I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Merry-go-round to hell


On the Uncommon Descent blog, William Dembski said,

Since 1999, Kansas has now swung four times on the question of science standards and whether evolutionary theory should be properly scrutinized or swallowed whole. Below is the latest. This war will not be decided by courts, legislators, or school boards, but by young people as they wake up to the fact that dogmatic Darwinists have been systematically indoctrinating and disenfranchising them. Just as the counterculture of the 60s overturned the status quo, so a new counterculture, with high school, college, and university students taking the lead, will overturn the Darwinian status quo.

Evolution Opponents Lose in Kansas Primary
By John Hanna
Associated Press
posted: 02 August 2006

Control of the school board has slipped into, out of and back into conservative Republicans’ hands since 1998, resulting in anti-evolution standards in 1999, evolution-friendly ones in 2001 and anti-evolution ones again last year.

He's right. For years, critics of Darwinism have been banging their heads against a wall in a futile effort to get legislators, school boards, and the courts to allow even the slightest criticism of Darwinism in public-school science classrooms. It is time to get off this merry-go-round to hell and target the students themselves directly. Legislators, school board members, and judges are soon going to find themselves irrelevant.

There has also been see-sawing in Ohio. After the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision was released on December 20, the Ohio Board of Education held an "emergency" vote in January on whether to keep the evolution lesson plan that included critical analysis of evolution (the only "emergency" was that the board wanted to avoid hearing public comments before voting), and voted to keep it. Then in February the Ohio BOE held another "emergency" vote on the plan and voted to delete it but invited a replacement. Now the board is considering another science standard calling for critical analysis of evolution. See http://science2.marion.ohio-state.edu/ohioscience/

The courts have also been giving the runaround. In an oral hearing on the Selman v. Cobb County textbook sticker case at an appeals court in December 2005, the judges noted that important evidence was missing but also appeared to be leaning toward reversal because of reasons that had nothing to do with the missing evidence. However, after five months of stalling, the appeals court remanded the case to the district court because of the missing evidence, a huge 16 months after the district court decision was released.

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31 Comments:

Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

That is a clever cartoon, Larry(?).

I would caution you, however, on using a cartoon coming from your opponents.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:34:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

*Sigh!* It looks like the WorldNet folks have put their scientific illiteracy on display again.

This sentence originally read, "Using the direct measurements, the scientists calculated the galaxy's distance as 3.14 million miles from Earth – a distance about a half million light years farther than had been previously believed."

To WND's credit, they immediately corrected "miles" to "light years" (I may have been the first to point out the error to them).

It's kind of a bad error, though. In the first place, no one uses "miles" to discuss astronomy. And the number's scale is not even "solar system".

I might be inclined to let it pass, but the accompanying poll shows 53% of readers agreeing with the opinion that the Earth is 6000 years old.

BTW, I'm with the 9% who say, "There was no beginning – the universe has always existed." There are several problems with the "Big Bang" -- the worst is the "Great Wall of Galaxies" that has to be at least 50 billion years old.

When it comes to moral calculus, however, WND does quite well.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said --

>>>>>That is a clever cartoon ...... I would caution you, however, on using a cartoon coming from your opponents.<<<<<<

I think that the cartoon is appropriate here -- it represents the flip-flopping of the Kansas BOE's position on evolution education.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< I think that the cartoon is appropriate here ... >

I did not say it wasn't "appropriate" (as cartoons have to be and usually are, else they fall flat). I'm just surprised that it seems not to bother you that you are being satirized as a "knuckle-dragger" in it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

BTW, Larry(?), do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts regarding my attempts to rescue science and religion from the muddle of improper cross-breeding? Do you think those are off-topic?

Saturday, August 05, 2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> I think that the cartoon is appropriate here ... >

I did not say it wasn't "appropriate" (as cartoons have to be and usually are, else they fall flat). I'm just surprised that it seems not to bother you that you are being satirized as a "knuckle-dragger" in it.<<<<<<

I see the pro-censorship Darwinists as the "knuckle-draggers."

