Ohio: Here We Go Again

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Regular readers of the Thumb will recall that in February, the Ohio State Board of Education removed the “critical analysis of evolution” standard, benchmark, and lesson plan from the state’s science standards. The matter was referred to the Achievement Committee of the Board, with instructions to consider whether a replacement should be inserted, and if so, what it should be. That was a hammer blow to the creationists on the board and to the Disco Institute.

Now, consistent with the creationist tradition of repackaging old trash, we learn that the creationists on the Achievement Committee of the Ohio State BOE are pushing yet another load of of the same odoriferous garbage, this time extending it to include global warming as well as evolution. This is the Disco Institute’s replacement for its failed “teach the controversy about evolution” tactic, broadening it to include still more pseudoscience.

More below the fold.

First, recall the Wedge document’s Governing Goals:

    To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

    To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

In aid of the latter, the Disco Institute and its allies are widening their assault on science in Michigan and Ohio.

We have learned that at the Board’s June retreat, shielded from the scrutiny of the public and the press, a subset of the Achievement Committee discussed a proposal to implement the Discovery Institute’s latest strategy. Watchdog groups did not attend because this meeting was not scheduled on the OBE agenda. Thus, the meeting appears to violate sunshine laws.

The proposal brewing in the Achievement Committee is very similar to a bill recently introduced in the Michigan legislature – see Ed Brayton’s posts on the Michigan situation. Part of the Michigan bill, supported by the Disco Institute, says

(a) Use the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution.

Apparently, as in football, there’s a race between Ohio and Michigan creationists to subvert science.

Why global warming? Religious attacks on global warming/climate science have been growing, and they parallel attacks on evolution. As with evolutionary theory, the scientific consensus is clear. According to a very recent report from the National Research Council, the earth’s temperature is increasing rapidly, and the increase is at least partly anthropogenic.

The committee pointed out that surface temperature reconstructions for periods before the Industrial Revolution – when levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases were much lower – are only one of multiple lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that current warming is occurring in response to human activities, and they are not the primary evidence. (Emphasis added)

The science is there.

Like the attacks on evolution, the attack on climate science is driven by the sectarian conviction that “materialistic” science is untrustworthy and must be replaced. As with intelligent design creationism, science-deniers’ so-called evidence takes the form of claims for the insufficiency of current scientific explanations rather than concrete, testable alternative hypotheses. As in the evolution debate, religious extremists use the clever strategy of denigrating the scientific consensus on causality (global warming is human-caused via pollution) by pretending it contrasts sharply with an alternative scientific theory that, properly-understood, is really just a more nuanced view that’s not really in opposition (current global warming is part of the earth’s natural cycle but is being exacerbated by pollution). This exaggerates the intensity of normal scientific debate in order to suggest there’s something wrong with climate science, and then uses this manufactured controversy to cloak the anti-science view and smuggle it into classrooms – sectarian religious evangelism masquerading as science.

The Ohio proposal being considered takes a legitimate passage (originally taken directly from the National Science Standards) in the current Scientific Ways of Knowing section of Ohio’s Science Standards (10th Grade Indicator 2 under Benchmark A, pp. 90, 146, 237) and sabotages it by tacking on a section directing students to apply it preferentially to Evolution and Global Warming (and cloning & stem cell research). The effect would be to undermine students’ understanding of scientific methods and processes by singling out evolution and climate science for special scrutiny not needed in other sciences. Once again, the Ohio State Board of Education is being pushed to set Dover traps for unwary local districts.

We urge our friends in Ohio to attend the July Ohio State Board of Education meeting, and to contact their representative on the board. The July meeting is July 10th and 11th at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus. The meeting agenda is here. The Achievement Committee meets at 9:00 a.m. Monday, July 10, in the Delaware Room. The President of the Board has apparently set aside time on the agenda of the full board to discuss the matter, but our current information is that there’s no concrete proposal ready for Board action yet.

RBH

84 Comments

So basically they tried to circumvent the “Why are you singling out Evolution?” inquiry by also attacking global warming and embryo-related medical science, issues religious conservatives have been vocal about for years? And not even half a year after they failed to attack evolution the first time? Clearly they have discovered an unstoppable Juggernaut of a tactic.

Why global warming?

Because 1) Democrat Al Gore made it a political football recently with his movie and 2) if you think the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old you aren’t going to be able to swallow some of the data such as from ice cores that are supposed to show what the atmosphere and temperature were like a few hundred thousand years ago.

