Creationism bill in Colorado

| 85 Comments

Update, January 27: Phil Plait reports here that the bill almost certainly will not make it out of committee.

Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy reports here on the latest creationism bill in Colorado. As always, the bill is disguised as an academic freedom bill but, as Plait says, questions evolution, cloning, and global warming and omits, say, religion and literature:

If this were really about academic freedom, why is it so specific? Why not include all fields of science, instead of just those three? In fact, why not include all academic fields? I’d be fascinated to see literature, art, and math added to that. Or religious study…how about supplementary texts that show the contradictions in the Bible? I wonder how that would go over. [Ellipsis in original.]

Me? I do not wonder at all.

Acknowledgement. Thanks to Mike Klymkowsky and James DeGregori for the link.

85 Comments

Teach the controversy about witches.

Or did I just give away one of the later developments of the Wedge Strategy?

Glen Davidson

No, the newest stratagy of the Wedge is to argue that Intelligent Design is now a Civil Rights issue. They are telling us that they want the right to have their own facts.

They are telling us that they want the right to have their own facts.

They do have that right. So far, they don’t have the right to use government funds to insist that these are the True and Everlasting Facts that those wishing to avoid eternal torment must believe.

However, they do hope to “improve” said lamentable situation.

Glen Davidson

What? In Colorado?!!! I’m on it.

Here is another summary article at the NCSE:

http://ncse.com/news/2013/01/antisc[…]rado-0014685

The primary sponsors of HB 13-1089 are Stephen Humphrey (R-District 48) in the House and Scott Renfroe (R-District 13) in the Senate — in Colorado, bills in either house of the legislature will have a sponsor in the other house. Listed as cosponsors are Perry Buck (R-District 49), Justin Everett (R-District 22), Chris Holbert (R-District 44), Janak Joshi (R-District 16), Dan Nordberg (R-District 14), Lori Saine (R-District 63), and James D. Wilson (R-District 60) in the House, and Kevin Grantham (R-District 2), Ted Harvey (R-District 30), and Owen Hill (R-District 10) in the Senate.

Glen Davidson said:

They are telling us that they want the right to have their own facts.

They do have that right. So far, they don’t have the right to use government funds to insist that these are the True and Everlasting Facts that those wishing to avoid eternal torment must believe.

However, they do hope to “improve” said lamentable situation.

Technically speaking, they don’t want the right to have their own facts if they are not allowed to thrust their own facts onto other people while brainwashing children. Because, after all, “freedom of religion” apparently means to these people “tricking the government into forcing people into believing as (you) do while having the government pay (you) a salary for doing it in the first place.”

Why cloning? Are they trying to claim people can’t be cloned, or that they’d be soulless or something?

scienceavenger said:

Why cloning? Are they trying to claim people can’t be cloned, or that they’d be soulless or something?

No doubt, I wish they would add the age of the earth, historical evidence that says their wasn’t a global flood around 4,000 years ago, or anything else Fundamentalist Christians don’t like. But I guess they wised up after a few court decisions, if only a tiny bit.

Perhaps the conservatives in the legislature think that people in Colorado will be to busy smoking legal marijuana to notice and object to what they are doing. My guess is that this won’t go over too well in a state that values excellence in education.

I’m not aware of a specifically religious objection to the scientific consensus on global warming. Perhaps there is one, but if the objections are, instead, economic and political – as they may well be in a fossil fuel producing state – then however ill-advised the bill is, that part might survive a court challenge. There is no constitutional prohibition on teaching merely bad science: a legislature that required teaching the phlogiston theory of chemistry as fact would be acting, foolishly, within its proper authority.

The global warming hypothesis runs counter to the free market religion, adopted by most Republicans, that says market activity can never lead to a result that we don’t like. Oh, and hippies are always wrong.

CJColucci said:

I’m not aware of a specifically religious objection to the scientific consensus on global warming. Perhaps there is one, but if the objections are, instead, economic and political – as they may well be in a fossil fuel producing state – then however ill-advised the bill is, that part might survive a court challenge. There is no constitutional prohibition on teaching merely bad science: a legislature that required teaching the phlogiston theory of chemistry as fact would be acting, foolishly, within its proper authority.

There is at least one Christian coalition, the Cornwall Alliance, that has outlined their objections to climate science and policy on the basis that it conflicts with their religious belief that God created a robust Earth, and a little CO2 isn’t going to do any harm (it can only do good, apparently).

Not surprisingly, they also use some oblique references to “intelligent design” and the distinct creation of Adam and Eve in their declaration and Statement of Faith. Notable, active climate denialist and cdesign proponentsist Roy Spencer is a signatory.

scienceavenger said: Why cloning? Are they trying to claim people can’t be cloned, or that they’d be soulless or something?

Yeah, that always irks me. They can’t tell the diference between a theory and a specific application of a technology? Just look at this, the top summary part of the bill:

The provisions of the acts direct teachers to create an environment that encourages students to intelligently and respectfully explore scientific questions and learn about scientific evidence related to biological and chemical evolution, global warming, and human cloning.

