Florida’s “Evolution Academic Freedom Act”

| 210 Comments

The Florida legislature is considering an “Academic Freedom Act” originating from Disco. For some background see my earlier post.

The bill has passed its first committee vote with amendments. The amended bill starts as follows:

The Committee on Education Pre-K - 12 (Wise) recommended the following amendment:

2

3

4 Senate Amendment (with title amendment)

5 Delete everything after the enacting clause

6 and insert:

7 Section 1. (1) This section may be cited as the “Evolution

8 Academic Freedom Act.”

9 (2) As used in this section, the term “scientific

10 information” means germane current facts, data, and peer-reviewed

11 research specific to the topic of chemical and biological

12 evolution as prescribed in Florida’s Science Standards.

13 (3) The Legislature finds that current law does not

14 expressly protect the right of teachers to objectively present

15 scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific

16 views regarding chemical and biological evolution.

As Disco is not on trial at the moment, they claim the following “Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated)”: Discovery Institute claims peer reviewed support.

And as regular readers know, they quote mine much of the rest of the scientific literature to read it as they wish.

The entire Florida bill is reproduced below the fold. I have a simple question for readers: how pleased (or not) is Disco with the revised bill, and why?

The Committee on Education Pre-K - 12 (Wise) recommended the following amendment:

2

3

4 Senate Amendment (with title amendment)

5 Delete everything after the enacting clause

6 and insert:

7 Section 1. (1) This section may be cited as the “Evolution

8 Academic Freedom Act.”

9 (2) As used in this section, the term “scientific

10 information” means germane current facts, data, and peer-reviewed

11 research specific to the topic of chemical and biological

12 evolution as prescribed in Florida’s Science Standards.

13 (3) The Legislature finds that current law does not

14 expressly protect the right of teachers to objectively present

15 scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific

16 views regarding chemical and biological evolution. The

17 Legislature finds that in many instances educators have

18 experienced or feared discipline, discrimination, or other

19 adverse consequences as a result of presenting the full range of

20 scientific views regarding chemical and biological evolution. The

21 Legislature further finds that existing law does not expressly

22 protect students from discrimination due to their positions or

23 views regarding biological or chemical evolution. The Legislature

24 finds that the topic of biological and chemical evolution has

25 generated intense controversy about the rights of teachers and

26 students to hold differing views on those subjects. It is

27 therefore the intent of the Legislature that this section

28 expressly protect those rights.

29 (4) Every public school teacher in the state’s K-12 school

30 system shall have the affirmative right and freedom to

31 objectively present scientific information relevant to the full

32 range of scientific views regarding biological and chemical

33 evolution in connection with teaching any prescribed curriculum

34 regarding chemical or biological evolution.

35 (5) A public school teacher in the state’s K-12 school

36 system may not be disciplined, denied tenure, terminated, or

37 otherwise discriminated against for objectively presenting

38 scientific information relevant to the full range of scientific

39 views regarding biological or chemical evolution in connection

40 with teaching any prescribed curriculum regarding chemical or

41 biological evolution.

42 (6) Public school students in the state’s K-12 school

43 system shall be evaluated based upon their understanding of

44 course materials through normal testing procedures. However,

45 students shall not be penalized for subscribing to a particular

46 position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution.

47 (7) The rights and privileges contained in this section

48 apply when the subject of biological or chemical evolution is

49 part of the curriculum. This section does not require or

50 encourage any change in the state curriculum standards for the K-

51 12 public school system.

52 (8) This section does not promote any religious doctrine,

53 promote discrimination for or against a particular set of

54 religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against

55 religion or nonreligion.

56 Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2008.

57

58

59 ================ T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================

60 And the title is amended as follows:

61

62 Delete everything before the enacting clause

63 and insert:

64 A bill to be entitled

65 An act relating to teaching chemical and biological

66 evolution; providing a short title; providing legislative

67 intent; defining the term “scientific information”;

68 providing public school teachers with a right to present

69 scientific information relevant to the full range of views

70 on biological and chemical evolution; prohibiting a

71 teacher from being discriminated against for presenting

72 such information; prohibiting students from being

73 penalized for subscribing to a particular position on

74 evolution; clarifying that the act does not require any

75 change in state curriculum standards or promote any

76 religious position; providing an effective date.

210 Comments

–students shall not be penalized for subscribing to a particular position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution–

I know what a lot of 1st graders think of vegetables, but they need to suffer negative consequences if they express those views on a test covering nutrition.

Sounds good to me… it’s not like ID (or creationism) is scientific.

Jana McCreary is clearly trying to doublethink her way to legally justify breaking the law in obvious fashion. She is struggling to answer the question “How can my religion legally be preached in science classes, while genuine science refuting my religion be outlawed?” And her answer seems to reflect the thought process of lawyers generally.

(Including Mr Timothy “I declaim, you genuflect” Sandefur, who arrogantly forces us to discuss in unrelated threads, as part of his lawyerly understanding of what a “discussion forum” is all about.)

I’d say no, the Disco doesn’t like this. It basically says ‘believe what crap you like, and we’ll teach science’. And Disco isn’t known for its scientific success.

I would say Yes, Dsco likes it, because the scientific requirement is not applied to the teacher’s views. This is an opening for fundie teachers to express their creationist views in public schools.

The creationists all insist that creationism, which they now won’t call by its name, is scientific.