The attack on climate science is not just driven by the conviction that “materialistic” science is untrustworthy and must be replaced. It almost always comes down to what the Bible is supposed to say first, and what Republican money wants second. They like some science – it’s hard to deny the world our scientific understanding has made possible with computers and airplanes and modern medicine.

Posted by normdoering: They like some science

They do not like science at all. At best they accept knowledge that is necessary for engineering. They just do not care about the scientific background of any technology, they just need some simple rules to follow and some easy explanations that will not challenge their attitudes. Strange though, that they prefer these rules and explanations being expressed in scientific-like terms. On the other hand this habit explains why Dembski can abandon any upcoming reasonable discussion over at uncommondescent by a few bold printed ex cathedra statements.

Why do they hate global warming? Several reasons, including those given by normdoering. The basics are:

1. Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The key here is “have dominion”. WE rule the Earth as God rules us, in their mindset. The Earth doesn’t get to smack back.

2. It smacks of a rather incompetent designer if he makes a world where the mere success of his favored species mucks up the air conditioning.

(Has anybody checked to see if the filters need replaced? That’s usually the problem when my house gets too hot. I’m not sure where Earth’s dust filters are, but I’m sure somebody knows.)

3. Their partners in the unholy alliance of the Religious Wrong and the Republican Party (which used to be conservative, once) like having business unfettered by restraints, moral or financial. Global Warming and attempts to deal with it annoy them, so their friends in the RW are willing to help out by denouncing it. Deny it enough times and it will surely go away.

4. I doubt this is actually a reason, but it amuses me to note that if a relatively small change in the gas composition of the atmosphere can produce global warming, creationist canards like Noah’s flood and the infamous “vapor canopy” are made to look truly preposterous. Not that they don’t look truly preposterous on any given day, but this just highlights it.

Michael makes many good points in #110468. But there’s also the fact that many of the fundie base seriously believe that the End Times are a-coming soon, and so the “some time in the next few decades things will get much more difficult” message of Global Warming is essentially irrelevant to them (they’ll have been Raptured, and rising sea levels etc. are as nothing to the Tribulations the rest of us will be living through), even if they did accept the science.

Why do they hate global warming?

As a political conservative I find myself debating these people quite often on FreeRepublic.

They don’t understand science at all. They assess the truth value of scientific propositions according to their emotional reaction to them. Any scientific conclusion that is disliked emotionally is automatically labelled as “junk science” and rejected. No consideration of the evidence needs to get in the way of the jettisonning of inconvenient science. The thought process runs as follows:

“It would be real bad if global warming were true, so it is false”

“Evolution doesn’t sound anything like Genesis, which Christ endorsed. If the Bible is wrong about that it might be wrong about other things, and I might not be going to heaven, so evolution must be false.”

“If goo to zoo to you is true then absolute morality doesn’t exist which would be really terrible, so evolution must be wrong”

It horrifies me that conservatism is being hijacked by the wilfully ignorant, who expect the universe to adjust itself to fit their emotional comfort.

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Why global warming?

Well, anyone with half a brain could see this coming.

Indeed, someone with half a brain DID see it coming:

Comment #52312

Comment #58850

Comment #99205

Comment #104300

Am I a psychic? Alas, no. It’s just that the fundies are sooooo utterly predictable. (sigh)

Critically analyze the two “controversies.” What are the alternatives for global warming, and what is the scientific evidence for each? What are the alternatives for biological evolution and what is the evidence for each. If this is done properly, you get students to feel for the sliding scale of science. There is some science on both sides for the global warming issue, and it is an example where one side has the preponderance of evidence. On the other hand even the godfather of the ID/creationist/Wedge strategy admits that there is no science worth mentioning in the religious controversy about biological evolution. Just put up the Dover transcripts and Johnson’s quotes about this, along with all the IDiots backtracking and claiming that ID might amount to something in the future.

The evolution controversy turns out to be scam. The global warming issue turns out to have some gray areas, but scam is still a part of the controversy because the side with the least evidence backing them up is advocating their side not because of the weak science, but for political reasons. There are politics on both sides of the global warming issue, but you can still knock one side more than the other, and what is the losing side resorting to? ID scam like tactics can be used by anyone that wants to use ignorance to further their political goals.

You’d have to see the lesson plan to see if it is a scam plan or they really want to educate the students about these issues.