Evidence related to human cloning? What evidence? We don’t do it. The bill is directing teachers to teach about content that doesn’t exist. Section 23-5.5-104 is even worse: it protects discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories. What scientific theory of human cloning are they talking about?

eric said:

What scientific theory of human cloning are they talking about?

“Scientific theory” in conservaspeak = any sciency stuff we don’t like. Oh, and it’s only a guess.

“Scientific theory” in conservaspeak = any sciency stuff we don’t like. Oh, and it’s only a guess.

Well, I don’t like global warming, either, but for some reason my likes and dislikes have nothing to do with its accuracy.

CJColucci said:

I’m not aware of a specifically religious objection to the scientific consensus on global warming. Perhaps there is one, but if the objections are, instead, economic and political – as they may well be in a fossil fuel producing state – then however ill-advised the bill is, that part might survive a court challenge. There is no constitutional prohibition on teaching merely bad science: a legislature that required teaching the phlogiston theory of chemistry as fact would be acting, foolishly, within its proper authority.

That is a good point. While there are two strong arguments against teaching sectarian creationism - one, it’s illegal, and two, it would be silly to teach science denial as science even if it were legal - only the second applies to some justifications of climate denial.

However, the inevitable combination of climate change denial with evolution denial in these bills does illustrate an important point.

To understand the behavior of creationists, you have to perceive them as politically motivated authoritarians.

That is how they behave. It is important not to confuse them with other types, however objectionable you may find those other types, of religious people.

ID/Creationism is 99% to 100% percent associated with the same ideological agenda that climate change denial, HIV denial, and smoking/health denial are associated with.

With ID/creationists, there is usually the hidden motivation that ID/creationism is a non-negotiable component of a group ideology, the self-serving biases of which are usually critical to their sense of self. Furthermore, evolution denial is probably a code or proxy for other shared beliefs that cannot be as openly stated. By denying evolution, they signal a spectrum of other shared beliefs to each other.

You are almost never dealing with a person of independent mind and good faith who spontaneously came to creationist conclusions out of “stupidity”. Some of them may be stupid, others not, but evolution denial is a major component of a self-defining social and political ideology.

I can’t read their minds but I can observe and predict their behavior.

You can no more convince an individual creationist with facts and evidence than you can convince a climate denialist with facts and evidence. For largely the same reasons. It isn’t only about that denial in isolation. If that denial is questioned, an overall self-serving authoritarian ideology is questioned.

You have to understand that you are disputing their claims for the sake of third party observers.

Just Bob said:

eric said:

What scientific theory of human cloning are they talking about?

“Scientific theory” in conservaspeak = any sciency stuff we don’t like. Oh, and it’s only a guess.

The way these bills are drafted confuses saying that something is possible (human evolution or global warming) and advocating it (human cloning). Getting mixed up over which is which is a clear sign that the people drafting it did not understand these topics. But this language has survived through numerous bills in numerous states, and the Discovery Institute never issued any correction.

Apparently putting in human cloning is helpful in assembling a coalition to support the bill.

Shame on all of you for advocating human evolution, the Big Bang, and global warming!! If you’d stop advocating them, they wouldn’t happen. ;-)

So if people would just stop advocating the big bang, then that dark energy stuff would go away? :p

Joe Felsenstein said: Shame on all of you for advocating human evolution, the Big Bang, and global warming!! If you’d stop advocating them, they wouldn’t happen. ;-)

Even if that logic worked, those things would be far down on the list of my priorities. First would be stopping any advocacy for calories in beer.

To be submitted for ratification in every state where creationist legislation is proposed:

Whereas religious beliefs have played such an important role in history

Whereas there no consensus has emerged as to which religion of all of the thousands of religions is to be preferred

Whereas this controversy has been the direct cause of so much human suffering, including holy wars, jihads, witch hunts and crusades

Be it resolved that every student shall critically evolute their religious beliefs in order to determine if they can be justified

(What, you say this violates the principle of separation of church and state. Now you get it).

Well that might be the way you spell evaluate in some language.

Well that might be the way you spell evaluate in some language.

Actually we should teach the controversy; that is, teach the full range of spellings.

harold said:

CJColucci said:

I’m not aware of a specifically religious objection to the scientific consensus on global warming. Perhaps there is one, but if the objections are, instead, economic and political – as they may well be in a fossil fuel producing state – then however ill-advised the bill is, that part might survive a court challenge. There is no constitutional prohibition on teaching merely bad science: a legislature that required teaching the phlogiston theory of chemistry as fact would be acting, foolishly, within its proper authority.

That is a good point. While there are two strong arguments against teaching sectarian creationism - one, it’s illegal, and two, it would be silly to teach science denial as science even if it were legal - only the second applies to some justifications of climate denial.

However, the inevitable combination of climate change denial with evolution denial in these bills does illustrate an important point.

To understand the behavior of creationists, you have to perceive them as politically motivated authoritarians.

That is how they behave. It is important not to confuse them with other types, however objectionable you may find those other types, of religious people.

ID/Creationism is 99% to 100% percent associated with the same ideological agenda that climate change denial, HIV denial, and smoking/health denial are associated with.

