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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Urgent: Comments on new Texas science standards are now being accepted

Note: There is a new post-label group of articles about the Texas controversy.

The Texas Education Agency is now accepting comments on the proposed Texas science standards (Science TEKS, i.e., Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). The most important and controversial standards are the high school (9-12) science standards. The following message was broadcast by TEA assistant science director Irene Pickhardt:

Please note that our Science TEKS Review Committees will meet at the end of October and will have an opportunity to begin reviewing comments.

-- so time's a-wasting. The review of the Science TEKS will continue into next year, but we supporters of the "strengths and weaknesses" language are already behind the eight ball because the language has been omitted from the proposed high-school biology standards. If I had known that the committees would start reviewing comments so soon, I would have inquired sooner about how to send in comments. Comments in favor of restoring the "strengths and weaknesses" language to Section 3(A) of the high school biology standards -- as well as the high-school standards for other scientific fields where this language was dropped -- are especially badly needed.

Ignore the instructions on how to submit the high-school science PDF comment form. I tried to follow the instructions and they did not work. Per the instructions, I saved the comment form to my hard-drive ( I could save it only as a PDF file ), filled it in, and then tried to email the filled-in form as an attachment but could not -- I could email the comment form only as an empty form. Whoever prepared this PDF comment form obviously didn't know what (s)he was doing. The instructions say, "These forms have been posted for your convenience (haha). Feedback may be submitted in any format." I am just going to submit my comments in my default email format, an HTML format. However, I recommend that you try to submit the same information requested on the comment form.

Email the comments to curric@tea.state.tx.us

Here are my recommendations for the emails (these are not official instructions, but I am trying to follow the instructions given) --
.
(1) Show -- in both the subject line (that top window showing the subject that will appear in the recipient's in-box) and at the top of the email contents -- the name of the committee (or course or science field) to which the email is addressed. Choose only one committee (or course or field) per email. The high-school science standards are divided up into the following fields: IPC (integrated physics and chemistry), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems, Aquatic Science, Astronomy, Earth and Space Science, Engineering Design. As I pointed out, there are no overall or core standards, and the different standards for the individual fields have a lot of duplication and mutual contradictions & inconsistencies. I might not send comments to all the committees. A big problem is that standards for all of the scientific fields are different and so the comments may need to be individualized for each field -- maybe I will later post my individualized comments. I will definitely send comments to the biology, chemistry, and astronomy committees (I will thank the latter two committees for retaining the "strengths and weaknesses" language). BTW, the current high-school science standards have the same format as the proposed standards: divided up into individual disciplines with no core or overall standards.

(2) Show participant type: Teacher, Administrator, Parent, Student, University/College Staff, Business/Industry Representative, Community Member (Texas resident ?), and "Other." Might be a good idea to show the participant type on the subject line as well as at the top of the email contents.

(3) Since you won't be using the high-school comment form, you should note in both the subject line and the email contents that you are commenting on the high-school standards. So my subject line and top line of my email contents might look like the following: "High-school Science TEKS comments. Course: Biology. Participant type: Other"

(4) As shown on the high school comment form, comments are divided into three categories -- you should identify the categories of your comments:

i. -- Comments on the introduction for each course (section (b) on the proposed TEKS for each course). When commenting, I recommend identifying sections by number.

ii. -- Comments on Knowledge and Skills (KS) statements and Student Expectations (SE) (section (c) on the proposed TEKS for each course). It is not clear how the KS and SE statements are distinguished. It appears that the KS statements have just the heading numbers (e.g., KS(3)) and the SE statements have letters (e.g., SE(3A)). So the "strengths and weakness" language would either appear in the SE(3A) statement (chemistry and astronomy only) or not appear in the SE(3A) statement (the rest of the courses including biology). Anyway, when commenting on the "strengths and weaknesses" language, you won't really need to identify the section because the committee members will know exactly what you are talking about.

iii. -- General comments about the whole proposed high-school science TEKS. If you are really pressed for time, it is probably best to just make some general comments, as there are some general issues that apply to all of the different courses.

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

A description of the proposed high-school Science TEKS is here and my proposed comments are here. I have added a new proposal: reword the "strengths and weaknesses" language to say "scientific strengths and scientific and pseudoscientific weaknesses," which should exclude creationism and supernaturalism because those things do not pretend to be scientific.
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Labels:

23 Comments:

Anonymous No Comments Yet said...

"Feedback submitted using these forms will be forwarded to the members of the SBOE TEKS review committees."

Looks like they started to raise the bar and then perhaps got cold feet:

"These forms have been posted for your convenience. Feedback may be submitted in any format."

Tsk!

Anyway, I surrender. QED!

Friday, October 24, 2008 9:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry has now proven that he is blocking Voice in the Wilderness.

