Mt. Vernon: Creationists clobbered for BOE

| 83 Comments

Today voters in the Mt. Vernon, Ohio, City School District firmly rejected two creationist candidates for the Board of Education. The overt creationists, Jeff Cline and Steve Kelly, were among six candidates running for three slots on the 5-member board. Two incumbents, Margie Bennett and Jodi Goetzman, both of whom voted to terminate John Freshwater’s teaching contract, were also running. With all precincts reporting, these are the unofficial results from the county Board of Elections:

Goetzman: 4,296; Bennett: 3,973; Feasel: 3,704; Curry: 3,652; Cline: 2,963; Kelly: 2,541

Cline and Kelly, the two overt creationists in the race, placed dead last, while the two incumbents, who defended the teaching of honest science and faced down the fundamentalists, placed first and second. Nice!

In addition, a 1.38 mill emergency levy for the school district passed. It appears that in spite of all the Sturm und Drang of the Freshwater affair, voters in the District value education and in particular honest science education. I’m considerably cheered by these results.

83 Comments

You may be cheered, Richard, but what will be blog about now?

Aaarg! I mean: What will we blog about now?

Meal ticket heard going ‘riiiiiiiiiiip’.

Hoppe forgets though that in addition to humanists/skeptics/atheists/skeptics/whateverists, a sizable portion of Christians also have a marked disdain for fundamentalists.

You guys just conveniently lump us all together. I know, its easier that way.

Gotta run to 7 Eleven to get you some glue, Hoppe. It’s on me. You just pay the courier charges is all.

:)

Steve P. said:

Meal ticket heard going ‘riiiiiiiiiiip’.

Hoppe forgets though that in addition to humanists/skeptics/atheists/skeptics/whateverists, a sizable portion of Christians also have a marked disdain for fundamentalists.

You guys just conveniently lump us all together. I know, its easier that way.

Gotta run to 7 Eleven to get you some glue, Hoppe. It’s on me. You just pay the courier charges is all.

:)

Hoppe should ignore that. He did say “fundamentalists”, not Christians.

While at the 7-11 “Steve P.” should try to get something that will help him with his reading skills. It seems that he is the one doing the “lumping” and he has projected this onto Richard Hoppe.

Richard, congratulations on a great victory in defense of freedom of religion. I am sure your efforts made a solid contribution to the outcome of the election.

Funny, isn’t it, how Steve P. can turn a post that does not contain the words Christian, atheist, humanist, or skeptic into a complaint about the misrepresentation of those groups? Gotta feed that persecution complex.

Anyway, great work Richard. It’s nice to know that the sense can prevail. The only sad thing is how long and hard and expensive the struggle has been to get good science taught honestly in schools. One would have thought it should be easy to win these battles.

Congratulations. Hard work pays off.

Great! Who is Feasel? And what does he and the next on the list Curry support?

OT; Has UD opened up to genuine criticism?

Steve P. said:

… a sizable portion of Christians also have a marked disdain for fundamentalists.

:)

And we applaud them.

Why you believe the religious affiliations of the 6 candidates is the issue is beyond me. The issue is about having board members who support real scientific education and not using their position to promote a creationist agenda regardless of their personal beliefs.

Just plain good news.

Good day for Ohio, great day for Mt. Vernon.

Richard, thanks for your reporting on the situation.

I do strongly disagree with fundamentalists.

Do I have “contempt” for them? Not necessarily. That’s not the point here. I strongly support their right to live and believe as they see fit - as long as they respect the rights of others.

Neither they, nor any other group, gets to use taxpayer funded school science classes to declare their own idiosyncratic mythology to be more “scientific” than other religions. This principle is good for everyone, including fundamentalists.

Joe Felsenstein said: Richard, congratulations on a great victory in defense of freedom of religion. I am sure your efforts made a solid contribution to the outcome of the election.

A minor setback in rolling hill country. We will have more success on the Pacific seaboard. I really do need to start writing some letters and doing more PR work.

harold said:

I do strongly disagree with fundamentalists.

Do I have “contempt” for them? Not necessarily. That’s not the point here. I strongly support their right to live and believe as they see fit - as long as they respect the rights of others.

Neither they, nor any other group, gets to use taxpayer funded school science classes to declare their own idiosyncratic mythology to be more “scientific” than other religions. This principle is good for everyone, including fundamentalists.

It is, however, perfectly reasonable to be contemptuous of the behaviour of those who *do* try to trample on the rights of others.

