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.

Name:
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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's the Darwinists who drive away people, businesses

We often hear the charge that prominent critics of Darwinism are "embarrassments" who drive away people and businesses, but in fact it is really the Darwinists who are the embarrassments who drive away people and businesses. The Darwinists point fingers at a prominent critic of Darwinism in their university, state, etc. and tell people and businesses, "Hey, you see this fundy nutcase here? This guy gives off bad vibes. You should stay away from this place."

Irreducible complexity proponent Michael Behe is a nationally known professor at Lehigh University. A news article dated Oct. 31, 2005 said,
.
Two months ago Lehigh's Department of Biological Sciences, where the 53-year-old Behe has taught for 20 years, publicly repudiated his views in a notice on its Web site, saying that they had "no basis in science." . . .

. . . . "Our concern was that we maintain our reputation as scientists, as well as the department's and university's reputation in the sciences," said Neal Simon, chairman of the department, in a recent interview . . .

. . . In the recent publicity surrounding intelligent design, biologists at Lehigh received e-mails questioning where the department stood on intelligent design. "We felt that, given the number of people who were writing to us, that we were endorsing, even if by passive action, Professor Behe's views, and we felt a public statement was appropriate," said Simon.

All 21 of the department's faculty members approved the statement placed on the Web. Behe said even he signed on, because of his colleagues' "right not to be associated with an idea they do not agree with." Still, he added, the whole affair was "a little bit uncomfortable."

OK, the web notice repudiating Behe's views was apparently not initiated solely by his Lehigh colleagues -- apparently the notice was partly a response to "emails questioning where the department stood on intelligent design." But did Behe's colleagues perhaps overreact to those emails by posting the web notice? Why should his colleagues have pandered to those who wrongly identified them with Behe? I view people as individuals -- it never occurred to me suspect that Behe's Lehigh colleagues shared his unorthodox views.

Well, how much has Behe really hurt Lehigh's reputation? For example, has he hurt Lehigh's ability to attract good students? Another news article says --

At Lehigh, known for its strength in engineering and business, about 12,000 students applied this year. That is a whopping 50 percent increase in applications over seven years ago and more than 10 times the seats available in a freshman class of 1,150. The median SAT score of admitted students has climbed about 10 points a year in recent years, officials said . . . .

. . . ."We’re getting a remarkably gifted group of students," said Gerard P. Lennon, associate dean in the college of engineering and applied sciences at Lehigh, who has taught at the university for 27 years. The median SAT score in the combined verbal and math parts of the test is now 1,320 out of 1,600. (That is not counting the writing section of the test.)

Maybe what Lehigh needs is more Behe's.

The article that discussed Behe also said,

At Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, 124 faculty members endorsed a petition in August decrying "efforts to portray intelligent design as science." Unnamed in the petition, but the obvious target, was Guillermo Gonzalez, an assistant professor of astronomy.

Gonzalez has never taught intelligent design in his courses, according to the university. But in a book, "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery," co-written with a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a conservative research group in Seattle, and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, which describes itself as pursuing "research at the boundary between science and religion," Gonzalez proclaims that the universe is "so skillfully crafted for life and discovery that it seems to whisper of an extraterrestrial intelligence."

And a recent news article said,

In the summer of 2005, three faculty members at ISU drafted a statement against the use of intelligent design in science. One of those authors, Hector Avalos, told The Tribune at the time he was concerned the growing prominence of Gonzalez's work was beginning to market ISU as an "intelligent design school."

The statement collected signatures of support from more than 120 ISU faculty members before similar statements surfaced at the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

Gonzalez was recently denied tenure at ISU and has appealed the denial. This denial of tenure is a big issue on other websites and I am not going to bother posting "me-too" articles about it here. Evolution News & Views and Uncommon Descent are posting articles about it almost hourly, it seems. Panda's Thumb is of course also posting articles about it but what PT says should be taken with a grain of salt because arbitrary censorship of comments is especially heavy at PT. Here is a PT comment thread where many of the comments refer to comments by "Anonymous" which are nowhere to be found because they were censored. The blogger gives no reason for censoring Anonymous. The brazenness of such censorship bespeaks the sickness of an Internet culture that condones and even approves such censorship.

