NSF Center for the Study of Evolution in Action Funded

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William Dembski calls envious attention to the funding (reportedly $25M) by NSF of the BEACON (Bio/computational Evolution in Action CONsortium ) project, a multi-institutional consortium that is intended

…to conduct research on fundamental evolutionary dynamics in both natural and artificial systems, educate a generation of multi-disciplinary scientists in these methods, and improve public understanding of evolution at all levels. The center will unite biologists who study natural evolutionary processes with computer scientists and engineers who are harnessing these processes to solve real-world problems.

Among the researchers associated with the consortium is Joe Felsenstein, who guest posts here on occasion. On a fast run-through of the personnel listing I also see at least four senior people who have been associated with the AVIDA project at Michigan State (Pennock, Lenski, Ofria, and Wilke) and other leaders in both evolutionary biology and computer modeling of evolution. The consortium includes Michigan State University (lead institution), along with the University of Washington, the University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina A&T, and the University of Idaho. I’ll be interested to see what comes out of it, especially given its lofty goals:

BEACON will have a powerful legacy: we will reframe public perceptions of evolution and increase understanding of scientific methods. At the same time, we will produce a conceptual framework to firmly establish evolutionary biology as an experimental science and cement its links to computing in a crossfertilization that enhances both fields.

See also here:

K-12 and general public education.

In this area, BEACON will pursue four main goals:


* Demonstrate the fundamental power and importance of evolution. BEACON will contribute to the pressing national need to bolster U.S. pre-eminence in science and technology by educating people about the importance of understanding, managing and harnessing biological and computational evolutionary processes and deconstructing the false dichotomy of micro- versus macro-evolution.
* Disseminating materials generated by BEACON. Our team includes experts in science education and outreach who will work with all BEACON researchers to adapt BEACON research for use in science classes in schools in ways that address national science standards and goals.
* Increasing participation in science and engineering. We will broaden participation in STEM disciplines by introducing teachers and students from underrepresented groups to the new research opportunities afforded by BEACON’s applied evolutionary tools and research programs.
* Preparing responsible citizens. We will deepen student’s understanding of evolution-related challenges, such as responding to the evolution of infectious diseases and limiting the evolution of antibiotic and pesticide resistance, and have them learn to protect the integrity of the scientific process.

Those are high aspirations.

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La coccinelle de Darwin from L'Extérieur de l'Asile on June 5, 2010 12:20 PM

Allez, tiens, un petit jeu pour perdre du temps sur le Net — euh, pardon, apprendre en s’amusant! C’est Evolutionary Ladybug (“La coccinelle évolutionniste”), où le but est de guider la coccinelle avec la souris pour lui faire manger les pu... Read More

33 Comments

Cool

Oh, and one other thing. Dembski throws in a touch of sarcasm:

It’s gratifying to see our tax dollars being spent so well.

Perhaps he fails to recall that the Disco ‘Tute is a 501(c)3 and donations to it are therefore tax deductible. So it also represents our tax dollars at work.

Man, all those benefits and for less money than Ham spent on the creation museum. I wonder who will be more successful?

… and in other news …

William Dembski secures an additional $2500 USD that will be used to further IDC education. The education materials will consist of animated “fart” videos featuring the recipients of the funds mentioned in the previous story. It is believed that this will keep BA77 quite busy in the coming years, uploading the videos to YouTube and pasting the URLs into various forums as legitimate debating material.

Dr. Dr. Dembski was quoted as saying “… as far as arguments go, you just can’t beat orally delivered flatulence. And you can quote me on that, biatch.”

All further inquires were held for moderation.

Interesting. Great to see it is multi-disciplinary and has a large out-reach program. I’m sure concepts from evolution could revolutionize many fields.

What a whiny bitch.

When you look at what Lenski’s lab, alone, has done for the understanding of the mechanisms of biology, and then to include the other stellar figures, it’s an astoundingly powerful institution.

Also, as a Texan, I’m glad to see UT Austin in the mix! Go Longhorns, with whom I feel a kinship, nay, a common ancestor.

Doc Bill said:

When you look at what Lenski’s lab, alone, has done for the understanding of the mechanisms of biology, and then to include the other stellar figures, it’s an astoundingly powerful institution.

Also, as a Texan, I’m glad to see UT Austin in the mix! Go Longhorns, with whom I feel a kinship, nay, a common ancestor.

That may be undermined if the Texas Board of Education has its way!

I am certain we can predict that our tax dollars will be spent better via BEACON than at the Dishonesty Institute:

RBH said:

Oh, and one other thing. Dembski throws in a touch of sarcasm:

It’s gratifying to see our tax dollars being spent so well.

Perhaps he fails to recall that the Disco ‘Tute is a 501(c)3 and donations to it are therefore tax deductible. So it also represents our tax dollars at work.