Wow! Fantastic! Finally we can teach the Truth™ in Florida’s schools without fear! The evil discrimination against Flying Spaghetti Monsterism by christian Fundamentalist freaks will finally end! Hooray!

Sorry, no peer reviewed literature for the Monster. Only certified creationists may apply.

But Pete, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has exactly as many peer-reviewed research papers as Intelligent Design, zero! Why are you so anti-pasta? ;-D

“Sorry, no peer reviewed literature for the Monster. Only certified creationists may apply.”

(Oh, oh, OH!!!! I know this one. I know it. Pick me. Pick me. PICK ME!!!!!)

The scientific establishment unfairly discriminates against scientific evidence for the FSM. There are many FSM friendly scientists who dare not publish their findings for fear of ridicule and discrimination.

Stop the Darwino-Fascist repression. Follow the evidence where it leads. (Ramen)

See the opening post. Disco has lots, they say. Somehow they forgot them when on trial, although they were reminded of Behe & Snoke.

[ from Dover trial transcript, answers by Behe ]

Q. Now you have never argued for intelligent design in a peer reviewed scientific journal, correct?

A. No, I argued for it in my book.

Q. Not in a peer reviewed scientific journal?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And, in fact, there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred, is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes.

Q. And it is, in fact, the case that in Darwin’s Black Box, you didn’t report any new data or original research?

A. I did not do so, but I did generate an attempt at an explanation.

Source

However, students shall not be penalized for subscribing to a particular position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution.

Oh, great. Doesn’t this mean that if a kid comes into school and says “My pastor told me that the theory of evolution says that life formed when the universe exploded and that a fish turned into a monkey that gave birth to a human”, the teacher could not legally tell them they were wrong?

Pete Dunkelberg:

See the opening post. Disco has lots, they say. Somehow they forgot them when on trial, although they were reminded of Behe & Snoke.

[ from Dover trial transcript, answers by Behe ]

Q. Now you have never argued for intelligent design in a peer reviewed scientific journal, correct?

A. No, I argued for it in my book.

Q. Not in a peer reviewed scientific journal?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And, in fact, there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred, is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes.

Q. And it is, in fact, the case that in Darwin’s Black Box, you didn’t report any new data or original research?

A. I did not do so, but I did generate an attempt at an explanation.

Source

I love that story :-)

Would it be fair to say that there are probably a lot of lawyers looking forward to the passage of this bill and the legal challenge that will inevitably follow?

42 (6) Public school students in the state’s K-12 school

43 system shall be evaluated based upon their understanding of

44 course materials through normal testing procedures.

Jana McCreary’s argument was the ICS’s (Institute for Creation Research!) original strategy, dilute the teaching of evolution by introducing everything else under the sun so that there’s really no time to teach real science. They couldn’t have cared less if the science program took a nose dive as long as evolution was ultimately eliminated from the curriculum.

McCreary is just continuing in this same line of argument, though clearly she’s focusing on (un)intelligent design as the legitimate competing theory. These creationist couldn’t care less if science were scrapped altogether as long as evolution is eliminated.

I noticed in the list of peer reviewed publications a notable author was missing, Casey Luskin, and his (sole) graduate peer-reviewed geological paper. I believe he got his name on the paper because he drove the car the professor was riding in to the site where they took measurements.

It appears this Florida bill is aiming to do exactly that.

Please cut out that off topic stuff. That is what ATBC is for.

Patches wrote:

“Oh, great. Doesn’t this mean that if a kid comes into school and says “My pastor told me that the theory of evolution says that life formed when the universe exploded and that a fish turned into a monkey that gave birth to a human”, the teacher could not legally tell them they were wrong?”

Theoretically, it should be possible to test a student on the hypotheses and findings of science without personal belief coming into the picture. For example, a test could ask about the origin of humans according to evolutionary theory and not ask for the opinion of the student on the subject. If the student answered something about monkeys giving birth to humans the answer would be wrong, not because it was what the student believed, but because it was not what the theory of evolution claimed. It might be difficult to make the distinction, but it should not be impossible.

Ideally students should be evaluated based on their knowledge, not on their personal beliefs. After all, a math teacher doesn’t have to ask if the student believes that 2 + 2 = 4. Personal belief is irrelevant with respect to the knowledge of the answer according to mainstream mathematics. Of course, some personal beliefs can hinder comprehension and understanding, but evaluation should still be based on knowledge.

Hopefully this bill will be interpreted and implemented with this understanding. But if so, then why is the bill required, since all education must already conform to this standard? Obvioulsy, anything else makes a complete mockery out of both science and education.

Patches:

However, students shall not be penalized for subscribing to a particular position or view regarding biological or chemical evolution.

Oh, great. Doesn’t this mean that if a kid comes into school and says “My pastor told me that the theory of evolution says that life formed when the universe exploded and that a fish turned into a monkey that gave birth to a human”, the teacher could not legally tell them they were wrong?

I think it actually means that they could even put that on a state-mandated curricula test and not be marked wrong.

Hell, a state test on biology could ask “Name 2 forms of speciation” and a kid could put “Jesus and Jesus” and he would be marked correct because he can’t be penalised for subscribing to a particular view.

42 (6) Public school students in the state’s K-12 school

43 system shall be evaluated based upon their understanding of

44 course materials through normal testing procedures.

Sorry, no peer reviewed literature for the Monster. Only certified creationists may apply.

That is not a problem. I suppose you haven’t seen the latest issue of Answers in Durum Wheat yet. Peer reviewed of course.