Atheistoclast said: A minor setback in rolling hill country. We will have more success on the Pacific seaboard.

Elections are now over for the year. Don’t hold us in suspense; in what districts did you actually have success yesterday?

And I’m not being snarky - I really want to know. I’m sure there are probably a few districts who elected creationists to local education positions, and if you know who/where they are, that would be interesting information to share with the rest of us.

So, some good news this morning.

Steve P. said:

Meal ticket heard going ‘riiiiiiiiiiip’.

Hoppe forgets though that in addition to humanists/skeptics/atheists/skeptics/whateverists, a sizable portion of Christians also have a marked disdain for fundamentalists.

You guys just conveniently lump us all together. I know, its easier that way.

Gotta run to 7 Eleven to get you some glue, Hoppe. It’s on me. You just pay the courier charges is all.

:)

That has to be one of the dumbest and most dishonest comments ever here!

Atheistoclast said:

Joe Felsenstein said: Richard, congratulations on a great victory in defense of freedom of religion. I am sure your efforts made a solid contribution to the outcome of the election.

A minor setback in rolling hill country. We will have more success on the Pacific seaboard. I really do need to start writing some letters and doing more PR work.

Why not do some more actual science? Oh, never mind. You can’t, because you are too stupid to do that or even know what that is.

What is it about Creationists that makes them lie so damn much???

I would not expect that more Freshwaters would be palatable to the voters, any more than Bozo Joe would be.

Glen Davidson

That has to be one of the dumbest and most dishonest comments ever here!

And there’s a lot of competition for that distinction!

This is great! It’s truly heartening to see the people of Mt. Vernon stand up to science being replaced with mythology. Kudos to them, and all who kept this issue in the spotlight.

Unfortunately, they will be back. Some other school district, some other name, but they will be back.

As a former resident of Mount Vernon, I have mixed feelings about all this. Happy that the creationist candidates were defeated, depressed that Mount Vernon is once again the center of this sort of controversy.

I attended Mount Vernon Middle and High School (1976-1982) and throughout my school years was never exposed to any creationist/religious propaganda in science class (or any other class, for that matter).

As a *current* resident of Mount Vernon I was very relieved as well. Must note though that the levy is a renewal levy (no new money), so perhaps we shouldnt take its passing as approval of how the Freshwater affair was handled. After the previous levy failed and we lost things like all high school busing, many recognized that this one had to pass. Something like 4700 people voted “no” on the levy, meaning they not only don’t want the schools funded at current leves, they want to punish the schools by forcing more cutbacks.

As a district parent and voter I place direct responsibility for this state of affairs on Freshwater and his supporters.

Re the “meal ticket,” Yes Mr. Hoppe you should give back all that steady massive income you’ve made from taking on these people. Sheesh. In actuality, you and the other unpaid volunteers who’ve spoken up and paid for newspaper ads and so on may very well have *saved* our district much money in potential lawsuits. Not to mention the further embarrassment and community hard feelings which Mr. Freshwater’s actions provoked.

Thank you.

Thanks for your kind words, John. We appreciate them.

By the way, that was Atheistoclast’s one permitted comment in this thread. Any more will go to the BW, along with any responses. Please DNFTT! Thanks!

This is indeed good news.

Schools are supposed to exist to educate kids, not to brainwash them in weird fundie beliefs.

Atheistoclast said:

Joe Felsenstein said: Richard, congratulations on a great victory in defense of freedom of religion. I am sure your efforts made a solid contribution to the outcome of the election.

A minor setback in rolling hill country. We will have more success on the Pacific seaboard. I really do need to start writing some letters and doing more PR work.

Please do, it will give us more opportunity to refute your nonsense.

I think the word is “blowback.” That is, people are getting seriously tired of the overtly-religious sticking their damn noses into everything…

Atheistoclast said: A minor setback in rolling hill country. We will have more success on the Pacific seaboard. I really do need to start writing some letters and doing more PR work.

Yes. Yes, you do.

By all means, please be the public face of ID. That will make it even easier to defeat.

Nullifidian said:

By all means, please be the public face of ID.

Wrong end.

I’m not familiar with the local politics involved, but were the “creationists” advocating a Genesis-only science curriculum, or a balanced approach between ID and evolution? If they advocate a balanced approach, then the people of Mt. Vernon lost that election.

