking out in favor of Intelligent Design. They have proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the Republicans have become the party of ignorance.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue goes down in history as the one that the Republicans finally hanged themselves on.

Flint Wrote:

I suspect that Gov. Perry has made a politically-sensitive assessment of what policy position on this subject will net him the most votes, and taken it.

Maybe we need a new book, one for politicians: Of Pandering and People

Off topic, but there is a nice layman’s article on the evolution of the cat at the NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/06/s[…]cats.html?hp

It’d be great if one of the people who often provide wonderful, insightful articles on all those nasty things in nature, could do it with the pinnacle of evolution’s uplift - the cat, to whom we are nothing more than slightly inconvenient nursemaids.

Ask Gov. Perry what would be taught about the “science” of ID. Any bona fide results yet? Is there any content to the subject?

CCP, how dare you insult the state of Texas?? :-)

First let me admit my own bias, I am a native Texan living in Dallas. I can assure you Rick Perry is an idiot extraordinaire. Karl Rove has historically been one of his advisers so Perry’s attempt to suck up to ignorant evangelicals is no great surprise.

The last few years Perry is always showing up at fundamentalist christian “Fags are going to hell” hate fests so his interest in intelligent design creationism is no surprise.

The education board chairman is appointed by Mr Intelligent himself (Perry). The board is mostly made up of Republicans. For a full dose of Texas Republicanism go and read the pdf version of the 2004 Texas Republican Party Platform. THAT will frighten anyone who values their life and liberty. The Texas Republican party makes George Bush look like a flaming librull. These guys are scary

And I hope Perry pushes Intelligent Design Creationism big time. He is facing an election so the more dirt and garbage he brings to the table the better.

And let’s remember the Dishonesty Institute came here a few years ago and fell flat on their face when they tried to get the biology textbooks censored. Folks in public education here are already familiar with the Disco group. Go here for historical details on the last time the Dishonesty Institute tried to dumb down the state of Texas.

That doesn’t mean they won’t get any traction. I kind of hope they do, I’d love to see a new trial that might go to the Supreme Court and nothing would make me happier than to see the theologian and make believe “scientist” William Dembski in a head lock (under oath).

And does anyoen remember the Baylor fiasco? Well check out theologian William Dembski’s www.designinference.com site his “biosketch” states …Previously he was on the faculty of Baylor University as associate research professor in the conceptual foundations of science, where he also headed the first intelligent design think-tank at a major research university: The Michael Polanyi Center. Thanks for the laughs, Wild Bill. Now go read the truth about the Michael Polanyi Center Yes, Dembski is either lying on his website or hallucinating. You be the Judge Jones.

Speaking of theologian Dembski…Anyone read his course outlines that he teaches at the prestigious Southern Seminary in Louisville? Talk about a joke. Its all melding anti-science and christianity, a course if propaganda if you will. The “Teaching” links on this page are worth reading. It’s an IDC laff riot I tell you.

Back to the subject at hand, yes I am proud our simple minded governor is hoping to resurrect intelligent design creationism in my state. Hopefully Texas will be IDCs final resting place and the state that puts Dembski on the stand.

So I say bring it on, Rick Perry! Show us the curriculum for the proposed Intelligent Design course, and remember the Alamo!

Mr. Christopher - Good info about Texas, and good Dembski links too! Thanks to you, now I can understand why Buffalo Bill is too busy to blog anymore. What an intense speaking and teaching schedule! How does he do it? Bwa Ha Ha!

If memory serves, this is the same governor who has been implicated in hiring very high dollar gentlemen for their companionship.

First google link for “Rick perry gay”: http://www.opednews.com/thoreau0227[…]governor.htm

So what are we to make of this paean to the religious right? Does he really think his political career can be salvaged with this kind of move?

BCH

I still maintain that Thompson should man up and foot the bill for this fiasco. I hold the TMLC primarily responsible for this case going to trial. They sacrificed this school district in the hopes of going to the supreme court. The district should not have to suffer financially for the TMLC’s crusade.

The people of that district elected the original school board members. The school board members instituted the offending policy, listened to the TMLC, and then proceeded to squander their district’s resources.

The board was responsible for the loss of resources, and the population of the district was responsible for the board. Why shouldn’t they suffer?

Buffalo Bill Dembski I like it!

His www.designinference.com web site is even more curios…I see on his “biosketch” he claims “William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville where he heads its Center for Theology and Science

Well the actual name of the prestigious science university where theologian Dembski teaches is “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary”. Why does he delete the words “Baptist” and “Theological” from the name of this scientific academic powerhouse?

