Freshwater: December 8, 2009

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I won’t have a writeup of the Dec 8 tonight or even very soon. Power was out this evening due to a windstorm, and the contractors came today to work on the house. Pam Schehl has a good summary in the Mt. Vernon News.

25 Comments

Richard reported “Pam Schehl has a good summary in the Mt. Vernon News.

From Pam’s summary: “Freshwater…identified other electrical devices used in science classes, such as batteries, wimshurst devices and vandergraph machines.

The last two devices are called a “Wimshurst machine” - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimhurst_machine - and a “Van de Graaff generator” - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_de[…]ff_generator

Did Freshwater have these devices in his classroom?

2009-12-08 Shouldn’t the title be Freshwater: December 8, 2009 ?

Asked whether it made sense to him that someone supposedly burned by a Tesla coil would put on hockey equipment, Freshwater said, “it does not make sense to me.”

Evidently he doesn’t know many hockey players.

Thanks for the link RBH. Its unclear (at least to me) from the article whether Freshwater’s classroom recreation essentially denied that he had drawn a cross on a student or demonstated how he did it. Hopefully you’ll comment on that…after you get your house back in working order. Best wishes with that.

eric said: .…

Thanks for the link RBH. Its unclear (at least to me) from the article whether Freshwater’s classroom recreation essentially denied that he had drawn a cross on a student or demonstated how he did it. Hopefully you’ll comment on that…after you get your house back in working order. Best wishes with that.

After reading the article , I got the impression that Freshwater is (now) claiming that he never intentionally touched a student w/ the device, and that he is calling the student who made that allegation a liar. If the article is accurate in what Freshwater is now claiming in his testimony, Freshwater has contradicting his earlier testimony/statements when he claimed that he made “x’s” not “crosses”

Not to mention the numerous students that he has called as witnesses saying he did use it on kids and it lest marks.

oops “left marks”

JASONMITCHELL said: After reading the article , I got the impression that Freshwater is (now) claiming that he never intentionally touched a student w/ the device, and that he is calling the student who made that allegation a liar.

I got that impression too, I’m just trying to rule out ‘journalistic editing’ as a possible explanation.

So Freshwater is now qualified to challenge published studies addressing anything at all to do with homosexuality? Why, he must be one of the most brilliant and learned people in the country. Wow, a fundy trying to poison the well against gays and promoting homobigotry. Shocking! Don’t they ever get tired of just plain being wrong about everything?

Perjury, lying under oath and obstruction of justice are felonies.

If Freshwater starts lying and contradicts even his own previous testimony, he is setting himself up to turn a civil case into a criminal one with him at risk of jail time.

Not smart. Martha Stewart was never convicted of insider trading, a civil offense. She went to jail for perjury and obstruction of justice. Same thing with Bill Clinton. He was never indicted for having a plump girl friend. It’s the coverup that gets these people, not the crime.

Explain again how xianity leads to moral behavior? Quite often in the real world it leads to the opposite.

What your bible never told you that is very valuable. “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

Don’t they ever get tired of just plain being wrong about everything?

Why no. Why would you even think they have the slightest interest in being right about anything? That is just silly.

I’m sure if you managed to get Freshwater coherent enough to explain his long list of delusions and fallacies it would be the usual fundie nonsense. A common fundie belief is that UFOs are real and piloted by demons from hell. Satanists kidnap kids and use them in their ceremonies all the time. Obama is a Kenyan Moslem terrorist. George Bush isn’t a moron and Palin is god’s chosen messiah. Hordes of demons and angels roam the earth doing stuff and free will is pointless since supernatural agents are responsible for everything.

Once one decides objective reality doesn’t exist and creates one based on lies, nothing is too foolish, destructive, or weird.

That is why fundies are lower socio-economic, high in social problems, and seem to have collected a lot of the crazy and dumb of our society.

So, a friend of mine sent me the Mt Vernon paper. You should read this letter to the editor. It is not online, I checked.

