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.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Florida science standards attacked in state legislature

The Florida Citizens for Science blog has several recent articles about legislative bills aimed at inserting an "academic freedom" provision into the state science standards' section about evolution education. I think that the priority should be to get rid of that statement in the new Florida science standards that says that evolution is "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology." That statement is just plain wrong.

I have taken dozens of engineering, science, and math courses and almost none had single fundamental underlying concepts, even in narrow disciplines. For example, heat transfer analysis has no single fundamental underlying concept -- only pure heat conduction in solids has a single fundamental underlying concept, Fourier's law of heat conduction. There is something called the "fundamental theorem of calculus" which is very important in integral calculus but which does not apply to differential calculus.

Biologists have an inferiority complex because of the kind of attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting." Because of this inferiority complex, biologists have been waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don't have, a grand central unifying principle, evolution.

15 Comments:

Anonymous the evilutionist said...

Maybe you should write to Florida State Senator Ronda Storms about your concerns. Or perhaps you are losing sight of the true purpose of this so-called "academic freedom" bill and the conservative religious powers behind it.

You see Larry, even fundies value function over form. As an "engineer" I'm surprised you haven't realized this. Their persistent efforts to introduce their religious dogma would not be helped in any way by removing that one innocuous statement since evolution would still be taught and none of their bible fairytale theories. They got their eyes on the prize. The bill WILL get shot down, either through political or legal means, since once again, its carefully-worded "academic freedom" spiel is betrayed by the fact that like all fundie efforts, it singles out and targets evolution, and only evolution, with all the religious motives and interests that will be brought up when challenged in court.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> Maybe you should write to Florida State Senator Ronda Storms about your concerns. <<<<<

I intend to.

>>>>> evolution would still be taught <<<<<<

Getting rid of that one "innocuous" statement ("the fundamental concept underlying all of biology") would be a symbolic victory, like adding the term "scientific theory" to evolution was. And that "innocuous" statement is blatantly untrue, so it shouldn't be too hard to get rid of it.

>>>>> The bill WILL get shot down, either through political or legal means, since once again, its carefully-worded "academic freedom" spiel is betrayed by the fact that like all fundie efforts, it singles out and targets evolution, and only evolution, with all the religious motives and interests that will be brought up when challenged in court. <<<<<<

I would like to see the "academic freedom" bill challenged in court but IMO it doesn't go far enough to be challenged in court. A court challenge would be an opportunity for court rulings that (1) throw out the infamous Lemon test once and for all and (2) declare the evolution controversy to be non-justiciable. The way things are now, the fear of lawsuits is inhibiting a lot of school boards and legislatures from enacting curricula that include the weaknesses of Darwinism.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Anonymous the evilutionist said...

Somehow, I don't think the Lemon test will be going away any time soon, seeing how the first amendment is so important and all, you know, one of the founding principles of the nation and so on. The fact that precedents from Edward v. Aguillard and Dover v. Kitzmiller will no doubt be cited.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a final showdown of sorts since I'm confident that once everything science and non-science gets legally sorted out, all the creationist non-science bullshit fabricated by the Discovery Institute et al gets put down for good.

The tin-foil hat in me thinks that it would be in the best interest for the fundies themselves to drag this on for as long as they could. In promoting the movement, they gain and retain immense political influence in addition to spiritual monopoly they already wield. Politicians who pander to these groups remain in power by making largely symbolic but tax-payer costing gestures, freeing them of any legal accountability or obligation to actually DO anything. Like gay marriage and abortion, it will just become another hot-button issue used to divide and distract people from real problems.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 5:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Darwinist efforts to indoctrinate schoolchildren in Florida and elsewhere, face growing problems. Kids who tire of memorizing Darwinist dogmas can always go to the EXPELLED website, which will doubtless soon feature many more very educational interviews with Darwinist and anti-Darwinist scientists (as well as the Darwin Daze Sock Hop.)

That should give them a fairly good education in "the controversy," whether or not the Official Darwinist Establishment wants them to be taught about it, or not.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 6:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I have taken dozens of engineering, science, and math courses and <

... and have yet to understand any of them.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous the evilutionist said...

