A bit more hope for Texas kids

| 53 Comments

As you may recall, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), which recently moved from California to Texas, has brought suit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the latter’s denial of ICR’s application for certification to award a Master of Science Education degree. (In addition to the Texas Citizens for Science analysis linked above also see here for another masterly takedown of that suit.)

What was less publicized was a bill in the Texas State Legislature to pull an end run around the Coordinating Board by exempting ICR’s graduate program from the regulations governing degree-granting institutions in Texas.

Another bill introduced in this legislative session would have restored the ID creationist “strengths and weaknesses” language to the Texas Science Standards.

Both bills have now died due to the adjournment of the Texas legislature. So there’s a bit more hope for Texas: Don McLeroy is out as Chairman of the State Board of Education, the creationist “strengths and weaknesses” language is not in the standards, and the ICR is still not certified to award phony graduate degrees in science education.

On the other hand, there’s talk of a special session to straighten out some budget matters in Texas, so it’s always possible that one or the other bill will come up again soon.

Hat tip to the National Center for Science Education

53 Comments

Hearing Don McLeroy losing his chairmanship at the State Board of Education was a small relief. I really feel sorry for the citizens of Texas, having creationists as their political leaders.

Why is the illusion of legitimacy and respectability so important to these guys? Why don’t they just offer thier own degrees to their own followers and forget about government approval? They aren’t going to fool anyone anyway. Didn’t they learn their lesson in Dover and California? The government has no interest in promoting their particular brand of reality denial.

Now if they want scientific respectability, we all know exactly what they have to do. Somehow they never quite get around to publishing in the scientific literature. Shoot they could even publish in their own journals if they just want folks to think they are doing science. Of course a real science lab would be nice as well. You would think that at least one of them would have gotten the clue by now. EIther just admit it’s all religion or do some science, it really is that simple. If there really is nothing to test and no way to test it, you would think that they would have the decency to admit it. Lying and sneaky legal crap like this is just going to show people that they are a bunch of frauds.

…the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), which recently moved from California to Texas, has brought suit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the latter’s denial of ICR’s application for certification to award a Master of Science Education degree…

I remember an old Isaac Aasimov short story that was set in a galaxy where the “colonization” rules were based on entire star system. That is, if any one planet of a star system is inhabited, the whole system is deemed to be inhabited and thus become off limits to colonization by other groups. The bad guys challenge the rule by colonizing a large planet adjacent to a planet inhabited by the good guys. The good guys come back by colonizing a satellite of that planet. Now the legal arguments of the bad guys are hemmed in. Or so the story went.

Well, I wonder what we could do to hem in the creationists’ argument. Like, we float an institution of higher learning that seeks to award Master of Science degrees in astrology. And have this Institute of Astrological Research file a claim to join this law suite claiming it too is facing exactly the same kind of discrimination. Now the Creationists will have to show not only what they do is science, but that by the same criterion astrology would not be science. They would sort of be hemmed in. But IANAL so dont know how it would play out.

DS said: Why is the illusion of legitimacy and respectability so important to these guys? Why don’t they just offer thier own degrees to their own followers and forget about government approval?

They need the state accreditation to apply for science teacher jobs in tax funded school districts. Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.

Then they are going to flood the American schools with fundies science teachers.

Ravilyn Sanders said: They need the state accreditation to apply for science teacher jobs in tax funded school districts. Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.

Then they are going to flood the American schools with fundies science teachers.

I have the horrible feeling that you have just put your finger on the strategy, M. Sanders. It is… fiendishly clever.

And I just used that adverb advisedly. I recall who the man they say is their master told us is the Father of Lies - lies like that one.

Goddam it all, it’s enough to make you get religion.

Ravilyn wrote:

“They need the state accreditation to apply for science teacher jobs in tax funded school districts. Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.”

Of course you are absolutely right. However, this strategy won’t work. Even if they pull some legal mumbo jumbo to get recognition, no one is going to hire anyone from one of these diploma mills when word get around. The government would eventually be forced to remove accreditation once the law suits came pouring in. You would think that they would be more content to go with the stealth approach under the radar which seems to be working just fine, until you brand someone with a cross in class and then lie about it.