And should we not forget, I hear that Dembski intends to steal videos produced for Princeton, Brown and Cornell biological science departments to add to the one he stole from Harvard:

darvolution proponentsist said:

… and in other news …

William Dembski secures an additional $2500 USD that will be used to further IDC education. The education materials will consist of animated “fart” videos featuring the recipients of the funds mentioned in the previous story. It is believed that this will keep BA77 quite busy in the coming years, uploading the videos to YouTube and pasting the URLs into various forums as legitimate debating material.

Dr. Dr. Dembski was quoted as saying “… as far as arguments go, you just can’t beat orally delivered flatulence. And you can quote me on that, biatch.”

All further inquires were held for moderation.

Am not surprised that University of Texas, Austin is involved, since it has several great groups in systematic biology, ecology and paleobiology:

Doc Bill said:

When you look at what Lenski’s lab, alone, has done for the understanding of the mechanisms of biology, and then to include the other stellar figures, it’s an astoundingly powerful institution.

Also, as a Texan, I’m glad to see UT Austin in the mix! Go Longhorns, with whom I feel a kinship, nay, a common ancestor.

Howeever, I am surprised that the University of Idaho is involved. I wonder how Di mendacious intellectual pornographer Scott Minnich is coping with this (Since he is supposedly a University of Idaho “biologist”.).

He’s best buddies with Ann Coulter, having served as her “scientific consultant” for at least one of her pathetic right-wing screeds (which even I, a conservative Republican with extremely strong Libertarian biases find more than a bit obnoxious). So I’m not suprised by his reaction. Either he’s channeling the “divine” Ms. Coulter, or Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady”, or perhaps instead, both simultaneously:

Dave Wisker said:

What a whiny bitch.

* Demonstrate the fundamental power and importance of evolution. BEACON will contribute to the pressing national need to bolster U.S. pre-eminence in science and technology by educating people about the importance of understanding, managing and harnessing biological and computational evolutionary processes and deconstructing the false dichotomy of micro- versus macro-evolution.

I’d like to see someone demonstrate the fundamental power and importance of ID as a science. You know, rather than as a political polemic.

Dale, rest assured that many of us are spending our time and money to fix this situation. Meanwhile, UT and Austin remain a bastion of sanity and when you feel a little insanity coming on you can always go down to 6th Street and get cured.

In fact, I think a couple of Margarita Martinis at Trudy’s are in order! See you there, I’m buying!

darvolution proponentsist said:

… and in other news …

William Dembski secures an additional $2500 USD that will be used to further IDC education. The education materials will consist of animated “fart” videos featuring the recipients of the funds mentioned in the previous story. It is believed that this will keep BA77 quite busy in the coming years, uploading the videos to YouTube and pasting the URLs into various forums as legitimate debating material.

Dr. Dr. Dembski was quoted as saying “… as far as arguments go, you just can’t beat orally delivered flatulence. And you can quote me on that, biatch.”

All further inquires were held for moderation.

Did anyone else immediately note a mental association between this and the Freshwater gagging order? :)

Such whining from the ID gang! I feel like getting out my violin. Is the DI actively seeking funds for ID research? I’d be interested in seeing what ID research, if it exists, looks like. Do they also seek funding for building their extensive network of top-secret underground ID laboratories?

You can start by asking Howard Ahmanson how much he donates annualy to the DI for its “scientific” research:

Karen S. said:

Such whining from the ID gang! I feel like getting out my violin. Is the DI actively seeking funds for ID research? I’d be interested in seeing what ID research, if it exists, looks like. Do they also seek funding for building their extensive network of top-secret underground ID laboratories?

DARN IT, a typo, should be annually as below:

John Kwok said:

You can start by asking Howard Ahmanson how much he donates annualy to the DI for its “scientific” research:

Karen S. said:

Such whining from the ID gang! I feel like getting out my violin. Is the DI actively seeking funds for ID research? I’d be interested in seeing what ID research, if it exists, looks like. Do they also seek funding for building their extensive network of top-secret underground ID laboratories?

Note the extensive involvement of engineers in the BEACON project. Despite the hopes of the IDists over the years, engineers are not riding in like the calvary to save the Intelligent Design Movement. No field of engineering holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

Doc Bill said:

In fact, I think a couple of Margarita Martinis at Trudy’s are in order! See you there, I’m buying!

I’ll get the burgers at Casino El Camino!

John Kwok said:

You can start by asking Howard Ahmanson how much he donates anally to the DI for its “scientific” crap

fixed it!

Thanks for the improvement, misha. Am most appreciative:

misha said:

John Kwok said:

You can start by asking Howard Ahmanson how much he donates anally to the DI for its “scientific” crap

fixed it!

John Kwok said:

Howeever, I am surprised that the University of Idaho is involved. I wonder how Di mendacious intellectual pornographer Scott Minnich is coping with this (Since he is supposedly a University of Idaho “biologist”.).

NSF gives out improvement grants to smaller universities to build a research group in some area. I think public universities in small states are the typical target. The University of Idaho received one several years ago to build up a core faculty for computational and mathematical evolutionary biology: IBEST They’ve managed to recruit an amazing group in that area.

Thirty-something years ago the University of Georgia got such a grant to start a genetics research program, which blossomed into the top department on campus, by the time I received two degrees from it.

