Anti-science bills in 6 states – in January alone

| 130 Comments

Update, February 4, 2013. NCSE has just reported that the Colorado bill has failed to make it out of committee. First in the nation, for this year at least! Unhappily, the vote was 7-6, which is entirely too close for comfort.

January is barely gone, the groundhog may or may not have seen his shadow, and the National Center for Science Education reports that already 8 anti-science bills have been filed in 6 states: Colorado, Missouri (two bills), Montana, Oklahoma (two bills), Arizona, and Indiana.

As Barbara Forrest notes, “Creationists never give up.” The bills have been carefully sanitized, but all will allow teachers to teach the purported strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, most commonly “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” According to NCSE, the bills are also generally “protective” in that they forbid state and local authorities to prohibit such teaching. The bills pretend to foster debate, but the language is clearly code words for creationism.

The Daily Kos, incidentally, credits (if that is the right word) the American Legislative Exchange Council for planting at least three of the bills. In an article on The Revisionaries (which we reviewed here), the Boulder Daily Camera credits the Discovery Institute – not that ALEC and the DI are mutually exclusive. The DI’s Casey Luskin told the Camera, “The Academic Freedom bills must not be construed to represent religion. The language of the bill expressly does not permit the promotion of religion in the classroom.”

We reported here that the Colorado bill is probably dead on arrival; perhaps readers can report on the other bills. It may be a long year, but NCSE notes that, in the last decade, only 2 out of 40 bills have actually been enacted: Louisiana in 2008 and Tennessee in 2012. Barbara Forrest attributes the bills to the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial in which the judge declared teaching intelligent-design creationism in the public schools to be unconstitutional. Although always keeping their eyes on the prize, creationists are now pushing academic freedom and teaching the “controversy,” but not – God forbid – religion.

130 Comments

The language of the bill expressly does not permit the promotion of religion in the classroom.

Never religion, just this:

a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions. –Wedge Document

OT, there’s a slimy parasite infesting the forum

Glen Davidson

Professor Wilberforce said:

Here is a petition in support of the teaching of intelligent design in the classroom:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/[…]gent-design/

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 statements as facts?

If any of these bills get passed and result in pressure on science teachers to “permit” ID/creationist “objections” to science, professional societies will have to step up their efforts to prepare science teachers to confront ID/creationist distortions of science.

There can be no implicit requirement in any law that would force a science teacher to bamboozle students with pseudoscience as a teaching strategy. I know a little bit about how pressure is put on teachers; and the reply to that pressure can be that it is professionally irresponsible for a teacher to pretend that “strength and weaknesses” arguments based on caricatures of science represent a legitimate teaching strategy.

As to such laws giving protection to ID/creationist teachers, it can also be the responsibility of the science departments in public schools to make sure that their teachers are not teaching pseudoscience; and ID/creationism is and always has been pseudoscience.

One doesn’t have to get tangled up with accusations of “religious discrimination.” The issues with ID/creationist teachers need to center on their misrepresentations and misconceptions about science. At the high school level, these misconceptions and misrepresentations span all of chemistry, physics, and biology.

If there could ever be a positive side to such heinous ID/creationist laws, it could be that they spur good teachers to hone their understanding of the basics as well as to become more effective at dealing with misconceptions and misrepresentations of science by sectarian ideologists.

In something like fifty years of studying ID/creationist misconceptions and misrepresentations, I have discovered that there are misconceptions and misrepresentations that are characteristic of ID/creationists; you seldom see these distortions anywhere else. They are out there floating around in society along with many other misconceptions. Instructors at all levels of education eventually come up against them not only in their students, but discover that they themselves have wrinkles in their own understanding that need to be addressed.

So, as annoying and as unnecessarily time-consuming as ID/creationist misconceptions and misrepresentations are, they can be turned against their political shenanigans in a way that can make them regret what they wished for.

At the moment I can recall only one encounter in which I was confronted with a hostile challenge from a sectarian; but my experience with their misconceptions and misrepresentations allowed me to send a message to that community, and I was never tag teamed or challenged by them again. At least in my own experience, once they discover that an instructor can nail them on their misconceptions and misrepresentations, they quickly back down. Besides, nearly all of them are simply working from a script they don’t understand. You can be polite; but you don’t need to leave any doubt either.

To take an example from the Wilberforce troll’s link:

We believe that appropriate material excerpted from peer-reviewed/edited journal articles and books that advance intelligent design as an alternative to the Darwinian paradigm (and all other models involving unguided and accidental processes) should be included within the science curriculum.

