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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Chris Comer's "best butter" argument


The "best butter" story from the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite parables. I am really surprised that the term "best butter" has not become a standard expression in the English language. I Googled the term "best butter" and nothing about the Mad Hatter's Tea Party turned up. I have to explain my meaning of the term each time I use it. Basically, the story ridicules the idea that it is OK to break a rule just for what speciously seems to be a "good" reason (but is not a good reason at all). Here is the "best butter" story:
.
The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the March Hare.

`It was the BEST butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.

`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.'

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the BEST butter, you know.'

I am not saying that there is never a good reason to break a rule. I remember the story of a football player who was big for his age when he was growing up. When he was 11 years old, his father tried to enroll him in Pop Warner football. The coach told the father, "we have a rule. A kid's got to be 13." The father asked the coach, "have you seen him?" The coach took one look at the kid and said, "we've just changed the rule." The reason for breaking the rule here was clearly a good one and there is a clearcut, objective distinction between big and little kids, unlike Wickedpedia's arbitrary and capricious distinction between "notable" and "crappy" blogs.

Anyway, on to Chris Comer. The National Center for Science Education says,

Comer herself appeared on NPR's "Science Friday" on December 7, 2007, relating her story to the show's host, Ira Flatow. After receiving the e-mail announcing Forrest's talk, she said, "you know, I had a half minute and I said, gee, this is really interesting. And then, I looked up the credential on my computer, I Googled Barbara Forrest and I said, oh my goodness, this is quite a credential[ed] speaker. And then I thought to myself -- you know, I'm telling my biology teachers almost on a weekly basis, teach the curriculum, teach the evolution curriculum because it's part of the state-mandated curriculum. And now, I should be -- you know, I should be walking the talk here, and I -- there's nothing wrong with this e-mail, of course." Less than two hours later, a colleague was calling for her termination, and in the following week, she was effectively forced to resign.

As for credentials, college professors and Ph.D.'s are a dime a dozen. There is even a surplus of Ph.D.'s. And a lot of college professors and Ph.D.'s are bigots and crackpots. And a person's views should not be dismissed solely on the basis that the person lacks high credentials.

Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, has impressive credentials too. So would Comer have sent out an "FYI" announcement of one of his "From Darwin to Hitler" lectures?
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7 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

Another example of Larry's mindless repetition. Here he tells the "best butter" story for the twelfth time this month and fails to realize that he is the number one source of "best butter" arguments.

> unlike Wickedpedia's arbitrary and capricious distinction between "notable" and "crappy" blogs. <

When one blog is at the extreme end of the non-notable and crappy scale, there is nothing capricious about categorizing it as such.

> And a lot of college professors and Ph.D.'s are bigots and crackpots. <

You are not a college professor, nor a Ph.D. and you are a bigot and crackpot. Even stranger when you are biggoted against a group of which you are a member.

Saturday, December 15, 2007 6:29:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> When one blog is at the extreme end of the non-notable and crappy scale, there is nothing capricious about categorizing it as such. <<<<<<

You stupid dunghill, there are no objective standards for rating blogs on scales of notability or crappiness. I used the example of the football player to show that there are cases where there are objective standards.

What a moron.

Sunday, December 16, 2007 4:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You stupid dunghill, there are no objective standards for rating blogs on scales of notability or crappiness. <

You pathetic jackass, when your blog is crappy and is not notable at all except in its display of advancing mental illness, it is at the end of the scale.

Nobody is going to link to you if you keep up your childish rants.

Sunday, December 16, 2007 7:57:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I don't think that Comer ever really believed that Forrest's credentials were a good reason for breaking the Texas Education Agency's neutrality rule. IMO Comer just wanted to forward the email and looked for an excuse to do it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007 8:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

Three messages disappeared right after Larry mentioned deleting posts that he disagreed with. (His post on this subject also disappeared.) It looks like Larry has gone back to censoring again.

What a hypocritical jackass.

Monday, December 17, 2007 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Damn you, how many times do I have to tell you: if comments disappear, just re-post them.

Also, if my post has disappeared on your screen, that should tell you that there is a malfunction somewhere. It has not disappeared on my screen.

Monday, December 17, 2007 2:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Damn you, how many times do I have to tell you: if you didn't delete them, it would not be necessary for me to re-post them. <

You also said that I could e-mail them to you and you would post them yourself. That, like much of what you say, was also a lie.

> Also, if my post has disappeared on your screen, that should tell you that there is a malfunction somewhere. It has not disappeared on my screen. <

What post is still on your screen?

Monday, December 17, 2007 3:20:00 PM  

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