“ “Scientific Fraud is OK” might have been a better headline for the article on Ellen Button’s testimony at the John Freshwater administrative hearing last Thursday. Ms. Button claimed that Mr Freshwater objected to several topics in the approved eight-grade science textbooks based on his religious views. However, every one of the examples she specifically identified in the text has long since been discredited on scientific grounds. They include Kettlewell’s peppered moths, Darwin’s finch beaks,”vestigial” whale limbs, Haeckel’s recapitulation theory of embryology. Each of these examples is cited in the text as “evidence” of molecules-to-man evolution. When Ms. Button was asked specifically about dead peppered moths glued to tree trunks in order to obtain the famous photographs, she replied that sometimes such is necessary to illustrate the point. But this was not just illustrative, the entire study was based on such faulty methodology, which was first criticized be evolutionists. Darwin’s observation of the changes in finch beaks around the world shows genetic selection with in a species (a common occurrence), but not that they evolved into giraffes or gerbils. The “vestigial” whale pelvis has an observed important reproductive function, making the “vestigial” attribute speculation at best. And the notion that human embryos “recapitulate” evolution from simpler life forms as they grow is simply based on fraudulent drawings made by Ernest Haeckel in 1868. For these reasons, all the science teachers should have objected to these elements of the text. Incidentally, me never did hear what the alleged religious objections were. Cameron Pike Mount Vernon”

raven said:

That is why fundies are lower socio-economic, high in social problems, and seem to have collected a lot of the crazy and dumb of our society.

It may also explain why fundamentalism is such a refuge for parasitic hucksters like Ken Ham. Where better to make money than to find a bunch of terrified, ignorant, and guilt-ridden sheep, and then exploit every fear and superstition they have.

Ever since it got taken over by religious fanatics, the Republican Party has apparently noticed the easy pickings as well. So much of Fox Noise, the Birthers, and the Tea Party movement reflects that same ignorance, fear, and gullibility.

One way I try to avoid the noise as a teacher is having the students go find an example piece of evidence beyond the textbook. It is unfortunately true that textbooks recycle too many of the same examples, and it can leave the impression that their is limited evidence, when the opposite is true. And as a plus if you go outside he textbook there isn’t a pre-canned lie that you have to waste time refuting

Wait, so Freshwater is now apparently directly lying about teaching creationism and his use of the Tesla coil.

So he must think that Jesus doesn’t care about that stuff (and doesn’t care if he lies to save his job).

But if that’s the case, why was he bothering to teach creationism and brand crosses in the first place? It really just seems to always be about politics and power, never actually about religion.

One way I try to avoid the noise as a teacher is having the students go find an example piece of evidence beyond the textbook. It is unfortunately true that textbooks recycle too many of the same examples, and it can leave the impression that their is limited evidence, when the opposite is true. And as a plus if you go outside he textbook there isn’t a pre-canned lie that you have to waste time refuting

Yeah, that’s pretty awful. I’ve submitted a rebuttal.

wow said:

So, a friend of mine sent me the Mt Vernon paper. You should read this letter to the editor. It is not online, I checked.

“ “Scientific Fraud is OK” might have been a better headline for the article on Ellen Button’s testimony at the John Freshwater administrative hearing last Thursday.

[SNIP]

Cameron Pike Mount Vernon”

raven, actually ‘free will’ is pointless, not because supernatural bogeymen are everywhere messing with you, but because of the wonderful Calvinist doctrine of ‘predestination.’ That beautiful piece of biblical interpretation (anyone else care to explain this book?) that states, no matter what you do, however good, no matter who you are, however good, no matter who your parents were, however good, no matter what your religion (this really was a difficult pill to swallow for calvinists), however good; If you are not amongst the “elect”, chosen by god before the creation, you’re fucked! Have a nice day.

Gotta give the guy credit for being a diligent reader/regurgitator of Wells’ “Icons” book.

wow said:

So, a friend of mine sent me the Mt Vernon paper. You should read this letter to the editor.

…snip..

Cameron Pike Mount Vernon”

If you are not amongst the “elect”, chosen by god before the creation, you’re fucked! Have a nice day.

My family was and some still are members of not one but two supposed Calvinist churches. I never heard one word about Calvinism growing up. My impression is that everyone from the theologians down to the ministers thought it was bullcrap.

What is the pastor going to say. “Some of you will go to heaven no matter what you do. Some will go to hell, no matter what you do.” Well OK, so why would anyone bother going to church then?

Predestination is one of those things that turn up when a reaction against a theological excess - indulgences - produces an equally huge swing in the opposite direction. It’s also what happens when a small group of people form a theological echo chamber while intoxicated by their own daring, indignation and imagination, and proceed to reject all previous thought simply because it is previous, throw the baby out with the bathwater, and generally get carried away with themselves.

The principle is pretty simple, at the outset: you can’t compel God.

