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.

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, January 22, 2009

Texas board of education votes on new science standards

Today's meeting of the Texas Board of Education was live-blogged here, on the Texas Freedom Network blog. Also, the meeting was live-blogged by Stupid Steven Schafersman [1] and in several articles dated Jan. 22 on Thoughts from Kansas. Evolution News & Views also has several articles -- dated Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 -- about the Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 meetings of the board.

A motion to re-insert the "strengths and weaknesses" language into the standards failed today on a 7-7 tie vote (one member was absent during the voting). However, like the Kitmiller v. Dover decision, this looks like a Pyrrhic victory for the dogmatic Darwinists -- it accomplishes little for them while greatly increasing opposition to the dogmatic teaching of Darwinism.

Here are the ways that things stand now:
(1) The word "limitations" remains in the biology knowledge & skills section 3D.

(2) Nothing in the tentatively approved new standards prohibits the state from approving textbooks that contain criticisms of evolution.

(3) The vote on the "strengths and weaknesses" language shows the willingness of a near-majority of the board members to vote to overrule a decision of all eight science standards-drafting committees.

(4) The board inserted some anti-evolution language into the science standards, particularly the statement, "describe the sufficiency or insufficiency of common ancestry to explain the sudden appearance, stasis and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record." [2] It sounds like a silly question to me.

These are preliminary votes. The final vote is in March, and the board might vote on the standards tomorrow too.



Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

One has to wonder about these apparently rabid fanatics who object to the proposed "strengths and weaknesses" language? The old notions of the "evolutionary biologists" are feeble, unverifiable, and in conflict with most of the scientific evidence. Such doctrines, at best, constitute a wildly improbable hypothesis. Species almost surely didn't arise by random genetic variations and natural selection. And how they did arise, is presently anybody's guess.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Here is another article about today's board meeting.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

They approved "sufficiency or insufficiency" language which can be construed to mean the same thing as "strengths and weaknesses." The nuts and ignoramuses seem to try to interpret any criticism of conventional evolutionary theory as creationism.

Friday, January 23, 2009 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This character Schafersman claims that seven members of the state Board of Education are young-earth creationists (YECs). Is that really true? Darwin-fanatics are so notorious for spouting falsehoods, that I wouldn't trust a word the guy says. It may be that the Houston Chronicle discovered that his claim was false, and censored the column for that reason. Some ID-proponents are YECs, some are old-earth creationists, and some aren't any sort of creationists: for they believe in descent of new species from old ones, with some sort of intelligence producing many of the modifications involved. But many Darwinism-proponents are apparently very ignorant, for they claim that all ID proponents are creationists; or even that they are all YECs. ID is a wide position that is compatible with many different views.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 4:47:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said (Saturday, January 24, 2009 4:47:00 PM) --
>>>>>> This character Schafersman claims that seven members of the state Board of Education are young-earth creationists (YECs). Is that really true? <<<<<<

He has called them "radical religious-right creationists."

>>>>>> It may be that the Houston Chronicle discovered that his claim was false, and censored the column for that reason. <<<<<<

He has made that claim in other articles, but those other articles were not censored. He has made other false or unsupported claims in other articles, and those articles were not censored.

Schafersman is now charging that the article was censored because a member of the state board of education complained to the Chronicle -- see his comment under the article.

I have formally complained to the Texas Education Agency that Schafersman -- a member of the TEA standards-drafting committee for Earth and Space Science -- has been arbitrarily censoring my comments submitted to the Evo.Sphere blog. The Houston Chronicle staff refused to do anything about it because they claim that Evo.Sphere is an "independent" blog -- but how in the hell can it be independent if the Chronicle staff can censor articles on it? Also, Houston Chronicle staffer Eric Berger set up the blog, advertised it, invited Schafersman to blog on it, and made the decision to moderate comments. Independent, my eye.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Darwinists often claim that the Discovery Institute is a "radical religious-right creationist" outfit, or something of the sort. Of course that claim is perfectly spurious; but it is a sufficiently vague claim that they probably think they can get away with it. The word "creationist" might possibly be construed in several different senses, which gives Schafersman an "out," if he uses that expression.

Schafersman recently explicitly called the 7 board members "young-earth creationists," which is not vague at all. If it is a lie, some board member may have threatened to sue the newspaper, causing them to censor the blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I don't think that would be cause for a libel suit in any case, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects the Houston Chronicle from liability for what third parties post on a Houston Chronicle site.

Sunday, January 25, 2009 1:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I'd like to know whether these 7 Board of Education members are really young-earth creationists, as Schafersman alleges? According to the New York Times, their leader is Don McLeroy, the chairman of the Board; and the NYT says that McLeroy calls himself "a Darwin skeptic." This in a NYT article referenced on the Discovery Institute blog.

One can be a Darwin-skeptic without being any sort of creationist; and without even being an intelligent design proponent. So while McLeroy might be a YEC, he might easily not be one. As part of their phony propaganda, proponents of the old conventional evolutionary theory often falsely claim that all of their adversaries are creationists.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Some really are creationists. I think that McLeroy, Dunbar, and Bradley are creationists. But Schafersman does not provide any evidence than all seven are creationists. The Texas Freedom Network, an extremist Darwinist outfit, has some information about them here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Another story in the New York Times says that McLeroy believes that the earth is only thousands of years old. In that case, he's definitely a young earth creationist. Quite a few intelligent design proponents are in fact young earth creationists; that's a position which is compatible with ID, but not at all required by it.

On the other hand, noted scholar and religious philosopher Huston Smith is an ID proponent; but he thinks that young earth creationism is "nonsense on stilts." I believe that's an exact quote. There are many intelligent design proponents, such as quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff, who are not creationists of any sort, let alone YECs. I am not a creationist of any variety, and I do find it hard to see how anyone can be a YEC.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 6:16:00 PM  

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