The minute they have to come up with specifics, they’re dead. All those “excerpted materials” are saturated with misconceptions misrepresentations that don’t belong in any high school science course. That very petition already has them.

Professor Wilberforce said:

harold said: 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?

I am just the messenger. I am agnostic about the the validity of the theory of evolution.

Then answer the question (and the rest of them). What additional evidence would convince you?

Professor Wilberforce said:

Mike Elzinga said: If any of these bills get passed and result in pressure on science teachers to “permit” ID/creationist “objections” to science, professional societies will have to step up their efforts to prepare science teachers to confront ID/creationist distortions of science.

Would you oppose students being introduced to Chapter VI of The Origin of Species that contains all the difficulties and objections associated with Darwin’s theory of natural selection?

Right, let’s use dated materials due to your dishonest caricature of evolution as being a mere creation of one man.

Your level of discourse remains as disingenuous, ill-informed, and slimy as ever.

Glen Davidson

Would you oppose students being introduced to Chapter VI of The Origin of Species that contains all the difficulties and objections associated with Darwin’s theory of natural selection?

You mean cherry-picking? They can’t read the entire book? They can’t become familiar with the theory as it stands today?

Professor Wilberforce wrote -

I think the theory of evolution has its many merits and also its many weaknesses.

What specific additional evidence would address what your perceive as weaknesses?

I think it has some explanatory and predictive power, but that it is not (yet) sufficient to comprehensively explain the diversity and complexity of life on earth. I think that many evolutionary biologists recognize this fact but are unwilling to say so for fear of rebuke or castigation. I think we should acknowledge this rather than teach students that everything is already known and solved.

If this is your concern, then I can reassure you (although I am also compelled to wonder where you got such a paranoid idea).

The job of evolutionary biologists is to continue to expand our understanding of evolution, often at a very detailed level. Thus, their job is the opposite of claiming that everything is already known.

It is, in fact, creationists who teach want to teach that everything is already known.

However, your original comment linked to a recommendation that Intelligent Design be taught. As Judge Jones pointed out, simply finding faults with the teaching of evolution, even valid faults (which you have not presented) would not justify the teaching of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design must have some merit of its own, to justify it being taught. I’m willing to listen.

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?

But a teacher should not be flayed for dwelling upon Chapter VI more than the other chapters.

Such a teacher should be fired for distorting the truth and malpractice. You need to answer Harold’s excellent questions.

Professor Wilberforce said:

harold said:

Professor Wilberforce said:

harold said: 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?

I am just the messenger. I am agnostic about the the validity of the theory of evolution.

Then answer the question (and the rest of them). What additional evidence would convince you?

I think the theory of evolution has its many merits and also its many weaknesses. I think it has some explanatory and predictive power, but that it is not (yet) sufficient to comprehensively explain the diversity and complexity of life on earth. I think that many evolutionary biologists recognize this fact but are unwilling to say so for fear of rebuke or castigation. I think we should acknowledge this rather than teach students that everything is already known and solved.

True Professor B Wilderself sets up a classic straw man and then knocks it down and has a little self-congratulatory victory dance. He cannot name a single, solitary evolutionary biologist who will claim that the theory of evolution exhaustively explains the diversity and complexity of life on earth. Nobody teaches that everything is already known and solved. Nobody even thinks that, because it’s presumptuous, ridiculous, and untrue. There is no fear of rebuke or castigation for holding such a view. The view is virtually universal.

Poor old True Professor. He can’t even profess his own convictions without fabrication.

Professor Wilberforce said:

harold said: However, your original comment linked to a recommendation that Intelligent Design be taught. As Judge Jones pointed out, simply finding faults with the teaching of evolution, even valid faults (which you have not presented) would not justify the teaching of Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design must have some merit of its own, to justify it being taught. I’m willing to listen.

At the end of the petition, it is mentioned that the “design inference” is used in fields as diverse as radio astronomy and paleontology. This is an unacknowledged fact that Judge Jones overlooked because he was not competent to decide on such matters of science.

As for the theory of evolution by natural selection, its greatest weakness appears to be the fact that it is eminently unfalsifiable as leading biologists have themselves admitted:

“The theory of evolution is unfalsifiable… If an animal evolves one way, biologists have a perfectly good explanation; but if it evolves some other way, they have an equally good explanation… . The theory is not … a predictive theory as to what must happen.” C. H.Waddington, “Summary Discussion,” in Mathematical Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, ed. Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan (Philadelphia: Wistar Institute Press, 1967), 98.

I’ll leave it to others to fully expound on your reliance on false analogy, and your obsession with grossly out of date and inaccurate sources.

I’d like to know whether you will ever reply to my direct questions, if not I’d like to know why not.