I’m not being aggressive here, but what exactly are you going to do about it? I don’t think I’m wrong in saying it’s the responsibility of other genuine conservatives to take their movement back by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense into it. Are you prepared to vote against candidates who espouse this nonsense even if they otherwise agree with your political worldview? Are you prepared to support moderates in primary elections against them, even if apart from those issues you’d rather support the anti-science candidate? Are you prepared to aggressively support candidates who wish to stamp this sort of thing out, even if they’re a different type of conservative to you?

Hear hear.

As long as the Republicrats keep winning elections with fundie candidates, the fundies will continue to have power.

Turn the fundies into a liability for the Republicrats, have the Republicrats LOSE every election in which they run a fundie candidate, and the fundies WON’T have power.

And if that means the Republicrats lose an awful lot of elections till they wise up, then so be it. The only alternative to that is to allow the fundies to KEEP power.

And no, before anyone gets their partisan panties all in an uproar, I am not a Democan.

A meeting at the Ohio school for the deaf eh? Is this a portent? (This recalls a line by insensitive British comedy character Alan Partridge. “My new house is next to a special school for deaf children. Just to clarify - does this mean there will or won’t be noise?”)

Back of the net!

I’m not being aggressive here, but what exactly are you going to do about it?

Heinz is doing something about it. He’s arguing on a conservative forum in favor of good science, and that the scientific findings supporting global warming, evolution, etc. have no ideological content. Time spent convincing those conservatives who can be convinced is time far more usefully spent than time spent venting one’s outrage on the Daily Kos, to be read only by those who agree with the point one is making anyway. Or even pandasthumb, where the only anti-science types are here to troll, not listen.

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I wish I could… My board rep is Cochran, and I can’t be nice to him. I’m on vacation that week, so I will get there one way or another.…

Mephisto wrote:

… we need to make it so that running as a fundie makes you unelectable. Part of that is real conservatives calling them out for what they are - ignorant, embarrassing fundies.

The “real” conservatives calling them out isn’t going to work well as long as the polls are still showing a massive rejection of standard evolutionary theory:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/31/n[…]&emc=rss

What is needed is a strong move toward public education – along the lines of what Al Gore is doing with global warming.

You guys who put together Panda’s Thumb should talk to some Hollywood people about making a movie.

Mephisto wrote:

… we need to make it so that running as a fundie makes you unelectable. Part of that is real conservatives calling them out for what they are - ignorant, embarrassing fundies.

The “real” conservatives calling them out isn’t going to work well as long as the polls are still showing a massive rejection of standard evolutionary theory:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/31/n[…]&emc=rss

What is needed is a strong move toward public education – along the lines of what Al Gore is doing with global warming.

You guys who put together Panda’s Thumb should talk to some Hollywood people about making a movie.

As I am a British conservative there is little I can do about it other than what I am already doing on FreeRepublic, which is trying to show that you don’t have to reject well-evidenced science to be a conservative. I don’t think that pro-science posters on FR can possibly get anywhere with the hardcore bible-bashers but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that quite a few lurkers take something away from the debates; that one side calmly uses reason and logic and evidence, while the other side shrieks, “Jesus wasn’t a liar!” and “My Grandaddy wasn’t no ape!”. I’ve personally had quite a few private emails to that effect from lurkers.

FWIW there is quite a large crowd of pro-science types on FreeRepublic. A Freeper called PatrickHenry runs an anti-ignorance pinglist with almost 400 names on it, all of whom have to show a history of opposing the neo-luddites with reason and evidence before he’ll let them onto the list. We have to keep this thing in perspective too. What I note is that the creatIDiots keep losing, again and again, whenever these things are tested in the courts. What goes around comes around, half of the Bible Bashers would have been Democrats a couple of generations ago. The idea that religious fundamentalism is conflated with political conservatism is a new one, and appears to be largely confined to the USA from what I can see.

Lets see:

Piss off a bunch of people by diluting science standards and introducing religious based beliefs. That didn’t work, so broaden the attack to include other areas and piss off even more people. Yea that’s the ticket. If we can piss off enough people we will surely win and change the way science is practiced.

So get out your divining rods and start looking for fresh water. Aliquot, freeze and start selling your water. Under the new paradigm it’s all very scientific, pretty to look at, reinforces family values, a low overhead, a high profit margin, and is good for the economy.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Lenny Wrote:

Comment #52312

Comment #58850

Comment #99205

Comment #104300

It would be nice to be able to read those, but they’re not hot…

I’m not being aggressive here, but what exactly are you going to do about it?