Ravilyn Sanders said: Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.

Is there a H.S. teacher lurking who can comment on reciprocity? I know a few teachers and when they move from state to state it’s not always certain that they will keep their accreditation. It appears to be patchwork to me: some states accept some other state’s accreditation, but not always.

I’m glad they didn’t get accredited but I don’t buy the ‘flood the market’ argument. Diploma mills already exist. Nothing prevents today’s would-be creationist teachers from using them. They don’t need a separate school if the goal is to get an accredited degree without having to understand real science. I think this is a sincere attempt to found a school that will teach how to teach creationism. IMO, its the content that’s important to them, not just the degree. They want to push their body of (un)knowledge, not just pump out people with accredited teaching degrees. Because they wouldn’t need their own school to do that.

Ravilyn Sanders said: Well, I wonder what we could do to hem in the creationists’ argument. Like, we float an institution of higher learning that seeks to award Master of Science degrees in astrology.

These folks are religious missionaries. You hem them in best by (threatening to) teach other religions using their selfsame argument, because that’s exactly what they don’t want. Masters of Buddhist Intelligent Design or something.

A lot of mainstream majority and minority religions understand and accept secularism because it prevents other religions from proselytizing. Creationists don’t seem to understand this, but i think the best “counterargument” is demonstrating to them that opening the door for one opens the door for all.

“By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.”

This technically isn’t true. Not all states have reciprocity with each other. For example, if the state that ICR received certification in was Minnesota, those teacher couldn’t teach in Michigan, Indiana or Connecticut. And even if certifications do have reciprocity, most States include some sort of “further review” clause which still allows them to deny out of State teacher certification.

Not to mention if such a change happened it would be very easy for the State Board of Education of non-ICR certified States to move to remove reciprocity with that State. Reciprocity is not set in stone and usually changes every couple of years and has actually become a more common occurance given how much State Standards have been changing due to NCLB.

So although this would be a good way for ICR to get their foot in the door of other States, it can easily be averted if need be.

Here’s a link of a certification reciprocities:

http://www.jflalc.org/upload/336.pdf

This should have been obvious as soon as ICR had started seeking state accreditation in Texas:

Dave Luckett said:

Ravilyn Sanders said: They need the state accreditation to apply for science teacher jobs in tax funded school districts. Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.

Then they are going to flood the American schools with fundies science teachers.

I have the horrible feeling that you have just put your finger on the strategy, M. Sanders. It is… fiendishly clever.

And I just used that adverb advisedly. I recall who the man they say is their master told us is the Father of Lies - lies like that one.

Goddam it all, it’s enough to make you get religion.

But it’s not just institutions like ICR. Am sure a few of us know of anecdotal instances were fundies “pretended” to accept mainstream science so they could earn teaching degrees or certification (or both). I think I vaguely recall at least one.

Though I’m happy that both creo bills failed in Texas, I must point out that it was more by happenstance then by design.

The proximate cause of both bills failing was a technical mechanism in the Texas legislature by which bills generated on the floor had to be voted on by June 1.

The Texas legislature found itself embroiled this year in a partisan battle (what else is new in the Texas leg?) over voter ID requirements.

Opponents of the voter ID bill bottled it up using a parlimentary rule that essentially allows them to ask endless questions, running out the clock.

Many hundreds of bills in line behind the Voter ID bill, both good and bad, simply died at midnight.

Thought I’ll take any win I can get, it would have been really nice if both bills had come up on the floor, been publicly mocked, and died a shameful death (hey - I can dream, can’t I?).

(And actually, the ICR accreditation bill had already been noticed by the local press, and was already receiving a decent share of ridicule.)

Well Purdom’s getting to be a bit of old - and stale - news IMHO (No chance I’ll ever plan to stop by to see her or her “museum” unless they send me a free admission ticket to see its permanent “Flintstones” exhibition.). I was actually referring to fundies who intended to become middle and secondary school science teachers. I vaguely recall one college senior - who was a diehard fundie, creo and member of the campus chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ - telling me that she was planning to return back to the Bronx so she could teach science in public schools from a “Christian” perspective (I presume she regarded me as a zealous evilutionist.):

norm! said:

Kwok,

Here’s a pretender.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_CLIGJW6Ic

My answer on reciprocity is that if Texas were to say that ICR meets the standard that it uses for accrediting Science Education programs, then other states should stop granting reciprocity to ANY teacher from ANY Texas institution that presumably was accredited under this same standard.

