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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Florida to teach Darwinism dogmatically

With bible-pounding, holy-rolling creationist fundy crackpot Cheri Yecke (1, 2) safely out of the way (she was not appointed Florida commissioner of education and remains in her job as Florida K-12 chancellor), the state of Florida is now poised to teach Darwinism dogmatically. The Orlando Sentinel reported,

Florida has written new standards for teaching science that for the first time say public-school students need to learn about evolution.

The proposed science standards, released Friday, call evolution one of the "big ideas" that must be taught as part of in-depth, hands-on learning.

What's the "big idea"? Darwinism is a mickey mouse idea -- all it tells us is that (1) random mutations occur (duh) and that (2) fitter organisms are more likely to survive than less fit organisms (duh again).

Current standards do not use the word evolution -- long a controversial word in education -- but do require teaching evolutionary concepts in public schools.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute in a 2005 report gave Florida an F for its current science standards, calling them "sorely lacking in content," "thin" and "nebulous." In particular, it criticized the "superficiality of the treatment of evolutionary biology."

The Fordham Institute's report on state science standards is worthless. The rating criteria are vague and there is far too much emphasis on evolution education, even though evolution education officially accounts for only 3 points out of a total of 69 in the Fordham rating system. The Fordham ratings do not correlate with student achievement. Fear of low Fordham Institute ratings frightens states into adopting excessively pro-Darwinist science teaching standards.

We've got to start developing more scientists," said Mary Jane Tappen, executive director of Florida's Office of Math and Science at the Florida Department of Education. "We've got to improve science education."

Wrong. We don't need more scientists -- we have too many already.

In recent years, some have pushed for teaching "intelligent design," which holds that aspects of living things are best explained by "an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection." Others have pushed for teaching that the theory of evolution does not fully explain the origins of life.

Fred Cutting, a retired engineer in Clearwater who served on the standards committee, wanted the new document to reflect that latter view and to let students know that scientists do not yet have all the answers.

"If you want students to understand the theory, they have to understand the pros and cons," he said, adding that the draft presented too "cut-and-dried" a view of evolution.

There we go again with that "contrived dualism" where ID is regarded as the only alternative to evolution theory. As I pointed out many times, there are also non-ID scientific (pseudoscientific to some) challenges to evolution theory. Anyway, it is good to see that an engineer on the standards committee said that the draft presented a too "cut-and-dried" view of evolution (IMO engineers are sharp people, but of course I am biased about that because I am an engineer myself).

Joe Wolf, president of Florida Citizens for Science, called the draft standards a "wonderful" blueprint for science education. Wolf, of Winter Haven, said the evolution debate holds little interest to most scientists, who accept it as fact. That's why the issue did not become controversial during the standards-writing meetings, he said.

In the words of Wickedpedia, the blog of the Florida Citizens for Science is -- as shown by SiteMeter statistics -- a "notable" blog that generally gets a lot less traffic than this "crappy" blog.
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18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>What's the "big idea"? Darwinism is a mickey mouse idea -- all it tells us is that (1) random mutations occur (duh) and that (2) fitter organisms are more likely to survive than less fit organisms (duh again).<<<

At least it tells us more than ID's "a higher metaphysical intelligence was responsible" explanation.

Interestingly enough, I do agree with Fred Cutting's assessment in that there are some aspects of life that aren't explained by current evolutionary theories.

However, by continuing research using scientific methods that were once unavailable due to limitations in technology, we can find the answers, and if a new discovery contradicts earlier findings, the theory can be modified accordingly. The main point is, progress is still being made. You can't do this with intelligent design, since attributing every currently unexplainable phenomenon to the doings of metaphysical entities doesn't get us any closer to the real answers.

As an alleged mechanical engineer, what would your work be like if you applied the concept of intelligent design to working out the solutions of your engineering problems?

Lastly, the only reason your blog supposedly gets higher visit counts is due to all the trolling and shameless advertising you do, most of the visitors here are just trolling back in retaliation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in Suburbanness said...

... attributing every currently unexplainable phenomenon to the doings of metaphysical entities doesn't get us any closer to the real answers.

As an alleged mechanical engineer, what would your work be like if you applied the concept of intelligent design to working out the solutions of your engineering problems?


This may be a bit counterintuitive, but ID is actually a denial of causation (and historically is associated with stagnation in both the physical and biological sciences). It is of a piece with Apollo driving the Sun across the sky in his chariot.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Florida said...

"Florida to teach Arithmetic dogmatically"

Actually, according to Wickedpedia, we can dispense with teaching Arithmetic altogether:

"Performing addition is one of the simplest numerical tasks, accessible to infants as young as five months and even some animals."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Perhaps what Florida needs most is a curriculum module on how to write uncrappy blog essays.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger blipey said...