I once thought that I was a conservative. However, with everything that has occurred over the last 4 to 6 years, I don’t really know what that term means anymore. Moderates are no longer welcome in the Republican Party.

I don’t think I’m wrong in saying it’s the responsibility of other genuine conservatives to take their movement back by the scruff of the neck and shake some sense into it.

Some are trying. Unfortunately, the fundies have really sunk their hooks deep into the Republican Party.

Are you prepared to vote against candidates who espouse this nonsense even if they otherwise agree with your political worldview? Are you prepared to support moderates in primary elections against them, even if apart from those issues you’d rather support the anti-science candidate? Are you prepared to aggressively support candidates who wish to stamp this sort of thing out, even if they’re a different type of conservative to you?

Where I live, we had a real religious fundy who was challenging our local state representative (a moderate Republican) in the Republican primary. I managed to get through to the local talk radio program that was hosting this individual to ask him about his views concerning science education and evolution. He gleefully stated over the radio the usual YEC garbage, and thought that creationism was valid science. Thus, I thought that the effort to call in was worth it; as it got this candidate to public proclaim his views on public education and science (I noted that none of his campaign literature stated any of these views).

Well, I made sure to contact everyone I knew to not only spread the word about this individual’s negative views on science and public education, but also implored them to vote in the primary. Our area has two decent-sized universities, and I am good friends with a few professors in the Biology Departments. Fortunately, this clown lost by a comfortable margin.

So, to answer your questions - Yes, Yes, and Yes.

“What goes around comes around, half of the Bible Bashers would have been Democrats a couple of generations ago. The idea that religious fundamentalism is conflated with political conservatism is a new one, and appears to be largely confined to the USA from what I can see.”

You can’t simply identify Democrat => liberal and Republican => conservative. The Bible Bashers in the Democratic Party weren’t liberals just because, for historical reasons, they were loyal to the Democratic Party. Their Democratic Party was the party of Jeff Davis, not of FDR. They started to leave the Democrats over the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s and moved to the Republicans, which by then was their natural home.

As I am a British conservative there is little I can do about it other than what I am already doing on FreeRepublic,”

I’m British myself. Fortunately, despite the differences between the left and the right on this side of the pond, we still share a consensus on these sorts of issues. I don’t know if you’re a Dave Cameron supporter or not, but I think he demonstrates that consensus with his activism on the environment, the apparently genuine desire to increase the wellbeing of all British subjects, and most importantly a complete antipathy to accusations of being anti-British or treasonous like are so often bandied about in American politics. We aren’t any where near as fragmented, and thankfully science is far from being a partisan issue. Even people on the ‘right’ of the party like David Davis aren’t ideologues. I think the same is true of the rest of the parties, too.

I’m a Labour supporter myself, but I still feel that I can have conservatives as friends without feeling there’s an unbridgeable gap between our two positions - and thus always feeling a bit uncomfortable around them. I don’t think I could feel the same in the US, though.

I once thought that I was a conservative. However, with everything that has occurred over the last 4 to 6 years, I don’t really know what that term means anymore. Moderates are no longer welcome in the Republican Party.

Back when I viewed conservatism as George Will and William F Buckley, I found it much more agreeable. But yeah, it does seem as though the Sean Hannitys and Ann Coulters are in charge these days.

Because 1) Democrat Al Gore made it a political football recently with his movie.…

If Al Gore isn’t the right person to engage the public, then who is? Let’s not dismiss Al Gore as a “political football” player. He has been trying to raise public awareness of the challenges of global warming for decades. And his movie has the solid backing of the scientific community – and here is an example of that support: (from http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/article[…]icle_num=734)

Experts at UCSD’s Scripps Oceanography Available to Discuss Global Warming and “An Inconvenient Truth”

Film by former vice president thrusts issues related to climate change into spotlight

In the coming weeks, former Vice President Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” (www.climatecrisis.net), will be released nationally and in the San Diego region beginning June 9. The movie focuses on problems associated with global warming-driven changes and draws attention to climate change issues.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has been at the forefront of climate change research for more than 50 years, beginning with the early studies of Charles David Keeling on carbon dioxide concentrations and the vision of former Scripps Director Roger Revelle of the future of the planet and the impact of greenhouse gases.

In an effort to engage the public and help them understand the issues featured in “An Inconvenient Truth,” Scripps has compiled a list of qualified graduate students and faculty who have volunteered to be contacted regarding questions related to the film. Their expert insights can help raise awareness of the importance of the film and also exemplify scientists’ willingness to contribute to public understanding of these critical issues.