Is he embarrassed to admit all his students are theology majors who have no scientific understanding, and therefore cannot question any of his non-scientific ideas?

Again, his class descriptions are well worth reading…

Mr Christopher “theologian Dembski” ?

That’s giving the worm far too much credit. It used to be the last refuge of a scoundrel was patriotism or the ones with talent sold cars but now they sell burnt out wrecks of mind management fueled by Christ’s body and blood.

Best sens*m*ll*on I ever had was in Dallas about 30 years ago, some good people there still I hope.

Here’s an interesting course taught by Dembski:

28970 Critical Thinking and the Art of Argumentation Course Description: This course examines the means by which we convince ourselves and others that something is true. Of special interest here are the pitfalls to logical thinking that prevent us from coming to the truth.

Course Objective: The goal of this course is to help students become adept at making a persuasive case for the truth of the Christian worldview.

Hmm. Isn’t assuming the conclusion (i.e. the “truth” of the Christian worldview) a logical pitfall?

Perhaps the mission statement might clear up some confusion

Our Mission Statement

Under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the mission of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is to be totally committed to the Bible as the Word of God, to the Great Commission as our mandate, and to be a servant of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by training, educating, and preparing ministers of the gospel for more faithful service.

Yeah, I wonder how many peer reviewed scientific articles and research comes out of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where theologian Dembski teaches his unusual ideas?

But back to the subject…Texas has its share of yahoos and fundamentalists but we’re no Dover PA. I have been in touch with many highly placed folks in the science and curriculum areas of our public school system and its made up mostly of bright, enlightened folks. Texas will not be a soft target for the Dishonesty Institute, and as I mentioned they have been here before and they failed miserably.

Man oh man I sure hope IDC gains some momentum in my state. If a trial ensues you’re all invited to my house for Texas style bar-b-q and margaritas by the pool! Who’ll bring the potato salad?

And rest assured if an IDC turd blossom begins to sprout in the state of Texas I will be bringing you the gory details on a daily basis.

Ye freakin’ haw!

That’s what creationists mean by “critical thinking.” Good old Bill.

Regarding the Texas situation, I assume no details were given about why the Governor, in opposition to the overwhelming majority of scientists in Texas, believes that ID is a “valid scientific theory”? Apart from the application of Dembski-type “critical thinking,” of course.

28970 Critical Thinking and the Art of Argumentation (Delusion via Dembski and the Art of Debate)

This course examines the means by which we (Dembski) convince ourselves (idiots) and others (not) that something is true without evidence. Of special interest here are the pitfalls to logical thinking telling the world Demski’s lies that prevent us from coming to the truth preconceived ideas.

Fallacy: Circular reasoning is NOT critical thinking

Course Objective: The goal of this course is to help students become adept at making a persuasive case for the truth of the Christian Dembskian Solipsistic worldview.

For the Christian worldview.….Huh? All you need to do is read sermon on the mount it’s all there.For the nut-jobs just look up Christian Fundamentalism which is bigger tent than most would care to admit.

“Coming to the truth” itself is a fundamentalist code phrase.

More importantly, though, this course of his seems to reveal his mind altogether too well. In science one wishes not to “come to the truth”, but to come up with an adequate representation of phenomena. This points up one of the most important, yet among the least mentioned, issues surrounding ID: evolution is an adequate organizing model for the data that we have now, and ID simply is not.

That is to say, if Dembski could show conclusively that the flagellum had no reasonably chance of evolving (he’d need an high-power exponential increase in data over what we have now to do so), ID would still do nothing whatsoever to organize data into a coherent structure, while evolution would continue to provide the only sensible guide to biology at least until another observation-based theory could supplant it. If false, evolution would be a necessary heuristic. If true, ID would continue to be useless–or at least we’d need a brilliant new thinker to make it useful.

This is all lost on Dembski, though. He’s interested in “coming to the truth”, not in moving science along. The latter, in fact, is expendable if it conflicts with the former. And as such, he is wholly in conflict with science as practiced, indeed, as it must be practiced.

Coming to the truth is not the goal of proper logic courses. Properly dealing with the logical operations of assigned truth-values is the goal of a decent logic course, but it remains understood that truth-values have to be assigned (yes, there needs to be a relationshiop between observation and assigned truth-values when logically manipulating data in science, however in philosophy it is recognized that the relationship is not one-to-one).