Anyway, I think that you are spoiling the cartoon by dissecting it and analyzing it in detail. My posting of the cartoon was not intended to present a particular point of view. I think that one of the nice things about the cartoon is that it can be interpreted in different ways.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> I see the pro-censorship Darwinists as the "knuckle-draggers." <

You seem to believe that repeating nonsense gives it some credibility. It is the anti-Darwinists that first attempted censorship and would like nothing better today. The pro Darwin group just does not want religion disguised as science. If someone wanted to teach ID as mythology and provide a warning that it was mythology, I don't think many pro Darwin people would object.

> Anyway, I think that you are spoiling the cartoon by dissecting it and analyzing it in detail. <

It does not require dissecting. The author clearly meant the knuckle draggers to represent the forces of ignorance, mythology, and ID.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --
>>>>>>> I see the pro-censorship Darwinists as the "knuckle-draggers." <

It is the anti-Darwinists that first attempted censorship and would like nothing better today.<<<<<<

Two wrongs don't make a right. And only three states had a "monkey" law (prohibiting teaching evolution) for a substantial length of time -- see "Herr Fuhrer Esley Welsberry's Big Lie".

<<<<<<> Anyway, I think that you are spoiling the cartoon by dissecting it and analyzing it in detail. <

It does not require dissecting. The author clearly meant the knuckle draggers to represent the forces of ignorance, mythology, and ID. <<<<<<<

You can interpret the cartoon your way and I will interpret it my way.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Two wrongs don't make a right. And only three states had a "monkey" law (prohibiting teaching evolution) for a substantial length of time <

But since the anti-Darwinists are the only ones who have actually advocated censorship, we must assume that they are the ones you mean by the pro-censorship group. The pro-science side only wants mythology not to be taught as science. They have no objection to mythology, such as ID, being taught if they are not presented falsely as science.

> You can interpret the cartoon your way and I will interpret it my way.<

You often interpret most things in bizarre ways. I was referring to what the cartoonist meant by the knuckle draggers. Surely there is no dispute about that.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said ( 8/05/2006 06:12:50 PM ) --
>>>>>>But since the anti-Darwinists are the only ones who have actually advocated censorship, we must assume that they are the ones you mean by the pro-censorship group.<<<<<<

I -- and not you -- will decide what I mean by the "pro-censorship" group. Is that clear?

>>>>>>The pro-science side only wants mythology not to be taught as science. They have no objection to mythology, such as ID, being taught if they are not presented falsely as science.<<<<<<<

Exaptation and punctuated equilibrium sound a lot more mythological to me than ID or many of the other criticisms of Darwinism.

>>>>>>You often interpret most things in bizarre ways. I was referring to what the cartoonist meant by the knuckle draggers. Surely there is no dispute about that.<<<<<<

Wrong -- there is plenty of dispute about that. There is no indication that the knuckle-draggers are supposed to represented something or anything. In fact, I gave no thought to what the knuckle-draggers are supposed to represent -- to me, the whole cartoon just represents the see-sawing of the Kansas BOE on the evolution education standards. And regardless of the original intent of the cartoon, I have hijacked the cartoon to represent the theme of my article -- governmental see-sawing and flip-flopping on the evoluution controversy.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>>>But since the anti-Darwinists are the only ones who have actually advocated censorship, we must assume that they are the ones you mean by the pro-censorship group.<<<<<<

> I -- and not you -- will decide what I mean by the "pro-censorship" group. Is that clear? <

It is clear that you are way out of touch with reality. I believe that most sane people would associate pro-censorship with the anti-Darwinists. If you were sane, you probably would feel the same.

> Exaptation and punctuated equilibrium sound a lot more mythological to me than ID or many of the other criticisms of Darwinism. <

We are not discussing what appears to you. We are discussing reality. Is that clear?

>>>>>>You often interpret most things in bizarre ways. I was referring to what the cartoonist meant by the knuckle draggers. Surely there is no dispute about that.<<<<<<

> Wrong -- there is plenty of dispute about that. There is no indication that the knuckle-draggers are supposed to represented (sic) something or anything. <

I am quite sure who the cartoonist intended to be the knuckle-draggers. I doubt that any honest and sane person would question it. Is that clear?

> In fact, I gave no thought <

You rarely show signs of thought. Is anyone accusing you of thought?

> to me, the whole cartoon just represents the see-sawing of the Kansas BOE on the evolution education standards. <

Again, I am not talking about your "interpretations" which have usually proven to be bizarre. Is that clear?