If global-warming has been made into a political football, don’t blame Al Gore. Blame the religious right, right-wing talk-radio, and the industry-funded global-warming denier echo-chamber.

Regarding comment #110482

Heinz Kiosk Wrote:

As a political conservative I find myself debating these people quite often on FreeRepublic.

They don’t understand science at all. They assess the truth value of scientific propositions according to their emotional reaction to them. Any scientific conclusion that is disliked emotionally is automatically labelled as “junk science” and rejected. No consideration of the evidence needs to get in the way of the jettisonning of inconvenient science. The thought process runs as follows: “It would be real bad if global warming were true, so it is false” “Evolution doesn’t sound anything like Genesis, which Christ endorsed. If the Bible is wrong about that it might be wrong about other things, and I might not be going to heaven, so evolution must be false.” “If goo to zoo to you is true then absolute morality doesn’t exist which would be really terrible, so evolution must be wrong”

It horrifies me that conservatism is being hijacked by the wilfully ignorant, who expect the universe to adjust itself to fit their emotional comfort.

As a quick side note, may I blog this?

Sparc wrote:

They do not like science at all

That’s not true, Ron Numbers said so:

Ron Numbers on Creationists

To me, the struggle in the late 20th Century between creationists and evolutionists does not represent another battle between science and religion because rarely do creationists display hostility towards science. If you read their literature, you’ll rarely come across an anti-scientific notion. They [creationists ]love science. They love what science can do.

See, you heard from it Ron Numbers. Creationists love science.

Sal

Creationists love science.

Sal

You love science in much the same way that John Hinckley loved Jodie Foster.

While I have been reading Panda’s Thumb since the Dover trial, this is the first time I have posted here. I attempted to post this on Uncommon Descent. It didn’t show up. Since it appears they read this blog as much as their own. I am posting it here.

>If you will allow a new opinion from someone who happens to live in Ohio… > >While high level techno-political discussions are important, that isn’t the >specific issue at hand. The question is what to teach our children and >where do we put our efforts in improving their education. > >For those not familiar with what has been going on with education in >Ohio, we have been distracted with many issues long before the >evolution controversy. The Ohio Supreme court and the legislature have >been posturing over funding to the point that nothing is getting their needed >resources. This on top of new testing requirements, on top of corruption >scandals, on top of…(you get the idea) The last thing Ohio’s education >system needs is to get caught up in another political controversy. > >And for what? > >So our children can discuss and argue about topics for which they >have no fundamental tools to understand? > >Let them discuss and argue about whether carbon dioxide has ionic >or covalent chemical bonds before they render an opinion on whether >or not it causes global warming. > >I would hope and expect those earnestly interested in giving our >children scientific freedom to also give them the tools to do so intelligently.

Thank You and Regards,

Thought Provoker

Now if we can only get the IDiots to hook up with the moon hoax guys…

Well, there WERE the Raelians . …

(snicker) (giggle)

Well, there WERE the Raelians .…

Well, at the very least, that particular form of idiocy was self correcting.

Well heck, I’m all in FAVOR of global warming. It would allow my beloved cold scalies to once again take their place as the rightful rulers of the world. The warm fuzzies have had a free ride for far too long. Back to the Jurassic!!!, I say.

;)

Seriously, though, the planet has, for most of its history, been warmer than it is now. So if Florida once again becomes sea bottom, life will go on just as it always has. Without, us, though. And, of course, if we as a species do manage to arrogantly push our own selves out of existence by pooping in our own nest, I’d realize that Gaia does indeed have a sense of humor.

I often wonder how best to address AGW skepticism, especially in the public at large. I would love some social scientists to research this. This case of co-branding with ID is an interesting clue. It clearly does strike a chord with fundamentalists. It also plays on our fears (and greed). Plus, no one likes to be told, however politely, that that his lifestyle is immoral.

If we want to promote action to reduce the risks of AGW, we could point out that decarbonizing properly, with conservation, efficiency, and renewables, will make us healthier, wealthier, safer, and more secure. And it will make us better stewards of the land.