The presumption would be that Texas Science Ed graduates cannot be presumed “Highly Qualified” to teach secondary science under the terms of the federal NCLB legislation. See http://curricublog.wordpress.com/20[…]12/icr-nclb/

However, Texas Tech Emeritus Prof Gerald Skoog, who’s been fighting these battles in Texas over several decades, tells me that degree accreditation and certification for licensure are two separate processes (he’s served in both – in fact the ICR litigation complains at length about his role in particular), and accreditation would not automatically mean licensure (although ICR lit seems to presume that it would).

I know of a “strengths and weaknesses” bill proposed a few years back by an upstate New York state senator (sadly, a fellow Republican from a rural district) that died in the education committee for a similar reason:

Though I’m happy that both creo bills failed in Texas, I must point out that it was more by happenstance then by design.

The proximate cause of both bills failing was a technical mechanism in the Texas legislature by which bills generated on the floor had to be voted on by June 1.

Thought I’ll take any win I can get, it would have been really nice if both bills had come up on the floor, been publicly mocked, and died a shameful death (hey - I can dream, can’t I?).

stevaroni said:

Many hundreds of bills in line behind the Voter ID bill, both good and bad, simply died at midnight.

Thought I’ll take any win I can get, it would have been really nice if both bills had come up on the floor, been publicly mocked, and died a shameful death (hey - I can dream, can’t I?).

Considering that vote on McLeroy in the Senate was 19-11 in favor, I’m happy that the bills died in committee. But yes, I like the thought of that too.

stevaroni said:

Though I’m happy that both creo bills failed in Texas, I must point out that it was more by happenstance then by design.

Ouch!

eric said:

Ravilyn Sanders said: Their plan is to shop around different states and find a state where they can get their graduates accredited. By the principle of reciprocity all states will have to recognize their accreditation.

Is there a H.S. teacher lurking who can comment on reciprocity? I know a few teachers and when they move from state to state it’s not always certain that they will keep their accreditation. It appears to be patchwork to me: some states accept some other state’s accreditation, but not always.

I’m glad they didn’t get accredited but I don’t buy the ‘flood the market’ argument. Diploma mills already exist. Nothing prevents today’s would-be creationist teachers from using them. They don’t need a separate school if the goal is to get an accredited degree without having to understand real science. I think this is a sincere attempt to found a school that will teach how to teach creationism. IMO, its the content that’s important to them, not just the degree. They want to push their body of (un)knowledge, not just pump out people with accredited teaching degrees. Because they wouldn’t need their own school to do that.

here’s another angle - Financial aid to ‘students’ : in order to get gov’t grants/ loans etc - students need to attend a ‘real’ school (accredited etc.) It isn’t enough to just put a sign up and charge tuition - I believe ICR want gov’t MONEY to (indirectly) help pay for running the ‘school’

plus - when it comes time to put people on school boards, public offices, teacher posistions etc. they would have ‘legit’ masters degrees

then when “NO ONE WOULD hire them” they can cry descrimination and SUE - becasue they have ‘legit’ degrees from a ‘real’ institution of higher learning.

or cronies would have no reason NOT to hire them - they meet the qualifications for the appointment, right?

diabolical

Texas is saved!

Remember the Alamo!

Thank Darwin!

novparl said:

Texas is saved!

Remember the Alamo!

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Don’t forget Goliad too. That was a disaster for the Texan army, soon after the Alamo:

stevaroni said:

novparl said:

Texas is saved!

Remember the Alamo!

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Trying to appear like legitimate science is one of the hallmarks of pseudo-science. The ICR is simply another organization set up trying to fake the appearance of scientific legitimacy.

Whether someone sets up a university based on the woo-woo of quantum mechanics and Hinduism, or diploma mills to offer “doctorates” for a few bucks, or fake science teacher degrees, etc., etc., we seem to be stuck with an unforeseen consequence of the “Freedom of Religion” guaranteed by the US Constitution. This Constitutional guarantee apparently provides a pretty good screen for charlatans to hide behind and do their dirty work.