> And regardless of the original intent of the cartoon, I have hijacked the cartoon to represent the theme of my article -- governmental see-sawing and flip-flopping on the evoluution controversy. <

This reminds one of your often linking, as support for your bizarre contentions, to articles which directly contradict your claims.

Is that clear?

Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --
>>>>>>>
It is clear that you are way out of touch with reality. I believe that most sane people would associate pro-censorship with the anti-Darwinists. If you were sane, you probably would feel the same.

We are not discussing what appears to you. We are discussing reality. Is that clear?

I am quite sure who the cartoonist intended to be the knuckle-draggers. I doubt that any honest and sane person would question it. Is that clear?

You rarely show signs of thought. Is anyone accusing you of thought?

Again, I am not talking about your "interpretations" which have usually proven to be bizarre. Is that clear?
>>>>>>>>

So you are always right and anyone who disagrees with you is insane, out of touch with reality, etc..

You are a stupid jerk. Is that clear?

Sunday, August 06, 2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger DaveScot said...

Actually I think the system is working as it should in Kansas. It's just a close race there is all and teeters back & forth with election cycle. As long as the Federal courts aren't dictating what Kansas voters teach in Kansas schools it's all hunky dory no matter which way the cookie crumbles.

It's only when courts step in to override the duly authorized legislative process through tortured interpretations of the establisment clause that I have a problem. The court's power is only limited by how far it is allowed to stray from the plain language of the constitution. Putting a sticker in a textbook that says evolution is a theory, not a fact, is not an establishment of religion in any plain reading of the 2nd amendment or the context of the times in which it was written. This is a court that is abusing its power by twisting the meaning of the constitution.

The solution is not trying to change the students. The solution is the replacement of so-called activist judges. Unfortunately that's a long process in a system where judges have unelected lifetime appointments. But we're getting there. The conservative backlash is still young (I count its beginning as the 1996 Republican "Contract With America" compared to the liberal movement which began around 1966 with Vietnam War protesters. They've had 30 years to get their judges appointed while we've had only 10 to get rid of them.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 4:43:00 AM  
Blogger DaveScot said...

oops - that should be first amendment not second

although the second is a hot button with me too

Sunday, August 06, 2006 4:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> So you are always right and anyone who disagrees with you is insane, out of touch with reality, etc.. <

I have never claimed either. On the other hand, you have claimed always to be right in posts still on this blog and have shown irrefutable signs of insanity; your contention that the Los Angeles Times was published and distributed with supernatural aid as was the world almanac, your claim that there were too many consumer goods on store shelves to be accounted for by the existing factories, your belief a few years ago that your ligaments would be snapping within hours and you would die within a few days. The topper is your belief after all evidence to the contrary that you know more about the subject of law than does the average hairy arboreal quadruped.

Your efforts to avoid receiving proper medical and psychological care notwithstanding, you are clearly insane. Let me assure others that as crazy as Larry(?) appears on this blog, he is much crazier in person.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 6:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

ViW,

You left out a lot. How about Larry(?)'s continuing to claim that the one who has been proven to be his real brother is not and his impersonation is? How about his denial of knowledge of the existence of someone who was a friend for nearly 50 years? How about his episode of screaming at the patrons in a restaurant because they did not show proper respect for the efforts that he had made in their behalf in jousting against the smog fee windmill? How about his continuing to scream at his aging mother while she and his aging father are his sole means of support? I could go on.

You are right where, on another thread, you suggest that he doesn't read posts to which he attempts to respond.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 7:16:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Hyland said...

"Exaptation and punctuated equilibrium sound a lot more mythological to me than ID or many of the other criticisms of Darwinism."

As far as I am aware PE is not taught in schools, and since exaptation has actually been observed I would say it's not that mythological.

I would say my main critisism of evolution as currently taught in schools is that it is many years out of date. There are also others, just not the ones the people who wrote those Kansas science standards would like. It would be good if we could fix those problems, but it's quite hard to do that when people are claiming every critisism as proof that evolution doesnt work. That is a controvesy that does not exist in science.

Monday, August 07, 2006 3:16:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Chris Hyland said...

>>>>>>>"Exaptation and punctuated equilibrium sound a lot more mythological to me than ID or many of the other criticisms of Darwinism."

As far as I am aware PE is not taught in schools, and since exaptation has actually been observed I would say it's not that mythological. <<<<<<

Some examples of exaptation have been shown, but it can't be the solution to every case of irreducible complexity.

