April 2009 Archives

Sadly, Another Honest Creationist

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Richard Dawkins has a classic essay on Kurt Wise’s beliefs titled Sadly, an Honest Creationist. Dawkins wrote

Kurt Wise doesn’t need the challenge; he volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a scientist, speechless. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a mind capable of such doublethink.

Now another creation “scientist,” trained in a secular university with a legitimate science Ph.D., has acknowledged much the same thing in a little stronger terms.

Todd Wood is Director of the Center for Origins Research and an Associate Professor of Science at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia and is a member of AAAS, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the Society for Systematic Biology. He is an active participant in BSG: A Creation Biology Study Group, the Baraminology Study Group founded to do research on discerning the original Biblical “kinds,” mostly via hybridization studies.

Now Wood has made a statement similar to Wise’s but stronger. Wise said only that

Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.

Wood goes further. In a post titled Give an exegetical answer he wrote

I have hope because I’m a sinner saved by grace. That’s my whole reason. It’s not because I can refute evolution (I can’t) or because I can prove the Flood (I can’t) or because I can make evolutionists look silly (I don’t). (Italics added)

He can’t refute evolution, he can’t prove the Flood, but nevertheless he believes. (I strongly doubt he can make evolutionists look silly to anyone but a flock of ignorant believers.)

Yup. Sadly, another honest creationist. Would that Ken Ham and his house “scientists,” people like Georgia Purdom and Jason Lisle, were at least that minimally honest.

AIG Creation AntiScience Fair

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Last month I was a judge at a regional science fair for middle- and high-school students, and it was great to see aisle after aisle of smart and hard-working kids doing interesting and careful science. A few weeks later, at a Science Cafe where I was presenting, I had the chance to talk with (and coach a little) two of them who are going to nationals. Those kids are bright shining examples of what we want public education to produce.

On the other hand, there’s the creation science fair. PZ has recently posted on a creation science fair in Minnesota, but now they’re going big time: Ken Ham’s Creation Museum is hosting one next year. (Added in edit: I see PZ has posted on this one already this morning, too.)

There’s a catch, however: In order to enter, kids have to agree with AIG’s Statement of Faith.

Francis Beckwith has published a letter to the editor in the latest issue of the Chapman Law Review (not available online) alleging that I misrepresented his views in my recent article in that journal. I think my article correctly described his views and that his letter–probably intentionally–obscures the issues involved.

Weekend update

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Allow me to recap. Jerry Coyne set a few people on fire with a post arguing that national science organizations have gone to far in blithely conceding the compatibility of science and religion. He strongly suggests that they stick to complete neutrality on the topic, something they all promise to do, but then ignore what they say to tout a philosophical accommodation that doesn't really exist. He does not argue that they should go the other way and advance an atheistic position (even though we know that that is the only correct stance), but wants them to back off on the misleading happy religion stuff.

Richard Hoppe fired back with a claim that nuh-uh, they aren't pushing a particular religious view, and besides, we need concessions to religion in order to get along politically…and then he threw in a lot of tactless and politically self-destructive accusations about how ivory tower atheists don't know a thing about politics or tact.

Of course I responded to that, pointing out in the NCSE's defense that they are an indispensable element in protecting our classrooms, but that the US is currently deadlocked in the evolution/creationism struggle, and has been for a long time…and that central to the stalemate is our constant abasement to religion. It's time to stop, and the atheists are the ones who are working to break that logjam. At the same time, I agree that the NCSE, to be politically useful, needs to be neutral on the issue of religion. The problem is that they are not.

Then there was lots of piling on. Check out Russell Blackford's take, or Wilkins' mild disagreement. Taner Edis takes a strange position: the incompatiblists are completely right, but we can't say so. You can guess that Larry Moran didn't waffle. Unfortunately, Chris Mooney gets it all completely wrong, accusing Coyne of claiming that the national organizations are "too moderate on the extremely divisive subject of religion", when what he and I are actually saying is the exact opposite — that they aren't moderate enough, and have drifted too far towards appeasing religious views. I shall repeat myself: no one is demanding that the NCSE and NAS go all rabidly atheist, and we can even agree that a neutral position is more productive towards achieving their goals. The problems arise when they get so entangled with the people they should be arguing with that they start adopting some of their views, and suddenly the science is being compromised to achieve a political end.