And since these sectarian political activists are organized well enough to subvert governmental institutions to their beliefs, we need something that is much harder for them to penetrate and subvert.

The only thing that seems to hold them off for the moment is legitimate science. They still can’t penetrate that reality; hence their need to imitate.

In the past, many scientists had not been particularly interested in or willing to be involved in the issues surrounding public education. I can remember a time when most physicists, for example, were squeamish about welcoming high school teachers into the American Association of Physics Teachers. Fortunately that has changed.

But, if my admittedly small sampling of my colleagues is any indication, there is still a great deal of complacency among the hard-core researchers about public education.

The major scientific organizations appear to have officially recognized the importance of public education and their need to be involved; but there are still not enough summer professional development activities for science teachers, still not enough involvement in the requirements for teacher certification, still not enough recognition among researchers of the issues faced by public school teachers.

I would think that more involvement in public education by people who have honestly made the cut in scientific research could produce better measures of teacher qualification than any of these political shenanigans attempting to paint illusions. I also recognize that many researchers don’t have any realistic understanding of the issues of public education and will have to come up to speed.

Pseudo-science charlatans are terrified of real scientists and will only engage them on the choreographed debating turf controlled by ID/creationists. If they had to face real scientists repeatedly on issues of public education, they would either have to run or be forced to learn some real science. I think we have all observed that they never learn real science.

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

I think everybody on the Maine also died; but, like “Remember the Alamo,” “Remember the Maine” served as a battle cry.

(Of course, Spanish involvement in the sinking of the Maine was a complete invention of W.R. Hearst, for the purpose of selling a war that he could use for selling newspapers.)

John Kwok said:

I was actually referring to fundies who intended to become middle and secondary school science teachers. I vaguely recall one college senior - who was a diehard fundie, creo and member of the campus chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ - telling me that she was planning to return back to the Bronx so she could teach science in public schools from a “Christian” perspective (I presume she regarded me as a zealous evilutionist.):

I assume you went to a “mainstream” university. Anyway, accredited or not, ICR is not the only way for creationist fundies to infiltrate. There are plenty of already-accredited xian colleges/universities that provide fundies with the opportunity to get degrees and take them to public schools. The really brainwashed kids in my area go to one of the Pacific Northwest’s many such colleges (e.g., Whitworth U. in Spokane, Seattle Pacific U., George Fox U. in Portland, etc.). But even those who go to more mainstream colleges do so with the mindset of teaching religion in public schools when they graduate.

Historically, while you’re correct, I think you’ve missed the Texan connections, which pertain - though rather tangentially - to this thread. Both Alamo and Goliad demonstrate the savage, quite barbaric, conduct of the invading Mexican Army under Santa Anna’s command. Regrettably, we needed to be reminded of this from someone whom I presume is a delusional creo from Texas (Referring of course to Nonpareil.):

Tony Whitson said:

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

I think everybody on the Maine also died; but, like “Remember the Alamo,” “Remember the Maine” served as a battle cry.

(Of course, Spanish involvement in the sinking of the Maine was a complete invention of W.R. Hearst, for the purpose of selling a war that he could use for selling newspapers.)

Jason wrote:

“then when “NO ONE WOULD hire them” they can cry descrimination and SUE - becasue they have ‘legit’ degrees from a ‘real’ institution of higher learning.”

Well they could try. But I still think that schools would be reluctant to hire thm if they knew they would be in for a lot of law suits brought by angry parents and supported by NCSE and the ACLU. They would probably rather take their chances with someone trying to prove discrimination in a hiring. Eventually it might take federal standards to solve this type of problem. Anyone know if Sotomayor is pro science?