Friday, October 24, 2008 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author. <

We can assume that this will be followed by alleged quotes from whatever caused Larry's latest tantrum and claims that maintaining that the Sun rises in the East is "personal gossip".

Friday, October 24, 2008 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The "famous" Cambodian Darwinist Pol Pot has sent an email urging Texas to adhere to Darwinism:

Pol Pot's ghost said...

Old Darwin claimed that blind strife
Has somehow created all life.
I'll honor his creed,
For with it, no need
For intelligence. Chaos is rife,

So I'll rip up the system, and kill
Its defenders. Destroy them. I will.
Old Darwin's the way
To our Marxism! Say,
How much blood his dogma will spill,

For if people are merely machines
Created by death, why, that means
We can break a few "eggs"
When our purpose thus begs
For slaughter. It's all in our genes.

(Pol Pot understands that old Communist slogan "You have to break eggs to make an omlet," i.e., killing people helps to improve society. And he knows that that idea comes from Darwin's ludicrous fantasy that mere death, was the creator of all new living species.-Jim Sherwood.)

Friday, October 24, 2008 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

I sent my feed back recommendations for science standards in Texas. I believe the reason why the comment forum was disabled, so you couldn't save any written information on it, was to prevent people using software (bots) to fill out the forums.

Instructions should have been more clearer, which would avoid some confusion on why you couldn't attach the comment form already filled out.

One last thing to note, comment moderation has been enabled. I never thought that would happen in here considering your position, but it's understandable.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 5:58:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"I believe the reason why the comment forum (sic) was disabled, so you couldn't save any written information on it, was to prevent people using software (bots) to fill out the forums (sic)."

Wrong (2 counts, sp. not counted). Zap! Next contestant ...

Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:02:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Cambodian Darwinist Pol Pot"

Kindly prove that there is any connection whatsoever. Citations of Pol Pot's biological essays bibliography will serve. Throwing feces at Darwin will not.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:06:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Michael said...
>>>>>> I sent my feed back recommendations for science standards in Texas. I believe the reason why the comment forum was disabled, so you couldn't save any written information on it, was to prevent people using software (bots) to fill out the forums. <<<<<<

Were you able to use the PDF comment form in any way to send in your comments? The form says at the top,

You cannot save data typed into this form.

Please print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.


As I said, I tried saving the form to my hard-drive, filling it in, and emailing the filled-in form as an email attachment and I couldn't do it -- I could only email an empty form. That sign means what it says: "You cannot save data typed into this form." I even tried using the snapshot and select tools to copy enlarged sections of the filled-in comment form over onto an email form, but the image quality was terrible -- almost illegible.

Even if there is some way to use the PDF form, the whole procedure is just too complicated. A lot of Internet users do not even know how to save, find, and retrieve files on their hard-drives, or how to attach files to emails -- these skills are not necessary to know for basic Internet use.

IMO the Texas Education Agency should just use a blog format for receiving comments. That would have the following advantages: (1) Commenters will know that their comments were properly received and delivered, (2) Commenters will see others' comments and have the opportunity to respond to them, and (3) word verification can be used to prevent automated comment spam.

>>>>> One last thing to note, comment moderation has been enabled. I never thought that would happen in here considering your position, but it's understandable. <<<<<<

It was necessary because some lousy trolls were breaking the rules again: (1) rudely saying I was wrong without saying why and (2) lying about objective facts. These trolls have the mentality of juvenile taggers, who are the reason why spray-paint cans are kept under lock-and-key in stores. I go to other blogs and just don't see other bloggers subjected to that kind of crap. These lousy hypocritical trolls take unfair advantage of my no-censorship policy while ridiculing my opposition to arbitrary blog-comment censorship and condoning the real arbitrary censorship that happens on other blogs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:24:00 PM  
Anonymous "No-Censorship Policy" said...

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.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 9:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Virtual Comment said...

Given that SBOE, in trying to warm their feet, already shot themselves in the foot with their "Feedback may be submitted in any format," I might consider explaining to you why the "forum" (sic) does not work -- provided you were to follow your alleged "no-censorship policy".

Saturday, October 25, 2008 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Virtual Comment said...

>>>>>>> Given that SBOE, in trying to warm their feet, already shot themselves in the foot with their "Feedback may be submitted in any format,"<<<<<<<

How did they "shoot themselves in the foot"?

>>>>>>> I might consider explaining to you why the "forum" (sic) does not work <<<<<<

Instead of beating around the bush, why don't you come out an explain it.

I never before saw a PDF file that allows a reader to enter any kind of data, and this PDF file says at the top, "You cannot save data typed into this form." I also found that I could not email the form with data typed in.

I don't have software for creating PDF files, so I cannot check to see the different options for creating PDF files.