Whether or not PE is taught in schools, it is the main attempted explanation for the observation that many species have appeared suddenly in the fossil record without precursors and continued virtually unchanged for millions of years until the present day or extinction.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 2:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Some examples of exaptation have been shown, but it can't be the solution to every case of irreducible complexity. <

Irreducible complexity is only a statement of the lack of understanding of a species that has not yet evolved far enough.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 8:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if exaptation explains even one case of IC, it ruins the notion that IC things can't evolve. Indeed, this is one reason science finds IC a completely moronic idea.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

There is nothing wrong with IC or other fairy tales as long as someone doesn't try to present them as science. That is Larry(?)'s problem.

He makes it even harder to support in that he tries to have IC with out C.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>>>if exaptation explains even one case of IC, it ruins the notion that IC things can't evolve. <<<<<<

Not true. As a math professor of mine once pointed out, nothing can be proved by an example because we can never run out of examples.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 2:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Not true. As a math professor of mine once pointed out, nothing can be proved by an example because we can never run out of examples. <

Another case of trying to make one key fit all. The point anonymous was making was that something can be disproved by a single example.

You have not replied as to your current ideas about the extraterrestrials printing the Times. Have your ideas changed on this?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 4:22:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --

>>>>>The point anonymous was making was that something can be disproved by a single example. <<<<<<

Not this something.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 4:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not true. As a math professor of mine once pointed out, nothing can be proved by an example because we can never run out of examples.


You are really confused. Proof by example means a subset can't prove a categorical statement. For instance, 3,5,7 does not prove the statement "all primes are odd". What you fail to understand is that proof by counterexample is perfectly valid. For instance, "2" proves the above statement to be wrong, in the same way that an exaptation proves "No IC structure can evolve" to be wrong.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 7:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, you're such a dumbass it hurts my head.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Speaking of "exaptation" reminds me of lichens. These are a symbiotic union of an alga and a fungus, which represent entire separate kingdoms. Yet each such union is considered a species because their mutual dependence is so complete, and even their reproductive strategy is coordinated. If this can happen at such an arms-length distance, it can certainly occur with features that are already internal to begin with.

And BTW, the lichen composite is "Irreducibly Complex" -- isn't it?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 7:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

When we were children, Larry(?) used to preface his "clincher" arguments with the phrase, "Even David says ..."

Too bad; it seems like those days are gone.

(There were a lot of things that worked better when I was younger.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said --

>>>>>For instance, "2" proves the above statement to be wrong, in the same way that an exaptation proves "No IC structure can evolve" to be wrong.

god, you're such a dumbass it hurts my head.<<<<<<

All it proves is that something was mistakenly identified as irreducible.

You are such a dummkopf that you're a pain in the ass.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave Fafarman said ( August 08, 2006 7:44:29 PM ) --

>>>>> Speaking of "exaptation" reminds me of lichens. <<<<<<

Exaptation involves a change in function. Where is the change in function in lichens?

>>>>> Yet each such union is considered a species because their mutual dependence is so complete, and even their reproductive strategy is coordinated. <<<<<<

According to Wikipedia, their mutual dependence is not complete, because the two organisms can exist independently -- one can exist independently in nature and the other in a laboratory. Wikipedia says, "The photosynthetic partner can exist in nature independently of the fungal partner, but not vice versa," and also says, "When grown in the laboratory in the absence of its photobiont, a lichen fungus develops as an undifferentiated mass of hyphae."

>>>>>And BTW, the lichen composite is "Irreducibly Complex" -- isn't it? <<<<<

No, because as stated above, at least one of the organisms can exist independently in nature.

I have heard co-dependence in general (mutualism) called irreducibly complex before, but to me that is like saying that a fish and water form an irreducibly complex system because the fish could not survive outside of water.

Co-dependence can involve irreducibly complex systems -- for example, a bee must be able to both consume nectar and sense the colors and/or scents of flowers and flowers must be able to both produce nectar and have colors and/or scents to attract the bees.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 5:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

Fake Larry(?) said...

> All it proves is that something was mistakenly identified as irreducible. <

I think you will eventually find that all supposedly irrudicible situations only demonstrate a lack of understanding by the observer.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 10:47:00 AM  

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