A WTF Moment in Texas: Yup. It was a quote mine.

| 64 Comments

OK, what I quoted below from Homeroom: an education blog is a quote mine. It takes two sentences, well separated in Saenz’s testimony, and pastes them together to make it look like they were part of the same stream of testimony. They weren’t.

The first sentence of the purported quotation is from the MP3 that 386sx linked at 07:25. It is “And by the way, all this talk about status and people not being from Texas, Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany.” That was an out of context comment made in passing. I.e. it had no specific motivation in what preceded, but was thrown in at the end of comments he was making in response to a question from Ms. Dunbar about lawsuits on the basis of the policy and how they get paid for.

The second sentence of the purported quotation comes from four minutes later, around 11:30, and had reference to some derogatory comments apparently made about people testifying on the creationist side, when he said “The eliticism and arrogance that has been going on is really not what Texas is about.”

So that was in fact a quote mine, and I withdraw my remarks that assumed it was a representative quotation from Saenz. Saenz says a good deal that I disagree with, but he was not that stupid.

I’ve just started reading Kenneth Miller’s Only A Theory in which he is attempting to make the case that the current assault on science, orchestrated by organizations like the Disco ‘Tute, is a “threat to our ‘scientific soul’ – the healthy skepticism and rational respect for truth that has fueled our remarkable scientific advances” (from the dust cover copy).

One might imagine that Miller is being alarmist, but then one encounters this. At the current hearings of the Texas State Board of Education on its new science standards, Jonathan Saenz, a functionary in an affiliate of Family in Focus, made this extraordinary remark:

Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany. The elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.

That’s the kind of abject stupidity that could convince me that Miller is right. How many Pastor Ray “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture” Mummerts are there?

From Homeroom: An education blog, via John Pieret.

64 Comments

“Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany. The elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.”

I think ‘Family in Focus’ need new glasses. What does this mean ??

WTF sums it up perfectly.

Argument from xenophobia? That’s a good one.

Romartus said:

“Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany. The elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.”

I think ‘Family in Focus’ need new glasses. What does this mean ??

It means “Biologists are from England and Physicists are from Germany”..

Sort of like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”..

And I am not a man, I am DEVO

Well, its obvious what he means. Physical reality is different Over There, and we don’t want none of that socialistism natural laws down here, y’all.

If only it were true! Being forced to to live by physical laws that accorded with your personal belief system would cure religious belief fast. :)

Does WTF mean Where’s Their Focus?

Is this sort of like the ancient Celts used to do? Crazy stuff, like painting themselves blue, fighting naked, frothing at the mouth, all to give a simple message: “Watch out, we’re crazy, we’re so goddam insane you better not mess with us”?

Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany. The elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.

That appears to be a quote mine.

Jonathan Saenz is here: http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/SBOE%20m[…]Nov1908d.mp3 at about 127:30.

Mr. Saenz was referring to the complaints about how the DI advisers aren’t from Texas. His point was that Einstein and Darwin weren’t from Texas either. He talks about “elitism and arrogance” later at about 131:40.

He forgot Hitlers comment on Einstein and Jewish science. That would seal it for most Texans.

Focus on the Family is from Colorado, an elite, arrogant place unlike real America in East Texas. And lots of these other atheists are from west Texas, also arrogant.

386sx said: (snip)

Jonathan Saenz is here: http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/SBOE%20m[…]Nov1908d.mp3 at about 127:30.

(snip)

I thought you meant 1:27:30 so went there. Is that Miller being treated to the Gish Gallop from the peanut gallery?

Never mind. Just looked at the previous thread.

fnxtr said:

386sx said: (snip)

Jonathan Saenz is here: http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/SBOE%20m[…]Nov1908d.mp3 at about 127:30.

(snip)

I thought you meant 1:27:30 so went there. Is that Miller being treated to the Gish Gallop from the peanut gallery?

127 minutes and 30 seconds is what I meant.

Yeah, I got that.

Don’t be too hard on Texas, y’all.

At least they’re prosecuting Dick Cheney.

hermit said:

Argument from xenophobia? That’s a good one.

Especially since the Dishonesty Institute folks, and the school board creationists, are not from Texas! They’s outsiders!

Funny thing coming from a guy with a Spanish last name.

Was this an out of context quote or is it a fair one?

Hello

Just out of interest is this a quote mine? Or is it accurate?

Regards

Sorry about the double (now triple) post.…

From Homeroom:

McLeroy asked anyone with suggestions about evolutionary theory-related reading to send them his way. He’s already read Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, and The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design.

Oh, perfect. He’s convincing himself that this is all about faith vs. atheism. Yeah, that’ll help. Ken Miller’s book is only a little better than Dawkins since Catholics are probably looked on among that group as only a little better than atheists. I’ll see how much good it will do anyone to recommend Keith Miller’s “Perspectives on an Evolving Creation”, and Francis Collin’s “The Language of God”.

I challenge McLeroy to intelligently discuss anything from TBW or WL. This Texan thinks he is full of bovine excrement.

Xeno said:

Hello

Just out of interest is this a quote mine? Or is it accurate?