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?

Professor Wilberforce,

At least give us an idea of when you will be answering Harold’s questions. Or don’t you plan to answer them? If you don’t plan on answering them, we’d like to know. Hope to hear from you soon!!

Professor Wilberforce said:

I think that many evolutionary biologists recognize this fact but are unwilling to say so for fear of rebuke or castigation. I think we should acknowledge this rather than teach students that everything is already known and solved.

PW

This assertion suggests very strongly that you have never had a biology course; not even at the high school level.

Why do you make assertions about things you know absolutely nothing about?

Are you going to answer harold’s questions?

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

So the arrogant idiotic troll, Professor Wilberforce has returned to hijack another thread.

Has he explained to us why we should listen to his dishonest pleading, even though he demonstrates a profound lack of honesty, extreme incompetency in understanding science and science education, and a profound refusal to tell us what his point is beyond propagating science illiteracy and being a science-hating idiot?

Also, anyone want to place bets that Wilberforce will never answer harold’s questions?

Karen S. said:

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

Although, is Professor Wilberforce the banned troll Atheistoclast?

These anti-science bills never explain why it’s so important to “teach the strengths and weaknesses” of topics to students before they have a chance to even understand the topic, nor do these bills explain why “teach(ing) the strengths and weaknesses” means “forcefeeding students recycled Creationist anti-science propaganda without teaching any actual science”

Of course, neither do their authors nor supporters can bother to explain why, either.

Professor Wilberforce said:

Mike Elzinga said: If any of these bills get passed and result in pressure on science teachers to “permit” ID/creationist “objections” to science, professional societies will have to step up their efforts to prepare science teachers to confront ID/creationist distortions of science.

Would you oppose students being introduced to Chapter VI of The Origin of Species that contains all the difficulties and objections associated with Darwin’s theory of natural selection?

I suspect that you haven’t even read Darwin’s The Origin of Species. In fact, I don’t believe you have read Chapter VI of that book.

It is clear, however, that you don’t know anything about modern biology.

Do you also advocate teaching Mach’s objections to the existence of atoms?

apokryltaros said:

Karen S. said:

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

Although, is Professor Wilberforce the banned troll Atheistoclast?

That whole bit about teaching old objections in the Origin does sound like Atheistoclast/Bozo Joe. And it’s been explained to him how outdated it is (especially, the lack of transitionals has been rectified a great deal since then), but he’s never honest enough to deal with that, unless he’s just that stupid (I doubt it, although keenness of mind isn’t at all apparent, either).

Glen Davidson

These anti-science bills never explain why it’s so important to “teach the strengths and weaknesses” of topics to students before they have a chance to even understand the topic

That we already know. If you can’t convince educated scientists that your hypothesis is correct, go for the schoolboys and schoolgirls, who are more likely to fall for it.

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

apokryltaros said:

Karen S. said:

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

Although, is Professor Wilberforce the banned troll Atheistoclast?

That whole bit about teaching old objections in the Origin does sound like Atheistoclast/Bozo Joe. And it’s been explained to him how outdated it is (especially, the lack of transitionals has been rectified a great deal since then), but he’s never honest enough to deal with that, unless he’s just that stupid (I doubt it, although keenness of mind isn’t at all apparent, either).

Glen Davidson

So do the transparently affected Britishisms, and the patently defensive adoption of the title Professor.

Stand back, old chap! I’m a Professor!

Professor Wilburmoron (no need to be polite to an obvious provocateur) wrote:

As for the theory of evolution by natural selection, its greatest weakness appears to be the fact that it is eminently unfalsifiable as leading biologists have themselves admitted:

Then referred to a quaint quote from back in 1967. Negative, Wilburmoron, if the phylogenetic analysis of genetic material and proteins had come out differently, confused and with no hierarchy or correlation to other biological hierarchies then the modern theory of evolution would have been in trouble. However, it didn’t. In fact all evidence uncovered to this very day supports the theory quite nicely.

So, Wilburmoron, you can shove your “unfalsifiable” idea where the sun don’t shine because you’re just flat wrong. See you on the ark, baby.

phhht said:

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

apokryltaros said:

Karen S. said:

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

Although, is Professor Wilberforce the banned troll Atheistoclast?

That whole bit about teaching old objections in the Origin does sound like Atheistoclast/Bozo Joe. And it’s been explained to him how outdated it is (especially, the lack of transitionals has been rectified a great deal since then), but he’s never honest enough to deal with that, unless he’s just that stupid (I doubt it, although keenness of mind isn’t at all apparent, either).