Now to make it even more interesting, Richard Hoppe has put up a partial retraction. He concedes that in some cases the NCSE has drifted too far into promoting a particular religious view.

In its Faith Project, then, I think that NCSE has gone beyond its remit and past where it can be effective. I now think — in agreement with Coyne, PZ, and others — that it should back off from describing particular ways of reconciling science and religion. Pointing to religious people and organizations who have made their peace with science and evolution is appropriate, but going past that to describing particular ways of making that peace is a mistake. NCSE ought not wade into theological swamps.

It's good to see some progress in the argument (and Jerry Coyne sends his regards, too). The ultimate point, I think, is that we all think the NCSE is a marvelous organization — you should join if you haven't already — but that does not mean it is above criticism, and some of us are seeing signs of the incipient Templetonization of the group, something we'd rather not see happen. If it is to be useful to both the religious and the infidels, it can't wander too far to one side or the other.

Let me try again …

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… with (a little) less snark, fewer red herrings, and the admission of a change of mind in one respect, thanks in part to reading contrary posts here and elsewhere and comments on my previous post.

In my original post I wrote

Jerry Coyne, seconded by PZ Myers, Russell Blackford, and Larry Moran among others, has written a critique of the “accommodationist” position taken by the National Center for Science Education, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Coyne characterizes those organizations’ positions as meaning that NCSE “cuddles up to [religion], kisses it, and tells it that everything will be all right.”

Further, Coyne argued, those organizations endorse a particular religious view.

I want to separate NCSE from NAS and AAAS in this post and focus just on the former. The latter two are organizations of professional scientists, and it’s reasonable to expect them to focus solely on science advocacy in their public efforts. I will not defend nor attempt to justify their remarks on religion here, though I now think they’re potentially problematic – comments do have an effect! But I took most umbrage at Coyne’s remarks about NCSE, and that umbrage stimulated my earlier post and is the focus of this one.

Oak Toe Lichen

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Oak Toe Lichen, Carolina Beach State Park

The NCSE is an excellent organization, and I've frequently urged people at my talks to join it. However, it's also a limited organization, and this post by Richard Hoppe at the Panda's Thumb exposes their flaws. It's blind. It's locked in to one strategy. It's response to people who try to branch out in new directions is to discourage them, often in a rather patronizing way. This is not a good approach to take when we've been deadlocked for years and they offer no prospects for future victory.

I've been making the argument for some time that the NCSE is our defensive line, and they are great at that...we don't want to lose them. In fact, they are so good that we haven't lost a creationist court case since Scopes, in recent years thanks to the invaluable assistance of the staff at NCSE, and we've built up such a body of legal precedent that we can feel fairly secure that they creationists are going to consistently get their butts kicked in the courts (it also helps that the creationists are incompetent at both science and the law). With that success, however, comes complacency and overconfidence and a belief that their approach is is the One True Way…and now, a gradual drift into identifying more with the opposition than with a significant percentage of their own team and their own fans. They also seem determined to ignore reality — we live in a country that is split in the middle on the topic of evolution, and the creationists are not in decline. Victories in the courtroom are not the same as victories in the minds of the population.

Generals who don’t know the nature of war

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Once again the issue of whether science and religion are ‘compatible’ has arisen in the science blogosphere. Jerry Coyne, seconded by PZ Myers, Russell Blackford, and Larry Moran among others, has written a critique of the “accommodationist” position taken by the National Center for Science Education, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Coyne characterizes those organizations’ positions as meaning that NCSE “cuddles up to [religion], kisses it, and tells it that everything will be all right.” John Wilkins, who AFAIK does not second Coyne’s motion, even has a multiple-choice question on the issue going. This post grew out of a comment I made there.

I think Coyne has made a surprisingly confused argument against a straw man, and I’ll outline why below.

Killing Geology in Florida

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Joe Meert has been blogging on the “progress” of state budget negotiations in the Florida legislature. State universities are going to take massive financial hits, and the University of Florida has decided to adapt to those hits by effectively eliminating whole departments, including the Geology department. Those who have any influence in Florida should contact the appropriate state legislators ASAP: the negotiations are going on right now and will be finished over the weekend.