To our friend per -

Tim Lambert is correct. You did misrepresent MBH 98, but only by about 400 years. You wrote “mlillenium”, and then you quote MBH 98’s finding extending only to 1400. And the NRC did conclude that the case for AGW was still strong, as Richard’s accurate quote of the NRC press release states. You may feel that they exceeded their commission, but I think we all agree that understanding past climate would help us see the future more clearly. After gloating that Mann et al don’t understand past climate as well as they thought, you might consider how much riskier that makes the future.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank Wrote:

Well heck, I’m all in FAVOR of global warming. It would allow my beloved cold scalies to once again take their place as the rightful rulers of the world. The warm fuzzies have had a free ride for far too long. Back to the Jurassic!!!, I say.

Don’t listen to Lenny he’s working for the Lizard Men!!!

Don’t listen to Lenny he’s working for the Lizard Men!!!

I have been sent here to observe your Earth.

;)

Dear Mark Shapiro from MBH’99

The past decade is nearly two (decadal) standard errors warmer than the next warmest decade prior to the 20th century (1166-1175), and 1998 more than two standard errors warmer than the next warmest year…

The point I was making was that MBH 98 and 99 made specific claims (99.7% and nearly two sigmas) that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the last 600 and 1000 years. The NRC panel say that these statistics do not accurately quantify the uncertainty of these claims.

the NRC did conclude that the case for AGW was still strong,…

Didn’t the NRC also make the clear argument that temperature reconstructions are not the principal evidence for AGW ? Wouldn’t it logically follow that this means that the truth or falsity of the reconstructions would then have no effect on the arguments for AGW ? And was it not the case that the terms of reference for the NRC panel was temperature reconstructions ?

After gloating that Mann et al don’t understand past climate as well as they thought, you might consider how much riskier that makes the future.

What bizarre logic ! What the NRC panel are suggesting is that the MBH “thermometer” is bust. And if I am relying on a thermometer for something, it is very important that I know the thermometer is bust. Why on earth should it be less risky to use a broken thermometer that gives the wrong reading, than to face up to the truth that we don’t have a reliable measurement ?

yours per

And so … they sailed off into the ledgers of science - one by one, the research capitals of the world crumbling under the might of their biology acumen - or so it would have been … if certain modern theories concerning the shape of the world had not proved to be … disastrously wrong.

per -

Sorry - I relied too heavily on your reference to MBH 98, which only covered 600 years and thus didn’t match your complaint about MBH’s millenium claim. It was indeed MBH 99 that looked back 1,000 years, and the NRC report confirms that we can’t rely on that data or the MBH analysis. It was a technicality only. I also apologize for not using KwickXML, which you and others use to make dialogues more clear.

More important, I neglected to explain why the NRC report makes our climate outlook riskier. If we don’t understand climate history as well as we thought, it means that we are conducting this uncontrolled experiment on our climate with even less understanding than we thought we had. NRC has “less confidence” in the climate history picture. Your phrase is that the thermometer is bust. Either way it means more variability, or higher error bars, which is how the finance folks think of risk.

What adds to our confusion, of course, is the question of how important MBH 98 and 99 are to AGW, if at all. You ask relevant questions:

“Didn’t the NRC also make the clear argument that temperature reconstructions are not the principal evidence for AGW ? Wouldn’t it logically follow that this means that the truth or falsity of the reconstructions would then have no effect on the arguments for AGW ?”

The answer to your first question is simply “yes” (which is why Mr. Hoppe quoted the NRC report in his post). If your answer to the second question is also “yes” then Mr. Hoppe’s point about AGW is also unaffected. Perhaps this is minor, but I agree with the NRC that we have “less confidence” in our knowledge of past climate, and infer that the uncertainties, or risks, of poking it are thus greater.

People, if you want to think of yourselves as defenders of science, then you really need to take a scientific approach to evaluating global warming. Just because the religious twits have started being anti-AGW, it doesn’t automatically mean that AGW is right. The pro-AGW crowd have been guilty of sloppy statistical practise, rampant cherry-picking of data, refusal to disclose data and methods, and other utterly unscientific behaviour. If a pro-science readership like this site is on the AGW side, I can only assume that you have been relying on what you read in the press and on advocacy sites like RealClimate. Please note that all these arguments about the hockey stick, and whether individual observations of warming are significant, are arguments about statistics. If you don’t have the maths skills to engage in such arguments, then you are left with choosing which set of academic credentials to believe. If you do have the maths skills - and there must be some regulars here who do - then I really recommend you go read up some of the more sensible sites, particularly www.climateaudit.org . And for the record, I have been rabidly atheist since I was in short trousers, and I have no connection with the oil industry.