Glen Davidson

So do the transparently affected Britishisms, and the patently defensive adoption of the title Professor.

Stand back, old chap! I’m a Professor!

If “Professor” Wilberforce has awarded himself the title, he is either a music teacher, or the operator of a Punch and Judy show.

Kevin B said:

phhht said:

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

apokryltaros said:

Karen S. said:

Come back, professor w! No need to be shy about answering questions!

Although, is Professor Wilberforce the banned troll Atheistoclast?

That whole bit about teaching old objections in the Origin does sound like Atheistoclast/Bozo Joe. And it’s been explained to him how outdated it is (especially, the lack of transitionals has been rectified a great deal since then), but he’s never honest enough to deal with that, unless he’s just that stupid (I doubt it, although keenness of mind isn’t at all apparent, either).

Glen Davidson

So do the transparently affected Britishisms, and the patently defensive adoption of the title Professor.

Stand back, old chap! I’m a Professor!

If “Professor” Wilberforce has awarded himself the title, he is either a music teacher, or the operator of a Punch and Judy show.

No matter. It’s risibly pompous, and it smacks loudly of appeal to authority.

I say, old man! You can’t contradict me. (narrows eyes) I’m a Professor!

Professor Wilberforce said:

harold said: I’d like to know whether you will ever reply to my direct questions, if not I’d like to know why not.

Very well, old boy. If you insist.

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?

I am already convinced that evolution can and does happen. I don’t know anyone who does not. I just am not sure as to the extent to which living things can evolve and change over time through chance and necessity.

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?

The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of abortion against the wishes of the people. I don’t take the politically-motivated rulings of judges all that seriously.

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?

Absolutely. I think most critics of the theory are informed.

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

As I understand it, a design inference can only show that something has been designed rather than who the designer is.

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

I suspect that he/it designed something. We can test this using the methodology of the established design inference which differentiates between design and non-design.

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

An interesting question, but one which exceeds the scope of observation and inference.

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

Can you be more specific?

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

The color traits of white skin, blue eyes and blond hair.

Oh yeah, that sure sounds like atheistoclast. His cavalier disrespect for the law of the land is what nailed it.

The e-mail address does not appear to be that of Atheistoclast. I think it is a new troll. It may live in the UK, though the style strikes me as more supercilious and affected than British. I cannot tell you whether it is truly confused or just baiting you, but the reference to the design inference suggests confusion.

Matt,

Even though Joe has been permanently banned he has come back several times using different names in a vain attempt to propagate his insane ideas. Please check the ISP, confirm that he is once again here against the rules and ban him again.

Thank you.

Matt Young said:

The e-mail address does not appear to be that of Atheistoclast. I think it is a new troll. It may live in the UK, though the style strikes me as more supercilious and affected than British. I cannot tell you whether it is truly confused or just baiting you, but the reference to the design inference suggests confusion.

Well if you can’t positively confirm that this is Joe yet, at least ban it to the bathroom wall please.

Thanks.

Professor B Wilderself said:

…the “design inference”…

What is the basis of your “inference?” See, old spice, I don’t think even an advocate like your professorial self can tell design from not-design. Show us how it’s done! Answer these questions!

How can you tell that this given rock is not designed?

And then there is the pattern in the sandpile: designed, or not?

And how about tornadoes? Designed, or not?

And most important, how can you tell? See, I think you’re full of shit, excuse my impudence sir, so I need to see how you manage that particular trick.

You just can’t answer the questions honestly, can you?

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?

I am already convinced that evolution can and does happen. I don’t know anyone who does not. I just am not sure as to the extent to which living things can evolve and change over time through chance and necessity.

You’ve been called out on that dodge before. What further evidence would be needed to convince you that the diversity and relatedness of the biosphere are well-explained by biological evolution? Specifically what evidence could we provide?

At this point your answer can be deduced - there is no evidence that you would care about.

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?

The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of abortion against the wishes of the people. I don’t take the politically-motivated rulings of judges all that seriously.

That’s an irrelevant evasion; the question was, if both could be taught, which would you prefer to have taught?

However, your real answer can be deduced. Since you don’t like the SCOTUS ruling, you must want full blown YEC taught as “science”.

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?

Absolutely. I think most critics of the theory are informed.

No, the question says “CAN YOU EXPLAIN IT?”. You haven’t shown that YOU can explain it.

Again, the true answer can be deduced. You can’t. You’ve made sufficient utterly ignorant statements to demonstrate that.

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

As I understand it, a design inference can only show that something has been designed rather than who the designer is.

Well then, that’s pretty worthless.

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

I suspect that he/it designed something. We can test this using the methodology of the established design inference which differentiates between design and non-design.

