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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 01, 2008

Bibliography bluffing again -- this time in Texas


"You thump your bible and I'll thump mine" (not an actual quote)

Dan Bolnick, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas, spoke Tuesday on behalf of the 21st Century Science Coalition and the scientific theory of evolution. Picture courtesy of Larry Kolvoord, Austin American-Statesman

========================================================
A news article in the Austin American-Statesman said,

By Laura Heinauer
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Armed with stacks of scientific journals, a group that says it represents more than 800 Texas scientists is challenging the idea that discussion of the weaknesses of evolutionary theory belongs in science classrooms.

The group of professors held a news conference Tuesday in the lobby of the Texas Education Agency in Austin and said that they would be watching while a state board rewrites the state public school science curriculum next year.

"Not a single one (of the articles in these journals) gives us reason to believe evolution did not occur," said Dan Bolnick, an assistant professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas, pointing to stacks of the scientific journal Evolution. "So where are the weaknesses? Simple: They don't exist. They are not based on scientific research or data and have been refuted countless times."

Last week, the state released an early committee recommendation for the new science curriculum that would excise ideas "based upon purported forces outside of nature" from what Texas students are taught in biology classes. . . . .

. . . .Organizers of the 21st Century Science Coalition said the group formed about two weeks ago and blossomed in membership in response to comments by State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, who opposes a committee proposal to remove the requirement that the "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories be taught in biology classes.

This presentation of a stack of documents is just bibliography bluffing -- like what they pulled on Michael Behe at the Dover trial.

Scientists' lack of candor about weaknesses of Darwinism will ultimately do more harm to the reputation of science than scientists' admission of those weaknesses possibly could.

The "strengths and weaknesses" language that has been in the Texas science standards for 20 years or more is missing from the proposed biology standards but fortunately was included in the proposed astronomy and chemistry standards. [1]. Also, 7 of the 15 members of the Texas board of education -- including chairman Don McLeroy -- have indicated support for the "strengths and weaknesses" language, 6 are opposed to the language, and 2 are considered to be swing votes. [2].

This is shaping up to be even bigger than the recent battle over the new Florida standards, which was a dilly.

Unfortunately, four members of the board have been pushing a bible study course which some people consider to be unconstitutional. I don't know if all four of these members belong to the group of seven known supporters of the "strengths and weaknesses" language, but they probably are. It is likely that the Darwinists will use this promotion of a bible studies course to try to discredit these four members. Also, the terms of 3 of these 4 members expire Jan. 1, 2009, before the decision on the new science standards, and may lose their seats because of this promotion of a bible studies course. Very stupid.

The Evolution News & Views website [3] [4] and the National Center for Science Education website [5] [6] have more information and links about the situation in Texas.
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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting definition of 'bibliography bluffing'. Last time I saw you use this phrase it meant, 'telling me where to look in order to get very detailed answers to questions Iasked which have already been answered'. This time it means 'providing evidence, in the form of scientific literature, to a point I don't like'.

It actually looks to me like 'bibliography bluffing' is a term you made up in order to try to denigrate anything that you don't like that involves reading things.

Monday, October 06, 2008 9:27:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Another interesting definition of 'bibliography bluffing'. Last time I saw you use this phrase it meant, 'telling me where to look in order to get very detailed answers to questions Iasked which have already been answered'. <<<<<<

Wrong -- I used it to mean sending people on a wild goose chase to find answers that are not there.

>>>>>> This time it means 'providing evidence, in the form of scientific literature, to a point I don't like'. <<<<<

Rule 803(18) of the Federal Rules of Evidence says that statements in learned treatises may be entered into the record but may not be presented as exhibits.

>>>>>> It actually looks to me like 'bibliography bluffing' is a term you made up <<<<<<<

I didn't make up the term -- I got it from elsewhere.

There is quite a stack now of ID literature, so ID proponents can do some bibliography bluffing of their own.

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Wrong -- I used it to mean sending people on a wild goose chase to find answers that are not there."

But since by your own admission you didn't ever go "there", your opinion about whether the wild geese are found there lacks a certain, shall we say, "Je ne sais quoi."

How would you know whether it were "wrong"?

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> But since by your own admission you didn't ever go "there", <<<<<<

No, and I wouldn't go looking for a needle in a haystack either, bozo. Just because the needle is there doesn't mean that it is right to ask people to look for it.

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong -- I used it to mean sending people on a wild goose chase to find answers that are not there.

Not only, as 'Nonymous pointed out, did you not look, by your own admission, so you would be unable to say whether the answers were there or not, I DID look there - and they are.

Rule 803(18) of the Federal Rules of Evidence says that statements in learned treatises may be entered into the record but may not be presented as exhibits.

This point, in regards to the Dover trial, was addressed in another comment thread. However, it is also doubly wrong here, as the folk concerned are not in court.

I didn't make up the term -- I got it from elsewhere.

Such as...?

There is quite a stack now of ID literature, so ID proponents can do some bibliography bluffing of their own.

Really? There's a stack of peer-reviewed, scientific literature that backs up ID? Care to point me to where?

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> This point, in regards to the Dover trial, was addressed in another comment thread.<<<<<<

So what?

>>>>>> However, it is also doubly wrong here, as the folk concerned are not in court. <<<<<<

It's the principle, doofus.

>>>>>I didn't make up the term -- I got it from elsewhere.

Such as...? <<<<<<<

I don't remember. Why does it matter?

>>>>> Really? There's a stack of peer-reviewed, scientific literature that backs up ID? <<<<<<

They should have dumped a big stack of law journals on Judge "Jackass" Jones' desk and told him that those journals were not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but were just student-reviewed. That would have been real courtroom theater.

Judge Jones once said that peer review
is needed to show that something's true.
But that's just it,
he's full of shit,
his Dover ruling's not peer-reviewed too.

Monday, October 06, 2008 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what?

Soryy, I was forgetting you're intellectually challenged, to I have to explain things in detail - it was addressed in another comment thread, where it was proven to be incorrect, so I see no point in rehashing the same things here, especially, as I pointed out in the very next sentence, it's irrelevant anyway.

It's the principle, doofus.

No, doofus, trying to get the simple fact that a great deal of evidence exists that disproves your point barred from evidence due to a legal technicality is a tactic of rather shady lawyers. You can't do that here because you're not in court, and neither are they.

I don't remember. Why does it matter?

Simple curiousity as to whether the place you got this term from also uses it to try to denigrate points and arguments they don't like that involves reading stuff, or whether you've taken a perfectly valid term and twisted it to mean something different.

They should have dumped a big stack of law journals on Judge "Jackass" Jones' desk and told him that those journals were not peer-reviewed or even faculty-reviewed but were just student-reviewed. That would have been real courtroom theater.

'Theater' is right, because, as the field of law is fundamentally different from science, the only point it would prove is as evidence that they have no real idea of what science actually is.

I guess, as you haven't directed me to a stack of peer-reviewed, scientific ID literature, you are unable to.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 12:12:00 PM  

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