The response of the several universities in the state system vary. The University of South Florida is cutting jobs, but not laying off untenured or tenured faculty. The University of Florida, on the other hand, is cutting whole programs. Nothing like a meat axe to encourage higher education.

Dechronization is a group blog devoted to the methodology of phylogenetic tree reconstruction. Today they published an interview with a very influential individual in the field, Joe Felsenstein, whom some of you may recognize as a regular reader of this blog. I’ll quote the first part because it actually pertains to some of the research that I am doing right now—and will talk about this summer in Iowa at SMBE (hopefully) and in Idaho at Evolution.

LH: What are the most exciting recent developments in systematics / comparative methods?

JF: The availability of genome-scale information is certainly one. The arrival of a generation of young researchers who are comfortable with statistical and computational approaches is another. But the most important development is reflected in recent work on coalescent trees of gene copies within trees of species. What this does is tie together between-species molecular evolution and within-species population genetics. Those two lines of work have been developing almost independently since the 1960s. But now, with population samples of sequences at multiple loci in multiple related species, they are coming back together. This is not another Modern Synthesis, but it is a major event that needs a name. How about the “Family Reunion”? Long-estranged relatives who have not been in touch are getting together.

Don’t forget to read the rest.

Image Credit ESO (click to embiggen).

The Gliese 581 system delivers again. Giese 581 is a red dwarf star 20.4 light years away that until recently boasted the lightest extrasolar planet ever found. At 5 Earth masses, Gliese 581c was not exactly a second Earth, but it and 7 Earth mass Gliese 581d captured the worlds imagination as they seemed to be in the habitable zone of their parent star, where liquid water can exist.

Now the smallest mass planet ever has been discovered around Gliese 581, a 1.9 mass planet Gliese 581e, presumably rocky, that screams around Gliese 581 in a little over three days. At a mere 0.03 Astronomical Units from its star, Gliese 581e is a Mercury-like world, baking in the close embrace of the Red Dwarf.

More on The ICR Lawsuit

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There’s more on the ICR’s lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board over at Tony’s Curricublog, and from Steven Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science. Shafersman makes an important point here:

ICR claims it “met or exceeded” the 21 Standards of Certificates of Authority. In fact, ICR did not meet several of those standards which was the basis of the THECB’s refusal to grant the Certificate of Authority. Three of those unmet standards were faculty qualifications, the curriculum, and academic freedom of the faculty and students. The standard of judging these things is comparison with other Texas institutions of higher learning that offer the same Master of Science Degree in Science Education. ICR was in no way comparable to other institutions, which was the original THECB justification for denial of the certification. Indeed, ICR compares so unfavorably that in my opinion it would never be able to achieve accreditation from a legitimate accrediting association, and I believe ICR’s plan was to keep renewing its state Certificate of Authority indefinitely (or seek legislative assistance in some fashion.…)

ICR’s claim that it suffers from “anti-accommodational evolution-only-science enforcement policy practices” is frankly absurd. ICR has every right in the world to teach its Creationist pseudoscience to paying students and can continue to do that, so that falsifies its claim of illegal victimization by the State of Texas. It has no right, however, to demand that its graduating students be awarded a Texas-certified Master of Science degree, since under no definition of science or practice of legitimate science education in the United States is ICR’s curriculum “science.”

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for denying it authority to issue masters degrees in science education. The ICR, of course, is a young earth creationist outfit that recently moved to Texas from California. It’s been running what it calls a graduate school for several years, issuing worthless pieces of paper that it calls advanced degrees in various sciences. Sadly, the ICR’s “graduate school” was officially accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation agencysomething I consider something of a scandal. But when ICR moved, it withdrew from that national accreditation because it expected that it would get accreditation from the state of Texas. That turned out not to happen: THECB unanimously denied ICR’s request for authority to grant degrees purporting to be scientific degrees.

Victoria amazonica

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Victoria amazonica — Water Lily, Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Brief Freshwater Update

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The hearing is scheduled to resume May 7. In the meantime, there’s a very good opinion piece in the Mansfield, Ohio, NewsJournal. Comment here or there as the spirit moves you.

