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, August 27, 2009

NCSE publishes Stupid Steven's drivel

A report written by "Stupid Steven" Schafersman, which he claimed was published in the Reports of the National Center for Science Education, May-June 2009, v. 29, no. 3, barfed,

The periodic SBOE textbook adoption and review circus will remain with us. Every six or seven years scientists, science teachers, and science advocates must descend on Austin to defend the accuracy and integrity of biology textbooks from the attacks of Creationists both on and off the SBOE. This disgusting textbook adoption sideshow is demeaning and embarrassing to Texas and is a necessary waste of time to practicing scientists who have better things to do, but must take the time to defend the textbooks. The standards submitted by the science writing panels would have prevented the worst of this, but now we will see it again in its full nauseating stench in Austin in 2010 or 2011 (depending on when the textbook Proclamation is adopted). Texas citizens should be disgusted with this faux-democratic, oligocratic display of power politics, for most SBOE members know how they will vote years before the hearing commences. They will vote to further their Fundamentalist Christian beliefs by trying to undermine and damage science education in Texas. Others plan to vote to uphold the high qualities of professional science education by resisting the Creationist attacks on science textbooks. All the effort will be focused on persuading the swing eighth vote that gives the religious right radicals a majority. If they can reject a single biology textbook, the other publishers may capitulate rather than lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. Then the censorship I have witnessed many times over the decades in Texas will begin again

A lot of Darwinists are virulently intolerant of the slightest whiff of criticism of evolution in the public schools.

Once, when it was Schafersman's turn to speak at a meeting of the Texas board of education, then board chairman Don McLeroy remarked, "guess who's next."

IMO it is much better to have K-12 teaching controlled by the state board of education rather than by the college professors and K-12 teachers. The SBOE members are elected and are hence directly accountable to the public -- the college professors and the K-12 teachers are much harder to get rid of.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

"Darwinists are virulently intolerant of the slightest whiff of criticism" of Darwin-doctrine in many public places where free discussion is ordinarily possible, not just in the schools.

Consider the bizarre events at Bloggingheads, where John McWhorter, a UC Berkeley linguist, invited Michael Behe to a discussion.

In a video with Behe, McWhorter, an atheist, said that he had read Behe's book The Edge of Evolution, and "I found it absolutely shattering. This is a very important book." He didn't, however, indicate that he had been converted to intelligent design.

But even that was too much for the Darwin Thought Police. A whole snarling mob of them evidently descended on Bloggingheads. McWhorter capitulated and asked that his own video be pulled! It was removed.

The idea that free thought and free discussion must be restricted and censored, seems to be more or less basic to Darwinism.

The chief honcho at Bloggingheads, incidentally, is journalist Robert Wright, who is a well-known Darwinist zealot.

Fans of Darwinist dogma are scared to death, as their "theory" collapses under the weight of the evidence. That seems to be the real state of affairs.

See Uncommon Descent for news on the McWhorter affair.

Friday, August 28, 2009 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

McWhorter, who was associate professor at UC Berkeley, is now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think-tank (which has never been associated with intelligent design.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

McWhorter explained to Behe that he censored and EXPELLED his own video from Bloggingheads, because "people thought he was too easy" on Behe! No doubt that was after the Darwin-fan censors, and perhaps Bob Wright among them, came down hard on McWhorter.

But the banned video is still available elsewhere. So I've put a link to it on my prospective blog, Intelligent Force. See my Blogger profile.

Saturday, August 29, 2009 4:38:00 PM  
Anonymous RickK said...

There is a difference between discussing the possibility that the movement of the planets through the constellations affects the love lives of individual humans, and including astrology in public school science class.

There is a difference between discussing the possibility that some humans can manipulate bioenergy fields with their minds, and teaching high school students that Reiki healing is science.

And there is a difference between discussing the unfounded beliefs of an intelligent designer, and teaching those beliefs in public school science classes. Remember, it was Behe who equated the scientific bases of intelligent design and astrology.

Not too long ago 90% of the population of Europe believed witchcraft was an every day occurrence, and supported those beliefs with massive amounts of anecdotal evidence. As demonstrated time and again in history, the popular vote should never be confused with actual truth.

You will likely dismiss me with your trite little "Darwinist" label to make it look like my opinion is based on some sort of blind faith.

But the evidence shows that methodological naturalism (the foundation of "science") is an extremely effective approach to building solid, useful, predictive models of our origins and of the workings of the natural world. Shoving some supernatural "intelligent designer" into every current gap in our knowledge is NOT how methodological naturalism works.

What is taught in public school science classes should in fact be science. And yes, it is unfortunate that in Texas and other states, misguided politicians repeat an annual ritual of trying to force their flavor of intelligent design creationism (this century's "witchcraft") into science classes.