With ID/creationists, there is usually the hidden motivation that ID/creationism is a non-negotiable component of a group ideology, the self-serving biases of which are usually critical to their sense of self. Furthermore, evolution denial is probably a code or proxy for other shared beliefs that cannot be as openly stated. By denying evolution, they signal a spectrum of other shared beliefs to each other.

You are almost never dealing with a person of independent mind and good faith who spontaneously came to creationist conclusions out of “stupidity”. Some of them may be stupid, others not, but evolution denial is a major component of a self-defining social and political ideology.

I can’t read their minds but I can observe and predict their behavior.

You can no more convince an individual creationist with facts and evidence than you can convince a climate denialist with facts and evidence. For largely the same reasons. It isn’t only about that denial in isolation. If that denial is questioned, an overall self-serving authoritarian ideology is questioned.

You have to understand that you are disputing their claims for the sake of third party observers.

I don’t disagree with any of that.

scienceavenger said:

Why cloning? Are they trying to claim people can’t be cloned, or that they’d be soulless or something?

All of these anti-science bills are part of the Republican War on Science, or read that, conservative Christian war on knowledge. Anyway, it’s something about science and how it’s controlled by “liberals” that scares the beejeasus out of these people and they think they can get control of their lives if they just ban stuff.

The “human cloning” thing always bugged me because it seemed so out of place other than from a “playing God” point of view. Anything that appears to threaten God in their lives is fair game: accelerated climate change, stem cell research, evolution, cloning, Big Bang, chemical evolution (origin of life) and string theory (!). And probably others I don’t recall at the moment.

In any case, no thought goes into these bills. The legislators simply copy and paste the Tooter’s boilerplate and let if fly. I doubt you could have a 30-second conversation on any of these subjects (or why they oppose them) with any of the bill’s proponents.

Now, some years ago there was a ruckus in Texas in the Midland-Odessa school district about having a “Bible as Literature” elective course in the high schools; strictly literature, no preaching, no slanting to one religion of another. And it passed and around Texas several school districts offer such courses. Of course, what’s really going on is Vacation Bible School without the crafts. It’s all fundamental Christian propaganda, preaching and proselytizing as a recent study has documented. Of the 57 districts offering Bible study, 44 are running Sunday School classes. Unlike the Kitzmiller situation these classes are all elective, none of them involve science departments and class credit is distributed between English, Social Studies and General credits. Google “mark chancey reading writing religion” for links to the study and more.

Doc Bill said:

All of these anti-science bills are part of the Republican War on Science, or read that, conservative Christian war on knowledge.

I guess I should have phrased my question better. I’m onto their true underlying agenda, I’m just curious what their public explanation is.

For example, what questions would they like children to ask about cloning?

scienceavenger said:

For example, what questions would they like children to ask about cloning?

If clones prove Darwin was wrong? Also, a Nazi?

I think it was Sen. Coburn who denied global warming on the premise that only God can affect the weather, and man can not. That was on the news some time ago when he was interviewed on the subject.

scienceavenger said:

Doc Bill said:

All of these anti-science bills are part of the Republican War on Science, or read that, conservative Christian war on knowledge.

I guess I should have phrased my question better. I’m onto their true underlying agenda, I’m just curious what their public explanation is.

Ah, well, that’s easy. They don’t have any. None. No explanation public or private. They don’t know why anything; they’re just agin’ it! Wassa matter wichoo???

In fact, if you ever get the dubious honor to talk to a state representative on the subject of science, and I wouldn’t recommend it right after you’ve eaten or if you can’t get your hands on some alcohol immediately, you’ll find that most of these Fine Public Servants haven’t studied up on science since high school. Well, unless you talk to a rep who’s also an MD then you’re going straight to the Twilight Zone, don’t pass Go.

It’s sad but none of these morons (broadly speaking) have the faintest idea what they’re promoting or opposing and it’s immediately obvious if you get the chance to as them the simplest question. I’m continually irritated by the Fourth Estate for letting these kooks off the hook time and time again. Never a follow-up question, never an analysis. For example, former State BOE Chairman Don McLeroy has stated in interviews that he believes the Earth is “six to ten thousand years old” and not a single reporter has ever exclaimed, “Are you out of your Vulcan mind???”

DavidK said:

I think it was Sen. Coburn who denied global warming on the premise that only God can affect the weather, and man can not. That was on the news some time ago when he was interviewed on the subject.

Senator James Inhofe (Republican, Oklahoma) stated that the Bible refutes climate change. From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, March 9, 2012:

On a radio show yesterday, Inhofe explained: “Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

Senator Inhofe’s comments were in reference to his recently published book: The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.

I provided a lengthy rebuttal at my blog under the title: Improper use of Scripture by Senator James Inhofe. Senator Inhofe is wrong.

Remember to get your, Leave no child behind, teach evolution” bumper sticker. http://www.cafepress.com/mf/1560983[…]=bioliteracy

What is striking about this article you wrote about, is that the writer refers to the 1500s as if it were the time when religious ideals were forced on people who would have been better off accepting the greater truths of the facts science. The only problem is that at that time, scientists thought that the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around us. The truth is that the bible wasn’t that bad of an option in light of the scientific discoveries of the time.

The flat earth of Genesis was better?