The lead in article discusses whether canned spaghetti is holy or an abomination.

Does “shall be evaluated based upon their understanding of course materials” mean that if the teacher presented ID the students could also be tested on how well they understood it?

Why does the linked article for the Disco “peer reviewed” work date to July 1, 2008? How long have I been asleep?

Anyone else notice that the DI link in the original post is dated July 1, 2008?

Would it be derailing or off-topic to ask someone more savvy than I about that list of references the DI provides, to supposedly peer-reviewed papers presenting research that supports intelligent design? They say that there are many such papers. I note the frequent statement of actual scientists - and of Behe himself - that there is no such literature. One of these statements must be untrue.

What is this material, then? Is it reporting research? And did other scientists have the opportunity to replicate and repeat the observations, to test the explanations advanced for them, and to report their findings confirming or refuting both the observations and the explanations?

Germaine to line 11, Answers in Genesis had a post today or yesterday on polonium halos, and has been tauting its “peer reviewed” research. According to that legislation, therefore, the simple fact that someone can download an article from a journal that claims “peer-review” can justify teaching whatever they want. Arguably, AiG and the DI make a mockery of peer-review, but the precedent is set. Of course, this raises the interesting question that if the FSM folks put out a journal (heck, why not the peer-reviewed cryptozoology stuff), then their stuff can be taught too. For all its academic jargon, the bill makes a mockery of the scientific process. For those fighting the bill, it is very clear that the authors have not thought through and publicized the full range consequences of the proposal.

Damn those words “current facts”, “data”, “scientific” and “peer-reviewed”!

Nah; DI won’t go for it.

Look for something more surreptitious from DI. More grass roots stuff below the radar and in churches. That’s what their propaganda machine is already geared up for. A possible tactic would be to indoctrinate followers, especially children and young adults, to such an extent that, as students, they will be trained to warp scientific concepts to fit dogma in their own minds and still get past the “evil, secular exams”. We already see this going on with some of the trolls who show up on Panda’s Thumb to test their shtick in enemy territory.

They might also try to overload or game the education system even more so that no one has time to adequately check conceptual understanding in science. After all, if some of the DI “fellows” got to PhDs without their misconceptions and mischaracterizations being discovered, then it must be possible to game the system of education at nearly every level and obtain the appearance of a science education without really being properly vetted.

Another tactic might be to favor applied sciences as long as those disciplines avoid the deeper issues faced by researchers in the hard sciences. Then publish in applied journals that are peer-reviewed, but pass the material off to rubes as peer-reviewed science supporting ID/Creationism. That should really confuse the rubes.

If there is a way to game it, DI will find it.

raven:

Sorry, no peer reviewed literature for the Monster. Only certified creationists may apply.

That is not a problem. I suppose you haven’t seen the latest issue of Answers in Durum Wheat yet. Peer reviewed of course.

The lead in article discusses whether canned spaghetti is holy or an abomination.

My subscrption to AiDW was terminated, probably because of a comment I made on the FSM blog, Uncommonly Sauced.

I have not seen the lead-in article, but I hope it reached the right conclusio, i.e. that canned spahghetti is, indeed, an abomination. And, indeed, heretical to boot.

The creationists all insist that creationism, which they now won’t call by its name, is scientific.

Pete: This appeared on the Answers in Genesis website the other day: http://www.answersingenesis.org/art[…]ohalos-model

AiG claim this article is not only scientific but peer-reviewed as well and that it confirms a young Earth, not one billions of years old. I just wonder how many high school students (secondary/grammar schools in this country), or even university under-grads, would know what is wrong with it or what they (AiG) are actually claiming. Certainly, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start other than knowing that RATE was set up by YE creationists in order to discredit radiometric dating.

The citizens of Florida are up against a very well-oiled and professional movement I’m afraid.

OK I read down further just to see if I missed something and found that they listed a lot more than fifty people but a lot are not scientists and the list is so disorganized that it is hard to figure out where they come up with the number sited in the title. The credibility of this list has to be suspect when Hume and Voltaire show up on it. They are two of my favorite philosophers by the way.

J. Biggs:

OK I read down further just to see if I missed something and found that they listed a lot more than fifty people but a lot are not scientists and the list is so disorganized that it is hard to figure out where they come up with the number sited in the title. The credibility of this list has to be suspect when Hume and Voltaire show up on it. They are two of my favorite philosophers by the way.

Voltaire, the French philosopher who made himself a defender of the much-persecuted Huguenots, and whose only prayer that he claimed was answered was to ask God to allow his enemies to make total fools of themselves?

First, apologies for feeding the troll, but I sometimes cannot resist the opportunity to give Keith a metaphorical kicking. He asks for it so eloquently!

Keith Eaten Wrote:

For a rejoiner to the current hordes who are members of Myers Blasphemy Club try reading how the greatest minds in science historically approached science and religious faith.

I shall assunme you meant “rejoinder” (a response or reply, typically from a contrary position) not “rejoiner” (one who joins again).

For the benefit of all the nice lurkers who are not prepared to trust that sources cited by Keith are unbiased, I can supply a little more information about one of the scientists in that list: Charles Darwin. In TOOS, he expounds the wonder engendered by the diversity of nature, that sprang from one or a very few progenitors in the distant past.

