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.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What really happened in Dover and Cobb County

THE REAL DONUT

======================================================

The Donut as hallucinated by Judge "Jackass" Jones (Kitzmiller v. Dover) and Judge "Cuckoo" Cooper (Selman v. Cobb County)

As you go through life, my friend,
whatever may be your goal,
keep your eye upon the donut,
and not upon the hole.

This poem, known as "The Optimist's Creed," has different versions. Here is another:

Twixt optimist and pessimist,
the difference is quite droll,
the optimist sees the donut,
the pessimist sees the hole.

=================================================

Ironically, in both the Kitzmiller v. Dover and Selman v. Cobb County cases, the school boards -- far from trying to undermine evolution education -- had actually greatly strengthened it by adopting biology textbooks that emphasized evolution. To compensate for the adoption of strongly pro-Darwinist textbooks, the school boards adopted very brief evolution disclaimer statements -- oral in the case of Dover, a textbook sticker in the case of Cobb County -- as a sop to fundies and others who were opposed to Darwinism. In addition, the Dover school board provided ID books that were not required reading. These reasonable actions by the Dover school board are what Judge "Jackass" Jones called "breathtaking inanity."

A news article about the oral appeals court hearing in Selman said:
.
Cobb County appealed and was represented by Ernest Linwood Gunn IV, who opened arguments by directly assailing Cooper's ruling that religion was entangled with the stickers.

He pointed out that, under the county's old curriculum, Cobb barred courses teaching evolution in elementary and middle schools and allowed them only as electives in high school. Thus, he argued, the school board actually had taken pro-evolution action by using a new textbook that taught evolution.

"If they wanted to restrict the teaching of evolution, they would have done nothing," said Gunn.

He conceded that media attention and public controversy surrounding the decision to use the new textbooks spurred the sticker placement, a move meant to be sensitive to the concerns of Cobb parents who objected to the book's lessons on evolution.

The courts needed to view the evolution disclaimers in context and not in isolation.

Often the passage of time is needed to provide the perspective to see things clearly.
.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry wrote, "had actually greatly strengthened it by adopting biology textbooks that emphasized evolution"

Of course -- the only good biology textbooks on the market discuss evolution. Duh. So, the point about these books "greatly strenthen[ing]" biology education is misleading.

Larry wrote, "These reasonable actions [ID statement, ID textbook in library, etc.] by the Dover school board are what Judge "Jackass" Jones called "breathtaking inanity."

Their actions were not reasonable. How else do you explain that a school board member called ID "intelligence design." She thought that students should learn something she evidently knew nothing about?

Larry wrote, "The courts needed to view the evolution disclaimers in context and not in isolation."

They [the courts] did. That's why the judge ruled against the stickers. The statement itself on the sticker "evolution is a theory, yada yada yada" is part of a campaign led by the Discovery (sic) Institute, a campaign led by the desire to get God back into science and the schools (see their Wedge Document for more details). That is the complete context, not on otherwise innocuous if not correct statement that "evolution is (just) a theory," which may be true, depending how "theory" is used. Given its placement on a biology textbook, theory plays off the colloquial use of the word, and the statement is false, because "evolution is much more than a hunch (and that's the way they became the Brady family)." Sorry about the bad joke -- it's late; I had no intention of posting, but since Larry provided another bad post, I had to oblige.

Sunday, July 20, 2008 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Of course -- the only good biology textbooks on the market discuss evolution. <<<<<<

The book adopted by the Dover school board was especially heavy on evolution -- former school board member Bill Buckingham said on the PBS NOVA program that the book was "laced" with Darwinism. He counted it in 12-15 places in the book.

>>>>>>> Their actions were not reasonable. How else do you explain that a school board member called ID "intelligence design." <<<<<<

They took the advice of their defense attorneys who told them that the ID policy was constitutional -- though I agree that they should have learned more about ID.

>>>>>>Larry wrote, "The courts needed to view the evolution disclaimers in context and not in isolation."

They [the courts] did. That's why the judge ruled against the stickers. <<<<<<

At the oral hearing in the appeals court, the judges indicated that they were leaning towards reversing the decision. They ended up vacating and remanding the decision because of missing evidence.

Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous jim said...

"former school board member Bill Buckingham said on the PBS NOVA program that the book was "laced" with Darwinism. He counted it in 12-15 places in the book."

And that can't possibly be due to the centrality of evolution to biology could it? Naahhh. It's gotta be those evilutionists attempting to brainwash good Christian children.

Monday, July 21, 2008 9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry wrote, "former school board member Bill Buckingham said on the PBS NOVA program that the book was "laced" with Darwinism. He counted it in 12-15 places in the book."

1) The comment that the book was "laced with Darwinism" makes no sense.

2) Only 12 to 15 times? I think a good book would mention it more, but I took high school biology in a Catholic school before the 1987 SCOTUS decision (not that it affected the school).

Larry wrote, "They took the advice of their defense attorneys who told them that the ID policy was constitutional"

But the school district's lawyer had told them that it would be seen as unconstitutional, perhaps because he had been at the meetings or knew what had been said and how it had been discussed. Also, the lawyers were looking for a court case -- they traveled to several school districts hoping to get them to adopt anything pro-ID to get a court case. Therefore (by your own logic), they were biased and untrustworthy.

Larry wrote, "At the oral hearing in the appeals court, the judges indicated that they were leaning towards reversing the decision. They ended up vacating and remanding the decision because of missing evidence."

But the school board settled and paid attorney fees for the plaintiffs, meaning they accepted that they were wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2008 9:38:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

As the saying goes, don't feed the trolls.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 1:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry said: They took the advice of their defense attorneys who told them that the ID policy was constitutional -- though I agree that they should have learned more about ID.

Say what? The board's solicitor told them that they were flirting with a disastrous lawsuit. Too bad they didn't listen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian said,
>>>>>>Say what? The board's solicitor told them that they were flirting with a disastrous lawsuit. <<<<<<

I was talking about the attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center, obviously. The board's solicitor was not the board's defense attorney.

jim said,
>>>>>>"former school board member Bill Buckingham said on the PBS NOVA program that the book was "laced" with Darwinism. He counted it in 12-15 places in the book."

And that can't possibly be due to the centrality of evolution to biology could it? Naahhh. It's gotta be those evilutionists attempting to brainwash good Christian children. <<<<<<<

I'm not even a fundy, but this "centrality of evolution to biology" crap raises even my hackles, bozo.

Yes, they are trying to brainwash people.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>>>I'm not even a fundy, but this "centrality of evolution to biology" crap raises even my hackles, bozo.<<<<<<

The get some education in biology, bozo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry said: I was talking about the attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center, obviously. The board's solicitor was not the board's defense attorney.

Those would be the same attorneys from the TMLC that the board solicitor cites as saying "[t]hey refer to the creationism issue as 'Intelligent Design,'" right?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I don't know what the board solicitor said about the TMLC attorneys and I don't care.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry said: I don't know what the board solicitor said about the TMLC attorneys and I don't care.

The fundies on the board didn't care, either - that's how they ended up getting sued. They had their eyes on the hole; specifically, the apparent loophole that they weren't technically "teaching" ID. The "real doughnut," of course, was that their policy had both the purpose and effect of disparaging evolution to advance creationism.

Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:14:00 PM  

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