It’s sad that this article plays into all the typical anti-religious stereotypes of frightened group thinkers.

It’s sad that you write in tired cliches

Please reconsider your blatant double standard.

Please back up your evidence-free and dishonest charges.

Instead of being so polarized by fear, why not reasonably debate about the facts?

We have, and when you bozos lost on every scientific issue, you turned to slimy and false claims to try to smear those with whom you can’t compete in the free market of ideas.

Here are some facts:

Real facts are based on evidence, not the sheer prejudice of ignorant trolls.

Darwin’s evolutionary theory is having some trouble holding the line in light of recent findings over the past 10 to 20 years.

Sure, the genomes have double-checked the morphological inferences, showing that the tree of life was largely right (some of what were thought to be homologies turned out to be analogies, not surprisingly).

I’d like to see any data that seriously call into question today’s evolutionary theory. Darwin’s theory isn’t even the point, which only indicates how ignorant and reliant upon fraudulent sources you are.

The cell is much more complicated than Darwin could have ever imagined looking through his microscope at plant cells.

Really. Wow, I wonder why better microscopes were developed, other than because a whole lot was expected to be found.

For example the flagellum in certain bacteria poses lots of issues for evolution’s natural selection.

How does magic explain it?

Even the best theories to explain it in light of natural selection (the needle nose pump theory) fall short at this time.

So, where did the genetic homologies come from? Magic, GAs, the usual ignorance that creationists bring to science?

Now granted, maybe we will find a way to explain this with Darwin’s theory, but today there is indeed a debate.

I see. Well, why isn’t everything explained immediately and without study–you know, the creationist way?

Are you so frightened by the possibility of imperfection in Darwinian theory that you want to regulate information being taught in school?

Gee, who was trying to regulate information away from what the experts wanted? Your projector could light up a stadium.

That’s quite the agenda setting scheme.

That’s the standard dishonesty that we get from your side.

It sounds a lot like what the church used to do in the 1500s to control people.

What does, you ignorant troll? The manipulation from creationists like yourself? True, but that’s not us.

Surely you don’t want to share the likes in that category.

That’s why I’m not repeating a bunch of stupid creationist talking points, like you do.

Lastly, lets say for arguments sake that Darwin is right! Evolution is true!

Oh gee, you have absolutely no meaningful evidence for design, we have abundant evidence predicated by evolutionary causation. Should we “for arguments’ sake” assume something that has evidence, against junk that has absolutely no credible evidence?

But we still have one major problem—where did the ‘something’ come from to start the evolutionary process off at the very beginning?

Well, it’s like science might need to continue. Or am I supposed to throw up my hands and accept the ignorance you’re peddling?

Where did our common ancestor come from?

What could that possibly have to do with teaching evolution?

The 2nd law of Thermodynamics and Einstein’s theory of relativity, as annoying as it may be for our scientific, empirically fed minds, still suggests that there was a universal beginning.

I don’t doubt that science annoys you, but it doesn’t trouble me that there was a beginning to the universe. That’s one difference between those who favor knowledge over ignorance, and, well, you.

I’m not saying the answer is God.

Do you have a meaningful point, or just a lot of ignorance and hatred for those who favor science over stupidity?

But what I am saying is that when you strive to conceal the evidence of your opposition

Yes, you shouldn’t be working to poison the well of science, and throwing up stupid strawmen like “first cause” as if it has anything to do with the teaching of evolution. Too bad you’re as culpable as you ignorantly suppose that I am.

<(whether or not it’s true) you sound like a group of close-minded individuals

Blithering on with a bunch of dishonest claptrap fed to you by political operatives, while never bothering to learn the truth, provides strong evidence that you are hideously close-minded.’

who want to refuse people the right to learn about both sides of a historic debate.

Uh huh, exactly what your side is up to.

Are we not scientists?

You haven’t a clue about science, so no, “we” aren’t.

Do we not want to get to the bottom of the data?

Yes, we do, hence your endless stream of propaganda is extremely contrary to getting to any truth whatsoever.

If you are right about your theories, then why not calm down?

Says the ignorant troll who ranted the whole tired litany of BS that has nothing to do with truth.

You have nothing to worry about. Let the educators educate.

That was the idea from our side, while your side is trying to force their propaganda into science.

Glen Davidson

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

What the hell does that mean? Freedom to own antitank missiles? Freedom to revert to the hallowed “peculiar institution” of our Bible-believin’ ancestors in South Carolina? Freedom to decide for ourselves if we want to remain pregnant or not?

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

twoapplestobees said: Are you so frightened by the possibility of imperfection in Darwinian theory that you want to regulate information being taught in school?

I absolutely want to regulate the information being taught in school. Who wouldn’t? The state is compelling attendence of impressionable minors and lending its authority to what is taught: what the state says to such a captive audience should absolutely be regulated. Frankly, I wish there were more regulation, in the sense of national (federal) curriculum standards.

I’m amazed anyone would argue for letting state-funded teachers teach whatever they like, using the backing and power of the state, in a class that one’s child is compelled by law to attend. Is that really what you want?

What I am saying is that when you strive to conceal the evidence of your opposition

Heaven forbid! Okay, what evidence for Intelligent Design do you want to teach to kids. Put it out on the table here and I’ll discuss it with you.