It is now understood that common descent is universal, i.e. that all life on Earth arose from one ancestral population. Universal common descent has been proven beyond reasonable doubt (something that Michael Behe concedes). Modern evolutionary theory (MET) can quite comfortably accommodate a single event of special creation in the distant past, because MET applies irrespective of how life on Earth began. All MET requires is that life began somehow and that a large span of time has passed since then.

Darwin himself believed in special creation, although he seems unsure of whether it was one event or a handful. This is fair enough, since the data available to him were poor relative to the wealth of information available today. I am sure he would be delighted with modern genetically-derived phylogenies. However, of one thing he was certain - however life on Earth began, it happened a long time ago. We now know that life has existed on Earth for over 3.5 billion years, and some authorities hold that life became established very soon after the Earth cooled sufficiently to support life (roughly 4.3 billion years ago IIRC).

So, far from supporting the IDists’ position, Darwin’s personal beliefs are entirely compatable with what we know today.

Having said that, the personal beliefs of any individual person are irrelevant. Reality is what it is, irrespective of what we might wish it to be. Science is the only means available to us to uncover what has occurred and how it has occurred, and it requires evidence and logical inferences drawn from the evidence. The personal beliefs of scientists occasionally impede progress (e.g. Wegener’s plate tectonic theory was rejected for a long time because people could not accept that continents move. However, Wegener went and sought more evidence, and, in time, the weight of the evidence persuaded the geology community that he was right). I like to think that modern science has learned from these lessons, and that scientists these days consider the evidence above all else, and try to set aside what they personally believe when assessing a new hypothesis or conclusion.

Sometimes they fail. Behe is a prime example of a scientist who cannot set aside his personal beliefs when assessing evidence. Otherwise, he would have spotted the huge logical holes in his books espousing ID.

Nigel, you often teach me a lot and I appreciate it. Thank you :-)

Stanton wrote:

Voltaire, the French philosopher who made himself a defender of the much-persecuted Huguenots, and whose only prayer that he claimed was answered was to ask God to allow his enemies to make total fools of themselves?

Listing Hume is even More laughable.

from Wikipedia

Hume was charged with heresy, but he was defended by his young clerical friends who argued that as an atheist he laid outside the jurisdiction of the Church.

Of course Wikipedia also has this to say about Hume.

So masterly was Hume in disguising his own views that debate continues to this day over whether Hume was actually a deist or an atheist. Regardless, in his own time Hume’s alleged atheism caused him to be passed over for many positions.

Hmmm, maybe the makers of Expelled should have included some historical references to Hume. No, that would have screwed up the whole “fair and balanced” act.

However, I think they most likely are referring to this.

Hume told his friend Mure of Caldwell of an incident which occasioned his “conversion” to Christianity. Passing across the recently drained Nor’ Loch to the New Town of Edinburgh to supervise the masons building his new house, soon to become No. 1 St. David Street, he slipped and fell into the mire. Hume, being then of great bulk, could not regain his feet. Some passing Newhaven fishwives saw his plight but recognised him as the well-known atheist, and so refused to rescue him unless he became a Christian and recited The Lord’s Prayer and the Creed. This he did, and was rewarded by being set again on his feet by these brawny women. Hume asserted thereafter that Edinburgh fishwives were the “most acute theologians he had ever met”.[18]

I’m sure that Keith with his lack of scruples would like to apply of this method of conversion to all atheists. It is obvious that Hume was a pious Christian from that day forth.

And a nice quote from Wikipedia of Voltaire’s thoughts on the Bible.

In terms of religious texts, Voltaire was largely of the opinion that the Bible was 1) an outdated legal and/or moral reference, 2) by and large a metaphor, but one that still taught some good lessons, and 3) a work of Man, not a divine gift.

This is not to say that Voltaire was an atheist. By most accounts he was a Deist. But certainly it is quite humerous that the Fundamentalists try to claim him as one of their own when the above largely falls in line with the mainline (modernist) Christianity to which they are diametrically opposed.

More Voltaire:

If God made us in His image we have certainly returned the compliment.

God created sex. Priests created marriage.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

When men believe in absurdities, they inexorably commit atrocities.

Once your faith persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares absurd, beware, lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life.

And I missed one of the best:

How should one deal with a man who is convinced that he is acting according to God’s will, and who therefore believes that he is doing you a favour by stabbing you in the back?

But Bill you forgot another really good one.

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.”

Stacy S.:

Nigel, you often teach me a lot and I appreciate it. Thank you :-)

Stacy, you’re welcome.

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.”

But what if somebody else gets there first and gets the patent? :p

-Now that the 1st of April is over, maybe we’ll get back to a science background! As evolutionists got their ‘theory’ the “Creation of the Universe”-(proven by their science)-so hundreds of professors were all satisfied–“It all started with a “BIG BANG”! —–Evolutionists may be dismayed that their favorite “Big Bang” just got a torpedo in it’s mid- section, and has been “SUNK” as a “Scientific Theory!”.… According to an Associated Press article by Seth Borenstein Aug 24, 2007-“Astronomers Discover Immense Hole in the Universe”-He explains, “It is 1 BILLION LIGHT-YEARS across of NOTHING,..an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of EMPTINESS!!” (Those who understand the effects of an ‘Explosion in a Vacuum’-whereas, it is like a balloon with equal-pressure radii-at all points on the inside surface of the balloon.) Which now, we need to point out-“If you have a bucket, with no bottom in it-it will NEVER HOLD WATER!” Likewise,with an immense HOLE on one side of the Universe- that size, you can NOT HOPE to satisfy the scientific LAWS of equal-pressure GASES, using your pressures equally to ALL sides in the Vacuum of Space! The “BIG BANG” Theory cannot hold neither “WATER”, nor ‘GAS’-(The “TIRE” just had a “Big BLOW-OUT!”) Good-bye to the Big Bang Theory..! (If it had “Only” been a ‘Billion Miles’, it might have “had a chance”-!!)——(I’ve also heard of many College Professors-that had written books-‘which upon agreement with others’ have asserted–that this explains “how it ALL Started-“) I’ve given the source–(Would you like to check it out?!)–“Experts are supposed to know–!”

