Yet Another Creationist Meltdown

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No, this post isn’t about creationist Ted Haggard and his male escort/methamphetamine scandal.

And it’s not about creationist Kent Hovind, currently serving hard time for federal tax evasion.

It’s not even about the lawsuits and charges of corporate theft that have cropped up between Creation Ministries International (formerly known as Answers in Genesis (AiG)-Australia) and its former partner, AiG-USA, under Ken Ham, nor is it about the on-line porn star who played the role of Adam in a movie made for AiG’s new Creation Supposeum.

No, this new scandal involves Kevin Jackson, whose term as Mayor of Rio Rancho, New Mexico ended prematurely when he was forced to resign over a slew of allegations of financial misconduct.

So, how is Rio Rancho’s ex-mayor involved with creationism? More below the fold.

I have a column in today’s Albuquerque Tribune that focuses on Jackson and his legacy.

Dave Thomas Wrote:

Now that he has resigned, it’s a good time to ponder the legacy of Rio Rancho’s ex-mayor, Kevin Jackson, whose brief tenure has been disgraceful.

I don’t pretend to be able to explain the mechanics of his mind-numbing meltdown, complete with accusations of misuse of public funds and his unwillingness to begin coming clean about his use of public money.

In light of recent events, I would like to encourage a re-examination of two of the man’s prized issues: creationism and abstinence-only education. Before his election as mayor, Jackson’s wife, Kathy, served on the Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education. There, she joined with two other board members, who just happened to be pastors at Rio West Community Church, and passed Science Policy 401 in 2005.

This policy essentially paved the way for creationism by redefining science from something that must continually be tested rigorously to a mere collection of supposedly equally valid “interpretations” of the available data. Real science, of course, has a history littered with the corpses of thousands of discarded “interpretations.” Jackson and his wife formed the New Mexico Family Council years ago. It has identified itself as “one of 40 Family Policy councils throughout the country which work closely with (James Dobson’s) Focus on the Family.”

Back when Jackson ran the council, the organization’s newsletter claimed responsibility for sending science teachers several dozen copies of the Intelligent Design tome “Darwin’s Black Box,” by Michael Behe.

This was cited as a classic example of the Intelligent Design “Wedge” strategy in the book “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design” by Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross.

Forrest went on to become the key witness proving the connections of creationism to its successor, Intelligent Design, in Judge John Jones’ historic 2005 decision in a Dover, Pa., federal court case. The Family Council has fired Jackson and is cooperating with state investigations into financial irregularities.

At the least, I hope someone is investigating how Kathy Jackson, the council’s co-founder, was allowed to vote on giving her own organization contracts to teach abstinence programs in Rio Rancho schools.

Even with Jackson expelled from the council, the organization is still providing abstinence education through its “Best Choice” division.

It’s time for a fresh look at abstinence-only policies. A recent study showed that students taught only sexual abstinence ended up with rates of unwanted pregnancies no better than those of students who received standard health education.

When these abstinence-only programs mention birth control, it is in a derisive way, much as creationists like to mention fossils only as a way to disparage evolution. Rio Rancho’s sex-ed policies do not meet state requirements for comprehensive sex education. However, the school board has yet to reconsider its stand.

Board member Don Schlichte, one of the pastors behind Science Policy 401, said in February that “I think we should let the state tell us we are wrong. We will go from there.”

Well, the state has since spoken. It’s time for action.

Science Policy 401 and abstinence-only education in Rio Rancho schools should be re-examined, not just because they were associated with the Meltdown Mayor, but because they are bad for the students of Rio Rancho.

For more on the Rio Rancho situation, see NMSR’s Rio Rancho Policy 401 page. This page also links to some cartoons I’ve been doing for the Rio Rancho Observer to mark the Meltdown of a Mayor.

84 Comments

We seem to be making headway in the move to prevent deterioration of both science curriculum and the movement to achieve responsible sexual behavior in our schools. Let us hope that the perpetrators of misguided information find their place–and the place of their councils–outside the walls of our educational facilities.

I guess honesty and rules can be set aside when doing God’s work.

Warning: turn off your irony meters:

Dave Thomas Wrote:

This policy essentially paved the way for creationism by redefining science from something that must continually be tested rigorously to a mere collection of supposedly equally valid “interpretations” of the available data. Real science, of course, has a history littered with the corpses of thousands of discarded “interpretations.”