Sounds fair, right? Well, yes, but that means that no action of yours can compel God to grant you salvation. Think about that. It means that living a good life, doing good works, or even having steadfast faith can’t do it.

And God stands outside space and time, and He knows all things. Therefore the destination of your soul is known to him from the beginning. Therefore it is predestined, and your acts have no bearing on it. QED.

The deplorable outcomes from this are obvious, and they are as raven points out - but that is to argue from consequences. A better line is to attack the inconsistency - the doctrine emphasises the sovereignity of God and at the same time makes Him the helpless pawn of Fate. It insists that He is not bound by time, and then insists on temporal cause and effect.

If you ask me, those bunnies have a lot to answer for, though.

Pete Dunkelberg said:

2009-12-08 Shouldn’t the title be Freshwater: December 8, 2009 ?

Yeah, you’re right. I keep repressing the fact that this thing has been going on for more than a calendar year.

What is the pastor going to say. “Some of you will go to heaven no matter what you do. Some will go to hell, no matter what you do.” Well OK, so why would anyone bother going to church then?

There is an medieval Irish story about a saint who did just that to a king. He told that king that one of the king’s sons was going to heaven and one to hell. When the saint came by some time later, he found both sons leading a dissolute lifestyle. When the saint complained to the king, the king said, “Why not; no matter how sinful they are, their fate is predestined. They might as well have fun.”

I suspect this was a warning against a pre-Calvin Calvinism.

Ahh,The defense rested its case to conclude Friday’s session of the contract termination hearing for suspended Mount Vernon middle school teacher John Freshwater.

Wonder how thorough his cross will be. Hearing scheduled to start back on Dec.29, 2009.

If cameras are allowed, this would definitely make a hit on Youtube. Mount Vernon should consider that as a way to recoup some of their tax money wasted on this “hearing”.

RBH -

If I have been understanding this case correctly, it amounts to this -

Freshwater is more or less documented to have used teaching materials cribbed directly from creationist textbooks, to train his students to yell “Here!” when standard curricular material he was required to teach was at odds with creationism, and to have used a Telsa coil generated current to make marks on a students arm, which could be interpreted as representing a cross.

He is on record as stating that he did not produce a cross pattern on a student’s arm, but rather, the letter “x”, even though, relative to the natural anatomic direction of the arm, the photographed mark looked like a cross, “+”, which is similar to an “x” but with a 45 degree rotation.

Now he claims that he never used creationist materials at all, and never used a Tesla coil on a student’s arm.

He has consistently portrayed himself, and been portrayed in the local media, as a “persecuted Christian”, and thus been able to obtain donations from other Christians. However, although he does define himself as a Christian on the stand, he has NEVER ONCE offered the defense that he served the Lord’s Will by teaching creationism or making cross marks, but has always denied those activities.

So - he states that he used a Tesla coil to make “x” marks on a student’s arm, while also denying that he ever used a Telsa coil on a student’s arm, and he claims to be a persecuted Christian while simultaneously denying that he engaged in any preaching of Christianity.

Is that about right?

harold said:

RBH -

If I have been understanding this case correctly, it amounts to this -

Freshwater is more or less documented to have used teaching materials cribbed directly from creationist textbooks, to train his students to yell “Here!” when standard curricular material he was required to teach was at odds with creationism, and to have used a Telsa coil generated current to make marks on a students arm, which could be interpreted as representing a cross.

Yup, that’s the way I read the record.

He is on record as stating that he did not produce a cross pattern on a student’s arm, but rather, the letter “x”, even though, relative to the natural anatomic direction of the arm, the photographed mark looked like a cross, “+”, which is similar to an “x” but with a 45 degree rotation.

Now he claims that he never used creationist materials at all, and never used a Tesla coil on a student’s arm.

He has consistently portrayed himself, and been portrayed in the local media, as a “persecuted Christian”, and thus been able to obtain donations from other Christians. However, although he does define himself as a Christian on the stand, he has NEVER ONCE offered the defense that he served the Lord’s Will by teaching creationism or making cross marks, but has always denied those activities.

So - he states that he used a Tesla coil to make “x” marks on a student’s arm, while also denying that he ever used a Telsa coil on a student’s arm, and he claims to be a persecuted Christian while simultaneously denying that he engaged in any preaching of Christianity.

Is that about right?

Yup. See also my subsequent post on the 8th, 10th, and 11th.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on December 9, 2009 8:45 PM.

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