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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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.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Long-overdue symposium on "Intelligent Design and the Constitution"

Casey Luskin posted on Evolution News & Views,

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 10th, University of St. Thomas School of Law is hosting a legal symposium titled “Intelligent Design and the Constitution.” Participants include Peter M. J. Hess (NCSE), David DeWolf [not listed on website] (Professor of Law, Gonzaga University; senior fellow, Discovery Institute), Josh Rosenau [not listed on website] (NCSE), Thomas D. Sullivan (Aquinas Chair in Philosophy and Theology, University of St. Thomas), Patrick Gillen (Lead Defense Counsel, Kitzmiller v. Dover), Russell Pannier (Emeritus Professor of Law, William Mitchel College of the Law), and myself. The title of my talk will be “The Constitutionality and Pedagogical Benefits of Teaching Evolution Scientifically.” According to the website:

The symposium, free and open to the public, will bring together scholars to debate and analyze various constitutional and philosophical issues surrounding evolutionism and intelligent design, particularly as they affect U.S. public schools.
For details, visit here.

IMO this symposium is long overdue -- a lot of issues need more airing. There has been too much misrepresentation of the issues -- such misrepresentation is epitomized by the Darwinist epithet "intelligent design creationism."
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I am as opposed as anyone to the outright teaching of religion-based creationism in public school science classes. However, to me it does not matter whether or not intelligent design or other scientific (or pseudoscientific) criticisms of evolution theory are "good" science, because there are good secular reasons for teaching criticisms of evolution that are bad science. Some such reasons are: (1) encouraging critical thinking, (2) broadening students' education, (3) preventing and correcting misconceptions, (4) increasing student interest, and (5) helping to assure that criticisms of evolution are taught by qualified science teachers (the Darwinists complain that these criticisms "mislead" students but want these criticisms to be taught only by unqualified teachers!). There is no constitutional principle of separation of bad science and state. The Constitution's establishment clause is being misused to suppress scientific criticisms of evolution theory.

I look forward to the results of the symposium.
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