Smithsonian’s Human Origins Initiative

| 26 Comments

The Smithsonian Institution has launched a new web site focused on human origins. It includes a good deal of material on the evidence (behavior, fossils, genetics, and dating) and Smithsonian’s research projects, along with what looks like a very useful set of education resources including lesson plans for teachers, a teachers forum, and student resources including an interactive mystery skull interactive exercise (I had trouble with that in Chrome but not in Firefox; apparently there’s a Flash glitch in the interaction of the site with Chrome).

And just to stir the pot a little, the page on the Broader Social Impacts Committee will provide some fuel to the accommodationist/hardliner feud. In particular, notice who is not represented on it.

At any rate, I strongly commend the site to your attention.

Hat tip to ASA Voices.

26 Comments

The “How do we know?” section is very nice.

The DI IDiots will not be happy with this I fear…

Lots of info and citings.

I did not mean for those two statements to be connected. The DI IDiots will be unhappy that there pet ID is not featured prominently.

On a positive spin, students who want more scince will have lots of places to go from here.

MikeMa said: The DI IDiots will be unhappy that there pet ID is not featured prominently.

Is intelligent design creationism mentioned at all? How do they handle the Answers In Genesis and Dishonesty Institute folks who are active saboteurs of evolution?

Is intelligent design creationism mentioned at all? How do they handle the Answers In Genesis and Dishonesty Institute folks who are active saboteurs of evolution?

I don’t see anything but I’m still studying the site. However, you can be sure that both UD and AiG will have negative review of this new exhibition. It looks really cool and I sure wish I could go…

The listing of BSI Committee members continues on to the next page; I’m not sure why they bothered to divvy it up, since there’s a grand total of 13 of those guys. The last three members include Joe Watkins, a Ph.D who (unlike all the rest of the crew) is listed sans religious affiliation. Sadly, Watkins’ linked personal statement makes it clear that the absence of specified religious affiliation is more due to the highly eclectic/heterodox nature of Watkins’ religious beliefs than to his not having any religious beliefs.

I’m sure we will be hearing something about it on the AIG website. They will start with the whole “Teach the controversy” BS and continue from there. Eventually, Wing Nut Daily will have stories of vicious evilutionists firing dedicated but pious creationists over disputed “facts”.

Can’t wait for the circus to start. I can hear the clowns assembling from here.

Blessed Atheist Bible Study @ http://blessedatheist.com/

I guess DI, AIG et al. will play the tax payer’s money card again. Since Smithsonian is mentioned: Is there any news about the California Science Center that had been sued by creationists?

In particular, notice who is not represented on it.

I see a lot of people not represented on it, but who do you mean?

tomh said:

In particular, notice who is not represented on it.

I see a lot of people not represented on it, but who do you mean?

The’re all theists of one species or another. That suggests that “Broader Social Impacts” is just a strange (and strained) euphemism for “religious implications.”

Just popped over to AIG to gauge any response; none so far.

They are however delving into the as yet unexplained reasons as to why, Adam and Eve didn’t die instantly, upon eating the forbidden fruit.

With this brain teasor, and the debate upon the belly button, and the possibility that Adam didn’t have nipples, AIG is plumping up their already egg-sebshanel science chops.

If they don’t recognize creationism(s) they they are wasting any credibility for making a case. creationisms is so popular that too ignore creationism undercuts any attempt here to indoctrinate these folks with pro-evolution concepts. Another point is that since this is a public institution then it must by law either have equal time for creationism or mutual censorship. everyone owns and pays for this and so the great diversity in beliefs on origins must be recognized. If they can’t take the competition then get out of the business.

Robert Byers said:

If they don’t recognize creationism(s) they they are wasting any credibility for making a case. creationisms is so popular that too ignore creationism undercuts any attempt here to indoctrinate these folks with pro-evolution concepts. Another point is that since this is a public institution then it must by law either have equal time for creationism or mutual censorship. everyone owns and pays for this and so the great diversity in beliefs on origins must be recognized. If they can’t take the competition then get out of the business.

What exactly does the law say about such matters?

The landmark Supreme Court case of Edwards vs Aguillard 1987 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard

contained as part of the decision of the Supreme Court, the so-called “Lemon” test:

# The government’s action must have a legitimate secular purpose;

# The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and

# The government’s action must not result in an “excessive entanglement” of the government and religion.

I doesn’t matter how “popular” creationism is, the notions are not scientific notions, but are basically religious dogma dressed in poorly fitting scientific clothing.

So, Mr. Byers, you are wrong again.