There is clearly room for both ID and evolution in any classroom that values free thought and the right of students to know all valid possibilities. In the spirit of J.S. Mill, students must be shown all possibilities and then make up their own minds. Besides, if evolution is so great, it ought to be a slam dunk every time in the classroom.

Like it or not, it is becoming increasingly evident that the universe had a beginning and that this beginning involved intelligence. Court cases and elections don’t solve scientific inquiries. These holes in evolutionary metaphysics will not go away until they are addressed. Even Jastrow acknowledges that with the universe still expanding, it is indicative of a beginning.

evergreenrain said:A bunch of nonesense.

You really haven’t been paying attention, have you?

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

evergreenrain said:

There is clearly room for both ID and evolution in any classroom that values free thought and the right of students to know all valid possibilities.

OK. Tell me exactly what the “valid possibilities” for ID are.

What does ID say happened? Based on what objectively identifiable evidence?

When did all this happen? Be specific, please.

Science does this every day. The mainstream explanation is quite detailed, quite specific, and supported by a significant pile of actual evidence. People didn’t just make it up, they went out and measured stuff.

Aside from “well, I just feel that ID is a valid explanation”, exactly what do you want us to teach, Evergreen?

That at some unspecified time, in some unspecified manner, some unspecified intelligent agent that may or not be the deity of some unspecified religion, did some unspecified action that filled some unspecified gap in the laws of physics and allowed the universe to go *poof*, and this is backed up by some unspecified evidence which has never been demonstrated?

If not that, then what? Be specific.

Sounds “valid” to me, Evergreen.

evergreenrain said: Natural selection by definition reduces cellular technology. So where does new genetic information come from?

Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

Evolution can’t tell us.

Yes, the modern synthesis does. Now granted, Darwin couldn’t explain the source of variation 150 years ago. But that was 150 years ago.

I don’t know, but we as a scientific community must have the courage to go there and find out.

Go there! Find out! Do ID experiments and report the results…please!

Mainstream science is not opposed to scientists studying ID. What the scientific community asks, and what we have always asked, is that you not teach it in HS science classes until you go out and do this work, report the results, and thus have something substantiated by evidence to teach.

Again, back to my original point, making political slogans and hiring lawyers doesn’t solve anything.

I completely agree. For that reason, I hope we can count on you to join with us and demand that the DI stop trying to perform “wedge projects” 2 and 3 until they are successful at wedge project 1.

Its been 13 years and they haven’t actually done any scientific research. Just political and legal manouvers. You disagree with what they’re doing, correct?

evergreenrain said -

On the contrary, I have been paying attention. This is about more than some teacher’s job. However, going back to the article, if the tables had been turned and the alleged “creationists” had won, it still would not be good.

Agreed, it is about more than one teacher’s job, ultimately, and it would not have been good if the creationists had won.

Politics and science are a bad mix. That combination has hampered and/or retarded scientific inquiry for centuries.

I disagree with the over-generalization. Democratic political policies that respect human rights can encourage and fund good science.

Of course, I agree that political positions grounded in biased denial of science impede human progress.

Thankfully where I went to public high school teachers were/are allowed to teach both and students are encouraged to question all scientific theories. We had some great debates in those classes and I think everyone came out of Biology I and II with a better appreciation for all the possibilities.

If this is true, you were cheated out of a basic high school education.

Due the foolish policy of allowing teachers to present pseudo-science as equal to science, to ignorant and naive students, you ended up falling for the absurd claims of “intelligent design”.

Of course, this may not be true. Maybe you had made up your mind to be a creationist, due to passive acceptance of religious dogma, or because you feel that parroting creationist claims will advance you personally no matter what the real truth is, or for some other non-rational reason. If so, it is possible that nothing your teachers’ taught could have impacted on you.

In a free and open society, people (including students) have the right to make decisions based on the information presented in the market placea of ideas.

Absolutely true, and this is true of the United States.

This is not a reason to either violate the constitution by teaching narrow sectarian dogma as “science” in public schools, nor even to confuse students by teaching false, illogical nonsense in place of, or as if it were equal to, science, for any reason.

There is an infinite supply of wrong ideas in the world; your particular post-modern right wing mythology is only one small example. It would be absurd to waste school time and confuse students by teaching the views of all the crackpots who deny sound science, and it would be unfair to teach only the irrational science denial favored by some, but not others.

The ideal solution is to teach sound, consensus science in schools. Students can seek religious and spiritual counsel as they see fit on their own time. Crackpot ideas are not censored and are widely available to everyone.