Re #110600, Wayward

My point is not that Shell / BP are soft and fuzzy and champions of all things good and wonderful. But they don’t dispute global warming caused by human activity. Maybe it’s just PR; but they’re not calling for more “studies” or “critical anaylsis.” They’re realists - it’s happening and denying it just blows their credibility.

I went to a talk at the Royal Society last year where the chairman of Shell was cheerfully going on about AGW. His interest in the subject was CO2 sequestration, and he was going on about their plans for capturing CO2 from power plants and pumping it back into their North Sea fields (which are approaching the end of their useful life).

Of course, this would mean that they can defer for a couple of decades the abandonment and clean-up costs for all those North Sea rigs and pipeline infrastructure, and take Government payments - i.e., my bloody taxes - for pumping CO2.

Companies are in business to make money for their shareholders. If the Government is stupid enough to pay them for doing something easy and nonsensical, they will happily take the money.

Which makes it all the more ridiculous when the pro-AGW haters try to dismiss all sceptics as being oil industry shills.

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote:

Odd, isn’t it, that both the ID and the anti-global-warming nutters have the same basic strategy as the cancer-denying tobacco companies did: deny all the science, and get ‘em while they’re young.

Oooo! What a creepily spot-on observation!

It’s always about power isn’t it?

Hiya, all!

I have been lurking on your wonderful site for quite a while, and have constantly been amazed at the depths of your perceptions of the evolution “debate”. Some quick background, before I get into the meat of my post. I am an athiest, although I don’t feel that my religious beliefs should come into matters of science. I also agree with the overwhelming amount of information that bears the Theory of Evolution out to be more than a passing curiosity. I was, for the greater part of my life, a firm, bible believing, fire-and-brimstone, “born-again” christian. That was, of course, before I realized I could think for myself.

Why does this matter to you?

Because I live in Ohio, and I have a school aged daughter. She will be starting kindergarten in August, and we are all looking for to her starting (sometimes I think I am looking forward to it more than her…). My wife and I have decided to put her into public schools, because there is a great one in our neighborhood, and having friends nearby to play with after school is something I sorely missed as a child. I have, now, a more than passing interest in what the OBE decides to what my child will and will not learn.

This, to me, is extremely worrisome. It’s not just the evolution “debate” anymore, either. As an aspiring educator myself (physics, if anyone is curious), it is almost scary what the DI, as well as the other groups, will do to get their BELIEFS into the classroom. Science is, or should be, rigidly controlled. The process of theorising, testing, peer-reviewing, more testing, etc. has served us in fairly good stead for quite a while. Why change it? Because some groups don’t like the answers?

To fend off some criticism, I know that my daughter is too young to be affected by the changes, if they were to be made. That is unimportant. If you let them change part of the standard, then what is going to stop them from changing the rest of it?

Also, I happen to live in District 6, Columbus. The domain of Rev. Michael Cochran. I personally believe that anyone with the title “Rev.” is unfit for any position on any school board, let alone the State one. I have, however, sent an email to the ACLU of Ohio to see what recourse would be available to me if they do make these changes.

I would call that my 2 cents but, looking back over my post, it seems more like a couple bucks worth.

Dear rstage ,

It doesn’t matter how young your child is. If you intend her to attend 10th grade in Ohio’s public schools, then you potentially have legal standing to become a plaintiff in an action against both/either the state or your local district if they are violating the Constitution.

Several of the Dover, PA plaintiffs’ children were not yet in high school.

What local High School would your daughter be attending if she were entering 10th grade this fall?

Policies adopted for 10th grade science drive the rest of the curriculum in many ways. For one, the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) is based on what students should learn by the end of 10th grade. Much of the curriculum is arranged to guide students to do well on this test. Thus, what a student learns in 1st grade is influenced by what s/he will be expected to know/be prepared to learn in 9th & 10th grade.

So, your concern is by no means premature. If we all take action now, I hope that by the time your daughter is in 10th grade, we will have a truly exemplary science curriculum here in Ohio (and all thought of legal standing will be but a hazy memory).

Here’s hoping!

-Patricia [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

PS

FWIW I do disagree with your opinion that:

>anyone with the title “Rev.” is unfit for any position on any school >board, let alone the State one. >

I have met many, many members of the clergy who would make ideal school board members. Clergy or not is immaterial; what matters is their own personal integrity and devotion to their responsibility to uphold our constitutional democracy.

In my experience, personal integrity is quite independent of religious belief (or disbelief).