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

The board was responsible for the loss of resources, and the population of the district was responsible for the board. Why shouldn’t they suffer?

It just seems like unethical behavior on the part of TMLC. Their agenda was getting a case like this to the supreme court. Doesn’t that strike you as a MAJOR conflict to providing legal counsel in the best interests of their clients? Maybe I’m wrong here. I’m certainly no expert on legal matters. But I find it hard not to believe that the TMLC influenced the board’s decision to go to trial rather than settling.

I guess it’s easy for me to dismiss the board members as being more clueless than unethical. But professional lawyers are supposed to have a code of ethics that would, I expect, prevent them from leading a client into a costly battle that they would almost certainly lose.

And, of course, it kills me that this will ultimately hurt the children more than anyone else. The TMLC has the resources to prevent this, and more than enough culpability in the matter to compel them to do so.

Oh crap. I had no idea that critical thinking courses had specifically been invaded. Admittedly this is at one fundy seminary, but still …

Why does this nonsense continue. How many times does it need to be shown that ID is a none-science religious motivated movement before anyone anywhere in the USA is forbidden to teach it in a science class at taxpayers expense? What is it in the USA system that allows this to run and run?

My understanding of the TMLC thing is that the corporate entity that is the school board is the one that has to pay up but, if they feel they’ve been poorly served by their representation, they may possibly be able to sue them to recoup some of the cash. Sadly they probably can’t sue the former board members :-/

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Click on a school for more information about degrees.

* School of Theology

* School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth

* School of Leadership and Church Ministry

* School of Church Music and Worship

Where is the School of Science and Department of Biology?

I see on his “biosketch” he claims “William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville where he heads its Center for Theology and Science

Well the actual name of the prestigious science university where theologian Dembski teaches is “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary”. Why does he delete the words “Baptist” and “Theological” from the name of this scientific academic powerhouse?

That’s actually how the school refers to itself and this is from his on-line profile at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Dembski comes to Southern Seminary bringing with him teaching experience from Baylor University and the University of Dallas. Dr. Dembski is one of the foremost scholars in the area of Intelligent Design. He is perhaps best known for his book, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design. Dr. Dembski is the first director of Southern’s Center for Science and Theology.

So, as dodgy as he usually is, this isn’t really one of them.

I think the school district should foot the bill rather than TMLC. The people of Dover voted for the buffoons on the old school board and so they should have to pay the price. To their credit they recognized their error and expelled the old board, but that doesn’t absolve them of their responsibility.

In some ways I wish the old school board were still in place so the case would be appealed. This way Jones’ ruling would have broader applicability assuming it was upheld.

Somewhat related.…I wonder if anyone has really thought through what the results would be if intelligent design creationism ever gained currency in our science standards.

In the mind of an IDcreationist, if an HIV cell is deemed to be irreducibly complex, it would therefore be the design and the product of an intelligent designer and let’s not kid ourselves, we are not talking about space aliens or time travelers, we are talking about God the designer.

If God created/designed the irreducibly complex HIV cell, he obviously did it with a plan in mind, no? The question that would be begged might be “who is science to try and circumvent the design and thus will of God?”

A slow down or end of HIV research would be a logical conclusion, after all who is going to vote for research dollars to combat a disease that was clearly designed by God? Obviously God had a purpose in mind when he created HIV.

And think of other medical situations (especially those that affect women, the favorite target of fundamentalists) where research or even treatments dollars would shrink because they would be deemed the design and therefore the will of God?

You may think I am being extreme with this example but it was only a few short years ago when the American clergy was telling us that lightening rods were evil because they circumvented the will of God.

I don’t think what I am proposing is a stretch…If people are convinced a certain cell is irreducible complex their natural intelligent design conclusion would be it was designed that way, by God, and to try and kill God’s creation/design would not be looked upon very favorably.

Numerous influential religionists including Mother Teresa have gone on record saying things like HIV is the will/punishment of God. Intelligent design creationism’s irreducible complexity gives creedence to that way of idiotic and unscientific thinking. IDC gives “scientific” legitimacy to believing a disease is the will/design of God and not an example of evolution.

It is kind of frightening when you contemplate the consequences of IDC getting a foothold in science standards.

But professional lawyers are supposed to have a code of ethics that would, I expect, prevent them from leading a client into a costly battle that they would almost certainly lose.