Comments

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Comments are broken due to a system upgrade. I’ll fix them later today.

Update

Fixed.

And I’m the Queen of Mexico. Over at Four Dollars, Almost Five, rhiggs has posted a month or more long email exchange with Attorney Casey Luskin on “what scientific data there was to support intelligent design.”

Head on over there and check it out.

Michael Egnor’s most recent post accuses me of being an “atheist fundamentalist” due to my belief that military chaplains are a violation of the Establishment Clause. Okay–call me what names you like. While I admit that my position is “extreme,” whatever that term might mean in this context, it is one I am proud to share with James Madison, the author of the First Amendment, who said,

While Michael Egnor is accusing the scientific community of censorship, the Institut Discotheque is advertising a summer seminar on Intelligent Design, and there’s something very interesting about the advertisement. Applicants for the seminar are required to provide various information about their grades and their interests, as well as “a letter of recommendation from a professor who knows your work and is friendly toward ID, or a phone interview with Dr. Bruce Gordon, CSC Research Director.” Now that’s interesting–a letter from someone who is “friendly toward ID”? What is this if not a litmus test–a gatekeeper device to prevent critics or doubters from attending their seminar?

Over at Todd Woods blog about a month ago you could have found this interesting (and unintentionally amusing) statement.

“Anyone who knows me at all knows that I break down creationist biology into four main components: design, natural evil, systematics, speciation, and biogeography.”

This automatically channels the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition sketch “Amongst our weapons are …” Anyway, he fixed the numeric discrepancy (without acknowledging the blogosphere who pointed it out), but minor typographical errors are not the reason biologists laugh at creationists [1]. The reason we laugh at them is they are so gormless about biology.

One of the central parts of Michael Egnor’s argument (if such it can be called) for sneaking religion into science classes in violation of the First Amendment is to argue that restricting science classes to science is a form of censorship: that is, that the prohibition on putting a government imprimatur on a religious claim (i.e., Establishment Clause) is a violation of the principle of free speech.

I wouldn’t hold my breath, but according to an article by Stephanie Simon in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, a number of Texas legislators have been put off by a science curriculum that not only permits the introduction of creationism through the back door but also raises doubts about global warming and big-bang theory. Evidently several bills have been introduced to reduce the power of the state school board. Specifically,

The most far-reaching proposals would strip the Texas board of its authority to set curricula and approve textbooks. Depending on the bill, that power would be transferred to the state education agency, a legislative board or the commissioner of education. Other bills would transform the board to an appointed rather than elected body, require Webcasting of meetings, and take away the board’s control of a vast pot of school funding. Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, hasn’t taken a position on specific bills, a spokeswoman said.

Furthermore,

While the Legislature debates the board’s future, candidates on the left and right are gearing up for 2010, when eight seats will be on the ballot. Results of that election could affect how the new science standards are interpreted – and which biology texts the board approves in 2011. Texas is one of about 20 states that require local districts to buy only textbooks approved by the state board.

Finally, according to Ms. Simon, Texas is gearing up for a school-board election in 2010. Eight seats will be contested, and the results of that election could determine precisely how the new science standards are implemented and what textbooks will be chosen.

Thanks to Scientists and Engineers for America for providing the link.

Evolution 2009

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Evolution 2009

“She said we could give ourselves airs and get ourselves all rigged up and we were like race horses and we were just mules in horse harness and we didn’t fool anybody.”-Scarlett O’Hara

Not content with his outright lie in his previous post, to the effect that I believe schoolchildren in government schools ought to be taught that there is no God–something I do not believe and have never advocated–Dr. Egnor has now moved on to argue that the Establishment Clause forbids the government from funding research in evolutionary biology.

His latest post is really a scattershot of typical religious right stuff that I’ll get to in a second, but the overall point appears to be that my interpretation of the Establishment Clause (which he calls “angst” for some reason I can’t cipher out) is inconsistent because I believe that the government may conduct research on evolutionary biology but may not teach religion in schools. Or, rather, as he puts it, scientists may receive government funds to go dig up transitional fossils, but cannot “teach those same questions to students.” This assertion is typical of the distortion, vagueness, and rhetorical manipulation which is Dr. Egnor’s stock in trade.