Patricia,

Thanks for your response. It really helps my confidence. I’m not really a person who gets personally involved with political matters (apart from voting in every election. Yup, all of ‘em), but with my daughter’s future at stake, I’ll go into this fight swinging.

She would, I believe, be going to Whetstone HS this year, were she in high school. We have her enrolled in Clinton Elementary, by far the best non-lottery school we looked at.

BTW, I got the forwarded message from the Science Education listserve…thanks for the heads up.

And you’re right about my comment. It was an off the cuff comment that I should have considered more carefully before posting. I guess that’s more evidence for what happens when we let our emotions overcome our reasoning.

–Rich

fFreddy wrote

People, if you want to think of yourselves as defenders of science, then you really need to take a scientific approach to evaluating global warming. Just because the religious twits have started being anti-AGW, it doesn’t automatically mean that AGW is right.

The issue is not whether anthropogenic global warming is a contentious issue in science, it’s whether mashing it together with evolution in the state science standards is pedagogically sound. Debbie Owens-Fink foreshadowed this move in an Ohio State Board of Education meeting when she identified global warming as another “liberal” issue to be “critically analyzed”. By aggregating evolution, global warming, stem cell research, and cloning into a single “controversies” package they are attempting to mask their attack on evolution with a smokescreen. Make no mistake, this is yet another repackaging of the same old creationist bullshit. But it’s still “teach the controversy”.

RBH

RBH Wrote:

“By aggregating evolution, global warming, stem cell research, and cloning into a single “controversies” package they are attempting to mask their attack on evolution with a smokescreen. Make no mistake, this is yet another repackaging of the same old creationist bullshit. But it’s still “teach the controversy”

I have to disagree. I don’t think this is a stealth thing to make their criticisms of evolution seem more reasonable - I think it’s part of a genuine opposition to global warming science/stem cells etc. But that doesn’t mean that the criticism is any more reasonable.

Their opposition is derived from a general lack of understanding and respect for science, in that anything which contradicts their right-wing ideology is criticised as “junk science.” This works to our benefit, because it soon becomes clear that this isn’t about genuine scientific skepticism, but simply opposition to any piece of science which they wish simply didn’t exist. When it’s obvious that they’ll object to anything which conflicts with their view of the world (unrestrained market fetishism, religious fundamentalism, etc.) it becomes easier to paint them as anti-scientific.

Their opposition is derived from a general lack of understanding and respect for science, in that anything which contradicts their right-wing ideology is criticised as “junk science.” This works to our benefit, because it soon becomes clear that this isn’t about genuine scientific skepticism, but simply opposition to any piece of science which they wish simply didn’t exist.

Run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore for a copy of Chris Mooney’s “The Republican War On Science”.

Buy two copies, and donate one to your local library.

When it’s obvious that they’ll object to anything which conflicts with their view of the world (unrestrained market fetishism, religious fundamentalism, etc.) it becomes easier to paint them as anti-scientific.

Alas, most people in the US don’t give two hoots in Hades about “science”, and don’t particularly CARE if someone is “anti-scientific”, whether it’s the flying saucer kooks or the psychic hotline kooks or the intelligent design kooks. Pseudoscience in the classroom? Nobody cares. Science funding gets cut? Nobody cares. Science is censored for political reasons? Nobody cares. Alas, there do not appear to be hordes of American citizens out there willing to organize and fight to protect “science”.

But then, the fight over evolution simply isn’t a science fight. The science fight over evolution ended over 100 years ago. This is a POLITICAL fight. It has almost nothing to do with science, and everything to do with political control.

rstage, clinton is the BEST in columbus!!! that’s where my boys went when we lived in columbus…

Don’t listen to Lenny he’s working for the Lizard Men!!!

I dunno, that picture looks more like a Red Lectroid to me, from the 10th planet by way of the 8th dimension.

“Laugh while you can, monkey-boy!”

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

;)

IDists Getting Their Story Straight: Not!

Tara has some remarks on the conflicting stories coming out of the ID camp, including one glaring contradiction where The Columbus Dispatch reported an ID-supporting Board member as saying one thing, while the Board member emailed Tara saying something quite different. I know the reporter (I talked with her this morning at the Board meeting, in fact) and she stands by her story. Hmmmm. Is there a Ninth Commandment Brigade out there somewhere?

RBH

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 6, 2006 11:10 PM.

ID and Fine Art … well, it’s all relative I suppose was the previous entry in this blog.

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