As I said, the easiest and best thing to do would be to create a blog-type website for receiving comments -- I describe the advantages above.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

"No-Censorship Policy" moaned,

>>>>>> My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums . . . . <<<<<<<

Why should I rewrite that paragraph just because some lousy trolls forced me to turn on comment moderation.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Virtual Comment said...

< How did they "shoot themselves in the foot"? >

That would be part of the explanation.

< Instead of beating around the bush, why don't you come out an explain it. >

Perhaps for the same reason that you don't follow your no-censorship policy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Virtual Comment's latest comment was not posted because he did not give straight answers to my questions.

I won't allow trolls to clutter up this blog with garbage.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Anyone other than a moron should immediately see that since Marxism is a philosophically materialist doctrine, it requires a purely materialistic explanation of the the origin of species in order to be in any way credible, and to flourish. Darwin basically provided, and popularized, a purely materialistic fantasy about of the origin of species, and claimed it as science. Hence the Marxist Communist regimes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc., all basically arose from the pseudoscientific pipedreams of the Darwinist evolutionary biologists. Darwinists should have enough integrity to acknowledge that reality. Since they apparently aren't morons, it is evidently something other than stupidity that keeps them in a state of denial.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> some lousy trolls forced me to turn on comment moderation. <

Translation: The Devil made me do it.

Since all we can see is an inability to answer questions on your part, why not explain why you began the arbitrary censorship and try to regain what little is left of your credibility?

Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Anyone other than a moron should immediately see that since Marxism is a philosophically materialist doctrine, it requires a purely materialistic explanation of the the origin of species in order to be in any way credible, and to flourish."

Apparently Jimmy Sherwood is trying to discredit "Darwinism" (as he calls it) through association to some bad governments and bad leaders. It's a logical fallacy (we would not expect less from Jimmy).

Jimmy wrote, "Darwin basically provided, and popularized, a purely materialistic fantasy about of the origin of species, and claimed it as science"

He has yet to show in months or years on this blog how Darwin's work on evolution was a "materialistic fantasy," much less a fantasy of any kind. To the contrary, all scientific evidence corroborates and expands on his initial claim (calling contemporary evolutionary theory 'Darwinist' is scientifically reductionist and anachronistic, and it is simply a misguided attempt to turn scientific theory into an ideology).

Of course, Jimmy ignores the connections of IDiots with the religious right and their presence in churches while celebrating the connections of Darwin and Hitler. Which is it? ID isn't religious because he's not a fundamentalist (neither is Larry) but the modern evolutionary synthesis is evil and wrong because a misguided application of early evolutionary theory referred to as Social Darwinism (see also eugenics) played a role in the Nazi holocaust (which Larry denies happened, but oddly he still uses the alleged connection to criticize the modern evolutionary synthesis -- we have never expected clear thinking from Larry either). Talk about a confused individual! (Make that two, as well as... well, the whole cast over at the Disco Institute (sic).

Sunday, October 26, 2008 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Juvenile Tagger said...

Ahh, nice to be juvenile again! ;-)

"... spray-paint cans are kept under lock-and-key in stores."

What stores?

Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Any kind of store that sells spray-paint cans: hardware stores, auto-supply stores, paint stores, etc..

Monday, October 27, 2008 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I never before saw a PDF file that allows a reader to enter any kind of data <

Most government forms online allow entering data and saving it. See IRS, Franchise Tax Board, FAA, etc. These are all PDF forms.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:27:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU said,
>>>>>> Most government forms online allow entering data and saving it. See IRS, Franchise Tax Board, FAA, etc. These are all PDF forms. <<<<<<

The IRS forms say,

This form has document rights applied to it. These rights allow anyone completing this form, with the free Adobe Reader, to save their filled-in form locally.

The comment form for the Texas science standards says,

You cannot save data typed into this form.

Maybe that explains something, doofus. Duh. And ViW posted the following comment, which I censored:

>>>>>> I tried to follow the instructions and they did not work. Per the instructions, I saved the comment form to my hard-drive ( I could save it only as a PDF file ), filled it in, and then tried to email the filled-in form as an attachment but could not -- I could email the comment form only as an empty form. <

The instructions work. Anyone who knows anything about computers can see what the dullard did wrong. <<<<<<<

Friday, October 31, 2008 3:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I never before saw a PDF file that allows a reader to enter any kind of data <

After he is given examples of where that you can enter and save data, he points out onne of the rare forms in which he cannot. Then he thinks he has made a point. Sorry, dunghill. You only demonstrated your ignorance.

This post will probably be arbitrarily censored too. Larry has lost what little credibility he had.

Friday, October 31, 2008 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> After he is given examples of where that you can enter and save data, he points out onne of the rare forms in which he cannot. <<<<<<

You no-good sack of #$*@&, that was the form I was trying to use.

Friday, October 31, 2008 3:42:00 PM  

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