October 1, 2006 - October 7, 2006 Archives

More on ID Research

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I started writing a little something on my blog mentioning Ed’s critique of the latest DI “we’ve blown 4 million with nothing to show for it” spin. I was just going to link to it and then make one little tiny extra point, but before I knew it, it had balooned into a long-winded essay. So I thought I’d share it with a broader audience.

How to Waste Four Million Bucks


Since Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus has now found a distributor, Documentary Educational Resources, institutions, like libraries and universities, can now buy a copy for $345, which includes public performance rights.

I have asked the NCSU Library to acquire a copy, which they’ve agreed to do. (Coturnix did so as well.)

When the DVD comes in, the library is going to hold it for me. When I get it, I plan on having a screening, putting those public performance rights to good use. I still have to work out the details, but if you are in the research-triangle area and want information regarding the showing, post a comment with your contact email address. Whenever the details get worked out, I’ll drop y’all a line.

The Discovery Institute appears to be getting a bit sensitive over us nasty old Darwinists demanding actual scientific research to justify the “revolutionary paradigm shift” they keep talking about. Silly scientists, expecting actual results! So they’re trying to answer those demands by claiming first that there is real research going on, but it’s under double secret probation at a secret lair, and they’d tell us about it but they know we’d send in Agent Smart to burn down the lab. And second, by sending out a press release claiming to have spent $4 million on “scientific and scholarly research”, loosely defined to include their ongoing work in the quote mines (never forget: send the canary in first or the methane might get ya). I’ve got full responses to both sad attempts to deflect attention from their utter lack of research to confirm ID, at Dispatches from the Culture wars. The first is here, the second is here. Comments may be left there.

Chris Mooney’s article in the November issue of Seed is up on the Seed website. It is about the new group Scientists and Engineers for America (SEforA) which made a splash in the New York Times last week.

Science 2006

For too long scientists have approached politics with one hand tied behind their backs. This November, Chris Mooney says, that’s going to change.

He also has a blog post up, “Scientists of the World, Unite!

The Nerf Flagellum

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I want one of these for Christmas. Courtesy of Display #1: The Bacterial Flagellum, at the Creation Science Museum of Canada. Watch out, evolutionists, you have been judged on the Hogwash-O-Meter and found wanting! If that doesn’t convince you, just look at the tracks of humans found with dinosaur tracks at Paluxy.

Some bloggers in North Carolina have organized a Science Blogging Conference. It is going to be held all day, Saturday January 20th on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus. The conference is free to attend. So go and register if you can make it. I promise that Prof. Steve Steve will be on hand if you want to share a beer with him.

Our conference will address a variety of issues and perspectives on science communication, including science literacy, the popularization of science, science in classrooms and in homes, debunking pseudoscience, using blogs as tools for presenting scientific research, writing about science, and health and medicine.

The conference is sponsored by ibibilo and UNC Medical Journalism program. (It is looking for additional sponsors as well.)

Go Visit the Homepage!

Well, this is probably a slight to revolutionary minds everywhere, but Seed magazine has seen fit to include me in their “Revolutionary Minds” series that they are starting in the October issue which just hit the newsstands. See the NCSE writeup for more. Here is Seed‘s description:

Revolutionary Minds: Portraits of young, visionary iconoclasts who operate in a world in which cross-pollination and the synthesis of ideas are the norm.

Check out the introduction to the “Nine Revolutionary Minds” article:

Every generation has its salon, its emblematic gathering of emergent thinkers. The 20s saw the likes of Matisse, Pound, Hemingway gathered in Gertrude Stein’s Paris apartment. The 50s saw Paul Bowles’ “Tangerinos,” with giants Allen Ginsberg, Truamn Capote, and William Burroughs taking up resident in Tangiers. In the 60s there was Andy Warhol’s Factory, the studio where his iconic silk screens were produced and where Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and so many others could be found on any given New York night.

OK, OK, just what the heck is a guy like me doing here? Well:

Nick Matzke will gladly give a quick tutorial about evolution and history of creationism – even if it means lecturing at 3 a.m. while strolling along the banks of the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, PA. It was there, last November, that Matzke helped the plaintiff’s lawyers cream for their final corss-examination of intelligent design (ID) proponents.

This is, in fact, a true story.

Michael Shermer will be speaking at the Cato Institute on Oct. 12 (noon Eastern) about his book, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. Jonathan Wells, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism And Intelligent Design, will present briefly in response, followed by comments from the audience. The event is open to the public, or and you can watch it online here.

Wondering what ever happened to all that ID inspired scientific progress that was supposedly just around the corner? Here’s Bruce Chapman explaining why it hasn’t materialized:

Friends of ID know the cases of a number of ID-friendly scientists who have lost their lab privileges or otherwise been discriminated against at universities here and in the UK. We are not trumpeting very many cases because the situations of several such scientists remain difficult. It is an appalling commentary on the state of academic freedom that ID-friendly scientists should have to work in an atmosphere of fear, but it’s true. We just want friends of ID who wonder why we don’t publicize work in progress more than we do to take a moment and reflect about that!

As for foes and critics who pester us for information about research now underway and who insinuate that, unless we oblige them, we must accept their opinion that such research is not happening, we owe them nothing. Since when does a scientist have to “report” on his work to the public before he is ready? The opposite is almost always the case.

There’s lot’s of ID research, but a conspiracy of censorship prevents us from telling you about it. Lot’s of people are being oppressed by Darwinists, but we can’t tell you who they are.

RIght. And people who deny the existence of robots are themselves robots.

I’ve posted some further comments over at EvolutionBlog. Enjoy!

Students are often overwhelmed by the number of species concepts cited in the literature. Here is a working list of species concepts presently in play. I quote “Concepts” above because, for philosophical reasons, I think there is only one concept - “species”, and all the rest are conceptions, or definitions, of that concept. I have christened this the Synapormorphic Concept of Species in (Wilkins 2003).

Read the rest on Evolving Thoughts.

Here at PT, we have recently had several posts on banned books and Nazis.

Over at The Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler asks, "whether the teching of ID and/or exclusion of evolution has an negative impact on scientific literacy, student achievement in science, and (by extension) the scientific research and discovery in the nation as a whole"?

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