Phil Johnson has an excellent synopsis of John Stuart Mill’s philosophy with regards to these ideas in his book, Reason in the Balance. According to Mill, it is always correct to consider alternate viewpoints in depth so that one understands why one’s beliefs are correct.

I don’t agree that Phillip Johnson produces “excellent” books, nor that he fairly represents the views of others.

I DO agree that it is an excellent idea to consider alternate viewpoints in depth. I do this and you don’t. I am keenly aware of the claims of YEC, ID/creationism, and a number of other prominent science denial positions.

Your comments show an ignorance of basic science.

I urge you to take your own advice.

Evolutionists and Intelligent Designers should welcome the chance to demonstrate to each young mind why that mind should be for their version of events.

Agreed. High school science class is not the place for sectarian science denial. However, the theory of evolution should always be taught in a manner that is grounded in understanding the evidence.

I strongly support your right to push your ideas on any mind that will listen, and I very, very strongly urge those minds to evaluate your sectarian dogma with a high degree of critical rigor. However, as I noted above, it isn’t legal or feasible to include all possible mythology-based science denial in high school science class.

Everyone’s ideas are forced to grow and strengthen. Force feeding information to children in a one-sided fashion reeks of Hitler’s fascist Germany and Stalin’s communist Russia. Nobody should want that.

I oppose authoritarian government, and you apparently support it. You want the special authoritarian privilege of deceptively pushing your own sectarian dogma as “science”, in public schools, at taxpayer expense.

I support the freedom of religion that this nation was founded on. Families and students will choose their own beliefs, and you do not have, and never will have, the right to use government power to coerce them into involuntarily kowtowing to your particular sect.

eric said:

evergreenrain said: Natural selection by definition reduces cellular technology. So where does new genetic information come from?

Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

Funny I should come across this now. I was just walking down the hall and noticed a poster describing a successful project to use genetic algorithms to design passive analog filters. If random variation followed by non-random selection can’t generate “new information” I wonder where the information came from the resulted in the successful designs …

SWT said: If random variation followed by non-random selection can’t generate “new information” I wonder where the information came from the resulted in the successful designs …

Real answer: the process itself creates the novel structures and software, of course.

ID answer: well, an intelligent designer programmed the GA, so that must be where it came from. (And speaking as an IDer, I will ignore the fact that the programmer had no idea what those filter designs would be. Or if there would be any. I will also ignore the fact that my “answer” is really a defense of theistic evolution, not intelligent design. But whatever.)

SWT said:

eric said:

evergreenrain said: Natural selection by definition reduces cellular technology. So where does new genetic information come from?

Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

Funny I should come across this now. I was just walking down the hall and noticed a poster describing a successful project to use genetic algorithms to design passive analog filters. If random variation followed by non-random selection can’t generate “new information” I wonder where the information came from the resulted in the successful designs …

All a genetic/evolutionary algorithm can do is optimize. In any case, the “evolution” is directed towards a target or end result. It is not a blind and open search. Moreover, genetic algorithms are not even the commonly used optimizers in the industry.

Seems like you work at a university where people aren’t that advanced.

eric said: Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

LOL. Yeah, a random mutation is bound to create new information! It may produce a different character in the sequence, but that doesn’t mean new information, maestro.

You really need to read a paper on the subject. Let me recommend this one:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/[…]365/abstract

OK?

Atheistoclast said:

eric said: Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

LOL. Yeah, a random mutation is bound to create new information! It may produce a different character in the sequence, but that doesn’t mean new information, maestro.

You really need to read a paper on the subject. Let me recommend this one:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/[…]365/abstract

OK?

See? We don’t even have to read your “papers” to know that they are wrong.

You ID/creationists always screw up the second law of thermodynamics. All you are doing essentially is parroting John Sanford’s crap on “genetic entropy.”

Clean up on aisle three.

DS said:

Clean up on aisle three.

Agreed. This Bozo taunt belongs on the Bathroom Wall.

Mike Elzinga said:

Atheistoclast said:

eric said: Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

LOL. Yeah, a random mutation is bound to create new information! It may produce a different character in the sequence, but that doesn’t mean new information, maestro.

You really need to read a paper on the subject. Let me recommend this one:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/[…]365/abstract

OK?

See? We don’t even have to read your “papers” to know that they are wrong.

You ID/creationists always screw up the second law of thermodynamics. All you are doing essentially is parroting John Sanford’s crap on “genetic entropy.”

