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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Screwed-up book from the National Center for Science Education


An NCSE website article about a new book, "Evolution v. Creationism: An Introduction, 2nd Edition," by Eugenie Scott, says,

Evolution education is being battered every day in school districts across the U.S. by creationists, whether they're pushing young-earth creationism, intelligent design, or antievolutionism in the guise of "academic freedom."

Not all of the batterers are creationists.

What's going on here?

Good question.

Why is the United States the only country where teaching evolution is so controversial?

Wrong -- see this blog's articles about the evolution controversies abroad -- these articles are in two post-label groups listed in the sidebar of the homepage. How can the NCSE claim to have expertise in this area while being ignorant of such basic facts about the subject?

Why are scientists so sure that evolution is good science?

Some scientists are not so sure.

Are people of faith truly unable to accept the central principle of modern biology?

There we go again with that "evolution is central to biology" bullshit. Sheeesh.

Is it really "fair" for creationism to be taught alongside evolution?

One thing is for sure and that it is that it is "fair" to teach scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of evolution alongside evolution.

What have the courts said?

It's not all bad, but a lot of it is bad -- very bad.

And will attacks on evolution ultimately undermine not only American education but American competitiveness?

K-12 evolution education has nothing to do with American competitiveness.

Updated, revamped, and expanded, the 2nd edition adds another 70 pages of brand new and revised material, including:

A new foreword by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, who ruled in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover case.

This has got to be the living end. Probably some crap about "judicial independence."

A new chapter on testing intelligent design and evidence against evolution in the courts.

The courts should rule that the scientific merits of both evolution and criticisms of evolution are non-justiciable. A question is considered non-justiciable when there is "a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the question." Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004). If necessary, Congress should use its power under the Constitution's Article III to strip the Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction over scientific questions in the evolution controversy (with the exception of Supreme Court rulings that such questions are non-justiciable).

Evolution vs. Creationism is the perfect resource for teachers, professors, libraries, and anybody who wants to learn about the perennial creationism/evolution controversy.

It is also an extremely biased resource that needs to be balanced with opposing material.

The book did get some praise from a leading creationist:

Henry M. Morris in the Institute for Creation Research's Back to Genesis:

I believe that she has conscientiously tried to be objective in discussing this inflammatory subject in her book. ... The book is well written and creationists can read it with interest and appreciation, even though its arguments for evolution are — to us, at least — speculative and even defensive.

The book may be OK for creationists, but it is certainly not OK for supporters of scientific criticisms of evolution. Even the book's title, "Evolution v. Creationism," is biased, because as I indicated, creationism is not the only idea opposed to evolution.
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10 Comments:

OpenID W. Kevin Vicklund said...

I know I'm banned, but I couldn't resist:

Happy Darwin Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:59:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I NEVER ban a commenter, Kevin. Each comment is considered on a case-by-case basis. And that is a BIG difference between me and a lot of other bloggers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 9:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Røst I Ødemarken said...

I NEVER ban a commenter, Kevin.

Hmm. You also claim (in your intro):

no deletion of comments ... no holding up of comments for moderation

How is this assertion different?

(BTW, I also thought Kevin was banned.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

"Why are scientists so sure that evolution is good science?"

For one, there no theory that is natural other than evolution, even if were possible for aliens to start life on earth, something natural would have to create the aliens, so evolution is all there is in the natural scheme of things.

Secondly, their funding would be most likely cut off if their research was about questioning evolution. Isn't that is what the NCSE advocates?

Henry Morris was being overly kind with his review. Certainly if a creationist wants to know something about militants in Neo-Darwinism, it's then a good book for research purposes only. But they could also find other sources on the net, and not waste their money on that book...

Thursday, February 12, 2009 1:57:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Røst I Ødemarken said,
>>>>>> Hmm. You also claim (in your intro):

no deletion of comments ... no holding up of comments for moderation <<<<<<

I left that claim in there as a reminder that I was forced to turn on comment moderation because some lousy trolls were determined to sabotage this blog because they see it as a big threat to their dogmas.