Off Topic: Larry, you made some comments about me over at Ftk's blog that I take exception to. You called me a troll without ever having seen a comment of mine that was trollish.

From this thread, at the end.

You'll notice that all my comments from that thread are on topic and move the conversation forward.

In fact, the other comments that I would like to have appeared are all points that she allows ohers to make but not me.

I can make a word-for-word same post as someone else and mine will not go through and the other person's will.

It has aways been my contention that Ftk is not interested in knowledge or open thought, she is more interested in WHO say something that the actual SOMETHING itself. That is detrimental to education.

She can run er blog anyway she wants, I have no problem with that. I have a problem when she continually misrepresents herself in order to make changes in public policy.

I'm sure you wouldn't want to remain on record claiming I was a troll with no evidence other than Ftk's say-so.

may gravity be kind,

blipey

Thursday, November 01, 2007 7:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I'm sure you wouldn't want to remain on record claiming I was a troll with no evidence other than Ftk's say-so. <

The troll Larry never gives evidence for anything.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 8:16:00 AM  
Blogger blipey said...

yeah, really just a ploy to get Larry to post my argument on Ftk's blog. Since her favorite factual sources are Larry, DaveScot, JoeG, and Sal Cordova....

Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Blipey said,
>>>>>> Off Topic: Larry, you made some comments about me over at Ftk's blog that I take exception to. You called me a troll without ever having seen a comment of mine that was trollish. <<<<<<

I didn't identify anyone by name. I was referring specifically to the following comment that you or someone else wrote --

@ Ftk:

You need to add something of substance to this thread or not bother to publish anyone's comments.


Do you go to Panda's Thumb, for example, and demand that the bloggers respond to your comments?

On this blog, the trolls demand that I answer their comments and when I answer their comments satisfactorily, they ignore the answers -- for example, see the comment thread under my post titled, "Gossip is top office peeve in survey."

>>>>> In fact, the other comments that I would like to have appeared are all points that she allows ohers to make but not me. <<<<<<

I didn't condone her arbitrary censorship.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger blipey said...

Your comment, by tacitly agreeing with Ftk and adding the word troll, calls me a troll.

My comment to Ftk was in line with the discussion that bookstore activist and I were having. Ftk doesn't allow for reasonable discussion on her blog--by holding comments and selectively publishing them.

She feels it is her place to interject comments into the conversation without publishing the comments she is referring to. Her comments in this regard do a disservice to both her readers and her contributers. In this manner, my comment was perfectly on topic.

She is able and well within her rights to run her blog any way she wants. I feel that her policy paints me (and others) in a bad light and my comment reflects that, while remaining on topic.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Blipey said,
>>>>>> Ftk doesn't allow for reasonable discussion on her blog -- by holding comments and selectively publishing them. <<<<<<

That statement is not consistent with the statement that I quoted above:

@ Ftk:

You need to add something of substance to this thread or not bother to publish anyone's comments.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 2:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You need to add something of substance to this thread or not bother to publish anyone's comments. <

If you followed that advice yourself, there would be no blog here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Jerry Seinfeld did very well with a sitcom about nothing.

Instead of content, the show played off the idiosyncratic neuroses of the cast of characters.

Same thing happens here.

Only it's not all that funny.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 3:57:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>>> You need to add something of substance to this thread or not bother to publish anyone's comments. <

If you followed that advice yourself, there would be no blog here. <<<<<<<

That advice is about publishing comments, not about publishing blogs, you stupid dunghill.

And on the bigger blogs, like Panda's Thumb, many bloggers rarely or never participate in the discussions in the comment threads.

Friday, November 02, 2007 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Now and then I find myself talking back to the radio or TV, notwithstanding the fact that they can't hear my remarks.

Friday, November 02, 2007 7:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And on the bigger blogs, like Panda's Thumb, many bloggers rarely or never participate in the discussions in the comment threads.<

The difference here is that you use this as an excuse when you are unable to answer questions that could be answered by a three year old.

Friday, November 02, 2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> And on the bigger blogs, like Panda's Thumb, many bloggers rarely or never participate in the discussions in the comment threads.<

The difference here is that you use this as an excuse when you are unable to answer questions <<<<<<<

Wrong, dunghill. The difference is your double standard.

Friday, November 02, 2007 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Mickey Mouse said...

< Darwinism is a mickey mouse idea >

Hey! I resemble that remark!

What's wrong with my ideas anyway?

Saturday, November 03, 2007 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

The cretin said...
> Wrong, dunghill. The difference is your double standard. <

What double standard? There is no evidence that these sites censor arbitrarily, as you do. There is no evidence that they dodge questions that they can't answere, as you do.

Saturday, November 03, 2007 10:53:00 PM  

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