Professor Wilberforce said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

Who’s stopping you?

No one here. Most likely what keeps you from rectifying your ignorance is appalling opposition to actual science, which you also desire to impose upon those who don’t know better. We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Professor Wilberforce said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Who’s stopping you?

No one here. Most likely what keeps you from rectifying your ignorance is appalling opposition to actual science, which you also desire to impose upon those who don’t know better.

To be sure, I’m guessing, but this is typical for ignorant trolls coming in with pious paeons to freedom, which are really intended to take away the science and leave the lies against it.

Glen Davidson

Moron babbled:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Except that what you and your moronic cohort twoapplestobees are proposing, i.e., teaching religiously inspired political propaganda in place of science, in science classrooms, will stop and destroy all free thought and inquiry.

Professor Wilberforce said:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Really SIr. As it just so happens, I find myself in a position of complete freedom with regards to these issues. You see, I have my own laboratory and equipment and no restrictions placed on what I can and cannot investigate. So SIr, if you would be so kind as to post the evidence and the arguments that you wish to explore, I should be more than happy to provide you with a detailed budget for my investigations. I can assure you that I am completely free to investigate any and all scientific evidence or hypotheses. Indeed, given sufficient funding, I believe that the results of such scientific investigations will be publishable in the scientific literature. I have had some small success in such endeavors in the past and look forward to continued success in the future, contingent on sufficient funding.

I must warn you however, that should your evidence and arguments prove to be of less than a scientific nature, while I would still be more than willing to receive payment for such investigations, I cannot however promise any success whatsoever in the publication of such results in the peer reviewed literature. You will understand Sir that such a state of affairs is not due to any restriction or lack of freedom, it is simply a question of the appropriateness of such investigations in the purely scientific realm. I trust that you can appreciate the usefulness of such restrictions and not confuse them with any lack of academic or civic freedom, a principle on which the great country in which I live is founded.

Or, perhaps the two morons Wilberforce and twoapplestobees could enlighten us by showing us some examples of the answers to Biology that Creationism, and not Evolutionary Biology, have produced?

I mean, actual, verifiable answers, and not inane just-so stories that require more magic and sorcerers than Middle Earth, the Enuma Elish, and Greek and Chinese mythology combined, like the destruction of the magic floating ice dome causing the Flood and extinction of the woolly mammoths, or that the coal deposits were formed by magic, floating forests and the corpses of everyone drowned in the Flood, or that Adam and Eve magically domesticated dinosaurs prior to the Fall.

I think we have had enough from the Wilberforce troll; it has so far said nothing of any interest. Please do not feed it any more. I will send further insubstantial pabulum to the bathroom wall.

Professor Wilberforce said:

apokryltaros said:

Moron babbled:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Except that what you and your moronic cohort twoapplestobees are proposing, i.e., teaching religiously inspired political propaganda in place of science, in science classrooms, will stop and destroy all free thought and inquiry.

My dear fellow, good science is all about questioning existing assumptions and received wisdom.

This just shows how much you know, ignoramus. Questioning F = ma does no good, and instead one builds upon it. That’s what science is really about, settling what can be settled, then moving on. Your pathetic caricature is only something that pseudoscientific idiots spout to excuse their ignorant attacks on good science.

There is nothing to be gained from attempting to suppress objections and the criticism of ideas.

There is nothing to be gained by crediting religiously-inspired attacks upon science. Or alien-belief based attacks on science, for that matter. The difference being that only the religious science haters try to have their lies taught as science (probably because the alien-believers are well aware that they have no majority of idiots, like yourself, that they can rely upon to push their idiocy, while you happily push your idiocy along with vast herds of other unthinking sheep), hence it is the present threat to education.

And it takes some concerted lying to pretend that not using government funds to tell children lies about science is suppression. Typical ignorance and lack of respect for honesty from you.

If something is well supported, it will stand on its own merits.

That’s right–among informed adults. The evil you intend is to poison the well of science by teaching less science plus lies against that science, so that children will have a tough time ever becoming informed adults. Ignorance is the basis of your beliefs, thus your interest is in spreading ignorance to others.

If it not, it should be allowed to fall.

Oh, right, let’s not teach modern physics alone to children, we’ll teach them both Newtonian physics and Aristotelian “physics.” Because children are the ones to decide between the two.

No, you don’t mean that, it’s evolution teaching that you need to have distorted to continue the disgusting ignorance to which you cling.

Dishonesty is rank in all of your postings, including, in all probability, your assumed term of “Professor” (if you in fact are, so much the worse that you’re such a pathetically ill-informed dolt spouting idiotic lies).

Glen Davidson

Matt Young said:

I think we have had enough from the Wilberforce troll; it has so far said nothing of any interest. Please do not feed it any more. I will send further insubstantial pabulum to the bathroom wall.

That would have saved me a few minutes had it been up prior to writing my last missive.

Glen Davidson

That would have saved me a few minutes had it been up prior to writing my last missive.

I am sorry, but I type as fast as I can, considering that I use only 1 finger on each hand.

Professor Wilberforce said:

apokryltaros said:

Moron babbled:

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

We need more freedom in the United States, not less.