Jerry McLaughlin wrote:

-Now that the 1st of April is over, maybe we’ll get back to a science background!

That remains to be seen. Let’s see what you have to say.

As evolutionists got their ‘theory’ the “Creation of the Universe”-(proven by their science)-so hundreds of professors were all satisfied–“It all started with a “BIG BANG”!

First of all there really is no such thing as evolutionists. Just those who accept reality and those who refuse. Secondly, the theory of biological evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang. Those are two separate theories entirely.

—–Evolutionists may be dismayed that their favorite “Big Bang” just got a torpedo in it’s mid- section, and has been “SUNK” as a “Scientific Theory!”.…

Why don’t you just use scientists instead of Evolutionists. After all the Big Bang theory applies far more to say cosmologists, astronomers, and physicists than to say evolutionary biologists. You also make a bold assertion, lets see if you can back it up.

According to an Associated Press article by Seth Borenstein Aug 24, 2007-“Astronomers Discover Immense Hole in the Universe”-He explains, “It is 1 BILLION LIGHT-YEARS across of NOTHING,..an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of EMPTINESS!!”

Nope, AP articles don’t count as scientific literature, and while I certainly respect Seth Borenstein to some degree, he didn’t do the research and the AP tends to sensationalize things to make them interesting. Something else that is telling is that you did not link to your devastating article, and I couldn’t find it even after running several searches. Therefore your claims remain incredulous and unverified.

(Those who understand the effects of an ‘Explosion in a Vacuum’-whereas, it is like a balloon with equal-pressure radii-at all points on the inside surface of the balloon.)

Only an idiot would equate an explosion in a vacuum to a balloon. The two are in no way similar.

Which now, we need to point out-“If you have a bucket, with no bottom in it-it will NEVER HOLD WATER!” Likewise,with an immense HOLE on one side of the Universe- that size, you can NOT HOPE to satisfy the scientific LAWS of equal-pressure GASES, using your pressures equally to ALL sides in the Vacuum of Space!

If that makes sense to you then at least it makes sense to one person. Black holes are not the same thing as a bucket with no bottom. Black holes are singularities with immense gravitational pull. And by the way, Gases are not present in a vacuum so your model of the universe is flawed, since the universe is replete with all varieties of matter in a multitude of phases. You are confusing several different parts of physics. Granted “Gas laws” as you put it as well as gravitational theory (which deals with dark matter) are all part of the bigger picture, but you are applying them inappropriately here.

The “BIG BANG” Theory cannot hold neither “WATER”, nor ‘GAS’-(The “TIRE” just had a “Big BLOW-OUT!”) Good-bye to the Big Bang Theory..! (If it had “Only” been a ‘Billion Miles’, it might have “had a chance”-!!)——(I’ve also heard of many College Professors-that had written books-‘which upon agreement with others’ have asserted–that this explains “how it ALL Started-“) I’ve given the source–(Would you like to check it out?!)–“Experts are supposed to know–!”

I am afraid that the Big Bang Theory won’t be gone until actual scientists (unlike yourself) come up with a more explanatory theory. I am afraid that even if Big Bang Cosmology were replaced with another theory, it most certainly would not be Creationist Cosmology as it has already been disproved and explains nothing.

J. Biggs, what Jerry McLaughlin is so incompetently referring to is not really a “hole”, but a void. Apparently there is an immense region almost completely devoid of galaxies, gas, or any other kind of matter, corresponding to an unusual cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

While it is a puzzle, assuming the analysis is confirmed of course, it isn’t necessarily a “death blow” to the Big Bang theory. There are many voids in the universe; the only mystery is why this one appears to be so much larger than the rest.

Biggest Void in space is 1 billion light years across (New Scientist)

WMAP Cold Spot/Eridanus Supervoid (Wikipedia)

Altair IV, you are correct - I recall seeing the article in New Scientist a few weeks ago (I get the print edition, and only occasionally visit the NS website).

Otherwise, I fully agree with what J. Biggs has said (#149747).