Regards

Yep, it’s out of context. However, I am usually invisible to people, so somebody else might want to mention it. :P

I think that it is still a WTF comment. The original context was that the board ignored the entire Texan scientific community to bring in out of state kooks. To answer this by saying that Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany is certainly a WTF moment.

Didn’t Texas once have a governor who said something like: “If English was good enough for Jesus its good enough for me”?

Mike Wrote:

Oh, perfect. He’s convincing himself that this is all about faith vs. atheism. Yeah, that’ll help. Ken Miller’s book is only a little better than Dawkins since Catholics are probably looked on among that group as only a little better than atheists. I’ll see how much good it will do anyone to recommend Keith Miller’s “Perspectives on an Evolving Creation”, and Francis Collin’s “The Language of God”.

That works sometimes for the rank and file because they had only heard one side, namely the feel-good anti-evolution sound bites. But McLeroy is in on the scam. He even advocated the “big tent” strategy (by name!) and regurgitated the DI nonsense that we should not be concerned with the age of the earth, etc. Those in on the scam will beat up on Dawkins to the rubes, but when cornered, they will admit that people like Miller, Miller and Collins are the real enemies.

michael j said:

I think that it is still a WTF comment. The original context was that the board ignored the entire Texan scientific community to bring in out of state kooks. To answer this by saying that Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany is certainly a WTF moment.

Sure, still a WTF moment. They’re still clowns who pretend like they don’t know how to look up stuff. Still clowns who want to smuggle fundie religion in there. WTF indeed.

386sx said:

fnxtr said:

386sx said: (snip)

Jonathan Saenz is here: http://at1.tea.state.tx.us/SBOE%20m[…]Nov1908d.mp3 at about 127:30.

(snip)

I thought you meant 1:27:30 so went there. Is that Miller being treated to the Gish Gallop from the peanut gallery?

127 minutes and 30 seconds is what I meant.

Where is the place to listen? I cannot find it. 2:00:07?

386sx said:

michael j said:

I think that it is still a WTF comment. The original context was that the board ignored the entire Texan scientific community to bring in out of state kooks. To answer this by saying that Darwin was from England and Einstein was from Germany is certainly a WTF moment.

Sure, still a WTF moment. They’re still clowns who pretend like they don’t know how to look up stuff. Still clowns who want to smuggle fundie religion in there. WTF indeed.

“the elitism and arrogance that has been going on is not what Texas is about.”

But why is the above quoted immediately after the first statement to infer a relationship. Those statements are not related.

386sx -

Mr. Saenz was referring to the complaints about how the DI advisers aren’t from Texas. His point was that Einstein and Darwin weren’t from Texas either. He talks about “elitism and arrogance” later at about 131:40.

This is actually a very significant quote mine.

Saenz is a deluded creationist, but that only makes it dumber to twist his words. Why quote mine a guy who’s already laughably wrong if you quote him honestly?

The reason that it is a very serious quote mine is that Saenz seems to have been using Einstein and, oddly, Darwin, as examples of very expert figures.

He wasn’t saying that Einstein was no good because Einstein wasn’t from Texas, but rather, that judging the various DI stooges because they aren’t from Texas is unfair.

And on that point, he’s right. The problem with them is that they are deluded or dishonest peddlers of pseudoscience and ignorance. Whether or not they are from Texas - home of many creationists AND many prestigious legitimate scientists - is irrelevant.

I’m sure the quote mine was accidental, but there’s no need to exaggerate the stupidity of creationist arguments. They’re stupid enough when presented accurately.

tresmal said:

Didn’t Texas once have a governor who said something like: “If English was good enough for Jesus its good enough for me”?

Evidently that’s an urban legend — see this old Language Log post, Ma Ferguson, the apocryphal know-nothing.

RBH said:

steve said:

Johnson also trotted out the old creationist yarn about Stephen Jay Gould’s supposed admission “that the absence of transitional fossils was the trade secret of paleobiologists.

This is a quote mine. Johnson did not say the above. I think another confession to quote-mining is needed.

Talk to Dave Thomas about it.

Yes I agee with you. Dave Thomas should not have quote-mined. It is wrong for either side of this issue.

steve said:

RBH said:

steve said:

Johnson also trotted out the old creationist yarn about Stephen Jay Gould’s supposed admission “that the absence of transitional fossils was the trade secret of paleobiologists.

This is a quote mine. Johnson did not say the above. I think another confession to quote-mining is needed.

Talk to Dave Thomas about it.

Yes I agee with you. Dave Thomas should not have quote-mined. It is wrong for either side of this issue.

You didn’t read for comprehension. In the NMSR article I linked to, Thomas was describing what Johnson was reported to have said at a presentation in Albuquerque. There’s no indication it was a quote mine. Were you at that presentation?

Hey Martin, what’s funny about it? Jonathan Saenz

Martín Pereyra said:

Funny thing coming from a guy with a Spanish last name.

Um, this thread is deader than a doornail, Jonathan. I’d close it, but it’s way back in the archives. Let it go, please.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on November 23, 2008 1:23 AM.

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