Byers, WHY do you keep posting here? Do you think you’re changing anyone’s mind? Has even a lurker chimed in with, “Gee, thanks, Mr. Byers. You’ve shown me the light! I was almost falling for that evolution stuff.”? It’s obvious to everyone, including even casual lurkers who might have a bit of creationist bent, that YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

You certainly don’t begin to understand the science that the professionals here do, yet you have no qualms about telling them that they’re WRONG about things they’ve observed all their lives. Don’t you GET THAT? Even other creationists can see that you’re babbling nonsense. And they wish you’d STOP. By extension, you make them look bad.

And you don’t know a damn thing about American constitutional law–yet you blithely tell the US Supreme Court and the whole federal court system that they’re WRONG about American law!

And you can’t even discuss the Bible intelligently.

At the risk of sounding uncivil, you’re a fool, Byers.

Speak up, all who are learning anything from Byers–except that some creationists are babbling fools who don’t know when to shut up and quit proving that they’re fools.

Hi Byers,

There is no competition.

Juan

Well at least Byers posted on-topic about human origins. No wait, he didn’t. He just made an incoherent rant about education or something, it’s pretty hard to tell.

Maybe if no one responds he will go away. Or maybe he should just be flushed to the bathroom wall. No matter what, he will never have anything intelligent to say about human origins.

Maybe if he actually went to the web site and made some comment about the actual content, maybe then someone would care. Maybe not.

John Stockwell said:

Robert Byers said:

If they don’t recognize creationism(s) they they are wasting any credibility for making a case. creationisms is so popular that too ignore creationism undercuts any attempt here to indoctrinate these folks with pro-evolution concepts. Another point is that since this is a public institution then it must by law either have equal time for creationism or mutual censorship. everyone owns and pays for this and so the great diversity in beliefs on origins must be recognized. If they can’t take the competition then get out of the business.

What exactly does the law say about such matters?

The landmark Supreme Court case of Edwards vs Aguillard 1987 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard

contained as part of the decision of the Supreme Court, the so-called “Lemon” test:

# The government’s action must have a legitimate secular purpose;

# The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and

# The government’s action must not result in an “excessive entanglement” of the government and religion.

I doesn’t matter how “popular” creationism is, the notions are not scientific notions, but are basically religious dogma dressed in poorly fitting scientific clothing.

So, Mr. Byers, you are wrong again.

I’m not wrong as follows.

It does matter what the people think in a free country. If they believe creationism is true or a option for truth then they can use the legislature to get their way. if they think its got the evidence to confront evolution then thats what the people think. All that matters is too remove the present misapplied “law”.

I’m aware of the lemon law. In fact it was invented because of arguments like mine. They needed too fine tune the one way censorship.

All three points make my case. In (3) clearly teaching genesis is false and denying it as a option as a bigger teaching its false IS SO a entaglement of state and church. Especially when they are saying teaching genesis in science class is ilegal by the separation concept.

(2) it is inhibiting religion by teaching that some religious concepts are false. If to teach creationism is advancing religion then teaching against it is inhibiting the truth of it.

(1) In either case evolution or creationism has a secular purpose. its too teach the truth on origins. Its okay if in this evolution etc question religious presumptions and its okay if creationism affirms some presumptions of religion. they both are secular agendas in this case. yet the claim of secular can not be a excuse for the state to attack religous doctrines. The law(used as is) is clear. Separation of state and church. If the church can’t interfere with the state then the state can’t interfere with the church.if teaching God/Genesis does the former then denying/teaching evolution does the latter.

The lemon test is poor thinking and poor judging. Its a desperation to starve off the obvious conclusion the state in teaching evolution is teaching the bible is false. While saying it doesn’t have a opinion on the bible in order to justify it banning the bible because of the separation concept.

Nope. This won’t work once creationism enters more so general conservative complaints with court decisions.

Its a simple equation. Separation equals separation. both ways and not just one way. The answer is freedom of speech and understanding schools are not the state.

Robert Byers said:

John Stockwell said:

Robert Byers said:

If they don’t recognize creationism(s) they they are wasting any credibility for making a case. creationisms is so popular that too ignore creationism undercuts any attempt here to indoctrinate these folks with pro-evolution concepts. Another point is that since this is a public institution then it must by law either have equal time for creationism or mutual censorship. everyone owns and pays for this and so the great diversity in beliefs on origins must be recognized. If they can’t take the competition then get out of the business.

What exactly does the law say about such matters?

The landmark Supreme Court case of Edwards vs Aguillard 1987 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard

contained as part of the decision of the Supreme Court, the so-called “Lemon” test:

# The government’s action must have a legitimate secular purpose;

# The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion; and

# The government’s action must not result in an “excessive entanglement” of the government and religion.

I doesn’t matter how “popular” creationism is, the notions are not scientific notions, but are basically religious dogma dressed in poorly fitting scientific clothing.

So, Mr. Byers, you are wrong again.

I’m not wrong as follows.