Note how the phony “critical analysis” of evolution “rigorously reinterprets” (translation: “misrepresents”) evolution, but conveniently exempts the discarded interpretations, e.g. YEC and OEC from critical analysis. Given that YEC and OEC could be taught “designer-free” to avoid constitutional issues, the only reason to exempt them is the realization of how easily they are refuted. Specifically that, unlike evolution, they can be refuted without cherry picking evidence, baiting-and-switching terms and concepts, or quote mining.

Whatever Wrote:

These people are disgusting. We can be thankful that scientists do not engage in fraud, faking resulsts, tax evasion, espionage, or homo sexual behavior!

As you know, scientists do occasionally engage in fraud, faking resulsts, tax evasion, espionage, or homo sexual behavior. Probably not as often as anti-science activists, but just enough to make the activists’ alternate “theories” worth considering. ;-)

Whatever Wrote:

These people are disgusting. We can be thankful that scientists do not engage in fraud, faking resulsts, tax evasion, espionage, or homo sexual behavior!

But at least scientists don’t adopt the creationists’ “holier than thou” attitude. At least scientists, even when misbehaving, aren’t trying to pretend that they’re better than everyone else. And when scientists make stuff up, it’s almost always other scientists that find them out and blow the whistle.

And, anyway, the way you lump in homosexual behaviour with fraud, espionage etc. is extremely homophobic (as well as resembling the “poisoning the well” logical fallacy). Are you so insecure in your own sexuality that gay people frighten you?

Whatever– In a study of a university chemistry department I did in the sociology of science, I found that scientists had to be much more concerned with factual accuracy than other people. Researchers in any particular area knew who else was working in their field. If even the suspicion got around that a researcher was faking results–(usually expressed as, ‘people have been having a lot of trouble replicating his work,’)– the lab’s funding dried up, the scientist’s citation record dried up, and his career in active research was pretty much over. That doesn’t mean that scientists are intrinsically more moral than other people. But the nature of their field does force them to be very careful about what statements they are willing to stand behind as scientific fact. The very few cases of outright scientific fraud reported in the press compared to the deluge of malfeasance and misinformation coming from the creationist camp probably reflects a real difference.

At least scientists, even when misbehaving, aren’t trying to pretend that they’re better than everyone else.

Clearly, you’ve never “Rocks Of Ages” by Stephen J. Gould. In fact, when he visited Kansas University many years ago for a lecture, even the biology prof who taught our introductory evolution class labeled him as “kinda arrogant.”

Hoary Puccoon Wrote:

That doesn’t mean that scientists are intrinsically more moral than other people. But the nature of their field does force them to be very careful about what statements they are willing to stand behind as scientific fact.

While the nonscientists have no need to be as careful as scientists, peddlers of pseudoscience ironically do have to be careful - in the opposite manner. They rarely acknowledge other pseudosciences, even ones that they might find flawed, because that could arouse suspicion in their own. I call that the “pseudoscience code of silence.” Successful peddlers of pseudoscience make sure that the bad guy is always mainstream science.

To their credit, classic creationists occasionally see fit to criticize contradictory creationist accounts. That seems to be a dying art, however, probably due to the influence of ID. With its “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach, ID discourages any question that would draw attention to the fatal flaws and irreconcilable differences among creationist accounts. While classic creationism (YEC, OEC) seems to retain a component of honest, though misguided belief, ID is pure pseudoscience.

Nigel D Wrote:

And when scientists make stuff up, it’s almost always other scientists that find them out and blow the whistle.

Carl Sagan first alerted me to that in “The Demon Haunted World.” I find no better criterion than that to distinguish science from pseudoscience. And with anti-evolution activists increasingly making excuses for each other, no clearer example that ID/creationism is pseudoscience. But hey, they can always prove me wrong — e.g. the DI could fire Behe for quote mining Coyne. Of course that still wouldn’t give them a theory, but it would be a start.

FL Wrote:

Clearly, you’ve never “Rocks Of Ages” by Stephen J. Gould. In fact, when he visited Kansas University many years ago for a lecture, even the biology prof who taught our introductory evolution class labeled him as “kinda arrogant.”

Now we can add the difference between egotism and hypocrisy to the ever-expanding list of things FL doesn’t understand.