Nope. As long as it pretty much falls in this area (depending on the exact State statute), you’re pretty much okay:

In the representation of a client, a lawyer shall not:

1. File a suit, assert a position, conduct a defense, delay a trial, or take other action on behalf of the client when the lawyer knows or when it is obvious that such action would serve merely to harass or maliciously injure another.

2. Knowingly advance a claim or defense that is unwarranted under existing law, except that the lawyer may advance such claim or defense if it can be supported by good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.

3. Conceal or knowingly fail to disclose that which the lawyer is required by law to reveal.

4. Knowingly use perjured testimony or false evidence.

5. Knowingly make a false statement of law or fact.

6. Participate in the creation or preservation of evidence when the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the evidence is false.

7. Counsel or assist the client in conduct that the lawyer knows to be illegal or fraudulent.

8. Knowingly engage in other illegal conduct or conduct contrary to a Disciplinary Rule.

And believe me, according to my lawyer friends, #1 and #2 are VERY NARROWLY interpreted ethical rules. I mean to the point where you’ve got to be insanely frivolous, not just stupid, arrogant and pig-headed.

Perry “supports the teaching of the theory of intelligent design,” spokeswoman Kathy Walt said. “Texas schools teach the theory of evolution; intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, and he believes it should be taught as well.”

I would love to hear Perry expatiate on how ID is a “valid scientific theory” - especially in light of Judge Jones little essay on that very topic.

On a side note:

Buffalo Bill…

In light of his about-face and no-show in Cleveland, maybe that should be “Bluffalo Bill”

I’d bet that courses in creationism are actually far more common that thought; it’s just the current media buzz is bringing them more notice recently.

Or, there could be a corollary to that:

more creationism courses are being planned or offered BECAUSE of increasing media attention.

some folks really beleive that ANY publicity is good publicity.

Stephen Elliott asks: “Scott, are you certain this is being taught by Dembski in a Christian theology school?”

Don’t know for sure. I noted one of Dembski’s class descriptions here:

http://www.designinference.com/teac[…]_2005-06.pdf

and it listed as one of the references this book: “Robert Greene and Joost Elffers, ‘The 48 Laws of Power’ (New York: Penguin Putnam, 2000).”

I googled the title, and came up with the aforementioned link to the “tech.purdue.edu” site. The Purdue link seemed odd to me too. However, checking some of the other links reviewing the book, the reviews suggest that the “Laws” as shown seem plausible. One review said the book is generally helpful in picking up women. :-) I do not know the tenor of the book, whether it is cynical, tongue in cheek, merely descriptive of what politicians do, or actually suggests using this stuff. I also do not know whether Dembski’s class uses this book as “you should emulate this”, or if it is used as a counter point, as in “don’t be taken in by the charlatan’s who use this stuff.” Were I not so cynical, I would suggest the latter. ;-) If one were truly honest, it would be good to know the tricks of the trade if only to avoid them. (Like the 3 Laws of Robotics, a robot has to know the breaking strength of every human bone in order to avoid causing harm to a Human.) However, the course description shows it is used in almost every class, and references the “Laws” by number.

Given that the DI and company seem to follow many of these “Laws” quite closely, I’m not optimistic.

In light of the manner in which Uncommondescent is administered, I suspect those laws accurately represent Dembski’s mindset.

Believe behavior, it never lies.

I live in Texas. I have been unable verify any of the ID comments attributed to Governor Perry. If he did indeed make such moronic statements, he has lost my vote.

If God created/designed the irreducibly complex HIV cell, he obviously did it with a plan in mind, no? The question that would be begged might be “who is science to try and circumvent the design and thus will of God?”

A slow down or end of HIV research would be a logical conclusion, after all who is going to vote for research dollars to combat a disease that was clearly designed by God? Obviously God had a purpose in mind when he created HIV.

And think of other medical situations (especially those that affect women, the favorite target of fundamentalists) where research or even treatments dollars would shrink because they would be deemed the design and therefore the will of God?

This from Bob Parks Whats New:

3. PAPILLOMAVIRUS VACCINE: YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A GRINCH. Last week’s WN item on the new vaccine drew a lot of mail from readers who found it hard to believe that there is opposition to its use. After all, human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted viral infection in the U.S., and the cause of almost all cervical cancers. At least half of U.S. adults have been infected, though not all with the deadliest strains. It’s even more serious in developing countries where screening is not available. Nevertheless, New Scientist magazine quotes Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council, a leading Christian lobby group: “Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful because they may see it as a licence to engage in premarital sex.” While hailing the vaccine as a great medical advance, the Family Research Council is concerned that widespread inoculation would infringe on parental consent or perhaps it would infringe on divine retribution.