If the fundies have their way, the kids will be just as sick of memorizing bible stories. Poor Sherwood... you keep harping about that "controversy" of yours. Maybe if you keep repeating it (like a prayer lol) it'll actually become real, but we all know that the power of prayer has been debunked statistically.

In case you haven't heard, the recent EXPELLED movie marketing strategy involves paying schools money to have mandatory viewings for students. How indoctrinating... The movie itself is basically pro-intelligent design propoganda with all the usual outdated/purposefully misleading anti-evolution argument classics such as evolution = Hitler (The majority of the Holocaust was biblically inspired oops), along with interviews of prominent biologists that were conducted under false pretenses and so heavily edited for a few choice sound bites that the interviewees themselves complained about misrepresentation.

Of course, the final say will come in April when this train wreck of a movie is released. Don't hold any high expectations...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And that "innocuous" statement is blatantly untrue <

More of Larry's tactic of repeating a falsehood in hopes that it will become true.

> A court challenge would be an opportunity for court rulings that<

(1) determint that the Earth is flat.
(2) ban the teaching or use of logic in the schools.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>> Maybe you should write to Florida State Senator Ronda Storms about your concerns. <<<<<

> I intend to. <

That should do a great deal to show the creationists as mindless whackos. We will welcome your contributions to our cause.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Ronda Storms said...

You are not a constituent.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

evilutionist said,

>>>>>> Somehow, I don't think the Lemon test will be going away any time soon <<<<<<<

The Lemon test has fallen into great disfavor.

>>>>>> Personally, I wouldn't mind a final showdown of sorts since I'm confident that once everything science and non-science gets legally sorted out, all the creationist non-science bullshit fabricated by the Discovery Institute et al gets put down for good. <<<<<<<

As I said, the courts could just declare scientific (or pseudoscientific) questions concerning evolution to be nonjusticiable. IMO Congress should just abolish the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over such questions. Article III of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to do this:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.(emphasis added)

Also, if Congress does this, lower federal courts might take the hint.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

Larry's dislike of the Lemon test seems to be that it is to be applied from the standpoint of a reasonable observer. That would leave Larry out in the cold in every case.

> the courts could just declare scientific (or pseudoscientific) questions concerning evolution to be nonjusticiable. <

The courts have not tried to make any judgements between conflicting scientific questions. They are only determining that drivel should not be mixed with legitimate science.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There certainly are efforts to indoctrinate schoolchildren in Florida and elsewhere, but it's not "Darwinists" who are behind them. Rather, it is Creationists, the cdesign proponentsists.

The same goofs are also responsible for creating the public relations slogans "academic freedom," "Darwinists," and "Teach The Controversy" in this context.

All that, and still no actual productive scientific research. But they know what your kids need to learn in the science classroom...

Thursday, March 06, 2008 4:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Buzz Corey said...

> The same goofs are also responsible for creating the public relations slogans "academic freedom," "Darwinists," and "Teach The Controversy" in this context. <

Yes. Chuckles' use of the term "Darwinists" seems to be a substitute for any real scientific criticism of evolution.

Please don't give us that crap about "missing links". You would find a problem with a missing link between identical twins.

In contrast, ID and other such have been shown to be just renamed creationism.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's hard to say why the Darwin-fans would try to peddle the Darwinist version of "evolution" as "the fundamental concept underlying all of biology." That is simply nuts.

It could be a desperate attempt to convince the public that Darwinism is of real practical importance, so that they would lose something by not having it taught in the schools.

Or perhaps it's the big lie technique developed by Hitler and his propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels? In their view the people are more likely to believe big lies than small ones, since they often tell little fibs themselves: but would be ashamed of very big lies.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 4:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

>It could be a desperate attempt to convince the public that Darwinism is of real practical importance <

It doesn't seem "desperate" to try to teach the truth. The creationists seem to be a bit more paniced since they have lost nearly every battle.

> Or perhaps it's the big lie technique developed by Hitler and his propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels? <

Yes, you are right. That does seem to be the technique being tried by the creationists.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 6:40:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home