The recent furore over the Bulgarian healthcare workers sentenced to death for “infecting” over 400 children with HIV did turn up an interesting statistic. It appears that as much as 40% of HIV transmission in Africa is not due to sexual contact but to a lack of universal precautions and practices such as re-using needles and IV equipment and a lack of screening of blood for transfusion. While much of this Administration’s focus has been on abstinence education, simple public health education may have been more efficacious since abstinence education for people in the twenties and thirties is controversial at best. Of course, you then have several national leaders who have embraced HIV denialism, making a dismal picture even more dismal.

Whatever... Wrote:

These people are disgusting. We can be thankful that scientists do not engage in fraud, faking resulsts, tax evasion, espionage, or homo sexual behavior!

Heh. It is truly amazing how clueless it seems to especially scientists to lump in a natural sexual behavior with more or less harmful and morally dubious endeavors. Yes, scientists are engaged in homosexual behavior, but only because it is one of the common biological behaviors of mammals.

In fact, you would probably do better study it in animal models to find out what it is and why it exists, seeing that humans as usual are among the most non-specialist and bland mammals. Not only are we AFAIK more monogamous than most, we are also less homosexual and less likely to engage in crosspecies sex among other common variants.

Yawn.

TL Wrote:

It is truly amazing how clueless

Frak, I’m really low on caffeine today - it has been a hard week.

What I meant to say is that it is truly amazing how someone can write something that seems so clueless.

These people are disgusting. We can be thankful that scientists do not engage in fraud, faking resulsts, tax evasion, espionage, or homo sexual behavior!

Go away, ‘Emanuel’, you’re a boring, dishonest twit.

At least scientists aren’t drawing up lists of people to kill, occasionally killing them, and trying to overthrow the US government and recreate the dark ages.

What they are doing is increasing the sum total of human knowledge and making the world a better place.

Pat Robertson: wikipedia Hugo Chávez” I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.

We will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it. [Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, at the Aug 8, 1995 U.S. Taxpayers Alliance Banquet in Washington DC, talking about doctors who perform abortions and volunteer escorts My note. Terry’s sympathizers have, in fact, murdered more than a few health care workers.

“Pastor Jerry Gibson spoke at Doug Whites New Day Covenant Church in Boulder.

He said that every true Christian should be ready and willing to take up arms to kill the enemies of Christian society.

bcseweb.org Rushdooney: Our list may not be perfect but it seems to cover those “crimes” against the family that are inferred by Rushdoony’s statement to Moyers. The real frightening side of it is the interpretation of heresy, apostasy and idolatry. Rushdoony’s position seems to suggest that he would have anyone killed who disagreed with his religious opinions. That represents all but a tiny minority of people. Add to that death penalties for what is quite legal, blasphemy, not getting on with parents and working on a Sunday means that it the fantasy ideal world of Rushdoony and his pals, there will be an awful lot of mass murderers and amongst a tiny population.

We have done figures for the UK which suggest that around 99% of the population would end up dead and the remainder would have each, on average, killed 500 fellow citizens.

Chalcedon foundation bsceweb.org. Stoning disobedient children to death.Contempt for Parental Authority: Those who consider death as a horrible punishment here must realise that in such a case as .…cut for length Rev. William Einwechter, “Modern Issues in Biblical Perspective: Stoning Disobedient Children”, The Chalcedon Report, January 1999

When The Hate Comes From ‘Churches’ ASHLAND, Ore. - A recent spate of crimes points up a growing connection between hateful actions and organizations calling themselves churches. Two brothers from northern California reportedly linked to such a group were charged this week with the killing of two gay men near Redding. Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams also are suspects in the firebombing of three synagogues in the Sacramento area last month.

According to personal acquaintances as well as law enforcement officials, the Williams brothers were involved in Christian Identity, a religion that holds Jews and nonwhites to be subhuman and is closely tied to the Aryan Nations white-supremacist group based in northern Idaho.

Meanwhile, officials are investigating the links between Benjamin Smith and the World Church of the Creator. Over Independence Day weekend in Illinois and Indiana, Smith shot Asians, Jews, and an African-American (killing two and injuring nine) before killing himself.

Mr. Thomas,

You are not completely without outside interests yourself. You toot yourself as a journalist and yet you are also President of New Mexicans for Science and Reason. It sounds like you are not without bias in your work.