The freedom to teach rot to trusting children?

Yes, the freedom to abuse, the highest right–to creationists.

Glen Davidson

My dear fellow, we need more freedom to inquire and to explore the evidence and the arguments made from them.

Except that what you and your moronic cohort twoapplestobees are proposing, i.e., teaching religiously inspired political propaganda in place of science, in science classrooms, will stop and destroy all free thought and inquiry.

My dear fellow, good science is all about questioning existing assumptions and received wisdom. There is nothing to be gained from attempting to suppress objections and the criticism of ideas. If something is well supported, it will stand on its own merits. If it not, it should be allowed to fall.

My dear fellow, you seem to be very badly confused.

The reason science denying sectarian dogma is not taught as “science” in taxpayer funded public schools is to protect freedom.

As long as they otherwise obey the law, people in the United States have the right to practice any religion they want, or not practice religion at all.

The First Amendment prevents the government from using tax dollars to favor any particular religious sect. This protects your freedom.

Of course, you are constrained from using tax dollars to preach your particular religiously-inspired science denial to the children of others, but this is worth it, because it prevents others from doing the same to you. This is the way all freedoms work.

But of course, you might have a serious scientific argument to make. I’m willing to listen. Let’s start with the following basic questions…

1) Could any evidence convince you of the theory of evolution, and if so, what type of evidence is now lacking, that would convince you, if present?

2) The Supreme Court ruled against the direct teaching of Biblical Young Earth Creationism as science in public schools; however, if that ruling were overturned, which would you support more, teaching of ID, or direct teaching of Bible-based YEC?

3) Do you think it is important for opponents of the theory of evolution to fully understand the theory of evolution? If so, can you explain it, and if not, can you explain why not?

4) Who is the designer? How can we test your answer?

5) What did that designer do? How can we test your answer?

6) How did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

7) When did the designer do it? How can we test your answer?

8) What is an example of something that was not designed by the designer?

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality? If they are not facts of physical reality, do you agree that some parts of the Bible are metaphorical in nature?

Matt Young said:

That would have saved me a few minutes had it been up prior to writing my last missive.

I am sorry, but I type as fast as I can, considering that I use only 1 finger on each hand.

Really? I’d like to see it, actually, since you must be faster than I’d be at that technique.

But I wasn’t complaining, I was just explaining why I fed the troll, which I’d not have done had I read it before posting.

Glen Davidson

Really? I’d like to see it, actually, since you must be faster than I’d be at that technique.

The problems with that system (if I may so glorify it) are that you can’t copy and the posture is bad. I use voice recognition when I have serious typing.

But I wasn’t complaining, I was just explaining why I fed the troll, which I’d not have done had I read it before posting.

I know – I was just being frivolous. Sorry if I upset you.

My dear chap, your intolerance for the views of others I find most distressing and alarming.

My dear young lady, the problem is that you have not stated any views and are merely annoying. As I said before, further comments will be sent to the bathroom wall, unless you suddenly post a substantive comment that actually bears response. Trolls like you come and go; hijacking threads and baiting us with platitudes will get you nowhere.

Another problem of these fake academic freedom bills is that all of their proponents lack good critical thinking skills. All of their “arguments” they use to justify the inclusion of Young Creationism/Intelligent Design/Cdesign Proponentsists-ism/anti-science propaganda into science curricula and the deliberate removal of science from science curricula, are all logical fallacies.

They argue “equal time,” nevermind that Creationism is not a science, and can not/can never be used to do science. They argue “teach the controversy,” nevermind that there is no controversy about whether or not Evolution occurs in the scientific community.

Then again, it is totally impossible to argue for the inclusion of Creationism in science curricula through merit, as our troll professor clearly demonstrates.

Professor Wilberforce said:

Matt Young said:

My dear chap, your intolerance for the views of others I find most distressing and alarming.

My dear young lady, the problem is that you have not stated any views and are merely annoying. As I said before, further comments will be sent to the bathroom wall, unless you suddenly post a substantive comment that actually bears response. Trolls like you come and go; hijacking threads and baiting us with platitudes will get you nowhere.

My dear fellow, I have indeed made my views known. I support freedom of instruction and inquiry in education, and believe that we should not try and suppress scientific objections to scientific theories even if there may be religious or political motivation for doing so.

But all the IDiots, creationuts and theoloons HAVE are religious and political motivations.

They try to slap a veneer of science on their ‘objections’, but anyone with even a passing understanding of real-world science can see through it.

Would you care to present a SCIENTIFIC objection to evolution, or would you like to indignantly posture some more ?

There are some chaps in this discussion who try and deny that, with respect to to the theory of evolution, that there are any valid criticisms of any of its components and aspects. I find that a most unfortunate and unhelpful position to assume.

Yes, REALITY can be quite unhelpful to the willfully ignorant.

Again : would you care to present a SCIENTIFIC objection to evolution ?

One not based on incredulity, willful ignorance, misinformation theory, improbability ‘calculations’, quote mining, etc ?

Professor Wilberforce said:

Matt Young said:

I think we have had enough from the Wilberforce troll; it has so far said nothing of any interest. Please do not feed it any more. I will send further insubstantial pabulum to the bathroom wall.