There are other examples of where critics of Darwinism have been scapegoated for real or imagined problems. For example, a news article reported,

Calling the Kansas State Board of Education one of the state's worst public relations tools, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday said she would push in a second term for a constitutional amendment to shift the board's powers to the governor's office . . .

. . . .The Democratic governor said the board has been an embarrassment to the state in the board's efforts to alter how evolution is taught in the classroom. In an interview, Sebelius said she has encountered people outside the state who have heard of the board's decisions -- and little else -- when it comes to Kansas. . . .

. . . ."Fred Phelps and the school board are all they know about," she said. "No amount of economic development dollars can cancel that out." . . .

. . . . But Republican school board member Ken Willard, a conservative who is vying for re-election in Hutchinson, said Sebelius' plan would strip power from voters.

"The further you get that decision-making from the voters, the less responsive it is to the wills and desires of the voting public," Willard said. "I, for one, wouldn't be interested in being on an advisory board. You'd be relegated to insignificance."

And he tried to throw water on the notion the board had been an embarrassment to Kansas. Told of Sebelius' comparison to Phelps, Willard shot back: "What is she doing about it? What kind of communicating are we doing across the country about the great things in Kansas?"

Yes, there are great things in Kansas -- for example, Wichita, Kansas has been called "the Detroit of the general aviation industry."

BTW, there is now a big stink over Ken Willard's unopposed candidacy for the presidency of the National Association of State Boards of Education.

And BOE member Steve Abrams responded:

“I expect a big-government liberal like our governor to oppose conservative politics. But to infer that the State Board of Education is responsible for the lack of economic development in Kansas is laughable”

I think that Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki takes the cake in regard to embarrassing his own state, school, etc.. He wrote that his new course with a title that labeled intelligent design and creationism as "mythologies" would be a "nice slap in the big fat face of the fundies."
.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I think that Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki takes the cake in regard to embarrassing his own state, school, etc..<

No, you don't think. The papers have been full of cartoons showing the school board to be fundie nutcases.

I see that you have left the debate you started with your tail between your legs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 1:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness driveled,

>>>>>> I think that Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki takes the cake in regard to embarrassing his own state, school, etc..<

No, you don't think. The papers have been full of cartoons showing the school board to be fundie nutcases. <<<<<<

Mirecki doesn't need a cartoon -- he is a cartoon.

>>>>> I see that you have left the debate you started with your tail between your legs. <<<<<

So if I don't answer your reply within a few hours, I've left the debate with my "tail between my legs." I have better things to do with my time than hang around waiting to instantly answer your stupid comments. Anyway, as you have seen, I did answer your stupid comment.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 2:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> Anyway, as you have seen, I did answer your stupid comment. <

If that is the best you can do we will have to award the prize to VIW.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 3:37:00 AM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

Aahhh Larry.

Always good for a chuckle.

How've you been?

Thursday, May 24, 2007 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure why you even bother putting up with such hecklers...

Saturday, May 26, 2007 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...
>>>>>> Not sure why you even bother putting up with such hecklers... <<<<<<

Other bloggers use a much easier way of responding to hecklers -- just censoring their comments. But I can't do that because of my no-censorship policy. So trolls like ViW exploit my no-censorship policy while ridiculing my proposal for a fairness doctrine for blogs and while falsely accusing me of arbitrarily censoring comments. And ViW even has the unmitigated gall to ask to be allowed to gossip about my private affairs on this blog.

I often answer the trolls because I am afraid that some readers here might accept their specious arguments. For example, ViW will say, "The Supreme Court upheld the FCC fairness doctrine because of a scarcity of broadcasting sites," and I will answer, "there is another scarcity/abundance issue with blogs: an unlimited abundance of comment space per site," and instead of responding to that answer, ViW will just repeat like a broken phonograph record, "The Supreme Court upheld the FCC fairness doctrine because of a scarcity of broadcasting sites," in the hope that I will get tired of answering him so that he can claim that he won the debate. He knows that a lot of readers naturally will not suspect that he is merely repeating himself and so will not go back to see how I previously answered his statement. He makes himself look very foolish but for some strange reason he thinks he can get away with it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home