In any event, I would hope to direct you to a new theory of evolution written about on my webpage at http://www.homestead.com/theosophy/ascension.html

In this theory, which I have tried to publicize for 12 years, I explain about a new concept for which as of yet there is no word. I chose a word: girasas so that I could speak about another evolutionary kingdom, higher than the human. I also reference two modern organizations that exhibit well-meaning, though incomplete, presentations of life experience by individuals who tried to produce a product worthy of their brothers and sisters.

While I doubt I would agree with Kevin Jackson and his wife, I would like to position myself as an example of the way the news media treats newcomers with change in mind. Can you tell me why in these past 12 years no one has bothered to print my story?

Brenda Tucker

In response to 190454… no they can’t really be set aside… but quite unfortunately SO many Christians do. The problem is, its not a simple debate about facts. Its a war, with lawlessness, murder… whatever on one side and truth, justice, America, apple pie and whatever on the other.

The goal of ID, creationism and what not is not to really argue that the world really is designed, or that its so old, or whatever. Its trying to fight a culture that they view as somewhere between “wrong” and “Satanic”.

Look at what ID advocates do. If you actually wanted to argue ID, its a stupid way of doing it. No research, no papers, no… nothing. But if all you want to do is:

1. Reinforce the viewpoints of people who already believe. 2. Try to sow enough doubt in the minds of those who have not studied the issue.

Its great. It all depends on the idea that as long as people doubt evolution enough, they will go to the much “cheerier” alternative, ID.

(At least, its “cheerier” until you really start to think too much about it).

Can you tell me why in these past 12 years no one has bothered to print my story?

Because it’s coocoo for cocoa puffs?

It is a very difficult idea to adhere to. After I first conceived of the thought, it took my a full year to recover enough to plan out the steps I should take to expose this idea.

You see, when I joined The Theosophical Society and begin my study of yoga and spiritual life, I knew by the three objects of the Society, that science, religion, and philosophy would be studied comparatively, and that each field had something to offer. I was invited to test out to the fullness of my heart what I was reading, which I intended to do.

I had been fascinated with the material I was reading in this organization and in The Saint Germain Foundation, which has such political leanings that we recite The Pledge of Allegiance in church and sing The Star Spangled Banner regularly. The tapes and books were exciting to me and filled with new things.

It wasn’t until the idea ripened and exploded that I began to see that I was not becoming an advanced being like I had wanted to become. Instead, I was still a human that had been “quieted” into passiveness by the presence of a girasas. Well, I never actually was able to make a conscious decision for myself as to whether or not I wished to play host(ess) to this being from a higher kingdom. The most anyone would tell me is test.

Well now I’ve tested and I have information that will allow everyone else in this country to decide for themselves what it is they want to do and what is best for them and I don’t have any assistance in sharing this idea.

What can you do besides gib me?

Hey Dave, be sure to add a link to pseudoscience websites for Brenda. Brenda’s web site is at least as interesting as Time Cube.

It’s not the website that brings up bad allusions. It’s this constant insistence that everyone citizen in the U.S. is deserving of the phrase. It’s the supposition that you are equal to this great government of ours and that you can function routinely within the structure of our country’s freedoms because you were born here.

Well, it seems to me, the people of America fall short of what our founding fathers produced for us.

I’m studying the Bible in a Christian church now and the whole dichotomy of law vs. love is really worth the time spent. Why did the law fail? Was was law replaced? Possibly because it couldn’t change in a way that allowed growth in people. So then without a firm basis in the law, what were we left with? Love. Love became the highest rule. But that is confusing to many people because love is incidental. Some have it and some don’t. How do we grow ours? How can we accept the love that is given to us?

I’m thinking that love is due to be replaced by a concept stronger than it is some day as well. The concept of the girasas is one of many things, many things too advanced for easy acceptance, let alone understanding. If we ever were to come to accept them, I don’t think it would be on the basis of love. I think it would be out of dire necessity; the problems in the world are too great for humans to attempt to solve them alone. Out of need, we turn to them to fulfill our basic needs.

Is this some evil plot to force us into subservience? Nope. It is the turning of a great wheel of manifestation, a wheel of life, that allows us first to impact a lower kingdom with our ways and constitution and then for a higher kingdom to impact us; a set of natural circumstances that when known about, is so much easier to plan for, then if it remains a mystery.