Well, I suppose how you define the “term” mainstream. It’s a New England bastion of liberalism that has produced as alumni, evolution denialists Jindal and Klinghoffer:

KP said:

John Kwok said:

I was actually referring to fundies who intended to become middle and secondary school science teachers. I vaguely recall one college senior - who was a diehard fundie, creo and member of the campus chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ - telling me that she was planning to return back to the Bronx so she could teach science in public schools from a “Christian” perspective (I presume she regarded me as a zealous evilutionist.):

I assume you went to a “mainstream” university. Anyway, accredited or not, ICR is not the only way for creationist fundies to infiltrate. There are plenty of already-accredited xian colleges/universities that provide fundies with the opportunity to get degrees and take them to public schools. The really brainwashed kids in my area go to one of the Pacific Northwest’s many such colleges (e.g., Whitworth U. in Spokane, Seattle Pacific U., George Fox U. in Portland, etc.). But even those who go to more mainstream colleges do so with the mindset of teaching religion in public schools when they graduate.

She presumably does since she has a very pro-environmentalist record, according to at least one article I read:

DS said:

Jason wrote:

“then when “NO ONE WOULD hire them” they can cry descrimination and SUE - becasue they have ‘legit’ degrees from a ‘real’ institution of higher learning.”

Well they could try. But I still think that schools would be reluctant to hire thm if they knew they would be in for a lot of law suits brought by angry parents and supported by NCSE and the ACLU. They would probably rather take their chances with someone trying to prove discrimination in a hiring. Eventually it might take federal standards to solve this type of problem. Anyone know if Sotomayor is pro science?

While I will concede that she’s not my ideal candidate to replace Souter (such a candidate would be someone like Federal Judge John Jones, the presiding judge at the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial), she is not the flaming activist liberal jurist that some of my fellow conservatives have portrayed her as. So she’s definitely someone whom I could live with on the Supreme Court, especially since is, like yours truly, a diehard Yankees fan.

DS said:

Jason wrote:

“then when “NO ONE WOULD hire them” they can cry descrimination and SUE - becasue they have ‘legit’ degrees from a ‘real’ institution of higher learning.”

Well they could try. But I still think that schools would be reluctant to hire thm if they knew they would be in for a lot of law suits brought by angry parents and supported by NCSE and the ACLU. They would probably rather take their chances with someone trying to prove discrimination in a hiring. Eventually it might take federal standards to solve this type of problem. Anyone know if Sotomayor is pro science?

they would try, martyr complex + publicity = contributions $$ combined with backend funding for ‘students’ attending AIG as if it were a institution of higher learning = lots o’ cash for AIG

Mike Elzinga said: The major scientific organizations appear to have officially recognized the importance of public education and their need to be involved; but there are still not enough summer professional development activities for science teachers, still not enough involvement in the requirements for teacher certification, still not enough recognition among researchers of the issues faced by public school teachers.

Apropos of that, Art Hunt, Jason Rosenhouse, and I from the Panda’s Thumb crew will be doing a panel discussion called “Countering Creationism” at the North American Paleontological Convention on June 25 in Cincinnati. It’s aimed at both professionals and public school teachers. That whole day, the 25th, is oriented toward K-12 public school teachers and is being publicized to them.

That’s great. Am glad there will be an important component at the 9th NAPC for science teachers pertaining to this:

RBH said:

Mike Elzinga said: The major scientific organizations appear to have officially recognized the importance of public education and their need to be involved; but there are still not enough summer professional development activities for science teachers, still not enough involvement in the requirements for teacher certification, still not enough recognition among researchers of the issues faced by public school teachers.

Apropos of that, Art Hunt, Jason Rosenhouse, and I from the Panda’s Thumb crew will be doing a panel discussion called “Countering Creationism” at the North American Paleontological Convention on June 25 in Cincinnati. It’s aimed at both professionals and public school teachers. That whole day, the 25th, is oriented toward K-12 public school teachers and is being publicized to them.

Looks like there may be some potentially interesting talks from the likes of invertebrate paleobiologists Douglas Erwin, David Jablonski and Steven Stanley. But I have noticed that there will be one morning session on the 25th which will feature half hour-long talks from Ken Miller and Genie Scott.

Thanks,

John

A little OT, but in related news, the 3rd circuit just ruled this afternoon on a case in Pennsylvania where a mother sued a school district after she was prevented from reading from a Bible in her son’s kindergarten class (during a “my favorite story” event).

http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/072967p.pdf

RBH said:

Mike Elzinga said: The major scientific organizations appear to have officially recognized the importance of public education and their need to be involved; but there are still not enough summer professional development activities for science teachers, still not enough involvement in the requirements for teacher certification, still not enough recognition among researchers of the issues faced by public school teachers.