It does matter what the people think in a free country. If they believe creationism is true or a option for truth then they can use the legislature to get their way. if they think its got the evidence to confront evolution then thats what the people think. All that matters is too remove the present misapplied “law”.

I’m aware of the lemon law. In fact it was invented because of arguments like mine. They needed too fine tune the one way censorship.

All three points make my case. In (3) clearly teaching genesis is false and denying it as a option as a bigger teaching its false IS SO a entaglement of state and church. Especially when they are saying teaching genesis in science class is ilegal by the separation concept.

(2) it is inhibiting religion by teaching that some religious concepts are false. If to teach creationism is advancing religion then teaching against it is inhibiting the truth of it.

(1) In either case evolution or creationism has a secular purpose. its too teach the truth on origins. Its okay if in this evolution etc question religious presumptions and its okay if creationism affirms some presumptions of religion. they both are secular agendas in this case. yet the claim of secular can not be a excuse for the state to attack religous doctrines. The law(used as is) is clear. Separation of state and church. If the church can’t interfere with the state then the state can’t interfere with the church.if teaching God/Genesis does the former then denying/teaching evolution does the latter.

The lemon test is poor thinking and poor judging. Its a desperation to starve off the obvious conclusion the state in teaching evolution is teaching the bible is false. While saying it doesn’t have a opinion on the bible in order to justify it banning the bible because of the separation concept.

Nope. This won’t work once creationism enters more so general conservative complaints with court decisions.

Its a simple equation. Separation equals separation. both ways and not just one way. The answer is freedom of speech and understanding schools are not the state.

Shaka, when the walls fell!

I’m aware of the lemon law. In fact it was invented because of arguments like mine.

It was invented to control con artists and protect people from scams? That makes sense.

Shaka, when the walls fell!

Shaka, not stirred? Make it so!

Henry J said:

Shaka, when the walls fell!

Shaka, not stirred? Make it so!

I think that for Byer the correct sentence is “Mirab, his sails unfurled.”

Robert Byers said: The law(used as is) is clear. Separation of state and church. If the church can’t interfere with the state then the state can’t interfere with the church.if teaching God/Genesis does the former then denying/teaching evolution does the latter.

Forgive my French, but… bullshit. (Sorry everyone, but this is just too much.)

My religion teaches that Apollo moves the Sun around the Earth. Therefore, the government cannot teach that the Earth goes around the Sun. But, my religion teaches that Hades causes earthquakes. Therefore, the government cannot teach the theory of plate tectonics.

My religion teaches that Mohammed is the only true prophet of the one true god, and it is blasphemy to say that Jesus is the son of God. Therefore the government must not contradict me. Yet, my religion teaches that Jesus is the son of God. Therefore the government must not contradict me.

My religion teaches that Satan works his will through Democrats. Therefore, the government cannot put Democratic candidates on official voting ballots.

By Mr. Byers “logic”, if it contradicts any random belief of any religion, the government cannot make any statement, even about observable facts. Even if those religious beliefs are in diametric opposition. Ultimately, by this “logic”, the government cannot make any factual statement whatsoever.

Sorry, Mr. Byers. The Constitution guarantees you the freedom to be as willfully stupid as you want. However, the Constitution does not guarantee you freedom from offense. You may take offense at reality, but (if I may turn a quote), “Reality has an evolutionary bias”.

The river Temarc, in winter!

Scott said:

Sorry, Mr. Byers. The Constitution guarantees you the freedom to be as willfully stupid as you want. However, the Constitution does not guarantee you freedom from offense. You may take offense at reality, but (if I may turn a quote), “Reality has an evolutionary bias”.

The river Temarc, in winter!

Please remember that you’re speaking to a grown man who can not distinguish between “immoral,” “illegal” and whatever it is he dislikes, and is apparently proud of it.

That, and the US Constitution does not grant protection to the rights of foreigners who live outside of the US.

And to him, “religion” means ONLY his beliefs and very similar ones. All others are what, Robert, false religions, mythology, satanic delusions, not really religion at all?

Even mainstream Protestant Christianity, which has no problem with evolution, apparently doesn’t count as “religion”.

Scott said:

My religion teaches that Apollo moves the Sun around the Earth. Therefore, the government cannot teach that the Earth goes around the Sun. But, my religion teaches that Hades causes earthquakes. Therefore, the government cannot teach the theory of plate tectonics.

Along with science, children need to learn the classics. The chariot of the sun is driven by Helios, and it’s Poseidon who’s the Earth-Shaker (his most common title, in fact).

Richard, I think you’re likely mistaken - you should check the <no affiliation listed> and Humanist entries.

Plus, calling Buddhists theists is a little problematic, it depends on the Buddhists, the same is true of Unitarian/Universalists to a degree.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on March 12, 2010 12:24 PM.

Science blogs: ur doin it wrong. was the previous entry in this blog.

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