In the interest of fairness, if ID is to be taught alongside the ToE, I demand that the Concept of Girasas (C.O.G.) be given equal time in science classrooms.

You toot yourself as a journalist and yet you are also President of New Mexicans for Science and Reason.

Ah, a devious agenda if ever there was one.

In the interest of fairness, if ID is to be taught alongside the ToE, I demand that the Concept of Girasas (C.O.G.) be given equal time in science classrooms.

Brenda, when you talk about Girasas, are you sure you don’t mean Giygas?

That would explain a lot. Plus, it would greatly help your efforts to popularize your ideas if you could leverage the existing cult that has grown up around Earthbound.

Also, have you been recently contacted by any psychokinetic bees from ten years in the future?

Coin Wrote:

Also, have you been recently contacted by any psychokinetic bees from ten years in the future?

None of my people bees have contacted her, regardless of her answer. We pyschokinetic bees from ten years in the future want nothing to do with her woo.

J. Biggs Wrote:

Hey Dave, be sure to add a link to pseudoscience websites for Brenda. Brenda’s web site is at least as interesting as Time Cube.

A good suggestion! I will submit it to the International Evolutionist Cabal right away.

Brenda Tucker Wrote:

I would like to position myself as an example of the way the news media treats newcomers with change in mind. Can you tell me why in these past 12 years no one has bothered to print my story?

Well, Brenda, you had me with this remark from your web page:

Brenda Tucker Wrote:

I am a housewife with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. I do hope that there are experts who can develop and advance this amazing concept of life on earth, but I do not know how to reach them.

But other comments also explain the 12 years of journalistic neglect: for example, you probably didn’t realize that humans and flowers did not arise at the same time as you drafted your tome.

Finally,

Brenda Tucker Wrote:

You toot yourself as a journalist and yet you are also President of New Mexicans for Science and Reason. It sounds like you are not without bias in your work.

Just to clarify, here’s the byline as printed/posted by The Albuquerque Tribune:

Today’s byline

Dave Thomas, a physicist and mathematician, is president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason. He is co-host of the group’s “Science Watch,” which airs Saturdays at 2 p.m. on KABQ-AM (1350).

I guess I’m clearly guilty of “tooting myself as a journalist.” Floggings all ‘round!

Dave

Sure you can refuse to understand my webpage based on the probable fact that you didn’t read THE SECRET DOCTRINE. H.P. Blavatsky’s premise is that humans have been on earth for 300 million years, just not physically. Therfore, the comment in regards to flowering and fruit-bearing plants regards the need for the humans to first seed the earth with their food sources so that the bodies that we create out of whatever animals are using at the time can find sustenance.

300 million years ago was the 1st race. The time line is difficult for me to produce but it is all in THE SECRET DOCTRINE. Maybe you could go there for more information. The 5th race overlapped the fourth race for a time as did the early races also overlap. You would find comments in THE SD regarding no fourth race humans on earth at this time. Fourth race went extince and third race - while separated from animals or occupied with the split - would have also gone extince. The SD says that race was a giant race and may have existed at the beginnings of the fifth race due to so much overlap. H.P.B. says that some of the bones found and thought to be mastodon are actually 3rd race human bones. Don’t know how anyone with scientific resources might be able to prove or disprove that.

All I’m suggesting is that the country is not only ignorant of theosophy, but prefers ignorance.

Dave Thomas wrote:

A good suggestion! I will submit it to the International Evolutionist Cabal right away.

Heck, I was just talking about adding Brenda’s website under the Pseudoscience Websites heading on PT’s home page and come to find there is an I.E.C. How do I join?

Brenda wrote:

All I’m suggesting is that the country is not only ignorant of theosophy, but prefers ignorance.

You are either an incredibly gifted satirist or utterly insane. I haven’t figured it out yet.

[That Mastodon’s are extant humans:] Don’t know how anyone with scientific resources might be able to prove or disprove that.

Easy. Find some mastodon DNA, sequence it: http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070[…]70723-3.html

Mind you, not all Mastodon bones. A few. Do you know that their teeth are incredibly like human? Maybe it was the molars.

Also, try to separate what I have to say from what Blavatsky has to say.