Note the divine retribution in the last sentence.

Klaus, if you haven’t seen Perry’s comments in the Austin Stateman yet, here’s the link:

http://www.statesman.com/news/conte[…]/6perry.html

Sorry, Klaus, I meant the Austin American-Statesman.

I live in Texas. I have been unable verify any of the ID comments attributed to Governor Perry. If he did indeed make such moronic statements, he has lost my vote.

do more than that! write the governors office and express your dismay at his obvious pandering; write your local paper and tell them the same.

attend a local school board meeting and make sure they aren’t trying to pull a “Dover” over on you.

cheers

Arrgh. I left a trackback, but they haven’t been showing up lately. As a Texan, I felt obliged to comment.

Uh oh. Perry Invites Intelligent Design to Texas

Assemblies of God Wrote:

Ultimately for most Christians it comes to this: if God is not Author and Creator of all that is, life offers little meaning or purpose for mankind.

Boo hoo, big bad life won’t just hand me meaning and purpose on a plate. It forces me to define my own. I have to struggle and *gasp* think!

Slave morality indeed.

We cannot and should not expend our energies preventing intelligent design from being taught in taxpayer-funded public school non-science courses. There are bigger fish to fry. There is the redefinition of science issue which is more destructive than mere evolution-bashing. My experience is that creationists especially lawyers and theologians deliberately conflate methodologic materialism with philosophical materialism to the point that the former is the proof of the latter. This automatically places all practicing scientists into an defensive athiest/agnostic role, the only escape from which requires an acceptance of the supernatural to explain that which is not known. Any remarks that equate religious belief with ignorance and bigotry will serve us no purpose. These remarks will push many Americans away from us if they think we’re promoting a militant athiestic agenda. Ken Miller seems to understand this while Daniel Dennet does not. Science is limited in its scope and we need to clarify and support its limitations.

Any remarks that equate religious belief with ignorance and bigotry will serve us no purpose. These remarks will push many Americans away from us if they think we’re promoting a militant athiestic agenda. Ken Miller seems to understand this while Daniel Dennet does not.

Who says he doesn’t understand it? He simply might consider religion the bigger problem.

Apesnake: Oh, there are lots of critical thinking courses around. But, especially now that I saw the final for that course … woah… I have never seen anything quite like that. It isn’t actually the subject of the questions that are amusing (look at any elementary logic text; since logic is independent of subject matter the examples are often whimsical) - but rather the implication that these are serious issues. (Well, except for the one about the Templeton Foundation, which is just nutty. I don’t see how that counts at all.) Morever, the vagueness and open endedness of them.

Good point the pro Understanding the big picture will facilitate greater success at preserving the positive value of rational thought and critique. Allowing intellectual bankrupts to influence religious moderates by setting up a false dichotomy between reason and religion would be to concede the game without trying to understand the rules.

Fundamentalism is identity politics of anger and isolation harnessed to the old mainstays of mammon/power and societal control by claiming an exclusive interpretation of “The one true Word of God” and is self perpetuating because it by default appeals to those confounded by(their self inflicted) removal of meaning from their lives. The neofundamentalists as I have said earlier are more rational than most on this side will let on and has roots going back to the premodern cultural revival in Europe. However, they have lost the the true meaning of western hermetic Christianity which gave birth to the Renascence and so on to the enlightenment and gone mosaic without its traditions. An appreciation for the positive values of Mythos/Religion and Logos/Science as complimentary without compromising either will continue the enlightenment. Brief description of Mythos vs Logos http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/mythos.htm

Here is an insightful history of modern Fundamentalism Mythos and Logos The Battle for God http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/03[…]amp;n=283155

some insights from other commentators from different angles http://www.ussb.org/sermonwrit02-22[…]ndlogos.html http://www.pbuuc.org/worship/sermon[…]n132002.html http://www.robertfulford.com/Religi[…]ntalism.html http://www.csudh.edu/dearhabermas/a[…]amp;n=283155

If you really want to get to the bottom of it Get hold of Joeseph Campbell’s Videos Mythos http://www.jcf.org/works.php?id=258

People seem to forget the positive side of teaching Intelligent Design in publc school science class. The kids will at least learn to turn water into wine.

Well there you go proof it was a poetic allusion ;)

“While hailing the vaccine as a great medical advance, the Family Research Council is concerned that widespread inoculation would infringe on parental consent or perhaps it would infringe on divine retribution.