To–J Briggs– Ref: Universe Hole– Our paper source was the Albuquerque Journal on page A6, Aug 24, 2007, Borenstein had interviewed Minnesota astronomy professor Lawrence Rudnick of the Minnesota team, using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory–but there was no mention in their details of observation–(of a ‘Black Hole’) Prof. Rudnick is submitting a paper to the Astrophysical Journal. I also did NOT include biological evolution in my comments. I did get a balloon from the same place, that imaginative scientist writers got materials for the ‘Big Bang’ from a store-house of “Nothing”, before the ‘Big Bang’ occurred. Actually, ‘Hi-altitude’ instrument balloons which reach over 100,000 ft in our history’s early days–characterize a symbolic point, where the small volume of gas injected into the balloon, originally–finally expanded-during the ascent, under the great losses of atmospheric pressures on the outside surfaces of the balloon. Sometimes, the differential of pressures would exceed the stress-rating of the balloon’s materials–and the failure could cause a ‘blow-out’– That illustration demonstrates a ‘partial vacuum’ event– A space-rocket demonstrates a principle of thrust from internal combustion in space. However, we also had knowledge to the existance of ‘super-novas’–so big explosions in space as noted-can be dangerous events —Do not get me wrong, I’ve always loved science, and always will–and have concluded that scientists, unlike politicians–have always been underpaid in their duties- But I’ve also found, that not everything is always the absolute Truth! DTD turned out to be dangerous to birds, fish, and humans too–besides flies & mosquitos! Radar beams, such as were used on ‘Early Warning’ Radar sites in the ‘far-north’ were also dangerous, when observers pointed-out “that when a bird flew in front of the beam, it would fall to the ground as a flaming-cinder!” There seemed to be a lack of warnings for military, who had to work near “working radar sets”! Something that can cook a steak in a micro-wave oven–makes you leary of things that they claim-“can treat Cancer”, such as ‘Atomic Cobalt’…(might be also harmful to red-blood cells, and regular tissue-cells.) In fact, many Japanese civilians died of multiple cancers, from Atomic-Bomb radiation… X-ray machines were taken out of shoe-stores, because, kids liked–looking at their toes inside their shoes… And now, women were told, to be x-rayed every year to see if they had ‘breast-cancer’–! (Later, they were told it would be wise–to NOT do it so often, and a record would be kept–of the number of x-rays they had already taken) Could it be, that the posibility that these many x-rays, might be linked–(to giving them, the cancer that they had always dreaded!!) Can it be proven–NOT when all, who know of the danger–have their mouths sealed “SHUT”! Finally-“Gases are not present in a vacuum”. please tell that to an astronaut in his space-suit, while he’s doing a ‘Space-walk’–! It’s a relative-type thing on where you are… Involving the Big-Bang, these were the ones, who spoke about the gaseous debris, left over from the intense heat–after the blast…but history will finally prevail, if it is right!

I too feel like feeding trolls while waiting for a sensible comment or question:

As evolutionists got their ‘theory’ the “Creation of the Universe”

First lie. It is physics, not biology.

And current big bang theory describes the ongoing expansion of the universe. The initial state has yet to be explained. What is known is that it will take other tools and possibly observations than the ones used to confirm big bang theory.

Evolutionists may be dismayed that their favorite “Big Bang” just got a torpedo in it’s mid- section, and has been “SUNK” as a “Scientific Theory!”

Second lie. A few weeks ago the WMAP 5 year results were released, once again confirming the current concordance theory predicting the big bang process, and AFAIU this time could validate most of it whereas earlier observations had validated the core.

According to an Associated Press article by Seth Borenstein Aug 24, 2007-“Astronomers Discover Immense Hole in the Universe”-He explains, “It is 1 BILLION LIGHT-YEARS across of NOTHING,..an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of EMPTINESS!!”

The observation of Rudnick concerns some large volume mostly devoid of matter. Such have been found earlier. This doesn’t invalidate the theory at all.

First, in the context of general voids you have to check that there is no dark matter there, say by gravitational lensing. After all, dark matter is the primary matter content of the big bang universe.

Second, even if it is devoid of all matter as in this case, the concordance model is consistent with an infinitely large universe. The GR equations for the stress-energy tensor in balance with the metric tensor for curvature must be applied on that scale. Note that the New Scientist article cites Rudnick as believing this will be an exciting confirmation of the concordance model:

Rudnick thinks that the discovery of the void ties in neatly with the WMAP cold spot and the existence of dark energy. “What the community says remains to be seen,” he told New Scientist. “People will take shots at it now.”

Third, AFAIU the concordance model and its observational data isn’t primarily based on lumpiness in Einstein’s field equations at all, it comes in when elaborating on the details.

Rudnick thinks it could end up as an interesting problem for later times structure formation. As usual, an ignorant creationist cries foul on something that isn’t remotely connected to biology, and as usual it turns out that if there is something substantial in the bottom it is actually a motivation for more research.

But at least it is an interesting observation that I had forgotten the excitement about. Even trolls have their utility.

Jerry McLaughlin: But I’ve also found, that not everything is always the absolute Truth!

No! Really? No!

Seriously, so what? Because scientists have erred in the past we should pretend we know nothing and accept bullshit as being legitimate inquiry? That’s like saying because LeBron James has missed a whole bunch of shots that his team might as well let my squatty little white ass shoot the potential game winner.

This “nothing is absolute” objection seems self-contradictory at its core. Only by assuming everything is absolutely (and equally) worthless do the conclusions follow. Once one accepts varying levels of certainty, its force of argument is lost.

Jerry McLaughlin #149737 Wrote:

Evolutionists may be dismayed that their favorite “Big Bang” just got a torpedo in it’s mid- section, and has been “SUNK” as a “Scientific Theory!”….

Jerry McLaughlin #149775 Wrote:

I also did NOT include biological evolution in my comments

Riiiight…

So, Jerry, when you used the term “evolutionists”, to whom were you referring, exactly?

Jerry McLaughlin Wrote:

…A space-rocket demonstrates a principle of thrust from internal combustion in space. However, we also had knowledge to the existance of ‘super-novas’–so big explosions in space as noted-can be dangerous events …

Space rockets generate thrust, but supernovae are dangerous. What connects these two phenomena, in any meaningful sense?