Here is one of my concerns that should be yours too: While there are no living races other than the fifth race, the fifth race is divided into subraces so that at anyone one time on earth, typically all seven subraces exist as representatives of the races. It might be very tricky presenting data regarding races (and nationalities) on earth. We could make the blanket statement that everyone in the Americas (North and South) are destined to become the future sixth race and that we are currently just finding our beginnings in the 6th subrace. Meanwhile, we have to put the other subraces somewhere and I would conjecture that it would be 1st - Egypt, 2nd - India, 3rd - Greece, 4th - Asian, and 5th - European.

Thank what happens during the 7th race - a split where the girasas separate bodily from the human, which will be near extinction (I suggest in 16 million years, 10 for the 6th subrace and 6 million for the 7th subrace.) As the race splits, we are left with some kind of form that not only has competition in our environment with higher lives, but has supposedly a body that is far superior to that which we would choose for ourselves. It becomes a violent, explosive experience prior to departure from the earth on our way to another round into animals in order to work our own body and environment out of theirs again and again.

What I see happening in Middle East or Africa is the 5th race 7th subrace (Jewish) competing with the 6th race 7th subrace (Muslim). The Secret Doctrine claims that the Jewish subrace is born alongside the other subraces during the early beginnings of the race so that the 7th subrace (in a peculiar family race status) watches over the developments of the other subraces the entire racial period of existence. Then when the 7th finishes their job of guiding towards the goal (hint, hint 7th is the goal and it is clearly in sight), the new race is born (1st & 2nd subraces and 7th subrace) all together ready to undertake the years ahead of it.

Father Wolf makes the uncharitable observation:-

Actually, it’s Madame Blavatsky. But that makes her sound like a fortuneteller.

If one were a cynic, a quick flik through the The Devils Dictionary would reveal all.

THEOSOPHY, n. An ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science. The modern Theosophist holds, with the Buddhists, that we live an incalculable number of times on this earth, in as many several bodies, because one life is not long enough for our complete spiritual development; that is, a single lifetime does not suffice for us to become as wise and good as we choose to wish to become. To be absolutely wise and good — that is perfection; and the Theosophist is so keen-sighted as to have observed that everything desirous of improvement eventually attains perfection. Less competent observers are disposed to except cats, which seem neither wiser nor better than they were last year. The greatest and fattest of recent Theosophists was the late Madame Blavatsky, who had no cat.

On a more humorous note…

Q. How does an American become a Lady? A. Marry an Englishman

And while I’m in the mood, also from TDD

ZEUS, n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.

Father Wolf, thanks for the correction. I guess I deserved that, making a groundless and unwarrented assumption that Blavatsky was a man.

Baseless assertions and spiritual-sounding mumbo-jumbo are not, of course, the exclusive preserve of males.

It seems to me that no matter how much the young Earth creationists are discredited, millions of Americans still seem to buy into it. Just look at the number of people who have been to Ham’s so-called museum over the last couple of months.…over 100,000 now.

Some of the mainstream scientists who have visited the museum and written reviews have stated that they hope repeat visits will be very low and that maybe, in a year or so’s time, attendances will fall off. I wouldn’t be so sure, and in my opinion, this is just wishful thinking.

Surely this indicates there is something seriously wrong with US science education ? As I have said before, forget ID. It’s YECism that US science educators should be worried about. The opinion polls state that over 45% in the US don’t accept evolutionary science. These figures would appear to be correct,unfortunately.

One minor YEC who has made an ass of himself will not make a blind bit of difference.

Brenda claimed that she has been trying for 12 years. That puts her attempts beginning around the time that Stargate SG-1 was begun as a tv series. Does that seem like too much of a coincidence? Of course not.

I actually learned a little bit of science from Stargate SG-1 Paul.

My young son is on Melatonin in order to help him sleep. In one of the Stargate episodes they state that: “Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain which induces sleep”. This was something I had not realised previously !

Posted by Peter Henderson on July 29, 2007 6:45 AM (e)

It seems to me that no matter how much the young Earth creationists are discredited, millions of Americans still seem to buy into it. Just look at the number of people who have been to Ham’s so-called museum over the last couple of months.…over 100,000 now.

Some of the mainstream scientists who have visited the museum and written reviews have stated that they hope repeat visits will be very low and that maybe, in a year or so’s time, attendances will fall off. I wouldn’t be so sure, and in my opinion, this is just wishful thinking.