Snails have nodal!

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Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research

My first column in the Guardian science blog will be coming out soon, and it’s about a recent discovery that I found very exciting…but that some people may find strange and uninteresting. It’s all about the identification of nodal in snails.

nodal_guts.jpg

Why should we care? Well, nodal is a rather important — it’s a gene involved in the specification of left/right asymmetry in us chordates. You’re internally asymmetric in some important ways, with, for instance, a heart that is larger on the left than on the right. This is essential for robust physiological function — you’d be dead if you were internally symmetrical. It’s also consistent, with a few rare exceptions, that everyone has a stronger left ventricle than right. The way this is set up is by the activation of the cell signaling gene nodal on one side, the left. Nodal then activates other genes (like Pitx2) farther downstream, that leads to a bias in how development proceeds on the left vs. the right.

In us mammals, the way this asymmetry in gene expression seems to hinge on the way cilia rotate to set up a net leftward flow of extraembryonic fluids. This flow activates sensors on the left rather than the right, that upregulate nodal expression. So nodal is central to differential gene expression on left vs. right sides.

My alleged illiberalism

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At long last, Michael Egnor has posted his explanation of how I am “illiberal” in wanting to see the Constitution’s First Amendment enforced. It’s a typically delightful example of the good doctor’s logic.

Pinus palustris

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Pinus palustris — Longleaf Pine “grass stage,” Carolina Beach State Park

They and we are both mammals, but bunnies are in the order Lagomorpha and we aren’t. Clarifying the relationships of the mammalian orders (pdf) will require more data. Unlike birds and lizards bunnies are synapsids. Recall that early amniotes split into synapsids and sauropsids (mammal like amniotes and reptile like amniotes). Clearly we mammals and the sauropsids are all craniates.

I’m posting this quick reminder because today is the day for it, and because some readers may enjoy the well done article on the subject by DarkSyde.

Ten Amino Acids Thermodynamically Favored

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One of the “criticisms” (scare quotes to indicate creationist blather) of science is that it doesn’t (and, some say, can’t) account for the emergence of life on earth. Now a new paper coming out in Astrobiology (pre-pub version online here) shows that 10 of the 20 amino acids in life on earth are thermodynamically favored, and would likely emerge under a variety of conditions.

The implications are profound, as Supernova Condensate notes. Among those implications is that life elsewhere is likely to have some characteristics in common with life on earth at the biochemical level. The abstract of the paper:

Of the twenty amino acids used in proteins, ten were formed in Miller’s atmospheric discharge experiments. The two other major proposed sources of prebiotic amino acid synthesis include formation in hydrothermal vents and delivery to Earth via meteorites. We combine observational and experimental data of amino acid frequencies formed by these diverse mechanisms and show that, regardless of the source, these ten early amino acids can be ranked in order of decreasing abundance in prebiotic contexts. This order can be predicted by thermodynamics. The relative abundances of the early amino acids were most likely reflected in the composition of the first proteins at the time the genetic code originated. The remaining amino acids were incorporated into proteins after pathways for their biochemical synthesis evolved. This is consistent with theories of the evolution of the genetic code by stepwise addition of new amino acids. These are hints that key aspects of early biochemistry may be universal.

More discussion at Supernova Condensate, where I found the story.

NCSE Listserve

Hey, NCSE has a cool listserve with a weekly message, which is moving to Google Groups soon.

Go sign up for it!

To start receiving Evolution Education Update, either send e-mail to [Enable javascript to see this email address.] or visit http://groups.google.com/group/ncse-news.

Details: http://ncseweb.org/ncse-news-list

Freshwater Day 18: A pastor and two teachers

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On April 2, in the continuation of Freshwater’s case in chief (basically, his case to be retained), we heard three witnesses, Pastor Stephen Zirkle, middle school health teacher Wes Elifritz, and middle school teacher Andrew Thompson. Zirkle was the pastor at the center of the “healing ceremony” allegations, Wes Elifritz is a middle school health teacher and also coaches 8th grade girls basketball. He was among those named in prior testimony as having religious items on display. Thompson was an 8th grade student in Freshwater’s science class in 1998, was an intervention specialist who spent one class period per day in Freshwater’s class during the 2006-2007 academic year, and is now a social studies teacher in the middle school. He also displayed religious items in his classroom until he was recently instructed to remove them.