Really, everyone, why do we have to even acknowledge this elementary school dropout?

He misspells “DDT” as “DTD”

Stanton:

Really, everyone, why do we have to even acknowledge this elementary school dropout?

He misspells “DDT” as “DTD”

Stanton, you have a point, but when he just bends forward and screams “kick me”, I cannot resist obliging.

Stanton: He misspells “DDT” as “DTD”

Or maybe he meant DTT…

Oh, how we chuckle in the lab when someone confuses DDT* and DTT**.


* Dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane
** Dithiothreitol

Jerry McLaughlin suffering from typographical diarrhoea Wrote:

Radar beams, such as were used on ‘Early Warning’ Radar sites in the ‘far-north’

Why the inverted commas?

were also dangerous, when observers pointed-out “that when a bird flew in front of the beam, it would fall to the ground as a flaming-cinder!”

This was discovered in England during WWII. The pigeons simply died. They were not blackened in the slightest, nor did they exhibit any sign of flames.

There seemed to be a lack of warnings for military, who had to work near “working radar sets”!

Well, obviously, once it was noted that microwaves killed pigeons, then the soldiers were told to stay out of the areas of strongest emission (well, duh! if your radar operators are dying, who’s going to raise the alarm when a squadron of Heinkels appears on the screen?).

Something that can cook a steak in a micro-wave oven–makes you leary of things that they claim-“can treat Cancer”, such as ‘Atomic Cobalt’…(might be also harmful to red-blood cells, and regular tissue-cells.) In fact, many Japanese civilians died of multiple cancers, from Atomic-Bomb radiation…

Yes, that’s exactly it. The medical use of cobalt-60 applies exactly the same dose as was received by civilians in Hiroshima … NOT!

Your first error is equating microwaves with ionising radiation. Microwaves carry lower energy than visible light, so a powerful microwave emitter is more akin to a whopping big electric bar fire than anything else.

Of course, the use of radioactivity to treat cancer is often seen as a last resort these days (for example, if the cancer is inoperable). However, this does not change the fact that radioactivity can treat cancer. Because cancer cells are divinding rapidly, they are more susceptible to the effects of ionising radiation than normal human cells.

X-ray machines were taken out of shoe-stores, because, kids liked–looking at their toes inside their shoes… And now, women were told, to be x-rayed every year to see if they had ‘breast-cancer’–! (Later, they were told it would be wise–to NOT do it so often, and a record would be kept–of the number of x-rays they had already taken)

Uh, yeah. First off, once the connection was made between ionising radiation and cancer, all unnecessary X-rays were stopped. What else would you suggest doing?

Mammograms use a measured, low dose of X-rays, and, yeah, records are kept and total exposure is calculated. It’s a balancing act between two risks - on the one hand, not detecting a tumour early enough to treat it, and, on the other, exposing the patient to X-rays. The risk posed to patients of a mammogram every 5 years is pretty small.

Could it be, that the posibility that these many x-rays, might be linked–(to giving them, the cancer that they had always dreaded!!)

Or could it be that the humble comma serves a purpose in everyone else’s sentences, but not in yours!? (And, lo, the common or garden parenthesis also serves a function, of which you seem oblivious.)

Parsing through your appallingly incompetent punctuation, the answer to your rather breathless sensationalism is: No. Mammograms are carefully controlled so that the risk posed by exposure to X-rays is far, far smaller than the risk posed by not detecting a tumour.

Can it be proven–NOT when all, who know of the danger–have their mouths sealed “SHUT”!

Now you’re just making stuff up.

Finally-“Gases are not present in a vacuum”.

Uh, yeah, that’s kinda the definition of vacuum.

please tell that to an astronaut in his space-suit, while he’s doing a ‘Space-walk’–!

Well, obviously, there isn’t a vacuum in his space-suit. Otherwise he would die.

It’s a relative-type thing on where you are… Involving the Big-Bang, these were the ones, who spoke about the gaseous debris, left over from the intense heat–after the blast…but history will finally prevail, if it is right!

Oh, jeez, where to start…?

First off, gas atoms and molecules have mass and exert gravity. A lot of the gas has condensed into, y’know, stars and planets and stuff.

Second, there are gas clouds out there - they are sometimes photographed by big telescopes, and they are very pretty. However, the gas they contain is truly rarefied. In fact, a typical interstellar gas cloud contains gas at such a low density that it is a better vacuum than the best vacuum we can achieve here on Earth. This does not change the fact that, for all practical purposes, a vacuum contains no gas. It also does not change the fact that a gas cloud that is several light years across can contain an enormous amount of matter. The precise meaning of “vacuum” depends on the context. A typical vacuum cleaner cannot produce anything even close to what we might call a hard vacuum, but we still call it a vacuum cleaner.

Third, the Big Bang was not an explosion, so there was no “blast”.

Fourth, the “intense heat” has cooled to a rather chilly 2.7 K.

I’m sure there are other things you got wrong in there (apart from punctuation and near incoherence, I mean), but I can’t be bothered to parse out any more.