Surely this indicates there is something seriously wrong with US science education ? As I have said before, forget ID. It’s YECism that US science educators should be worried about. The opinion polls state that over 45% in the US don’t accept evolutionary science. These figures would appear to be correct,unfortunately.

One minor YEC who has made an ass of himself will not make a blind bit of difference.

As an outside observer, who unfortunately can only see as much as one can peering down a straw, it seems as though the willing ignorati who gladly lap up Ham et als bs, do it as a cause célèbre.…’sticking it to the man’. In that great western tradition of thumbing ones nose at authority …any authority from tax collectors to any official instrument of government rule, the brand ‘you give me money for a shiny god of your own design’ offer from low protestant evangelical religion stands apart as the one guarantee that there is a higher power than the Pres. hisself. He has to be one himself if he wants to get elected, a sort of cluster jerk cultural feedback loop. It’s in the constitution.…. Number 24 if I remember rightly …yes here it is Number 24. ‘The fuck you Charlie amendment’ . If I want to be an ignorant asshole that’s my right, right.

Peter Henderson:

Some of the mainstream scientists who have visited the museum and written reviews have stated that they hope repeat visits will be very low and that maybe, in a year or so’s time, attendances will fall off. I wouldn’t be so sure, and in my opinion, this is just wishful thinking.

100,000 people doesn’t sound like that much. Don’t forget that the US has 300 million people. Half of them have IQs below the median of 100. “Wishful thinking” hasn’t been working well lately.

That museum isn’t really much of a creation science museum. From the reviews it is light on pseudoscience and heavy on xian fundie conversion strategy. IMO, they knew that their pseudoscience was going to get ripped apart and so kept it to a minimum.

The constant message to not trust human reason was a loser. Human reason made us the dominant species on the planet and took us from the caves to the space age.

That 45% creo isn’t quite as bad as it could be. 20% of the population believes the sun goes around the earth. C’mon, its been 400 years since Copernicus. Almost as many believe in astrology as creationism.

There is a backlash against the destructive lie and violence xian cults now. The Bush administration’s ratings are 26%, almost lowest in history. Everyone has seen what religious fanatics with automatic rifles, IEDs, and other weapons can do with god on their side in Iraq. The fundie human child sacrifice practices aren’t popular either.

Cultural shifts are slow and take place on decade and generation timescales. It is too soon to say whether the US shift towards voluntary ignorance and theocracy has peaked or will keep going. Toynbee points out that most civilizations eventually self implode. It just might be the US empire’s turn and we can grow our own seeds of destruction.

Peter Henderson writes, “surely… there is something wrong with US science education?” You think? Has it occurred to you that American science teachers are soft-pedaling the teaching of evolution precisely because ignorant YECers make their lives miserable if they really do a good job presenting it? On top of that, kids who do get a good science grounding go home and hear ‘You don’t have to believe that. Evolution is just a theory,’ from their parents and their minister. And people who ought to know better spout ‘religious tolerance’ and ‘well, there’s things to be said on both sides.’ Until people who really have some influence on public opinion in America start saying out loud, ‘the creationists are wrong, and they’re hurting our children and our country,’ the science teachers’ hands are basically tied. And that is why some of us care about these blogs– because maybe they will sway enough people that it will no longer be political suicide for our leaders to do the right thing by our kids.

Hoary,

Well said. As a science educator I must deal with these issues constantly. Many students are not prepared for college level work and there is active resistance to evolution education. I have to deal with what students are taught by parents and ministers every semester. And worst of all this means that science in general is being undervalued and critical thinking is going by the wayside.

In Michigan we have a strong evolution component in the state standards and teachers are encouraged to emphasize evolution in the classroom. Still, we have many areas where administrators strongly discourage any mention of evolution.

I believe that there will be a backlash in this country following the next presidential election. I just hope that people resist the temptation to swing the pendulum too far towards the opposite extreme.

I believe that there will be a backlash in this country following the next presidential election. I just hope that people resist the temptation to swing the pendulum too far towards the opposite extreme.

But we always will. Call it the Political Theory of Inertia - all ideas in motion will remain in motion until stopped by some pain. Not an entirely unreasonable strategy really, since with a lot of social change it is pretty difficult to estimate where the damage point is, and there is a cost to stopping short of optimum.

Peter Henderson said:

It seems to me that no matter how much the young Earth creationists are discredited, millions of Americans still seem to buy into it. Just look at the number of people who have been to Ham’s so-called museum over the last couple of months.…over 100,000 now.