When will people weary of the "intelligent design" lie and just truthfully admit that this is simply an argument between science and Christian Biblical creationism? That's where the money is coming from. That's why Texas still debates science versus ID - not because of some noble pursuit of the ideals of "specified complexity" - but because of the number of people willing to donate large sums of money to politicians to blur the distinction between public school and Sunday school. Any argument to the contrary is simply not honest.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> There is a difference between discussing the possibility that the movement of the planets through the constellations affects the love lives of individual humans, and including astrology in public school science class. <<<<<<

IMO astrology should be included for historical purposes in public school science classes. Astrological observations were the precursor of astronomical observations.

>>>>>>> And there is a difference between discussing the unfounded beliefs of an intelligent designer, and teaching those beliefs in public school science classes. <<<<<<<

That shows that you don't understand intelligent design, which is not based on "the unfounded beliefs of an intelligent designer," but is based on scientific observation and scientific reasoning.

>>>>>> Remember, it was Behe who equated the scientific bases of intelligent design and astrology. <<<<<<

I don't agree with everything that Behe says -- he has his opinions and I have mine. I disagree with him about astrology; so far as I know, astrology, unlike ID, never challenged a scientific theory -- so far a I know, there has never been a scientific theory that says that the motions of celestial objects cannot be used to predict the future.

>>>>>> You will likely dismiss me with your trite little "Darwinist" label to make it look like my opinion is based on some sort of blind faith. <<<<<<<

"Intelligent design creationism" is also a trite title.

IMO Darwinism requires a lot of blind faith. You Darwinists cherry-pick your evidence, citing evidence that supports the theory while ignoring evidence against the theory.

>>>>>> What is taught in public school science classes should in fact be science. <<<<<<

Not necessarily -- there are often good reasons for teaching pseudoscience: developing critical thinking skills, broadening students' education, increasing student interest, helping students learn the material, preventing or correcting misconceptions, and helping to assure that technically sophisticated pseudoscience is taught only by qualified science teachers.

>>>>>>> When will people weary of the "intelligent design" lie and just truthfully admit that this is simply an argument between science and Christian Biblical creationism? <<<<<<

No, it is not simply an argument between science and Christian Biblical creationism.

>>>>>>> That's where the money is coming from. <<<<<<<

The Darwinists also have axes to grind -- e.g., more grant money for studying evolution, more public support for atheism.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Those who have been told by PZ or somebody that "Darwinism" is an improper term for the conventional theory of evolution that Dawkins et. al. espouse, should tell that to Dawkins! Look up "Darwinism" in the index to his book The Ancestor's Tale, published in 2004, and you'll soon find Dawkins using "Darwinism" as a synonym for the very theory of evolution in which he believes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009 1:53:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

A Darwin-professor: "It's crass
That Darwin's been knocked on his ass!
Since his theory's decaying,
It goes without saying,
My grants are in danger. Alas!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009 3:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The Behe-McWhorter video that terrified every Darwin-fanatic in the land and thus was promptly EXPELLED by Bloggingheads, the Website that put it up, has been restored there!

Dr. McWhorter rather implausibly claimed that he had EXPELLED his own video of his friendly conversation with Behe, the brilliant Lehigh University biochemist who gives fits to all disciples of ancient Darwinist dogmatics.

But now it seems that was just an arranged cover-story. Robert Wright, the reigning honcho at Bloggingheads, says "The decision to remove it from the site was made by BhTV staff while I was away," and he countermanded the censorship when he returned.

Wright is a notoriously clueless Darwin-fan who believes in every ridiculous Darwinist fantasy, even including "evolutionary psychology." But he also seems to believe in free speech. A commendable position, and one that appears to be very rare among Darwinites.

Anyway, there's a link to the video on my prospective blog, Intelligent Force. Click on my name to access my profile, and my blog.

Monday, August 31, 2009 3:43:00 PM  
Anonymous RickK said...

You said: "No, it is not simply an argument between science and Christian Biblical creationism."

And then you said: "The Darwinists also have axes to grind -- e.g., more grant money for studying evolution, more public support for ATHEISM." (capitalization mine)

Thank you. You proved my point, clearly, and in only one post. Thank you.

The whole ID movement is based on:

1) the theory of evolution refutes God;
2) purely Biblical arguments fail in schools and courts; so
3) let's find some scientific-sounding arguments for a "designer"; and finally
4) let's go direct to the media and schools and bypass all those pesky scientists and peer-reviewed journals.

Some people have honest discussions about fine tuning and design evidence for a creator of the universe. These are interesting philosophical and cosmological discussions, but are currently untestable. Natural evolution is testable, and the theory has survived and thrived because it keeps passing the tests. Any argument that denies that species evolve and injects divine magic in place of natural processes is ultimately a religiously-motivated argument, no different than Flood Geology or White Hole Cosmology.