Except I don’t even mention the second law of thermodynamics, jackass.

Mike Elzinga said:

DS said:

Clean up on aisle three.

Agreed. This Bozo taunt belongs on the Bathroom Wall.

Suddenly a noxious cloud of narcissistic stupidity blows through the conversation.

Atheistoclast said:

All a genetic/evolutionary algorithm can do is optimize. In any case, the “evolution” is directed towards a target or end result.

Bullshit, you guys already tried this game with the Steiner trees, and you lost. The IDers couldn’t come up with the optimal design they claimed was hidden in the code.

Evolitionary algorithms make selections via certain parameter scores, there is no target. Aside from the usual arguments debunking this silly “target” argument, there is one very obvious common-sense one: if the final target were known ahead of time, there would be no point in running the algorithm in the first place. The whole point is to see what the parameter variation/selection process produces.

You really are just parroting nonsense.

Atheistoclast said:

SWT said:

eric said:

evergreenrain said: Natural selection by definition reduces cellular technology. So where does new genetic information come from?

Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

Funny I should come across this now. I was just walking down the hall and noticed a poster describing a successful project to use genetic algorithms to design passive analog filters. If random variation followed by non-random selection can’t generate “new information” I wonder where the information came from the resulted in the successful designs …

All a genetic/evolutionary algorithm can do is optimize. In any case, the “evolution” is directed towards a target or end result. It is not a blind and open search. Moreover, genetic algorithms are not even the commonly used optimizers in the industry.

Seems like you work at a university where people aren’t that advanced.

This is complete bullshit. And I pointed this out before using the example of a cubic signal generator created by a GA which outperformed patented designs, and further, how it works was not well understood.

Should I repost that Joe? You ran away from it the first time.

And to claim in a public forum, there is no target in biological evolution, is stupid.

Of course there is.

Maximize reproductive propensity.

And to claim in a public forum, there is no target in biological evolution, is stupid.

Actually, it’s semantic.

The alleles associated with greater reproductive efficiency are selected for. Thus, one could say that evolution “targets” this feature.

On the other hand, there is no specific pre-set lineage which evolution “tries” to achieve. When early birds/bird-like dinosaurs evolved, evolution was not consciously “targetting” the eventual existence of the bald eagle (nor of some future “ultimate bird” which hasn’t evolved yet). A hypothetical alien scientist observing life on earth at that time might have predicted, on a probabilistic basis, that homeothermic, flying, feathered lineages were likely to be selected for, expand, and diversify into more specialized lineages, under certain environmental conditions. However, a precise prediction of some future lineage would be impossible, arguably even to a theoretical observer with total knowledge of conditions at one given time.

In this sense, evolution is not targeted, in that it is not a search for a specific future outcome, but rather, an incremental process.

This is a fairly important point. Mischaracterizing evolution as a targeted process that “tries” to generate specific future lineages is both a common intuitive mistake on the part of honest students, and a common straw man component of creationist arguments.

Thanks for all your hard work over the YEARS! It has been years, hasn’t it.

I like the idea that it’s a “meal ticket” for Richard, though. Wow. Haha. I transcribed a couple things related to this and it’s not exactly scintillating, though what you find out is amazing sometimes.

So how much will this kamikaze creationist have taken out of the Mt. Vernon School District, when the smoke has cleared? A million dollars is my take. It only takes a few to further the goal of getting rid of free “secular” education for the masses. Especially the poor.

I have just read so much “stuff” that my head is spinning… A win or a loss should not be based on one’s religious beliefs. If all officials in every political arena were selected based on religious or non-religious viewpoints then, ethically speaking, our society would be disciminating against a very large part of itself. What is the point? I thought the point in the whole process was to appoint, or elect, officials based on qualities like integrity, not belief. Is there really only one answer to any question? Who really won here?

taterzz said:

I have just read so much “stuff” that my head is spinning… A win or a loss should not be based on one’s religious beliefs. If all officials in every political arena were selected based on religious or non-religious viewpoints then, ethically speaking, our society would be disciminating against a very large part of itself. What is the point? I thought the point in the whole process was to appoint, or elect, officials based on qualities like integrity, not belief. Is there really only one answer to any question? Who really won here?