Apropos of that, Art Hunt, Jason Rosenhouse, and I from the Panda’s Thumb crew will be doing a panel discussion called “Countering Creationism” at the North American Paleontological Convention on June 25 in Cincinnati. It’s aimed at both professionals and public school teachers. That whole day, the 25th, is oriented toward K-12 public school teachers and is being publicized to them.

This is excellent!

I think it would be helpful for all scientific organizations to compile a set of strategies for recognizing and dealing with pseudo-science of every type, but especially these sneaky ones based on pseudo-religion. I foresee more pseudo-science on the horizon as the environmental issues and population issues begin pressing harder on our resources.

I know some of the professional meetings now have sessions offering EU’s for high school teachers. This is a step in the right direction, but more full-blown summer research opportunities with some financial support would be far better. The physics community has a few of these, but they are limited to only a very few at a time.

stevaroni said:A little OT, but in related news, the 3rd circuit just ruled this afternoon on a case in Pennsylvania where a mother sued a school district after she was prevented from reading from a Bible in her son’s kindergarten class (during a “my favorite story” event).

http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/072967p.pdf

That’s a very interesting decision. Though it applies specifically to a case involving kindergarten, Judge Hardiman’s partial dissent (starting on p. 29) gives some of the legal background for ID creationist complaints that prohibiting ID/creationist material in science classes constitutes “viewpoint discrimination.” See this extract from Creationism’s Trojan Horse for some background in the Disco Dancers’ original use of the claim.

@ Mr Elzinga

The best strategy for dealing with dissent - er - pseudo-science is survival of the fittest. That’s the law of life. And before you say that’s nothing to do with power, look at the cover of Dawkins’s Devil’s Chaplain, where he quotes the Saviour Darwin : “the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

novparl said:

@ Mr Elzinga

The best strategy for dealing with dissent - er - pseudo-science is survival of the fittest. That’s the law of life. And before you say that’s nothing to do with power, look at the cover of Dawkins’s Devil’s Chaplain, where he quotes the Saviour Darwin : “the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

Note the misconceptions that (1) rational argument proceeds by quoting sound bites and (2) giving someone an obnoxious pet name is a tool of rational argument.

Dan, the bloke is the resident troll. He’s only here to get your goat.

novparl wrote:

“the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

So what? Many people can’t face where hamburger comes from. Reality is what it is. Deal with it.

novparl said:

@ Mr Elzinga

“the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

And that, of course, is the reason that so many people (like novparl) deny reality. Doesn’t make reality go away, though.

And incidentally, if evolution (as creationists wish) just went away, nature would still be cruel. What does that say about the preferred alternative?

DS said:

novparl wrote:

“the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

So what? Many people can’t face where hamburger comes from. Reality is what it is. Deal with it.

If everyone was able to deal with the fact that reality isn’t nice 100% of the time, that reality has this nasty habit of not conforming to one’s innermost desires, and that nature can be extremely unpleasant, the world would be a much nicer, far more pleasant place to live, as people wouldn’t be making irrational, or downright moronic excuses for the moronic and irrational things they do, such as opposing the teaching of science in science classrooms for perfidious reasons of religion and personal incredulity. (Not to mention there would probably be a lot less sausage-makers in the world, too)

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

novparl said:

@ Mr Elzinga

“the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

And that, of course, is the reason that so many people (like novparl) deny reality. Doesn’t make reality go away, though.

And incidentally, if evolution (as creationists wish) just went away, nature would still be cruel. What does that say about the preferred alternative?

That everything in the world is screwed up because we’re still being punished with death, suffering and lower back pain for what our legendary ancestors did?

Stanton said:

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

And incidentally, if evolution (as creationists wish) just went away, nature would still be cruel. What does that say about the preferred alternative?

That everything in the world is screwed up because we’re still being punished with death, suffering and lower back pain for what our legendary ancestors did?

Sounds “heavenly”.