Christian fear of atheism is the driving force of "Intelligent Design":
it's the motivation behind Phillip Johnson's theistic realism;
it's the motivation behind the Discovery Institute and it's Wedge Strategy;
it's the motivation behind everything that William Dembski has published;
it was the motivation behind Dover, as "cdesign proponentsists" so graphically demonstrated;
it's the motivation behind the anti-evolution stance in certain school board members all over the country;
and it's why you concluded with the words you did.

And... it's why not one penny of any money currently directed to "intelligent design research" would be re-directed to evolution. You are suggesting that this is competition over funding. It's not. You are desperately and falsely trying to put ID and evolution on some sort of equal footing. They're not.

This is not a debate between scientific theories. It is a debate between follow-the-evidence science, and a narrowly-interpreted brand of Christianity. It is this century's version of the Galileo trial.

If you TRULY believed in "evidence of design", then you would accept the possibility of an ultimate creator who set all the particles in motion so that they would lead inevitably through abiogenesis and evolution to the creation of Man. You would accept the possibility that evolution was the creator's process for developing complex life from simple origins.

But you evolution-denying ID proponents don't say that. Why? Because the Christian god is an interventionist god, and because a "hands-off" designer doesn't drive the proper "wedge" into what you view as anti-Christian science. That's why I can use the term "intelligent design creationism" and not be wrong.

So please just admit what Judge Jones so clearly highlighted: you, along with every major financial backer and advocate of intelligent design, are ultimately motivated by the Bible. You are not interested in objective science, but only in science that doesn't conflict with your interpretation of God.

And that, as a great man pointed out, is rather sad:

"In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." -- Carl Sagan

Wise words.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 6:21:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,
>>>>>> The Behe-McWhorter video that terrified every Darwin-fanatic in the land and thus was promptly EXPELLED by Bloggingheads, the Website that put it up, has been restored there! <<<<<<

Evolution News & Views has some posts about the Bloggingheads affair [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

RickK driveled,
>>>>>> Thank you. You proved my point, clearly, and in only one post. Thank you. <<<<<<

No, bozo, I have not proved your point, clearly or otherwise. You talk only about stereotypes, e.g., claiming that ID supporters are motivated only by religion. I allow different people to have different motives.


>>>>>> Christian fear of atheism is the driving force of "Intelligent Design" <<<<<<

It can just as easily be argued that atheists' fear of Christianity is the driving force of evolution theory.

>>>>>> If you TRULY believed in "evidence of design", then you would accept the possibility of an ultimate creator who set all the particles in motion so that they would lead inevitably through abiogenesis and evolution to the creation of Man. You would accept the possibility that evolution was the creator's process for developing complex life from simple origins. <<<<<<<

You are talking like a typical anti-Semitic Cafeteria-Christian Darwinist goy who rejects the Jewish Old Testament's creation story while accepting the far less credible Christian New Testament's gospel story. William Jennings Bryan had the right answer for bigots like you --

"If those who teach Darwinism and evolution, as applied to man, insist that they are neither agnostics nor atheists, but are merely interpreting the Bible differently from orthodox Christians, what right have they to ask that their interpretation be taught at public expense?"

>>>>>> So please just admit what Judge Jones so clearly highlighted: <<<<<<

Are you kidding? As Sleazy PZ Myers would say, I "metaphorically puke on the shoes" of Judge "Jackass" Jones. The jerk is an idiot. He said in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his Dover decision was based on his cockamamie notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions. He said that critics of his Dover decision have no respect for "judicial independence" and "the rule of law."

>>>>>> you, along with every major financial backer and advocate of intelligent design, are ultimately motivated by the Bible. You are not interested in objective science, but only in science that doesn't conflict with your interpretation of God. <<<<<<

Some Darwinists are saying that the theistic evolutionism of Ken Miller, the plaintiffs' lead expert witness in Kitzmiller v. Dover, is practically indistinguishable from the ID that Judge Jones outlawed in public schools.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way."" -- Carl Sagan

Quite a good point. And it reminds me of the original Jewish revolt against Paganism, where they successfully led a revolt against the crass pettiness and lack of imagination of the Pagan worldview. Unlike the stories about (e.g.) Zeus, the Jews have had very little to say about the attributes of the Deity (in effect acknowledging the failure of previous attempts at constraining those attributes to limits acceptable to human ignorance).

Yes, indeed, the real Universe Story makes our myths look mighty clumsy, poverty-stricken, and in fact sacrilegious.

As for the Gospel being less (or more) credible than the Creation story, the Gospel at least has the advantage of no direct disproof. Not so for the Creation story. Just one example shows that the Creation story is impossible: the fact that human beings have lost the enzyme that produces Vitamin C, so that we have to muddle through with generally inadequate dietary supplies. Why would an Intelligent Designer have allowed that and not fixed it?

Thursday, September 03, 2009 10:16:00 AM  

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