My dear chap, your intolerance for the views of others I find most distressing and alarming.

Stage Direction: The concern troll theatrically swoons and faints from Distress and Alarm at Intolerance for the Views of Others.

Professor Wilberforce said:

My dear fellow, I have indeed made my views known. I support freedom of instruction and inquiry in education, and believe that we should not try and suppress scientific objections to scientific theories even if there may be religious or political motivation for doing so. There are some chaps in this discussion who try and deny that, with respect to to the theory of evolution, that there are any valid criticisms of any of its components and aspects. I find that a most unfortunate and unhelpful position to assume.

Do you advocate teaching pseudoscience in the public schools?

ID/creationism is pseudoscience to the core. ID/creationism has a well-documented history of political shenanigans that attempt to sneak sectarian ideology into the science classroom under the guise of “science.” It started out as Creation “Science” by Henry Morris, who set up the Institute for Creation Research back in 1970. It morphed into Intelligent Design after the 1987 US Supreme Court decision on Edwards vs. Aguillard, and it has since been confirmed as a sectarian ruse to get around the law in Kitzmiller vs. Dover.

The twoapplestobees troll listed a whole series of misconceptions and misrepresentations of science that should not be used in science classrooms.

You apparently have no experience with pedagogical methods whatsoever. It is extremely bad teaching technique to throw out a bunch of garbage “science” for students to sort through in order to learn science. Teachers who take their professional responsibilities seriously, and who also obey the law, do not set out to deliberately confuse their students with fake science. They already have an extremely full plate of the correct science to teach.

There is not one advocate of ID/creationism who understands basic high school physics, chemistry, and biology; and that includes their dear leaders. Most don’t even have a very good middle school understanding. All you have to do is look at the twoapplestobees troll’s comment to observe the misconceptions, misrepresentations, and sheer ignorance ID/creationists want to perpetrate in the public schools. Good pedagogy and the law forbid it.

harold said:

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality? If they are not facts of physical reality, do you agree that some parts of the Bible are metaphorical in nature?

Dear harold,

I do not think that the question about the value of the pi is quite as relevant as your other questions.

I wish to bring to your attention a web page that explains many fundamental facts about pi. It is a short page - just one page.

http://www.answering-islam.org/Reli[…]rics/pi.html

Right on the bottom of the page, there is an explanation that many could deem even rational.

However, further up there is an alternative definition that I find much more pleasing.

But obviously the wisdom of God is greater than the wisdom of man:

In this verse the word for “circumference” (QaVa in Hebrew) is written with an extra letter (qavah).

Since in Hebrew all letters are also numbers, we can take the ratio of (the gematriacal value of) the unusual word form (qof, vaf, he ) to the regular word form (qof, vaf). Given that Qof = 100, Vaf = 6 and He = 5 we find that

( 111 / 106 ) = ( 3.14150943… / 3 )

Eric Finn said:

But obviously the wisdom of God is greater than the wisdom of man:

In this verse the word for “circumference” (QaVa in Hebrew) is written with an extra letter (qavah).

Since in Hebrew all letters are also numbers, we can take the ratio of (the gematriacal value of) the unusual word form (qof, vaf, he ) to the regular word form (qof, vaf). Given that Qof = 100, Vaf = 6 and He = 5 we find that

( 111 / 106 ) = ( 3.14150943… / 3 )

That’s all very well… but my KJV (and every other English translation I’ve ever seen) pretty plainly says that that vessel had a circumference exactly three times the diameter.

I know you’re not a creationist, but more than once I’ve seen the ploy of maintaining that the original Hebrew meant something different from the modern English translation (usually by someone eminently UNqualified to read or translate ancient Hebrew). One must wonder then why so many modern translations are so badly MIStranslated. Or could it be that the translators actually knew their business?

I recall one IBIG, who went so far as to claim that some stories in the Bible might have been so redacted and badly translated that the original meaning was wildly different from the current story. His handlers promptly killed him off (as a poster) after they realized what he had done.

Eric Finn said:

harold said:

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality? If they are not facts of physical reality, do you agree that some parts of the Bible are metaphorical in nature?

Dear harold,

I do not think that the question about the value of the pi is quite as relevant as your other questions.

I wish to bring to your attention a web page that explains many fundamental facts about pi. It is a short page - just one page.

http://www.answering-islam.org/Reli[…]rics/pi.html

Right on the bottom of the page, there is an explanation that many could deem even rational.

However, further up there is an alternative definition that I find much more pleasing.

But obviously the wisdom of God is greater than the wisdom of man:

In this verse the word for “circumference” (QaVa in Hebrew) is written with an extra letter (qavah).

Since in Hebrew all letters are also numbers, we can take the ratio of (the gematriacal value of) the unusual word form (qof, vaf, he ) to the regular word form (qof, vaf). Given that Qof = 100, Vaf = 6 and He = 5 we find that

( 111 / 106 ) = ( 3.14150943… / 3 )

That’s very interesting stuff, but you missed the point of the question. I don’t say this to be rude. Quite the contrary, you missed the point because you were able and wiling to provide a reasonable, honest answer (if I am interpreting it correctly). But because it is important, if you want to understand creationism, to understand that question.