Conolophus subcristatus

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Conolophus subcristatus – Land iguana, Galapagos Islands.

A Paul Nelson Anniversary Missed!

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We missed an important anniversary last week. It was five years ago last Sunday, March 29, that Paul Nelson told us that he’d provide a reply to PZ Myers’ critique of “ontogenetic depth.” Nelson said

Quick note – I’m drafting an omnibus reply (to points raised here and in Shalizi’s commentary), with title and epigraph from a Rolling Stones song. I’ll post it tomorrow.

Yup. And the check’s in the mail, right? I suspect the epigraph should be “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction.”

By tradition the fifth anniversary of an event is the “wood” anniversary. But so far we don’t even have one wooden nickel from Paul, say nothing of an omnibus full of them. We’re still waiting, Paul.

Cephalopod venoms

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Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research

The history of venoms is a wonderful example of an evolutionary process. We're all familiar with the idea of venomous snakes, but the cool thing is that when we examine exactly what it is they're injecting into their prey, it's a collection of proteins that show a nested hierarchy of descent. Ancient reptiles had a small and nasty set of poisons they would use, and to improve their efficacy, more and more have been added to the cocktail; so some lizards produce venomous proteins, while the really dangerous members of the Serpentes produce those same proteins, plus a large array of others.

lizard_venoms.jpg

So something like CRISP (Cystein RIch Secretory Protein) is common to all, but only the most refined predators add PLA2 (Phosopholipase A2) to the mix.

Now lethally poisonous snakes are nice and cute and all, but we all know where the interesting action really is: cephalopods. Let's leave the vertebrates altogether and look at a venomous protostome clade to see what they do.

According to recent press reports, the creationist organization Answers in Genesis will merge with the troubled insurance giant American International Group. The new corporation will be named AIG, for American Indulgences Group.

AIG chairman Edward Liddy will become the chairman of AIG. AIG chairman Ken Ham will be second in command and will continue to direct the Creation Museum, which will be renamed Credit Management. CM will rate bonds that are based on credit-default swaps on a scale from AAA to aaa. AIG will also subcontract with the Vatican to market indulgences in the United States. These indulgences are expected to become AIG’s major product. The Vatican, in an ecumenical gesture, agreed that it would not impose a religious test on those who purchased its indulgences.

Ham argues that redirecting his organization from young-earth creationism to voodoo economics is not as much of a leap as it might appear at first glance. Like creationism, free-market economics is wholly unsupported by the evidence: boom-and-bust cycles like the present cycle, for example, followed a failed experiment in deregulation. Ham maintains, however, that faith is superior to intellect, and the economy gods must have put those booms and busts in there for a reason. Economic theory, he says, is entirely faith based anyway, and he will from now on put his faith in derivatives.

Distinguished first-amendment scholar Reed Cartwright argues that the US taxpayer owns over 79 % of AIG. Because AIG is a religious organization, the merger could be construed as an establishment of religion by the government and will require a waiver from the Justice Department. Cartwright anticipates that the American Civil Liberties Union will file suit to block the merger.

Liddy observes that AIG is, in fact, a nonprofit organization, and merging with AIG merely acknowledges its status as such. He will continue to receive his salary of $1 per year, but will be eligible for a retention bonus equal to whatever is required to maintain AIG’s status as a nonprofit. Ham, by contrast, will accept payment in the form of options based on credit-default swaps. “You could say I am testing my faith,” he says; “God is my counterparty.”

Freshwater Hearing Days 16 and 17

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I’ve already posted much of the meat of Days 16 and 17 here and here. In this post I’ll summarize the testimony of the other witnesses who testified on those days, Lori Miller, Linda Weston, and Jeff Cline.

Day 16:

On Thursday, March 26, in addition to Ben Neilson’s testimony summarized in the posts linked above we heard the completion of Lori Miller’s cross examination (direct examination and the beginning of cross examination here), and the direct and cross examination of Linda Weston, former Director of Teaching and Learning in the district.

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