So you won’t say who the designer is, or what the designer designed.

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

An interesting question, but one which exceeds the scope of observation and inference.

So you won’t say who the designer is, what the designer designed, or how the designer designed it, and you want this taught in public school as “science”.

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

Can you be more specific?

No, I can’t. I can’t because you won’t tell me who the designer is or what the designer did. You see, what I’m asking here is, whoever the designer is, whatever the designer did, and however he/she/it/they did it, when did that happen? But since you won’t tell me who the designer is, what the designer did, or how the designer did it, I can’t be more specific.

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

The color traits of white skin, blue eyes and blond hair.

That is a most peculiar answer.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be you. I can’t imagine being a hypocrite, secretly trying to promote a religion that condemns lying, by lying. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be obsessed with talking back to the adults over and over again long after your lies have been caught. The obsessive ones just don’t give up.

C’mon Prof Wilburfarce! We want to hear from you!

Good work everyone. You might also explain the real reason for academic freedom, and why its proper place is in the university. A high school kid should be learning the scientific basics: the consensus view of the vast majority of mainstream scientists. That’s the only way a kid is going to be be prepared for science classes at the university. Learning about Bill Dembski’s beliefs (subject always to Baptist Seminary crackdowns) just doesn’t cut it.

Just Bob said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

No progress of ID: Intelligent Design has made no scientific progress, a hallmark of pseudo science

[Karen S]

Related to Karen’s suggestion: ID proponents are never able to articulate any possible USE for ID-inspired “science”? How would ID enhance the researches of scientists? What problems could be better addressed by ID than by ‘naturalistic’ science? What new cures would be discovered or technology developed that are impossible under the ‘naturalistic’ paradigm? There is no obvious or even plausible way in which ID would actually make science more productive for society; and there are obvious ways that it can stifle science (the designer made it that way and we can’t know why).

Since ID does not even propose to be a USEFUL or PRODUCTIVE adjunct to the scientific endeavor, the only remaining reason for its proponents wanting to include it in public school curricula must be to promote belief in their own religious stories, in disregard of other parents’ beliefs or disbelief, and in contravention of the Constitutional protection that prevents government from favoring any religion over others.

Wait a minute, they want credit for opposing the term ‘junk DNA’ and what do you know, it wasn’t all junk. Where would science be without ID to keep it on the narrow path? ;)

Rolf said:

Wait a minute, they want credit for opposing the term ‘junk DNA’ and what do you know, it wasn’t all junk. Where would science be without ID to keep it on the narrow path? ;)

Ending world hunger, discovering the answers to billion-year-old mysteries, building hoverboards, and building Moon-Utopias III through XII.

Another thing to add to the list: ID is not testable. How, for instance, would a scientist control for the action of intelligent designers in a laboratory experiment? Are designers causing evolution in Lenski’s e. coli experiments, or even hampering it? ID advocates make this problem especially difficult by refusing to answer any questions about the designer. You can’t nail jello to the wall.

You can’t nail jello to the wall.

Maybe duct tape instead of nail?

Maybe duct tape instead of nail?

Now that’s intelligent design!

Karen S. said:

You can’t nail jello to the wall.

I can. It’s called “finger jello”. All one needs to do is vary the H2O component using methodological naturalism and the problem is solved. Prayer, on the other hand, doesn’t work so well.

One of the proposed Missouri bills is worthy of note due to its lengthy list of amazingly unscientific definitions. This goes well beyond simple “intelligent design” .

This Missouri bill probably won’t make it far, and hopefully Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin, who proposed this, will have a very short political career.

His definitions include:

“Hypothesis”, a scientific theory reflecting a minority of scientific opinion which may lack acceptance because it is a new idea, contains faulty logic, lacks supporting data, has significant amounts of conflicting data, or is philosophically unpopular. One person may develop and propose a hypothesis;”

And:

“ “Scientific theory”, an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy. The inferred explanation may be proven, mostly proven, partially proven, unproven or false and may be based on data which is supportive, inconsistent, conflicting, incomplete, or inaccurate. The inferred explanation may be described as a scientific theoretical model;”

And one some of us may be surprised to find in a list of terms supposedly dealing with science, destiny:

“ “Destiny”, the events and processes that define the future of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, plant life, animal life, and the human race and which may be founded upon faith-based philosophical beliefs;”

The bill gives a lengthy list of such terms, See: http://www.house.mo.gov/billtrackin[…]/HB0291I.htm

Also described here: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/201[…]ri-evolution

Hopefully the other bills end up “losing” too. Just

Like Dover. My computer messed up.

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