9) Some parts of the Bible suggest that pi equals exactly three, and that the earth is flat and has four corners. Do you accept these as facts of physical reality? If they are not facts of physical reality, do you agree that some parts of the Bible are metaphorical in nature?

Granted pi is an abstract concept, but a very simple honest answer, which could be given by most Christians worldwide, and could since at least the fourth century CE, would be, “No, those statement are not facts, and yes, the Bible contains metaphors, symbolic language, approximations, etc”. Effectively, this is the answer you are giving.. That is a reasonable answer.

But ID/creationists can never give an honest answer to that question. That is why it is there. Because it demonstrates that they can’t honestly answer it.

Why can’t they? Because ID/creationism is part of a broader social/political/religious authoritarian movement, and pandering to claims of “Biblical literalism” is part of that movement. Symbolic or approximate language is not “literal” language. They can’t contradict “Biblical literalism” because a major point of ID/creationism is to pander to right wing authoritarians who proclaim “Biblical literalism”. So they can’t admit that those parts of the Bible are not literally true.

Okay, so then why can’t just say “Yes, if it’s from the Bible it must be true (either the earth is still flat, or once was, and so on)”?

They can’t say that either, because ID was invented to disguise religious creationist claims, in an effort (so far, failed) to have it taught as “science” in public schools without losing court cases.

All ID/creationists I have observed to date are always constrained by the following rules -

1) They can essentially never admit that anything is ever reasonably explained by evolution. (Because of this, you will notice, they can never perfectly honestly describe the theory of evolution. They always have to use straw man versions and/or simplistic, misleading language. Because if you describe it honestly it makes sense, and they can’t admit that.)

2) They can never openly contradict young earth creationism (because that’s what they’re secretly promoting). They can and do constantly claim that “ID isn’t religious” or “ID isn’t creationism” (that’s the whole point of the ruse), but they can never, never ever say something like “the earth is definitively billions of years old”, “humans share common ancestry with other modern apes but the bacterial flagellum was designed”, or “some part of the Bible is not literally true”.

3) They can never openly admit YEC, either (because the point of their existence is to secretly promote disguised, stealth creationism).

They used constrained but verbose and dissembling language to promote confusion, while secretly serving a disguised agenda. That is why direct, simple, logical questions are an anathema to them.

Prediction - if any ID/creationist attempts to “rebut” this comment, they will actually do so in a way that validates it.

harold said:

That’s very interesting stuff, but you missed the point of the question. […]

Maybe I missed the point, or maybe I thought that there might be even better ways to point out the problems related to the so-called literal reading.

Anyway, I like your questions, especially the questions 1 to 3 and also the question number 8.

harold said:

All ID/creationists I have observed to date are always constrained by the following rules -

1) They can essentially never admit that anything is ever reasonably explained by evolution. (Because of this, you will notice, they can never perfectly honestly describe the theory of evolution. They always have to use straw man versions and/or simplistic, misleading language. Because if you describe it honestly it makes sense, and they can’t admit that.)

I agree with this statement. Surely, you have more experience in detecting these kinds on phenomena than I have, but one doesn’t really need to be an expert to see this.

I would like to present a cookbook for creationist debaters :

[Introduction starts]

Debate is a game of words, nothing more and nothing less. Your task is to prove the silliness of the theory of biological evolution.

If the biological evolution is a too obvious as an explanation, you can simply call it devolution. And once again the theory of evolution has received a major blow. Evolution does not explain anything, but the creationist devolution explains everything. Do not overdo this manoeuvre, though, but quickly go to the details.

Always go to the fine details of biology, preferably genetics. It is possible to argue practically forever, whether a given feature or a NDA sequence is evolved, devolved or designed. Remember to refer to recent scientific literature. It doesn’t matter what the paper says, because your main audience won’t read it, and because it supports your point – maybe subtly, but supports anyway. At least there will reasonable doubt that it might support your position – somehow.

It is always best to stick to the details. However, if you are challenged to discuss the fundamentals, meet the challenge head on and keep pointing out the fundamental flaws in the theory of evolution. Never try to formulate a competing theory. It is also good to point out that there are many definitions for the word “evolution”. Try to pretend that you don’t know what the biological evolution means (you may bring the “chemical evolution” of elements in the discussion), but at the same time offer selected quotes from Darwin, thus showing that you have done your homework. Entropy is a good concept against the theory of evolution. However, you should be aware that even biologists are nowadays familiar with the concept of entropy in thermodynamics. Move quickly but fluently to the concept of information. This works every time, since biologists do not understand that the existing mathematical definitions of information have nothing to do with the biological evolution. Quite the contrary, they love to discuss information and to present examples, and you will be safely back in the details. You may refer to Shannon and Kolmogorov, but never stick to them. If you are asked to define the information you are talking about, go to examples. There are plenty of them.

The use of convoluted language is a must in the struggle against the evil theory of evolution. The main thing to keep in mind is that whatever your opponent says, it actually supports your position and makes your opponent look ignorant.

[End of introduction]

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on January 23, 2013 10:22 AM.

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