/snark

Thanks for demonstrating once more that given the severe state of your intellectually-challenged mind, you are probably best suited as potential chow for a hungry T-rex (too bad we can’t clone one), a hungry Nile River (or Australian) crocodile or a hungry great white shark:

novparl said:

@ Mr Elzinga

The best strategy for dealing with dissent - er - pseudo-science is survival of the fittest. That’s the law of life. And before you say that’s nothing to do with power, look at the cover of Dawkins’s Devil’s Chaplain, where he quotes the Saviour Darwin : “the horridly cruel works of nature”. That’s what evolution is all about. Many people can’t face this.

You don’t “believe” in evolution anyway, so what’s the point of even referring to Darwin’s work, jackass.

Hope you fulfill your destiny soon as potential croc, shark or even python chow.

John Kwok

novparl said: The best strategy for dealing with dissent - er - pseudo-science is survival of the fittest. That’s the law of life.

Theories are not alive. In applying that phrase to theory selection in science, you are arguing for a form of social darwinism. Given your opinion of social darwinism, I consider such an argument coming from you to be pure opportunism - hypocritical and insincere.

Moreover, science allows such dissent. What creationists fail to understand is that scientific dissents are argued an resolved in the laboratory and in the peer-reviewed literature. Dissent is resolved by working scientists. Scientific dissents are not resolved in a H.S. classroom.

Hie thee over to Texas Freedom Network’s blog (you can find a link at www.tfn.org) – McLeroy has opposition in the Republican primary, too.

Typical of Quocky’s “scientific” argumentation that he can only fantasize about killing someone. (Presumably he’s NRA). If only the Victorian professors had fantasized about killing Darwin, that wd have silenced him. Not.

How can anyone argue “science” with a delusional twit LSS like yourself who has refused consistently for years to listen to and then accept, the overwhelming scientific evidence that exists throughout biology for the scientific veracity of evolution? As for yourself, once more you’re demonstrated that you’re best suited as potential croc, great white shark or python chow, simply for posting more of your repugnant breathtakingly inane comments:

novparl said:

Typical of Quocky’s “scientific” argumentation that he can only fantasize about killing someone. (Presumably he’s NRA). If only the Victorian professors had fantasized about killing Darwin, that wd have silenced him. Not.

John Kwok said:

Don’t forget Goliad too. That was a disaster for the Texan army, soon after the Alamo:

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Not only that, the same idiot (Fannin) was responsible for both massacres. He was supposed to rescue the Alamo defenders and he was the one who surrendered at Goliad, despite the fact his men were winning the battle.

If Sam Houston had been able to organize an army in time prior to both events - or if Fannin wasn’t appointed Colonel - then neither massacre might have happened:

Klaus Hellnick said:

John Kwok said:

Don’t forget Goliad too. That was a disaster for the Texan army, soon after the Alamo:

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Not only that, the same idiot (Fannin) was responsible for both massacres. He was supposed to rescue the Alamo defenders and he was the one who surrendered at Goliad, despite the fact his men were winning the battle.

John Kwok said:

If Sam Houston had been able to organize an army in time prior to both events - or if Fannin wasn’t appointed Colonel - then neither massacre might have happened:

Klaus Hellnick said:

John Kwok said:

Don’t forget Goliad too. That was a disaster for the Texan army, soon after the Alamo:

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Not only that, the same idiot (Fannin) was responsible for both massacres. He was supposed to rescue the Alamo defenders and he was the one who surrendered at Goliad, despite the fact his men were winning the battle.

Actually, I DID bring up Fannin, though I was having trouble with the formatting, and it may not have been clear which words were mine.

Klaus,

Don’t worry. I have the same formatting problems here at PT too. And yes, I am not only aware that you mentioned Fannin, but I am delighted that you did, merely to put into context what some of the recent commentary on the Alamo and why it isn’t a usual metaphor with ongoing Texan educational shenanigans:

Klaus Hellnick said:

John Kwok said:

If Sam Houston had been able to organize an army in time prior to both events - or if Fannin wasn’t appointed Colonel - then neither massacre might have happened:

Klaus Hellnick said:

John Kwok said:

Don’t forget Goliad too. That was a disaster for the Texan army, soon after the Alamo:

Why is everybody always so hot to remember the Alamo?