Altair IV:

J. Biggs, what Jerry McLaughlin is so incompetently referring to is not really a “hole”, but a void. Apparently there is an immense region almost completely devoid of galaxies, gas, or any other kind of matter, corresponding to an unusual cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Thanks, when I ran searches using the title of this deathblow paper to the Big Bang theory, I only came up with several papers about super-massive black holes. I suppose if he had used void instead, I would have understood that black holes weren’t the topic of conversation. Since the terminology used in science often has a very specific meaning, JM’s use of terminology was indeed inept. Thankfully many people who comment here are very knowledgeable to germane scientific literature. Again thanks for steering me in the right direction.

Jerry McLaughlin:

To–J Briggs– Ref: Universe Hole– Our paper source was the Albuquerque Journal on page A6, Aug 24, 2007,.…..but there was no mention in their details of observation–(of a ‘Black Hole’) …

This was already pointed out and Altair IV was also kind enough to provide us a link.

I also did NOT include biological evolution in my comments.

Then we agree the use of the pejorative evolutionists when discussing cosmology is inappropriate.

I did get a balloon from the same place, that imaginative scientist writers got materials for the ‘Big Bang’ from a store-house of “Nothing”, before the ‘Big Bang’ occurred.

You probably misunderstood what the scientist was saying concerning the balloon. It is not at all clear that the Big Bang came from nothing either. We are not capable at this point of knowing what existed before the Big Bang.

Actually, ‘Hi-altitude’ instrument balloons which reach over 100,000 ft in our history’s early days.…..and the failure could cause a ‘blow-out’– That illustration demonstrates a ‘partial vacuum’ event–

I’m not sure if I would consider high-altitude balloons part of our early history. My main point was that balloons are nothing like vacuums. I am well aware that balloons (made of elastic material) expand as atmospheric pressure decreases.

—Do not get me wrong, I’ve always loved science, and always will.…..But I’ve also found, that not everything is always the absolute Truth! DTD turned out to be dangerous to birds, fish, and humans too–besides flies & mosquitos!

You may want to review your history of science then because it was ecologists (scientists who study ecosystems) who discovered that DDT was not an ecologically friendly pesticide.

Radar beams, such as were used on ‘Early Warning’ Radar sites in the ‘far-north’ were also dangerous, when observers pointed-out “that when a bird flew in front of the beam, it would fall to the ground as a flaming-cinder!” There seemed to be a lack of warnings for military, who had to work near “working radar sets”!

I’m glad that scientists were observant enough to note this effect and for the most part avoid human casualties and provide us with a mechanism to heat food expeditiously. Thank you science.

Something that can cook a steak in a micro-wave oven–makes you leary of things that they claim-“can treat Cancer”,.…..Could it be, that the posibility that these many x-rays, might be linked–(to giving them, the cancer that they had always dreaded!!)

Nigel already addressed this issue very well. But I might add that it was scientists that discovered that ionising radiation caused cancer but that it could also be used to diagnose myriad medical conditions and could also be used to treat cancer. You should note that it is uncommon indeed to be treated with radiation or chemotherapy unless you have been diagnosed with cancer. (primarily because these treatments are very damaging, but as Nigel pointed out these treatments preferentially kill cells that are rapidly dividing) So far medical science doesn’t have a better way to treat all the different forms of cancer, that is why there is a massive cancer research program.

Can it be proven–NOT when all, who know of the danger–have their mouths sealed “SHUT”!

Nobody is being persecuted. If you want radiation therapy and X-ray diagnosis to stop, you must come up with something better to replace them.

Finally-“Gases are not present in a vacuum”. please tell that to an astronaut in his space-suit, while he’s doing a ‘Space-walk’–!.…..but history will finally prevail, if it is right!

Nigel dealt with your claims very well. Your ignorance of these subjects does not equal disproving them. I really don’t have a problem with your ignorance per se if you would just keep it to yourself. Science is a difficult subject, and very few are knowledgeable of every facet of it. Nobody here claims that our scientific knowledge can not be improved, but we don’t abandon our best explanations based on wishful thinking and false dichotomies. Based on your posts I can not be sure if you are a crank or a creationist but I am leaning more towards the former. Please consider what you write in the future at this forum because everything you say here will be scrutinized, and your errors and ignorance will be pointed out to you.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow on this “Academic Freedom” bill.

Please send these senators an e mail asking them to : vote “NO” on SB2692

I have gathered the e mail addresses of all of the senators (minus 1 that doesn’t have an e mail address listed)and put them here in such a way that you should be able to just “cut and paste” all of the addresses in to your “send to” address bar of your e mail program.

[Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.]; [Enable javascript to see this email address.];

Here is the web page in case you have difficulty with the way I listed the e mail addresses:

http://www.flsenate.gov/cgi-bin/Vie[…]s/senate/ju/

Please help us stop this bill in its tracks.

Stacy :-)

Oops! I mean “Copy” and paste!

By the way, Jerry, I wonder if Dr. Rudnick would like you misrepresenting his work as you do. This quote from the article Altair IV linked to represents Dr. Rudnick’s opinion.

Because the CMB is leftover radiation from the big bang, some cosmologists have said that the cold spot is a problem for the theories of the early universe. But Rudnick says that the void could have been created billions of years after the big bang. “We have taken the problem away from the very early universe and put the problem in the time of structure formation,” he says.

Apparently Dr. Rudnick disagrees with your assertion that his work is “a torpedo in it’s (the big bang theory’s) mid- section”

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Pete Dunkelberg published on March 27, 2008 7:55 PM.

Irons v. McCreary on creationism was the previous entry in this blog.

Troy Britain: Expelled! The Movie Rip-off and the Event at Biola is the next entry in this blog.

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