I’d pay good money to get my hands on the daily gate count, and with a bonus if it designates how many are repeats vs first-timers. The repeat number is really the one that matters. We all knew there were at least 100,000 creationists within a day’s drive of that museum, so really this information tells us very little. Besides, some proportion were people like us going on a goof, or the press, all of which will surely drop dramatically from what it was at the beginning, though granted it may never have been an appreciable amount.

The only other figure I can find is the 4,000 first-day, which struck me as low. That meant they’d need opening day reciepts for almost a year to get back the $27M investment, and that didn’t sound like a good business plan to me. I still think they’ll eventually have to go Disneyworld on us to survive. Sadly, I suspect they’ll be able to get the funding.

Anyway, the actuary is excited that something finally fell into his area of expertise. So where’s the damn data?!

On the wild and crazy side of things, if anyone out there has a spare $27 million lying around, how about another museum right next to the creation museum, dedicated to debunking eveything in it? You could have Penn and Teller perform and serve ham sandwiches.

Science Avenger,

I love your idea, especially the part about Penn and Teller. Even if we can’t raise the 27 million, perhaps they could be persuadeed to do a show about the museum. I know, any publicity is good publicity. However, I would just love to hear Penn rave on and on about the mindless legions denigrating human reason. What a hoot that would be.

Science Avenger Wrote:

no one dies from falling. They die from massive deceleration.

Actually, that is probably not a complete description either. IIRC fetuses can survive accelerations of ~ 10 000 g because they are immersed in liquid.

What kills is uneven acceleration, or if you prefer the tearing and crushing of tissue that it gives. (Which probably explains why organisms in water doesn’t take compressive waves from explosions or high sounds well, in spite of handling acceleration as such.)

Nigel wrote:Hey, c’mon now. Legion is obviously in need of remedial tuition. The ad homs don’t strengthen any arguments against him/her.

You’re right of course, but they do add some entertainment value for me at least:-P

J. Biggs Wrote:

You’re right of course, but they do add some entertainment value for me at least:-P

Well I didn’t say I wasn’t also tempted…

Sure you can refuse to understand my webpage based on the probable fact that you didn’t read THE SECRET DOCTRINE. H.P. Blavatsky’s premise is that humans have been on earth for 300 million years, just not physically.

My premise is that you and Blavatsky are fruitcakes. Only it’s not really a premise, it’s an inference from the evidence.

Guns don’t kill people, bullets kill people.

No, cessation of brain function (commonly due to exsanguination, hypoxia, heart failure, or brain damage) kills people.

I believe that there will be a backlash in this country following the next presidential election. I just hope that people resist the temptation to swing the pendulum too far towards the opposite extreme.

Yeah, too much truth and justice is such a scary thought.

But as Jim Hightower observes, the only thing you find in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos.

What I see happening in Middle East or Africa is the 5th race 7th subrace (Jewish) competing with the 6th race 7th subrace (Muslim). The Secret Doctrine claims that the Jewish subrace is born alongside the other subraces during the early beginnings of the race so that the 7th subrace (in a peculiar family race status) watches over the developments of the other subraces the entire racial period of existence. Then when the 7th finishes their job of guiding towards the goal (hint, hint 7th is the goal and it is clearly in sight), the new race is born (1st & 2nd subraces and 7th subrace) all together ready to undertake the years ahead of it.

Meanwhile, on the distant planet Bolox XII, trouble was brewing…

In this area it’d be rabbits instead of armadillos.

In this area it’d be rabbits instead of armadillos.

We used to joke about running informal jackrabbit population surveys using the easy sampling technique of driving the 45 or so miles from the Malheur Field Station to Burns, Oregon, counting those we’d hit on the way…

That method could miss varieties that avoid roads. ;)

Raging Bee Wrote:

Meanwhile, on the distant planet Bolox XII, trouble was brewing…

Knock knock. Who’s there? Xenu. Xenu who? Xenu this stuff was a load of crap, but she kept spouting it anyhow.

(yeah, yeah, groan all you want…)

By the way, Brenda Tucker is a (minor) character in the longrunning UK radio drama The Archers. So. Not only uses a pseudonym, but a really, really SAD pseudonym. Thassall.

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This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on July 26, 2007 8:14 PM.

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