Thanks for the update Reed:

Reed A. Cartwright said:

John Kwok said:

Howeever, I am surprised that the University of Idaho is involved. I wonder how Di mendacious intellectual pornographer Scott Minnich is coping with this (Since he is supposedly a University of Idaho “biologist”.).

NSF gives out improvement grants to smaller universities to build a research group in some area. I think public universities in small states are the typical target. The University of Idaho received one several years ago to build up a core faculty for computational and mathematical evolutionary biology: IBEST They’ve managed to recruit an amazing group in that area.

Thirty-something years ago the University of Georgia got such a grant to start a genetics research program, which blossomed into the top department on campus, by the time I received two degrees from it.

I hope that there may be provisions in this (maybe a future grant extension) that would allow nonprofit organizations such as New York City’s World Science Festival and the forthcoming Washington, DC Science and Engineering Festival to participate in public education and outreach related to BEACON.

Will this group be accepting criticism of the presumptions behind evolutions claims? If there is failure to show evolution works will it be reported or just more funding asked? Will the people be a cross section of America and ideas of americans on origin issues? From pictures in uncommon descent it looked like the dema graphics of the democratic party and nary a republican. Are these actually researchers of merit or other agendas? Otherwise i don’t care. All money sent to research on evolution wastes good money. It might as well go these folk as others with wild hypothesis.

Dear me. Only a 5, I’m afraid. One point for incoherence - “researchers of merit or other agendas”, with its three-way confusion of subject, is meritorious, but nothing out of the way for Byerbabble.

Two for idiocy: one for quoting UD, that compendium of lies, as if it were respectable and one for the folly of conflating research with counting noses and political opinions. Difficult to say what the score on ignorance should be, since no actual, you know, facts are attempted. The implication that democrats can be told from republicans from their photographs - the pictures being the only things Byers looks at anyway - is probably worth one more on its own, for rank insanity.

One bonus point for the last sentence, in which the ambiguity rises to a flood and Byers majestically torpedoes his own tin canoe.

4.1

The whining stupidity reaches a peak with “Otherwise i don’t care”–a classic of ambiguity. Try to figure out what he doesn’t care about, and why it’s “otherwise.” But no, life is too short.

Disgrace to Canada says… Will the people be a cross section of America… ?

Byers wants a group where

-only 15% are higly educated (some graduate studies)

-15% never graduated highschool

-19% have a mental disorder

-11% are under the age of 14

That’s a hell of a group you got there

Certainly doesn’t reflect the level of intelligence in Canada either:

misha said:

Disgrace to Canada says… Will the people be a cross section of America… ?

Byers wants a group where

-only 15% are higly educated (some graduate studies)

-15% never graduated highschool

-19% have a mental disorder

-11% are under the age of 14

That’s a hell of a group you got there

Maybe Booby Byers needs to establish for himself his own country on some remote tropical isle.

You’re too generous. I’d give him zero for incoherence, one for incoherence and no bonus points, period. Final score is most certainly a ONE:

Dave Luckett said:

Dear me. Only a 5, I’m afraid. One point for incoherence - “researchers of merit or other agendas”, with its three-way confusion of subject, is meritorious, but nothing out of the way for Byerbabble.

Two for idiocy: one for quoting UD, that compendium of lies, as if it were respectable and one for the folly of conflating research with counting noses and political opinions. Difficult to say what the score on ignorance should be, since no actual, you know, facts are attempted. The implication that democrats can be told from republicans from their photographs - the pictures being the only things Byers looks at anyway - is probably worth one more on its own, for rank insanity.

One bonus point for the last sentence, in which the ambiguity rises to a flood and Byers majestically torpedoes his own tin canoe.

OOPS, that’s one for idiocy, not incoherence:

John Kwok said:

You’re too generous. I’d give him zero for incoherence, one for incoherence and no bonus points, period. Final score is most certainly a ONE:

Dave Luckett said:

Dear me. Only a 5, I’m afraid. One point for incoherence - “researchers of merit or other agendas”, with its three-way confusion of subject, is meritorious, but nothing out of the way for Byerbabble.

Two for idiocy: one for quoting UD, that compendium of lies, as if it were respectable and one for the folly of conflating research with counting noses and political opinions. Difficult to say what the score on ignorance should be, since no actual, you know, facts are attempted. The implication that democrats can be told from republicans from their photographs - the pictures being the only things Byers looks at anyway - is probably worth one more on its own, for rank insanity.

One bonus point for the last sentence, in which the ambiguity rises to a flood and Byers majestically torpedoes his own tin canoe.

John Kwok said:

Maybe Booby Byers needs to establish for himself his own country on some remote tropical isle.

Maybe our northern Canadian population would be willing to give up Fitzwilliam Owen Island .

fnxtr said:

John Kwok said:

Maybe Booby Byers needs to establish for himself his own country on some remote tropical isle.

Maybe our northern Canadian population would be willing to give up Fitzwilliam Owen Island .

Man, that’s cold …

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on May 30, 2010 5:04 PM.

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