We lost that one, and everybody died.

Not only that, the same idiot (Fannin) was responsible for both massacres. He was supposed to rescue the Alamo defenders and he was the one who surrendered at Goliad, despite the fact his men were winning the battle.

Actually, I DID bring up Fannin, though I was having trouble with the formatting, and it may not have been clear which words were mine.

Regards,

John

Sadly, it’s not just Texas. I just got this e-mail from the Center for Inquiry about a high school “field trip” to the Creation Museum, and the high school is located in Kearny, NJ, which isn’t too far from New York City:

The Center for Inquiry Responds to Kearny High School Club Fieldtrip to Creation Museum

Matthew LaClair, president of the Center for Inquiry’s campus outreach initiative, has alerted us that his former history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, is at it again. You may recall Mr. Paskiewicz—he’s the one who was recorded by LaClair telling students that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark and if “you reject the Lord’s salvation, you belong in hell” (New York Times, 12/18/06). This time, he is acting as the advisor of a Christian club at Kearny High School (located 10 miles outside of Manhattan in New Jersey), called the Alpha and Omega Club, which has scheduled an interesting and troubling fieldtrip.

It seems that the club has scheduled a fieldtrip June 5 through June 7 to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. LaClair learned about the fieldtrip about two weeks ago while reading the Kearny High School newspaper. Flabbergasted by what he had discovered, LaClair began his own investigation, discovering that the educational rationale provide by Paszkiewicz for this trip was to expose students to “the science behind creationism.” With that justification, it was approved by the Department Head and the Principal, as well as the Board of Education. LaClair immediately raised a protest by contacting the Board attorney of the Kearny School District. With the help of Barry Lynn (of Americans United) and the law firm of Willkie, Farr, and Gallagher, LaClair was successful in convincing the school board to postpone the beginning of the trip, thereby assuring that students and faculty would only be involved outside of school hours. LaClair was also successful in getting the Kearny School District to remove from their Web site the Christian Alpha and Omega Club listing under the ostensibly secular “History and Social Science” department. Troubling issues remain however. For one thing, these events suggest that school administrators were seriously asleep at the wheel. It took a 19 year old student, who doesn’t even go to the school anymore, to find out, investigate, and raise questions about the trip. The Department Head and Principal both saw the initial field trip request form, and did nothing. The Board of Education either was not watching closely enough or did just not care. Either way, they approved the trip. In a letter sent to Kearny School Board attorney Kenneth J. Lindenfelser from the law firm of Willkie, Farr, and Gallagher (a firm retained by the LaClair family in the past) attorney Richard Mancino writes: “We are disappointed to find that the administrators of Kearny High School have so cavalierly acquiesced in conduct that, once again, threatens to trespass the boundary between church and state. This is all the more surprising in light of the prior experience with Mr. Paszkiewicz which led to the School Board’s entering into the 2007 Settlement and endorsing the training on the impermissible promotion of religion.” What we have now is a situation where a public school teacher with strong religious convictions and a record of proselytizing is being allowed to serve as the advisor of a religious club and use his position to have a public school approve a patently religious-based fieldtrip. It is permissible, under certain conditions, to have religious clubs in public schools, but their faculty advisors are supposed to be neutral. The School Board has apparently decided that Paszkiewicz can be a “neutral” advisor to the Alpha and Omega Club, but his ability to remain neutral seems questionable at best, especially in light of his past behavior. Paszkiewicz has overtly and repeatedly discussed and promoted religious beliefs with his students in the past, and his proposed fieldtrip to the Creation Museum demonstrates that he continues to do so today, dangerously blurring the line between his own personal faith commitments and his obligations as a teacher in a government-funded public school system. The Center for Inquiry is urging school administrators and the Kearny School Board to carefully investigate what appears to be a blatant disregard on the part of Mr. Paszkiewicz for the Establishment Clause and the constitutional constraints it places on proselytizing to students on behalf of his own personal religious beliefs.

I guess no one saw what was snuck in under the radar in Texas. HUGE ramifications. A lawsuit is definitely on the way. - http://ncseweb.org/news/2009/06/wha[…]dards-004820

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on June 2, 2009 3:08 AM.

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