>>>>>>> BTW, I also thought Kevin was banned <<<<<<

I may have given that impression because I really have it in for Kevin Vicklund because he is a cyberbully and cyberstalker as well as a pettifogger who used to clutter up this blog (before I had comment moderation) with his breathtaking inanities.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 3:18:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Michael said,
>>>>>> For one, there no theory that is natural other than evolution <<<<<<

It takes a lot more than that to make a good theory. And IMO evolution really requires some supernatural causation.

>>>>>> Secondly, their funding would be most likely cut off if their research was about questioning evolution <<<<<<

Whose funding? Does the National Center for Science Education or the Institute for Creation Research get government funding?

>>>>>> Henry Morris was being overly kind with his review. <<<<<<

I see no reason for him to be kind to Eugenie Scott or the NCSE. He was probably giving his honest opinion.

>>>>>> Certainly if a creationist wants to know something about militants in Neo-Darwinism, it's then a good book for research purposes only. But they could also find other sources on the net, and not waste their money on that book... <<<<<<<

One never knows if the book contains information and/or ideas that are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. And it is useful to know what the book says. Or maybe someone might want to write a review of the book. There are all kinds of reasons to spend money on the book.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 3:35:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The goofy Darwin-woshippers, presumably including Vicklund, are celebrating today as Darwin Day!

And if they don't think that they are Darwin-worshippers, they should work to improve their understanding of the English language. One of the senses of the verb "to worship" in the Oxford Enlosh Dictionary Online is, "to feel great admiration or devotion for."

And these guys certainly feel great admiration for old Charlie D. Why that is, is very hard to understand.

That applies both to those who attend Darwin Day celebrations, and to those who do not; as well as to those who bake birthday cakes for "Chuck," or sing "Darwin Carols" to him; and those who do not.

They are all fairly nutty zealots.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Nobody celebrates the birthdays of true scientists, not even of truly great ones, such as Newton, Galileo, and Einstein.

Why not? Because true science can be established objectively by experiments. Hence nearly everyone accepts it as at least approximately true; to a very high degree of probability; at least within the range of phenomena with which the experiments deal; and to within the error-margin which the experiments in question have.

The Darwinist notion of the perfectly mindless, mechanistic evolution of all species, on the other hand, cannot be established as even likely to be true, by any experiments. And it clashes with much of the scientific evidence to such a degree, that it is hard to see why anyone would wish to believe in it.

Hence Darwinism is a cult, or a very crude form of religion, rather than science. As such it depends upon dogma and upon zeal: its apostles are obliged to celebrate their "prophet" as though he were some sort of religious figure.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Bad news for all Darwin-worshippers! Davescot at Uncommon Descent reports that "Chance & Necessity Whackaloons Dropping Like Flies." (Feb 10, in time for Darwin Day!)

I sometimes have problems with Davescot, but he's right on this one. He's referring to a Zogby Poll showing that public support for teaching the strengths and weaknesses of (Darwinist) evolution soared 9 percentage points between 2006 and 2009: from 69% to an overwhelming 78%; while those arbitrarily opposing teaching the scientific weaknesses of Darwinism along with its scientific strengths, plunged from 21% to 14%.

The nine-point change is so large that it can't reasonably be ascribed to the irrelevant fluctuations that are caused by random sampling. So we're seeing a real and important shift in public opinion away from those chance-and-necessity-zealots, the Darwinists; and toward fair and objective teaching, about this rapidly intensifying scientific controversy over Darwinism.

And are Darwinists "Whackaloons?" Well, there is certainly something overly fanatical about them.

Friday, February 13, 2009 2:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Røst I Ødemarken said...

And IMO evolution really requires some supernatural causation.

And so do lots of other things. How does the Earth stay in its orbit without regular nudges from a Deity? And how about your postings? Aren't those supernaturally instigated as well?

as well as to those who bake birthday cakes for "Chuck"

Well, I for one am baking a "Jim Sherwood Day" cake. So you don't need to feel envious any longer! So there!

(No, I won't tell you what it's for.)

Monday, February 16, 2009 3:23:00 PM  

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