The point is that Freshwater has cost this school district (and the district’s insurance company) more than $900,000 in his attempts to subvert the rights of his students and the Constitution of the United States. Jeff Cline has previously stated that he wanted to have “alternatives” to evolution taught in science class. These clowns can believe whatever they want to believe but they do not have the right to use our public schools as a forum for their beliefs. These ID missionaries need to realize that they should do their proseletyzing on their own property and leave the rest of us (and our kids) alone.

taterzz said:

I have just read so much “stuff” that my head is spinning… A win or a loss should not be based on one’s religious beliefs. If all officials in every political arena were selected based on religious or non-religious viewpoints then, ethically speaking, our society would be disciminating against a very large part of itself. What is the point? I thought the point in the whole process was to appoint, or elect, officials based on qualities like integrity, not belief. Is there really only one answer to any question? Who really won here?

Exactly. These people were running on a religious agenda and planned to impose their religious prejudices on others. They are the ones who would try to subvert the system. These people have no integrity, that is why it was a victory that they were defeated. The people who were elected were no elected because of their religious beliefs. That is why this is a victory for the school district.

Atheistoclast said:

Mike Elzinga said:

Atheistoclast said:

eric said: Mutation creates novel genetic sequences. Whether you want to call that information or not is up to you.

LOL. Yeah, a random mutation is bound to create new information! It may produce a different character in the sequence, but that doesn’t mean new information, maestro.

You really need to read a paper on the subject. Let me recommend this one:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/[…]365/abstract

OK?

See? We don’t even have to read your “papers” to know that they are wrong.

You ID/creationists always screw up the second law of thermodynamics. All you are doing essentially is parroting John Sanford’s crap on “genetic entropy.”

Except I don’t even mention the second law of thermodynamics, jackass.

And Mike Elzinga has once again made a simple comment that Atheistoclast doesn’t understand enough to even make a cogent remark about, let alone refute.

I thought the point in the whole process was to appoint, or elect, officials based on qualities like integrity, not belief. Is there really only one answer to any question? Who really won here?

This is really stupid.

Often an answer to a question is just wrong. Freshwater and his supporters are just wrong. Creationism is a lie.

1. Creationism is a religious cult doctrine. It’s factually wrong.

2. It is illegal to try to sneak religious cult doctrines into our kid’s science classes. It’s been illegal for 200 years.

Who really won here?

The good people. Because reason, logic, integrity, and the law were on their side. The taxpayers, students, and most of the citizens of Mt. Vernon.

Who lost was the usual. Theocratic christofascist idiots. Xian death cultists.

If all officials in every political arena were selected based on religious or non-religious viewpoints then, ethically speaking, our society would be disciminating against a very large part of itself.

Tell that to the fundie xians. Their whole program is xian theocratic Dominionism. They exist to attempt to persecute and oppress anyone not of their cults. Not going to happen as long as we have a democracy. They hate democracy for that reason.

raven said: Creationism is a lie.

1. Creationism is a religious cult doctrine. It’s factually wrong.

2. It is illegal to try to sneak religious cult doctrines into our kid’s science classes. It’s been illegal for 200 years.

Who really won here?

The good people. Because reason, logic, integrity, and the law were on their side. The taxpayers, students, and most of the citizens of Mt. Vernon.

Who lost was the usual. Theocratic christofascist idiots. Xian death cultists.

If all officials in every political arena were selected based on religious or non-religious viewpoints then, ethically speaking, our society would be disciminating against a very large part of itself.

Tell that to the fundie xians. Their whole program is xian theocratic Dominionism. They exist to attempt to persecute and oppress anyone not of their cults. Not going to happen as long as we have a democracy. They hate democracy for that reason.

Sometimes I begin to hope in the playground of ideas. With cloudy eyes I imagine a field of thinkers dealing rationally in the currency of thought, ideas, competing worldviews. And on happy occasion I begin to believe that real work will be done here. I begin to hope that participating individuals would walk level-headed into this playing field without pretentious conceptions about the lordship of their own worldview over all others. Real discussion may be had here, real rational dialogue yielding real answers. Objective truth seems within earshot. And then some bully walks onto the play ground and steals the football

ben, what emptyheaded, vapid twaddle. “Objective truth” is that which is attested by objective evidence, that is, evidence that any person who cares to investigate can verify by observation, given an honesty that you aren’t displaying. It is not reachable by attempts at a pseud postmodernist relativism that you don’t really accept anyway. There is no football. There is no bully. There is no “competing worldview”. There is only the evidence and what it must imply. “Real rational dialogue” concerns the evidence, and real answers emerge from the evidence, not from silly rhetorical flim-flam like yours.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on November 8, 2011 8:34 PM.

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