Bwahhhh Haaaa haaa! Classic!

Being a Texan and certainly no proponent of evolution, I have an interest in ID, i.e. in what ID specifically advocates. In the comments of this blog, I see lots of critical but little thinking. I mean, I understand that we Texans have few and insignificant accomplishments in science and technology, NASA, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter, but I think the designations alluding to Texans as hayseed buffoons is a little overdone.

It seems to me that advocates of evolution and opponents of ID propose that some irrational outside influence causes religious people to believe such things as creation or ID. However, these self-proclaimed rational thinkers deny that such an influence could exist, that is, God or at least, an active God. If God exists and interacts with the creation, then creationism or ID could very well be the proper explanation of origins. However, If God does not exist or does not interact with the creation, then religious thought leading to a belief in creationism or ID, having been predominant for the duration of at least written history, is the result of natural processes, and is therefore the best adaptation for survival.

JMH Wrote:

It seems to me that advocates of evolution and opponents of ID propose that some irrational outside influence causes religious people to believe such things as creation or ID. However, these self-proclaimed rational thinkers deny that such an influence could exist, that is, God or at least, an active God.

Firstly, “advocates of evolution” are not exclusively non-religious people. To the contrary - last I remember there were about seven different Christian denominations and a couple of Jewish organisations explicitly supporting the teaching of evolution in schools and denouncing the Intelligent Design movement as intellectually bankrupt.

Secondly, the “advocates of evolution” that are atheist (I myself am one) certainly don’t think that some irrational outside influence causes dodgy religious views. In fact, as a result of considerable analysis, I am able to state unequivocally that people are more than capable of making idiots of themselves with no outside help whatsoever. From what I’ve seen, the ID movement appears to be a beautiful example of this.

It’s important to note that religious thought and Intelligent Design are two completely independent categories. Religion does indeed posit that there’s an intelligent designer out there somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it shares much common ground with the latter. Intelligent Design is a specific movement devoted to overthrowing accepted scientific methodology in an attempt to install Biblical Literalist creationism in schools (google the “Wedge document” for the raw data I’m using to back up these assertions).

In fact, a high proportion of Christians who take the time to study the issue appear to balk at some or all of this, in particular the deception required to pull this little stunt off. Sadly, the former Dover School Board were not among this number, resulting in Judge Jones’ acerbic comment that “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

However, If God does not exist or does not interact with the creation, then religious thought leading to a belief in creationism or ID, having been predominant for the duration of at least written history, is the result of natural processes, and is therefore the best adaptation for survival.

Speaking as an atheist, rather than as an accepter of evolutionary theory (we really need a good word for this), I’d say that religious thought is the best adaptation for survival in the exact same way that gall wasps are the best adaptation for oak tree survival. But that’s just my personal opinion.

LEBEC, Calif. A small high school outside of Bakersfield has jumped into the national debate about whether “intelligent design” belongs in the classroom.

Officials at Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec contend that the class, called “Philosophy of Design,” is not being offered as science.

The teacher of the course is Sharon Lemburg. She says in the course syllabus — quote — “This class is not meant to guide you into a certain belief, but to allow you to search, become aware of the differences, and gain a better understanding of world views on origins.”

That actually doesn’t look very bad. If the class is called “Philosophy”, and is being taught by a social studies teacher, and the administration’s explicitly saying it’s not science, then cool. Nothing wrong–certainly nothing unconstitutional–about teaching about ID from a historical or sociological perspective, especially if it’s within a larger “world views on origins” framework. There ought to be more of those classes.

Now maybe Ms. Lemburg’s got an anti-evolution bias that’ll lead her to try to push ID as science within the class, maybe not; I don’t know the lady. Maybe she’s a huge Dawkins fan and plans to use the class to vent some of her annoyance with her husband and his parishioners! Okay, probably not–but I don’t think any warning bells have to go off unless specific problems appear with the class content or teaching style. It’s certainly nowhere near as dire as Governor Perry wanting to teach ID as science.

Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky gave his State of the Commonwealth address last night. Rather than propose legislation to teach intelligent design, he said site based school councils already have the authority to institute the teaching of intelligent design, which he described as a “self evident truth”. What a great idea; encourage local school districts to bankrupt themselves the way Dover did!

Well, having now seen the various version of the syllabus for that class…yeah, uh, never mind. It’s a festive mixture of religious propaganda, scientific ignorance and general incoherence.

Sigh. I only wanted to be optimistic.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on January 6, 2006 10:25 AM.

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